High altitude balls and string tension.

salsainglesa

Semi-Pro
Hello, I just recently been told that tournaments I play at are going to use pressurized balls for high altitude. The thing is that it bounces a lot more than what I am used to. I have a high swing speed actually.

My setup, 95 sq inches, 18x20 at 50 lbs hybrid, nylon with poly force hybrid.

The thing is that with this settings the ball bounces like crazy of my string bed, I know a higher string tension would result in less power, but niether the ball or the strings will deform at all. I have been thinking about a looser tension.

About 40 or 35...

the stringer would say I am crazy, but I really don't mind as long as I feel a nice creamy texture on my contact.

One more difficulty is that I won't be using this ball al the time in every training, so I have to find a tension for that ball as I found the tension for the other dead balls
 

nickarnold2000

Hall of Fame
I've played at 5200 feet in Mexico before and I went up 2-3lbs from my usual tension using the high altitude balls. I adapted pretty quickly with most shots but BH slices needed to be reined in slightly.
If possible get there a few days earlier to get used to the altitude because the air is thinner up there and in a long match fitness will play a part.
I'm very interested if your looser string tension theory will work or not!
 

fgs

Hall of Fame
with lower tension you will have trouble even hitting the fences - you will shoot above them.
last year i played a tournament at 700m and decided to go 1kg up on my tensions. in the first two rounds i still had the ball quite constantly flying about 1m longer, specially on slices. by the third round i had my strokes dialled in. i should have upped the tension at least 1.5kg, then everything would have been o.k. right from the beginning.
 

salsainglesa

Semi-Pro
Exactly I play in Mexico city, and I am adapted to the fast conditions with pressureless balls. They deform a big deal with my setup, wich I like. The ball literally compresses in the stringbed. And when I hit this pressurized ball, i feel like there is no deformation at all, and I loose feeling, so the angles are harder to control and suddenly the court seems smaller.

So I thought, with a looser tension the string will return to its original possition after the ball has left the stringbed, hence loosing more energy, and at the same time having more ball surface in contact with the strings. I believe that string tension has an ideal point where it is more resilent, below it looses power, the same happens above that point.

But I wanted to know if someone already has experience with this, so I had a starting point to experiment other than my arbitrary choice of 35 lbs.

I chose that tension because the dense string pattern tends to have a stiffer bed frame than a more open one. So lowering the tension has less impact than in a open stringbed.

In my experience this closed pattern variates a lot less in power than an open one when changing string tension. I can hit almost the same with 50 or 60 lbs on a fressh string job... with an open pattern I used 65 lbs and stringing at 60 lbs would be noticeable and the ball would be flying a lot more than I liked.

I'll see what happens! I will also hit with dead balls with this setup!
 

Blade0324

Hall of Fame
I live at about 5500 ft. and play here all the time. The High altitude balls actually have less bounce than the regular ones to account for the higher altitude. I question that you find the balls to bounce more.
If you simply mean that they bounce or fly off of your racquet more then you are correct in that aspect. With high altitude play the ball has less resistance from the air and thus moves through the air much more and spin is also less. You will need to increase your tension by a good bit to account for the change.
At sea level I string at about 53 mains and 55 crosses. At altitude I regularly string at 57-59 mains and 59-61 crosses with a full poly setup.
I hope this helps some.
 

MambaT

Rookie
with lower tension you will have trouble even hitting the fences - you will shoot above them.
last year i played a tournament at 700m and decided to go 1kg up on my tensions. in the first two rounds i still had the ball quite constantly flying about 1m longer, specially on slices. by the third round i had my strokes dialled in. i should have upped the tension at least 1.5kg, then everything would have been o.k. right from the beginning.
Wait, I thought sat. tour players could not tell the difference in even 11 lbs variation in tension. :)

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=382195&highlight=deference
 

fgs

Hall of Fame
mambaT,
it is quite sad, but a lot of futures players have no idea about strings, tensions, strings going dead etc. some of them rely on their coaches and some of the coaches do really know their trade. others just go commenting that they did not manage to keep the ball in the court or that they barely made it to the net, but weird as it seems are not able to relate to strings, tension, etc.
a top 10 junior girls was sidelined for six months because she used to play with dead strings. as she does not hit lots of topspin, she was going through a set of strings in about two weeks, meaning approx. 4-5 hrs of daily practice!!! her shoulder decided to quit and take a break, so did her ranking.
you will wonder how many "aspiring" pros know next to nothing about strings. i'm the first to say that the player is at least 95% of the bargain, but with the wrong material you might be looking into big trouble coming ahead. good material does not make a good player, but bad material (i mean material combinations - wrong blending of stick-string-tension etc.) can literally destroy a good player. too few people are aware of this.
 

coloskier

Legend
Since I live at 5800', I can tell you that you will need to increase your tension at least 3-4# to get the same depth on your strokes compared to sea level. But you will still continue to get "fliers" at this altitude because topspin does not grab the ball as much due to the thinner air. Surprisingly, players who hit flat tend to do better at altitude than players who hit with heavy topspin (just ask Nadal). You can always adjust your string tension for depth, but you can't for grip of the ball in topspin.
 

salsainglesa

Semi-Pro
I think you missread, there are high altitude balls, wich are not presurized at all, and then there are the high altitude pressurized balls...

The ones that I am used to are those you guys state, the ones that wouldn't fly at sea level and are pressureless.
The pressurized balls are the ones I have to adjust to.

Tomorrow I will hit with those balls and the loose setup, I'll post my impressions for anyone to check.
 

Tmano

Hall of Fame
Hi, can someone explaim me the difference from presurized and pressureless balls and where and when you use them?
Thanks
 

fgs

Hall of Fame
pressurizes balls come in cans, when you open them (pop up the metal lid) they make a noise, the pressure from inside the can being released. these tend to get softer the longer they are "out of the box".
pressureless balls are made of a different mixture of rubber and are basically used for coaching purposes - so you don't have to keep changing balls by the week as they turn soft and have different playing characteristics. the pressureless ones are not as pleasant to play with, but are more durable.
 

kevhen

Hall of Fame
Playing at 9000'

I am living in Quito, Ecuador and playing at 9000' above sea level. It has taken me about a dozen hitting sessions to adjust to the thin air. The balls do fly long, and don't slow down, and my kick serve is kicking 6' high or more. I also get tired quickly if the rally is long since the air has 20% less oxygen. My slices were sailing high and long, so I have had to lower the angle. I tend to add more spin to serves and groundstrokes as the extra spin helps them to land in, and also makes them jump 6 inches higher than at sea level. I hit a hard kick serve for a first serve. I play deeper on the court since the balls won't slow down and will come to you even two steps behind the baseline. I have also played on clay which helps with the timing since the clay is slow while the air is fast. It is alot of fun to play at altitude but has taken me a couple months to get used to. I use regular balls but they last longer since the low air pressure allows for higher bounces.
 
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