The Best Tennis String for Your Game: Tennis String 101

What’s the best tennis string? 

When it comes to tennis string, the “best” option varies greatly for every player. That’s why it’s important to consider several different factors when choosing tennis string, including tennis level, playing style, history of injury, and even environmental concern.

Here’s a quick 101 when it comes to purchasing tennis string.

What are the different types of tennis strings?

There are four main types of tennis string: polyester, synthetic gut, multifilament and natural gut. These strings vary in many ways – from what they’re made of to how they play. 

Polyester tennis string

Polyester tennis strings are the stiffest type of tennis string. They can be composed of many different materials including polyester, polyurethane, and more. Though they often contain multiple materials, polyester strings are made into one single monofilament strand, like a spaghetti noodle.

Because of their stiffness, polyester strings provide more control. They also snap back into place quickly, providing higher amounts of spin. Polyester tennis strings don’t absorb as much vibration as other tennis strings, so they can be harder on the arm compared with softer options that are better at absorbing shock. They tend to lose tension quickly compared to the other string categories.

Synthetic gut tennis string 

Synthetic gut tennis strings are typically made of nylon and have a solid center core with wraps around the outside. These strings provide a nice, crisp feel and offer good playability.

Synthetic gut tennis strings are more affordable than other tennis string options and are a great option for beginners.

Multifilament tennis string 

Multifilament tennis strings are made up of many tiny fibers wound together, similar to a wire or telephone cable. The more fibers the string has, the more it will absorb vibrations coming off the string.

This gives multifilament strings a softer play compared with a polyester string, making it a good option for players who experience arm pain. The multifilament string construction also allows for better tension maintenance. They are another great option for beginners.

Natural gut strings 

Natural gut strings are the softest of all tennis strings. They’re made from cow intestines and have the most fibers of any strings on the market.

These strings are the softest string and the easiest on the arm. They also offer some environmental benefits because they are all-natural and fully biodegradable.

Unfortunately, natural gut strings are typically the most expensive string option. They can cost 2-3x as much as other string options.

What’s the best tennis string for beginners?

Multifilament strings and synthetic gut strings are great choices for beginners. They are softer and easier on your arm as you learn proper technique.

What are hybrid tennis strings?

Hybrid stringing is when you string two different types of string on your racquet: one type on the vertical mains and a different type on the horizontal crosses. This allows you to find a more balanced playing feel.

For example: You could gain some of the control of a polyester string and the absorption of a multifilament string by mixing the two on your racquet.

Does string gauge matter? 

String gauge refers to the thickness of a tennis string. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the string. Thinner gauge string generally has better touch and feel but is prone to breaking more often than thicker strings.

The most common gauges for tennis string are 16 and 17 gauge. 

What’s the best tennis string for a powerful swing?

If you’re breaking strings often, you may want to consider using a polyester string. Polyester string has one single fiber and is stiffer, so it won’t break as fast.

If you are currently playing with a full bed of multifilament, it is recommended to first transition to a hybrid string setup with polyester string in the mains and a softer string in the crosses. This can give you a more balanced feel and allows you to get used to stiffer strings.  

What’s the best tennis string for the environment?

Velociti recently released the first-ever fully biodegradable synthetic tennis string, Velociti Catalyst. Catalyst is a hexagonal co-polyester that provides an excellent pocket feel. It received high marks from RSI Magazine for durability, spin production and control.

Once placed in a landfill, Catalyst biodegrades in just three to five years compared with typical tennis strings that take 400 to 600 years to biodegrade. Learn more about the science behind this revolutionary string.

There are a few other tennis strings on the market that are made with recycled materials, but this only delays the long decomposition process by one cycle.

What other tennis strings does Velociti sell?

At Velociti, we’re always looking to make tennis more sustainable while ensuring top playability and performance.

Here’s a quick snapshot of our other strings:

Velociti Challenger 17g Gold

  • A synthetic gut string with a hologram spiral wrap.
  • Offers a softer synthetic gut feel with easy access to power.
  • Comes in 46-foot length that is great for super oversize racquets. 

Velociti Rainbow String 

  • A synthetic gut tennis string that provides great all-around playability.
  • The original rainbow string on the market!
  • A fun alternative for players of all ages and levels. 

Velociti NEH Synthetic String 

  • Offers a softer feel than your average synthetic gut.
  • Combines the soft feel of a multifilament with the classic snapback of a synthetic gut.
  • Comes unpackaged to reduce environmental footprint. 

Velociti TurboPoly 16L

  • A co-poly that features a hexagon shape for maximum spin potential.
  • Boasts a softer feel than many other polyester strings on the market.
  • Comes unpackaged to reduce environmental footprint. 

How often should I replace my tennis string?

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend replacing your tennis strings at least as many times per year as you play per week. 

Racquets should be restrung at least twice a year even if you haven’t played much. This ensures your string does not lose its elasticity or dampening abilities. For example, if you play four times a week, you should change your strings at least four times a year. This frequency may increase significantly based on your style of play and the type of string you use. For example, if you hit with a lot of topspin or a lot of pace, you will likely break strings much faster.

Where should I restring my racquet?

It’s best to leave the racquet stringing work to the pros. This ensures you get the right tension, which can be difficult on a home stringing machine.

You can have your racquet restrung at a local tennis store, pro shop, or with a professional independent stringer. Look for expert stringers who have completed their Master Racquet Technician (MRT), which certifies they have an expert level of stringing knowledge and experience. 

Where should I store my racquets?

Though your trunk or garage may seem like an easy place to store your racquets, you’ll want to make sure you don’t expose your racquet to extreme temperatures. Very hot or cold temperatures can harm your tennis strings, reducing their elasticity and causing them to lose tension quickly. 

Where to go for more information on tennis strings? 

We highly recommend stopping by a local tennis shop for more information on tennis strings. The tennis gear experts there can help you find the best string for your game.

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