Guide: How do you choose the right string?

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The string: THE big question for any self-respecting tennis player. Often compared to the soul of the racket, the choice of string is one of the most difficult choices to make about your tennis equipment. Monofilament or Multi-filament ? Is natural gut really cat gut? Too rigid, too soft, too loose ... There are so many questions about these few metres of string that we decided to give you as many responses as possible. Get your machines ready!

A string that is suitable for one person is not necessarily suitable for someone else. And a poor choice of string may have adverse effects.

The string is just as important as the racket frame. Indeed, it acts as a sort of "catalyst," it is the soul of the racket because it's the only part that is in contact with the ball.

There are many different types of string that can be classified into several main families:

- gut

- multi-filament

- monofilament

- hybrid

Of course, each type has its own characteristics and benefits, which we will help you learn about here. 

Gut

It is composed of hundreds of natural microfilaments from bovine small intestines. And yes, it's made from cows and not cats!

 

Benefits:

- Maintains tension well

- Very comfortable

- Very powerful

Who should use it? 

- A flat hitter who doesn't break many strings (more than 20 hours of play)

- A player looking for soft feel and power

- Children, the elderly and people who have a lower arm speed

- A player who regularly plays once or twice a week

Multi-filament

This is the string that is closest to gut. Multi-filament strings are made up of hundreds of synthetic microfilaments assembled together under a protective sheath.

This type of string maintains tension well. It is less powerful than gut but more than other types of string.

Benefits: 

- Maintains tension well

- Comfortable

- Powerful

Who should use it? 

- A player who breaks strings regularly (between 10 and 20 hours of play)

- A player looking for comfort and power

- A player who regularly plays once or twice a week

Hybrid

Hybrid string is a mixture of two types of string. A powerful and flexible string is combined with a rigid string, which is resistant and creates effects. The mains (the strings that are parallel to the racket handle) will affect playability and the crosses (the strings perpendicular to the handle of the racket) will give power.

The ideal is to use monofilament for the mains and either gut or multi-filament for the crosses. 

Benefits: 

- Powerful

- Comfortable

- Playability

- Long lasting

- The advantages of both types of string

Who should use it? 

- A player who regularly breaks strings. (Between 10 and 20 hours of play)

- A player looking for power and playability with good comfort

- An intensive player (someone who plays 3 times or more per week)

For your information : some professional players are using a form of "reverse hybrid", i.e., they use gut on the mains and monofilament on the crosses of their rackets. These players rely on their arm speed and physical fitness to control their ball. They are looking for more control and better touch. 

Monofilament

This is made from a single strand of polyester or co-polyester. This string is very stiff. It can also be made in different shapes (round, octagonal, hexagonal, pyramidal ...) to increase its effect.

Benefits: 

- Playability

- Long lasting

Who should use it? 

- Good level players who frequently break strings. (Less than 10 hours of play)

- A powerful and effective player

- Strongly discouraged for children (13 and under, even competitive players)

- An intensive player (someone who plays 3 times or more per week)

Additional information: tennis elbow is a very common condition that is the result of a bad string choice and incorrect tension. Often, good level players continue to use monofilament instead of using a hybrid or multi-filament.

Now you have all the information you need to choose which strings to use. Why not try several before you make your choice and make the most of the experts in your Decathlon store. And then being on court will be nothing but fun! Well almost... Choosing the right string isn't everything. Next you need to find the right tension for you and string your racket before going off to hit that little yellow ball.

If you want to know how to choose your string tension, then look at our advice here and watch our video to learn the best way to string your racket.

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