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I have been out of the tennis strings network for years. Now all I hear is about Polyester strings. Is it much different than Prince PolyPlus? It was stiff and difficult to string with, almost like gut, but I never played with it. I've played with Technifibre 515 for many years. Now discontinued, I use NRG2. Any real benefits with the likes of Luxilon Big Banger and such? Who is best suited to this type/brand of string, benefits, drawbacks?

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I never cared for them much, personally, because of their playability. They are a little more difficult to string, especially on a dense string bed, but don't string the same way as gut and similar strings. With Babolat Hurricane, for instance, you can pull it through without too many worries at all because it is smooth and a tough. But the last few pulls are the hardest. The string is best suited for fast swings with topspin. It is is said to cup the ball more than other strings.

Benefits: more spin, ball does not sail out as much, durability.

Drawbacks: less playability, less power, less comfort, and can help add to tennis elbow for some players.

If you look at what the male pro's are using on the tour the mix is just under half for those who use poly and less for the female pro's. When you go down further in level, in my opinion there should be even less using poly or kevlar strings.
Hi John. Thank you for your feedback regarding polyester strings. It doesn't sound like something I'd like to use since I have long smooth strokes like Stan Smith. John can you clarify your comment about polyester strings and tennis elbow? Would you recommend polyester strings to a player with severe tennis elbow? Thanks.

John Adams said:
I never cared for them much, personally, because of their playability. They are a little more difficult to string, especially on a dense string bed, but don't string the same way as gut and similar strings. With Babolat Hurricane, for instance, you can pull it through without too many worries at all because it is smooth and a tough. But the last few pulls are the hardest. The string is best suited for fast swings with topspin. It is is said to cup the ball more than other strings.

Benefits: more spin, ball does not sail out as much, durability.

Drawbacks: less playability, less power, less comfort, and can help add to tennis elbow for some players.

If you look at what the male pro's are using on the tour the mix is just under half for those who use poly and less for the female pro's. When you go down further in level, in my opinion there should be even less using poly or kevlar strings.
^^^^Agree with John. Pros are more spin and durability because string move much less than a nylon/syn gut. You can also take full whacks at the ball because generally you need to generate your own power/racquet head speed with poly The service return skills have changed so much because of poly (you can take hard swings at the ball and still have the return go in). Cons are the strings are initially stiff and lack feel and power.

I use a natural gut/poly hybrid (Global gut in mains and CyberFlash in crosses). I use to use syn gut in the crosses but felt the poly tames the power of the gut while not giving up (as much of) the feel.

If you have arm problems (wrist, shoulder, etc.) I wouldn't look at poly, even at low tensions. Natural gut would be the best if you're recovering.

As far as the actual stringing, I not a big fan of stringing a full bed. It's stiff and hard to pull at times, especially as John mentioned the last few crosses. Tying knots on polys are a bit challenging since they are stiff and slippery. They don't cinch up particularly well at times.
Hi SJ, thanks for your feedback and information too. I may have to try a polyester string to get the full experience but not a string I will be playing with regularly. Years ago, I used to play with Ashaway Crossfire (Kevlar) in a Donnay Pro One oversize. You're right, I could hit harder and the ball would stay in play. Sounds like polyester strings offer the same. By the way, now that Technifibre 515 SPL is discontinued, do you know anything that's similar?

SJ Ilagan said:
^^^^Agree with John. Pros are more spin and durability because string move much less than a nylon/syn gut. You can also take full whacks at the ball because generally you need to generate your own power/racquet head speed with poly The service return skills have changed so much because of poly (you can take hard swings at the ball and still have the return go in). Cons are the strings are initially stiff and lack feel and power.

I use a natural gut/poly hybrid (Global gut in mains and CyberFlash in crosses). I use to use syn gut in the crosses but felt the poly tames the power of the gut while not giving up (as much of) the feel.

If you have arm problems (wrist, shoulder, etc.) I wouldn't look at poly, even at low tensions. Natural gut would be the best if you're recovering.

As far as the actual stringing, I not a big fan of stringing a full bed. It's stiff and hard to pull at times, especially as John mentioned the last few crosses. Tying knots on polys are a bit challenging since they are stiff and slippery. They don't cinch up particularly well at times.
There is a lot to be said about polyester, the one main fact is that it is less elastic and more stiff than the multifilament you are used to. I think the biggest benefit to the recreation player (4.0-5.0) is the durability and power. I recommend a blend / hybrid if it all for most players. A thin polyester is best, and can help you generate more power. A good way to ease into it is maybe a 1.20 or 1.25 mm poly Babolat RPM Blast and then use a 16 g Technifibre NRG2 / wilson nxt in the crosses. For more info on strings and stringing be sure to check out my blog at www.tennisstringing.blogspot.com
Hi Dudleyk, I would not be considering poly at this point unless you have already recovered from tennis elbow. Poly is a far cry from NRG2, but I know people who have switched from it to poly. It also depends on what kind of racket you have, coupled with your playing style. If you play with long classic strokes and use a heavy small frame, the only benefit you will likely see is more durabilty. But if your elbow is fine it wont hurt to try it or perhaps a hybrid.
The newest generation co-poly strings are nothing like the stereotypical poly strings of the past. Many of these provide excellent pop and more than a fair degree of feel, including the textured and twisted versions. Some actually play as soft as SG and multi, even if they do not measure as soft. I am currently playing a hybrid of Pacific natural gut on the mains and Big Ace Micro crosses -- all the power, feel and tension maintenance of NG with much of the spin and control of poly. I agree that if a player is experiencing any arm, elbow or shoulder issues they should not dive into poly unless they really know their way around. Co-poly at *very* low tension seems to be the current "flavor of the month" for what its worth -- doesn't float my boat, though.

Polys can benefit even the old school players with either the long loop/flat, or the short shoulder turn/compact game. I have converted several 50+ year old doubles specialist to Kirschbaum Pro Line 2 16L to 18 gauge. This string has high playability and has a firm, but forgiving feel.

At first, the best serve and volleyer of the bunch told me he said it has a very decent feel at 16L. Now, he is hooked at 17 and 18 gauges! The other guy told me it was the best string job he's ever had.

If playability is the issue and you'd like to maintain some of the touch shots and finesse, I recommend this string or Luxilon Ace in full, not hybrid, anywhere from 57 lbs to 61 lbs, depending on your game.

As for hybrids, I had a great experience with Tecnifibre Red Code 17/ X-One Biphase 17 at 59 lbs/61 lbs. I had this in a KPro Staff. Very smooth, not jarring, great directional control, muted feel but good for doubles' short angles and variety.

Then I had the same Red Code (cross) with VS Gut (main) at 59/61 lbs. I had that in a Volkl Powerbridge 10 MP. Even better feel and greater smoothness due to the gut's greater elasticity. Even lasted me four weeks.

My latest great hybrid is Luxilon Alu Power/Boris Becker Bomber 16 at 54/57lbs. I had that in a Head Microgel Prestige Pro. Smooth, controlled, muted, gave the Microgel some added power but within player racquet sensibility.

I do like Wilson K Gut and Gamma Livewire in the multi category, but I have converted to Signum Pro Tornado for that soft feel with added spin through texture.


Hi Tim, Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it. I will refer to your recommendations next time I restring for myself or others. Right now, I am in the off-season. I might add that I have gone back to playing with my Slazenger Panther Pro Ceramic frames I used in the late 80/early 90's. Luckily I bought extra's that are still brand new. My playing style is long/ flat "classic" strokes, like the Laver, Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors eras. I don't classify myself as a hard hitter. Do you have any string recommendations since I currently use Technifibre NRG 17 at 57 lbs strung with a True Tension machine.

Well, why not try Tecnifibre Red Code at 54 and your regular multi, NRG at the tension you have it, 57 lbs? Try that first and see if that helps with your ball control. It should curb some of the bounce of the NRG and give you a little extra cut on the ball. Red Code at 54 is not going to hurt your arm.

If from that point you think it feels too dull and not crisp enough, try Red Code at 56lbs and NRG at 58, adding 2 lbs to each string. You must have only a maximum 3-4 lbs difference between the poly and the multi, the multi being higher.

I personally liked it at 59 Red Code/ 61 multi. But I have gone lower as well, and have had good results.



I hate the new polyester strings. one arm injury after another, and i don't see my game being any better with them!!

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