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Tennis Radar: Gut Check

Thursday, August 02, 2012 /by

In today’s Tennis Radar, we take a look at three very different natural gut products: Klip’s uncoated serosa, Head’s half-set offering, and Wilson’s modernized gut.

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Klip Legend Uncoated_resized
Klip Legend Uncoated
Price: $26
Gauges: 16 (1.30mm), 17 (1.25mm)
Color: Natural

Facts: Klip Legend Uncoated is one of the few natural guts on the market still offered without an outer (non-gut) finish. According to Klip, uncoated gut allows for a more enhanced, unadulterated feel, inasmuch as there’s little standing in between the ball and the string’s tightly-wound serosa (i.e., cow intestine) fibers. Klip also claims that, compared to more modernized natural gut, the uncoated variety is more responsive, imparts more energy into the ball, and requires less break-in time.

Thoughts: Legend Uncoated is catered to the tennis purist. Flat-hitting players who cherish traditional playability should appreciate the gut’s heightened feel. Those, however, who hit with moderate to high spin would do best to steer clear of K.L.U., as the string’s lack of coating predisposes it to fraying. (It may even be wise for flat hitters to install string savers in high-wear areas.) As for maintenance, Legend Uncoated should be kept dry, as it’s susceptible to damage by moisture.

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Head Natural Gut_half set_resized
Head Natural Gut
Price: $24
Gauge: 16 (half set)
Color: Natural

Facts: In keeping with all premium guts, Head’s natural gut is made from high-quality serosa fibers, which Head says provide an excellent blend of power, comfort, and feel. Noteworthy about Head’s gut is that it’s offered in half sets, allowing players to combine the string’s playing characteristics with those of other mono- and multifilaments. To this end, Head has designed a Hybrid String Matrix to help players match (Head’s) string products to a number of distinct performance benefits.  

Thoughts: Head’s half-sets of natural gut are good hybrid options for players who like the spin and control of polyester, but dislike those strings’ dead feel. The half sets are also a bone for players aiming to integrate gut into their set-up at a reasonable price.

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Wilson Natural Gut_resized
Wilson Natural Gut
Price: $43
Gauges: 16 (1.30mm), 17 (1.25mm)
Color: Natural

Facts: Like Head and Klip’s products, Wilson Natural Gut is made with ultra-premium serosa fibers, which Wilson says are woven and assembled in accordance with stringent quality standards. Wilson Natural also undergoes a proprietary coating, improving the string’s resistance to humidity, tension loss, and breakage, according to the company. Finally, Wilson reports that their string is the gut of choice for a number of touring professionals, including Roger Federer, Mardy Fish, Alexandr Dolgopolov, and Philipp Kohlschreiber. (Note: All above players hybrid the gut with a Luxilon string.)

Thoughts: Wilson’s natural gut is an offering that combines new manufacturing technologies—i.e., additional hardiness against string friction and humidity—with classic gut feel. Flat ball strikers who place a premium on responsiveness would be best served by the string in 17 gauge, while others who expect a modicum of durability should go with 16 gauge.

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