What String Combo to use for 100+ hours a month of play/practice - Kevlar???

Discussion in 'Strings' started by jason586, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    What String Combo to use for 100+ hours a month of play/practice - Kevlar Mains???

    I started tennis and have been playing and practicing 100+ hours a month for the last 15 months and am looking to change away from full poly which is what I play most of the time.
    In general, I like a firmer poly from costly LUX BB to the cheaper Gosen Polylon.

    To start I have a stringer to use at no cost approximately once a month.
    Looking for thoughts on the most economical and best playing string combo that retains its playing characteristics the longest since I'm practicing and playing 100+ hours a month.
    I've been using full poly between 52-58lbs depending on how soft a poly it is for 80+ hours at which point it breaks. I end up playing 60+ hours with dead poly.
    I understand this will not the best for my arm long term and the playing characteristics suffer after about 10-20 hours with the full beds of poly.
    I recently read every thread on TT on kevlar and am thinking that could be an answer as I am not lacking in the power department.
    What I am thinking is:
    1) Kevlar should not be more harmful to the arm than 60+ hours of dead poly?
    2) Kevlar playing characteristics should be better over 80 hours of play than poly?
    3) Kevlar should give the spin I'm used to with full poly but without the dramatic dropoff?
    4) Kevlar should be at least as control oriented as poly?

    I'm thinking I will try 48lbs mains - 17ga Ashway Kevlar (which I have on the way), and 55 lbs crosses - 16 ga OGSM Syn Gut.
    If the Kevlar does not bother me with the SG cross, I may try a poly cross like polylon.
    My racquets are:
    Vantage 100" / 11.6 strung / 6 HL strung / 63ra / 16x19
    Vantage 95" / 11.9 strung / 9HL strung / 70ra / 16 x 19
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
    #1
  2. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    If you play that much I would get a string machine and buy a 200m of a cheap poly and retring myself like once a week:D. probably not more expensive than having strung kevlar once a month.
     
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  3. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Here is the problem with kevlar. It in itself is plenty durable, however, your cross string is not. You will pop that hybrid faster than your full poly. More importantly, no, MOST importantly, if you are not breaking full poly after literally 100hrs, then you really are not playing at a high enough level yet to warrant its use. If this is the case, then the string for you is natural gut without a shadow of a doubt. Kevlar is simply tough, and that's about it. It loses the most tension of any string type out there which is due primarily to its stiffness. Natural gut, however, does not. It will have an initial tension drop and then settle there for almost its entire life. If you're not popping poly after 10 hours (and have no means of restringing), let alone 10x that, you don't need to be using it.
     
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  4. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    100+ hours a month of tennis?

    Even a top regional junior with special schooling arrangements doesn't play that amount of tennis. Somehow I can't imagine a beginner playing 100+ hours of tennis a month for the last 15 months.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
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  5. Logic Dude

    Logic Dude New User

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    More than three hours a day every day for more than a year? Wow, what are you training for?
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think he means "at the courts" time.
    Still, how many strings have your broken in the 15 months of tennis? If less than 5 sets, don't worry about getting durable strings.
     
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  7. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    ^^^I'm tellin you, 16g natural gut and be done with it.
     
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  8. BlxTennis

    BlxTennis Rookie

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    I agree. I am using Supra Main Iontec cross and I have this set up since around July and lost track after counting 30+ hours and it is still going strong. I used to break Multi every 2 weeks. Since Supra is out of stock for so long, I will try Pacific when the current set up breaks.
     
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  9. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    I'm a fairly high ranked junior with special schooling arrangements.... And I can confirm what you are saying.... I'm playing at least 2 hours every day and I don't even hit 90 hours a month. So, this guy should just buy a cheap stringing machine. End of story...
     
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  10. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I actually do more than 100 hours a month; it was a round figure I used. I practice and play Monday through Saturday for about 3-4 hours per day and play at night as well on Tuesday and Thursday about 3 hours. I enjoy the sport and am a bit obsessive! I am 37 and semi-retired, so I have a lot of time and have enjoyed the challenge of becoming a quality tennis player. I currently play mostly against 4.0s and win as much as I lose, but I have yet to beat a legit 4.5 although I've come close. My goal was to play quality 4.5 tennis by the end of the year, but I did not quite make it.
    I am strongly considering buying a $169 gamma stringer, but I am currently waiting as I have a friend who is likely going to sell me his better machine ($700 gamma ST) for next to nothing but not until this coming summer, so I am in a waiting period on a machine.
    I mostly use 1.25mm full poly at 55lbs and it takes approximately 3 weeks to break which is about 80ish hours. I've broken approximately 20 sets of strings in the 15 months of playing. I recently tried some Black Magic I had with a multi cross on two frames, and the multi frayed and broke in 3 days on one and 4 days on the other (lasted about 12-15 hours on each racquet). I hit about as hard a forehand with topspin as anyone I play around including a couple of friends who are 5.0 teaching pros, but not all my time is spent hitting forehands as it is my strength. I spend a lot of time working on my two-handed backhand, volleys, backhand slice, 2nd serves, etc.

    I do have some Kevlar on the way from a string trade, so I will at least try it out especially after reading some of the positive experiences such as travlerjam. I would think with a firmer 16 ga SG like OGSM, it should last the 3-4 weeks that full poly would but with better playing characteristics over that length of time.
    Once I get a stringer of my own, I am also strongly considering the Discho Ionic Reels for $69 which ends up being only $4 per set as I've read all the good about the string on TT. I like a firmer string bed, so I think the Hexa would be the one for me?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
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  11. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    GOOD FOR YOU!!!
     
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  12. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Something does not add up in that situation. 80 hours to break 1.25 full poly setup at 4.0 level... Maybe you need to work a little more on your technique and worry a little less about how much hours you play or how long your strings last. Even with moderate power and spin you should break strings in like half of that time, and your arm should start hurting long before that. Or maybe it's not 4.0 level play/practice after all.
     
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  13. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    ^^^As I said. I do not hit an enormous ball, but I can notch my way through a 1.25mm poly in 10-15 hours easily. The string is dead after 6-8 or the cross has snapped, however. OP, what do your strokes look like? Lots of spin? Flat hitting? If you're a flat hitter, then poly is not the string for you.
     
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  14. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    If you are going to reply with worthless commentary, you should take the time to read a post more thoroughly. One sentence in my post negates half of what you said.

    "Maybe you need to work a little more on your technique and worry a little less about how much hours you play or how long your strings last."
    Common sense would tell an intelligent person that the limited number of times I post about strings or equipment in a 15 month time period, I play and practice A LOT more than I worry about my strings.

     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
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  15. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Fairly heavy spin. I do not know anyone who goes breaks firm poly in 10 hours? I usually end up snapping a main towards the top of the racquet though, almost never a cross on full poly? I went through a full bed of PLII in about 8 days which was probably about 30ish hours though, and as I mentioned my poly main/multi cross string jobs only lasted 3-4 days. I know several 3.5 players guys not restringing for over a year with full poly and no breakage, and they all play with topspin (although more moderate topspin that I play with).
    I have a very basic recording function on my digital camera and will try to get some video if that would help.

     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
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  16. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    Typical.

    OP is asking for String recommendation and not even ten posts later thread deteriorates into criticizing OP's technique/ability/mental state.

    Just sayin'.
     
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  17. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Agreed, if I would read your post more thoroughly, I would have noticed that you are using stiff 16x19 frame. Which makes me wonder even more, especially with all the exercises that you highlighted (they involve repetetive hitting, right?).

    It's all just... confusing
     
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  18. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    just get a stringing machine and string your own racquets. A reel of any poly less than $100 is all you need. Since you go through strings so often, have 3 or 4 of the same racquet, all strung with same string and rotate them for even wear.
     
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  19. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    No it's not typical. You don't see questions like that every day. 100 hours per month 4.0 training with 80 hours on full poly... I remember another thread when someone was going through kevlar/poly setup in just few hours, and that was puzzling too
     
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  20. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Not really, considering the life of polyester is literally 1/10 of the amount of time he's using it.
     
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  21. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    10-15hrs until poly breakage is not unusual. Mine usually occurs due to my serve and FH. This is why I don't use full poly and prefer to hybrid. If i can pop the cross in 8 hours, why waste my fave poly string if it'll break only after it's dead? With full bed anything, I only break mains. With hybrids, I only break crosses.

    Keep in mind that I'm not knocking your ability. What I am saying is that even poly will break if you're hitting a big enough ball. If after 80-100hrs you have not broken it, you aren't getting the benefits of poly. I promise you that you'll see the same amount of spin with full natural gut AND it will play better for longer.
     
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  22. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I am sorry if my situation is confusing, but it is what it is. I am the only person I know who is this excessive in their hours of tennis play, but I do play and practice 100+ hours a month and love it. I have always done what others say can not be done from graduating college in 2 years (statistics) to becoming a scratch golfer to buying a movie theater at age 25 to being completely debt free in my late 20's to retiring at age 30. Now my obsession is tennis, and I'm having a great time trying to get to 5.0 as I've read that it is an extremely small percentage chance to get there if you start tennis in your 30's. I'm not on here asking questions with exaggerated numbers/claims that do not relate to me to waste my time. What would be the point as the answers received would be inaccurate and skewed by the wrong initial information given.

    1) I have been playing tennis for about 15 months, and I have moved up to playing solid 4.0 tennis with a hard forehand with fairly heavy topspin and mediocre two-handed backhand that mostly just keeps me in a point. 100 mph 1st serve, decent 2nd kick serve that I keep deep in the box. I only come to the net on short balls.
    2) Poly main with multi cross lasts me about 12ish hours until the cross breaks.
    3) I play 100+ hours a month and full poly bed usually lasts me about 3 weeks until a main breaks. Of course....the playing characteristics suffer after the first 10ish hours of play, but so far I have just dealt with playing dead poly.

    The questions is: What to do about getting longer quality playing characteristics with the excessive amount of time I spend on the courts without having to spend a lot and having to restring every few days???
    *The only answer has been to buy a stringer and string once a week. Is that the only answer to the excessive amount of time I spend on the courts?

    Also, I talked to the pro who strings a lot of the racquets around here and has been stringing for 20+ years. He said almost none of the 3.5, 4.0 and rarely the 4.5 guys are breaking their full poly beds in 10 hours especially on a 95" frame regardless of being 16x19. He said there is a 5.5 college player who breaks full poly BHB7 every other day though.

    Everyone can question it all they want, but it is what it is. Full poly lasts me about 3 weeks, and I play over 100 hours a month.
    I have a pair of the 100" and a pair of the 95" Vantages. One of each has broken strings, and my Ashaway Kevlar string trade came in today. So, I am going to try it in each stick to see for myself how it plays. Maybe it will be the joy of my life like travelerjam. If not, my next step will likely be the $69 Iontec reels from Mamba. I'll probably order a couple of the single sets to try first though.

     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
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  23. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Again, you do not read thoroughly and assume too much. I said I play 100+ hours a month and play 4.0 tennis - not 100 hours per month of 4.0 training. In the beginning I had plenty of people to play competitively with because I was new to the game. But with my hours on the court, I have quickly become better than many in my area, so I have fewer people to challenge me. So, I work on what I can with whomever I am playing or practicing with which unfortunately is slowing my progress a bit as most seem to be 3.5 where I'm at.
     
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  24. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Thank you - that is all I'm asking. Just trying to give enough info so that there is a good point of reference - not to argue the point of reference.

     
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  25. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I've read extensively many natural gut threads on TT. The Mamba stuff seems to get pretty mixed reviews although the customer service seems great, and I'm not wanting to spend $80-100/month on string (2 sets or 80' x $35-40 quality gut + 2 sets or 80' of poly for crosses) which is what I have the costs estimated if I go through it every week over about 25-30 hours of tennis.
    If I break poly main/multi cross in 12ish hours, I estimate that I would break gut main/poly cross in about 25-30ish hours???

     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
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  26. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    My friend, you do not need to be defensive. I've already said numerous times now to try natural gut. Yes, it is expensive, and if you don't have a stringer, it's the best performance value. Kevlar may last and last, but if you're not breaking poly, then I see no reason to switch from it to something more uncomfortable.

    As far as breakage goes, I have 3 frames waiting to be done: a kblade 98 with popped RPM blast, another blade 98 (this past generation) with popped full ALU and a microgel radical with popped SPPP. These are all players I hit with on our club team. Heck, I used to string for one of my professors, and he and his daughter would pop full Big Ace every few weeks. Breaking poly is not that unusual. The only point that I'm trying to make is that if you're not breaking it after 100 hours, then it's not the best string type for you. The added spin is gone after that first 8-10 hours once the string is dead.

    edit: my defensive comment does not apply, I started writing this post this afternoon and just now finished it haha
     
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  27. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I am not defensive toward you but another poster. As I mentioned in each post I made, I completely understand that I lose the benefits of poly after about 10 hours and I fully feel it when playing but have just dealt with it until now. Next I tried poly in the mains as a hybrid, and I am not OK with how short a time the crosses last. I strung all 4 of my racquets to last me a month, and now I have 3 broken crosses in only 12 days.
    I am ready to move past playing dead poly, but poly/multi was not the answer due to durability. I also didn't care for how it played versus full poly with reduced spin as the multi seems to not let the mains move well. I think I even like dead poly better than poly/multi except the dead poly does wear on my wrist and shoulder (no elbow issues though).

    As I mentioned, I do have a stringer that I can use at no cost about once a month, and I know how to string my own racquets and have done so about 15 times.
    The reason I was thinking to move to Kevlar was that I have read over various threads that the good spin playing characteristics last much longer with Kevlar than with poly. So maybe Kevlar would play well for maybe 25 hours versus only 10 hours for poly - even as the tension drops.
    My question probably never comes up because anyone who plays close to as much as me probably is younger and sponsored or gets free strings/stringing from their college, etc. I'm just trying to get the best playing characteristics for the least costs, since I do not get my strings for free and do play excessively. Just because I have money does not mean I am not careful with what I spend. In fact, I have money in large part because I am careful with what I spend.

    I do appreciate your suggestions and attempts to help - thank you.

     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
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  28. pheonix6579

    pheonix6579 Semi-Pro

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    1.25mm poly? if durability is the only factor, why not go with a 1.30 poly or maybe a 15 gauge poly (whoa my arm just got a paint after typing that).

    Also, just a thought, if you got a stringer that you could use anytime you could keep a fresh set in your frames. If you are working on really improving your game your not getting the most out of your training if your playing with overly dead poly, your just inching your way toward injury (maybe not now but over time). Kinda like it's a bad idea to practice serve with really dead balls.
     
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  29. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Okay, then let's just try this common sense approach: what are you wanting? Are you simply wanting durability and nothing more? If so, then kevlar is for you. I like to call these pick 2 of 3 situations. We have playability, durability and cost. Multifilaments are very playable and typically inexpensive, but don't last. NG is very playable with better durability than anything but poly and kevlar, but is costly. Kevlar is durable and cheap but with the least playability. Poly is a different kind of the playability and cost analogy, as its durability is defined in terms of hours until death. Kevlar, as I said previously, has the worst tension loss of any string out there. Natural gut has the best. Poly has pretty decent tension stability but then eventually dies. Once it's dead, however, it doesn't get worse. It simply stays bad. Of those three options, which is the one that you are most willing to live with?

    In my personal view, if you're playing this often, you're likely trying to improve. If this is the case, kevlar is NOT the string for you as it provides extremely little feedback and encourages using far more muscle than is necessary with any other string type. All of the kevlar converts I string for initially think that all other strings are simply cannons when in fact it's that Kevlar doesn't even have a fuse. Most importantly, which is what phoenix alluded to, is that if you're working on getting better, you NEED consistent strings. Restringing regularly as you're steadily improving is unfortunately part of the sport once you get to a certain level. It's akin to using the same set of balls for 100hrs while honing your strokes.
     
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  30. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    OK, now I think I understand better. Like pvaudio suggested, if you are on such a strict training regimen you've got to take wholistic approach. Forget string durability, go for what is safer for your arm and more effective for your game. Dead poly will wreck your arm AND your game. I've been there done that (re: Gosen Polylon that never breaks). There is no easy/cheap way around. I'm sorry but 100 hours per string job is a ridiculous idea for serious player like you, developing heavy top spin strokes and 100+ mph serve. Natural gut / poly or better yet, full natural gut is just what doctor ordered for someone on tennis courts 3 hours per day, trying to improve to 4.5 level. When you get your own stringer you can experiment with full poly setups and trust me, then you will restring every 5 to 8 hours max to get the desired performance and comfort out of full poly.
     
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  31. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    I think the Iontec is a good idea.
    The Hexa is firm.
    Try the reg Iontec Salmon(earthworm) before buying a reel of Hexa.
    Stay with the full poly, get a machine, and restring the Iontec as needed.

    Playing the bejeezus out of a poly until it breaks in 3 weeks is not the same as a rec player that leaves the poly in for a year because it didn't break.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
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  32. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    If the poly is giving you 80 hours before it breaks and you don't mind dead poly for your arm or the decreased performance, sticking with the poly is fine - I myself wouldn't do it because of arm worries.
    I like kevlar stringbeds and have tried most of the pre-packaged sets with the syngut crosses. They last a long time and perform well if you are used to them. I really like ToughGut crosses at higher expense, but more comfortable and more feel, spin, and power. I wore through the kevlar before the gut broke.
    Also, I don't understand why people think 100+ hours a week is outrageous. If you don't have a job and you want to improve, why would you practice less than 4 hours per day? (You are not a kid worried about damages to growing joints or old enough to not be able to play that much and stay healthy) When my college roommate and I graduated college and didn't yet have jobs we practiced 8 to 12 hours per day. (Of course,not having jobs, we didn't have much money)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
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  33. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    You meant 100+ hours a month, as the OP posted. 100+ a week would be outrageous, 14+ hours a day.
     
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  34. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like investing in a decent stringing machine is the way to go, so that you can quickly and efficiently restring on a regular basis once you get the hand of it.

    And I agree with Maxpotatov that using dead poly is doing you more harm than good on many levels. Poly/gut hybrid or sub-$8 full poly that you frequently switch may be the best way to go.

    If poly lasts you 10 hours then you're looking at $80/month in string costs if you supply your own labor, with a little machine depreciation tossed in. So perhaps $1200-1400/year.

    If you were into motorcycle racing, you'd spend that on a quality helmet and a pair of gloves.


    Are you also incorporating any training off-court?
     
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  35. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Because there is a point of limited returns at any age. Academy kids don't even put in that many hours. The longer you put in on the court, the more you put your body through. As I'm sure you're well aware, you need to give your body a chance to recover if you want to get better. If you're constantly building muscle and increasing flexibility, going hard 4 hours a day, every day for a year is not maximizing what your body can give you. You're going to need an off day or two, and even then, all that time should not be spent playing tennis. As nyc rightly said, some of that has to be off-court training: agility, plyometrics, endurance, etc. If I didn't need to work and/or go to school, AND I always had a good hitting partner AND I had the money to do it, I would be damn sure that by this time next year, I would be troubling 5.0s. I would fix my strokes, fix my serve, increase my fitness level, everything. But now I'm getting off topic :)

    But to the OP, as now a few of us have said, if you're really serious about this, then you're going to need to invest in your improvement. I didn't even see that phoenix mentioned practicing with dead balls when I'd mentioned it, but he is right. It's much the same.
     
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  36. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    +1

    It sounds awesome and good on you what you're trying to do - I for one am certainly jealous.

    Perhaps you already have a holistic plan in place or you're figuring it out as you go, but I do hope you're incorporating fitness, coaching, proper nutrition and perhaps a little massage here and there into your regimen.

    Back to strings:

    Alternatively, find a local High School kid that knows how to string to get your racquets done at a good price?

    If you get a little bit of a ranking, you could always apply for sponsorship with a string company - I'm a pretty crappy player but I do enjoy a partial sponsorship from a string company with decent poly products - it helps.

    Or you could always open a stringing business and get strings at wholesale prices. :)
     
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  37. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    LOL. Whenever I get depressed about how much money I spend playing tennis, I remind myself how much my fiance spends on her horse. I can buy three new racquets every month, and a Prince NEOS 1500 every year, for the amount that she spends.

    Tennis can be expensive, but when put into perspective, not nearly as expensive as many other sports and recreations.
     
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  38. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Yes, that was a little silly.
     
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  39. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I've only strung on cranks, not drop weights. So, today an older friend that I hit with from time to time said he was going to bring his $160 Klippermate tomorrow and let me string one of my racquets to see how I like it before I buy one. He also said he would string my racquets any time for only $5, so I might just do that instead until another friend decides to offload his better machine this coming summer as mentioned in my earlier post. If I use something like a reel of Iontec, then that would be only $16 string + $20 labor per month if I restring once a week (I will try the various Iontec before I buy a reel).
    I am going to at least give the Kevlar a shot since I already traded for it and have never tried it - maybe I will like and maybe not. I plan to string the Vantage 95" with the Kevlar mains at 50 lbs and the OGSM crosses at 55lbs unless someone convinces of a better tension.

    I absolutely understand diminishing returns, and I do take an extra day off if I my body is saying to. I did take a 2 month family vacation in the summer in which I played almost no tennis and let my body rest. I was fairly worn down after 9 months of extensive playing, but while on vacation I researched a lot online and found a partial solution that has helped me immensely with fatigue, energy, and lactic acid build up in my legs when playing so much - the amino acid, Beta Alanine. I had never heard of it before, but the difference when I take it is night and day. My wife has also seen a measurable increase in energy and stamina by taking it as well. The bonus is that it is very cheap! There is a lot of info on it online if anyone is interested; I bought mine on amazon. We also do take nutrition seriously and eat mostly whole grains, vegetables, fruits and limit our junk food. I do not exercise outside of the extensive hours on the courts though, but tennis does keep me in pretty great shape. I understand endurance training outside of tennis would help, but I will likely not be doing it. I am not that serious as I enjoy the challenge and progress in tennis. It is not work for me, but the extra training outside of tennis would be very unenjoyable. Ultimately, I'm 37 and not trying to go pro. But I believe I can get to 5.0 and have made good progress in 15 months, but I'm sure (like in golf) this is the point where it is just starting to get harder to improve. Shooting 80 is difficult, but breaking 70 is a whole new ballgame.

    To go a little off track: More than just great exercise and the challenge of playing quality tennis is that I have 4 young daughters with 2 lefties and 2 righties (ages - 2, 3.5, 5, 6.5) and a wife who is really taking to tennis after 4 months of playing. So, all the knowledge and training that I have acquired is being passed on to them now. Recently my wife and I have started going out to the courts 3 days a week for a few hours and feed each other balls and work on our game as well. My oldest is really wanting to play more and more as well. We are even considering buying a tennis club as there is one in our area that is closed down a few miles away and another that is losing money a few miles the other direction. The prices are extremely low and 50% below appraised value. The problem now is that lending is difficult to get on negative cash flow small businesses even if putting 20-35% down. So for now, we use the public courts which are all but vacant from about 10:30-3:30 and free to use.

    Back to stringing: I read that the Black Iontec is the softest, then the Salmon, then the Hexa. I like a firm stringbed and have a open string 16x19 pattern which is why I was leaning toward the Hexa. I was using the i.prestige MP and really liked the firm 18x20 bed but with the amount of play I was doing, I could not handle the nearly 12.5+oz racquet's weight over time which is what lead me to the Vantages. So if I try the kevlar and it is not for me, which Iontec is the closest to the firmness of full BB ALU?
    I have played Black Magic, Polylon, PL II, Lux Savage Black, all the BB ALUs; and I liked the firmness of the Polylon and ALU over the softer PLII and Black Magic.
    So if I I try the kevlar and it is not for me, which Iontec is the closest to the firmness of full BB ALU? I've also considered Cyberflash, but I guess they changed the formula from what I read?
    No matter what I poly use though, it will be better than the dead poly I've been using if I start stringing a racquet every week.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
    #39
  40. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Regular salmon Iontec is the best, IMO. And yes, seriously, if you hit 12 hours a week, you need to be restringing at LEAST every 15 hours if you're serious about improvement.
     
    #40
  41. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Buy a nice crank, then let your friend use it, maybe even park it at his place. The catch is he strings your racquets when necessary; all you supply is the string. I mean, if it's about time for you that seems like a reasonable arrangement. Your friend gets to use a nicer, less labor intensive machine at his convenience, and you get your racquets done without an investment of time - win/win. Well, I guess the downside for your friend would be he probably wouldn't want to go back to his Klippermate after using a nice crank.

    Edit: On second thought, if you're into this game as much as you seem to be, invest in a nice upright, electronic machine so that your stringing experience is enjoyable and do them yourself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
    #41
  42. tommyfr

    tommyfr Rookie

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    Ok try the Kevlar route as you already have these strings coming.

    And if you dont like it, why not go for a combo with Poly and synthetic gut. That hybrid have longer play-ability and, for many like me, more touch and feel than full poly.

    And as you are not a string breaker , also like me, this hybrid will probably have long lifetime as well.

    (Btw, both me and one of my partners are at 4.5 level. He a promising junior breaks his stings be it full poly or hybrid, after about 4-5 hours. And i break them maybe after 30 hours. I have a bit cleaner strokes, he has many mishits and faster racket head speed.My age is 50 +.)

    If you find a really durable Sg you might be able to play quite a long time with that hybrid, but probably not near 100 hours.
     
    #42
  43. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    kevlar and a durable syngut cross (soft poly) + string savers is your answer. This lasts me forever. Get the 17g maybe 16g kevlar if you need even more durability. No multi on the crosses because it will fray and break before the mains.
     
    #43
  44. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    "I am 37 and semi-retired, so I have a lot of time and have enjoyed the challenge of becoming a quality tennis player."

    What is your secret to be semiretired at 37? Good investments, Powerball winner or you married a rich girl?:)
     
    #44
  45. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    All this seems counter-intuitive to me. The strings should be the tool of the player to achieve the best performance on court:
    1) more wins
    2) fewest UE's
    3) most consisitency
    4) most control

    The string matters, and you can't just pick any ol' string and just "go with it". Changing a setup drastically could mean twice as many unforced errors, which translates into more losses.

    If longevity is the only concern, then yes, one can find very resilient string that can last for dozens of hours of play time. But at what cost?

    If your current setup gets you where you want to go, gets you the wins you need, the control you need, then if you change to a more resilient string, you may see other aspects of your game suffer.

    This is why pro players use the strings that they do. Yes, they last only a couple of hours. Yes, it requires frequent re-stringing (didn't Serena re-string around 75 times in one of the Masters tournaments this year?), but it gets them wins and it gives them confidence.

    Find the string that lets you do exactly what you WANT to do on the court, and you'll find your "magic bullet". If you've found that string, then great: keep using it. I know you play for hundreds of hours, but so what? What good is it to practice the right strokes with the wrong string? All you're doing is training your muscle memory to remember the wrong result.

    If you turn around and play an "important match" and then switch to whatever is your "high performance" strings, then how are your muscles going to switch gears? You've just logged hundreds of hours with the wrong string, with your shots landing in areas where they normally wouldn't with better string.

    Just my hypothetical 0.02.
     
    #45
  46. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Serena is just one of those special cases. Her sister, likewise, used one frame during an entire match. Just kept changing the overgrip on changeovers.
     
    #46
  47. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    I think I've noticed something in your reasoning about tennis. It seems that you want to spend Y amount of dollars for X amount of tennis, while the rest of us spend X amount of dollars for X amount of tennis. Your willingness to make an effort to reach 5.0 in three years or so, while it usually takes ten or more years is noble, but it doesn't make a "tennis unit" cost any less. What you will save on for your efforts is years of being stuck on plateus.

    The amount of drive and initiative that you show turns up on the other end of the equation as giving your body a beating with dead poly. I think you have to decide either to spend more on the intense amount you're training, or play less. Playing less wouldn't be a bad option. It would keep the sport fresh for you, anticipating your next court time. It's like over-playing your newest CD, instead of spreading it out over the years.
     
    #47
  48. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    ^^^ That is fantastically put.
     
    #48
  49. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Quote: "What is your secret to be semiretired at 37? Good investments, Powerball winner or you married a rich girl?"

    Basically, good investments in real estate.
    More specifically: Flipping my primary residence for tax-free capital gains every 2 years. 80+% is buying right. That is why I say semi-retired is that we still change homes every 2ish years for the tax-free profits. I bought my 1st home at age 20 after graduating college with a 20/80 where the seller held the 20% with a 3 year balloon; and with the profits on each home I paid off student loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc. After paying everything off and getting to zero debt, interest is on your side. It is a lot cheaper to live without car payments, mortgage payments, etc; plus now you are receiving interest on the money you are building up. Right now, I'm looking to buy as my 2 years is up at my current primary residence in March 2013.

    I strung the 17ga Ashaway Kevlar mains at 50lbs / 16 ga OGSM crosses at 56lbs today on my friend's Klippermate. I took awhile because we were talking a lot, and I was getting the hang of a dropweight stringer. Honestly, it was really easy to string on; no issues at all. The Kevlar was not as difficult to string as I thought it would be, but you could really tell the massive difference of stretching in the two strings to get the dropweight back to parallel.

    I am taking today off from playing, so I will try out the racquet tomorrow.



    Quote: "kevlar and a durable syngut cross (soft poly) + string savers is your answer. This lasts me forever."

    Are strings savers even necessary with 17ga Kevlar and 16ga OGSM???
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
    #49
  50. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Yes, I agree I need to do something different which is why I am looking for a solution and was hoping for an answer other than "restring your racquet every few days (10-15 hours)". At the beginning strings probably did not matter quite as much for me, but the difference in fresh strings and dead poly continues to make a bigger and bigger difference as my skills improve and playing more difficult opponents.

     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
    #50

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