Kevlar conspiracy

Discussion in 'Strings' started by JT_2eighty, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Apparently the kevlar thread that was being discussed today has been deleted. Too bad I spent some time typing some useful responses to someone who asked me a legitimate question, but I'm guessing the title of the thread (not started by me btw), was the culprit.

    Let's start it up again, this time no kevlar bashing or acronyms for obscenities...


    I'm curious which kevlar mains people like. I'm currently using the Gamma TNT2 fusion 19 mains, but instead of the packaged crosses, just some of the budget gut out there for crosses. Best setup i've used for bite, control, consistency, touch, spin. The only thing lacking is power, but the gut adds just enough to make this a winning pair. I've tried many full polys, full gut, hybrid of each as main/cross, synthetics, a multi or two, etc... and kevlar/gut is just amazing compared to all. I can string in the low 40s and still not have a trampoline. It's actually quite comfy and muted on impact, so my arm is better off with these than any poly hybrid.

    To me, it is very responsive to varied swingspeeds: whether taking long fast swings at the baseline, or going for finesse & touch at the net, the bite is always there. Flattening out a shot or going for massive spin, no other combo seems to shine all over the court like these.

    Anyone who uses kevlar mains care to comment on their favorite kevlar main? I'm looking to try maybe Forten's ultra thin, or the Forten composite 18, or any others. I've only scratched the surface but since I don't use the cross in the packaged hybrids, am leaning towards the ones supplied in reels. Tips or comments on your kevlar setup appreciated. If you don't like the string, please hold your tongue since there are millions who "hate" it, and that's fine, the other 99% of threads will satisfy your browsing. Keep it clean, thanks!
     
    #1
  2. vincent_tennis

    vincent_tennis Professional

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    Ashway 16g with NXT Tour, fet sorta weird cuz of the extra bite it gave. Would prefer Poly mains ovr kevlar
     
    #2
  3. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    When it was available I used Gamma TNT2 Fusion Plus 16 guage. I used the TNT2 syn gut that game with the package though.
     
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  4. downs_chris

    downs_chris Professional

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    i would give gamma power play 18 a try...with a soft syn gut cross...
     
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  5. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Ashaway Crossfire 16 / Prince Tournament Poly 16

    I don't like thinner gauge Kevlar than 16 because they break!
    For the cross, I like to have a poly with a slippery surface than stays slippery and doesn't stretch out too much. I usually string the Crossfire 1 lb tighter than the poly because it loses slightly more tension than the poly - this way they equalize and play great for 100+ hours.

    This combo works best at mid 40s in a mid or about 50 in a midplus. Not especially powerful, but unbeatable bite and control.
     
    #5
  6. toeknee

    toeknee New User

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    I use Gamma TNT2 fusion 19 and I too dont use the snyGut that it comes with..
    unlike you though, i dont string the kelvar on the mains because it feels too dead and lacks way too much power-even when hybrid with gut. my current setup consist of NXT tour on the mains @50 with Gamma TNT2 fusion kevlar on the crosses @47..

    To me, i prefer kevlar over poly simply because kevlar is already a "dead" string to begin with and it wont change much over time, even as it loses tension. its the consistency of kevlar over poly that wins it for me..
     
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  7. Danstevens

    Danstevens Semi-Pro

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    Doesn't the kevlar on the crosses just chew up the soft NXT in the mains?
     
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  8. dekko1

    dekko1 Semi-Pro

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    I used Forten during my college tennis career. We tried many kevlars and Forten was the best and also one of the cheapest. For crosses, we also used Forten Sweet 17. Sweet 16 and Sweet 17, still one of the best Synthetic guts I have ever played with the best feel; but (a big but) I would break Sweet 16 within 1hr of play if strung by itself.
     
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  9. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    I've been using Ashaway kevlar 16g for the mains and Klip Legend Natural Gut 16g as a cross string. I like the fact that Ashaway doest stretch like some of the other kevlars. It also has a rough texture which helps with spin and in keeping the cross string in place. BTW this combo that I have is like having a racket fully strung with a good multifilament that never loses tension or playability until it snaps.
     
    #9
  10. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    Ashaway 18 gauge. comfortable low powered dead great bite.

    Forten kevlar oth is very bad, like a wall break your arm and shoulder.
     
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  11. toeknee

    toeknee New User

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    gamma kevlar is coated, so it's not that bad..
    the setup i use is not as durable as having the kevlar on the mains but with this setup i can play with it until the multi breaks without noticing a significant change.
     
    #11
  12. DBrooks

    DBrooks New User

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    I have used Forten Gears Kevlar and Sweet 16. I have used this setup for the longest time.

    I have always wondered why people hate on Kevlar with so much passion. My college coach has never said anything positive about it and he is a pretty knowledgeable tennis coach.
     
    #12
  13. 10ispro

    10ispro Rookie

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    Ive used Forten since college as well. This past year it became more economical to buy a reel of ashway 17 aramid and it worked fine, but was a softer feel.
    I usually do mains with any 17 Syn on sale, currently using Gamma Syn 17. also used Babolat Superfine 17.
     
    #13
  14. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Now that's what I'm talkin about!

    Thank you all for your input and suggestions. Good to see there are still some of us who like the unique kevlar feel. I think many bash it who either haven't tried it, or did but strung it too tight. Not to mention the poly fad as of late.

    Another question, have any of you used Forten Composite 18? It's quite affordable in a reel, but I'm not sure if by "composite" it is actually a standard kevlar or something more along the lines of Gamma's Powerplay, which is a nylon woven with aramid inside.

    Keep it coming, kevlar users unite!
     
    #14
  15. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Yep, I couldn't agree more on your playability comment.

    And double yep.

    Even though kevlar loses a lot of tension compared to other types, it's not elastic to begin with (doesn't stretch at 40lbs, doesn't stretch at 60lbs), and I even find I like the playability as it ages (maybe this is the gut aging more than the kev). I think next time I'm going to try my setup around 40#... if that goes well, then 35#. Can't get enough of the kevlar BITE. :twisted:
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
    #15
  16. cmartin

    cmartin New User

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    18 ga ashaway mains, either syn gut or occasionally gut crosses.
     
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  17. JavierP.R

    JavierP.R New User

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    About 3 years ago I tried the Gamma Fusion and loved them, however my stringer never had them in stock so I went with the Wilson Hyperlast Spyn 19(he told me they where actually the same strings just branded differently) and really didn't find any obvious difference betewn the 2. But I migth just try out what you are doing with the cross. In the period I've been using this strings I've tried some other brands/materials but never found a substitute I really liked.
     
    #17
  18. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    I played Crossfire all through college. That was like 18 years ago. Until recently, my preferred combo was Lux ALU 17 with Gosen OG Micro 16 or 17 in the crosses. Now I find myself gravitating back to Crossfire. My last two string jobs were both Crossfire...one done low at 48/50 and the other at 52/54. I prefer pulling every other cross string because I find that it results in a sweeter feeling stringbed. I know this is a bit odd, but I've been doing this for years.

    One thing no one has mentioned is the sound that a kevlar string produces...it's LOUD. And I love it. Polys just produce very little sound, which is the one thing I sorta dislike about them.
     
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  19. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    I'm probably just misunderstanding your post but if Kevlar never stretches how does it lose "a lot of tension compared to other types"?
     
    #19
  20. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    All strings, elastic or not, will lose tension over time. My comment is just me repeating what I've heard others say on these boards about their kevlar experiences on court, combined with the data from RSI that shows kevlar drops a lot of tension. Even still, the beauty of kevlar is that even with this loss of tension from initial stringing, it is still so stiff that this tension loss is barely noticed, playability wise. I'm still using a set of TNT19/gut that I strung about 2 months ago, and it still plays great. You'll be hard pressed to create a trampoline when using kevlar.

    As taken from their lab tests, "All strings in our test were tensioned to 62 pounds and allowed to sit for 200 seconds. Then the string was hit five times with a force equivalent to hitting a 120 mph serve. The tension loss represents the amount of the relaxation over both time and impact.
    The stiffness value is a calculation derived from the amount of force created at impact to stretch the string. Lower values represent softer stings and lower impact forces. Higher values represent stiffer strings and higher impact forces":
    "
    Ashaway Kevlar 16 ____ 764 (lbs./in. stiffness) 26.68 (lbs. tension lost)
    Ashaway Kevlar 17 ____ 757 ________________28.37
    Ashaway Kevlar 18 ____ 671 ________________27.21"


    I only reference Ashaway, because it seems to be the one many people use and cite when it comes to this drastic tension loss, but i think it also skews the info since it is one of the "worst" for tension loss. Upon further scrutiny it seems kevlar strings run the gamut from high tension loss to relatively low tension loss (Forten's aramids are among the best in tension retention ranging between 10-14 lbs lost in this test). Once you omit Ashaway kevlar from the list, actually kevlar and poly and some nylons all fall in the same range of tension loss, so I guess my comment was not completely accurate as far as kevlar being worse than the rest for tension loss.

    Then again, there is some debate as to the validity of these lab tests, meaning to say that many argue that since they are only testing one strand of string instead of a full stringbed, these tension loss figures need to be taken with a grain of salt, and I agree. I think it's best to use the RSI charts as a guide of relativity, and see their measurements of stiffness and diameter to be more useful than the tension loss measurements, but still, is useful info to see how strings compare to other strings using RSI's controlled tests.

    Short answer: kevlar's stiffness dominates the way the string feels so much so that even great amounts of tension loss and/or use on court do little to affect this stiffness and feel.

    I got a lot of my knowledge from these:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=245505
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=190596
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=303780
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=304647
     
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  21. Figjam

    Figjam Banned

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    well Im using Fusion 19 in the mains and Alu Rough in the crosses, but I think next time im going to use a different poly,
    such as X-force or Silver string.
     
    #21
  22. Figjam

    Figjam Banned

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    what sucks is they used to make fusion 19 in a reel but stopped.
     
    #22
  23. Chezbeeno

    Chezbeeno Semi-Pro

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    I've only ever used Kevlar once when I bought a frame used, I hated it then but that could easily be attributed to the racquet being strung forever ago. What kind of durability and feel can you expect from kevlar?
     
    #23
  24. JavierP.R

    JavierP.R New User

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    I'd say kevlar has the best durability by far. None of the other strings I've used comes close...
     
    #24
  25. Ambivalent

    Ambivalent Hall of Fame

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    Really? Kevlar always seems to shred and break for me. Poly by far has better durability.
     
    #25
  26. JavierP.R

    JavierP.R New User

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    Kevlar lasts for me about 3 weeks of playing 3 sets a day(mon trough thurs), while the Polys would last about 1.5/2 weeks with the same amount of play...
     
    #26
  27. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    I've found it has the worst durability because I cut it out after using it once. The only worse string type is piano wire.

    Kevlar string exists to be bashed. Natural gut FTW! :)

    Seriously, if people like kevlar, more power to them. But, I suggest for those who haven't yet used it... Try a demo racquet with it. Don't spend money because you may end up cutting the string out.
     
    #27
  28. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    In addition to the durability others cite, the feel is quite different than any other string type/combo out there. Because the strings are so stiff, the way they literally "bite" the ball is in a penetrating, tactile way, especially when using a very soft cross like gut. The gut adds the feel and enough durability to withstand the beating kevlar puts on a cross string. At the right tension, imparting spin becomes effortless in this setup. It's not going to "add" spin to your shots, but just allow you to cut into that ball like butter. I think a more flexible frame just amplifies this effect. I find it's the best string setup when it comes to varying swing-speeds, so you can carve it at net and still blast em from the baseline. Just be sure to have your own power as there is no doubt this is one of the lowest power setups out there.



    what a shame. I'd get a reel of that stuff in a heartbeat.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2010
    #28
  29. greg280

    greg280 Rookie

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    really, after using every string and hybrid under the sun, i went back to kevlar because i recently switched to a 16x19 pattern. i would break full lux in 2 hours of drilling/hitting. so, i re-tried... if you will...crossfire 16 and i was stunned with the spin and bite. i bring on my own power.... non-issue. i train off court with weights for years... thats the real tennis elbow preventative medicine! another non-issue, for me at least. i think i will make the switch full time for sure.
     
    #29
  30. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    I know a player who missed at least two months because he hurt both elbows doing weight training with rather light weights. He's in his 40s. One thing to keep in mind is that tendon/ligament damage can accumulate and become noticeable when you're older.
     
    #30
  31. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    ummm, people in thier 60s and 70s weight train. The trick is not to over train and to do a warm up set of at least 15 reps. Improper form can do damage as well.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
    #31
  32. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I had the same issue breaking ALU rough in 1-1 1/2 hours of groundstroke practice.

    Switched to Ashaway 16 Mains, with the ALU rough crosses just under a year ago, and it is awesome. I like it better than the full Lux.

    J
     
    #32
  33. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    Take a plastic bag and stretch it. You'll see that it doesn't go back to it's original shape, ala a rubber band. Kevlar doesn't have a lot of elasticity. At the same time it's very hard to stretch it. So what you get over time is a material that's resistent to stretching, overcoming it's modulus of elasticity as you hit, and then reaching a equilibriam point where you've essentially stretched it to the amount you're going to given your typical force applied through playing. Part of this is also due to the braid design of Kevlar.
     
    #33

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