General Information about Restringing
Below are some general guidelines regarding how frequently to have your racquet restrung as well as how the tension affects the feel and playing characteristics of the racquet. If you require any additional information / advice, please contact us for details (email@example.com).
1. How do I know when I should have my racquet restrung?
Over time, the strings in your racquet will become slack and lose their elasticity. Many professional players replace their strings every day, ensuring they are always at the perfect tension for their game. However, as these effects are very gradual, the majority of players are unaware when their strings need to be replaced. Consequently, a number of general guidelines have been proposed for players use to decide when their racquet should be restrung.
"Replace your strings as many times in a year as you play in a week."i.e. if you play twice a week, you should have your racquet restrung twice a year.
"Replace your strings after every 30 hours of singles play, or 60 hours of doubles."
2. What type of string should I use?
There are a huge number of strings available, however, once they are grouped according to the material used and their construction, the decision becomes far less daunting. These groups are listed below and their general characteristics are described:
Nylon - Strings termed "Nylon" on this site are very basic strings, ideal for players looking for a string with a balance of playability and durability at a very economical price.
Synthetic Gut - Offer a good level of playability and have a basic level of durability. These are available at a range of prices according to their construction. Typically, the more you spend, the better the playability. Often available with a textured surface, to enable more spin to be put on the ball.
Synthetic Gut with Additonal Durable Fibres - A very similar construction and price to synthetic gut, but with additonal durable fibres (frequently kevlar strands). These have similar levels of playability to synthetic guts and improved durability. Ideal for recreational players who are looking for a good allround string that will last.
Natural Gut - The best allround string available, but at a premium price. Great playability and a good level of durability. The optimum choice for players suffering from elbow pain.
Multifilament - Offer the closest feel to natural gut. Ideal for players looking for a high level of playability (but not requiring very high durability), or those with elbow problems. There are a wide range of these strings available and in general, the more you pay, the better the playability.
Polyester - Provide outstanding durability, but limited power and feel - designed for regular string breakers. Stringing a racquet entirely with polyester is not recommended for anyone except very high standard players - able to compensate for the "dead" feel produced by polyester. Other players who regularly break strings, would be advised to use polyester main strings in combination with a softer string in the crosses (synthetic gut or natural gut). This provides the durability benefits of polyester, while improving the feel of the racquet. Polyester strings also tend to lose their tension more quickly than other types of string. There are now some polyester strings with a textured surface, enabling more spin to be applied to the ball.
Kevlar - The most durable string available, it has good tension holding ability but is very stiff and provides even less power than polyester. Kevlar is normally used in a hybrid with a softer cross string (synthetic gut or natural gut). If you normally use synthetic gut string and are intending to try a kevlar hybrid, you should string the racquet around 10% lower in tension to provide the same feel.
3. How do I decide on a stringing tension?
The string tension can have a significant effect on the feel and characteristics of a racquet. There are no fixed rues in terms of tension, but the following can be used as a guideline to assist you with the decision. In general, lower tensions provide more power, whereas higher tensions provide more control. Beginners may feel they require more control from their racquet, however, due to the frequency of off-centre hits a high tension is not recommended. Instead, they would be advised to use a lower string tension providing a softer, more forgiving feel. More advanced players tend to have a faster, longer swing and hit the ball harder and therefore benefit from the additional control provided by higher tensions.
Racquets have a recommended range, determined by the manufacturer based on extensive playtesting. If you don't have any specific requirements (more power, a softer feel, etc.), you would be advised to initially have your racquet strung at the middle of the range and make any future decisions from there.
4. I struggle with elbow problems, how should I have my racquet strung?
Stringing your racquet at a lower tension will provide a softer stringbed and a bigger sweetspot, reducing the shock and vibrations transmitted to the elbow. You should also consider using a multifilament string with good playability.