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So I feel as though I'm pretty out of the loop as far as string technology is concerned. Two years ago, I bought a spool of Head synthetic guy 16g and have been re-stringing with that ever since. I feel like I'm missing out on some game-improvement from newer technology.

These days the tour players are doing crazy things with their strings: different cross and main strings, weird tensions, new materials, etc.

Anyone care to update me on the latest in this often overlooked part of the equiptment?

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I tell you, I was doing hybrid stringing with polyester mains and synthetic crosses. I liked it a lot, but, since i use a lot of spin, they broke quite often - like every 3rd match. So I got fed up and started using Kevlar, whcih felt strange at first. NOw I love them. and tehy never break, but you still have to switch them out after about 10 matches or they start to lose tension and get really really dead.
M
Try Babolat's Pro Hurricane Tour / Xcel blend it seems to feel good and last a while. It is the next best compared to Pro Hurricane Tour / VS blend.
Today's polyester is much better now. Most of it is not even called polyester because it is a polyfin material. I don't know how Mark can use Kevlar. Try any top polyester (or polyfin), like Signum Pro Poly Plasma, Babolat Hurricane in the main strings and a multifilament string in the crosses like a Wilson Sensation, Babolat Xcel, Prince Synthetic Gut Multifilament. The pro's use a polyester/natural gut combination, but natural gut is too expensive so try the synthetic multifilaments. Be careful if you have arm problems, polyester is not the softest nor the easiest on the arm.
I tried gut and poly. surprised to find out how many pros use straight up poly. I switched to big banger and haven't looked back. when agassi first hit with it, he was amazed and commented that is should be illegal (or so I read). try luxilon alu power at about 10lbs less than normal and you'll be amazed at the control you have.
I usually don't suggest Big Banger only because of the cost. Most players would not be able to feel the difference between Big Banger and other polys unless they play a lot.
So what about tension? I've always used around 60lbs, but polys should be strung a little looser, correct? Most tour pros use around 45-50 I believe.

And how often should one restring? I've heard of the rule that says restring as many times per year as you play in month, i.e. if you play 4 times a month, restring 4 times per year. Is there any truth to that? Since polys lose less tension and are more durable, I suppose that rule is outdated.

If you don't recommend Big Banger, then what would you suggest? I don't mind paying 13 bucks for 40ft of string. Also, I noticed Babolat sells hybrid strings as a package. Is that a good alternative?
Roger Federer is using Wilson Natural Gut in the mains and Luxilon Alu Power Rough in the crosses. If you don't mind paying for gut and Luxilon then go for it. The cost of Wilson gut is about $26 and the Alu Power Rough is about $14, so your going to pay about $20 a string job. If you string your own racquets that's great but if someone else strings your racquet then you have to add another $15 to $20, so it get expensive.
Natural gut strings loose the tension the least and Luxilon is pretty good at tension loss also SO you could stretch the time between racquet stringings. The USRSA came up the guideline to string in a year what you play in a week. That was just a guideline but that time is way to far in between stringings. Most companies now sell hybrid string packages however the cost is the same if not more. It's easier to cut the string in half and use if for 2 racquets.
Federer is stringing at 21 kilos, that's about 46.2 pounds but that's for the grass at wimbledon. Other pros go higher.
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3064206
This will give you all the info you need on new technology if you have any questions on non luxilon type strings let me know
Eric
Thanks for the link, Eric. I've listened to Joel Drucker several times but never talked about strings. He did mention today's grip sizes, which is talked about in another thread here on Tennisopolis. I agree with him that Luxilon is a harsh string that's why they combine it with gut.
Hi all,

My two cents: It's up to each individual to find the right combination of racket, string, grip, shoe, etc. that works for them. For me, the type of string makes some but very little difference. I string my own strings and I buy whatever is on sale for about $3 CDN. It's true it doesn't play as good as $80 strings but I break a lot of strings during the summer time and I'd rather put the money I save towards a ball machine which will improve my tennis way more than $80 strings. I find 17g (thinner) strings play better but if it breaks twice as fast, it's double the cost. I've heard there are 4 or 5 manufacturers of tennis strings around the world who produce 95% of all strings, then stamp the brand onto them. Can anyone verify?
Tennis or bust,
There are only about that many string companies. However, each company like Prince, Wilson, Babolat, Luxilon, etc. each have there own materials, formulas and process for each string they will contract out to another company to produce that string according to THEIR OWN specifications. I visited the Ashaway plant in Rhode Island and witness them packaging a string for Prince! Sure there only a few places that make string but it's not all the same string. Just like Penn made Wilson tennis balls for years until Wilson finally built their own plant.
I string my own rackets, and I've experimented with everything from gut to kevlar. My latest favorite is Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour. It's a poly that has octagonal shape for added spin potential. A very powerful string. I've tried the hybrids with gut in the krosses and poly in the mains. The best one i've used is luxilon big banger alu rough in the mains and wilson natural gut in the crosses.

For the most part I've made a decision. If you break strings, your just better off with a more durable poly that has a feel you like. If you don't, then I suggest getting whatever feels the best; I recommend gut for the most in control and power.

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