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

drak

Hall of Fame
i think you might have missed some of the earlier post in the thread drak. some of us have had unpleasant arm experiences with poly. [the last time i put poly mains in my racquet my arm left home for 3 weeks and it took me sending 8 text messages to convince it to come back.] so we are dropping the tension on gut but not as low to see what kind of results we get.

i just got back from hitting about 150 practice balls with this setup (global gut @ 48# & Alu BB @ 44#) and the pop was very nice on flat. I've been nursing golfers elbow as well and the experience was virtually pain free. we will see tonight when i practice ground strokes. so far so good though.

I did not miss anything, I am a guy with a very sensitive shoulder after a not too long ago 8 month rehab from a full rotator cuff tear and other shoulder damage. Poly at low 30's feels better than gut to me FWIW and IMO.

Drak
 
This thread piqued my interest, so I strung up my racquet with WeissCannon TurboTwist 17g at 33 lbs. For the last few months, I've been using a hybrid of ALU Rough mains at 48 lbs and Gaucho Gut at 51 in the crosses, so I already use fairly low tensions. I was surprised at how normal the low tension poly felt, especially given that it's a soft poly and I could tell it was at a low tension by banging my hand against the stringbed. When hitting, the strings felt softer than my normal setup. I felt like I got a touch more spin at first, but I quickly adjusted to that and stopped noticing. My partner didn't say anything, so I suppose it wasn't that dramatic on his end. I did feel like slices stayed nice and low if I hit them right.

When we got to serves, I was hitting consistently long at first and had to take more warm-ups than normal, but once I got the feel it wasn't a problem. I didn't notice a big difference on serve or anywhere else, for that matter. The one problem I encountered was handling pace. If my opponent hit a really hard flat ball that I needed to carefully redirect, the ball always seemed to go long. I also struggled with return of serve, perhaps for the same reason, but it may be that I was just having a bad return day. It happens.

I'll have to agree with those who say this is a great setup for people who use a lot of spin and a bad setup for flat-ballers. I'm somewhere in between. I'll have to fiddle around more with it, switching between my racquets to find the differences. If I can adjust on return of serve and handling pace, I might switch. Otherwise, I don't think the negligible increase in spin is worth the lost ability to control pace. And while I liked the soft stringbed, I also like my normal crisper feeling stringbed. I might also try stringing poly at a slightly higher tension, like upper 30s, to see if that's a happy medium.

This is definitely a worthy experiment Chris at TW (and Volandri, I suppose) has got us all going on. Ironically, this could also be a great help to people with arm issues. All this time, maybe poly's been getting a bad rap.
 
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TW Staff

Administrator
I put a really good hit on the C10 Pro today with Kirschbaum Long Life Spiky 1.38mm @ 35lbs. The C10 Pro was a racquet I almost switched to and have gone back and hit often as I've always enjoyed the feel. I always had an issue with shots flying on me with the C10 Pro and that was what ultimately kept me away from it. That has completely gone with this set up and I've really been enjoying it the last two times I've hit with it.

I'm not tempted to move away from my PB10 Mids at all, but this is the best performance I've ever found with the C10 Pro.

Have been talking to the TW Prof and he wants me to try gut in the low 30s, so I'll be giving that a go this week. A little worried about power and string movement going in, but we will see how it goes. The lowest I've hit gut is 45lbs, and that's in my adidas Nastase Champion (woodie).

Cheers,
Chris.
 
I put a really good hit on the C10 Pro today with Kirschbaum Long Life Spiky 1.38mm @ 35lbs. The C10 Pro was a racquet I almost switched to and have gone back and hit often as I've always enjoyed the feel. I always had an issue with shots flying on me with the C10 Pro and that was what ultimately kept me away from it. That has completely gone with this set up and I've really been enjoying it the last two times I've hit with it.

I'm not tempted to move away from my PB10 Mids at all, but this is the best performance I've ever found with the C10 Pro.

Have been talking to the TW Prof and he wants me to try gut in the low 30s, so I'll be giving that a go this week. A little worried about power and string movement going in, but we will see how it goes. The lowest I've hit gut is 45lbs, and that's in my adidas Nastase Champion (woodie).

Cheers,
Chris.
Any competitive hitting with full gut at these tensions will be a real bummer. Strings will be everywhere as well as your shots. Great for feeding drills, but not compatible for competition or a good hit. Good luck though. Maybe your experience will be different than mine.
 

JT_2eighty

Hall of Fame
Honeymoon phase, or?

So I strung my PT with PH18 (not tour) at 28/26 lbs. Played a match that lasted 1:20. I need to try ~35lbs next time, but only to alleviate an odd resonance that normally isn't there.

I developed SEVERE carpel tunnel at 20 and 30.

Whole palm was tingling and it was difficult making a fist after 5 minutes of hitting. Obviously the vibration is doing something.
During warmup, I did feel this additional "buzz" that TW Chris also felt at 10lbs, but only during medium-paced warm-up shots, or flat block-shots. Initially I remarked to myself it felt like I had strung rubber bands in there, but non-trampoliney ones, oddly enough. With the PT, you can feel how these strings are flexing and grabbing the ball in the instant of ball contact.

Fast-paced shots and/or high-spin shots there was no buzz as the point with this setup seemed to be to maximize dwell time, which you don't get on flatter, blocked pushes and dinks, which seemed to have that extra buzz feedback and also sail long. High paced flat serves and a few successful inside-out flat forehands were actually no problem with this setup, and felt very non-polylike off the stringbed. Comfort was fine. Nice pocketing, rewarding faster swings with zero shock, and remarkable feel. Previously, I had swore off poly due to it lacking this feel. Spin reminiscent of gut/poly mid-high 40s. Net control surprisingly great. Still prefer kevlar/gut at net.

So would this low tension thing therefore work in a PT630?...

What strings would ppl advise for a low tension string-job too in the PT630?

And how low a tension?

Thanks,

R.
I wouldn't suggest the ph below 30, but wow, the potential for these low setups is unreal in the PT. Next stop, ~35 with a poly a tad stiffer than ph18 :mrgreen:
 

nickarnold2000

Hall of Fame
Here's what might be an ironic twist if this low tension Poly thing becomes a craze - the cheap old stiff Poly strings may very well work just as well or better than all the spendy new softer CoPoly's, wouldn't that be a hoot.

Drak
Yes, it would be a hoot because it means that I'll have some extra money to buy more premium beer! :)
 
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Fed Kennedy

Legend
Gut in the 30s sounds crazy but after having tried alu and pro line 2 at 30 and loving it I am ready to let go of all preconceived notions.

What is the profs rationale? That the gut will revert to a lower power when strung so low?

By the way pro line 2 at 30 feels like gut!
 

TearSNFX

Rookie
That seems backwards. I would think that low tension would lead to less vibration not more.
There is AUDIBLE low frequency vibration. And the deep ping rings for a very long time. Tighter string = higher frequency and lower tension = lower frequency. It set off my carpel tunnel and tennis elbow in 5 minutes, while using the same exact racquet ( K90 ).

I usually string Poly at 56 and synthetic at 62 on cross and I don't get tennis elbow or carpel.
 

corners

Legend
Hey corners, what are some of those old school polys with good tension holding you are speaking of?
Take a look at the data from TW University's string tests:

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringselector/stringselector.php

I think I was in error saying that the old school polys had some of the best tension maintenance. But it looks like some of the older-school copolys that are pretty cheap, like Wilson Enduro Pro, Cyberflash,, etc. hold tension as good or better than any, according to the testing.

That tool gives data for all strings at different tensions and swingspeeds. If you choose only poly strings and look at stiffness and tensions loss at low tension/high swingspeed you'll see that there is a fairly good correlation between high stiffness and low tension loss. The stiffer strings, like Enduro Pro, are also best for tension loss. So it might be possible to string low with these types of strings and still get a soft, arm-friendly response that's easy on the pocketbook.

Looking at the graph provided by the professor earlier in this thread it appears that a stiffer poly like Enduro would play similar to a soft string like Cyclone with about a 5 pound drop in tension.


Of course, there are some who dismiss these types of objective tests as useless, but I'm inclined to think that they are lacking in the capacity for abstract thought.
 

corners

Legend
Gut in the 30s sounds crazy but after having tried alu and pro line 2 at 30 and loving it I am ready to let go of all preconceived notions.

What is the profs rationale? That the gut will revert to a lower power when strung so low?

By the way pro line 2 at 30 feels like gut!
According to the graphs posted earlier in this thread gut at 30 would deflect only as much as poly at 15. Strangely, gut at 30 is only 20% less stiff than gut at 60 - hardly any difference at all. The results will be interesting. The tension/stiffness curve for gut is basically flat - very different than syngut or poly.

I'm planning to do gut/poly at 30-35 in a mid. Haven't had a chance to get to the stringer,but will post results when I have a chance. I think it will play just fine/great but I'm afraid the durability will be poor due to a lot of lateral deflection and sawing of the gut mains. Kevlar mains/poly crosses - the travlerajm rig - might be the ultimate super low tension setup.
 
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drak

Hall of Fame
Yesterday I tried 33lbs (Cyberflash) on a 105 Vantage frame - did not like it as control was not good and I hit a lot of "flier's" long. Much different (worse IMO) than on my PB9 98 head size. I may up tension 5-7 lbs on the 105 and see if there is much difference. So I am wondering if this extreme low tension is best served on lower powered smaller head size frames? - other feedback here would be good.

Drak
 

JT_2eighty

Hall of Fame
Yesterday I tried 33lbs (Cyberflash) on a 105 Vantage frame - did not like it as control was not good and I hit a lot of "flier's" long. Much different (worse IMO) than on my PB9 98 head size. I may up tension 5-7 lbs on the 105 and see if there is much difference. So I am wondering if this extreme low tension is best served on lower powered smaller head size frames? - other feedback here would be good.

Drak
The same tension on a 98 versus a 105 will definitely feel more loose on the 105. I'm sure there's a formula to convert out there, but the longer the string, the more tension needed to reach the same feel (you'll have longer mains and/or crosses on the 105). I do know that it does feel good on a midplus frame, but also noticed flat shots are much harder to control, these uber-low setups require spin, almost beg for more spin. I think you're right on in trying it again 5-7# higher, but have no experience to back that up, I've only experience with 93-98" heads.
 

TW Professor

Administrator
Perhaps, TW (TW prof) could measure the ball resiliancy with different string tensions, in search of the optimal tension. Granted, it'll be different for different strings, players, etc but it'd give us all a guideline.



Not exactly what you are looking for, but ...

As you can see on the energy return vs tension graph, poly has less energy return at all tensions compared to gut and nylon. What this means is a bit complicated. The question is this: does lower energy return from the strings mean less power (ball velocity)? The answer is that it may or may not. The efficiency of the strings is only part of the story. The other part involves string stiffness. The scenario looks like this:

Let's drop a ball on a secured racquet so that it will not move or bend on impact--only the strings and ball will interact (in a normal tennis hit, about two thirds of the energy goes into moving the racquet and about a third goes into the strings and ball deformations). Strings return energy that goes into them according to the graph (anywhere from about 73-97%). Let's say your string at your current tension returns 95% of the energy that goes into it. But how much energy goes into the strings? The strings and the ball divide up the available energy according to their relative stiffnesses. The softer of the two will get proportionately more of the energy of impact. So, if the stringbed and the ball are of equal stiffness, they will each take 50% of the energy. If the strings are half as stiff as the ball, then they will take in twice the energy (in other words the ball's share will be one third and the strings' share will be two thirds).

The ball returns about 55% of the energy that goes into it (depending some on the speed and angle of impact). The string we are looking returns 95%. What does this mean to our two cases above of a stiff setup and a soft setup?

If the the ball and strings are the same stiffness (which is a "close enough" assumption for conceptual purposes for most nylons strung in the 50-60lb range), then the ball will give back 55% of the energy, for a total of 27.5% return. The strings will give back 95% of 50% for a return of 47.5%. Added together we get a total return of 75% of the energy that went into the ball and strings. (FYI, the square root of energy return is power potential so here we have sqrt of .75 = .866 = power potential of 86.6%, which is so high because the racquet is clamped and does not lose energy in motion and bending)

If the strings are half as stiff as the ball, then we get 55% times 33% = 18.2% return from the ball and 95% times 66% = 62.7% return from the strings for a total return of 81%, which is 6% greater than if the string were twice as stiff (for power potential of 90%).

So lowering the stiffness of the strings compared to the ball lowers the amount of energy that goes into the inefficient ball and raises the amount that goes into the more efficient strings. But our graph shows that lowering the strings stiffness also lowers its energy efficiency. So it is somewhat of a trade-off. The stiffer setup has better string efficiency but has less energy to work with. The softer setup has lower string efficiency but more energy to work with.

Long story short, even if you don't know the relative stiffness of the ball and strings, you do know that no matter what, decreasing string stiffness by lowering tension or changing to a softer string increases the energy flow into the more efficient strings compared to the less efficient ball. But that doesn't necessarily mean more power. To end up with more power, enough extra energy has to be transferred to the strings to more than make up for any decline in string efficiency due to lower tension or due to a change to an inherently less efficient string or material.

What you can see from the graphs is that poly is virtually always stiffer than other materials except at very low tensions and it almost always has less energy return. The combination means that you may get more power going from one poly to a lower tension in the same (or you may not depending on the trade off), but except in extreme setups, you probably won't get more power than other materials that are at the same or even higher tensions. Note: the yellow area in the stiffness vs tension graph is where the 30lb poly is softer than all other higher tensioned strings and the light blue is where the 10lb poly is softer that all other higher tensioned strings.)

This analysis tends to confirm statements in this thread regarding power of poly setups at these lower tensions. Some say more, some say less, some say the same. But in most cases the reports are that "depth" has been greater, no matter the speed. The longer dwell times will allow the ball to stay on the racquet for a further distance of your stroke. Thus the launch will tend to be from a later position in the swing which will tend to launch in a higher trajectory, leading to more depth. (See the other graphs for dwell, deflection, and force on page 9 of this thread.) The longer dwell also helps explain the "spraying." Longer dwell time also exaggerates side to side errors.
 

thebuffman

Professional
i went ahead and strung up my prestige pro with global gut @ 48# (main) and ALU BB @ 44# (cross). i plan to hit tomorrow and will let everyone know how it plays. my normal setup is 57# global gut full bed or global gut (or gaucho gut) & OG Micro Sheep cross.
yesterday i hit with the new setup on my prestige pro. hitting felt extremely soft. i did not feel any enhanced pocketing of ball. i was able to hit out and the ball stayed in play and as a matter of fact just about everything i hit stayed in play. every now and then a forehand would fly into the fence which is not typical for me. my balls hardly ever fly into the fence on my normal setups. serving was very strong and there was no loss of control.

overall it was a weird hitting session. the prestige pro is already a low powered racquet and is very head light. the low tensioned GG seemed to dull it down even more. hits were not crisp but felt very dull even though there was nice spin on the ball keeping it in play. net play was not crisp at all and lacked *pop*. a very dulled down experience.

eventually i slid my radical pro out of my bag strung with a new full bed of 17g gold gaucho gut @ 53/50#. it played very nice. volleys were crisp as well as ground strokes. the serve was just as potent but it bothered my golfers elbow issue which i've been nursing. it did take more effort to generate as much spin as the prestige pro setup when i hit out. eventually i got dialed in. i never went back to the prestige pro setup.

i will probably give the prestige pro gut/alu bb hybrid another shot, but i love a crisp feeling setup. it would probably have been best to put the gut/alu bb setup in my other radical for a better apples to apples comparison as the radical and prestige swing entirely different. the prestige keeps everything in play while the radical is a more potent stick.
 

Xenakis

Hall of Fame
Played with RIP Control at 30lbs today in my 95in 18x20 Vantage. Surprisingly, or not, it didn't feel that different to stringing it in the high 40s or low 50s.

It definitely pocketed the ball a bit more but not dramatically, it felt a little more comfortable than the higher tension but not significantly and I didn't notice any trampolining when hitting volleys and drop shots. Infact my drop shots were really 'on' today.

Definitely a stiffer feel than the Black Code and Advantage hybrid I was using before at 30lbs (that went off rather quickly unfortunately.)

Overally probably a bit better than the higher tension but there isn't much in it. Certainly isn't a mushy trampoline anyway (like you might expect from a multi, RIP Control isn't a normal multi though.)

The bonus compared to the poly (for me) is the longevity of the RIP Control, seems to play well for a lot longer than poly or other multis imo. Strings move a bit but that's not really much of a problem.

So it's a thumbs up from me for this string/setup, but not a wildly enthusiastic thumbs up. More of an affirmative wink of the eye and gentle nodding of the head.
 

drak

Hall of Fame
Played with RIP Control at 30lbs today in my 95in 18x20 Vantage. Surprisingly, or not, it didn't feel that different to stringing it in the high 40s or low 50s.

It definitely pocketed the ball a bit more but not dramatically, it felt a little more comfortable than the higher tension but not significantly and I didn't notice any trampolining when hitting volleys and drop shots. Infact my drop shots were really 'on' today.

Definitely a stiffer feel than the Black Code and Advantage hybrid I was using before at 30lbs (that went off rather quickly unfortunately.)

Overally probably a bit better than the higher tension but there isn't much in it. Certainly isn't a mushy trampoline anyway (like you might expect from a multi, RIP Control isn't a normal multi though.)

The bonus compared to the poly (for me) is the longevity of the RIP Control, seems to play well for a lot longer than poly or other multis imo. Strings move a bit but that's not really much of a problem.

So it's a thumbs up from me for this string/setup, but not a wildly enthusiastic thumbs up. More of an affirmative wink of the eye and gentle nodding of the head.
I am starting to think the major benefit of low Poly or Rip type string stringing could be the comfort factor, as play results are similar for many at 30-35 lbs vs 55-60. As long as one hits with good spin, a low tension cheap Poly string may become popular for the folks with are/elbow issues, just a thought.

Drak
 

Xenakis

Hall of Fame
I am starting to think the major benefit of low Poly or Rip type string stringing could be the comfort factor, as play results are similar for many at 30-35 lbs vs 55-60. As long as one hits with good spin, a low tension cheap Poly string may become popular for the folks with are/elbow issues, just a thought.

Drak
I might try it at 20lbs next time. Although RIP control is a comfortable multifilament it isn't very stretchy. When I was tensioning with my dropweight it hardly needed anything from the ratchet, just one little pull-up with it and it was horizontal.

The mix is right for me, good mix of control/power, long lasting and comfortable.

However, just for the sake of it I would be interested to know what a stretchy multi like Wilson Sensation feels like at 30lbs.
 

kalic

Professional
Any reports after 10 or more hours of play ?
I plan to put Luxilon Ace in my PT630 @ around 40 lbs (btw, my regular tension is 50-55), but I don't have money to restring it after every training...
 

W Cats

Rookie
If memory serves me right RIP Control is somewhat similar to Isospeed Professional an olefin ribbon type string and very different than your standard multi's. They are the next softest string next to natrual gut but have tension loss similar to almost a poly. I've hit with Isospeed Pro quite a bit and one of the things I liked about it was how it locked in the natural gut mains and itself when strung as a full job at regular tensions. At low tensions I would not be too surprised to see it move a bit and not move back as slippery poly would.

I'll be trying Topspin Cyber Twirl at 30lbs as soon as my string order comes in. I already have it on one of my 4D 200 16x19 at 52lbs. So it will be in interesting hit.
 

Xenakis

Hall of Fame
If memory serves me right RIP Control is somewhat similar to Isospeed Professional an olefin ribbon type string and very different than your standard multi's. They are the next softest string next to natrual gut but have tension loss similar to almost a poly. I've hit with Isospeed Pro quite a bit and one of the things I liked about it was how it locked in the natural gut mains and itself when strung as a full job at regular tensions. At low tensions I would not be too surprised to see it move a bit and not move back as slippery poly would.

I'll be trying Topspin Cyber Twirl at 30lbs as soon as my string order comes in. I already have it on one of my 4D 200 16x19 at 52lbs. So it will be in interesting hit.
RIP Control moves on me at higher tensions too, seems to be a feature. But it doesn't go brittle over time like other multis, I had a PT Head frame with some old RIP control in it (a year or two I would guess), it was frayed and had lost a lot of tension but still played pretty well (especially considering the person I got the frame from is a hard hitter/string breaker.. One reason I bought a reel of it.
 

bad_call

Legend


Not exactly what you are looking for, but ...

As you can see on the energy return vs tension graph, poly has less energy return at all tensions compared to gut and nylon. What this means is a bit complicated. The question is this: does lower energy return from the strings mean less power (ball velocity)? The answer is that it may or may not. The efficiency of the strings is only part of the story. The other part involves string stiffness. The scenario looks like this:

Let's drop a ball on a secured racquet so that it will not move or bend on impact--only the strings and ball will interact (in a normal tennis hit, about two thirds of the energy goes into moving the racquet and about a third goes into the strings and ball deformations). Strings return energy that goes into them according to the graph (anywhere from about 73-97%). Let's say your string at your current tension returns 95% of the energy that goes into it. But how much energy goes into the strings? The strings and the ball divide up the available energy according to their relative stiffnesses. The softer of the two will get proportionately more of the energy of impact. So, if the stringbed and the ball are of equal stiffness, they will each take 50% of the energy. If the strings are half as stiff as the ball, then they will take in twice the energy (in other words the ball's share will be one third and the strings' share will be two thirds).

The ball returns about 55% of the energy that goes into it (depending some on the speed and angle of impact). The string we are looking returns 95%. What does this mean to our two cases above of a stiff setup and a soft setup?

If the the ball and strings are the same stiffness (which is a "close enough" assumption for conceptual purposes for most nylons strung in the 50-60lb range), then the ball will give back 55% of the energy, for a total of 27.5% return. The strings will give back 95% of 50% for a return of 47.5%. Added together we get a total return of 75% of the energy that went into the ball and strings. (FYI, the square root of energy return is power potential so here we have sqrt of .75 = .866 = power potential of 86.6%, which is so high because the racquet is clamped and does not lose energy in motion and bending)

If the strings are half as stiff as the ball, then we get 55% times 33% = 18.2% return from the ball and 95% times 66% = 62.7% return from the strings for a total return of 81%, which is 6% greater than if the string were twice as stiff (for power potential of 90%).

So lowering the stiffness of the strings compared to the ball lowers the amount of energy that goes into the inefficient ball and raises the amount that goes into the more efficient strings. But our graph shows that lowering the strings stiffness also lowers its energy efficiency. So it is somewhat of a trade-off. The stiffer setup has better string efficiency but has less energy to work with. The softer setup has lower string efficiency but more energy to work with.

Long story short, even if you don't know the relative stiffness of the ball and strings, you do know that no matter what, decreasing string stiffness by lowering tension or changing to a softer string increases the energy flow into the more efficient strings compared to the less efficient ball. But that doesn't necessarily mean more power. To end up with more power, enough extra energy has to be transferred to the strings to more than make up for any decline in string efficiency due to lower tension or due to a change to an inherently less efficient string or material.

What you can see from the graphs is that poly is virtually always stiffer than other materials except at very low tensions and it almost always has less energy return. The combination means that you may get more power going from one poly to a lower tension in the same (or you may not depending on the trade off), but except in extreme setups, you probably won't get more power than other materials that are at the same or even higher tensions. Note: the yellow area in the stiffness vs tension graph is where the 30lb poly is softer than all other higher tensioned strings and the light blue is where the 10lb poly is softer that all other higher tensioned strings.)

This analysis tends to confirm statements in this thread regarding power of poly setups at these lower tensions. Some say more, some say less, some say the same. But in most cases the reports are that "depth" has been greater, no matter the speed. The longer dwell times will allow the ball to stay on the racquet for a further distance of your stroke. Thus the launch will tend to be from a later position in the swing which will tend to launch in a higher trajectory, leading to more depth. (See the other graphs for dwell, deflection, and force on page 9 of this thread.) The longer dwell also helps explain the "spraying." Longer dwell time also exaggerates side to side errors.
thanks for posting. food for thought whilst reflecting on one's personal experience and hitting style.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
I had my 3rd NXG strung up with gosen polyon ice (first generation super cheap poly) at 35 lbs..it felt REALLY lose..like I could easily push the strings in 1/4-1/2 inch. I could also tell that it will vibrate like mad, so I have an NXG silencer on it that covers about 6 main string.

I used it in my match last night..I know, never use new equipment/set up/stroke in a match for the first time.

Well, on groundstrokes it was great. Once you get over the complete lack of sound on impact, it is really cool. You could feel the dwell time, but I never felt like the ball was trampoling off the stringbed when I took a full swing. I hit some really nasty slices when I adjusted my stroke a bit. I had no real problem with serves, flat or spin...even volleys were okay.

The big drawback was defensive stabs and lobs. When I was out of position and reaching for the ball, not taking a full swing, a shot that normally I could float back into the court or block back seemed to be wildly uncontrollable...sailing wide, long, etc. I still felt good enough about it to keep playing with it and hopefully I can adjust my defensive shots.
 

GoDawgs2011

New User
Racquet: RDS 003 ( 2008 ), total weight 11.88 oz
Strings: Spiky Shark 17 @ 35 lbs.

Serve: Excellent. Although my 1st few went long, once I got dialed in, I was getting impressive pace, spin, and plow.

Groundstrokes:
- depth: my biggest problem. My shots clearly had a higher trajectory and while every other shot was dropping in due to the spin, I was way more inconsistent in this regard.

- directional control: not too shabby. Did not notice any decrease in directional control.

- topspin/slice - saw a marginally noticeable increase in spin; however, when I hit a clean shot, my opponents were having a tougher time.

- power - very little change in power; if anything, my inconsistency made me more hesitant to go for power, which obviously made my shots slower.

Volleys:
- didn't hit a whole lot of them but didn't feel too bad from the few I hit.

Comfort:
- initially there seemed to be more vibrations than (close to dead) Black Code 17 originally at 55 lbs. However, after playing with it, it was very comfortable compared to the racquet with BC. No arm or elbow sorenesss.

Conclusion:
I'm not cutting it out yet but I am getting my other racquet strung with at a more traditional tension, while I see if I can get used to the lower tension.
 

jjs891

Semi-Pro
I tried Cyberfalsh at 30 lbs in my Vantage 90.

groundstrokes: definitely higher arc with more spin but lost a bit on directional control, although felt like I could get dialed in better if I kept at it. Better slice off of one hand backhand. Easier on forehand as well.

volleys: tons better feel than I can remember poly at higher tension.

serves: easier to spin the serve but didn't notice much difference in other areas

Although this set up was much more comfortable than any poly that I tried in the past at higher tension, it was still bothering my tender elbow. I'm just recovering from TE from ~3 months ago. So for a geezer like myself, it's more important to stay healthy and be able to play like I want and just keep re-stringing my soft multi as they break in `1 1/2 wk or so. For others with no TE, this could be a great set up.
 

JT_2eighty

Hall of Fame
The big drawback was defensive stabs and lobs. When I was out of position and reaching for the ball, not taking a full swing, a shot that normally I could float back into the court or block back seemed to be wildly uncontrollable...sailing wide, long, etc. I still felt good enough about it to keep playing with it and hopefully I can adjust my defensive shots.
I've had the same experience with the low poly. Everything else feels and plays great except for those defensive-type shots, as well as return of serve on first-serve heaters, for basically the same reason.
 
global gut crosses at 30 and volkl cyclone mains at 30

it's great.

unlike the above posters, i don't have issues with serve returns or defensive shots.
 
I tried Cyberfalsh at 30 lbs in my Vantage 90.

groundstrokes: definitely higher arc with more spin but lost a bit on directional control, although felt like I could get dialed in better if I kept at it. Better slice off of one hand backhand. Easier on forehand as well.

volleys: tons better feel than I can remember poly at higher tension.

serves: easier to spin the serve but didn't notice much difference in other areas

Although this set up was much more comfortable than any poly that I tried in the past at higher tension, it was still bothering my tender elbow. I'm just recovering from TE from ~3 months ago. So for a geezer like myself, it's more important to stay healthy and be able to play like I want and just keep re-stringing my soft multi as they break in `1 1/2 wk or so. For others with no TE, this could be a great set up.
I agree. for some reason, the TE's coming back even with poly at 30lbs.
 

Laker

Rookie
Count me in for a test,
just had mine Sportastic Supreme (same mold of Kneissl Red Star), 12 oz., strung at 35 instead of 54 lbs. with WeissCannon TurboTwist.
Play-test tomorrow with my coach, I will let you know... :-o
 

Tennis_Man

New User
I heard stringing at a low tension was really nice. You don't have to use as much force while hitting. I know several people who string it under 40lbs.
 

TW Staff

Administrator
I played a couple of sets today with gut at 30lbs in my PB10 Mid. It pretty much felt like everything was amped up. Spin and power were impressive, but not as impressive as poly at 30lbs. Comfort was good, but I’ve found that to be true of gut at any tension.
I had to be really on it to be successful with this set up. My good shots were better, but my not so good shots were worse. I definitely had to pay attention to what I was doing, but a well-timed shot resulted in effortless power, depth and court penetration which gave my opponent all kinds of issues.

I used a prototype gut which has a fairly heavy coating, so string movement wasn’t an issue. It will be interesting to see if that remains the case once the coating wears off -- I had to adjust this string a lot more at 52lbs once the coating came off. Interestingly, that happened in 10 minutes at 52lbs, but the coating survived two sets today at 30lbs.

Gut at 30lbs definitely forced me to be a better striker of the ball. If I kept everything out in front and was well balanced, I was hitting great. If I caught a return of serve late, then I had to hold back a little to keep it in.

I was serving very well and getting some solid pace and action on the ball. I held serve easily for most of the match and when I did get pushed I was able to hit some of my bigger serves to get out of trouble. I think it is a better match set up than hitting set up for me for that reason, as I was able to hold serve easily and that is a huge deal in men’s tennis. Even though I had to focus more, I was able to break twice each set for a 6-3, 6-3 win. That’s a closer score than the last two times we’ve played, but my opponent was playing much better today and hitting his serve very well.

Cheers,
Chris, TW
 

TW Staff

Administrator
For me, poly was easier to control. The gut felt great today, but was not as forgiving when I was off a little. With both set ups I feel I'm hitting more penetrating shots. With gut I pay a bigger price when my timing is not perfect. However, this was after just one hit, so I'll keep hitting it to see how quickly I get used to it and also to test the durability at 30lbs.

On the comfort front, it is weird how gut just feels like gut, seems no matter what the tension, it is soft and comfortable.

Chris, TW
 

Fed Kennedy

Legend
Good stuff chris. This is very interesting. I find full gut always ramps up my service games...would you say the difference between ultra loose gut and normal to tight gut is as dramatic as the difference when going ultra loose on the poly?

For the record I've been hitting 30lbs pro line 2 for the past week and it's probably the best thing I've ever used.
 
I played a couple of sets today with gut at 30lbs in my PB10 Mid. It pretty much felt like everything was amped up. Spin and power were impressive, but not as impressive as poly at 30lbs. Comfort was good, but I’ve found that to be true of gut at any tension.
I had to be really on it to be successful with this set up. My good shots were better, but my not so good shots were worse. I definitely had to pay attention to what I was doing, but a well-timed shot resulted in effortless power, depth and court penetration which gave my opponent all kinds of issues.

I used a prototype gut which has a fairly heavy coating, so string movement wasn’t an issue. It will be interesting to see if that remains the case once the coating wears off -- I had to adjust this string a lot more at 52lbs once the coating came off. Interestingly, that happened in 10 minutes at 52lbs, but the coating survived two sets today at 30lbs.

Gut at 30lbs definitely forced me to be a better striker of the ball. If I kept everything out in front and was well balanced, I was hitting great. If I caught a return of serve late, then I had to hold back a little to keep it in.

I was serving very well and getting some solid pace and action on the ball. I held serve easily for most of the match and when I did get pushed I was able to hit some of my bigger serves to get out of trouble. I think it is a better match set up than hitting set up for me for that reason, as I was able to hold serve easily and that is a huge deal in men’s tennis. Even though I had to focus more, I was able to break twice each set for a 6-3, 6-3 win. That’s a closer score than the last two times we’ve played, but my opponent was playing much better today and hitting his serve very well.

Cheers,
Chris, TW
hit with global gut/poly main at 30lbs again today. first set was awesome. but as i get into the 3 hr zone, forehands were flying around

i think full poly at 30 gives more control. but the gut feels nice 2. i think it's probably a better set up for a contorl racket i was using a OS tweenr.

the biggest difference was serve. I could feel the serves with gut crosses.

i used fully poly at 30lbs on pstaff 88. hated it.

full poly at 30 works the best on babolats, for me, so far.
 

georgeyew

Rookie
After reading this thread, I strung my Ultra 2 Mid tonight with Gosen Polylon Ice 16 at 30 lbs. I am very anxious to try it out this weekend (hopefully) to see if I will get the extra spin that everyone is talking about. Another benefit that I can see with the lower string tension is that the racquets will last longer due to the lower stress during stringing.

I'll report back after I play with the new string setup.
 

Pwned

Hall of Fame
The strings in my POG OS at 30# feel a bit too loose. Going to try 35 next time. They also last quite a bit longer for me at lower tensions. I got more notching above 50.
 

nickarnold2000

Hall of Fame
:)
After reading this thread, I strung my Ultra 2 Mid tonight with Gosen Polylon Ice 16 at 30 lbs. I am very anxious to try it out this weekend (hopefully) to see if I will get the extra spin that everyone is talking about. Another benefit that I can see with the lower string tension is that the racquets will last longer due to the lower stress during stringing.

I'll report back after I play with the new string setup.
Good luck but is that the poly reel that sells for $29? If it is - it's nasty stuff even strung at 30lbs, IMO! I hope your wrist and elbow live to tell the tale. Have you ever thought of buying a better quality poly? It loses tension so fast that I'm wondering if it's even worth it! :)
 
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:)
Good luck but is that the poly reel that sells for $29? If it is - it's nasty stuff even strung at 30lbs, IMO! I hope your wrist and elbow live to tell the tale. Have you ever thought of buying a better quality poly? It loses tension so fast that I'm wondering if it's even worth it! :)
Gosen Polylon 17 has the same stiffness rating as Luxilon Original 130, Pro Supex Blue Gear 1.28, Tecnifibre Polyspin 16 (1.275)
 

nickarnold2000

Hall of Fame
Gosen Polylon 17 has the same stiffness rating as Luxilon Original 130, Pro Supex Blue Gear 1.28, Tecnifibre Polyspin 16 (1.275)
Actually Gosen seems to have some different strings that are all called Polylon ie. Comfort(much nicer). But I'm talking about Polylon Ice which is very harsh on the arm and loses tension quickly; it's a 1st gen poly. I was wrong about the price thou - it's almost $32/ reel. If you like it great but I'd much rather pay more and get something softer.
 
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georgeyew

Rookie
:)
Good luck but is that the poly reel that sells for $29? If it is - it's nasty stuff even strung at 30lbs, IMO! I hope your wrist and elbow live to tell the tale. Have you ever thought of buying a better quality poly? It loses tension so fast that I'm wondering if it's even worth it! :)
The Polylon works well for me. I have been using it in all of my racquets for the past 5-6 years and I have no elbow/wrist issues. I also tend to hit relatively flat opposed to extreme top spin. Maybe that is the difference.
 

UCSF2012

Hall of Fame


Not exactly what you are looking for, but ...

.
Thanks a bunch for this experiment. I knew of all the complications surrounding the physics of all of it. But I was thinking there could be a simplified model: find the tension where there's max energy return in the ball only (as a guideline for our own experimenting on the court). And I have that. From the first graph, the peak energy return for polys is at 20-21kg (or about 44lbs tension), while the peak is about 50lbs for the other two. That tells me to string one racket at 44 lbs and experiment with slightly higher/lower tensions. Now I have a starting point. Thanks.
 

DennisK

Semi-Pro
Well, I've been playing with full SPPP 1.18 @ 32lbs in my RDX500MP for a fortnight now. Here are my findings, but first a little background:

I exclusively use full poly set-ups, usually strung at anything from 50 - 60lbs, depending on my mood and time of the year. I've used planty of different poly's over the years, but tend to use SPPP as my go to. So I know exactly how it plays.

Intially stringing up the racket at 30lbs seemed very strange. On my hand crank lock-out machine, it felt weird to have the machine lock-out at the desired tension after pulling with almost no effort or resistance at all on the crank. It felt a bit wrong to be honest and I can only imagine how odd it must feel pulling 10lbs!

Doing a few exploratory bounces of a ball off the strings in the living room, you can definately feel the softness of the tension, with the ball feeling as though its sinking into the string bed. Difficult to describe, but its definately there.

Ground strokes

The first thing you immediately feel, is the softness and comfort of the ball coming off the string bed. Then as you get used to feel, the next thing you notice is the effortless spin and depth control you have. I was swinging totally normally, but not having to muscle or arm the ball at any time and having much greater consistency as a result. You can really feel the strings gripping the ball and you just get so much confidence, knowing that the ball will make it over with good pace and depth.

The amount of spin I was able to get onto the ball (especially on my forehand) was definately increased, with the ball visibly popping up higher. My opponents were being put off by it and dumping simple shots into the net as a consequence. They would set up for a shot, only for the ball to hop about off the bounce and do an unforced error. I found this to be most helpful when playing club hackers/retrievers!

Another plus, is that backhand slices were great, with them having more pace and bite for less effort. Again, not having to muscle the ball and letting the racket do more of the work. I was definately hitting my strokes normally, just not having to work as hard for a given result. That may sound contradictory, but its the only way I can describe it.

One downside I've found is that big flat shots on my forehad side were a bit more unpredictable, with more fliers resulting. Some even reaching the back fence! Strangly, this seemed to affect me far more on sitters with no pace, rather than harder hit shots. I'm starting to readjust to this trait, but I'm currently having to temper hard flat putaways, with a small amount of topspin to compensate. Strangely, flat shots off my single handed backhand have improved with the lower tension.

Another major upside of the lower tension, is the larger sweetspot. This is extremely useful when under pressure, when you're pushed out wide and reaching for a ball. I found that you could get to the ball, catch it late and still get it back with a good length, allowing you to get back into the point.

I didn't find much difference with directional control. I think its maybe a little bit less accurate, expecially on forehand DTL shots on the deuce side, but by and large, no real significant difference.

Serves


I initially found that big flat first serves were tending to fly consistantly long. But after a small grip change (moving my grip further around to a more extreme continental grip), I found that I could hit total bombs with a good dollop more pace that usual. With the lower tension I definately have to aim more 'downwards'. Another bonus of the low tension is the accompanying 'WHOMP!!!" sound! :)

Second serves were lots of fun. Again, you could get great pace and spin for less effort, improving consistancy. Kick was increased, and slice serves out wide were just evil. Sometimes, I'd hit a flier now and then, but I think this was probably due to my technique rather than any fault of the low tension.

Volleys

I found that the increased dwell time and softness of the low tension meant that I wasn't as consistant on putting volleys away for clean winners and had to hold back, allowing my opponent to make it to the ball and stay in the point. I tend to think than you need a more crisp feel from the strings on this kind of volley.

On the other hand, touch shots, dinks and drop volleys were great! I had so much more touch and feel and found myself hitting way more drop volleys than usual, just because I was having so much success with them.

Overheads give me with the same problems as flat first serves, with them landing long. However, with the serve you can take your time and adapt your grip, but in the heat of a rally, you forget this. Still need to work on this aspect.

Serve Returns


For me, this was all good feedback. I could swing normally and take big cuts at the ball off both wings with flat hits and topspin. I was able to neutralise the point or even put myself straight on the offensive immediately.

Against bigger servers, the increased pop and bigger sweetspot come into their own. I found you can react to the ball late, but still get good depth and decent pace, whereas normally, your return would land just after the service line. I found this to be especially true on my backhand side, where I was able to consistantly hit single backhand drives off the return, safe in the knowledge that the large sweetspot would conpensate for any small timing errors on my part.

Conclusion

So far, I'm totally loving the lower tension. With it, I'm able to play with greater power, but also greater control and consistancy - its a win win.

I have a couple of small issues with volleys, but seeing as I don't some to the net very often, I don't mind. The rest of the plus points more than compensate.

After around 8 hours of play, the behaviour of the strings seems identical to the day they were strung. I've noticed a little more string movement, but only very minor amounts. I may try a different tension next time, but probably only +/- 10%.
 
I'm so eager to try this tension, but what strings do you think are best for them? A textured poly, or a multi? I'm thinking Blue Gear, because they're textured and the bite from the gears plus the bite from the low tension, would combine to create quite the devious set up >:D
 
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