Choosing a string

by Jonas Eriksson

I got a question from a Tennisnerd member (on Patreon) about choosing a string for your racquet. I replied to this in today’s newsletter. You can subscribe below and get weekly tennis tips.

Can you make a video about specific relationships between rackets and strings? I feel like people often talk about strings in isolation. How does it perform when we use a spin string on a 18×20 heavy control racket or a 16×19 lighter spin racket? How about when we use a more control-oriented string on them? I even heard from another youtuber saying they would never put a 16 gauge on a 18×20. I don’t understand why…

Hazart, TN Member

Choosing a string for your racquet is not easy with the jungle of choice out there these days. I have listed more concrete string recommendations on our page, Recommended Strings. However, it is perhaps not easy to understand what string might suit your specific racquet.

Strings for control racquets

I use an 18×20, 95 sq inch racquet as my “reset” racquet in between testing. I often string it with a hybrid of multifilament or poly to open up more power and a softer feel since a dense pattern control racquet doesn’t give you anything for free.

For a whole string bed of polyester string, I would use a thinner gauge, shaped poly, to open up a higher launch angle and more spin potential. I also tend to string these racquets at a lower tension to open up better pocketing and a larger sweet spot.

Strings for power racquets

When it comes to power racquets with more open patterns, I tend to prefer a deader poly with less “give” and “action,” such as Luxilon Alu Power, Solinco Outlast, or HEAD Hawk Power in either 1.25 or 1.30 at 53 lbs.

I use a string like that to increase the control and reduce some of the liveliness and launch of the frame. It also depends on the frame’s stiffness since those strings can be relatively firm. Now, I experiment with different poly/poly hybrids. The Toroline K-Pro hybrid has worked well for me in more powerful racquets lately, for example. It has a soft and responsive feel and plays with good comfort.

You can get 25% off Toroline strings using the code TENNISNERD on their official website.

This depends on your play style, level, and potential injuries. But it is good to understand what string might work well for you in a certain racquet. I write about this in my e-book, The Road to the Right Racquet, and there is also a personal consultation service if you need in-depth advice and support. Both can be checked out here. That is all for this one. I will do my best to send out new advice to newsletter subscribers every week. Thanks for your support.

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Russ December 12, 2023 - 16:02

This was a good article. Could you expand a little more on stiffness and power rackets? I am interested to know your thoughts for a 107 PURE DRIVE as it is oversized and curious if OS changes your thoughts on strings even though it is 16/19. Thanks!

TN December 13, 2023 - 10:10

Thanks. I think for oversized racquets, the same thing applies, but I would increase perhaps 2-3 lbs in tension.

Alex February 7, 2024 - 08:01

Is a full bed of poly on a 18×20 at 55lbs unreasonable (100sqinch)? I sometimes feel that I lose the connection to the ball with a full bed of poly at lower tension, and a multifil with high tension breaks too fast. Thank you. Love your work and videos, big fan.

TN February 7, 2024 - 13:50

Thanks for being a fan, no I think is reasonable as long as you don’t get arm pain from it.


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