PIMP YOUR KNOWLEDGE

No clue about strings? With the Topspin Tutor we pimp your knowledge and enlighten topics all around tennis strings.

Wild theories circulate about how often a racket must be strung. Self-proclaimed experts sometimes represent arbitrary views here and try to impose their own opinion. We make it easy for you. There is a simple rule of thumb: The racket should be strung as often as training sessions are completed within a week. Means in the specific example: If you play 3 times a week, you should restring your racket at least 3 times within a year. This guideline is mainly for beginners and hobby players. Tournament players or professional players string their rackets more often. By the way, here's an advice for the absolute rookies: If the string breaks, the racket must be restrung as well!

Of course, the great experts are thinking, "I'm not stupid. I don't string my racket before it breaks!". However, that wouldn´t be too smart: With increasing playing frequency, the string also gradually wears out. The typical properties of a string are increasingly lost in this process. It becomes softer and yields more accordingly. Control is increasingly reduced and vibrations can no longer be absorbed as strongly. A new string prevents these factors and makes it possible to preserve the characteristic features of the string and to transfer them to your own playing. In practice, this means that whether you are an amateur, professional or average club player, you should change your string regularly!

There are several theories about this: We present you 3 of the most common methods:

1. The decisive factor is the sound of the string when the ball hits it. You can't do anything with that? It's good that we put the topic on the table. For complete novices or hobby players, however, the sound of a string is difficult to interpret. 

2. Therefore the degree of displacement of the strings is a way better factor. The stronger and the more often the strings shift, the more it is a sign that the string is “dead” and needs to be changed. In addition, looking at the intersection points between the main strings (go from top to bottom) and cross strings (go from left to right) can be a reliable factor. Heavier notches at these points are indications that the string is more worn and will break soon. 

3) Probably the most reliable indication that a string needs to be changed is an electronic device to measure the tension of a stringbed. However, these devices are very expensive and usually not worth it for novices. Here it is worth asking an expert within your club or at your local dealer if a string change is necessary.

Finally, we can be brief. Comfort, power, durability, control, touch and spin. Six playing characteristics that take your game to the next level. Strings often have many of these characteristics, but one of them is particularly pronounced and representative of the string. Combinations of different playing characteristics are also increasingly conquering the market in order to bundle several benefits in one string.

If you've never heard the question before, feel free to thank us later that we will enlighten you here for free. Tennis strings can be strung differently hard or soft on the racket regardless of the type of string. The tension is specified in kilograms, with manufacturers often specifying 24kg, 25kg or 26kg as the average weight. Accordingly, stringing tensions approaching 20 kg tend to be soft, while stringing tensions approaching 30 kg tend to be hard. The softer the stringing, the greater the trampoline effect. Power, comfort, touch and spin are enhanced by the longer contact time with the string. Durability and control decrease with decreasing stringing tension, whereas these characteristics increase with harder strings. With the latter, however, power, comfort, touch and spin are limited. A medium weight is ideal, especially for newcomers, to have a balance of advantages of soft and hard strings. If you have the feeling that your balls fly very far with little effort, it is recommended to increase the kilo number a bit. Pain in the arm and shoulder area is often an indication that the racket is strung too hard. Ultimately, however, the following applies here: Practice makes perfect. Since the racket also has an influence on the tension of the strings, you should involve your coach in your tests.

Stringing... what? Stringing pattern. No idea what we're talking about? You're not alone in that either and we're happy to be the savior in a pinch. The stringing pattern of a tennis racket is always divided into main strings (go from top to bottom) and cross strings (go from left to right). In product descriptions for or on tennis rackets, the main strings are always specified first, followed by the cross strings. Depending on the number of strings, a distinction is made between an open stringing pattern (e.g.: 16 x 19) and a dense stringing pattern (e.g.: 18 x 20). Open stringing patterns usually have fewer strings than dense string patterns. With an open stringing pattern, the strings are spaced relatively far apart, promoting power and spin by allowing the ball to dip deeper into the stringbed. However, this reduces durability, causing the string to break more often. With a dense string pattern, the strings are more compactly spaced, increasing control and precision, and the string breaks less often because there is less friction. However, power and spin can be lost somewhat. Players who don't want to focus on specific advantages can choose variations of conventional stringing patterns (e.g.: 16 x 20 or 18 x 19) that emphasize a middle ground between control and durability on the one hand, and power and spin on the other.

You couldn't find a connection between stringing pattern and string yet? Resolution incoming: The stringing pattern of your racket is decisive for the choice of your string. Especially for the choice of the diameter this factor plays an important role. Since more open stringing patterns promote power and spin anyway, this effect would be further enhanced by thinner strings. First thought at this point: Amazing! The second thought, however, should make us wonder if this is really so terrific. Above all, even more control would be lost under this combination. Also the durability would be reduced to a minimum and you could run to the stringer every other day. Therefore the following advice: For open stringing patterns tend to use thicker strings (1.27 mm and thicker) and for dense stringing patterns tend to use thinner strings (1.26 mm and thinner).

Yes, we're probably getting on your nerves by now, but the tennis string game is very complex. Basically, there is a distinction between natural gut strings and synthetic strings. As the name implies, natural gut strings are made from natural materials and are characterized by offering a unique feeling. Synthetic strings attempt to imitate these excellent playing characteristics, and have the advantage of being less expensive to produce compared to natural gut strings. Throughout the history of imitation, various materials have been used for string construction. While nylon, titanium, and kevlar have almost ceased to be the main materials used in the manufacture of strings, polyester and co-polyester are predominantly relevant today.

Monofilament, multifilament and hybrid. Definitely not terms you could use to start an entertaining conversation with your crush at a party. In tennis circles, however, you can score points with such words and their explanation. Monofilament strings consist of a single strand, which today is usually made of polyester or co-polyester and are characterized by their high durability. The counterpart are multifilament strings, which come very close to the playing characteristics of the natural gut string. Several thin individual fibers (microfilaments), consisting of different materials, are twisted into a string and coated with a resistant protective layer. Similar to the natural gut string, the high elasticity and ball acceleration are advantages of the multifilament string. Finally, there are hybrid strings. Here, two different strings are combined, one of which is used as a main string and the other as a cross string. The primary goal of hybrid strings is to combine the advantages of two different strings and thus integrate them into one's own playing. The combination possibilities are endless and can be designed according to personal preference.

Thick or thin? You've never thought about that before? Then you probably also pull on doors that say "push". The diameter of a tennis string also has a decisive influence on your game. 1.05 mm to 1.45 mm, that is the range in which tennis strings are offered for the most part. Thicker strings generally increase durability and control, while power, spin, touch and comfort suffer. Thinner diameters generally produce the opposite effect. For novice and amateur players, medium diameters (1.23 mm - 1.27 mm) are suitable, as there is usually a balance between control and durability on the one hand, and power, spin, touch and comfort on the other.