When to replace poly?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Freestyle, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Freestyle

    Freestyle New User

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    Hi guys,

    I'm currently in a dilemma. I'm using a non-name brand string at the moment, the Golden Set Poly. I'm not a string breaker, so the string goes dead long before. However, I find it difficult to realize when the string is dead until I really start spraying balls, and I've noticed that I've had spells of bad play that presumably are because of dead strings, as when I restrung, I was playing normally again. Because it isn't name brand, I have no idea what the tension loss is. It's on the stiffer side, if that helps. I was thinking of restringing every 10-15 hours, maybe, but I'm not sure.

    So how long do you think I should play with the string before restringing?

    Thanks for the help.
     
    #1
  2. davidahenry

    davidahenry Professional

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    Hey Freestyle.

    I wish I could give you a definitive answer with regard to a specific number of hours, but that is difficult to do.

    Different polys lose playability at different rates, and I am unfortunately not familiar with Golden Set. (Well... I've heard of them and have been on their site, but have never strung them or played with them.)

    Here are some general guidelines to tell when your poly has gone dead:

    1. Feel - It is hard to describe, but the more you play with poly, the better you'll get at determining when it has gone dead. It just feels different, and you'll get to the point when you know it. It can feel more board-like, and it can lose control. I use Alu Power Rough, and when fresh, it has an incredible, almost magical crispness to it. When it loses playability, that crispness is gone, and it is easy for me to tell.

    2. String Movement - When poly goes dead, it tends to lose its ability to stay in place. Often though, this means it is VERY dead. It often can go dead before string movement occurs.

    3. Tension Loss - You could invest in a tool like the Beers ERT 300 Tension Meter and begin monitoring tension loss in order to know when the poly's tension has dropped significantly. One thing to keep in mind though... Loss of playability and loss of tension are not always the same thing. A poly can lose playability more quickly than it loses tension.

    I hope this helps. Take care.

    DH
     
    #2
  3. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    Why are you using a full bed of poly if your not a string breaker ???
     
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  4. Freestyle

    Freestyle New User

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    Because I like the added spin and control poly brings to the table.

    Thanks for the advice, David. I'm thinking of buying one of those tension meters; it seems like a good idea. I string on the lower side anyways, at 52 lbs of tension, so I would imagine that it would lose tension first.
     
    #4
  5. ace0001a

    ace0001a Semi-Pro

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    To quote myself:

    The guy who posted the review said something about 10 hours of play:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=298948&highlight=golden+set

    The search function can be your friend sometimes, I just wish they also integrate a google site search option like some other Forums I've been on before have.
     
    #5
  6. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Wait a second...If you can't tell, why do you care? And if you can tell, then why are you asking?
     
    #6
  7. ClubHoUno

    ClubHoUno Banned

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    People who can't tell may still worry about the risks of getting arm injuries from using dead polys too long.
     
    #7
  8. Freestyle

    Freestyle New User

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    Although I can't tell, my standard of play slips when the string is dead. Sometimes, it's me; sometimes, it's the string. Money is tight and I can't afford to cut out the string if I'm the one causing the problem. If I could tell, I wouldn't ask. Plus, I don't want arm problems, like Club said.
     
    #8
  9. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Well, I'm afraid the answer you are looking for is best answered by yourself and not anyone here. Poly's differ in terms of longevity of resiliency, not to mention that the hitting style of the player introduces added variability in terms of life of the string bed.

    Best to experiment and figure it out for yourself.
     
    #9
  10. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    I don't think it's a hard requirement for the poly to be dead in order to cause arm problems.
     
    #10
  11. davidahenry

    davidahenry Professional

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    Agreed. Freshly strung poly can still cause arm problems for some people. Hell... A soft multi can even cause arm problems for some people - depending on their stroke mechanics. :)

    Take care.

    DH
     
    #11
  12. ClubHoUno

    ClubHoUno Banned

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    Agreed, but the injury might be more severe, the more dead the poly is.... :)
     
    #12
  13. Brned

    Brned Rookie

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    How many racquets do you have?

    If more than one, I would try to compare how a fresh stringbed feels after playing with one you used for a certain amount of time.
     
    #13
  14. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Poly goes down fast, no matter what poly you use it is not the same after 3-6 hours.
     
    #14
  15. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i forget the name of it but there is a ashway poly that doesnt seem to lose tension. it hit the same for me weeks after i strung it. i cant remember the name but its some cheap neon green poly. loved it
     
    #15
  16. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    This is why I use the thinnest string possible. I'd rather it break than me worry if it has gone dead.
     
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  17. Jagman

    Jagman Rookie

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    I'm not a string breaker either, and share your frustration with determining when poly goes dead. As other posters have already mentioned, various brands of poly will have different lifetimes. After doing some experimentation, you will probably settle on one or two strings that you like and gain a reasonable guesstimate of how long they should last before either your arm starts to throb or your play falls off. When you get to that point, cut it out.

    For example, I have a preference for PHT, which lasts me around 10-12 hours. Keeping the string in the racquet beyond that timeframe merely illustrates the law of diminishing returns.

    As someone suggested, you can also have several racquets with the same setup if you want to eke out every last second of string life. That way, you always have another racquet to play with when one dies. Your arm, however, may pay the price for trying to extend the life of dead or dying poly.

    Neither option is especially cheap. Poly is not an economical string, IMO. However, like the OP, I enjoy the unique playing characteristics of poly, and always keep a few sets on hand. I do string my own racquets and that helps to keep costs down.

    Cheers!
     
    #17
  18. Freestyle

    Freestyle New User

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    ^ I too string my own racquets, plus because I buy the poly in reels, it comes out to about $2.61 a set- not too bad. I have two racquets, so I'll try that tip, Brned.
     
    #18
  19. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    The easiest way is if you have played with it for over 20 hours, it is time to cut it out. 2nd easiest way, the strings are starting to move. 3rd easiest way, the amount of topspin you usually get on a shot disappears and you start hitting long.
     
    #19
  20. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    Signs.........

    I have to backup what DH stated earlier in this thread. It can be difficult to feel when poly goes dead but if you look at statement #2, this is a key indicator as the poly string has lost it's resiliency (ability to snap back), which can happen in as little as 2-6 hours with some poly string. At that point the string will begin to feel harsh, boardlike, especially on mishits and vibration will increase. You will also find you have to hit harder in order to get your usual shot, again due to resiliency loss. So when you begin to feel these things, time to change.

    There are some really good co-poly strings out there that do hold tension and stay resilient longer but they usually cost more because of the better additives used to produce the string; you get what you pay for. Good luck.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    #20
  21. dragon2o00

    dragon2o00 New User

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    agreed with other posters. you eventually start notice how the difference in how the ball responds to your strings. for me, when the poly died, my balls would go sailing long and if i were to try to add more topspin, the balls fall short of the net. that's when i compare sounds and sure enough, dead.
     
    #21
  22. Brned

    Brned Rookie

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    Hope that helps!
     
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  23. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    TS- I suspect there is a pretty strong correlation between tension loss and los of resiliency for many poly strings. My observation is when there is noticeable tension loss, the strings are close to being dead as well. I don't find this to be true with the few co-poly's I've tried though, including WCSS.
     
    #23
  24. sequoia

    sequoia New User

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    string two rackets ....keep one fresh ...after awhile pull out the new racket .

    If you like the feel better than the used strings cut out the old ones..... use tne new strings as your reference.....you'll find that you are cutting and restinging more often and playing better tennis ....
     
    #24
  25. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    Well............

    Well, not necessarily as it's more up to the way the poly was constructed (applied additives). Some poly string can lose a great deal of tension but still be resilient for awhile. Some will hold tension but lose resiliency quickly and still others will hold both tension and resiliency longer. This will also vary by racquet, player ability/style, stringer, stringer technique and machine it was strung on; confusing eh???

    Yes this could be true for some of the first and second gen poly strings. I think we are beginning to see the later new family of co-poly strings will perform better for longer period of time as they get the construction issue ironed out. There will be some interesting new string coming out in 2010 that may turn up the heat on performance and longevity, but don't expect 3mo or more for durability (a bad method of measurement; should use number of hours).

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
    #25
  26. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Not at all. Everything you've stated here makes a lot of sense. I'm basing my observations on tension loss being correlated with loss of resiliency on a very small sample set and of course, my racquet in my hands. I'm certain the correlation is stronger with specific strings and/or with specific playing styles.


    Right. The string I currently use in my crosses (gut mains) is Weisscannon Silver String. It last me on the order of 16 hours, although it loses some of it's "crispness" within the first 4-6 hours of play. The resiliency seems to be retained well beyond this point however.
     
    #26

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