Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pat Markey

Why a natural gut hybrid is not always the best option for you

This brief look at Natural gut hybrids is designed to inform you on some available Natural Gut tennis hybrids out in the retail market as well as the cost effectiveness of purchasing them vs. buying the individual sets outright!. I think you will find some value in reading ahead....


Tennis hybrids have dominated much of the market and rightly so! The 'overall' basic idea of a tennis hybrid string is to "get the best of both worlds", in relation to strings performance. Fact and opinion will back up the notion that natural gut tennis strings are the best performers on many levels, but not always the best choice for everyone and I will explain why later.

It is possible to purchase pre-packaged hybrid tennis strings that include natural gut as part of the blend. Many of the manufacturers and companies that sell tennis products offer hybrids such as this with the exception of companies that are primarily polyester based producers such as Alien, Solenco, Polystar to name a few.

A quick tutorial on how to get the most of the natural gut hybrids. Place the Natural Gut in the Mains for the best performance, power and feel. Place the Natural Gut in the crosses for more durability. The following is a comprehensive list of some hybrids that include natural gut with prices (prices are best retail).

Babolat - Hybrid Pro Hurricane Tour 16 / VS 16 Gut. The hybrid price is ($29.95) and if purchased individually in sets, each hybrid set would be ($29.00)... you save .95 cents if purchased seperately.

Babolat- Hybrid Pro Hurricane Tour 17 / VS 16 Gut ($29.95) and if purchased individually in sets, each hybrid set would cost ($29.00)...you save .95 cents

Babolat Hybrid RPM Blast 17 / VS 16 GUT ($30.95)

Babolat Hybrid VS 16 / Synthetic Gut 16 ($24.95)

Babolat VS Touch Half Set ($21.95)

Boris Becker Hybrid Natural Gut 16L (1.27mm) / BB Bomber Poly 17g (1.23mm) ($19.95)

Head Natural Gut 1/2 set 16g ($23.95)

Klip Hybrid Natural Gut 16g / Multifilament 16g ($21.99)

Klip Hybrid Natural Gut 17g / Multifilament 17g ($21.99)

Klip Hybrid Natural Gut 16g / Titanium Synthetic 17g ($19.99)

Klip Hybrid Natural Gut 16 / Poly 16 ($19.99)

Klip Hybrid Natural Gut 17g/ Poly 17g ($19.99)




Pacific Hybrid Tough Gut 16L / Poly Force 16L (1.29mm) ($25.95)

Pacific Hybrid Tough Gut 17g / Poly Force 17g (1.24mm) ($25.95)

Pacific Hybrid Tough Gut 16g - half set ($17.95)

Volkl V Icon Natural Gut 17g / V Feel 17g (1.25mm) ($26.95)

Wilson Natural Gut 16 (1.32mm) / Luxilon Alu ROugh 16L (1.25mm) ($29.95)

The prices taken from Tenniswarehouse.com. Generally speaking you will save about $1.00 per set if you purchase the individual strings and create your own hybrid.

Roger Federer is known for his hybrid string combination and he uses the natural gut in the main strings and a polyester composite string in the crosses. This type of set-up will primarily 'tame' the power of the natural gut while not producing the over-all effects of the more 'deadening' feel of the polyester.

The fun part of choosing a hybrid string combination is all the various set-up options you have, not only do you have the variations of guage but also of tension and choice of natural gut quality as well. It can be somewhat overwhelming starting out because there are so many options in string choice as it pertains to hybrid string combinations. I think I will make this a concern in the next year or so and spend time analysing many of the options out there. Please feel free to comment and for questions.

Now I want to address the reason why I do not think that a Hybrid with natural gut is for everyone.  If you are still reading than I will explain the main concerns that I have.  First off, using natural gut in some hotter climates and moisture concerns can make this a short lived hybrid.  Second, many stringers are not all that proficient in stringing natural gut and can cut the life of the hybrid even before the racket is strung.  Third, the cost factor makes this prohibited for many and once an individual tries it they leave it in way too long, beyond its performance life. 

Pat Markey

About Pat Markey -

Patrick Has been stringing rackets for over 25 years including at many professional events around the country including the US OPEN and AUSTRALIAN OPEN. He brings a depth of knowledge and love for the industry.

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