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Does your tennis string really make a difference?
Choosing the type of tennis string that’s right for you is all about experimentation. It is impossible to just make a list of the best tennis string because what works for one player may not work for another!
Some questions you may want to ask yourself when looking for the ideal string:
- How often do you break strings?
- How much do you want to spend on strings?
- What level do you play?
- What type of strokes do you have? (flat, heavy spin, slice)
- What type of game do you play? (all-court, serve and volley, baseliner)
- How often do you play?
We will explore the answers to these questions below as they relate to natural gut tennis string.
If you’re looking for a good Wilson Natural Gut 16 Tennis String review, this article will seek to explore this product in greater detail and highlight some potential benefits you may find with use of this product.
What is Natural Gut?
Natural Gut is the oldest type of tennis string on the market. It’s the string of choice for many professional players such as Roger Federer.
Federer strings with a hybrid set-up which we will explain in more detail below. Specifically, he uses natural gut in the mains of his racquet.
Natural gut strings are made of cow’s intestines and dates back to 1875 when Babolat first used sheep’s intestine to produce them.
Natural Gut has become a string that all others are compared to.
The reasons are as follows:
- Natural gut holds tension better than other strings
- Natural gut remains soft at high tensions. You can string it fairly tight to get more control without losing the power.
- The arm friendliness is superior to all synthetic strings. You don’t feel any increase in jarring impact shock which flares up tennis elbow.
Cons of natural gut strings include:
- Expensive: Natural gut is an organic matter that must be manufactured with multiple steps. This is a labor-intensive process.
- Natural gut doesn’t perform well in certain types of weather. Wet or humid conditions can be hard on natural gut strings. The string can fray quickly once damp and degrades quickly. If you live in a wet or humid part of the world and play with natural gut, you should plan to have a spare racquet with synthetic string available in case the weather is unsatisfactory.
- Natural gut can be fragile on off-center hits. If you break a lot of strings, this may be a problem for you. Due to the delicate nature of the string, it is also harder to string a racquet with it.
- Natural Gut can fall victim to variable quality control. The brand, batch, age, how it is stored and grade are factors.
What type of player should use natural gut?
All players with every type of game can use natural gut. Due to the high cost of the string, many people do not use it.
However, when used as a hybrid it can be more cost effective.
Players with the following playing style may have a hard time with natural gut:
- Aggressive baseline players with heavy topspin have a hard time using natural gut if price is an issue. This is because the price/performance ratio will be less than economical.
Players with the following playing style will enjoy natural gut:
- Players who hit flat shots will find that a high quality gut such as the Wilson Natural Gut 16 tennis string will be more durable than other strings due to its string retention. A more dense string pattern will also improve the longevity due to less movement/friction in the string bed. String savers are another option in preserving your natural gut string. String savers are devices used to preserve racquet strings and extend their life. They are small pieces of plastic or similar material that are placed where the cross and main strings intersect. When the strings of your racquet strike the ball, they rub together.
This friction wears them down and can eventually cause them to break. A string saver acts as a buffer between the two strings.
Stringing options include:
Strung as a full bed, Wilson Natural Gut offers luxurious comfort.
Blending String is also an option.
A lot of players will combine or blend string materials-hybrid. The most popular blend is natural gut going in the ‘mains’- the vertical section – and multifilament going into the ‘crosses’- the horizontal section.
If the racquet is strung with a stiff string only like a polyester string, there is a lack of “feel”. There can also be shoulder, wrists, and elbow issues, because of the stiffness of the string.
If the string is multifilament only, it doesn’t last as long, and there is also a lack of topspin. This can be true for natural gut string.
To string the racquet with a combination, the natural gut string can be strung at a lesser tension, and the multifilament at a higher tension, to help balance out your control and power.
When you string a racquet, the less tension, the more power – higher tension means more control.
A consistent string bed means not creating big holes or gaps in the strings from the strings moving aside after each shot and staying there.
This causes each successive shot to be less and less consistent as the gaps/holes get bigger after each shot – resulting in a loss of control.
The harder you hit and the more you brush up, the more your strings will move around.
More advanced players will tend to prefer a natural gut string to avoid this from happening.
Wilson Natural Gut 16 Tennis String review
You can view the Wilson Natural Gut 16 Tennis String at Amazon to learn more about how this string might work for your game.
Information from the manufacturer includes:
Wilson makes some impressive durability tweaks to their natural gut. The result is a slightly firmer feel but the string offers outstanding comfort.
The high quality natural gut uses only top quality beef serosa to produce a consistent and responsive string.
It also delivers easy power along with better tension management than any synthetic string on the market. Ultimate arm feel is also one of the string’s best features.
Features and details:
- Gauge: 16/1.30mm
- Length: 40 feet/12mm (if only strung in the mains, this will string two tennis racquets)
- Composition: natural gut
- Color: natural
Most common pros mentioned by players using Wilson Natural Gut:
- Maintains the string tension
- Due to the softness of the string, you can feel the sensation of the ball sinking into the string bed, allowing you to feel like you have complete control of the ball.
- As long as the tension is high enough, you get a crisp response coupled with the soft elasticity of the string.
- A big hitting player will be the best candidate for this string. Also a player looking for a softer and more responsive string.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com