Loose Strings — Very Loose Strings

Loose Strings — Very Loose Strings

(techno music) – A few words about string, and modern rackets in the modern game. Years ago, and I have
closets full of them, we have a lot of wood rackets. Much heavier, 13 ounces, some 14 ounces. And, because of the wood construction, they were not as wide. These heads tend to be nine inches wide, the wood ones were more narrow. So they feel that in the modern game, because of the greater head size, you have more room to spin the ball. But what I’m interested in
now is the new string, poly, or co-poly, and how loose
the players are stringing it. How loose the players are stringing it. If you read very carefully,
some of the pros are stringing it in the high 20s and low 30s. I am now string at 40
pounds, and the next one I’m going to do today I’m
going to put in at 35. Now, there was a time in the old days when the rackets were strung at 60 and 65, and the feeling was is that
the ball would stay on the string if the string was
tight, the ball would compress, and with more surface
area you could feel it. And if you strung loose, somehow the string operated like a trampoline. But now if you watch very closely today, you never see the players walking around loosening their strings. It doesn’t happen, they don’t
move the strings anymore. Well, if I’m trying to get
top spin, and I rub the ball, that’s what would
displace the main strings. And the trick on co-poly is
that these strings are so slick I have read, the strings move
when the ball is being gripped and the strings snap
back into position while the ball is still on the
string imparting more spin. And the next time you go
to your local pro shop, either ask for a demo or try it yourself. Say, I want to try that
new co-poly string and I want to try it really lose. And at our club, so far,
most have been skeptical, but anyone who’s tried it
has said, man, whoever knew. And I think the problem they
came out with maybe a year ago, was too many times these new strings would be straight been strung so tight, people were getting elbow problems. So, this is my story
to say, experiment with looser strings and see if it helps you. That’s what these new strings are about, that’s what the players
are determining, and even once they wrote about how
Nedal on one particular shot at the French Open,
when he came forword, the ball was about to bounce
twice, he was close to the service line, and he hit
an enormously powerful shot that normally would’ve gone
out, except the additional spin he was able to get on the ball using the same black
slippery co-poly strings. The game is changing, hopefully
we’re changing with it. I’m doing my best at this end. (techno music)

Comments (52)

  1. I strung my Aero Pro Drive main strings at 45# and cross strings at 43#. My friends think I am crazy!, which maybe true. But I love the feel of the ball, when hitting top spin! I am going too try my other Aero Pro Drive at 35# & 33#.

  2. Im interested to see where you read that PROS are string ing high 20s and low 30s
    Lowest Ive seen in maybe a 38
    If you are talking Kilo grams thats reasonable but 25-29 lbs for a pro seems a little excessive.
    I play 16s level 4-5s and play with full poly at 46 usually – no lower than 40

  3. This is somewhat true with new polys, however once the notching begins the strings wont move as much. What's a great combo is a gut in the mains and poly in the crosses at low tension. The slick poly strings allow the gut to slide and snap back into place giving you more spin without notching.

  4. Don't you hate it when folks don't want to update themselves to the new logic?

  5. strung loose polys are not so aggravating on the elbow but I still find they can hurt at 45lbs. Hybrid works better for me.

  6. Hello.  I have a Wilson 95S and it's a 1 string pattern.  I only know how to string with 2 strings.  Can I string the racquet with 2 strings even though it calls for a 1 string pattern?  Thanks.

  7. I string my Head Extreme Pro 2.0 with Tourna Big Hitter Blue Rough 17 at 30 lbs.

  8. Even at very low tension most polyester strings are still a lot stiffer than a soft string like Ashaway Dynamite 17 at low tension. Only Zyex gets in the natural gut range at low tension.

  9. Scientifically speaking, there is a "harmonic frequency" that correspond to the string density & tension, to each racquet. When I switched from Head Radical to the heavier Pro version with open string pattern, I had to change from 18 to 16 gauge due to something just didn't feel right.  Then, I went from 58/54 lbs to 46/44 lbs. with main/cross, something magical happen. My kicker got a foot more bounce, with groundstroke I got more feel & with pop, & I can flick a ball in under pressure situations.   The sound of impact is a nice pop compared to the pong sound. Then I tried it with 38/36 lbs, but it was too much spring-like & I can't control the flat shots. Now, I'm happy with that particular racquet & poly combo, at 44/42 lbs.

  10. Thanks for the vid.

    Your example, Nadal, plays with 25 kg/55 lbs (1.35 mm Blast).. so I've read..  and not 30 ish lbs.. so what is morale here? 

    If playability were better at 30 lbs Nadal would have gone that route, surely?

    Are you primarily addressing the tennis elbow issue when you are recommending lower tension or am I missing something?

  11. If the ATP/WTA wanted to bring back the serve volley etc. they should have a minimum weight racket, sting composition, minimum strength of strings, heavier balls.

  12. I just got a couple of Pro Staff 95's, strung at 48 & 53lbs. Fantastic results for me after hitting with heavy, leaded racquets for decades. I also found no pong or trampoline effect, bad features that kept me away from that type of stringing. The Pro Staff 95 has the original feel back.. I feel the ball right away. And can get around on balls that I was often late on. It feels like the entire string bed (and frame) is involved at contact.. I'm swinging faster and yet don't feel as if I'm muscling the ball at all.

  13. I've played with the same racquet for 15 years from the days of Sampras and Agassi where everyone would string at 65 to 70 up to 80!!! pounds.. and you were crazy if you strung it in the 50's.. Now because of Nadal and Federer and strings most players hover around mid to low 50's… Yet still manufacturers recommend to not go below 53…I wish they would change that… since 53 pounds with thick gauge poly feels way tighter..

  14. Filippo Volandri 23 Lbs, Jack Sock 38 Lbs, Lleyton Hewitt in the 30's, John McEnroe in the 30's.
    I string my rackets with a full bed of poly (Kirschbaum Pro Line 2 ) in the 30's.
    The thinner the gauge the lower the tension I string at. Example : Pro Line 1.30 @ 38 Lbs, Pro Line 1.15 @ 34 Lbs.
     Low tensions don't work with Multi's or natural gut. Also less effective on soft co-poly's.Try it. Don't be scared . Go rite for the mid 30's range and share your experience with us.

  15. I think you may have mistaken the tension measurement as pounds rather than metric (kg).

  16. I've been using Prince Problend or Problend Soft at either 12 or 13 lbs for many years now.  Essentially it results in a completely dead frame, which for me means no surprises, e.g. to hit with pace I have to generate all the power.  The racket does what I ask of it, and if I make a mistake it's my fault.  The ball also stays on the strings longer (minus the trampoline effect) which results in better control / touch / feel.  I've tried other strings at the same tensions with pretty disastrous results, but problend works really well. And no, I didn't mean "kg."

  17. My racquet is HEAD Challenge Lite, if I use Head string FXP, and/or Master, is it fine if I string it at 40 lbs?
    Right now I use this racquet with Head string Rip Control at 47 lbs, I kinda like it, and I think loose strings works.

  18. I experimented & finally happy with 48/46 lbs (assuming 10% tension lost overnight) with Volkl Cyclone on Head Radical Pro IG (lead tapped to 12.5 oz), before I got my car window smashed on Christmas Eve & my tennis bag stolen. I replaced my stick with the Graphene version, which is much stiffer & lower powered. So now I'm once again playing with lead tape & string tension, maybe in the high 30s. I find that modern racquets have much spin potentials, but inconsistent plow-through as trade off.

  19. Would you recommend this kind of set up for someone who has a tendency to hit very flat? All of my friends have hopped on to this trend but I too have been skeptical; I always thought stringing outside recommended tension would damage the frame long term somehow but that's just what I was told growing up

  20. I strung mine at 18 kg, 19 20 21 and 22kg about 3 years ago because Tim Straun (grand slam stringer) told me at a tournament that id notice this. I could serve ok with all but the 19k I couldnt get out the service box unless I hit flat and it went out the back. 22kg had for me control on volleys and all ground-strokes but with a noticeably increase i top spin. I still get customers doubting it and going to idiots who still string at 60 and above Lbs

  21. I have tried this and students/clients of mine have tried stringing at really low tensions.  Personally the strings felt good if my shot was perfect, but they had way too much power and balls would fly.  I now string my racquets at 58 lbs and it works for me.  Most of my clients I string in the low 50s.

  22. does it only apply to poly and co-poly strings? after watching your vid I started wondering if not to try this on my aeropro drive with tecnifibre x-one biphase 17 string

    I used to string my raquets @26kg/57lbs. Should I give it a try and get it done @20kg/45lbs?

  23. Like an idiot i recently strung up my rf97 at 62 lbs mains 58 crosses on RPM blast.. nek minnit arm pains galore…

    It's been 2 years since this video has been published. Jim can you please make an update if you are still stringing at these tensions. Ive restrung the wilson now at 43lbs and will go lower definitely.

  24. Hi Jim – Great information. I am currently stringing my Head Youtek Prestige Mid racket at 36 lbs using a copoly string called V-Pro in the mains and the ever so popular Gosen Sheep Micro synthetic gut in the crosses at 40 lbs. I feel like the strings are still tight and I can still go down on the tension to about 30 lbs in the mains without losing any control. Your thoughts?

  25. Some good info here but with all due respect, poly is not new. It's been around for a very long time, especially in Europe. Correct in that poly moves and "snaps back" adding more spin BUT, most stringers were not very knowledgeable about how to string poly and therefore, were stringing it as though they were still using Prince SG and installing the string at 60 lbs. What's new about poly is that many of the manufacturers are producing softer polls, meaning a string that has a little bit of elongation (stretch) but still, these strings are MUCH more stiff than standard nylon strings. The earlier versions were extremely stiff and when you couple that with high tensions that's what resulted in arm problems and very little power. Plus, keep in mind that recreational players do not have the extremely fast racquet head speeds that the pros do so they're not going to get the same results. There's much more than meets the eye here so for more conversations go to This is an organization of racquet technicians from around the world and even if you don't string, you can join free as a consumer and interact with our group. Thanks Jim for posting your video

  26. Yes it gives more spin but at the same time some loss of control due to more trampoline effect.

  27. co-poly or we call it poly gut string are the same ?

  28. Been saying this for years that loose strings give more spin, contrary to what the "experts" say. Many times I had broken a string during play but carried on until the end of the point and noticed the lack of power and more spin I got as a result. So experimented with very low string tension and found it to be true.

    Think about it?

    If you hit a ball with a wooden bat and then a sponge one. Which of the two will generate more power and make the ball travel further?

  29. I am used to very loose strings. On manual crank 48lbs and surprisingly weird that i have to hit as low as 30lbs on electric stringer to have the same bouncy effect.

  30. thank you for the tip. I've tried all poly with 35lbs and it still gave me elbow problems. I'll try 20lbs with hybrid next time. God bless!

  31. Hi! I used to play with 55 lbs with a poly string but I would like to give it a try on a loose tension. What tension do you recomend to start ?

    Thank you very much

  32. I changed from 60 lbs. multifilament to 55 lbs. poly triangular strings on the mains and multifilament on the cross. Now I send the ball past the court so easily.

  33. Finally some sensitive discussion on poly strings, thank you! I wrote an article a while back on this – I play daily with Poly / Hybrid and Nylon setups and the most important factor for any player is to find your best string setup to bring out YOUR best tennis without getting injuries. Easiest tactic is to start with a full string setup of gut or high-end multi and gradually work you way towards hybrids and/or full poly at around 48lbs.

    If you already experience arm injury give it some time to heal and then use that tactic. Starting with a full bed of gut or multi will first off all show you if your injury is string related. Then you have a great starting point to experiment with poly and as soon as you experience pain switch to the last setup. I currently play with Tier One Firewire mains and MSV Hepta Twist (grey!) Crosses but switch back to T1 and MSV Q10 crosses when I start feeling some agitation. Believe me… it works!

    Oh and if you really want to feel something different… Try Poly Mains at 50lbs and Multi Cross at 58/59! If your racket holds it you are in for some delightful volleying.

  34. I string co-polys at 56,55 pounds, but I think I need to go lower to get some more power and comfort from the stiffness..

  35. Didn't know what he's talking about, most info was wrong

  36. That’s not too bad – nice drill! ☺

  37. Why my coach tells me to move out of dead mam area? How could I control the court from dead mam are and can you tell me the advantage of been there, please? I am new to tennis and a few years ago I played squash where you stand at centre court. Why not in tennis?

  38. I been playing now at 30 lbs. It just great for my game! More power and plush feel! Should of done this years ago but I had to do my regular 58 lbs. stringing. LOL! Totally ridiculous looking back at my stupid high tenision stringing!

  39. The book "Technical Tennis", written by a physicist and a tennis player maintains that the material strings are made of has little effect on spin. Pros, they say, use co-poly strings because they are lower powered compared to multifilament or gut. This enables them to swing harder (i.e. faster) without loosing control. It is the faster racquet head speed which promotes greater spin, not the string material directly. The string "snap back" has little effect on spin in their view.

    Stringing loose will increase the rebound velocity of the ball off the racquet (as well as increase the angle the ball comes off the stringbed). This is because looser strings absorb more energy from the incoming ball and they return most of that energy in rebounding the ball. Stiffer (i.e. tighter) strings compress the ball more and the ball absorbs about half of that energy absorbed without returning it.

    This book also claims that racquets with co-poly strings loose several pounds of tension within the first 30 minutes of being strung and 10 or more pounds within a few days afterward, regardless of how many balls are hit during this period.

    Multifilament and gut strings do not loose as much tension as quickly as co-poly strings.

  40. I play with head speed pro racquet.
    I string it with rpm blast 16 g ;at 38lbs ..
    It gives me tones of power and spin. .
    Big serves too .
    Lots of kick on 2nd serve. .
    You can save your arm and play your High level tennis. .
    Just give it a try…

  41. Jack Sock 35×35 lbs full bed of Lux Rough, Babolat Aero Storm. No shortage of spin.

  42. Are you referring in Pounds or Kilos?

  43. Jim the problem is that poly strings are so hard that are not good for elder players or junior.

  44. The game is changing
    But not for the better

  45. Could you please reply, how much tension do you mean in lbs?

  46. I got a reel of Velocity MLT from Head and am stringing it at 40 lbs. Amazing. Using the new Head Radical MP.

  47. this is fine for pros who switch rackets every 9 games…. for amateurs who play till the string breaks, the strings will still move out of straight.

    actually good copolys play fine from low 30s to mid 50s

  48. At 76, I went to a Weed Racquet. Strung at 40 pounds with Black co poly strings, I have relaxed my game to the point where I don't need to hit the ball "like the big boys!"

    Hit the ball with some top spin, and you'll quickly see your errors go down, to the point where the guys you're playing start to change their game because you're now the Wall! (Sorry Trump!).

    Thanks for listening.


  49. I had the same experience. I dropped 2lb and I was able to generate more spin

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