Anyone move from gut/poly to full poly for financial reasons?

cortado

Professional
I often wonder if there is an issue with confirmation bias in any of these assessments. The player knows tensions change with string bed aging and he knows how old his string bed is. So every bad shot on a new string bed is attributed to user error and every bad shot on an old string bed is attributed to the strings. Then there is the confidence issue, once you start to be convinced that an older string bed is less reliable.

I think an interesting study would be to blind players to the age of the string bed and look at their match results over several time frames. I suspect the match results would not be altered as dramatically as players feel.

Fortunately most of my competitive play comes in tournament doubles so I just re-string a frame prior to the tournament and use it through the tourney which is usually 2-3 matches. I'd probably suggest the OP have a "match racket" that he uses for at least 4 matches and nothing else. Then convert it to the practice racket and restring a practice racket to become the "match racket".
I had no complaints at all with my gut/poly the entire 12 weeks it lasted. If anything when I first used it fresh it felt too powerful and I wasn't sure I liked it.
I much prefer old gut/poly to old full poly.
Gut/poly is not something I ever plan to cut out prior to it breaking because it's 'dead'. I will just play it until the mains snap.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I had no complaints at all with my gut/poly the entire 12 weeks it lasted. If anything when I first used it fresh it felt too powerful and I wasn't sure I liked it.
I much prefer old gut/poly to old full poly.
Gut/poly is not something I ever plan to cut out prior to it breaking because it's 'dead'. I will just play it until the mains snap.
I generally agree that gut/poly maintains playability longest of all strings I've tried. But i hit bad shots from time to time and sometimes I think we tend to blame our equipment when we should be blaming ourselves.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
I often wonder if there is an issue with confirmation bias in any of these assessments. The player knows tensions change with string bed aging and he knows how old his string bed is. So every bad shot on a new string bed is attributed to user error and every bad shot on an old string bed is attributed to the strings. Then there is the confidence issue, once you start to be convinced that an older string bed is less reliable.

I think an interesting study would be to blind players to the age of the string bed and look at their match results over several time frames. I suspect the match results would not be altered as dramatically as players feel.

Fortunately most of my competitive play comes in tournament doubles so I just re-string a frame prior to the tournament and use it through the tourney which is usually 2-3 matches. I'd probably suggest the OP have a "match racket" that he uses for at least 4 matches and nothing else. Then convert it to the practice racket and restring a practice racket to become the "match racket".
Yes this has been working for me lately and is extending my string jobs by quite a bit.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
That is awesome! Thank you for assembling this.

A while back someone on here pointed out to me that the Topspin Reels (i,e. Cyber Flash) are 722' and thus actually you get more sets per reel so maybe you want to look at your cost breakdown for the Topspin strings from a reel perspective.
Good catch. Updated my sheet.

 

FiddlerDog

Professional
I often wonder if there is an issue with confirmation bias in any of these assessments.
It applies to every aspect of tennis equipment by rec players.
Ball went long? Tension too low! (Not, your stroke sucks and there is no spin)
Ball went short? Why not tension too high? No one ever says that.
The simple fact is that in any session you will hit both too long and too short.
Rec players are clueless to basic scientific method
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
What's your favourite of the cheap polys in terms of playability?
When I think Poly I think a few things....

1. What are using it for (i.e. full bed or cross to something softer)?
2. What type of string do you prefer which usually but not always relates to your level/game?

Me personally:

Full Bed Poly = VCT 16 Mains VCT 17 Crosses
Gut / Poly Colder Weather = Isospeed Cream 17 Cross
Gut / Poly Warmer Weather = .... I am not sure... Still searching but something a tad firmer than Cream.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I often wonder if there is an issue with confirmation bias in any of these assessments. The player knows tensions change with string bed aging and he knows how old his string bed is. So every bad shot on a new string bed is attributed to user error and every bad shot on an old string bed is attributed to the strings. Then there is the confidence issue, once you start to be convinced that an older string bed is less reliable.

I think an interesting study would be to blind players to the age of the string bed and look at their match results over several time frames. I suspect the match results would not be altered as dramatically as players feel.

Fortunately most of my competitive play comes in tournament doubles so I just re-string a frame prior to the tournament and use it through the tourney which is usually 2-3 matches. I'd probably suggest the OP have a "match racket" that he uses for at least 4 matches and nothing else. Then convert it to the practice racket and restring a practice racket to become the "match racket".
Maybe but personally I have been using the same strings and setup for the past 4 years or so. I think one needs to have a good understanding of their game, its strengths and limitations, and then find a setup that enhances what you do well while helping you at what you don't do well.
 
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aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
I tried YPTP 1.20 in my Vcore 95 & strung it at 50 lbs (for reference I normally string gut 1.30/poly 1.25 at 64 lbs) first impressions...

-Surprisingly comfortable, about equal to gut/poly
-Sweetspot was definitely more forgiving due to the lower tension
-Spin access felt greater than gut/poly, not by a huge amount, but noticeable. It was easier to hit sharper angles cross court
-Feel was actually pretty damn good, I was hitting great drop shots, I normally use 1.30 gauge gut and 1.25 gauge poly but maybe the thinner poly enhances feel a bit
-I didn't notice any real difference in power level, I normally gauge this by my serve, my serve was hitting the back fence after it bounced like it does normally
-I thought the string provided good directional control, and good spin access, sometimes it's hard to get both but I felt a good compromise here

The only negatives for me were that I strung a bit too low so I suffered with volleys and 1st serves going a bit too deep, I'm going to try 52 lbs next time but I imagine I'll probably end up somewhere around 54-55.

All in all a good first hit with full poly, not sure why I've been scared of it for so long.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
After a week of hitting with YPTP 1.20 (roughly 14 hours) here are my thoughts. I am a 5.0 player for reference (UTR 9), 27 years old. My normal set up is Luxilon Gut 1.30 in the mains and Max Power 1.25 in the crosses at 64 lbs. I am currently using the Vcore 95.

Comfort : equal, YPTP 1.20 strung at 50 lbs is equally soft to gut/poly strung in the 60's.

Power : equal, gut/poly has a higher launch angle so balls land deeper in the court, but in terms of actual MPH on strokes it seems roughly the same. I may give the slight edge to full poly because the additional spin makes the ball travel faster after the bounce. The sweetspot is bigger with full poly because you can string it much looser

Spin : full poly, wins quite comfortably, I would say there's a 10-20% increase in spin, even after 10-12 hours it gives more spin than gut/poly, most noticeable on second serves, I am double faulting way less often. Having an increased access to spin opens up different patterns and shots, it's almost like playing a completely different game.

Feel : full poly, yup sounds crazy, but I actually hit better touch & feel shots with YPTP. I'm guessing due to the thinner gauge and lower tension.

Playability duration : full poly, Let me explain why. Gut/poly as it ages the launch angle gets higher and higher due to the poly cross losing tension, with full poly I found it lost tension but it didn't result in a dramatically increased launch angle. The launch angle got higher, yes, but it wasn't as pronounced as gut/poly.

after this experiment I'm honestly failing to see the benefit of gut beyond anyone with arm issues, and I say that as someone who has been using gut for the last 4 years. There was nothing that gut/poly did better than full poly. Literally nothing. I do not see myself going back to gut/poly. The additional cost is not worth it for me. I think some players have classic strokes that benefit from gut mains, unfortunately mine do not and like full poly. I'm glad i tried this experiment, im looking forward to playing better tennis and saving lots of money going forward.

my initial hesitation towards trying full poly was just reading a lot of horror stories on this forum about tennis elbow and how quickly it drops tension, etc...but i really think they've fixed most of these issues or posters are exaggerating them. String technology has really advanced the game.
 
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cortado

Professional
After a week of hitting with YPTP 1.20 (roughly 14 hours) here are my thoughts. I am a 5.0 player for reference (UTR 9), 27 years old. My normal set up is Luxilon Gut 1.30 in the mains and Max Power 1.25 in the crosses at 64 lbs. I am currently using the Vcore 95.

Comfort : equal, YPTP 1.20 strung at 50 lbs is equally soft to gut/poly strung in the 60's.

Power : equal, gut/poly has a higher launch angle so balls land deeper in the court, but in terms of actual MPH on strokes it seems roughly the same. I may give the slight edge to full poly because the additional spin makes the ball travel faster after the bounce. The sweetspot is bigger with full poly because you can string it much looser

Spin : full poly, wins quite comfortably, I would say there's a 10-20% increase in spin, even after 10-12 hours it gives more spin than gut/poly, most noticeable on second serves, I am double faulting way less often. Having an increased access to spin opens up different patterns and shots, it's almost like playing a completely different game.

Feel : full poly, yup sounds crazy, but I actually hit better touch & feel shots with YPTP. I'm guessing due to the thinner gauge and lower tension.

Playability duration : full poly, Let me explain why. Gut/poly as it ages the launch angle gets higher and higher due to the poly cross losing tension, with full poly I found it lost tension but it didn't result in a dramatically increased launch angle. The launch angle got higher, yes, but it wasn't as pronounced as gut/poly.

after this experiment I'm honestly failing to see the benefit of gut beyond anyone with arm issues, and I say that as someone who has been using gut for the last 4 years. There was nothing that gut/poly did better than full poly. Literally nothing. I do not see myself going back to gut/poly. The additional cost is not worth it for me for no extra benefits. I think some players have classic strokes that benefit from gut mains, unfortunately mine do not and like full poly. I'm glad i tried this experiment, im looking forward to playing better tennis and saving lots of money going forward.

my initial hesitation towards trying full poly was just reading a lot of horror stories on this forum about tennis elbow and how quickly it drops tension, etc...but i really think they've fixed most of these issues or posters are exaggerating them. String technology has really advanced the game.
The one benefit I have found of gut/poly vs anything else was this kind of controlled power that I haven't found with anything else. I can't really describe it, but once I got used to the gut/poly, I was able to hit these really deep groundstrokes that dipped in before going long, but didn't bounce high off the court and always took my opponent by surprise.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
The one benefit I have found of gut/poly vs anything else was this kind of controlled power that I haven't found with anything else. I can't really describe it, but once I got used to the gut/poly, I was able to hit these really deep groundstrokes that dipped in before going long, but didn't bounce high off the court and always took my opponent by surprise.
Funny cause that's how I would describe my experiment with full poly, "controlled power" I never thought that I would even like stringing at 50 lbs. I've been stringing gut in the mid 60's for the past 2-3 years and still found it at times a bit too launchy.

My experience is that Gut/Poly and full poly have a similar playability duration. Gut/Alu was the most fun set-up i tried for the first 2 hours, probably best for professionals.
 
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aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
Also I will probably keep stringing full poly at 50 lbs for now. I was expecting the launch angle to dramatically increase over time but it's more or less stayed the same after a week of play. I am quite shocked that I am enjoying a full poly set-up this much.
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
yeah I echo same sentiments as @aaron_h27…full poly bests gut poly. Now try using 1.25 and stringing lower for more durability and controlled power. The only reason I would give gut/poly the edge against full poly is for playability duration and comfort for lower level players that don’t quite use as much racquet head speed. Now time to try shaped poly mains (HG/HGS) with smooth cross at lower tension and you’ll love it
 

FIRETennis

Professional
It's a good idea to go back to the drawing board every now and then when using a certain setup for an extended period of time. The brain just adjusts too well to it and the benefits seem to 'fade'. I also were mesmerized by this inexplicable honeymoon period where poly at lowish tensions feels so great initially. In reality it was only applicable for a few hours in practice and not replicable in matches. I eventually found myself going back to the dependable gut/poly setup of VS/Element. The touch, feel, tension stability and court penetration of gut/poly is addictive. I loved it more after going back to it from a short poly stint.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I am not as good as @aaron_h27 but I think each setup has it's advantages and disadvantages although I will say I get quite a bit longer playability with gut/poly and for that it is cheaper. I get better feel with the gut/poly hybrid around the net as well. With Full Poly I get much better spin.

The one downside I am finding with gut/poly is its sensitivity to weather conditions in that in the Winter/Spring I find a setup I like and by the heat of summer a fresh restring at the same tensions is uncontrollable. I change things around and then fall arrives and it becomes too much racquet for me (too tight/dead) so then I need to go back to what worked in the Spring. Dialing it in is more of a pain than full poly.

Like @FIRETennis said I like going back and fourth between the gut/poly and full poly.
 

Rajan Rackets

New User
For the past 6-7 years i have done nothing but poly multi or decent s-gut hybrids, and not felt that bad about it, especially in the durability department. Just my 2 cents, but i do string my own rackets to be fair
 

Sardines

Hall of Fame
It's less an issue with the strings but how your game is structured. Poly should have more spin because it's less powerful, so you can swing harder on the ball. Where gut hybrid shines is the return of pace with short strokes, and injection of pace on the run where the strokes aren't set up properly, especially off low balls where it's more about energy return. Your game just suits poly more. You should be happy, you're gonna save a lot of money!
My playsight data shows my singles games is better with gut/poly, even though I use poly in dubs. It is marginal but still valid. So my problem is judging whether it's worth those marginal gains.

After a week of hitting with YPTP 1.20 (roughly 14 hours) here are my thoughts. I am a 5.0 player for reference (UTR 9), 27 years old. My normal set up is Luxilon Gut 1.30 in the mains and Max Power 1.25 in the crosses at 64 lbs. I am currently using the Vcore 95.

Comfort : equal, YPTP 1.20 strung at 50 lbs is equally soft to gut/poly strung in the 60's.

Power : equal, gut/poly has a higher launch angle so balls land deeper in the court, but in terms of actual MPH on strokes it seems roughly the same. I may give the slight edge to full poly because the additional spin makes the ball travel faster after the bounce. The sweetspot is bigger with full poly because you can string it much looser

Spin : full poly, wins quite comfortably, I would say there's a 10-20% increase in spin, even after 10-12 hours it gives more spin than gut/poly, most noticeable on second serves, I am double faulting way less often. Having an increased access to spin opens up different patterns and shots, it's almost like playing a completely different game.

Feel : full poly, yup sounds crazy, but I actually hit better touch & feel shots with YPTP. I'm guessing due to the thinner gauge and lower tension.

Playability duration : full poly, Let me explain why. Gut/poly as it ages the launch angle gets higher and higher due to the poly cross losing tension, with full poly I found it lost tension but it didn't result in a dramatically increased launch angle. The launch angle got higher, yes, but it wasn't as pronounced as gut/poly.

after this experiment I'm honestly failing to see the benefit of gut beyond anyone with arm issues, and I say that as someone who has been using gut for the last 4 years. There was nothing that gut/poly did better than full poly. Literally nothing. I do not see myself going back to gut/poly. The additional cost is not worth it for me. I think some players have classic strokes that benefit from gut mains, unfortunately mine do not and like full poly. I'm glad i tried this experiment, im looking forward to playing better tennis and saving lots of money going forward.

my initial hesitation towards trying full poly was just reading a lot of horror stories on this forum about tennis elbow and how quickly it drops tension, etc...but i really think they've fixed most of these issues or posters are exaggerating them. String technology has really advanced the game.
 

aaron_h27

Hall of Fame
It's a good idea to go back to the drawing board every now and then when using a certain setup for an extended period of time. The brain just adjusts too well to it and the benefits seem to 'fade'. I also were mesmerized by this inexplicable honeymoon period where poly at lowish tensions feels so great initially. In reality it was only applicable for a few hours in practice and not replicable in matches. I eventually found myself going back to the dependable gut/poly setup of VS/Element. The touch, feel, tension stability and court penetration of gut/poly is addictive. I loved it more after going back to it from a short poly stint.
I agree, and I definitely understand about the honeymoon period when trying new things. I would consider myself self-aware so it's not that I felt I was playing better, I was actually playing better. Less unforced errors and more winners. Anytime you can cut down your errors and increase your winners, that's always a good thing.

The thing is, I was using gut for power, feel, comfort and tension maintenance, but I didn't feel like I lost any of those aspects by going to full poly. Everything just seems easier with full poly. Like it's a more efficient string than gut.

I am not as good as @aaron_h27 but I think each setup has it's advantages and disadvantages although I will say I get quite a bit longer playability with gut/poly and for that it is cheaper. I get better feel with the gut/poly hybrid around the net as well. With Full Poly I get much better spin.

The one downside I am finding with gut/poly is its sensitivity to weather conditions in that in the Winter/Spring I find a setup I like and by the heat of summer a fresh restring at the same tensions is uncontrollable. I change things around and then fall arrives and it becomes too much racquet for me (too tight/dead) so then I need to go back to what worked in the Spring. Dialing it in is more of a pain than full poly.

Like @FIRETennis said I like going back and fourth between the gut/poly and full poly.
I agree there are pros and cons to everything, I just haven't found one for full poly yet.

I was expecting there to be less power, less feel and less playability duration but I haven't found that to be the case.

In fact my game has gotten more creative, I feel like I have more access to different shots, I don't have to always hit past my opponent. I can hit a short angles with spin.

Gut/poly to me doesn't last forever due to the poly crosses losing tension. You end up with tight mains and loose crosses after a while

Like I said before I have used gut in my rackets for the past 4 years. I started off with full gut, but eventually switched to gut/poly in the last year or so. I was always drawn to Luxilon's Gut because it felt more control oriented than VS.

It's less an issue with the strings but how your game is structured. Poly should have more spin because it's less powerful, so you can swing harder on the ball. Where gut hybrid shines is the return of pace with short strokes, and injection of pace on the run where the strokes aren't set up properly, especially off low balls where it's more about energy return. Your game just suits poly more. You should be happy, you're gonna save a lot of money!
My playsight data shows my singles games is better with gut/poly, even though I use poly in dubs. It is marginal but still valid. So my problem is judging whether it's worth those marginal gains.
I agree, what's crazy is that I have mostly used gut the past 4-5 years and before that I was using synthetic gut as a junior, so I was under the assumption my stroke was tailored towards gut mains, but I'm actually finding that my game style is more creative with full poly. I don't like bashing through my opponent with raw power, I like to use angles, dropshots, etc...I feel like full poly so far is allowing me to play more creative. I would say my game is similar to Ash Barty, except I have a one handed backhand.

As far as poly being less powerful, perhaps in theory, but on court I find this not to be the case for me. The additional spin generated definitely speeds up shots after the bounce. On the serve I felt no loss in speed and I judged this by how far my serve was hitting on the back fence after the 1st bounce.

I could be wrong though, I would love to see playsight data or something one day!
 
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