Notching Questions


Hey guys,

I am referring to a poly mains/ syn. gut cross, but am looking for generalities from your experience mostly. My elbow can't do full poly setup...

1. Is notching from the crosses the #1 reason for decreased spin production when using poly mains?
2. Are shaped strings (ex. MSV focus hex, tourna black 7) more susceptible to notching than round strings?
3. Do stiffer strings notch less quickly?
4. Do natural gut mains notch less easily than poly mains when paired with a poly cross (That's how I would run this setup)?
5. How do "rough" round poly strings fair with notching (not a string I have much experience with, other than the 4g rough playtest which I thought notched quickly)
6. Would a 16g syn. gut cross notch less than a 17g syn. gut cross because force is applied over larger area?
7. If above is yes is enough of a factor to cancel out the increased spin of a smaller gauge?
8. Can you recommend a soft, spin friendly poly that resists notching?


Talk Tennis Guru
1. No it is not the main reason. The main reason is that the friction when poly moves over soft nylon strings is greatly increased, whereas the opposite is true for nylon on polyester strings. Increased friction means little string movement, which initially means reduced spin and later on mains being stuck all over the place (irregular response).
2. They themselves are not more susceptible to notching, however they cause notching in other strings faster. Therefore a full bed of a shaped string will notch noticeably faster.
3. Stiffer strings may notch less quickly, depending on what they are strung with. If you string them with a much softer string, they won't notch. If you string them with a stiffer string they will notch quite quickly. If you string them in a full bed, they will notch a bit slower.
4. Natural gut is the softest string you can get and notches quicker than anything else. However, the string friction in a gut/poly setup (with gut in the mains) is the lowest you can get. As a result, notching is not too severe and it does not inconvenience the playability of the setup like poly/poly would.
5. They usually notch quite quickly.
6. Possibly, but the big difference will be how much notching they can take before they snap. Also, thinner strings are softer so they notch faster for that reason.
7. Thinner gauge don't necessarily provide more spin, it depends on the string you are considering IMO.
8. Head Sonic Pro Edge.