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String Types


 

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- Natural Gut - Often considered the string that all others are measured against. Natural gut is made from beef intestine through a complex manufacturing process. This type of string is still favoured by the purists for its optimum mixture of power, control and spin. The softness of Natural gut results in extraordinary feel, and great control. This softness and elasticity also makes it an excellent choice Natural gut also retains its tension better than any other string. The only drawbacks to natural gut are its price (the most expensive string by far) and durability. Natural gut can be sensitive to heat, humidity, and water. If cared for properly, gut lasts about as long as the average synthetic, nylon based string.

 
 

- Multifilament - These are the best examples of using technology to replicate a product that has been successful over a number of years (natural gut). Thin strands are wound around (just like natural gut) to create different variations of SPIN, power, control and durability.
Multifilaments are also a good choice for the majority of players as they offer the optimum mixture of playability and durability.

 
 

- Softer Polyester - The latest idea in strings is that people want polyester strings that are not as harsh on the arm, but have all the other best characteristics of polyester strings, without neccesarily being as durable as the normal, original polyester strings. These strings can also be used on their own without the need to combine them with anything else in a hybrid. A number of strings have come out very recently that fit this bill....

 
 

- Durable Polyester - The latest development over the last few years has been the plethora of polyester strings. This string was originally used by a number of PRO's looking for durability and tension retention during matches. These types of strings are all the rage at the moment as they provide the optimum level of power, control and spin. The majority of people now use the polyesters as a HYBRID by combining with a Synthetic gut or multifilament, but some chronic string breakers use them on their own. Watch out for that impact on the arm though, especially in the case of youngsters. It is also recommend to reduce the tension when stringing with polyesters on the mains and crosses. Luxilon still make the widest variety of polyester strings, with a number of different offshoots of colour, texture and gauge.

 
 

- Hybrid Combinations - A hybrid consists of a stringbed with a different string for the "mains" (strings that run lengthwise in the racquet head) and the "crosses" (the shorter strings that run at a right angle to the mains). Hybrids are often used to maximize durability while keeping stiffness as low as possible. Because mains usually break before crosses, a durability oriented string such as polyester or Kevlar is used for the mains while a more elastic string is used for the crosses. Hybrids can be used to maximize playability while keeping cost low. Because the mains are the longest strings in a racquet, and because string length is an important determinant of the playability of a stringbed, it makes sense to install the most playable string in the mains. For example, a player who wants the playability of natural gut will get most of the benefits of natural gut by stringing the mains with it while stringing the crosses with an inexpensive string with other characteristics, ie. Power, spin, durability.

 
 

- Synthetic Gut - These are an extension (and improvement) on nylon strings, which were brought out few years ago, to compensate for the lack of durability from natural gut. The classic example is Prince Synthetic Gut. The majority of factory strung racquets are strung with synthetic guts, and are a good choice for most people. They give a good mixture of power and control with a "crisp feel and sound". They do not offer much potential for spin, however, unless you go for a "textured or spin" type like Prince Topspin, or Head RIP Control. They are also available in a variety of different colours. Strings like "titanium strings" are basically synthetic strings coloured silver!
Synthetic strings are good on their own, or in combination with more durable kevlars and polyesters.