Extreme low tensions

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by halbrikj, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    About 15 yrs ago I was getting taken to the woodshed pretty badly. After falling down a set and a break I cracked my frame...because....the racquet... slipped out of my hand (yeah, that's the ticket). Anyway, the tension went from about 60 lbs to virtually nothing in an instant. I decided to go through the motions and finish the match, and lo and behold, a new player was born. In that same instant, I went from a 4.5 to a 5.5, and yes, I won the match. Since then I string at 12 lbs. Yes, that's right - 12 lbs! Of course they say string tight for control, loose for power, but at 12 lbs there is no power, you have to generate it yourself. On the other hand, there is incredible control and spin. The ball stays on the strings a fraction of a second longer, allowing for impeccable placement, topspin, slice and underspin, as well as feel that higher tensions cannot come close to. I sent an email to usta prez Patrick Mac to pass along my discovery, however he probably thought I was crazy and didn't reply. But you know, they told Christopher Columbus he was crazy when he said the world was round, they told the Wright brothers they were crazy when they had a dream to fly, and they told Isaac Newton he was crazy when he boldly proclaimed he could bake a cookie filled with a fig. Brothers of the courts unite! Awaken the tennis player within, become one with the ball - string at extreme low tensions!
     
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  2. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    Any particular string we are talking about.
     
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  3. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    How's string longevity and movement?

    While I'm a fan of lower tension poly's-- ~42# ref -- I didn't find tensions lower than that functional. Further, I found low tension synguts wore out very quickly.

    I'm always experimenting, though, on my own rackets, so I may give it a try.

    As Clintspin asked already, what kind of string?
     
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  4. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Back in the day I used Prince Problend Soft, which they dont sell anymore, but I think it was just soft synthetic and kevlar: never broke, movement not much of a problem. After 10 yr. layoff from tennis, I tried just kevlar: more movement but not much of a problem; broke once. Right now I've got gamma synthetic 16: movement not much of an issue, and no breakage, but I've only used it about 6 times.
     
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  5. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    I recently tried a full Kevlar bed at 35ish pounds, and liked it well enough.

    When you tried Kevlar, was it at 12ish pounds as well?

    I'll give this a try with one of the synguts I have on hand (I rarely have Kevlar 'in stock'), just to see what it's like. Maybe today...
     
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  6. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Yes, it was. I also tried kevlar at about 35 but it wasnt the same, i.e. didnt have that stay on strings longer effect. Hope you like it!
     
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  7. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    I just strung up a racket with 12ish pounds and 15g generic syngut. My lockout struggles a little, I think, at such low tensions, but the calibrator still agreed with the tension dial. I bet a dropweight would be a better machine for this. To help, I pulled strings twice without letting tension off... Should be close enough, I think.

    Hopefully, I'll get a chance to play-test it today. I can see how Kevlar would be a useful choice at this tension-- the syngut sure feels 'springy', but I can see how it'd have a huge dwell time, and produce a ping-pong like spin...
     
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  8. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Did you try it out?
     
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  9. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    Not yet. But I will this evening; I've got a partner scheduled... I'll post back my findings...
     
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  10. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    I play tested the 12 pound ref. tension racket last night.

    Here's what I found:
    It played surprisingly well-- better than I anticipated. I think a heavy pre-stretch of the strings would have helped-- it played best off the stringer, and got a bit more difficult to control as the game progressed. I had difficulty with control of hard returns and when receiving harder serves, it seemed to work best on neutral rallies (for my skill level). Spin was VERY heavy-- I don't think I've ever seen my serve kick so high, or my forehand drop so fast. The strings tended to stay splayed apart rather than returning to a straighter position after the stroke. Flat shots tended to go out-- heavy top spin seemed to be a requirement, I found volleys challenging because of this. I found it necessary to close the racket face more than normal, which I had difficulty adapting to. I may need to try this with a less elastic string, like poly or Kevlar. Overall, I'll need more time to play it and experiment with other strings in order to decide if this is going to work for me. I will say, however, that I'm suitably encouraged to continue testing.

    We need some more folks to give this a try...
     
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  11. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Yeah, goood point. I hit my backhand with either heavy slice or fairly heavy top, and find that it adds to my slice, top, and control. My forehand however is a bit more flat and at times it will sail long on me. I would recommend trying the kevlar next, as I'm pretty sure you'll find it much easier to control.
     
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  12. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    12 pounds? wow, might have to give it a go.

    i'm a 58# feller, but my buddy string his POG OS at 29!!
     
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  13. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    right now I'm using gamma synthetic 16 @ 12 and am quite happy with it.
     
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  14. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    Is this for real? 12 pounds? A benefit would be not needing a stringing. You could probably hand pull that tension...
     
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  15. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Yeah, I've had my racquets strung by hand many times. Feels more or less about 12 lbs.
     
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  16. Capt. Willie

    Capt. Willie Professional

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    I understand poly at 35 pounds but anything less then that is far too low in my opinion, especially syn gut at those tensions. That’s it. That’s all I know. Oh, wait! Fig Newtons were named after a town in Massachusetts, not the scientist.
     
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  17. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    and all I know is, is I play at least a level higher 12 lbs, give or take. With regard to fig newtons, you probably got your information from a book. I don't trust books. They're all facts - no heart.
     
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  18. Capt. Willie

    Capt. Willie Professional

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    I received this information from the brilliant theoretical physicist Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
     
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  19. ricki

    ricki Professional

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    Are you guys testing Prince Pro blend? There is no other kevlar available here as far as I know (?)
     
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  20. Radicalized

    Radicalized Semi-Pro

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    And who said you couldn't learn anything from television (sitcoms)? Next time you play, I dare you to wear a DC Comics t-shirt. Perhaps the Flash.

    I can try some super-cheap string I have, and if it won't play, I can use it to pick out trout.:twisted:
     
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  21. Capt. Willie

    Capt. Willie Professional

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    I would have to play tennis in a Flash t-shirt on a Friday because wearing a Flash t-shirt on any other day would be insane. Of course Friday night is vintage video game night so my tennis might have to be Donkey Kong Tennis....or Pong. Hey, maybe I could play tennis in a Flash t-shirt on the next Anything Can Happen Thursday!
     
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