Professional Racket Stringing
Professional Restringing Service available in store.
So how long IS a piece of string?
Well, in the case of the average midplus tennis racket its about 10.5 metres!
There are many misconceptions out there about stringing and the greatest myth of all relates to the tension (or tightness) of the strings. You will often hear people complaining that their strings have gone soft and they are losing power. FALSE!
Strings have an in-built elasticity which wears out over time and a fresh re-string will give a much livelier response with the result that you will have much better feel. Depending on the tension of the restring, you may also have more power - but this will be down to the fact that the new strings are more elastic and therefore you are getting much more rebound off the racket face. Comparing like with like, higher tensions give a more consistent bounce off the racket-face and therefore, more accuracy. However, the sweet spot in the racket will get smaller, you will get less power overall - and it makes it harder to get spin on the ball. Conversely, lower tensions will give you more power as you get more of a trampoline effect - but with that also comes less accuracy and the tendency to 'spray' the ball more.
The longer you leave it between restrings, the bigger the difference in feel will be - and for some people this can lead to more problems adjusting to the new strings. As a general guide, if you are playing twice a week you should probably be getting your racket re-strung twice a year - 3 times a week, then 3 restrings a year. There are literally thousands of different strings out there to choose from but they can be broken down into a few main categories as follows:
|NYLON||Nylon was for many years the go-to option, but was superceded in the 1990's with the advent of synthetic gut strings. Nylon is the cheapest string out there and is still used in most junior/starter aluminium/composite frames. We have not used nylon in our restrings for many years.|
|Nice to play with. Good balance of playability and durability. This is normally our standard/default restring option. One particular version of synthetic gut (called Topspin) has a rougher texture thereby imroving grip on the ball - however, feel is slightly compromised.|
|Multifilament strings were developed as the closest alternative to natural gut in terms of playability/feel - but without the drawback of being vulnerable to wet conditions. They are the most elastic of all the non-natural string types resulting in the largest sweet spot with the most power and should be the string of choice for anyone with tennis elbow problems.|
|Polyester is the hardest wearing string and is the least elastic of all the string types. Originally they were developed as an extruded single strand (hence the term MONOfilament) - although there are now many variations on the composition with hybrid variations comprised of polyester and other materials. As a general rule, restrings with polyester should be looser than with synthetic gut or multifilament. Full polyester restrings are really for the heaviest hitters who break strings very frequently. Although polyester will stand up to wear and tear in the middle of the racket better than the other options, they are probably more prone to breakage from mis-hits near the edge of the frame - especially when freshly done.|
This is a generic term for a combination of 2 different strings in the racket - a polyester and synthetic or multifilament. Usually the polyester is used for the mains (up/down strings) - which take the brunt of the wear when hitting with topspin. The mix of two string types is intended to give most of the durability of a full polyester restring, while being easier on the arm and having a more forgiving feel.
Most rackets will be strung in 16 gauge (~1.28-1.32 mm diameter). Thinner options - 17 gauge (~1.2-1.27mm) and 18 gauge (~1.15-1.2mm) are also available, as well as 15 gauge (~1.33-1.38mm). Thinner strings will give better feel and usually grip the ball better - but will also break more easily.
Squash, Badminton and Racketball Strings
Squash strings are generally thinner than tennis with the gauges varying mostly from 1.1mm to 1.3mm. Polyester is rarely used and the most common/popular options are versions of synthetic and multifilament. The choice is usually down to personal feel as similar gauges will have similar durability.
Badminton strings are the thinnest - going from about 0.6mm to 0.8mm. Like squash, the common options are synthetics and multifilaments. Usually the most important factor is the gauge as the thinner the string the better the feel - but with obvious drawbacks in terms of durability.
Racketball rackets usually use tennis string - with all the options available - but polyester would not be recommended.