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View Full Version : My racquet feels like a board!


tennisINmyBLOOD
12-03-2009, 02:44 PM
I'm a girls varsity doubles player, with a semiwestern forehand and two handed backhand. I occasionally use topspin, but most of my shots are flat. I'm currently using the Babolat Pure Drive GT strung with Gamma Live Wire XP 17. Recently, I noticed that my racquet feels like a wooden board everytime I hit the ball. Before, it used to hit very cleanly and nicely, even on mishits.

I've put about 70 or so hours into the string and was wondering if that was the cause of my racquet feeling like a board. Could it be dead, or is something mechanically wrong? The stringbed still feels pretty tight, but there is a lot of string notching. I think the sweetspot has gotten smaller, too. Off center shots that would go in normally don't go in anymore, and feels like I'm swinging a board around.

Also, can you recommend any soft multifilaments with good spin? I know about X-One and NRG2, but I don't have money for that. Anything under 10 dolllars a set please. I've heard of E-matrix, but I don't see why I have to spend $5 shipping on TW for it... I cannot play with regular synthetic gut, as that will cause shoulder pain.

ronalditop
12-03-2009, 03:05 PM
It would be a LOT easier to give you advice if you tell what racquet, strings and tension youre using.

dwhiteside
12-03-2009, 03:08 PM
70 hours is LONG dead. You need to upgrade around the 30 hour mark at MOST, and even that is very much pushing it. You lose power, control, spin, and comfort by playing with semi-dead or dead strings. Strings DO matter. If I were you I'd spend some money as an investment and research a few strings to experiment with to find a string you plan to stick with for a while. Once you find a good one you really like you can buy it in bulk and save money. You might even want to buy a stringing machine eventually, but that isn't necessary. Buying reels saves you money. There are lots of threads for string recommendations but as soon as you replace 70 hour old strings you'll notice an immediate improvement to your game.

Cup8489
12-03-2009, 04:45 PM
DEAD STRINGS

get that sucker restrung, your strings have long since expired. Feeling the tennis elbow yet? most strings are dead by 20 hours, and like the poster before 30 hours is pushing it big time.

70 hours isnt asking for trouble, it's begging for it.

federer_FREAK
12-03-2009, 04:50 PM
haha good joke topic.

SuperDuy
12-03-2009, 05:13 PM
I saw on a equiptment thing that she strings at 69 lbs pounds tooo...

tennisINmyBLOOD
12-03-2009, 06:58 PM
I think you mean 60 lbs, superduy :)

Thanks guys. I've been telling my dad I need to get it restrung but he didn't think I knew what I was talking about. I'll be working on getting a stringing machine so stringing isn't as costly.

SW Stringer
12-03-2009, 11:45 PM
. . . I've heard of E-matrix, but I don't see why I have to spend $5 shipping on TW for it... .

If you call and ask them to ship the items US Mail First Class they will - for a couple packs of string it's really cheap. Just takes a little longer than UPS 2nd day air. Once the package gets above a certain weight it gets bumped to UPS. Call them, they'll let you know your options.

Valjean
12-04-2009, 03:36 AM
....[C]an you recommend any soft multifilaments with good spin? I know about X-One and NRG2, but I don't have money for that. Anything under 10 dolllars a set please. I've heard of E-matrix, but I don't see why I have to spend $5 shipping on TW for it...
E-Matrix isn't considered much of a value in here because it's proven rather frail. Your best bet in your price range is Tecnifibre's Multifeel: http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2006/02/tecnifibre_multifeel_16.html.

SteveI
12-04-2009, 04:48 AM
DEAD STRINGS

get that sucker restrung, your strings have long since expired. Feeling the tennis elbow yet? most strings are dead by 20 hours, and like the poster before 30 hours is pushing it big time.

70 hours isnt asking for trouble, it's begging for it.

I am impressed that XP17 lasted 70 hours. I used to break that stuff in 5-6 hours. I guess if you are flat hitter playing HS girls doubles.. that might be the case. Like everyone else said... Cut those strings out before you hurt your arm. The XP17 plays crisp (191 RSI) but not soft @ 60 lbs. Drop it to 55 or so and it plays soft IMHO. There are softer strings out there to be sure. I think the main issue is the fact the strings have been in the frame for 70 hrs of play. 70 hrs is about 3/4 of the HS tennis season.. Yikes.

Steve

SteveI
12-04-2009, 04:50 AM
I think you mean 60 lbs, superduy :)

Thanks guys. I've been telling my dad I need to get it restrung but he didn't think I knew what I was talking about. I'll be working on getting a stringing machine so stringing isn't as costly.

Show your dad this thread.. :-).

Steve

Adam_mtl
12-04-2009, 05:06 PM
Gamme Revelation is a pretty good multi thats not too pricey and that offers decent spin potential. I think its 8$ a set at TW.

ClubHoUno
12-05-2009, 04:46 AM
It would be a LOT easier to give you advice if you tell what racquet, strings and tension youre using.

Parden my french, but if you read her post she says what racquet and string she uses !

ClubHoUno
12-05-2009, 05:03 AM
1. Tell your father, that if he wants his girl to keep on playing tennis without shoulder and elbow pains in the future to come, strings should NEVER BE USED FOR MORE THAN MAXIMUM 20-25 hours, and some in here even thinks that long is pushing it !!!

As someone suggests, try to find a used stringer in good conditon or a new one and wish for a reel of Tecnifibre Multifeel 660 feet for Christmas or ask some of your team mates/laying partners, if you should buy the reel and stringer together and save money that way.

Don't use the Multifeel for longer than 15-20 hours, and try to string it at a somewhat lower tension, because the Multifeel is a somewhat stiff multi but one of the best performing multis in that price range.

Try something like 56 lbs mains and 58 lbs crosses, which will minimize most of the string movement. The Multifeel is not super soft, but it has better elasticity & tension maintenance, than the Gamma multi you currently are using.

Finally tell your father to read this thread.
Then tell him, that strings DO DIE - before they break. Not every one breaks strings, but at some point in time these strings will lose all of their elasticity and tension and they WILL hurt your arm and play like crap.

Good luck :D

COPEY
12-05-2009, 05:17 AM
Once you find a good one you really like you can buy it in bulk and save money. You might even want to buy a stringing machine eventually, but that isn't necessary. Buying reels saves you money.

1. Why buy bulk if you don't own a machine or don't know anyone who would string for you? You can't take a reel of string to your local tennis shop and expect them to string your racquet from a reel you bought elsewhere.

2. tennisINmyBLOOD, if your name is indicative of how much you love the game, buy a stringer. Save up a little cash or ask for one as a Christmas present if it's not too late (assuming, that is, that your family celebrates Xmas. If not, work the birthday angle lol). Something like this (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002TQ0XK?tag=wwwgalttechco-20&camp=213381&creative=390973&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=B0002TQ0XK&adid=11P4XJBK7DE25BQ4RXE7&) is all you need. If you're a daddy's girl see what he thinks about this one (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Gamma_Progression_II_602_Stringing_Machine/descpageGAMMA-602.html) lol. Honestly, both would pay for themselves in no time flat, AND you could string for a couple of your tennis buddies, pick up a little cash on the side. I wish someone had given me this advice when I was a kid.

3. Just so you know in case you decide to buy strings by the reel, it doesn't always save you money. Some people opt for reels knowing they're not saving money because they can measure off the exact length of string needed for a job, possibly eeking out an extra half-set in the end. Mostly it's a convenience issue in my opinion.

COPEY
12-05-2009, 05:20 AM
LOL hey ClubHoUno...we were kind of on the same track. ;-).

So there you have it, tennisINmyBLOOD - you're now armed with sage advice from several people. Now "Just Do It!".

fuzz nation
12-05-2009, 06:32 AM
I can strongly endorse the option of getting your own machine, but it's obviously a bit of an initial investment. I do some high school coaching along with a little teaching on my own and my machine payed for itself in a hurry. Aside from the economics, I'll probably never trust anyone else to ever string one of my frames... so there's that.

One other option for a multifiber that occurred to me was the Prince Synthetic Multi. I've always liked their original syn. gut (pre Duraflex) for its price and performance, but I don't know how well this newer string holds up. You might also consider using the X-One Biphase for your mains in a hybrid setup with an inexpensive cross that's rather soft. That could give you a decent setup without quite as much sting in the price tag.

While I'm not an official Babolat hater, I'd also note that if any racquet has the potential for feeling like a board, it's yours. It's not terribly heavy and it's pretty darned stiff. Obviously a softer string is going to help you, but only so much.

Oh yeah - used a set of 16 gauge Yonex 850 multi that came in a 2nd hand racquet I picked up here and that string changed my opinion of multis. It seemed to be very durable (as multis go), played nice and soft, and had decent feel - not too mushy. Sets go for maybe $9 at TW.

tennisINmyBLOOD
12-05-2009, 07:37 AM
Thanks a lot for the tips guys! My dad agreed to buy me a stringer for Christmas and I'll be looking into the X-2 and Gamma Progression II 602. Plus I have a few close friends who already told me they were willing to give me their racquet to string.

56 lbs mains and 58 lbs crosses sounds like a good idea, but will it give me more power?

I could feel my strings going down at 30 hours... so I'll be stringing every 20-25 hours now... probably even sooner now that I will be getting the machine.

fuzznation - I was thinking about doing X-One mains with a soft cross. Can you recommend a soft cross that gives control? And should I increase the cross tension by 2lbs?

ClubHoUno
12-05-2009, 08:10 AM
Thanks a lot for the tips guys! My dad agreed to buy me a stringer for Christmas and I'll be looking into the X-2 and Gamma Progression II 602. Plus I have a few close friends who already told me they were willing to give me their racquet to string.

56 lbs mains and 58 lbs crosses sounds like a good idea, but will it give me more power?

I could feel my strings going down at 30 hours... so I'll be stringing every 20-25 hours now... probably even sooner now that I will be getting the machine.

fuzznation - I was thinking about doing X-One mains with a soft cross. Can you recommend a soft cross that gives control? And should I increase the cross tension by 2lbs?

I only adviced you to up the cross tension with 2 lbs because it helps to minimize string movement and also add a bit of extra control to the stringbed, knowing you will use the same strings for a pretty long time, which 20+ hours is.

When you lower in the mains, you get a bit of extra comfort and power, but when you up the crosses with 2, you retain some control and also minimizes string movement, which can be quite annoying in a multi setup.

You will have a hard time finding a cross string to hybrid with X-One, which will be both soft and add control. So instead go 2 lbs higher in the crosses for some extra control is the way to go.

Stiffer strings normally add control, while softer strings add comfort and power. X-One plays pretty stiff the first couple of hours, so if you're into Hybrids, I would probably try Babolat Xcel Power 16 mains and hybrid that with a soft CoPoly for the crosses with good tension and elasticity maintenance, like for instance the Signum Pro Hyperion 17 gauge.

I use this hybrid and let me tell you, it plays FANTASTICLY GREAT & AWESOME !

I prefer Xcel Power over X-One as my favorite multi, because it plays softer and more uniform from start to finish and feels more crisp and solid for me in a hybrid. I only use multis in Hybrids, as full bed multis would be too powerfull and difficult to control for me.

You could also try a hybrid of X-One or Xcel Power mains and a cheap good soft feeling synth. gut in the crosses, like Forten Sweet.

SirGounder
12-05-2009, 09:45 AM
To the OP I used to be in your situation. It gets quite costly to string racquets at a shop. So I never restrung unless a string broke.

I finally took the plunge and bought a used gamma X2 for $100. I don't buy strings in bulk yet because I am still experimenting but it's awesome to string for myself and have fresh strings all the time. The machine will pay for itself in no time, even if you buy brand new. Super easy to use and I actually think it's fun.

Alec78
12-05-2009, 01:43 PM
I've been thinking about buying my own machine. I know I don't need a massive one like you see in the shops, but I'm curious, what do these multi-thousand dollar things offer that the cheaper tabletop machines don't?

tennisINmyBLOOD
12-05-2009, 03:29 PM
The ones you see in shops are faster to work with. Drop weight machines such as the Gamma X-2 take a long time to string, since you have to raise the tension bar a couple of times before you achieve the desired tension. With a spring machine (Prince Neos 1000), you simply turn the crank and it gives you your desired tension. An electronic machine just requires a push of a button to tension. However, there are some spring and electronic tabletop machines for a higher price versus a drop weight machine.

Clamps are also the reason why some machines are more expensive. Fixed clamps are the best to use, and it's easier to work with. Floating clamps are fine too, but most people aim for the fixed clamps if budget permits. A lot of table top models use floating clamps, but some use a fixed clamp system too. The ones with a fixed clamp system are maybe about $400+

I will probably be getting a Gamma X-2 stringer soon, since the price is right and I've heard lots of good things about it. I don't plan to go into a stringing business, so a drop weight machine is fine.

tennisINmyBLOOD
12-05-2009, 03:33 PM
You could also try a hybrid of X-One or Xcel Power mains and a cheap good soft feeling synth. gut in the crosses, like Forten Sweet.

X-One or Xcel in the mains with a soft synthetic gut cross sounds great. Would Gosen OG Sheep Micro be a good synthetic gut cross? I hear from some that it has exceptional comfort, but from others that it is a stiffer synthetic gut. Any thoughts? I know the 17 gauge of this string is measured approx 190 in stiffness.

SteveI
12-05-2009, 04:22 PM
The ones you see in shops are faster to work with. Drop weight machines such as the Gamma X-2 take a long time to string, since you have to raise the tension bar a couple of times before you achieve the desired tension. With a spring machine (Prince Neos 1000), you simply turn the crank and it gives you your desired tension. An electronic machine just requires a push of a button to tension. However, there are some spring and electronic tabletop machines for a higher price versus a drop weight machine.

Clamps are also the reason why some machines are more expensive. Fixed clamps are the best to use, and it's easier to work with. Floating clamps are fine too, but most people aim for the fixed clamps if budget permits. A lot of table top models use floating clamps, but some use a fixed clamp system too. The ones with a fixed clamp system are maybe about $400+

I will probably be getting a Gamma X-2 stringer soon, since the price is right and I've heard lots of good things about it. I don't plan to go into a stringing business, so a drop weight machine is fine.

I would go with a drop weight.. but with a six-point mounting system as a minimum.. too much possible frame compression with the lower-end models. The supports have too much play/flex in them IMHO. But to each his/her own.

Good Luck..

Valjean
12-05-2009, 05:24 PM
Several years ago the USRSA compared mounting systems and concluded that, although a six-point system was not mandated, a four-point mounting system did afford some useful added support compared to a two-point one. At the time Alpha offered a bar that could be installed manually at the 3 and 9 o'clock racquet positions to give two-point systems the added stability of a four-point system; I don't know that they still offer it too.

Making dropweights consistently deliver the same acceptable tension result takes more work because the stringing system isn't as reliable. If you are willing to do what it takes, though, to establish and maintain good quality control, you will do fine work too. Using a dropweight well will always take added time, though.

tennisINmyBLOOD
12-05-2009, 06:04 PM
Will anything bad happen if you use a two point mounting system? I understand that 4 and 6 give more support, but is two point really going to do any harm?

smack that
12-05-2009, 07:05 PM
Will anything bad happen if you use a two point mounting system? I understand that 4 and 6 give more support, but is two point really going to do any harm?

yes the frame could warp(spelling?) with a 2 point if not mounted correctgly

ClubHoUno
12-06-2009, 01:50 AM
X-One or Xcel in the mains with a soft synthetic gut cross sounds great. Would Gosen OG Sheep Micro be a good synthetic gut cross? I hear from some that it has exceptional comfort, but from others that it is a stiffer synthetic gut. Any thoughts? I know the 17 gauge of this string is measured approx 190 in stiffness.

Don't know much about synth. Gut - but be aware of that there are two versions of Xcel, Xcel Standard or Premium as TW calls it and the new version and in my view better version Xcel power, which plays more crisp and has better tension stability than the Xcel Standard/Premium has.

Valjean
12-06-2009, 02:26 AM
Will anything bad happen if you use a two point mounting system? I understand that 4 and 6 give more support, but is two point really going to do any harm?
Not according to the USRSA in the study; that was really the whole point, multi-point support systems don't add that much for racquet protection. Consider, for example, how the Prince Neos, a $1000 two-point system, is still the frequent prize in stringing contests. OTOH, I have found that a racquet tensions differently in a multi-point system. If memory serves, the cross string result typically is lower.

Ross K
12-06-2009, 02:50 AM
Re the advice to buy your own machine...

How difficult is it to learn the skills from scratch to learn to string for one's self? Is it it something that takes weeks and weeks? Days? Do some ppl actually never quite grasp what's required? Or is it pretty easy in actual fact?

Thanks,

R.

... maybe it's time I started too?

Six.One.Tour.90FAN
12-06-2009, 02:51 AM
MSV Focus Hex will work wonders.....just try it......

Fedace
12-06-2009, 03:06 AM
I'm a girls varsity doubles player, with a semiwestern forehand and two handed backhand. I occasionally use topspin, but most of my shots are flat. I'm currently using the Babolat Pure Drive GT strung with Gamma Live Wire XP 17. Recently, I noticed that my racquet feels like a wooden board everytime I hit the ball. Before, it used to hit very cleanly and nicely, even on mishits.

I've put about 70 or so hours into the string and was wondering if that was the cause of my racquet feeling like a board. Could it be dead, or is something mechanically wrong? The stringbed still feels pretty tight, but there is a lot of string notching. I think the sweetspot has gotten smaller, too. Off center shots that would go in normally don't go in anymore, and feels like I'm swinging a board around.

Also, can you recommend any soft multifilaments with good spin? I know about X-One and NRG2, but I don't have money for that. Anything under 10 dolllars a set please. I've heard of E-matrix, but I don't see why I have to spend $5 shipping on TW for it... I cannot play with regular synthetic gut, as that will cause shoulder pain.

What about Babysitting to make some money so that you can spend some money for a good string. Good String does make a huge difference in the performance of the rackets. I change strings every 2 weeks just for that reason. anyway have you watched the movie called Babysitters ???

Valjean
12-06-2009, 03:12 AM
....How difficult is it to learn the skills from scratch to learn to string for one's self? Is it it something that takes weeks and weeks? Days? Do some ppl actually never quite grasp what's required? Or is it pretty easy in actual fact?....

... maybe it's time I started too?
The basics are not hard to learn to execute. Producing a quality result consistently is where the charm lies. This can require a few more tools, some added patience and a new technique or two.

See here for more instruction: http://www.sptennis.com/stringer.asp#Ready

COPEY
12-06-2009, 03:45 AM
Re the advice to buy your own machine...

How difficult is it to learn the skills from scratch to learn to string for one's self? Is it it something that takes weeks and weeks? Days? Do some ppl actually never quite grasp what's required? Or is it pretty easy in actual fact?

Thanks,

R.

... maybe it's time I started too?

Trust me, there are far too many people doing it for it to be hard. Compare that to the number of people who are taking up thermonuclear physics as a side job or hobby lol.

Seriously man, it's easy to do, but as it's already been stated, it'll take time to hone your skills. I'm still in the honing mode. I've only strung about 28 racquets so far, but with each one I figure out something else...often time something small to make the job go a little smoother, easier. I still read and watch videos to make sure I'm not missing anything, etc. Buy yourself a machine - you won't regret it, I assure you.

Check out this post (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=4027622&postcount=13) - should help.

SteveI
12-06-2009, 05:32 AM
Re the advice to buy your own machine...

How difficult is it to learn the skills from scratch to learn to string for one's self? Is it it something that takes weeks and weeks? Days? Do some ppl actually never quite grasp what's required? Or is it pretty easy in actual fact?

Thanks,

R.

... maybe it's time I started too?

It is not Rocket Science. :-)

Ross K
12-06-2009, 11:08 AM
^^^

Steve, COPEY, Val,

Thanks...

meowmix
12-06-2009, 11:36 AM
If you mount your rackets firmly on a 2 point, you'll be alright. There probably will be a 1/16 inch racket compression, but that's not something to be too worried about.

OG micro is an excellent string, and something that a lot of your teammates will like for its price to playability ratio. However, if you're for something to soften up your racket (and your racket needs some softening up), go with Forten Sweet 16 or 17 as your cross. Very soft, and your arm will love it.

As for reels, some reels are a LOT more economical than sets, and others not so much. Take for example the Pro Supex Maxim Touch multi. It costs 7-8 dollars a set, but only 90 dollars a reel. On the other hand, Wilson Hollow core reels cost MORE per set on a reel, than buying actual sets.