You must choose BUT…..choose wisely

I remember so clearly the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (see clip below). Jones had to make a choice and once he did, it was immediately confirmed by the Templar guard “You have chosen wisely”.

Tennis players have to choose too. When it’s time to re-string their racquet the choices are many but the knowledge of the average player is limited. Not to worry, however, because if you make the wrong choice you’re not going to age 100 years in 30 seconds, dry up and turn into a pile of dust. But, if you choose the wrong string you will most likely find yourself re-stringing far too often and here’s the kicker. You won’t even know it’s happening because if you’re not going to the right person for strings, they’re typically going to be overjoyed to see you every 3-4 weeks. That doesn’t have to happen if you have a basic understanding of the different types of string. There are

  • Synthetic gut solid core nylon often referred to as synthetic gut
  • Multifibre nylon, think Wilson Sensation or Tecnifibre X-One BiPhase
  • Natural gut, the choice of discerning players
  • Polyester, the choice of top touring pros
  • Kevlar, yeah, that’s the same stuff bulletproof vests are made of
  • PEEK, poly ether ether ketone is kind of the new kid on the block

Here’s how to narrow it down. All strings, I repeat, ALL STRINGS will fall under one of the above categories. The way to approach this is to talk to someone who’s trained to know the difference and understands what string will work best for your budget and personal playing style. That may sound pretty simple but the fact is, it’s not and it’s certainly not something the typical recreational player is equipped to tackle. It won’t take long to determine if you’re working with a knowledgeable technician or a snake oil salesman.

If you’re told that one string will give you extra spin with no further explanation or questions being asked of you, turn and walk away. String, in and of itself, does not create spin. Spin is largely a by-product of how you swing the racquet. A textured string may add a small increase to spin but it’s still dependent on your stroke.

A properly trained technician will take the time to ask you questions in an effort to choose a string that’s best suited for you. They will consider the stringing pattern of the racquet, how often you play, the level of your game, your style of play, whether you’ve had injuries that need to be taken into consideration and whether or not you want to stay within a specific budget. It’s a process and a team effort. You and the person who’s stringing the racquet are the two players–no one else.



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