Swinging to hard with gut mains?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by NLBwell, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I've played most of my tennis life with Kevlar and in the past few years have played a lot with polys. I've strung up a couple rackets with ToughGut/poly hybrids. What I find is that oftentimes I swing at/hit the ball too hard with the gut strings. I'm used to the kevlar or poly pancaking the ball - crushing the ball in - when I hit it. With gut, it doesn't really do that, it takes the ball, absorbs the ball, and then shoots it back without crushing into the surface of the ball. Of course, this is easier on my arm, which is a major reason I use the gut.
    The problem is that I am used to the pancaking of the ball and tend to keep swinging harder and harder to induce that feeling at impact. I end up driving the ball at my practice partner so hard he can't return it when really I am only intending to have a nice practice rally.
    Anyone else tend to swing too hard with the gut strings? How long did it take to get used to it and were you able to switch back and forth from gut mains to poly mains and back successfully?
     
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  2. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    You have to use more spin with the gut. Nothing will give the same control as kevlar, especially nat. gut.
     
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  3. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    I think some adjustment to your swing may be in order if you're going for acute angles, but if the ball stays in, there's nothing wrong with your swing. It stands to reason your shots may have more pace due to switching from kevlar to gut, but if the increase in pace (and mind you, if it were really extreme I'd think the balls would be flying on ya) is such that your partner can't handle it, I don't see how it's your problem.
     
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  4. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    There's definitely an adjustment when you go from poly to gut. You have to generate more of the spin yourself, and there's no way around it. Once you get used to it, it's fine. Personally, I think poly is best for pros who can switch racquets after every set. Poly does have great spin initially, but it loses it after a few hours.
     
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  5. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    It's more that I don't realize that I'm hitting so hard because I don't feel like I'm hitting hard unless the strings are flattening the ball out. Yes, they are still going in (at least about the usual amount) because I am getting a lot of spin with the setup, but it is not very nice or useful if we are trying to practice certain things.
     
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  6. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I know what you mean because I went through that myself. If you have a powerful racquet, it's possible that a less powerful frame would help. Eventually, practice has made me a better player, but it doesn't happen overnight.
     
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  7. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    If you're swinging the same way you did with Kevlar it sounds like you need to learn how to temper the pace on your shots. Simply put, employ better control, which in your case should be a byproduct of hitting more, getting used to the characteristics of gut.
     
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  8. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    String gut 10 lbs tighter than your current gut.
     
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  9. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I'm already at 62lbs (Pacific ToughGut) - I think I'll string the poly at 62 also next time, I strung it at 58.
     
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  10. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    Go tighter on your tension, you will get more control and less power from the stringbed.
     
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  11. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    58lbs is already pretty high for a poly, I've noticed once you string them above 60ish pounds, they feel dead off the bat. Albeit you did play with Kevlar so it probably won't bother you, but if arm safety is a concern here I'd definitely be a bit wary.

    I know that feeling of gut really not pancaking the ball though, it takes a little while to get used to the feel. (To be totally honest, Gut/poly is the only gut I can tolerate in the mains. Full gut drives me up the wall.)

    -Fuji
     
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  12. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    I've found that the poly plays best at or below 52lbs. Anything over and it's absolute garbage.
     
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  13. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    For me it depends on the string pattern and head size. If I'm playing with a tweener with a open pattern I'll string poly in @55ish give or take. Dense patterns are almost never higher than 50 for me.

    -Fuji
     
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  14. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I was trying to keep the poly as low as possible and the gut as high as possible without so much of a difference that it endangered the racket. Started at 60/56, then 62/58. Since by that point, I'm making the poly dead, maybe I should just not worry about it and just accept the deadness and string the poly high.
     
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  15. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Not sure what racquet you use but I string gut mains at 58lbs and poly crosses at 52lbs and I have not seen any issues with warping. I find if you string poly too close in tension to natural gut, it does make it feel dead plus you don't get the maximum benefit of this wonderful combination.
     
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  16. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    If you want the same pancaking feeling, you need to string the guy at least in the 70s. But having the poly in similar tensions would kill most arms.

    Either go full gut, go back to kevlar, or get used to the new feeling.
     
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