Strings fail for a few different reasons. Breakage is not common, but persistent. Strings should not break. There is usually a reason other than manufacturing defect for a string to break. The instrument is usually to blame, and it almost always the instruments nut or pegs. More information on this subject is on our Instrument Tech pages. Tension loss is the main reason strings fail. As the string stretches, the mass in the vibrating portion of the Typically string breakage is caused by “notching” at the intersections of the mains and crosses.
Sometimes, strings break at the frame edge. Often, this is caused by hitting a ball hard off the frame edge.
Causes for string breakage:
❖ High Tensions·
❖Strings rubbing each other
Some times to avoid String breakage.
1. Keep your racquet(s) away from heat! This means never store racquets in the trunk of a car during hot summer months.
2. Keep your racquets out of the cold. Cold temperatures make your strings lose resilence and become “dead”. Also, cold temperatures make your strings more brittle, and more likely to break prematurely.
3. Insert string savers, sometimes called string-a-lings, into the strings of your racket. String savers are tiny plastic pieces that are inserted at the intersection of a main and a cross string –usually in the sweet spot area. The tiny pieces keep the strings from rubbing against each other, which reduces notching.
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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.
If string tension doesn’t influence spin, it can’t influence control through spin. So we are forced to look elsewhere for our connection between string tension and control. Higher tensions unsurprisingly have the opposite effect to low tensions, with the ball rebounding at a lower speed (as more of the energy of impact is lost to ball deformation) and taking a shallower trajectory. These combine to result in the ball landing shorter in the court, meaning you can swing faster as you have more margin for error. Looser tensions result in just the opposite. Rackets strung below 65 pounds make it easier to generate pace but more difficult to control the ball. Decreasing tension gives more of a trampoline effect, making the trajectory of the shot higher and making the ball land deeper in the court.
If the string tension of the racquet is too high, it will cause the shape of the ball to deform upon impact. In the centre of the string bed, the strings are longer and able to provide more cushioning, resulting in less ball deformation and less energy loss. If the tension of the strings is too high, or the ball is hit off-centre (where the strings are shorter), ball deformation will cause the tennis ball to lose up to half of its energy.
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Tennis String Patterns
Tennis strings have evolved with racket size from the traditional natural cow’s gut to synthetic strings, including nylon, polyester, synthetic gut, metal alloys and varying combinations. Racquet string patterns are defined by the total number of main (vertical) and cross (horizontal)
Here are three important criteria that are influenced by string pattern.
1. Comfort - If you associate comfort with minimizing shock, you’ll like an open pattern. A racquet with an open string pattern is designed to keep the strings relatively far apart, which results in fewer strings contacting the ball. With the ball’s impact distributed among fewer strings, each string compresses more and thus rebounds more.
2. Spin - With more space between strings, an open pattern allows the racquet to bite the ball better. The more open the strings (14 by 16) are the more spin u will get easily. the more closed the strings (18 by 20)are the more control u get. Most people have a 16 by 18 or 16 by 19. Good range for 98 and 100 sq in racket.
3. Durability – The latest development over the last few years has been the plethora of polyester strings, in a category created by Luxilon Big Banger. This string was originally used by a number of PRO’s looking for durability and tension retention during matches. Luxilon still make the widest variety of polyester strings, with a number of different offshoots of colour, texture and guage.
Restring your racquet the same number of times per year that you play per week
For example, if you play tennis twice a week, restring your racquet twice per year. If you play five days a week, restring your racquet five times per year. Of course, if you are a more competitive player or a string breaker, this frequency may increase.
This is a first class string that is perfect for players who want to get the most out of their groundstrokes while still enjoying a relatively forgiving feel on impact and plenty of decent feedback to the hand and arm. As well as stacks of playability, Babolat RPM Blast is also very durable.
Really a great string with a unique feel. The harder you hit, the better the touch and control.
RPM Blast gives more power than Focus-Hex. Focus-Hex gives more comfort and spin than RPM Blast. Both are quite stiff.
Babolat Rpm Blast 16 Guage
Incredibly spin-friendly, the surface of this co-polyester string is slick, and in a string bed enables main strings to easily slide out, “grab” the ball and snap back to load it with extra spin.
Softer in feel than many other traditional polyester composition strings, the Babolat RPM Blast is an ideal string for big hitters with heavy racquets who need maximum levels of spin, durability and control. The RPM Blast 16 is black in colour and available to purchase in lengths of 40 feet.
Babolat Rpm Blast 17 Guage
The Babolat RPM Blast 17 string is one of those strings that make up a generation of tennis players.If you like spin for your shots, you will love this string. An excellent choice for big hitters looking for extra spin. Octagonal (8-sided) cross-section adds the extra bite on the ball for added topspin and slice. New high density co-polymer polyester monofilament combined with a new cross-linked silicone coating provides even more spin and greater ball control.
If you like spin for your shots, you will love this string.
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Natural Gut strings is generally made from a cows gut in a complex process. Because of this, Natural Gut is the most expensive tennis string on the market. Natural Gut strings are popular among tennis professionals because of its superior performance. Natural Gut strings offer great elasticity, tension stability and liveliness. Because of the high price, Natural Gut may not be the best choice for recreational players. This is where Synthetic Gut strings come in.
Natural gut strings have always been the yardstick by which other strings are measured. As recently as 12-15 years ago it was unusual to find a professional who played with anything other than natural gut, such was its generally accepted superiority over synthetics. A lot of this has changed now .
Synthetic Gut strings are mostly high tech products which are constantly being improved to bring their playability into line with natural gut strings but keep the advantage of the synthetic materials’ higher durability. There’s a great diversity of different structures and materials.
Synthetic String with Solid Core / Single Wrap
This type of string construction is common in many well-known products, including basic nylon and standard synthetic gut strings.
A solid center core provides durability and helps maintain tension. The gauge or the thickness of the string is based on the combination of the core and the outer wrappings.
In it’s most basic form, strings of this construction offer a practical combination of playability and durability at a very low cost. The low cost makes it especially popular with amateur players who go through strings quickly.
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Forten Aramid Tennis String is a thin-gauge, high-durability string combining the strength and friction resistance of Aramid fibers with the responsiveness of polyamide filaments. The result is a durable multifilament string with improved playability over standard Kevlar-based strings.
Silver Sky Aramid (kevlar) Gear provides durability and high spin potential. The Aramid Gear main string combines the lasting durability of Aramid fiber with the sharp gear teeth that (according to Forten) “bite the ball…” for improved spin and control. The Sweet 16 cross string creates a more playable hybrid combination.
Although Forten is known throughout the industry for their excellent aramind tennis strings, they also make fine multifilament strings. Forten tennis strings offer maximum durability for big time string breakers. Their string line is complemented by the well-known Forten Worm—a vibration dampener that provides excellent shock absorption.
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The Luxilon line of strings has forever changed today’s professional tennis, allowing players of all levels to take full swings without fearing a lack of control. Featuring a highly textured surface to further increase the spin potential of the popular ALU Power. Power, control and durability are combined in this co-poly aluminum constructed string. The improvements on first generation polyester strings are noticeable from the combination of tension retention and elasticity.
Some Characteristics of Luxilon Alu Power Rough Tennis Strings:
Very high durability for its fineness.
A perfect touch and very good ball control.
Very good resilience.
Loss of Tension: Almost none.
Very stable properties in time.
This is the perfect string for a baseline power player interested in comfort and durability. It has a very solid feeling. This isn’t just a niche string for string breakers. It has a high degree of touch on volleys and short angles.
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Multifilament strings have no centre core, but are made up of hundreds or thousands of strands of material twisted together, usually with an outer coat for added protection. Typically, aging of multifilament strings exhibit a ‘furry’ nature to the strings as the outer coat wears and the individual fibres break.
These type of strings are the softest synthetic strings available and therefore give the best playability and have the best elasticity and tension maintenance short of natural gut. To simulate natural gut as much as possible, many filaments are wound together then covered by a more resilient outer layer to provide durability.
They are extremely durable (hence good for frequent string breakers). They also create a very stiff string bed, which allows the player to swing very hard but not lose control of the ball.
Silver Sky Multifilament Comfortmax offers a perfect balance of playability, durability and is a softer string which offers less shock. Silver Sky Multifilament Comfortmax in simple terms is an arm friendly string. Designed specifically to absorb impact shock and help reduce the risk of tennis elbow.
Multifilaments often tend to be more expensive, but a cheaper alternative to natural gut.
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Photo credit to “atthenet-tennis.com”
Instead of just using one type of string on both the mains and crosses, players have begun stringing rackets with two different types of strings, one for the mains and one for the crosses. This type of stringing is called hybrid stringing.
Hybrid Stringing is also knows as “blend”. Generally, main strings break first as they tend to move more during impact and therefore endure more abrasion than the crosses. As a consequence, usually a hybrid installation will assign a more durable (harder) string to the mains and a more playable (softer) string to the crosses. Durability may not be the primary motive for choosing a hybrid though, often hybrids are chosen partially or entirely for their performance characteristics.
Some benefits of hybrid stringing is it can lower the cost of an expensive string. Say natural gut is a player’s preferred option, but the high price tag coupled with frequent restringing makes it too costly. Using a cheaper, tougher nylon in the crosses will increase durability and lower the overall cost. Will it feel exactly like a full set of gut? No. But the minimally damaging effect on overall playability is a worthwhile concession. Same goes for lowering the price on a high-end polyester by combining it with a cheaper alternative.
Play more Tennis for Less Money.
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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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