For those who say polys don't harm pros

Discussion in 'Strings' started by THESEXPISTOL, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

    Mar 11, 2009
    clearing out my collection
    Another side of the debate that hasn't been looked at here, is this:

    Poly strings compliment a *High Spin* playstyle, more than anything. Players using extreme grips and hitting with big topspin are *brushing* over the ball, rather than the classic playstyle that worked better with Gut and dense patterns; i.e. hitting flat and *through* the ball.

    One stroke is going to transmit much more shock back to your arm than the other (the flat stroke that pummels the ball head-on). Players with a playstyle of the Borg/McEnroe era and even Agassi/Sampras era are *typically* going to be seen using Gut, gut hybrids, syn gut, or multis. They are typically going to be using heavier sticks and smaller headsizes, hitting the ball flat, or with "standard" spin with a continental or eastern grip and finishing points at the net when they can, generally speaking.

    Players of the modern playstyle, looking to maximize spin with their western or extreme western grips and grind out the baseline, are going to gravitate toward the lighter, stiffer frames, with poly or poly hybrids. This is just a matter of preference as certain equipment caters to certain type of play and mechanics. The extreme topspin stoke, the reverse forehand, etc; employ more of a 'brush up' on the ball, rather than a flat, follow-through into the ball. The brushing up onto the ball is naturally transmitting less shock into the racquet and down to the arm.

    The latest pro string logs show that even the pros are stringing their poly in the 50s (in most cases), or below. The ones still stringing over 60 are few and far between. There are some clay court specialists stringing below 40lbs. It is also known that gut at 60+ tension still retains a high level or elasticity and resiliency, while co-poly strings reach their maximum stretch point much earlier on and do not absorb shock as well as gut.

    So again back to my point, is that poly is going to be more detrimental to one's joints/tendons/etc if you are not brushing up on the ball, as the classic continental or eastern grip type of stroke will naturally transmit more shock at impact than a high-spin stroke which transmits less shock down through the frame into your arm.

    While I do agree on the one hand that one's racquet or string can impact the arm health of the player, we cannot completely point to ONE THING ONLY, i.e. 'the string killed your arm', or 'that racquet is arm friendly', etc etc.

    Form, mechanics, equipment... all these things are but pieces of the entire puzzle and each one plays its role. Certain playstyles will benefit from certain choices of equipment. Other playstyles have no business using certain equipment. Stringing up co-poly at 70 pounds or for someone 'looking for a durable string' are just BAD IDEAS. Stringing up full gut for a baseline grinder who hits full spin on both wings using a Wilson Steam 16x15 is probably also a recipe for a different kind of disaster.
  2. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Feb 18, 2004

    Do we really need a scientific study to tell us that getting hit in the head with a baseball bat is going to hurt more than getting hit with a pillow?

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  3. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Feb 11, 2004
    I have a little different take on it. When I played with Timo, I hated the feel, but loved the results. It let me put the ball on a dime. But there was a trade off, my arm was just plain dead after about a year. So, for me, the newer, softer polys are more of a choice for me because I don't want arm issues.

    The way I look at it, the new generation of polys, the very one Lux is trying to catch up to, give you the feel of a synthetic along with the performance of a poly. They don't quite match up performance-wise, but the newer polys like Spin Cycle, TB, and a plethora of others tend to give you the best of both worlds. The new polys have plenty of pop, control, and spin; almost as much pop as a syngut. They lack a little on durability, but hey....I'll take that.
  4. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Jul 10, 2009
    The link is just another anecdote. And you can easily do a scientific study on impact injuries caused by a hammer versus feather.

    The study is required because for many millenia, it was assumed that a heavier object falls faster and everybody just accepted it as a fact. It wasn't until someone did a scientific test that that was found not to be the case.

    What is "obvious" to you is not obvious at all.

    You can reply a thousand times over. It still does not change the fact that there is absolutely no scientific basis that supports poly cause more injuries.
  5. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Feb 18, 2004
    But why would anyone need one? If you don't think that getting hit in the face with a hammer is any different than getting hit in the face with a feather, then there really isn't that much else to say.

    So I guess getting kicked in the balls doesn't really hurt either? Because I've never seen a scientific study that tells me it's supposed to hurt? And as you know, without scientific studies, we don't know right from wrong, up from down, nor left from right.

  6. zapvor

    zapvor G.O.A.T.

    Jul 27, 2006
    tennis courts
    i dont think its so much the money but they feel if everyone is using it they need the advantage too so they dont lose out
  7. fullpolyserve&volley

    fullpolyserve&volley Rookie

    May 25, 2012
    Poly at 75 lbs is for whimps. Real men do full kevlar at 75 ;)
  8. pennc94

    pennc94 Professional

    Jul 26, 2006
    A hammer in the face or a kick to the groin have no confounding factors. The confounding factors in a tennis stroke include technique, biomechanics, the racquet itself, the individual's arm, overuse, etc. Your examples are too simplistic. Your examples fail if you add confounding factors. A kick to the groin of an individual wearing a steel cup may not injure that individual.

    Nobody is trying to convince you about poly safety. All that is being said is that you have no objective evidence to prove that polyester strings cause injury. Your anecdotal stories or links to web logs are insufficient.
  9. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2007
    Very few people, if any, get tennis elbow from natural gut, but rather from using poly. And once you got it, I could only play with gut strung at lower tensions 52/50 LBS for a while...A couple of months with poly (Pro Hurricane tour, high 40s) and I tend to feel pain in my arm/elbow again. Back to gut at 57/55 LBs for years and no problem whatsoever.
  10. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

    Aug 17, 2005
    String what you want..........

    During the 1970 players such as John Newcomb did develop tennis elbow, he used gut in a much smaller heavier and flexy frame. Today's the style of play is taking it toll on players arms and hips.....
    For many players, they can use poly,with caution as the toll on your body is a price we all pay to play this fine game.
  11. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

    Aug 5, 2012
    I love using a full bed of poly. I used to have pretty severe tennis elbow when hitting with full gut, but after the switch to poly (years ago) it has been nothing but smooth sailing.

    Keep in mind that since making the switch, I have gotten in better shape, built up strength and flexibility, and improved my technique such that it isn't terrible. Perhaps that is something people should look into?

    As for all the posters building up strawmen and/or giving anecdotal evidence ( ;) ), please try and argue the issue at hand. The poly/gut situation isn't the same as getting hit with a hammer compared to a feather, obviously. There are many factors at play and it isn't as simple as some of you would like to believe.

    I forgive all of you, as not everyone has the talent, patience, and wisdom to be a good scientist. I find it odd that people who lack expertise in an area are so quick to go the "It doesn't work for me, so it must be broken" route. Seems to be a quite general phenomenon. :)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013

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