Client String Recommendations - Poly for weaker players?

#1
So I'm confused about something. As I talk to new clients I'm finding a fair number of people playing with poly strings that in my opinion really shouldn't be. And they are using them on the recommendation of their previous stringers. And I'm talking about a tennis shop owner, a tennis club owner, and a tennis coach. Not some random guy with a drop weight machine. These players range from a beginner guy to 3.5-4.0 level women. None of which have long fast strokes. Short compact strokes, flat, and pretty rough technique.

Latest was a new teammate on my mixed team. Her previous stringer was a club owner. She's the type that doesn't know what she's using and just tells the guy to put whatever he recommends in her racquet. She uses one of the big ole feather light Head Ti.S6 and had a full bed of poly. Now I don't personally use poly (though I will be experimenting with it in the near future) but am I correct in assuming poly is really for higher level players with longer fast strokes and sound technique? Or could there be a good reason all these supposed experts are putting poly in these people's racquets?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#2
Some tennis shops, club owners, and teaching pros want to move out some strings they are closing out and will recommend them to anyone. I doubt poly is really bad for a weaker player if they do not keep it in the racket too long and it is stung low enough. but I feel there are better strings. I've put poly in rackets when players just want to keep the string from moving around and they actually like it.
 
#3
I string for a local facility, mostly players similar to what you're talking about - 3.0 - 4.0 club players in over 40/over 50 leagues using racquets similar in quality/performance to Head Ti.S6. I get many racquets throughout the year w/ "string with whatever you recommend" on them. I always attempt to reach the client by phone or email to discuss their playing style and needs. My typical go to recommendation for these clients is either solid core synthetic gut (Gamma or Prince) or a lower priced multi such as Wilson Sensation or Head Velocity MLT and string up at mid tension. Both are economical for the client and get the job done on the court. Quite frankly in nearly all cases the client comes back several months later with "String it like you did the last time." If a club or shop is recommending poly just to move inventory out the door, that's poor practice and a disservice to its players. Not a facility I would string at.
 
#4
There are some pretty soft Poly strings out there now. Some even where the ball sinks into the string bed like a multi/synthetic gut. In my opinion they are fine for an adult player of adequate ability especially at lower tensions. They will need to restring them often as they will become trampolines after a bit of hitting. I don't think it is wise to put a stiff control poly at 60 pounds in a 3.0's Ti.S6 and I would think anyone playing with one in their racquet would realize pretty quickly it is not for them.
 
#5
I just determine how they are playing with what they have and adjust from there. A slippery poly at a lower tension if they have their decent power generation. If they are over generating most of the time, I raise tension to bring the ball in closer or vice versa if they are under generating.
I have been out of play for 4 months due to hand injury in a car wreck so I will lower mine poly from 65 to 55 until I can build my power back up. (I can bet I won't walk on the court a UTR 5.0 right now, not even close. LOL)

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#7
Some tennis shops, club owners, and teaching pros want to move out some strings they are closing out and will recommend them to anyone. I doubt poly is really bad for a weaker player if they do not keep it in the racket too long and it is stung low enough. but I feel there are better strings. I've put poly in rackets when players just want to keep the string from moving around and they actually like it.
I'm not sure what tension they were strung at, but she'd had them in her racquet for quite a while. She broke a string at our match the other day. 16g round poly of some sort. And she does NOT hit the ball hard at all.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#8
I'm not sure what tension they were strung at, but she'd had them in her racquet for quite a while. She broke a string at our match the other day. 16g round poly of some sort. And she does NOT hit the ball hard at all.
Are you sure it was (co-)Poly, possibly could have been something like ZX too. That is is stiff string like a poly feels like poly but very much on the softer side. The stiffness of a string is an identified of how far the string stretches when struck with a sharp blow and not how stiff the string feels in your hand. For instance, Ashaway Kevlar feels soft in your hand but does not stretch much at all.
 
#9
I string for a local facility, mostly players similar to what you're talking about - 3.0 - 4.0 club players in over 40/over 50 leagues using racquets similar in quality/performance to Head Ti.S6. I get many racquets throughout the year w/ "string with whatever you recommend" on them. I always attempt to reach the client by phone or email to discuss their playing style and needs. My typical go to recommendation for these clients is either solid core synthetic gut (Gamma or Prince) or a lower priced multi such as Wilson Sensation or Head Velocity MLT and string up at mid tension. Both are economical for the client and get the job done on the court. Quite frankly in nearly all cases the client comes back several months later with "String it like you did the last time." If a club or shop is recommending poly just to move inventory out the door, that's poor practice and a disservice to its players. Not a facility I would string at.
Yeah basically I told her I was kind of surprised she was using poly and recommended a syn gut or multi. She said she'd prefer to stick with what she's using during this season and maybe try something else later. I said that's reasonable and after confirming she doesn't have any elbow/shoulder issues told her I'd put a poly in there. Then I explained the qualities of a multi and she kind of lit up and ran and grabbed her backup racquet for me to put multi in.

So I'm finding that most people I'll likely string for don't know/care exactly what's in their racquet. I had been emailing out a list of strings I have with different prices but i don't think they'll know what they're looking at. I think I'll simplify it to something like: $20 for synthetic gut and $25 for multi and if you know what you want we'll get it for you. I have a reel of Live Wire because I use it so that'll be the default multi option. (Also have a reel of Pro's Pro Gutex Ultra coming hoping I like it cuz it's cheap!) For syn gut I have a reel of Krischbaum that I bought (because it's 35 bucks) to practice and work the rust out after I bought my machine. I hit with it and it's not terrible. It's 17g so I'm thinking I need a reel of 16g syn gut. What would you recommend for my default cheap option? Is Prince Syn gut w duraflex still a go to for a lot of people like it was 20 years ago when I used it? Then I'll keep a few sets of poly on hand. What would you recommend for that?
 
#10
I'm not sure what tension they were strung at, but she'd had them in her racquet for quite a while. She broke a string at our match the other day. 16g round poly of some sort. And she does NOT hit the ball hard at all.
Are you sure it was (co-)Poly, possibly could have been something like ZX too. That is is stiff string like a poly feels like poly but very much on the softer side. The stiffness of a string is an identified of how far the string stretches when struck with a sharp blow and not how stiff the string feels in your hand. For instance, Ashaway Kevlar feels soft in your hand but does not stretch much at all.
Not 100% sure but I've worked with poly a few times. It looked like poly (shiny round no texture) and when I cut them out they were plasticky and extremely stiff.
 
#11
There are some pretty soft Poly strings out there now. Some even where the ball sinks into the string bed like a multi/synthetic gut. In my opinion they are fine for an adult player of adequate ability especially at lower tensions. They will need to restring them often as they will become trampolines after a bit of hitting. I don't think it is wise to put a stiff control poly at 60 pounds in a 3.0's Ti.S6 and I would think anyone playing with one in their racquet would realize pretty quickly it is not for them.
Well I put a poly in her racquet at 60 lbs but that's on the low end of the range for that racquet. Not sure if they strung it really low last time. But I do know she was using them for a long time.
 
#12
I was recommended full bed polys by all the Pros in my club since day 1 playing tennis... They say it's better for developing good technique, spin and control, it's also more durable (compared to multis). Worked well for me, though I'm starting to experiment now with multi and hybrid set ups :)
 
#13
I was recommended full bed polys by all the Pros in my club since day 1 playing tennis... They say it's better for developing good technique, spin and control, it's also more durable (compared to multis). Worked well for me, though I'm starting to experiment now with multi and hybrid set ups :)
The good technique part seems kinda right, but the spin and control are just inherent in that string type. If you play with that forever and then switch to something else you'll probably notice distinctly less spin and control. So in that sense you could say poly might underdevelop spin production and control in your game. But really that's only relative to the other string types. If you start with poly, develop your game with poly, and stick with poly, you're good. If you go from full poly to full multi you'll probably be hitting long and have to adjust your game. But if you've developed good technique that shouldn't be a problem. Personally I'll be experimenting with multi/poly hybrid setups to hopefully get the best of both.
 
#14
There's definitely less spin on full multi, not that much difference in control as I go a bit higher tension on multis. I'll definitely try different hybrid options.
But going back to your question, I definitely didn't have proper technique and strength when just started playing, though, I'm quite satisfied with my progress while using full bed of poly from day 1 (most probably in low tensions all the time).
 
#15
Yeah basically I told her I was kind of surprised she was using poly and recommended a syn gut or multi. She said she'd prefer to stick with what she's using during this season and maybe try something else later. I said that's reasonable and after confirming she doesn't have any elbow/shoulder issues told her I'd put a poly in there. Then I explained the qualities of a multi and she kind of lit up and ran and grabbed her backup racquet for me to put multi in.

So I'm finding that most people I'll likely string for don't know/care exactly what's in their racquet. I had been emailing out a list of strings I have with different prices but i don't think they'll know what they're looking at. I think I'll simplify it to something like: $20 for synthetic gut and $25 for multi and if you know what you want we'll get it for you. I have a reel of Live Wire because I use it so that'll be the default multi option. (Also have a reel of Pro's Pro Gutex Ultra coming hoping I like it cuz it's cheap!) For syn gut I have a reel of Krischbaum that I bought (because it's 35 bucks) to practice and work the rust out after I bought my machine. I hit with it and it's not terrible. It's 17g so I'm thinking I need a reel of 16g syn gut. What would you recommend for my default cheap option? Is Prince Syn gut w duraflex still a go to for a lot of people like it was 20 years ago when I used it? Then I'll keep a few sets of poly on hand. What would you recommend for that?
Im looking for the same answer.

What's everyone's default for players that ask for 'anything'. I need a staple syn gut, poly, co-poly, and nat gut.
 
#16
I've used tourna big hitter blue 17/Gosen og-ms 16 syn gut cross for a nice soft hybrid on the cheap. Edit: not forten/ it was the 4$ Goshen multi. Full Poly I've used Cyclone in the past but use Yonex poly tour pro 17, feels a little softer.
 
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#17
The default I think varies based on the skill of the player.

For synthetic gut I don't think you can go wrong with Gosen or Prince Original.

Natural Gut there are multiple options. I have half sets of VS and also full sets of Tonic depending on how particular the player is.

As far as Poly I think that depends on full bed or hybrid.

For Hybrid my friends prefer Weiss Cannon Silver String, Tourna Big Hitter Silver, and Luxilon 4G.

For full bed of Poly it depends on the player. Teenagers tend to like RPM Blast, 4G, Hyper G. In my town, adults tend to like a full bed of Cyclone, Cyclone Tour, Luxilon Element.
 
#18
Yeah basically I told her I was kind of surprised she was using poly and recommended a syn gut or multi. She said she'd prefer to stick with what she's using during this season and maybe try something else later. I said that's reasonable and after confirming she doesn't have any elbow/shoulder issues told her I'd put a poly in there. Then I explained the qualities of a multi and she kind of lit up and ran and grabbed her backup racquet for me to put multi in.

So I'm finding that most people I'll likely string for don't know/care exactly what's in their racquet. I had been emailing out a list of strings I have with different prices but i don't think they'll know what they're looking at. I think I'll simplify it to something like: $20 for synthetic gut and $25 for multi and if you know what you want we'll get it for you. I have a reel of Live Wire because I use it so that'll be the default multi option. (Also have a reel of Pro's Pro Gutex Ultra coming hoping I like it cuz it's cheap!) For syn gut I have a reel of Krischbaum that I bought (because it's 35 bucks) to practice and work the rust out after I bought my machine. I hit with it and it's not terrible. It's 17g so I'm thinking I need a reel of 16g syn gut. What would you recommend for my default cheap option? Is Prince Syn gut w duraflex still a go to for a lot of people like it was 20 years ago when I used it? Then I'll keep a few sets of poly on hand. What would you recommend for that?
I'm a fan of syn. gut and use it in my own racquets all the time. In fact, that basic Kirschbaum SG is the string I've been playing for a little while. They also have a premium SG - I think I tried both the 17 and 16 gauges - and that was fine, but it didn't inspire me to buy it again. GREAT bang for my buck from this basic K-baum syn. gut.

I like this string for my own full beds, but I also keep Gosen OG Sheep Micro 16 handy for poly hybrids. There are many other terrific syn. guts and Prince SG w/Duraflex is popular, but I find this to be stiffer than most others. Like Gamma SG with WearGuard, this particular Prince string has a durable outer wrap. It does make the stuff a little more durable, but it also makes it more "clunky" feeling (at least for me). I generally don't use the 16 ga. version of the Duraflex at all, but the 17 ga. can be okay in the right rig if it's not super tight.

Another interesting syn. gut is Forten Sweet - this is a syn. gut that's actually quite soft and can work as an affordable alternative to more expensive premium multifibers. The Sweet 17 (17 ga.) is a little on the fragile side, but the Sweet 16 seems to hold up okay.
 
#19
Well I put a poly in her racquet at 60 lbs but that's on the low end of the range for that racquet. Not sure if they strung it really low last time. But I do know she was using them for a long time.
Keep on researching what folks are doing with poly, co-poly, and hybrids compared with other string types. A full bed of poly (I use that term for everything including co-poly) in any racquet at a tension of 60 lbs. is pretty tight. The recommended tension ranges that are stamped on frames are typically for multis or syn. guts.

Poly and co-poly are different from those traditional string types - they're generally a bit more stiff and some are a LOT more stiff. I know that the Ti.S6 has a pretty large hoop, but it is as you say a feather-weight. A super light and stiff racquet like that one combined with a full bed of poly at higher tension can be potentially much harder on a player's arm than a softer alternative or even a poly installed at a lower tension. Many poly players these days are actually enjoying those strings tensioned down in the 40's, but that depends on the specific string, the racquet it's paired with, and what the player wants from it.

I've also found that poly gauges are a big deal. Skinny poly - 1.20mm for instance - isn't nearly as rigid as heavier stuff like 1.30mm. Some locals interested in a poly hybrid, but aren't super strong players have been very happy with a hybrid of 1.20mm mains combined with a 16 ga. syn. gut cross. This layout is only slightly more firm than a full bed of perhaps 16 ga. syn. gut, but it's also much more comfortable and dynamic than a full bed of a heavier poly.

One note about gauges: I listed those polys above in mm's instead of 16 ga., 16L ga., 17 ga., etc. because different companies use different labels. One company might call a 1.25mm string a 16L ga. while another calls that a 17 ga. Something lighter like 1.20mm might be labeled 17 ga., 17L ga., or 18 ga. from one seller to the next, but the actual number in mm's is what it is. If you're trying to sort out different polys, keep track of those specific numbers.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
#20
IMHO, most players beneath i’ll say 4.0 level (and that’s probably conservative) will realize few (if any) of the benefits poly offers higher level players. And, the concept of restringing prior to the string breaking is generally foreign and impractical to these lower level players. The end result is a whole swath of junior, beginner, and intermediate level players playing with full beds of poly and poly hybrids well beyond the playability range of the string - for many months (or even years). Naturally, many of those players have or will develop problems with their arm(s) - be it their wrist, shoulder, elbow.

With all of the above in mind, I err on the side of using multifilaments, synthetic gut, and natural gut for those who wouldn’t seem to benefit from poly . But of course, the customer is the boss and has the ultimate say so. When I explain the above to them, and they still want poly, then that’s what they’ll get.
 
#21
I bet, poly is popular because many racquet shops actively promote it, along with synthetic gut. It has nothing to do with their desire to recommend best product to the customers or match product to customer needs. It is cheap in reels, especially at wholesale price. They make more profit with these strings. Did I say, some of them look bright and fancy (like Hyper-G)?

When people see other players play with it, they start wondering if they should do it, too. They do not really know if they need it.

The only case that I remember when I had a conversation with a parent of a 14 year old player, who was playing with poly, andthe parent was able to clearly explain why. She said, the girl started breaking strings (NXT), they had to move to more resilient strings, but they are aware of the risks and keep tension very low, around 40 Lbs. OK, that makes sense. Most people just do what the tennis shop suggests them. I heard such conversations. What do you want from strings? I want good power, good control, good feel, good playability, good durability, good spin. Everything at once! OK, then you can choose between synthetic gut and poly (a standard recommendation of most profitable strings). Thanks! How do they look like? Oh, I like that color!

In order to KNOW what type of strings you like at your current skill level, you need some 5-6 identical racquets, you need to string all of them fresh with different strings, then go and hit with them with a ball machine for a couple of hours until you can clearly tell and define verbally the difference. How many people would do it? My son and I have five ProStaff RF97A racquets for the two of us, we did such test, actually in three phases since we wanted to test more strings and hybrids than we had racquets. We also strung racquets with different tensions to compare how the difference feels, fully expecting that all but one tension will be cut off right away (and this was natural gut or natural gut based hybrids, so it was not a cheap test). Well, who cares about several hundred dollars when knowledge is at stake? :)

It was quite enlightening. But how many people would do that? There is no such thing as test of strings at a demo facility.

Common knowledge is that poly gives precision of placement of the ball and resilience against breakage. Both are attributes needed for high level players. One has to have a perfect stroke and a perfect footwork in order to start feeling impact of string bed on ball placement accuracy (which is known as "control"), and one has to have a lot of racquet speed to break a string. The downsides are potential risks for arm and elbow pain (which is MUCH more likely to happen with players at lower level, with less than perfect stroke) and quick loss of tension which requires frequent restringing.

I think it is a fair statement, indeed, that poly is truly useful only for high level players, maybe from NTRP 5.0 and up.

But yes, many people use it even if they do not need it. Once they got adjusted to it, they do not like anything else because "other strings have too much power". When I am hear it, I am, like, I just met another Nadal or Federer, with too much power and some left to spare. I wish they would give some of their power to me to borrow :)
 
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#23
Tue. But many pros play with hybrids, too. Hybrids are softer and more arm-friendly. But many hybrids include natural gut. In our metro area, the "largest game in town", a tennis store with several locations where most people go, does not offer natural gut or natural gut hybrid options at all. I am guessing, it is too difficult to install for their qualification level.

My son wanted Wilson Champions Choice on his racquet, just because Federer plays with it. We went to that store, he asked, they said no way and offered full bed poly or some lousy hybrid instead, trying to convince him that it was nearly the same thing. The next thing I did, I ordered a stringing machine. That was over a year ago, no regrets!
 
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#24
In our metro area, the "largest game in town", a tennis store with several locations where most people go, does not offer natural gut or natural gut hybrid options at all. I am guessing, it is too difficult to install for their qualification level.
:D:D:D
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#25
Tue. But many pros play with hybrids, too. Hybrids are softer and more arm-friendly. But many hybrids include natural gut. In our metro area, the "largest game in town", a tennis store with several locations where most people go, does not offer natural gut or natural gut hybrid options at all. I am guessing, it is too difficult to install for their qualification level.

My son wanted Wilson Champions Choice on his racquet, just because Federer plays with it. We went to that store, he asked, they said no way and offered full bed poly or some lousy hybrid instead, trying to convince him that it was nearly the same thing. The next thing I did, I ordered a stringing machine. That was over a year ago, no regrets!
My guess is you found it is not really a big deal to string natural gut. Yes you need to apply some reasonable care but still no big deal.

The price to carry gut is a lot higher than the cost to carry very good hybrids that are very close to the performance of gut. But the problem is those synthetic multis won’t last as long as the gut and you will be back sooner to get your rackets strung.
 
#27
Who should use Poly? Is there an empirical way to measure? Based on RHS ?
I don't agree with the poly is only for the really good adult player theory. There are softer poly strings available, tension can be lowered, thinner gauges can be used, hybrids are an option, etc. offering options to most levels of play. I don't think poly is a good choice for a beginner. However, each player has a perspective of what plays well for them and what they like.
 
#28
Whats common place on the tour? We always hear that everyone is playing with poly, but do we know what brands of poly and at what tensions?

I've heard grand claims that everyone is playing low tension poly, everyone playing high tension poly, everyone playing low gauge with extra rackets in the bag, etc. Seems like the forums can't align here
 
#29
I don't know that but I have seen posts from those that string at pro-tournaments here as well and have no reason to doubt them.

From my perspective what the pros use doesn't really mater. They are pros. They restring all their racquets on daily basis, grab fresh string after 7 games or whatever their routine is. I don't think most of us that aren't do that.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
#30
From my perspective what the pros use doesn't really mater. They are pros. They restring all their racquets on daily basis, grab fresh string after 7 games or whatever their routine is. I don't think most of us that aren't do that.
This is “the rub” - the way pros cycle poly is quite different (and probably makes it a lot safer for them) than how (most) recreational players use it. Pros can afford to have their racquets strung very frequently - some every day. Many “average joes” want to use the same string the pros use, but they can’t or won’t restring the racquet often enough to only be playing with the string within it’s (short) playability range. These are the people who shouldn’t be using poly. But I see them all the time, over and over again. Many of them can’t be reasoned with. As frustrated as it can be to me sometimes (seriously, you’d rather risk TE, than play with something other than poly???), in some way it just is what it is.
 
#31
This is “the rub” - the way pros cycle poly is quite different (and probably makes it a lot safer for them) than how (most) recreational players use it. Pros can afford to have their racquets strung very frequently - some every day. Many “average joes” want to use the same string the pros use, but they can’t or won’t restring the racquet often enough to only be playing with the string within it’s (short) playability range. These are the people who shouldn’t be using poly. But I see them all the time, over and over again. Many of them can’t be reasoned with. As frustrated as it can be to me sometimes (seriously, you’d rather risk TE, than play with something other than poly???), in some way it just is what it is.
God, is this sooo ever true! It's maddening trying to reason with most people. For the life of me, I'll never understand why they don't "get it", even after it's explained well to them! :rolleyes:
 
#32
I agree, that was what I was saying. Why does it mater what the pros do as they don't hit with their string long enough to make it a fair comparison?

What I don't agree with is that there are not polys out there that an "Average Joe" can use.

I don't know an "Average Joe" that is requesting a control oriented poly. For example let's say "Average Joe" wants their racquet strung at 52 lbs with Technifibre Red Code. That racquet is going to be used for about 10 shots before it is returned... "too stiff"... "my shots have no pop"... etc.

If you want to toss me in the "Average Joe" bucket there are times I need to warm my son up at tournaments and I forget to put one of my racquets in his bag and so I grab one of his sticks which are strung with 4G between 50-53lbs.... I can't hit with the thing. Balls land short... My serve has nothing on it... Every ball I hit is like one jarring rumble of arthritic pain from my arm, through my neck, through my back, to my toes. I do not see "Average Joe's" in my area hitting with these types of strings. So yes I think "Average Joe's" do get it.

I do see 4.5 or 5.0's using these types of strings but I believe earlier in this thread folks were indicating these players are not "Average Joe's". These players should know better than to hit with their control strings when they are dead.

Now take an "Average Joe" that wants Gosen Sidewinder strung at 52 lbs. This is a soft poly and not control oriented. "Average Joe" is going to hit with the thing for about 8 hours. Gradually over time due to "Average Joe's" flat strokes "Poor Average Joe" is going to find he can't keep the ball off the back tarp with his dead sidewinder. Blocked volley's are going long. "Average Joe" may be average but in my area "Average Joe" does get it and knows the objective of the game is to keep the ball in the court not out of it and so restrings the racquet.

There are other strings like this now available for "Average Joe" and even "Average Jane" and if they want to hit with them I don't see why they can't.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#33

am1899

Hall of Fame
#34
What I don't agree with is that there are not polys out there that an "Average Joe" can use.
That’s not completely what I’m saying. IMHO, “Average joes” using poly isn’t the problem. “Average joes” using one string job with poly for months and even years before restringing - that’s the problem.
 
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#35
There are players that play with their poly way too long. What is worse is I see kids doing it.

It sounds like we agree that poly should be restrung frequently.

I think there are varying characteristics of poly string for varying levels of ability and style of play. I think there are also SG and multi strings that the same thing can be said about.

I might add for me I like to string my racquets with poly at low tension... I mean right at the edge... That means that they go from where I like them to unusable even faster than what would be a typical duration for poly but I understand this is not for everyone.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
#36
It sounds like we agree that poly should be restrung frequently.
Certainly more frequently than a lot of recreational players who play with it end up doing, yes. It does depend on a variety of factors - playing style, racquet, conditions, etc, etc. But regardless, most uninformed consumers I encounter let it go for far too long.

One thing about stringing poly low...my experience is the lower you string it, the less substantial and noticeable the initial tension drop. To your point though, low poly isn’t for everyone (including me, with my flat ground strokes).
 
#38
I agree, that was what I was saying. Why does it mater what the pros do as they don't hit with their string long enough to make it a fair comparison?

What I don't agree with is that there are not polys out there that an "Average Joe" can use.

I don't know an "Average Joe" that is requesting a control oriented poly. For example let's say "Average Joe" wants their racquet strung at 52 lbs with Technifibre Red Code. That racquet is going to be used for about 10 shots before it is returned... "too stiff"... "my shots have no pop"... etc.

If you want to toss me in the "Average Joe" bucket there are times I need to warm my son up at tournaments and I forget to put one of my racquets in his bag and so I grab one of his sticks which are strung with 4G between 50-53lbs.... I can't hit with the thing. Balls land short... My serve has nothing on it... Every ball I hit is like one jarring rumble of arthritic pain from my arm, through my neck, through my back, to my toes. I do not see "Average Joe's" in my area hitting with these types of strings. So yes I think "Average Joe's" do get it.

I do see 4.5 or 5.0's using these types of strings but I believe earlier in this thread folks were indicating these players are not "Average Joe's". These players should know better than to hit with their control strings when they are dead.

Now take an "Average Joe" that wants Gosen Sidewinder strung at 52 lbs. This is a soft poly and not control oriented. "Average Joe" is going to hit with the thing for about 8 hours. Gradually over time due to "Average Joe's" flat strokes "Poor Average Joe" is going to find he can't keep the ball off the back tarp with his dead sidewinder. Blocked volley's are going long. "Average Joe" may be average but in my area "Average Joe" does get it and knows the objective of the game is to keep the ball in the court not out of it and so restrings the racquet.

There are other strings like this now available for "Average Joe" and even "Average Jane" and if they want to hit with them I don't see why they can't.
I think you're right - the whole issue of what's appropriate for this or that player is more than just a standard issue can-o-worms.

I've had that same experience where I hit with a racquet strung with poly - I've tried it here and there in my own frames. I'm generally accustomed to playing with syn. gut, but the poly just seemed to drain a bunch of the life out of my rigs. What was a little alarming was that I could feel how much I was over-swinging to try to compensate for that diminished zip in my racquet. Too much of that would just murder my shoulder.

Through recent years I've seen all sorts of string setups among the high school teams I've coached. I don't try to tell the troops what they should or shouldn't use for string, but I know that I don't promote poly too much. Some kids already use it and I'll replace it for them if they ask, but I don't just give one of them a poly hybrid if they pop a full bed of syn. gut or multi.

Lots of adults like poly because it doesn't break in a hurry and many don't seem terribly interested in knowing more than that. I'll have the poly conversation if somebody asks me, but it seems as though that horse is out of the barn. Folks are going to enjoy that wow factor with the spin and control they get from poly and some are going to run smack into arm troubles.

While I agree that poly isn't for everyone, I do think that the setup I often install for some locals is more or less an Average Joe's poly hybrid. I use light gauge 1.20mm Isospeed Baseline mains and usually Gosen OG Sheep Micro 16 crosses at moderate tensions. I've tried this layout in my own racquets and while I don't care for it, I was surprised to find that it was much less harsh than a couple other poly layouts I've experimented with in the past with heavier gauges of poly. I'd rank this hybrid's firmness as feeling about the same as a snug bed of full 16 ga. syn. gut.
 
#39
Here's the deal as far as I'm concerned. Most Average Joe's string poly too tight, keep it in their rackets too long, and have faulty technique. On top of that, they don't have the game or the strokes to take advantage of it. Result? The majority wind up with sore arms. I've seen ex-D1 players who didn't use poly in college but use it now just like their old synthetic and they can hardly lift a beer after they play their arm is so sore.

IME, and I've been guilty of all of the above, synthetic guts, multis, and even natural gut are far better choices for the vast majority of club players. Those strings help club players by minimizing impact and breaking when they should -- commensurate with the user's level.

I read an article in which James Blake said that pros, world class pros, want nothing similar to what club players do out of their rackets. He said that world class players typically play with frames that would feel dead to the average club player. Their frames are set up solely for control. World Class (WC) players hit the ball in the center of the strings 90+% of the time they make contact. They don't need "forgiving" equipment. He went on to say that they also want dead feeling gear because a WC player doesn't need help with power, they generate their own. He emphasized the word "control" in the interview.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#41
poly = durability "."
if player does not have durability issues, then why venture into those waters?!
I agree with you and Lucien Nogues, but poly more often than not increases spin if the player has the stokes and strength to play with them then I’d say try it.

EDIT: I string for a high ranked 10 yo that breaks 16 gauge SG / 17 gauge co-polyin about 2-3 weeks. He recently just switched to full Red Code Wax 17 and loves it.
 
#42

poly = durability "."
if player does not have durability issues, then why venture into those waters?!
I agree as well. I tread into those waters b/c that's where the customer wants to go. Before going there, though, I make sure to review the string history with the customer, noting whether or not he or she is a recurring string breaker - for which poly could be a better option. Before going to poly, I always recommend we try a multi strung at higher tension to provide more control, or hybrid setup. But if the customer wants full poly, full poly they will get. I've started customers out on lower priced options like Volkl Cyclone, at lower tension, and have received positive feedback.
 
#43
I have no issue and I do benefit from soft poly. Like I said I string it at low tension and restring often. I really like the performance I am getting out of my string and do not have arm issues.

One thing I would like to add is I now can't hit multi/synthic gut strung too tightly as I have become accustomed to lower tension so I think there is more to it than the composition of the string.

I know one gal I hit with who is in her 20s and a former D3 player that plays with a full bed of stiffer poly (Solinco Revolution). Otherwise, the old people (like me) I play with use either a hybrid or multi/synthetic gut. I just don't see adult players using control strings unless they are really advanced players. That is why I really don't see an issue nor have I heard of anyone complaining.

As far as high school kids go most I have seen in our area use synthetic gut /multi and they should use it. The tournament kids that play high school use Poly but that becomes a whole other topic.
 
#44
I am not questioning that Poly not handled properly is not an issue as I have seen it. However, the last 2 cases of TE/GE I have seen were:

1. A friend who is a smaller gal hitting with her boys racquet strung with Addiction that had way too big a grip for her small hands.

2. A buddy of mine who is a very good athlete and good player who did not grow up with the sport so his technique/grip on the racquet is awful. At the time he developed TE he was using synthetic gut and it knocked him out of the game for 2 years. He is better now and uses a natural gut/4G hybrid and has not had issues. I am not sure how that is the case as his technique is still really bad :p!!!!

Improper technique, improper sized and spec'ed racquets, for a particular player/ability, .... along with poor choice in string / tension I think all these play factors in arm issues.
 
#45
As far as high school kids go most I have seen in our area use synthetic gut /multi and they should use it. The tournament kids that play high school use Poly but that becomes a whole other topic.
I agree.
Improper technique, improper sized and spec'ed racquets, for a particular player/ability, .... along with poor choice in string / tension I think all these play factors in arm issues.
Yep. I would also include, in certain cases, age.
  • technique (most important of all factors)
  • amount of stiffness/flex a frame has
  • amount of mass a frame has (Mass is a good thing. "Light is right" is a poor trend/fallacy.)
  • string material type (poly [or kevlar] based)
  • string tension
  • age (body parts do wear with age)
If you're a 59 year old weekend warrior (without very good technique), using a 10oz. racquet... with a 70RA, and full poly strung at #63, why would you be surprised to find your arm/elbow/wrist hurting?
 
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