I am recovering from an Ulnar claw repetition injury, more here: apparently one reason is too tight synthetic narrow strings with extremely dense string pattern 16x19. I am still an amateur. I mostly play inside. I use Babolat Pure Drive Roddick. According to this video, I should not select co-poly strings because they do not absorb the vibration. Durable strings are not comfort strings according to Babolat video -- so apparently I should find comfort strings that are not durable?

Solution candidates

  1. For more comfortable topspin, one plan is to have hitting surface with less dense pattern and not stiff strings (related where video visualises hitting surface).

  2. Natural gut products such as Babolat VS Touch and Babolat Tonic+ are mentioned in this context due to its ability to absorb vibration.

Helper questions

  1. Which factors should I look for in selecting the strings?

  2. Soft strings with small tension?

  3. Width? Which gauges and why? Details such as 15L and 16G mean the gauges, more here: "The higher the gauge number, the thinner the string and typically measured in millimeters".

  4. Which kind of hitting surface? How densely knitted and the impact on comfort?

1 Answer 1


Unless you want to start spending a lot of money on strings - don't start using natural gut and fall in love with it. It's by far the most expensive string out there - it runs $50 USD (or more) a set.

If you're looking for more comfortable strings, look at strings like Technifibre NRG2, Wilson Sensation, Wilson NXT or other multifilament strings. Those will be more comfortable on your arm and will have decent durability.

As far as tension goes - the higher tension, the less vibration will be absorbed so more impact on your hand/arm/elbow. Lower tension will be more comfortable - but not too low or that will generate a lot of vibration also. Somewhere in the 40-53 lbs (18-24 kg) range should be comfortable and not too low amount of tension.

If I were you, I'd look for a 17g (between 1.18 and 1.25) string. That should provide plenty of comfort and a little bit of easy/effortless power as well. You could go even higher (like 18g) but a thinner string won't be as durable. This is why you won't find 18g natural gut strings - they don't make an expensive string that's so non-durable.

As far as the hitting surface - this is known as the racquet's "string pattern" - such as a 16x19 string pattern (mains x crosses) or an 18x20 pattern. An 18x20 pattern is considered more "dense" than a 16x19 or 16x18 pattern because there are more main and cross strings inside the racquet frame with an 18x20 pattern. I've never heard of any particular string pattern being more comfortable than another - only that 18x20 is better for touch shots (volleys, drop shots, etc.) and 16x18 patterns are a little better for topspin, since the ball can pocket on the strings a little better due to the wider gaps between the strings.

  • 1
    I like the string pattern paragraph +1, thanks for the info.
    – hhh
    Jun 26, 2014 at 10:08

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