How To Select A Tennis String


Selecting a tennis string should be something that you think through as not all strings and string tensions are suitable for all players.

If You Have No Idea What String or String Tension To Use

Most rackets have a recommended range for string tension marked on the racket. If you are starting out with a racket we recommend that you go with the middle of this range.

As for what string to use some rackets have recommended strings marked on the racket throat. Use one of those recommended strings. If there are no recommended strings ask your tennis shop to recommend a few good nylon (synthetic gut) tennis strings. Go through them and select one that gives you the maximum combination of playability and durability within your budget. Playability and durability are marked on the packet that contains the strings.

Things To Consider About the Type Of String

The type of string you use determines playability and durability. Playability is how comfortable the ball feels on your racket. Durability is how long the string will last. When playability of a string increases the durability goes down and vice versa. The string gauge and material of the string type is what affects playability and durability.

String Gauge

This is the thickness of the string. Thinner strings offer more playability and thicker strings offer more durability. String gauge ranges from 15 to 19. The higher the number the thinner the string. Most are 16 or 17. ‘L’ identifies in between gauges – 15L is thinner than 15 but thicker than 16.

String Material

Nylon: This is also called synthetic gut. Provides a good combination of durability and playability. We recommend nylon for most players.

Polyester: More durable than nylon. Good for string breakers. Not much power or feel.

Kevlar: Most durable string available. Very stiff. Not recommended for beginners or players with arm injuries.

Things To Consider About String Tension

In general higher tension gives you more control and lower tension gives you more power. Stick to the recommended tension range of your racket. If you are starting out with a racket start at the center of the recommended range. Experiment with different tensions later on to see what works best for you.

Other things to consider:

  • If you are a beginner you may want to experiment with lower tensions. Lower tensions are more forgiving for off center hits.
  • If you are an intermediate to advanced player you may want to experiment with higher tensions. Higher tensions on your tennis string will provide you with more control and spin. You will be generating enough pace with your swing.
  • If you have arm injuries use a lower tension. This gives you a larger sweet spot to hit the ball and reduces the shock sent to your arm when the ball strikes the tennis string.