Your string tension is just as important as the type of string you use.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT STRING TENSION

String tension, how tight or loose the strings are pulled in the frame, is just as important as what string you use in your tennis racket. While it can seem even more complicated than choosing your string, there are three easy questions you can ask yourself when deciding at what tension to have your racket strung. The questions build on one another, so be sure to answer them in order to determine the best string tension for your game.
 

1. WHAT STRING MATERIAL ARE YOU USING?

Are you using nylon/gut string, polyester string, or a hybrid of half and half? In general, beginners should play with nylon strings (or natural gut if you don’t mind spending the money), intermediate players can start to blend with hybrids, and advanced players can take the court with a full bed of polyester. When it comes to tension, the general rule is to string elastic materials like nylon or natural gut around 50-60lbs, which we’ll use as our base recommended tension. If using a stiffer string material like polyester, we’d recommend stringing looser to avoid arm injuries. Here are the tension ranges we’d aim for the first time you get your racket strung:

  • Nylon/Gut: 50-60lbs (22.5-27kg)
  • Hybrid: 46-56lbs (21-25.5kg) *Because polyester is a stiffer material, string 2lbs (1kg) looser than nylon
    • Example: Poly at 51lbs (23kg), Nylon at 53lbs (24kg)
  • Polyester: 44-54lbs (20-24.5kg)

 

2. WHAT BENEFIT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Do you want your strings to provide more power or more control? Typically, beginner players with slower racket-head speeds want their strings to add more power to their shots while advanced players with faster racket-head speeds want their strings to provide more control over their shots. The higher your string tension, the more control you’ll have while the looser your string tension, the more power. Here are the above tension ranges again, but adjusted for power or control:

  • Nylon/Gut: 50-60lbs (22.5-27kg)
    • Power: 50-55lbs (22.5-25kg)
    • Control: 56-60lbs (25.5-27kg)
       
  • Hybrid: 46-56lbs (21-25.5kg) *Because polyester is a stiffer material, string 2lbs (1kg) looser than nylon
    • Power: 46-51lbs (21-23kg)
    • Control: 52-56lbs (23.5-25.5kg)
       
  • Polyester: 44-54lbs (20-24.5kg)
    • Power: 44-49lbs (20-22kg)
    • Control: 50-54lbs (22.5-24.5kg)
       

3. ARE YOU A BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE OR ADVANCED PLAYER?

Your skill level on court is the final question that needs to be addressed in order to nail down your ideal string tensions. Here are those tension ranges again, narrowed down even further for each playing level.

  • Nylon/Gut: 50-60lbs (22.5-27kg)
     
    • Power: 50-55lbs (22.5-25kg)
      • Beginner: 54-55lbs (24.5-25kg)
      • Intermediate: 52-53lbs (23.5-24kg)
      • Advanced: 50-51lbs (22.5-23kg)
         
    • Control: 56-60lbs (25.5-27kg)
      • Beginner: 59-60lbs (26.75-27.25kg)
      • Intermediate: 57-58lbs (26-26.5kg)
      • Advanced: 55-56lbs (25-25.5kg)
         
  • Hybrid: 46-56lbs (21-25.5kg) *Because polyester is a stiffer material, string 2lbs (1kg) looser than nylon
     
    • Power: 46-51lbs (21-23kg)
      • Beginner: 50-51lbs (22.5-23kg)
      • Intermediate: 48-49lbs (21.75-22kg)
      • Advanced: 46-47lbs (21-21.5kg)
         
    • Control: 52-56lbs (23.5-25.5kg)
      • Beginner: 55-56lbs (25-25.5kg)
      • Intermediate: 53-54lbs (24-24.5kg)
      • Advanced: 52lbs (23.5kg)
         
  • Polyester: 44-54lbs (20-24.5kg)
     
    • Power: 44-49lbs (20-22kg)
      • Beginner: 44-45lbs (20-20.5kg)
      • Intermediate: 46-47lbs (21-21.5kg)
      • Advanced: 48-49lbs (21.75-22kg)
         
    • Control: 50-54lbs (22.5-24.5kg)
      • Beginner: 50lbs (22.5kg)
      • Intermediate: 51-52lbs (23-23.5kg)
      • Advanced: 53-54lbs (24-24.5kg)

While we hope this helps, we know choosing string tension is a complicated process. If you’re still unsure, ask your coach for a recommendation, or shoot our string experts a message on their Instagram, @wilsontennis.ph. They’re always happy to help!