Question for Kevlar users

Discussion in 'Strings' started by jason586, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I played Kevlar for the first time last week (Ashaway Kevlar 17 at 50lbs / OGSM syn gut at 56lbs) in a Vantage 95" 16 x19. I like the control, consistency, and the fact that it is playing well 25 hours after stringing. What I do not like is rallying at the baseline in singles and not having enough pop and spin to put pressure like I could with a full bed of fresh poly. Obviously, I can not get the same power in a Kevlar hybrid as fresh full poly; so my question is what to try next as far as tension and cross string to add more power AND spin to a Kevlar main than the hybrid I am currently using.

    I have a 2nd vantage 95" with the same specs that I want to string.
    So those of you who have experimented and have personal experience with Kevlar, how much difference will I get in spin and power by dropping the tension and going to a poly cross
    FROM: Ashaway Kevlar 17 at 50lbs / OGSM syn gut at 56lbs............TO: Ashaway Kevlar 17 at 42 lbs / a POLY cross at 48 lbs?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
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  2. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I would suggest changing the x's to a poly. I use yonex poly tour spin as a x's with gamma power play kevlar main and it plays very well. Adding poly as a x's adds more spin and power to kevlar.
     
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  3. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I am planning on using a poly cross, but I believe polys have less power than syn guts in general. So, I would assume a Kevlar/Poly hybrid would have less power than a Kevlar/SynGut hybrid at the SAME TENSION which is why I am planning on dropping the tension as well?

    So, I'm wondering from those who have tried personally - how big a difference will an 8 lb drop in tension + changing to a poly cross make, and will it still retain the same control?
     
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  4. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Kevlar has no power, even at low tension. I find more power with syn gut than poly. I see from your other thread that you are trying to get a ton of hours out of a kevlar string job but poly in the crosses will die quickly, and when it dies you'll be left with either an ultra dead string job or depending on the poly, it may also be super harsh. If there was a string that had spin, power, and lasted forever we'd all be using it. A strining machine + reels is the way to go for someone who plays a lot and wants performance while keeping costs down.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
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  5. txt858

    txt858 Rookie

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    If you want more power, poly crosses is not the way to go. If anything, I say lower the tension on the main (kevlar) to about 45lbs or 40lbs and either keep the cross (syn gut) at 57lbs or maybe 55lbs. Let the cross do more of the impact and trampolining affect. The crosses is where you will get your power.

    And if you can handle the additional weight, add some lead tape at 12 o'clock or at 3 & 9 o'clock, then you will see/feel the power dramatically.
     
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  6. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    I've experimented a lot with kevlar. It is so stiff that you can easily play it at 40 lbs, and it will still be low powered. While poly crosses will enhance spin, you still will have low power.

    Like someone else said, there is no magic setup that will have extreme durability as well as great playability. Every string setup has a trade-off... but... I will say, if you try poly crosses and string the setup LOW, like 35/40, you may like it.

    Poly at low tension will open up some power, and still have more control than a syn gut at 50. The kevlar main will reign in that power. Poly crosses do allow the kevlar mains to slide around and that will help spin dramatically.

    I've even strung kevlar/poly at 22 lbs, it had monster spin and the control was still decent, but flat directionality was a bit erratic. Power still low, compared to a full poly. Kevlar/gut is nice too, at around 40/45, that had as much power as you can get with kevlar... but the kevlar shreds the gut crosses, so there goes your durability.

    Start perhaps with Kevlar/poly (use a softer, power poly like PS Energy), and do 40m/45c. This way you will see each side of the extreme, and can tweak it back in the direction you want, more or less. You'll be surprised how low power kevlar is, even at 40 lbs. I also find kevlar *immensely* more comfy by dropping into the 30s-40s.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
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  7. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I understand Kevlar is the lowest power string, but I like everything about it except for the power. I will probably move back to full poly beds just due to the lack of power with a Kevlar Main, but I want to first try Kevlar with a poly cross at the tension that will give me the most power that Kevlar can give without sacrificing the control Kevlar gives.
    A) Is 40lbs Kevlar Main and 45 Poly Cross the answer for my attempt of a Kevlar/Poly Hybrid????
    B) Also, I thought I had 17 gauge Ashaway Kevlar, but I think I actually have 16 gauge. Does 18 gauge Kevlar have more power than 16 gauge Kevlar???


    I believe there are magic set ups, but that a magic set up for one person will not be the same magic for another due to playing style, skill level, racquet, etc.
    That being said, I clearly understand that there is no string or string hybrid that has the best of everything.

    Kevlar positives (main reasons people use it):
    1) Control - I like the control of Kevlar.
    2) Durability - I like the durability of Kevlar.
    3) Consistent playability until it breaks - I like the consistent playability for Kevlar.
    4) Long Lasting Spin - I like the long lasting spin of Kevlar.

    Kevlar Negatives (main reasons not used):
    1) Hard on the arm - I have no issue of pain with Kevlar(so far).
    2) Boardy Feel - I have no issue with the feel of Kevlar.
    3) Less Spin (vs Fresh Poly) - I like the insane spin of fresh poly, but that is not a deal breaker for me.
    4) Lack of Power - This is the only reason I am not 100% with Kevlar.

    I had one Vantage strung with Genesis Black Magic at 56lbs/Multi at 60lbs and the other with the Ashaway Kevlar at 50 lbs/OGSM at 56lbs.
    With both beds fairly new the fresh poly hybrid had more spin even with a multi cross. Now that there is about 8 hours on the poly hybrid stick the Kevlar hybrid definitely has more spin (but still less power). You can still really feel the Kevlar biting into the ball when you add extra spin on a forehand or kick serve even after 25+ hours on the string.
     
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  8. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    I liked kevlar better when it was strung low, around 40lbs and I had it strung with a syn gut cross. I used 18ga, can't imagine using 16ga kevlar.

    Keep in mind when choosing your poly cross and tension that you have polys like CoFocus that become looser as it ages until it becomes a net, and those that keep getting tighter like Silverstring.
     
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  9. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    a) I think 40 kevlar / 45 poly will help you get closer to your answer. It may be great.
    b) a thinner gauge will definitely add some power and also help in the spin and feel departments. Since it's kevlar, durability is still great. I personally enjoyed Gamma's 19g Fusion TNT kevlar string. It is perhaps the softest kevlar you can find. Another option (half the price) is Forten Ultra Thin.

    I also agree that kevlar will provide more spin, especially over time (poly was made to be a short-lived string, it's amazing in the first few hours, and ok for a few after that, and usually after 10, 12, etc it's lost its luster. Higher level you go, the less time you have for that luster).

    The issue as you stated with kevlar is that extremely lower power. It can create a lot of spin, but the kind that can sit up and be put away and not quite the *heavy penetrating spin* that you can get with poly. But, once you dial into the low power, you may get used to feel of the string, and through increased confidence, be able to hit harder and get a penetrating ball as well with kevlar.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
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  10. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    You need to try gamma power play, it has more power than other kevlar strings.
     
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  11. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Also a great choice.

    Gamma's kevlar/aramid strings are definitely among the softest of the kevlar family. Crossed with a lively, soft poly, and you should be able to find the blend of control/spin/power/durability that you are looking for. For those who may think kevlar/poly sounds like a setup made to break elbows, strung at reasonable tensions it is actually not as crazy as it sounds. Full ALU@45 to me is less forgiving to the arm than {Gamma TNT aramid 19/PS Energy 17 @ 40/45}
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
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  12. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Playing with this 16G Kevlar main for about 2 weeks has me leary about the being able to create enough pop with Kevlar, but you both point to the same answer to my lack of power problem
    => 18 gauge + lowering tension to 40/45ish with a soft poly.

    That could definitely be my answer and something that is cost effective if it adds enough power for me. I just searched online, and 18 gauge Gamma Power Play can be had for $4.95 which would be only $2.50 per main. Unfortunately - shipping is more than the string itself when buying only 1 set, and I do not want to buy more than one at this point until I know if it will work for me.


    Do either of you have a half set of 18 gauge kevlar to trade?


     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
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  13. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I switched to Ashaway 16/ALU Rough at 70# after string life of full ALU at 70# became too much to bear.

    Then the Kevlar blend broke all my racquets, so now I am using BBO/ALU Rough at 50#, and I like it, even though it took some getting used to.

    I was breaking the full ALU in about an hour, the Kevlar/ALU in 3-5 hours, and now break the BBO/ALU in 1-3 hours.

    J
     
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  14. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I don't have an extra half set, but you can buy it from ******* because for some reason TW does not carry it. There it is $6 a set with shipping at $6.99, but if you buy some other string it would be worth it. I advise yonex poly tour spin as a cross with the power play main, this is a great combo. I string mine at 58 lbs. on the mains with the x's at 63 lbs.
     
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  15. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Damn J you are a bad ass breaking that kind of string in that short of time.
     
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  16. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Now if only I could figure out how to get my serve in the *%&^% box when someone was keeping score I would be all set lol.

    J
     
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  17. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Thanks for your help.
    I'm definitely going to try 18 gauge Kevlar mains next. I have a 1/2 set of Black Magic 17 I will try for the crosses as I thought it was too soft as a poly main. That should give me a good idea if Kevlar is going to work for me long term or not.
    Since I'm going thinner gauge, I think I will string only 5 pounds lower (instead of 10) with the Kevlar at 45 and the BM at 50. If I can not get enough power increase from that set up, I think I will be done experimenting with Kevlar. Hopefully, this will be just what I'm looking for.

     
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  18. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^ For what it is worth, you get more pop out of Kevlar the tighter you string it.

    If you are hurting for power, string it tighter.

    J
     
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  19. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Really??? I am hurting for a bit more power, and the Kevlar does not bother my arm so far. But really tighter is more power - why is this???

    If I want to figure out if I can get enough power out of Kevlar before moving back to full poly, what would you suggest as the most powerful kevlar (main only) set up and tension???
    I notice you play with 16 ga, but have you tried thinner kevlar?? Did it give you more power/pop???

     
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  20. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I agree I am stringing mine between 58-60 lbs.
     
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  21. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Two reasons actually.

    Kevlar has no elasticity. Normal strings are better at absorbing and returning energy than the ball is, so stringing them looser allows them to absorb more of the impact, returning more of the impact. Kevlar is worse at absorbing and returning energy than the ball, so you want to string it tighter to make the ball absorb more of the impact.

    The second reason is that because the Kevlar has no stretch to it, once it loosens up a bit it just flops around in the stringbed doing nothing, so when you string it loose it feels great for a little while, then turns to crap. By stringing the entire bed tighter, it hangs in there a bit longer because it is tighter to begin with, and has the tighter cross to back it up.

    J
     
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  22. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    That makes sense, I guess I'll go 5 pounds higher instead - 55lbs Kevlar 18 / 60ish Genesis Black Magic 17???
    This will also test to see if my arm can handle Kevlar if the tension has to be high to get additional power/pop.
    For maximum power out of a Kevlar bed, do you still tension the cross about 5 lbs higher with a poly???

     
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  23. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I strung them the same, but I strung at 70#.

    If anything I would string the Kevlar mains 2# tighter than the poly crosses. No reason to string a poly cross tighter than a Kevlar main.

    J
     
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  24. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Wow, don't know if I'll go to 70. Maybe Kev 18 Main 60 / BM 58.

    Thanks for the help. What level do you play to break this tough string so often?
    I hit hard compared to the 4.0 guys I play, but today I saw a couple college guys (5.5ish) playing a set. It was a whole different world than 4.0 or 4.5.

     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
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  25. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Tough question since guys who are by definition 6.0 play 5.0 USTA leagues here.

    I played two seasons of 5.0 and there were guys in there who recently graduated DI All Ivy or had ATP points in the past.

    Got bumped down to 4.5 from playing injured (stupid pride), but will likely go back up to 5.0 after this season if I play singles.

    I have been as high as #3 in Eastern men's open, 100 something national men's open despite my generally crappy showing in tournaments.

    I am more of a practice court hero than match player, I can practice with anyone up to low level ATP guys.

    There are a couple videos of me floating around, I will try to take another one in the next couple of weeks if my illegitimate brother/son gets over his hangover.

    J
     
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  26. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    That is impressive; I really wish I would have played tennis seriously in my younger years to get to that level of play. I fell for golf instead.
    The 4.0 guys around here seem to be mostly true 4.0s, but the 4.5s start to be previous (and even some current) college players who are tall and have massive angle advantages over my 5'8" self + years and years of experience with the sport.
    I've been playing about 16 months, and my goal was to play quality 4.5 by the end of this year but did not make it. Ultimate goal for myself is to play 5.0, but I have 4 daughters (ages 2, 3.5, 5, 6.5 - 2 lefties and 2 righties); and the the oldest is starting to enjoy tennis. They are at the courts with my wife and I for 10 hours a week; so my efforts, research, and time is being passed on to them.
    Your reply reminded me that I really need to get another video recorder that I can set up on a tripod to record myself at the courts.


     
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  27. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    I read from a stringer that he uses Kevlar and syn gut -that you string syn gut 10lbs higher than Kevlar,,e.g. Mains Kevlar 41/ syn gut 51, etc, so your string bed is not totally taken over by Kevlar.
    I going to string one up Kevlar mains/syn gut crosses at low tension and check it out.
     
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  28. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    has anyone tried the new ashaway kevlar+ ?
     
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  29. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I've been searching around Google and TT, and I can not find anyone reviewing it?
    I like the description of it by Ashaway. It seems like it would have more power from the regular Ashaway Kevlar which is what I'm after. It only comes in the 1.25, but with more power that may work for me with a soft poly cross.
    The more I read reviews and comments about the 1.10 Kevlar, the more I think it will not have the durability I am wanting. I do not understand why Ashaway goes from (16) 1.30 to (17) 1.25, then jumps all the way down to 1.10 in the 18 gauge. Seems like they should have a 1.20 or at least 1.15 Kevlar.

     
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  30. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    I think you have the gist of it from the other replies. J011y has the most experience with kevlar of the players that I know.

    I've played the 60# Ashaway/Alu combo and it was fun while it lasted. He's right with the tension on the kevlar but what he didn't mention is that it is assuming that your arm can hold up to it. J plays with a 14+oz? frame with silicone which mitigates a lot of the impact. In a regular frame, a setup that high will feel like a board. You have to swing the crap out of the frame to get the strings to bend.

    Currently I'm experimenting with Wilson Hyperlast mains (A smooth Aramid blend) and poly crosses at #48. The feel is solid and the control is nice but you won't find that extra power you're craving. You'll have to supply it yourself! As was mentioned above, there are always tradeoffs with everything.

    If you don't have issues with durability, drop the gauge of the kevlar a bit. Two strings I'd give a shot are PolyStar Energy-- rather lively but soft, and Adrenaline-- it's the faux Alu that won't hurt your wallet. (If you have the budget, go for the full Alu.) Between these two you'll get a full spectrum.
     
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  31. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    I also find this true. Also, since I started playing again this is the first winter I've had kevlar since I was 18 many moons ago. Cold didn't seem to bother me then but tight kevlar and temps in the 40s-50s makes it very jarring. I say string lower as the temps drop. I've found the 18g to hold tension a little better than the 17g, which is very weird.

    See this for other kevlar etc info. The 17g loses something like 28lbs of tension.

    http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2012/01/string_selector_2012.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
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  32. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Well, the 16 ga Ashaway Kevlar main broke yesterday; I thought the OGSM cross would be the first to go. It happened during a match with a 5.0 friend who doesn't take it easy on me. I finally got my first games off him (lost 6-2, 6-1 - every other time, he double-bageled me). I had him 40-15 in 3 other games as well but blew it. He mentioned afterwards that my strokes are really continuing to improve, and he notice a big difference even since our last match a month ago.

    I noticed the Kevlar was much more useful in this match before it broke in the 2nd set. I was redirecting his pace instead of having to create so much of my own pace when playing slower hitting players. One problem mentioned is happening to me which is Kevlar being hard on the grommets. I have 4 broken grommets now when I had zero with poly and hybrids for several months before this. On a positive, I had zero wrist or shoulder pain for 50+ hours that I used the Kevlar compared to the small pains I was getting playing dead poly. The stringbed was stiff and low powered, but it was definitely not hard on my arm.
    Between the broken grommets and lack of power, I'm not sure I will stick with Kevlar. I definitely do not want Kevlar to break my racquets like jolly did, but I will still likely try a thinner gauge Kevlar in the main with a softer poly cross.
     
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