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String Tip: String Fling


Strings are to the racquet that the motor is to your car:  the driving capability. 
Your strings allow you to guide the ball in the direction you choose and the speed you desire. An unknown author said, “Strings are the soul of your racquet.” Think about it!
Strings ride a spectrum from playability to durability. Let’s get educated on how to choose a string! There are four main types of string to know: poly, wrap technology, multifilament, and natural gut. Depending on how often you play and how often you break strings, your choice for string will become clear after this explanation.
A Poly is made of polyester and is designed for durability. This type of string is created as a polymer, a repeating chemical structure built for strength. A poly can therefore hold up to lots of friction, as in repeated contact with a tennis ball. Interested? Consider this: Although a poly will last you a long time, it does have its down side. The durability gained causes the string to play rigid and not very elastic, thus diminishing “playability” and therefore your ability to feel and handle the ball. A poly is only recommended for high-level players who want the added benefit of creating a better spin with this rigidity, a player who can adjust their play for the loss of feel for the ball and to save themselves from breaking strings too often. This lack of elasticity means the impact is tougher on the arm and can possibly cause tennis elbow. The greater impact on the strings forces them to absorb a loss of about 20% of the static tension-quicker than any other type of sting. This one might be an option for repeated string-breakers.
 Wrap technology strings have a nylon or synthetic gut center core, and generally an outer layer 'wrap' of small filaments that can add playability including a 'softer' feel, more control and greater comfort, a slight reduction in tension loss while holding up in durability. This is the most basic type of string. This type of string is usually a good balance of durability and playability. It is a good place to start if you have never played before. It is often called synthetic gut.
 Multifilament strings are most commonly made of many filaments of nylon, but can incorporate other materials such aspolyurethaneZyexVectranKevlar, and other materials. This is moving along the spectrum toward playability and these strings are considered ‘soft’ strings. Multifilament is great for someone that doesn't break strings that often-around 6 months or longer. The cross cut of the string looks like a phone cable, with lots of tiny fibers making up one string. It holds tension very well, at about a 10% static tension loss, and is also very friendly on the arm because the vibrations get dispersed over all the filaments. This softer blend creates a sensitivity when you are hitting the ball, allowing you to really 'feel' the ball as you hit. However, as expected, because the string is softer, it is not as good for durability. You will also note that this string will fray due to its soft material composition. This is one step below Natural gut and the price will reflect this quality.
 FinallyNatural Gut strings are the best type of string out there.  Natural gut is given its name because it is literally made from sheep or cow intestines. Natural gut can have up to 20,000 filaments while multifilament strings will contain around only 2,000 filaments!  It is the best string for tension maintenance at a minimal 5% static tension loss.  It is certainly the most friendly on the arm as well.  It used to be very temperamental, but they have redesigned the protective coating and it holds up a lot better than it used to; but obviously it will not be as durable as a poly.  
 Another option is to combine two of these types of string to create a hybrid or blend. Generally, people use blends to augment durability and still maintain some of the feel and tension maintenance.  Most people blend a poly in the mains which could use the durability and then use a multifilament in the crosses to pick up better playability.  
 There are hundreds of types string, and it can be overwhelming to choose.  
Come in to Game Set Match and talk strings with our Stringing Specialists to help you determine what string will make the best sense for you and your game!

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