Stringing Guide

A lot of people are willing to spend anything from £50 up to £250 on a tennis racket knowing that it will last them at least 2 - 4 years. However, the majority of club players may have never had a racket restrung in the 2 or 3 years or even up to 8 - 10 years that they have been playing with it. Since strings start to loose their tension straight after being strung, after 6 months of using your brand new racket the strings in it are probably 'dead' - and that is assuming that it was strung not to long before you bought the racket! If you restring the racket at least every 6 months, paying on average £15 - £20 for a good string your racket will continue to play as well if not better than it did when you first bought it. So it comes to a choice of £30 - £40 a year for new strings or another £100 + for a new racket!?

Take a look at the F.A.Qs below to find out how often you should get your racket restrung as well as some advice on what tension to use and what about the strings that came in the new racket? How good, or bad, are they?

F.A.Qs

  1. How often should I get my racket restrung?
  2. Should I always wait for the strings to break before getting a racket restrung?
  3. What type of string should I use?
  4. How do I know what tension to ask for?
  5. I break strings every day or couple of days. What can I do?
  6. The handle of my racket is broken. Can it be fixed?
  7. Are the strings in my new racket good quality?

If you have a question about stringing that you would like answered which is not listed below, please e-mail us and we will do our best to answer your questions within 1 or 2 days.

 

How often should I get my racket restrung?

This is a hard question to give a definitive answer to as it depends on your level and style of play as well as your choice of string but the main factor is the length of time that you are playing for. Generally it is recommended that you restring after 40 - 50 hours of play. Since most people do not keep track of the hours they play another way to look at is that you should get your racket restrung in a year the same number of times that you play in a week. So if you play 3 times a week you should be getting it strung 3 times a year.

As a minimum you should restring your racket every 6 months as most strings will go dead within 6 months regardless of how much or how little they have been used.

 

Should I always wait for the strings to break before getting a racket restrung?

The simple answer is no! Some strings could last for well over a year or even several years depending on the style, level and frequency of play. If you are a frequent string breaker then there is no problem with waiting until you break a string. Most players though should have a look at the first question above to see how often they should restring their racket.

 

What type of string should I use?

There are hundreds of different strings available. It can seem impossible to pick the best one for your style of play. At a vary basic level the strings can be split into 5 types -

  1. Natural Guts
  2. Synthetic Guts
  3. Polyesters
  4. Kevlar
  5. Hybrids - combinations of 2 types of string in the same racket

The 2nd and 3rd category above are especially large with lots of variations in construction and properties but in general terms natural gut is the most comfortable and best string for absorbing shock. This makes it an excellent choice for people suffering with tennis elbow or other arm injuries. The downside of course is the cost. Natural gut is by far the most expensive string and the durability is not particularly good.

The 2nd group, synthetic guts, attempt to replicate the good properties of natural gut but at an affordable price and often increased durability. This is the most popular type of string amongst club players due to its affordable cost and softer feel when compared to polyesters and kevlar. The downside of synthetic gut is that it is not as soft as natural gut and not as durable as the polyesters and kevlar.

The 3rd group, polyesters, are generally the choice of the tournament or higher level club players either as part of a hybrid (see below) or used on their own. The main advantage of the polyester strings are that they are 2nd only to kevlar in terms of durability but they are also softer and more comfortable. They are not as comfortable for most players as synthetic gut strings but that is not always the case. A good quality polyester will generally cost a bit more than a good synthetic gut but not much more.

The 4th group, kevlar, is the most durable string available. It is normally only used by frequent string breakers because it is very stiff and hard on the arm. Normally more expensive than polyesters, kevlar is usually used as part of a hybrid (see below) to compensate for the stiffness while still benefiting from the durability.

The final group, hybrids, is when a 2 different strings are used in the same racket - one for the vertical (main) strings and one for the horizontal (cross) strings. The reason this is used is to combine the properties of 2 strings such as a very durable kevlar or polyester for the main strings and a softer more playable synthetic gut for the cross strings. In the professional game hybrids are very popular now with the most common combination, especially in the men's game being Big Banger ALU power in the mains and natural gut in the crosses.

 

 

How do I know what tension to ask for?

Again this is a difficult question but in general remember that:
Higher tension = More control
Lower tensions = More power
A lot of people think that it is the other way round but it isn't! There are of course other factors that can give you more power or more control such as the gauge (thickness) of the string and the type of string but the tension is a major factor. Most adult rackets have a recommended tension range somewhere between 50 - 65 lbs. The range for your racket can normally be found around the throat of your racket. If you would like some specific advice based on your racket and string choice as well as level and style of play please contact us.

 

I break strings every day or couple of days. What can I do?
There are a couple of solutions available to you:

  1. Look at buying your own strings and then paying for labour only. This can work out cheaper if you are going through a lot of strings. Buying a reel of string can seem expensive but if you can make an arrangement with your stringer they might be able to offer you a special price for labour only. Contact us for more information.
  2. Look at your choice of strings. The string that you are using may not be the most durable string that you could use. Using a hybrid (using 2 different types of string in the racket - one for the vertical (main) strings and one for the horizontal (cross) strings) may be an option. This allows you to use a more durable string in the main strings (which are normally the ones that break) and a more playable string in the crosses so that you don't loose the playability of your current string.
  3. As a last resort you could look at investing in a basic stringing machine and learning to string your own rackets. Basic table top stringing machines start from as little as £300 but can go up to as much as £3500+. If you are thinking about this please contact us for some advice on what you should be looking for.

 

The handle of my racket is broken. Can it be fixed?

Yes - normally. The most common problem that arises with handles is the butt cap at the end of the racket breaking. This is easily replaced from as little as £4 plus the cost of a new grip (£2 - £5). If the actual handle is broken on your racket it will depend on what your racket is as to whether it can be replaced or not.

 

Are the strings in my new racket good quality?

Once again this depends on a number of things but mainly it depends where you bought your racket from. Some retailers restring the rackets themselves before selling them but this is the exception rather than the rule. Normally the strings that are 'factory strung' are not very good. They will probably be durable but will not be very good quality. If you are spending anything more than about £50 or £60 on a racket it is advisable that you get it restrung to your own specifications at the same time. Normally you will be able to get a good discount on a restring when you are buying the racket at the same time. This means you will get the racket that you wanted and with a string and tension that suits you. There are some exceptions to this and some manufactures are starting to use higher quality string in their top range and tournament frames. Pacific tournament and club range rackets all come strung with a good quality ATP official tour string.

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