Discussion in 'Strings' started by lightthestorm, May 14, 2013.
What's the best poly string that combines great playability and tension maintenance?
Hperion/Tornado will last that long.
Kirschbaum Pro Line II
To my experience most polys "die" before 10h - including Tornado. Important thing is can you you handle dead poly and more importantly can your tendons handle it... Personally I don't mind dead feeling poly (especially Tornado). Also it dies gradually so the changes are not happening sudden.
However I am having sensitive shoulder so at the moment I string nat gut on mains and poly on crosses. I would recommend to try. Usually it lasts for months so it can turn out to be even more economical assuming you don't string yourself. Also worth trying is full nat gut.
With nat gut tension loss is 5-10% and that's it. Polys go down much further.
Polys aren't made for tension maintenance. They are made for breakers and spin addicts. And even so, one should cut them after 20h to avoid any arm problems. So searching a poly that has good tension maintenance is a bit antithetic IMO...
Unfortunately, string breakers who are forced to poly don't want to have to restring each week. It's a pain, and it's not cheap.
^Unless you're playing with Luxilon, poly is much cheaper than multi or gut. And most string breakers use reels to cut the cost.
I will look to try out the Kirschbaums and the Signum Polys...
Thanks for the comments so far.
Also, if one really breaks strings every week, the investment in a stringing machine is fully justified.
Kirschbaum PLII Evolution is hands down the best I have tried. A lot of people I string for are partial to PLII and they keep it in their racket forever.
According to the latest view, poly doesn't die but simply stops sliding due to the notching of the strings.
If you lube up your strings before playing they come back to life for your playing session.
Its not quite as good as fresh strings, but much better than otherwise.
Mothers Car Wax
Here's a non-exhaustive list I've compiled:
Good at holding playability for longer durations:
Pro Line II 1.20
Poor at holding playability for longer durations:
Mosquito Bite 18
This is my experience, ymmv.
That's why you should have two or three sticks in your bag all with the same strings so you can rotate them out.
Poly is a high performance string. Like a lot of "high performance" parts, they burn hot and die quick.
I am currently only using one stick because I'm in between frames right now. I absolutely re-string every week with poly, as dies quickly. But I string my own frames so it's not a big deal to me. I buy a reel and I get close to 17 string jobs per reel.
But if I wasn't doing my own stringing, I'd have no less than 3 frames with the same strings. That should last me about a month before I'd take them all back and get them re-strung.
Personally, I think poly is 'worth it' in the long run, even though it doesn't last long and is a pain in the butt to string (nylon is SO much easier).
When I look at my match history from this year, all of my losses were when I was experimenting with with nylon strings. Out of 21 matches this year, four of them were with nylon strings, the rest with poly. I lost two of the matches with nylon, won the other two.
My win rate with poly strings is currently 94%, with a match count of 16-1. So even if poly is bad for me, even if I'm "not supposed to use it" as a "3.0" player, you can't argue with the results.
Playability life of the original PLII is a tad longer than Evolution
For me, MSV CoFocus has been the longest lasting by far. Good spin, good power and ridiculous tension maintenance.
How about beast xp?
I always thought Tourna Big Hitter Blue kept good tension and feel until you broke it, even after it started to notch.
Thanks for the suggestions. Going to buy a couple of them and try them out.
PS. Is the Luxilon 4G's tension maintenance that good (a whole month of good playability) or is it hype?
Pro Line X has excellent playability and excellent tension maintenance. It is quite stiff, though; I think too stiff for my arm even though I play well with it.
5 hours for me and I cut poly out, no matter what. Everytime I push past my threshold it hurts. Buying a stringer is a must. By the time you buy a stringer and one reel of string it will pay itself off vs. paying someone to string those 16-17 racquets. Fairly easy to learn with all the videos online now.
Lux 4G... Give it a try
I think this string has great playability and the tension maintenance is also very good for a poly. You can easily hit >25 hours with this string. Only downside is it's high price.
I think the Yonex Polytour Pro has the best price/performance ratio though.
I guess this is one of the most frequently asked questions of players who use polys. But my question is what is the reason behind transferring the shock to the arm when the strings loses tension?
In other words if a poly which has been originally strung at 52 loses tension and reaches 30, and as many people say transfer the shock to the arm, would it have the same effect if it is strung at 30 pounds first?
Hi Payam, good to see you around here again.
1. Poly "death" is a combination of two competing factors, tension loss and increasing friction. It's not intuitive at all, but the March 2013 study by Crawford Lindsey suggests that "loss of resiliency" or "elasticity", though frequently mentioned as the culprit, appears to play only a minor role if any.
2. As poly ages, it does lose tension, and yes, this does increase comfort. However, it is also getting rougher and it slides and snaps back less, which reduces the dwell time. Whenever dwell time is reduced, impact shock is increased. This is most likely what creates the "boardy" feel associated with "dead poly". So these things are occurring at the same time, and eventually, one or the other will win out and dominate the feel of the string bed.
3. These two competing forces explain why there is such a wide variety of complaints about aging poly .... If it seems like it's "mushy", "trampoliney", and has "uncontrollable power", that means the tension loss is winning the battle.
4. If increasing friction is winning the battle, the sensation will be stiffness, boardy, lifeless, dead, I can't hit with spin, etc.
That is a way too short, and somewhat incomplete explanation, but you can read more about it in the links provided below. I've also posted the key quote and underlined the part that speaks to this very question for you.
Quote: " The lower tensions and perpendicular stiffness of many polyesters leads to longer dwell times and greater deflection. This keeps the ball on the racquet for a longer arc of the stroke, potentially creating "power" problems with the ball going deeper, wider and higher than desired. The decrease in perpendicular stiffness also contributes to the sensation that the strings get "mushy" or behave like a trampoline. A loss of control is the end result. Further, the stroke itself may thus be affected to compensate for the changes in the string.
On the other side of the coin, increasing static and/or sliding coefficients of friction will decrease the amount and efficiency of the sideways main string movement and snap back. This, in turn, decreases spin, lowers launch angle, and stiffens the stringbed parallel to the strings. This is perceived as a loss of power and spin as well as an increase in stiffness, harshness, and pain, especially if the player starts swinging even faster to compensate.
If only it were so easy. It seems whenever there is one causal factor acting to increase a performance variable, there is another that arises to decrease that variable. In this case, as tension and perpendicular stiffness decrease with repetitions, increasing the "power" behavior of the strings, so to do the repetitions increase the friction coefficients, making the strings feel stiffer and low-powered. And, then, in another turn, the decrease in tension should also decrease the friction between strings. So the strings are simultaneously gaining and losing in power behaviors or in stiffness and softness characteristics. It is the net effect that determines the player's perception of string performance."
Hi Jack, it is good to see you too. Thanks a lot for your answer, that was a short but very informative post. I have a much better understanding of what happens now. I have quoted this section of your post because I believe you must have meant "discomfort" here, is that right?
No problem Payam happy to assist. It's not a typo. There are a few exceptions to the rule (most notably Lux 4G) but as a group, poly looses tension pretty darned quick. Link Here. String it at a reference tension of 55lbs, and it will drop 10 lbs over night just sitting in your bag, another 15-20 after the first few good whacks, and another five over the next 10 hours of play. So now your string bed is down in the 30s. Nobody disputes that poly at 30 is more comfortable than poly at 55, because it is self evident.
If you were to compare the impact sensation of freshly strung poly at 30, and freshly strung poly at 55, the dif in comfort would be striking. Lower the machine reference tension, and string bed deflection (ie, trampoline) increases, and dwell time increases, and balls deform less during impact.
However, the complicating factor with tension drops due to aging string beds during play, is the increasing friction as the crosses get roughed up "on the way down" from 55 to 30. As the strings age, the crosses get notched. Now the mains cant slide as freely, as there are peaks and valleys to climb over. When the mains don't slide, the dwell time is reduced, and when dwell time is reduced, impact shock increases. So the string bed is continually getting more comfortable and powerful (from the tension loss) and more boardy, and less powerful (from the increased friction) and eventually one of the two will win the battle and will dominate the feel of the string bed. That's why players will pepper their descriptions of poly death as so many different sensations, ranging from uncontrollable trampoliney power, ... to stiff / boardy / arm breaker.
I agree with the list above, as it is what I have also found. I would rate them as:
1. SPPP 1.18
2. PL II (I use 1.15)
3. Cyclone 1.20
4. Competition 1.20
If you can go a little stiffer, then I would put Lux BB Ace and Lux BBO, just behind SPPP 1.18. Yonex PTP is next on my list to try, given the positive feedback on durability and playability.
Kirshbaum Pro Line II combines performance and durability like no other poly I've tried. It is a very impressive string.
Thanks ChicagoJack, great post that answered all the questions I've been wondering about dead polys.
Thanks again Jack. I have actually copy-pasted this to describe the poly behavior to my friends. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us.
Would you go with RPM 18 gauge or Wilson natural gut 16 gauge? Looking for good control as I generate a decent amount of power.
Thanks ChicagoJack for all the info!
Bagel18, go with RPM 18 gauge if you can generate most of your own power and a string breaker.
Thanks Storm! I did go with the RPM!
If you are looking at these 2 factors in particular you might get an answer here: http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2012/01/string_selector_2012.html
The USRSA comes out with an annual list of many strings' stiffness and tension stability. It's a lab test and thus not necessarily transferrable to a practical situation. Nevertheless, the results show how much better certain polys hold their tension in comparison to others in this particular setting....and which strings might be more playable (less stiff) than others.
Any of the Weisscannon strings, especially Scorpion and B5E
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