Originally Posted by newyorkstadium
Is the tension loss data relevant to tennis playing conditions?
Don't some strings rate of tension loss change over time? Would a longer testing process be more accurate?
The tension loss data indicates how fast and how much tension a string will lose compared to others. All strings lose a lot of tension right after stringing and with the first 100 hits or so. Polys lose the most, then nylon, then gut. But the loss of tension is not good or bad perse. It all depends on whether or not you like the feel after the initial tension loss and break in period. Polys are so stiff that even after tension loss, they are still stiff compared to other strings. After the break in period, the rate of loss slows a great deal and all strings stabilize to a very slow, continual tension loss. This will affect string deflection and dwell time, which, in turn, might affect the feel and trajectory of your shot.
Strings that lose a lot of tension initially will lose more tension during the stabilization phase also. A longer test period would be able to chart this loss, but it is not worth the time to do so. When the string becomes "unplayable" is a subjective decision, not a measurable quantity, because it means different things to different people. Strings with comparable stiffness and tension loss numbers will probably feel similar and do so for similar time periods. That is how the numbers are useful to players--if you like a string with certain parameters, you will probably like other strings with similar numbers.