How to Choose the Right Tennis String

May 17, 2017

GAMMA Tennis blog about how to choose the right tennis string.

Whether you’re a high-level tournament player or you belong to a casual rec league, your strings can be the deciding factor of your performance. Are you surprised that we didn’t say racquet? The truth is, your tennis racquet is only part of the equation.

Think of it this way. Could you imagine showing up to a racetrack in a car with no wheels? The flag would be waved, the race would begin, and you’d still be at the starting line, motionless as your competitors zoom ahead towards the finish line.

Now, imagine that you show up to a tennis match with a racquet in hand, ready to serve—only to realize that your racquet doesn’t have string.

In both situations, something very important is missing that’ll inhibit you from performing your best.

In regard to tennis strings, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all. In fact, there are many variables to consider when choosing the right string for your game. Three important factors to consider when choosing your strings are playability, durability, and gauge.

Playability

The playability and feel of a string differs from player to player. Some prefer a soft string while others like to use one with stiffness and pop. Polyester string is popular among elite players because it offers stiff control for extremely powerful swings and is very durable. But for causal or intermediate players, a string with a softer, more flexible playability is a better choice. While natural gut string is still the reigning champ of playable string, it is expensive and can break easily, which is why synthetic gut is a decent substitute. Natural gut is woven from beef intestines, but there are plenty of options for synthetic gut that replicate the construction.

Durability

The more durable the string, the less playable it is. If a string has a thick, durable core, it is usually less flexible and elastic, and therefore, is less comfortable to play with. If you play with a string that is too stiff, it could cause tennis elbow.

The construction of a string has a lot to do with its durability. Multifilament strings are essentially thousands of microfibers woven together, and they tend to fray rather than snap. Strings with a solid core (like polyester) are better for players with powerful swings because the fraying of strings can weaken their power and control.

Gauge

Tennis string gauges range from 15 to 19 and the higher the number, the thinner the string. Thick string (15 or 16 gauge) is often used by high-level players because of its durability, while thinner string offers better feel and playability because it is able to dig into the ball a bit more.

So, whether you’re looking for control, durability, spin, power, or something in between, our GAMMA Tennis strings will help you rule the court. We’ve got a string for every player—finds yours and Unleash Your Champion.

What is your preferred type of string? Do you notice a difference when you switch between gauges? Let #TeamGAMMA know on Facebook!