Special Player. Special String.
STRINGS OF THE FUTURE. NEW !
10% discount on pre-orders!
Mayami Strings, the most exciting new Tennis string brand in the world is launching in Germany, from the official supplier, in March 2021.
With many stirling reviews of the strings on stringforum.net, Tennisnerd, Youtube and Stringpedia the worldwide reception to this ultra playable brand of strings has been incredible.
Demand for the Mayami Strings such as Mayami Tour Hex and Big Spin have reached fever pitch in Germany and we are now proud to offer the brand, managed and shipped out of Berlin at local shipping costs and speedy 1 day deliveries. Grab 200m rolls, 12m sets or even a sample pack of all our strings at a discounted rate.
Importance Of Strings
A lot of players underestimate the importance of Tennis strings and overestimate the significance of rackets. In reality, however, both the racket and the strings are equally crucial to play well.
The same racket can have a completely different feel, depending on the string and the tension. After all, it is the strings that are in contact with the ball, much like tires on a car; they are critical for performance. Tennis players often and willingly test other racquets, but only a few of them try different strings on these same racquets to find a perfect combination for themselves.
Many times players will test 20 different rackets, buy 3 or 4 of them, then simply tell the stringer at their local shop to string them up with whatever is popular right now and whatever tension they usually do. Imagine spending 700 Dollars or Euros on rackets and then risking all that rigorous testing by leaving the choice of string to someone else? Your local stringer will likely put in an expensive string at quite a high tension as this reduces his risk of you coming back with any complaints (you asked his advice, and he's the expert remember). You will feel like you are playing with something great, and even if your game is off, you won't say anything as your pride, and lack of string knowledge will get in the way.
Testing Tennis Strings
Testing strings is expensive and time-consuming, though, so most players avoid it, but it's essential, and many places will offer test string packs. If you are serious about your Tennis, then consider getting a stringing machine and the cost and time to test will drop dramatically.
Players often claim that they don't feel the difference between strings - but most likely, this only means that they have not yet found a suitable string. The right string can improve your game by a large margin, and this could even enable you to achieve success in matches with opponents a lot better than you. Today, buying strings for tennis is not a problem, but to make the right choice, keep reading as you may discover something new.
Let us start with an examination of the various string types. Each player will react differently to the feel of the ball contact on shots like serve, heavy groundstrokes, or sneaky drop shots with either Natural Gut, Polyester (and its friends), or various synthetics like nylon and aramids.
Types of Tennis Strings
Natural Gut strings are produced from natural raw materials, and more precisely from the muscle veins of cattle. This string takes on the essential characteristics of a high-end string, such as the highest control and comfort, tremendous impact force, stability (minimization of loss of tension force), and elasticity of the string. As such, Natural Gut is a tough and complicated product to make, and it is expensive (very expensive ! - link to the product on-site). A lot of effort, time, and various materials comprise the manufacture of a natural string. For example, the company Babolat began its history from the beginning of the last century and, in 1924, released its legendary vein string "VS." (Now you know where the VS designation comes from).
The external muscle layer of the bovine intestine is a crucial material for string production. A unique selection of animals creates the raw materials in the region of the province of Brittany, France. These strings are produced only in 12m/39ft sets in an individually sealed package with a moisture content of 55%, and about 2.5 cows "go" to make each set of strings, which is 30 kilograms of feedstock and a couple of months of exceptional work.
How is Natural Gut made?
Many stages and complex technical processes happen to make the perfect string, and more than twenty are hands-on processes are involved, such as:
cuttingwashingsaltingtwelve chemical baths,several drying rooms to go throughgrindingtwistingcleaningtesting and checking each stage with quality controlthermochemical treatmentssilicone coating
All this puts Babolat in first place among many other manufacturers of natural strings, because of the respectful approach and high-quality production of their string superior wear resistance and improved moisture resistance. There's a rumor that Babalot produces branded strings for other manufacturers as most don't have the history or know-how to produce this level of handmade string. And of course, the same can be said that different manufacturers produce strings for each other.
Monofilament Tennis strings
Monofilament strings are often thought of as wire strings because of their stiffness. They can consist of one or several layers and come in different sections (smooth-round, rough-ribbed, and even flat, oval, triangular, and twisted). The first inner layer is called the core, and the rest is called the outer layers or braid. The core consists of a homogeneous solid fiber, and the outer one consists of a single coating that protects the core from abrasion, it can increase wear resistance and maintain elasticity.
These are strings consisting of a single thread, or of several fibers, but tightly soldered together. Modern mono strings are made of polyester and co-polyesters and are, at the moment, the most popular types of strings. They provide excellent ball control, good power, and exceptional durability. Most often chosen by professionals and advanced tennis players, as well as those who too often break the strings. The disadvantages include their low comfort when playing, do not dampen vibration from shock, as well as lower power compared to multifilament strings. This is changing, though, as in 2020, there are now polyesters that are very soft on the arm, have high power and control. There are new players on the market showcasing some of the softest polyester tennis strings such as Mayami Big Spin, Kirschbaum xplosive, Solinco Tour Bite, and Mayami Tour Hex.
These very durable strings designed for string breakers have little power and feeling. Polyester strings have become popular among ATP tour players, mainly due to their durability. Although this is not an option for most players, it remains to be a choice for ATP and WTA players. They hit harder, faster, and harder. Polyester strings are popular in combination with natural strings in a hybrid, and the result is long-lasting strings due to the polyester, but not so stiff due to the natural crosses. Players with sensitivity or injury avoid tightly strung and very stiff polyester strings like the plague.
Synthetic strings are manufactured from polymer materials of different stiffness and have a different number of layers and varying complexity.
Various materials such as Kevlar, polyurethane, silicone, polyester, etc. have all been tried by manufacturers with titanium, carbon, and aluminum being heated and added to reinforce the materials. Polyester is still the big winner and variations of the compounds to keep the high control but reducing the stiffness, and ultimately, the hard impact on your arm is the current strategy by manufacturers.
Kevlar strings or Aramid
Particularly high wear-resistant properties distinguish these strings. These strings can consist of a monolithic polymer with the addition of atomized Kevlar and woven into the core with other polymer fibers. These types of strings can also be core coated with a braid of several layers (for example, a multifilament layer and a protective outer layer). The biggest minus is not that Kevlar has low elasticity, but the worst thing is that their stiffness can develop a chronic disease of the tennis elbow in a short time of use. When they appeared, they quickly gained popularity, but at that moment, the number of athletes complaining of pain in muscles, joints, and ligaments increased sharply. These days kevlar is relatively rare due to the stress on the arm, and you need to use them with extreme caution.
Kevlar is the most durable of all tennis strings and outdated in that you would be hard-pressed to find a set anywhere anymore. Kevlar is ultra-durable and firm and usually used in combination with soft nylon strings (Kevlar as a base, nylon cross). However, Kevlar strings are the least comfortable and least potent of all the strings on the market. For those who want to try Kevlar strings for the first time, try to reduce the Tennis string tension by 20% to compensate for stiffness, but there are far better options on the market now that provide similar characteristics and won't damage your wrist.
Multifilaments consist of many hundreds and even thousands of fibers to resemble natural ones. A multifilament will generally be softer than a polyester it will have excellent power and shock absorption, but its durability is much lower. Such strings are closest in properties to Natural Gut. Representatives of multifiber strings are Babolat X-Cel Premium, Head Fiber Gel, Tecnifibre NRG2, and Tecnifibre X-One BiPhase, Wilson Sensation, and Wilson Sensation NXT.
These are simple weaving or complex multi-layer weaving strings. The main characteristics of multifilament strings are high elasticity and comfort. The composition of such strings can include several braided fibers, several thousand microfibers, and many other layers.
Multifilament strings can include combinations of materials varying in density, strength, roughness, slippery, shape, etc. Thanks to all this, the strands remain elastic for a very long time, and comfort is excellent.
There are also a variety of multi-strings with a multifilament core structure but surrounded by one or more layers of a more robust shell. Such strings are slightly more durable than regular multi fibers—for example, Babolat Powergy or Head Rip Control strings.
Synthetic Gut and Nylon
Single-core strings are another popular variety of synthetic strings. They most often have the words "synthetic gut" or "s-gut" in the title. They are made of ordinary nylon and have a low price (really low, e.g., $1 each). Such strings, more often than others, are used "by default" on models of rackets that come for sale directly from the factory. This type of medium is wear-resistant and has average comfort. Control with Synthetic gut is below average. Economic and frugal beginners choose them, and this also suits children well. Example: Wilson Synthetic Gut Duramax or Head Master String.
Nylon is the choice of manufacturers for basic strings. It's cheap, abundant, and easy to extrude. Strings made of nylon are a combination of comfort, playability, and strength. In the past, when rackets were wooden, every great player used a natural gut string. Only novice players used nylon strings. But with the cost of natural gut rising rapidly over the years, Nylon became the choice of string from about the mid-80s to the late-90s when the first polyesters appeared on the scene, e.g., Kirschbaum Super Smash, which was a complete revolution back then.
The same type of string is usually available in several different cross-section diameters or gauges. Currently, this varies from 1.05 mm to 1.40 mm. The gauge can be expressed not in millimeters, but in whole numbers, from 15 to 19, often the letter "g" is attributed to these numbers,
The following table should make it a little clearer to you:
15g - 1.35mm or more.
16g - 1.30mm
17g - 1.25mm
18g – 1.20mm
19g - 1.10mm
Generally speaking, thin strings increase playability compared to thicker strings, which are durable. There are string sizes from 15 (thin) to 19 (thick), with the dimensions designated as 16L, 15L, etc. (L - from "light"). Thinner strings are known to transmit a more significant amount of spin on the ball.
String Tension Stability
This characteristic is often measured with specialized equipment at diagnostic centers, by measuring the stiffness of the string surface and loss of elasticity over playing time. The lower the level of loss of tension, the longer the impact force and control are maintained. With a high loss of tennis string tension, the playability of the string falls faster.
How do we measure the life of the string, from the moment of stringing until it breaks? We could use tests calculated empirically by engineers of companies involved in string production, but the best way is to get out on the court and hammer balls for a few hours. A top-class poly will last 10-15 hours at a minimum but may lose tension over that time, so you will have to cut it out anyway. Some strings come in thicker gauges and are almost impossible to break. In the past, Kirschbaum had a famous, almost impossible to break string, called Kirschabum Long Life, and it was a beasty 1.38mm and tough as nails. That's all it had going for it as the feel was terrible, but there were many grateful parents when it debuted.
String stiffness and elasticity
The stiffer the string, the lower the deflection on contact. Lower stiffness increases the spin of the ball due to a more significant deviation.
Best string for control and feel
Natural Gut provides maximum feeling and control due to its elasticity but is often not used due to price. Natural strings are an excellent choice for any players that have hand, elbow, and shoulder injuries, and those who want some of the very best Tennis strings. Natural Gut is often the choice of the best ATP and WTA pros.
Hybrid Tennis Strings
Nowadays, though, a hybrid setup, synthetic mains, and natural crosses strings are the choice of many - although Roger Federer does it the other way around with Natural Gut in the mains and Luxilon Alu Power (polyester) in the crosses. Federer's setup is potent, and it's mostly impossible to control the ball with this setup unless you are Roger (the gut in the mains like this provides just too much power even for other pros). I wouldn't give this setup a try as it's a costly trial, and I can guarantee that you won't like it as many players I know have tried it and had to cut it out right away as they were hitting balls into the back fence non-stop.
Best Tennis String for Spin?
The drawback with Natural Gut is that it works well if you hit the ball flat, but if you are looking to rip heavy balls with a lot of spin, off the baseline, you need to look elsewhere, namely polyesters and co-polyesters specifically Mayami Big Spin, and Mayami Tour Hex. Hybrid setups can work well, but the durability of Natural Gut is going to be very low as the stiff and hard poly cuts into the gut rather quickly. A hybrid combination usually proves much too expensive, even for journeyman pros on the ATP and WTA tours.
Gut vs. Polyester Tennis Strings
Of course, kids nowadays have grown up with stiffer, more durable, spin generating polyesters, so Natural Gut is foreign to most of them, and the power it generates is usually too much for the way they hit the ball anyway. Besides, very few parents would be convinced to spend a few hundred dollars or euros per week on Natural Gut strings.
In many respects, natural gut strings win over synthetic as they retain their initial tension longer, have a higher power generation capability, and also better absorb the vibrations that occur when you hit the ball.
But there is a downside, actually a rather large one. Natural Gut is super expensive, breaks quicker, is sensitive to moisture and sunlight, and has demanding storage conditions.
Polyester vs Multifilament Strings
Lately, monofilament strings are famous for their low price and convenient selection of the necessary characteristics. Monofilament strings of various "tenacious" cross-sectional shapes are highly sought after by players looking for exceptional ball-bite. Triangular, rough, twisted, polygonal, and other sharp-edged and profiled types of monofilament strings produce maximum spin on the ball. Smooth, reinforced core and slippery coatings provide increasing wear resistance. The most significant disadvantage of monofilament tennis strings types is their relatively short life due to the quick loss of elasticity, i.e., tension.
Often polyesters are not round but multifaceted, such as Head Sonic Pro Edge (5 sided), Babolat Pro Hurricane and Babolat RPM Blast (8 rounded edges), Luxilon Savage (6 sided), etc. The profile of the string has a tremendous impact on the control, feel, and spin generation capability.
You can also check textured strings, for example, Gamma Ruff, Prince Topspin w / Duraflex, Kirschbaum Super Smash Spiky (one of the first strings ever to have a profile on it), as well as Gamma Ruff strings. In the manufacture of such strings, both nylon and various filaments are blended. A double or ordinary fiber meshes on a spiral over the outer shell of the string. Such strings increase the traction with the ball that occurs upon impact, thereby improving control and torsion to the maximum level.
What strings to buy? It can depend on a variety of factors such as weather conditions, the type of court surface, the ball selected, your budget, and even on your opponent's playing style. We deal with this in an upcoming article. This article covered everything you ever wanted to know about Tennis Strings.