Seeking clarity on my string findings

Discussion in 'Strings' started by AllTennis01, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. AllTennis01

    AllTennis01 Rookie

    Mar 22, 2013

    I'm rather new to tennis in general, and as consequence to being able to properly judge the strings on my tennis racquets. I've been experimenting with different strings for the last few months, especially since I got to play between 3-5 times per week. I have come to conclusion on one of the strings that seem to fit me best, but wanted to just confirm what I'm finding is what other might be experiencing. It seems no single string is that "best" one nor is it easy to figure out what might suit one best as there are just so many variables, racquet types, people's technique or overall type of play, preferences of durability vs power vs control, etc.
    I have tried some multi and poly type strings and concluded that currently my best option is the Head RIP Control. I compared it to PPA, Wilson NXT, Volkl V-Tourque, Dunlop Black Widow, Kirshbaum X-line. I have few more poly string sets I was intending to test, but so far it just seems like poly strings are not cutting it for me.
    I do not string myself, use the same place for all string jobs, strung them all at 55lb tension. It could be the problem to have them all compared at same tension, which is just another varaiable, but there is just so much a rec player can do, lol. My two racquets are Prince EXO3 Rebel 98's. Basically, started with Wilson and didn't like it at all, then PPA which was decent but the control or power of the string just didn't last for me. Last multi one was the RIP Control and at first I think it was a bit too tight, after one or two games it just opened up and I like most everything about it. Big thing is durability and power as compared to the poly strings, this string has lasted me at least 10 games so far, and it's at the level I still enjoy. After multi's I played with the poly strings in the other racquet, and while I enjoyed the spin provided by those strings, they were just going dead on me very quickly and I kept going back to the RIP Control. No more than 2 games with each poly string and it became just dead, there was no feeling or control or power left on them.

    I know in general poly's are not recommended for durability, what surprised me is just how quickly they went dead and how little power these strings had. Wondering if lower tension would have been better, whether I should go back to trying them again. I like the RIP Control string, it's just that first hour or two with a poly string allows such solid shots, it's hard to just forget about. But them not lasting, and me paying for the stringing, I need to stop blowing my money away.
    So, knowing I don't want to spend $30 every week on new strings should I just forget about the other options and stick with RIP Control for now. Did you find poly strings disappointing in the same way ?
  2. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

    Nov 13, 2011
    You seem to be on the right track with RIP Control. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  3. sm01

    sm01 Rookie

    Feb 3, 2008
    I'm with Muppet. One thing I found out though, is that i can get 40 to 50 hours of satisfactory life out of copoly strings (RPM Blast 18) if strung in the low to mid 40s. I have experienced this over many string sets and several years. I started in the low 50s and did not have that experience--they got hard and harsh after a few hours.

    So if you have some poly strings--try a string job at 42 or 44.
  4. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

    Sep 4, 2011
    I've tried poly in the low 30's. It felt nice and soft the first time out, but by the time it got to around 3-5 hours my elbow started feeling it. IMO low tension poly doesn't last any longer than medium tension poly and isn't any better on the arm once it dies.

    I think RIP Control keeps its playability much longer than poly, and the 16 gauge version is probably the most durable multi on the market. It's a unique string. Personally, there are other strings I like better, including PPA. For me, RIP Control is too muted and low-powered. It feels almost lifeless. However, I have a friend who likes it so I keep some around for him. It has it's loyal fans, that's for sure.
  5. AllTennis01

    AllTennis01 Rookie

    Mar 22, 2013
    Thanks all.
    Since I have few other poly's left, I guess I can try few more string jobs with them. Maybe go with lower tension. It won't be apples to apples comparison
    anymore, but I agree since I had the same not-so-great experience with few polys already, I should make an adjustment and if that does not bring
    improvement then at least I have RIP Control to fall back to. So at this point I have BHB7 and Pro Supex Big Ace I can still use and see where that takes me.
  6. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Feb 26, 2010
    I've only played full Rip Control in a super high powered, super stiff racket. It had good feel, control, comfort, and pretty good spin for a non-poly when fresh. Its also in most of my frames as a cross string.

    IMO poly should be strung lower than syn gut & multi's. For me I would string up pro line x 17 at 50lbs or lower in a hybrid. Pro Line X actually played very well for me for about 8-9hrs so I'm not really getting why your string job feels dead after 2 games - maybe its a difference in stringing. BHB7 I would string up about as tight as a syn gut or multi because it felt super soft and stretchy, it also lost tension like crazy.
  7. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    Good luck with your trials.

    I'm not a poly user myself, but I string for lots of folks including the high school kids I coach, some students, a couple of college players I know, and others around the block. Everyone has their own favorite setups, but different string types generally have their own personalities, including the poly options out there.

    Because poly and mildly softer co-poly strings have less inherent resilience than other strings, they play more dead as you've already found for yourself. It's usually recommended that they be installed at a lower tension than multi's or synthetic gut of the same gauge (roughly 10%) to get a comfort and playability that would be generally acceptable.

    I only want to point that out because it sounds as though you're trying all these different strings installed at the same tension. I suppose that's good in terms of giving you an honest look at the differences among these strings when there are fewer variables. The potential downside could be that while a nice soft 'n lively multifiber might be just right for you at maybe 58 lbs. in your racquet, a poly with extra backbone might really shine at 8-10 lbs. lower tension. Some run their poly tensions lower than that.

    A large number of sluggers who use poly also set it up in a hybrid, usually running the poly in their mains with a softer string in the crosses. That could be synthetic gut, multifiber, or natural gut (the natural gut makes for a much more pricey setup). Since an entire string bed of poly can be relatively lifeless, a softer cross string can keep it more lively and less harsh feeling. That BHB7 is a very good candidate for a hybrid with maybe a synthetic gut cross.

    I like synthetic gut because it's not too soft or too harsh for me... cue the Goldilocks references I guess. I can get a crisp feel from it without the string bed running so firm that hurts my arm, but it doesn't loosen up too much as it ages. I've had that problem with multi's myself. In case you find too much of some things with the multifibers, but too little with the poly samplings, you might enjoy the bang for the buck that comes with a syn. gut. I'm really liking Tecnifibre these days.

  8. AllTennis01

    AllTennis01 Rookie

    Mar 22, 2013

    Just wanted to make an update here in case someone else was interested and to just keep track myself. I ended up cutting RIP Control once it was done and re-strung that racquet with another set of Dunlop Black Widow at 50lb I still had. This time the strings did hold up much better, not sure if I had the same crisp response as when it was at 55lb, but this time I was able to play couple of games, probably around 10 hours and the string seems to be holding up fine, it lost a bit tension now but it's still playable. So it seemed like lower tension helped in my racquet. I then had the second racquet strung with BHB7 at 53lb - a little lower than other poly's previously but still fairly high as per some recommendations specific to this string. I played with it for first time last night and it played well enough. However, strangely the strings just do not stay or pop back in place. I usually need to adjust/align the mains, and not too often with new string job and poly's. With this string my crosses need immediate adjustments after any single point ! The strings just seem very loose....Also, I played a weaker opponent so I was making winners, but because of this softness of the string not sure how it would hold up against a hard hitter and/or better player. Not sure if this string will hold long, just seems flimsy. I wanted to check if others had similar experience with BHB7 ?
    It could also be that some of these issues are caused by inconsistency of the stringing jobs I am getting. I know there are at least 3 different stringers at the place I go to and it might just be that variations that causes some problems for me.
  9. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Hall of Fame

    Jun 5, 2009
    To seek clarity with the string, you must become one with the string.

    Be the string weedhopper. BE the string.

  10. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Apr 20, 2010
    You seem to have developed a good understanding of strings and nothing wrong with sticking with your preferred choice.

    If you still want to experiment, I have 2 suggestions:

    1. try all poly at lower tensions. You used 55lb on all strings. Try poly mains at 48 lbs with the poly cross at 46 lbs.
    2. try a hybrid: 2 options: poly mains 50lbs with ppa cross at 52lbs, or ppa mains at 54 lbs with poly cross at 50 lbs.

    I use good multi mains at 54 lbs with a poly cross at 50 lbs. That is my peak tension for warm/hot weather. I drop 2 to 4 lbs if cooler or cold.

    SCRAP IRON Professional

    Aug 14, 2012
    Ft. Lauderdale
    You know a lot more about strings than you even realize. With that said, I don't believe that you should play with poly strings. They can be harsh over time and are designed for control/spin to be used by advanced players. You should try the Technifibre multis. They are great. Try X1 BiPhase for gut like power, or MultiFeel for comfort, spin and a little more control. I have used many strings over the years so my opinion is based on experience and a lot of money spent!
  12. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

    Jan 23, 2007
    I think these are good suggestions.

    The other suggestion I would make is to consider getting your own stringing machine. It's probably the best $200 I've ever spent: I imported a cheap drop weight machine from the US (which was a nightmare to use), sold it and bought a used crank model from a coach, which has saved me well over a thousand pounds over the last decade or so.

    Incidentally, I've settled on a Pros Pro poly that is cheap as chips when you buy it by the reel; and Discho Microfibre, which is more pricey but plays like gut.
  13. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    RIP Control is a great string! It has a nice muted feel and is very comfortable. I currently use RIP Control mains (60#) and RPM Blast (poly) crosses (50#).

    Try this hybrid if full poly isn't working for you.

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