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View Full Version : How & how long to experiment with low tension?


Fletch
11-14-2005, 05:09 PM
I have a PD+ and string with poly around 63 to 65 lbs. I tried syn gut at 40 lbs for about an hour of hitting, then had to string normal for a upcoming tournament. I really liked 40 lbs, more power, more spin, and a killer kick serve for the first time in my life. Problem was the ball did fly a bit when hitting on the rise and the strings moved around like crazy. I like to take a pretty big cut at the ball. Would like to string lower for the extra pop and increased spin, plus the arm benefits.

I guess the question: would you go poly or syn gut? (specific string?)
How would you go about lowering the tension, just go to 40 lbs and make myself get used to it? (I have my own stringer so I can afford to fool around with this)
And how long would you give it? 3 or 4 hits? (Is it love at first hit? I'm in like with it but not lovin it yet)

Seems like most people with a PD+ string in the upper 50's?

Thanks for any tips. Don't know if it will be worth it in the long run.

Alafter
11-14-2005, 09:36 PM
I am experimenting with low tension as well, although not as low as you are about to go. Anyways, I started with low tension multifilament and broke them in about a week. Then I tried poly in the cross and same problem. Now it's poly in the main and multifil in the crosses and it's alright--the string movement is minimal. I strung mains at 55 and multi fil crosses at 58 in hope that the crosses will give some feel but at the same time keep the mains from moving around.

Anyways, try putting poly in the mains if you hate excessive movements. Although, at 40 lbs I wonder if your polys will still move around like crazy anyways. Lemme know--I am very interest in hearing your results.

Midlife crisis
11-14-2005, 09:41 PM
According to this article:

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200501/200501tension.html

lower tensions produce marginal gains in ball speed (low single digit percentages).

When I've used lower tensions, I seem to find a large difference in ball trajectory when hitting hard versus hitting soft, and it is the inconsistency that bothers me. Personally, I think feel is way over-rated, since there is no way that the feel of the ball of the racket can make its way to your brain, be processed, and result in some conscious change of the swing before the ball is well gone from the strings. Nerve conduction speeds are in the 200-300 MPH range, or 400-500 ft/second. With a dwell time of, for example, 5 ms, the ball has left the strings by the time the shock of the impact has reached the nerves of the upper arm on its way to your brain. It's gone before your brain even receives the impulses from the impact itself.

dancraig
11-14-2005, 09:58 PM
I have a stringing customer that has me string his Wilson ncode at 35 pounds. He is an older player who used to be head pro at the local club. He says the low tension is why he has never had any arm problems. He also likes me to use the cheapest synthetic gut I have in stock. He claims the high end string promotions are mostly just hype. He says string tension makes much more difference than string type.

156MPHserve
11-14-2005, 10:14 PM
According to this article:

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200501/200501tension.html

lower tensions produce marginal gains in ball speed (low single digit percentages).

When I've used lower tensions, I seem to find a large difference in ball trajectory when hitting hard versus hitting soft, and it is the inconsistency that bothers me. Personally, I think feel is way over-rated, since there is no way that the feel of the ball of the racket can make its way to your brain, be processed, and result in some conscious change of the swing before the ball is well gone from the strings. Nerve conduction speeds are in the 200-300 MPH range, or 400-500 ft/second. With a dwell time of, for example, 5 ms, the ball has left the strings by the time the shock of the impact has reached the nerves of the upper arm on its way to your brain. It's gone before your brain even receives the impulses from the impact itself.

I must agree. I now how to hit my touch shots. I use the same movement with the same amount of force and I get the same short. I use an ncode 61 95. It has that mushy feel that touch players hate. Does a crisp racquet make my touch better? No. Is it more enjoyable? Quite. However, someone said something worth quoting, "With an older racquet, you hit the ball and you know where it'll go, with a new one you have to SEE where it'll go." I believe this is true as well.

As for low tensions... yeah I barely notice the difference to be honest, just more trampoline effect if you like it...

armand
11-15-2005, 08:23 AM
According to this article:

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200501/200501tension.html

lower tensions produce marginal gains in ball speed (low single digit percentages).

When I've used lower tensions, I seem to find a large difference in ball trajectory when hitting hard versus hitting soft, and it is the inconsistency that bothers me. Personally, I think feel is way over-rated, since there is no way that the feel of the ball of the racket can make its way to your brain, be processed, and result in some conscious change of the swing before the ball is well gone from the strings. Nerve conduction speeds are in the 200-300 MPH range, or 400-500 ft/second. With a dwell time of, for example, 5 ms, the ball has left the strings by the time the shock of the impact has reached the nerves of the upper arm on its way to your brain. It's gone before your brain even receives the impulses from the impact itself.Agreed, but feel greatly helps you with your next shot so you can find it easier. If you mishit with a racquet/string that has no feel, you have little idea as to where to adjust your swing to.
I swear this to be true: I can find the sweetspot on my PS 6.0 85 better than any other racquet. And it's not because it's very manueverable(it ain't), it's not because I've used it for a long time(5 months) and it's not because it has a large hitting area(pfff). That leaves feel and possibly stability. On the 85, you can feel which 4 strings you hit on each shot and adjust accordingly on the next one. That's feel.

Midlife crisis
11-15-2005, 10:02 AM
Agreed, but feel greatly helps you with your next shot so you can find it easier. If you mishit with a racquet/string that has no feel, you have little idea as to where to adjust your swing to.
I swear this to be true: I can find the sweetspot on my PS 6.0 85 better than any other racquet. And it's not because it's very manueverable(it ain't), it's not because I've used it for a long time(5 months) and it's not because it has a large hitting area(pfff). That leaves feel and possibly stability. On the 85, you can feel which 4 strings you hit on each shot and adjust accordingly on the next one. That's feel.

A couple of things. One is that if you can make adjustments of this sort, where you can actually feel which four strings you hit and make an adjustment for your next shot if you miss by a string or two, you have much greater swing accuracy than most, and probably all, tennis players, including the top pros, and using a wood racket would not be a problem due to the small sweetspot. Definitely, if you have this kind of swing accuracy, you should be able to know where you've hit the ball no matter how the racket "feels".

Besides, every racket has "feel". Feel is simply the impact shock of hitting the ball. Most of the time, people try and reduce "feel" by using a heavier racket, which has less impact shock because the racket more greatly outweighs the ball and therefore reacts less during the collision.

I think you've just happened on a racket with a swingweight that matches your strength and ability to swing it. Everyone has a racket they love for this reason, just like golfers "tune" their clubs by trying to match vibrational frequencies. None of this matters for the actual hitting, since the ball is long gone by the time you feel anything.

If as you say you have to adjust from shot to shot due to the racket's response to hitting the ball, how can you love your racket that much? On my racket, it does exactly what the stringbed makes the ball do every time. If I hit a ball out, it's due to me not getting the stringbed to meet the ball in the way it should. It's not because of "feel", it's because of bad timing, a wrong stringbed angle, not hitting the sweetspot, or some other swing deficiency.

armand
11-15-2005, 03:13 PM
A couple of things. One is that if you can make adjustments of this sort, where you can actually feel which four strings you hit and make an adjustment for your next shot if you miss by a string or two, you have much greater swing accuracy than most, and probably all, tennis players, including the top pros, Thank you, yes as a matter of record I do. Wait! Sarcasm detected!
Seriously though, it ain't that difficult. If I'm only missing by 2 strings or whatever to begin with, then I'm not far off anyway. It's all relative.Besides, every racket has "feel". Feel is simply the impact shock of hitting the ball. Most of the time, people try and reduce "feel" by using a heavier racket, which has less impact shock because the racket more greatly outweighs the ball and therefore reacts less during the collision.

I think you've just happened on a racket with a swingweight that matches your strength and ability to swing it. Everyone has a racket they love for this reason, just like golfers "tune" their clubs by trying to match vibrational frequencies. None of this matters for the actual hitting, since the ball is long gone by the time you feel anything.

If as you say you have to adjust from shot to shot due to the racket's response to hitting the ball, how can you love your racket that much? On my racket, it does exactly what the stringbed makes the ball do every time. If I hit a ball out, it's due to me not getting the stringbed to meet the ball in the way it should. It's not because of "feel", it's because of bad timing, a wrong stringbed angle, not hitting the sweetspot, or some other swing deficiency.It's not because of feel. Feel just gives you the info so you can adjust your timing more accurately, or have a more correct string bed angle. But you can have the correct timing, angle, footwork etc and still miss the sweetspot.