In praise of Kevlar/ZX hybrid!!!

drak

Hall of Fame
A few weeks ago I tried the ZX crosses with Gut mains in same frame, just did not like it, the feel was weird and frankly spin production (snapback inhibited a lot more by the ZX crosses IMO) not nearly as good as this new Gut/Poly I have just tried. I had the same issues with the "cumulative effect" of the Kev/ZX, I am 63 and a 4.5 who still has some decent game left
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
A few weeks ago I tried the ZX crosses with Gut mains in same frame, just did not like it, the feel was weird and frankly spin production (snapback inhibited a lot more by the ZX crosses IMO) not nearly as good as this new Gut/Poly I have just tried. I had the same issues with the "cumulative effect" of the Kev/ZX, I am 63 and a 4.5 who still has some decent game left
Thanks, you may have just saved me some money and aggravation. I’m with you, 51 and thankful everyday that I can still get out and go. Not the time to make risky decisions with training or equipment. I’m out on Cross-fit and Kevlar.
 
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drak

Hall of Fame
Thanks, you may have just saved me some money and aggravation. I’m with you, 51 and thankful everyday that I can still get out and go. Not the time to make risky decisions with training or equipment. I’m out on Cross-fit and Kevlar.
Maybe its just me but I much prefer gut/Poly with relatively soft Poly cross to gut/zx, as long as I use a softer Poly for the cross I have no arm or shoulder issues, especially in comfy frames like Angells
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Maybe its just me but I much prefer gut/Poly with relatively soft Poly cross to gut/zx, as long as I use a softer Poly for the cross I have no arm or shoulder issues, especially in comfy frames like Angells
That is what BHBZ has given me in a poly cross. A softer slick cross that has good tension maintenance.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Maybe its just me but I much prefer gut/Poly with relatively soft Poly cross to gut/zx, as long as I use a softer Poly for the cross I have no arm or shoulder issues, especially in comfy frames like Angells
There are mushy type guts and there are crisper ones. Beauty of the marketplace that different combinations can work out.

Sent from my LG-LS993 using Tapatalk
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
If I were experimenting to soften from 62/44, I would repull cross to 42 or 40 lbs. My latest reused Ashaway Kevlar+ main/Liberty 16 was pulled at 55/35 lb.
 

DaylightBlue

New User
Should I try this setup on a Babolat Pure Aero 2019? The oblong grommets already create a lot of spin but causes a lot of wear on the strings and poly doesn't last long so I was looking for a more durable solution. I'm afraid if I go with this setup it'll become an uncontrollable rocket launcher because any shot other than topspin is really hard to control.
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
so everyone is prestretching it
Not everyone, but it is recommended.

I use 15% machine pre stretch on both the Kevlar and Zyex and let the machine continuously pull the Zyex until it settles in on the cross strings (usually a 30 to 40 second process after the initial tension is reached/machine beep)

Others swear by manually prestretching.

As long as your consistent in your prestretching routine you should be able to get a constant string bed.
 

Jody

New User
Couple of things

1.The 20 lb differential reduces the tension significantly due to the racket squashing

2. The monogut zx has gutlike softness so the stringbed is softer than you think

3. The monogut zx allows snapback so the impact is not as harsh as a kev/syngut hybrid would be

Fwiw the last racket i strung was kev/lux big banger (i think) st 86/84lbs in my 70 ra racket
I've played with Forten Thin Blend (18 gauge Kevlar mains/17 gauge synthetic crosses) at 55 mains/60 crosses in Pro-Kennex 5G for years and it's very spinny, comfortable, arm friendly, and holds tension like no other string I've played (plenty), but low power. The Kevlar recommended tension is 10% less than normal tension. due to it's low stretch. All polys, co-polys, and hybrids I've tried have caused arm pain. I'll be trying the Ashaway Crossfire version soon because of what I've read about Zylex, but I cannot comprehend stringing a Kevlar/Big Banger hybrid at 86/84, especially in a stiff frame. It's seems insane and has to feel like a board. You must be young, and if you don't have joint problems now, you will.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I've played with Forten Thin Blend (18 gauge Kevlar mains/17 gauge synthetic crosses) at 55 mains/60 crosses in Pro-Kennex 5G for years and it's very spinny, comfortable, arm friendly, and holds tension like no other string I've played (plenty), but low power. The Kevlar recommended tension is 10% less than normal tension. due to it's low stretch. All polys, co-polys, and hybrids I've tried have caused arm pain. I'll be trying the Ashaway Crossfire version soon because of what I've read about Zylex, but I cannot comprehend stringing a Kevlar/Big Banger hybrid at 86/84, especially in a stiff frame. It's seems insane and has to feel like a board. You must be young, and if you don't have joint problems now, you will.
Ashaway is very different than Forten. Iirc Forten kevlar has a 500 or so stiffness. Ashaway is in the 800’s. Ashaway is also more durable. 18g ashaway can eaily be strung at 86lbs. Forten 18g is the only kevlar string I have used that actually broke while stringing at 86lbs. Ashaway may be too stiff

That said the zx is one of the softest strings and its will allow snapback so it will be softer than it may sound.

Anyhow you are right, Shroud likes a board feel. But I am 50 with no arm issues. My large handle oversized frame and higher sw help. Though recently I have a 99” lower swing weight and lol string kevlar/poly at 86/86 and cant get it tight enough
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
@Jody , call TW and order one or two half sets of 16g Ashaway Kevlar for 4.95 and then order a full set of Ashaway Zyex 17g. That will give you a pair of stringbeds for about $12/bed. Then string them about 65lbs for the Ash Kev and 58lbs for the Zyex.
 

skydog

Semi-Pro
65/58 lbs is way too high imo
Depends on the string bed. When I was using 2015 Blade 104’s with a tighter 18 x 19 pattern, I found my ideal tensions to be 57 lbs x 50 lbs. When I shifted to a significantly more open pattern Prince Tour 98 ESP 16 x 16 pattern I needed to up the Kevlar tension quite a bit to manage power level and string displacement. I am currently at 68 x 48 lbs after several different experiments along the way. All tension variants were playable, but as I got used the the racquet/string combo I wanted to tweak certain characteristics and feel. I never set out to get a twenty pound differential, it’s just where I ended up and it’s the best tension combo I have found for my style of play.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Should I try this setup on a Babolat Pure Aero 2019? The oblong grommets already create a lot of spin but causes a lot of wear on the strings and poly doesn't last long so I was looking for a more durable solution. I'm afraid if I go with this setup it'll become an uncontrollable rocket launcher because any shot other than topspin is really hard to control.
There was a guy a while back who loved it on a pure aero but said the 18 g frayed and broke too quickly for him. I would recommend starting with 17 g.

The great thing about Kevlar is the ball smushes almost completely on the stringbed and you get maximum control over direction and trajectory regardless of spin.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
I actually thought 18g kevlar played the worst of all the guages, maybe I'm string it wrong but I'll string it 50lbs and by the 2nd month it feels like the mains are 30 lbs, super loose but I like that feel
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
I actually thought 18g kevlar played the worst of all the guages, maybe I'm string it wrong but I'll string it 50lbs and by the 2nd month it feels like the mains are 30 lbs, super loose but I like that feel
All the gauges of Ash Kev lose a bunch of tension, which is actually caused by the braided fibers relaxing and straightening out, not any degradation of the kevlar.

I have tried every conceivable way to stretch the Ash Kev fibers out before install and havent found any meaningly successful method.
 

DaylightBlue

New User
There was a guy a while back who loved it on a pure aero but said the 18 g frayed and broke too quickly for him. I would recommend starting with 17 g.

The great thing about Kevlar is the ball smushes almost completely on the stringbed and you get maximum control over direction and trajectory regardless of spin.
In that case should I try the crossfire zx hybrid with 58/51? Or something like 48/53?
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
All the gauges of Ash Kev lose a bunch of tension, which is actually caused by the braided fibers relaxing and straightening out, not any degradation of the kevlar.

I have tried every conceivable way to stretch the Ash Kev fibers out before install and havent found any meaningly successful method.
Best way imho is to manually prestretch do prestretch on the mschine if you can and do long pulls. Then tie the knots so they csn be untied leaving a tail. Then restring the mains once the tension stabilizes. That gets it over the hump and it plays consistently till it breaks.

An oversized stick could be used and practiced with the strings reused in the main racquet if you didnt want to mess with untying the mains
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I actually thought 18g kevlar played the worst of all the guages, maybe I'm string it wrong but I'll string it 50lbs and by the 2nd month it feels like the mains are 30 lbs, super loose but I like that feel
Sometimes its the knots. I had all kind of tension loss long ago and couldnt understand why. Then one day I saw the knot slip in the racquet. It wasnt the knot so much as the kevlar. Superglue on the knots was the solution.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
when I cut it out kevlar is just super loose, I actually pull it twice on the string and also prestretch a little on the door knob. Does not matter, after a few sessions it's a lot looser, when I cut it out it feels like it's hand tightened that's how loose it is. I've tried regular double knots, parnel, triple knots
 

treo

Semi-Pro
I've been using Pro Pros 18g kevlar crossed with 18g PP Black Force at 62/58 on my Bubba 137. The day after stringing it is way too tight and unplayable. After 3 days it softens up nicely and plays good for about 6 hours until it breaks.
 

dhnels

New User
I dip about 2" of each end in thin super glue and immediately wipe it off as it soaks in, prevents build up and and dries fast. Clip the ends to spear points.
Best advice in this entire thread. (y)

Makes stringing kevlar mains as easy as any poly, even with tight grommets. Doesn't add any time if you pre-stretch, cut to rough length, and dip the kevlar first then let it dry while prepping the ZX string, cut out old strings, mount the racket, etc.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
If I were experimenting to soften from 62/44, I would repull cross to 42 or 40 lbs. My latest reused Ashaway Kevlar+ main/Liberty 16 was pulled at 55/35 lb.
I play it at 50/36 Kevlar/zyex both 16g, will tweak it some but I like it

Also is zyex extremely light? Could be the racket I'm trying it on but it's really compared to my other rackets with different poly cross
 
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skydog

Semi-Pro
I play it at 50/36 Kevlar/zyex both 16g, will tweak it some but I like it

Also is zyex extremely light? Could be the racket I'm trying it on but it's really compared to my other rackets with different poly cross
The Kevlar is definitely lighter than poly. With the hybrid, I had to add weight to my racquets to get them back to the same specs I had with a poly syn gut hybrid.
 

Jody

New User
@Jody , call TW and order one or two half sets of 16g Ashaway Kevlar for 4.95 and then order a full set of Ashaway Zyex 17g. That will give you a pair of stringbeds for about $12/bed. Then string them about 65lbs for the Ash Kev and 58lbs for the Zyex.
This is an interesting thread. As a long time Forten Thin Blend user, I wanted to see what this Zyex string was all about. I just received a set of Ashaway Crossfire ZX and a full set of Monogut ZX Pro, along with a few sets of 17 gauge Head Velocity. BTW, I discovered the Velocity by accident as it was in some demo rackets I tried (in 16 gauge). It is a very good multifilament ...soft and comfortable feel, good spin, decent power, and holds tension very well (which is second only to comfort as my top priorities in a string).

For what it's worth, in a touch/feel test of all these strings right from the packages, the 17 ga Zyex feels as stiff as a poly or co-poly. The 18 ga Forten Kevlar feels the next stiffest, followed by a tie for the Velocity and the Forten synthetic gut (used for crosses in the Thin Blend). The Ashaway 17 ga Kevlar feels the softest of them all and bends easily. The touch testing I guess means not much as the Zyex when strung in the racket is said to be very flexible and elastic.

In a 100 square inch racket I'd been stringing the Thin Blend at 52 mains (Kevlar) and 57 crosses (syn gut) per manufacturer suggestion for 10% less for the Kevlar, but I may rethink this with the Crossfire set due to the different characteristics of the Zyex. Since its a livelier string my instinct tells me to string it even higher for control, but I don't want to inhibit the properties of the string. My instinct also tells me stringing Kevlar (as well as any poly) at high tensions is a no-no, and an arm killer. I may go with my regular tension setup first with the Crossfire and see how it plays. BTW Ashaway recommends stringing the Crossfire at 10-15% lower tension than nylon strings.

I'm also going to try a hybrid with 17 ga Zyex mains and 17 ga Velocity crosses strung at equal tensions and see how that plays. I'm thinking it would play quite well. Will post results from both setups. If I'm not happy with those I may experiment with the higher tension on the mains.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
@Jody If you are stringing for yourself, you might want to leave the tail of the Ashaway Kevlar main strings UNcut after tie-off. In case you want to pull it tight again.

Yes we know that Kevlar strings stretch very little, but my experience tells me that.. because it stretches so little. Very little slack leads to a lot of tension lost, meaning the section of string outside the grommet and the little slack on the tie-off can give us tension loss, and that is for new, old, pre-stretched, no pre-stretched. Most experience people will tell you the "break-in" period, well, that is a bit of tension loss right there. Kevlar string is not immune to "break-in", A.K.A. tension loss.

I am suggesting allowing 2nd pulling of Kevlar main because I predict that your mid 50 lbs tension on the Ashaway will become too loose. If you pulled out the cross, you can repull the main to say 60 lbs. My 60/45 got so loose I repull the ZX cross within a week. But once you find the right setup you can play for a long time.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
@Jody , @tennisbike is correct, even with my winch set up and pulling till it breaks, Ashaway Kevlar stretches very little, but that very little it stretches changes the tension tremendously. If I were to pull an Ash Kev main just once with my lockout NEOS 1000 at 55lbs I would guess that it would be in the high 30's 24-48 hrs later especially if I tied the mains the "usual" way. However, I use a cam pliers to pull tension on the last main each side, jamming a blunt nose awl in the hole to hold tension then tie off. If I am too lazy to winch prestretch my Ash Kev, which I often am, I just pull tension 3 times before clamping off and it works pretty well. Except for my Pro Kennex Micro Mid 22x30 93" headed racket I never ever pull less than 60lbs, even on my Volkl Quantum Tour 10s 18x20 93". I guesstimate the tension in my 18x20s 24 hrs after stringing and some hitting has them in the low 50s. Just the other day I strung my PK MM 22x30 with 18g Ash Kev and 17g Zyex crosses at 45/47 using my usual methods. It pinged off the stringer the same as my Tour 10 18x20 93" that had about 2 hrs of hitting on it and was strung several days before at 62/58.
 

BurnNotice

New User
Tried this in my POG Mid. 65/45.

Feels good to me! Same spin as poly, pretty solid comfort overall. The only annoying thing is the Mains are constantly moving around. Maybe it's because the racquet is a 14X18? Should I go higher in tension?
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Seems like a big hassle.
I don't mind restringing.
Gut and ZX both lose tension pretty quickly anyway
Gets annoying to adjust the strings after every point.
You need to prestretch the zx a ton and it will have great tension maintenance. Gut is one of the best strings for tension maintenance. It really sounds like you are doing something wrong

And when you say you have to adjust the strings every point that too makes me think you are doing something wrong. Maybe the knots. Gut/ zx never needed adjusted when i used it. It just broke after an hour or so. If not sooner.

Amazing how you always have radically different experiences than everyone else.

String savers are not a hassle and will fix your issues
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
Off topic, but I will respond, because someone just might learn something. 58x58 lb means your cross has high tension and friction that is holdind the main in place. My gut main on 30x30 lb actual does not need to be repisitioned all the time. If you want to free your main, lower cross tension.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Off topic, but I will respond, because someone just might learn something. 58x58 lb means your cross has high tension and friction that is holdind the main in place. My gut main on 30x30 lb actual does not need to be repisitioned all the time. If you want to free your main, lower cross tension.
I get your point and kind of agree with it but it has more to do with the string type than the tensions. I have my crosses at 86lbs. My mains are straight and i never adjust the strings. Those are poly crosses. Shouldnt that be more friction than 58x58?? When I used the same tension for the crosses on other strings like nylon or kevlar (higher friction than poly) the mains were always out of place. Said another way, yes friction from the crosses is the culprit but string type has a bigger affect on friction than tension.

Also he has the slickest string in zx as the cross. Its only going to cause the mains to be crooked if the mains are severely notched (and since zx cuts through everything thats going to happen at some point). Or if there is a problem with tension on the mains...ie. too low. Given some of the threads TTPS has posted in the stringing section and his comment about gut/zx losing so much tension I can't rule out bad stringing causing tension loss where the mains can't snap back in place.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
Most of us need to be more clear in our writing. Otherwise a whole gang of ppl will start commenting to wrong premise.

I can only guess the issue is actually gut/velocity, in wrong thread. 58 lb Velocity at cross locking is not surprising. Let's stay with Kevlar/ZX in this thread.
 
I have about 50 hours on my 70/40 hybrid and Kevlar mains seem to have lost a ton of tension today. Almost instantly. Very odd.

Oh well, time to restring :D
 

DaylightBlue

New User
I had a chance to try ashaway crossfire zx on my pure aero. Surprisingly it didn't feel as harsh as I thought it would, granted I didn't pre-stretch neither the kevlar nor zx so that might have something to do with comfort. The control was okay. As I expected, touch shots were a little tough.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
@DaylightBlue , If you string your own rackets you don't have to do much to prestretch if you don't want to bother with some arcane manual method. Just pull tension 2 or 3 times. Sure it will take longer to string but it works pretty well for me when I string that way with my Prince NEOS 1000. I also have 2 other ways to prestretch that are increasingly efficient but sometimes I don't feel like bothering with all that.

If you like messing around with strings I think another hybrid you might want to try is a full multi hybrid of Wilson Sensation in the mains and Prince Premier Control in the crosses at 58 - 60lbs. A couple of my friends I string for really like that combo. One plays Head Flexpoint Radical and the other Yonex Vcore 97.
 

DaylightBlue

New User
@DaylightBlue , If you string your own rackets you don't have to do much to prestretch if you don't want to bother with some arcane manual method. Just pull tension 2 or 3 times. Sure it will take longer to string but it works pretty well for me when I string that way with my Prince NEOS 1000. I also have 2 other ways to prestretch that are increasingly efficient but sometimes I don't feel like bothering with all that.

If you like messing around with strings I think another hybrid you might want to try is a full multi hybrid of Wilson Sensation in the mains and Prince Premier Control in the crosses at 58 - 60lbs. A couple of my friends I string for really like that combo. One plays Head Flexpoint Radical and the other Yonex Vcore 97.
I might try that. ZX stretches a lot anyway so might just leave it alone tbh.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
Sometimes its the knots. I had all kind of tension loss long ago and couldnt understand why. Then one day I saw the knot slip in the racquet. It wasnt the knot so much as the kevlar. Superglue on the knots was the solution.
I want the looser feel I like kevlar after a few days
 

TypeRx

Semi-Pro
It's actually the softest setup after 2 days imo.
Kind of agree. I found full bed multi, NG/ZX or NG/SG softer but uncontrollable (too powerful and not as spinny).

Kev/ZX is king for me, just missing touch (has much better comfort than poly, equivalent spin, some free power while maintaining control, and durability/tension maintenance like nothing else). Feel bad for folks that resist even trying it
 
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