What did people used back in the 80s?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by THESEXPISTOL, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. USPTARF97

    USPTARF97 Semi-Pro

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    Good string
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  2. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I liked gosen because the name sounded like a ghostbusters reference.
    From what I hear,
    "Gozer was very big in Sumeria."
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
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  3. yoonit78

    yoonit78 New User

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    Echoing others here: PSG or Topspin was pretty much everyone's choice. Some went w/ Problend.
    I remember stringing my racquets much tighter w/ PSG. 60-70 lbs?
    And if memory serves Prince and VS gut were just about the only options available at my club.
    I wonder if it was partly due to distribution? My racquet club in the middle of US only really carried Prince and Wilson. I remember the old listings by a current competitor of TW at the back of Tennis Magazine and mail ordering some more "exotic" gear.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  4. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    Leoina 66, PSG, Topspin, Gamma gut (syn). Prince nylon.
     
  5. CopolyX

    CopolyX Hall of Fame

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  6. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    ^That^ was davydenko against djokovic a few years ago, right?

    Funny, that game resembles today's tennis more than the real pro men's tennis of the eighties.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  7. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    In the 70s, I used Leoina 66. The 80s rolled around. I tried a new polyester called Leoina Poly X, and then Poly 7. I even did some hybrid jobs back then, using Poly X and the newer, thinner Leoina 77. The first all polys squeaked when you moved the strings, but for a hard hitter looking for control, they weren't really as bad as I've heard reported. I used these all the way up to the Pro Kennex Black Ace, around 1984 or 85. I definitely used poly in the Ceramic Ace. Other strings of the 70s--Vantage, Rayco, PDP gut, VS Africord, Prince Nylon
     
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  8. flanker2000fr

    flanker2000fr Rookie

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    Polys weren't widely available (if at all) in the 80's - I think it took until the mid 90's to become commonly available.

    Back then, if you didn't have the budget to string with natural gut, you would use a nylon string, either multi-filament or single filament ("synthetic gut").

    I remember using a Prince synthetic gut back then, but I would break quite often, despite using strings savers.

    So much so that, for a while, I used weird nylon strings that had a thin metal wire laced around them. Can't remember who were making them, though.
     
  9. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Do you guys remember oil-filled strings? They broke quickly because you only had to wear through them a little bit before they broke.
    I think that would be a great idea for poly strings. It would damp the vibration and wouldn't wear through as quick as the nylon.
     
  10. RayPS97

    RayPS97 New User

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    I used two strings religiously in the 80's. Hy-o-sheep was recommended by Forum Racquets as a default strung to about 58 pounds on either a Dunlop Maxply Fort or a Slazenger Challenger. We soon moved on to Leoina 66 for improved durability. Toward the latter part of the Eighties, the choices multiplied and the owner (Louis) carried bulk spools of even more durable strings, with names that conveyed such, in colors such as blue, darkish red and black. The blue and red were smooth but the black one had a visible spiral texture. I have been very curious to the identity of this string as I have one racquet "still" with this string and like to get it re-strung with the same.

    Here are a couple of pics:

    [​IMG]


    This one shows central notching...many are at the 50% level and only on the mains. Tension was measured to be about 34 pounds using Racquet Tune.

    [​IMG]

    Other newer choices at that time were "Star Twist" (clearish string with a strand of blue) and "Blue Star".
    I have been trying to find Louis for the last couple of weeks. He was large Hungarian man and also had several prototype wood racquets that he might show "Polaroids" of if you were waiting on a string job.

    My guess is that these strings were coming out of Taiwan in bulk spools that Louis could make better margins off. Missing from these bulk strings was the neat experience of watching him break open a the individual plastic wrap 33' string set to mark the beginning of new string job and chew the fat. Where are you, Louis ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  11. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Talk Tennis Guru

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    Beware of using oil-filled nylon on a cold day,

     
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  12. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    I used Leoina 66 in the 70s and early 80s
     
  13. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

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    Ya, I liked it and used it
     
  14. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

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    Good summary !
     
  15. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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  16. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    A bunch more:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. USPTARF97

    USPTARF97 Semi-Pro

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    That is awesome. Hadn’t thought about Ashaway but that was a good string as well. Tried VS when I was a kid but could never find the court.
     
  18. RayPS97

    RayPS97 New User

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    Wow...that image bought back memories. Just noticed that it was made in West Germany. The pitch of the spiral on "Blue Star" seems similar but it seems as if it is internal to the string whereas on my black mystery string, it is definitely on the surface. The bulk holding spool was similar in diameter to the wood one (top left of your string spread) but made of blue colored plastic. I was told in another post that @Steve Huff could possibly chime in and offer some hints to the name of the black string.

    Just dug up one of my old school racquets (383 grams or 13.5 oz) strung with a very similar string but in blue. Have a look:
    [​IMG]
    The racquet head was 65" in area with a 18x20 string pattern. The strings are virtually immovable. When I first pulled it out, the head looked absolutely look tiny but over time (top right) it looked familiar in proportion...strange! With that as a backdrop, you can get a sense of the commotion that Prince (and Pam Shriver) caused when the 100" Princed Classic over-sized racquet was introduced in the mid-Seventies. The Yonex is just about the same size as that racquet at 98 square inches. Prince...just slightly ahead of our time :cool:

    The racquets from necessarily heavy for power generation from the slower swings.A player named Vilas was a freak of nature and could really carve his balls with heavy top-spin. The backhand was a thing of beauty. My friend was the first to switch to the larger sized racquets and ask him what he thought of them. His reply..."Worth at least a point per game in your favor"....go figure :)


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
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  19. CopolyX

    CopolyX Hall of Fame

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  20. jmacdaununder2

    jmacdaununder2 Professional

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    That picture with the wood racquet on top of the Yonex demonstrates how much more leverage a wood racquet - with the sweet spot so much further from the butt cap - provided; hence why longbody racquets are popular. P.S. I think Shriver's Prince Classic or whatever it was called was a 110".
     
  21. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    @RayPS97
    The fred perry laurel! Was it made by Slazenger? Does it play Like a challenge no. 1?
     
  22. RayPS97

    RayPS97 New User

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    Which can one pronounce faster: "Guillermo" or "Vilas..Vilas". He may have used this racquet but the one that I remember seeing in stores looked more like the image below:

    [​IMG]

    Note the difference in the tiny throat area supporting only 4 strings. Have a look at the various racquets Vilas used over time.
    [​IMG]

    The gloss finish and swirly wood grain along the shaft's edges complete my memory of this racquet. Dunlop borrowed inspiration from these designs with their John McEnroe wood designs ...sans open throat...and before his signature use full graphite.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  23. RayPS97

    RayPS97 New User

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    You're probably right on that as that Prince was probably larger when overlayed on a traditional wood racquet. I recall the marketing as saying 50% larger (65 * 1.50 x 97.5). It is interesting how Roger fought for 97" in his autograph racquet when the trend was 98" or 100". Somewhat reminiscent of the 85" popularized by Sampras when much larger graphite Pro Staff head sizes predated it.

    IMO, it put a halt on "larger has got to be better" and the return of rumoured smaller head sizes by Head in 2018. MP (mid-plus) may return to the original definition of 95"... Think "El-Shapo" and his Vcore SV-95
     
  24. RayPS97

    RayPS97 New User

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    That is going back in time. I had a preference for the Slazenger over my brother's Maxply. I remember passing around a Slazenger with a hairline crack developed from errant wet weather play because it played so "comfy" before it broke completely.

    The following info is from racquetmuseum.com :
    [​IMG]

    It be hard to imagine a racquet with a representative RDC flex of "28" being strung with today's stiff poly strings as having any appreciable power. In that era, "mass was needed" along with the pocketing/elasticity of gut.

    The "Laurel" was bought at the year end clearance from Simpsons mostly because it was stunning in its solid finish and construction. It played with more control and less power than the Challenger and definitely more durable. The post wet-weather experienced colored how I treated wood racquets: after every string breakage, I would lightly sand the racquet and apply a layer of polyurethane to the top hoop. Good memories...
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  25. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

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    Agree, the playability and flex of gut really worked well with the wood rackets. Impressed with your "after every string breakage, I would lightly sand the racquet and apply a layer of polyurethane to the top hoop." Great way to extend the life of a woody and cover up that ugly court rash.
     
  26. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

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    Here is some more eye candy stringing options from Victor TAD Davis
    [​IMG]
     
  27. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    Back in my junior tennis days I was on the Davis "free list". They would send me rackets and string twice a year. I still have one full can of Victor "Staytite" nylon string:

    [​IMG]
     
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  28. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    My club carried victor renown, superb, and staytite, too. Good Hybrid with red Africord, popular in my house.
    Red and white Looked so good on a maxply, a vilas, or anything.
    I had that rectangular tin....used it as a pencil holder before repurposing was a word.

    I also recall blue star, blue spiral, victor imperial (such regal nomenclature), and of course vs gut. Africord is the coolest name. The mother continent.

    It is my estimation or recollection (or fuzzy memory guess) that the prince classic was 107 or 110.
    The prince woodie i have looks to be a 100 or 102 head....like the mostly wooden yannick noah le coq sportif oversize.
    The head vilas? 70?
    Wooden head vector above? 74?
    Edgewood 80?

    Back then they would call out the percent a head was larger than the standard.....like the slaz vilas v24....24% larger than std. what was std....68 sq inches? 65? Measured inner hoops or outer?
    Love this game, even though it is confusing.
     
  29. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

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    I also still have a can of Victor "Staytite" nylon strings.
    What TAD rackets did you play ?
    I like the imperials, they looked so woody nice !
     
  30. RayPS97

    RayPS97 New User

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    Davis
    Davis racquets commanded quite a premium and often resided on one of the upper hooks, away from the grasp of curious teenagers. You got the impression that if you played long enough and developed your tennnis craft...you would eventually own one. That "StayTite" string looks very reminiscent of a string I referred to earlier as "Star Twist": A very slippery string with a see-through plastic look to it. Anyone remember that string ?
     
  31. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    I played the Davis Classic II 'cause that's what they gave me!

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. SeeItHitIt

    SeeItHitIt Semi-Pro

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    I was a baseball player but by college(late '70's), always had a racquet strung up to bang around the courts in the summer. Gamma Syn gut and a Prince product (if I remember) were common. I think the stringing job was $7.50 kind of thing. We played if it started raining and with puddled courts, and the Syn gut just kept on truck in'. The real tennis guys had gut but that had to get zipped in a head cover if a shower came by. The gut frayed so much it that the racquets looked like Chia Pets in the middle.
     
  33. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I just miss how pretty many of the wood rackets were.
     
  34. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, there are some good looking frames out now. Cleaner lines. Less nonsense. Good performance, too. But how can a modern piece of painted plastic and carbon possibly look as great as a gorgeous wooden frame like a garcia continental, a maxply, a challenge 1, a vilas, or a tad davis?
     
  35. WYK

    WYK Professional

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    We still had a few other options in gut. I used PSG and gosen etc. Then eventually the gamma stuff. I knew a lot of folks that used PSG/gut hybrids too.
     

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