String gauge effect on performance.

MoxMonkey

New User
How much does the gauge of the string effect performance? Same type 16g vs 17g?

I've read somewhere on here to use the thinnest gauge your able l without premature breakage.

So this would appear to be a performance to durability trade off.

If this is true, Is the drop-off in performance of a larger gauge string markedly noticeable? Or is it slight and more between your ears?

Thanks
 

blai212

Professional
im only speaking from my own experience but i would say that the thicker gauge would feel more wholesome (after all, you’re covering more hoop area with string). Thinner strings will make stringbed feel a bit more elastic with better spin. Thicker gauge will feel noticeably stiffer especially with polys. I use a tight 16x19 vcore pro 97 which can still work with 1.25-1.30 strings but if you use 18x20 (personally not a fan) I would highly recommend thinner gauges or else it can be quite difficult to produce spin.
 
So why does the spinmaster Nadal use 15L......I just switched back to 16 from 18 .......although i like the 18 for arm comfort and feel......but got a reasonable amount back from the 16 with a reduction in tension from...50 to 45........
 

Robbymack

New User
It’s all personal preference. A lighter gauge will usually give you more “feel” generally to the detriment of durability. But take that with a grain of salt as with all things tennis what one person defines as “feel” is going to be different than what another defines it as.
 

Arak

Professional
Thicker gauges are better for directional control, while thinner gauges are better for depth control. With some strings, you can get more spin with thick gauges 15, or 15L, and curiously with thin ones, 17 or 18. 16 seems to be in nowhere land in terms of spin. Also thin gauges can be harsher on the arm with spinny strokes as they grab the ball more, but softer on the arm with flat shots. Basically, it depends on your style of play, but none is really better than the other, just slightly different.
 
It's definitely noticeable. On both sides of the performance/durability scale.

String stiffness drops significantly each gauge thinner.

For a better comparison try 16 vs 18 to really see what is happening with both.

As big as Nadal is hitting he would probably eat through something thinner than 15L, would drop tension too quickly for his preference, too much power, launch too high. It's a rough life for him!
 

blai212

Professional
So why does the spinmaster Nadal use 15L......I just switched back to 16 from 18 .......although i like the 18 for arm comfort and feel......but got a reasonable amount back from the 16 with a reduction in tension from...50 to 45........
Nadal uses super open pure aero 16x19 string bed and generates massive racquet head speed so he doesnt require assistance from thinner gauge strings for spin/pop. I heard he snaps his fat boi 15L rpm blast in 15-20 mins of practice, not sure if it’s there’s any truth to that...I heard @J011yroger snaps alu power 1.25 in 45 mins on dense pattern prestige
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
If this is true, Is the drop-off in performance of a larger gauge string markedly noticeable? Or is it slight and more between your ears?

Thanks
I used to play with VS17 gut for many years. Once the stringer mistakenly strung one of my racquets with VS16 gut. I was warming up for a match and within 1-2 minutes, I could feel that there was something different about my strings that I did not like in terms of reduced power and feel. I checked the string and saw the VS16 name on it - gave it back to the stringer and got it restring with VS17. So, it is not just between the ears.

When I tried several new polys, I experimented with 17g and 18g strings to see if I could tell the difference and it is obvious in most cases.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
I play with 16 or 16L gauge strings. I tried 17 gauge once (same brand and string type) and I was spraying balls everywhere, I couldn’t keep it in the court.
 

blai212

Professional
I play with 16 or 16L gauge strings. I tried 17 gauge once (same brand and string type) and I was spraying balls everywhere, I couldn’t keep it in the court.
I believe you use the ezone 100? pretty open pattern so i’m not surprised that you prefer thicker gauge. Thicker feels more wholesome and sturdy while thinner feels more elastic (strings bend more) resulting in softer more powerful response. All comes down to what you prefer.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
I believe you use the ezone 100? pretty open pattern so i’m not surprised that you prefer thicker gauge. Thicker feels more wholesome and sturdy while thinner feels more elastic (strings bend more) resulting in softer more powerful response. All comes down to what you prefer.
I since then switched to the Ezone Tour, but yeah still 16x19. I was wondering why I was in playing so badly that particular day. Then I remembered that I was trying new strings, 17 is probably good for some, just didn’t work for me.
 

Wheelz

Semi-Pro
A lot of Pros are now trying 1.15mm strings now. Going thinner seems like the trend. In the end it's whatever you prefer but don't be afraid to experiment. Some say not to string poly high and others play thick poly at high tensions while others will string a thinner poly at lower tensions.

At 28min
 
Does the thinner gauges give a higher launch angle than the thicker strings? Scientifically, I think they do, but I'm not sure. Maybe someone can second this with experience
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Does the thinner gauges give a higher launch angle than the thicker strings? Scientifically, I think they do, but I'm not sure. Maybe someone can second this with experience
Yes. I like 17g gut and 18g poly in hybrids - good compromise between reduced durability and increased power/feel/spin over thicker gauges.
 
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