Collaborative Effort By Bob Patterson: To all the parents of beginners who think their 11 year beginner needs poly. Please stop and read this

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Collaborative Effort By Bob Patterson:

When it comes to poly strings, we all need to make sure adult recreational players and juniors know the facts.
I speak to many manufacturers, coaches, and racquet technicians, and the consensus is that recreational adult players and junior players are using the wrong type of string, tension—or both.
Stiff polyester strings are prevalent in the marketplace and dominate the pro tours, but are they suited for the average club or league player? Most in this industry don’t think so.

First, the very benefit of poly strings is their ability to bend and snap back faster than other materials. This snapback enhances spin on the ball. A pro can swing out and get more spin on the ball while generating a heavier shot. You might think that would be the same for your average junior or club player, but it is most definitely not the case. Most players can’t generate enough racquet-head speed to bend stiff poly strings in the first place. If the string doesn't bend, it can’t snap back, and there is little or no spin enhancement. Many recreational players who switch to a poly never adjust their tension.

I’m always amazed to hear of a 3.5 adult or junior using a full poly set-up at high tensions. This is a surefire way for a player to hurt his or her arm.

Second, monofilament poly strings lose their elasticity—or the ability to snap back—much faster than nylon
or other string materials. Since poly strings have a fairly dead feeling to begin with, their decline is less noticeable for recreational players, who tend to not restring as often as they should, which only makes the problem worse.

Not only is poly string wrong for most recreational and junior players, it can be harmful. The stiffer string
coupled with stiffer, lighter racquet creates much more shock to the player when the ball impacts the stringbed. In recent years, we’ve seen arm and wrist injuries sideline many top pros, and these athletes train and take every precaution to prevent injury. If we all know it is a problem, how do we fix it?

It starts with education: inform players about why they should alter their string set-up. It is better for their health and for their game. Manufacturers need to step up, too.
It is easy to market a string their top sponsored player is using, but companies need to make rec players aware that string may not be best for everyone. Then they need to offer a softer, better-suited string.

The bottom line is that we all need to address this issue. Injured players play less, and may stop playing altogether.

And that’s not good for anyone. •

Bob Patterson:
Executive Director of
the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association.
Tennis Industry: Nov/Dec 2017


To all the posters on various threads suggesting polys to 11-year-old and 13-year old beginners, please just stop. That is just terrible advice. There are several highly experienced stringers on this forum who string frames from beginners to high level players, then there are plenty of posters on TW who have never strung a frame in their life suggesting polys to beginners. Advice from random posters who know very little to nothing about strings is the way many people get their kids hurt. @Rabbit @Wes @am1899 @jwocky @Steve Huff @jim e @esgee48 @Dags @esm are all stringers with lots of credibility. I am missing the names of others. I will add others as they pop into my mind.

TW needs to make their own sticky thread so every parent with a beginner kid doesn't ask the same question and help curb the terrible advice from inexperienced posters suggesting poly over and over to a beginner.

IMO parents would do well to stay away from the 18X16 Wilson Spin Effect Frames and pay for lessons with a tennis pro and get them a 16x19 frame where they could develop their game without using a crutch of an 18x16 pattern which only puts the seed of doubt in their mind "Do I need poly?" No, they don't.

If your kid demos 14 frames as a beginner and you as the parent feed this type of behavior as a parent of a beginner, you are focused on the wrong thing. Your kid might be your prince or princess, but they are a beginner. Don't burn them out and think they will play any differently with one frame or frame number 14. They are beginners. Syn Gut or something like Tecnifibre Multifeel / Head Velocity will last 99% of beginners longer than a year in a 16x19 frame.
 
Last edited:
Great post. It's so hard to convince a HS age person (and adults too) that just because you can hit a ball as hard as you want and the ball stays in, that you are using the right string. It's also hard to convince them that their stroke really aren't "just like Nadal's" strokes.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
I don’t see any harm in low tension soft poly- younger players tendons are much more resilient than old players
did you read anything Bob Patterson wrote ? Do you string for clients or make a living as a tennis pro?

after I made the OP in this thread, within 30 mins I got another text from a beginner who has tennis elbow from using poly. Her teaching pro told her to contact me after she complained of TE.
 
Last edited:

Rosstour

Legend
Sounds like Bob's arm is tired from stringing poly lol

I kid, but I agree w/him. I like poly bc of the spin and bc it takes a while to break. But, if I felt pain, I would switch away or go back to hybrids.
 
I have also had trouble convincing people to move away from poly. Even the soft polys are not suitable for most players at club level. And then those players who hit flat are also asking about using poly to give them spin. Drives me nuts. Recently convinced someone to use multi due to arm pain and she ask me why I never told her before. I told her I have been telling her to leave poly alone for 3years already but she always takes her racquet to the local shop for strings and they just out poly in for her.

General feeling is beneath most players to even consider using syn gut. Poy makes them think they are a better player and of course doesn't syn gut break easily? Never mind it is so cheap and lasts longer than most people give it credit for
 

beltsman

Legend
Collaborative Effort By Bob Patterson:

When it comes to poly strings, we all need to make sure adult recreational players and juniors know the facts.
I speak to many manufacturers, coaches, and racquet technicians, and the consensus is that recreational adult players and junior players are using the wrong type of string, tension—or both.
Stiff polyester strings are prevalent in the marketplace and dominate the pro tours, but are they suited for the average club or league player? Most in this industry don’t think so.

First, the very benefit of poly strings is their ability to bend and snap back faster than other materials. This snapback enhances spin on the ball. A pro can swing out and get more spin on the ball while generating a heavier shot. You might think that would be the same for your average junior or club player, but it is most definitely not the case. Most players can’t generate enough racquet-head speed to bend stiff poly strings in the first place. If the string doesn't bend, it can’t snap back, and there is little or no spin enhancement. Many recreational players who switch to a poly never adjust their tension.

I’m always amazed to hear of a 3.5 adult or junior using a full poly set-up at high tensions. This is a surefire way for a player to hurt his or her arm.

Second, monofilament poly strings lose their elasticity—or the ability to snap back—much faster than nylon
or other string materials. Since poly strings have a fairly dead feeling to begin with, their decline is less noticeable for recreational players, who tend to not restring as often as they should, which only makes the problem worse.

Not only is poly string wrong for most recreational and junior players, it can be harmful. The stiffer string
coupled with stiffer, lighter racquet creates much more shock to the player when the ball impacts the stringbed. In recent years, we’ve seen arm and wrist injuries sideline many top pros, and these athletes train and take every precaution to prevent injury. If we all know it is a problem, how do we fix it?

It starts with education: inform players about why they should alter their string set-up. It is better for their health and for their game. Manufacturers need to step up, too.
It is easy to market a string their top sponsored player is using, but companies need to make rec players aware that string may not be best for everyone. Then they need to offer a softer, better-suited string.

The bottom line is that we all need to address this issue. Injured players play less, and may stop playing altogether.

And that’s not good for anyone. •

Bob Patterson:
Executive Director of
the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association.
Tennis Industry: Nov/Dec 2017


To all the posters on various threads suggesting polys to 11 year-old and 13-year old beginners, please just stop. That is just terrible advice. There are several highly experienced stringers on this forum who string for beginners then there are plenty of posters on TW who have never strung a frame in their life suggesting polys to beginners. Advice from random posters who know very little to nothing about strings is the way many people get their kids hurt. @Rabbit @Wes @am1899 @jwocky@Steve Huff @jim e are stringers with credibility.

TW needs to make their own sticky thread so every parent with a beginner kid doesn't ask the same question and help curb the terrible advice from inexperienced posters suggesting poly over and over to a beginner.

IMO parents would do well to stay away from the 18X16 Wilson Spin Effect Frames and pay for lessons with a tennis pro and get them a 16x19 frame where they could develop their game without using a crutch of an 18x16 pattern which only puts the seed of doubt in their mind "Do I need poly?" No, they don't.

If your kid demos 14 frames as a beginner and you as the parent feed this type of behavior as a parent of a beginner, you are focused on the wrong thing. Your kid might be your prince or princess, but they are a beginner. Don't burn them out and think they will play any differently with one frame or frame number 14. They are beginners. Syn Gut or something like Tecnifibre Multifeel / Head Velocity will last 99% of beginners longer than a year in a 16x19 frame.
The real question is, what swing speed is the minimum for using poly and how do we measure it?
 

beltsman

Legend
I have also had trouble convincing people to move away from poly. Even the soft polys are not suitable for most players at club level. And then those players who hit flat are also asking about using poly to give them spin. Drives me nuts. Recently convinced someone to use multi due to arm pain and she ask me why I never told her before. I told her I have been telling her to leave poly alone for 3years already but she always takes her racquet to the local shop for strings and they just out poly in for her.

General feeling is beneath most players to even consider using syn gut. Poy makes them think they are a better player and of course doesn't syn gut break easily? Never mind it is so cheap and lasts longer than most people give it credit for
My problem is that syn gut does break too fast for me. Doesn't even last a set. I do hit hard. Multis don't give me enough spin. So I use polys but the trouble is I don't always swing fast enough on all of my strokes. So I am trying out NG/poly.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
My problem is that syn gut does break too fast for me. Doesn't even last a set. I do hit hard. Multis don't give me enough spin. So I use polys but the trouble is I don't always swing fast enough on all of my strokes. So I am trying out NG/poly.
For a cheaper version that feels similar to NG/slick poly crosses, try the Will Shelley setup: Triax 1.38mm / YPTA 1.25mm or Triax 1.38mm/ Isospeed Cream 1.28mm.

Will is going to be bumped back to 5.0 yet again in November and of my 300+ clients, he breaks strings faster than anyone including some D1 players. He has 7 Yonex Ai 98s and I string 4 frames a month for him at least. He broke 1.30mm Hyper G in 12 hours for 2+ years until he tore his tendon.

 

FiddlerDog

Professional
If your kid demos 14 frames as a beginner and you as the parent feed this type of behavior as a parent of a beginner, you are focused on the wrong thing. Your kid might be your prince or princess, but they are a beginner. Don't burn them out and think they will play any differently with one frame or frame number 14. They are beginners.
This applies to most rec adults, as well.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
The real question is, what swing speed is the minimum for using poly and how do we measure it?
not sure about either of those.


When a client starts breaking 1.30 mm synthetic gut or 1.30mm multifilaments in less than 15 hours, I discuss options with them and often move some into a hybrid poly / syn gut or poly / multi set up
 
My problem is that syn gut does break too fast for me. Doesn't even last a set. I do hit hard. Multis don't give me enough spin. So I use polys but the trouble is I don't always swing fast enough on all of my strokes. So I am trying out NG/poly.
For some people syn gut does break too fast. Your option then is going to a 18x20 pattern or else going to a poly setup. I have tried 1.35 and 1.40mm sun got but dont normally recommend it. If you breaking 1.30mm syngut fast then you are hitting hard and if you control it at that strength then you are hitting harder than most club players and could possibly benefit from poly.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
I read that post too, I was shocked to hear that. Juniors definitely don’t swing hard enough to get the most out of polyester, full stop.
 

JW89

New User
For a cheaper version that feels similar to NG/slick poly crosses, try the Will Shelley setup: Triax 1.38mm / YPTA 1.25mm or Triax 1.38mm/ Isospeed Cream 1.28mm.

Will is going to be bumped back to 5.0 yet again in November and of my 300+ clients, he breaks strings faster than anyone including some D1 players. He has 7 Yonex Ai 98s and I string 4 frames a month for him at least. He broke 1.30mm Hyper G in 12 hours for 2+ years until he tore his tendon.

What tension is he running for that setup?

Great thread G4, I’m pretty shocked what I read around here, especially from some serial posters who talk a big game and apparently need the stiffest harshest poly at 60lbs, and then you see their swing videos and can’t help but cringe because delusion seems to run rampant around here.

Ive moved on to full Gut at a high tension and have no issues generating plenty of topspin with 15ga vs gut, but am considering trying triax for a cheaper option.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
What tension is he running for that setup?

Great thread G4, I’m pretty shocked what I read around here, especially from some serial posters who talk a big game and apparently need the stiffest harshest poly at 60lbs, and then you see their swing videos and can’t help but cringe because delusion seems to run rampant around here.

Ive moved on to full Gut at a high tension and have no issues generating plenty of topspin with 15ga vs gut, but am considering trying triax for a cheaper option.

54M/52X strung on an Alpha Ghost

Triax 1.38mm at 54
YPTA 1.25mm at 52

You can easily sub in Isospeed Cream 1.28mm crosses for YPTA crosses. Cream is $8 a pack vs $15 a pack for YPTA
 

Keizer

Hall of Fame
Hi @g4driver, wonderful thread. This practice is rampant in academies too. I played in one (outside the US) growing up in the mid 2000s and the default option offered to very young juniors was Pro Hurricane Tour. Add that to the fact that everyone was using stiffer Babolats and it just seemed like a mess waiting to happen.

These days I run a softer poly setup (Black Widow @50 on a Blade 18x20) but am a flat hitter and don’t break strings at all, so I’m going to switch to a full bed of Velocity and see how long it survives.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Collaborative Effort By Bob Patterson:

When it comes to poly strings, we all need to make sure adult recreational players and juniors know the facts.
I speak to many manufacturers, coaches, and racquet technicians, and the consensus is that recreational adult players and junior players are using the wrong type of string, tension—or both.
Stiff polyester strings are prevalent in the marketplace and dominate the pro tours, but are they suited for the average club or league player? Most in this industry don’t think so.

First, the very benefit of poly strings is their ability to bend and snap back faster than other materials. This snapback enhances spin on the ball. A pro can swing out and get more spin on the ball while generating a heavier shot. You might think that would be the same for your average junior or club player, but it is most definitely not the case. Most players can’t generate enough racquet-head speed to bend stiff poly strings in the first place. If the string doesn't bend, it can’t snap back, and there is little or no spin enhancement. Many recreational players who switch to a poly never adjust their tension.

I’m always amazed to hear of a 3.5 adult or junior using a full poly set-up at high tensions. This is a surefire way for a player to hurt his or her arm.

Second, monofilament poly strings lose their elasticity—or the ability to snap back—much faster than nylon
or other string materials. Since poly strings have a fairly dead feeling to begin with, their decline is less noticeable for recreational players, who tend to not restring as often as they should, which only makes the problem worse.

Not only is poly string wrong for most recreational and junior players, it can be harmful. The stiffer string
coupled with stiffer, lighter racquet creates much more shock to the player when the ball impacts the stringbed. In recent years, we’ve seen arm and wrist injuries sideline many top pros, and these athletes train and take every precaution to prevent injury. If we all know it is a problem, how do we fix it?

It starts with education: inform players about why they should alter their string set-up. It is better for their health and for their game. Manufacturers need to step up, too.
It is easy to market a string their top sponsored player is using, but companies need to make rec players aware that string may not be best for everyone. Then they need to offer a softer, better-suited string.

The bottom line is that we all need to address this issue. Injured players play less, and may stop playing altogether.

And that’s not good for anyone. •

Bob Patterson:
Executive Director of
the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association.
Tennis Industry: Nov/Dec 2017


To all the posters on various threads suggesting polys to 11-year-old and 13-year old beginners, please just stop. That is just terrible advice. There are several highly experienced stringers on this forum who string frames from beginners to high level players, then there are plenty of posters on TW who have never strung a frame in their life suggesting polys to beginners. Advice from random posters who know very little to nothing about strings is the way many people get their kids hurt. @Rabbit @Wes @am1899 @jwocky @Steve Huff @jim e @esgee48 @Dags @esm are all stringers with lots of credibility. I am missing the names of others. I will add others as they pop into my mind.

TW needs to make their own sticky thread so every parent with a beginner kid doesn't ask the same question and help curb the terrible advice from inexperienced posters suggesting poly over and over to a beginner.

IMO parents would do well to stay away from the 18X16 Wilson Spin Effect Frames and pay for lessons with a tennis pro and get them a 16x19 frame where they could develop their game without using a crutch of an 18x16 pattern which only puts the seed of doubt in their mind "Do I need poly?" No, they don't.

If your kid demos 14 frames as a beginner and you as the parent feed this type of behavior as a parent of a beginner, you are focused on the wrong thing. Your kid might be your prince or princess, but they are a beginner. Don't burn them out and think they will play any differently with one frame or frame number 14. They are beginners. Syn Gut or something like Tecnifibre Multifeel / Head Velocity will last 99% of beginners longer than a year in a 16x19 frame.
Great thread as usual from you!

I might add string manufacturers and retailers with their review staff are complicit in the sad increase in arm woes when they rate any poly string with adjectives such as “extremely comfortable” and “more arm-friendly.” As much as newer generation polyester may be softer and more comfortable it is still a harsh product on the arm. The only strings that have really earned that type of “comfort” and “arm-friendly” description to this point are nylon based multifilaments and natural gut.

Tecnifibre is attempting to bridge that gulf between harsh polyester and polyamide nylon with their new generation of Triax string that attempts to take the best of both worlds in a bundled weave of the two types of synthetics.

It should be interesting to see if the Triax product becomes the precursor for other manufacturers to emulate, much in the way early pioneers in poly technology refined the original Kirschbaum and Luxilon concepts to create even better results. I’m hoping for their success and an expanding marketplace for that category that will naturally create competition and the resulting lower prices that come with the process. The $20/set price for a string with limited durability is the one leading drawback to expanding the foothold in the marketplace.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Very kind words from you @stringertom @Keizer and @Steve Huff

My goal is to keep players healthy and enjoying tennis, not experiencing pain and putting them on the sidelines. IMO, Tecnifibre makes the absolute best families of multis on earth. I have a few high-level players (4.5 former collegiate male players) using Triax and HDMX in hybrids with softer poly crosses like Yonex Poly Tour Air, Isospeed Cream, and Tier One Ghostwire. I have probably a dozen players using either VS Gut or Lux Gut with Tier One Ghostwire crosses.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
What tension is he running for that setup?
I just dropped off two of his frames and picked up 2 more. I have to post a picture of his latest broken string job, because I have never seen anyone break 4 mains in one swing.
 

Wes

Professional
I have to post a picture of his latest broken string job, because I have never seen anyone break 4 mains in one swing.
Let's see it.
BTW, it's possible that all 4 might not have occurred in just one swing.
A little while back, I was playing doubles and my partner broke a string on a shot, and then immediately broke another string on his very next shot.
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
I personally love the feel of fresh syn gut but it's nearly useless after an hour if it's not broken. Anyone who hits with a real topspin stroke will shred syngut or any multi. There's definitely a role for soft poly strung fairly low. Before jumping on the strings maybe we should look at why everyone is steered toward stiff rackets.
 

happyandbob

Hall of Fame
My goal is to keep players healthy and enjoying tennis, not experiencing pain and putting them on the sidelines. IMO, Tecnifibre makes the absolute best families of multis on earth. I have a few high-level players (4.5 former collegiate male players) using Triax and HDMX in hybrids with softer poly crosses like Yonex Poly Tour Air, Isospeed Cream, and Tier One Ghostwire. I have probably a dozen players using either VS Gut or Lux Gut with Tier One Ghostwire crosses.
A while back I think you said you string more Velocity than any other string. Is that still the case these days or has Triax or something else replaced it?
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
A while back I think you said you string more Velocity than any other string. Is that still the case these days or has Triax or something else replaced it?
Velocity is still #1 by a wide margin. Either full bed of as a hybrid.

Tecnifibre Multifeel mains / Head Velocity crosses continue to get great feedback from both young kid and adult beginners, and 3.0 to 3.5 women and men who aren't string breakers

For adults who like NXT, X1, or NRG2, I string a free frame with their favorite multi from those three choices in the mains and put Velocity in the crosses and ask them to try it. I don't tell them what I put in their frames. I just ask them to try the strings for no charge. One 3,5 lady wanted fresh X1 every 8 hours and it just seems expensive and wasteful honestly. I could still read all the Tecnfibre labeling on the mains but in her head, she "needs" new strings. In an effort to save her money, I switch her crosses to velocity and asked her to try it. She and her husband have been using X1/velocity for more than a year and she will likely get bumped to 4.0 so she is pretty happy.

Everyone else who has tried Velocity as a cross has switched as it saves them $5 per frame.

I love Tecnfibre strings and absolutely think Tecnfibre has the best families of multifilaments available but some of their strings are rather expensive.. For those players who don't need Triax or HDMX with poly fibers since they never break strings, they can use Velocity with the traditional high-end multis to save money.

One of the most frequent complaints of lower-level players is strings sticking out of place. Head Velocity's slick coating helps solve this complaint.
 
Last edited:

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Took a while to accomplish it, but yes.

When you have an opportunity, ask Will if this occurred on just one single shot.


One swing, a one-handed backhand that he hits rather flat compared to his forehand.
 

happyandbob

Hall of Fame
One of the most frequent complaints of lower level players is strings sticking out of place. Head Velocity's slick coating helps solve this complaint.
That's great info, thanks! My son and his hitting partner both like Velocity crosses, but break them in less than 8 hours with round poly mains. I moved them to Tourna Syngut Armor and that seems to give them more longevity. Any recommendations for an alternative cross?
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I don’t see any harm in low tension soft poly- younger players tendons are much more resilient than old players
But sometimes they're still not resilient enough...

I've been coaching high school teams and stringing for the better part of 20 years and I've absolutely seen local kids annihilate their arms using poly. Some have been those two or three sport athletes who get busy with tennis for only a portion of the year, but others have been pretty much full-timers with lots of coaching who focus on this game for most of the year.

I've seen a few kids crash and burn with arm troubles in short order after making the switch to full poly beds, but I've also seen them make remarkable recoveries in several instances after switching away from poly to softer alternatives - full beds of syn. gut, multifiber, or even natural gut.

Playing with a full bed of poly or a hybrid including a heavier gauge of poly main isn't automatically going to wreck every player's arm at one point or another, but I like to think of it as juggling hand grenades. Unless you really have to do it, it's better to leave it alone.

A few of those kids who get stronger and start blowing through the softer stuff really quickly have sometimes wanted to switch to poly to get some better service life (more than only a couple of hours of slugging). I can honestly say that in those cases along with a few pretty strong adult players, I've seen great success with offering a hybrid of a light gauge poly main combo'ed with a cross of syn. gut or multi.

The lightest gauge of Isospeed Baseline I have on hand is 1.20mm and I know that I use about twice as much of that gauge of their string for poly hybrids as I do the three heavier gauges combined. This skinny-poly hybrid hasn't been and arm wrecker - it seems to run about as firm as a full bed of syn. gut - and it offers a performance bump and some durability that some sluggers are looking for in a sting setup. Bottom line for me; this is the only poly layout that doesn't make me especially nervous, but I still have to have the cautionary conversation with anybody who wants to make the switch into this string type.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
That's great info, thanks! My son and his hitting partner both like Velocity crosses, but break them in less than 8 hours with round poly mains. I moved them to Tourna Syngut Armor and that seems to give them more longevity. Any recommendations for an alternative cross?
PRINCE premier control (PPC) 1.35mm
Syn Gut 1.35mm
Triax 1.33mm or 1.38mm
HDMX 1.35mm

Syn Gut is the cheapest followed by PPC. PPC is a multi with and Tri monofilament center (is like a fusion of multi and syn gut)
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
It's funny how few tennis players I play with actually break strings from 3.5 to 4.5 level. Many of them have poly in for months. TW seems the only place where rec players break strings in one play session.

I used to break strings in 15 hrs with my Babolats but since moving to Prince frames i rarely break strings anymore. At least not before the bed has lost all useable tension.

Nowadays I'm just rocking cheap syn gut or multi mains with Velocity crosses and enjoying the arm health. My ability to win games hasn't changed with any string set up I've tried. if anything, the only thing that matters is how fresh they are. I'll probably put some gut/cream back in for my next set up just for comparison but I suspect it won't be a big game changer.
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
Syng gut starts getting stuck way out of place within 30 minutes for me. If I don't sit there and adjust it back between each point then I'll eventually strike a ball on a thin spot and that'll be all she wrote. Since I moved from 16x16 to 16x18 and a heavier stick, I rarely saw through poly before I cut it out. Though I gave up on cream a few years ago because I never made it through a singles match.
 

AceyMan

Semi-Pro
I have to post a picture of his latest broken string job, because I have never seen anyone break 4 mains in one swing.
Not long ago my hitting buddy / coach / client was hitting hard, flat rally balls with our other buddy while I was the odd man out hitting serves on the adjacent court.

Suddenly I hear the weirdest sound coming from their court and was almost certain someone cracked a frame or something; but, no, my guy had popped *three mains* in one strike.

It sure makes a wicked sound when they go together like that.

/Acey

the string was a full bed of POSG 16, if I remember correctly. Yes, you read that right—an expert player using a FB of syngut :cool: ...
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Syng gut starts getting stuck way out of place within 30 minutes for me. If I don't sit there and adjust it back between each point then I'll eventually strike a ball on a thin spot and that'll be all she wrote.
I've gotten used to moving strings back. I'm not convinced having them out of place makes that big a difference. I mean what did the pros do before poly? Just stop playing after a 4 shot rally because their strings had moved? Seems to me they just finished rallies and moved the strings back and didn't worry about it.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
:cry:
the string was a full bed of POSG 16, if I remember correctly. Yes, you read that right—an expert player using a FB of syngut :cool: ...
I hit singles all during covid with a player who uses Babolat Syn Gut. She also has 70 something Gold Balls.. yep 70 something.

She is sponsored by Babolat and plays for the USTA Senior International Team representing the US. She is going to play in Croatia soon for the US. I took one set off her this summer and a week later she double bageled me letting me know my place.:cry: Very nice lady but brutally competitive and another example someone who excels with Syn Gut.. The 0&0 beating reminded me it is the archer not the arrow.
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
I've gotten used to moving strings back. I'm not convinced having them out of place makes that big a difference. I mean what did the pros do before poly? Just stop playing after a 4 shot rally because their strings had moved? Seems to me they just finished rallies and moved the strings back and didn't worry about it.
They used real gut that is quite a bit more elastic. When I say the strings move.. I mean there's only like 1 main in the middle and a 2 inch gap on each side...
 

AceyMan

Semi-Pro
Well,

I just have throw this in before we all have our group bearhug about what is best for young arms :p,

—oftentimes the client (parent, Jr player) "wants what they want" and despite your expert guidance they feel like they are being bamboozled if you try to get them to play anything less than, oh, say, Luxilon 4G at 54 lbs.

In the end, I'm just a mechanic; if the customer wants to install 22 inch chromed spinner rims with profile/25 tyres on his GMC Sierra 4x4, and he is willing to pay for it, then that's what they get.

Just my 2¢.

/Acey
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Well,

I just have throw this in before we all have our group bearhug about what is best for young arms :p,

—oftentimes the client (parent, Jr player) "wants what they want" and despite your expert guidance they feel like they are being bamboozled if you try to get them to play anything less than, oh, say, Luxilon 4G at 54 lbs.

In the end, I'm just a mechanic; if the customer wants to install 22 inch chromed spinner rims with profile/25 tyres on his GMC Sierra 4x4, and he is willing to pay for it, then that's what they get.

Just my 2¢.

/Acey
You need more normal customers. :-D What you described is so rare, I have only had one customer like that in 12 years. Just one.

I accept no part of wrecking someone's arm due to their lack of knowledge. I had a 3.0 lady with a bad case of tennis elbow asking for HyoerG. @MisterP knows this customer and knows I refused to string her frame with any poly and suggested she contact a local shop. I don't need ,nor do I want any business from players like her.

I have far more business than I can handle without getting clients like what you describe. Much harder to do this if you are a club, but for an individual stringer it's is easy to refuse service to a client when you have hundreds of clients who trust and appreciate your service. Strung 5 frames today for four different clients, two waited for their frames.
 

AceyMan

Semi-Pro
I have only had one customer like that in 12 years. Just one.
Come to West LA and your stats will plummet. I take it you've seen Beverly Hills 90210—that's the kind of mindset you'll get around here. I'm not saying it's rampant, but "being catered to" is a phrase that's all too real around these parts <shrug>.
 

flanker2000fr

Hall of Fame
This is an absolutely great post. I would add that this should also apply to anyone the wrong side of their 30's and up, who plays at recreational level and start noticing tenderness in their elbow. I am just shocked at the number of guys in their 40's I see swinging a Babolat PD / PA with a full bed of poly, hitting mostly a flat ball, and half of them sport a brace on their elbow. Utterly self defeating.

I have always favored soft, control orientated frames, as I am 51 and these are the kind of frames I grew up with. I am at a good 4.5 level, hit a hard ball with decent spin off the FH, slice the BH, and use a lot of kick / slice off the serve. My game does benefit from poly as it really helps keep my ball in court, especially on the FH, and I am a string breaker (a Hyper G / Confidential lasts me around 6 hours in an open 16x19 frame). But even then, I have realized that a full bed of it is a bridge too far for my game, and that I would benefit from a hybrid set-up, for added comfort and more pop on the ball at the expense of some spin. So I am currently experimenting with a hybrid set-up, with 4G Soft 16L in the mains (50lbs) and Triax 16 in the crosses (52lbs). I found it to work well in my Angell TC95 16x19 in terms of playability and comfort. Downside is that it did not improve the string breaking: instead of breaking a full bed of 4G Soft (50/48) in the central mains in 7-8 hours, I break a Triax cross in the hybrid set-up in the same amount of time. I've bought an Angell TC95 with a 18x20 pattern to solve this issue (dropped the tension by 4lbs on both mains and crosses), and it does increase the string duration substantially, so that's a plus. But it's more demanding physically, and offers less clearance over the net. I probably need a thinner gauge (17 or 18) in the mains in that pattern to increase playability in that set-up. I will be trialing Ice Code 17 (46lbs) mains with Triax (48lbs) in the crosses, to see how that goes.

Anything else from the OP or experienced stringers on this forum I, or similar middle aged guys playing at a decent level, should be thinking of?
 
Last edited:

El_Yotamo

Hall of Fame
I used to string for my college team, and my policy was to never go above 56 lbf. I was requested to many times and slowly moved all our players to 53 lbf or below. I also strung some racquets for lower level players who I more often than not moved away from poly unless they really insisted in which case I always strung in the low 40s. Some recs also played well enough and had enough experience for me to string them up with poly at low tensions without too much worry. Fwiw my preferred tensions are mid-high 40s, using poly-poly hybrids.

However, as an advanced junior I did play poly starting with 18g RPM as a 12-13 year old (which was after 4-5 years playing tennis). Btw I broke those within 15 or so hours. I used an APD (SW~330) and had a high swing speed which is why I believe it was ok. Later down the line I moved to heavier flexier frames and 16L-17g strings at lower tensions until where I am today

I guess my point is that I don't think any beginner should be playing poly regardless of age but also: using poly depends on the mass&SW of the frame as well as the swing speed applied by the player. If a junior has a high swing speed and uses a racquet with a high enough SW then poly should not harm them. I should note that most advanced juniors have much higher swing speeds and cleaner strokes to boot compared to recreational adults, which is why I would string poly for them if requested, probably in the 40s and with a thinner gauge.
 

onehandbh

Legend
One common thing I've found with the friends I hit with that have tennis elbow and use poly. They usually wait until the string breaks before restringing. Surprisingly, this includes lower level players around 3.5 as well.

Luckily, I've only felt a tiny bit of discomfort twice in the last 10+ years and have been using mostly hybrids and now full poly for the last 6+ years. Once was when I tried using the bright yellow Volkl cyclone 16g which felt stiffer. The other was when I tried a friend's Babolat pure Drive with poly at high tension. Felt shock going into my arm so I stopped using it.

If my strings don't break after about 12 hours, I cut them out. Or if the are too notched and feel like crap, I also cut them out.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Well,

I just have throw this in before we all have our group bearhug about what is best for young arms :p,

—oftentimes the client (parent, Jr player) "wants what they want" and despite your expert guidance they feel like they are being bamboozled if you try to get them to play anything less than, oh, say, Luxilon 4G at 54 lbs.

In the end, I'm just a mechanic; if the customer wants to install 22 inch chromed spinner rims with profile/25 tyres on his GMC Sierra 4x4, and he is willing to pay for it, then that's what they get.

Just my 2¢.

/Acey
See I think you need to view yourself more like a physician. You are the expert and you can provide expertise. If my patient wants a therapy that i think will only cause them harm, I will not treat them or offer that therapy. They are free to seek another physicians advice.
 

CBinRVA

New User
54M/52X strung on an Alpha Ghost

Triax 1.38mm at 54
YPTA 1.25mm at 52

You can easily sub in Isospeed Cream 1.28mm crosses for YPTA crosses. Cream is $8 a pack vs $15 a pack for YPTA
Hey g4,

Thanks for this thread. It is great to hear about higher level players having success without needing to use full poly setups. I've been stuck in the poly rabbit hole and now realize that my playing level isn't really benefitting from it,

I want to try this Triax / Slick poly hybrid but had a quick question about tensions. For clients who use the Will hybrid and don't hit as hard as Will, do you use lower tensions to help with power? I play with lower powered control racquet (Vcore Pro 100) and was wondering if I should start with a lower tension?

Grateful for any input.

-Carter
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Hey g4,

I want to try this Triax / Slick poly hybrid but had a quick question about tensions. For clients who use the Will hybrid and don't hit as hard as Will, do you use lower tensions to help with power?

I play with lower powered control racquet (Vcore Pro 100) and was wondering if I should start with a lower tension?

Grateful for any input.

-Carter
If you have a low powered frame, using a lower tension seems to help get the power/control balance in sync.

while Will hits harder than most 4.0 players and many 4.5 guys, the thing that truly sticks out with Will compared to other 4.5 and 5.0 players is the amount of spin he hits. The spin seems to be the driving factor in his frequent string breakage and even using 1.30mm Hyoer G / Head Hawk 1.25mm didn't last him more than 12 hours
 

flanker2000fr

Hall of Fame
If you have a low powered frame, using a lower tension seems to help get the power/control balance in sync.

while Will hits harder than most 4.0 players and many 4.5 guys, the thing that truly sticks out with Will compared to other 4.5 and 5.0 players is the amount of spin he hits. The spin seems to be the driving factor in his frequent string breakage and even using 1.30mm Hyoer G / Head Hawk 1.25mm didn't last him more than 12 hours
Frankly, if he hits hard, with a lot of spin at a 5.0 level, 12 hours of play is already really good.
 
Top