Has string design stagnated?

Booger

Hall of Fame
I'm still using the same string from 3-4 years ago. Most guys I know are the same. I made an effort to try new shaped polys and all were pretty meh. Not bad, just not any "better" in any way than what was already on the market years ago (rpm blast, tour bite, cyclone, solstice power, etc.). Seems like we're reaching the limits of current materials.


Natural gut - everyone switched to low cost manufacturing methodology, gut is actually worse now

Multi/syn gut - Is anything new happening on that front at all?

Poly - Lots of rebranding, white labeling, and marketing shenanigans. Shaped strings are slowly eating market share.
 

getagrip

New User
Same strings with different tension combinations adds to the confusion. For me the decision is around least to most arm pain. The high end ones(RPM blast, LXN, ..) hardly hold tension or feel beyond 2 hrs of hitting. I deeper I go into researching, the more disappointed I get.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Hnefi

Semi-Pro
I went down that road 3 years ago and just decided to use gut/poly. Best performance, best consistency over time. Of course it's not possible for those who pop strings every 2 hours, but just do the math taking into account stringing cost and figure out whether it makes sense for you.

In my game it's allowed me to spend less time thinking, more time playing. Same as when I got married to my weighted up Xi98s and said I wouldn't look at another racquet until I snapped all 6 of them.
 

McLovin

Legend
I think there's a shift towards 'the middle', as you have some Multis that try to replicate some features of Poly (e.g., Tecnifibre HDMX), and some Polys that lean toward the Multi spectrum (e.g., Laserfibre Native Tour, Babolat RPM Power).

Like @Booger, I had been using the same gut/YPTP setup for over 4 years, resigned to the thought that nothing really has changed, until this past spring when I was sent a few sample sets of Laserfibre string to try. Ironically, I didn't like Native Tour the first time out...I felt it was too powerful, lacking control.

But, I broke my sample of JB100 (ALU clone) on a mishit and grabbed the Native Tour frame to finish off the set. Suddenly I was swinging away and things were dropping in. So, I gave it another try and haven't looked back since.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Yes. Ever since polys showed all you glass elbows have been driving research the wrong way. There will be no 400 or 600 stiffness polys.

Thanks
 

esgee48

Legend
Shapes already come in 3,4,5,6,7,8,10 sides and round. Indents already exist. Rough already exists. There are many commercially made pellets. The number of string materials' compositions are probably infinite or a VERY large number. However, not all of the strings can make the grade for smoothness, stiffness and elasticity. Then the manufacturer has to recoup the cost. A lot of strings are hype. Periodic testing leads me to conclude that there is not that much really new; just a lot of similar strings. Note I did not say same, but similar.

I know @Shroud would love to have a thin poly with 600 stiffness. It would marry well with his Kevlar, also at 600 stiffness. And "That's what she said" in before @n8dawg6. :happydevil:
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Shapes already come in 3,4,5,6,7,8,10 sides and round. Indents already exist. Rough already exists. There are many commercially made pellets. The number of string materials' compositions are probably infinite or a VERY large number. However, not all of the strings can make the grade for smoothness, stiffness and elasticity. Then the manufacturer has to recoup the cost. A lot of strings are hype. Periodic testing leads me to conclude that there is not that much really new; just a lot of similar strings. Note I did not say same, but similar.

I know @Shroud would love to have a thin poly with 600 stiffness. It would marry well with his Kevlar, also at 600 stiffness. And "That's what she said" in before @n8dawg6. :happydevil:
Iirc ashaway is in the 800s
 

Ihatetennis

Hall of Fame
I think there's a shift towards 'the middle', as you have some Multis that try to replicate some features of Poly (e.g., Tecnifibre HDMX), and some Polys that lean toward the Multi spectrum (e.g., Laserfibre Native Tour, Babolat RPM Power).

Like @Booger, I had been using the same gut/YPTP setup for over 4 years, resigned to the thought that nothing really has changed, until this past spring when I was sent a few sample sets of Laserfibre string to try. Ironically, I didn't like Native Tour the first time out...I felt it was too powerful, lacking control.

But, I broke my sample of JB100 (ALU clone) on a mishit and grabbed the Native Tour frame to finish off the set. Suddenly I was swinging away and things were dropping in. So, I gave it another try and haven't looked back since.
Rpm power is nothing like a multi, stiff muted string with no real strength in power control or spin categories.

I was so keen on doing the play test last fall and I disliked it so much I still have 2 of babolats demo sets in s drawer. My club got 7 sets in November for us to try.
 

1HBHfanatic

Hall of Fame
-some newer polys are getting softer, lux smart, lux.element, babo.rpm.power, babo.rpm.rough, head lynx/tour, yonex.ptp/fire, isospeed.cream, etc.....
-some polys are getting better at tension maintenance; retaining their properties longer; lux.4g, y.p.t.p, Wilson.revolve, tecnifiber has a few mew ones in both these categories, IMO
 

dr. godmode

Professional
I think RPM power is pretty unique. It feels really metallic to string and the playability was very close to nylob/poly hybrid without the durability issues.
 

Kevo

Legend
Seems like we're reaching the limits of current materials.
This is where the big differences arise. I don't think we'll see any substantial change until some new materials come to light. If there were some way to coat RIP Control so it could stand up to the abrasion of a thin poly that would be huge for me. The hybrid combo of Ace and Rip Control was amazing. Of course if that type of coating would work with some like Sensation 17 or Alpha Gut 2000 18 I'd also be very happy. The biggest problem I see is simply making a string last. That of course is the whole reason for poly strings' success.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
This is where the big differences arise. I don't think we'll see any substantial change until some new materials come to light.
Even then, poly costs pennies to make and has 98% margins. It'll take a long time for a new material to make it to production.
 

Frankc

Semi-Pro
Natural Gut - maybe not stagnated...Just "decimated" if the previously dynamic and lively nature of natural gut was loved by your game and your sense of feel and your joints... Great memories, now...
A simpler, less extensive (read cheaper) process and multiple coatings may make for a tougher, more durable hybrid in larger, non dense patterned spin frames. That's about it now. But then again, we all know that extreme spin is the only reason to walk onto a tennis court, right? Right?
 

MarioRich

Rookie
Diadem probably only one innovating with its shape/pattern.... I thinks there's been lots of oils and mixing different type of polys because new polys are much softer on the arm and also have better tension maintenance. Even though we cannot see these innovations I think we can feel them.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Poly strings are consistently becoming better with tension maintenance and achieving great results with power and spin without running the stiffness through the roof. Players would be surprised if they experimented with tension and weight of the frame. Normally lower tension than they currently use. Can make the same frame play completely different with lower tension and adding weight to the hoop of the frame and handle.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Poly strings are consistently becoming better with tension maintenance and achieving great results with power and spin without running the stiffness through the roof. Players would be surprised if they experimented with tension and weight of the frame. Normally lower tension than they currently use. Can make the same frame play completely different with lower tension and adding weight to the hoop of the frame and handle.
weight in the hoop= more power
lower tension= more power.

So yeah it should play completely different....
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Have had a number of players stringing in the mid 50’s with poly swinging off the chart with racquet speed. Drop the tension a few lbs and add 4 grams at 3 and 9 and they stabilize. Errors go away, generating the same pace and spin with less effort swinging smoother. Stops the constant search for a string they can find to control the ball.
Shapapolov syndrome. Complete redline all the time. Either unbeatable or errors everywhere. Problem that a large number of juniors and collegiate players have.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Have had a number of players stringing in the mid 50’s with poly swinging off the chart with racquet speed. Drop the tension a few lbs and add 4 grams at 3 and 9 and they stabilize. Errors go away, generating the same pace and spin with less effort swinging smoother. Stops the constant search for a string they can find to control the ball.
Shapapolov syndrome. Complete redline all the time. Either unbeatable or errors everywhere. Problem that a large number of juniors and collegiate players have.
Thats not a surprise. Weight there will change the MgRI value which can affect consistency especially if its hasnt been tuned. IIRC trav had some measurements that stock racquets were balanced so the they came through faster on contact. Adding weight as you mention will slow them at contact.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Luxilon Alu Power is about as good as it’s gonna get in terms of poly. Unfortunately it doesn’t last very long in a frame but as far as performance, there seems to be no further authentication needed. Evidenced by how many players on the pro tour are using this string and they don’t go from string to string looking for something better.

Have switched to BHS7T simply because it lasts longer and is less expensive than Alu Power.
 
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