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

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.
Update: I played with it again this weekend, and although there is still the occasional ball that goes deeper than I think it should, I had a much easier time controlling depth this time. I think much of my issues with control can be attributed to my having a bad day last time.

On a side note, started noticing some string movement which was not the case the first time around.
 
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
I would do textured strings. it's more fun.
 

NoGame

New User
After reading this thread the other day, i went and strung up my Bab Pure Storm Ltd with Black Code 1.18 at 30;bs. Never have I felt like I had so much whip and spin on the ball. And I found on the slices they just skimmed over the net and then straight to the baseline turning my slice from a position shot to a real weapon. I then unloaded on some flat serves and they never looked like coming back, got my kick serve jumping all around the place which was awesome.
I will be sticking with 30lbs for a long time yet!
 

nickarnold2000

Hall of Fame
After reading this thread the other day, i went and strung up my Bab Pure Storm Ltd with Black Code 1.18 at 30;bs. Never have I felt like I had so much whip and spin on the ball. And I found on the slices they just skimmed over the net and then straight to the baseline turning my slice from a position shot to a real weapon. I then unloaded on some flat serves and they never looked like coming back, got my kick serve jumping all around the place which was awesome.
I will be sticking with 30lbs for a long time yet!
So this means that you'd better change your user name to "GotGame"! :)
 

Bud

Bionic Poster
I'll be cutting the full bed of Polylon Ice (strung at 45#) out in a few minutes and restringing with some Pacific Poly (the transparent tangerine colored poly) at 40#... playing a couple singles matches with that later this afternoon.
 

Hotrocks

Rookie
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 picked up a few Yonex-RDX's in the mid & midplus, GREAT solid racquet. I really like the mid(90). What tension would you use in the 90", if you use 30lbs. in the 98"? Thanks............
 

808

Semi-Pro
After reading this thread the other day, i went and strung up my Bab Pure Storm Ltd with Black Code 1.18 at 30;bs. Never have I felt like I had so much whip and spin on the ball. And I found on the slices they just skimmed over the net and then straight to the baseline turning my slice from a position shot to a real weapon. I then unloaded on some flat serves and they never looked like coming back, got my kick serve jumping all around the place which was awesome.
I will be sticking with 30lbs for a long time yet!
Hmm, I have a Pure Storm Ltd strung w/ Black Code 17g at 15kg (~33lbs) right here, waiting for my knee to heal up... Maybe in a couple of days.
 

Standupnfall

Semi-Pro
I am going to give this a try and am wondering if anyone is getting good results at around 35 with Gosen Polylon 17?

Or is it not worth messing with that and I should go right for the PolyStar Energy or other "better" poly
 

DennisK

Semi-Pro
I picked up a few Yonex-RDX's in the mid & midplus, GREAT solid racquet. I really like the mid(90). What tension would you use in the 90", if you use 30lbs. in the 98"? Thanks............
I've got an RDX mid too. At 'normal' tensions I'd string around 5 - 6lbs lower compared to the MP. But with 32lbs already being so low, I'd probably use the same tension to be honest.

Yeah, I love my RDX's.
 
His level is listed on every tennis racket review he does.
"Chris: 5.0 All court player currently using the Volkl Power Bridge 10 Mid. Chris uses a full-western forehand grip, has a fast swing style and hits a one-handed backhand."
 

ReopeningWed

Professional
You string the mains/crosses with a 20 lb. tension differential? :shock:
I've been doing this for a while now. The idea is that the mains are subjected to a lower tension, and can move more freely as a result.
Coupled with poly strings, which tend to snap back after impact with the ball, this would increase the spin that I can produce. I don't know if it's the placebo effect, but I like how it plays.

I've heard that stringing the crosses higher makes the string bed feel tighter. So if anything, the ball still trampolines from the mains, but it doesn't feel excessively springy because the crosses are tighter.
 

alexmcnab

Rookie
Having experimented with 30lbs and liked it I've now reverted back to my usual syn gut @ 57.

I enjoyed the lower tension but felt like it encouraged me to make more use of the extra spin so it changed my game - because I could get more spin out of it I found myself looping it to get the benefit. That's not really my game and I prefer the extra feel I get at higher tension.

Interesting to know how many people are sticking with it or have reverted to their usual setup.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
I am going to give this a try and am wondering if anyone is getting good results at around 35 with Gosen Polylon 17?

Or is it not worth messing with that and I should go right for the PolyStar Energy or other "better" poly

I have polyon ice 17 in my NXG at 35 lbs, which I think is similar crap poly.

It feels ridiculously soft, and you can hit the hell out of the ball and there is very little "pop" sound. Once you get over those 2 things, I think it's a pretty cool idea.

I wouldn't consider going 35lbs with a gut, multi, or synth gut, though. I think my racquet would be a rocket launcher with that setup.
 

nickarnold2000

Hall of Fame
Having experimented with 30lbs and liked it I've now reverted back to my usual syn gut @ 57.

I enjoyed the lower tension but felt like it encouraged me to make more use of the extra spin so it changed my game - because I could get more spin out of it I found myself looping it to get the benefit. That's not really my game and I prefer the extra feel I get at higher tension.

Interesting to know how many people are sticking with it or have reverted to their usual setup.
Why not try experimenting hitting the ball a little harder(but not so loopy) and with the extra topspin that you're generating the ball should still land in.
 

nickarnold2000

Hall of Fame
I have polyon ice 17 in my NXG at 35 lbs, which I think is similar crap poly.

It feels ridiculously soft, and you can hit the hell out of the ball and there is very little "pop" sound. Once you get over those 2 things, I think it's a pretty cool idea.

I wouldn't consider going 35lbs with a gut, multi, or synth gut, though. I think my racquet would be a rocket launcher with that setup.
I'm interested in how ice's tension maintenance is at lower tensions. Can you get more playable hours out of it?
 

Turbo

New User
I strung my PDR+ with SPPP at 28 and Gosen OG sheep at 30 (crosses).
It felt pretty much like other people were saying. The biggest improvement was depth and feel on my slices. In general I didn't lose much control and I could definitely hit some more power. There was better speed and spin on groundstrokes and serves. The volleys felt not quite as controlled but i only tried a few.
The sound is a bit annoying to me - I use a rubber band but hear the strings click. But that's not too big of deal. Overall I do like the setup, and the comfort was MUCH better. It certainly will take time to get used to it, but I plan on keeping it for now.
 

smooveken

New User
For everyone that is stringing their poly at 30, how is the tension loss? I figure the tension loss wouldnt be as dramatic as a poly strung at a much higher tension.
 

boilerfan

New User
For everyone that is stringing their poly at 30, how is the tension loss? I figure the tension loss wouldnt be as dramatic as a poly strung at a much higher tension.
I posted in a different thread about using low tensions on my 2 Dunlop AG100's. 1 was strung up with PolyPolar and the other with Prince Tourney Poly, both at about 32#.

I have played with each 3 times, and the PolyPolar has definately changed feel and seems to of lost some tension. The first time I played, I had ok control but I feel like it has definately stretched or loosened because it is uncontrollable at this point. The Prince Tournament Poly has stayed the same for all 3 sessions and still feels quite good. I guess it depends on the string, but I have been pleasantly surprised that the Prince string hasn't lost any tension and feels the same after 3 matches.
 

smooveken

New User
I posted in a different thread about using low tensions on my 2 Dunlop AG100's. 1 was strung up with PolyPolar and the other with Prince Tourney Poly, both at about 32#.

I have played with each 3 times, and the PolyPolar has definately changed feel and seems to of lost some tension. The first time I played, I had ok control but I feel like it has definately stretched or loosened because it is uncontrollable at this point. The Prince Tournament Poly has stayed the same for all 3 sessions and still feels quite good. I guess it depends on the string, but I have been pleasantly surprised that the Prince string hasn't lost any tension and feels the same after 3 matches.
Thank you. The reason I ask is because if you string a poly at 30, there is the initial tension loss of a couple lbs., then some more tension loss after 24 hours... technically, It's like you would be playing at 20-25 lbs. But then again, you would probably cut the poly out by the time it drops that low.
 

Xenakis

Hall of Fame
Well, I'm still using RIP Control at 30lbs. Feels pretty normal now, definitely improving my forehand topspin, which is nice.
 

Pwned

Hall of Fame
Thank you. The reason I ask is because if you string a poly at 30, there is the initial tension loss of a couple lbs., then some more tension loss after 24 hours... technically, It's like you would be playing at 20-25 lbs. But then again, you would probably cut the poly out by the time it drops that low.
I had SpinX in for a week and a half with over 12 hours on it and it felt good still at the end. The strings were moving a bit more but I was still controlling the ball well and it felt like butter. This was at 30 in a POG OS. I think I may use a bit higher from now on. 38 felt really good.
 

corners

Legend
I've been doing this for a while now. The idea is that the mains are subjected to a lower tension, and can move more freely as a result.
Coupled with poly strings, which tend to snap back after impact with the ball, this would increase the spin that I can produce. I don't know if it's the placebo effect, but I like how it plays.

I've heard that stringing the crosses higher makes the string bed feel tighter. So if anything, the ball still trampolines from the mains, but it doesn't feel excessively springy because the crosses are tighter.
That should work. I doubt it's placebo. But how much is your frame distorting?
 

corners

Legend
I am going to give this a try and am wondering if anyone is getting good results at around 35 with Gosen Polylon 17?

Or is it not worth messing with that and I should go right for the PolyStar Energy or other "better" poly
I think Polylon might be perfect. The newer copolys are designed to be softer and have better tension maintenance. A stiffer old-school poly at super low tensions will be soft and should have better tension maintenance as well. So you might get the benefits of a copoly at a third the price.
 

stician

Semi-Pro
For everyone that is stringing their poly at 30, how is the tension loss? I figure the tension loss wouldnt be as dramatic as a poly strung at a much higher tension.
I imagine tension loss would be much less than a poly strung at higher tensions. Danny from TW mentioned he's getting 12 hours of playable time with his low tension compared to 6 hours when he strung it above 50 lbs. I'm hitting with Signum Pro Tornado at 35 lbs this afternoon.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I posted in a different thread about using low tensions on my 2 Dunlop AG100's. 1 was strung up with PolyPolar and the other with Prince Tourney Poly, both at about 32#.

I have played with each 3 times, and the PolyPolar has definately changed feel and seems to of lost some tension. The first time I played, I had ok control but I feel like it has definately stretched or loosened because it is uncontrollable at this point. The Prince Tournament Poly has stayed the same for all 3 sessions and still feels quite good. I guess it depends on the string, but I have been pleasantly surprised that the Prince string hasn't lost any tension and feels the same after 3 matches.
That's interesting... I've found that Prince Tournament Poly outperforms all other poly's I've tried. Definitely an under-rated string. I initially chose it from a bin full of strings at a pro shop because I was looking for a string with a slippery surface. But it has other nice properties - it doesn't get dented as easily as Lux ALU, and it stays slippery and maintains playability and feels like it holds tension much better than supposedly good strings like SPPP.
 

Toad

Rookie
Anyone tried Kevlar @ 30-35#?
I did full Kevlar 18 @ 26 lbs.

The only pros over my normal Kevlar 18 @ 52/Syn Gut 17 @ 55 were:
- Much better control on my flat serve and serve in general (only double faulted once the entire time I used that racket for serving).
- Much softer

The cons were:
- Very poor control on volleys
- Very difficult to return serves/balls with a lot of pace
- Durability (it lasted just under 4 hours vs my normal 13)
- Murder on my grommets

I won't be trying it again that low, but this showed me that I can probably lower the tension of my normal setup a bit and benefit some from it.
 
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Pwned

Hall of Fame
has anybody talked about volleys with 30LBs tension?
I wanted to hear any feedback on this particular issue.
Yes plenty of people have talked about volleys in this thread with varying opinions. My volleys have been fine. I come to the net fairly often and have had no troubles adjusting to the tension. I don't think it's worse than high tension that's for sure.
 

TW Staff

Administrator
I have been continuing to hit natural gut at 30lbs, It has not taken me long to get used to it. This set up amplifies everything. Good shots become great shots, but errors can become greater, too.

Power and spin on serve is very, very impressive. I really like this set up at net, too. Lots of feel on volleys. I also enjoy volleys with poly at low tension -- good feel, nice pop to punch the ball deep.

In the Barricade 6.0 review we just posted I am hitting gut at 30lbs.

Chris, TW.
 

JT_2eighty

Hall of Fame
has anybody talked about volleys with 30LBs tension?
I wanted to hear any feedback on this particular issue.
At 'normal' tensions (50-55lbs), I found poly to be terrible at net, for me.

At 28lbs, the feel at net from poly was much much better: not only touch shots with greater precision and ball feel, but also putaways cut nicely through the court with natural spin and depth. Reminded me of the feel & pocketing I get from gut main/poly cross in mid 40s at net. Only thing lacking was the extra 'scalpel-like bite' that kevlar/gut comes with.
 
I have been continuing to hit natural gut at 30lbs
You hit a very good ball from watching the TW videos, but gut at 30lbs must surely result in the ball taking an eternity to leave the stringbed? Is the extreme cupping effect not offputting and detrimental to control? 30lbs must surely be way beyond the optimum tension for control, surely?
 

TW Staff

Administrator
Gut at 30lbs is not that hard to control. The only shot I feel like I sometimes have to hold back on is my return of serve. I have to be precise with the gut at 30lbs and that can be hard to do when the serve hops up more than expected or comes through with more pace. I can still return with depth and consistency, just can't swing with the same reckless abandon a poly allows.

I plan on trying a hybrid next. Right now I prefer poly at low tensions over gut, however, I was pleased to find it is possible to go low with gut. After hitting the gut at 30lbs, I'm pretty excited to try a hybrid with poly in the mains. I will probably use Volkl Cyclone as that is the string I started the low tension test with.

Chris, TW
 

corners

Legend
Thinking 30 copoly = 40 gut/copoly, I strung up a 90 and a (16x18 ) 95 at 40 with gut/proline II.

The 90 feels great. No loss of control, effortless spin in the way that it encourages you to just relax your grip on the backhand slice and cut through the ball.

40 in the 95 was a bit bouncy, but still controllable and extremely comfortable with absolute wicked spin.

In the 90 I previously had the same setup at 50. So by the time they broke the tension was probably about 40. This is probably why the gut/poly at 40 felt so controllable with no adjustment issues - the tension was pretty much the same. It's possible that much of our perception of loss of control at lower tension is due to not being used to the bounce. If this were the case, one could easily progress downward to super low by dropping 10 pounds per job. By the time my current job breaks it will be at about 30 pounds, so I could install the next job at 30 and hit the courts running. Etc.
 

bngnhal

New User
I was a die hard liquid metal radical guy, but my s/h backhand was lacking on depth so i started looking for a racket with a little more weight to give me the extra depth i was looking for, which led me to the volkl 10 mid. I tried the racket originally with my usual set up 52/56 competition/tech x-1. The racket played ok but nothing exceptional. I played a usta match with it and gave up on it in the second set because some things were just lacking. Then i came across the articles about low tension and gave it a try. I used all poly Kirch competition @ 35 lbs. First time out i worked with a ball machine and things were ok. Second time i played two sets of singles and things were great. My serve was banging, ground strokes were deep and penetrating and volleys were spot on. Everything felt very natural and i couldnt ask for anything more. I have about three hours on the strings and look forward to my next outing to see how they are holding up. I must say also that the Volkl racket is a mighty stick and i do get more spin on my serve, my ground strokes are penetrating harder, the stick on the volleys are incredible and i couldnt be more pleased. I would have to say at this time the change is from changing my string tension, but the next time out will be a big indicator as to how well the setup is really working. Also, i feel no effect what so ever from using all poly on my body. I'm a 50 y.o guy in good shape just looking to stay on top of my game as much as possible. Hope this info helps somebody.
 

ReopeningWed

Professional
That should work. I doubt it's placebo. But how much is your frame distorting?
None at all actually. This is after a year of playing with this kind of tension.
My guess is that as long as there is significant tension on the string, even if there's a difference of 20 lbs, the racket will be okay.
Now if we went super like 10 lbs, where there is little-no stress on the frame, with 55 or even 40 lbs, we could have a problem.
 

sidzej

Rookie
Chris, you can also try inverted setup to your next one. You want to try poly in mains and gut in crosses. For a comparison, you can try to swap it. There are many discussions about where gut should be with poly in a hybrid. Some prefer it in mains, the others in crosses. I prefer to have gut in the mains for a bit of extra comfort and put co-poly in crosses.
 

Meaghan

Hall of Fame
Tried Mantis Power Poly at 32lbs and after initially liking the feel I resorted to my usual Alu at 45lbs for a match as I felt more secure in what it could do.

I also tried Polystar Energy at 32lbs and although I liked it better than at 45lbs it was still too much of an elastic poly and was finding it had a little too much pop and i got a bit scared to really hit out. Will have another look at this set up as there is something about this string but I cant quite get the tension right.

However I am still interested in these lower tensions I have just strung BBO, Alu and full Kevlar at 35lbs so will have a look at these over the next week or so.

Im thinking that a stiffer poly set up at these tensions will work best for me. The BBO just hitting in the back garden feels real soft and completely dead which i like....Im really interested in seeing what a full kevlar set up will do.........
 

stician

Semi-Pro
I imagine tension loss would be much less than a poly strung at higher tensions. Danny from TW mentioned he's getting 12 hours of playable time with his low tension compared to 6 hours when he strung it above 50 lbs. I'm hitting with Signum Pro Tornado at 35 lbs this afternoon.
I played seven 10 point games last night with a 4.5+ heavy hitting lefty last night. My setup is currently Signum Pro Tornado 17 and for this test I strung at 35 lbs in my modified Dunlop 4D 300 Tour stick weighing in at 337.5 grams with overgrip/dampener balanced at 13 1/8”. Note that stringing at 35 lbs on my crank/lock out machine was easier than my normal 55 lb tension and the co-poly string bed felt supple yet pretty lively. Prior to switching to this soft co-poly I was using Head RIP Control 17 at 55 lbs.

As others have pointed out, the first hit off the ground indicated a high level of ball pocketing and bite. Depth was fairly easy to control so I focused on hitting with my normal bat speed instead of making tiny adjustments for the low tension. The key for me is commitment towards every shot and staying relaxed. I noticed the tension helped pretty much everywhere and it is more rewarding to hit as fluid as possible. Topspin was enhanced but like anyone with good technique will say you get what you put into it. My preference is to hit with as much spin as it’s needed to keep the ball deep with pace. I particularly liked defensive shots from my 1HBH side. Stretched, my slices with firm wrist action produced balls that floated back deep. Anything that came over shorter on my backhand side I was able to hit a better than normal cross court topspin shot that immediately put my partner on defense because of the added pace. Chipping down the line produced low skidding balls that set up a bunch of easy volleys. A few turned up shorter than intended but they stayed low to produce errors. I think I will utilize this shot more often. 1st volleys from the service line required the most concentration and I found firm hands to be the best approach to redirecting shots. Serving was the most rewarding. Since fraying my labrum tendon in the rotator 24 months ago, I’ve lost pace on my first serves. I’ve worked hard on strengthening my shoulders to play pain-free for the most part but going for pace would result in slight pain. 35 lbs last night felt so comfortable that I started serving bigger as we continued playing. The added bite on the soft strings meant I was able to hit up and out and balls dropped in with good net clearance and hop. Flat serves is something I’ve avoided since injury because it produced pain. With 35 lbs I was hitting flat serves with pace I’ve sorely missed since injury. This was my biggest satisfaction because my serve was my strength prior to injury and I’ve had to work so hard off the ground since I’m no longer earning cheap points. All-in I’m pleased to share with you a positive first outting and I’m going to keep playing with this setup to see how my game progresses. As with anything new that works well initially you have to ask rhetorically is it between my ears or is it the tiny change that will propel my game to the next level. Time will tell.
 

rfprse

Professional
I tried sppp at 33 with k6.1 95. It played ok. Nothing spectacular in a good or bad way. Not sure it makes a great difference in spin and power. Maybe I should give it some time.
One thing to warn is that you'd better not think that the low tension would solve the problem if your wrist, elbow or shoulder is tender due to the use of poly strings. The set up felt comfortable during the play, but it did give the usual discomfort after the play.
 

ClubHoUno

Banned
Gut at 30lbs is not that hard to control. The only shot I feel like I sometimes have to hold back on is my return of serve. I have to be precise with the gut at 30lbs and that can be hard to do when the serve hops up more than expected or comes through with more pace. I can still return with depth and consistency, just can't swing with the same reckless abandon a poly allows.

I plan on trying a hybrid next. Right now I prefer poly at low tensions over gut, however, I was pleased to find it is possible to go low with gut. After hitting the gut at 30lbs, I'm pretty excited to try a hybrid with poly in the mains. I will probably use Volkl Cyclone as that is the string I started the low tension test with.

Chris, TW

Chris - have you had the chance/eager to test gut mains and poly crosses at 30 lbs ?

Would love to hear how you liked that hybrid combo at low tension.
 

TW Staff

Administrator
About 20 minutes after my post talking about trying hybrids, a package full of Volkl V-Fuse Hybrid (Cyclone & I-Con Natural Gut) sets came in for us to test. How's that for timing! I'll string two sets up on Monday, one with gut mains, the other with Cyclone mains, both @ 30lbs.

Chris, TW
 
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