Tennis String “Natural Gut”


There is no single factor that makes it stand out; in fact, you can get better individual characteristics from a variety of materials. It is how well it melds them all together that makes it special.


The elastic characteristics of natural gut allow it to react to the impact of the ball in such a way that it returns almost all of its energy in the form of velocity. This energy efficiency allows you to use a smooth natural swing, and yet hit harder with far more control.


Natural gut gives the impression of loading up slowly, and accelerating the ball smoothly. Players say the ball stays on the racquet longer. Some report that it “cups” the ball better. Its added power allows you to get all of the ball velocity you want out of a smooth, comfortable, natural swing. This combination of characteristics, added to natural gut’s ability to “bite” into the ball provide excellent control, are what makes it special.

Dynamic stiffness is the way a string reacts to impact.  Natural gut has about the lowest dynamic stiffness which means it continues to “stretch” as the ball makes contact.  This “stretch” mitigates the shock associated with impact and creates a very comfortable ball impact.


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String Tension Power

Most tennis players choose a tennis racquet with great care, but many don’t realize that their racquet’s stringing may have a more profound effect on their game than their carefully chosen frame.


String tension can change the way a player plays the game.  It is more than a minor factor in power and control.  Aside from swing speed, string tension may be the most important factor in power.  Control is directly impacted by tension, as well.


Racket strings have more punch when they’re strung loosely because the ball dwells on the string bed longer, creating a trampoline effect. Years ago, when players used natural gut strings, this kind of slingshot power came at the expense of control—so most players opted for tighter strings and pinpoint placement.


If you are a player with a full and powerful swing, make sure that you have your racquet tension strung as tight as the manufacturer’s recommendations suggest. Conversely, if you have a medium to short swing, without a lot of racquet speed, then you may wish to have the racquet strung with less tension. Tighter tennis racket string tension = control / Looser tension=power.

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