Low, low tensions. 30lbs feels great. 20lbs pretty good, too

Discussion in 'Strings' started by TW Staff, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Yea. Check signature.
    I'm really liking this setup but I'm not sure I'd go this low if it didn't have 18 mains.
     
  2. mike84

    mike84 Professional

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    Anyone play with Yonex AI 98 with lower tension?

    If so what string would you recommend trying?

    I have never played below 52 pounds tension on any racquet.

    Wanted to experiment with something around 40 pounds for starter to see how it goes.

    I was thinking of Volkl cyclone at 40 pounds full bed.
     
  3. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    What kind of machine? I have used full Cyclone 18 @35 on an eCP machine with excellent results. This would roughly be equivalent to 40 on a lockout.
     
  4. GuilhermeG

    GuilhermeG New User

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    Does anyone use MSV Focus Hex 1.23 on low tensions? I've been using 53 pounds for a long time, but last week I tried one of my racquets and it had lost lots of tension, but performed really well. Since then I'm considering a drop in tension, though I'm not sure I'd be able to manage ball depth on stress (tough point, hitting on the run, winner down the line etc). Thoughts?
     
  5. mike84

    mike84 Professional

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    Gamma 6004 at my local tennis club.
    Friend works there so he strings my racquets.

    I think anything below 40 would be too far for me to start with. As I am usually in mid 50's.

    Would it be better to go with Cyclone 18 or 16 gauge?
     
  6. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    40 will work fine as a starting point on a lock out, but do not discount even lower tension. I have really enjoyed thinner gauge poly in full beds at low tension, so I recommend you give the 18g a try. Experimenting with different set ups is well worth the effort.
     
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  7. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Semi-Pro

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    @Chotobaka, how quickly do you churn through a set of this in terms of playing hours. Do you hit with a lot of spin?

    We've been experimenting with full bed PP Black Out at 36lbs in a 16x19 pattern. It loses a lot of its performance at around the 2 hour mark. Play's very nicely till then but then falls off the cliff. (We get about 5 hours out of it at 50lbs - 52lbs). I'm thinking Black Out works a lot better at higher tensions.

    Very familiar with Cyclone 16 but never tried Cylone 18. Might have to give it a go.
     
  8. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    I haven't played with Black Out, so I cannot offer a direct comparison and I do not really accurately keep track of use in hours, but would guesstimate at least 5-6 hours. Cyclone 18g does not exhibit much of the "falling off the cliff" experience for me. There is a definite performance curve with Cyclone, including a slight break-in, but is not as extreme for me as the hybrid set-ups I use or some other soft co-poly strings in terms of losing performance suddenly. I would more likely be the culprit in those cases.

    I hit with mostly moderate spin these days, but still hit high spin shots selectively. I am not a big string breaker, so the issue for me with strings at end-of-life is control. I definitely do have to re-string more frequently since I have gone to lower tension/thin gauge, but the trade off is well worth it to me. In the uber-thin gauges, I find that Tour Bite holds up longer than other strings I have tried, but more $$ and I still wind up re-stringing frequently. It is solid down to the 18g, but can break easily on a shank in 19g and 20g (which I would reserve for very closed patterns). Cyclone is still one of the really good bang for the buck strings out there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
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  9. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Thanks @Chotobaka. Will have to try getting my hands on the 18g in some of the different colors and see how they go at lower tensions in full beds, and perhaps as crosses in a hybrid with Black Out mains.
     
  10. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    You are welcome. Although Cyclone doesn't break the bank, I almost always wait for one of their frequent deals at TW (like buy 2 get 3) which really drops the price down. I hope it works out for you.
     
  11. gvsbdisco

    gvsbdisco Rookie

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    Hi Everyone.
    Advice sought.

    I am using a Prince Textreme 100T (16x18) with some lead at 3&9 and weighting in the handle. I also have a sensitive wrist (ulnar side). I wanted to try some polys at lower tension. I started with Proline II 18 at 44 lbs and it was comfortable but underpowered and I thought the stringbed got a little erratic after 3-4 hours. Next I tried Tour Bite at 34 lbs (drop weight stringer). I thought this played fantastic. Explosive power, and rewarded a nice smooth swing. I liked it alot. However, after playing I felt some discomfort in my wrist so it has to get cut out. On hand I have the following strings:

    - cyclone 16 (firm)
    - spiky black shark 16 (firm)
    - golden power cord 16 (soft and lively co-poly)
    - Pro Line II 18 (soft and low powered)

    I have played cyclone and spiky black shark comfortably at 55 lbs but in a 16x16 ported Prince Tour 100T ESP. However, that frame seems absorb every possible shock and is ridiculously comfortable.

    Looking for tension recommendations for the above strings based on the information above. Also curious about comfort comparisons between the stiffer strings at low tensions (TB, Cyclone, Spiky BS) and whether people have had luck going low tension with the soft co-polys (power cord, pro line II)

    thanks for any information you can provide.
     
  12. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    I've been trying very low tensions for the last few seasons and find that multifilaments for example, are still more comfortable in the long term, even when strung much tighter.
    Poly Tour Pro and Hawk Touch, possibly the most comfortable polyester strings around, are not as comfortable even when strung in the 20lbs. Even when compared to a syngut or multifilaments polyester hybrid.

    I'm using monogut zyex with a polyester cross right now and it's also much more comfortable and has very decent spin too. 42/27lbs.
     
  13. tegg96

    tegg96 Rookie

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    Agree with the Zyex, but what is a Wilson GD97 in your sig?
     
  14. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Presumably it's the Wilson prototype spin effect racquet that is used by Grigor Dimitrov, hence the "GD"
     
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  15. BuildStrikeCosmos

    BuildStrikeCosmos Rookie

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    Hey guys, I remember reading a summary here sometime ago but now can't find it. Someone did a summary listing the tension and their traits which others have agreed with.

    e.g something like 'between 38-42lb you get the most power of ELT'
    and they listed from upper 20s to high 40s.

    I'm asking because I'm considering which tension to string for my next stringing.

    I tried 30lb and it had a very high launch angle and still felt very controllable. I also tried 40lb but strung it in a very dead racquet with bad vibrations so can't comment on it.
     
  16. Shroud

    Shroud Legend

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    for the vibes, go up or down a few lbs in tension.
     
  17. M Pillai

    M Pillai Rookie

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    By the way, I feel like my string breaking interval increased during the period I was playing with lower tensions. Isn't that contradictory? Since lower tensions allow much more string movement, it should break sooner, correct? What was other folks experience?
     
  18. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I would not find it surprising that a string under higher tension would break earlier.
     
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  19. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Probably depends on the string type and actual tension differences between the mains and the crosses.

    I would expect the lower tension bed to be more "elastic" so the whole bed would deform more easily on ball contact. So the whole bed would move rather than mostly the mains.

    At higher tensions, the mains may move across the stiffer crosses with greater friction increasing the likelihood of a main string notching and breaking more quickly.

    Of course, this all presumes that the racquet has been strung properly. When stringing racquets at higher tensions it is easier to damage the string during the stringing process. That damage can lead to premature breakage. Under those circumstances, even a slight kink, or friction burn during stringing can lead to the string breaking a lot more quickly under higher tension.
     
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If you can hit with low tensions, it will not break for a long long time. If you swing too fast and brush the ball constantly, you will break low tensions, but you also can't play with low tensions.
     
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  21. shamaho

    shamaho Rookie

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    LeeD, can you elaborate bit more on your last sentence? Didn't quite get it.

    I don't see the conflict of fast swings brushing the ball the playing ability.

    Yes one will break the string but still will take quite some doing if playing with poly, not so much if playing with multi, they will go pretty fast.

    Excuse my brevity, sent from mobile on puny keyboard and rocking public transport
     
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Fast brushing swings don't need low tension, as there is power from the fast swing.
    Brushing means many more mishits with low tension due to longer dwell time. Mishits don't go well with tennis in general, and can be cured with HIGHER tensions....which needs fast swings at the ball.
    McEnroe's string job doesn't work with Roddick's game at all, and vice versa.
     
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  23. WYK

    WYK Professional

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    Stringing from 20-44#, I haven't noticed anything like what LeeD is referring to. I use a lot of topspin from both sides, and am one of the hardest hitters in our club. Looser strings seem playable for longer, if only by virtue of them delivering spin for longer. I break them both at about the same time. However, I prefer the feel of strings in the 52-54# range with crosses at 45-48#. I string my own rackets, and have tried a LOT of different combos and tensions. I string for the season, temperatures, and depending on how damp it is being in Ireland and all.
     
  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If they hit the same spin, with close to the same power, but low tensions last longer and give softer impact, why would you "prefer" higher tensions?
    Seems you didn't give a complete answer.
    I prefer low tensions not for spin, not for durability, but for soft impact, especially on mishits.
     
  25. shamaho

    shamaho Rookie

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    I see what you meant now.

    But I think that it's not an either or proposition or in other words, don't think that can be generalised liked you propose.

    I mean that one can use fast swings and brushing the ball with low tensions without increasing mishits.

    My take on miss hits is that they are due to fine timing failures given the fast swing and not due to dwell time.

    Dwell time is most felt if one swings slower.

    Stating this based on my limited experience of course.

    Excuse my brevity, sent from mobile on puny keyboard and rocking public transport
     
  26. WYK

    WYK Professional

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    I said that I preferred the feel. I make plenty of spin on my own. What I liked most about low tensions is the lack of power. It enables me to play on damp fast courts where the balls stay low. I still use a racket with an ELT on these courts in winter. Still, I prefer the feel of higher tensions.
     
  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think dwell time is mostly increased when a player swings fast, so not only does he deform the strings, but the BALL goes flatttened half way, further increasing dwell time, a reason big hitter's don't like ELT.
     
  28. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Like a trampoline, lower tensions fundamentally increase “dwell time”—i.e., the length of time the ball stays on the strings upon impact. And added dwell time, in addition to increasing rebound velocity, decreases margin for error when timing the ball.

    (Why? Because with longer dwell times, as Technical Tennis authors Rod Cross and Crawford Lindsey explain, “the ball will stay on the strings through a longer part of the arc of your swing both vertically and horizontally,” accentuating “the consequences of errors in the timing of your swing.”)
     
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  29. Starred

    Starred New User

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    What is Chris doing lately, still on 30lbs or back to 52lbs?
     
  30. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    So it will also accentuate the benefits of correct timing of your swing.
     
  31. zalive

    zalive Professional

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    Then, question for experienced: aside of soft impact, is there any other advantage of using ELT?
     
  32. M Pillai

    M Pillai Rookie

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    A lot easier to feel it than explain it. ELT is obviously not for everybody, and not for every strings. But one thing for sure, you will either love it or hate it, there is no in-between. It is all about the feel.
    Please do remember one thing though, the string you use for ELT matters a lot. For example I think most folks may hate ELT on a full bed of synthetic gut.

     
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  33. shamaho

    shamaho Rookie

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    Thanks for your reference and for adding precision to the thing, I gather if I make a small adjustment to my last sentence, I'll be in line with what you referred to.

    ie. either one of :

    "My take on miss hits is that they are MOSTLY due to fine timing failures given the fast swing"
    or
    "My take on miss hits is that they are due to fine timing failures given the fast swing and dwell time"
     
  34. WYK

    WYK Professional

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    The advantages are(assuming somewhere in the 30# range using poly):

    Less Power(easier to swing out on service returns and keep the ball in, etc).
    More Spin for all swing types, silly spin with hard swinging.
    More forgiving string bed. Less shock on off center hits. And with less power, this makes the sweet spot feel larger.
    You can put more spin on the ball with an abbreviated swing, like with a service return motion, or swiping at a passing shot
    You can absorb power more easily, as with drop shots at net
    Enhanced accuracy, but I suspect more due to the lack of power and increased dwell

    The drawbacks are less power, spaghetti feel, and I found drop shots harder to execute.

    I have two sets of ELT, one is a true 30# on a Dunlop 300 I use for mixed doubles. The other is a PCT at 40# with 36# crosses I use when the courts are damp and the balls don't bounce(not really an ELT, tho). It allows me to scrape them off the deck and still use some power. I play on grass and carpet. So YMMV on hard courts or clay. I never hard to worry about low bounces on HC back in the day.

    My standard stick(99% of the time) is usually a Storm(Aero or otherwise) strung at 52#X48#. I am currently using poly plasma.
    I string my own rackets.
     
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  35. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    This is accurate and what I have found to be true in my experimenting with different tensions.
     
  36. WYK

    WYK Professional

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    Have any of you guys used an ELT with poly? Dwell time isn't so hugely increased that it turns a good hit in to a bad hit. I mean, I dunno about you guys, but my racket has 95 sq inches of surface area. No 30# string job is gonna make it crawl off of that before the ball leaves my strings unless I am trying to make the ball stand still in mid air. In other words, I do not see any of these so-called timing errors simply due to the tensions.
     
  37. WYK

    WYK Professional

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    McEnroe only strung low whilst using a maxply 200g, which is a hugely tight pattern compared to Roddicks Babolat. And, even then, it was at least 40#. He is at low 50's with his current sticks. Roddick, btw, has strung his rackets anywhere from 52-65#, and can obviously use any tension McEnrore is currently using. Both have used hybrid string jobs as well.

    I really suggest trying a stiff poly at 30# to see what the talk is all about. Maybe it works for you, maybe not. It's just an interesting and counter intuitive thing to try. That was the idea. I see a lot of talk here coming from speculation. It really has to be tried to appreciate.
     
  38. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I agree a player needs to try the different tensions with different strings. I have tried many different strings at about every tension. From 30-74 lbs with a wide variety of poly strings. For me a kevlar main with a poly x's is hard to beat, I use 18 gauge ashaway at 61lbs as the main with head gravity x's at 67 lbs and it's hard to beat for super spin and unmatched control. I have tried low tension polys and never cared for them not enough bite and control for me.
     
  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Solinco Tour Bite 16 at 35 lbs., on 97, 100, and 105 rackets. Stiff poly, thick gauge.
    Roddick can use as high as McEnroe, but not nearly as LOW a tension.
     
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  40. Ignatz Tushwop

    Ignatz Tushwop New User

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    How can u have consistency with low tension poly? Have to swing like Jack Sock I guess


    I went to synthetic gut and string 58lbs better idea
     
  41. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Consistency is not only the gear, but it's also the player.
    Leyton Hewitt was known to string in the high 30's the last 3 year's of his ATP career, and he lacked power, but had plenty of consistency.
    Consistency is just doing the same thing over and over, and not varying what you do.
     
  42. FedFosterWallace

    FedFosterWallace Legend

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    Anyone have any idea how low the tension might typically drop on a racquet unused for 7-8 years? This one would have been strung back in around 2004, and has been used sporadically, with that one long period of disuse.
     

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