Pros using silcone spray on their strings

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Torres, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Um...how can they make a rough string with a rough directional surface that reduces friction in BOTH directions? The main string will have to move quickly in BOTH directions with minimal friction to be first displaced and then to "snap back" quickly. Also, every other cross string's rough surface will have its rough direction in the wrong direction since when you string the crosses you weave the string back and forth (e.g., from left to right on one cross and then from right to left on the next cross).
     
  2. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    How does having a textured string make the ball pancake more? You made the ealier contention that textured strings increase spin. Dummy.
     
  3. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I guess you still haven't learned how to read. :( Where did I say that the roughness of the string has anything at all to do with the ball pancaking more? :confused: Please show me.

    I said the STIFFNESS of the string makes the ball pancake more. The more the ball pancakes, the more spin you can generate. And that's why polys give more spin than soft multis.

    Roughness of the string can give more spin for a completely different reason. The rough or shaped strings can increase the friction between the strings and the ball, and thereby, exert more rotational force on the ball when you brush up against the ball.

    Whereas, pancaking of the ball creating more spin has to do with more of the ball's surface area making contact with more strings on the stringbed. That's why most players feel more bite when they use polys and that's also why you hear a louder "pop" sound when you hit the ball with a poly stringbed than with a soft multi stringbed. Both are due to the ball compressing more against the stiff stringbed.
     
  4. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    No, there is a 90 degree angle between main and cross, regardless of whether it is the odd numbered crosses or the even numbered ones. The friction does not have to be equal in both directions (moving, then snapping back). It just has to be less than it would if no directionality were used in the roughness.
     
  5. chrisberchris

    chrisberchris Rookie

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    I like how this started out as a discussion on the legality of silicone on strings into a, 'how can I put this to use on my strings'. Hahaha
     
  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But if the friction is less in one direction, then it would have to be more in the opposite direction, right? Or else it wouldn't be "directional", would it? And if that's the case, you would always have to hit the ball with the same edge of the racquet facing the sky to maximize spin (e.g., hit all your forehands with the same face of the stringbed).

    BTW, people are claiming that it's the super fast movement of the slippery string moving aside when the ball makes contact with the string and then the super fast snapping back of the same string while the ball is still on the stringbed (hard to believe IMO since the ball should be long gone by the time the string snaps back) that gives poly strings so much spin. So if the additional friction of rough strings slows down the string movement IN EITHER DIRECTION, that would reduce the effectiveness of the "snap back" in producing spin.
     
  7. gtshark1

    gtshark1 Rookie

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    Saw it today at Walmart. About $2.50. Nice to know just in case I want to try it out to decrease string movement.
     
  8. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Perhaps some people are claiming that, but not me. I am just claiming that you have been making false statements about friction, such as that it is the same in both directions, that you can characterize the coefficient of friction of a surface without reference to any surface in contact with it, etc. I will await some proof from the string manufacturers and/or silicone spray makers before I accept anyone's claims on that subject.
     
  9. chunlimeyers

    chunlimeyers Rookie

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    I am hoping to only stop idiotic "Breakpoint" posts on this subject: I spent the winter trying the same thing that tennis warehouse did, stringing every other cross, to get a 16 by 10(or, i think 11) string pattern. The most INSANE spin, and didn't matter WHAT string i used!.. Problem?.. It lasted 1, 2, or 3 days MAX vs 1, 2, or 3 MONTHS that i normally get out of my strings. So, at 60 pounds tension, their simply was not ENOUGH CROSSES(force applied by each individual cross string) to hold down the INSANE MOVEMENT of the main strings, and it just sawed the mains down to pieces after a super quick time! The racket was perfect, tons of power, tons of effortless control(through spin), kick serves through the roof, et. But, I was/am too lazy to want to string my racket every day! I even put lubricants on the string, hoping it would allow them to slip MORE and protect the sawing action, but it was useless.
    Now to today. I realized i never put lubricants on a full 18 x 20 stringbed, and so i got some dry teflon type spray(white powder residue), and BAM!, close to my old 18 x 11 SETUP!!!
    I even noticed today, as i did during the 18 x 11 days, that the balls felt was super cut up by the strings! I thought the teflon wore off from an hour and a half hitting session, but then i thought back, and realized it was the BALLS that had got worn out, with not enough felt intact to make that super spin ball anymore(I noticed the balls today looked like the balls i used with my 18 x11 job). So, i know ur trying breakpoint, but only science of real world TRYING IT YOURSELF makes sense in this case. It works, and, minus this board, i am NOT going to TELL MY COMPETITION LOCALLY! haha
    In order for you will understand this breakpoint.. use any strings.. any you care to lose quickly, and string every other cross. U will then know how wrong you are, and enjoy a pro type string job, for a couple minutes, until they break from too much movement. The study is in tenniswarehouse science part, but i am too lazy to look it up. Good luck
     
  10. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Are you telling us that you've just only discovered that more open string patterns give more spin? Wow, I'm so glad I read these boards or else I never would have known. :)
     
  11. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    i stung up a 110 sqin racket with a 6x6 pattern. full bed of kevlar. i will see you at the French open.
     
  12. topseed

    topseed Rookie

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    Yup, its $2.99 to be exact. Cheers! :)
     
  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I tried it last night on a new string bed. The strings still moved around some. I'm hoping to try it out a few more times to see if the strings will stop moving.
     
  14. chunlimeyers

    chunlimeyers Rookie

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    "Are you telling us that you've just only discovered that more open string patterns give more spin? Wow, I'm so glad I read these boards or else I never would have known."

    No, "breakpoint", I am not trying to prove that. In fact, at one point, i SUPERGLUED the strings together, hoping to lessen the time it took them to break, relying totally on the 'open' stringbed. Well, what i got was a very stiff, unresponsive, and way less spin stringbed, until the glue started giving way. So, no, again, you missed the whole entire point and science project. You must have been an impossible student to teach in school! haha Many will tell you they get the same or better spin with a 18 x 20 string pattern than say a 16 x 19. There is no learnin this guy.
     
  15. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it's not worth anyone's time.
     
  16. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    Let me clear the air, I didn't read all 9 pages of stuff but there looks like there's a quite a bit of confusion here.

    Poly strings, generally known as the strings which produce the most spin, are inherently smooth by nature. Look at RPM, it's a very smooth string, round and non textured. It's claim to fame from babolat is the strings 'move' and return to their original place post hit.

    Poly's generate spin by being a very dead string bed. They absorb pace but don't generate a rebound like more 'elastic' strings. This results in the ball staying on the string bed longer allowing the players muscles to rip the ball more by carrying it more. That's why most polys are considered as very low powered strings.

    Yes poly strings move alot! This is how they absorb incoming pace and spin. The more the strings move the more power they can absorb across the string bed and not give it back into the ball. If the strings don't move the less contact you will get with the ball = I don't care if they were made of barbwire = you will get less spin and control.

    Violin string or Polyester? Polyester will generate more spin hands down everytime. Though your more likely to take a chunk out of the ball with violin string!

    Summarize

    Poly strings move = Absorb pace = Longer Dwell time = More spin = less power.
     
  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Bottom line:

    Poly strings are stiff = stiff stringbed = more ball compression = more of ball's surface area biting into more strings = more rotational force imparted to ball when brushing up = more spin.
     
  18. colan5934

    colan5934 Rookie

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    Best of luck. As you can see from his response to your post, he reads selectively at times and while you have quite the valid point, he tried to make fun of you for saying that open patterns give more spin, which you obviously know.
     
  19. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    While I agree poly strings are stiff, it's not the inherent stiffness that creates the spin. I can string natural gut at 90 pounds and still not get a 'spin' friendly frame.

    Look at Fed and Nadal, both who string in the low 50s and high 40's respectively. They have the two heaviest laden forehands on the tour. Do you think their string beds are harder then a multi done at 58lbs. As a stringer, I guarantee no.

    Poly's are dead strings, that means they aren't very elastic. They absorb pace like a wet dish cloth. This helps reverse the incoming spin and increase dwell time. This combined with a vertical-friendly swing = lots of spin.
     
  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Bjorn Borg strung his tiny 65 sq. in. wood racquets with the super dense 18x20 string pattern (incredibly dense in a tiny head) with natural gut at 85lbs and got tremendous spin from it. His stringbed was as stiff as a wooden board. That resulted in more ball compression, and thus, more spin.

    Nadal and Federer can string much lower because they use poly strings. Poly at 50lbs is about as stiff as natural gut at 90lbs., perhaps even stiffer, IMO. I can feel the stiffness of poly on my elbow at ANY tension. Heck, when I string poly on a dropweight stringer, the weight doesn't drop nor budge even a centimeter. With a multi, it will drop like 2 feet several times so I have to keep racheting. The difference in resiliency is like night and day.

    It's not just the dwell time that creates the spin. It's the fact that a stiff stringbed causes the ball to flatten more against it. This allows a greater percentage of the ball's surface area to come into contact with more of the strings in the stringbed. Thus, when you swing vertically, you are "grabbing" more of the ball with more strings and each string is digging into the ball more. This allows you to transfer more rotational force to the ball resulting in more spin. This is why poly users feel more "bite" and hear a louder "pop" when they hit the ball than multi users do. That's the sound and feel of the ball flattening more against the stiff poly stringbed.
     
  21. Wilson 1986

    Wilson 1986 Rookie

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    I have never heard of this before, but does this go some way to explaining why the pros are always playing with their string bed between points?
     
  22. daved

    daved Rookie

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    poly and spin

    Have people not been paying attention to the little bit of actual research done on the subject by Lindsey, Cross, et al.?

    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringmovement.php

    Poly strings slide easily against each other. According to research to date, there is an actual "slingshot" effect with the strings flexing and snapping back during the ball's dwell time on the stringbed, thus helping the player put more spin on the ball. While this happens with any string type, it is much amplified with poly (or any strings sliding easily against each other...hence the silicone spray thread here).

    Yes, use of poly may affect spin production in other ways -- if the string is less elastic and less powerful, the player may feel more free to swing out hard on every shot.

    But the "slingshot" effect appears to be the crucial difference. Try poly at 30 pounds in an open stringbed and you'll feel it.
     
  23. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    Thank you. Finally someone's got it right.
    This was getting painful.
     
  24. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Poly strings give less speed, but not less spin than other types of strings. So they have a higher spin to speed ratio, that is the real difference. You can hit harder, get more spin but not more speed (relatively), which basically means more control.
    Just my theory but I rather like it.
    It seems to work at even very low tensions where BP's deformation theory is perhaps not so much in play.
    Edit: Oh, I see now that that is included in the link above, which seems quite comprehensive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  25. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    That's because even at very low tensions, a poly stringbed will still be stiffer than a multi stringbed at higher tensions. Thus, the ball will still flatten more against a poly stringbed at low tensions. And, yes, the low power of poly will also allow the player to swing more aggressively at the ball, which will of course, put more spin on the ball because you're swinging faster.
     
  26. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    FYI, in the above experiments, the racquet was stationary and not moving at all.

    "In these movies, the racquet was clamped into a secured holding device."

    That is completely different from what happens when the racquet is swung vertically at a very high rate of speed. The direction and magnitude of the forces on the strings will be completely different. There would be much more force in pulling the strings aside on impact so the strings will move more (assuming a slippery poly) but the ball would likely have already left the stringbed by the time the strings fully snap back.

    Take a poly stringbed and use your fingers to pull the main strings to one side as far as you can. Now time how long it takes for the strings to snap back. Is it longer than 0.005 seconds? Because according to Cross and Lindsey (in the book Technical Tennis, page 82), the ball only stays on the strings for 0.005 seconds.
     
  27. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    It seems like when people want to argue wrong theories about strings, they cite Technical Tennis.
     
  28. daved

    daved Rookie

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    primary research

    OK, leave Lindsey and Cross out of it.

    Have you tried full poly at low tensions in an open stringbed?

    I have played with a POG OS for the last 3 years. Have tried nearly every possible string and tension combo. Mostly use full poly at 45 lbs. Very spinny. Spinnier than full poly at 60 lbs, which I used to use, or than poly and syn gut at 50 lbs., which I used for about a year.

    I've also strung this racquet with the same poly at 30 lbs. Insane spin. At this tension, the "ball flattens more on any poly at any tension" argument falls apart.

    What's happening?

    At any rate, this is a fascinating question to try to solve. So many variables.
     
  29. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    What's happening? Dwell time. The lower the tension, the greater the dwell time on the strings. More dwell time combined with more flattening of the ball means you can "grab" the ball more and for longer which will result in more spin.
     
  30. daved

    daved Rookie

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    rational coherence

    Your argument is self-contradictory and not rationally coherent.

    Your previous argument was that a stiffer stringbed makes the ball flatten more and this phenomenon results in greater spin.

    Stiffer stringbed = shorter dwell time.

    Your argument here is that softer stringbed creates more spin because of LONGER dwell time.

    These arguments are mutually exclusive.
     
  31. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    The ball reacts the same if its the ball that is stationary or if the racket is stationary. All that matters is the relative velocity between the ball and strings. Higher the velocity more string snap back and more ball deformation. The tests are valid.
    By clamping the racket and only changing the speed of he ball it removes a lot of variables and defines spin potential of different strings.
     
  32. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    No, not contradictory at all.

    You can get more ball flattening by using a very stiff string like poly strung at just about any tension or by using natural gut or a multi strung at very high tensions. Both will give you a stiff stringbed which will result in more ball flattening, and thus, more spin.

    You can also get more spin by increasing the dwell time because the ball stays on the strings longer for you to impart your spin. A stiff stringbed with more dwell time is the best of both worlds because it gives you BOTH more ball flattening AND more dwell time. This can be achieved by stringing a stiff string like poly at very low tensions. It doesn't work as well with natural gut or multis because you have to string them at very high tensions to achieve a stiff stringbed in order to get more ball flattening but then you also get less dwell time.

    Borg didn't have access to modern co-polys so he had to string his natural gut at 85lbs to get the ball flattening he wanted to generate his spin. At the other end of the spectrum, McEnroe strung his natural gut at 45lbs. and still got a decent amount of spin because he relied more on dwell time than on ball flattening to generate his spin. Before the advent of modern poly strings, it was difficult to achieve BOTH more ball flattening AS WELL AS more dwell time. But now with modern poly strings, you can get the double-whammy of BOTH more ball flattening AND more dwell time to help you generate more spin.
     
  33. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Since when is the ball stationary when your opponents is blasting balls at you?

    And the direction and magnitude of the force on the strings is very different when you're swinging your racquet in the vertical plane as fast as you can than when the racquet is clamped and stationary.
     
  34. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I have no idea why you guys argue with BP. It is a waste of time, and who cares if he wants to be wrong all the time. Let him live in his little world.
     
  35. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    The ball is never stationary obviously in real matches. But it is established in experimental methods that during collisions between 2 objects it matters not which object is actually moving. All that matters is the relative velocity between the 2 objects. This is established scientific fact. Anyone who has taken a college physics course in collisions can tell you this.

    If you clamp the racket face at the same angle of impact as a typical modern fh impact angle of a few degree closed it will simulate the collision of a swinging racket. This reproduces an identical repeatable swing and if the ball is launches with the same velocity and impact target on the strings every time then the variables are identical and string type is the only variable. This is why they clamp the racket.

    Also if you can swing the racket at the exact angle of impact and have the exact same relative velocity between incoming ball speed and racket swing speed as the clamped racket experiment the results will be identical.

    Your claims may seem right to you on the surface but the nuts and bolts of the actual physics of collisions does not agree with your assumptions. This again is fact that if a person is given the results of a collision he will not be able to tell the velocities of each object but would only be able to tell the relative velocities of the 2 objects to each other bases on the data.

    I majored in applied physics and math as an undergraduate. A lot of this stuff is forgotten for me but the basic big picture facts like the experimental aspects of collisions is pretty much still fresh in my mind.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  36. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I understand what you're saying. And, yes, I understand basic physics. I have a degree in mechanical engineering and have taken more physics courses than I can count. But they did NOT replicate real-life tennis conditions in those experiments. Think about it. When you swing a racquet vertically at a very high rate of speed brushing up on the back of the ball, you are putting tremendous downward force on the main strings. This fast movement of the racquet/stringbed in a different direction from the incoming ball is not completely replicated in these experiments. All they are doing is shooting balls at 56mph at a fixed stringbed. A typical pro-level groundstroke is probably around 56mph. So they are only accounting for the movement of the ball, but not the movement of the racquet/stringbed.

    This is not a head-on collision between two objects. Here, the two objects are moving in different directions.

    BTW, when you watch super slo-mo videos of pros hitting balls, you will notice that the collision between the stringbed and the ball is much more violent than in the videos of the collisions in these experiments.
     
  37. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    They could I guess move the racket around an axis as well. Or shoot the ball faster. Either way it will simulate the forces on the string bed. Shooting faster would be easier. Your comments do not invalidate the methods though.

    All they need to do is alter the angle of the racket face to accommodate the different swing paths. Remember they only want to replicate one swing. Not all the different ones. As well the typical pro stroke only has a slight upward component I believe from high speed video it is only 10 degrees or so? It is not a steep angle up.

    Obviously they can't analyse this with a real person swinging a racket yet so this is the controlled method for some data. Its good enough for tennis.
     
  38. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    Yet another informative thread made worthless by idiots having a p*ssing contest over the internet. Yet another reason to limit users to 10 posts a day.

    I actually tried playing with the stuff and yes it does seem to keep the strings from moving around. I did notice a tiny bit more spin though that could have been a placebo effect.

    The problem was that it left the silicone on the ball, which resulted in major fluff-up. I mean new balls looked like John McEnroe's hair from 1984 after about 15 minutes of use. And they were standard Penns which don't usually do this when I play with them.

    Very strange.
     
  39. kevin

    kevin New User

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    There is a less messy way. I made a small test using cotton bud to apply silicon at the intersections to an old stringbed of poly main synthetic cross. The result is good and it bring back life to the stringbed. The poly is able to move back straight. And I did not see any significant fluff up.
     
  40. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    I notice today in the stringing room RF requested his frames to be sprayed with silicone.
     
  41. 000KFACTOR90000

    000KFACTOR90000 Professional

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    Sorry, this post in on topic :)

     
  42. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I didn't really think pros did silicon.
     
  43. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I tried it for the 2nd time today on a string bed I only hit with once that I of course sprayed the first time as well. The string movement is definitely much less but still there. Will report back on the 3rd hit.
     
  44. brooker

    brooker New User

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    I was curious about the impact of the spray and have already experimented it twice. I sprayed the strings immediately after my two racquets (PS BLX 6.1 90; both are matched as 363g and 6pt balance) were restrung with Solinco Tour Bite (50x48 for racket 1 and 49x47 for racket 2).

    What I observed and was commented by my hitting partner -- (1) the spin is somewhat more significant and the balls bounced a bit higher (say 5%); (2) the string does not move much as usual (Solinco TB hardly moves even without the spray), and (3) the ball speed is slower. I had a bit problem to hit flat shots.

    My decision -- I will not try it again as I prefer power to spin. I would like to be able to hit a powerful, flat shot when I get a short ball. I also feel that I usually rely more on 1st serve (flat or slice) than my 2nd (kick) serve. The string I am using already gives me plenty of spin.

    Just share my 2c here.
     
  45. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    I feel the same way about poly, actually -- particularly "rough" or "edged" poly -- even tho I play a gut-poly hybrid.

    Spaghetti stringing was banned because it imparted too much spin to the ball.
     
  46. siiva

    siiva New User

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    I love the feel of multis in the mains with syngut in the crosses. I play a lot of doubles, so I like a string bed that is more favorable for net play.

    Never did like how the multis notch up so quickly so I'm trying out some string savers, which will also help them slide better. Then I found this thread and it gave me an idea: Spray the string savers with the silicone spray before installing them! So with the strings sprayed and the savers also sprayed, it should help the multis slide around even further! What do you think?
     
  47. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    I think it'll just help the string savers pop out
     
  48. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    You are probably correct.
     
  49. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Just an update to my silicone experience. I do think there may be just the slightest bit more spin with the spray and it does seem to help with string movement. While I no longer spray before each use, I do spray after a fresh string job just once and seem to get the same benefits I did spraying before every match.
     
  50. treo

    treo Rookie

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    I've been using Finish Line teflon dry lube on my strings with good results. It lasts longer than silicone. I'm not looking for more spin, just longer lasting strings since I'm using syn gut. Syn gut without lube gets crooked and when you straighten them it makes that cracking sound. That high friction is what makes them break so fast. With this teflon lube, the strings snap back, notching is reduced and no cracking sounds.

    I found an easy way to apply the lube using a shoe polish applier. It's a little bottle with a sponge on top. When you press the sponge against your shoe it releases the polish. I press my finger against the sponge, let it soak with lube and rub it on the strings. Then I work the mains and crosses back and forth to get the lube into the intersections. Then I wipe off the excess or it will make the balls greasy. The lube will be good for a couple of hours.
     

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