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dedpete 11-02-2010 05:32 PM

18 Gauge Kevlar-Not as stiff?
I am looking for a string that has great durability as well as playability but doesn't hurt my arm. The only string that I have used that has ever hurt my arm was red code. I am wondering if 18 gauge kevlar would be good

dedpete 11-02-2010 05:33 PM

also-what is good about it (spin power etc.)

Chris Rizutto 11-02-2010 06:26 PM

I think a 18 gauge Ashaway kevlar main and a synthetic cross could be the ideal setup for some people. It will give you great spin and control for about a week then it will lose a ton of tension and the control goes away. The power level of this setup is extremely low.

I recommend buying a stringing machine (get a klippermate if you don't want to spend much) and string it with full synthetic gut. Gosen OG Sheep Micro 1.25 strung tight is my favorite. It holds tension better than most any poly, provides much more feel and feedback than any poly string. The power and control balance is excellent.

Or if you must string it up with full poly. Restring every month if you don't break them first so it doesn't give your elbow trouble.

Good luck grasshoppa.

WarrenT 11-03-2010 08:35 AM

I used to hit exclusively with kevlar because I'm a string breaker. With the advancement in polys I moved away from kevlar. But I've used all gauges of kevlar blends down to 19 gauge and have used Red Code also. I didn't find Red Code any stiffer than say a 18 gauge kevlar blend. So I think if Red Code bugged your arm, kevlar would too. I also did not find thinner gauge (17/18/19) kevlar setups to outlast polys. I was getting anywhere between 3-5 hours from kevlars before breaking. I get 6-7 hours from the polys I'm using now.

Obviously everyone's looking for a magic string that plays incredible and lasts really long. But you have to compromise in one to get the other. Looks like comfort is also a priority for you. I would say try out Polystar Energy 16. It's among the most comfortable polys I've used and has great power. I'm still in the middle of my first set of it so I don't know how long it lasts, but 3 hours for me so far. I also found Genesis SpinX, Pro Supex Blue Gear & Solinco Barb Wire to be on the softer side of polys, all of those last around 7 hours for me.

user92626 11-04-2010 04:36 PM


It's amazing to me that you could break kevlar after 3-5 hours. You either hit very hard or string it very tightly. I'm also surpirsed to hear you say kevlar doesn't last longer than polys.

The first time I play with Kevlar (moving from some poly or synth gut) I noticed a huge drop in power. It was frustrating. But after a few weeks I adjusted; and saw that the string didn't move at all and was wearing very little. OMG, I love it cuz that mean i'll not have to spend every few weeks.

My apdc has kevlar mains and poly crosses at 55lbs. I could use more power by lowering next time. I also strung my pdgt with same set-up but at 50lbs.

Today I just bought a few more sets of kevlar and co-polys.

Be sure to string low and hit with more power. :)

dedpete 11-04-2010 05:40 PM

How long would this 18 gauge kevlar last me? I brake luxilon adrenaline in 3 days, and alu power in 4 days.

goran_ace 11-05-2010 07:40 AM


Originally Posted by dedpete (Post 5160078)
I am looking for a string that has great durability as well as playability but doesn't hurt my arm. The only string that I have used that has ever hurt my arm was red code. I am wondering if 18 gauge kevlar would be good

If arm pain is an issue stay away from kevlar/aramids. Some people on here swear that in micro gauges at low tension it is arm friendly, but that is only a vocal few and not the prevailing opinion of experienced players. Either way, if you've had any arm pain in the past it's not worth the risk.

that said, it is about as durable as it gets. I highly doubt that anyone, even tour players, could break it in 3-5 hours of hitting. perhaps that poster had a set that was damaged during stringing. there's a reason why bullet proof vest are made from this material.

tension loss is not as big of a deal with kevlar (compared to polys) because where a poly sometimes feels like the tension fell off a cliff after a few hours and it suddenly goes dead, kevlar plays so dead to begin with that it does not feel meaningfully different after its lost a lot of tension. the change in feel is very gradual and you can play with it basically until it saws through your crosses.

kiteboard 11-05-2010 05:35 PM


Originally Posted by dedpete (Post 5164095)
How long would this 18 gauge kevlar last me? I brake luxilon adrenaline in 3 days, and alu power in 4 days.

2 days.......

lstewart 11-12-2010 06:41 AM

18g Kevlar
Gamma makes a 18g string called Power Play that is a kevlar string. I stumbled onto it, and played it a couple of years. It is extremely low power, but once i got used to it, I played well. It is not arm friendly, but my elbow handled it better than poly. It does continue to lose tension over time, but it is gradual. It lasted forever for me... the string would look like it was about to break, and still last another week or two. I think it is about $7 a set, so you can check it out.

maxplymac 11-12-2010 07:20 AM

Kevlar is fantastic...for about 3 hours.

Stuff loses tension way too fast or I never would have switched.

If I was rich I'd string my racquet twice a week with the stuff...but I ain't.

I always used 16g...wouldn't an 18g kevlar just saw through the cross synthetic?

maxplymac 11-12-2010 07:22 AM

^^Forgot to mention that since I quit Kevlar my tennis-elbow-from-Hell has never come back...just sayin'.

lstewart 11-12-2010 07:50 AM

18g Kevlar
The Gamma Power Play 18g is very low power, and has no stretch, but it does not have a sharp feel to cut through a hybrid cross of synthetic or multi. It is not arm friendly though, and is so low power that is is shocking. I got used to it, and played well with it, but I spent some time trying to get away from it. To me the string is not stiff, it just has no stretch. I string with a drop weight table top stringer, and the arm would drop and just stop dead.... so slow pull to stretch out the string the last pound or two. When you hit with it, there is no string bed compression, at least not strung at normal tensions like it used it. I guess I was just swinging as hard as I could with it. Have gone back and hit with one of the old rackets with it still in it.... and whew..... ball is just dead coming off the racket.

Chris Rizutto 11-12-2010 08:01 AM

It loses tension even faster than polyester. So you are constantly adapting to the new tension. Not good for consistency.

pyrokid 11-12-2010 10:19 AM

I'm using 18 gauge kevlar mains with 17l gauge cyberflash crosses strung at around 42/48.

In an 18x20 I still get a ton of control. Kevlar feels soft and nice at low tensions, but it could probably still bug your arm as the feel is pretty crisp.

For me it felt like the string played amazingly the first hour, and then very well for the next few matches before it broke. After the initial tension loss it felt like it settled in and didn't stretch much more. At that tension it wasn't that low powered at all, had great feel, and it lasts longer than anything else I've tried. Control didn't suffer at all.

Oh yeah, and it has more spin than full poly.

user92626 11-12-2010 10:27 AM

I don't understand some of you guys' comments about kevlar losing tension and thus control. My Kevlar seems to remain same stiff since day one. It's still low power and has so much control. If anything I wish it loses alot of tension and stretches and becomes easier on the arm.

lstewart 11-12-2010 10:34 AM

I agree about the limited impact of tension loss. It would take me a month or two to break the 18g kevlar. Although it would continue to lose a little tension, it never got to where I could not control it. As mentioned above, I probably hit better as it loosened up a little. I never cut it out, played it until it broke, and it was never a problem for me.

MomentumGT 11-12-2010 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by dedpete (Post 5160078)
I am looking for a string that has great durability as well as playability but doesn't hurt my arm. The only string that I have used that has ever hurt my arm was red code. I am wondering if 18 gauge kevlar would be good

A full bed of Pro Red Code hurt my elbow till I settled on 53lbs on my AG200 18x20. Now I string all polys in a full bed at 53lbs. I strung a set of Forten Thin Blend 18g kevlar hybrid at 50lbs and it was really stiff. It felt like when I strung Red Code in the low to high 60lbs+. If Red Code hurt your arm so will kevlar. I'm actually waiting till it looses significant amount of tension before I give it a full go. So far it feels like its dropped a good 10lbs just sitting in my bag for over a month but its still stiffer than my cheap full bed Polylon at 53lbs.


mawashi 11-12-2010 04:57 PM

Kevlar does loose tension but quickly settles in and retains that tension very well for a long time.

I've tried ashway and forten and much prefer forten as it's a lot more comfy and has better durability cus of the coating... imo.


maxplymac 11-13-2010 07:35 AM

So would one be brave enough to say 'future proof' their kevlar setup and string it at 60...then the reduction would have it settle at 40 for a long period of time? Is this a viable option?

EZRA 11-15-2010 06:25 PM

Kevlar loosens only to an extent. It settles after 3-4 hours of use. I've been using Forten Thin Blends for years now... it's not as durable as higher gauged kevlar strings out there but it doesn't feel as harsh as well.

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