Ashaway Kevlar vs Kevlar +Plus

rene.55555

New User
Hi guys. I want to use kevlar string (mains) in hybrid with Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro 17 (crosses). I bought Crossfire ZX set with Kevlar Plus and ZX Pro. And I want to try Kevlar 18, but it's not available as a set in Europe. I'm looking for someone who has experiences with both strings for comparison. What is the difference and which one is better for 90" 18x20 racquet (IG Prestige Mid)? Thanks
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I've used the 16, 17, and 18 gauge kevlar from Ashway and like the 16 gauge the best. The thinner gauges tend to move around more and don't provide any more spin and less life.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I have Kevlar in the mains of around 10 rackets. I have 18G Kevlar in the mains at 65lbs with SG crosses 63/60 in a Wilson 95 16x18. Love how it plays. I generally like Ashaway 16G x ZX Pro at 63/60. I have one Wilson 95 strung with Kevlar+. I don't know what to think of that stuff yet. It is a little more "stretchy" than the regular Ashaway.

If it were me I would use 16G Ashaway x 17G ZX Pro. However, I just got some Forten Aramid Gear, Prince Problend and Forten Thin Blend to compare against the Ashaway.
 

rene.55555

New User
@Irvin: I think 16G is too thick for my racquet, it will be like a wall, maybe. Head size is 89.5" and string pattern is really dense.

@graycrait: Do you think Kevlar 16G, too? Do you feel any other benefits of Plus version? I'll go with 18G if durability is good. So what do you think about other kevlar strings - Forten or Prince compared to Ashaway? Thanks
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
@Irvin: I think 16G is too thick for my racquet, it will be like a wall, maybe. Head size is 89.5" and string pattern is really dense...
All Kevlar is stiff I doubt you could tell the difference between 16 and 18 for stiffness. FWIW I think 16 if anything would resist initial stretching more and would actually string up looser as would stretch more after stringing. 18 gauge on the other hand would maybe have better tension maintenance.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I personally like 18G and will install it in another used 12+oz Wilson 95 I picked up in 18x20. I tried some 18G in the mains of a heavy Wilson 95 in 16x19 last week with 17G Gosen OG Sheep Micro in the crosses. I will likely drop the tension 2-3lbs in the 18x20.

One thing you need to consider when stringing Ashaway 16G is the size of the grommet holes you will be squeezing that cross through a hole that already have a string through. Ashaway kevlar handles very soft and is sometimes a little tricky (for me anyway) to get through a tie off hole depending on grommet size/design. Next time I will just use a short piece of 15G SG to makes some space alongside the other string so that when I get the mains threaded to that point again I can just pull out the 15G and push the Kevlar through that channel for tie off - that is my theory anyway. I've only had my stringer since June, so still learning.

I'll post my thoughts on the other "kevlars/aramids" when I get more court time. I am down to 4 hours per week indoors.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
rene.55555,
I forgot to address the Kevlar Plus. It feels different than the other Kevlars and it might be more arm friendly than the others. I only have one racket strung with it in the mains and haven't given it much time on the court. I'll send you 21' each of 16G Ashaway, 18G Ashaway and Kevlar Plus if you want to try them out without buying a reel if shipping isn't crazy. pm: ch8156@gmail.com
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
@Irvin: I think 16G is too thick for my racquet, it will be like a wall, maybe. Head size is 89.5" and string pattern is really dense.

@graycrait: Do you think Kevlar 16G, too? Do you feel any other benefits of Plus version? I'll go with 18G if durability is good. So what do you think about other kevlar strings - Forten or Prince compared to Ashaway? Thanks
I recently tried the 16g after using the 18g for years. there didnt seem to be much a difference and IMHO the effects on SW would account for most of the perceived differences between the gauges outside of durability.

I split the difference and ordered a 17g reel myself.

Gray is right about the string aspects of 16g. It depends on the racket and your skills and tools but you should be able to string it its just harder.

Irvin is right that all kevlar is stiff!

When I was using the PS85 I put the kevlar 18g at 60lbs and the ZX crosses at 40 and it was a firm stringbed but had great spin and feel. Its wasnt as stiff as when I had my POG mid strung at 63/65lbs kev/gut.

Also depending on your goals and game dont be afraid to try kevlar at some crazy low tension like 20-30lbs....
 

rene.55555

New User
@Irvin: I understand, every kevlar is stiff, very stiff and there is not big difference between the gauges. I think durability is not problem with every gauge, too. But I'm looking for the best spin potential, ball bite and tension maintenance of kevlars.

@graycrait: I can discuss about stringing 16G kevlar with my stringer. I hope he won't have any problems. He is an old stringer with many experiences. He works with strings and racquets over 20 years.
Your offer is great, thank you so much. I'm going to mail you.

@Shroud: Do you feel all gauges maybe the same? It's interesting. I used to play with polys, I don't have problem with firm stringbed, but I'm looking for more power, tension maintenance and similar spin potential. It will be nice to try all the gauges.


And what do you think about pre-stretching (kevlar and MonoGut ZX)? So what tensions should I try first time, because I'll have only one try to compare. Thanks...
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
@Irvin: I understand, every kevlar is stiff, very stiff and there is not big difference between the gauges. I think durability is not problem with every gauge, too. But I'm looking for the best spin potential, ball bite and tension maintenance of kevlars.

@graycrait: I can discuss about stringing 16G kevlar with my stringer. I hope he won't have any problems. He is an old stringer with many experiences. He works with strings and racquets over 20 years.
Your offer is great, thank you so much. I'm going to mail you.

@Shroud: Do you feel all gauges maybe the same? It's interesting. I used to play with polys, I don't have problem with firm stringbed, but I'm looking for more power, tension maintenance and similar spin potential. It will be nice to try all the gauges.


And what do you think about pre-stretching (kevlar and MonoGut ZX)? So what tensions should I try first time, because I'll have only one try to compare. Thanks...
My 2 cents is that you might not have success with this experiment. 1st off no one looks to a kevlar setup for more Power! Its the lowest powered string if you are looking for "free" power. Now if you can supply your own then you will be ok. You should get a lot more durability from the kevlar over any poly and spin is good put not exactly poly levels. Close though.

Also its like you have eaten Jalapeno peppers all your life and some one says "hey here is a ghost pepper" and you say "I am used to Jalapeno's so a ghost pepper is OK". Kevlar is A LOT stiffer than poly so be prepared for that. Maybe go 5-10lbs lower if you are using the monogut and not stringing it a bunch lower then kevlar.

My two cents is that I would prestretch. The problem is that you have a pro stringer with 20 years of knowledge. I am guessing that such a persons version of prestretching is only to remove coil memory and not to actually stretch the string with a bunch of force till it actually elongates. Long story but alot of talk about prestretching for kev/zx comes from Travlerajm's E.S.P. where there is a big tension differential between the mains and crosses. Prestretching helps the tension maintenance which is vital in such a setup.

Also zx will stretch at least 1 FOOT. So think about that. If you crosses all stretched a foot it would really mess with the tension...I would always prestretch that string myself.

It may just be 6 and 1/2. If you dont prestretch you just string it much tighter and struggle through the first hour or so till it loosens.

Lastly if you get it right you have a firm spinny string bed that will last longer than pretty much anything AND still get snapback....
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
rene.55555,

I played with Kevlar Plus tonight, played some with Forten Aramid Gear String and Prince Problend. Both the Kevlar Plus and Aramid Gear were backed by ZX Pro. I used the Problend set that Prince markets. The Aramid Gear was interesting, but wasn't enamored with it and I will not play with the other two any longer. I really think the Ashaway kevlar is the way to go and listen to the others about prestretching the ZX. I'm going to prestretch some ZX Pro for my next racket stringing job, although I have ZX or ZX Pro in 10 different rackets with some sort of Kevlar. The kid from Macedonia wore me out tonight to the point I am going to stay with my tweener rackets for the foreseeable future. Trying to sling 12.5 oz racketes around hitting with him regardless of string job was too much for me.
 

comeback

Hall of Fame
My 2 cents is that you might not have success with this experiment. 1st off no one looks to a kevlar setup for more Power! Its the lowest powered string if you are looking for "free" power. Now if you can supply your own then you will be ok. You should get a lot more durability from the kevlar over any poly and spin is good put not exactly poly levels. Close though.

Also its like you have eaten Jalapeno peppers all your life and some one says "hey here is a ghost pepper" and you say "I am used to Jalapeno's so a ghost pepper is OK". Kevlar is A LOT stiffer than poly so be prepared for that. Maybe go 5-10lbs lower if you are using the monogut and not stringing it a bunch lower then kevlar.

My two cents is that I would prestretch. The problem is that you have a pro stringer with 20 years of knowledge. I am guessing that such a persons version of prestretching is only to remove coil memory and not to actually stretch the string with a bunch of force till it actually elongates. Long story but alot of talk about prestretching for kev/zx comes from Travlerajm's E.S.P. where there is a big tension differential between the mains and crosses. Prestretching helps the tension maintenance which is vital in such a setup.

Also zx will stretch at least 1 FOOT. So think about that. If you crosses all stretched a foot it would really mess with the tension...I would always prestretch that string myself.

It may just be 6 and 1/2. If you dont prestretch you just string it much tighter and struggle through the first hour or so till it loosens.

Lastly if you get it right you have a firm spinny string bed that will last longer than pretty much anything AND still get snapback....
Great advice Shroud on prestretching the ZX..Since discovering ZX in the Ashaway playtest, i have used it as cross hybrid with Nat Gut and Poly..Even as a main with poly..ZX saved my arm and my game.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Great advice Shroud on prestretching the ZX..Since discovering ZX in the Ashaway playtest, i have used it as cross hybrid with Nat Gut and Poly..Even as a main with poly..ZX saved my arm and my game.
Thats great that it helped your game and saved your arm.

I love ZX and have used it with gut and kevlar as a cross. It is very unique and stretchy!

Durable too. It lasts longer than my kevlar mains! When I played kev/gut the gut always broke first.
 

rene.55555

New User
@Shroud: You are right. I wrote it wrong. Polys are good, but I don't like their instability (tension and feel). Kevlar is very low powered, I know. Because of it I want to use ZX in the crosses (for more power and feel). I used to use one of the lowest powered poly (Babolat RPM Dual) and it was OK. I have enough of my own power and fast swing.
I want to use kevlar for its tension maintenance, durability, control and stability. Because of kevlar's stiffness I bought ZX Pro.

My stringer only string my racquet. I can prestrech ZX by myself. Does it need to be stringed immediately after prestretching? Can I prestretch it at home and give it to him next day? I'm sorry for stupid questions, but this is my first experience with prestretching.

Lastly if you get it right you have a firm spinny string bed that will last longer than pretty much anything AND still get snapback....
Great, this is what I'm looking for!
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
@Shroud: You are right. I wrote it wrong. Polys are good, but I don't like their instability (tension and feel). Kevlar is very low powered, I know. Because of it I want to use ZX in the crosses (for more power and feel). I used to use one of the lowest powered poly (Babolat RPM Dual) and it was OK. I have enough of my own power and fast swing.
I want to use kevlar for its tension maintenance, durability, control and stability. Because of kevlar's stiffness I bought ZX Pro.

My stringer only string my racquet. I can prestrech ZX by myself. Does it need to be stringed immediately after prestretching? Can I prestretch it at home and give it to him next day? I'm sorry for stupid questions, but this is my first experience with prestretching.

Great, this is what I'm looking for!
Sounds like you will do ok with kev/zx

Be prepared for it to take a few times to dial in the tension. As to the prestretching you should be able to do it a day before with no worries. Just be careful not to kink things. Also don't do the standard method of wrapping the middle of the string around a post. It will only get you half the tension of your pull.

I wish I could help on the tension. I only used Poly mains twice and well it was as you described above. This may help. I was playing with gut/zx at 62/47. I shredded the gut like crazy and went back to kevlar. I strung the same racket at kev/zx 47/40lbs. Recently I was stringing at 65/45lbs.

Anyhow here is a thread you may have seen and if not may find interesting.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=468680&highlight=power
 

Tennissee

Rookie
Low Tension is the Key

After experimenting with all kinds of strings and combinations, I eventually settled down about 10 years ago with Ashaway 18g in mains and something soft, typically natural gut or just cheap nylon in the cross. Kevlar is stiff, but at low tension, I use around 44/47, they feel posh and muted and easy on the elbow. If you have never tried low tension kevlar in the mains, give it a try and decide for yourself.
 
Anyone uses Kevlar and poly cross here? What are your thoughts of how it plays compared to full poly.
I played with kevlar/poly for years before I discovered ZX. I much prefer kevlar/poly over full poly.

Compared to full poly, kevlar/poly generally has:
Better spin
Better control
Better playable stringlife
Lower power

It softens over time. As it softens, spin increases, control decreases, power increases.
 
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Thatshot

New User
I played with kevlar/poly for years before I discovered ZX. I much prefer kevlar/poly over full poly.

Compared to full poly, kevlar/poly generally has:
Better spin
Better control
Better playable stringlife
Lower power

It softens over time. As it softens, spin increases, control decreases, power increases.
I agree with what you've said travlerajm, very surprised that spin with the kevlar/poly setup has more spin than full poly. Control is excellent due to the increased spin and lowered power. Only downside so far is comfort, I dropped 7lbs from my normal tension and its playing really well but sometimes the elbow does get a bit sore.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
except for the first match maybe 2. After that kevlar feels super soft to me. I preferred the old kevlar, had better results. I kind of sucked with the kevlar plus but I also went from playing 5-6 times a week (original kevlar) to 1-2 times if that with the (kevlar plus) so too many different variables to compare.

Kevlar is also amazingly light, Kevlar/gosen og sheep swings so much lighter than full poly.

Also in the camp of 18g kevlar was worse than 17 or 16L. 18 felt much stiffer to me.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
Anyone uses Kevlar and poly cross here? What are your thoughts of how it plays compared to full poly.
A little late to the game on this one, but my setup is Ashway 17 mains and polylon black 17 crosses...I've upped tension to around 65 pounds each on my NXG's since upping swing weight via lead to get some control back.

The truth about Kevlar is it feels pretty much the same from 40-65 lbs..and the drop weight on my klipper just stops moving at a certain point, no matter what tension you set it at. It's fairly obvious that there is almost zero elasticity in Kevlar, which is what makes it play so well for so long. It doesn't go dead like poly (when poly loses any elasticity it does have) or get too springy like nylon/synth gut (which only seems to get more elastic as it gets older).

The biggest problem with Kevlar is stringing through shared holes and tying off knots without any slack on the outside of the frame. Other than that I'll use it as a main string for as long as it's available. It's what I'm used to, it lasts for months and plays well for a very long time. I've had no long standing arm issues and I've used it for about 5 years now. The only TE I ever experienced was when I swapped the Kevlar and poly in the mains and crosses..I had bad TE the following day. Never again. I hate poly strings in the mains, I think they vibrate more in addition to being really bad for the arm when dead..not a good combination.

I use this setup on my NXG's which have a very open string pattern, play an average of about 3-4 hours per week. I've had a string job last me 5 months before finally snapping..it was hanging by a thread for weeks but still kept chugging along. I'll often take some chapstick or other kind of wax and apply it to the string bed, moving the mains around as part of the process. Seems to bring everything back to life a little more.

For rec players I think it is a better option than poly for mains, but all the pros use poly, so that's what everyone else uses. Kevlar provides more control than nylon stings and has a longer playable life than poly.
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
Where's that Julian dude from Ashaway?

Anyway, any more thoughts on the Crossfire II vs Crossfire+?

I'm trying the Crossfire II 16 and it's beaten to hell after a few weeks, fraying bad and it seems like the outer kevlar shell has separated from the inner core.
 
Where's that Julian dude from Ashaway?

Anyway, any more thoughts on the Crossfire II vs Crossfire+?

I'm trying the Crossfire II 16 and it's beaten to hell after a few weeks, fraying bad and it seems like the outer kevlar shell has separated from the inner core.
At your service!! What can I do for you?
 
:) If you could go into more detail about the regular Crossfire Kevlar vs the Plus version, especially in the longevity department, that would be splendid:)
Ashaway Kevlar plus is constructed exactly the same way as our other Kevlar products with 1 exception. Some of the Kevlar filaments (about 15%) have been replaced with PTFE. The slippery PTFE acts as somewhat of a lubricant (if you will) between the Kevlar filaments, allowing them to slide amongst each other. This makes for a softer feeling string.

Don't misinterpret what I am saying here. The string is still mostly Kevlar and still very stiff in comparison to most all other strings. It just feels a little softer than our other Kevlar strings because of this design.

This small % of PTFE should not affect the longevity. It should last as long as our 17 gauge Kevlar.
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
Ashaway Kevlar plus is constructed exactly the same way as our other Kevlar products with 1 exception. Some of the Kevlar filaments (about 15%) have been replaced with PTFE. The slippery PTFE acts as somewhat of a lubricant (if you will) between the Kevlar filaments, allowing them to slide amongst each other. This makes for a softer feeling string.

Don't misinterpret what I am saying here. The string is still mostly Kevlar and still very stiff in comparison to most all other strings. It just feels a little softer than our other Kevlar strings because of this design.

This small % of PTFE should not affect the longevity. It should last as long as our 17 gauge Kevlar.
Thank you for the info:)

Another question. I've been trying the 16gauge and noticed it has two sections: An outer and inner core. And sometimes the two separate and the string becomes very soft, losing its playing characteristics[I notice the separation is accompanied by a loud crunch]. This begins to happen after 20hrs or so.

Does this happen with the other gauges too?
 
Thank you for the info:)

Another question. I've been trying the 16gauge and noticed it has two sections: An outer and inner core. And sometimes the two separate and the string becomes very soft, losing its playing characteristics[I notice the separation is accompanied by a loud crunch]. This begins to happen after 20hrs or so.

Does this happen with the other gauges too?
I have not heard of this happening often. However, if it is possible with the 16 gauge, it is definitely possible with the other gauges as well.
 
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