When it comes to poly strings.........Tennis Industry: Nov/Dec 2017

CopolyX

Hall of Fame
Collaborative Effort:
When it comes to poly strings, we all
need to make sure adult recreational players
and juniors know the facts.
By Bob Patterson:

I speak to many manufacturers,
coaches and racquet technicians,
and the consensus is that
recreational adult players and
junior players are using the
wrong type of string, tension—
or both.
Stiff polyester strings are prevalent in
the marketplace and dominate the pro
tours, but are they suited for the average
club or league player? Most in this
industry don’t think so.
First, the very benefit of poly strings
is their ability to bend and snap back
faster than other materials. This snap
back enhances spin on the ball. A pro
can swing out and get more spin on the
ball while generating a heavier shot.
You might think that would be the same
for your average junior or club player,
but it is most definitely not the case.
Most players can’t generate enough
racquet-head speed to bend stiff poly
strings in the first place. If the string
doesn’t bend, it can’t snap back, and
there is little or no spin enhancement.
Many recreational players who
switch to a poly never adjust their tension.
I’m always amazed to hear of a 3.5
adult or junior using a full poly set-up
at high tensions. This is a surefire way
for a player to hurt his or her arm.
Second, monofilament poly strings
lose their elasticity—or the ability to
snap back—much faster than nylon
or other string materials. Since poly
strings have a fairly dead feeling to
begin with, their decline is less noticeable
for recreational players, who tend
to not restring as often as they should,
which only makes the problem worse.
Not only is poly string wrong for
most recreational and junior players,
it can be harmful. The stiffer string
coupled with stiffer, lighter racquets
creates much more shock to the player
when the ball impacts the stringbed.
In recent years, we’ve seen arm and
wrist injuries sideline many top pros,
and these athletes train and take every
precaution to prevent injury. If we all
know it is a problem, how do we fix it?
It starts with education: inform players
about why they should alter their string
set-up. It is better for their health and
for their game.
Manufacturers need to step up, too.
It is easy to market a string their top
sponsored player is using, but companies
need to make rec players aware
that string may not be best for everyone.
Then they need to offer a softer,
better suited string.
The bottom line is that we all need to
address this issue. Injured players play
less, and may stop playing altogether.
And that’s not good for anyone. •

Bob Patterson:
Executive Director of
the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association.
Tennis Industry: Nov/Dec 2017






Tension Conventions

How does stringbed stiffness affect performance

on the court? Our expert breaks it

down, to help you better service your players.

By Bob Patterson

COURT C O N S TRUCT I O N

RAC Q U E T S T R I N G I N G



Does tension actually affect a

player’s performance?

To answer this, we first

must understand the definition

of “tension.”

In tennis, most people understand

that “tension” usually refers to the

tension applied when installing the

strings. We refer to this as the “reference

tension.”

Once all the strings are installed, the

resulting tension is usually referred

to as the “actual tension” or “dynamic

tension” of the strings, which is not

necessarily the same as the reference

tension. As a matter of fact, the tension

of each individual string will vary from

each other.

This is a result of many factors, such

as variance in string length, friction and

the string material itself, just to name a

TennisIndustry

few. Unless we are measuring individual

installed strings, when we refer to

dynamic or actual tension, we are

really referring to the stringbed tension,

which is actually a complex result

of the various tensions and other

factors that result with all the strings

installed in the frame.

Measuring Stringbed Tension

The stringbed tension or stiffness can

be measured in a variety of different

ways, but the two most common

methods are by deflecting the stringbed

with machines such as the Babolat

Racquet Diagnostic Center (RDC) or

an RA machine, or with harmonics,

like the Beers ERT devices. The RDC

applies a force to the center of the

stringbed and measures the deflection

that occurs. The Beers devices vibrate

the stringbed much like a guitar tuner,

and provide a reading of the resulting

tension of the stringbed.

While both methods are quite accurate,

what does it really mean? Before

we get into that, let’s discuss what

contributes to stringbed stiffness.

While there are many contributing

factors, we have identified seven as the

most influential:

1

Headsize/String Length: All

other things being equal, the

length of the string in the

racquet will be a determining factor for

stringbed stiffness. The longer the

string, the more easily it will deflect.

2

String Type: The material

the string is made of and the

manner in which it is

constructed also will affect stringbed

stiffness. The more the string stretches

(elongation), the softer the stringbed

will be.

3

String Gauge: The diameter of

the string definitely affects the

stringbed, but not in a uniform

or predictable manner. A thinner gauge

of a certain string will not always string

up tighter or looser than the same

string in a thicker gauge. Our research

indicates that other factors contribute,

so in some strings the thinner gauge

will end up tighter, while in others the

thicker gauge will end up tighter.

4

Pattern Density: Like headsize,

the density of the pattern

affects stringbed stiffness.

More strings in the pattern mean more

stiffness of the stringbed. This applies

not only to the number of mains and

crosses, but also to how the strings are

spaced. The closer the strings are to

each other, the stiffer the stringbed.

Think about it in terms of strings per

square inch: denser equals stiffer.

5

Machine Type: There are two

basic types of stringing

machines: constant pull and

lock-out. A constant-pull machine,

which can be either drop weight or

electric, pulls the string to the desired

tension, and then continues to pull as

the string stretches to maintain that

tension until the string is clamped. A

lockout (or hand crank) machine has a

lever that pulls the string until it

reaches the desired tension, and then a

spring-loaded device locks the string,

allowing it to stretch and loosen

slightly. While both types of stringing

machines are accurate when properly

calibrated, the resulting applied

tension will be different between the

two types because of the methods of

their operations.

6

Stringer Technique: Even the

best racquet technicians in the

world do things differently.

The way a stringer weaves the string,

the time they take and other techniques

will vary, and even the slightest

variance can contribute to the resulting

stringbed stiffness.

7

Tension: Of course, the applied

“reference” tension will have a

direct effect on the stringbed.

www.tennisindustrymag.com

The higher the tension, the tighter the

stringbed, and vice versa.

On-Court Performance

Now that we know how the stringbed

is affected, how does it actually affect

performance on the court?

For decades, we always said, “String

looser for more power, and tighter for

more control.” Well, that was kind of

accurate, but not completely.

According to the book The Physics

of Tennis, stringbed stiffness really

has no effect on the speed of the ball

coming off the stringbed. Rather, what

is affected is the angle at which the ball

comes off—

so with a softer stringbed,

the ball leaves at a higher angle and

goes deeper in the court.

What we should be saying is, “String

looser for more depth on your shots

and tighter for less depth.” It doesn’t

have quite the same ring to it, but it is

more accurate.

So, what else does the stringbed

stiffness affect? A stiffer stringbed will

transmit more shock at impact with the

ball. Remember, the stringbed stiffness

is a combination of the seven factors

mentioned, so if you are using a really

stiff string, you may need to drop the

tension to compensate.

While spin on the ball is somewhat

affected by the stringbed, it isn’t

directly affected by the overall stiffness.

Research shows that spin is most

greatly affected by the speed of the

player’s swing and the angle of that

swing during ball contact. Factors such

as string snapback, gauge and pattern

density can all have an effect on spin

potential, but not the overall stiffness

of the stringbed.

So, when you consider tension

recommendations for your customers,

keep in mind all of the factors that

contribute to stringbed stiffness, rather

than just the reference tension. That

way, you’ll be able to help them choose

a tension that will suit their racquet

and their swing—and improve their

performance. •

Nov/Dec 2017 TennisIndustry 31
 
Last edited:

CopolyX

Hall of Fame
My 2 cent takeaway...
I go back to ...
It is never just one thing to point at!
On top of players using improper equipment:
Proper technique plays a critical to top role in elbow injury prevention.

that is it...
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I think only part of technique that plays a major role in arm injuries is the ability to hit the sweet spot reliably. Most pros can do this, most rec players can’t. Off center and frame hits are far more arm shocking than sweet spot hits.

I’d agree that most rec players should be using a high flex frame, softer strings. TE is endemic in clubs from PDs and RPM Blast (that gets restrung once a year).

Personally I’m impressed with improvements in multi strings over recent years. The coatings last longer and reduce string to string friction allowing for more topspin. It’s not such a huge drop off in performance from a poly as I was worried it would be. Durability is the only issue, but if you aren’t a big string breaker, multis are probably the way to go. If you are a string breaker, put in 15 gauge string and start using 18x20 stringbed.
 

Big_Dangerous

Talk Tennis Guru
Plus it will almost never break.. so they play it forever...and hurt the arm...
Yeah pretty much, lol. Although it does die fairly quickly, but it is relatively cheap though. A set of Cyclone is 8 bucks, but some multiflaments which are super nice on the arm and the comfort scale can be near 20 bucks a set. Then there's natty gut, which is even more. :(
 

SteveI

Legend
Yeah pretty much, lol. Although it does die fairly quickly, but it is relatively cheap though. A set of Cyclone is 8 bucks, but some multiflaments which are super nice on the arm and the comfort scale can be near 20 bucks a set. Then there's natty gut, which is even more. :(
The over all cost of re-stringing is the issue... not the price of the strings. For us stringers, we can string IsoSpeed Spin for about $2.35 or syn gut for about the same price... if we go wild we can string up a decent multi for $10.00 The rec. players have to pay retail for string plus labor and tax.

I was at the NY State Girls - State Tourney last weekend. The shop in the tennis center was charging $43.00 plus tax for Head PPS Syn. Gut. Yikes!!! (YES $ 43.00 plus tax)...

The tennis center was in Latham, NY..
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
The over all cost of re-stringing is the issue... not the price of the strings. For us stringers, we can string IsoSpeed Spin for about $2.35 or syn gut for about the same price... if we go wild we can string up a decent multi for $10.00 The rec. players have to pay retail for string plus labor and tax.

I was at the NY State Girls - State Tourney last weekend. The shop in the tennis center was charging $43.00 plus tax for Head PPS Syn. Gut. Yikes!!! (YES $ 43.00 plus tax)...

The tennis center was in Latham, NY..
that’s insane.

but from a biz perspective, they do have the market cornered, and their clients (parents) are often folks that won’t bother bringing a stringer with them.

nyc is like 50-60. amazes me folks don’t string for themselves. i’ve had my klippermate for over 30y!
 

ron schaap

Professional
Tennis injuries have more to do with bad technique and bad physique, and possible no warm up than with tennis equipment. Back in the old days with flexible wooden rackets, players got tennis elbow too.
 

mikeler

Moderator
that’s insane.

but from a biz perspective, they do have the market cornered, and their clients (parents) are often folks that won’t bother bringing a stringer with them.

nyc is like 50-60. amazes me folks don’t string for themselves. i’ve had my klippermate for over 30y!
If only I had bought my stringer 30 years ago! I'd have a lot more coin in the bank.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
If only I had bought my stringer 30 years ago! I'd have a lot more coin in the bank.
lol, that’s what my dad was thinking.

i was breaking strings weekly... he literally thought i was cutting them out on purpose! (i had an extreme western/hawaiian grip - heavy topspin)

so he got tired of paying $20/pop to string.
 

Big_Dangerous

Talk Tennis Guru
The over all cost of re-stringing is the issue... not the price of the strings. For us stringers, we can string IsoSpeed Spin for about $2.35 or syn gut for about the same price... if we go wild we can string up a decent multi for $10.00 The rec. players have to pay retail for string plus labor and tax.

I was at the NY State Girls - State Tourney last weekend. The shop in the tennis center was charging $43.00 plus tax for Head PPS Syn. Gut. Yikes!!! (YES $ 43.00 plus tax)...

The tennis center was in Latham, NY..
What the funk!!

So that syn guy is probably like 5 bucks a set, if that. So they're literally charging like $38 just for the labor fee?? I should quit my job and become a full time stringer for that... I can knock out two rackets in about an hour or so, at that rate, I'd only need to be stringing like 4-6 racquets a day... Wow.

I'm so glad I bought my machine 4.5 years ago and splurged on it at the time. It's been well worth the cost, that's for damn sure. Hell, last night after I got home from the club, I string two racquets before going to bed. :)
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
I think only part of technique that plays a major role in arm injuries is the ability to hit the sweet spot reliably. Most pros can do this, most rec players can’t. Off center and frame hits are far more arm shocking than sweet spot hits.

I’d agree that most rec players should be using a high flex frame, softer strings. TE is endemic in clubs from PDs and RPM Blast (that gets restrung once a year).

Personally I’m impressed with improvements in multi strings over recent years. The coatings last longer and reduce string to string friction allowing for more topspin. It’s not such a huge drop off in performance from a poly as I was worried it would be. Durability is the only issue, but if you aren’t a big string breaker, multis are probably the way to go. If you are a string breaker, put in 15 gauge string and start using 18x20 stringbed.
I really like the first part of what was written (I didn't read the second part). But they could have just suggested the rec players use heavier racquets. I personally love the way full poly feels and plays and my remedy is as mentioned, a relatively flexible frame (62), that has very high swingweight, static weight, and moderately high twistweight. It does mean that I need to restring often but that's acceptable at this time. I'd love to find a good alternative but that alternative needs to have excellent control (because my racquets are rocket launchers) and spin potential (because that's how everyone plays today).
 

SteveI

Legend
I really like the first part of what was written (I didn't read the second part). But they could have just suggested the rec players use heavier racquets. I personally love the way full poly feels and plays and my remedy is as mentioned, a relatively flexible frame (62), that has very high swingweight, static weight, and moderately high twistweight. It does mean that I need to restring often but that's acceptable at this time. I'd love to find a good alternative but that alternative needs to have excellent control (because my racquets are rocket launchers) and spin potential (because that's how everyone plays today).
I have found over the years that I have moved to frames that have a higher static weight and SW. This means less wear on my lower body. With the these frames I less work and create a heavy ball. Off the ground and on serve. While I still try to maintain proper stroke mechanics, I am taking a shorter and less violent swings. I have also moved to strings that are a poly/multi hybrid that many string makers are getting to market. LF Native Tour is one of these. String makers are also doing a great job with the newer multis like Head Velocity and LF Supreme 2.0 that have a great coating that helps produce spin. So... why use a full bed of poly in my case. If you do you can find one of the newer ones that really suits your game... With the 1,000s of strings on the market you should be able to find a string for everyone. Not to mention the endless possibilities with real hybrids. Great points above... nice post..
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
I have found over the years that I have moved to frames that have a higher static weight and SW. This means less wear on my lower body. With the these frames I less work and create a heavy ball. Off the ground and on serve. While I still try to maintain proper stroke mechanics, I am taking a shorter and less violent swings. I have also moved to strings that are a poly/multi hybrid that many string makers are getting to market. LF Native Tour is one of these. String makers are also doing a great job with the newer multis like Head Velocity and LF Supreme 2.0 that have a great coating that helps produce spin. So... why use a full bed of poly in my case. If you do you can find one of the newer ones that really suits your game... With the 1,000s of strings on the market you should be able to find a string for everyone. Not to mention the endless possibilities with real hybrids. Great points above... nice post..
It is not particularly convenient for me to get my racquet strung (typically an hour to drop off and an hour to pick up) which really discourages me from experimenting. So if someone tells me that there's a silver bullet, and, I believe them, then I might give something a try. But there's a lot to be said for using an approach that works year in, and year out. Actually, this would be a good time to restring all of my frames as I can't play for at least six weeks and maybe up to six months. I did experiment with a bunch of 15 gauge strings - and they were a big yuck.
 

SteveI

Legend
I was in the same boat as you... 45 mins to hour one way to have a frame strung. I bought a stringer about 20 years ago.. never looked back...
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
CopolyX,

Here are Mr. Patterson's words in an easy to use cut and paste format. Thank you for your initial post.

Every time a 3.0/3.5 lady asks me for a poly string, I will happily send them Bob Patterson's words. I am not saying that it is ok for all 3.5, all 4.0 or even all 4.5 men to use poly but to rather heed Mr. Patterson's words. I know 4.5 guys who use multis. They just break them quickly and restring their own frames. But there are plenty of rec players (some 3.5 guys, and many 4.0+ guys) who do hit hard enough to get snap back and who break multis rather quickly. Today, I had a 3.0 lady today ask me to restring her frame. The local club put their standard Black Widow / syn gut in the frame. This lady has never broken a string in her life, yet here she is with a poly/syn gut hybrid that would stay in that frame for years. At least she asked her friend how often should she get it restrung and if she knew anyone she recommended for stringing.

Collaborative Effort By Bob Patterson:

When it comes to poly strings, we all need to make sure adult recreational players and juniors know the facts. I speak to many manufacturers, coaches, and racquet technicians, and the consensus is that recreational adult players and junior players are using the wrong type of string, tension—or both.

Stiff polyester strings are prevalent in the marketplace and dominate the pro tours, but are they suited for the average club or league player? Most in this industry don’t think so.

First, the very benefit of poly strings is their ability to bend and snap back faster than other materials. This snapback enhances spin on the ball. A pro can swing out and get more spin on the ball while generating a heavier shot. You might think that would be the same for your average junior or club player, but it is most definitely not the case. Most players can’t generate enough racquet-head speed to bend stiff poly strings in the first place. If the string doesn't bend, it can’t snap back, and there is little or no spin enhancement. Many recreational players who switch to a poly never adjust their tension.

I’m always amazed to hear of a 3.5 adult or junior using a full poly set-up at high tensions. This is a surefire way for a player to hurt his or her arm.

Second, monofilament poly strings lose their elasticity—or the ability to snap back—much faster than nylon or other string materials. Since poly strings have a fairly dead feeling, to begin with, their decline is less noticeable for recreational players, who tend to not restring as often as they should, which only makes the problem worse.

Not only is poly string wrong for most recreational and junior players, it can be harmful. The stiffer string coupled with stiffer, lighter racquet creates much more shock to the player when the ball impacts the stringbed. In recent years, we’ve seen arm and wrist injuries sideline many top pros, and these athletes train and take every precaution to prevent injury. If we all know it is a problem, how do we fix it?

It starts with education: inform players about why they should alter their string set-up. It is better for their health and for their game. Manufacturers need to step up, too. It is easy to market a string their top sponsored player is using, but companies need to make rec players aware that string may not be best for everyone. Then they need to offer a softer, better-suited string.

The bottom line is that we all need to address this issue. Injured players play less, and may stop playing altogether.

And that’s not good for anyone. •

Bob Patterson:
Executive Director of
the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association.
Tennis Industry: Nov/Dec 2017



 

mrravioli

Semi-Pro
The over all cost of re-stringing is the issue... not the price of the strings. For us stringers, we can string IsoSpeed Spin for about $2.35 or syn gut for about the same price... if we go wild we can string up a decent multi for $10.00 The rec. players have to pay retail for string plus labor and tax.

I was at the NY State Girls - State Tourney last weekend. The shop in the tennis center was charging $43.00 plus tax for Head PPS Syn. Gut. Yikes!!! (YES $ 43.00 plus tax)...

The tennis center was in Latham, NY..
This.

If you string yourself, low-mid price poly like cyclone are great. Plays great in first hit, even gets plush in the next two sessions, straight downhill from that on. Sweet spot is no where to be found after 10 hours.

I pay $20 for stringing, so I’d rather spend a bit more for string with better performance maintenance and play till it breaks. Much better investment for me.
 

mctennis

Hall of Fame
This.

If you string yourself, low-mid price poly like cyclone are great. Plays great in first hit, even gets plush in the next two sessions, straight downhill from that on. Sweet spot is no where to be found after 10 hours.

I pay $20 for stringing, so I’d rather spend a bit more for string with better performance maintenance and play till it breaks. Much better investment for me.
I agree with you. I cannot afford to keep re-stringing after a weeks worth of hitting. I'd rather find strings that play well and last longer. I also pay about $20 for stringing.
Side note: If I had a stringing machine that would not work out for me. I'd keep messing around so many strings, tensions, hybrids, etc.. It would be the most expensive thing I would ever buy for tennis in the long run. Better for me to find a few string can stick with it. My problem is that these string manufacturers keep discontinuing the strings I like or changing the string formula.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
I was in the same boat as you... 45 mins to hour one way to have a frame strung. I bought a stringer about 20 years ago.. never looked back...
Four frames has me not making too many trips to the stringer. I do not think that I want to get into stringing and I have an existing solution. I would probably just use a stringing service that picks up and delivers (there is one that I've been meaning to try).
 

mctennis

Hall of Fame
Four frames has me not making too many trips to the stringer. I do not think that I want to get into stringing and I have an existing solution. I would probably just use a stringing service that picks up and delivers (there is one that I've been meaning to try).
Yes, I am going to try them out as well. I think that is a GREAT idea they came up with. Having multiple racquets helps with that delay between the picking up and delivery times. I have multiple racquets as well so that works out for me as well.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
Yes, I am going to try them out as well. I think that is a GREAT idea they came up with. Having multiple racquets helps with that delay between the picking up and delivery times. I have multiple racquets as well so that works out for me as well.
I literally can't play tennis for a while (had my stomach cut open and it's stapled back together right now) so it would be a good time to just have them come over. Unfortunately I don't think that they serve my home area and I'm on short-term disability so I'm not supposed to go into the office (and I shouldn't be driving either). But I hope to be healthy enough to drive in a week. For me, the stringing charges are minor - the time that I don't spend stringing is far more valuable.
 

Imago

Hall of Fame
No, not really. They make up for the depth of the shots by hitting it harder, then the injuries start.
Or shortening the backswing which often results in late hits and arrested follow-through leading to less comfort and more injuries.

Here is a syllogism to debunk:

Fresh strings play better with more comfort.
Old strings loose tension and play worse, with less comfort.
.:. Higher tension offers better playability and comfort.
 
You lose playability though. I don't like dead poly myself.
Can someone explain how poly goes dead?
If tension drops, aren't strings more lively and bouncy?
(Low tension = more power/trampoline, and less control?)
I'd think poly comes alive after 10 hours of use and tension drops.
 
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You lose playability though. I don't like dead poly myself.
Can someone explain how poly goes dead?
If tension drops, aren't strings more lively and bouncy?
(Low tension = more power/trampoline, and less control?)
I'd think poly comes alive after 10 hours of use and tension drops.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
Not sure if it's more lively or less snapback (so less spin) but I don't like the feeling on my arm when it goes dead.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
Can someone explain how poly goes dead?
If tension drops, aren't strings more lively and bouncy?
(Low tension = more power/trampoline, and less control?)
I'd think poly comes alive after 10 hours of use and tension drops.
There's a few things going on. Yes, the most obvious is it loses tension. So you may actually gain a bit of power. However, you are most likely notching the mains and locking up the string-bed preventing the snap-back and added spin. Then as it de-tensions to its limits, may actually lose power and you start to compensate by swinging harder.
 

saleem

Semi-Pro
Dead Poly means less spin then?
dead poly means less snap back, less snap back means less vertical angle on the shots that translate in to shorter balls.
with dead strings you are trying to hit hard to have more vertical flight to deepen your shots.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I agree with you. I cannot afford to keep re-stringing after a weeks worth of hitting. I'd rather find strings that play well and last longer. I also pay about $20 for stringing.
Side note: If I had a stringing machine that would not work out for me. I'd keep messing around so many strings, tensions, hybrids, etc.. It would be the most expensive thing I would ever buy for tennis in the long run. Better for me to find a few string can stick with it. My problem is that these string manufacturers keep discontinuing the strings I like or changing the string formula.
I was a long-time syn. gut user when I eventually got my own machine and started stringing at home. Half my motivation was that I got into high school coaching and wanted to be able to restring for some of the kids on short notice during the season. I also thought that I'd become a string nerd and really dive into the voodoo of it all - gain some sort of insider's understanding.

Now I have more than a couple of years under my belt and after just a little messing around here and there, I love synthetic gut more than ever. Having the stringing machine has made it easy to do a couple of experiments with poly hybrids, etc. and also try some side by side comparisons - I keep a pair of one racquet model in my bag and a trio of another, so that's easy enough.

If I was paying somebody to restring for me here and there, I'd probably be a little more prone to buying into some hype or mystique here and there. I'd be more likely to hang on to some experimental setup for a longer stretch if I paid for both the strings and the installation. But being able to do my own "Pepsi Challenge" here and there without so much of an investment has really burst the bubble for me. I've tried plenty of poly hybrids and a few full beds of poly at various tensions and found no benefits over supremely affordable synthetic gut. And syn. gut usually performs well for me right up until it snaps.

Not trying to talk you into buying a stringing machine, but I can say that it's been a fantastic investment for me. I started out with a little table-top drop weight machine that paid for itself in no time once I gained just a little proficiency. I upgraded to a significantly better rig about five years ago and bought it with complete confidence despite it costing about four times the freight of my first machine. I'm never inconvenienced if I pop a string in my own racquets and I always know exactly how they're set up.

While we can enjoy the investment in new racquets or other gear, they don't have the potential to pay for themselves like a stringing machine - even if we only string our own racquets. Something to consider - and resale is easy if the endeavor doesn't work out.
 

krisdrum

Semi-Pro
Can someone explain how poly goes dead?
If tension drops, aren't strings more lively and bouncy?
(Low tension = more power/trampoline, and less control?)
I'd think poly comes alive after 10 hours of use and tension drops.
I was under the impression poly degrades basically from the moment you take it off the stringer. And not just tension, but also elasticity. The strings become more and more brittle. So regardless of whether you are hitting balls or it is sitting in your bag the string's performance is decreasing. My understanding of other string types is that "bag degrade" is significantly less and tends to plateau, but poly doesn't.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
If I was paying somebody to restring for me here and there, I'd probably be a little more prone to buying into some hype or mystique here and there. I'd be more likely to hang on to some experimental setup for a longer stretch if I paid for both the strings and the installation. But being able to do my own "Pepsi Challenge" here and there without so much of an investment has really burst the bubble for me. I've tried plenty of poly hybrids and a few full beds of poly at various tensions and found no benefits over supremely affordable synthetic gut. And syn. gut usually performs well for me right up until it snaps.
Here is my Pepsi Challenge:

I️ am a player and a stringer who hits mostly with 4.0 guys, and several 4.0A guys who have managed to successfully "navigate" the 4.5C bump down. Basically, these are guys who frequently (less than 3 weeks) break 1.30mm syn gut and multi and need something that last longer due to the fact they don't string and aren't independently wealthy.

Enter exhibit A, a 4.5 lefty public SC schoolteacher who is the lucky recipient of my pro bono stringing services (aka free stringing). There are three people who get free stringing from me. My friend/attorney, and my friend/orthopedic surgeon. Barter is a wonderful thing. The school teacher 4.5 has a 6 handicap is kind enough to play golf with me and teach me more than I️ can use.

The last thing in the world I️ want to do is string a 4.5 guy's frame every 10-14 days for free. He doesn't like full poly. Solution: Head Hawk 1.25mm/Prince Premiere Control 15g. It last him 3 Weeks instead of 2 Weeks. He pays for the string not the labor.
 
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Booger

Hall of Fame
It's a losing battle. People want poly, even if it's not good for their arm or game.

If it's someone I personally care about, sometimes I will string it with natural gut at my cost. That's been my only real solution.
 
There's a few things going on. Yes, the most obvious is it loses tension. So you may actually gain a bit of power. However, you are most likely notching the mains and locking up the string-bed preventing the snap-back and added spin. Then as it de-tensions to its limits, may actually lose power and you start to compensate by swinging harder.
Notching the mains?
Is that where I noticed a little groove in the string, and it would sort of sit in that groove.
The string would snap in and out of the groove.
When you get the groove, that means the string is not able to slide as feely, right?
Time to restring?
 

saleem

Semi-Pro
Notching the mains?
Is that where I noticed a little groove in the string, and it would sort of sit in that groove.
The string would snap in and out of the groove.
When you get the groove, that means the string is not able to slide as feely, right?
Time to restring?
after 6-8 hours of play with poly a quick blast of Teflon spray helps to get more out of it, helps with sliding again and less chance of notching with lube in between.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
Notching the mains?
Is that where I noticed a little groove in the string, and it would sort of sit in that groove.
The string would snap in and out of the groove.
When you get the groove, that means the string is not able to slide as feely, right?
Time to restring?
In general, yes.

The mains slide back and forth on the crosses. That's the snapback that happens when you use a "spin" stroke. The friction allows the crosses to wear down the mains and you get the little indents. Minor indents should be fine. But the deeper the indents, the less able the mains are to slide freely on the crosses. The deeper the indents and the higher likelihood to snap the string too.

This is in addition to the loss of tension.

So with poly, there is an optimal "usable" window of play hrs. For a pro, that window may be 1hr. For a competitive club level player, that window may be 10hrs. For a bunter, it could be a year. :rolleyes:
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
after 6-8 hours of play with poly a quick blast of Teflon spray helps to get more out of it, helps with sliding again and less chance of notching with lube in between.
i must try this teflon :p
i usually break by 6-8hr. so maybe spray ~2-3h
 
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