In praise of Kevlar/ZX hybrid!!!

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.
You would think they would do some type of online marketing campaign. Contact one of their reps and direct them to this forum. That would help. Right now that string has plummeted in price and being cleared out in some companies.
 
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.
I agree it’s a good deal and pretty good longevity with decent comfort. Pocketing is ok nothing special, it doesn’t have a connected feel and it does take some pop off the serve. It is a compromise IMO if you’d rather play a good poly for 8 hours (i use Black Night 1.28) or less playable crossfire but for 30hrs. There is no one answer for everyone.
 
I agree it’s a good deal and pretty good longevity with decent comfort. Pocketing is ok nothing special, it doesn’t have a connected feel and it does take some pop off the serve. It is a compromise IMO if you’d rather play a good poly for 8 hours (i use Black Night 1.28) or less playable crossfire but for 30hrs. There is no one answer for everyone.
For sure, $5 poly set ups that last 8-10hrs are good with me. String a couple of frames for $10 and I’m good for a month playing high level tennis. Actually play more than train these days so I’m not standing at the baseline blasting balls down the middle of the court like I’m doing some kind of string longevity test. Can go through any strings fast doing that and it is not exactly good for my game. The training is more dynamic using variety, patterns of play, and within the context of play. String beds don’t seem to go as fast this way.
 
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I like fresh poly of some types like Tour Bite, but it dies off too fast and for some reason I invariably end up tweaking my arm with poly. Using my variety of 80's Prince rackets strung with Ash Kev x Zyex I never hurt myself, so decided to stick with it until the next great thing comes around the bend.
 
I like fresh poly of some types like Tour Bite, but it dies off too fast and for some reason I invariably end up tweaking my arm with poly. Using my variety of 80's Prince rackets strung with Ash Kev x Zyex I never hurt myself, so decided to stick with it until the next great thing comes around the bend.
Tour Bite is one of the toughest poly’s on my arm. Tourbite hurts my arm where Hyper G is totally fine. I have to be very selective about the use of poly after decades of playing with it. Once upon a time could just string it from 55-58 in a player’s frame and no issues. Years and years of that took its toll. Little concerned about jumping on the Kevlar wagon for this reason. Especially after reconstructive shoulder surgery in college after playing with Kevlar. Also had to do with poor stretching and warm up prior to serving. The end result after years and years with Kevlar could be an issue although it seems inconsequential now.
 
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I string one of my young 40 yr old hitting partner's racket with Hyper G. I don't like it but he does, again - everyone has their own tastes. Ashaway Kevlar x Zyex is a peculiar combo and in my Princes, whether POG OSs, POG 90s or other Prince graphites it plays kind of like poly but does not hurt me or launch balls like a multi. I've tried Legend, Velocity, Origin, RS Lyon, etc. but day in and out an old 12oz or so Prince with Ash Kev x Zyex works good enough for me. I feel "validated" when I see this strong Russian 19 yr old playing with it and liking it. But she is playing exclusively with Prince Classic Graphite 100s so maybe it is just Prince and Ashaway magic:)
 
I string one of my young 40 yr old hitting partner's racket with Hyper G. I don't like it but he does, again - everyone has their own tastes. Ashaway Kevlar x Zyex is a peculiar combo and in my Princes, whether POG OSs, POG 90s or other Prince graphites it plays kind of like poly but does not hurt me or launch balls like a multi. I've tried Legend, Velocity, Origin, RS Lyon, etc. but day in and out an old 12oz or so Prince with Ash Kev x Zyex works good enough for me. I feel "validated" when I see this strong Russian 19 yr old playing with it and liking it. But she is playing exclusively with Prince Classic Graphite 100s so maybe it is just Prince and Ashaway magic:)
That could be. I have noticed that many of the Wilson players that we see are playing with Hyper G. May just be a good fit for those frames. May have to try the Crossfire Zx at some point. Too many positive reviews.
 
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One of the downsides of the Kev/ZX hybrid is that I am barely getting any stringing practice in. :giggle:

I think I only strung 5 racquets for myself in 2018, the longevity of this hybrid is amazing. While I have been quite happy with my Prince Tour 98 ESP’s strung up at 64 lb / 52 lb, I decided to see if I could change things up to reduce mains displacement as the hybrid wears. First attempt was 66 lb / 54 lb and had no issues through the last month. Felt a little a little less lively, but no drop off in performance. Still getting a little bit of mains displacement, but not as much as the standard set up. Last week, I decided to try another tension profile (two racquets strung in under a month constitutes a seasonal rush for my stringing machine) to see if I could gain some feel and lower displacement. Currently playing at 68 lb / 50 lb tension pair and loving the results so far. Regained some of the lost feel and early results are pointing to an increase in spin production. If all goes well, I will definelty string up a 70 lb / 50 lb racquet in the near future to see how it behaves.

It still amazes me how well this hybrid plays with the Kevlar mains sawed about half way through. No noticeable fall off in performance or feel even though the strings look like they are going to snap at any moment.
 
One of the downsides of the Kev/ZX hybrid is that I am barely getting any stringing practice in. :giggle:
Come on @skydog , I just strung some tail weighted 340g Babolat Pure Storm GT with a round poly to take hitting yesterday. Cut it out tonight and installed Ash Kev x Zyex. What was I thinking? You need to string "cliche" strings to test and then cut them out the next day, replacing with Ash Kev x Zyex. That way your stringing machine won't lock up with rust:)
 
Come on @skydog , I just strung some tail weighted 340g Babolat Pure Storm GT with a round poly to take hitting yesterday. Cut it out tonight and installed Ash Kev x Zyex. What was I thinking? You need to string "cliche" strings to test and then cut them out the next day, replacing with Ash Kev x Zyex. That way your stringing machine won't lock up with rust:)
:-D

I did my tour of polys and hybrids a few years ago, once I tried Kev/ZX I have never looked back. For me, this hybrid has the best mix of comfort, performance, and durability of any string set up I have tried.
 
:-D

I did my tour of polys and hybrids a few years ago, once I tried Kev/ZX I have never looked back. For me, this hybrid has the best mix of comfort, performance, and durability of any string set up I have tried.
I was going to try this crazy setup few years back - got the strings....but never strung up. Experience with Kevlar/synthetic gut strings in the Traveling Radical I played with left me with MEH impression.

I think it's time I try it in my DR98 Light
 
I was going to try this crazy setup few years back - got the strings....but never strung up. Experience with Kevlar/synthetic gut strings in the Traveling Radical I played with left me with MEH impression.

I think it's time I try it in my DR98 Light
Synthetic gut is not Zyex. Zyex has some unique properties that make it work extremely well with the Kevlar. I have never had a locked stringbed since I switched to the Kevlar/ZX hybrid even after 100 hours of court time.
 
I just tried this for the first time. Did 60/40 in an RF97 using a drop-weight and pre-streched some but didn't go crazy. I let it sit a couple days and just played a singles match. Even knowing what to expect, I have to say the feel is both unique and pleasantly surprising.

I felt very confident with the stringbed and over the course of the match was able to take big swings on winners knowing they would stay in. Serves were decent with a little less pop than a multi but much better spin. Still adjusting to touch shots. It's pretty springy when you're trying to finesse but dampens when you swing out so finding the right touch will probably take a bit of getting used to. The access to spin was noticeably better than the multi/poly hybrid I usually use. Not quite spin poly levels but still very good and tons more comfortable.

The one thing I don't like is that the strings move all over the place, even more than the multi I usually use (Multifeel), which barely moves at all especially when crossed with a smooth poly. Might add some elastocross to help control that. So far really liking this combo. We'll see how it maintains over time. I wouldn't mind it being a little more firm as well so might jump to 65/45 on my second racquet.
 
I just tried this for the first time. Did 60/40 in an RF97 using a drop-weight and pre-streched some but didn't go crazy. I let it sit a couple days and just played a singles match. Even knowing what to expect, I have to say the feel is both unique and pleasantly surprising.

I felt very confident with the stringbed and over the course of the match was able to take big swings on winners knowing they would stay in. Serves were decent with a little less pop than a multi but much better spin. Still adjusting to touch shots. It's pretty springy when you're trying to finesse but dampens when you swing out so finding the right touch will probably take a bit of getting used to. The access to spin was noticeably better than the multi/poly hybrid I usually use. Not quite spin poly levels but still very good and tons more comfortable.

The one thing I don't like is that the strings move all over the place, even more than the multi I usually use (Multifeel), which barely moves at all especially when crossed with a smooth poly. Might add some elastocross to help control that. So far really liking this combo. We'll see how it maintains over time. I wouldn't mind it being a little more firm as well so might jump to 65/45 on my second racquet.
60/50 pre stretch is what I may try. $8.50 is cheap for something that may have good longevity. Shroud or Trav could tell you how to tweak that set up.
 
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[QUOTE="jered, post: 13028985, member: 760450"I wouldn't mind it being a little more firm as well so might jump to 65/45 on my second racquet.[/QUOTE]

This is what you should do but also do the 6 center mains @ 68 to promote snapback.

You're welcome!

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 
I felt very confident with the stringbed and over the course of the match was able to take big swings on winners knowing they would stay in. Serves were decent with a little less pop than a multi but much better spin. Still adjusting to touch shots. It's pretty springy when you're trying to finesse but dampens when you swing out so finding the right touch will probably take a bit of getting used to. The access to spin was noticeably better than the multi/poly hybrid I usually use. Not quite spin poly levels but still very good and tons more comfortable.
.
I find touch to be the only performance limitation of Kev/ZXP. I can hit great droppers and love the feel at the net with gut hybrid or even poly/syn gut. I struggle to find the perfect touch with Kev/ZXP on droppers especially. If I am playing an opponent where I need this aspect of my game to be on point, I switch to a racket with a different string setup. Otherwise I have been happy and have been using Kev/ZXP for a year now on a few different rackets.




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I find touch to be the only performance limitation of Kev/ZXP. I can hit great droppers and love the feel at the net with gut hybrid or even poly/syn gut. I struggle to find the perfect touch with Kev/ZXP on droppers especially. If I am playing an opponent where I need this aspect of my game to be on point, I switch to a racket with a different string setup. Otherwise I have been happy and have been using Kev/ZXP for a year now on a few different rackets.




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Seemed like you were using what I like to call a “max spin” setup when we hit. You were getting seriously crazy rpm. Going tighter will give you more touch, but then you have to compromise some spin.
 
Seemed like you were using what I like to call a “max spin” setup when we hit. You were getting seriously crazy rpm. Going tighter will give you more touch, but then you have to compromise some spin.
I’m already at 75/45 (with 22-24” ZXP and 3-4” Kev prestretch) in my 16x18 100 sq inch racket. I love the spin - gut hybrid feels so buttery but has so much less bite.

What higher tension would you suggest? I’m always open to experimentation. But, I think the ZXP simply isn’t great for touch. It is so elasticky but not in the same way NG is....


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I’m already at 75/45 (with 22-24” ZXP and 3-4” Kev prestretch) in my 16x18 100 sq inch racket. I love the spin - gut hybrid feels so buttery but has so much less bite.

What higher tension would you suggest? I’m always open to experimentation. But, I think the ZXP simply isn’t great for touch. It is so elasticky but not in the same way NG is....


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Maybe try upping the crosses by 5 lbs - 75/45 in a 16x18 100si is extremely loose in my book, with very difficult-to-control launch angle.
 
I wonder where the idea for these huge differentials came from. Was it one of the posters on here?
That was Travs insight. He gave it a cool label of ESP (extra spin potential) Very helpful in a number of applications at varying degrees.

Although proportional stringing theories is what he is pulling from.
 
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High main to cross tension differential is the result of two variables, main and cross tension. I am not debating about the merit of hi dif. I want to point out that the process of finding the set can only be achieve by setting 2 variables at any one setting.

The most heard method is setting say 20 lb diff. And you set a main tension to 60. So you start with 60/40 then go up to 65/45 or 55/35.

What I propose is that just treat it as main and cross tension, instead of thinking in term of main and diff.

I know when cross tension is increased, the main actually increased significantly more than cross tension, on my 6 pt dw machine.

What few people talk about is the resulting main n cross tension after strung. I am stll waiting for people to share their StringMeter reading of their hi dif. setup. Yes, I know SM does not actually read the tension, nor does RT, but SM gives data correlated to tension if individual strings.

In any case, change one variable at a time doing it systematically and you will eventually reach your dream setting.
 
I just tried this for the first time. Did 60/40 in an RF97 using a drop-weight and pre-streched some but didn't go crazy. I let it sit a couple days and just played a singles match. Even knowing what to expect, I have to say the feel is both unique and pleasantly surprising.

I felt very confident with the stringbed and over the course of the match was able to take big swings on winners knowing they would stay in. Serves were decent with a little less pop than a multi but much better spin. Still adjusting to touch shots. It's pretty springy when you're trying to finesse but dampens when you swing out so finding the right touch will probably take a bit of getting used to. The access to spin was noticeably better than the multi/poly hybrid I usually use. Not quite spin poly levels but still very good and tons more comfortable.

The one thing I don't like is that the strings move all over the place, even more than the multi I usually use (Multifeel), which barely moves at all especially when crossed with a smooth poly. Might add some elastocross to help control that. So far really liking this combo. We'll see how it maintains over time. I wouldn't mind it being a little more firm as well so might jump to 65/45 on my second racquet.
If I were you, I would increase the cross tension to closer to 45 or closer to 50 lbs. This will increase the main tension and a tiny bit cross tension.
 
If I were you, I would increase the cross tension to closer to 45 or closer to 50 lbs. This will increase the main tension and a tiny bit cross tension.
Actually you have it backwards. Increasing the tension of the mains by a few lbs in a kevlar/zx hybrid will have negligible effect, while increasing the crosses will increase the overall tension by much greater amount.

The reason is because the Kevlar mains have 4x the elastic modulus of the zx crosses. So the ‘after stringing’ equilibrium equivalent overall tension will be 4x closer to the reference tension of the crosses than to the reference tension of the mains, after accounting for hoop squashing.

For example, if you string at 65/45, the hoop will shorten to alleviate most of the differential. The after-stringing overall stiffness will be the same as if you strung at 49/49. The tensions on mains and crosses, respectively (neglecting tension losses from creep, and assuming 80% of initial differential is relieved by hoop deformation), will be about 51/47.

If you increase Kevlar mains by 5 lbs, and string at 70/45, it will have equivalent stringbed stiffness to 50/50. Actual tensions on mains and crosses will be about 52.5/47.5.

If you increase zx crosses by 5 lbs, and string at 65/50, it will have equivalent stringbed stiffness to 53/53. Actual tensions on mains and crosses will be about 54.5/51.5.

So net result of increasing mains 5 lbs is 1.5 lb increase in mains and 0.5 lb increase in crosses.

And net result of increasing crosses 5 lbs is 3.5 lb increase in mains and 4.5 lb increase in crosses.
 
This may sound crazy but if the actual tensions after squashing the racquet are 51/47, 52.5/47.5, and 54.5/51.5. Why not just forego squashing the frame and string at those tensions after pre-stretching? I understand there is an effect just like a bow and arrow when squashing the frame but is it worth it?
 
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This may sound crazy but if the actual tensions after squashing the racquet are 51/47, 52.5/47.5, and 54.5/51.5. Why not just forego squashing the frame and string at those tensions after pre-stretching?
Because if you string at 51/47 reference tension, the actual tensions at equilibrium will be about 48/47, and you’ll hardly notice the effect of the differential.
 
Because if you string at 51/47 reference tension, the actual tensions at equilibrium will be about 48/47, and you’ll hardly notice the effect of the differential.
That is interesting...but if the actual tension is 51/47 after squashing the frame the large differential is gone. Not an extreme difference between playing with 48/47 and 51/47. Something doesn’t sound right because after stringing the crosses the friction causes the mains to be quite a bit tighter than the crosses. Something doesn’t sound right.
 
That is interesting...but if the actual tension is 51/47 after squashing the frame the large differential is gone. Very little difference playing with 48/47 and 51/47.
It can be the difference between mains that get stuck and mains that deliver an extra boast of spin energy and stay straight as an arrow between shots.
 
It can be the difference between mains that get stuck and mains that deliver an extra boast of spin energy and stay straight as an arrow between shots.
Right on, you know more about stringing with this type of set up. I am only familiar with poly/poly, poly/syn gut, poly/multi, Gut/poly and Poly/Gut. Sounds like very different results using the Kev/Zx.
 
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The local uni international 20 yr old female who plays with Ash/Kev x Zyex in PCG 100s strung at 65/55lbs, playing at No. 3 won both of her singles matches this weekend against opponents from "bigger" conferences, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 and 6-1, 6-2.
 
Actually you have it backwards. Increasing the tension of the mains by a few lbs in a kevlar/zx hybrid will have negligible effect, while increasing the crosses will increase the overall tension by much greater amount.

The reason is because the Kevlar mains have 4x the elastic modulus of the zx crosses. So the ‘after stringing’ equilibrium equivalent overall tension will be 4x closer to the reference tension of the crosses than to the reference tension of the mains, after accounting for hoop squashing.

For example, if you string at 65/45, the hoop will shorten to alleviate most of the differential. The after-stringing overall stiffness will be the same as if you strung at 49/49. The tensions on mains and crosses, respectively (neglecting tension losses from creep, and assuming 80% of initial differential is relieved by hoop deformation), will be about 51/47.

If you increase Kevlar mains by 5 lbs, and string at 70/45, it will have equivalent stringbed stiffness to 50/50. Actual tensions on mains and crosses will be about 52.5/47.5.

If you increase zx crosses by 5 lbs, and string at 65/50, it will have equivalent stringbed stiffness to 53/53. Actual tensions on mains and crosses will be about 54.5/51.5.

So net result of increasing mains 5 lbs is 1.5 lb increase in mains and 0.5 lb increase in crosses.

And net result of increasing crosses 5 lbs is 3.5 lb increase in mains and 4.5 lb increase in crosses.
No disagreement about either increasing main or cross. And I did not have it backward, increasing cross will increase main tension more than cross. And you said that yourself. I have data of multiple trials. No data on increasing main from me.
 
This may sound crazy but if the actual tensions after squashing the racquet are 51/47, 52.5/47.5, and 54.5/51.5. Why not just forego squashing the frame and string at those tensions after pre-stretching? I understand there is an effect just like a bow and arrow when squashing the frame but is it worth it?
The dirty little secret is that the AshKev doesn't respond to a manual prestretch, at least as far as actually stretching! Even Trav and GCs elaborate systems don't pull more than 1-2" out of it.

But frustratingly, AshKev fibers relax a ton during play and that shows up as a big loss of tension. The bend of the frame is needed to absorb that tension loss.
 
The dirty little secret is that the AshKev doesn't respond to a manual prestretch, at least as far as actually stretching! Even Trav and GCs elaborate systems don't pull more than 1-2" out of it.

But frustratingly, AshKev fibers relax a ton during play and that shows up as a big loss of tension. The bend of the frame is needed to absorb that tension loss.
Interesting
 
I've strung a lot of Ash Kev and Zyex. This D1 Russian gal is wearing through the Kevlar in <3wks. However, using 17g Zyex Pro she has been getting "premature" breakage of the Zyex cross at least twice and maybe 3 times. So instead of prestretching I strung 3 of her rackets today with no Zyex prestretch, just a slow pull on the NEOS 1000. If this doesn't fix the Zyex breakage then I will try some 16g Zyex.
 
All praise to you guys for drawing my attention to this string combination and to Ashaway for coming up with the innovations. Not into hoop smashing though as my frames are basically irreplaceable. Just here to report that for me, a nine pound differential was perfect with the kevlar mains being nine pounds lower than the ZX crosses. If you go to the user reviews that was the first recommended arrangement and I'm very happy with it. I may be done with poly and poly hybrids actually.
 
All praise to you guys for drawing my attention to this string combination and to Ashaway for coming up with the innovations. Not into hoop smashing though as my frames are basically irreplaceable. Just here to report that for me, a nine pound differential was perfect with the kevlar mains being nine pounds lower than the ZX crosses. If you go to the user reviews that was the first recommended arrangement and I'm very happy with it. I may be done with poly and poly hybrids actually.
Do you find that the strings move with that setup?
 
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