PDA

View Full Version : Is Natural Gut really supposed to do this?


JPW
07-12-2008, 05:32 AM
A long time ago I had some pretty severe tennis elbow issues so I started researching racquets that might help me. I've just started playing with a ProKennex Ki5 and love it so far. Much of what I read online also said that playing with natural gut can help reduce the chance of tennis elbow as well so when I purchased a new racquet I had it strung with what most considered to be the best natural gut, Babolat VS Touch 16 gauge at 62 pounds.

It really does feel great. However, after only hitting with it for about an hour I was shocked to see just how much the inner part of the string bed was splinting up. I live in Houston, Texas where it is hot and humid and I've read that humidity can sort of be murder on natural gut strings but should I be expecting this kind of degradation this quickly on a natural gut or did I maybe just get some bad strings? I suspect I might only be able to get about 2 more outings with this string before it splints so much it breaks but that is just a guess.

Finally, while I have you string experts here let me ask one more thing. If I stick with natural gut I can tell it is really going to start costing me. The Babolat VS Touch is the most expensive stuff out there but the Babolat Tonic + is $10 less. It says on TW's web site that it is basically the same stuff as the VS with a little less gauge consistency and cosmetic blemishes (who cares if it gets the job done). If this is the case I'm curious why VS continues to be TW's most popular natural gut? I would think more people would opt for the Tonic + since it is a better value. Is it really a better value or is the VS really worth the extra $10 for some reason? Any guidance here is appreciated as well.

Thanks.
JPW

Return_Ace
07-12-2008, 06:45 AM
Like you've found out, natural gut frays much more quickly than a normal synthetic.

What you *could* do is try a hybrid of gut... maybe a soly synthetic like umm *someone will suggest one* and then have gut as your other string so you get more durability. That would also mean you could essentially get 2 string jobs for the same amount of money. Don't forget there's always stuff like Titan natural gut which seems to be like <$20 but i've never played with it so you'll have to search around on how it plays.

As for Tonic / VS gut.. it's more down to preference... for example, so people want the lower gauges of gut for more playability/power. Also for people like me, i've hardly ever broken a string even playing for months etc so the extra $10 isn't really too much to pay for the aforementioned reasons

Valjean
07-12-2008, 06:56 AM
Right now you should just add in string savers. And if you run a cigarette lighter *gently* under those fraying strings, the frayed bits will curl up and disappear.

Fraying doesn't have to mean breakage is imminent, in other words.

Babolat has sold bottles of its protective outer coating in the past; its reapplication can help you.

And in the end, Pacific's Prime Gut may keep you happier than now, when available: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageACPACIFIC-PNGP17.html. It does come in 16 gauge too; you may have to hunt to find some out there at this time (midsummer). As to the meaning of VS--cleaner shot production, if you have a clue what that might mean to you.

jim e
07-12-2008, 07:52 AM
The nat. gut may look different when it starts to fray, but it will still play great and continue to fray,and still play great, don't wory about it, mine frays for a long long time before it finally does break.
IMO the extra $10.00 is worth the vs quality, as others have had issues with a tonic now and then breaking when stringing. When I heard that, I figured it was worth the extra and get the best quality.

JPW
07-12-2008, 08:17 AM
Also for people like me, i've hardly ever broken a string even playing for months etc so the extra $10 isn't really too much to pay for the aforementioned reasons

Thanks for the responses. Ace, let me ask you one thing. How long after playing with new strings do you notice the fraying?

Return_Ace
07-12-2008, 08:34 AM
Thanks for the responses. Ace, let me ask you one thing. How long after playing with new strings do you notice the fraying?

Hmm it depends on the string, i think the only string i've ever snapped was Intellitour and that was after a good 4-5 months i think of playing regularly every few days...

As for fraying, that would be syn. guts... I haven't really tried many syn guts since like i said, i hardly break strings and i normally just get them restrung after i find a significant tension drop..

The strings i've tried are:

Wilson NXT - i it only started to slightly fray after a 1-2 weeks but still carried on playing.. i hated it so it came out before it broke.

Yonex 880 Soft - Kinda like NXT except i hated it even more so it got cut out before it frayed... maybe 2-3 weeks worth of playing and it got cut.

BB Alu - I had this in my racket straight after the 880 Soft... i stopped playing tennis regularly for a good year now but this came in a good few months before that... it's still in there lol.

Babolat Hurricane main, VS Gut Crosses - This is in my other racket... i had this during my A Level coursework so it's been a good year (before i stopped playing)... i'd started to slow down how much i played but it's still only just very slightly frayed.. the tension's probably gone but i think it will stay in there until it breaks (which could be forever lol).

That's quite a short list... i've been playing what... 4-5 years and only tried 5 strings :? lol - admittedly i did just keep restringing intellitour for a while.

rockbox
07-12-2008, 08:45 AM
I used to live in houston and yes this is normal. However, gut still plays very well in this condition and could possibly last longer than you think.

In my hybrid setup with Big Ace, the gut seems to last longer than with gut alone. I don't know why this is. Maybe it has to do the less friction and movement from the big ace.

origmarm
07-14-2008, 02:52 AM
With gut the fraying begins almost immediately but you'd be surprised how much play you get out of it. By the time mine breaks it really looks terrible!

I have found VS to be the best but not so durable. The best durability/feel compromise I have found is Klip Legend. Doesn't feel quite as sweet as the VS but I get 25% longer out of it at the same gauge. Note that this means going a gauge up for Klip i.e. Klip 17 is like VS 16 if that makes sense. Legend 17 is what I use now. Avoid ArmourPro in my opinion if not using it in a hybrid, it has this weird coating and feels pretty strange.

I have used a PSGD hybrid in the past (crosses) and found it ok, to be honest it just felt a bit crisper and lasted less long than a full job.

In short the fraying is normal and you will be surprised how long it lasts. I would recommend giving the Klip a try and if you are still having durability issues maybe a hybrid with a decent multi and some stringsavers to bring down cost.

JPW
07-14-2008, 04:54 AM
I just wanted to say thanks for all the responses. This is exactly the information I needed. I just won't worry about the fraying and have it restrung when it starts to feel like its lost something. Thanks again.

150mph_
07-14-2008, 05:26 AM
my natural gut didnt fray at all (bab tonic+ 16) and it broke :(

so...

origmarm
07-14-2008, 07:34 AM
my natural gut didnt fray at all (bab tonic+ 16) and it broke :(

so...

It depends on your style and level. I saw a guy at my club recently break Bab VS in 3 games, didn't have time to fray! That and there will be some natural variation in the material/manufacture. How many playing hours did you get from it?

I just wanted to say thanks for all the responses. This is exactly the information I needed. I just won't worry about the fraying and have it restrung when it starts to feel like its lost something. Thanks again.

It should play well up until the point it breaks, within reason, i.e if you are getting 3months of out it, probably time to restring, otherwise it will likely break before any significant deterioration in play

stician
07-14-2008, 07:08 PM
I have used a PSGD hybrid in the past (crosses) and found it ok, to be honest it just felt a bit crisper and lasted less long than a full job.



Did the PSGD crosses break first?

I ran into crosses breaking relatively quickly when I tried a bunch of Iso Speed Pro in the crosses with Legend 17s. I realized too with a full job of Legend 17s it lasted longer.

stician
07-14-2008, 07:11 PM
I just wanted to say thanks for all the responses. This is exactly the information I needed. I just won't worry about the fraying and have it restrung when it starts to feel like its lost something. Thanks again.

are you using string savers? depending on where you break the mains, either pick the 6th and 7th cross from the top or from the bottom and use 5 string savers on every other main and stagger so one saver per main but on a different cross. i find the pattern effective.

origmarm
07-15-2008, 12:30 AM
Did the PSGD crosses break first?

I ran into crosses breaking relatively quickly when I tried a bunch of Iso Speed Pro in the crosses with Legend 17s. I realized too with a full job of Legend 17s it lasted longer.

Yeah the crosses went first, sometimes two at a time. Not sure why that would be the case as to be honest I would have thought the mains would have still gone first. Same thing happens with some multis with me, again not sure why, normally I would always break mains unless it's a mishit.

Bud
07-15-2008, 01:21 AM
If you don't like the fraying, try the Armour Gut from Klip. It's a bit stiffer than regular gut so drop the tension a few pounds when stringing. It's much easier to string and the coating takes quite a long time to wear off.

Steve Huff
07-15-2008, 08:54 PM
Next time you get gut, try 15L Klip Legend. String about 2# lower than what you just strung the VS. I think Klip Legend lasts longer than VS anyway, and the 15L will last that much more.

stormholloway
07-15-2008, 11:45 PM
Try a lower tension. It makes a world of difference.

jorel
07-16-2008, 05:32 AM
most pros want what they want.... if they want a 16 g... they want 16.. if they want 17... they want 17...

that tonic guage discrpancy is a big deal to the pros... and it should be a big deall..... they make their living off of their strings...

and you have some people that also just want wat they want... 16 or 17 and not maybe 16L .. maybe 17 maybe 16..... maybe 15L

but for me and some recreation guys......that guage discrepancy isnt a big deal

jorel
07-16-2008, 05:47 AM
my natural gut didnt fray at all (bab tonic+ 16) and it broke :(

so...

how tight did you string it?... hybrized with Poly? ... do you hit Topspin like a man possessed?

jorel
07-16-2008, 05:49 AM
Try a lower tension. It makes a world of difference.

you know i have been stringing BAb gut really tight (ala Sampras) and it feels REALLY nice.....

Nellie
07-16-2008, 07:36 AM
I find about 1 out of 10 Tonic strings to be problematic. For example, I had one set snap very fast, and you could tell from the clean break that too many fibers were ending in the same spot. Otherwise, I have had good luck with the product and used it for years. I string myself, so I do not pay for labor, so I am looking only at string costs, so I figure I come out ahead with the Tonic.

Regarding other brands, I really cannot feel a difference between quality guts (Babolat, Klip, BDE, Bow) I have tried, but would not use Titan. I may try the Pacific brand, but with Tonic and Klip being cheaper, I have not felt the need.

LuckyR
07-16-2008, 11:49 AM
For a lot folks who can and want to use gut, price is not a big deal, which is why VS sells the best.

Personally I would never use a lighter on my strings regardless. The fray will only help you get more spin potential so is not a "problem" that needs to be "solved". Usually there is an intersection or two where the fraying is a lot more prominent than the rest of the stringbed, this is where you would want to use a String Saver. I wouldn't use them to prevent fraying, rather to respond to it.

Your local humidity will play a role in fraying but less than in years past, since the coatings are so much better now. My understanding is that Legend is uncoated and so would be more vulnerable to local conditions.

mokong
07-18-2008, 06:03 AM
Hi! This is my 2nd post here in this very helpfull and informative forum. I think you'll find it interesting to see my 1st post under the thread 'making gut last'