Poly: does it give you *any* edge?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by anubis, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Assume two players of similar skill, say two males, level 3.5. Both are using similar equipment, similar racquets, etc. however, one is using multifilament strings, the other is using poly.

    Will the poly user have any edge at all over the other player, simply because of the poly strings? If they were a a 50/50 chance of beating one another due to similar skills, would the fact that one is using poly change that at all in any measurable way?

    Or is it all simply preference, just like anything else?

    Thanks
     
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  2. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    well, it depends on the skills! if they are both flat hitters, the poly-guy will be at a disadvantage since you get more power and touch out of the multi. if they are topspinners, the poly-guy will be having an advantage since he will be able to impart more spin to the balls than the multi-guy.
     
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  3. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    What fgs says it true, but at the 3.5 level, the difference is not enough to overcome bigger factors such as who feels better that day, who plays better in the wind, etc.
     
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  4. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    At the 3.5 level there's only one advantage of a poly, bragging rights. "Oh you're using nylon? I'm using ridiculously expensive poly's that I won't break for months and can't reap all of the benefits" :)
     
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  5. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

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    Yeah, I'd say you need to know how to hit reliably with spin to begin with. Poly is best suited for people that like to take a big cut at the ball and use spin as a part of their game.
     
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  6. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    but if you have those skills to begin with, whether you use poly or multi shouldn't matter, you should be able to compensate and play just as good of a game either way... correct?

    what I mean is, if you have good skills, you can take big cuts at the ball and generate a lot of spin, you aren't going to be hindered by using multi, will you? It's not going to hold you back, that is.
     
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  7. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

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    Poly has been proven to increase spin. I personally, also get more control from poly, it just suits my game better than a full bed of multi.

    No, I don't think you will be hindered by playing with a multi, and I think that whatever string you choose, your game will find a way to adjust to it's characteristics. But, I think that poly is a viable tool to add to your arsenal. It's best to give it a try and find out for yourself.
     
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  8. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i am not so familiar with this ntrp-rating so i beg your pardon if i don't really have a good idea of what a 3.5 can do or can't so in respect to skills.

    poly gives you a completely different approach to controlling the ball than multis. a topspin-oriented game would be rather difficult with a full multi since you really can't hit with "abandon" as the ball, due to the higher launch angle will sail long and you won't be imparting sufficient rotations on the ball in order to get it to dip down in time.
    you surely can string multis rather high and then, due to the increased stringbedstiffnes you regain some of the control, but that is not a real option because you'd go through strings in no time.

    we come back to the playing style (and of course the skillset i mentioned i am not very familiar with) - for a certain kind of stroking mechanics each sort of string will be putting the player to an advantage. a flat hitter will not have any benefits from playing with poly and a topspinner will not have any real benefits from playing with multis. i dare say that a topspinner will have an easier time though to adapt to a multi than a flat hitter to poly.
     
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  9. THESEXPISTOL

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    At 3.5 not, but at 4.5+ when both players have developed long fast swings poly offers, besides topspin, more control and predictability to the shot giving the player confidence to "swing away". If this expensive advantage is worth your health? I don't think so... Unless you're a touring pro and you can restring everyday.
     
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  10. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, I think that answers my question: no real "edge" at such a low NTRP level.

    Perhaps if there *is* an edge, its either so slight, or its imagined by the player, in a way to justify the high cost of the strings, and the high cost to one's own arm/wrist/shoulder.
     
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  11. Doubles

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    As others have said, at a low level like 3.5, they won't really gain any benefit from poly strings.
     
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  12. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    It's a built in excuse, a convenient way for players to blame missing shots on the strings. Because when you miss the line by like 5 feet, that's how you know some poly isn't giving you enough spin.

    It can also help explain being absent-minded, and attempt a drop shot from behind the baseline.
     
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  13. Doubles

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    You say it like its a bad thing...
     
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  14. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    If the 3.5 level players have faster swings, the poly will add control and spin giving that player an advantage.

    If the 3.5 level players have push type swings, the multi will give a touch more pop and that player will have the advantage.
     
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  15. ultradr

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    Poly gives you 20% more spin than synthetics, roughly 10% more
    spin than natural gut.

    You win more with poly and you will know it. It's the dark side.
     
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  16. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Even if you are 3.5 I guess it could also have some bearing as to in which direction you want to progress. I use control rackets, so I feel that I can swing away with multis actually.
     
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  17. Doubles

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    You won't if you don't have the swing speed for it. Poly gives more spin if you have the proper swing speed. Most 3.5's don't have a swing that's fast enough to benefit from it, however.
     
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  18. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I'm just sayin', you can't be playing a bad match (with questionable tactics), then turn around and say "oh yeah I'm not using my usual poly".

    Please...
     
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  19. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    The biggest bonus for me is: control and spin. The downside is feel. But, the newer polys don't feel as bad as the older ones like Timo, either that or I'm more used to it now. I'm a 4.5.
     
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  20. ishiun

    ishiun New User

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    depends on your playstyle. what kind of poly. etc etc
     
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  21. Doubles

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    I was referring to the drop shot from behind the baseline. Which is a favorite of mine.
     
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  22. MLB_MOB

    MLB_MOB Banned

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    I can see why you are on the Gulbis bandwagon lol :twisted:

    But yes polys, gut, synthetic, nylon make no difference to a player who is not at least a 4.5 (maybe some bigger hitting 4.0s or older players who used to be a 4.5+ level) At the 2.0-4.0 range you should really be focusing on learning proper footwork and stroke mechanics and less on what you are using string wise.
     
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  23. Muppet

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    What about a 3.5 w/ multi, attempting a 4.0 multi game vs. a 3.5 w/ poly, attempting a 4.0 poly game? Sounds ugly doesn't it? Who scrapes out the win?
     
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  24. Will Wilson

    Will Wilson Rookie

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    This.

    I am a 4.0 - 4.5 player with "traditional" strokes. I've experimented with poly several times and go away from it as I don't generate the racket head speed necessary to ramp up the spin potential. For me, poly gives me less power and feel with no substantial increase in spin (and then there are the health issues). I will continue to experiment with different hybrids, however.

    My observation is that the vast majority of people that play tennis fall into the same category as me but won't admit it. They play with poly because it is trendy but does nothing for their game. In other words, I think the racket head speed necessary to get the benefits of poly is much higher than most people believe or want to believe.
     
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  25. THESEXPISTOL

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    You are a wise man!
     
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  26. Fintft

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    Or natural gut :)
     
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  27. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    I've seen people with shiny strings and the balls that they hit come at me ridiculously weird. Once it bounces it's like a freaking geyser. I'm gonna have to say yes.
     
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  28. Backhanded Compliment

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    It has lower power so it generally keeps balls in play if stroked properly. Most dont get full use out of it below 4.5 but I do think it has an effect for those below... and since lowering inconsistency is a huge part of who wins at those levels it has an effect. Below 3.5 the effects are negligible. In fact the comfort factor might make it a liability with incomplete stroke mechanics.
     
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  29. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I'm like you, 4.0-4.5 player with "traditional" strokes. NO strings have any effect on my shots. +/- power, +/- spin, that's all dependent on what I do with my racquet in motion. I use gut/poly because of the way it feels, and I do switch to my "rain/moist/fog" racquet which is either cheap synthetic/multi/poly, and there's no noticeable difference in my shot outcome.

    Let's just say if I miss the lines by a foot or two, or dump the ball into the net. It has nothing to do with the strings.

    I'm in my 20's, I get the trend and the poly hype/craze. I tried explaining to people of my observations, and they look at me funny.

    Then they hit a miracle winner, and they say something crazy like: "SEE! RPM Blast!" Followed by a primal scream vaguely similar to "VAMOS!"

    Then I react by: "... -.-, son you're an American and you're not even of Spanish descent"
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
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  30. sansaephanh

    sansaephanh Professional

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    Well I actually like poly because of its low powered nature. As a 3.5 who has experimented decently with budget strings, I have found that a poly at high tensions give me better control when swinging big then synthgut at 60.

    I found many synthetics to have very odd types of feel and don't offer quite what i'm looking for when it comes to giving me all round performance in league settings.
     
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  31. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    It really depends on if the strings suit the racket and player. I have been playing around lately with super high powered frames that make the PD feel low powered, so its rare that I will say I find a lack of control with XX equipment. I was also a long time players racket/syn gut user who converted to tweeners/poly, so I tried a full bed of syn gut for the first time in my APDGT expecting good results but instead found a lack of predictability vs poly or poly hybrids. What is odd is that I don't find the TW demos strung with multis to have any lack of control/predictability. Maybe it was just the string I used this time.

    Anyways, I would say the "edge" or advantage of poly is having more choices in finding a suitable frame & string set up for a particular player & game style.
     
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  32. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    You'll have to restring them both about the same time, but for different reasons. The multi will break after a few weeks, and all polys will go dead and will need to be cut out and restrung after 3 weeks. If you don't you're looking at a serious case of TE down the road.
     
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  33. Slitch

    Slitch Rookie

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    It also depends on your opponent. My hitting partner is a junk baller who doesn't put a lot of power and spin on his hits. It's is a lot harder to generate enough spin and power when I'm running around the court.
     
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  34. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    But how much of that comes down to the difference between polyester and nylon? One can interpret your statement to mean that a player simply has to find "the best strings for his or her game". But my question isn't about the best strings (out of any string) for my game. It's whether or not poly is superior to nylon. After all, we all know that gut is superior to nylon. But can the same be said between nylon and polyester?

    There's a lot of hype and marketing all throughout the tennis world (including this forum) that claims that poly strings *are* the best, that it *is* superior. How much of that is simply successful brand marketing? How much of that is truth? Where is the dividing line?

    How about this for more anecdotal information: I played 10 matches in the last 3 months all with polyester strings and won every single one of them. They were all doubles matches. Some were mixed, some were just men. Then, for my last match (the 11th), I switched to full multi to see if it would be more comfortable. Well, I lost. Is that because of the strings? Who knows.

    So, the hype and marketing tells me poly is superior. It tells me that there's an edge that I can give to my game if I use this string. And sometimes the evidence on the forum lends weight to that, including my own experience.

    maybe I'm just asking a bunch of rhetorical questions. Perhaps there is no answer, but I'm sure a lot of folks here would like to know the answer someday.

    Anyway, thanks for listening to my rant :)
     
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  35. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    same here...
     
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  36. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    I'd say they are different enough where it would be like comparing apples to oranges, kind of like comparing tweeners to players rackets or granny sticks. So I wouldn't say one is superior to the other.
     
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  37. ricardo

    ricardo Professional

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    Poly generates more topspin than any other string..

    Poly generates more topspin than any other string (TWU).

    If your game is based on topspin, than poly is superior to any other strings because you can generate more topspin using poly than any other string (full bed).

    Note:
    You can actually generate more topspin using a hybrid (NG mains/poly crosses).
    See TWU string friction database (http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/COFreporter.php)
     
    #37
  38. mikeespinmusic

    mikeespinmusic Rookie

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    Personal experience has taught me is that it seems easier for the poly guy to force the multi/nylon guy to hit more unforced errors. Its a heavier ball from the poly and its kicking off the multi/nylon guy's string bed which means he can't move the ball around the court as easily as the poly guy. In fact he's sort of already put on the defensive IMO.

    But this of course suggests that both players are equal in skill, phyiscal condition and are using the exact same racquet.
     
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  39. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    That depends on how powerfull your racket is, I would say.
     
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