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View Full Version : Rethinking Poly - Should I Switch to Natural Gut?


Hominator
03-13-2011, 03:25 PM
I've been enjoying playing my Head IG Speed (16x19) MPs with Head Sonic Pro 17. I really like the extra spin on the ball these strings give me. The problem is that I feel I need to restring my racquets once every two weeks with this string or the string becomes unplayable for me (poly goes dead - strings begin to move). FYI - I don't break strings anymore (as much as that hurts my ego).

I'm watching Clijsters play right now and that got me thinking - if a WTA pro can still play with natural gut, why can't I? I'd expect that a natural gut job would last me at least six months, which would make it even more cost effective than stringiing poly. And natural gut would help protect my tender elbow while retaining its tension.

So, should I consider making the switch to natural gut? Will I miss the spin I get from poly? What would you do? Thanks for your thoughts!

scotus
03-13-2011, 03:42 PM
Go ahead. Just make sure you up the tension.

laboule
03-13-2011, 04:31 PM
6 months!? Are you serious? Well of course it depends on how often you play but 6 months with a 16x19 pattern sounds like a dream to me. I would say 3 months would be good if you play once a week.

baek57
03-13-2011, 04:44 PM
Let's say you get 2 weeks out of poly at $15 + ~$10 for labor (or time if you string yourself). That's $300 value for every 6 months vs $25 +~$10 for gut in the same time frame.

I'd say it's a no brainer to switch in your case especially with a tender elbow, which the gut will help.

Steve Huff
03-13-2011, 04:51 PM
The tender elbow is reason enough. No brainer.

laboule
03-13-2011, 04:55 PM
Yes, sorry I forgot to add that I do think you should switch to gut but that you should probably settle for 3 months durability.

Hominator
03-13-2011, 05:05 PM
6 months!? Are you serious? Well of course it depends on how often you play but 6 months with a 16x19 pattern sounds like a dream to me. I would say 3 months would be good if you play once a week.

I should have mentioned that I rotate between 2 frames. If I were using 1 frame, the strings would probably go in about 3 months.

laboule
03-13-2011, 05:09 PM
Ok fair enough. But do you hit with topspin? You ask if you would lose topspin and my answer would be yes if you hit with a lot of spin and if so the strings would not last as long.

Hominator
03-13-2011, 05:14 PM
BTW - if I go with a hybrid of poly mains/ gut crosses, I'd still have to cut out the strings when the poly dies, correct?

Hominator
03-13-2011, 05:15 PM
Ok fair enough. But do you hit with topspin? You ask if you would lose topspin and my answer would be yes if you hit with a lot of spin and if so the strings would not last as long.

I do hit with topspin, but I drive through the ball more and come over the top vice loopy Nadal-like topspin.

Hominator
03-13-2011, 05:17 PM
BTW, I also string my frames relatively loosely at 51 for poly. I would guess that I would go up to about 58 w/ gut?

laboule
03-13-2011, 05:20 PM
Ok, that will make the strings last longer and I don't think you will notice as much difference in spin then. As for tension; 55-58lbs sounds about right.

scotus
03-13-2011, 06:04 PM
BTW, I also string my frames relatively loosely at 51 for poly. I would guess that I would go up to about 58 w/ gut?

Sounds good to me.

And here's why.

Poly at 51 usually means 54-56 on synthetic gut.

If you don't like the extra power gut gives you, then you up the tension another 2-3 lbs to compensate for that.

Now think about the possibility this string would last you 6 months (as you predicted). Even though gut maintains tension well, it will not stay constant for 6 months.

So you might even want to go up a couple more pounds to compensate for that.

So anywhere from 57-61 lbs would be a good place to start.

Keep record of the tension you use, so you can make adjustments next time around.

Maroon_Tenniskid
03-13-2011, 06:41 PM
Wow, I just got two IG Speed 16x19s and have both of them strung with poly now, but one of them already seems dead after about 2 weeks where I played a tournament with them. I have a set of Tonic around from a while ago, and was considering using it in a full bed because I don't break strings that much, but I too was also scared that I would lose spin... funny how similar our situations are

Tennis_Crazed
03-14-2011, 02:22 AM
I've been enjoying playing my Head IG Speed (16x19) MPs with Head Sonic Pro 17. I really like the extra spin on the ball these strings give me. The problem is that I feel I need to restring my racquets once every two weeks with this string or the string becomes unplayable for me (poly goes dead - strings begin to move). FYI - I don't break strings anymore (as much as that hurts my ego).

I'm watching Clijsters play right now and that got me thinking - if a WTA pro can still play with natural gut, why can't I? I'd expect that a natural gut job would last me at least six months, which would make it even more cost effective than stringiing poly. And natural gut would help protect my tender elbow while retaining its tension.

So, should I consider making the switch to natural gut? Will I miss the spin I get from poly? What would you do? Thanks for your thoughts!


Why not always consider everything?! Give gut a good shot and see how it goes. Its not for everyone, but could make sense for you.

Torres
03-14-2011, 03:43 AM
I've been enjoying playing my Head IG Speed (16x19) MPs with Head Sonic Pro 17. I really like the extra spin on the ball these strings give me. The problem is that I feel I need to restring my racquets once every two weeks with this string or the string becomes unplayable for me (poly goes dead - strings begin to move). FYI - I don't break strings anymore (as much as that hurts my ego).

I'm watching Clijsters play right now and that got me thinking - if a WTA pro can still play with natural gut, why can't I? I'd expect that a natural gut job would last me at least six months, which would make it even more cost effective than stringiing poly. And natural gut would help protect my tender elbow while retaining its tension.

So, should I consider making the switch to natural gut? Will I miss the spin I get from poly? What would you do? Thanks for your thoughts!

Nothing provides the performance of poly. Nothing. But any poly in a 16x19/100 is going to die very quickly due to the greater stress on the strings due to that pattern and head size.

If you have an injury, you shouldn't be playing until your injury has healed.

If you're coming back from injury and want to ease back into it, then gut would be one way to go. But so would a softish multi at medium tension. It won't provide you with the performance of poly (or even a poly hybrid) but its probably the sensible way to go if you're recovering from injury.

Personally, I don't like full bed gut - too much trampolining and elasticity. Cljisters and co string gut at absurdly high tensions and restring after a couple of sets or so. Most people can't afford to do that. Nate Ferguson was saying just the other week that Sampras used to string his 1.22mm gut at 72lbs in a PS88! They must have been restringing for him almost constantly.

If you want the feel and forgiveness of gut, but don't want a big drop off in performance, gut mains (or even multi mains) and poly crosses would be the way to go. The poly will prevent the overpowered trampolining effect of gut but you'll still get the feel and forgiveness of gut.

JT_2eighty
03-14-2011, 09:26 AM
BTW - if I go with a hybrid of poly mains/ gut crosses, I'd still have to cut out the strings when the poly dies, correct?

Yes, but, some polys now hold tension very well... like Signum Pro and Weisscannon, for instance. Plus, adding gut to the mix helps "preserve" the fresh feel of the whole stringbed, so that even a "dying" poly will not be quite as noticeable when hybrided with gut. Still, that "fresh poly feel" will go away over time, even in a gut hybrid. So, the final answer is that we are different in our tastes and how we like a stringbed to feel over time. Some people can play gut/poly or poly/gut until it breaks, and others will prefer it fresh just like a fresh poly job.

Sadly, it sounds like you have a lot of stringtesting ahead of you to find out for sure ;)

Best place to start is with full gut around 60 lbs, see how you like it and how long it lasts. Maybe you'll be happy with the price/performance, then no need to even mess with the rest!

To add: the best gut to start with when coming from Poly is Pacific Tough. One of the most crisp, controlled guts with great durability too.

parasailing
03-14-2011, 09:50 AM
Hominator - If you actually get gut to last you six months, that's what most of us on the forums would love to have. For most of us who use natural gut, it might last up to 15 hours with string savers so you should stick with it.

As others have mention, polys do provide you with more spin and you get to hit out on the ball. I started with multis and natural gut and find that polys give you that spin a nice increase in time. I know it's mainly technique but for some reason, I get way more spin than some have said it gives you 10% increase. The only downside is arm issues and lack of durability.

Let us know how your hybrid goes as I will be venturing down that road once I have a chance to test out all the soft copolys.

Steve Huff
03-14-2011, 11:04 AM
What makes you think you'd lose spin with natural gut? With slo-motion analysis of serving, Pete Sampras' serve had almost twice the revolutions of Federer. I don't think anyone got as much spin on his serve as Sampras did, now or back then. Sampras used a full bed of natural gut. You can get a lot of spin with natural gut. Don't be tempted to go back to poly if you have a bad arm. You want to be playing next season too.

Hominator
03-14-2011, 11:19 AM
I'm fortunate that I haven't had too many arm problems since recovering from my TE last year, even playing with poly. I find that as long as I don't play two days in a row, my arm feels fine. That said, I practiced for an hour yesterday morning and my arm is a little tender today, even after icing my arm after playing. I'm thinking that over time, this is not good.

From a performance standpoint, I really do like the bite and spin I get with fresh poly. I've also found that the quality of the string job plays a very big role in the performance of the racquet. I had one of my frames strung by RPNY and that one consistently plays better than my other, which was strung locally.

Peter_G
03-14-2011, 03:27 PM
I've been enjoying playing my Head IG Speed (16x19) MPs with Head Sonic Pro 17. I really like the extra spin on the ball these strings give me. The problem is that I feel I need to restring my racquets once every two weeks with this string or the string becomes unplayable for me (poly goes dead - strings begin to move). FYI - I don't break strings anymore (as much as that hurts my ego).

I'm watching Clijsters play right now and that got me thinking - if a WTA pro can still play with natural gut, why can't I? I'd expect that a natural gut job would last me at least six months, which would make it even more cost effective than stringiing poly. And natural gut would help protect my tender elbow while retaining its tension.

So, should I consider making the switch to natural gut? Will I miss the spin I get from poly? What would you do? Thanks for your thoughts!

Hominator

I've had a bit of an evolution with string setups that was similar to yours over the past 18 months that might help. I'll work backwards from my current setup.

Current stick is Head IG Speed (18x20) that I switched out from a Head Youtek Radical Pro about two weeks ago. Black Code in the mains / VS Natural Gut Black (Note: I like the look of the black/black hybrid) @ 55/33 lbs.

Previous stick: Youtek Radical Pro - Same string combo above, but strung a tick tighter at 57/55 because of more open pattern. Played this setup and loved it. Prior to that, strings were Black Code and Head Natural Gut. I got along fine with the BC/Head Natural Gut, but the VS was much kinder on the arm, stayed a bit more consistent on tension after break-in, and for me, lasted longer.

First hybrid on the Radical Pros I played were, Sonic Pro / FXP Power. I found myself breaking strings more frequently, and personally, I felt my arm took a beating. Again, that is my personal experience.

Bringing this back, the downside of the BC/VS Natural Gut Black is the price. That being said, any setup that is going to be gentler on the arm (Playing 3-4 times a week) is something I will not compromise on. I also switch out 2 IG Speed frames and I'll swap out one to fresh strings every 6 weeks.....I think. Time frame is close at least.

Btw, switching to the IG Speed 18x20's is a work in progress, but I'm liking the direction in the transition :)

Peter_G
03-15-2011, 12:40 PM
Hominator

Current stick is Head IG Speed (18x20) that I switched out from a Head Youtek Radical Pro about two weeks ago. Black Code in the mains / VS Natural Gut Black (Note: I like the look of the black/black hybrid) @ 55/33 lbs.



Above should read - 55/53 :)

thebuffman
03-16-2011, 01:00 AM
OP i have been play testing a new setup with performaxx natty gut mains and tourna big hitter blue in the crosses. all i can say is WOW. this gut is naturally lower powered than most natural guts i've tried and the co-poly cross helps tame power even more. the spin i generate is insane. most of my rally balls kick up shoulder high to my oponents. serves are effortlessly powerful and accurate. i literally watch the ball land and then seem to propel itself from the court. you can definitely get some great spin when placed in a hybrid with with a low coefficient co-poly.

Fed Kennedy
03-16-2011, 01:17 AM
get a good tension holding poly for the crosses and you've got a sweet setup. sonic pro dies super fast. get some plasma or hyperion in there.

Hominator
03-16-2011, 05:40 AM
Hominator

I've had a bit of an evolution with string setups that was similar to yours over the past 18 months that might help. I'll work backwards from my current setup.

Current stick is Head IG Speed (18x20) that I switched out from a Head Youtek Radical Pro about two weeks ago. Black Code in the mains / VS Natural Gut Black (Note: I like the look of the black/black hybrid) @ 55/33 lbs.

Previous stick: Youtek Radical Pro - Same string combo above, but strung a tick tighter at 57/55 because of more open pattern. Played this setup and loved it. Prior to that, strings were Black Code and Head Natural Gut. I got along fine with the BC/Head Natural Gut, but the VS was much kinder on the arm, stayed a bit more consistent on tension after break-in, and for me, lasted longer.

First hybrid on the Radical Pros I played were, Sonic Pro / FXP Power. I found myself breaking strings more frequently, and personally, I felt my arm took a beating. Again, that is my personal experience.

Bringing this back, the downside of the BC/VS Natural Gut Black is the price. That being said, any setup that is going to be gentler on the arm (Playing 3-4 times a week) is something I will not compromise on. I also switch out 2 IG Speed frames and I'll swap out one to fresh strings every 6 weeks.....I think. Time frame is close at least.

Btw, switching to the IG Speed 18x20's is a work in progress, but I'm liking the direction in the transition :)

Thanks for your thoughtful response and advice. I, too, like the one color look of VS black and a black poly. I think I'm going to experiment with a hybrid soon...

Hominator
03-16-2011, 05:42 AM
To maximize spin, shouldn't the poly be in the mains, not the crosses? I'd imagine that poly in the crosses would stiffen the string bed, but not necessarily add more spin (which is why I would use poly in the first place). Do I have this wrong? Thanks again for everyone's help. This is what makes these boards so useful!

GPB
03-16-2011, 05:51 AM
To maximize spin, shouldn't the poly be in the mains, not the crosses? I'd imagine that poly in the crosses would stiffen the string bed, but not necessarily add more spin (which is why I would use poly in the first place). Do I have this wrong? Thanks again for everyone's help. This is what makes these boards so useful!

That's the "old" way of thinking, but it might not actually be how it works.

TW did a study where they showed that spin relies more on the strings sliding, and the maximum slide (or the lowest coefficient of friction) is with natural gut in the mains and a smooth poly in the crosses.

The way I think of it:
Poly main, soft cross = better durability (in terms of strings breaking)
Soft main, poly cross = better playing and tension maintenance (since you don't notice the poly dying)

fuzz nation
03-16-2011, 09:34 AM
Stop the madness.

You're getting a sore arm after only two consecutive days of tennis, you've had a case of TE in recent history, and you're still considering a poly hybrid.

You're kidding yourself. You've had TE. That means that you're especially susceptible to elbow issues.

Dump the poly immediately and start figuring out what natural gut or multi layout might keep you in business. Otherwise stop trying to fudge it with a poly hybrid and then regret the fallout.

Call it tough love or whatever, but I'd rather you make realistic efforts to keep healthy and able to play the game.

Peter_G
03-16-2011, 12:11 PM
Stop the madness.

You're getting a sore arm after only two consecutive days of tennis, you've had a case of TE in recent history, and you're still considering a poly hybrid.

You're kidding yourself. You've had TE. That means that you're especially susceptible to elbow issues.

Dump the poly immediately and start figuring out what natural gut or multi layout might keep you in business. Otherwise stop trying to fudge it with a poly hybrid and then regret the fallout.

Call it tough love or whatever, but I'd rather you make realistic efforts to keep healthy and able to play the game.

Yep, wasn't worth it to me pinching pennies to save $30 or so. My arm is worth more than that :)

Boricua
03-16-2011, 12:22 PM
I've been enjoying playing my Head IG Speed (16x19) MPs with Head Sonic Pro 17. I really like the extra spin on the ball these strings give me. The problem is that I feel I need to restring my racquets once every two weeks with this string or the string becomes unplayable for me (poly goes dead - strings begin to move). FYI - I don't break strings anymore (as much as that hurts my ego).

I'm watching Clijsters play right now and that got me thinking - if a WTA pro can still play with natural gut, why can't I? I'd expect that a natural gut job would last me at least six months, which would make it even more cost effective than stringiing poly. And natural gut would help protect my tender elbow while retaining its tension.

So, should I consider making the switch to natural gut? Will I miss the spin I get from poly? What would you do? Thanks for your thoughts!

Clisters just retired from Indian Wells with a shoulder injury, even using full gut. May be the stiffness of her Pure Drive or just an injury related to so many hours being played. Hope she gets better, want to see her against Caro and Vera.:)

Boricua
03-16-2011, 12:25 PM
Hominator

I've had a bit of an evolution with string setups that was similar to yours over the past 18 months that might help. I'll work backwards from my current setup.

Current stick is Head IG Speed (18x20) that I switched out from a Head Youtek Radical Pro about two weeks ago. Black Code in the mains / VS Natural Gut Black (Note: I like the look of the black/black hybrid) @ 55/33 lbs.

Previous stick: Youtek Radical Pro - Same string combo above, but strung a tick tighter at 57/55 because of more open pattern. Played this setup and loved it. Prior to that, strings were Black Code and Head Natural Gut. I got along fine with the BC/Head Natural Gut, but the VS was much kinder on the arm, stayed a bit more consistent on tension after break-in, and for me, lasted longer.

First hybrid on the Radical Pros I played were, Sonic Pro / FXP Power. I found myself breaking strings more frequently, and personally, I felt my arm took a beating. Again, that is my personal experience.

Bringing this back, the downside of the BC/VS Natural Gut Black is the price. That being said, any setup that is going to be gentler on the arm (Playing 3-4 times a week) is something I will not compromise on. I also switch out 2 IG Speed frames and I'll swap out one to fresh strings every 6 weeks.....I think. Time frame is close at least.

Btw, switching to the IG Speed 18x20's is a work in progress, but I'm liking the direction in the transition :)

How about BC and Tonic 15 gut? Could be more durable and cheaper and not so different to BC/VS gut:)

Peter_G
03-16-2011, 12:32 PM
How about BC and Tonic 15 gut? Could be more durable and cheaper and not so different to BC/VS gut:)

Might be worth a try, but I'm going to stay with the BC / Black VS for a stint and see how it goes. Thanks for the recommend too :)

JT_2eighty
03-16-2011, 01:20 PM
Clisters just retired from Indian Wells with a shoulder injury, even using full gut. May be the stiffness of her Pure Drive or just an injury related to so many hours being played. Hope she gets better, want to see her against Caro and Vera.:)

Shoulder issues usually not to do with string choice, but typically overuse and/or racquet weight. Strings affect wrist and elbow much more. Of course, not all injuries related to gear either, so who knows.

:)

parasailing
03-16-2011, 02:59 PM
Shoulder issues usually not to do with string choice, but typically overuse and/or racquet weight. Strings affect wrist and elbow much more. Of course, not all injuries related to gear either, so who knows.

:)

For me, if I hit with a harsh poly, I actually feel it more in my shoulder than my arm or elbow. Once I switched to a softer string for the arm, I noticed my shoulder was not as sore.

Hominator
03-16-2011, 03:52 PM
Stop the madness.

You're getting a sore arm after only two consecutive days of tennis, you've had a case of TE in recent history, and you're still considering a poly hybrid.

You're kidding yourself. You've had TE. That means that you're especially susceptible to elbow issues.

Dump the poly immediately and start figuring out what natural gut or multi layout might keep you in business. Otherwise stop trying to fudge it with a poly hybrid and then regret the fallout.

Call it tough love or whatever, but I'd rather you make realistic efforts to keep healthy and able to play the game.

I think that's some pretty sound advice.

Hominator
03-28-2011, 05:37 PM
Update - I had a pack of Prince Recoil 16 sitting around, so I had my stringer string my Head IG Speed 315 with it at 56/58 this weekend.

Just got back from hitting with another former college player and I'm very pleased - and surprised - with the result. We started playing a set and I switched between my Speed strung with Sonic Pro 17 and my other one strung with Recoil (racquets are identical as they were matched by RPNY).

What surprised me most was the kick I was getting on my serve with the Recoil. The difference between the Recoil and the Sonic Pro was apparent as the Recoil just took off when it hit the service box. I did not have the same result with the Sonic Pro, which surprised me. Groundstrokes also had plenty of spin. Keep in mind that you really need to have the bat speed to reap the benefits of Recoil. When I was hitting out, it played very much like a poly.

I may have finally found my alternative to poly, while retaining much of the benefits of poly...

jkang909
03-28-2011, 05:39 PM
too much money

Hominator
03-28-2011, 05:57 PM
too much money

It's more expensive than poly, for sure, but less expensive than re-stringing poly and much less expensive than natural gut...

mikeler
03-29-2011, 06:00 AM
It's more expensive than poly, for sure, but less expensive than re-stringing poly and much less expensive than natural gut...


I broke my first half set of Recoil, so now I'm stuck with Recoil in the mains and Mantis Comfort in the crosses. Looking forward to trying it out.

JT_2eighty
03-29-2011, 09:12 AM
It's more expensive than poly, for sure, but less expensive than re-stringing poly and much less expensive than natural gut...

Nice. Keep us posted on durability and longevity. It's a great sounding string I haven't tried due to the price. If it doesn't work out for you, look into Polystar Energy, I am using it now and amazed how soft it is. Strung up another stick of it last night and it stretches on the dropweight almost like a synthetic gut, yet it's a monofilament poly that has the spin & control of poly without any harshness at all. Only issue can be string shears at grommets if you mishit badly, but I haven't had this issue yet.

kiteboard
03-29-2011, 09:26 AM
Nothing provides the performance of poly. Nothing. But any poly in a 16x19/100 is going to die very quickly due to the greater stress on the strings due to that pattern and head size.

If you have an injury, you shouldn't be playing until your injury has healed.

If you're coming back from injury and want to ease back into it, then gut would be one way to go. But so would a softish multi at medium tension. It won't provide you with the performance of poly (or even a poly hybrid) but its probably the sensible way to go if you're recovering from injury.

Personally, I don't like full bed gut - too much trampolining and elasticity. Cljisters and co string gut at absurdly high tensions and restring after a couple of sets or so. Most people can't afford to do that. Nate Ferguson was saying just the other week that Sampras used to string his 1.22mm gut at 72lbs in a PS88! They must have been restringing for him almost constantly.

If you want the feel and forgiveness of gut, but don't want a big drop off in performance, gut mains (or even multi mains) and poly crosses would be the way to go. The poly will prevent the overpowered trampolining effect of gut but you'll still get the feel and forgiveness of gut.

How to get the best string/job for your game.
How to get the best string/job for your game.
A couple of decisions are nec. Are you a pusher/power hitter/serve volleyer/all courter/no pace/counter puncher/precision type lull hitter/old school/modern wiper forehand/two hander bh/attacker/grinder/patient/impatient type?



Do you like crisp/soft/spin/power/control/durability/cost/feel/touch/mushy/poly/copoly/gut/syn gut/kevlar/hybrids or full sets?

Do you like light frames, med/heavy/extreme sticks?

Do you like high/low/med/ extreme tensions?

Do you like soft/stiff/med. frames?

Do you string for control and lust for power? Do you string for spin and lust for control? Do you string for cost and lust for feel?

What was the best string job/frame/tens. you ever had for control? For power? For spin? Were they match tested?

Answer all those questions, and only then will you be able to get the best string job.

Lead placed at 3 and 9 compress the sweet spot, as the mass on the frame there, adds weight to the string across that plane, like a dumbell with wts. on the ends, polarizes those strings. Take the wts off the dumbell, and the bar is not polarized with end wts. anymore. Lead at 12 elongates the sweet spot towards the end of the hoop, and makes it skinnier than at 3 and 9, for those who hit towards the end of the hoop.

VAriations on the normal string job are: looser top five crosses to enlarge the sweet spot: proportional stringing: pinging out the mains to obtain the same tension/tone for each string to even out the bed.

Jaycee method: deals with tension loss for hard hitters.

"The method I use for two-piece jobs, which on the board we call JC's method, is to increase the tension in the crosses by 4lbs compared to the mains. In addition, pull the outer two mains at +8lbs, and then push down on them firmly from the outside mains to the inside mains to equalize the tension after tying off. You do the same for the crosses. The logic of this method is not based on string constructions, but rather the fact that the crosses always have a lower tension than the mains, so it is equally applicable to a two piece job with one kind of string. Then the last three crosses, up another 4lbs."


Serious article on pro strings/frames/tens/time on string job/type of string, etc.
http://www.protennis.us/US%20Open%20...20Analysis.pdf stringing by pros


Here is an article on how to string polys, and other strings, for best effect: http://ggtennis.wordpress.com/

"Power is actually barely changed whether strung at 60, 45 or 30 pounds. What changes is "Ball trajectory", meaning a lower strung racquet will have the ball rebound off your racquet at a higher angle, more likely to go long (hence why people have always considered it "more power").

So, the point that this article draws upon is that POLY strings, being as stiff as they are, when strung at lower tensions like 45, do not result in the same "trajectory change" that softer synthetic gut, nat gut, and/or multifilament strings would experience at the same low tensions."

Gut gives the most power, the most control, but it's a fine line on the trajectory angle with gut. By loosening the crosses, lower than the mains, you increase the angle, giving the impression of more power/depth. It's softer and more elastic, smaller stiffness rating, easier on the arm/shoulder, more expensive, less durable. Too loose and it goes long. Holds tension best. Too tight and you lose the advantages over poly. Why does gut give more control than poly if its angle off the bed is higher due to softer more elastic fibers? Does the ball stay on the bed longer? Do fractions of miliseconds really mean that much more feel/control? ONly if the stiffnes of the frame/mass of the frame, tension it's strung at complement your style! And budget.

Many top pros use vs gut hybrids, to get the best of both worlds out of poly/gut. (Joker, Fed, Murray, Roddick, Cilic, etc.) Many uber hitters (Gulbis, Delpotro, Soderling, Berdych,) Tsonga (used to before rpm) use full alu power (only comes in 1.25mm) at 60lbs and 360g, but it's like formula one race car tires, only good for a short time, before the trajectory angle changes, due to migration of the sweet spot/knot tension loss/towards the mains, and loss of stiffness due to hard hitting, the angle changes too rapidly for high level players. People who don't hit hard don't need the power and control of gut. People who do hit hard, break strings too often to be able to afford it. 18 x 20 patterns don't break the string as often as 16 x 20, or 16 x 19. Due to the more open string pattern, the string saws more, back and forth, due to less friction on the crosses. Same reason why open patterns give more spin/more snap back grabbing, due to greater sawing motion. They also give a higher trajectory angle off the bed. (Woodford played with a 12 x 16, at 90lbs, with 1.80mm orig. lux. string, which gave him vicious kick serve spin....) Rafa plays with apd orig., 9g at 12, at 54/52lbs. Fed plays with vs team (wilson prem.)/alu rough at 48.5/45.2lbs. It's a 90 in. frame vs. a 100 in. frame. Is it really ten percent difference in the bed, off the frame size? (53/50) Rafa plays at 336g, and Fed at about 357g. BAlance pts. and swing wts. are different. Djokovic: vs team mains at 60.5 alu smooth at 58.2lbs. He puts lead from the fourth cross down, to the bottom cross of the frame, four pieces on the inside edges next to the strings, larger frame, open pattern, special lay up for flexy feel. Three very different approaches to the perfect string job and frame. Why are they so different, yet, provide each with control and power and consistency? Fits their preferred game feel.

But it's pretty clear, that the vs team/alu combo, and the alu full set, are dominant among the top pros in the game. The trajectory angle of the vs team/alu combos depends on which is used as main and which as cross. The gut, due to its softer stiffness/higher elasticity, has a higher angle, and therefore, more perceived power and depth. Vice versa, when alu is used as main or poly as main, the angle is lower, due to its stiffer rating, than the gut, at the same tens/frame set up. That's why the flat uber hitters prefer the alu: lower net clearance than gut/poly combos. Lower net clearance is what uber hitters crave and need, for a flatter trajectory angle and more court penetration, yet not as deep a shot as gut as it falls shorter with less depth. All of this is effected by the frame and tension as well. Do softer frames result in lower trajectory angles and shorter shots? Is that why the uber hitters prefer softer frames? Look at what happened to Tsonga, and Joker, and Raonic when they switched from the kblade (or pj) to other frames. Their net games fell off. Their control fell off. Kblade was stiffer than the frames and had more weight. Tsonga to babolat, and now look at his volley. It's not a volleyers frame, due to the open pattern, tinny feel. Anyone remember him putting away 13 drop volleys against Rafa in the Aussie? That was a kblade moment. Now his volley sucks, and his serve does not have as much pop. Tsonga, go back to the kblade (Kobra,pj, etc.) vs team/alu hybrid. Fed also used to be at 54/51lbs, at which tens. he won 14 slams or so, and since going down in tens., he has only one or two slams. Fed, maybe your fhs are going out so often due to the lower tension on your stick! Nadal, Fed, Murray, Joker, all drop the cross tensions, for more power/compression of sweet spot.
__________________ There is a fine line between power/initial tension/tension migration loss/control/and your won/loss record! If anyone out there wants to play your best, (who doesn't?), email me for advice, or just read this article and answer the questions posed to you in it.

grover
03-31-2011, 06:04 AM
I had some elbow issues after using poly for the first time and still have not recovered completely after switching to full gut six months ago. I found your racket to have a lot of vibration when I hit with it compared with the Volkl and Becker frames I'm used to. I see your name come up on the Volkl boards so maybe you should also consider switching back to the most arm friendly rackets on the planet.