In praise of Kevlar/ZX hybrid!!!

graycrait

Hall of Fame
65mains 58crosses, she likes to have poly strung at 58/58. I like my 93" Princes at 65/55 when using Ash Kev x Zyex. She is swinging a 16x18 11.5 oz racket.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Had a talk with a Russian D1 female player yesterday about her strings. I had strung a couple of her rackets with 16g Ash Kev x 17g Zyex this summer but I hadn't seen her in a while to talk till yesterday. I asked her how she liked playing with the college's Tour Bite. She told me it breaks too quickly and doesn't give her the control that Ash Kev x Zyex does. I told her give me some rackets. I strung 3 of her rackets up with Ash Kev (winch prestretched) x prestretched Zyex. She had a 4th racket strung with Ash Kev x Zyex she had been saving. She was elated to have 4 rackets strung with Ash Kev x Zyex. I told her to hit with them 1.5-2hrs before matches to break in the string bed and let me know when she needs a racket strung. The coaches and tennis center manager have no idea what Ash Kev or Zyex is or how to string it.
Last sentence is so true but they probably whig because its kevlar and haven't ever tried kevlar with a cross that is nonlocking....

Sadly ashaway doesnt seem to do any kind of sponsoring afaik

Glad you are such a good guy helping her out. But really man D1 is probably not a high enough level for the industry to really notice....
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Yes, after stringing couple of my racquets with kev/ZX, its tough to play with any other string since the level of control and comfort with kev/zx is amazing. Even a low powered string like RS Lyon seems powerful to me now. I am a big hitter and with Kev/ZX my game went to next level since this combo allows me to swing 100% at any point of time during the match without holding back. With other string i may be trying to control the swing to keep it in and i can't get my racquets strung every 8-10 hours with polys for best performance. btw, i give this combo its share for helping me to win local league called Ultimate Tennis at 5.5. level (May be USTA 4.5-5.0). With Regular Kev 16/ZX 17, its currently at 16 hours and there are 2 spots right in the middle that may break any time and rest looks very good. So i may not be getting much more durability out of reg kev compared to kev+ (15 hours). Seems like ZX is really cutting through Kev. In general i hardly break strings even the NG survives for 30+ hours and multi close to 20 hours.
Congrats on the win man.

Yeah kev/zx is awesome if you hit the ball. That zx slicing the kevlar just means things are working. Also zx is one of the hardest strings so no wonder the kevlar gets sawed Get some electro crosses if you want to extend the life.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Grainof salt. For people newly trying that it makes sense. But if you prestretch things and have used kevlar it's a pretty dumb rec imho
It’s interesting, no doubt. Just can’t quite step ashore with Kevlar. Have had too much wear and tear over the years.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
It’s interesting, no doubt. Just can’t quite step ashore with Kevlar. Have had too much wear and tear over the years.
Yeah i get it. Hard to fathom kev not killing ones arm but things are different these days.

Once I ate sooo much pumpkin pie i got sick. And it was like 10 years before I ate pumpkin pie again...
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Yeah i get it. Hard to fathom kev not killing ones arm but things are different these days.

Once I ate sooo much pumpkin pie i got sick. And it was like 10 years before I ate pumpkin
Pumpkin pie is not known for making people sick but I understand your point. The longevity makes it interesting but it doesn’t sound like there is much more than I get with Gut/poly or full poly.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
The longevity makes it interesting but it doesn’t sound like there is much more than I get with Gut/poly or full poly.
I've tried Gut/Poly, and full poly a lot. For me the string depends a lot on the rackets I am swinging. I just enjoy being able to swing away with the joint comfort comfort Ash Kev x Zyex gives. Couple comfort with long lasting playability for about 12 bucks a stringbed.
 
Pumpkin pie is not known for making people sick but I understand your point. The longevity makes it interesting but it doesn’t sound like there is much more than I get with Gut/poly or full poly.
Kevlar/zx, strung with an optimal tension for the particular racquet, combines excellent control, excellent spin, unmatched comfort, and unmatched longevity of excellent playability. Full poly can’t hold a candle to it because it dents, lose playability and/or comfort over time, and feels like crap,
 
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topspn

Hall of Fame
So how different is crossfire 2 which has a syn gut cross instead of zx. Does it last? Also high deferential?
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
I've tried Gut/Poly, and full poly a lot. For me the string depends a lot on the rackets I am swinging. I just enjoy being able to swing away with the joint comfort comfort Ash Kev x Zyex gives. Couple comfort with long lasting playability for about 12 bucks a stringbed.
Noticed it’s $11 dollars and some change at several places. That pretty inexpensive. I’m getting 8hrs of good play out of TBHB7 at $5.00 a frame and don’t have to do all of the pre-stretch. 8-10hrs out of Gut/poly at $18 a frame.
You thinking it’s better playability than Gut/poly?
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
So how different is crossfire 2 which has a syn gut cross instead of zx. Does it last? Also high deferential?
Big difference. You go from super locked with the syngut to unlocked with zx. Its also less jarring. Ime its just better unless you are a flatt hitter or like a locked stringbed
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Big difference. You go from super locked with the syngut to unlocked with zx. Its also less jarring. Ime its just better unless you are a flatt hitter or like a locked stringbed
What do think it would hit like in some of the Pro Staffs at 60/50? These frames can be tough on the arm with full poly strung over 52. Haven’t seen any frames at stringers to be strung with Kevlar since the early nineties but now that Crossfire is almost half price that may change.
 
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Pumpkin pie is not known for making people sick but I understand your point. The longevity makes it interesting but it doesn’t sound like there is much more than I get with Gut/poly or full poly.
For me, this string bed combo is more comfortable than gut/poly. Moreover string bed doesn’t change much till breakage and control is out of the world. Peculiarly Only concern for me was the durability. I am getting around 16 hours before kev breaks which is not bad but many folks are getting around 30-40 hours. Current I am getting them strung @60/45 fully prestretched. Should I go @65/45 or @65/50 for more durability?
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
The two best players that I know who play with this setup is a 5'9" UTR 10.4 19 yr old gal and the other is a 30 yr old 5'8" fella former college player. Gal uses Prince PCG 100 16x18 stock, dude uses some beat up Head 98" 18x20 Radicals. Both grew up properly coached. I use old Prince 90s 14x18, enthusiastic and shameless hack best desribes me.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
What do think it would hit like in some of the Pro Staffs at 60/50? These frames can be tough on the arm with full poly strung over 52.
I think 50 lb at cross string most likely will feel softer than 52 lb full bed poly. General recommendation here is do pre-stretch, add permanent elongation on both. I recommend leaving cross uncut, so that you have a chance to restring the cross.
It is not what you know that matters. It is your decision. Try it and decide for yourself. If you do not break the ZX while stringing, and you are not a string breaker, the Kevlar main will last you awhile (as you are trying different cross string setups).
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
I think 50 lb at cross string most likely will feel softer than 52 lb full bed poly. General recommendation here is do pre-stretch, add permanent elongation on both. I recommend leaving cross uncut, so that you have a chance to restring the cross.
It is not what you know that matters. It is your decision. Try it and decide for yourself. If you do not break the ZX while stringing, and you are not a string breaker, the Kevlar main will last you awhile (as you are trying different cross string setups).
Break while stringing? Not a string breaker? That is what this string combo is supposed to be for, string breakers. These are good reasons to not string this for anyone.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
What do think it would hit like in some of the Pro Staffs at 60/50? These frames can be tough on the arm with full poly strung over 52. Haven’t seen any frames at stringers to be strung with Kevlar since the early nineties but now that Crossfire is almost half price that may change.
I did the PS 85 at 60/40 and man that was awesome. That stick really had the ESP effect. Ball would pocket for days and be catapulted away unlike any other stringbed.

Advantage of kev/zx vs full poly is that the kevlar wont notch like the poly and so its never as tough on the arm as notched poly.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
For me, this string bed combo is more comfortable than gut/poly. Moreover string bed doesn’t change much till breakage and control is out of the world. Peculiarly Only concern for me was the durability. I am getting around 16 hours before kev breaks which is not bad but many folks are getting around 30-40 hours. Current I am getting them strung @60/45 fully prestretched. Should I go @65/45 or @65/50 for more durability?
Maybe you are just a beast?? My two cents is that the bigger the differential the longer it may last. Its a guess really but there is less friction that way and friction is what gets the kevlar. Though it might be just the opposite because less friction, more movement and its the sawing that gets the kevlar.

But more differential more launch so perhaps less effort to get the ball deep so less stress on the stringbed.

Though electro crosses will help with longevity as will some lube.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
Break while stringing? Not a string breaker? That is what this string combo is supposed to be for, string breakers. These are good reasons to not string this for anyone.
There are string BREAKERS and there are STRING$ breakers. There is no absolute in life. There are experienced high volume stringers who breaks cheap guts and ZX. There are home/amateurs who take their time "massage" out each string jobs. They both exist in the same world. And then there is uncertainty in natural world.
It is up to the listener to find value in the communication. Unless whatever was stated was repeated too many times.
Cheers,
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
There are string BREAKERS and there are STRING$ breakers. There is no absolute in life. There are experienced high volume stringers who breaks cheap guts and ZX. There are home/amateurs who take their time "massage" out each string jobs. They both exist in the same world. And then there is uncertainty in natural world.
It is up to the listener to find value in the communication. Unless whatever was stated was repeated too many times.
Cheers,
Whatever that means..but break on the stringer? Not interested in that happening in my natural world.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Thanks, did you hear why he recommends Zx and Zx pro? To avoid injury from using stiffer strings. That’s interesting.
 
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2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Thanks, did you hear why he recommends Zx and Zx pro? To avoid injury from using stiffer strings. That’s interesting.
While Ashaway Kevlar does have a high stiffness rating, it is also a braided, multifilament design that provides a lot more forgiveness than your typical mono poly string.

Ime, the more tension the Ash Kev has, the more the "flex" property of the braid is accentuated. Higher or lower tension doesn't really change the power level much, but there is greater trajectory control and some spin gains at higher tension as well.



Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 
While Ashaway Kevlar does have a high stiffness rating, it is also a braided, multifilament design that provides a lot more forgiveness than your typical mono poly string.

Ime, the more tension the Ash Kev has, the more the "flex" property of the braid is accentuated. Higher or lower tension doesn't really change the power level much, but there is greater trajectory control and some spin gains at higher tension as well.



Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
A big advantage for comfort is that the braided surface stays soft and slides easily along the hard zx surface, so that the zx stays glassy smooth. Even poly dents a little when using Kevlar main, decreasing comfort.
 
Maybe you are just a beast?? My two cents is that the bigger the differential the longer it may last. Its a guess really but there is less friction that way and friction is what gets the kevlar. Though it might be just the opposite because less friction, more movement and its the sawing that gets the kevlar.

But more differential more launch so perhaps less effort to get the ball deep so less stress on the stringbed.

Though electro crosses will help with longevity as will some lube.
No..I am just a 5.9, 155 lb guy but have a more than decent technique and hit the ball hard. Just wondering if my stringer is not doing it right..he is a trust worthy guy and he is doing the manual prestretch as well...one thing I notice and wonder is that ZX doesn’t come back to its position (behaves like a multi) if I move it manually and some times I would just correct it during the play...I thought it’s because of the high tensioned Kevlar..I feel that I get plenty of spin compared to any other setup I used, including full poly...this string bed is really addictive and complementing my type of game. I have 4 tc 95s and I get them strung with 4 different setups...weird but I like it this way...others with kev/zx, legend/max power, rslyon, proline ll...I use them based on the situation...but I hardly break strings and will get them restrung when I feel it’s not usable at all...probably around 20-25 hours...kev/zx is the only string combo that I consistently break at 15-16 hours..but I end up playing more with kev/zx recently and stringing 2 of them with kev/zx now....anyways my next try is 65/45 and hope for more durability...
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
No..I am just a 5.9, 155 lb guy but have a more than decent technique and hit the ball hard. Just wondering if my stringer is not doing it right..he is a trust worthy guy and he is doing the manual prestretch as well...one thing I notice and wonder is that ZX doesn’t come back to its position (behaves like a multi) if I move it manually and some times I would just correct it during the play...I thought it’s because of the high tensioned Kevlar..I feel that I get plenty of spin compared to any other setup I used, including full poly...this string bed is really addictive and complementing my type of game. I have 4 tc 95s and I get them strung with 4 different setups...weird but I like it this way...others with kev/zx, legend/max power, rslyon, proline ll...I use them based on the situation...but I hardly break strings and will get them restrung when I feel it’s not usable at all...probably around 20-25 hours...kev/zx is the only string combo that I consistently break at 15-16 hours..but I end up playing more with kev/zx recently and stringing 2 of them with kev/zx now....anyways my next try is 65/45 and hope for more durability...
Hmm..the durability would be the main reason to try those strings. Doesn’t sound like they are that durable if the Legend/Max Power lasts longer. Perfect conditions I can get 8-10 hours out of L/M. Less than perfect and they are gone in 2-3hrs.
Shroud may be able to resolve the issue.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Hmm..the durability would be the main reason to try those strings. Doesn’t sound like they are that durable if the Legend/Max Power lasts longer. Perfect conditions I can get 8-10 hours out of L/M. Less than perfect and they are gone in 2-3hrs.
Shroud may be able to resolve the issue.
Dudes are using that combo because of playability. Did you read this dudes post about getting more spin
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
In the spirit of exploration, and I know I will be rediculed, try putting Zx on main and kevlar on cross, prestretched of course. And see how that lasts. And see how it plays. That is the equivalent of poly/gut set up(smooth/rough), or gut/poly:(soft/hard). I'm confused.
But see if the kevlar last longer. Tension? 50/46?
 
@Tennis Passionate , Are the Kevlar mains breaking by sawing through on the Zyex. Typically the Kevlar starts to fray considerably before breaking.
Yes...not the whole kev but just 3-4 spots in the middle and most part would still look good. Eventually one of these spots will get cut deeper and break...the cut normally starts around 10 hour mark but I still get around 5 more hours after that...anyways I am going to try @65/45 this time. Angell TC95 is around 60 RA string and 16x19...I hit with lot of spin and pace as well...all these factors may be playing a role as well...
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
@Tennis Passionate , all I can say you have got to be hitting that ball with a lot more spin than I do, harder too. But all these D1 kids, including the ladies, hit with more spin consistently harder than this 64 yr old. How fast do you go through a set of poly? One of the young guys I hit with a couple of times was from Brazil and about 6'3". He would go through a set of poly in 2hrs. He told me he would need a good job just to keep himself in string. I'll be monitoring the young Russian gal to see how fast she breaks her string in her 100" 16x18. Thanks.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
If you want to narrow the setup even more, I suggest change only the cross tension. Perhaps 65/47 next time. The resulting will be higher tension in bitg main n cross strings. Slightly more firm but still damped and no trampling. The theory is that tighter main will move less overall and less sawing action. And we look forward to your playtest result.
 
@Tennis Passionate , all I can say you have got to be hitting that ball with a lot more spin than I do, harder too. But all these D1 kids, including the ladies, hit with more spin consistently harder than this 64 yr old. How fast do you go through a set of poly? One of the young guys I hit with a couple of times was from Brazil and about 6'3". He would go through a set of poly in 2hrs. He told me he would need a good job just to keep himself in string. I'll be monitoring the young Russian gal to see how fast she breaks her string in her 100" 16x18. Thanks.
Yes i hit with good amount of spin and pace but i mostly hit in the sweet spot with less miss hits. As i mentioned earlier i am not a string breaker and i hardly break strings. Even poly i have them cut them out after 20+ hours once i feel its not usable. I am not sure, but since this is a lower powered setup, i may be swinging harder and generating more spin in the process i guess. My current set up is, kev 16/ZX 17 @60/45...Will 65/50 help? or 65/45 is better? Hopefully the comfort will still be there. If not i will try applying Elastocrosses on the ZX crosses in the sweet spot (never had to try this though). Hoping that nobody is taking this wrong. I really love this setup without any doubts and just trying to maximize the durability by taking you experts suggestions. I would recommend this setup to any kind of player. Its really tough to explain since all of us have different type of game, but kevlar in the setup shouldn't scare us away since ZX really softens up the string bed and its really one of the comfortable string beds. I would still use this setup even if i can't get more than 15-16 hours out of this.
 

Kevo

Legend
The ZX string is made from zyex. That material has a really high resistance to abrasion. So basically it's going to abrade whatever you pair it with. If you hit the ball on the same spot over and over you are basically creating the perfect scenario to wear away the kevlar which also is highly abrasion resistant, but is not going to win against the zyex.

I think your best chance to make it last longer is to use a non braided kevlar with a coating and/or use the string savers like you mentioned.

I wonder if anyone has used the kevlar + with teflon and determined if the teflon actually works to enhance durability. That might be an option as well.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
I wonder if anyone has used the kevlar + with teflon and determined if the teflon actually works to enhance durability. That might be an option as well.
I don't think the kev+ uses Teflon. My understanding is that it used regular nylon for 15% of the string segments, which certainly won't enhance durability.

I'm not sure that Teflon is really usable in a tennis string.

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Says PTFE in the description. I looked it up just to be sure, and it is Teflon.
Ok you appear to be correct. Not sure how much Teflon is better in a tennis string vs a sauce pane.

Anyway, I've used reg Kev with a ZX and a poly cross, and I've never seen the string2string friction cause fraying on the Kev earlier than simple ball impact on the exposed mains contacted the tennis ball.

My advise is to up the main tension and use the string savers in the center crosses.

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
My current set up is, kev 16/ZX 17 @60/45...Will 65/50 help? or 65/45 is better?
From 60/45 to 65/50 or 65/45, former is a bigger step. I suspect from most firm to least firm: 1) 65/50 2) 60/50 3) 65/45.

Better is subjective. Like a F1 driver talks to his engineers. Once you define what parameter of what quality is better then you can compare something's characteristics.

Another option is using poly instead of ZX. My current setup is Kevlar+ and Prince Warrior @53#. This cross is the third pull with the same set of Kevlar+ after breaking ZX pulling the third time on Prince Bandit OS. But I am not a hard hitter.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Yes i hit with good amount of spin and pace but i mostly hit in the sweet spot with less miss hits. As i mentioned earlier i am not a string breaker and i hardly break strings. Even poly i have them cut them out after 20+ hours once i feel its not usable. I am not sure, but since this is a lower powered setup, i may be swinging harder and generating more spin in the process i guess. My current set up is, kev 16/ZX 17 @60/45...Will 65/50 help? or 65/45 is better? Hopefully the comfort will still be there. If not i will try applying Elastocrosses on the ZX crosses in the sweet spot (never had to try this though). Hoping that nobody is taking this wrong. I really love this setup without any doubts and just trying to maximize the durability by taking you experts suggestions. I would recommend this setup to any kind of player. Its really tough to explain since all of us have different type of game, but kevlar in the setup shouldn't scare us away since ZX really softens up the string bed and its really one of the comfortable string beds. I would still use this setup even if i can't get more than 15-16 hours out of this.
Hi @tennispassionate we need to see some visual evidence, b/c I believe you're interpreting regular ball friction fraying as somehow (wrongly) related to the crosses.
 
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graycrait

Hall of Fame
Another option is using poly instead of ZX.
I've tried this option and I don't like it, goes dead fast. Almost as useless as Ash Kev x Syn Gut, which locks up very quickly. I have an old and dear friend, who loves hitting flat balls with his locked stringbed of Ash Kev x syn gut, whose brother played in major league baseball, batting .393 in 1994, giving a glimpse of the genetics. My friend just had his shoulder reconstruction but most of that is due to career of jumping out of airplanes with a pack and rifle, while his brother had a remarkable but short career in the "bigs" playing baseball.

I think I have tried every permutation possible with Ash Kev x whatever, including Ash Kev x Ash Kev - that is stupid...but... I digress.

I have tried all the "lame" coated twisted aramids. I just don't get those strings like Prince Problend's aramid. All those strings do is provided a "boardy" string bed that allows you to hit flat shots, especially crisp service returns. Ashaway's "uncoated" braided aramid (Kevlar) is a different animal from all the rest of the "pretender" aramid tennis strings. In my humble opinion it only works well with Ashaway Zyex. AND, if I were a UTR 14 player on the verge or making money playing tennis I would be playing with a less than 2 hour set of full poly or gut/poly.

Most of the rest of us could use Ashaway Kevlar x Ashaway Zyex at some tension in some gauge combo that would fulfill all our needs/desires with arm comfort, decent durability and approximation of play that we envision for our ourselves compared to the pros. Why isn't this more obvious to the larger tennis community? Ashaway's marketing team must be looking at something else other than tennis.
 
Hi @tennispassionate we need to see some visual evidence, b/c I believe you're interpreting regular ball friction fraying as somehow (wrongly) related to the crosses.
Sure... you may be right...I already dropped off the racquet with the stringer. But will ask him to take pictures if he hasn’t started with the stringing yet. If not will take pictures next time. This time I am trying 65/45, fully pre stretched...I bought the ZX mini reel and going to order reg kev 16 half reel...
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Yes i hit with good amount of spin and pace but i mostly hit in the sweet spot with less miss hits. As i mentioned earlier i am not a string breaker and i hardly break strings. Even poly i have them cut them out after 20+ hours once i feel its not usable. I am not sure, but since this is a lower powered setup, i may be swinging harder and generating more spin in the process i guess. My current set up is, kev 16/ZX 17 @60/45...Will 65/50 help? or 65/45 is better? Hopefully the comfort will still be there. If not i will try applying Elastocrosses on the ZX crosses in the sweet spot (never had to try this though). Hoping that nobody is taking this wrong. I really love this setup without any doubts and just trying to maximize the durability by taking you experts suggestions. I would recommend this setup to any kind of player. Its really tough to explain since all of us have different type of game, but kevlar in the setup shouldn't scare us away since ZX really softens up the string bed and its really one of the comfortable string beds. I would still use this setup even if i can't get more than 15-16 hours out of this.
Also you can spray the strings with some all purpose teflon lube. It will help with the friction and the kevlar absorbs it. FWIW start adding the electrocrosses only when things start getting bad.

And do make sure the stringer is actually stringing as you specify and actually doing a full manual prestretch where only one side of the string is pulled on. No around the corner and no machine prestretch (unless its in addition to the proper manual prestretch.) Nothing against you at all its just that some stringers are super arrogant and think they know EVERYTHING and will say they strung it one way while doing what they think is best.
 
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