Hybrid Alternative Pattern - Natural Gut

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Canis Lupus, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Canis Lupus

    Canis Lupus Rookie

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    Hi,

    Thought I might make a post concerning an alternative method of hybriding with natural gut.

    I use a Wilson Steam Steam (15 x 16) which can be fairly severe on gut because of its open string pattern. I've been hybriding Pacific Tough Gut 17 gauge with Big Banger Ace gause18, and more recently, Pacific X-Force 18 gauge.

    The usual method I have used is to string the crosses in gut, which adds enough feel, power and "life" to keep me happy, however, in experimenting I have found even better results can be achieved with the use of less gut with the following method.

    I string both the mains and crosses with the poly covering basically the sweet spot of the racquet. This means I stop with the mains 2 or 3 strings from the end on either side, then start with the crosses 2 from the top and finish 2 from the bottom. I then string the remainder of the racquet with one piece of gut.

    In comparing this method side by side with two of my Wilson Steams (same strings, same tensions on both) the alternative showed superior feel, power and spin. The orthodox hybrid, mains verse crosses, felt dull in comparison. I asked another player to make the same comparison test between the 2 racquets. His comments mirrored my perception.

    Apart from better performance there are other additional advantages.

    - the life of the gut is greatly prolonged because it is spared the impact of shots as it is not in the sweetspot. With my Wilson Steam Spin99 fraying quickly occurs with an orthodox hybrid stringing, however, there is next to none with the alternative method. In fact, after many sessions the gut still has its protective waterproof coating in tact.

    - the alternative method requires less gut to be used. Instead of getting 2 restrings from a pack, I can easily manage 3.

    So far, I have not noticed a negative, except it's a little more fiddly and timely in the stringing. Other than that, it is all positives.

    I'd be interested to know if others have experimented with this string configuration or if, having read this, you try it for yourself, what your reaction is.

    I have also tried it with a synthetic gut and poly hybrid and, that too, gives better feel than the orthodox method. Basically, the whole sweetspot is cushioned and given greater power by the external stringing of the gut, while allowing the poly, used for spin, to have greater affect by keeping more of it in contact with the ball.
     
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  2. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    It sounds interesting. Personally, I wouldn't be using high quality natural gut in a setup like that. It sounds like such a waste to use very expensive strings in a support role. The idea of using synthetic gut instead seems to make more sense to me.
     
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  3. corners

    corners Legend

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    Ivan Lendl has been using the configuration you describe for some time now. There is a thread about it in the Pro equipment forum and another one in the stringing techniques forum.

    BTW, gut in the crosses is not so hot for the reason you note - the mains slide back and forth along the gut crosses and fray the gut. Not only does this lead to breakage of the gut crosses, but it also disables the snapback of the main strings, which is the entire point of the Steam Spin Effect racquets. There's good reason why three of the top four players in the world use gut mains/poly crosses.
     
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  4. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    If you are not hitting the strings with the gut (as in the Lendl pattern) why would you want to even use gut? You would be better off skipping three mains on each side and three at the top with whatever you use on the outside strings. That way you can use two piece stringing and not multiple short pieces.

    EDIT: There is also another problem that come up with this pattern if you're going to be using hybrid strings. Let say you start with a good set of poly in the center. That uses so much the remainder is not enough for another racket so you may as well throw it away.

    Using the same string with different tensions or different colors lets you not waste any string. Or maybe now string reels will be much more popular since you will be needing something much less that 40' and more than half sets.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
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  5. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    bingo.....
     
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  6. Canis Lupus

    Canis Lupus Rookie

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    Thanks for the information. Do you have a link to those two threads? It would be interesting to read.
     
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  7. Canis Lupus

    Canis Lupus Rookie

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    Thanks again. I might experiment with the gut in the mains for the reasons you suggest. One of the reasons I bought 2 more of these racquets after buying the first one (I have 3 now) and being impressed with its performance was to experiment with different string configurations and tensions to make the most its design. I originally used the gut on the crosses in my older head racquets which had a much closer string pattern and bigger surface area (Composite Directors) and more or less just kept with that configuration with the changeover to the new Wilson Steam Spin99's.
     
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  8. Canis Lupus

    Canis Lupus Rookie

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    It seems counter-intuitive to think that it is actually resulting in greater use of the gut, but my Coke vs Pepsi type of experiment comparing the two configurations side by side seems to indicate it is enhancing the affect of the gut not wasting it. I think it helps to use a poly that possesses pocketing characteristics, such as Pacific's X-Force. In that way the directing pocketing affect of the impact point of the ball is not totally lost. The more generalized pocketing affect of the sweet-spot zone though seems to compensate more than well enough any loss in "direct pocketing" - to coin a phrase.

    Do that make sense? :)
     
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  9. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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