Low tension lowers like myself, why?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by morten, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    Low tension lovers like myself, why?

    Why do you all love it, i feel the ball more, cups the ball more and so on, is it nescessery to have good hands to use low tensions, i have btw. Feel is my main strenght. I feel it gives me more feedback therefore i am more focused, and it tells me what i am doing wrong, so i learn. Anyone else? Just curious, since i string much lower than anyone i know.
     
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  2. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Well, I'm greatly enjoying nylon + polyesther hybrid string jobs in the mid to low 50s. My latest is strung to a round 50, but haven't tried it yet.

    Edit: Why? Well, because of the same reasons you wrote about. Also, I've learnt to control the depth of my shots with topspin and I like having the extra power for when I need it.

    Edit 2: I have this personal belief that my raquets will last much more, if I avoid stringing them at higher tensions, but I may, very well, just be nuts :)
     
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  3. godot

    godot New User

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    My elbow forced me to use 50lbs, and I like it. Especially if it hits the sweet spot with the right top spin!
     
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  4. fishuuuuu

    fishuuuuu Hall of Fame

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    Lower tension with strings tends to slingshot the balls out from the racquet (trampoline for some), but with polyester strings like I use it adds sick spin.
     
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  5. armand

    armand Banned

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    I string poly @ 61.5lbs on a 90sq" head because I like that crispy response. However, after trying the same string on a 98sq" head but with 62\61lbs, I think I'm beginning to feel what you guys are saying. I'm starting to go more+more western on this one, but it's less effective with 90.

    A major thing that concerns me with the lower tension is serving though.
     
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  6. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Concerened of what? Of serving faster and p¡ss¡ng off your oponents?
     
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  7. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Tension will be relative to string type, racket, and playing style.

    If you are a flater hitter you will surely be more inclined to have a higher tension, like wise if you are more of a spiner you are much more likely to have lower string tension. Finally depending on how hard you hit the ball, how high your SW and static weight is along with racket head size will dictate what you can and can't do.

    You can't play a 120sqin racket at 30lbs with supersoft tension losing multi, unless you just block LOL
     
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  8. armand

    armand Banned

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    Just loss of control. I find the serve the hardest stroke to control, especially when going flat, which is my usual first serve. We'll see.
     
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  9. aussie

    aussie Professional

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    I've always used higher tensions (62 - 66) in generally oversized frames when using syn gut. Found I had more control with the higher tension and the oversized heads had larger sweet spots which negated the reducing effect that higher tensions have on sweet spots. Then I found poly strings.

    With polys, I find I can string at a much lower tension (52 - 55) which gives the benefits of greater cupping of the ball allowing more feel and spin, bigger sweet spot, more power and little vibration. Tension maintenance with the newer polys is good and strings have minimal movement even at these low tensions. So for me, it's now polys at low tensions (although higher tensions for syn and multis)
     
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  10. looseswing

    looseswing Professional

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    I just started using a hybrid this summer but before that I would string PSGD in the low sixties, but now I am going for SPPP at 52 and Gut at 55 on an ncode 90, and i must say it plays awesome!
     
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  11. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Good points by jackson vile,i use a western grip+hit a lot of topspin.I have tried a lot of different tensions, but 51 - 55 works the best for me + i get more control with the lower tension.

    I also use natural gut+ you just dont know how sweet a gut string feels until you try it at low tension!!
     
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  12. Will888

    Will888 Semi-Pro

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    it's all about the feel, spin and power baby! And it is so much better on your elbow and shoulder. And the serve is bigger with lower tension too.
     
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  13. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    When you have lower tension, you have less control and direction. Look for your ball to sometimes not go where you want it to go.
     
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  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Actually, there have been many studies that prove lower tension does not necessarily give you more power. Lower tension giving more power is somewhat of a myth.
     
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  15. louis netman

    louis netman Hall of Fame

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    what is true is that lower tension is more adversely affected by the incoming ball's spin than higher tension, and moreso on volleys where there is less racket motion....
     
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  16. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Ah, this is the beauty of tennis; so much diversity, in so many different areas :)
     
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  17. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    Lately, I've been stringing my PS85 with gut/poly hybrid at mid to high 40's and loving the feel and the spin I can generate. I am hitting shots that I have never been able to hit before. I'm never going back to the high 50's again!!
     
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  18. BabolatFan

    BabolatFan Semi-Pro

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    I'm about to drop mine to 50. I just started liking the feel of lower tension. I can hit the ball with more topspin and keep the ball deep plus change direction of the ball alot quicker. Oh above all it's so much easier on my arm and shoulder too.
     
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  19. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    OK... I had a doubles match this morning, and I decided to string up an old reliable last night... the Max 200G (2 green strip version, so it's an early one).

    Specs are: 406g (14.3 oz.), 8pts HL. 42 RA flex. Didn't calculate the SW, but I'm sure it's up there.

    I decided to go with Ashaway Kevlar 18g Main w/ TF Spinfire 18g Cross at 45/48#. The weather was brisk this morning in the low 50's, but warmed up nicely to the low 70's. My match was at 9AM.

    Initial feel.... buttery touch, with crispness (does that make sense?)! It's difficult to describe to you a "soft" kevlar/poly hybrid setup, but that's what I felt. The stringbed actually felt like natural gut in the mid 50's tension. My serves were mostly kicks to the bhands and were heavy (200g's flex gives me that extra kick). I had several ground xcourt groundstroke rallies, and they were solid and heavy. I was quite surprised by the "crispness" in the volleys though, especially during poaching. One point, I had an easy poach with a floater. Rather than powering it, I simply stuck my racket and directed it away sharply. I heard this nice POP that I associate with a gut setup. Felt extremely nice. I always play the ad-side, and today, I flatten out several of my service return shots with penetrating speed. Felt nice again to have that control.

    Overall, I am amazed at the control via spin I am able to maintain at these low tension. Please try out some low tension setup, you may like it! :)
     
    #19
  20. Byakuya

    Byakuya Rookie

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    Studies..what studies?!?!?! :confused:

    Stop spreading false rumors w/o solid proof dude.

    We all know that F=kx (k = spring constant)

    If the displacement of the string bed is greater, than the force is greater.
     
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  21. Will888

    Will888 Semi-Pro

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    so higher tension doesn't give you less power? If that myth is true...
     
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  22. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    There is no exact science to it. Different strings has different tension ranges and sweetly they feel, so yes you can get more power from the string if they are strung way to low. Factor in head sizes, beam width, head flex, racquet head speed and technique and the science behind it is lost.... thats why its an art based on "feel".
     
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  23. byealmeens

    byealmeens Semi-Pro

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    I used to string my racquets it the high 60's with a full poly job. I loved the control, but a friend suggested this was too high. He asked if I'd ever tried the opposite - stringing much lower (mid to high 40's) on a powerful frame. At the time I have to admit I thought this was a ridiculous suggestion. I felt like I "needed" the control, and could never string that low. Well, as an experiment I tried it this summer. I took the most powerful OS frame I had and strung it almost 20lbs lower than I normally would. The result was nothing short of amazing. It took very little time to adjust to the new tension, and I found the benefits of higher comfort, power and spin greatly outweighed the reduced level of control. Now I'm using much lower tensions than before (low 50's) and I love the results. I agree with other posters that the string type and frame are important. In my case, using a stiffer, more maneuverable frame seemed to help. I found that frames with very high swingweight were very difficult to control with low tension. I also found it easier to use crisper monos (particularly in the mains) and stayed away from multis and polys. Most multis seemed to mushy at low tension, and polys were too inconsistent and uncomfortable in stiffer frames. Just my 2 cents...
     
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  24. huz

    huz New User

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    I was wondering. I have an ncode nPS(the 289g unstrung version on TW). What tension would give these kinds of results with this racket. Say, using Wilson NXT strings.. I would love to try it.
     
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  25. tennisbass

    tennisbass New User

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    I recently went from 60lbs to 50lbs and all I can say is WOW!

    I can spin and feel the ball much better. My serves are more consistent. What little bit of control I lost I gain back in extra spins. I can really feel the pocket. Most importantly, it's so much more comfortable for my elbow. I will try to go even lower by 1 or 2lbs at a time to see how much lower I can push it and still be playable.

    I think lower tension works great for any player that can spin the ball well.
     
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  26. tennis_nerd22

    tennis_nerd22 Hall of Fame

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    well after using SPPP at the high 40's for about 2 weeks, and then restringing with a poly/syn gut at 57/56, i'd have to say i liked the increase in tension. i went up the other end... LOL.

    i think using a string so powerful helps you improve your control to a point that when you go back to mid tension range, your control is deadly, you just have to make sure you modify your swing so that you're actually doing a full swing. having low tension in a low powered 90" racket would be best i think :)
     
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  27. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Try this study you moron:

    Go out to your back yard and hit a tennis ball with a garden hose. Then hit the same tennis ball with a wood bat.

    Which one do you think is going to go faster?

    Look up the studies yourself. Do a google search. I don't need to lie. Many people, and this doesn't just include me, feel the same way.

    I string my PS 85 at 70Lbs, and get way more pace and contorl on it than if I strung it at a lower tension.
     
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  28. tennis_nerd22

    tennis_nerd22 Hall of Fame

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    Quote from the book Technical Tennis:

    "The increased depth with a lower tension is due to both an increased launch speed and angle, the latter being caused by both longer time on the strings and by a steeper rebound frmo the strings. Hitting the ball one degree higher will make the ball land four or five feet further. If the ball is hit one mile per hour faster, it will land about one foot further."

    So drakulie, you're right it one sense, it is KIND OF a myth, BUT the player does feel an INCREASED amount of power.
     
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  29. tennis_nerd22

    tennis_nerd22 Hall of Fame

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    maybe thats because you can swing harder? when you swing harder and feel more of the impact of the ball hitting the strings, it will feel like increased power. when you dont feel that force of the impact (with a lower tension) you dont feel like you get more power.
     
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  30. nalbandian_fan

    nalbandian_fan Semi-Pro

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  31. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I read this before ^^^^^. I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, it also states on lower tensions the ball stays on the stringbed about .20 MICROSECONDS longer than on higher tensions, and you get about 1 mile per hour more.

    There is no way you could feel the ball ".20 microseconds longer" on your stringbed, and one more mile per hour. A person just can't tell that difference. It also states the more you lower your tension out of the recommended range, the more power you loose.

    In addition, I did not say my opinion is a fact. I simply said there have been studies to show that lower tension= more power, and higher tension= less power is somewhat of a myth.

    There are stuides that show both sides.

    I believe the higher you string your racquet the more power you get.
     
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  32. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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  33. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    #33
  34. nalbandian_fan

    nalbandian_fan Semi-Pro

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    i've always felt that i play the same regardless of the string, and that the strings only affect how the racquet feels. I can feel a 3 pound difference in tension, yet I don't play any differently at either tension. I think these studies are explaining my opinion, as a 30 pound difference in tension doesn't affect rebound velocity or spin.
     
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  35. tennisbass

    tennisbass New User

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    This is interesting. The studies in previous posts here seem to suggest that higher tension results in more spins. But for me, it sure "feels" like lower tension results in more spin because the ball stay in the pocket longer therefore I have more time to spin it. Oh well, maybe it's just my perception.

    I lowered the tensions of my two sons' (ages 10 and 13) racquets from 58 to 50lb without telling them to force them to learn hitting with more spins. It worked! If they don't hit with more spins, the ball goes out...its that simple. Now their topspin ground strokes have improved by more than 75%. They can sustain much longer hard hitting rallies now.
     
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  36. tennis_nerd22

    tennis_nerd22 Hall of Fame

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    ya but you can see that one mile per hour difference in the depth of your shot, which would be about a foot further.

    can you get me a quote of that, i didnt read it but i would like too. thanks
     
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  37. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    1 extra MPH translating to a an extra foot in length? What pseudo science and myths are being made up for that one. I'll stick with what I've observed on the court in regards to string and tension, and they are consistent as what drakulie has observed.

    Lower tension = more power is non sense. Lower tension with beginner strokes and miss-hits do have greater deflection, IE go up in the air and sail out of bounds giving you the impression of power rather than it being what it is.... a poor stroke and miss-hit. Anyone who hits the ball cleanly with decent racquet head speed, higher tensions smack that ball harder than lower tensions.
     
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  38. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    Its not just your perception, it is what it is.
     
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  39. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    tennis_nerd22, I said "correct me if I'm wrong".

    I read that article a long time ago. I believe it states how long the strings stay on lower strung vs. higher strung. From my recollection it was something like .20 microseconds. Which, a human being is not capcable of distinguishing.

    I beleive the same article also stated the lower you string your racquet out of the recommended range the more power you loose, although it may have been another study I read-----not sure.

    But it is quite simple, at some point, stringing your racquet at lower levels results in loss of that "trampoline" effect everyone in this thread is talking about.

    Of course, that "trampoline" effect and it's effect on spin has been unproven as recently as 2004.

    Like I've said before, there are several studies that contradict one another.

    However, you could do your own study. String your racquet at 10 lbs and tell us what you find.
     
    #39
  40. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Well, now that we have that sorted.... :)

    -Robert
     
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  41. tennis_nerd22

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    i know you did, but im honestly asking for a quote, cuz i didnt check for one myself. but if you dont know of one, thats ok, ill look for myself when i have the time. i didnt say your wrong
     
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  42. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Cool. Not sure if you understood my post. If you do find it, keep us updated as I am too tired to go looking for the different studies.
     
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  43. byealmeens

    byealmeens Semi-Pro

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    huz,
    I also have an nPS (2 actually), and I would recommend a crisper string, as these frames tend to be much more flexible. It has good power though, so I would try a thin mono - such as Gosen OG Mirco or Wilson Stamina in 18ga and string around 50-52 lbs. The thinner strings work better in the dense pattern of the nPS and will still last, especially at the low tension. The other advantage of using these strings is that they are very cheap (around $3 a set), so experimenting with them won't do too much damage.
     
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  44. huz

    huz New User

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    Thanks byealmeans.
     
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  45. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    Anyone string low but not poly/Luxilon?
     
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  46. Byakuya

    Byakuya Rookie

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    Thanks for the disrespectful name calling. Drakulie. I don't like people who come and try to state facts without citing any evidence. I called you on that one and you call me a moron? wtf is wrong with you??!

    And about your lil study... you obviously don't even understand basic physics.

    I stated F = kx as the equation of the force exerted by the tennis strings on the ball assuming the point of contact is directly at the center of the racquet (dead center of sweet spot. That is where horizontal force is maximum and any vertical force is zero).

    First off.. a freaking baseball bat has no spring constant K. It has no elasticity and is NOT a spring. hitting a tennis ball with a racquet and a baseball bat is a much better experiment if you want it so badly... -.-

    Second..a garden hose ..sure it is somewhat elastic and bounces back up. To get the same effect you'll have to stretch the garden hose at the right tension and shoot a tennis ball straight at it. First at 48lbs and then at 60lbs.

    Better pace and control? These have nothing to do with force and velocity of the ball. If by pace you mean acceleration, then you're telling me that you can eyeball a tennis ball and tell me how many m/s/s that it's accelerating at ? you must be superman.. or Roger Federer. :rolleyes:

    F=kx is in ideal conditions of classical physics. however there are variables that really play into this equation. Theoretically, Lower string tension means a larger displacement X, and thus larger force exerted by the strings. however, the power generated to swing the racquet or increase that displacement comes from the human arm. And also you can't say a tension of 20lbs will produce greater force than a racquet strong at 65lbs. That argument is also naive. Because the tension also affects what the spring constant K is.

    So depending on the type of string there is a parabolic curve as to what tension produces the greatest force from the racquet. So now with all those factors in mind... the debate is back to .. where that maximum is?
     
    #46
  47. ryohazuki222

    ryohazuki222 Semi-Pro

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    But isn't that only because you use "the force?" :mrgreen:
     
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  48. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Drakulie is simply wrong.

    I've taken two identical racquets with different tensions and lower tensions are definitely more powerful. This is just someone who plays with high tensions who wants to claim that his setup is superior in every way.

    I much prefer lower tensions. High tensions react to the ball with vibration, which can translate to injury. Low tensions react to the ball with a catapult effect. Instead of vibrating, more energy transfers back to the ball, resulting in more power.

    You can't say that high tensions provide more control AND power. These are inverse variables.

    As far as not being able to feel dwell time... this is ridiculous. .2 microseconds? That doesn't even make sense. You didn't list what .2 microseconds relates to, i.e. how much difference in tension yields this extra dwell time. I can definitely feel a dwell time. It's not like the ball sits on the strings and smokes a cigarette. It's subtle but humans are fully capable of picking up on such things.
     
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  49. th____44

    th____44 Rookie

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    yeah....

    think this way....

    if you jump on a trampoline and if you jump on cement....
    where do you bounce more????
    lower tension gives you more power due to the "trampoline effect"....

    maybe you "feel" as if higher tension gives you more power, that's
    probably because it gives you more security, i mean, you can feel
    how the ball is flying due to the power you give it.... when you use
    a lower tension, you can't feel that much, but that doesn't means
    there's less power.... it all depends on the racquetand your technique....
     
    #49
  50. armand

    armand Banned

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    ~bump~

    Let's continue with the flaming! I haven't seen one of those for a while.
     
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