Some of our recent communication with customers has involved discussion of string gauges. Through these discussions it has become clear to me that the core differences between thinner gauge strings and thicker gauge strings is not always clear to tennis players. Today we will attempt to provide a quick overview for our blog readers.
Strings are rated according to gauges. The most common gauges are 15L, 16, 16L, 17, 17L and 18. The smaller the number, the thicker the gauge. Unfortunately no uniform convention is available for the measuring of strings. (We blogged about this issue in the past. See “Gauges – Our guide (The REAL story).” In general we have found that many players tend to prefer the performance of thinner gauge strings when given the choice. (The higher the number, the thinner the string)
Why is this? In a nutshell, in most instances thinner strings are more lively and elastic than their thicker counterparts. Thin strings are also known for better performance in creating spin and providing feel. However, thinner strings also break faster, because there is less material to wear out and some players believe they offer a less substantial feel.
Bottom line, is that different playing styles will prefer different string gauges. As with many areas of tennis equipment, one size does not fit all and your individual mileage may vary.