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View Full Version : Poly Stiffness vs. racket stiffness


Darkhors
07-01-2011, 11:18 AM
I read in a post a few days ago in a string review thread about how one string worked better in a stiffer frame vs. a softer frame. So I got to thinking, I was using Volkl Cyclone 17 in my AeroStorms and when I switched to the Pure Storm I stayed the same as I should. I noticed that I wasn't getting quite the same feel off the string bed, notably, it wasn't as soft as on my AeroStorm. I couldn't figure this out because although they are different rackets, they have a lot of the same characteristics and I felt that the string bed should feel close to the same.

Ok, so onto the test. I tried adjusting the tension up and down a little bit with the original strings and that didn't seem to work at all. I typically like softer poly's because of the pocketing and feel that I get, from which I don't normally get from stiffer polys. So I got to thinking about what was said. Maybe because the Pure Storm is more flexible, I need to have a little stiffer string to offset the frame. Initially this didn't make sense to me, but because I was stumped I gave it a shot. All I can say is that I'm a total believer now. I put in some Tour Bite 17 and dropped the tension 2lbs for both strings and got the feeling that I was looking for. I can now feel the ball like I was able to on my other rackets and I'm actually able to take a slightly bigger swing at the ball and still keep it in. Something that at times I would have problems with on my old stick.

Anyway, sorry for the long post but I'm wondering how many other people base their string setup on the flex of the racket? I string for a lot of people I always try to get them into something that fits them, but more along the lines of the type of player they are and whether or not they have arm issues. To me, this could be another way to get them settled into "their" string.

So who does this as a rule of thumb?

DH

Darkhors
07-05-2011, 07:54 AM
Nobody has any thoughts on this???

Tennis Is Magic
07-05-2011, 07:59 AM
I read in a post a few days ago in a string review thread about how one string worked better in a stiffer frame vs. a softer frame. So I got to thinking, I was using Volkl Cyclone 17 in my AeroStorms and when I switched to the Pure Storm I stayed the same as I should. I noticed that I wasn't getting quite the same feel off the string bed, notably, it wasn't as soft as on my AeroStorm. I couldn't figure this out because although they are different rackets, they have a lot of the same characteristics and I felt that the string bed should feel close to the same.

Ok, so onto the test. I tried adjusting the tension up and down a little bit with the original strings and that didn't seem to work at all. I typically like softer poly's because of the pocketing and feel that I get, from which I don't normally get from stiffer polys. So I got to thinking about what was said. Maybe because the Pure Storm is more flexible, I need to have a little stiffer string to offset the frame. Initially this didn't make sense to me, but because I was stumped I gave it a shot. All I can say is that I'm a total believer now. I put in some Tour Bite 17 and dropped the tension 2lbs for both strings and got the feeling that I was looking for. I can now feel the ball like I was able to on my other rackets and I'm actually able to take a slightly bigger swing at the ball and still keep it in. Something that at times I would have problems with on my old stick.

Anyway, sorry for the long post but I'm wondering how many other people base their string setup on the flex of the racket? I string for a lot of people I always try to get them into something that fits them, but more along the lines of the type of player they are and whether or not they have arm issues. To me, this could be another way to get them settled into "their" string.

So who does this as a rule of thumb?

DH

I don't base string setup on anything, I use string that I like and I string it up exactly the way I did on the last racquet, and adjust accordingly. I would never recommend someone change anything about their racquet setup before they try playing with it in stock form or recommend using a different string/tension than they used before. If you know enough about what you like, what you don't like, and how to achieve what you want, you'll know where to go from there.

Backhanded Compliment
07-06-2011, 12:29 PM
so many mitigating factors... but yes I string a prestige pro higher than a prestige MP (I use both) partly because of stiffness and partly because of string density.

some of the other mitigating factors are hoop stiffness vs shaft stiffness and torsional stability. Every string has its own character as well.

Rabbit
07-06-2011, 12:45 PM
This is a question I asked when I first "got into string". I had just changed to the C10 and wondered if a stiffer string worked better in a more flexible racquet and vice versa.

IME, the answer is maybe. :) I have found a setup I really like, and have liked it in 3 very different frames. I am using Lux Ace 18 @ 48 in the mains and TF NRG 17 (or Wilson Sensation 17) @ 50 in the crosses. I have used this setup in the C10, AeroStorm, and EXO 3 Tour Team and it is fantastic.

I'm about out of Ace, so I'll either move to one of the reels of Pacific XForce 18 I have or buying more Ace.

tampa_edski
07-06-2011, 04:25 PM
IME, the answer is maybe. :)

Tennis is Magic also had a good point about "knowing what you like". IMO it takes a bit of time to figure that out.

I just recently switched to poly's, and seem to be OK using for a longer period of time than most use them...I'm like that with strings on my bass guitars, too.

All I really know is Luxilon - I put ALU Big Banger Powers on my old Prince TriComp90, and some sort of Lux (not sure if it's the same) came on my newer Wilson K6.1 that I got earlier this year.

Anyway - it seems there are too many mitigating factors, and certainly YMMV, but I could tell the first time I hit with the K6.1 that I liked these strings...it may take some experimenting, but I think I'll be using some poly on each of my sticks going forward.

TimothyO
07-06-2011, 08:13 PM
Good post OP!

I too have wondered about this issue. To engage in a bit of hyperbole it seems that at one end you have players who prefer stiff/powerful frames with stiff/low power strings such as polys while at the other end you have those who prefer soft/low power frames with soft/higher power stings such as gut. Two extremes with the same objective in mind: controllable power. Everything else is shades of grey.

That being said it took me several months and lots of money to figure out my favorite string and frame combo (gut mains and smooth poly crosses at mid to low-ish tension in a lower power frame). The numbers provided a reference point but only experimentation and court time provide the ultimate, actionable answers.

To your exact point, I pick tension based on stiffness, pattern, and head size. Stiffer, more open, and larger I string tighter. Softer, denser, and smaller I string looser. I also use fatter gauges in open patterns and thinner gauges in dense patterns. I then experiment and note the results. So imo mltiple factors beyond stiffness need to be considered. You can have two frames with the same stiffness values but very different power levels and therefore different string requirements.

dozu
07-06-2011, 08:48 PM
the frame and the string bed are like 2 springs. they load upon impact, and unload upon separation (of the ball from the strings).

these 2 springs need to work in tandem to produce the maximum power and control.

generally speaking, stiff frame works better with stiff strings, and vice versa, soft frame works better with soft strings.....

otherwise, if they go out of sync, the performance won't be optimal.

stiff frame + soft string = lack of power, because when the frame is unloading, the string bed is still loading.... same reason it causes control problems.

soft frame + stiff string = dead racket.

GlenK
07-07-2011, 04:28 AM
I actually used that "Stringway" system as an experiment to determine my tension. It actually worked and I arrived at what you see in my sig.

I have experimented with a couple of customers and tried the same program with them as a "free trial" of the system. One loved it as I do, and the other did not like it at all.

But as TimothyO states, without some system for a starting point, there is a lot of trial and error.

Darkhors
07-07-2011, 09:25 AM
I don't base string setup on anything, I use string that I like and I string it up exactly the way I did on the last racquet, and adjust accordingly. I would never recommend someone change anything about their racquet setup before they try playing with it in stock form or recommend using a different string/tension than they used before. If you know enough about what you like, what you don't like, and how to achieve what you want, you'll know where to go from there.

So let me say that yes, I agree that there are many different factors that go into the final outcome. I've been stringing for about 3 years now and have played with many different string combinations and frames. I too take into account, the size of the head, string pattern and what type of SBS the player is looking for. What I hadn't thought about was the actual stiffness of the frame that the strings are going in. I also agree that you need to have a starting point (which if you read my post, says that I started with the same setup that I used in my Aerostorms). However, I was never able to achieve the same feeling in my PureStorm no matter what tension I used with the same strings.

So that's why I was thinking that if someone comes to you and says, "Hey, I'm currently using this, but it's not what I'm looking for. What do you have that can achieve such and such?" Well, I have a reference from what they were currently using and I would probably start with the same tension for the first string job. If that didn't work though, now I can look at all the other factors, PLUS, the stiffness of the string compared to the racket. I know what I like, so that's not a huge issue here. I'm thinking more for my customers sake. I'm sure those of us that string often get the player that when asked "what kind of feel are you looking for from your string bed?" they answer with "I don't know, whatever you think is right".

@Backhand - This is also an interesting thought about the difference between hoop stiffness and shaft stiffness, which I think is the biggest difference between the aero storm and pure storm.

the frame and the string bed are like 2 springs. they load upon impact, and unload upon separation (of the ball from the strings).

these 2 springs need to work in tandem to produce the maximum power and control.

generally speaking, stiff frame works better with stiff strings, and vice versa, soft frame works better with soft strings.....

otherwise, if they go out of sync, the performance won't be optimal.

stiff frame + soft string = lack of power, because when the frame is unloading, the string bed is still loading.... same reason it causes control problems.

soft frame + stiff string = dead racket.

Dozu - I have to disagree with this theory, but this is only because I have a theory of my own. If someone can show factual info to sort either of these out, that would be great. So here's why I don't agree:

If you have stiff frame with softer strings, even though the frame doesn't flex much, the strings will compensate for that and hold the ball a little longer which should help you control the ball a little better and also add some power (think trampoline). On the flip side, if you have a softer frame with stiff strings, the fame will be the one flexing and providing control and stability so that there can be more contact time with the strings. This is just going off of feel from different rackets that I've used in the recent past that ranged from the BLX6.1, EXO3 Graph, Aero Storm, Pure Storm, Aero Drive, EXO3 Black.

Great posts though everyone, thank you for chiming in.

DH

fortun8son
07-08-2011, 12:20 AM
Tennis is Magic also had a good point about "knowing what you like". IMO it takes a bit of time to figure that out.

...I'm like that with strings on my bass guitars, too.



That's funny. I prefer dead strings on my Bass, too.
Theyre more consistent(once they go dead, they don't change) and it's really hard to break a bass string(I've done it)
But we're not talking about steel and brass:)
It does take time to figure out what you Really need.
Sometimes years.
Sometimes never.
Sometimes you just use what works most of the time and adjust the way you play to fit.

I know that I can pick up anyone's Bass and start jammin' within minutes.

A lot of people here Think too darned much!
Play!
Feel!