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

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

  1. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    Solid 4.5 player in both singles and doubles, 1HBH, semi-western FH, all-court player. Tend to flatten out my shots when I can. Rarely hit with Nadal-like heavy spin.

    Like I said, I'm using Polystar Energy at 32 lb. in a Yonex Tour 89. I'd like a little bit more feel when I'm at net, but otherwise this string/frame setup is amazing.
     
  2. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    thanks. ------
     
  3. Bedrock

    Bedrock Semi-Pro

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    Is there any diagrams with characteristic or just blah, blah, blah ...?
    ;)
     
  4. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    would you say that a 35lb poly feels more softer on the arm than lets say a 55 multi?
     
  5. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    It depends on the poly, but I don't think so. From my experiences, multi is almost always going to be softer then poly.

    -Fuji
     
  6. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    As Fuji mentioned, there is a big difference between the stiffer polys and the softer ones. Still, I'd say poly around 35lbs may feel like it has more give at impact, but I can still feel the underlying stiffness of the string and a multi at 55lbs will probably be better for your arm.
     
  7. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    You said it much better then I did, but that's the point I was attempting to make LOL!

    -Fuji
     
  8. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    thanks!
    but i'll miss some spin without my trust poly :(
     
  9. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Hey Pwned

    Great info on your posts - and the others who have posted - in particular as I'm getting a few 1 stripe POG mids and 1 POG OS.

    Going to string with Babolat RPM Team 17 ga at 38 lbs and see how it goes.

    I tend to hit with lots of topspin and pace and hoping low tensions will add some more topspin.

    Will report when I try it out

    Cheers

    nigel
     
  10. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Okay, I am new to the low tension revolution, but here are my thoughts ...

    First, low tension may not be right for everyone. Hell, back in the 70s and early 80s, I was having my racquets strung at 75 and 80. I loved it! I tried lower tensions back then (not as low as what we are talking here), and didn't like it at all.

    Then, I didn't play for almost 30 years.

    When I stared back, I was still in high tension mode. I had 2 each at 60. 65 and 70. I varied what tension I used based on factors like my opponent's style of play, weather, court conditions, etc. When I broke a string, my coach suggested 52 (and a lighter gauge), which I found appalling. But I tried it and I liked it. I had worked my way down to 48, 46 and 44 (2 each) and decided to try something. I strung one of my new Biomimetic 100's at 38 (co-poly mains & syn-gut crosses) and liked the results.

    My latest adventure was restringing one at 36 with Gosen OG Sheep on both. I was actually amazed at the feel, the power, and the added spin I got. I have only played one doubles match with it, but we beat a team that we shouldn't have, and both of our opponents (and my partner) commented on my improved shot-making. I thanked them, but didn't let on what the difference was from the last time we played (about 6 weeks ago).

    The extreme low tension seems to give my groundstrokes added spin, my serves are popping very nicely, and I haven't had any trouble with volleys at the net after the first few games. After one rally that ended with a reflex-volley duel, my opponent said "Wow, that was intense!". This is a guy almost 30 years my junior. He was amazed at how much pace was on the balls I was sending his way (with very little effort on my part).

    Last night, I happened upon this thread. Some very interesting posts and information. I haven't got through all of it yet (although I plan to go back), but it is intriguing. My next trial will be the Gosen OG at 30 sometime this weekend. I'll report back after a few matches.
     
  11. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    very encouraging yourmailman!

    can't wait to get my POGs so I can try this out. I've got 4 on the way - 2 strung and 2 unstrung.

    Darn USPS and CAnadapost - hustle it up - I want my racquets:twisted:
     
  12. PrimeChoice

    PrimeChoice New User

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    sick post!
     
  13. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    :):twisted::twisted::twisted:
     
  14. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Update ....

    I got a call this morning from a strong 4.0 player who wanted to hit. I am a 3.5 and figured it would be good to hit with someone who is better and try out my new 36# tension.

    I would love to say that I won, but alas ... I lost the first set 6-3, won the second 7-6(4), and lost the tie-break set 10-7. I didn't win, but I did hold my own. I am now more jazzed to try 30# next week.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  15. djNEiGht

    djNEiGht Professional

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    That's pretty interesting to hear syn gut tensions at that tension. Thx for sharing.
     
  16. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Is that the OG 17 or 16 you are using? Thank you.
     
  17. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    It is 18g, and I think all of my string going forward will be. I still have about 1/2 a reel of 17g Dunlop Biomimetic Syn-gut and 1/2 a reel of 17g Gamma Zo Verve. But as soon as those are gone, it's 18g for me. I like the feel better.
     
  18. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Pretty soon I don't even think anyone is going to need a stringing machine, just string the racket by hand.
     
  19. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    After Cris's posts about the hand-pulled tension, I think I'll stay with my machine. :)
     
  20. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    Praise the Lord, people have finally awaken! Poly can be strung in the 20s and still play very well and with a crisp string bed and plenty of topspin. I have known this for years. I tell people I string at 27 pounds and it is still too tight and they look at me like I am from Mars! If I lower the tension to below 10, I wonder if the ball will go right through the strings.
     
  21. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Thats funny none of the pro players have made your discovery yet.
     
  22. Rozroz

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    pros don't have the BALLZ to do it ;)
     
  23. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    There was an article in the Wall Street Journal called Tennis Without All the Tension. Let me know if you cant find it, I will send you the link. The article mentions the following:

    The lowest request from the U.S. Open this past year: Filippo Volandri's rackets at an astonishingly slack 26 pounds.

    The naysayers are the same guys who told the Colonel his recipe for Fried Chicken would never be successful!
     
  24. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    Career prize money $2,720,040 For Fillippo Volandri
    Singles
    Career record 146–157
    Career titles 2
    Highest ranking No. 25 (July 23, 2007)
    Current ranking No. 89 (September 24, 2012)
     
  25. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    Career prize money $2,720,040
    Singles
    Career record 146–157
    Career titles 2
    Highest ranking No. 25 (July 23, 2007)
    Current ranking No. 89 (September 24, 2012)

    Filippo Volandri
     
  26. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Ya the pro players have not experimented with all different tensions and do not know as much as the players on this site do. Even though if you averaged their tensions out it would be somewhere in the mid 50's.

    They are missing out by not stringing in the 20's, one of the low tension fanatics should let them know that they are playing with the wrong tension. Here is a list from this years AO, it appears more than obvious that they are not to big into these low tensions.
    Latest Update: Australian Open/Davis Cup 1st Round – January/February 2012

    Tomas Berdych Head YouTek IG Instinct MP
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 55lbs

    James Blake Donnay X-Dual Pro
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 68lbs

    Bob Bryan Prince EXO3 Rebel 95
    Prince Beast XP 56/52lbs

    Mike Bryan Prince EXO3 Rebel
    Prince Beast XP 54/51lbs

    Jennifer Capriati Prince Tour Diablo
    Babolat VS Touch/Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 51/48lbs

    Juan-Ignacio Chela Babolat Pure Storm Team
    Tecnifibre Spinfire Maxi Power 58lbs

    Marin Cilic Head YouTek IG Radical MP
    Babolat VS Touch 61lbs

    Kim Clijsters Babolat Pure Drive Team
    Babolat VS Touch 58lbs

    Lindsay Davenport Wilson [K]Tour
    Wilson Natural Gut 63/64lbs

    Nikolay Davydenko Prince EXO3 Tour 18×20
    Polystar Energy 51lbs

    Juan Martin del Potro Wilson [K] Six.One 95
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 62lbs

    Novak Djokovic Head YouTek IG Speed MP 315 18×20
    Babolat VS Team Natural Gut/Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power Rough 55/52lbs

    Elena Dementieva Yonex RDiS 100 Mid Plus
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 52/48lbs

    Roger Federer Wilson Pro Staff Six.One Tour BLX
    Wilson Natural Gut/Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power Rough 48.5/44lbs

    David Ferrer Prince EXO3 Tour
    Luxilon Big Banger Original 51lbs

    Juan Carlos Ferrero Prince EXO3 Tour
    Luxilon Big Banger Original 53/51lbs

    Richard Gasquet Head YouTek IG Extreme Pro
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 58lbs

    Robby Ginepri Babolat Pure Storm Team
    Babolat Pro Hurricane/Babolat VS Team 64lbs

    Fernando Gonzalez Babolat Pure Storm Team
    Babolat Pro Hurricane 60lbs

    Sebastien Grosjean Head Microgel Prestige Mid
    Babolat VS Touch 51lbs

    Tommy Haas Head YouTek IG Prestige Pro
    Babolat VS Team 75lbs

    Daniela Hantuchova Prince EXO3 Tour
    Babolat VS Touch 58lbs

    Justine Henin Wilson Tour BLX
    Babolat VS Touch 59.5lbs

    Tim Henman Slazenger NX One
    Luxilon Big Banger TiMo/Babolat VS Team 62lbs

    Lleyton Hewitt Yonex RDiS 100
    Babolat VS Team/Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 56lbs

    Martina Hingis Yonex RQS-11
    Yonex Polyester/Babolat VS Team 49/44lbs

    John Isner Prince EXO3 Warrior
    Tecnifibre Pro RedCode 62lbs

    Ana Ivanovic Yonex Ezone Xi
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 54lbs

    Gustavo Kuerten Head Liquidmetal Prestige Mid
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 56lbs

    Petra Kvitova Wilson Tour BLX
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 57/53lbs

    Svetlana Kuznetsova Head YouTek IG Extreme Pro
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 57/55lbs

    Sabine Lisicki Wilson BLX Blade
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power Rough/Wilson Natural Gut 52/50lbs

    Ivan Ljubicic Head YouTek IG Extreme Pro
    Babolat Pro Hurricane 69lbs

    Michael Llodra Wilson Juice Pro BLX
    Babolat VS Team 52lbs

    Feliciano Lopez Wilson Juice 100 BLX
    Luxilon Alu Power/Luxilon AceVS Team 51/46lbs

    Paul-Henri Mathieu Wilson [K]Blade 98
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 62lbs

    Amélie Mauresmo Head Microgel Radical MP
    Babolat VS Touch 54lbs

    Jürgen Melzer Dunlop 4D 300 Tour
    Isospeed Professional 75lbs

    Gaël Monfils Prince EXO3 Rebel 95
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 57/55lbs

    Carlos Moya Babolat Pure Drive Team
    Luxilon Big Banger Original 60lbs

    Andy Murray Head YouTek IG Radical Pro
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power Rough/Babolat VS Team 62lbs

    Anastasia Myskina Head Liquidmetal Instinct Tour
    Luxilon Big Banger Timo 56/52lbs

    Rafael Nadal Babolat AeroPro Drive GT
    Babolat RPM Blast 55lbs

    David Nalbandian Yonex VCore 98D
    Luxilon Big Banger Original 64lbs

    Jiri Novak Völkl Tour 10 Mid Plus
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 64/62lbs

    Flavia Pennetta Wilson Blade 98 Pink BLX
    Wilson Natural Gut 63lbs

    Nadia Petrova Babolat AeroStorm
    Luxilon Monotec Supersense 62lbs

    Mark Philippoussis Head i.Prestige
    Babolat VS Team 75lbs

    Mary Pierce Yonex RD Ti-80
    Luxilon Big Banger TiMo 65lbs

    Milos Raonic Wilson Blade 98 BLX
    Luxilon M2 44/46lbs

    Tommy Robredo Dunlop 4D 300
    Luxilon Big Banger Original 52lbs

    Andy Roddick Babolat Pure Drive Roddick
    Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour/Babolat VS Team 73/61lbs

    Greg Rusedski Dunlop Aerogel 200
    Babolat VS Team 48lbs

    Marat Safin Head Microgel Prestige Mid
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 60lbs

    Fabrice Santoro Head Flexpoint Radical Tour
    Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 60lbs

    Patty Schnyder Head Liquidmetal Prestige Mid
    Kirschbaum Touch Turbo 57lbs

    Maria Sharapova Head YouTek IG Instinct
    Babolat VS Team/Babolat RPM Blast 62lbs

    Robin Soderling Head YouTek IG Radical MP
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 56lbs

    Paradorn Srichaphan Yonex Ultimum RD Ti-80
    Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power/Babolat VS Touch 64lbs

    Radek Stepanek Bosworth Tour 96
    Pacific Tournament Pro Natural Gut 55/53lbs

    Paulo Suarez Prince O3 Tour
    Prince Tournament Nylon 65lbs

    Janko Tipsarevic Tecnifibre T-Fight 325 VO2 Max
    Tecnifibre BlackCode 57/55lbs

    Viktor Troicki Prince EXO3 Tour
    Prince Poly EXP

    Jo-Wilfrid Tsonga Babolat AeroPro Drive GT
    Babolat VS Team/Luxilon Alu Power Rough 59.5lbs

    Serena Williams Wilson Blade Team BLX
    Wilson Natural Gut 66lbs

    Venus Williams Wilson Blade Team BLX
    Wilson Natural Gut 66lbs

    Caroline Wozniacki Yonex VCore 100S GT
    Babolat Revenge/Babolat VS Team Natural Gut 57lbs

    Vera Zvonereva Prince EXO3 Warrior
    Gamma Zo Sweet 57/60lbs
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  27. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    Sorry, I must have misunderstood you, when you said "none". My bad!
     
  28. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Thats right you have your hero volandri he is a major force in the game today. What is his name again? Where are the rest of them? How do you explain the list above?

    I think you better hurry and let them and their coaches know what they are missing out on, because obviously you know more about string tensions than they do.
     
  29. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    You are right and I am wrong! Have a great evening/early morning! :)
     
  30. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    On court I started with my regular set up, the racquet at 52lbs. Everything felt great and I was hitting the ball well. After about 15 minutes I was fully warmed up and switched to the 30lbs racquet. Amazingly, my shots were staying in and the strings actually felt lower powered. The ball felt like it was flying on me more with the 52lbs racquet than the 30lbs racquet — that was a huge shock to me.

    Most interestingly, I was getting a lot of spin with the 30lbs racquet. Switching back and forth between the two racquets, my hitting partner could see and feel an immediate difference on the spin of my shots between the two racquets. I was getting excellent hop on my topspin, but best of all was the slice.


    In other words, a lower tension means less power and more spin due presumably to the strings sliding more easily.

    So you don't need a new Wilson racquet with fewer strings to get more spin.
     
  31. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203370604577265832373170456.html
     
  32. Rozroz

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  33. TonyB

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    I can't believe this is "news". I've been using poly between 30 and 34 lb. for quite a while. This thread's been around for years.

    Honestly, it doesn't matter what the pros do. I don't copy the pros, I simply use what works for me.

    All credit goes to Chris for creating this thread and introducing people to the wonderful world of low tensions. I'll never go back to high tensions.
     
  34. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    I agree with you, Tony. The pros dont even use the same rackets that the racket manufacturers sell to the public unless you specifically are able to get your hands on pro stock rackets.

    That being said, you have many people playing with Nadal's racket just because Nadal plays with the racket. Thats the way its always been. I believe Agassi once admitted to painting his racket in order hide the fact that he wasnt playing with a Prince although the racket said Prince on it.
     
  35. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Very welcome - I just used what Tennusdude said and googled.


    I'm going to give it a try - as you said, doesn't matter what the pros do - just whether it works for your game.

    I'm going back to old racquets - Prince Graphites (POGs). Don't think any Pros are using them anymore but really I don't care
     
  36. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    He was playing with a Prince painted to look like a Donnay. Donnay then designed and built him a racquet that played like the Prince...and he won Wimbledon.
     
  37. lobman

    lobman Rookie

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    But I thought the prevailing wisdom was that lower tension means more power. Or do you get to a certain tension where that turns the other direction?
     
  38. ace10is

    ace10is New User

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    I remember reading either in The Physics And Science Of Tennis or another study disproving this theory. It basically said the string tension makes a marginal difference in power, 1 mph IIRC. Also, going the other way, tighter tension gives more control, is more a less a myth.

    I think the real question is not whether low tension is good or bad. It let's co-polymer strings snap back into place easier. Therefore it produces more topspin. Is that good? Who knows, but it works.

    Almost every racquet I restring for club players are 3 months to 1 year old string jobs. Their tension is incredibly low; 30's and 40's. A majority of the players don't really love how it feels right after the restring, but really love it a week or so later.

    A lot of high performance players end up stringing their racquets so frequently that it doesn't drop tension too much before it breaks or they restring if tension drops below their liking.

    I like 50 lbs, but I will try lower since reading this thread. My strings last about 3-6 hours of match play. For top touring players, don't even let their strings go that long. I played some futures and, at least the guys I hung with, did not restring that frequently. We usually let the strings break. We were poor for the most part. I didn't hang with the rich kids and their coaches :) so I don't know how they did it.

    I think the real trick for players who are going to have strings in their racquet for long periods of time is to find the tension they like after a few weeks of playing. Eg. Let's say I love the way 50 lbs feels a week, then great. That's probably what I should string it at. However, if you buy a stringer and can afford/have time to restring, then try 35 or 30 lbs and cut them out after a week and repeat.
     
  39. yourmailman

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    Round 2 with my syn-gut Bio 100 at 36#.

    Mixed doubles ... we smoked the competition 6-0,6-2. My partner was impressed with some of my shots and asked what I was doing differently. I told her about the very low tension. She said she had thought about going to a lower tension but was afraid of skying the ball every time, so I lent her my racquet and we hit around for a bit. She asked me to redo her racquet at 38#.

    The extremely low tension revolution continues.
     
  40. yourmailman

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    Almost forgot ... I hit quite a few overheads that were basically fantastic with very little effort. I think that this was partly mental, because I didn't feel I had to kill the ball due to the low tension.

    Also had several service returns for outright winners. The more I play with the 36# tension, the more I like it!

    Didn't have time to do one at 30# this weekend, but I will do that tomorrow before my lesson.
     
  41. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Now I see where this relationship was born. :cool:

    I normally string at tensions of 48 and 46 pounds in the mains and crosses, respectively. Depending on the season, I may drop them both an extra two pounds. I have tried to string higher and a bit lower, and it definitely doesn't feel as good when strung higher. I also see more spin at lower tensions.

    I will try going lower one of these times, maybe at 40 and 38 pounds, just to see what all the fuss is about.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  42. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Hey if you can use that low of tension great, but The profile of Chris that started this thread says that he uses volkl cyclone at 55 lbs.
     
  43. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    I think the most power from poly actually comes in the mid 40s. Once you drop below 40 you start to lose some power, but the additional control actually comes mostly from the huge increase in topspin you get.
     
  44. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    this is interesting cause it means the low tension had a honeymoon period,
    at least with Chris.. or that he cannot test many racquets with low tension for some reason.
     
  45. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I have been using vs gut 16 mains 4g crosses at 55/52. Just strung up a LTec OS16/4s at 40/40. Surprisingly it is still lower powered them my gut 4g hybrid. It actually plays very well at 40. Similar pocketing to my gut hybrids. More spin than gut hybrids.
     
  46. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Exactly or maybe his profile is not up to date.
     
  47. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Just got back from my lesson with my Bio 100 at 30#s. Gosen Micro OG 18g.

    After drills, we played a set. I didn't tell my coach about the tension change. I played pretty well.

    When we were done, I asked if he noticed any difference in my shots. He said that I had a lot more spin. More topspin on my ground-strokes, more backspin on my drop shots.

    I even had 2 aces, and I rarely do that to him. Also a really nice body serve.

    The thing that amazed me is that he said the speed and heaviness of my shots was about the same as normal, and I was not hitting nearly as hard as I normally do.

    The one thing I noticed at 30#s that was not there at 38 and 36 was a lot of string movement. But, I am using syn-gut instead of poly, so I guess that makes sense.

    I ordered a roll of TechoFibre Code Red 18g to try next.
     
  48. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    very interesting! good to know.
     
  49. yourmailman

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    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I just finished my mixed doubles partner's 38# string job. This is on a Babolat PureDrive 107. It will be interesting to see how it hits in such a large racquet.

    I also noticed on my Biomimetic 100 today that the stencil was very worn around the sweet-spot after just over an hour of play, with virtually no wear in other regions. Could this be due to the fact that I was not hitting as hard and was taking a little more time to set up?

    Have a league tonight. Will try the 30#er again and see how it goes.
     
  50. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,743
    How many hours do you get out of it..?
     

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