Recommend tension: gut string PLUS TE string tension strategy


Bad case of TE/GE, about 95% recovered. Wanting to string up a frame to use, a heavy Volkl C-9. For years I've had great luck with soft syn gut at 57 lbs.

I've got 16 gauge natural gut for the racquet. I know from experience that gut really is the schizz when it comes to playing after TE.

I also know natural gut just feels like it is at a looser tension than syn gut; when I've had both at 57 lbs, the gut feels about 5 pounds less stiff.

So what should I do? I know I want to string the frame a bit looser (due to the TE) and I also know the natural gut has a generally looser feel.

Do I string it at 50 pounds? Would feel like 45 pounds, perhaps. Any thoughts or practical insights very welcome---would like to hear your thinking.


I haven't had TE and I am not sure this will help: With various setups I felt pain on my elbow, and in one specific instance so much of it that I could not lift the racquet during a match (Wilson PS 97S). What I found works for me, before even the string is in question, is that my racquet needs to be 7-9 points HL, this made the biggest difference for me. Then the stiffness of the racquet is also very important, so not only I went with a low RA racquet but I was also lucky to find one that was foam filled.

With this type of racquet, I can now string NG as high as 68, and my elbow does not feel it. I now even switched to a reverse hybrid setup with poly for the crosses, and my elbow is still great. With the Wilson RF97A I used to use, if I went to 58-60# with the NG strings, I would start to have some elbow pain, even though the racquet was rated at 9 HL. I am not familiar with your racquet, but if TE was serious, you may consider changing racquets if lower tension strings do not help enough, or impacts your game too negatively from a control, comfort and power perspectives.



Good points. The frame matters tons, and I picked up TE with a different racquet, which really affected things. The racquet I'm to string is the Old Familiar make I've played with since about 1998.

jim e

I have TE and hit with all gut and have hit with all gut for many years.
The TE was from doing other activities.
My racquets are strung at 61 lbs. and 64 lbs. depends on racquet.
My racquet is also head heavy and is very flexable. TE for me is fine hitting natural gut at these tensions with racquets as such.
Natural gut hits very well at high tensions, as this is the advantage of the string, as long as it is a quality nat. gut that can take the higher tensions.


You will need to string NG above 60# to have any chance of control. If you have not strung the frame yet, try a soft multi in 17 Ga in your C-9 at mid point or slightly lower. Good multi(s) include PPC, Bi Phase, NXT. If you can find it, you could also try Pros Pro Clay Court. Or check out the Mikeler thread.

jim e

You need to string nat. gut at high tensions for decent control. This is the advantage of using a quality nat. gut as a quality one can be strung at a high tension and have a great feel along with decent control all while being good on the arm.
Nat. guts resilience, elasticity and tension maintenance sets it apart from other strings and it hits very well at relatively high tensions.
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Hall of Fame
A couple of experiments with NG might cost more than a new frame.

If you have/had TE... You'll want one of these sticks in your quiver.

Prince Tour 100/100T 18x20/16x18.

Practically NOTHING feels uncomfortable. For comfort... I rather play Poly in one of these frames than NG in a Areopro drive anyday.


Hall of Fame
It seems like the majority is advocating stringing natural gut at 60+ lbs for any chance of control. I'm the minority who tried out natural gut at 40 lbs and like it and still able to keep control. But I'm not a big power hitter in the first place though. Natural gut at 40 lbs gives me the power and comfort I'm looking for.

I used to string natural gut at 55 lbs before and it works fine for me, too. But one day I read a post from a TennisWarehouse staff member who tried very low tension strings and was surprised to find that he actually liked it even more at low tensions. So I tried out 40 lbs and was surprised to find that I like it at 40 lbs, too, better than at 55 lbs. So I've stuck with 40 lbs full natural gut bed since then.

I think the type of racket makes a difference, too. Even with the same 40 lbs full bed of gut, my Prokennex 5G feels more comfortable than my Babolat AeroPro. But while less comfortable than the ProKennex 5G, the Aeropro is still comfortable enough to play without TE issue at 40 lbs full gut.

One other benefit I find is that full gut at 40 lbs seems to last longer than full gut at 55 lbs.


I took half the gut and strung my Volkl with gut and Forten sweet at 60 lbs.

It works, but it's a bit harder feeling than I'd like.

I think I'll take another frame and do it at 48 lbs. This should up the comfort.