Kevlar//Poly Hybrid

Recon

Semi-Pro
I know there is a few of us around here, that use Kevlar in the main and a poly in the crosses. Wow, magic from first string job, love that loud thud, the spin is ridiculous and the pocketing (low tension on kevlar) is amazing. I was inspired by j011yroger to try this out and its worked out ever since. I did my own little edition to "his" (obviously he wasn't the first to try it, but made the idea popular I guess..) rig, I have Ashaway Kevlar in the mains and TopSpin Cyberflash (Poor mans luxlion) in the crosses, at 45/53, no elbow pain from this, ever. I feel cyberflash is really good and all, but I feel theres a different poly that can really bring out this hybrid as well.

I play with 16g on both strings never broke the kevlar always crosses go out (love the durability, wallet loves it too). The longer the kevlar/poly is in my racquet the better it plays, I find freshly strung I have problems, but once it settles in it plays better and better until snapping. So what are the poly cross of your choice tt-community? I'm really looking for a poly that adds more spin, economical, and works well with kevlar, tension maintenance is a must. Post your fav setup.
 
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Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Anyone else use Kevlar mains/Poly crosses?

Thinking of trying this out soon. Looking for an extremely low power setup with still good access to spin.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I have used kev/poly for years now. For me, Kev/ 4g is the ticket. Just moved to 16g ashaway from 17g ashaway. I like to prestretch it all but can get by with the kev/4g without the prestretch if I am lazy.

For me after the initial hitting session it just feels the same for months. ALso the 16g kev/ 4g doesnt seem to notch like other kev/ poly mixes.

Its just such a solid setup with great control and spin.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
I have used kev/poly for years now. For me, Kev/ 4g is the ticket. Just moved to 16g ashaway from 17g ashaway. I like to prestretch it all but can get by with the kev/4g without the prestretch if I am lazy.

For me after the initial hitting session it just feels the same for months. ALso the 16g kev/ 4g doesnt seem to notch like other kev/ poly mixes.

Its just such a solid setup with great control and spin.
Thanks for the response. I'm excited to try this out. Done a lot of different hybrids but never kev/poly. Will prob do a smooth poly cross and an edged poly cross x Ashaway 16 mains.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for the response. I'm excited to try this out. Done a lot of different hybrids but never kev/poly. Will prob do a smooth poly cross and an edged poly cross x Ashaway 16 mains.
if you havent done kevlar before you might want to lower some tension. I string it a 86lbs but my buddies always complain how tight it is at normal tensions. Good news is that it will lose a decent amount of tension after 10-20 min. Also stringing the crosses 10-20 lbs lower is not a bad thing with kevlar.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
if you havent done kevlar before you might want to lower some tension. I string it a 86lbs but my buddies always complain how tight it is at normal tensions. Good news is that it will lose a decent amount of tension after 10-20 min. Also stringing the crosses 10-20 lbs lower is not a bad thing with kevlar.
I string full poly at 43-45 so not going anywhere near 60s much less 80s!

Will start at my normal poly tension and tinker from there.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Anyone else use Kevlar mains/Poly crosses?

Thinking of trying this out soon. Looking for an extremely low power setup with still good access to spin.
Nothing better. Been using since 2006.

If you prestretch both well, you can string it up and forget about your strings and get poly like spin until the kevlar finally breaks in a few months.
 

AceyMan

Rookie
Anyone else use Kevlar mains/Poly crosses?

Thinking of trying this out soon. Looking for an extremely low power setup with still good access to spin.
I will steal this guy's response from a couple of weeks back.
<ttposter> said:
Controversial note: the mains tension (with Ashaway) is largely irrelevant since the string is basically steel cable. You are making a mirror-imaged suspension bridge, more or less.

That is to say: once it's snug, it's not stretching; it's more important to manage the clamps fastidiously and tie-off very precisely so as not to insert any slack.

The cross tension AND the racquet itself determine the apparent tension more than any putative tension setting on the mains.

I like to say that Kevlar turns your racquet into a pickleball paddle; so if you like the feel of your frame, you get an unadulterated version of it with Kevlar.

/AC
Oh, that's me. I still agree with him :-D

Put the Kevlar in at 19kg, call it a day, and then string the crosses how you like.

/Acey

p.s. Any civil engineers or architects here would know about pre-stressed concrete. I've been thinking about stringing the outer ten (5 per side) with nylon, THEN wire in the Kevlar center mains. Then unclamp the nylon and finish the kevlar on the remaining mains. You might achieve some actual tension that way ... but it'd be from the loading up the hoop like a spring, not from string elasticity.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I will steal this guy's response from a couple of weeks back.

Oh, that's me. I still agree with him :-D

Put the Kevlar in at 19kg, call it a day, and then string the crosses how you like.

/Acey

p.s. Any civil engineers or architects here would know about pre-stressed concrete. I've been thinking about stringing the outer ten (5 per side) with nylon, THEN wire in the Kevlar center mains. Then unclamp the nylon and finish the kevlar on the remaining mains. You might achieve some actual tension that way ... but it'd be from the loading up the hoop like a spring, not from string elasticity.
I just don't agree. I have done ashaway at 15lbs and 86lbs and there is quite a difference and it does stretch a bit and will later when it notches. I have also restrung crosses and once the kevlar stretches you just can't get it back to the original feel. his post seems to say that the crosses have everything to do with the actual tension and well that NEVER played out like that when restringing the crosses. Sure it was tighter than the existing crosses but never like when the kevlar was freshly strung. Also if you prestretch it you can get it to stretch. Not much but you can feel it. If you don't prestretch it you can feel the tension loss after a few minutes...

DOn't understand the nylon bit. It seems like you are saying if you string the mains normally you don't get actual tension.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Should be ok, I've hit with Kevlar in the 50s and liked it. Excited to try it at mid 40s.
Keep in mind that the braided multi-filament kevlar mains could be 2-3 grams lighter than your usual poly string (which will lower the sw, and could throw off your timing or make it feel less powerful than usual) , so you might consider adding some mass to the hoop to match what you started with and get a more apples-to-apples comparison.
 

AceyMan

Rookie
Also if you prestretch it you can get it to stretch. Not much but you can feel it.
I still don't buy it <hand_over_heart> — my thoughts on this are: any difference a pre-stretch makes is merely from "tightening" up the braiding in the woven rope — the fibers themselves ain't doing diddlysquat. That's my working theory at least until I have more coffee ...

One thing we can all agree on: don't knock Kevlar™ until you've tried it (a couple of different ways).

/Acey
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I still don't buy it <hand_over_heart> — my thoughts on this are: any difference a pre-stretch makes is merely from "tightening" up the braiding in the woven rope — the fibers themselves ain't doing diddlysquat. That's my working theory at least until I have more coffee ...

One thing we can all agree on: don't knock Kevlar™ until you've tried it (a couple of different ways).

/Acey
Prestretching kevlar makes a HUUUUGE difference. My latest easy favorite way to prestretch kevlar mains is to pound on the strung mains with my fist while tensioning the ends with the dropweight, and keep walking off the slack with my fingers and repeating the pounding until the dropweight stops going down. This seems to simulate the break-in tension loss that kevlar is known for, so that there is not really much noticeable break-in period on court. This allows the mains to keep snapping back until they break.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
Prestretching kevlar makes a HUUUUGE difference. My latest easy favorite way to prestretch kevlar mains is to pound on the strung mains with my fist while tensioning the ends with the dropweight, and keep walking off the slack with my fingers and repeating the pounding until the dropweight stops going down.
This should be the gold standard for Kevlar main installation. So simple, it is beautiful!
The last challenge for me is the tie-off step, still needs work. Even with cam action plier, I am not getting enough tension on the outside section to keep the last main as tight.
Now only if you have the same type of simple procedure for pre-stretching ZXP cross. No worry, got a lot of SG for cross instead.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Just one small bit I would add: Once you have the Kev/poly done, if you feel the string bed too loose or tight, simply redo the cross with higher or lower tension to adjust.
Very true. This is a nice feature unique to kevlar. The fact that it is 4 times stiffer than other types of string means that the kevlar mains only contribute 20% to the overall tension, while the crosses contribute 80%.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
I have used kev/poly for years now. For me, Kev/ 4g is the ticket. Just moved to 16g ashaway from 17g ashaway. I like to prestretch it all but can get by with the kev/4g without the prestretch if I am lazy.

For me after the initial hitting session it just feels the same for months. ALso the 16g kev/ 4g doesnt seem to notch like other kev/ poly mixes.

Its just such a solid setup with great control and spin.
how long does it last? If no notching then months?
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
This should be the gold standard for Kevlar main installation. So simple, it is beautiful!
The last challenge for me is the tie-off step, still needs work. Even with cam action plier, I am not getting enough tension on the outside section to keep the last main as tight.
Now only if you have the same type of simple procedure for pre-stretching ZXP cross. No worry, got a lot of SG for cross instead.
For kevlar prestretch I string the mains at night and just clamp not tie off. Take it all off and re string it again the next day, Double pulling the strings.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
how long does it last? If no notching then months?
Months. Been really impressed with the durability and tension maintence on the kev/4g. I usually will just restring the crosses when it needs it, so the price initially is high because of the 4g but it comes down when you can still use the mains.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
For kevlar prestretch I string the mains at night and just clamp not tie off. Take it all off and re string it again the next day, Double pulling the strings.
That sounds like it might work better than nothing. But I think part of what is needed for a really good kevlar prestretch is to beat the hell out of it at higher impulse tension so that the fibers realign and settle, something that happens naturally when you hit balls with the stringbed.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Been hitting with this combo now off and on for a few weeks. Ashaway kevlar mains/Cyclone crosses at 45#.

Really love it on groundstrokes. Pretty soft compared to full bed poly, great control, I can hit my fh & bh as hard as possible and keep it in.

Just dont care for it as much on serves. Kick serves dont come up nearly as much as polys.

I do love the loud sound these make. Sounds like a shotgun going off on flat serves and big forehands.

Touch shots are tricky because sometimes the string bed feels soft, some times rigid.

Cant say I've ever played with anything quite like it but worth trying if you like to experiment with strings.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Been hitting with this combo now off and on for a few weeks. Ashaway kevlar mains/Cyclone crosses at 45#.

Really love it on groundstrokes. Pretty soft compared to full bed poly, great control, I can hit my fh & bh as hard as possible and keep it in.

Just dont care for it as much on serves. Kick serves dont come up nearly as much as polys.

I do love the loud sound these make. Sounds like a shotgun going off on flat serves and big forehands.

Touch shots are tricky because sometimes the string bed feels soft, some times rigid.

Cant say I've ever played with anything quite like it but worth trying if you like to experiment with strings.
I’ve actually found that the reason my kick serves bounce lower with kevlar/poly is partly because the rpm is higher, as this combo seems to maximize rpm. It makes the bounce on hard topspin serves scoot forward more off the court and the higher residual rpm after the bounce makes it dive down more. Not sure if this applies to what you are seeing.

On my groundstrokes it does the opposite and makes it bounce higher because the speed is lower.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Been hitting with this combo now off and on for a few weeks. Ashaway kevlar mains/Cyclone crosses at 45#.

Really love it on groundstrokes. Pretty soft compared to full bed poly, great control, I can hit my fh & bh as hard as possible and keep it in.

Just dont care for it as much on serves. Kick serves dont come up nearly as much as polys.

I do love the loud sound these make. Sounds like a shotgun going off on flat serves and big forehands.

Touch shots are tricky because sometimes the string bed feels soft, some times rigid.

Cant say I've ever played with anything quite like it but worth trying if you like to experiment with strings.
I highly recommend pre-stretching both the kevlar and the poly, or else the kevlar stretches out first, followed by the poly, in different time scales. With the right tension, you can get performance similar to fresh poly but much more stable and longer lasting.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
I’ve actually found that the reason my kick serves bounce lower with kevlar/poly is partly because the rpm is higher, as this combo seems to maximize rpm. It makes the bounce on hard topspin serves scoot forward more off the court and the higher residual rpm after the bounce makes it dive down more. Not sure if this applies to what you are seeing.

On my groundstrokes it does the opposite and makes it bounce higher because the speed is lower.
Interesting...hadn't considered that but could be it. I'm pretty sure I'm getting more spin with the kevlar/poly than full poly so couldn't figure out why it wasnt kicking up as high as full poly. I definitely feel like I'm getting more spin on groundies, they just plunge downward even more than poly.

Next time I string up this hybrid I'll try prestretching.
 

Davee

New User
Interesting post! Never thought kevlar was still a viable option! I will definitely try this out! Thanks guys!
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
How are you getting kevlar tension to not drop too low? After 3 hours kevlar feels soft to me. When I cut out the mains the kevlar feels like it's hand strung it's that loose. And I string it at 60lbs and pull it like 3 times. Always super loose. I even have kevlar with full bed of stringsavers on one racket. I hate stringing I'm trying to find a combo where I don't have to string for 8 months
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
How are you getting kevlar tension to not drop too low? After 3 hours kevlar feels soft to me. When I cut out the mains the kevlar feels like it's hand strung it's that loose. And I string it at 60lbs and pull it like 3 times. Always super loose. I even have kevlar with full bed of stringsavers on one racket. I hate stringing I'm trying to find a combo where I don't have to string for 8 months
One of the characteristic of Kev is that it does not stretch or displace or move much when tensioned. Where in more elastic strings, the string would get pulled and moved in the direction of the tension head. When you clamp a string and release the tension head, there is a section of string between the clamp and the frame that is completely without tension. When you pull the next string that section will be pulled somewhat but not quite to the reference tension. Part of the clamp draw back returns but not 100%. When the clamp is released the tension equalizes between the tensioned and under-tensioned section. The less elastic the string is, the greater the tension will be lost. Kevlar being the least elastic will lost a great deal of tension there. And that happens 16 or 18 times on the main strings. And then the last main, sometimes having the clamp not so close to the grommet, made tension worse for tie off.
One way to reduce this is to "walk" the tension. (I learned that from TravJ and Parnell.) Kevlar being the more slippery in the grommet actually does this very well. With the clamps at the last main, or the gripper on the tension head, push down on #2 main then #3 and out. Do this on both sides, of course. The idea is that when you push down on #2, both #1 and #3 gets pulled. You can see the string move through the grommet. So #1 is tighter, next push #3. Now #2 gets tighter and so on.
I found that I typically do this several times, until the tone, when you pluck, is pretty even across the main strings. (I also use SM to verify and get a record.) Even when the mains are tied off, I do this walking tension when I had the cross strings removed. The string bed feels more uniformed when the center mains are tight and even.
Tie off is a tricky one. Again you want to minimize any loose section, between the clamp and frame, and outside the frame. This is when a cam pliers may come in handy. I have not restring Kev. mains often enough to advance my experience there.
Good luck.

Next idea to try: Keep one main knot tied, string the last main to last cross and tie off leave the tail. Then Walk from the 2nd to last main main one way toward the last cross. Use the SM to check tension.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
How are you getting kevlar tension to not drop too low? After 3 hours kevlar feels soft to me. When I cut out the mains the kevlar feels like it's hand strung it's that loose. And I string it at 60lbs and pull it like 3 times. Always super loose. I even have kevlar with full bed of stringsavers on one racket. I hate stringing I'm trying to find a combo where I don't have to string for 8 months
prestretch the kevlar. Also watch the knots. They can slip a lot so tie a good knot. Are you doing full kevlar or is there a different cross?
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
I tie the knot good imo because the end of the knot (leftover string) stays the same distance.
 
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tennisbike

Semi-Pro
I tie the knot good imo because the end of the knot (leftover string) stays the same distance.
Good means the knot does not come undone!?

What we mean the tie off knot is good really is asking if the last main strings are tight enough. Any un-tensioned kevlar section outside the frame and between the clamp and frame can potentially lead to loose last mains.

Good is not a yes or no, black and white answer. Good is actually a degree of how close to ideal. So the question is how good is your knot!? Or do you know? Do you have anything to measure with?
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
Does anyone just restring the cross when it goes dead?
Please use the search for your question.
Restring cross is not a standard stringing practice and is generally not recommended according to the professional stringers. For the small number of Kev. user/stringer/hackers, restringing cross is a common practice.

I cannot resist.. my strings have always been dead. They do not reproduce, they do not consume energy. Not sure about your experiences.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Does anyone just restring the cross when it goes dead?
I do. I will prestretch kev and poly. After a while the stringbed will become too soft. Then I restring the crosses being sure to reverse the weave which at that point is easy do because the kev is marked from the crosses.

I usually do the crosses 2wice before restringing everything.

Tennisbike is right in that the string bed is alway dead it just loses some tension which IMHO is mostly due to the kevlar notching.
 
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