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

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

  1. Dso

    Dso Semi-Pro

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    I think there are many variables. Racquet, pattern, swing speed, etc. I'm guessing most of us don't play like Jack Sock. For me it comes down to experimentation and what works for ME. I was dying to try lower tensions but all my peers were in the mid 50s in various configurations. I went for it and found something I love now. My partner never tried a racquet strung below 50 and was shocked at how it felt. Sometimes you gotta just give things a try. Some of this is so individual.
     
  2. Aretium

    Aretium Hall of Fame

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    The problem I had was the handsy shots and the shots where you didn't have time to prepare. So if I had time, no problem. BUT, every now and then a shot would sail no matter what I tried. No way could I have that play on my mind when playing a big point.
     
    MarTennis and Osmar Berges like this.
  3. Dso

    Dso Semi-Pro

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    I haven't had a control issue. At least not one that I could attribute to the strings.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  4. Bender

    Bender Legend

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    I play better than Jack Sock.

    In my dreams, but that's just a minor detail, no? :D

    Anyway, back OT, low tensions are mandatory for smaller frames. I know people who string in their 50s even on 90 sq in racquets but I find those racquets perform best when strung in the low to mid 40s when going full poly. It helps preserve the feel of the box beam whilst retaining the benefits of having full poly.

    The only downside I can think of is that it trampolines a bit so touch shots can be a bit tougher, but I can't imagine that the trampolining is higher than natural gut, and people recommend that those should be strung in the mid to high 40s!

    I have yet to try stringing in the 30s, partly because strings are costly and dropping 10 lbs seems like a bit of a risk. I did try Pro Line II at 42 lbs once though, and that played beautifully for about ten hours before I stopped being able to control the ball with it. But I'm not sure if the awesome performance was because PL2 is just a fantastic string (which it is), or because of the tension (it might), or because I was playing well (which I had been for a few weeks straight, regardless of tension).
     
  5. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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  6. MarTennis

    MarTennis Semi-Pro

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    I think the under discussed topic is that a fresh string job at elt for competition is probably a good thing, but you would have to restring for the next match. Assuming you like to compete at ELT.

    Sent from my Z955A using Tapatalk
     
  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Just gotta get used to the longer contact point/dwell time, and it's all fine on every shot.
    Learning to hit every shot with SPIN helps a lot, no flat blocking shots.
    And of course, aim somewhere below 3' above the net for your hard shots.
     
  8. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    My initial impressions are that I liked it and adjusted right away to it. My slice serve was more wicked with ELT but the kicker was about the same. I was getting more spin on groundies. I didn't get to hit too many volleys tonight, more on that later. Drop shots were not quite as good. Where I really llked it was on my forehand. I just felt like I wasn't going to miss many off that side although I made a few more backhand unforced errors than normal. Getting pulled out wide to the forehand, I felt like the strings had enough pop that I could still do some damage even in a bad situation. The comfort was not as good as I expected but maybe that has to do some with my frame. Even with a worm style dampener it seemed to have more vibration.
     
  9. grip

    grip Rookie

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    And you're using a very open string pattern so it's interesting that you're still able to control your shots at such low tension.
     
  10. Shroud

    Shroud Legend

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    Try going up a coupke of lbs. that can help the vibration. Or even going down can help. Each racquet has a tension where the vibes are near the resonance frequency of the frame
     
  11. shamaho

    shamaho Rookie

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    Has anyone come up with the limitation on some drop weight stringing machines where cannot really go below 38lbs sure to the ratchet mechanism?

    If so has anyone come up with creative solution for those machines?

    Excuse my brevity, sent from mobile on puny keyboard and rocking public transport
     
  12. Koby1

    Koby1 New User

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    Are low tension polys a good Idea for beginner players?
     
  13. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    For a beginner, focus on learning proper technique. I started really focusing on strings in my mid to late 30s. At that point, I was looking for any advantage I could get as middle age starts to slowly sneak in.
     
  14. Matthew Lee

    Matthew Lee Semi-Pro

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    Lowest I've ever gone was with the Prince Problend Kevlar and Syn. Gut.
    38 pounds Kevlar mains and 42 pounds Syn. Gut crosses.
    Died after an hour.
     
  15. shamaho

    shamaho Rookie

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    Can't think of a reason NOT to try low tensions...
    But I can see reasons NOT to use medium to high tensions for beginners...

    imho mid to high tensions are for persons with big power and high speed swings needing control... beginners usually employ low speed to mid speed swings, so low tension not only will be comfortable, it will also prevent beginners to "muscle" the ball - thus I would think it could prove helpful to develop proper technique.
     
  16. String Theory

    String Theory New User

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    Dunlop Black Widow 16g at 45lbs in a 98sq inch racquet works for me. It's a trade-off between control and comfort.
     
  17. GN-001

    GN-001 New User

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    has anyone tried ELT in a 16x16 string pattern? Thinking about trying it in my speed MPA. I am thinking perhaps luxilon 4G at 40lb in the 16x16 will be the equivalent of low 30s in 16x19.
     
  18. MasturB

    MasturB Hall of Fame

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    Also depends on the type of stringing machine. I own a Babs Star 4 and usually the rule of thumb is an electric strings 4-5 lbs tighter than a manual crank/drop. With poly especially the difference is noticeable. At the club I worked at we had a manual, so if someone wanted poly at 52, I would probably string the same setup at 46-47lbs on my Babs Star 4. So perhaps Sock is stringing at 32 but on the electric it's actually 37-38lbs.

    Before I bought my stringer, my local tennis shop would string mine at 55-56 on a crank. Now I normally string 50-51lbs on my Babs Star 4. When I initially strung the same setup at 55-56 on the electric the ball was flying. Stringbed stiff like a ping pong paddle. No grip on the ball.
     
  19. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Professional

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    I've tried a medium stiff slippery round 1.30mm Poly at mid 30s in a Wilson Steam 99S (16x15 pattern). Serve was good but found it very hard to control on groundstrokes. Launch angle was way too high for my liking on FH. Slice BH was about the only decent shot I could produce but even that took a lot of work.
     
  20. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    I've been using Volkl Cyclone at 30# for a few months now to combat tennis elbow in a soft 16x16 frame. I still prefer the tighter feel of 60# but it does not seem to affect my results on the court much. It seems that footwork, concentration, mental toughness, fitness etc. are just more important for me.
     
  21. mnttlrg

    mnttlrg Rookie

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    Honestly, for me, the purpose of going with low tension is to get access to much bigger spin and somewhat higher launch angle without having to compromise the density of the string pattern, so I wouldn't bother to play 16x16 with it.

    IMO, there is a point where the density of the string bed / size of the head gets spaced out enough that it sort of overspins, loops around, and loses its drive. You end up hitting goofy looper shots without anything on them.
     
  22. mnttlrg

    mnttlrg Rookie

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    If anyone disagrees with me, I'd love to hear about it. Has anyone successfully tried that setup before, like in a Steam 99s?

    If you end up trying it in that Speed, please bring your results back to the thread! :D
     
  23. cxw0106

    cxw0106 Rookie

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    I string all my Youtek IG Extreme Pro 2.0 with Cyclone 18 or 18L with 40 lbs main, and Forten Sweet 17 at 38 lbs cross. It feels great and I played many matches with it.

    IMO, lower tension is very helpful for generating spin during wrist snap or pronation. This happens when I do forehand windshield wiper or kick serve. My elbow feels less impact to generate the same amount of spin.
     
  24. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Professional

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    The challenge here is the potential loss of directional control because wrist snap and pronation have very small margins of error. A small variation in either can cause a huge variation at the far end of the court.
     
  25. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Exactly why would I string poly low and then have to adjust to its super high trajectory and trampoline action. Good for you guys that can use it at low tensions I've tried it and I can play with it but not near as good as high tension. I use full poly at 65-70 lbs and I like it at high tension much much better. Now that I'm playing outside I like Kevlar mains with a poly x's it has even better control than full poly.
     
  26. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

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    I tried low tension years ago with a Prince Graphite 90 with a 14x18 string pattern and didn't like the high trajectory. It did produce some crazy spin but I couldn't control it. Even though I'd played that racquet since 1988, I've been struggling with the trajectory for awhile.

    I switched racquets a couple of times and found that the Head i.Prestige MP XL with its 18x20 pattern and the Prince Mono with its 16x21 pattern both gave me much more consistent results with trajectory. Recently a 5.0 friend of mine told me he was having shoulder problems so he went to 35lbs with Isospeed Spin 17 in his Babolat Pure Strike Tour 18x20 and loved it. He felt the key to control is/was the tight string pattern such as the 18x20 so I tried it in my racquets. The Prestige is at 35 and the Mono is at 40.

    I only played the Mono and really liked it. I felt like the ball was on the racquet for a long time and I had tremendous control. I'll have to hit with the Prestige and play around with lower tensions. I believe the string pattern plays a huge role in this. As my friend suggested, string gauge will also play a role.

    It should be noted I'm not a racquet or string sensitive player.
     

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