If you like the sound of a natural gut and polyester hybrid, but find it’s cost-prohibitive, then a multifilament and poly hybrid is an excellent option to consider.
The construction and performance characteristics of multifilaments are similar to natural gut at a fraction of the cost, making a terrific substitute and one of my favorite hybrids. Usually, players will move to this hybrid from a full poly setup to improve comfort. However, it can also work incredibly well for players that appreciate the plush feel of multifilaments but desire a bit more durability, control, and topspin.
Hybrid stringing enables players to strike an ideal balance between the unique characteristics offered by two different types of strings. As you might expect, every string comes with its pros and cons, so combining them can help enhance or mitigate specific qualities in an effort to get the best of both worlds.
Here is a handful of qualities frequently associated with tennis strings:
- String Movement
- Tension Maintenance
Once a player finds a string they enjoy, they might consider combining it with another string to enhance any of the above qualities. Let’s review a few specific scenarios that drive players to consider hybrid stringing.
Pros Vs Cons
Instead of relying on one single tennis string’s performance characteristics, players can combine two different options to balance each string’s preferred qualities. Said another way, a player can use hybrid stringing to enhance certain desirable qualities they feel will improve their game.
In essence, hybrid stringing can serve as an excellent fine-tuning mechanism for helping players achieve their desired performance.
On the other hand, players who use hybrid stringing won’t maximize a specific string’s performance qualities. For example, all things being equal, a player using a full polyester string will be able to generate more topspin with a full poly setup than poly and a multifilament or natural gut setup.
Likewise, a player using a full natural gut or multifilament setup will enjoy more comfort and power than a player who combines one of those with poly, so it’s all about give and take.
At this stage, it’s worth point out that some hybrid string setups will sacrifice more than others. To put that into perspective, if a player chose to combine a higher-end multifilament with a less expensive option, then the impact for the majority of players will be minimal when compared to a full bed of the high-end multi.
The same would be true if a player strings hybrid with different gauges of an identical string. Yes, there will be an impact on performance, but it would be minimal, so in effect, it can turn out to be a win-win scenario.