4 months arm rehab, ready to test hybrid string set

Discussion in 'Strings' started by colowhisper, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    So I had a minor arm problem last fall after a long season, combination of tennis and golfers elbow. I changed racquets, did all the recommended rest and rehab exercises past four months and have only played my new Head Extreme Pro 2.0 with all gut at low tension. Just dropped her off for a string job of VS mains and TF Black Code crosses, still at low tension (baby steps). What can I expect for playability, spin and power difference? Wonder if my arm will get sore again?
     
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  2. dkt

    dkt Rookie

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    Had the same problem exercise helped as much or more than rest. Never have been able to resume playing with any poly. Gut or multi only. Gut is great but expensive, Multi's are fine, poor durability. Trying gut mains and multi cross as an economical alternative to full gut. Good luck, but be very careful with the poly and listen to your arm.
     
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  3. ricardo

    ricardo Professional

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    Gut mains/Multi crosses 42/38, Wilson KFive 108 cure..

    I was in the same situation like you but worse, 2 years ago.

    I went through many so called friendly rackets (PK, Volkl C10 Pro, etc).
    The only racket I thought helped me recover is the Wilson KFive 108 (triad technology) strung with NG Mains and Soft multi @42/38.

    I now string at 52/48, NG mains/multi or synthetics.
    I can play and hit really hard with a lot of topspin and my TE/GE never complained again.

    I am currently using Pacific Classic Gut @52 and Head rip control crosses @48.

    I firmly believe that comfort is significantly more dependent on the racket than on strings. That is my personal experience.

    I also tried Head Microgel Extreme Pro strung with NG mains but I sold it because it hurt my elbow.
     
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  4. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Don't do poly in the hybrid.
     
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  5. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I can't think that any Extreme racket would be good for elbow problems.
     
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  6. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    I found the Extreme 2.0 with full poly to be pillow soft in the sweetspot and and incredibly harsh outside of it. I was adjusting to switching from a single backhand to 2hands and was regularly hitting above or below the sweetspot. It felt great on all my other strokes but on my 2hbh it caused pain in my left hand from 3days of playing with it and lasted 1.5-2weeks. Have never felt this with any other tweener. If your pain starts up again I'd suggest switching to something like a V1.
     
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  7. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It's not worth it.
     
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  8. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Intersting observation. Did you feel pain in your hand or your wrist or your arm? I probably played about 40 hours total with it strung full gut this winter and never experienced anything but pillow softness. I found myself swinging a little slower which gave me more control and I perhaps rarely missed the (huge) sweetspot. I will pay attention to this when I hit next with the new strings. Thanks.
     
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  9. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    I demoed about 10 "arm friendly" racquets last fall, mostly on recommendations from this forum, and the Extreme 2.0 was by far my favorite. I never tried the "old" Extreme, but read here that the new version hits and feels much more supple and soft. I really like it and my arm is better, YMMV.
     
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  10. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    I agree and will cut it out at the first sign of soreness. I am hoping to keep the sublime feel and touch of the gut but get a little more bite on the ball and dial down the power down just a little. Any other ideas on how to accomplish this if the poly hurts?
     
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  11. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Well, too late for that, I pick her up today. Will report back after an hour workout with the ball machine.
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Sounds like you are on the right path. If it works great, if it hurts then cut it out.
     
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  13. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    I felt the pain in the bones of my left hand (not in the joints) but it was starting to creep down towards the wrist. BTW I have been using poly/syn gut hybrids or full poly in a APDGT for 2.5yrs and have never experienced something like that. I even used an old frame strung with kevlar some time back without the slightest bit of pain.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
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  14. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Like Ricardo was saying, I also look at frames and so far the best I've seen is the 6.1 95 BLX Amplifeel 2012. Basalt does wonders so that people that used a dampener before don't need it with this frame (to me is the other way around, i.e. if I want to hit with an older Kfactor 6.1 95 or Yonex etc, I have to put a dampener on it now - I usually don't use one and didn't use them in the past either with those older models).

    Also what's wrong with a heavier raquet that let's you hit a little slower like Ray says?

    Finally when I had tennis elbow I had to lower the tension from 58/56 to 52/50 and could play right way, while now I string the frames at 57/55, all Babolat VS Team 17 (the liveliest and friendliest).
    Disclaimer: I'm at best a 4.0 who hits hard and flat and I got a 1HBH, eastern grip most of the times. Are you at least using semi-western? 'Cause that might be helpful as well.

    In my mind nothing beats natural gut ($60 strung and I get at least 3 weeks out of each of my 2 hitting rackets, playing almost daily, 2 hours at a time).

    Good luck!
     
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  15. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    That probably wasn't from me...
     
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  16. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    True you were quoting the OP.
     
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  17. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    -Less dense string beds with natural gut (i.e. I favor 16/18 over 18X20 now). Wilson is even experimented now with a 16X15 with the Steam 99s:

    http://www.tennis.com/gear/2013/01/question-day-steams-spin-production/46243/

    -Thinner gauge for more spin (17 rather then 15/16 in my Babolat VS Team)

    -If you could extend its life (starting with a good stringer that pre-stretches and waxes the gut) and to play with it when it has started to play, that's when it bites more into the ball (like Sampras pointed out).
     
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  18. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Errata: "Play with it when it has started to fray, that's when it bites more into the ball"
     
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  19. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Best way to get poly-like control without using a poly cross, and also keeping your gut mains: Isospeed Classic 16, or their Professional Classic 17 (pick the gauge you prefer to use).

    Isospeed Classic was my go-to for quite some time when I was having arm pain from using a stiff Wilson racquet a few years ago for just a few months.

    I do agree with the poster who said racquet choice is going to affect your arm more than string choice. Now that I am back to using my extremely arm-friendly racquet (flex 58, 12 oz, headlight), I can use even poly in that one and not get any of the arm pain that I had been getting with even full gut on the racquet that killed my arm.

    Gut mains with Isospeed Classic crosses = sublime comfort with amazing control. Now I typically use poly crosses, but the control with Isospeed Classic crosses was about the same. It is a low-powered multifilament, with good durability, as the crosses don't notch and fray like other multis, allowing your gut to snap back in place *almost* like poly crosses.

    If you are coming back from injury, avoid poly crosses or replace them at the first sign of pain.
     
    #19
  20. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    Someone mentioned the Steam 99s. I had a bout of TE 6 months back. I had been playing with a Yonex RDiS with some stiff poly. Exercise and switching to gut mains with a multi cross, then later to gut mains with a poly crosses. Thera-band and icing after I played helped it along.

    So I picked up a steam 99s when it first came out. I'm a 4.0. with a fairly fast swing. Word of caution. I can't get gut to last more than 4 hours in it. So if you are thinking of buying it because of the basalt + the open face, know that if you have a fast swing you'll have to put a full bed of poly in it.

    I'm testing a full bed of Topspin cyberflash now. (its very soft). I'll see how it goes.
     
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  21. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    So I picked up the stick yesterday and here's my update from banging 60 mins full tilt on the ball machine and then 90 mins of casual doubles on the new string set. Maybe too soon to tell, let me know what you think. Probably cutting them out, but not because my arm hurts.

    I could feel the increased stiffness and spin right away on the machine fed balls. Bigger than expected loss of feel coming from all gut, but my swing adjusted quickly to a brush windshield wiper type spinny loopy deep placement style. Having lots of fun at this point, bite and spin are just awesome.

    After 30 mins or so of hard hitting I noticed a very slight pang of pain in the golfer elbow underside. I was also keenly aware of percieved increase in stamina and strength in my top side forearm muscles from all the workouts with the flex bars for the past few months. Thank you Charlie Fed. I survived a serious session the ball machine, iced up after and felt pretty good about the experiment. But match play was different.

    Day 2, strings broken in a bit, first real playing time. Warm up goes great, enjoing the spin and actually feel the strings moving, cool sensation, all slow balls opace. Yuk, first serve is much weaker. But second serve is wicked, lots of kick and side spin.

    After a few games of mostly doubles serve and volleying my arm still feels okay (ball machine work out 24 hours old), but with game pace I keep netting and spraying and shots don't go where I want. Missing a lot shots I usually make.

    After 2 sets my arm is fine but I switch racquets back to my old higher tension gut because I feel like I suck and am having a bad night on the court. Immediately my serve works, and my volleys hit the lines and my winners start clicking. Maybe just an ld habit, but I feel at home. I guess I prefer drives and crisp volleys over massive spin. Call me old fashioned.

    I feel good about progress treating the short bout with tennis elbow, but bottom line is I am just too old or old school for poly strings of any kind in any place on my racquet. I bow to the wise ones who knew this already and will either suck up the restring or keep this set up as a back up or for a nice mixed doubles stick to serve polite but sinister spin serves and hideous offensive lobs! :)

    Please keep the suggestions coming, still looking form that bite and spin with the feel and control all at the same time! The holy grail I guess.
     
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  22. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Cool advice, thanks. I think the lower tension was what bothered my aim and volleys. Wonder if i can cut out the poly, keep the gut mains, and string in the Isospeed at higher tension?
     
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  23. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ yes, if you string your own, you can mount your racquet first.

    Then, cut the crosses out starting from throat to head (opposite way they are strung to mimic as closely as possible the stresses of stringing a racquet.

    Then go ahead and restring the cross of choice.

    If you don't string your own, never just cut out the crosses if the frame isn't mounted, that will warp and damage the frame.
     
    #23

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