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View Full Version : Biggest gripe w/ Polyester


Quikj
09-30-2008, 11:03 PM
My biggest gripe with it stems from the fact that the vast majority of tennis players don't need polyester. I have 60 yr. old seniors asking me to string their sledge hammers with full BBO, while wearing tennis elbow support on the same arm that they hand me the string with. This is getting ridiculous.

I'm a 19 yr. old D-1 college player that strings on weekends and I have lived the polyester revolution firsthand. At my academy, I was breaking strings every two days at the age of 13, due to my extreme western grip. This was the reason that they taught me to string my own rackets. I stumbled upon Pro hurricane, looking for something to last longer than 2 days. I grew accustomed to the 'dead' feel and I strung the entire frame with the stuff.

At the same time that I made the switch to polys, I saw the majority of my peers make the same transition. We all noted an increase in confidence in putting the ball away, as it just seemed to dip into the court at the last second.

Reasons why we use polys:

1) We're have no idea what tennis elbow is...sounds like something from Operation (seriously...people are hurting themselves just to try a string they end up hating and didn't need in the first place)

2) We all use Western forehands that generate massive amounts of topspin

3) We're all string breakers (our idea of a durable string lasts a couple of weeks not months)

4) We like the fact that our stringbed feels like a board (wtf is dwell time?!)

Polyester was born out of necessity as another option to kevlar. It's far too stiff/harsh for most people. Yes it has changed the game, but only if you have the required racket head speed to take advantage of it.

This is just my rant about the current poly fad that the world is going through. I understand that the younger gen isn't the only demographic that is able to take advantage of these strings; it's just the point of view that I have the most experience with. Please feel free to comment on the issue as you please; I'm interested to see what people have to say on the matter.

McLovin
10-01-2008, 02:56 AM
1) We're have no idea what tennis elbow is...
I hate to beat a dead horse here, but you don't know what tennis elbow is either. Its an overuse injury, and is NOT caused by strings or rackets, but incorrect technique. Tennis Elbow is a misnomer, as swinging a hammer, baseball bat, golf club, etc. will also cause the injury.

I'm not saying strings and rackets can't cause arm problems, but the actual injury 'tennis elbow' is the tearing of tendons, which has nothing to do w/ strings, rackets or tension.

T10s747
10-01-2008, 06:54 AM
Yes, technically you may be correct, however hardness due stiff strings is a reallity. The OP is right on that. Anyone who plays with TiMo, the harshest Luxilon string will know that.

Stan
10-01-2008, 09:23 AM
...and is NOT caused by strings or rackets...

Wrong. So very wrong.

Fletch
10-01-2008, 09:37 AM
I agree that so many players don't need poly. As a stringer for some local high schools and other players, I have probably been at fault putting too much poly in the rackets. Kids think quality is how long the string last, I put syn gut in the rackets, they play 3 hours a day 5 days a week and break them in 1 or 2 weeks and complain about my string job. So I started putting poly in them so they would last longer and they are happy now.

But OP is correct, very few players have the racket head speed to appreciate poly.

McLovin
10-01-2008, 09:41 AM
Please do me a favor and research all medical websites & books, then come back and tell me what they say for 'Tennis Elbow'.

In fact, try searching for 'Lateral epicondylitis' and tell me what you find. Every medical website you visit will begin by saying that 'Tennis Elbow (Lateral epicondylitis) is an overuse injury...'.

Or, go buy a Medical Dictionary and tell me what it says. However, I can save you the $ and tell you that I looked it up on ours (written by The Mayo Clinic), and it said exactly what I quoted above.

Or, you can stay ignorant and believe the BS you've read on some sites.

Again, let me 100% clear on this: I am not saying strings or stiff rackets can't cause arm problems. I am saying that Tennis Elbow is NOT one of those problems. Not all arm/wrist/elbow problems are Tennis Elbow. And since Tennis Elbow is classified as 'tearing of tendons', I'd like for you to explain to me how a string can cause a tendon to tear. Please.

scotus
10-01-2008, 09:48 AM
I hate to beat a dead horse here, but you don't know what tennis elbow is either. Its an overuse injury, and is NOT caused by strings or rackets, but incorrect technique. Tennis Elbow is a misnomer, as swinging a hammer, baseball bat, golf club, etc. will also cause the injury.

I'm not saying strings and rackets can't cause arm problems, but the actual injury 'tennis elbow' is the tearing of tendons, which has nothing to do w/ strings, rackets or tension.

Absolutely untrue.

You are correct that many people who have nothign to do with tennis get tennis elbow. Yet in every case (be it baseball, hammer, etc), it involves a hand-held equipment, high impact, shock and vibration.

Yet you conveniently conclude that it has everything to do with technique and hardly at all with equipment. Tearing of tendon has nothing to do with equipment?

Tell me what happened to a handyman who has been working with hammers for 30 years with no problem and all of a sudden develop TE. That was the case with a close friend of mine who does not play tennis. Is that a technique issue with the way he handles his hammer?

Let's take another example. Say Joe is a 1.5 player with faulty backhand and faulty everything that will induce tennis elbow.
1. Give him a racquet with no string. Let him swing at the ball with all his faulty techniques (for argument's sake, let's say he does not shank it). What we have here is faulty technique with zero impact. Do you think he will get tennis elbow? If you have a slightest inclination that this would not cause TE, then let's try this:
2. Give him an arm-friendly flexible racquet (throw in PK Kinetic tech or whatever else) with natural gut strung at 30 lbs of tension. Let him do the same thing? Do you think he will get tennis elbow? I highly highly doubt it.

Whether it be baseball, hammer, impact drill, many people end up with TE precisely because of equipment and how much shock it transmits to the body. When the damage repeatedly done is greater than the ability the body has to recover, that's when one gets into trouble.

Technique is certainly more important than equipment, since most professionals (notice that I said "most." Do not for a moment think that pros don't get tennis elbow) can get away with stiff racquets and stiff strings. However, when solid players who have played 20, 30, 40 years with no arm problem suddenly develop TE upon equipment change (be it racquet or string), you cannot simply conclude it was caused by an incorrect technique. This is especially so when the same player abandons the new equipment, goes back to the old equipment after a time of rest, and rids him-/herself of TE.

TE can be brought on not only by faulty technique but also by an acute injury from a non-tennis-related activity that is aggrevated by repeated tennis playing. And it can very often be caused by equipment that transmits more shock than the body can handle.

Nanshiki
10-01-2008, 11:55 AM
Bad strings exacerbate the problem, they don't cause it...

The same way very soft strings can alleviate the problem, but will not cure the cause.

McLovin
10-01-2008, 01:42 PM
OK, I'm willing to entertain your theories on this. Please point me to one reputable medical website or periodical that supports your theory, because I can sit here all day & quote sources that support what I am saying.

No, let me rephrase that: I am not saying anything, I am simply repeating what I have read in medical journals and articles online from reputable sources. It is not my opinion, but rather the opinion of doctors and medical researchers.

As to equipment not being the cause, it is most likely that changing rackets has caused a change in technique, which has resulted in the tearing of tendons. In fact, that is what one of the sites I referenced stated explicitly.

And for the 1,000,000th time: Not all arm/wrist/elbow problems are Tennis Elbow. Until you have gone to a doctor and had it diagnosed, you have no clue what the problem is. You would most likely need an MRI to confirm, and saying 'Oh, my elbow hurts, it must be tennis elbow' is just plain stupid.

Quikj
10-01-2008, 01:46 PM
I'm glad we're defining "tennis elbow", but we're kinda missing the point of this thread. Sorry about the typo BTW.

tennisfreak15347
10-01-2008, 01:51 PM
OK, I'm willing to entertain your theories on this. Please point me to one reputable medical website or periodical that supports your theory, because I can sit here all day & quote sources that support what I am saying.

No, let me rephrase that: I am not saying anything, I am simply repeating what I have read in medical journals and articles online from reputable sources. It is not my opinion, but rather the opinion of doctors and medical researchers.

As to equipment not being the cause, it is most likely that changing rackets has caused a change in technique, which has resulted in the tearing of tendons. In fact, that is what one of the sites I referenced stated explicitly.

And for the 1,000,000th time: Not all arm/wrist/elbow problems are Tennis Elbow. Until you have gone to a doctor and had it diagnosed, you have no clue what the problem is. You would most likely need an MRI to confirm, and saying 'Oh, my elbow hurts, it must be tennis elbow' is just plain stupid.

No offence, but you'r arguing long-known theories with mis-interpretative science magazines. It is true that over-use of the tendons will cause TE, but more shock impact into the tendons through using kelvar and poly will result in MORE TEAR AND DAMAGE to them, which gives TE. Even a multifilament string that has gone dead, such as HEAD Fibergel, or Wilson Sensation, WILL GIVE YOU TE, BECAUSE IT GIVES MORE SHOCK IMPACT INTO YOUR ARM. I have had this diagnosed by a doctor, and he confirmed that it is TE. You cannot quote science magazines without fully understanding their concept.

tennisfreak15347
10-01-2008, 01:55 PM
I'm glad we're defining "tennis elbow", but we're kinda missing the point of this thread. Sorry about the typo BTW.

sorry to be off topic, :lol:. to add to the thread discussion, IMO, it is perfectly fine to use poly strings as long as you have the batspeed to use them. I've tried Pro Redcode to see what all the fuss was about, and I found it too harsh on the arm. However, I'm finding nice reviews on Pro Supex Big Ace, which is a good,soft, co-poly, which I intend to use in my next setup.

logansc
10-01-2008, 02:48 PM
My biggest gripe with Polyester is the fact it goes dead too quick and if my polyester goes dead in the same amount of time I break multis or syn gut I'm not really saving any money. I've found a good hybrid to be a great solution. The strings don't break and the syn gut/ multis hold tension long enough to make the frame still playable. But yeah OP unless you are putting wicked action and have lots of batspeed, polyester is not your best option. My two cents.

Cereal68
10-01-2008, 03:12 PM
I wish someone woulda TOLD me what I was getting into when I started using poly strings. I picked 'em cuz I was only planning to have one racquet for awhile and I wanted durable strings.

I've gotten used to them and do like them for about 2.5 weeks (playing up to 3 hrs a day) until they go dead and I found that out the first time when I thought my whole arm was gonna fall off after a relatively light tennis day!

I didn't know any better:-(

from luxilon ace 18 to Prince duraflex 17 ... yuck, too bouncy! Played a light set today with Gamma pro 18 ... like it better.

Quikj
10-01-2008, 03:26 PM
I wish someone woulda TOLD me what I was getting into when I started using poly strings. I picked 'em cuz I was only planning to have one racquet for awhile and I wanted durable strings.

I've gotten used to them and do like them for about 2.5 weeks (playing up to 3 hrs a day) until they go dead and I found that out the first time when I thought my whole arm was gonna fall off after a relatively light tennis day!

I didn't know any better:-(

from luxilon ace 18 to Prince duraflex 17 ... yuck, too bouncy! Played a light set today with Gamma pro 18 ... like it better.

I wish that whoever sold you those strings would have said something because your experience is a common one. Knowledge is so key. That's why stringing your rackets with an informed stringer is so important. If you're stringing your own, then you just learned the hard way unfortunately. I try and warn customers about poly all the time. They either take my advice and steer clear or they ignore my warning and come back in two weeks yelling at me, while looking for the tennis elbow support.

takl23
10-01-2008, 04:30 PM
Look, we can split hairs on this all day, but a stiff frame with stiff strings will cause TE with overuse and/or bad technique. I agree with the OP that too many people use poly because it's the cool thing to do. I've played 5 hours with my current poly job (big ace 18 for full disclosure sake) and they're already starting to feel dead. People will learn eventually, they can't be told anything. They'll learn.

Cheers,

Tim

Connors
10-01-2008, 07:34 PM
When I used the Pro Hurricane Poly on my Pro Storm, I developed intense pain in the elbow area. Prior to that, I was using Bi-Phase and had very little problem. Same racket, same technique but different string. No more polys for me.

Wondertoy
10-01-2008, 08:52 PM
When I used the Pro Hurricane Poly on my Pro Storm, I developed intense pain in the elbow area. Prior to that, I was using Bi-Phase and had very little problem. Same racket, same technique but different string. No more polys for me.

Wrong poly PHT is harsh, you need a comfortable poly like Polystar Energy. I'm telling you, it hasn't given me any soreness in the last 3 years. So different than ALU which would give me soreness every 3 months or so.

scotus
10-01-2008, 08:57 PM
OK, I'm willing to entertain your theories on this. Please point me to one reputable medical website or periodical that supports your theory, because I can sit here all day & quote sources that support what I am saying.

No, let me rephrase that: I am not saying anything, I am simply repeating what I have read in medical journals and articles online from reputable sources. It is not my opinion, but rather the opinion of doctors and medical researchers.

As to equipment not being the cause, it is most likely that changing rackets has caused a change in technique, which has resulted in the tearing of tendons. In fact, that is what one of the sites I referenced stated explicitly.

And for the 1,000,000th time: Not all arm/wrist/elbow problems are Tennis Elbow. Until you have gone to a doctor and had it diagnosed, you have no clue what the problem is. You would most likely need an MRI to confirm, and saying 'Oh, my elbow hurts, it must be tennis elbow' is just plain stupid.

You are not engaging in arguments at all. You have not rebutted any of the arguments I brought up.

It seems to me that it does not matter how many articles from medical journals you read, because the fact is that you don't know how to read and do not have a logical and scientific mind.

For example, you take a proposition, "TE is an overuse injury" and based on this premise, conclude that TE is all about technique and not about equipment.

Another example: Based on the statement "TE is tearing of the tendon," you conclude that this cannot be caused by equipment.

If you do not see holes in your logic, you have no business trying to give anyone any advice.

lethalfang
10-01-2008, 09:06 PM
Again, let me 100% clear on this: I am not saying strings or stiff rackets can't cause arm problems. I am saying that Tennis Elbow is NOT one of those problems. Not all arm/wrist/elbow problems are Tennis Elbow. And since Tennis Elbow is classified as 'tearing of tendons', I'd like for you to explain to me how a string can cause a tendon to tear. Please.

OK, I'm willing to entertain your theories on this. Please point me to one reputable medical website or periodical that supports your theory, because I can sit here all day & quote sources that support what I am saying.

No, let me rephrase that: I am not saying anything, I am simply repeating what I have read in medical journals and articles online from reputable sources. It is not my opinion, but rather the opinion of doctors and medical researchers.

As to equipment not being the cause, it is most likely that changing rackets has caused a change in technique, which has resulted in the tearing of tendons. In fact, that is what one of the sites I referenced stated explicitly.

And for the 1,000,000th time: Not all arm/wrist/elbow problems are Tennis Elbow. Until you have gone to a doctor and had it diagnosed, you have no clue what the problem is. You would most likely need an MRI to confirm, and saying 'Oh, my elbow hurts, it must be tennis elbow' is just plain stupid.

A couple of general points I will clarify.
The property of the string/frame you use will play an important part in how much shock is transmitted to your tendon on every single stroke. The more flexible your racquet/string is, the less shock is transmitted, therefore, less likely to injure your tendon. The more stiff your racqueet/string is, the more shock is transmitted, hence more likely to injure your tendon.

You should also cite the sources you said you have, or at least paraphrase them so I can evaluate critically what the journal articles actually imply and what your/their interpretation of the study.
The fact that tennis elbow is an overuse injury does not preclude stiff string as a major contributing factor. The fact that some players may change technique upon change equipment, does not predude the direct involvement of equipment, either.

The fact remains, however, the more flexible the material you have on your hand, the less shock is transmitted to your body. The more stiff material you have on your hand, the more shock is transmitted to your body.

Quikj
10-02-2008, 12:38 AM
Wrong poly PHT is harsh, you need a comfortable poly like Polystar Energy. I'm telling you, it hasn't given me any soreness in the last 3 years. So different than ALU which would give me soreness every 3 months or so.

Dude, he went from Bi-Phase to poly. Any poly would probably hurt his arm, if he's been accustomed to hit with such a soft multi syn. Not everyone needs poly, plain and simple. That was my point in posting this thread. An obscurely small number of players actually benefit from its use and if his arm hurts due to the use of any poly (especially a second gen co-poly like PHT) then he probably shouldn't be using it at all. I commend his decision to steer clear. Any polyester string is going to play harsher than a soft multi no matter how soft the poly may be.

princemidplus
10-02-2008, 01:23 AM
sorry to harp on but thought i'd try clear the air a bit being a physiotherapist dealing with tennis injuries regularly.

stiffer frames and strings AND poor technique can give rise to tennis elbow. It is correct that it is about the vibrations to the tendons causing the damage - more vibrations equals more damage. tennis elbow is an overuse injury and thus comes on over a period of time so if you are getting pain in your elbow area after a few hits it most likely is not tennis elbow (note that a few hours play is enough time to cause tennis elbow though as is washing all the windows of your house or polishing your car). Tennis elbow presents with pain in the muscles of the forearm and their origin on the lateral epicondyle of the humerus and not so much in the elbow joint itself. These muscles can be very tender to massage and you can sometimes feel a triggerpoint or knot in the muscle which is very painful to press hard on. It can also present with pain radiating/shooting down the back of your forearm towards the wrist caused by the radial nerve being affected.

There are many other problems associated with stiffer strings and the impact and vibrations they cause - one being inflammation of the elbow joint (technically not tennis elbow), muscle strains (biceps tendon and deltoid muscle being fairly common). It is also possible to strain the ulnar nerve (like when you hit your "funny bone") and this causes fairly sharp pain in the elbow region but is not tennis elbow.

So ultimately there are several elbow problems that can appear and each needs to be properly diagnosed for treatment to be most effective. In most cases, rest and anti inflammatories work well and others need direct treatment. Stiffer strings and racquets can lead to all of the above problems as can poor technique.

feel free to post questions to me if you would like answers.

anirut
10-02-2008, 01:31 AM
^
^
Cool stuff. Thanks.

BTW, I copied your texts and pasted them into my Thai webboard as one of our board members is having TE problem. I, of course, referred to your post.