Best Strings for High School Players (question)

Discussion in 'Strings' started by MagicalRain1, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. MagicalRain1

    MagicalRain1 New User

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    Hey, I'm coaching high school tennis and I was wondering what types of string you'd assume for 2.0 - 4.0 high school level players.

    1. Some of the kids on my team are playing with $10-50 crackets (crap + racket) and have horrible dead string from when they were first strung 1-5 years ago. I was hoping to get them a nice reel of cheap $5-8 strings that would accommodate their racquets. I was also thinking a 17 gauge would suit them well as they would get more bite and not break strings because of lesser spin/swing speed. #1 let me know what you think.

    2. For the players with better rackets and who are closer to 3.0-4.0 players (hitting with more spin/power) what strings would you recommend? I am assuming $8-12 strings that are a little bit nicer and can handle abusive/wild serves etc. I am trying to do what is best for them and I would not consider being an economical man although I don't want to get stuck with a ton of string (btw does it die sitting out in the off season?). #2 let me know what you think.

    3. And then just to have 1 set of nice string I would want to look at maybe a high end $12-15 string that would be nice for over-achievers. Of course I am just putting prices down because that is the range I am assuming they would want to pay (higher skill level higher budget). And that may not be the case at all. I am really just looking at recommendations for string based on skill level and not so price. However, it would be very helpful if you could give me examples to look at and to get personal preference recommendations wherein you list your skill level etc. #3 let me know what you think.

    4. That's all I got... probably later I will want to know the difference from the strings of girls to guys as the summer program comes around, but for now I am just talking about predominantly male tennis players. #4 I guess we can discuss this now too... would you categorize them differently or the same string through genders?
     
    #1
  2. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    For that level of play, you really cannot go wrong with a reel of prince synthetic gut dura flex. It is the most forgiving string I've played with, does everything decently, is cheap, and it really is the best string to learn the game with IMHO. Don't let them play poly unless that go through synthetics like crazy.
     
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  3. Doubles

    Doubles Hall of Fame

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    Even better, try Forten Sweet, Gosen OGSM, or Gamma Syn Gut without wear guard. They're even cheaper than PSGD.
     
    #3
  4. gtshark1

    gtshark1 Rookie

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    Same back ground as you OP.

    #1- Gosen Micro Sheep reel is what I bought for stringing in general for my team

    #2 When the more advanced players want better strings they give me $ and I order then string for them. Red Code, Prince Beast, and Prince Lightning XX Spin are some of their favorites. (Some like me to hyrbid with the Gosen Micro Sheep to cut the cost and allow them 2 string jobs per set.
     
    #4
  5. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    Like the other are saying, a nice syngut will do you well.

    Prince, Gosen, Wilson, Gamma -- all have their own devotees and all are reasonably good.
     
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  6. drgchen

    drgchen Rookie

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    +1 for synthetic gut
    Prince, gamma, gosen, have used all of them.
    For people who have elbow issues and need a softer string, a multifilament like wilson sensation may work.
    Big hitters 4.0 or up could start considering a polyester string.
     
    #6
  7. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    I used black Gosen OG Sheep 17g when I was playing high school my freshman and sophomore year(5-3rd seed), then I switched to Isospeed Baseline for my junior and senior year(2nd-1st seed)[strung my own racquets, so the poly dying quickly wasn't an issue]. When you get better poly's really helps.
     
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  8. namxkevin03

    namxkevin03 New User

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    If I remember, TW has a reel of ISO speeds for 40 bucks.
     
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  9. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Well, Hive Mind thread, because it's hard not to consider s-gut. Cheap, performs well. Doesn't last long due to tension maintenance but since it performs well and it's cheap, it's a good value for price setup. EDIT: Also, don't let kids ever use poly. They're still growing, their arms are more sensible and it could be very, very bad.
     
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  10. darklore009

    darklore009 Professional

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    while i was at my high school year, I used isospeed baseline spin and gosen og micro. best economical hybrid i tried.
     
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  11. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

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    I dont think poly is that bad, i am 19years old, and i played with full poly when i first started,which is 3 years ago.I never have any arm problem even with full luxlixon at60, and i restring them until it pop.Most of my friends around my age group use full poly too, and we never have any problem with full dead poly. This is just my opinions about full poly for high school player, i think most people that said poly is bad for teen are not teen.
    I think you should get a reel of poly and a reel of synthetic, the first few post recommend some really nice and cheap syngut.For poly i recommend pro's pro poly, its only 40/reel and it play as good as the big brand.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
    #11
  12. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Well I am (was? I'm actually nine...TEEN), and I won't use full poly anymore. I can't break it, and it's dead after 20h and after that mark I can't use it: tension loss, dead feeling even deader than what poly is, vibrates too much, stiffens. Switched to s-gut. Even if I like firm strings, no more poly. Never had arm problems, it's just that I have no reason to put a string I have no benefit in using. Not an highschool player though (well I'm not in highschool anymore too).
    And I wouldn't make kids use it too: they don't have any benefits in using it: they don't have the technique yet to put a lot of topspin with enough pace so it doesn't becomes moonballing, they don't break strings, it's less comfortable, and it dies quickly.

    Highschool players with a decent level have more benefits out of using poly than just rec level players, because their level isn't the same. It's not like every single kid/teen happens to be and highschool/competitive player, do they?
     
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  13. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

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    I agree that poly is not going to benefit them if they are beginners, but i dont think poly is going to hurt them as much as people think. I know bunch of beginners in highschool that play with full poly ,and they told me they never feel any arm pain.This is just my personal opinion and experience, of course i dont know all the high school player in the world, so i cant speak for all of them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
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  14. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I've been stringing for boys' and girls' high school teams for a few years now and I agree with what's been covered so far. I've always needed a healthy stock of decent 16 ga. syn. gut, but some of the sluggers eventually ask for at least a poly hybrid to keep them happy.

    Gosen OGSM delivers good bang for the buck and I've also been impressed with Forten Sweet in both 16 and 17 ga. options (I may be liking the Gosen OG Micro 17 over the Forten, but can't deliver my verdict yet). Although it costs a little more than Gosen in a 660' reel, I love Tecnifibre's 16 ga. syn. gut in my own Volkl C10's, so that's a possible option for a slightly "nicer" syn. gut.

    For the poly cravers, I've done fine with 17 ga. Gosen Polylon crossed with 16 ga. Gosen OGSM, but I've also tried a couple of upscale hybrids using Tourna Poly Black 7 in 16 gauge mains instead of the Polylon. So far, that Black 7 has been well received among some stronger, more accomplished players who are familiar with a co-poly like RPM Blast (the Black 7 is much less expensive).

    Just to have my bases covered, I also keep a couple sets of Head RIP Control 16 handy in case somebody wants a multifiber, but lately that string type just hasn't been as popular among the high school troops.
     
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  15. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Gosen OGSM in 17g natural, and a reel of Isospeed Baseline Spin for those who hit with more spin. Cheap and effective.
     
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  16. Mighty Matteo

    Mighty Matteo Semi-Pro

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    black mamba gear twisted
     
    #16
  17. lynnbart

    lynnbart Rookie

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    Discho Black Iontec would be a fantastic poly for performance and price. Plays nice, has great durability, and the price is great.
     
    #17
  18. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Prince Syn Gut Duraflex.
    Above 4.0, then anything goes.
     
    #18
  19. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    I'd probably get a reel of Prince Duraflex and a mid-range poly.
     
    #19
  20. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Hey MagicalRain1, I am also a high school tennis coach, and string the racquets for my girls (I actually do it free during the season).

    The first thing you need to do is contact some of the manufacturers directly. Many of them have programs or discounts for coaches, ranging from 10% - 50% off. I know TW has a 'Team' department that gives you a discount on pretty much everything (grips, shoes, strings, racquets, etc.), but the discount is different for each piece of equipment.

    NOTE: I've purchased a multitude of items from TW's team dept, including racquets & uniforms, so please don't trash me for referring to 'other' places.

    As far as strings...I picked up a reel of Dunlop S-Gut for ~ $42 from a popular 'Wholesale Tennis Distributor' that I got an account with as a coach. The reel comes to ~ $2.35 per string job, and its a fairly decent synthetic.

    For the better players, I picked up a reel of MSV Focus Hex Soft through G & G. Mentioning that I was a high school coach got me a slight discount as well. Note that the discount was about the same as what the TW Team department would give (10%), but TW does not carry reels of MSV or I would have gone through them.

    For both strings, I went with the thinnest available (17g synthetic, 18g MSV), mainly because I'm coaching girls, and only one of them has the potential to break the strings. And even then, if they broke, they were ready to be restrung anyway. If you coach boys, you may want to bump up to 16g synthetic & 17g poly, depending on how hard they hit the ball.

    Only one girl uses full poly, four use a hybrid, and the rest just use full synthetic.

    Also with girls, I've found having string colors that match their racquets, or better yet, the school colors, seems to elicit a big smile. And in the end, that's what coaching these kids is about, isn't it? Having fun while playing tennis.
     
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  21. Carolina Racquet

    Carolina Racquet Hall of Fame

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    Tough question about a "good string for a high school player", because there is not a proto-type of a single player.

    For my flat-hitting players who could use more power, I steer them towards a good syn gut such as Gosen OG Micro.

    For my topspin, harder-hitting crowd I suggest using Big Hitter Blue/Big Hitter Blue Rough if they prefer a softer feel. I also get them to lower their tension to no more than the mid-range suggested by the manufacturer.

    Other good polys I've used have been Isospeed Baseline, Golden Set Snakebite and Volkl Cyclone. All under $9 a set.
     
    #21
  22. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I will never forget some time last year around this time when I got a frame to restring. It was a legit frame, a Wilson BLX Tour for a very good junior girl. She wanted red poly mains and syn gut crosses. I called her mother to ask what color synthetic, as I have white, black, yellow and red. I heard the girl go in the background "OOOOH RED!!!" Haha I never even considered that it could make that much difference, but I agree with what I bolded completely. :)
     
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  23. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    Dunlop Hexy Fiber...
     
    #23
  24. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    For the 2-3.5 players: OGSM syn gut, forten Sweet syn gut, Pince syn gut. I prefer OGSM for the kids because its a touch softer. Forten is my second choice, Prince my last choice. Buy a reel of 16 and a reel of 17. Most of the players will be fine with the 17 for 20+ hours. If you get a bigger kid with an open racquet you'll need to string his/hers with 16.

    For the 3-5 to 4.0 player. A good reel of multi. Look at miklers multi's thread.. hes reviewed ALL of them that are worth reviewing. In my personal opinion the Disco Microfibre is the best.. best bang for the buck. You can buy reels at Mamba tennis.

    For the love of god keep them away from Poly. The kids will NEVER cut it out, and they wont break it. They will play with the same dead strings all season.

    You will see a lot of people evangelizing poly for kids. I've posted my views before. Poly exists to enable big hitters to take pace OFF the ball by imparting less force on the ball strike. This allows big hitters to keep their large motion and spin the ball in without pushing it long. Its also a more durable string.

    Unless you have a kid that can swing like this (Very few I've ever seen on a high school team can.. they would be far and away more advanced and stringing their own racquets anyways at that point) All you are doing by installing poly in a stick of a kid that can't use it correctly is frustrating him/her and potentially causing arm damage as the kid swings harder and harder as the poly goes dead to generate the same force.

    Just don't do it.

    Btw, I'm not talking about hybriding here, talking full bed.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
    #24
  25. Squidward

    Squidward Rookie

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    I string for 2 HS teams, both Girls and Boys.

    I agree that most HS Players should just play a nice Synthetic Gut like Forten Sweet or Technifibre 17 (one of the more popular ones among the HS players I string for). Cost effective too.

    That being said, I do have a couple of the boys that are around 4.0+. One uses Dunlop Black Widow and the other uses Discho Gear Twisted. They actually ask for it by name.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
    #25
  26. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Kudos to all you HS coaches who so generously string for their players free of charge.

    Back, way back, when I played HS tennis, stringing was strictly each individual player's responsibility.
     
    #26
  27. nadalex

    nadalex Rookie

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    I'm on a High School Varsity team with kids i'd classify as 3.5-4.5. We live in an affluent neighborhood so they tend to all have two or three sticks and expensive strings. Anyway i bought a stringing machine and tested hundreds of strings myself. If you are coaching a varsity team, not junior varsity. Have two reels of poly and a real of synthetic on hand. For me, I ordered A reel of Discho Black Spin which is a better version of Tecnifibre's Black code IMHO, and a reel of Clarke Power Poly Pro in 17 Gauge. Also i ordered a reel of Gosen OGSM. The top kids will play with full clarke or full black spin. and others will either play those or with a hybrid of one poly and Gosen OG Synthetic Micro. These three reels are all you will ever need.
     
    #27
  28. siata94

    siata94 Rookie

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    IMO the best deal is Forten Nylon 16 in black $17 for the reel. It's way softer then all the others and kids dig black string. Also good to have other colors and hybrid them which they love even more.

    MagicalRain and McLovin, much respect for you and the coaches that coach these type of programs.

    In case you haven't seen this article in the LA Times recently, Teen's goodwill gets ball rolling for Compton High tennis team:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/22/local/la-me-compton-tennis-20130422
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
    #28
  29. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    ^^^ If the kids playing simply aren't good tennis players, then I agree. A tournament nylon is your best bet. They'll never tell the difference between that and a syn gut, and it's so cheap that it doesn't hit a budget at all.
     
    #29
  30. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I think it's pretty important for the children to actually know how to string. If you're a serious player, it's nonsensical not to buy a machine.However, not every serious player can afford a stringing machine..
     
    #30
  31. BabolatTennis9

    BabolatTennis9 New User

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    if they are using cheep rackets use forten nylon. Its easy to string and it only cost $17 a reel (can string 18 rackets) so it would cost less than $1 to string a racket. I string it for our JV team all the time when they break strings and i charge them like $7 to string their racket so im making a huge profit from it.
     
    #31
  32. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

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    My high school team is pretty advanced (not a rich city though). Strings vary. JV guys don't care really... some people on that side have been using the same strings that came with the racket..

    But the more advanced guys on the team, it varies. My friend uses head fxp, and a couple use technifibre x-one or nrg2. I use a hybrid of lux 4g/fibergel power or tour bite.

    I really recommend the fibergel power 16 to lower advanced guys (in full bed) because there's a lot of power and it stays fresh for a long time...
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
    #32
  33. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

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    I cant edit yet... i mean to beginner guys*, not lower advanced...
     
    #33
  34. MagicalRain1

    MagicalRain1 New User

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    Hey thanks for all the replies I haven't really had to go through them as extensively as I was hoping. I think there were a lot of broad responses, but in general I was left with just a couple more questions to quench the subject and from gauging my players these are also questions I have assumed.

    #1 players are afraid of breaking strings (asking for full poly)
    How could you identify a period of time that a string will last?
    My players were afraid to put anything synthetic in their strings unless it was polyester because of this durability question. What are some good examples to use to relate playability with durability. Ex) strings going dead being a lot like breaking a string anyways etc.

    #2 how to actually put together a hybrid
    I have no problem with full poly for some of my players, but then I had to decide what strings I would actually use for a hybrid. I definitely have no gauge on this as a new stringer and it feels awkward choosing two strings to put together (even if it is just poly = mains and syn = crosses). What are some ways to put together a hybrid say for example you don't have the exact strings in a company labeled hybrid combo.

    #3 string gauges
    I've read a lot that the gauge doesn't really matter, but then you hear about people using 17g poly just because it's already more durable etc. Honestly, what part do gauges have on string selection? What point do you make the switch (from a stringer's perspective). As a player yeah you should know your gauge, but my players didn't even know what that was. I do think it's easier to just put in a 16g and call it good, but where would be some good examples of a 16Lg or 17g other than in girls tennis?

    and yes I will say my initial post did have some major fallacy in using a rating to define a player. Around the time players get good enough to start breaking strings consistently they automatically will start figuring out more about the strings anyways. That's why I feel I have kids either "afraid" to break the strings or others who don't have any "respect" for the strings.

    #4 Confusion in buying strings... poly vs mono poly vs copoly?
    I've heard poly and copoly are basically the same thing and then you get "monofilament" strings that are polyester. Are these all the same? What should you really look for when buying strings?

    I can't remember what else I was going to ask. I've definitely heard you all out on the synthetic/poly hybridizing and would have to agree with this idea. At least the strings will break at some point and players won't let them sit playing with dead strings for days!
     
    #34
  35. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    I can understand some of the confusion.
    Monofilament is any string that is a single strand of extruded material. With the exception of Ashaway ZX, all are polyester or copolymer polyester.
    Most modern 'polys' are co-polys though many of the old-school strings are still around. BB Original, Duralast, Polyon to name a few.
    Some people also use the term 'mono' to describe the solid nylon core of syngut as opposed to multifilament cores.

    Poly/syn hybriding is not difficult. Most synguts are fairly similar. Smoother ones seem to work a bit better.
    I have had success using Gosen OG Sheep 17 and Gamma Syngut 16(no wearguard) as crosses.
    Hybriding with multis is also popular but is far more complicated due to the wide variety of construction techniques used in making multifilament strings.
    Multis soften the string bed more, but are less durable than solid core synguts.

    Choose any Poly, string it at or a little below the low end of the frame's rating(keep it under 54) and the syngut cross 4lbs above that.
    The Gamma16 seems to work well with the stiffer polys and the OGSM 17 with the softer ones.

    Generally speaking, thin gauges have more power and bite but are less durable but only if you compare apples to apples.
    There are stiff, low-powered thin strings and soft, high powered fat ones. :)
    It's better to measure polys by metric diameter than gauge.

    The breakage issue is difficult.
    If a young player gets 3 or more weeks out of syngut, he/she should probably stay with it.
    If it pops in less than 2 weeks, then poly/ syn hybrid is the next step.
    Very hard hitters with big topspin should consider full poly.
    Players that do not break syngut should consider full multi or natgut for the added feel and playability.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
    #35
  36. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Very nicely answered. I will just add this on the mono/poly debacle. These days, the terms poly and copoly are interchangable when referring to the same type of string. They simply describe different generations of the string, but they are both monofilaments, that is, only a single strand of material makes up the entire string. So, people just refer to all strings with monofilament construction as poly. For all intents and purposes, the difference does not matter. Instead, just look at the reviews to decide on the playability of different strings. Shown below is a popular poly, and as you can see, it's just made up of one string:
    [​IMG]

    Synthetic guts are what are called monofilament core strings, because regardless of how much crazy stuff is done on the outside, they're all centered by a single piece of nylon. In the two images below where the construction is clearly different, they both have the same monofilament core structure:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
    #36
  37. MagicalRain1

    MagicalRain1 New User

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    Thanks for the help I have felt pretty good about the poly/synthetic hybrid for the better players. Still haven't had a ton of "weaker" players giving me racquets, but I do think it's good to have multifilaments or some type of gut for them unless they specifically ask for poly.
    Cheers
    p.s. feel free to add anything to the discussion that may be missing or that may be helpful in some way and I will definitely appreciate it
     
    #37
  38. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

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    Prince synthetic gut with duraflex is onsale for 3.16,really nice synthetic gut, it is #1 selling string in the world.You should grap bunch of sets,it is available in many cool colors.:)
     
    #38
  39. MagicalRain1

    MagicalRain1 New User

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    I feel like any string less than 5 dollars has no value to me after playing with 3 different pairs of cheap synthetic gut. I haven't tried poly yet at those values but I'm stringing now so I don't have to worry about paying $30 for good strings. It's all face value :D I guess I haven't tried stringing gut at like 62 yet though just max out my tension and maybe get some good use out of it.
     
    #39
  40. kvan

    kvan Rookie

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    The top 3 singles players on my hs team, myself included, are the only ones that use poly (full or hybrid) and my coach doesn't really have a great selection of strings as is, so I usually bring my own to him. As a coach of an average high school team, I'd probably keep a reel or two of some cheap synthetic gut (og16) and very little multi or poly for the kids that need/are used to it. You can't forget about string breakers too... one kid on my team just keeps breaking every string he plays with. Just another reason to have some poly just in case.
     
    #40
  41. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

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    Y'all have nice coaches. We have to get it strung on our own. Not a problem because most of the top guys here have access to club pro shops, but the lower varsity and JV guys used the same nylon string the whole season (and possibly longer).... ouch.
     
    #41

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