Rotating matched racquets

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Not certain exactly where to post this but starting here.

I am not terribly educated about strings but I have experimented enough to know I like 17g NXT. I string at 54# (I play in the desert at 3000-3500' elevation, anything lower and balls absolutely fly, much higher and my arm can feel it)

I play 5-6 days a week 2-3 hours per session. I do not break strings, but I do fray them.

I tend to play with only one racquet until I start having control issues and then switch to the fresh racquet and then re-string both when that one is acting funky. The strings last about 2-4 weeks, longer on first racquet, shorter on second.

Tried to upload pic but keeps saying "something went wrong" here is the link to it: https://ibb.co/DVvcGK5 This is my racquet today after about 3 weeks. When it looks like this it plays awesome for 2-3 days and then it is all over and I swap or re-string.

So, should I rotate them more frequently ... swapping them every day? Wouldn't mind getting a little more mileage on string jobs
 

1HBHfanatic

Hall of Fame
since your not breaking strings,, I would think that switching often would work better for you; that way you wear them out at the same time and/or very close to it
after a period of time, you can restring them both, but both should be equally worn out and tension should be close to each other, making them playably predictable

the only people I tell to go through one first until it snaps, is the ones that break strings quick!! (this bunch, usually breaks in 2xdays/hours); tension changes happen so quick for them, they don't have time to adjust their game

you wanna have a backup racquet that's at the tension you know once the other snaps or wears out
just my opinion
 

Kevo

Legend
Is there a reason you need to have them restrung together? NXT is the best right before it breaks IMO. I'd just play one until it breaks and get that one restrung as soon as it's convenient.

You could rotate them more frequently, but then you still have to decide when to take them both to get strung? If you wait too long you could end up breaking them both.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I've pretty much given up on the "matched" racquet thing. Too much hassle trying to keep tensions roughly equal. I just play whatever racquet I feel like and try not to over-think things. When the racquet breaks a string or the strings start moving all over the place, I re-string.

In your instance, if you only have two racquets, I'd alternate for the first few matches to get the string tensions into that plateau phase then use one until it needs restringing then switch to the other. Get the first racquet restrung while using the second but don't use it until you break a string or its time to restring the second racquet.

yes you will make twice as many trips to the stringer this way and if the stringer is miles away that may be an issue, but you will always have longer periods with racquets at similar tensions while eliminating the risk of a double string break by having two racquets with heavy fraying.

Now if you have a third racquet, then I'd just alternate racquets until they are both ready to restring and start carrying the third emergency racquet with you when they are getting pretty frayed. That will keep tensions similar throughout play and give you an emergency backup in case of the double string break.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Is there a reason you need to have them restrung together? NXT is the best right before it breaks IMO. I'd just play one until it breaks and get that one restrung as soon as it's convenient.

You could rotate them more frequently, but then you still have to decide when to take them both to get strung? If you wait too long you could end up breaking them both.
My stringer is at my club and I get a discount for stringing 2 at a time ... I bring my own reel and so I am trying to save that extra $2 per frame. Lame I know.

Glad to see someone else thinks NXT plays great when it is heavily frayed.

@Dartagnan64 I like your suggestion of rotating for a while to get the "newly restrung" feel gone and then going to one.

Who knows, someday I may start experimenting with actual strings ;)
 

blai212

Semi-Pro
My stringer is at my club and I get a discount for stringing 2 at a time ... I bring my own reel and so I am trying to save that extra $2 per frame. Lame I know.

Glad to see someone else thinks NXT plays great when it is heavily frayed.

@Dartagnan64 I like your suggestion of rotating for a while to get the "newly restrung" feel gone and then going to one.

Who knows, someday I may start experimenting with actual strings ;)
@OnTheLine your crosses fray before your mains...am i seeing this correctly?!

You should really try signum pro poly plasma as a cross string. It is soft comfortable poly that has great tension maintenance. I found this string by accident in a used frame i purchased...it was love at first sight! I have tried more strings than I can count and I swear by this string as a cross for all my racquets. NXT mains with SPPP crosses would not feel all that much different than full bed NXT and you’d be saving couple bucks since SPPP is a third of the price as well as getting added durability/spin from poly crosses. If you ever want to venture into the world of polys, Tourna big hitter silver 7 tour is a extremely nice poly in terms of power/comfort/spin and others have claimed it has great tension maintenance too but I’m still on my first set so waiting to see. I did BHS7T mains with SPPP crosses in my leaded up VCP 100 at 51/47 but I shouldve done it tighter since BHS7T is so soft. For you, I’d recommend ~48 mains // ~46 crosses. BHS7T is about half the price of NXT so you’d be getting fantastic value on that. As for stringing 2 racquets at a time...that might mean you need a 3rd so you can have one to use when 2 are at the stringer I have 5-6 sticks of different variety with different strings at around the same tension and I just pick whichever stick feels the best. Isn’t that the logical thing to do? I like to warm up with a softer setup then transition to a more stiff/firm setup if i need the control.

‘If it aint broke, DONT FIX IT’


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

1HBHfanatic

Hall of Fame
I like the idea of rotating the racquets, because you enjoy the racquet at the tension you set,,
on both or multiple racquets
remember, tension drops and keeps dropping even if its not being used, obviously more so when being used
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
@OnTheLine your crosses fray before your mains...am i seeing this correctly?!

You should really try signum pro poly plasma as a cross string. It is soft comfortable poly that has great tension maintenance. I found this string by accident in a used frame i purchased...it was love at first sight! I have tried more strings than I can count and I swear by this string as a cross for all my racquets. NXT mains with SPPP crosses would not feel all that much different than full bed NXT and you’d be saving couple bucks since SPPP is a third of the price as well as getting added durability/spin from poly crosses. If you ever want to venture into the world of polys, Tourna big hitter silver 7 tour is a extremely nice poly in terms of power/comfort/spin and others have claimed it has great tension maintenance too but I’m still on my first set so waiting to see. I did BHS7T mains with SPPP crosses in my leaded up VCP 100 at 51/47 but I shouldve done it tighter since BHS7T is so soft. For you, I’d recommend ~48 mains // ~46 crosses. BHS7T is about half the price of NXT so you’d be getting fantastic value on that. As for stringing 2 racquets at a time...that might mean you need a 3rd so you can have one to use when 2 are at the stringer I have 5-6 sticks of different variety with different strings at around the same tension and I just pick whichever stick feels the best. Isn’t that the logical thing to do? I like to warm up with a softer setup then transition to a more stiff/firm setup if i need the control.

‘If it aint broke, DONT FIX IT’


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
The crosses definitely begin to fray first ..... is that in someway odd or indicative of anything odd? Or does it say anything about how I am hitting?

I had a bout with TE a few years ago so have been wary of ever venturing into poly ....but intrigued.

My stringer is pretty awesome, if I drop in the morning I can have them back by noon if I ask nicely ... usually drop in the evening when done hitting that day and they are ready for me by the following day.

Why would you have me string so much lower than I currently am? Please note at elevation and dry desert air, balls really have a tendency to fly ... I need no more power than I already have.

I hit twice today ... 2 hours this morning on the frayed strings ... hit like a monster ... great power, great spin awesome serving .... hit tonight and it was one session too many for those strings .... no control, couldn't get decent spin ... switched to the unused frame .... everything all good, like magic. I did drop the one off on my way out ... have a match tomorrow night and don't want to be without a backup.
 

esgee48

Legend
The statement about tension losses is not quite accurate. There is static tension losses which starts as soon as strings are installed and the frame comes off the machine. This stops when the remaining tension cannot exert enough force to create any plasticity. Then tension losses start again when the ball impacts the strings. Stop using the racquet and the strings will undoubtedly have lower tension than when static tension losses occurred. So there will be little if any drop in tension when the racquet sits in the bag. If you fray thru the strings, those strings may continue to experience tension losses because their diameter/structural integrity has been compromised.

As much as you play, consider getting a 3rd frame. AND have you ever tried 16 Ga NXT? It would have less power and more longevity. Or even consider using PPC or Velocity which are dead multis.
 

blai212

Semi-Pro
48/46 lbs poly is about the equivalent of 54 lbs NXT...maybe a little on the lower side but just trying to be safe since you are wary of poly...the new copolys these days are quite a bit softer than polys from back in the day.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
The crosses definitely begin to fray first ..... is that in someway odd or indicative of anything odd? Or does it say anything about how I am hitting?

I had a bout with TE a few years ago so have been wary of ever venturing into poly ....but intrigued.

My stringer is pretty awesome, if I drop in the morning I can have them back by noon if I ask nicely ... usually drop in the evening when done hitting that day and they are ready for me by the following day.

Why would you have me string so much lower than I currently am? Please note at elevation and dry desert air, balls really have a tendency to fly ... I need no more power than I already have.

I hit twice today ... 2 hours this morning on the frayed strings ... hit like a monster ... great power, great spin awesome serving .... hit tonight and it was one session too many for those strings .... no control, couldn't get decent spin ... switched to the unused frame .... everything all good, like magic. I did drop the one off on my way out ... have a match tomorrow night and don't want to be without a backup.
Crosses fray first in multis, that's how it works.

If you don't like the feel as much when it's new, use the newer one in practice and the one you like in matches.

J
 

Kevo

Legend
48/46 lbs poly is about the equivalent of 54 lbs NXT...maybe a little on the lower side but just trying to be safe since you are wary of poly...the new copolys these days are quite a bit softer than polys from back in the day.
A soft poly strung low enough might match the overall stiffness of his NXT as measured on a machine, but there is no poly that will match the way NXT feels. If he likes the NXT and gets enough play time out of it, poly will in no way be an improvement, especially since she has had arm issues.
 
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J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
A soft poly strung low enough might match the overall stiffness of his NXT as measured on a machine, but there is no poly that will match the way NXT feels. If he likes the NXT and gets enough play time out of it, poly will in no way be an improvement, especially since he has had arm issues.
*she

J
 

TagUrIt

Professional
I’d definitely rotate the racquets you have. Especially since you play so often and you get can get your racquets back with such a quick turnaround. Maximize the string usage by alternating them. I have four of the same frame (got them off the Bay way below the msrp) I play 4/5 times a week and I rotate between two racquets. I play with two while I have two at the stringer. For me, fresh racquets play and feel better. I also bought a reel of my favorite string a lot cheaper than buying sets.

16g Tourna Big Hitter Blue Rough (mains)
16 Luxilon Natural Gut (crosses)

I just found a new less expensive gut that I’m going to try in my next restringing.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I switched from 16g to 17g about a year ago .... at first it was an error, just an ordering mistake .... absolutely loved the feel of the thinner gauge. It may not be true but believe I have much more control, and more spin with the thinner string.
I don't mind losing a little longevity.

Crosses fray first in multis, that's how it works.

If you don't like the feel as much when it's new, use the newer one in practice and the one you like in matches.

J
Okay good ... had never payed attention until asked. Is it normal (for a basic rec player) to have this much fraying after 3 weeks? At least the fraying pattern indicates I strike in the same spot ... even though that spot is a little lower than it should be ... shows I hit late ... a lot. (unfortunately, something I already knew and am working on but man, hard going to fix!)
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I switched from 16g to 17g about a year ago .... at first it was an error, just an ordering mistake .... absolutely loved the feel of the thinner gauge. It may not be true but believe I have much more control, and more spin with the thinner string.
I don't mind losing a little longevity.



Okay good ... had never payed attention until asked. Is it normal (for a basic rec player) to have this much fraying after 3 weeks? At least the fraying pattern indicates I strike in the same spot ... even though that spot is a little lower than it should be ... shows I hit late ... a lot. (unfortunately, something I already knew and am working on but man, hard going to fix!)
Yea, I mean, I break NXT in 20-30 minutes, for a rec player once they are breaking it in 20 or so hours, I'll bump them up to something a touch more durable. If you used the 16g instead of 17g you will get a bit more durability, they will still fray quickly but the sweet spot of playing time might stretch out a bit longer for you.

J
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Yea, I mean, I break NXT in 20-30 minutes, for a rec player once they are breaking it in 20 or so hours, I'll bump them up to something a touch more durable. If you used the 16g instead of 17g you will get a bit more durability, they will still fray quickly but the sweet spot of playing time might stretch out a bit longer for you.

J
I am no beast like you .... but if I measure myself against many other 3.5 women ... they restring maybe 2X a year and never fray much less break ... this whole conversation is just not for them ....
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I envy players that view their racquets as equal. I always have a "match" racquet, and would string before tournaments. I never had the Jolly beast problem, so never broke a freshly strung racquet in a tournament. My hit my 2nd racquet with ball machine, practice/hits. I do not have the problem with multis (Velocity 16g currently) of losing tension in the bag. Like @esgee48 said ... initial drop off stringer, then an up front drop from initial hits .. then pretty stable until it breaks (15-20ish hours for me in my current racquet). The upside of this approach is managing/planning match racquet restringing is easy. Your practice racquet is your backup if you wait too long to restring the match racquet and the strings break during a match.

Not all multis fraying is equal ... fb Velocity notches and does not fray (at least for me). One of my friends plays with fb NXT, and he brings 6 racquets to the court and rotates them constantly during a match. That would drive me batsh!t. You might try Velocity natural as a cross with your NXT main if you wanted reduced fraying. It would change the feel less than a poly cross. Velocity will be less power than NXT (going based on memory and comments ... been a long time since I played NXT) ... so you would have to experiment with tension. Maybe start NXT/V @58/55 ... but my guess is you will end up lower .. maybe 55/52. Velocity tames gut and Origin ... so should do the same for NXT.

Feel is important ... you may find extra stringing is worth not changing the fb NXT feel you like.

Good wear pattern ... no wonder I don't play a fraying multi ... better not to know :D

Edit: oops ... thought your OP said you strung @58lbs ... just saw 54lbs.
 
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Kevo

Legend
One of my friends plays with fb NXT, and he brings 6 racquets to the court and rotates them constantly during a match.
I've seen people rotate 2 or 3 frames, but that sounds like a real compulsion or maybe a serious habit of blaming the tools.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I've seen people rotate 2 or 3 frames, but that sounds like a real compulsion or maybe a serious habit of blaming the tools.
Well ... yes it seems crazy to me also, but he is one of the best 4.0 singles players in the city, so it's working for him. He saws through strings with his fh ts, and open string pattern. I have talked to him briefly about it ... and he knows very little about strings other than he knows he hates poly. He wasn't necessarily in love with NXT ... and I thought he was going to try Velocity to save some money, but he never did. I would say well over half the people I play don't even know what string they play ... "whatever the stringer has been putting in". :eek:
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I used to rotate 2 racquets when I played full multi.

Then I went full poly a few years ago. Since then i pretty much string 1 and use it exclusively until it’s dead. Then I restring the other racquet and do the same. I’m not really sure why I do this, TBH. Maybe it’s just laziness. Maybe I didn’t like the way the 2 racquets felt later into the life of the string as I rotated them? Not sure. At any rate, the only exception is when I’ve played USTA regional, sectional, and nationals - I’ve strung both fresh before leaving...and I played with one racquet for the first half of the tournament, and the other one in the second half (or thereabouts).

I think, though...if I went back to full multi, I’d probably go back to stringing both frames at the same time and rotating them. The difference is because I never break poly...but I broke full multi routinely.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Good wear pattern ... no wonder I don't play a fraying multi ... better not to know :D
Thanks .... pretty pleased with that pattern .... especially when I saw a few other frames about to be strung with a whole lot of wear all over with nearly no pattern .... how do you hit like that?

Picked up my newly restrung stick yesterday and now am rotating back and forth .... in my match last night it was a nice little mental re-set at set break (I lost the first) to come out with a new (and therefore better right?) frame .... the temps had dropped down under triple digits and my feet started working a little better ... switched again for the breaker and took home a W ...
 

WestboroChe

Professional
I keep two racquets strung the same and use whichever one works better that day. Like you I don’t break strings but eventually the balls start to sail and it’s time to get new strings. I rarely get two racquets strung at once due to the cost.

Don’t think overthink this. When a racquet feels good use it. Otherwise restring it. You’re getting plenty of hitting time out if those strings.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Thanks .... pretty pleased with that pattern .... especially when I saw a few other frames about to be strung with a whole lot of wear all over with nearly no pattern .... how do you hit like that?

Picked up my newly restrung stick yesterday and now am rotating back and forth .... in my match last night it was a nice little mental re-set at set break (I lost the first) to come out with a new (and therefore better right?) frame .... the temps had dropped down under triple digits and my feet started working a little better ... switched again for the breaker and took home a W ...
Oh no ... "best racquet that day" is a worse rabbit hole than hybrid stringing. o_O
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Thanks .... pretty pleased with that pattern .... especially when I saw a few other frames about to be strung with a whole lot of wear all over with nearly no pattern .... how do you hit like that?
It's called taking your eye off the ball. Of course I've had opponents that rely totally on frame shot winners to get them through a match so there is that. When they do hit the sweetspot the ball is into the back fence.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
It's called taking your eye off the ball. Of course I've had opponents that rely totally on frame shot winners to get them through a match so there is that. When they do hit the sweetspot the ball is into the back fence.
I take my eye off the ball, it is likely not hitting the strings .... frame or nothing but air ... Would love to be good enough to do a Kyrgios style No-Look Volley!
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
I've pretty much given up on the "matched" racquet thing. Too much hassle trying to keep tensions roughly equal. I just play whatever racquet I feel like and try not to over-think things. When the racquet breaks a string or the strings start moving all over the place, I re-string.

In your instance, if you only have two racquets, I'd alternate for the first few matches to get the string tensions into that plateau phase then use one until it needs restringing then switch to the other. Get the first racquet restrung while using the second but don't use it until you break a string or its time to restring the second racquet.

yes you will make twice as many trips to the stringer this way and if the stringer is miles away that may be an issue, but you will always have longer periods with racquets at similar tensions while eliminating the risk of a double string break by having two racquets with heavy fraying.

Now if you have a third racquet, then I'd just alternate racquets until they are both ready to restring and start carrying the third emergency racquet with you when they are getting pretty frayed. That will keep tensions similar throughout play and give you an emergency backup in case of the double string break.
Hm, interesting idea. Makes sense.
My son has switched to gut/poly hybrid. I realize that the first hour of play feels "different" than when it hits the plateau stage and plays like that until it breaks. Didn't really have to worry about that on full bed of poly.

Right now, he rotates 3 racquets. Each one lasts about a week before needing re-stringing. So a freshly strung racquet will sit in his bag for 2 weeks before it is played. I'm hoping that is enough time for it to de-tension close to plateau.
 
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