View Full Version : Does poly die in the cold?

12-17-2009, 05:01 AM
I play with a hybrid set up with polys on the mains and have noticed that it's much tougher to generate pace and spin on the ball when the temperature is in the 30's to low 40's. I'm sure there's a number of factors that go into this, but I wonder if the poly strings play a major role.

Has anyone noticed the same thing? I might switch to a full synthetic gut string job next time to see the difference.

fuzz nation
12-17-2009, 06:00 AM
If I keep a cold weather racquet around with a different stringing, it will have 4-5 lbs. lower tension, but that's with my trypical 17 ga. synthetic gut. I'd expect any poly to get significantly harder and more dead in the cold, too. That string type already has very limited resilience, so it probably goes from "hard" to "super-hard" when the temp's get down below the mid 40's.

Not even sure how far I'd drop tension to make that stuff more playable in the cold. You'll probably need a little trial and error if you want to stick with it.

12-17-2009, 06:04 AM
I don't know about long term effects, but I'm pretty sure that the temperature of the string directly impacts the string's playability. My guess is poly becomes much less resilient and more brittle at low temperatures. I'm only speculating here though....

12-17-2009, 07:26 AM
I only use CoPolys on the mains during the summer period because of that.

My preferred winter setup is Hybrids with the CoPolys in the crosses all the way through my bag. You don't feel the stiffness of the poly so much, when It's in the crosses as compared to when It's in the mains.

i suck at tennis
12-17-2009, 09:29 AM
ClubH do you drop or raise the tension any when you switch from poly mains to poly crosses? I am going to try that setup for the first time this weekend and would like to get a general idea of where to start. For reference I usually strng poly mains around 51 and syngut crosses at 53

12-17-2009, 09:41 AM
All strings I've ever used are far less elastic, responsive in colder weather. It's normal for materials like tennis strings. Not sure about natural gut though. It might be the exception.

12-17-2009, 09:44 AM
Everything dies in cold weather. The balls are slower, they lose pressure, strings become stiffer and less responsive....

12-17-2009, 09:55 AM
Everything dies in cold weather. The balls are slower, they lose pressure, strings become stiffer and less responsive....

Yeah, playing in the cold kind of sucks because of it.

I'm wondering specifically about poly and copoly strings. Have people noticed a far greater difference with polys dying in the cold compared to synthetic gut? The only way to tell though is to probably try both out in frigid temps. I might keep one hybrid in my bag and one full syn gut for when temps get below ~45.

12-17-2009, 12:46 PM
In my experience, during the winter months poly becomes a lot stiffer, and synthetic gut becomes crisper.

12-17-2009, 12:56 PM
Meh.... poly may become a little siffer in the cold, but IMHO, it's the reduced air pressure of a cold tennis ball that is mostly the cause.

Playing with stiff poly and a cold dead ball is just no fun.