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

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

  1. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Yes, I use Babolat Gut on mains and Alu Rough on crosses at 30 pounds and it is as soft as a baby's bottom on the arm :)
     
  2. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    Is there more spin?

    The most surprising result most people encounter at low tension is the loss of power. To me, it felt like the soft stringbed absorbed all the power so the ball is not compressed much. The trampoline I had expected with synthetic gut at 30lbs did not happen at all.

    For the hybrid you did, I would think the very low "stretchability" of the poly could have dampened the power even more. At least synthetic gut would stretch and rebound.

    Would you consider trying full synthetic gut at 30lbs? :)
     
  3. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    Even the softest poly is still a very stiff string with little flexibility. So while low tension increases the comfort, I can still definitely feel it is a stiff string material.

    I have not tried natural gut. But with the comfort levels and incredible spin from synthetic gut at ELT, I don't think I need to spend more $ for extra comfort.
     
  4. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Just curious to all of those who posted positive results from ELT stringing with full poly, did you hit flat before ELT or hit with a lot of spin?

    I kind of want to know how it feels for those who tried full poly who also hit with a lot of spin before I string up some test racquets.
     
  5. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Sorry, been out of town for a few days.

    Played with my nat gut at 30 against my favorite person (whom I strung with Technifibre Red Code 18 at 30) in the frozen north.

    Yes, the poly setup still feels stiff. I like the syn gut much better. Very comfortable with no effects on the arm at all. I would recommend going that route. The only down side I have seen from the syn gut is a lot of string movement.

    Natural gut has the same feel as the syn gut with much less string movement. But try the syn gut first, was less expensive.

    Meat, I did hit a pretty flat ball before ELT, and if needed, I can still hit a flat ball with 30#. I just have to watch how much power I out into it.

    As others have mentioned, ELT has helped me hone my shot mechanics and improve my game. Part of the improvement comes from the addition of spin, but there is also improvement from hitting the ball better. You don't have to use as much power to get results.

    As far as the ball slowing down, I have not seen that at all. It may be a little slower until it hits the court, but then it ricochets with more speed than I ever saw on any of my flat shots when I was at high tension.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    Meat,

    Many whom i've played with commented that i already have very heavy spin with multi and syn gut at 60+lbs. I don't normally hit flat.

    With full poly strung at 40-50s, i felt there was less spin than full multi or poly hybrid. I had to smack at the ball VERY hard to get enough bite to generate spin. It is the same for textured or shaped full poly as well.

    My last experiment with full poly was at 38/36. (Details in my blog) There was immense comfort but very little spin.

    With full syn gut at 30lbs, that was the MOST amount of spin i have ever generated. So much that sometimes the ball curls into my side of the net from the baseline with a full swing! And i was already aiming to clear the net by at least 4-5 ft! Nothing i have tried came close in spin prowess, not even kevlar nor poly hybrids. Flat shots were good too but directional control is slightly less than normal tensions.

    Just to satisfy my curiousity, I just strung up another racket with full poly at 32 lbs. I'll update my blog when i've had a chance to play.
     
  7. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    Yeah man! And after the ricochet comes the comical part of watching my partner's totally SHOCK faced at how high the ball kicked off the ground!!! Ha ha ha :twisted:

    It's unbelievable! :)
     
  8. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Probably more spin but nothing extraordinary. Definitely hit a deeper ball. It will hit with it some more but it's not actually particularly comfortable. Less so than the same frame with syngut at 50. Also feels like a good 10-15mph less on serve.

    I will try syngut at 30 at some point.
     
  9. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    U-S,

    You are a sick, twisted individual. I like the way you think! :twisted:
     
  10. allenkau

    allenkau Rookie

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    33lb - RPM Blast 17g - head Liquid Metal Radical Oversize

    33lb - RPM Blast 17g - head Liquid Metal Radical Oversize - STOCK. No lead tape

    Jumped on the bandwagon. Hit for about 45 minutes in 40 degree weather.

    Overall - Took time to get used to it. Did not try Serves or Volleys.

    Forehands - Lots of spin. Felt like the ball stayed on the strings a lot longer. Had to perform Full strokes to keep the ball in. Can't get lazy or it will sail.

    Backhands - Felt the same as forehands. SLICES - Very good.. Lots of action.

    Defensive reach shots - They are magical. Somehow ends up over the net and in... Throws my partner off guard.
     
  11. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    This is the key to low tensions I have found :)
     
  12. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    Update: Discho Big Blue 1.20 @ 30/30

    So far after 6h of hitting time (4h doubles + 2h singles) I felt some arm stiffness for a short while afterwards but no real problem. Playability has remained the same, although I have also had some problems with serving after my first time out – mainly hitting a lot of them long – need to make some adjustments there.

    Summarizing Pro’s and Con’s of this low tension setup (30lbs Discho BB 1.20 and Dunlop 200 Tour + vibration dampener):

    Pro’s
    Significantly increased sweet spot (using bounce test)
    Increased dwell time / better cupping
    More spin
    Better control
    Slightly more Power
    Unique feel? (personal preference)
    Longer playability ? (not a definite yet)
    Reduced harshness? (not a definite yet)

    Cons
    Some stroke adaptation required – mainly with the serve
    Muted sound? (personal preference)
    Unique feel? (personal preference)

    Overall, I liked playing at 30 lbs tension – but I am still a little worried about my arm, I am not sure if the stiffness I am feeling when playing the above setup is leftover from a couple of weeks ago or is due to the current setup. So maybe I will have to take a rest and then try a few softer polys to see how they play. IMO a very interesting and worthwhile experiment – when summer arrives and I can really get out and try a few different setups I will know for sure if this the way t go for me.

    Here are some tension measurements as well. I download some frequency files and measure the frequency of my racquet bed by ear -- then calculate the tension of an average string ca. 10.5 in. Wt/L = 0.0000863 lbs/in.

    0h 430 hz = 18.2 lbs
    14h no playing 420 hz = 17.4 lbs
    24 h no playing +1h S 395 hz = 15.4 lbs
    5.0 h (+4h D) 395 hz = 15.0 lbs
    6.0 h (+1h S) 395 hz = 15.0 lbs
     
  13. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Hey Old Chemist just noticed you're in Saskatoon! Very cool - I lived there from ages 1-3.

    Anyhow Cheers and please keep us posted
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  14. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    Old Chemist,

    Yes, I had some problems with serves as well with full syn gut at 30lbs. Flat serves went mostly long. But spin serves were nice!
     
  15. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    You must be deeply mistaken!!!

    I am normally a calm, introverted and reserved individual. It's ELT that triggered the Jekyll & Hyde thingy.... :lol:
     
  16. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    Hey v-verb,

    Will do -- I notice you play with some interesting racquets.
     
  17. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    Hey U-S,

    I still can't believe playing with Syngut at 30 lbs -- but I may have to try it. Which one are you using?
     
  18. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    Don't believe it! Just do it! :lol:

    I've posted all the details and pics on my blog. In fact, I just strung up another TWO rackets... ;)

    http://unorthodoxstringing.blogspot.sg/

    Another way to get onto my blog is to click on my username "unorthodox stringing" and then "visit unorthodox stringing's homepage!" Voila! :)
     
  19. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    U-S,

    Had a quick look -- nice website -- I bookmarked it -- look forward to going through it in the future -- it's past my bedtime.
     
  20. BHiC

    BHiC Rookie

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    This thread has inspired me, I have always strung my racquets around 55/58 or 56/60, but I just now strung my racquet at 32 lbs with Black Widow in the mains and Hexy Fiber in the crosses. The racquet is a slightly leaded Dunlop F 2.0 tour. I will update tonight on how the strings play.
     
  21. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Hit some more with MG Rad hybrid 32/35. I did enjoy it, very solid, consistent feel and great control. Still very lacking in put-away power. Standouts are backhand slice, volleys and control.

    It is really pleasant to hit with, just very solid and predictable but as soon as I switched to it from my other frame the points got twice as long because I simply could not put a ball away. Also, no freebies on first serve. Just can't get much ball speed.
     
  22. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    I have found just the opposite. My put-aways are better than they have ever been. Plus, I have been getting more opportunity to hit them because a lot of balls are coming back weaker.

    I think I already mentioned that when I first went to ELT, my first serve speed dropped a bit. Once I got a better feel for it though, I have a more consistent first serve that gets me quite a few free points. So my advice there is give it a little time.

    I have noticed that some rallies go on longer than they used to, but that is because I am staying in them longer. I have more confidence that I can stay in a rally and wait for the right time to hit a winner. Even my coach told me that my consistency has gone way up since I adopted the ELT lifestyle. Plus, the speed came back after a few outings.

    Monday night in mixed, we lost 7-5,6-4 to a team that used to beat us 6-2,6-1. Yes, the rallies were longer, but we were both making shots that we weren't before (my partner is playing with syn-gut at 35).

    ELT works for me!
     
  23. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Got a few cool sticks - nothing weird like the Snauwert Ergonom though!
     
  24. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Would people agree with this: Going elt is a way of taming power in a racket. And if you go to low in a low powered racket, you can end up with too little power. This is what I experienced when I tried 15 kgs poly in my K90.
     
  25. eman resu

    eman resu Semi-Pro

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    Courious about your partners set up. Could you tell us more about that? Style of play, reasons for going low with syn., how it works, racquet etc?

    I serve and volley quite a lot in singles (full time at doubles, including chip and charges). Does it make sense for me to try full syn gut at 30s? Plus, how much weight does it add comparing to your previous regular tension?

    edit: oh, you also play without poly, right? Wasn't following this thread... I might try 30 with my wilson rok, a very very dense mid which would love some extra forgiveness and spin... but I'd like to hear more from your experiences. how long does it last (both beaking and becoming unplayable, it that ever happens)?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  26. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    I agree 100%, co-polys when strung below some numbers, gives you no power at all.

    IMO the best tension for the most co-polys is in the 19kgs to 22kgs, to have resilence/snap back, and then provide some decent power from the string/racket.
     
  27. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    My partner was getting frustrated with her play. I had her hit a few balls with my ELT racquet and liked it. I offered to restring her stick. She plays with a Babolat Pure Drive 107. I used the syn-gut because I liked it best of the combinations I had tried to that point. As to her style, not overly aggressive, but not too passive either. She liked it right off the bat.

    Everyone I have converted to ELT has had the same comment ... "It sounds different". That it does. It is more of a thud at low tension, which can play tricks on you if you are expecting the sound you got at 60#. You have to ignore the fact that it sound like you just miss-hit the ball and trust your stroke.

    The poly is my least favorite setup. I absolutely love the natural gut at 30, so I would rank it number one. Syn-gut is a close second followed by the hybrid (poly mains/syn-gut crosses).

    The natural gut has shown no real signs of wear at ELT and the playability seems pretty consistent. Since I got the nat gut, I have not really played that much with the other setups. I did pull out my PS 85 last weekend in Detroit. It has TechniFibre Code Red that was strung at 36 and settled in at about 34. There seems to be a definite lowering of power when I went to it. But it still felt pretty nice. My next job will be to try the syn-gut in it at 30.

    Hope that helps.
     
  28. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Oh yeah, almost forgot ...

    I have been doing more serve and volley and chip and charge with the ELT. I have confidence that the ball will not be coming back quite as fast as before, so I can take advantage of that.
     
  29. NE1for10is?

    NE1for10is? Semi-Pro

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    Has anybody noticed if the ELT just as effective, or more so less so, with a more flexible racquet, as opposed to a really stiff one?
     
  30. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    I hit some more with the Rad 32/35 hybrid tonight after a match. It is fun to hit with because it's so solid and consistent, but still clearly less power than my normal setup. Maybe I will take the bait try OGSM 17 in a full bed and see if there's more power but still control.
     
  31. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    Update: Discho Big Blue @ 30 lbs & GS Hex Poly @ 30 lbs

    I strung up my other 200 Tour with Golden Set Hex Poly 18G at 30 lbs a couple of days ago and decided to try it out in my doubles tonight. I had played this string last summer at 48-50 lbs and liked it very much -- I was wondering what it would play like at 30.

    So, I played with it the first hour. Unlike the Big Blue, I found the GS Hex to be very powerful at 30. I had quite a bit of difficulty in controlling my groundies. I also didn't notice any increase in spin. Surprisingly I couldn't get much pop on my serve. The stringbed did feel quite soft and comfortable and I was able to execute a few nice touch shots around the net, but overall I didn't like it.

    I played the 2nd hour with the Discho BB at 30 and found it played as before -- nice control, lots of spin, low-medium power but slightly higher imo than at 46lbs. My serve had lots of pop and spin and was quite effective. This was my 7th hour of play with this setup which is 2h more than at 46 lbs, where it went dead after 5h.

    Overall, it seems to me that you cannot generalize how different polys will play at ELTs. My impression though is that maybe the string bed will not go dead as quickly -- but it's too early to really say. Anyway, I really like the Big Blue at 30. I think the GS Hex Poly needs a higher tension.
     
  32. BHiC

    BHiC Rookie

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    After hitting around with Black Widow and Hexy Fiber at 32 lbs, I have to say that I really like playing with lower tension. It took some getting used to, but after hitting for a few minutes I felt like as long as I hit out on the ball I could hit some great shots. The strings moved a lot, but that was about the only negative and that can be corrected after the point.
     
  33. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Not sure if I've posted about this experience, but I did try a kevlar/poly setup at 24/22 lbs last year for a bit:

    Gamma Fusion TNT2 19g aramid main / Polystar Energy 17g cross.
    24lb main/22lb cross.
    Head Youtek Prestige Pro 16x19.

    my notes from then: Very soft yet balls do not trampoline. Spin is Huge, feel is soft but dead, and only flat directionality suffers. This is a great spin serving setup, with decent net feel. The ball really jumps when spin is applied, slices also skid hard and kick serves jump high and move all over. Doubles opponents would often call a serve out then correct themselves due to the ball dropping heavily at last second. Same thing with opponents thinking a ball was going to sail on baseline exchanges when it would drop in suddenly. Problem for me is lack of control on flat put-away shots, but for someone hitting all spin, this is a great setup with surprisingly low to no discomfort. Another interesting note was the lack of sound at ball impact. There was no 'pop' or 'twang' sound at all, which could help to mask the type of ball coming back to opponents.

    May try it again someday, but I have better confidence on all shots, including flat, with gut 16L/poly 17L at 56/53.
     
  34. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Good to know. The Outlast I'm using didn't stretch one mm during string at 32 lbs. and it made me think that the point at which a string stretches might make a big difference in how it performs at low tension.

    Anyone have a sense of 18g, 17g or 16g working better this way?
     
  35. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Haven't done 16 at 30#, but there is a difference between 17 and 18.

    I like the 18 much better. It seems to allow more bite on the ball. But, I found that to be true in the low 50's as well.

    If I have time next week, I will string one up at 30 with 16 gauge and report back.
     
  36. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    Yes, I had the same total loss of power with elt soft or hard poly. Syn gut however, gave me a slight increase in power.
     
  37. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    That's exactly my preferred tension range of 45lbs (+/-3lbs) previously for poly strings!

    Too low, and the string does not even stretch much during stringing. Any higher, and it plays very dead, stiff, harsh and full of vibrations!
     
  38. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    My honeymoon is over!

    I was enjoying myself until my playing partner switched to elt too. Now, my low and hard passing shots which i thought were clear winners are returned to me at full speed! And all he did was reach out and tap the ball! :mad:

    We must shut down this thread :twisted:
     
  39. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    So far, I've tried elt syn gut and multi in rackets with RA 62-72.

    In terms of accuracy, spin, power and comfort, I could not feel any difference between rackets.

    At normal tensions, racket stiffness was evident. It affected the feel and dirctional control a lot for me. But with elt, I cannot even feel the racket "bending".

    All the energy from the ball impact seems to be absorbed into the stringbed, which is depressed very deeply.
     
  40. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    Nylon and multi strings I've tested display a high initial stretch at lower tensions. Starting at about 30lbs, it has already stretched 8-9%. The rate of stretch slows after that. This is why I believed elt could work.

    Poly is a totally different animal. Initial stretch is slow and gradual. After 50lbs or so, it suddenly stretches A LOT. So much, that when observed carefully, I can see the string get thinner at certain portions. That's distortion.

    The best range for polys i've tested so far remains around 45lbs +/-3 lbs.

    A chart speaks best. Link below :)

    http://unorthodoxstringing.blogspot.sg/2012/12/comparison-of-nylon-and-poly-strings.html

    http://unorthodoxstringing.blogspot.sg/2012/11/strings-properties-test.html
     
  41. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Which leads me to ask, I have Gut on the mains and alu rough on crosses strung at 30lbs. Is the alu pointless? Should I go full gut?
     
  42. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Interesting! Would be nice though if you added lbs or kgs to the graph.
     
  43. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    I'm rather ashamed to say that I've yet to try natural gut nor alu rough, so I don't understand its properties..:oops:

    The "best range" for poly that I mentioned refers to a good combination of string stretch while stringing and elasticity that remains after stringing. This leads to a very comfortable stringbed with good control, spin and tension retention.

    Even at 30lbs, the general properties of poly remains. When hybrid together with gut, my guess is that gut's power is tempered by poly. And poly's harshness is softened by gut. So there is some benefit.

    If you are using a crank, the hybrid at 30lbs should be very playable off the stringing machine. If it's a dropweight or electronic stringing machine, it depends on your pull time and may require perhaps an hour or so of hitting around before the stiff feel of poly softens.

    Is that your experience? :)
     
  44. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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    I keyed all my data into my ipad as I was testing the strings. From that spreadsheet, I had all the charts plotted out beautifully, both for individual strings and grouped by nylons and polys.

    Unfortunately, when I synced the ipad with my pc, everything was wiped out! :mad:

    The chart I posted on my blog was from my memory of how the strings generally stretched.
     
  45. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

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  46. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Thank you, interesting.
     
  47. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    Very nice. I am convinced that, like at all tensions, natural gut changes everything! I would never have thought I could have gone to 30lbs with natural gut...hence my curiosity whether the alu on the crosses is working as effectively as it was at 45lbs, or just a waste of time and I should be trying full gut :)
     
  48. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I am looking forward to try and tame the power in my PS Classic with low tension. When I try with higher tensions, it just felt stiff like a board, and still had some "wild" power, unless I constantly focused on spin, which is not quite my game.
     
  49. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    I put some Cyber Blue 17 in at 38/35(100" 16x18) and loved the spin and higher arch for about 90 mins and then the strings started not snapping back and ball control become an issue. I'm currently stringing in the mid 40s.
    Do any of you guys have this low tension, non snap back problem?
     
  50. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I do depending on the string. Stiffer old school poly doesn't snap back after an hour or so. More modern co poly's do snap back a bit better IMO at low tension.

    -Fuji
     

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