There are many types of strings. Choosing one should be as important as choosing your racquet.
Strings also come in different thicknesses, or gauges, that vary from 1.15mm to 1.40mm. There are some strings that are thicker or thinner than that, but I’ve never seen anybody play with that.
Four main type of strings
There are four main categories of strings :
- Natural gut
- Synthetic gut
Natural gut is the only type of strings made from natural products. It’s actually made from the cow’s intestines.
It is twisted into a string. Natural gut has a very low stiffness, it provides an unrivalled softness to your racquet. But it has a relatively high price compared to other strings and it’s not very durable.
It’s tougher to string for stringers, because they have to pre-stretch it before they use it.
Multifilament is the closest thing to a natural gut. It’s not very durable, but it’s very soft and it provides a great feel on your arm. If you’re a player on a budget, this is the right option for you.
Synthetic gut for players on a budget
Synthetic gut is a relatively cheap string that offers decent playability. It is made up of Nylon and it is used on test racquets.
If you buy a racquet that is already strung, it usually comes with a synthetic gut.
The next string is the equivalent of what the iPhone was to mobile phones. I’m talking about polyester strings.
It is very durable, and provides a lot of control. And it allows you to put more spin than any other string.
The most popular polyester string is the Luxilon string. And many brands have used it as an inspiration to develop their own type of polyester string.
Some of the downsides are that it can be quite harsh on your arm, and it also tends to lose tension pretty fast if it stays strung for too long.
Hybrid setups, very popular among professional players
Many professional players use what we call a hybrid setup.
Your mains are strung with one type of strings, and your crosses with another. Why would you want that ? Because, by using a hybrid setup, you get the best of both strings.
Hybrid setups have become very popular over the past 20 years. Players like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray or Serena Williams are known to use hybrid setups.
Together, they have a combined number of over 60 Grand Slams.