String Patterns and Gauge – Article Catalog

Types of String Patterns
Racquets differently strung give differing results. There are majorly 2 types of patterns you would see on most racquets these days: Open and Closed. A string pattern significantly affects your spin, power and control – three most crucial aspects in any game.

In this article, we will discuss what benefits each of these two kinds offer and what pattern should you string your head with. And also, we will give an elaborate explanation about the standard notation manufacturers use in identifying one pattern from the other.

Notation
It becomes easy to understand string pattern types if you are able to read and understand the notation manufacturers use.
For example: 18 by 20 indicates 18 vertical/mains and 20 crosses.

String patterns can be of a big variety. The notation will give you an idea as to how the pattern of a racquet is.
Open
Strings that are spread out is called an Open pattern. Open patterns offer more power and spin while compromising on durability and control.
Close
If you find a string bed to have a tightly woven pattern, it is safe to call it a Closed pattern. This pattern offers durability and increased control. Racquets that have closed patterns do not offer added power and spin.

Head size
Even size of the head comes into play. Imagine two racquets, each of different head size, one bigger and the other small. Let’s assume these racquets both have equal number of holes for the strings to be woven. Both when strung, even though similar, the pattern appears open in one, and a tighter in the other. Big head has more area and the strings spread out making an open kind of pattern. In a similar fashion, the small head has smaller area. Hence, the pattern appears to be tighter/closer.

What to choose?

For beginners, an open spaced pattern will be fitting. It allows you to add more power and spin to your shots. Whereas, if you are an experienced player, you will do better with a tighter patterned racquet. As you already have enough power and spin, you will perform great with a racquet that offers more control – closed pattern.

What is String Gauge?
Now let’s learn about the measurements of strings. String Gauge is a measurement used to identify the thickness of a tennis string without having to measure it while purchase.

Different thicknesses have varying effects on your shots, thus, affecting your performance in the game. Choosing the right string is as important as picking the right racquet. The thickness factor is something you must look into before buying a string; be it natural or synthetic.

Why bother about the thickness?
The thickness of a string directly affects two factors of your play: Spin and durability.

Thicker strings tend to last long, they are durable.

While thin strings have great spin potential.

In case you want both: a balance of durability and spin, you can choose strings that have medium thickness.
Notation
The thickest of strings is noted as 15 while 19 represents the thinnest string available.

Also, an L means ‘half-gauge’, which is simply a gauge measurement that lies between two standards. For example: A 16L lies between 16 and 17 gauges. The thickness, too, lies between these two standards.

Note: There is no 18L available. No half gauge between 18 and 19.

Conclusion
These are the standards all leading brands follow to manufacture the strings and make it a point to indicate the number on the packaging; so you will know exactly what thickness your string has.

A string with thickness around 1.20 mm (17) is durable and can help you create good spins. It is advised to pick this if you like to have a balance of both in your racket. You can even experiment with it and go up or down the chart until you are comfortable with your string.

Most advanced players go for thin strings as they allow for incredible spins. In the similar fashion, if you are a newbie to the game, a thick string is recommended. They tend to last long and allow for more practise.

Keywords: Racquets, string

By: srividya

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