Young kid at the club, using poly, restringing every 4-6 months

Discussion in 'Strings' started by roman40, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    We have a kid at the club, ~13 years old. He's a promising player, probably not pro material, but very good for his age (adult 3.5 rating on a good day). He is playing a lot, and his dad is putting him through tennis camps and tennis lessons (to at least get him to play tennis in college).

    I talked to him the other day about his string setup, and he told me he uses Black Widow, strung close to 60lbs, and restringing his racket every 4-6 months. Now, I know his dad and coach pretty well, and I don't think money is a problem, and the coach is pretty decent, so I don't understand why they are letting him do this. Isn't this an injury waiting to happen?

    I am thinking of talking to the coach/dad about this. Any suggestion on how you'd approach this issue? What would you say? I am not a string expert, obviously, and I can't pretend to be one, but I've done a lot of research, so I think I am knowledgeable enough to at least offer my opinion.

    BTW, he's using Dunlop Biometric 500 racket (forget if it's the tour version or not).
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
    #1
  2. osutennis24

    osutennis24 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Messages:
    240
    I remember I went over a full year with poly without restringing

    oh to be naive


    but yea, if he's playing a ton, I wouldn't think that's good
     
    #2
  3. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    AU, SG, MY
    future orthopaedic surgeons need work still, y'know... :)
     
    #3
  4. Tennis Fanatic 070

    Tennis Fanatic 070 Banned

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,165
    I think above all the 60 lbs on a poly is going to give this kid his arm problems, that's how I got mine. And how many hours do you think he plays in this 4-6 months?
     
    #4
  5. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    2,351
    Location:
    SF, CA
    If you can, start a conversation about string tensions in ATP frames. Then drop info about their desired tensions (between high 40's and mid 50's) using poly. Drop some info about how often pro's change their strings due to tension drop and strings going dead. Do your research here as there are stringing logs on the site.

    I think if you don't break strings every 12 hours of hitting or more, then you should not be using poly. 2 cents.
     
    #5
  6. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    I am not exactly sure, but he's playing at least 3-4 times per week.

    Yeah, that sounds reasonable, I'll mention it to the coach first (since I took lessons from him too), and we'll see how it goes.
     
    #6
  7. scotus

    scotus Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    7,622
    3 things going in the kid's favor:

    His body repairs itself quickly.

    Dunlop Black Widow is one of the softest co-polys.

    The string has already lost so much tension that it is probably around 35 lbs.
     
    #7
  8. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    Toronto
    Our local club has some juniors being coached for provincial tourneys. I saw a Bab stick with broken string (RPM Blast or team) and the string was totally deformed.

    I'm betting those kids play poly until it breaks - not cutting it out when it dies
     
    #8
  9. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,525
    Location:
    France
    That's indeed an arm injury in waiting. Now there are certainly lots of people playing with full poly until it breaks and are fine with it, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Moreover, the lighter a racquet is, the less it absorbs vibration from the poly strings. Try to "sweet talk" them like Esgee48 mentioned, try the switch to multi or at least hybrid.

    EDIT: Found this: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203370604577265832373170456.html
    In addition to this:
    http://www.southernsportsphysio.com.au/Sports_Injuries_Media_Releases/Tennis_Racket_Tension.pdf
    http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2005/01/does_higher_string_tension_giv.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
    #9
  10. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    Repair usually leaves some scar tissue. Eventually it builds up, and injury becomes more and more likely, and healing is compromised. I'd be more worried about long term problems.

    Does poly continue to lose tension over time, or does it settle in eventually. Can poly strung at 60lb really go down to 35? I'd think that would compromise control/consistency considerably. I don't know how bad it was, since he recently restrung his racket.

    In general, I'm just surprised that coach/dad aren't thinking about equipment/string much, especially considering that dad is spending considerable amount of time and money, and has high hopes for this kid.
     
    #10
  11. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    I see, I guess it's not an unusual case then. That surprises me though, since strings have become such a hot topic for the pros. You'd think it would filter down to the juniors and their coaches/parents.
     
    #11
  12. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    Good info, thanks.
     
    #12
  13. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    Toronto
    Well the pro/coach is the same guy who strung my RipStick at 60 lbs with RPM Team - I've played off and on for 30 yrs and never had an injury until this string. Took 7 months to heal completely - I hope.

    I'm stringing my stick myself now. Poly is strung at 35lbs or below for any sticks I'll string

    So I'm not surprised that he doesn't get them to cut it out and restring more often.
     
    #13
  14. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,355
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    You got injured with poly but you still stick to it? :-?

    What is wrong with gut?
     
    #14
  15. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,495
    Location:
    So Cal
    I'm with the majority; this probably isn't a good thing. Just because he's not hurting now doesn't mean that down the road he won't have problems.

    Now, how to bring it up? Might mention this site and some of the comments in threads like this. See how the father responds. That will be your clue whether to keep discussing it or ask him if he thinks Fed has another major or two in him. :)
     
    #15
  16. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    3,008
    Location:
    Europe
    Price? :oops:
     
    #16
  17. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    Toronto
    I bought some gut and am steeling myself to do a gut/poly hybrid.

    Poly at 35 or below doesn't bother me at all however. i did get a couple of used sticks that came with poly (probably in the 50 lb range) and hit with them. Big mistake - for the first time I got to feel what tennis elbow was all about.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
    #17
  18. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    Toronto

    not really - Klip gut is about $25 a set. Each set will do 2 hybrid jobs and gut apparently lasts longer so over time it's probably fairly economical.

    Crosses can be replaced as they wear out and since I string in the 30 lb range and use lubricants on teh string bed, I'm hoping for long string life.

    For example, I have a Steam 99S (suposedly a notorious string-breaker frame) that so far has 18 hrs on it's Lux Monotec string - the cheap $5 poly 16L string. It was strung at 45 lbs (low for that open pattern). I use silicone spray before every match and there is zero notching and no loss of playability.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
    #18
  19. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    314
    Wow...

    I used multi till 3 years ago (8th grade) and now use poly. I restring 1-2 weeks, but I tried out during winter how long poly would last for me. Only 20 hrs before string broke.

    But that kid really should be using multi. 3.5? Yea.... That's about a 1-2 star I'm guessing.
     
    #19
  20. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    yea. if its taking him 4months to break it....hes really not that good.
     
    #20
  21. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    Adult 3.5 level is pretty good for his age, and I am talking singles. He's got height/strength and patience issues. I think he'll be a strong 4.0 in year or two, and 4.5 by the time he goes to college, if he sticks with it.

    As far as breaking strings is concerned, I hope you're kidding, unless "not that good" covers everything below 4.5 singles.
     
    #21
  22. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,212
    Stroke style matters.....

    Which grips does he use ? I have noticed the more extreme closed to open contact of full western eats strings, while several hard hitting eastern FH player do not break string nearly as fast. I do agree that full poly for 4 months is not wise.
     
    #22
  23. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    476
    Location:
    Stony Brook,NY
    That is pretty sad if he train for another 5years and is only 4.5. I think he should be like a 5.0 if he train property.
     
    #23
  24. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    Certainly, that's possible, it depends on whether he and his parents are still committed after 2-3 years. It depends on a lot of factors, and very few high school kids reach 5.0+ level, but it's certainly something to strive for. If you're a strong 4.5, you've already have a good shot to get into college tennis, and he is not really pro material anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
    #24
  25. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    He's got a western grip, decent spin, but he doesn't have the strength yet to hit with lots of power (he's not that tall or strong for his age), and he doesn't get to play hard hitting players much. That might change though, since his parents are planning to send him to a good tennis academy this summer. Who knows, they might actually talk to him about his strings.
     
    #25
  26. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    So, I talked to the coach, and apparently, he's of the opinion that poly strings hold tension very well and can be used until they break or for at least 3 months or so, even if you play several times a week. When I mentioned that I've read that poly string go dead in 12-16hrs, and might be bad for the arm/elbow/etc. afterward, he said it's just something "bloggers" say, but not actually true.

    There you have it.
     
    #26
  27. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,355
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    If this coach actually recommends poly for children and he makes these kind of statements he is setting himself up for a lawsuit if any of those kids are developing arm problems. Frankly I would have a talk with the management of the club he is training at, this guy is clearly a liability.
     
    #27
  28. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    I don't know if he recommended it in the first place, but he certainly doesn't discourage it. It's a shame though, he is a good coach and a nice guy in general. I think he's actually the "regional tennis director" or something like that for this club chain.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
    #28
  29. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,525
    Location:
    France
    :shock:
    +10^99. In fact, I'd like a lawsuit better to get rid of that thinking, despite the harm it may cause.

    Seriously? Poly? Good tension maintenance? It feels it maintains tension because it gets stiffer, but it doesn't hold tension well. That guy doesn't know what he's talking about.
     
    #29
  30. dlesser13

    dlesser13 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    These threads are ridiculous. First off, he's not your kid, so it's not your obligation to say anything to his parents/coach let alone to post a thread on a public forum about it. Secondly, this notion of "poly is bad for your arm, you should really be using multi at that age" is ridiculous too. Please show me the proof/correlation between strings and tennis injury, my hunch is you won't find much. I've played exclusively with poly since I was 15 and I've never had ONE single arm issue. So my hunch is you're swinging at the ball wrong. This whole notion of golfer/tennis elbow isn't an equipment issue, it's a technique/player issue. You don't hear pros complaining about arm issues...
     
    #30
  31. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,355
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    They are elite athletes unlike the rest of the 99.something% of tennis players.
     
    #31
  32. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    Until he is breaking strings every 10 hours or less, I don't know why you would use anything but a full bed of gut. It is not like he is generating that much spin. Poly is not needed for that kid.
     
    #32
  33. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    But they also hit thousands more balls than a rec player. If polys really caused arm problems, pros would be the first to stay away.
     
    #33
  34. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,525
    Location:
    France
    You're not planning to compare the fitness level and body care of a pro compared to a club hacker, are you? Or even the frequency with which they change their strings for that matters.
     
    #34
  35. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,501
    Maybe kids will grow up becoming immune to poly induced injuries.
     
    #35
  36. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,998
    Full bed of gut still feels dead after 4-6 months....

    Should just use Prince Duraflex or something until they start breaking strings under a month.
     
    #36
  37. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,355
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    You obviously do not know what you are talking about, gut is the most elastic string, has the highest tension stability and it returns up to 90% of the energy.
     
    #37
  38. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,998
    Natural gut definitely doesn't play as well as it does after 4-6 months....
     
    #38
  39. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,092
    well, it isn't that unusual in teh talented junior ranks, really..

    bear in mind most of them have much better technique than the average rec player which helps quite a lot.

    still wouldn't do it myself, but less of a danger than you might imagine for a good junior.

    that said, if he's only hitting 3.5 level at 13, he's not much good..

    should be minimum 4.0 and well on the way to 4.5, losing out only in service power but making it up in excellent returning.
     
    #39
  40. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    476
    Location:
    Stony Brook,NY
    I just don't get how can a trained junior that play 3-4times a week cant break his poly in 4-6months. I went a free summer camp with a few 12-14yr old low rank junior two years ago, and they usually break their poly in like 2-3weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
    #40
  41. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    Or perhaps you just didn't bother reading TW Professor's test results on poly that proved that polys don't get stiffer, they lose their tension (i.e. get softer), and you lose control and spin due to increase in friction on the cross string, which is what leads to the "dead" feeling.

    Polys causing more arm problems is a myth. There is absolutely no fact behind it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
    #41
  42. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    You really don't have a clue how natural gut plays.

    Gut feel is at its absolute best just before it breaks. My daughter and wife has full beds that are over a year old, and they feel great still.
     
    #42
  43. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,092
    ye, that's true.

    mind you, they usually do it shanking FH high on the string bed, lol!
     
    #43
  44. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,355
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Looks that we have parallels with the 70s and 80s where smokers claimed that it was not proven that smoking is bad for your health.

    Some people only want to find out things the hard way.
     
    #44
  45. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,092
    well, in the 70s and 80s it was pretty easy to point to studies that proved smoking was harmful.

    feel free to view this as your opportunity to do the same.

    (hint: the plural of 'anecdote' is NOT 'data')
     
    #45
  46. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,998
    I broke gut before a month ended, I don't know how it would feel after 4-6 months. I didn't like how VS felt before it broke, so many notches on it after a few weeks and it lost its crisp feel. IMO I didn't like it all that much before it broke, some people will like it.
     
    #46
  47. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,355
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Gut having a crisp feel? :shock:

    After statements like these I wonder if you actually ever played with gut.
     
    #47
  48. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,998
    At 60 lbs, feels crisp to me...
     
    #48
  49. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,525
    Location:
    France
    Hello, that's not what I wrote. I wrote the following:
    Because comparing a pro to a club hacker is so right yeah?
     
    #49
  50. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    Or we could have a situation from the colonial time where people accusing others of witchcraft and burning them on the stakes based on nothing more than anecdotes.

    If you have a scientific study that says poly causes injuries, I would love to hear it (just like scientists proved smoking caused cancer). Otherwise, you are just yelling "WITCHCRAFT!!!"
     
    #50

Share This Page