The 7 Best Strings for Tennis Elbow

If you play a racquet sport, sooner or later you are going to find yourself waking up the morning after an intense day of tennis, badminton, racquetball, or pickleball with a sore, stiff elbow. This condition, known as “tennis elbow” because tennis involves some of the most extreme movements of the four and most often causes the condition of the four, is formally called lateral epicondylitis.

Tennis elbow is a condition where tendons in your elbow become overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. The tendons rub repeatedly over the bones of the forearm, creating swelling and microtears that are the core of the condition. Tennis elbow is generally painful and debilitating as a short-term condition, but not usually a serious condition. Rest and over-the-counter pain relievers often help relieve tennis elbow. However, if repeated injury happens, the condition can worsen and potentially require surgery.

For players who are prone to tennis elbow, or simply any player who has experienced the painful condition and the difficulties it can cause, more comfortable strings are available to make the game easier and mitigate recovery times. Softer strings, typically nylon multifilament or natural gut, transfer less energy to the elbow and arm. While these strings will mitigate tennis elbow, tennis elbow is a medical issue caused by injury, and while a few times is understandable and only cause for moderate concern, if it appears repeatedly, tennis elbow may be a sign of a more significant underlying issue.

Monofilament strings are a poorer option for tennis elbow mitigation, but some companies including Yonex and Babolat do offer monofilament synthetic comfort strings, and these may be worth exploring.

1. Head Velocity MLT 17

One of the best string options for a player looking for power and comfort in their racquet strings on a budget, the Velocity MLT 17 by Head. With a soft multifilament core, the Velocity MLT comes in a variety of colors with great power and control. Users who review the Head Velocity MLT report good relief of tennis elbow. This string is a lively and responsive option for players looking for a new string, especially in the natural color.

Reported downsides indicate less feel for the ball than competing products, and a relatively short service life of the string at a 56-pound string tension, and many players mix it with polyester strings. With an average review of 4.5 on and a highly affordable price of $10.00 for 40 feet of string, this is a good buy for a player looking to restring a racquet on a budget. Making things even more helpful and convenient, most of the best strings for tennis elbow are available on

2. Yonex Tour Super 850 16g 1.30mm strings – 2 packs of 12m

This mid-price multifilament string is an option for players looking for a slight change from previous string types. The Yonex Tour Super 85 is a good deal on Amazon at $33.99 for two packs, enough to fully string a single racquet. Reviews of this string are mixed, with some praising its economical pricing and good softness for tennis elbow relief. However, other reviews note that the power transfer of this string is so great that it sacrifices control, creating a situation where some players looking to relieve their arm using this string may find themselves sacrificing other parts of their game.

The Yonex Tour Super 850 is noted for retaining tension better than many synthetic strings, which tend to lose tension and fray very quickly. If these are problems for a player also looking for relief on tennis elbow, this may be the right string.

3. Technifibre NRG2 17/1.24 String

A premium multifilament string, the the Technifibre NRG2 tennis string, rated 4 ½ stars on Amazon, is about 25% more expensive at $19.95 per 40 foot (12.2 m) pack. Like other options in the multifilament segment, Technifibre comes in a variety of colors, but the best-reviewed variety is the natural color version that mimics the color and feel of natural gut string. Reviewers of the natural color version note the outstanding feel of this string, allowing a lighter grip on the racquet and further mitigating tennis elbow issues.

Reviews note high power transfer on serve, recommending an easy swing over an aggressive one and concentration on the impact point of the serve. The Technifibre NRG2 17g natural color comes highly recommended on most review sites, and seems to be an excellent solution for tennis elbow issues. The soft string results in excellent energy transfer to the ball, with minimal transfer to the user’s arm.

4. Babolat Xcel 17/1.25 String

One of the biggest names in racquet sports, Babolat offers this premium soft, comfortable, and powerful strings for players looking for a premium edge. With a reported soft, premium feel, the string is reported to be excellent for power, control, comfort, and spin, with a great response and excellent feel.

Durability, however, is a consistently noted gripe, with many players noting that the strings begin fraying or even breaking after only a few sessions. While the Babolat Xcel 17 is a good string for comfort, it may not be for players on a tight budget or not wanting to replace strings every month. There are other strings in the comfort niche which are reported to last longer. Still, as a product of one of the most authoritative names in tennis, the Babolat Xcel 17 is worth researching and seeing if it’s the

5. Wilson NXT 17 String

If you’ve noticed a consistent theme on synthetic multifilament comfort strings being that they tend to be at a 17 gauge, you would be correct. Wilson, the iconic American tennis brand, is a strong choice in the segment. Reviews of this string agree that it is a very arm-friendly and comfortable string that largely replicates the feeling of gut. With reviews like this, it seems that the NXT 17 may be one of the best available strings for tennis players with a vulnerability to tennis elbow.

Reviewers note good durability and slow fraying compared to other pure-synthetic strings. The Wilson NXT is a well-reviewed string that plays well either strung solely in a racquet or with another string in tandem. Tennis professionals report enjoying the NXT string in 17 gauge as a good budget string, however performance on the backhand is not as well-regarded as on the forehand shot. Players who live on the backhand may wish to choose a different string.

6. Wilson Sensation Plus 16

Strong and sturdy with a reasonable price, Wilson Sensation Plus gives a plush 16 ga option to players in the market for a budget string. . Users note that this string has excellent feel and good response on a racquet, with good power and comfort. Comfort was especially noted, however this string does show issues in response on topspin hits, so a player whose game is dependent on topspin may do well to choose another string available if tennis elbow is an issue for them. The Sensation Plus is one of Wilson’s top-selling historical strings. With the company’s historical coupling to this product, it’s an excellent choice for players who use Wilson equipment.

Soft and durable, the Sensation Plus works well in either 17 or 16 ga. It moves less than the original Sensation string, which gives it an advantage for consistency in play. It’s a strong choice for players in any game, and lasts longer than many options in the comfort category.

7. Babolat VS Touch Natural Gut Strings

At the unquestioned top of the tennis string world are natural gut strings. Composed of dried cattle intestine, the same as the best strings for violin, cello, and other stringed instruments, natural gut tennis racquet strings are the traditional choice for players. Sturdy, strong, and powerful, the VS Touch is certainly an expensive option, but definitely a positive option for players with elbow issues.

Comfort, control, and power are all excellent in this natural gut option, with many players feeling that there is no substitute for natural fiber strings. Babolat is the oldest and best-respected company making tennis racquet strings, and the VS Touch, while pricy, is considered worth the cost by professionals and high-level amateurs alike.

In Conclusion

Tennis is a sport that puts a great deal of repetitive strain on arms. A strong player will undoubtedly run into tennis elbow a few times during their career. However, if the elbow is repeatedly stressed to the point of injury, and sports training reveals few bad habits that can be easily corrected, a softer string may do much to alleviate the issues of the sport.

Tennis is a lifetime sport, and these strings can do much to improve its accessibility to older players and players coming back from serious injury.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *