Late to the party: dead poly

Discussion in 'Strings' started by anubis, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    As the title says, I'm late to the party. Never really read this article that TWU published so many moons ago. http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/deadstrings.php

    Specifically, the conclusion part:

    "The data provides evidence to support the speculations of many players on the causes and perceptions of polyester strings going dead. The lower tensions and perpendicular stiffness of many polyesters leads to longer dwell times and greater deflection. This keeps the ball on the racquet for a longer arc of the stroke, potentially creating "power" problems with the ball going deeper, wider and higher than desired. The decrease in perpendicular stiffness also contributes to the sensation that the strings get "mushy" or behave like a trampoline. A loss of control is the end result. Further, the stroke itself may thus be affected to compensate for the changes in the string."


    They are basically saying that there's this "magic time frame" of a couple of hours where polyesters perform to their peak potential. But then, once the poly begins to "die", they start to exhibit particular characteristics that lots of players all across the board have anecdotally described in some way shape or form -- but finally the TWU was able to prove it with SCIENCE!

    Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is this: If you want to keep poly strings on your frame for longer than 8 to 10 hours, you'll experience one or more of the following string characteristics:
    • More power
    • Less control
    • Higher trajectory off strings
    • Increased stiffness


    The key thing about this is, if you had bought strings that specifically marketed themselves as having these characteristics, then you wouldn't be surprised one bit if that's what you got. BUT, You didn't. The typical TT forum member or joe schmoe off the street buys poly strings for the following characteristics:
    • Low power
    • High control
    • Low trajectory off strings
    • Increased spin

    So when he or she buys strings expecting these results -- and gets them for a couple of hours -- is very annoyed that it all changes after a couple of hours. Especially since these strings are never marketed that way. These string manufacturers never advertise that it's a short life span, that there is nothing worse than dead poly.


    OK, so off my soap box. In my amateur point of view, I'm thinking that going full synthetic gut may prove the best bang for your buck. I know, I know, a lot of you have stated this already in many, many threads. But not only am I starting to agree, I'm also starting to think that it has more to do with that.

    Not only will nylon strings last longer (mono or multifilament), but their characteristics change less. Nylon strings don't become a completely different string after a few hours of play. As nylon strings die, they:
    • Move around a lot on the string bed
    • Begin to fray
    • Eventually break

    This list is my experience of a typical nylon string after 20 to 30 hours of play. Sure, you could say that some nylons exhibit more problems after the 40 or 50 hour mark, but honestly -- you've gotten your money's worth by that time, and it's more likely to break before you get that far.

    And, don't even get me started on tension loss of poly versus nylon strings!


    Conclusion
    Unless you are very wealthy and can afford to leave your poly strings on for less than 10 hours, then not only is poly a waste of money, but it can actually hurt your game and your growth as a tennis player since you have to modify your game, your strokes and your technique to compensate for the string's eventual death march. As poly dies, you are changing almost every aspect of your stroke to keep up with the way the string changes.

    And, if you're leaving your poly strings in for longer than 10 hours, you could be doing damage to your arm since it becomes so stiff.

    If you go nylon, you can remain more consistent across the life of the string. You don't have to change any aspect of your play from 0 to 20 hours of play time with the string. And, you can leave the strings on longer without any negative consequences.
     
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  2. oest10

    oest10 Semi-Pro

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    I think your conclusion fails to adress all players.

    I do not know what level you play at but for those that have a good tennis level, play with both pace and spin and have an agressive gameplan, strings don't usually last over 5 hours. Especially syn-gut.

    I have played with syn-gut for a long time and it would never last for over +-3,5 hours.

    Since I've started to play more again, I've been putting in poly strings and have had an average time of 4 hours (up to 6!) per string set. Not only does it therefore make it more efficient, but for me it also retains its playability longer than a syn-gut. After 20 minutes of play with a synthetic gut string, it would be all over the stringbed, sawing away at the mains and eventually breaking after about 3 hours.

    I believe that your post has some great and valid points, and that you've written this with the best of intentions, but no player is the same and therefore your experiences can't be projected onto someone else's game.
     
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  3. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Many good points.

    But, I like the first 6-8 hours of a poly hybrid quite a bit. So, I bought a stringer, buy reels of poly, buy reels of nylon and multi, and string my own rackets. I normally play league matches with poly that has less than 8 hours of play time. Then, I relegate it to practice for a few more hours and then restring it.

    If I didn't own a stringer, I probably would not play poly.

    One last point, if you have a gut main/poly cross hybrid or a multi main/poly cross hybrid, you can get a few more hours of quality play time. With gut/poly hybrids for my game, I think you can get 15 hours of quality time and maybe 20 hours before the gut snaps.
     
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  4. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I have a stringing machine too, and have reels of poly, syn guts, multis lying around that I use for my customers. I can certainly cut poly out after a couple of hours of play time, but why? How much benefit do I get by using poly over nylon?

    I don't know, I guess I'm just second guessing my use of poly. Not saying that I'm not having success with it, I certainly am. But last night I played a 3.5 singles match and almost lost -- and I blame the poly that I was using. I was able to pull off a win at the end, but that's only because I was able to modify my game enough to conform to the limitations of the string.

    You see, I had strung up a Luxilon ALU power rough/Technifibre x-1 hybrid last Friday. I then played a match on Saturday and it was magical. I felt like I could hit all the angles, swing as hard as I wanted and it always went in.

    Then, I played a 7.5 doubles match and it was still magical, everything went in, my serves were unreturnable even against stronger 3.5's and 4.0s.

    But last night, after 6 hours of play time on that frame, it's like it all crumbled. Everything went out. Serves were easy for my opponent to get back. Many shots were short, bringing him up to the net.

    So either I have to find a cheaper poly that is playable (can't stand what I have in stock for my customers), one that I don't mind cutting out after a few hours, or just say screw it and stick a multi in there that will last longer than a week!
     
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  5. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Just pre-stretch your poly (by pulling a 20-ft length and tying the other end to a fixed object until the relaxed length is about 6" longer) and then drop the tension to compensate for the higher effective tension. Even better, substitute fully pre-stretched Monogut ZX for the crosses (20' of ZX will pre-stretch an extra 18"). Your strings will play fine for many hours until they break with minimal change in tension or playing characteristics.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
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  6. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    How do you pre-stretch strings with a lock out machine?
     
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  7. Cacoepy

    Cacoepy New User

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    Do any of you notice a decrease in spin when playing with pre-stretched poly as opposed to fresh poly?
     
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  8. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    nylon or synthetic gut can last you up to 40-50 hrs? that's incredible. 17g syn gut lasts me 3-4 and 16g lasts maybe another hour or 2 more.
     
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  9. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Well, but that is because your name is mad dog! :p

    ~ just kidding ~
     
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  10. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    i mostly chuckle at the 4.0 dudes i see (I'm 4.0 also)
    that are playing poly, for months....

    "this **** lasts forever!!"

    hahaha
     
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  11. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    anubis,

    first and foremost everything depends on the player and the technique - currently i have to find a poly that survives more than 5 hitting hours for instance, and this is in the mains with multi or syngut crosses. i have recently played fullbed poly and the strings broke even quicker than in a hybrid!

    second, i have not yet come across a syngut that, in the crosses (!), does not turn into rocket launcher mode after the third hitting hour. then it becomes to a certain extent unplayable, but i'm adapting my strokes to keep the ball in - so the thing with adapting your strokes with polys is just in your head and has nothing to do with synguts.

    i am usually playing with the mantis comfort synthetic in the crosses, and although they break usually around the 2hrs mark (one practice session), i still get a consistent stringbed from the poly mains while restringing the crosses once. usually, the second time around the mains break but the crosses are already worn down too and about to break. so, this is the reason why i would not really blame the poly, which loses tension (!), but for me for instance, maintains it's playability until breakage, while syngut does not.

    i usually hit with my son who just turned 14 last month and is a competitional player. two years ago, when he was hitting with less pace, i used to get around 8-10 hitting hours out of the hybrids i played, now i'm down to 4-5. as a funny sidenote of this "lifetime" reduction - i killed alu power before it died.:) i first played this string some three years ago, and while i was really impressed by the first two outings, then things went downhill incredibly fast and i remember i was begging for it to break. this time around i was still begging for it to last another half an hour.:)

    dead poly is very bad for the vast majority of rec players that are thrilled by it's "durability". i have told and written this many times. i have even stated that if you can't break syngut in 6 hitting hours you (generally speaking) have no business in playing poly. of course, some people, even with flatter strokes, like the control you get with this stiff stringbed, but nevertheless they should restring at least at the 15hrs mark.

    my son started playing hybrids two years ago and i was closely watching the stringbedbehaviour. he is playing the mantis power poly in the mains and i can tell you that two years ago he was getting anywhere between 15-20 hitting hours out of it, without the string going dead. depending on what we played outdoors (clay) or indoors (carpet), he was breaking the strings prior to the stringbed going dead. in the mean time his hours count has also gone down to around 10-12 hours and the stringbed still is ok before it breaks.
     
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  12. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Nylon stretches and loses tension with hitting. So after say 8 hours hitting, the tension in the stringbed is nothing like it was when freshly strung. You're getting a very different response off the stringbed. There's good reason why Courier used to restring with Gosen JC constantly back in the day.
     
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  13. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    yep. completely agree.
     
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  14. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    do you also pre-stretch your kevlar?
     
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  15. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Anubis is playing with lux Alu rough mains and x1 biphase crosses. Am i the only one who sees what is going on here?
     
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  16. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    The "I want to play polyester that is as soft as butter and does not require me to restring more than once a year, which one do I take" quest? :grin:
     
    #16
  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Insensitive lout that I am, I"ve been playing with SolincoTourBite16 at 47 lbs. for 9 weeks now, at least 2 days a week, and when compared to the racket I hit with maybe 10 hits TOTAL, it feels the same!:):)
    Lucky for me, I'm an insensitive lout, and focus more on my play than what the strings are doing at the moment.
     
    #17
  18. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    I totally disagree with the OP.

    If you use a stiff racquet and hit hard or with a lot of top, syn gut will not last at all, and it will be uncontrollable before it breaks.

    As for poly, I have similar experiences to LeeD. I have probably 15 hours of hard hitting on a fullbed of RPM Blast in a PDR+ and while it's not as good as a fresh set, it's not too bad either. I did have some BHBR lose a good bit of control after about the same amount of hitting.

    I had heard that Blast would go mushy after five hours or so, but that hasn't been my experience.

    I am beginning ot thnk all the alarmism about you have to replace poly or your arm will fall off is nonsense. Of course, we've had the same argument about the PDR itself.
     
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  19. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Anubis,

    1.If you are searching for a reason to favor poly over nylon, one big factor is spin potential. TWU testing indicates that poly generates 20 percent more spin on average than nylon.

    2. The primary reason noted for the increase is of course, lower inter string friction. However, with hybrids the orientation of mains to crosses matters big time. Gut/poly has the lowest cof, even lower than full beds of poly. But poly/gut has the highest friction of any string combination.

    3. Poly/ nylon is usually chosen out of an intuitive sense that poly mains will provide spin, and nylon crosses will provide a bit of comfort. Unfortunately you often will get neither out of that combo.

    4. With lux alu rough mains and tf x1 biphase you have a string bed that inhibits mains sliding. Poly/ gut as a group, has very high COF, but x1 in particular has a gummy, sticky outer coating. What this means is that the mains dont want to slide when they are fresh, and its only going to get worse as the stiff mains notch the softer crosses aa they swing across.Would be much better imo to have x1 mains and poly crosses. Or better yet, gut mains ans poly crosses.

    With gut/ poly... Your string bed will cost about 4 bucks more. And will last 2x longer. Youll have more power, and since the mains dominate the feel of the stringbed LOTS more comfort. Spin will be increased. And tension loss will be less an issue because gut retains tension about 4 times better than poly, and its the mains tension that matter most.

    Also your strings will age better. As the softer gut mains slide over the harder poly, the gut will fray faster than the poly will notch. Is is belived than natural oils are secreted when gut frays. This creates a sort of rail system for the gut to travel on as it swings over the crosses.

    With alu rough/ x1 youd have the exact opposite. The sticky gummy crosses (x1 has the highest cof of ANY string tested) will notch as the hard crosses swing accross. Now you have peaks and valleys that the mains must climb over. That is not good at all.

    Nutshell : i suspect much of what you are experiencing has to do with the particular hybrid combo you have chosen.

    Anywhoo, just my 2 cents fwiw :)

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
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  20. Bhairava

    Bhairava Rookie

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    Playing with tb16 too, at 46-44, and after six hours it feels the same of fresh,even on a very string demanding frame like 16x18 ozone mp. The problem is that I don't find same spin of 16L...but maybe I should rise tension a bit.
     
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  21. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I never said that, I don't mind stringing. Like I said, I have a side business where I string 5 to 10 racquets a week for customers. I have reels of strings lying around, I could restring my frames every day if I had to. But it gets very expensive when you use premium strings. And, i'm taking out my frustrations on this here wonderful message board! :)

    Thank you Jack for your astute observations! It makes sense. I guess I never really noticed it before, but the mere fact that I never have to adjust my strings during a match means there really is no string movement with that combo.

    So, why use rough/textured poly strings then? I would think that a full bed of ALU power would slide way better than ALU Power rough?

    The same would go for BHBR, or BHB7.

    EDIT: ChicagoJack: let's say I wanted to experiment with Gut/Poly hybrid. Say, Wilson nat gut 16 mains, Tourna BHS 16 crosses. If I normally string poly mains @ 50 w/ multi cross @ 54 lbs, would I therefore string nat gut in mains @ 54 lbs with poly cross @ 50 lbs?


    Thanks for the comments everyone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
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  22. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Polyester is actually very cheap. You should be able to get something good for about $5 and if you get a reel it is even cheaper.

    The thing is that some people rather pay $18 for something with lots of markup due to marketing hype, player support, brand recognition etc.
     
    #22
  23. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    I find I'm getting a decent 20 (or so) hours out of my string set up and I'm playing 3 times a week at the moment.

    Not sure how people are finding their polys dead after 5 hours of use :eek:
     
    #23
  24. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I think Luxilon ALU is notorious for going dead more quickly than most other strings.

    Just for giggles I went here:
    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/COFreporter.php

    @ChicagoJack: all I can say is, wow. 98% of all of my strings that I have in stock (over a dozen brands) are all at the bottom of that list. They all have friction coefficients of greater than 0.100!

    And, if you compare X-1 Biphase and ALU Power rough, the combined friction coefficient is probably over 0.300.

    I guess you could say that any spin that was produced from my shots were pretty much created by my technique -- the strings probably didn't help at all.

    Since I've never played with "slick" strings, I went out on my lunch break and bought Solinco Outlast 16 and Revolution 16. They are both in the top 10 for friction coefficient. I'm very curious as to how it will feel and how much spin I will notice. Of all the polys that I've used, this will be the first time that I've used any string with this low of a friction number.
     
    #24
  25. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    alot depends on the pattern. wide open patterns go through polys much quicker than tight 18x20 patterns. also how much spin and how hard you and your opponent hit affects poly life.
     
    #25
  26. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    I'm on a Babolat Aeropro Team with YPTP at 53lbs and I hit reasonably hard, definitely above average but not extremely hard.
     
    #26
  27. SCRAP IRON

    SCRAP IRON Professional

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    That's more than 2 cents worth Jack. That's priceless info! I have used the gut mains and SMOOTH poly combo and while I have to increase my tension in order to tame the power, it is an exceptional setup. My only question for you is this- What about gut mains and a textured poly cross like Solinco Tour Bite. Will that give a bit more spin or just negatively counteract the gut main?
     
    #27
  28. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    TB is so sharp that it will saw right through the gut mains lickety split.
     
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  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Forgive my ignorance, I know little about mixing strings.
    Wouldn't you want TBite mains?
    For topspin, for slices, and for durability?
    The crosses, aren't they for liveliness?
     
    #29
  30. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Typically if you're going to go with a gut/poly hybrid, you should put gut in the mains. Gut is the superior/more expensive of the two, so you want gut to dominate the feel and behavior of the stringbed.

    Putting poly in the crosses does three things:

    1. Decreases the overall cost of the stringjob
    2. Increases the spin potential
    3. Decreases the power slightly
     
    #30
  31. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Anubis,

    I think your hunch is pretty good. 54/50 would be a good generic baseline tension for Gut/Poly in a 97-100 sq in frame. But based on your comments and my experience I would recco 60/52. I strung up 3 frames for the tournament I'm in this weekend. I have 54/50, 58/54 and 60/52. The 60/52 is just outstanding. Perfect blend of comfort, spin, power and control.

    I think I know why. TWU testing shows that of all the patterns and tensions tested, 16x10 at 60 lbs has the most spin, and 16x10 at 30 lbs had the least spin. It's not intuitive, I think we have this idea that string movement equals spin, but ... If the mains slide too far, and lack sufficient tension to snap back (as in the case of 16x10 at 30 lbs) that is the worst case scenario.

    I'm finding that the 60 lb gut mains add lots of depth control, spin seems about the same, but it's just a much more predictable/consistent string bed. One of the things about gut is that you can increase the tension, but because of it's elastic composition, the peak impact stiffness stays about the same. Translation is that gut is still really comfy in the low 60's.

    I think the 60/52 will age better too. I typically re-string when I see the Gut go slack and is starting to get pushed around. If my mains are stuck out of place, that's and indicator that slide is happening but snap back is not. When that happens, thats when the string bed starts to feel inconsistent and you dont know what you are going to get even when you connect cleanly.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
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  32. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Scrap Iron,

    If you study the friction data, anyone can see the overall patterns pretty quickly, From lowest to highest : Gut/Poly < Full Poly < Some Full Nylon < a Big Mix with lots of overlap < Full Polyurethane. However, One of the things that the TW Professor discovered while testing the co efficient of friction of hundreds of strings, is that while full beds are kind of easy to predict, individual combinations of the hybrids are not. There are oddities and outliers everywhere. For example, If you go to the string friction tool, you'll notice that the string with the lowest cof is Gut/MSV focus hex. I'm not going to try that one, because as others have noted, that's going to saw thru the mains pretty quick, and increasing ball bite on the crosses isnt such a big deal.

    I think maybe your question is coming from the idea that increased ball to string friction ie ball "bite" will increase spin. For the past 30 years this was the central thesis. but in the last few years we have got ball to string friction in a whole new context.

    First thing to understand about ball "bite" is that it happens 100 percent of the time, every time. Hi speed film shows the ball squashes into the string bed and collapses to roughly half it's volume, it ripples, and bunches up. It even starts to pour thru the string bed like batter flowing into a waffle iron. Getting the ball to bite the string bed is not a huge problem in the sport of tennis! In the sport of table tennis however, where the ball does not compress, and the angles to produce topspin are much more extreme, ball to rubber friction is a very big deal. But in our sport, where the ball does compress, and the strings deflect, the ball comes to a complete stop, and the friction forces go to zero every time.

    This is why low string to string cof, is far more important than ball bite. If the strings are not moving, ball bite is a complete non-issue, since the ball bites 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. However, if the mains are sliding on impact, textured mains will be beneficial on the snap back phase in that last miisecond as the ball is leaving the string bed. It's in that last little flicking motion at the very end of the impact that textured mains will add a bit more spin. But again, that's only on the mains, and only if strings are moving. Hope that makes sense! :)

    Personal Bias/Opinion : My racquet for rainy days is a full bed of black widow (Twisted poly). The spin I get from the gut/poly is pretty similar, but the full poly isnt so good for my arm, and I much prefer the hybrid for all court play, and doubles matches.

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
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  33. BLX_Andy

    BLX_Andy Professional

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    So I shouldn't use poly longer than the listed hours? I've been using Luxilon 4G on my racquet ever since it was shipped from TW over a month or two ago. And I don't honestly feel different.
     
    #33
  34. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    What do you use for gut /poly?
     
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  35. Tennis Fanatic 070

    Tennis Fanatic 070 Banned

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    Anubis, it really depends on what poly you use, alu power for example will die after 6-8 hours, but newer poly's may stay on par for 10-12 hours, which is plenty. Also you have to note that the question if a poly is suitable for a player, is a very personal question, it differs from player to player. I get 11 hours out of my setup, the playability stays fine until it snaps. Without a poly, my life as a tennis player has no meaning, I am a hard hitter with heavy top spin, without poly's I am not able to play a dominate game

    Also, there are some players with hard flat strokes (no string breakers), who also lplay with poly's and these type of players are able to enjoy the consistency of a poly for 20 hours until it dies. So the time it takes for the poly to die, also depends on the player hitting with the poly.

    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
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  36. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Thanks. What I meant was, what to use for the poly cross with gut mains. Was thinking Babolat Tonic +, and Solinco Outlast. The poly is nice and smooth, so it won't saw through the gut mains.
     
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  37. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    For gut I use either babolat vs 16 or wilson natural gut 16. I have a buddy who is a rep, and i just get whatever is available at the best wholesale price. For poly, i really dig yonex poly pro tour black 1.25. It is one of the most comfortable polys you can buy. WC mosquito bite 17l is pretty good to as a cross.

    Btw.. Lots of posts in here mention poly death. I know you have read the study, but i have the feeling many that are posting in this thread have not.

    Poly death does not occur becuase of decreasing elasticity, or resiliency. TWU study shows that poly death is a matter of two factors. Tension loss and notching. Poly Strings that are pounded on with test hammers until they suffer 20 lbs of tension loss, behave almost identically to fresh string if the hammered on string is simply re- tensioned. Poly death is just a fancy confusing word for good old tension loss and increasing friction caused by notching and abraision.

    Back in 04-05, you hardly ever heard anybody here mention poly death. Now use of that word has reached a fever pitch. At the same time we have this study which shows poly death isnt what most peeps think it is. Its a very strange crossroads for sure.

    Jack
     
    #37
  38. Tennis Fanatic 070

    Tennis Fanatic 070 Banned

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    You meant to ask that in your original post?
     
    #38
  39. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    No, sorry, thought you were responding to my question to ChicagoJack, where I asked what kind of gut/poly combination he mentioned.
     
    #39
  40. SCRAP IRON

    SCRAP IRON Professional

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    Thanks for the reply Jack. I really the visual of the ball going through the strings like waffle batter through an iron. Unfortunately, I know have a craving for IHOP!

    Thanks again for making sense out of the very important issue of hybrid stringing and how it pertains to one's skill.
     
    #40
  41. Tennis Fanatic 070

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    Ok hahaha, I was responding to the original post.
     
    #41
  42. Triskadekaphilia

    Triskadekaphilia Semi-Pro

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    Loose, notched = dead?

    As tension drops the stringbed stiffness should be decreased as well. So why does poly become harsh after so many hours and transmit excess vibration to the player's elbow, wrist, etc?

    Do poly strings lose resiliency with use as well as suffering tension loss? The loss of resiliency must outweigh the tension loss leading to increased stiffness.

    Why does month-old poly feel harsh and lead to overuse injury whereas fresh poly may not lead to injury? Tension loss and notching occur but they probably don't explain excess vibration and injury.

    To me, dead poly doesn't feel loose, although the looseness may further contribute to loss of control in the racquet. It feels harsh, boardy, and very "stiff". But not stiff like gut at 62 lbs of tension, more like the strings don't know where to go when you hit the ball and the ball trajectory is unpredictable. Even if the strings don't look notched.
     
    #42
  43. Triskadekaphilia

    Triskadekaphilia Semi-Pro

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    Wow, i never realized that... Gut at a higher tension can lead to more spin and more control.

    Great post! Would like to try this setup.

    Any concern about a large differential in tension between mains and crosses? What starts at 8 lbs difference will rapidly become 16 lbs or more.
     
    #43
  44. moonballs

    moonballs Hall of Fame

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    Is such a big tension difference in the 60/52 set-up too big? The tension of the mains will be well over 60 after the crosses are pulled. And in play the poly will drop twice as much tension as the main. Both of the effects will make the tension difference even bigger than 8lbs.
     
    #44
  45. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    @ChicagoJack: One more question. If the primary benefit to poly (greater topspin) is primarily achieved through the friction coefficient and string movement, and if it's true that poly mains with a nylon cross will only serve to decrease string movement by increasing the friction coefficient, then what is the point of a poly mains/nylon cross hybrid in the first place?

    I mean, if someone wants to string this type of hybrid either to soften the string bed or increase the power, wouldn't they be better off stringing a full bed of multi? If what you're saying is true, then there would be no greater spin production from a full bed of multi @ 60 lbs, or a poly/multi hybrid @ 50/54 lbs?

    Thanks :)
     
    #45
  46. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

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    Not Jack, but I'll still answer. I've tried poly/poly, poly/multi and multi/poly. IMO there are two key parameters, power and spin. Poly/poly and multi/poly both offer good spin but poly/poly is lower powered and allows you to swing out more. But full poly is so harsh for the arms.

    Compared to the other two poly/multi felt like a low powered dead hard board with no access to spin. Directional control was good. If you don't want to use spin, this combo would be good. Compared to full multi the power is tamed down offering good control.

    I'm a baseliner who uses spin to control the ball. For me, multi/poly is the superior combo.
     
    #46
  47. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Triskadekaphilia, ;)

    I will repeat again for emphasis. It's not intuitive at all, but TWU lab study indicates Poly does not lose "resiliency" or "elasticity" as it ages. We can say this with certainty because Poly that has been hammered on with repeated impacts until it suffers significant tension loss, will behave in a similar fashion to fresh poly, provided it is simply re-tensioned to it's original starting point.

    But yeah, I totally understand your line of questioning. For the past 5-10 years the prevailing wisdom here at TW forums has been that poly loses "resiliency" or "elasticity" as it ages, and that is what creates the boardy/stiff feeling often associated with arm pain. However, there's an equal number of players who verbalize dead poly as that moment when the string bed looses so much tension, that it becomes an uncontrollable trampoline/rocket launcher.

    So, let's back up the truck here, (beep .. beep ... beep...) The first thing to understand is that Poly "death" means different things to different players:

    "The strings lose power."
    "The strings hurt my arm."
    "The strings feel stiffer."
    "It hits like a board."
    "The strings lose their resiliency."
    "The strings lose their elasticity."
    "My strings are staying out of place."
    "There is no pop."
    "I can't hit the ball deep."

    or ...

    "I can't control the ball."
    "I spray the ball all over the place."
    "I can't keep the ball in play"
    "The ball just takes off."
    "The the strings are mushy."
    "The strings trampoline the ball."
    "My ball isn't as heavy."
    "I can't hit with as much spin."

    These are all comments used to describe string death/aging, and yet some seem to directly contradict the other. One guy says the string bed becomes a powerless, boardy, arm breaker, and next says the racquet becomes a mushy, uncontrollable rocket launcher and they start spraying the ball to the back fence. So... how do we reconcile all of these various player comments attributed to string aging? Crawford Lindsey aka TW Professor has provided us some insight after extensive lab study on the issue. These (seemingly) contradictory accounts are entirely explainable.

    I'm going to copy and paste a quick explanation I provided for a similar thread a few weeks ago, see quote below.

    Hope this helps!

    - Jack

     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
    #47
  48. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

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    ^^That's interesting stuff ChicagoJack. I've actually felt both of the ways of poly going dead. With full bed ALU power at 52lbs on K90 the strings lost power and became stiff and harsh. With a full bed BB Ace 18 at 35lbs on a 102sq.in. Yonex beginner racquet however the strings lost control and felt mushy.

    It's easy to understand these two phenomena. The thin gauge BB Ace at low tension has so low initial friction that the surface of the string doesn't get destroyed and the friction stays low. Tension loss and the resulting uncontrolled movement of the mains dominates in this case, explaining my feelings.

    With ALU power 16 at higher tension however the initial friction is higher and the surface of the string as a result gets destroyed more and more. In this case, the power losses caused by the increasing friction dominate and the strings become low powered and stiff, yet again explaining my feelings.

    So it seems that we have a winner combo that eliminates the stiffness of the aging full poly string beds: Low friction thin gauge polys strung at very low tension? Do you think we could generalize this?
     
    #48
  49. Triskadekaphilia

    Triskadekaphilia Semi-Pro

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    Micronotching

    Jack:

    Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    I appreciate you forwarding the papers. I was not aware of this research that you cited. And I can't argue with it. The experiments are well-designed and executed.

    To me (and to my wrist) "dead" poly feels harsh. I can feel discomfort in my wrist within several minutes. This is related to my backhand technique but also related to increased string stiffness.

    This must be due to poor snapback that occurs due to notching. Even if no notching is visible there must be micronotching present. Hmm... Micronotching... I wonder I that is a new term here on TT?
     
    #49
  50. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Anubis,

    You are coming to the same conclusions I have come to long ago. There isn't much point to Poly/Nylon hybrids, or Poly/Gut hybrids. We have quite a few threads on the board now, asking about reccos for that combo, I think that is because Babolat Official has been suggesting that set up as of late. Those combos are often recommended out of the stream of thoughts that poly will produce spin, and the nylon or gut will provide comfort. You often get neither for the reasons I've outlined in greater detail posts # 19, 31, 32, 37, 47 this thread.

    As for the idea of full nylon being a better choice (for spin and comfort) than, Poly/gut or Poly/Nylon, that is something I'm currently investigating. We know that those hybrids create a lot of inter-string friction, which limits the silde and snap back effect. We also know that the COF of nylons is all over the map. You have very slippery nylons like Volkl syngut, Volkl gripper, and a handful of Gosen nylons which are as slippery as full poly. Then you have very sticky, gummy nylons like TF X1 Biphase which are are leading the charts for friction.

    I started a list a few months ago, which outlines my search for demo string. I have zeroed in on twenty or so poly strings that are very slippery, and amongst the most comfortable polys you can buy. You'll notice there's a few nylons in there living among the digits typically belonging to poly. Might want to give the list on the first page of my thread a look see. I have a few months before my next tournament, I will be giving many of the nylons in there some demos. I will provide feedback whenever time allows.

    Low Friction Poly X's For Gut Mains : Softer Alternative to MSV Co-Focus?
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442868

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
    #50

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