Arm friendly string set-up


New User
Hi all. I'm in my late 40's, 5.0/5.5 level, and had rotator cuff surgery last year. Play with a Wilson 95 BLX One. Looking for advice on a good soft string pattern. Played with cheap polys my whole life due to ignorance! Recently changed to Polyfibre black venom mains and Head Rip Control cross - both strung at 54lbs. Have also bought Prince Premier Control, Prince Premier Touch, Technifibre BiPhase and Wilson NXT Control to try as cross strings. Recommendations on a set up that is soft and at least slightly durable would be welcome! Natural gut obv but too expensive really.

Should I scrap the poly (even if it's a comparably soft one) and just go for a full multi-filament set-up?

Also recommendations re string tension (the lower the better I guess from a shoulder perspective but to be balanced with loss of control) and string gauge (again presumably higher gauge/thinner string is better but at the cost of durability). Should I be limiting the number of hours I play with a string before cutting it to avoid increasing vibration issues?


fuzz nation

It seems to me that if you want some poly performance in your layout and you have to make a step in a softer direction, one way that you might get that (no guarantees) is to try a hybrid with a rather light gauge of poly combo'ed with a softer cross string. I don't play polys myself, but I string for several locals and I don't remember ever running into trouble with stronger kids or adults using this sort of setup.

The light gauge of poly might be 1.20mm or thinner and lots of things might work in the crosses. Prince Original Syn. Gut is still reliable. Gosen OG Sheep Micro is a slippery and durable syn. gut - good as a cross in a hybrid, but it is a little more firm than some syn. guts.

If you want to take a substantial step with going easier on your arm, I'd say move away from the poly for a while, at least for some trials with softer alternatives. I personally think this is the better idea. I'm not wild about multifiber in general, but I've gained a lot of respect for Prince Premier Control - not as expensive as some of the premium multis and it doesn't seem to be as prone to that steady degradation (softening) that I've found with other multis.

I'm a tennis elbow survivor and I get all the arm-friendliness I need with syn. gut and even super cheap 16 ga. Forten Nylon. Keep in mind that syn. guts are not all the same. Prince Syn. Gut w/Duraflex is rather firm and Forten Sweet 16 is soft enough to rival some multi's. I just ordered a reel of Volkl Classic SG in 17 ga. because sometimes I really like the crispy, punchy feel I get with the lighter gauge. Snappy yet moderately soft, at least for me.


Just a thought - may or may not be significant. Yes, soften up the strings, maybe to the point that you must dial back a forehand - you will gain easy pop on the serve. Easy on the shoulder - and maybe , seems counter intuitive, try a heavier and less stiff frame. You may just get more stability and easy power and save your joint. In the 90s, many pros played loose gut and heavier frames for easy pop and less stress. That formula solved my rotator wear and tear a decade ago. You will play a different game, perhaps, but hard to turn down very easy pop on the serve.
Yes, at least dial down the strings and profit from the string power.