Can someone explain tension loss?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by tennisace23, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. tennisace23

    tennisace23 Rookie

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    I'm just trying to get a sense of what tension loss really means. For example,
    Genesis Spin X is rated for a tension loss of about 20 lbs. What exactly does this mean? Is that after a certain amount of time/play? Let's say it is strung at 53 lbs...does this mean after a certain amount of time it will actually be 33 lbs?? If someone can clarify, it would be much appreciated.
     
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  2. Hooked

    Hooked Rookie

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    Essentially yes. When strung, string stretches and immediately starts to lose tension slowly - even without use. The higher the tension, the higher the stretching forces and the greater the tension loss over time. Add in some impacts with a tennis ball and the tension loss is accelerated as the force of impact stretches the strings even further. In practice, most strings will drop in tension until they reach a plateau and stay relatively constant until they go completely dead or break. Since I am not a string breaker, I usually know when the strings are dead when they stop moving back to position after a hit or if the tension has dropped so low that I am shortening my baseline strokes to get the ball to land in.

    Another important factor is string material. Polys tend to drop tension really quickly and Natural Gut, Multis and Nylons less so.
     
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  3. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Also, that tension loss rating is not to be taken as an absolute. It will depend on the initial tension, and to a lesser degree on temp/humidity/etc. The tension loss rating you read was for a particular tension. IIRC, the RSI data is for strings strung at 62 lb. If you string instead at 53 lb, the tension loss will be different, but that rating is still useful for comparing strings.

    Note that the new TW string database will compare tension loss at 3 different tensions, and it will break it down into several stages of tension loss, though so far it does not include as many strings as the RSI one.
     
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  4. tennisace23

    tennisace23 Rookie

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    thanks for the information
     
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  5. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Any hard hitting player will tell you that tens. loss is awful for their pocketbook. Shots don't stay in for very long. Rampant trampoline feel is bad. Best for tens. loss: sppp, blackcode, gut. Ashaway, who cares, as it feels the same even when it loses huge tens. You can even play with it after it breaks.
     
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