View Full Version : Natural Gut Longevity

02-27-2004, 09:34 AM
I have been stringing my own racquets for about six or eight months now and I restring them after every 10-15 hours of play. I would like to try playing with gut. I was curious, how long could I expect the string to last? I am a 3.5 player, all courter, and I play 1-2 times a week indoors and outdoors on hardcourts, singles and doubles leagues. I play a couple of local tournaments a year. On a good week, in addition to playing 1-2 times, I may get an hour of serving practice in as well (flat,topspin,slice & amer.twist). I break mains using Xcel Premium after two weeks (yes, I am from the dark side! PD+ OS @ 57lbs.) so I switched to Syntronic Brio and the durability is much better. I don't crush the ball, but I can hit with decent pace for a 3.5. Could I expect more than two weeks play at a 3.5 level with gut? Heat and humidity will rear its ugly head in a few months too. Thanks in advance for any assistance.

02-27-2004, 10:12 AM
Forgot to note that I use 16 gague string.

Jerry Seinfeld
02-27-2004, 11:40 AM
Properly cared for, with string savers, I would suspect you would easily double the life of the strings you currently use, perhaps even triple. Try a good 16 ga gut and make sure you store your racquet properly and I bet the longevity will surprise you...as will the feel and tension maintenance.

02-27-2004, 12:43 PM
Thanks much, Jer. I always keep my racquets inside at room temp. I'll order some VS Touch 16 and give it a whirl. I just didn't know whether to expect 2 weeks or 2 months out of it. It will be interesting to see how different temps and humidity levels affect the playability and longevity of gut. Around 50 degrees outside, Bab multifiliment feels like a piece of wood. I like the soft feel of a multi at the net, but I still need some umph from the baseline. Thanks again for the response.

02-27-2004, 03:39 PM
I am awatching Seinfeld right now so I am compelled to agree w. what Jery Seinfeld sez. Gut is pretty long lasting stuff if you arent a bad string breaker and holds its tension so well and plays great until it breaks. Alot depends too on string movement. I dont know the string density of the bat you use, but if an open pattern and strung fairly loosly, the sliding around causes wear...and if you play on clay at all, the grit is pretty destructive. I switched to a gut hybrid from nrg2 and I easily doubled the longevity and useful play from 4-5 sessions to 8-10 sessions. string savers are most important. put them in where you see signs of fraying. i also rub canning wax on the strings before and after i play and that may help. just keep the stuff dry and you will dig it like a day off. Ed

02-27-2004, 03:50 PM
Guy who strings my rackets uses nat.gut in the old Volkl c10 said he strung them up 3 months ago & they play like they were just strung;he plays 5.0 level ;the only enemy is water it will unravel. I just switched to VS , WOW !!!!!!!!

02-27-2004, 04:32 PM
natural gut is simply the best for maintaining playability during it's whole life, i easily got over 50 hours from a bde perf/gosen jc hybrid instead of about 4 to 10 hours from premium synthetics

02-28-2004, 06:54 AM
Thank you again for the input. My string pattern is 16 mains X 20 crosses, the top of the rang for my sticks is 57lbs. that is where I string at and I won't play a clay court league until the fall. A couple of other questions, will heat/humidity affect the longevity of gut (humidity can be oppressive here in Nashville!)? Has anyone tried the brush-on Thermogut protectant that is supposed to extend the life of the string? Will I need to pre-stretch the string and if so, what is involved? Is it a matter of stretching the string every few feet with my bare hands? Again, thank you all for the information.

Jerry Seinfeld
02-28-2004, 09:17 AM
I play in Atlanta and have no problems in terms of humidity in the summer. Keeping strings dry and protected is the key. I recommend storing racquet in thermal cover or racquet bag kept out of direct sunlight when not being used at the match site. Also store in house, NOT in car when not in use.

I have never been a fan of the brush-on protectant. Not really necessary if you use string savers.

As for pre-stretching. I always pre-stretch. Others do not. It is a matter of preference. In working with gut I find it especially useful because it relaxes the string and helps to avoiding kinking. Gut requires care so as not to kink during installation. I use the old-fashioned pre-stretch method of tieing one end of the string to a doorknob, the other to a handle. I then pull by leaning with most of my weight. I do an initial pull for 25 seconds, relax the string and then pull again for 15 seconds. Nothing magic about the time intervals I chose, but what is important is that I pull for the same amount of time each time I prestretch the string. Consistency is the key. If I want my future jobs to feel the same I have to replicate all processes, including how I prestretch.

I also use LaserFibre ProStock Supernatural Gut or Phenom in my back-up stick. It plays similar to gut and can handle the weather if it is an especially humid night. I also prefer to use the back-up when I play on clay. The Phenom 16ga is more durable than the pro-stock, but pro-stock plays more like gut...at least for me.

Good luck.

02-28-2004, 11:41 AM
used gut as a kid in wood rackets but never in a graphite frame. live in St.Louis , MO gets very humid as long as it does not get wet it is okay.

02-28-2004, 07:48 PM
If you're interested in durability/economy, maybe you should try hybrids to start.

03-01-2004, 09:00 AM
I'll go ahead and string them all gut to start with and maybe experiment a bit with hybrids later. Again, I keep my racquets inside my office at home (ie-room temp) when not playing. Thanks for the advice on prestretching, Jer. Thanks everyone on the advice regarding gut.