String type/tension recommendations for my game

Discussion in 'Strings' started by AmeriTennis, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. AmeriTennis

    AmeriTennis New User

    Mar 12, 2008
    Hi! I'm hoping to get some advice on types of string and tension to use based upon my style of game.

    Short version: I like being able to swing hard through a ball without it sailing too much. In basic terms, I've liked the feeling of a dull "thwap" when I was hitting the ball more than a higher pitched noise. I would think a tighter, dull string would create this, but that hasn't always seemed the case.

    Long version: Background of my game:

    I've played 3.5 in my first two years of usta play, only lost a handful of matches, but somehow haven't been bumped up. I've got a .500 record on 4.0s I've played in non-usta matches recently. I've been told by others my backhand is a standard 3.5 level, my serve a 4.0 (though a little inconsistent at times), and my forehand closer to a 4.5. I use two hands off both sides (yes, the forehand too).

    I swing hard on the forehand side, with a somewhat short, quick motion. I've tinkered with different strings/tensions in the past year. I previously used head rip control 16 at 58-60lbs and was fairly happy. I gave a lower tension a try earlier this year at 52lbs and played great my first couple matches with it. However, soon after I had a lot of difficulty with shots sailing a little long that generally should not. I then played a match with someone's racquet who had luxilon alu power 16l at 60lbs, and I played great. I then tried that in my own racquet and loved it. I like being able to swing hard through a ball without it sailing too much. In basic terms, it felt more like a dull "thwap" when I was hitting the ball than a higher pitched noise. I would think a higher tension would create that, but it doesn't seem so.

    I got that racquet restrung and have yet to recreate that feeling exactly. When I orginally had it strung it was at ***** Sporting Goods, which frankly, doesn't know what they're doing. So I don't know if it was strung at a different tension, or they pre-stretched it or something. Having a local shop who knows what they're doing restring it using luxilon again at 60lbs felt too tight and, somehow, the ball was sailing a lot more (this doesn't make sense to me as the original ***** stringing seemed looser, but I would think a tighter string would be duller and have less power). I know this is way too long, but any suggestions?
  2. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Feb 26, 2010
    I've had Tour Bite 18 & Cyclone 18 w/polylon crosses strung at 58/59lbs (shop's mistake) in 93 & 90 frames and they both felt & played like crap. Dull and lifeless, yes, thwap, yes. For reference I used to play that 90 with OGSM 16 or the JC version @ 65lbs. It could very well be that the Dick's did a poor job that ended at a lower tension. However I feel that poly plays better at lower tensions so that poor string job may have turned out to be a benefit to you.

    I would say try a lower tension, by maybe 4-5lbs. Pro Line X fits the description you are looking for: a dull thwap, low power, lots of control, feels firm and plays like it is strung at a higher than reference tension. I currently have the PLX 17ga strung @ 50/53lbs w/Forten Sweet 17 crosses, 100sq in head. I find it hard to hit the ball long with this set up.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  3. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

    Mar 2, 2012
    Stay away from multi, then. Multi strings are more powerful, as they are softer. If you want to stick with syn gut, I recommend Babolat Nv.Y and string it @ 64 lbs. Nice and tight. You'll have pinpoint accuracy. You can swing for the fences and it probably won't sail long.

    If you want to try out poly, then there's a ton of them out there you can try. When one you try is up to you. Folks around here like Solinico a lot, as well as Tourna, Polystar and Luxilon. But again there's a ton out there. My only recommendation is to go full bed poly, and string it lower. Start off with 50 lbs.

    Good luck
  4. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

    Nov 13, 2011
    It sounds like Dick's had a lockout machine and the pro shop had a constant pull machine. Constant pull strings about 4 lbs. tighter than lockout, so you should choose a tension 4 lbs. lower than with a lockout. Drop weight machines pull even a little tighter.

    The racquet you borrowed with the ALU in it was probably broken in already. If you can do so without injury, try breaking your racquet in. At that high a tension the ALU will probably last a lot longer than when people string it at 50. But again, safety first.

    It just occurred to me, the friend who lent you the racquet @60 lbs. broken-in may have strung it on a lockout. That translates to roughly 56 lbs. constant pull, which I'm guessing the pro shop is using. It sounds to me like your current setup is not playable. That's just a suggestion though.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012

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