Power Key-The Ultimate Tennis Accessory
High Volume User OR School
I string my own racket (2) once a week, but of course being a racket technician helps cost-wise. As a club pro, however, I need the optimum in response/control & comfort.
If you require stringing once a month or even more than that, be sure to fill out the form and submit so we can tailor an effective price/performance program for you. HS & College players especially!
This page explains the different types of tennis strings, their corresponding advantages and disadvantages, and their suitability for the different player types. Any questions after having reviewed this page, simply fill out form below and submit. Prices listed include String & Stringing.
The string market is large, and there is a huge number of brands offering a diversity of strings under their label. Every string has its unique characteristics. If you want to know more about specific strings, fill out the form below and submit. I do carry a very nice selection of string and most importantly, have "hit tested" them all. In fact, I don't carry string that I don't like, or are redundant to what I do carry based upon price and performance.
Although there are a lot of physical attributes (material, structure, gauge, color, surface etc.) that can be altered during string production, there are certain main features I want to describe below.
You can divide tennis strings into two main categories: natural gut and synthetic string.
Natural gut strings are made of cows' gut in a complex process. Their main features are superb elasticity, tension stability and "liveliness". But they are very expensive and sensitive to weather, while one has to say that a lot of improvement has been made in this respect during the past few years. Still many of the pros play natural gut, but I don't recommend natural gut for the normal club level player, since those players should use strings with better price/performance ratios. Most damage to gut comes during stringing by "bruising" the gut..so if it comes of just a bit bowed toward the end of the racquet in the direction it's being strung, not to worry. Simply take some strokes (hit with it) soon after stringing, and it'll find its own 'seat' perfectly!
Klip Natural Gut 17g, but with the new structured, multifilament and hybrid options, why kill more cows and spend more?
Synthetic strings are mostly high tech products which are constantly being improved to bring their playability into line with natural gut strings but keep the advantage of the synthetic materials' higher durability. There's a great diversity of different structures and materials. Prince Synthetic blazed that trail and is still produced.
17ga or 16ga Prince Synthetic w/Duraflex; 16ga Babalot Synthetic Gut
The most frequently used string type in the 90's. Nylon strings are among the most reasonable tennis strings and are normally made of a single nylon core and various resistant wraps. Due to its excellent dynamic properties nylon (polyamide) is well suited as a material for tennis strings. The high number of different types of constructions (wrap material and wrap angle) influence the string's playing characteristics significantly. As a rule of thumb, nylon strings with multiple wraps can be considered higher grade than single wrap nylon strings. The wraps reduce the tension loss usually experienced with nylon strings. Nylon strings are suitable for players who have a normal or high string consumption. The ones below very durable, offer control and used lots in hybrids.
Goshen ProForm Tuff 15L (Neon Yellow); Forten Competition Nylon 15L (Purple); Gamma TNT 15L (Durable/Comfort/Control)
Polyester Strings (Poly)
Now the most popularly used, Polyester strings show a fairly simple structure: they consist of a single polyester fiber with a thin coating. This type of construction is termed "monofilament". They come in different gauges (1.10-1.35mm) which enables you to choose among different elasticity/durability levels. Polyester strings are little elastic and feel quite stiff compared to nylon or multifilament strings, but on the other hand they provide significantly better durability, allowing for thinner gauges. Pure polyester strings have one main downside: They tend to lose their tension quite quickly, so control decreases and the string feels dead after a short time of play. Thus polyester strings are only recommendable for players with high string consumption. For these players, polyester strings offer a great price/performance ratio.
During the past few years, tremendous effort has been put into the advancement of monofilament strings and the elimination of their major weaknesses (tension loss and lack of elasticity). Head/Babolat has specialized in this string category. More and more polyester blends (co-polyester), mixed with a number of other materials like PEEK, carbon or metallic fibers, are being developed to modify the playing characteristics. Almost every manufacturer carries such strings in their program today.
Technifiber 17ga (Black or Natural); My "House" reasonably priced string: Responsive/Comfortable all alone or Hybrid (below)
Ashaway MonoFire 17ga (Gold) ; This string is an aquired taste for flat hitters (power) but very durable.
Head A Agassi So Soft 15L;
Textured Monofilament (Co-Poly)- For an optimized level of Control & Touch over pure poly
Head-17ga Lynx (yellow); Head- 16ga Sonic Pro Edge (Spin) OR Babolat SG SpiralTec 16ga f-more spin OR Genesis Black Magic 16ga (Power-Control-Comfort); Genesis Typhoon 16L (Extruded Co-Polyester Monofliament); Genesis Hexonic 16L (Extruded Co-Polyester Monofliament-4 sided)
Shortly after the titanium boom in the racquet market, a flood of "revolutionary" titanium strings entered the string market. Based on Nylon or multifilament strings, the titanium is either applied with the coating of the string, protecting the material from UV radiation and abrasion, or the titanium is integrated into the filaments to modify the playability of the string.
Since the titanium boom is over, titanium strings are no longer popular today. The term "titanium" in the name of a string often refers only to its color.
This would be a Special Order:
$35.00 (5-7 business days)
To bring synthetic strings' playability more into line with natural gut, many microfibers (which can be of many different materials) are twisted together to a string, which is wrapped with a resistant cover. Advantage: higher elasticity and better playability. Disadvantage: multifilament strings tend to break soon once the outer wrap is damaged (the strings "fray"). Also these strings cost more than polyester strings because of the complex manufacturing process. Head has sort of specialized on that type of string beginning with Rip Control and Wilsons Sensation was perhaps, the first and still produced.
Head Rip Control 18ga- My all time favorite although I am constantly trying to best it by testing everything thru the door.
Wilson Sensation 16ga; Wilson Synthetic Gut Control 16ga; Head FXP Tour 16ga; Head Synthetic PPS 16ga
Structured Strings [Mega-Topspin]
Structured (textured) strings are designed to provide better ball bite and thus enhanced spin. Most of these strings indeed offer great spin potential and in line with that better control, but unfortunately the texture usually wears within a short time and the strings become smooth. Another downside is their decreased durability.
I use Weiss-Canon Ultra Cable 17ga in the mains hybrid with Technifiber Synthetic 17ga in the crosses strung well below Mfg Recommended and it produces RIDICULOUS SPIN...and so far, doesn't hurt my arm! Most have a tendency to do that.
Genesis Twisted Razor 16L (a three sided string, the edges have been cut sharply, allowing even greater grip for enhanced spin)
Hybrid strings are a combination of two different strings for mains and crosses. In a uniformly strung racquet it's almost always a main string that breaks. This is because the main strings move a lot more than the cross strings so the cross strings "saw" into the main strings, causing notches and eventually breakage. That's why in hybrid strings usually a durable string is used as the main string (e.g. polyester or aramid/kevlar/technora or especially structured). As cross strings usually highly elastic synthetic strings or natural gut strings are used to provide comfort and feel. Hybrids provide good playing characteristics while a poly/multi hybrid often lasts longer than a pure poly or pure multifilament string job. MANY or even MOST tour pros string hybrid!
There is an almost infinite number of possible string combinations. As you can create highly individual combos, hybrid strings are becoming more and more popular. There are also some pre-packaged hybrids available from the major string brands. .
Babolat Hybrid 16ga (Hurricane-Xcel); OR..better yet if you have lots of $$ and wish to experiment to get a customized hybrid blend, I can do 3 hybrid stringings for $90 in advance..otherwise:
Some general stuff about strings/stringing
To increase the durability of your strings you should not expose your racquet to extreme heat, cold or humidity. Therefore you should always keep your racquet in its bag. To protect your racquet head you can use a head tape. This is useful if playing on clay court or if the strings are not protected enough by the racquet headguard. (Head Tape & Overgrip=$5.00)
Strings lose elasticity with time, one type of string faster, another type of string slower. This has a negative effect on the playability; players with a sensitive arm will feel it soon. In general you shouldn't play a string longer than 2 to 3 months. Then it's about time to cut out the strings and restring your racquet. But leave your strings in for me to cut out for pattern confirmation.
Often the diameter of a string is not given in millimeters but in the old "gauge". Following table helps you convert between these two measures:
Gauge Diameter approx.
15ga= 1.43 mm
15Lga= 1.38 mm
16ga= 1.32 mm
16Lga= 1.28 mm
17Lga= 1.20 mm
18ga= 1.10 mm
Something easy to remember:
String tension High= Control Thicker String= Control (Uncomfortable but Durable)
String tension Low= Response Thinner String= Response (Comfort)
The longer the ball stays on the strings (bite), the more uncomfortable on the arm.
Finally, and this is a fact that I have found out the hard way: Tennis Racquets HATE to be strung! Some more than others, but the notion that stringing short sided (around the world; 2 knots) is the professional way to string is simply false! They do string on the tour short sided (except for hybrid) simply for time considerations, it's faster. Stringers on the tour are under immense pressure to string fast. High volume shops also string short sided, because of the same reason.
All rackets can be strung using 2 pieces (4 knots) and because I want to avoid damaging your racket, that is how I string. Yes..it takes more time, but the racket on the stringer is more in balance and therefore hates to be strung less.
Wanna talk equipment, simply fill out the form below and submit. Danny