There are a lot more pieces of tennis equipment other than a tennis racquet. The tennis racquet is an essential piece of equipment, and there are several other options out there to help improve your racquet. Even if you buy an intermediate racquet, there are still excellent options that you want to consider to improve your racquet.
Examples of these are the tennis strings you select. Some tennis strings are designed for power or spin. Another option is overgrips. Overgrips can help you maintain a better feel and grip.
String savers remain a mystery to many people as few players use them, and they have never been a mainstream type of accessories like an overgrip or a vibration dampener. So, let us get into the myth behind string savers.
What are Strings Savers?
String savers are simply tiny pieces of material, usually plastic or some other types of material, that slide between the main and cross strings of your tennis racquet.
String savers can be inserted as per your liking almost anywhere, but they are primarily used in high wear areas such as the string bed. Most commonly, they are placed in near or in the sweet spot. The goal of this is to extend the time of use of the strings.
Whenever you smash the ball, the strings rub against each other creating mechanical friction. This wears the string, and eventually, they will break.
If you have a racquet that you have been playing with for a while, you’ll notice wear and tear in the string where the crosses and mains rub together.
String Savers function by decreasing the friction between strings upon impact with the ball, thus increasing their durability.
How do string savers affect your playability?
Whenever you add something to the string bed, there is going to be a change in playability. Using string savers, there will be a slight increase in tension as they stiffen up the hitting surface, just like raising your string tension would do.
The consensus here is that string savers will produce a dampened feeling and deaden the feel of the frame.
It’s more common to use string savers with a racquet that uses natural gut strings compared to a hybrid setup. Natural Gut is an extremely lively string anyway, so adding 8 to 10 string savers is not going to reduce its playability to the point you can feel the difference.
If you were to use string savers with polyester or synthetic gut setup, then the dampened feeling might be more noticeable.
The other school of thought is that string savers could reduce the level of topspin that you can generate. One of the ways the racquet creates spin is when the racquet strings go back into place when they have been moved.
When the string returns to their natural position, it puts more torque on the ball before it bounces off the strings; given that string, savers reduce string movement, then it’s fair to assume that they do reduce the level spin you can achieve. When it comes to deciding on using a string saver, it all depends on the desired outcome and feel. If you use a natural gut string, the chances are that you will enjoy string savers. Natural gut is a very energetic string with a lot of power.
If you use a monofilament or similar type string, you may find that using string savers dampens the string too much. It could decrease the ability to generate spin or power.
String savers are used by some tennis professionals. The list includes Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov. Pete Sampras used to use these back when he played too.
Who uses them?
As suggested before, you will most likely see players use string savers who use natural gut strings.
Back in the day, when gut strings were more frequent, string savers were far more prevalent. Sampras is the most famous user.
In terms of club-level tennis, they are not something you will see all that often.
Federer’s string savers are applied in a crisscross pattern across the five center main strings and the fourth and sixth cross strings. You can about make them out in the picture above but for those wanting to replicate.
Should you use them?
Like a lot of answers around tennis equipment, it depends. If you use natural gut as your string of choice, then you may want to consider them. You will see an increase in the longevity of the string without any real change in playability. If your strings last longer, then you won’t need to re-string your racquet as much. This is handy if you don’t have your own personal stringing machine at home.
If your string in a gut hybrid setup, then most likely, the answer would be yes. A poly can notch the gut quickly, so string savers can help increase the life of your strings.
With some hybrid setups, the string savers might stiffen up the feel of an already stiff poly string. But there would be no harm in testing; if you like the feel they offer and get a boost in durability, then it is a win-win situation.
For other types of tennis strings like full beds of polyester or multifilament, then you may not get as many advantages from using string savers. Poly dies quickly anyway, and it is a very stiff string, to begin with, so increasing that stiffness, and string bed tension likely will not have a desirable effect.
If you are a prolific string breaker and you think string savers might get you some more playtime out of polyester, I’d recommend you try out a co-polyester string at a low-ish tension first. That should help you to strike a better balance between playability and durability
Types of String Savers
1.Wilson string glide
Wilsons’s new take on string savers is String Glide , but I assume they do the job just like the more traditional ones below.
These string savers are another excellent choice. Babolat is a well-known brand in the tennis world.
3.Wilson Friction Fighters
The Wilson Friction Fighters are the string savers Roger Federer has in his racquet. They are identical in design to the Babolat Elasto Cross string savers. In recent years they have become much harder to find with Wilson pushing the String Glide variant instead.