Which string is better?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Tcbtennis, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    Hello. I would like an opinion on which string would be better for my son. He hits with the Head Youtek Extreme MP and he has play tested two strings so far, Head Sonic Pro 17g and Genesis Black Magic 17g. He likes both strings but he gets different responses from them.

    The Sonic Pro gives him good depth and topspin, the type of spin that jumps high off the gound and pushes his opponents behind the baseline unless they can step in and take the ball early or stay at the baseline and hit the ball above their shoulders. The ball feels good on his strings. He likes the spin and jump he gets on hs serve. The power is OK. Slices sometimes tend to go long. Tension at 40 lbs.

    The Black Magic gives him good depth and spin. This spin allows him to hit as hard as he can and the ball stays in. He does not get the jump off the ground that he gets with the Sonic Pro. So the ball bounces into the strike zone of his opponents. He gets great power however with the Black Magic. I've never seen him strike the ball so powerfully before. His volleys are crisper with the Genesis and his slices land just inside the baseline. The feel is good but not as good as the Sonic Pro. Tension at 35lbs.

    He is only 12 so of course we will probably be changing strings a hundred times in his playing career. But for now, which string sounds it is better based on the playability that he gets. Thanks.
     
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  2. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    Are you seriously stringing polys to a 12yo?
    Man this poly craze is even worse than i thought :-|
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
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  3. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    Is this a real thread? If so, your son should not use poly until he's driving. Poly is often hurting you before you can feel it. It should be changed out every two weeks, regardless. Try Head RIP Control for now.
     
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  4. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    If he's a top player at his age do this for his health sake.

    If he's not a top player a basic synthetic gut will do the job just fine and will be easier on your wallet. You can go with Pro Supex Spiral Flex which is know as maybe the most "spiny" nylon.
     
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  5. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    Personally at 19 years old, I find Black Magic too stiff, I prefer the Sonic Pro a lot more. I do admit to getting more pop with Black Magic but I felt I had much better control with the Sonic Pro. But another pro of Black Magic was the massive amounts of spin I got off it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
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  6. Philipp Kohlscheriber #1

    Philipp Kohlscheriber #1 New User

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    I'm 13 and I have been using polys for a year and now I cant play with synthetic gut any more is't awful. Polys feel softer than synthetic gut in my case. Try tourna big hitter blue.
     
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  7. ishiun

    ishiun New User

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    BHBR is great and i found BHB7 to be great for people looking for more spin and control
     
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  8. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    Thanks for the responses but what I am really trying to get at is based on how the strings play for my son which characteristic is better in competitive tennis? A string (Head Sonic Pro) that gives you the spin that jumps high to your opponent on your groundstrokes and serve or pace (Genesis Black Magic) with the spin that keeps the ball in the court with crisp volleys. Thanks.
     
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  9. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    how long does a stringjob last your son?
     
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  10. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    I would say approximately 10-14 days. He doesn't break the ploys like he would break the multifilament. He tells me that the strings have lost their pop and he cuts them out.
     
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  11. Slitch

    Slitch Rookie

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    From what I've read, 40lbs range seems to be in no man's land. Have you strung up both strings at the same tension? Have you tried a hybrid of both?

    the most important question is: Which of the two makes your son smile the most? When teens get into puberty, most upcoming professionals start to lose interest because the seriousness of the business. Sports should be about having fun. If he's having fun, he will perform. Psychology can be your greatest friend or enemy.
     
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  12. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    dear tcbtennis,

    while you have pretty well described what your son feels when playing the two strings in question, you have not at all described the playingstyle of your son so far.

    i understood that the genesis gives him better volleys, but if he is a baseline grinder and seldom comes to net, those few shots he would execute at net would not give him any competitive advantage.

    besides, you describe employing different tensions, so that i can very well imagine that due to the stiffer stringbed of the sonic pro you get some more rpms on the ball and thus a higher launch angle, which then relates to the ball jumping off high. the lower tension on the genesis will provide for a bigger stringbeddeflection which can lead to a flatter angle and obviously more power.

    i have played the sonic pro myself, the black magic is still waiting in line, so i have no indication of how that string plays.

    one of the most important aspect of junior tennis which is much too often overlooked is the striking height of the player, which directly relates to the height of the kid. how does he move to the ball and where does he usually hit it - where is his comfort zone? if the kid is smjall (i mean relative to his age) and also tends to play the ball rather between the knee and hip, you are better advised with the higher launch angle of the sonic pro. if he likes to strike it between hip and shoulder and this is in the mean time at a fair distance above the net height, than you can go for the apparently more powerfull but flatter launching black magic.

    it is a difficult call to make since it very much depends on what he is feeling comfy with.

    as a final thought - don't change the strings too often since it would require him to adapt his stroking mechanics to fit the equipment.
    my son turns 14 this summer and i have him play for three years now poly mains and syngut crosses (mantis power polyester and mantis power synthetic). he usually breaks the strings between 15-20 hitting hours, just when they are about to go dead anyway.
     
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  13. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    I did string the HSP at 35 lbs at first. He loved it but felt the balls went long too frequently for his comfort. At 40 lbs it still has the great feel and better control. I have not tried a hybrid. We do plan to test other strings because his previous string RPM Team is just too expensive and not a quality replacement for RPM Blast (also too expensive and harsh on his arm).

    Regarding my son's passion for the sport, he would play all day every day if we let him. He has played over 300 junior USTA matches since he was 7 years old. Even after a tough tough loss that leaves him in tears he wants to know when he can compete again.
     
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  14. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    Thanks for your response. His playing style is in evolution. Before we changed coaches, I would call him a counterpuncher whose consistency was his biggest weapon. Trips to the net were not frequent. Now he is learning a more aggressive style of play where he is always being encouraged to come forward. So he is definitely hitting more volleys than ever before. The quality difference in volleys between the Head and Genesis is noticeable.

    Along with the new aggressive training is trying to get him to consistently take the ball closer to the top of the bounce (between hip and shoulder). I ask him which he likes better and he is so undecided in trying to choose which characteristics he likes best.
     
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  15. Slitch

    Slitch Rookie

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  16. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    I felt that Sonic Pro was much stiffer than Black Magic. Sonic Pro also offered less spin an power than Black Magic. Maybe we forgot to factor in the large difference the racket makes.
     
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  17. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    At that age, I would pick the Sonic Pro as juniors in that age group will most likely struggle the most with high-bouncing spin outside their strike zone. While his slices and volleys may not be better with it, once he adjusts to one setup over time, that should alleviate his overall confidence and control with the Sonic Pro.
     
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  18. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Polyester strings, Extreme racket, 12 year old.

    Which doesn't belong?
     
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  19. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    I guess that in the world of highly competitive junior sports things may seem wrong by people who do not have children immersed in the sport. I think that this applies to competitive baseball, football, gymnastics, mixed martial arts (I was surprised that there is a Junior Circuit where kids learn to beat the crap out of each other), etc. Poly strings are a no brainer in the competitive junior tennis world. I'm not talking about kids who aspire to play on the high school team. I'm talking about kids who want to play Div 1 tennis or possibly become tennis professionals. These kids push themselves to their limits and want to play at the highest levels. That involves using the best equipment, having the best training you can get and most importantly sacrificing some of your childhood so you can train at these high levels.

    You are not the only one who has written criticism about the use of poly strings by a young child but unfortunately that is the way it is.
     
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  20. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    At 12 he is only going to get stronger. Both strings sound good.

    The first poly (Sonic Pro) sounds more dangerous for his opponents.

    The second poly seems like it naturally goes into the opponents strike zone. This only allows the opponent a chance to dictate the point.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
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  21. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    If all the rest of the children in his competitive region are using poly, then he'll be at a distinct disadvantage if he doesn't use poly. I can at least appreciate his desire to be able to "run with the pack" and not get left behind.

    Be that as it may, at 12 years of age, differences in shot placement is probably not due to two different brands of poly string. I'm sure it has more to do with technique. I'm sure he's being coached, correct? You should be speaking to his coach about why he's getting such different results with different strings.

    Have two racquets strung with these two types of strings. have the coach observe his footwork, timing and hand eye coordination. If they are precisely the same, then ask the coach for his professional opinion as to why he's getting such different results.
     
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  22. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    What if the coach says its because of the strings?
     
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  23. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    Careful planning..........

    You seem to have a good grasp of what is going on with your son and his abilities. The key thing with poly string string at any age is to keep the string tension as low as he can control and track the number of hours played. Most players make the msitake of leaving poly string in the racquet too long. The higher your level of ability the shorter the life span of poly string.

    I recently was asked to help a 16 yr old girl from the McEnroe academy with her racquets. She had been using poly string since she was 12 and recently had to have a nerve removed/cut in her elbow. She is still in recovery 4 mo later and working on PT. She is now cleared to start hitting again, but I had no choice but to put NG string in her racquet; no more 100% poly for her. Her best bet will be NG/poly hybrid if she gets to that point.

    Her mistake was leaving the poly in too long, but how long is too long? She used 6 racquets and rotated them but she didnt track her hours with the string she was using. She was playing 4hrs per day 6 days a week and at her level that meant she should have strung all six racquets every 2 weeks. Some say that is a bit excessive, but dead poly is dangerous. Much cheaper to change your string frequently, than to go through an 11K operation and risk the arm for the rest of your life. Careful string planning is a must. Good luck in your string search.

    Cheers. TennezSport :cool:
     
    #23
  24. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Well, hard to argue with that, if that's true. If that's the case, then no more needs to be said on the matter of technique.

    If the coach has judged the technique to be sound, and the performance between two distinctly different strings provides such clearly different results, then we should definitely look at the strings with increased scrutiny.

    All things being equal, if it is the strings, then I would say the following:

    Head Sonic Pro is a considerably softer poly than Genesis Black magic. Not only is it softer, it doesn't hold tension as well as the Genesis does. This means that a few hours after stringing, plus hitting a couple hundred balls, a 40lb string job will degrade into a 17 lb string job. What kind of control does one expect with strings @ 17 lbs?


    Genesis black magic is much stiffer than Sonic, so its got a lower deflection off the racquet face. This means better accuracy, but less spin. It holds tension better, so a 35lb string job will degrade into a 16 lb string job.

    TL/DR: The problem is not with the string, but with the ELT method of stringing (extra low tension). Personally, I don't see the point. I recommend jumping up to around 54 lbs. Once they are strung at "proper" tensions, then you can really begin to analyze the performance of each.

    But honestly, you can't really play competitive tennis when your strings are @ 16 lbs of tension. That's just way to low.
     
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  25. pvw_tf

    pvw_tf Rookie

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    Kids of 12 years, training 2 to 3 hours a day, 5 days a week and in the weekend a tournament. It is a lot on the body of a kid, still growing and not yet in fast lane of the growing.

    On the other hand some numbers:
    - most current top 100 players needed 5 to 6 years to reach the top 100
    - I think at the moment there are 3 players in top 100 21 years of younger. Well maybe only 2 because Roanic is 22.
    - Average age of top 10 is 27

    Is it needed to "stress out" the kids, bring possible damage to joints, and other parts of a not fully grown body?

    It is for them of involved to answer it to them self. I see kids of 9, 10 years playing with a full size racket, which is on the stiff to very stiff side. Just to have more power to win matches in their age group and possible loose on learning the technique.

    They are used. Yes, but spoke with a lot of coaches, many do not care, sorry to state but to be honest to many just do not know enough about rackets and strings or stringing in general.

    They often have a deal with a brand, which provide them some or more rackets and strings. That is where they play with and by that they are promoting it. When they get a different deal they switch. When they have to pay it their self you get sometimes nice changes in attitude.

    For the few who do care, they go with the softer strings, softer rackets to learn the basic as well as possible. But they do know it is hard to talk the kids out of the big players equipments.

    There is short term and long term. I have been around for a long time. Advised many pro players. They had offers to play for money with certain brands, but most were wise enough to go for the their style of tennis matching rackets and take best strings. Not the money.

    Technique and control is important at younger and development age. What you learn at this time will stay there. Once a wrong serve you will stuck with it.
    Once arm problems it will be hard to get rid of it.

    I do not think you are right in this statement. It is not needed to do something just because all others are doing it.

    I have 2 kids (10.5 and 12). Both played with Tecnifibre NRG2 1.18 at 19 to 20 kg until breakage got to quick. Now they play with NRg2 1.24.
    But that is my choice, but based on being long in the business for as much at that has value.

    Peter
     
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  26. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    Can we just assume he is a responsible father and his kids health is fine and dandy?

    Lets also assume cost isn't an issue among the strings.

    So that leaves us with his question of which poly is more likely to help his kid win matches?
     
    #26

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