Low, low tensions. 30lbs feels great. 20lbs pretty good, too

Discussion in 'Strings' started by TW Staff, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Mig1NC

    Mig1NC Professional

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    I would say no for two reasons.

    1. Poly and Co-Poly strings loose tension at a higher rate the higher you string them, so stringing them lower initially could increase the life of the string and usable tension.

    2. Poly has little elasticity. Your string has probably lost its elasticity by the time it would get down to the tensions talked about in this thread.
     
  2. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    For me so far, the formula is this : Low powered player's stick with soft poly strung under 45#s in an 18x20 pattern. Grip between western and semi Western. Aggressive swings with heavy topspin.

    The tight pattern still gives me a low trajectory shot for winners. I can loop balls when I am out of position, so that shot is still available if I go more low to high. Drop shots can be extremely lethal.

    I am getting a more powerful Tfibre soon as I have posted before, so I am interested in seeing how that goes with the same strings and tension.
     
  3. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    well I finally experienced my first bad day with the low tension. It really affected my serve and I DF'ed a few times. I also was just hitting longer a few more times then I would have liked. I notice my grip has shifted more to the western side then the Semi western.

    I still really like the low tensions. I may have to end up back at around the high 40s or low 50s just for control in match situations. I was losing confidence on my winners because I was missing them long a few too many times.


    Stringing low has really opened up my eyes to how comfy poly should be though, so I don't anticipate cranking the tension back up anytime soon.
     
  4. TTECHH

    TTECHH New User

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    PP, how long have you had the strings in? When my TiMO died, they were horrible. Have you considered that?

    TTECHH
     
  5. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    And it's possbile that it may not be due to the strings at all. We all have our "off" days.
     
  6. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    I agree. If everyone changed strings, tensions, racquets, or whatever every time they hit the ball long "a few more times" than they liked, nobody would ever use the same equipment twice in a row.

    Every time I play below my expectations and I'm ready to blame it on my racquet or strings, I just remember that it's the same equipment I was using yesterday, so it's probably just me. And the next day when I go out to play, everything's usually back to normal. Sure, strings need to be replaced when they lose their playability, but it usually doesn't suddenly happen on one day vs. another. It's a gradual shift, then you finally just give up and try to rejuvinate your frame with a new stringbed.
     
  7. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    It was an off day, but that was not all of it. And yes, the string job was only 4 hours old, so it was still ok.

    I would never change just because of one off day, that would be stupid. I have just been really exerting myself hitting with my frames and it has been catching up.

    Do not get me wrong, I am a low tension guy when it comes to full poly after this experience. In these 300Ts, they just scream to be strung up at 40#s. I am not going to the dark side or anything. I am just saying that I saw some negatives. Let's see how it goes. It's a process.
     
  8. TTECHH

    TTECHH New User

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    I agree, but I have found that with full poly, which I love at these super low tensions, they die a quick death. When I cut out the last set of poly, and the strings hardly even snap and only pull apart a centimeter or so, the strings are dead. And yes, they did die quickly, not like a set of synthetic gut.

    Either way, maybe this is a result of the specific strings I am using, but this is what I have seen on two sets, TiMO and ALU Rough. Also, maybe it was one off, the second set of TiMO I strung has lasted a little longer so far, about 2 1/2 weeks. The Rough lasted almost a month, but is was strung at 30 and when it died, it died horribly. The racket played fine one day and terrible two days later. I switched rackets and had control and power back in that match that I didn't have with the Rough.

    Side note, I am new to polys, they hurt my arm when I strung them before going this low in tension and I didn't like the feel when strung tight.

    TTECHH
     
  9. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    Got to hit with my 325 w/ BC @35lbs.

    Not much long balls now. Still a bit too powerful for my taste. Most of my long balls came when I was stepping in for the shot inside the baseline.

    The mains at the size have noticeable lost tension. Also, I notice that there is zero notching happening on the string. Even when you try and pull the mains or the crosses they just slide and snap back.

    Also, even though I could see a lot of the felt go poof whenever I hit a shot, I'm quite surprised that there was very little felt stuck in between the strings.

    Really liking this setup right now. Excited to see how a soft poly would feel at 45lbs next
     
  10. okdude1992

    okdude1992 Hall of Fame

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    the lowest i ever went was 49 lbs. 30 and lower just sounds crazy! but i kind of want to try it now
     
  11. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I use full natural gut at 40 lbs (dropweight) on a 90 sq in, flexible frame. If I feel it is too loose/powerfull, I add string savers.
     
  12. Sublime

    Sublime Semi-Pro

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    If you haven't gone down to 30 or even 35, you're not really feeling the effects of this setup.

    Check out TW Profs graphs http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=4526102&postcount=164

    See how after 40lbs, the stiffness skyrockets? That's what you feel when you hit, because the tension increases on impact.

    Nat gut in contrast doesn't get much stiffer with increased tension Thats why it feels so soft. Now drop poly to 30lbs and that curve gets a lot less steep and for that reason, it feels worlds softer than 40lbs.
     
  13. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    This may sound funny but I found the low poly setup is good to really develop a swing w/ a lot of topspin.

    Everytime I hit a flat shot, the ball would fly. If I hit with spin, it stays in play. :)
     
  14. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    If you experiment with reducing your tension, and your experience turns out to be like mine, you will really have to crank up your swing speed in order for your game, on balance, to improve noticeably. The most salient positive in my experience was that I smacked fives times as many ground stroke winners, strung at 32lbs--as opposed to my normal 54lbs; but only after having become a little frustrated and aiming to crack the felt off the ball. The added pocketing you would have expected from reducing your string tension just didn't present itself to me, except when I was taking vicious, ripping cuts at the ball. So, when my swing speed was sufficiently cranked up, the lower tension definitely padded my winners category.
    Other observations:
    1. Returning low balls was challenging, at first.
    2. Controlling volleys was an ongoing headache.
    3. Wrist-flicking was easier from everywhere.
    4. Controlling depth-of-return, fed a medium paced ball, was a big challenge.
    5. Slicing from either wing was a breeze.
    6. Serving was no problem, although, I saw no added pop nor spin.
    My partner observed, however, that my shots did not feel as heavy today but seemed to come with more spin.
    I cannot say that this (32lbs) will be my set-up moving forward, but it was fun to experiment.
     
  15. Mr_Shiver

    Mr_Shiver Semi-Pro

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    I don't think I could keep it in court with gut that low. Impressive.
     
  16. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    Yeah, this setup sounds delicious to play with. I sometimes mess around with a springy 80s graphite Wilson, and while it's a pleasure to play with, it is not my most effective stick all around; so, Mr. Shiver, the other guy's setup, with which you were impressed, also impresses me because I can imagine how much fun he has been having with it.
     
  17. spamaway0

    spamaway0 New User

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    Wood Racquet & Low Tension

    Back in the early eighties when I play competitive doubles I used a Kramer Autograph strung with VS Gut at 35 lbs. It was a sweet setup with good control and power.

    Eric
     
  18. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I think you could get used to it in a week. I use a copper ace, 90 sq and RA ~ 50. It is very low powered and gut at 40 lbs is very playable.

    This thread is very interesting to me, especially since, like chris, I also own a PB mid 10, and I string it with full Gut at 42 lbs. It already serves bombs (atleast by my standards) at this tension. I am tempted to go down to 35 and see how it serves.
     
  19. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    Given the results of TW's tests, the notion that gut will be softer at low tensions seems questionable.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    You mean you hope I won't use TW's own data to allow people to examine questionable claims?
     
  21. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    According to TW's data, Cyberflash 17 is one of the softest polys they sell, although at low tension it's only in the top 20.

    At 40 lbs ref: 19th out of 151
    At 51 lbs ref: 6th out of 151
    At 62 lbs ref: 2nd out of 151
    At 62 lbs ref w/ pre-stretch: 1st out of 151


    However, the 16 gauge is definitely stiff.

    At 40 lbs ref: 114th out of 151
    At 51 lbs ref: 105th out of 151
    At 62 lbs ref: 79th out of 151
    At 62 lbs ref w/ pre-stretch: 62nd out of 151


    Top 6 softest polys at high tension with a pre-stretch (last number is tension loss):

    Cyber Flash 17, 183.5, 28.9
    Pro Hurricane 18, 189.2, 18.7
    Pulse 17, 206.9, 22.5
    Cyber Blue 17, 209.7, 22.3
    Tourna Big Hitter Silver 17, 212.0, 21.6
    Poly Hightec 18, 213.2, 21.6

    high tension, no pre-stretch:

    Plasma HEXtreme 16L/1.25, 160.6, 23.8
    Cyber Flash 17, 172.0, 34.0
    Silverstring 120, 181.7, 32.4
    Pulse 17, 185.7, 29.5
    Tourna Big Hitter Silver 17, 192.0, 28.2
    Pulse 16, 192.6, 32.0


    mid tension:

    Poly Hightec 18, 150.3, 30.9
    Cobra 17/1.20, 154.3, 32.2
    Viper 17/1.20, 157.7, 32.6
    Poly Hightec 17, 157.7, 32.0
    Hightec Premium 17, 157.7, 31.3
    Cyber Flash 17, 158.9, 27.8


    The top 6 softest at low tension, no pre-stretch:

    Poly Hightec 18, 109.2, 29.3
    Pulse 17, 124.6, 26.5
    Enduro Tour 18, 124.6, 27.1
    Sonic Pro 16, 125.2, 26.9
    Cobra 17/1.20, 125.2, 26.0
    Poly Hightec 17, 125.2, 27.1
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  22. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Cyberflash is not that soft in comparison to soft polys though. Maybe it is for TW..because they don't sell the lesser known brands that are pushing the enevlope in terms of soft polys.

    But all you need to do is string up big hitter blue rough in one stick, and Cyberflash in another for a no brainer assesment of which is softer. It's not even close. This is why relying on TW data is not always the right way to think. There are plenty of poly strings out there not on TW that are far more comfortable then Cyberflash. I love CF, I used a ton of it, but it is not a soft poly.

    Even at high tension, it can feel pretty stiff (even though the data clearly shows otherwise). I used to string it at 60..it is not the most comfortable sensation in the world, but it can be done.

    Everyone is different when it comes to strings, which is why going by data can possibly guide you away from a string you could really like.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  23. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Well said, and I agree completely. Especially since polys have the lowest resilience of any string type (aside from kevlar), the stiffness values from TWU and RSI are just a snapshot of the string's stiffness when it's fresh. Stiffness is not static over the life of a string. Once you use a stringbed over time, different strings/materials will lose elasticity at various rates, which is not accounted for in these tables: Loss of resilience is not the same as tension loss.

    I've used Bab PH 18 and CF 17, and my elbow about died when using the CF, while I was able to use the PH18 for a much longer time and it did not cause the same pain over both short and long term use. Perhaps the CF was softer during the first 5 impacts (I believe the TW tests they hit the string 5 times to get the measurements), but after that, on-court results will tell you much more, especially if your arm happens to be more sore when using a string that happens to appear softer on the data list. I'll trust my arm pain first, so the guide, while useful, does not account for resilience (the change in stiffness over time), which is one of the most important characteristic of a poly string especially.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  24. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    This is a good point, although it does get complicated. The RSI tests, for instance, don't show it to be all that soft at high tension. However, the RSI testing resulted in less tension loss for polys in general and since Cyberflash lost quite a bit of tension in the TW testing, that should also be taken into account when stiffness is considered. After enough time and impacts, it may be softer than the RSI data shows and more in line with TW's.

    Tension loss makes polys in particular a bit tougher to deal with when it comes to stiffness because some of them lose so much of it. (How stiff a string is is related not only to its material/construction but also to its actual tension.)

    RSI's testing doesn't show Cyber Flash to be all that impressive when it comes to stiffness. However, it also doesn't show it to be one of the stiffest:

    It's a moderately soft poly, according to RSI's testing in the 1.2mm version. As can be seen from the quoted list, there are a good number of strings ahead of it.

    Perhaps the best way to measure the stiffness of polys is to conduct two tests: an initial stiffness measurement and a measurement after a good number of impacts and a good amount of time has elapsed?
     
  25. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    No, the best way to measure stiffness is to buy a pack and string it up. Seriously. I don't care what numbers say on paper, I care what my arm and racquet say when I hit balls. That is all that matters. Do me a favor and pull Cyberflash out of a package and then open a package of real soft poly like Big Hitter Blue and tell me which is stiffer.

    That is why all this data can be very helpful, but it can also turn you off from a string that you may very well love, but the RSI tests showed otherwise and you never tried it out.

    I personally like to read people's accounts of the string over data. I find that the majority will come to the same opinion on the string and give you real good info that matches what your experience will be. For an example of this, you can read a string demo thread. The Big Hitter Blue thread gave a ton of accurate information. I know this because I tried the string before reading any threads, and the majority of info posted matched my personal experience.
     
  26. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Wholeheartedly agree...and you are correct on the BHB as well. I think one guy said in his opinion it was the OG-Sheep Micro of polys lol.
     
  27. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Well said sir.
     
  28. Jeffy005

    Jeffy005 Rookie

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    can't even go lower than 54.......... thats crazy... 20 lbs? wow....
     
  29. Sublime

    Sublime Semi-Pro

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    If you decided to give it a shot, go straight to 30ish. I used to use poly at 52lbs and I gave 42lbs a shot. Hated it... less control, too much power, yet just as stiff as 52lbs. 32lbs is completely different. Somehow the power seemingly goes down (or maybe it's compensated by more spin?) and softness goes way up.

    Give it a shot sometime, but don't bother creeping down, just take the plunge :)
     
  30. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    First you say all that matters is subjective play-testing, and then you say "this is why all this data can be helpful", without actually having said why it's helpful.

    You can't flatly say that you don't think the data matters at all and then say it's helpful.

    Plus, in another topic you just said, without hedging, that the data doesn't matter. I think Tennis Warehouse disagrees and so do I.
     
  31. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^

    I was just trying to be courteous. I feel bad for you because you don't seem to get it. We can look up all those numbers ourselves. We don't need you to post data over and over in every thread about strings.

    TW at least has had me playtest strings and racquets for them, so apparently they like to read people's opinions also.
     
  32. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    You said the data doesn't matter. That is a different claim.

    The notion that the data shouldn't be used means the data isn't relevant. So you're again saying it doesn't matter and should be censored.

    I've addressed that claim before. Tennis Warehouse conducted the testing, made the database, and advertised it in this very forum. It was designed to be used, for the information to be applied. It was not designed to be suppressed.

    Instead of turning this into a debate about the virtue of the data, as with so many other topics, you and others could instead simply ignore it.
     
  33. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    No one is suppressing information. You are not a string crusader spreading knowledge to the masses. Quit being the victim and trying to subtley sidle up to TW. It's very transparent and kind of depressing to see.

    A good way to use that data is to see what the ratings are, then post here for real world experiences. Those real world experiences are usually a lot more accurate. I have already said this stuff, I thought it would be pretty clear to grasp by now.

    I think you just like to argue a lot. I prefer hitting balls.
     
  34. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    I think the word "accurate" in this sense could be misleading. What you, myself, and many others are trying to convey is that actual experience with a given string provides for practical/useful information to a prospective buyer. The data is what it is, and it's fun to look at and discuss to a certain degree.

    Yes. LOL
     
  35. Jeffy005

    Jeffy005 Rookie

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    yeh.... ill give it a shot.... actually ill get my other racquet restring tomorrow to 25 lbs...... The restringer is like my best buddy and he will be like 'WTF man!' wahahahh
     
  36. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    25 may be too low. I tried 28 in my PT and there was an odd vibration-buzz after impact. Upping it to 36 eliminated the odd buzz while still having the low-tension comfort and amped spin. I think because it is a flexy frame, the buzz was more pronounced, but just a word of caution.
     
  37. Jeffy005

    Jeffy005 Rookie

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    aight... but my other racquet is really stiff... Wilson N5..... tnx for the heads up....
     
  38. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    You would think when nobody else shares your opinion like you know who that you would reconsider it.
     
  39. skuludo

    skuludo Professional

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    Strings ISO-Speed Baseline Long Life String 15L.
    Racket Pro Supex Dynamic Energy.

    Tried 30lbs and my racket lost a lot of power on ground strokes. Volleys also lost the amount of energy it can return too compared to when I had it at 56lbs. Serves seems to come off at a different angle too.

    My racket was leaded up 22grams at the 12 o clock position and it played like a stock Dynamic Energy with the strings at 30lbs with more spin. The exception was the serve had more power with the leaded up racket at 30lbs. All this is compared to a Dynamic Energy at stock weight strung at 54lbs.
     
  40. OldButGame

    OldButGame Hall of Fame

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    I have to agree with this,....and i think sometimes not enough credence or appreciation is given to to 'real world experiences' because its 'subjective' or not absolutely 'concrete data'.
    I , for one, read here because i enjoy hearing/reading about others experiences,...their 'opinions' of racquets,strings, etc.
    A reasonably bright person can take that information and do what they want with it,...and will typically weigh it against common sense, logic, their own experiences, # of similar responses, etc.
     
  41. Kaz00

    Kaz00 Semi-Pro

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    Was hitting with my 45lbs Pure Storm Tour and lets just say I couldn't get a feel for the 2H backhand so I switched over to my 65lbs PST and it felt great to hit clean 2H backhands again until my strings broke!

    So I went back to the 45lbs and all my shots just kept flying long again, but my slices and forehand were pretty awesome with the lower tension. I guess my 2H backhand is too flat to have such a low tension so I think I'll stick with 65 until I get the money to afford two Head Prestige Mids. One strung at 65 and the other 45....

    Also the string I was using was the RPM blasts overrated bologna!!
     
  42. TTECHH

    TTECHH New User

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    Kaz,

    Like it was said above, you have to go really low to get the benifits, especially with a tight string bed like yours. In my PSL, 30 seemed too low, but 37 seems really good. If you get the chance to do it again, go really low like 35 - 37...you may still not like it like you like the 65, but at 45 you are not seeing the true benefits and can't really rule out the low low tension.

    TTECHH
     
  43. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    This is a great thread and very good information. I liked the actual video of you hitting also. It gives a better image of what the tensions look like when you hit.
     
  44. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I agree. I have used full natural gut on the same racquet with varying tensions 35,40,45,50,55,60 lbs. I have progressively lowered the tension over the years from 60 to 40, and now exclusively use 40 lbs or less. My simple observations: more powerful and also easier on the arm. I really do not care what TW data/curves says regarding natural gut, energy and tension.
     
  45. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Tried some 35lbs full poly setups briefly in a couple of different occasions. Granted I wasnt very familiar with the particular racquet/string or the combo, but I felt low tension setups play very dead in that the string bed didnt offer much ball feedback. I wasnt feeling anything from the ball contact. All the ball feel, along with the harshness maybe, was all gone. Does anybody else feel this way?
     
  46. Kaz00

    Kaz00 Semi-Pro

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    Well I have to restring a racquet so I think I'm going to try 30 lbs when my Lux's come in Friday. Thanks for the advice!

    Update: Hit with the 30lbs Lux Big Banger Orig Rough and it was tough to adjust for awhile, forehand is very wild no direction but lots of pace and spin. Backhand was awesome slice just slid through court and my 2H backhand was awesome!! when I was out of position going for a pass or angle. I'm doing serves tomorrow morning and can't wait to see the spin I get!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  47. Fliparoni

    Fliparoni Banned

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    So after reading through this thread, I got inspired to try low string tensions out. I use a MG Prestige Mid strung with Lux ALU Power at 55 pounds as m normal tension. To ease into this whole new low tension stuff, I decided to try stringing at 45 pounds at first to see how that would feel (before reading this thread stringing anywhere below 50 seemed unthinkable to me). Depending on how that felt, I would try stringing my other prestige at 35 pounds.

    So I drop it off at my local sports store to get it strung on Friday and a few minutes ago their tennis stringer calls me up. He's like, "hey, I was just about to string your racquet, and I wanted to make sure this info about stringing at 45 pounds is correct." I told him that it was. He says, "are you aware that it says on your racquet that the recommended tension says 50 - 60 pounds?" I say yeah, and tell him I'm experimenting with lower string tensions. After about another 5 minutes of him asking me if I'm sure and that it's not recommended to really go that low, he finally agrees and says he'll string it.

    Just thought this was hilarious. I wonder what he would have thought if I had wanted it strung at 30 pounds, lol.
     
  48. TimothyO

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    Dying to try RPM blast 17 but fear it would hurt arm as Hurricane did at full tension. This thread gives me hope!

    Opinions on this low tension hybrid concept?

    Cross: VS team natural gut 17 @ 42 pounds

    Main: RPM Blast 17 @ 38 pounds
     
  49. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    Have you hit with this? Give a review if you have. I am at 49 gut in crosses and 46 Timo in mains. Still having a little arm issue. No pain just a slight soreness. Nothing that stops me from playing. I am a all gut man but I love the crisp feeling from the poly, need the soft feel from the gut and want to make it work. So how does yours play.
     
  50. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Not yet. Will probably try it this afternoon if I can get it restrung later today.
     

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