Dunlop Black Widow 17g tension issues

Discussion in 'Strings' started by tennisinoc, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. tennisinoc

    tennisinoc Semi-Pro

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    I have been using Dunlop Black Widow 17g mains/Gosen Micro 17g cross for a few months now and enjoy the initial playability of this string. It is the most comfortable and spin friendly poly string I have tried to date. But the issue I am having with this string is tension maintenance problems.
    (I use racquettune to gauge tension)

    But after 4-6 hours of playing (2 matches) it is no longer playable and loses up to 10lbs in tension! (52 lbs initial tension to 42 lbs!)
    Is anyone else having issues with tension maintenance with Black Widow 17g?
     
    #1
  2. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    It is typical for a poly to become either too loose or dead after 2 hitting sessions.

    Also, most polys lose more than 10 lbs in 24 hrs after being strung.

    The poly that keeps its playability the longest IMO is Prince Beast XP. I like the 16 gauge and it plays well even after 7 or 8 hitting sessions.
     
    #2
  3. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I have the same experience with it. I love the initial playability, but there is a noticeable change after about 5 hours. The stringbed softens up a bit. Nothing too bad nor unplayable, just not as crisp a feeling. Still very good bite, and no trampolining. I cut it out after 10 hours of play, which is about a 4-5 weeks for me.

    I use a full bed of BW 17, didn't like it as a hybrid with N.Vy 16.
     
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  4. bigserving

    bigserving Semi-Pro

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    Such is the nature of all polyester strings. Some are better than others at losing less tension but rest assured that they all lose tension rather rapidly.
     
    #4
  5. rich s

    rich s Hall of Fame

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    It's pretty well understood that BW plays great initially and then "the bottom drops out" after a very short period of time making it difficult to control and play with...

    if you do a search on Black Widow you will find discussion on this point...

    rich
     
    #5
  6. Korso

    Korso Semi-Pro

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    Black Widow is a great string when it is fresh. Tension maintenance is not one of its strengths.
     
    #6
  7. tennisinoc

    tennisinoc Semi-Pro

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    Yes it plays amazing addicting when fresh. But it is dropping tension faster than most other Poly's I have played with in the past. I just wanted to see if others that use this string are experiencing the same issue.

    The only Poly that lost tension faster than BW is what you are using: Iontec Black. Only after 1 match, Iontec was so loose that even the crosses were moving out of place! Iontec is the most elastic Poly I have ever strung up.
    It was like I was stringing up a Synthetic Gut based on the elongation of the string while stringing.
     
    #7
  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Seems like the "soft" polys have these issues then. That stinks for arm sufferers.
     
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  9. mr_fro2000

    mr_fro2000 Rookie

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    Sounds like i'm having the same issue as you but with the Babalot pro hurricane 18. The strings are a softer co-poly and I have wrist problems but wanted the insane spin you get w/ polys... so i put these strings in the mains.

    At around 4 hrs, the strings felt much looser and when I move them with my fingers they do not snap back.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=460214
     
    #9
  10. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Yep, PH 18 is only good for 1 hitting session.
     
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  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Moi aussi. I just got some and I have high hopes for the spin and ease on my arm (lingering TE).



    Are there any recommendations for a good cross with Black Widow in the mains?
     
    #11
  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I'm quite partial to Genesis Thunder Blast white as a cross with poly mains.
     
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  13. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    You know what? I can vouch! I thought that Tourna BHB7 being soft and all would be easier on my arm than 4G which is one of the stiffest polys out there. And since my arm was cool with 4G, I figured BHB7 would be a walk in the park. It ain't that way it appears.

    I have gone back to 4G and would like to find something cheaper, but it really does hold tension well.
     
    #13
  14. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Only had experience with the 18 gauge versions but Cyclone18 and Widow18 were pretty similar if memory serves. And Cyclone18's playability lasts very well, 8+hrs, possibly more.
     
    #14
  15. Bhairava

    Bhairava Rookie

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    Cyclone is a stiff string If I remember well, not really similar to BW ;)
    Anyway, I think you can avoid huge BW lost of tension prestreching it a bit. If you do it string it at lower tension and remember: BW is a low powered string, prestrech it and it will be even more low powered. But you will get a bit more life and tension maintenance.
     
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  16. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    As some have suggested, pre-stretching would not help. It's not about tension loss, it's about what I would call "elasticity" which is gone after 5 hours or so. And then the little power/energy return it had at first, is no more. Plus the edges wear out, so no extra bite either.

    Nothing you can do about it. Oh, and Gosen OGSM loses all little power it has the same way within the same timeframe.

    I keep Black Widow / Gosen OGSM only as a matchplay setup, one set per match.
     
    #16
  17. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    1. For the past 10 years or so, the prevailing wisdom around the boards has been exactly what is stated above ... that poly loses elasticity with use, and this is the cause of string "death". However, the March 2013 study by the TW Professor indicates that this is not the case. We can say that poly does not lose elasticity with certainty, because poly string that that has been hammered repeatedly until it suffers significant tension loss, behaves in a similar fashion to fresh poly, provided it is simply re-tensioned to the same starting point. During testing, the string was actually hammered on until the tension dropped to zero, which far exceeds any stress the average player will subject their string bed to. Poly death is simply a matter of two factors, tension loss, and increasing friction due to notching.

    How Tennis Strings "Go Dead" — Part 1
    The Change in String Properties with Repeated Impacts
    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/deadstrings.php

    How Tennis Strings "Go Dead" — Part 2
    Do Strings Lose Elasticity with Repeated Impacts?
    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/deadstringsPart2.php

    2. Black Widow is actually above average in terms of tension maintenance for poly (which is lousy overall compared to gut or nylon) The 17 gauge version ranks as 15th best, (Ref tension 51, medium swing) out of 256 polys tested with Lux 4G holding the top spot.

    3. Figure that Poly in general will lose about 20% tension overall. Quite a bit of that 20% will occur within the first 24 hours after stringing. Below is a quote from Paul / UK Skippy concerning tension loss. Paul has been on the Wimbledon String Team since 2004.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
    #17
  18. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    This was important to me from the article above:

    So, how do I perceive this ball+stringbed energy loss? When the stringbed and the ball do not come back to their original shape fast enough (or "energetic" enough) on collision, I feel like they are no longer "elastic" enough, like if they do not come back to original shape at all. Why should I care if internal structure of the string has not changed or even slightly improved if measured before and after impact? What I feel is what happens during 5 ms of impact (and shortly after), and this is when "elasticity" is applicable... for lack of a better word in my vocabulary.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
    #18
  19. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    Hi, what would be difference be between using Thunder Blast crosses vs a syn gut like Forten Sweet(with poly mains)?
     
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  20. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I've never used Forten Sweet so kind of tough to answer. Thunder Blast just adds a little pop but is still a very controll oriented multi.
     
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