Discussion in 'Strings' started by THESEXPISTOL, Feb 15, 2013.
I was reading Break Point, that book about Vince Spadea and found this...
Poly at 75 lbs? What could go wrong?
Exactly what I was thinking.
Actually Spadea played with Prince Lightning at the time. 75lbs with Prince Lightning is still more comfortable than luxilon at 24kgs. The one who has having problems with luxilon was Mike Bryan.
yes this is true, but i wish it was someone else not spadea writing about this lol
You won't hear it from anyone else. They're just being paid a sh*tload of dollars to keep their mouth shut!
This is still a generalization. Just because it hurts someone who grew up playing with high tension Nylon doesn't mean it will hurt everyone.
Yes it apparently does, otherwise why everybody on tour now migrates to natural gut hybrids (last time I checked)
Rafa, Berdych, Isner, Querrey, Verdasco, Almagro, Ferrer, Tipseravic, and others all use poly. I use poly, at various tensions, I'm not a pro, I don't have perfect technique and I've never had arm injuries. Saying that poly will give you an arm injury is just as much of a sweeping generalization as saying it won't. It all depends on the person.
If poly hurts even someone who grew up playing with high tension nylon, don't you think it would hurt even worse someone who grew up playing with low tension nylon?
Keep playing with poly for another 20 years and see how much of an arm you have left. Tennis elbow is a repetitive cumulative injury as the micro tears in your tendon slowly get bigger and takes longer to heal each time you hit the ball.
Smoking doesn't cause cancer when you first start smoking either, but keep smoking for 20-30 years and see what it does to your lungs. Would you start smoking today just because you won't get lung cancer until 20-30 years from now? I assume not.
spadea seems to have gotten two things wrong in respect to borg:
1. he was stringing his small wooden sticks with 30kg, that's less than 70lbs
2. he was playing with full bed vs gut
so talking about stringing gut at 70, be it even 80lbs compared to poly at that tension is a little bit off.
I don't think poly hurts pros because they only use it for one set. It doesn't hurt me either when it's fresh, but after a few hours, watch out!
20 years from now when I don't have tennis elbow, I'll be sure to let you know.
Not everyone who used to play with low tension nylon plays with polyester. If they do, then they need to realize that poly has to be strung lower. If they don't string it lower, any arm injury they get is their own fault, not the fault of the string company.
It was widely reported back in the 70's when Borg was playing that he strung his racquets at 80lbs.
Don't forget that the tiny 65 sq. in. head and the dense 18x20 string pattern inside the tiny head makes the 80lb. stringbed feel a lot stiffer than the same tension in a 100 sq. in. frame with an open string pattern. Borg's racquet was described as being stiffer than playing with a solid wooden board. :shock: By comparison, his rival McEnroe strung his same size wood racquet at about 40lbs., or half the tension Borg did.
Yes, please get back to me even though you'll have to type the message with only one hand. :shock:
my former coach used to string borgs sticks whenever he was in romania, and he was quite often since at that time he was engaged, and latter married, mariana simionescu, a romanian tennisplayer. so, i know first hand that his requests used to vary between 30kg mains and 28 kg crosses, to 32kg mains and 30kg crosses. he used 1.25mm vs gut.
maybe he strung higher for hardcourts, but in spring these have been the tensions he requested, both on the allwoods and later on on the borg pros.
I believe Borg strung tighter for Wimbledon and for the US Open.
And, yes, I remember Mariana Simonescu very well.
that is very possible. those sticks, i had my hand on them, were more like forging hammers than tennis racquets - 420g and even balanced, maybe slighly headheavy.
i tried to do the same with mine (you see, borg was one of my idols, johnny mac the other - worlds apart, so this is the best indication i should finally see a shrink) and i can tell you, those were lethal weapons. i was much younger then and of course we did a lot of physical conditioning, and also a lot of things that today are considered detrimental. not only that i doubt that todays game could support such high swingweights, but at that time - i mean wooden era, if you were fit, you could get a decent look at the ball even o a really fast first serve. once you got that stick in motion, it was simply crushing the ball more or less by itself.
Agassi had a wrist injury and I believe it was after Cahill switched him over to Luxilon. Agassi talks about it in his book if you want to look it up. Good book by the way.
A lot of pros - especially some of the pros who grew up playing high tensions, switched to Lux and kept the tensions high. Agassi and Blake were in the 60s with lux.
But, my multi/poly hybrid at 52/48 is beginning to hurt my wrist. I may drop another 2 lbs.
Oh my goodness....
70 POUNDS? :shock:
70 with nylon is not as tight as you think it is.
This is just silly.
There are THOUSANDS of pros who have switched to poly strings over the last decade. If it is indeed true that polys cause more injuries, it would not be very hard to come up with some numbers to support it.
Just putting out some anecdotal stories doesn't prove anything. The fact that there are no studies out there (don't you think gut manufacturers are not motivated?) is probably a decent indicator that worries about poly causing injuries is probably over blown.
That's incorrect on a couple of levels. 1) fresh poly ain't arm friendly and 2) the vast majority of pros don't change their frames out like the top 4 do
When Borg played Memphis back in the 70s, he sent his racquets down to Jackson to be strung because the pro shop here had the latest greatest machine. The order then was as high as the machine/racquet would string them which was around 80 pounds. I believe Berglin used to ride down with them and string them.
I read that Berglin was the driving force behind Borg playing with such a heavy frame. He was trying to get some of the "whippiness" out of Borg's stroke. But the weight you cite is exactly what I read, 420 - 430 grams.
frames in those times where simply heavy - a regular dunlop maxply fort medium 4 would have been around 400g strung. if you leaded up a little bit in order to match frames you would end up around 410 in no time.
by the way, on borg's sticks there was no led to be seen and i know for sure that the regular off-the-shelf donnay's had a very different balance. they surely did custom make them for him, there is no doubt.
Oh, yeah, I totally understand where you're coming from. Even today, I can hit the ball harder with one of my old wood racquets than with my modern graphite racquet just due to the sheer weight of the old wood racquet. "There is no substitute for mass." - as stated to me by a racquet engineer for Prince several years ago. Given enough weight, you can totally obliterate the ball, it doesn't even matter what type of racquet it is - it's just the sheer collision of one big mass (the racquet) into another much smaller mass (the ball) and the rest is just simple physics. Same goes for the collision between big cars and small cars.
At 420g (almost 15 oz.) and an even balance, Borg's racquet must have had a swingweight of over 450! :shock: Nothing like the wimpy racquets people use today.
Inside a 65 sq. in. head with a super dense 18x20 pattern and it's tighter than you think. 70 lbs. in a tiny 65 sq. in. head with a 18x20 pattern squeezed in there is probably the equivalent of 90-100 lbs. in a 100 sq. in. head with an open pattern. Basically, Borg's stringbed played like a solid wooden board because it was so dense and tight.
Even with the reinforced wood of his racket, the flex of the wood would still result in a much softer feel than that of any modern racket.
It just comes down to people getting their setups wrong and causing themselves injuries. I had problems with my wrist at first until I started dropping the tensions.
I nominate stringing super low..take advantage of the dwell time ... like low 40's high 30's even. And even lower if your racquet is light.
It doesn't cause anywhere near as much trouble at those tensions. And I'm not launching the ball too far because the spin's still there...somewhat a bit more potent because it sits longer on the stringbed...
I've a got a prince exo3 tour lite leaded up at 40lbs with genesis spin x (a nasty stiff poly) but it works and feels great at super low tensions.
And I've got a leaded up Boris Becker DC London Tour at 44 lbs with Tourna BHBR with no dampener. Thats terrific too.
Milos Raonic is about 41lbs i think. Federers about 48/44 or something like that I remember reading.
I think people just have to study how they should set up their racquets up first and advoid grief in the long run. Their first thought should be "is it a stiff poly I've bought here? yes... ... ok string it really low" "Is it soft and powerful poly? yes... ok string it a touch higher.." etc etc.
borg's set-up didn't play like a wooden board because, in spite of the high tension, he was using natty gut and in 1.25mm.
i played myself for years that set-up (of course with off-the-shelf-sticks!) and it was playing just fine.
i dare say that a poly strung around 28kg (60lbs) in a modern 100sq.in. frame feels much less comfortable than borg's set-up.
we are also looking at a completely different way of generating spin today in regard to string-ball interaction. since you did not really have much snap-back with full gut and the patterns where really tight due to the size of the sticks, the idea of borg's setup was to have a really stiff stringbed with little deflection. this was spinning the ball. the swingweight gave it length.
today we have a completely different set-up in respect to materials and their abilities to generate spin and power.
And BILLIONS of people smoked over the last millennium. Does that mean that smoking can't possibly cause health problems?
Do we really need a study to confirm something that's so obvious? That stiff strings will hurt you more than soft strings will? Which will hurt more? If you got hit in the head with a stiff aluminum bat or hit in the head with a soft, fluffy, foam bat? Just like we didn't need a study to prove to us that smoking is bad for you because it's so obvious. I mean, most people who die in fires die from smoke inhalation. So what would make anyone think that purposely inhaling smoke is not detrimental to your health? It's obvious!
BTW, by far the biggest manufacturer of gut strings is Babolat, who also makes lots of poly strings. So what would motivate them do a study to show that the poly strings they've been selling by the millions is hurting people?
I'm referring to the feel of the stringbed only, not the whole racquet system. Borg's stringbed felt as stiff as a modern APD strung at 100lbs. :shock:
i don't think that the real problem in this equation are the "thousands" of pros who turned to poly, but the millions of recplayers that tried to imitate this.
now introduce into this situation the fact that companies do use the endorsment argument "the string rafa plays" etc. and sell, through salesman which are not really knowledgeable, strings to people who don't really need them. the main argument is the apparent durability of poly. and most people are happy to play with the string rafa plays for a year or more. now if the string also spins the ball more, the customer will be even happier in spite of his flat striking.
it's like selling a superfast sportscar to a guy who just got his driver's licence. not only will he not enjoy the driving but he might even hurt himself because he does not have the experience to control the horses under the hood. but he will be happy because the engine roars, the chicks turn their heads and he feels like a racing champion.
Not every pro gets paid to play with a particular string. Players at the top surely get a nice chunk of change plus free string to play with that string.
Most players outside of the top 200 are paying for their string (at a discount of course). There is zero percent chance that a player is being paid to keep his or her mouth shut.
Dont forget that pro players are stringing most every day so they do not have the issue of playing a dead string for a long time. Rec players keep dead string in their racquets for too long and that adds to the problem.
Poly at that sort of tension would be insane. No wonder volley put-aways became hard!
To me poly strings should never be higher than 57lbs and for a short time at that tension (like 4-6hrs). I prefer poly string at 50lbs or less. However my point was the length of time is just as important as dead poly is a killer.
I agree with these points.
The fact that smoking causes cancer was proven by scientific studies. Until then, it was commonly accepted by many that smoking was good for you.
Just like smoking causes cancer, if the effect is real, you should be able to measure it. If it is so obvious, it should not take much effort to prove it, not just sprout some nonsensical anecdotes.
Really? People die from smoke inhalation yet some people thought that inhaling cigarette smoke was good for you? I guess there are always going to be dumb people in the world who actually think inhaling smoke is good for you or that using stiff poly strings is not bad for you.
BTW, billions of people smoked. Not nearly enough people use poly strings to play tennis to warrant or pay for a scientific study. Just like it's not necessary to conduct a scientific study to prove that cutting off a person's arm will cause them to bleed.
I love your logic. There can't possibly be a study on this, therefore, my opinion is correct.
And your arm cutting-off example is completely different (obviously). You can see someone get cut and then watch the blood come out immediately after, clearly pointing to the blood being a result of the cut. Tendon injuries come about gradually (unless they're acute from sudden trauma) and cannot be seen. They are different for everyone, take varying amounts of time to manifest themselves, and everyone who gets them is doing many other things during that time. It's something that has to be studied to determine the real root cause. Since it hasn't been studied, you can't just claim your opinion as fact, and then cite the same anecdotal evidence over and over again.
Whether or not it really is going to cause long term harm, idk. I do know that today's rackets and poly is much harder feeling on the arm than the gear I used 10+ years ago. I use stiff rackets and poly now because I like they way they play, but I'm taking precautions by using a softer syn cross and might be going with even softer multi crosses.
Things that are so obvious don't require studies. Why would string manufacturers market soft strings as being arm friendly if the converse wasn't also true? I mean if stiff strings were also arm friendly, why would they need to promote soft strings as the ones that are arm friendly?
Oh, and we also don't need a study to inform us that driving and texting is dangerous because it's OBVIOUS!
Why do companies make "softer" poly strings? I'll give you three reasons.
1. Because some people like a softer feeling string. Not having anything to do with injury prevention.
2. They market them to people who already have arm issues and still want to play with poly.
3. Because people believe without sufficient evidence that poly is harmful, and their marketing department has found a way to sell them a product.
Again, you keep saying this is obvious, when to me and many others it is not. I know plenty of people that have played for years with poly and have no arm issues. I also know numerous people who use synthetic gut in flexible heavy frames and wear arm braces. If poly is so harmful, why do so many people use it with no ill effects? And why do so many people not use it and still suffer from arm injuries? Could it be because there are other underlying issues? Examples include: stiff racquets, light racquets, muscle imbalances, improper technique, etc...
Yeah, and I know plenty of people who have smoked for years and have no health issues. I guess that must mean that smoking is completely safe?
Sure, other things may cause arm problems. But all else being equal, using a stiff string like poly will be worse for your arm than a soft string will. Just like being hit in the arm with something stiff is going to hurt you more than being hit with something soft.
"soft poly string" is an oxymoron. No matter how "soft" they market a poly string, it is still much stiffer than a soft multi or natural gut.
It does have to do with injury prevention. I'm not talking about soft poly strings. I'm talking about soft multi strings which manufacturers market as being "arm friendly". Have you ever heard of any string companies promoting people to switch from a soft multi string to a poly string because the poly is more arm friendly? No, the opposite is what they do.
It is impossible to have a reasonable discussion with someone who eschews reason.
I guess it just comes down to this.
If you are the type who believe whatever a some random guy says without any evidence, then you should avoid using poly strings. Because the random internet guy says they cause injuries.
If you are the type who need actual evidence to believe something, there is no scientific evidence that says poly strings cause more injuries.
What you believe is up to you.
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