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

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

  1. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    I would have to say yes. When I was in the low 50s and mid to high 40s, I had trouble with the ball sailing on me. When I dropped down to the low 30s, I found that the small amount of topspin I hit with became enhanced and caused the ball to dip into the court.

    Remember, any spin you put on the ball at higher tensions will be magnified at the extreme low tensions. My topspin is now what I would consider considerable, and my backspin is phenomenal. I have had several backspin drop-shots with so much spin, they came back over the net before my opponent could get to them.

    Just remember to give yourself some time to adjust. Everyone I have strung at 36 or below had a brief period of adjustment. But once they got the feel of it, they like it a lot. After a few games, even my girlfriend was popping some serious speed and topspin on her ground strokes.

    Good luck, and let us know what you think.
     
  2. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Ok..I will do it. Love to experiment! Will restring in a week or 2 and let you know :)
    32/30??



     
  3. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    If you are used to different tensions on the mains and crosses, 32/30 would probably be a good setup fro you.
     
  4. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Yes. Normally do the gut a few pounds more. But will that even matter at those extreme low tensions?
     
  5. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Actually, you might try 31/30 since the percentage will be a little different at the low tension. I think 32/20 would be a good place to start though.
     
  6. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    As someone who normally plays poly/syn gut hybrids in the low 50's, I agree that full poly in the 40's can still somewhat harsh. Even polys in the mid 30's are harsher than syn gut or multis at 60lbs, imo.
     
  7. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Evanjii and mailman. 31/30 or 31/32 will yield no difference over 31/31 or 3//32 etc etc. that is more mental floss than anything. Anything less than 5% difference IMHO and experience will yield nothing other than a +\- overall string bed stiffness average. So why bother with the silly variables. Do 32/32 perhaps to start
     
  8. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I tried 64 lb in the 99S last night and did notice it was notably "harsher" than at 59 lb.

    However, I also switched strings from Lux 4g 16 to Golden Set Snakebite 17. (For such experimentation, I dont want to waste 17 bucks a string set........)

    I can say for me, that the sweetspot definitely got smaller, the racquet was less forgiving, mishits were most definitely felt, and it was definitely lower on power with the tension change. But, when the ball was struck cleanly, it really rocked.

    So, I will try this a few more times and see if the strings remain playable longer by starting at the higher tension and go from there. I can probably live with the first couple of hours it playing on the harsh side if it gives alot more quality playing time on the backend of the string's life.
     
  9. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    That could very well be the case. I don't like stringing tight to start with, but I feel as though 30lbs feels the same as syngut (gosen og) at around 58lbs. The only difference is the launch angle of course, and the spin generated.

    -Fuji
     
  10. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    BTJ so far you and I are drawing the EXACT same conclusions.

    Here is what I am finding so far after about 5 strings setups.

    1. Tension drop is faster initially than other racquets even with good tension mtce polys

    2. I am finding that there is a VERY narrow sweet range for this racquet between losing control and being to harsh. So far for me it's that 50-53 range, playing tension not stringing tension. So if you don't mind stringing often then no issue here.

    3. The racquet feels greatly balanced for me and solid yet not too broomstick like although its stiff. Although I like stiff racquets so that's personal.

    4. I hit with above average spin and honestly don't see the major spin difference. Others may experience more if the are not already producing spin but that factor is null for me so far

    5. I'm a decent net player and cannot seem to find my range on volleys yet. I feel the racquet moves well to where I command it but range is off. This may have to do with next factor

    6. Ball trajectory is definitely a little higher than normal may be affecting the above issue ?

    7. Funny thou deffensive return of serve has been good for me but I believe function of strings here not racquet

    After initially falling in love with this stick I am holding a bit of reservation mostly because of the inconsistent play over the hours of a string job. I will sacrifice some performance for consistency because I don't want a racquet feel I have to be chasing the way it performs over a 4-6 hour string job life. I'm gonna do some more testing with other strings and materials and see. I have not tried gut or multi but I am starting to think that a gut or multi in the mid 60s might do well here. Lets see....
     
  11. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Good thoughts Center.

    The idea of a multi at very high tension sounds intriguing......Heck maybe Ill experiment with a mutli at like 70 lb just to see......I wonder if wed get wicked string "snapback"?

    A tennis buddy down the street from me just bought some Isospeed professional.....might be a good string to try at high tension in this frame? He says it plays close to gut in his opinion (but he frays it all to h@#$ very quickly). After a short period, his stringbed looks like someone took 50 grit sandpaper to it....UGLY!

    After feeling the poly at 64 lb, I dont think Id want to try it much higher.
     
  12. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I think that these few words are, in a nutshell, going to sum up this racquet, no matter what we do!
     
  13. fedhead83829

    fedhead83829 New User

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    yes, i read your post.. LAST season i was playing at 42#.. the 2 nights this week i played and posted about the racket was strung at 35#.. i am going to try it at 30# in my other to see if there will be a difference.
     
  14. sansaephanh

    sansaephanh Professional

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    I'm still reluctant to try this. I've always hated set ups that have those extreme launch angles, but i've been needing the extra spin as of late. I'm thinking of purchasing some cheap baseline control or spin and experimenting with low tension.
     
  15. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    You'll probably figure out if its for you after 2-4 experiments at different tensions. I just used cheap-o Polylon. After reading the TW review on it I'm wondering if the solid colored variety is "better" than the clear "Ice" version.
     
  16. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Hey Center, thanx for the observations.

    Here is what I have found at 30# in relation to your observations.

    1. The tension drops quickly, but not as much as when I was stringing at higher tensions. It seems to level out pretty fast.

    2. There was a sweet range around 50-52 on my racquets, but there is another one at 30-32. The mid to high 40's were right out.

    4. I experienced a jump in spin, but I was not using that much to begin with. But hitting with what I perceive to be the same stroke, my spin definitely increased.

    5. I am able to punch my volleys a lot better at 30#, with very little effort. I actually send less balls long than I did in the higher tension ranges.

    6. On some shots, my distance above the net is a little higher, but the spin brings it back down rather quickly. However, a lot of my shots are actually lower to the net. I actually noticed this during my lesson today before I read your post.

    7. I am also having great success with defensive return of serve. Plus, when I get a chance to rip one back, I have no trouble getting it right at their feet.
     
  17. SOY78

    SOY78 Semi-Pro

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    I've been reading this thread for more than 2 years now and I've finally tried out my Volkl C10 Pro MP Extended with Topspin Poly Tech 17 strung at 35#.

    It was an interesting experience, I think I'd like to see how much lower I can go. There was so much action on the ball it was like cheating. Although I only won 1 out of 3 or 4 sets that we played today. It took me a good set to get used to the feel of the string bed.

    I'd like to try this with 30# next and then change the string to something thinner like Polystar Classic 1.10mm. That should be interesting. The 1st serve had a little less pace then usual when hitting flat, but when hitting with spin it was just nuts. I think I've hit the net way too many times on the 1st serve because of the spin I was getting.

    I think everybody should try full poly in the low 30's, it is just something you have to feel for yourself.
     
  18. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Sorry sorry sorry this post was meAnt for another thread about the Wilson steam. Sorry guys for the confusion.
     
  19. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Very cool report! I'm about to do my first stringing ever and it will be an old Wilson Hammer 95 2.7 si. At 30 lbs with Gosen Polylon 17.

    Although it's nothing like my regular racquets it will be interesting to see how 30 lbs works. Presently I'm at 35 on my Donnay and it's still stiff with the 18 x 20 stringbed.
     
  20. eks-mat

    eks-mat New User

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    I searched but couldn't find an answer. I am wondering if these low tensions are safe for the frame of the racquet? I am thinking it might not hold the frames shape as well? Any thoughts on it before I string low? Thanks all.
     
  21. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't give it a second thought. Most higher end racquets are sold unstrung. So low tension will stress the frame less.
     
  22. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Cool! I just bought a reel of that stuff (although in 16g) to use in my Wilson 99s. TW actually reviewed it favorably and for strings that are going to have a short life anyway I figure the poly in the frame won't make very much difference.

    Plus, I want to be able to string my frames for less than 2 bucks a piece!
     
  23. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Cool, please keep us posted on the 99s! I'm curious about it.

    About string life, have you thought of using silicone spray on the strings (wipe off the excess or the balls get dirty fast) to decrease friction and increase string life hopefully?
     
  24. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I was wondering about that Verb.......

    Thought about some spray on the strings....or maybe candle wax?

    This might be something to try.

    So far, a decent 17g poly (snakebite) at 64 lb snapped in 3 hrs and lux 4g 16 at 59 lasted about 5 hrs I think. (I didn't play the Lux till it broke as it wasn't worth bringing it out the next time...... as I could see the notching was bad enough that the strings were about to pop).

    As posted in another thread ( or was it here? So many threads on this frame I can't keep track......) I am going to try a multi at high tension and a poly at low tension and see what happens. I'll add the silicone/wax to the list of things to try as we'll.......
     
  25. Francis27

    Francis27 Semi-Pro

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    When you apply silicone spray would it be fine if i spray some on a cloth and rub it on my strings? Because i dont want it to get on my frame
     
  26. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Absolutely - probably the best way to apply it IMO
     
  27. Francis27

    Francis27 Semi-Pro

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    Alright thanks
     
  28. eks-mat

    eks-mat New User

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    Absolutely as far as the racquet just sitting. I am thinking about the stress from hitting the ball, frame shots, even hitting the court on low slices, etc. Possibly stressing the frame more so than the normal tension range would. In other words the frame isn't as supported enough on miss hits.
     
  29. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Didn't think about that. Honestly I don't know.

    Perhaps if you contact your racquet manufacturer and ask the question? I would be interested in what you find out

    Cheers
     
  30. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Zero issue with the frame. Frames danger comes at the higher levels. Ball impacting string and returning energy cannot put enough stress to damage a frame.
     
  31. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Hey eks-mat,

    I have seen absolutely no issues with my frames. Like Center said, the issues come with higher tensions. I believe most racquets will keep their shape at lower tensions. They sit around with no strings at pro shops, etc with no impact to their shape. The tension ranges are listed as a guide, but most are designed to go a little higher than that without issue and going lower is no problem at all.
     
  32. eks-mat

    eks-mat New User

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    Thanks for all the insightful input guys, I will be going low very soon now, without worrying about my frames!
     
  33. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Strung my racquet at 30 pounds with Babolat Gut in mains and Alu Rough in crosses...

    Day 1 last night...WOW! Effortless hitting. Every ball went in...forehand and backhand with the awesome spin! Love the slicing. Amazing power on all shots. I was doing tennis workouts so didn't serve yet. Volleys needed some work..in that I don't need to make as much effort to get the power any more.
    Will continue to hit/experiment this week and beyond to see if I can maintain yesterday's hitting :)
     
  34. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Sweet! What racquet do you use? How many mains and crosses?

    Please keep us posted

    Cheers!
     
  35. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Vantage Bastcore 16/19 95sq
     
  36. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Evanjj,

    Nice to see you had such positive results. That is exactly what I experienced. The volley's took a little more time, but once I got dialed in, it was glorious. I now have all of my playing racquets strung at 30.
     
  37. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Do we even have to worry about tension loss/dropping too much to effect performance at these low tensions?
    I again loved the ease of power again today.
    I also find the lower tension makes me need to have a better technique/stroke. If I don't get a proper stroke on the ball, it may hit the back fence on the full!
     
  38. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Quite true.

    I found that it actually helped me achieve better technique. I don't feel the need to wind up to hit a hard ball, it just happens because of the lower tension. You do have to pay attention because if you aim a little too far right or left, the angle seems to be magnified.

    I have an app that measures the tension on my racquets and the loss has been minimal on the 30# sticks. They dropped only about a pound after several hours of play. The only one I haven't checked yet is my natural gut one. I just haven't taken the time on it yet.

    I do have to say that I really like the natural gut at this low tension. It seems to have just a bit more power than the other setups, and I love the feel.
     
  39. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Agree with all of that. Really is effortless power on all strokes. Am curious to see how the serve goes. I still haven't been in a game situation. Only doing tennis workouts.
     
  40. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Serving took a little getting used to as well. My speed dropped a little (but not very much) until I got used to the tension, and my placement is WAY better. Plus the added movement really helps. I actually aced my teacher several times last week (and that doesn't happen too often).
     
  41. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Definitely a different game of tennis at this low tension. I will keep going with it. I love the fact that I am not trying super hard to find that extra pace and spin like I used to. As I said earlier, I am enjoying the proper technique needed on every shot to get the ball where I need to. Making my strokes way better.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  42. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    yourmailman,

    Thanks for sharing your low tension experience with synthetic gut.

    I just tried a combination of Maxim Touch / Synthetic Gut Titan at 35/33 lbs in my Dunlop Aerogel 200.

    I experienced all the benefits you mentioned. And the amount of spin in absolutely incredible! Way beyond any poly or kevlar strings I've tried.

    Thanks!

    PS: I've also posted my findings in my blog at:http://unorthodoxstringing.blogspot.sg/2013/01/max-comfort-dunlop-ag200-multi-syn-gut.html
     
  43. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Unorthodox Stinging,

    Nice blog. I too find a lot of fur on my strings that I didn't see at higher tensions.

    The loss of directional control that you mention was evident when I first dropped down into the 30's, but once I got used to it, I find that I actually have more directional control.

    I know you have been reading this thread, but I want to reiterate that I really like my natural gut setup at 30#. It actually seems to infuse a little more spin and power than that syn-gut or hybrid setups. An added benefit is that there is less string movement on the natural gut. I seem to only see significant string movement after I have really ripped one.

    The ping pong ball analogy is right on. I hit a shot earlier tonight that blew everybody's mind. I got pulled out wide, but was able to get to the ball. It looked as if it was going back wide, but then it started curling back towards the court. By the time it got to their baseline (actually, about a foot inside of it), it had curled back into the doubles alley for an outright winner.

    If you are up for some more experimenting, try going to a 120mm string in at least the crosses. The thinner strings might also help with your loss of directional control. It did for me.

    Glad you like the thread.
     
  44. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Almost forgot ...

    I agree that the sweet spot seems much larger at the extreme low tension. The only time I seem to miss-hit now is when the ball actually come in contact with the frame. It's very comfortable and easy on the arm.
     
  45. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Are you saying I should ditch my hybrid at 30 pounds and go full gut? :)
     
  46. Calor1

    Calor1 New User

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    I tried a lower tension yesterday and I hated it.
    I tried 20/19 kg or 44/41 lbs, coming from 27 kg or 59.5 lbs. (full bed SPPP)
    I played with it for half an hour after which I took another racket with my normal tension. Low tension is not for everybody.. :D
     
  47. SOY78

    SOY78 Semi-Pro

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    20/19kg is not that low, you should try in the 14/13kg range, it feel much different than what you've tried.
     
  48. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    Thanks for your kind words. I'm just returning to tennis after more than a decade's layoff :)

    With the ridiculous amount of spin with syn gut at low tension, to add more by using nat gut would probably allow me to "boomerang" my shots and play tennis alone! :grin:

    I did note you preferred 18g strings at 30lbs. That's why i made adjustments and strung at 35/33 lbs with my 16g and 17g string respectively. I thought that would be similar to your full 18g setup. I will try full 30lbs as soon as i can get hold of 18g strings ;-)

    Did u have any string buzz problem with poly at 30lbs?
     
  49. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    I share the same view that 30+lbs is totally different from 40+lbs.

    Before trying, i had assumed control to be a linear graph when plotted against string tension. Now i know i am wrong. It is not linear.

    The amount of control "lost" does not increase proportionally with the tension drop. To me, it seems like the massive increase in spin and pocketing added back some control. But with only one session of tennis so far, i cannot be sure... I have to weigh other factors like tension holding, durability and serves into the equation.

    So far, all i know is this setup has more merits than demerits.
     
  50. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    With high SW or heavy mass rackets, the low tensions don't work as well ...

    Low tensions are very good for the light weight and low SW rackets, because you can get more dwell time in string/ball.

    With heavier mass, and high SW rackets, this low tensions (13kg to 17kg) don't work very well ...
     

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