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View Full Version : What's the lowest tension you've strung at and been able to actually play?


TalkingTennis91
12-16-2006, 07:00 PM
I mean you people, personally. What's the lowest string tension you've ever played with? The highest? What was/were it/they like?

vkartikv
12-16-2006, 07:05 PM
lowest - 55 on my pc 600s. Highest - 66 on my prostaff mids - loved it. now im at 56 on my dnx 10 mps. The dnx 10 is here to stay.

p.s. pros might be able to play at the 40 lbs level but none of us here are pros.

jackson vile
12-16-2006, 07:10 PM
55 lmp+ tonic16g

Highest 58lbs hammer crap 18g PC600 (big mistake, I did not string it though)

jj300
12-16-2006, 07:14 PM
I routinley play at below 50lbs. One of the better players at the d1 level here uses gut/poly at 45lbs.

krprunitennis2
12-16-2006, 07:21 PM
Lowest I've played was 52. When I had 52 lbs of tension, I was a newbie so it was hard for me to control the ball directionwise, but it was really easy to keep the ball deep.

Highest I've played is 62 (currently). It feels like I get more spin with higher tensions compared to my tension two months ago (58), then a month ago (60-but I didn't feel any difference from 60 to 62 tension). I'm having trouble with keeping the ball very deep on my backhands (compared to 58 lbs), but I can create more angles on matches.

looseswing
12-16-2006, 08:33 PM
Lowest I played was 52, but I am sure the string lost a lot of tension because it was luxilon big banger alu rough and had it in for three weeks of playing every day.

federermcenroeagassi
12-17-2006, 06:41 AM
low 40's.......... lol

th____44
12-17-2006, 06:45 AM
lower tension i've strung....44 lbs....
lower tension i've play....probably about 30 lbs (due to tension loss)

TonyB
12-17-2006, 07:22 AM
I strung my Yonex RQ-120 with Gosen OG Sheep Micro 17g at 40 lb. mains and 38 lb. crosses.

It played fine. I felt that I couldn't swing out as much as I was accustomed to, so I cut out the strings. But if I felt like changing my strokes a little bit, I could have continued using that setup.

Volleys were amazing. I could just stick my racquet out and get decent pace. Serves were good. Spin generation was good.

All in all, I liked it. But I always felt that I was on "the edge" when I tried to really hit hard.

alu16L
12-17-2006, 08:40 AM
There is a player on tour who strings his midsize racket at 34 lbs.

Voltron
12-17-2006, 08:51 AM
I LOVE 56/54 or lower in my mids.

Dashbarr
12-17-2006, 08:54 AM
never had a raquet strung under 55. 60 is my current tension, and also my highest to date. i think ill try 63 on my next one.

Ash Doyle
12-17-2006, 09:35 AM
The lowest I've strung is 51 pounds in a ProStaff 6.1 classic. Control really isn't an issue. That is getting highly overstated here.

The highest I ever strung with was 67 pounds in a Prince Original Graphite mid. That was a control issue. Trying to maintain good depth was not easy.

nViATi
12-17-2006, 09:58 AM
43 lbs full poly in a LM Prestige MP
For the first 30 minutes it was sure sweet for spin but after that.. well.. it was worthless :lol:

bcsax123
12-17-2006, 12:23 PM
Lowest: 56 on my Prestige 98. Feels nice, reat control, but still plenty of POP.
Highest: 78 on my POG OS: Strings broke while stringing.

EDIT:
Highest: 67 POG OS, felt like it had the power of a PS 85 but felt super boardy. Really no control at all.

abenguyen
12-17-2006, 01:09 PM
lowest:56lbs on a cheap head racquet
highest:64lbs on a $50 prince racquet from academy

psp2
12-17-2006, 02:44 PM
46/48 gut/poly hybrid on midsize frames.

Ripper
12-18-2006, 07:43 AM
You should have included in your question what type of string you're interested in... Right now, I'm using full SPPP at 48/46 and loving it.

morten
12-18-2006, 07:45 AM
44lbs on a ps85. I play between 45 and 50 on all frames, tried 40, didnt work. Use cheap synthgut. Hate poly, like multi, but too powerful and mushy after a while.

LttlElvis
12-18-2006, 08:25 AM
In high school and college, I used a Prince Pro and a POG @ 80 lbs. Now I use a Prince Hybrid Shark @ 48 lbs.

DrewRafter8
12-18-2006, 09:15 AM
54 Klip Legend, Gosen Sheep, Lux BB Alu etc. on a Fischer MSpeed 98". For some reason, 54 is my magic number with the frame. I consistantly string my racquet there and control is not an issue at all.

jmverdugo
12-18-2006, 09:26 AM
Highest: 62 on a TT POG with synt. gut, lowest & current: 55 on a hybrid shark with full poly (pro hurricane), and i really like how it plays. I know a local pro that uses 31lb on a babolat aeropro drive full poly, that is the lowest tension that I know (as a fact!) that someone has strung his racket. He doesnt use them more than a match though.

ShcMad
12-18-2006, 10:13 AM
53/48lbs. Big Banger Original on a Liquidmetal Instinct XL. It felt very nice.

gsquicksilver
12-18-2006, 11:55 AM
Lowest: 60 pounds on PS85

Highest: 70 pounds on PS85

Currently: 65 pounds on PS85

ceejay
12-18-2006, 12:27 PM
I've once played with a broken racquet. It was so lowly strung that the strings undid themselves during the match. I could only play with half the racquet as a result.

I managed to sneak a win with it before I went to buy a new one.

ChicagoJack
12-18-2006, 01:01 PM
Hi talking tennis 91 ;)

Seems to me you are searching for the point at which going too low is going to hurt you more than it will help you. In terms of measurable rebound speed - I have that answer for you, but need to go round the block a bit to make the point.

1. If you drop a regulation ball onto a slab of concrete from a height of 100 inches, it will bounce to a height btwn 53 - 58 inches, which means the ball has lost about 45% of the stored impact energy in the collision.

2. If you drop a wooden bocci ball ( non deformable ) onto a racquet with the head firmly clamped, the ball will rebound to about 95% of that height. This occurs regardless of string tension, material, or if the frame has been freshly strung, or sitting in the garage for years. All strings return about 95% of the bounce height, or you could say strings return about 95% of the stored impact energy. So you see - strings already work pretty well, and there is very little room for improvement ( with regard to rebound velocity ) with tension or material changes.

3. If you want increased velocity off the string bed, you can do one of two things, make the ball harder, or the string bed softer. We don't get to veto the rules of tennis, so the only option is to make the string bed softer, so that the ball will compress less.

4. Great plan so far, trouble is, even large drops in tension amount to suprisingly small increases in rebound velocity. If you can serve 120 MPH, and you drop the tension 10 lbs - The increase in velocity would only be a serve of 120.8 . This is an increase of less than 1%, something probably not noticeable to any player. For a groundstroke, the increase is slight larger, but even huge drops in tension rarely amount to anyting more than 1-2% more velocity.

Point: There is a point where you start to lose more power through string elongation, than you save by reducing ball deformation. That range is somewhere in the 40's depending upon two factors:
A - the racquet head speed of your stroke.
B - the speed of the incoming ball from your opponent.

I'm not making this up, can provide references if required.

Best regards
-Jack

mucat
12-18-2006, 01:17 PM
40 lbs with PS85, it is more forgiven for off-center hit.

Thor
12-18-2006, 02:41 PM
55lbs mains(hurricane)with 57 crosses on my n6.1
much nicer than 59/61 which was my only other tension on this racquet
on previous racquets i went as high as 63,felt crap - no spin

heycal
12-18-2006, 06:07 PM
40 lbs with PS85, it is more forgiven for off-center hit.

It hurts your arm less due to less mishits at this low tension?

Muffin Man
12-18-2006, 06:18 PM
i usually play with the wilson n6.1 tour i normally string with a hybrid of vs mains at 54 and alu power crosses at 50. that seems to work perfectly for me. i tried stringing full gut at 54 lbs. it was pretty much unplayable. i've even gone as low as 52 vs mains and 48 lux crosses when i play on clay during the summer. again, as long as i have a poly in the stringbed to stiffen it up it seems to work.

tlm
12-18-2006, 09:17 PM
I have played with 45 lbs. with pacific toughgut+on a bab. pure control + it played great!

mucat
12-18-2006, 10:07 PM
It hurts your arm less due to less mishits at this low tension?

No, it didn't hurt my arm, but it did hurt my game. I don't have a strong build, so my arm can't handle too high a tension, otherwise, the depth of all my shots will suffer. I like to find the tension that I can hit as close to the baseline as possible under normal rally and also allows me to serve as close to the service line as possible. Currently, I am using tiRad OS and iRad OS, I found 59 lbs for either Radical OS is the right tension to allow me to maximize both (rally and serve).

heycal
12-18-2006, 10:11 PM
No, it didn't hurt my arm, but it did hurt my game. I don't have a strong build, so my arm can't handle too high a tension, otherwise, the depth of all my shots will suffer. I like to find the tension that I can hit as close to the baseline as possible under normal rally and also allows me to serve as close to the service line as possible. Currently, I am using tiRad OS and iRad OS, I found 59 lbs for either Radical OS is the right tension to allow me to maximize both (rally and serve).

But what were you saying about it being more forgiving on mishits? How did 40lbs tension affect your game?

mucat
12-18-2006, 10:39 PM
But what were you saying about it being more forgiving on mishits? How did 40lbs tension affect your game?

Oh yes, I meant it will have a bigger sweetspot.

heycal
12-18-2006, 10:49 PM
Oh yes, I meant it will have a bigger sweetspot.

So is this true? That lowering tension increases the size of the sweetspot?

And is the reason -- or one of the reasons -- that arm sufferers are advised to use lower string tensions?

mucat
12-18-2006, 11:38 PM
So is this true? That lowering tension increases the size of the sweetspot?

And is the reason -- or one of the reasons -- that arm sufferers are advised to use lower string tensions?

My experience anyway. The lower the tension, the less energy transfer to the arm.

Wldarsp
12-20-2006, 07:27 AM
I string my Head Instinct FXP Team (I know its supposed to be a kids racquet but I like it) at 45 lbs with Topspin Cyber Flash 17. However, I have a terrible time tying knots because of the string stiffness and the shape of the frame. Some of the knots are so terrible I would be embarrassed if anyone saw them.
The resulting tension is not very consistent, but it doesn't seem to bother me. Sometimes I'll kick it up to 48 to compensate, but ultimately, the string bed ends up with a tension in the low 30's no matter what I do and I still have pin-point accuracy with my wicked groundy's off both wings. You had better hope that when our paths meet in the bracket that my strings are too tight or too loose because otherwise you just won't have much of a chance.

mhstennis100
12-20-2006, 10:09 AM
lowest is 57 with a poly, highest is 65 with a poly.

Sagittar
12-20-2006, 10:24 AM
maybe low 40s , originally struny at 50 but string tension loss and soon changed due to loss of control

heycal
12-20-2006, 11:24 AM
I have played with 45 lbs. with pacific toughgut+on a bab. pure control + it played great!

If it played great, why did you switch to a different setup?

bluescreen
12-20-2006, 12:08 PM
i recently have spp hextreme at 51 lbs. on my n6.1 95. absolutley love it. great control, spin, and comfort. i'll string w/ this again.

highest is 62 w/ nxt tour on an n5.

heycal
12-20-2006, 05:48 PM
My experience anyway. The lower the tension, the less energy transfer to the arm.

But what about the sweetspot? Does it really expand when you lower the tension? If so, that would cause fewer elbow-jarrring mishits, correct? Or am I misunderstanding the relationship between sweetspot and tension?

tlm
12-20-2006, 07:14 PM
To heycal who said i did,i used tha pc with low tensions all the time.I like experimenting with different string jobs.Once i found out how good low tension played i used it a lot, but it does depend on the racquet + string.

The pc was hard on the arm at high tensions, thats how i found how well it played at low tensions.The setup i used the most with it was nat. gut mains at 47-51 lbs.+ the x's syn. gut at 50 to 53 lbs.

heycal
12-20-2006, 07:33 PM
To heycal who said i did,i used tha pc with low tensions all the time.I like experimenting with different string jobs.Once i found out how good low tension played i used it a lot, but it does depend on the racquet + string.

The pc was hard on the arm at high tensions, thats how i found how well it played at low tensions.The setup i used the most with it was nat. gut mains at 47-51 lbs.+ the x's syn. gut at 50 to 53 lbs.

Interesting to hear. I'm using full gut at 52 lbs on my Pro Kennex 5g, and I like its playbility just fine, so I was thinking of going down a couple of pounds next time I have it restrung. The goal would be to see if it still plays fine at say, 50 lbs, but also gives me increased arm protection and maybe a few less mishits, if it's really true the sweetspot would get a bit larger at a lower tension.

Since I always string with natural gut for arm reasons, and rarely break a string, I'm cautious about experimenting with string set ups. if I don't like a set up, I can't afford to replace it immediately, and so I may be stuck with playing with it for a couple of months until it breaks even if I don't love its playability.

tlm
12-20-2006, 09:10 PM
I know what you mean it is expensive to experiment with gut string.I would say that the sweetspot gets bigger, but the arm safety really increases with the lower tension.

There is nothing that feels better than gut at a low tension, except uncoated gut at a low tension.The feel+comfort are unmatched, no syn. can match it.For some reason i had good luck with babolat+low tension gut, it worked on the pc+the aeropro which is really a powerful racquet.But i still had good control at 52 lbs.


On the other hand i now have a rds 001 mp+that same low tension gut set up, turns this stick into a rocket launcher.Now the rds is more of a control racquet than the aeropro, but not at low tensions.If i was you i would drop 2lbs.+see it shouldnt change that much from the 52 you are using now.I would also tell you to use pacific toughgut in 16 g. because it is a great control gut.

heycal
12-20-2006, 09:25 PM
I know what you mean it is expensive to experiment with gut string.I would say that the sweetspot gets bigger, but the arm safety really increases with the lower tension.

There is nothing that feels better than gut at a low tension, except uncoated gut at a low tension.The feel+comfort are unmatched, no syn. can match it.For some reason i had good luck with babolat+low tension gut, it worked on the pc+the aeropro which is really a powerful racquet.But i still had good control at 52 lbs.


On the other hand i now have a rds 001 mp+that same low tension gut set up, turns this stick into a rocket launcher.Now the rds is more of a control racquet than the aeropro, but not at low tensions.If i was you i would drop 2lbs.+see it shouldnt change that much from the 52 you are using now.I would also tell you to use pacific toughgut in 16 g. because it is a great control gut.

Thanks. I actually use Babolat VS 16 guage, becuase it's got a good rep and it's often the only natural gut stringing places have available. I don't want to experiment with new strings that I have to send away for or whatever, so I plan to stick with this one and just become more and more familiar with it. I probably will drop a pound or two and see how it goes. But I once had a Core1 #10, a more powerful stick, and when I dropped the tension from 55 to 52 lbs, also with babolat gut, it seemed way out of control. (But then, as a rusty 3.5er, I've never been known for my pinpoint control anyway.)

But maybe that was just that one stick, and this racket will do fine going from 52 to 50. And yeah, gut at low tension does feel great, though to tell to the truth, in my so-far brief modern tennis career, I haven't used a lot of other setups to compare it to, and have never even even hit with polysester or kevlar strings even once due to tennis elbow concerns.

slapshot1540
12-20-2006, 10:06 PM
i strung 22 gauge badminton string at 42 i believe :)

thejackal
12-21-2006, 01:48 AM
i've played with poly hybrids in my n6-1 at high 40s-low 50s

Zets147
12-21-2006, 02:51 AM
48/50 syn gut on my ncode tour 90. lots of power but after 2-3 hrs. everything was long.

mucat
12-21-2006, 09:11 AM
Interesting to hear. I'm using full gut at 52 lbs on my Pro Kennex 5g, and I like its playbility just fine, so I was thinking of going down a couple of pounds next time I have it restrung. The goal would be to see if it still plays fine at say, 50 lbs, but also gives me increased arm protection and maybe a few less mishits, if it's really true the sweetspot would get a bit larger at a lower tension.

Since I always string with natural gut for arm reasons, and rarely break a string, I'm cautious about experimenting with string set ups. if I don't like a set up, I can't afford to replace it immediately, and so I may be stuck with playing with it for a couple of months until it breaks even if I don't love its playability.

Yes, lower tension does produce a bigger sweetspot (making the whole string bed softer), I just strung my iRad OS at 61 lbs and it is more uncomfortable than before (I tried at 58, 59, 60). It also make all my shot more shallow. It seems like 59-60 is my Rad OS sweetspot...

The way I experimented with tension is I only make 1 lbs adjustment every restring. Since you are already happy with the current playbility, try only go down 1 lbs next time instead of 2 lbs. You should be able to handle the change.

I remember at 58 lbs with my Rad OS, my shots fly out more if my timing is off a bit and my serve was barely outside (less then 1 ft) of the serviceline more often. I think those are good indication of tension too low.

At 59 lbs, I still hit the ball effortlessness like 58 lbs but my flyout error decrease.

At 60 lbs, I can hit the ball a lot harder more often, however, my topspin serve was less effective than before.

Feņa14
12-21-2006, 09:44 AM
Prince Syn Gut w/ Duraflex at 38 pounds in a Head PT 280.

fishuuuuu
12-21-2006, 10:27 AM
48/50 on Head i.Prestige MPs a couple years ago, now using 52/54 on Head Liquidmetal MP.

Punisha
12-21-2006, 01:54 PM
57 pounds.... 62 pounds

rasajadad
12-22-2006, 05:51 AM
My boss plays a POG OS with natural gut at 14 lbs!!! Gets incredible spins. Hits a wicked drop shot, too.

I'll try it and let you know as I think this is the record.

heycal
12-22-2006, 09:01 AM
My boss plays a POG OS with natural gut at 14 lbs!!! Gets incredible spins. Hits a wicked drop shot, too.

I'll try it and let you know as I think this is the record.

It's not a record. My boss strings at 13 lbs.

mucat
12-22-2006, 09:06 AM
It's not a record. My boss strings at 13 lbs.

Any you guys for real?? Then I guess I am ok with my PS85@40lbs...I always thought I am strange..

ChicagoJack
12-22-2006, 10:10 AM
It's not a record. My boss strings at 13 lbs.


Dude that's nothing, I play with 4 lbs mains and 6 lb crosses. My kick serves are bouncing over my opponents head, then right over the back fence into the parking lot. My flat serve is so fast I once hit a guy in the nose and it pushed some of the small bones into his skull and he died. Kind of a bummer because I paid for two hours of court time and he went and died on the second service game.

I might also mention the sweetspot is actually larger than the string bed, and I once hit a forehand with so much topspin the ball cover came apart in mid air. My opponent could'nt return it so he goes to the rule book and says that's a replay because the ball was not "regulation" while it was on his side of the court. What a whining sissy. Oh well... I guess these are the hazards of playing at low tension and there are always trade offs to every equipment change.

Came down with a bad case of spleen cancer last year, and my doc suggested chemotherapy, and lowering my string tension by 20 lbs. My Cancer was immeadiately cured, and I also added 6 inches of muscle mass to my biceps as an added bonus. Stop by sometime and I'll give you a free ticket to the gun show.

I think next time I will try 19 gauge poly at 3lbs Ms and 5lb Xs. Then I will get even more spin and power. I hope nobody dies this time, and I will be sure to bring an extra can of balls. Extensive review will follow my playtest demo. Bye for now.

Pass the (hic ) eggnog please,
-Jack

rasajadad
12-22-2006, 12:37 PM
It's not a record. My boss strings at 13 lbs.

I can't speak for heycal, but I've actually strung for my guy. He hits wicked spins and cuts. Great court coverage. A killer to play against on clay.

Chicagojack- Very funny.

PS- Happy holidays to the rest of you tennis maniacs on the board. Stay safe. And if you have to return Jack's serve, wear a helmet!

heycal
12-22-2006, 03:29 PM
Then I guess I am ok with my PS85@40lbs...I always thought I am strange..

You are. Conventional wisdom says to string either in the 50's-60's range or in the mid-teens. 40 lbs is asking for trouble.

heycal
12-22-2006, 05:31 PM
Y

The way I experimented with tension is I only make 1 lbs adjustment every restring. Since you are already happy with the current playbility, try only go down 1 lbs next time instead of 2 lbs. You should be able to handle the change.

I remember at 58 lbs with my Rad OS, my shots fly out more if my timing is off a bit and my serve was barely outside (less then 1 ft) of the serviceline more often. I think those are good indication of tension too low. .. At 59 lbs, I still hit the ball effortlessness like 58 lbs but my flyout error decrease.


Maybe I will just go 1 lb lower instead of 2 next time I restring. As I mentioned, when I dropped 3 lbs on a different racket, it was a disaster... OR is it just a matter of getting used to it? I wonder if a couple of lbs change really matters much for the average recreational player. If we think it does, could it be mostly in our heads? Should be able to adjust to a different tension after 20 minutes or so? I wonder.

heycal
12-22-2006, 06:19 PM
FYI - I also sometimes play with a butterfly net strung at 2 lbs. It has great ball pocketing, and I never hit long.

mucat
12-22-2006, 10:35 PM
You are. Conventional wisdom says to string either in the 50's-60's range or in the mid-teens. 40 lbs is asking for trouble.

Ha, 40 lbs on the PS85 just feel right for me, it is just soft enough for me to play comfortablely. Well, my wife did say I am strange sometimes...

Maybe I will just go 1 lb lower instead of 2 next time I restring. As I mentioned, when I dropped 3 lbs on a different racket, it was a disaster... OR is it just a matter of getting used to it? I wonder if a couple of lbs change really matters much for the average recreational player. If we think it does, could it be mostly in our heads? Should be able to adjust to a different tension after 20 minutes or so? I wonder.

It is not just in our heads. As I mentioned before, 1 lbs different affects the depth of my shots (very easily noticeable). It also affects my swing path, if I am playing a low tension racket for the first time, I have to remind myself to swing sharper to produce more topspin until it become automatic. On the other hand, if it is higher tension, I have to either swing hard or swing flatter. When it gets to a new tension where I have to remind myself to change my swingpath all the time and could never become spontaneous no matter how long I play, I know I went out of my comfortable tension range.

ChicagoJack
12-23-2006, 12:22 AM
FYI - I also sometimes play with a butterfly net strung at 2 lbs. It has great ball pocketing, and I never hit long.

Hello Heycal -

When my usual setup of 4 lb mains and 6 lb crosses starts to feel a bit "boardy" I sometimes cut the string out and restring without the machine just using my bare hands. I'm careful not to pull too tightly as I really hate that boardy feel. I prefer the feel of the ball impacting with sort of a kind of gurgle sound, followed by a satisfying whoosh! sound, as the ball exits the string bed. I was using this set up last night only last night and a crowd of low tension wannabes gathered round my court and were asking about my set up. I mentioned I had a technique for ultra low stringing. This has turned into a lucrative side business for me. I have to string 9 frames by this monday. Better get a good nights sleep.

Bye for now
-C J

tennis_hand
12-23-2006, 04:00 AM
lol. good one.

DiabloTS
12-24-2006, 11:35 AM
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