Hurtin' for something different

I have been playing consistent tennis for about 30 yrs now (45 yo). I am at a 4.5 level & hit massive spin both sides. To avoid spending a lot of money & time with stringjobs I have been playing with kevlar hybrid, or poly. I recently bought into the RPM hype about being soft for a poly & generating good spin. I do feel the softness, but it is still killing my arm, so much so, that it is reducing the number of days in a week that I can play. I now need at least 2 days of rest after playing.... sux. I have always strung a little high (rpm @ 59 lbs); furthermore, I do not even think rpm is anything special in the spin dept., I think a kevlar blend provides more spin. Anyhoo, I need to make a change. If anyone here has been down this road, please recommend to me a soft (easy on the arm) string, eg . nxt is great, but I snap it within 3 hrs. I want something that is soft & produces major spin. Feel free to recommend tension changes as well.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
If you can hit with massive spin, then you don't have to use poly or kevlar. I switched to an 18x20 racquet so I could hybrid with synthetic gut. My spin was just as efficient from the 16x19. I then strung a full synthetic gut and still got heavy spin, just a little less control.

If you are already using an 18x20, then disregard this.
 

WarrenT

New User
I used to use kevlar blends all the time because I hit with lots of spin and break strings every few days. Now I use Solinco Tour Bite strung at 55 with synthetic gut crosses. Tour Bite has excellent spin production and is more comfortable than kevlar, adding syngut crosses helps soften it up even a little more. If you just want a cheap string that plays decent and lasts, Gosen Polylon 17 has been good for me, only like $30 a reel.
 
I used to use kevlar blends all the time because I hit with lots of spin and break strings every few days. Now I use Solinco Tour Bite strung at 55 with synthetic gut crosses. Tour Bite has excellent spin production and is more comfortable than kevlar, adding syngut crosses helps soften it up even a little more. If you just want a cheap string that plays decent and lasts, Gosen Polylon 17 has been good for me, only like $30 a reel.
I actually just ordered (be here tomorrow) some TB/Vanquish hybrid because I heard the spin is wicked. Also ordered Froten thin blend; heard for kevlar it was not to harsh on the arm. 55 on the TB mains is something I may try; what do you recommend on the syn crosses ?
 

WarrenT

New User
Forten Thin Blend gives probably about the same (very high) amount of spin as Tour Bite. I agree it's not very harsh on the arm, probably because it's 18 gauge and has more give. But if you're a string breaker like me, they might as well not be kevlar, it made no difference in longevity for me. I think on average I was breaking Thin Blend in 3 hours. I did a quick review of them on my blog. http://studiotsang.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/string-review-forten-thin-blend/

I've tried a ton of "spin" strings, did a post with quick ratings of spin production on the ones I could remember.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=333433

As for what to use on the crosses, I'm not very picky when it comes to syngut. I use Wilson Stamina because that's what my stringer has.
 

mikeler

Moderator
Once you try some of the suggestions above, see how your arm feels. You may even want to hybrid kevlar/poly with a soft multi or natural gut. If none of that works for your arm pain, ditch the kevlar/poly, play with synthetic guts/multis/natural gut and consider purchasing a stringing machine. Don't save your strings and kill your arm.
 

jrod

Hall of Fame
Gut mains w/soft co-poly crosses?

It seems that the OP's primary objective is to save his arm. Spin production is another objective, but secondary to comfort. Then there is the economics. The issue of cost is complicated and does not necessarily correlate well with the price of strings. So my sense is one should not be so quick to dismiss gut as a viable solution here.

I've tried RPM and quite frankly, I find the spin potential of a full set of RPM to be less than what I can get when I use a gut hybrid with a softer co-poly. I've experimented with strings and hybrids for several years and to date, I've found nothing that meets my spin and comfort requirements as well as gut mains and Weisscannon Silverstring crosses. I can get 20 hours of play time out of a stringjob before it dies, so the economics are not bad.

Some tidbits I discovered while experimenting with strings:

1. Most poly's are harsh unless strung below 50 lbs. They also can notch which I believe reduces spin potential.

2. Synthetic guts do not last as long as gut for me. They tend to lose tension faster, fray easier and move more.

3.When hybriding with gut, I prefer gut on the mains. Putting gut on the crosses did not result in as nice a feel.

4. When hybriding gut with poly, the gut tends to outlast the poly (unless you break strings). Most poly's die fast so this is not an economical set-up. If you go this route, pick a long lasting poly like Silverstring.

5. When hybriding gut mains with a poly, using a smooth profile poly on the cross strings provides better spin and does not degrade the gut mains. In the humid summer months a profiled poly can notch the gut mains and the humidity can accelerate the fraying of these notched points.

6. Gut mains with a smooth poly cross enhances spin in my opinion. The smooth poly crosses allow the gut mains to return to their original position. I never have to adjust my strings during play (strung mid-low 50s).
 
It seems that the OP's primary objective is to save his arm. Spin production is another objective, but secondary to comfort. Then there is the economics. The issue of cost is complicated and does not necessarily correlate well with the price of strings. So my sense is one should not be so quick to dismiss gut as a viable solution here.

I've tried RPM and quite frankly, I find the spin potential of a full set of RPM to be less than what I can get when I use a gut hybrid with a softer co-poly. I've experimented with strings and hybrids for several years and to date, I've found nothing that meets my spin and comfort requirements as well as gut mains and Weisscannon Silverstring crosses. I can get 20 hours of play time out of a stringjob before it dies, so the economics are not bad.

Some tidbits I discovered while experimenting with strings:

1. Most poly's are harsh unless strung below 50 lbs. They also can notch which I believe reduces spin potential.

2. Synthetic guts do not last as long as gut for me. They tend to lose tension faster, fray easier and move more.

3.When hybriding with gut, I prefer gut on the mains. Putting gut on the crosses did not result in as nice a feel.

4. When hybriding gut with poly, the gut tends to outlast the poly (unless you break strings). Most poly's die fast so this is not an economical set-up. If you go this route, pick a long lasting poly like Silverstring.

5. When hybriding gut mains with a poly, using a smooth profile poly on the cross strings provides better spin and does not degrade the gut mains. In the humid summer months a profiled poly can notch the gut mains and the humidity can accelerate the fraying of these notched points.

6. Gut mains with a smooth poly cross enhances spin in my opinion. The smooth poly crosses allow the gut mains to return to their original position. I never have to adjust my strings during play (strung mid-low 50s).

Good post. I agree on the poly assessment. I know it is all the craze, but in a full bed, I simply do not like the feel nor spin potential. 2 questions:

- Have you found any nice playing gut string that is economical ? Or do you actually shell of VS money every couple of weeks.

- Do you string both the gut & silverstring in low to mid 50's ?
 

jrod

Hall of Fame
- Have you found any nice playing gut string that is economical ? Or do you actually shell of VS money every couple of weeks.
I use Tonic these days, 15L. I find it plays as well as VS and it's more economical ($10 less). On occasion you will get a package that has a blemish, but in my experience this happens very infrequently (1 out of 50 packages maybe).

The total string cost is $22 and lasts ~20 hours of hitting. Not bad considering.

- Do you string both the gut & silverstring in low to mid 50's ?
The question of tension is always a source of some debate. In addition, because poly is stiffer, many manufacturers recommend stringing it 10% below the desired tension. However, after some experimentation I found that the 10% reduction in a gut hybrid is too much because the initial tension loss with the poly can be quite large. So I found that reducing the poly tension by 4-5% is a better compromise over the life of the stringbed. In my case this corresponds to gut mains at 55 lbs and Silverstring crosses at 53 lbs.
 
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WarrenT

New User
Good links, thanks. What tension do you like on the crosses?
I usually do my syngut polys around 2lbs higher than whatever tension I'm using on poly mains since syngut is softer than poly. I don't know if it really matters, I doubt I could tell a diff if I strung main & cross at same tension.
 

Racer41c

Professional
I have been playing consistent tennis for about 30 yrs now (45 yo). I am at a 4.5 level & hit massive spin both sides. To avoid spending a lot of money & time with stringjobs I have been playing with kevlar hybrid, or poly. I recently bought into the RPM hype about being soft for a poly & generating good spin. I do feel the softness, but it is still killing my arm, so much so, that it is reducing the number of days in a week that I can play. I now need at least 2 days of rest after playing.... sux. I have always strung a little high (rpm @ 59 lbs); furthermore, I do not even think rpm is anything special in the spin dept., I think a kevlar blend provides more spin. Anyhoo, I need to make a change. If anyone here has been down this road, please recommend to me a soft (easy on the arm) string, eg . nxt is great, but I snap it within 3 hrs. I want something that is soft & produces major spin. Feel free to recommend tension changes as well.

My buddy did a full job of RPM blast and hated it. The string seems to really hold tension and he strung it too high expecting it to lose a lot of tension like most polys do. So if you do try RMP again, try it lower in tension.

But if your looking for a comfortable, spin crazy poly, give Unique Big Hitter Blue a try.
 
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