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

aaron_h27

Professional
Low tensions don't work with heavy frames (12+ oz) IMO. Probably best with Tweener rackets

Of course this is my opinion, but normally folks using heavier frames on the tour don't play with such low tensions

Although Hewitt had a rather heavy racket and did use a low tension
 
Last edited:

4hand5lice

New User
Hope you like it. In the past 50 was as low as I could imagine stringing but 40 worked great. Looking forward to trying out 35 next.
I hit with my vcore 98 with Cyclone 16 at 40 lbs for about 1.5 hours today. Launched the ball a couple times but not much more than usual. Surprisingly, I quickly adapted to the new tension. The racquet had nice pocketing that I could definitely feel, topspin came easy, lots of net clearance and a really good balance between being able to swing out when I wanted to and also achieving effortless power. It seemed easier on the arm but I won't know for sure until I play with it some more. I'm very much looking forward to playing with this setup again soon.
 

chic

Professional
How do people feel about low tension with syn gut crosses?

I've been using pros pro hexaspin twist mains and intense heat crosses at 44x42

Strung one racquet hexaspin x prince classic syn gut at 48x54 and liked the pocketing but the mains stopped snapping back after like an hour or two.

Can I try out low 40s/ high 30s with the syn gut or is that not a thing that's done?
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
I hit with my vcore 98 with Cyclone 16 at 40 lbs for about 1.5 hours today. Launched the ball a couple times but not much more than usual. Surprisingly, I quickly adapted to the new tension. The racquet had nice pocketing that I could definitely feel, topspin came easy, lots of net clearance and a really good balance between being able to swing out when I wanted to and also achieving effortless power. It seemed easier on the arm but I won't know for sure until I play with it some more. I'm very much looking forward to playing with this setup again soon.
Great to hear. I love it at that tension. Used to string in the 60s and 50s, now I prob will never go back to those tensions. Trying Diadem Solstice mains with Flash 18g crosses at 43 next and cant wait.

I really like the pocketing like you referred to best. Just have extra control on groundies, good comfort on volleys and I like that extra pop on serves.
 

chic

Professional
I think it was this thread, but cannot find the OP that one of the high-tension-absolutionists challenged people who prefer low tensions to string identical racquets both ways and do a significant side by side, so I did:

Volkl Attivia dnx 6
PP hexaspin twist mains and PP intense heat X
One racquet @58# one racquet @35# (normally I use M@44 X@42).

Hit half a hopper of serves with each racquet to warm up (alternating ~every 15 balls with an ~50 ball hopper) then played 2 sets of doubles (each with one racquet) and a set of singles switching racquets at changeovers.

Overall I much preffered the low tension.
Much higher spin potential which is a huge factor in my game as I favor medium-high topspin rallies and like to mix in lots of topspin/kick serves.

The high tension wasn't ~bad~ so much as it didn't suit my game. It made the racquet feel like some "control racquets" I've hit with (ie something with a smaller headsize and denser string pattern). I have a long fast swing on most shots and really had to compact it and play groundstrokes closer to the net than I am accustomed to. Flat serves felt crisper but anything with spin just couldn't generate the same spin so lots of second serves going long and not kicking as aggressively as I like.

Volleys had benefits both ways, low tension had a little bit of pocketing letting me take pace off and redirect where I wanted, higher tension tended to just push the ball back wherever I wanted nice and flat. Again I'm accustomed more to the first so low was my preference, but neither was a hindrance.

If anyone knows who the OP was requesting people do this feel free to @ them
 
Last edited:

aaron_h27

Professional
I think it's very much string dependent, for example 4g is way stiffer than Poly Tour Pro despite both being poly's.

Low tension is great for casual hitting, but when I play players who hit with heavy spin in a match situation my balls start flying out.

I think whatever is the lowest tension you can play your best tennis with in a match situation is the best without having to adjust your stroke
 

AMGF

Hall of Fame
I tried 4G Soft full bed at 38lbs at it is really really good. I've been playing with PTP at 40lbs for the last 6 months and the 4G soft makes me think I might switch when my reel of PTP runs out. But the price difference with the PTP makes me think twice as I like to cut as soon as the playability drops off (4-6hours). That would cost me quite a bit more to play with 4G Soft vs PTP.

On another note I gave the Grapplesnake CES neon dust/liquid a shot and hated it. I strung it at 36lbs and it felt stiff and the spin was not better than what I get from my other polys. The string started moving and not coming back in place after about 30min of practice. In that category (stiff squared strings) I prefer the ultra cable or Rock n power.
 

chic

Professional
I think it's very much string dependent, for example 4g is way stiffer than Poly Tour Pro despite both being poly's.

Low tension is great for casual hitting, but when I play players who hit with heavy spin in a match situation my balls start flying out.

I think whatever is the lowest tension you can play your best tennis with in a match situation is the best without having to adjust your stroke
I'd say it probably has as much to do with a person's individual playstyle and racquet. I've hit with 4g someone gifted me at low and high tension in a hybrid and preferred it low. But I have a light racquet and faster swing rate and hot lots of aggressive topspin.
 

esm

Hall of Fame
I have recently strung up a few Angell racquets with fb of co-poly at low 30's (33/31) on K7 Red (PP Red Devil 1.19), TC100 (PP Eruption 1.18) & TC95 16x19 (PP Eruption 1.18) - i liked the feel and the ball pocketing. However, i didn't quite liked the TC95 when i had it on 31/29 setup with the same PP Eruption string.

Question - i have been thinking maybe i should try a hybrid setup with Syn Gut 1.30 at low tension, but

- should i use it as Mains or Crosses (with PP Red Devil 1.19 or Eruption 1.18)
- if i use Syn Gut 1.30 as Crosses (with co-poly Main at 33lb), what tension should i have the Syn Gut at to get the similar feel as the fb of co-poly?
- if i use Syn Gut 1.30 as Mains (with co-ploy Crosses at 31lb), what tension should i have the Syn Gut at to get the similar feel as the fb of co-poly?

or should i just stick with the fb of co-poly and be done with it? lol

TIA
 

tennisbike

Professional
If I were to estimate which will be closer to the fb co-poly I would pick poly main with SG cross. Though I have only played with a few poly/sg hybrid. Why don't you try it out and let us know how it goes.

If you are still at the experimenting stage, why don't you just leave the tail of the SG cross so that you have the option of trying a different tension.
 

esm

Hall of Fame
If I were to estimate which will be closer to the fb co-poly I would pick poly main with SG cross. Though I have only played with a few poly/sg hybrid. Why don't you try it out and let us know how it goes.

If you are still at the experimenting stage, why don't you just leave the tail of the SG cross so that you have the option of trying a different tension.
yeah true, thought i'd ask before i actually do it.
just need to work out the SG tension for the cross if the co-poly is at 31lb at the mains.... any ideas? will to trying something close enough and adjust from there. lol
 

4hand5lice

New User
Great to hear. I love it at that tension. Used to string in the 60s and 50s, now I prob will never go back to those tensions. Trying Diadem Solstice mains with Flash 18g crosses at 43 next and cant wait.

I really like the pocketing like you referred to best. Just have extra control on groundies, good comfort on volleys and I like that extra pop on serves.
My vcore 98 eventually became too wild for me strung with cyclone 16 at 40#. I’ve since strung it up with the same strings only at 45# this time and it feels a lot better. I may go down to 43 on the next go around but that will likely be the end of the road for me.

I’m glad I lowered the tension and experimented. I believe it’s going to do wonders for my arm health to have taken the time to dial in the lowest manageable tension for my play style.
 

lucieisland

Semi-Pro
i love playing with low tensions. (gut/poly), actualy, my best setup is vs and yonex poly tour pro. (sometime when not yonex on my shop using weiss silverstring, scorpion or signum pure plasma, for me, these four string are very good for me. but.. on my country, the summer is comming, with rain, moisture. it's going to be very difficult to play with gut for these next 4 months..

i decided to play with a new setup, maybe poly./multi.
for the moment i have yonex poly tour pro and plasma pure for main, and my brother gave me prince lightning, head velocity and tecnifibre multifeel . (yonex poly tour pro on pink, head velocity on white, and prince and tecnifibre on pink too. ) i suposed want to play with pink setup (girly power), but, on these hybrid (YPTP or plasma pure on main and multifeel or lightning on cross, what tension must i put? actually, it's 22kg for gut and 16kg for poly. (for a 660 frame, but suppose change for au 690 frame!)
 

chic

Professional
I have recently strung up a few Angell racquets with fb of co-poly at low 30's (33/31) on K7 Red (PP Red Devil 1.19), TC100 (PP Eruption 1.18) & TC95 16x19 (PP Eruption 1.18) - i liked the feel and the ball pocketing. However, i didn't quite liked the TC95 when i had it on 31/29 setup with the same PP Eruption string.

Question - i have been thinking maybe i should try a hybrid setup with Syn Gut 1.30 at low tension, but

- should i use it as Mains or Crosses (with PP Red Devil 1.19 or Eruption 1.18)
- if i use Syn Gut 1.30 as Crosses (with co-poly Main at 33lb), what tension should i have the Syn Gut at to get the similar feel as the fb of co-poly?
- if i use Syn Gut 1.30 as Mains (with co-ploy Crosses at 31lb), what tension should i have the Syn Gut at to get the similar feel as the fb of co-poly?

or should i just stick with the fb of co-poly and be done with it? lol

TIA
At one point I tried some prince duraflex 16 gauge as crosses with the hexaspin twist mains @45#x50#

Even at 50 it was too much of a rocket launcher for me personally, pocketing was nice though.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
At one point I tried some prince duraflex 16 gauge as crosses with the hexaspin twist mains @45#x50#

Even at 50 it was too much of a rocket launcher for me personally, pocketing was nice though.
Be carefull with such a truthful response or you may get accused of bad technique by the tension police.
 

weelie

Semi-Pro
Looks like the low poly crowd has thinned out.

But I got the idea now to dig out my childhood racket and make some use of it. It is a Wilson Ultra Hammer, from around 1991. I think it is a regular 95", 16x19, RA under 55 (PWS, 100% Graphite), 10oz and head heavy (though last time I tried it, I think I put a dollop of blutac in it to make it more balanced).

Some cheap poly strung very low might work, just for the fun of it. Maybe 35lb.

I remember having it strung up to 66lb syn gut as a kid. But hey I am stronger now, and playing on indoor HC, not outdoor red clay like I used to back then. :D
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
@weelie
-i got a wil.ultra.tour (the new one!, not the old one you'r talking about), strung at 27lbs ;)
-i got a head.gravity.pro strung at 30lbs
-i just need a court and/or wall to go hit
-the big.sick has locked my courts around me, no access, grrrrrrr :mad:
 
Last edited:

E46luver

Professional
For me, no combination of NatGut lasts past 5-10 hours (full bed Gut, Hybrid, etc)
So, the poly 10 hour limit is a moot point. I'm restringing at 10 hours no matter what I use.

What is even softer is Tour Bite 20. The softest poly on the market.
For me, the ultimate Poly for arm safety may be Tour Bite 20 strung at 35 lbs.

Just came back from my first hit with 35 lbs poly. (Cyclone Tour 16)
16x18 100 size racket with stiffness of 65
This may be the compromise I've been looking for for arm safety

At 35, I could also feel a clear trampoline effect, so it plays soft
In fact, it feels softer than full bed Gut at 50lbs.

Control at 35 lbs.? Non-issue. I was swinging 100%
Balls were hitting great, some short, some perfect, some long, just like at any tension.

I had forgotten that old poly sound of TWACK!
I had more spin on both wings than locked up NatGut.
Balls were hitting nice and heavy. Felt great.

Poly is cheaper at $10 vs. $30
Poly lasts longer (10-12 hours vs. 5-10 hours)
Poly can play very softly at 35 lbs.
Poly gives more spin

I believe I have found my win/win setup.
No more NatGut for me.
 

chic

Professional
For me, no combination of NatGut lasts past 5-10 hours (full bed Gut, Hybrid, etc)
So, the poly 10 hour limit is a moot point. I'm restringing at 10 hours no matter what I use.

What is even softer is Tour Bite 20. The softest poly on the market.
For me, the ultimate Poly for arm safety may be Tour Bite 20 strung at 35 lbs.

Just came back from my first hit with 35 lbs poly. (Cyclone Tour 16)
16x18 100 size racket with stiffness of 65
This may be the compromise I've been looking for for arm safety

At 35, I could also feel a clear trampoline effect, so it plays soft
In fact, it feels softer than full bed Gut at 50lbs.

Control at 35 lbs.? Non-issue. I was swinging 100%
Balls were hitting great, some short, some perfect, some long, just like at any tension.

I had forgotten that old poly sound of TWACK!
I had more spin on both wings than locked up NatGut.
Balls were hitting nice and heavy. Felt great.

Poly is cheaper at $10 vs. $30
Poly lasts longer (10-12 hours vs. 5-10 hours)
Poly can play very softly at 35 lbs.
Poly gives more spin

I believe I have found my win/win setup.
No more NatGut for me.
Cyclone feels really nice in the 37-42 range (I shift it with the weather!) But I will say it stretches and bags out faster than many other polys I've tried (even the cheap pros pro stuff).

I'm using a 98in² 65RA with tourna bhs7t at 45#x43# a little firmer feel than cyclone but lasts me around 15hrs before dead. Cyclone got me 4-6 hours of good and another 2 of bearable. Recommend giving it a try if you're playing with setups.
 

chic

Professional
What changes for you after 4-6 hours?
For arm safety, I change out Poly at 10 hours, regardless
It no longer snaps back in place consistently for me. Changes the playability and is an arm risk.

Partially dependant on how you swing though I've seen plenty of people for whom cyclone lasts longer.
 

E46luver

Professional
So you need to adjust the strings back into place after each point?
I've never had this with Poly. Only Gut and hybrid
 

chic

Professional
So you need to adjust the strings back into place after each point?
I've never had this with Poly. Only Gut and hybrid
That's how you know poly is dead. It's no longer snapping back because it's stretched too much and dead. One can pretty much play safely with most polys till that starts happening
 

E46luver

Professional
This is also the case with NatGut. Once I need to adjust after each point, I get a massive loss of power.
Strings deflect and the ball barely reaches the net. I hate string movement. Back to poly and no more string adjustment!
 

chic

Professional
This is also the case with NatGut. Once I need to adjust after each point, I get a massive loss of power.
Strings deflect and the ball barely reaches the net. I hate string movement. Back to poly and no more string adjustment!
Natural gut, from everything I understand about stringing, doesn't lose tension ...

It sticks out of place because it's more elastic than poly. But it sticking out of place isn't indicative of anything bad.
 

chic

Professional
Volkl Cyclone Tour 16.
Next time, I will use 17.
I will also try out Tour Bite 20.
Oh you're using cyclone tour? My earlier comments were wrt normal cyclone (they're very different strings.)

I know @/g4driver raves about the 1.30 but says the smaller diameters aren't worth a damn because the difference in tension maintenance is crazy. Haven't hit with it much myself though.
 

E46luver

Professional
I have read that tension loss is greater with 18 and 20 gauge.
I also read that tension loss is not as bad at 35 lbs.
Could be a moot point.
The advantage of 20 is that it's even softer than 16.
20 poly is as stiff as a multi.
 

E46luver

Professional
Natural gut, from everything I understand about stringing, doesn't lose tension ...
Not my experience.
Not only does it lose tension, but it rarely lasts longer than 5 hours before breaking.
Gut is also way more harsh than people let on.
Vastly overrated and overhyped snake oil in my experience, in every regard
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
gut strings start snaking because the outer coating wears off. VCT 16g is the only gauge worth using, everything else plays like garbage


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

bluenote

Rookie
Anyone using hybrids poly/multi or poly/gut on a Volkl PB10 18x20?

Normally I use 17g or 18g polys, Alu Power 1,20 or Volkl V-Star 1,20 for example, at 35lbs or 40lbs...

Will do my first hybrid, full bed of multi or gut works nice at 55lbs for me, what about 10lbs differential string tensions between polys with multi or gut?

I notice that most people just use 4 or 5 lbs differential tension on hybrids...

Appreciate any feedback, many thanks.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
Just as a note, I tried ALU power 16 in a Dunlop muscle weave 200G. This is a fairly flexible racquet at 61RA before stringing. I put ALU in it at 33 lbs on a CP stringer, and I HATED it. It just felt terrible, and had no power at all even on flat shots, and the spin was only so so. So low tension in an 18X20 flexible stick didn't work for me.
The exact same string(And I mean exact because I cut it out and repurposed it into my POG), anyways, the exact same string at 52X49 lbs in my POG mid felt great, with as much control, far more power, and ridiculous amounts of spin, especially on my second serves.
So go figger.
 
Last edited:
Going to revive the thread with my abomination of a string set up

Excel Mains and Hurricane tour at 40lbs in a Wilson Blade 93 (2013).

Always wanted some Blade 93s and the 2 i bought for about $130 and both came strung with NatGut at 50... but felt so much like a wood board that i had to cut em out (heresy, i know). I felt awful cutting them out because the strings were probably worth more than the rackets themselves.
 

Bukowski

Professional
Im currently using Aerostorm Tours with full 17g cyclone at 60lbs. Breaking strings every other session, 3-5 hours of use.

Im interested in Kevlar mains w/ the same cyclone crosses as well as lowering tension to around 50ish.

Thoughts? Ive never used Kevlar and play an offensive baseline game with a lot of spin and variety.
 

ron schaap

Hall of Fame
Im currently using Aerostorm Tours with full 17g cyclone at 60lbs. Breaking strings every other session, 3-5 hours of use.

Im interested in Kevlar mains w/ the same cyclone crosses as well as lowering tension to around 50ish.

Thoughts? Ive never used Kevlar and play an offensive baseline game with a lot of spin and variety.
my thoughts are "are you aware of low tension?" 60lbs definetely not, or 50lbs that is considered a normal tension!
 

Bukowski

Professional
my thoughts are "are you aware of low tension?" 60lbs definetely not, or 50lbs that is considered a normal tension!
Uh... I appreciate your well thought out response.

In college and juniors i used 62+ so 50 is quite low for me. As numerous posters echo in this thread.
 

ron schaap

Hall of Fame
Uh... I appreciate your well thought out response.

In college and juniors i used 62+ so 50 is quite low for me. As numerous posters echo in this thread.
i dont read those comments you refer too and clearly your history is old skool. Besides strings like sgut or gut behave very different at those tensions than poly. i think title of this thread is what its all about.:unsure::alien:
 

romdj

Rookie
Low tensions don't work with heavy frames (12+ oz) IMO. Probably best with Tweener rackets

Of course this is my opinion, but normally folks using heavier frames on the tour don't play with such low tensions

Although Hewitt had a rather heavy racket and did use a low tension
Well I've strung my RF97A with a tension of 18kg (soon dropped to 15kg) with L-Tec and honestly, I really love it. So I'm not sure I would agree with that statement.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
Uh... I appreciate your well thought out response.

In college and juniors i used 62+ so 50 is quite low for me. As numerous posters echo in this thread.
What he meant was idea of this thread was to explore very low tensions - like 30lbs etc - hence the thread title.
You are more likely to find a better response in a different thread pertaining to typical tensions used in modern racquets.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
If ones arm is giving you problems continue to go as low as you possibly can until there is a loss of control.
At 5.0 tennis that loss of control for me is somewhere below 47lbs with most frames.
Blade Pro 16x19, Head Prestige Mid 360+, RF97
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
If ones arm is giving you problems continue to go as low as you possibly can until there is a loss of control.
At 5.0 tennis that loss of control for me is somewhere below 47lbs with most frames.
Blade Pro 16x19, Head Prestige Mid 360+, RF97
well said. Also, if you happen to be playing in higher altitude or hotter temperatures then it is recommended to string tighter to retain control. Colder weather will be more appropriate for lower tension. Every 10 degrees colder will mean the stringbed will feel about 7-10 lbs tighter.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
As someone who has tried down to about 17lbs then went +1 or + 2 lbs at time. What a lot of waste of time stringing, the number of reels I went through. it feels great on the arm and even the entire body because you can of just relax and hit it smooths everything out.

The bad is putting away short balls is tough because the launch angle is pretty inconsistent, a lot of other shots like 2nd serves and overheads and big points I think I just prefer knowing what it will do on big points and returns because low tensions sometimes it just comes off so hot and you have no idea how long it will go.

Went from 17lbs upping it slowing and am back at 63lbs. It was waste of 5+ years trying it out.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
5 years trying.. Thats a lot of time trying
yeah no doubt, I figure I can't just try it for a week , to really get a decent sample I tried it for months at a time and of course trying different strings, hybrid combos, tensions for months at a time.

I forgot the half volleys and really short hop shots were pretty wildly inconsistent with low low tensions.
 
Top