Gut - Temperature / Humidity Impact

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Over the winter I switched from Volkl Cyclone Tour (VCT) to NGW Uncoated Gut/Cream at 47/44. I have had multiple wrist/elbow surgeries so I string at as low a tension as I can go and feel I have control. I really enjoyed the setup this winter. Now that it is summer I bumped the tension to 50/47 but there are still days (like today... very hot and humid) where I feel I lose all control of the ball. My assumption is that it is the uncoated gut that is responding differently to the conditions. I have nicer gut that I string for others and can use (Wilson, Babolat Touch and Tonic, Luxilon) but I wonder if I will still see the same variability as the pros who set their tension with the weather conditions they are playing in.

I am curious if those of you that use gut/poly are seeing the same variability in response to temperature/humidity and that it is the nature of using a natural material as a tennis string?

I am beginning to wonder if perhaps I should go back to the VCT during the summer and deal with restringing it every 6 hours when it dies which is cheaper than the gut/poly. During the winter when it is colder I can use the gut/poly setup.
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
yeah summer heat/humidity definitely shreds through natural gut...especially uncoated. I have tried NGW uncoated gut and wasn’t impressed...I think it’s worth paying fee extra bucks for the coated version and just use gut during winter. String setups/tension vary highly in different temperatures so it is best to keep sticks with slightly different temperatures if the temperature varies a lot...if it is hot, it is more advisable to use higher tension for more control because ball will launch more. Federer changes his tension based on temperature of playing conditions. Looser strings for colder temperatures will be better because the cold will make the strings/racquet inherently stiff


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Arvin_C

New User
The only gut set I currently use as a full bed is Klip Armour Pro which has a very durable coating applied to it. I really like it because it plays a bit stiffer with a crisper feel than the Babolat VS and Tonic sets I used to use. But one other thing I noticed is that it wasn't as affected by the hot, humid summers here in Maryland as other gut sets I've used. It's worth a try...

Arvin C
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
The only gut set I currently use as a full bed is Klip Armour Pro which has a very durable coating applied to it. I really like it because it plays a bit stiffer with a crisper feel than the Babolat VS and Tonic sets I used to use. But one other thing I noticed is that it wasn't as affected by the hot, humid summers here in Maryland as other gut sets I've used. It's worth a try...

Arvin C
Thanks Arvin! I will give that a shot. I failed to add that I was playing on fresh string and confirmed the tension approximately with RacquetTune at 48lbs after restringing the racquet using the hybrid setting and string factors for generic gut and Cream. I am just concerned that this will lead to my carrying a variety of racquets with a variety of tensions.

I have been really surprised by the variability in performance from day-to-day.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
yeah summer heat/humidity definitely shreds through natural gut...especially uncoated. I have tried NGW uncoated gut and wasn’t impressed...I think it’s worth paying fee extra bucks for the coated version and just use gut during winter. String setups/tension vary highly in different temperatures so it is best to keep sticks with slightly different temperatures if the temperature varies a lot...if it is hot, it is more advisable to use higher tension for more control because ball will launch more. Federer changes his tension based on temperature of playing conditions. Looser strings for colder temperatures will be better because the cold will make the strings/racquet inherently stiff


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I agree. I bought 10 sets and started restringing a buddies racquet with it and stopped, cut it out, called him, and restrung it with Tonic thinking "I can't put this in someone else's racquet". I am really playing with it as I had never played with gut and all I can say it is amazing stuff. The blend of control and comfort is unmatched and I played with one set of string in a gut/cream hybrid for 2 months over the winter without a large change in performance.

My thoughts are to use up the NGW I have and meanwhile I have stocked up on some of the bigger named brands and will use that as the difference in price is now marginal.

However, I can't deal with the way it is responding to the heat thus my question about whether this is common so I can determine if I should ditch this during the summer and go back to low tension poly.
 

McLovin

Legend
However, I can't deal with the way it is responding to the heat thus my question about whether this is common so I can determine if I should ditch this during the summer and go back to low tension poly.
I'd say try one of your name-brand guts first before abandoning gut/poly. NGW is extremely inconsistent in gauge, durability, and playability, and as such I will never buy the crap again (sorry...strong feelings about it).
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
I'd say try one of your name-brand guts first before abandoning gut/poly. NGW is extremely inconsistent in gauge, durability, and playability, and as such I will never buy the crap again (sorry...strong feelings about it).
have you tried the NGW v5+ premium version or is this solely from the v5 uncoated? I have similar sentiments but have only tried the v5 and the v5+ looks to be on par with the bigger brands


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LocNetMonster

Professional
I am curious if those of you that use gut/poly are seeing the same variability in response to temperature/humidity and that it is the nature of using a natural material as a tennis string?
FWIW, the play difference is not confined to just gut. Nylon, poly, multi - every string changes depending on the temperature and humidity - and the changes varies with the specific string. Some, like multifils, seem to play more consistently within a wider temperature range. With my normal set up, if the temps are in the high 70s to mid 80s, I keep the ball in the court and play enjoyable points. But, if the temp jumps to mid-90s as it does easily in central Illinois this time of year, I will start hitting consistently past my target area with the same swing and it is downhill from there. Starting last month, I now keep one racquet strung for high temp/high humidity days. I've had to pull it out a couple times since then when I consistently hitting/serving too long. One of the best decision I've made next to learning to string.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
OP - You have some decisions to make. High playing temperatures means the ball will fly further. High humidity means the ball will pick up moisture and come off the frame slower. The opposite is true. Now, if you introduce string tension, an elastic string will stretch more in high temperature settings, so you need to increase tension. Under high humidity conditions, artificial strings are not affected since they do not absorb moisture. NG will if water is present. This is true whether the stuff is coated or not. Coatings lower the rate that moisture is absorbed. It does not stop it. Depending on how the strands are put together, this can result in loss of tension and perceived increase in elasticity.

You should just bite-the-bullet and restring or change to a string that is not so impacted by temperature and humidity.
 

McLovin

Legend
have you tried the NGW v5+ premium version or is this solely from the v5 uncoated? I have similar sentiments but have only tried the v5 and the v5+ looks to be on par with the bigger brands
Only V5 and prior, but to be clear, "V5+" isn't actually NGW's gut. It is another brand's that they are reselling. And when I know that I can get VS or Lux on sale for a few $ more, or Klip at the same price, there's no real advantage to NGW.
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
Only V5 and prior, but to be clear, "V5+" isn't actually NGW's gut. It is another brand's that they are reselling. And when I know that I can get VS or Lux on sale for a few $ more, or Klip at the same price, there's no real advantage to NGW.
yeah i have the same sentiments about v5 and have not tried v5+ but v5+ looks quite promising


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