Using Poly Strings?

According to most TV tennis commentators, the biggest change in the pro game has come from the spin generated using the new poly strings.  But does that mean we should all be using them?


In an article on the, one expert says…

“The arrival of polyester strings has been one of the major developments in tennis in recent years. It took a while for all professionals to change over from natural gut, but now nearly every professional player uses polyester in their string setup. This may be as a full bed of polyester or in hybrid with natural gut.

“To a professional player, a person who is training every day and who hits the ball with incredible power, the benefit of polyester has been increased control and greater potential for spin. It has helped bring their game to a new level.

“For the club/social player the benefits are not the same. The majority of club players do not understand how polyester performs and are generally using it for the wrong reason or through bad or lack of advice.”

Why Not?

According to the article, most amateur players won’t get the benefits of the new strings and, at most, they should only use the polys in one direction and a standard string in the other.  I have been using Gammo Moto (a poly) on the mains and Gamma Glide on the crosses (a more traditional string with a coating that allows the strings to move and “glide” back into position, reducing fraying)

For the full article, please click HERE

What strings have you found work for you?

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8 thoughts on “Using Poly Strings?

  1. The “new poly strings” feature of allowing the pros to crush the ball with spin and accuracy does not do anything for me. Will never have the fast swing, strong wrist snap the pros use even if I could mimic the western grip (which I have had no success in hitting). Using a heavier, power racquet (with added lead tape) allows my slower swing, less wrist snap with continental grip to provide sufficient power while quality natural gut strings increases the feel, control to utilize the power. I “string-a-ling” all the cross points on the strings which really increases useful life of the expensive strings as well as maintaining the string tension longer. The only limitation to this equipment effectiveness in senior tennis is my footwork (lack of?), fitness level, and quality of drills – practice to develop earned confidence, consistency. I enjoy watching the awesome power of the pros using the poly strings but agree not relevant for my game. The ambitious and hard working senior players who have successfully adopted western grip forehand (and maybe two handed backhand) have my admiration. They may benefit from the poly strings. Just cannot see myself joining them.

    Winder, yes, the pros can do MANY things that we can only imagine! thanks, george

  2. I have been using gut for many years. Found it is very forgiving on my arms and wrists. With the pros using the polyesters, is that why they have so many injuries? Just curious! I’ll stick with my gut!

    Barbara, when the polys first came out, i switched to the Big Banger and immediately hurt my shoulder bad enough to have to stop playing! george

  3. Unless you are playing with modern grips and strokes you will not realize the full benefit of the poly spin potential and it might be much tougher on your arm since you have to work harder, particularly if you are older or have elbow/arm issues. For the latter case natural gut is still considered the narcotic of strings. Multifilaments are also a good option.

    With my advance elbow arthtits I use Tecnifbre NRG2 or Biophase 1 17ga. @ 53lbs.

    Chris, natural gut is still a big senior favorite. thanks, george

  4. I think poly strings are OK for club players if they’re not dealing with arm issues, poly strings can be tough on the arm, however, if you string at around 40lbs. it’s easier. Personally, I use straight poly (Luxilon 1.25 strung at 42lbs), no hybrid, and I like it. The bite on the ball and the spin are the key advantages of poly, especially for players with big, long, loopy, fast strokes, poly gives them the control they’re looking for. If a club player does not have a long fast swing probably doesn’t need poly and the softer strings are a better choice.

    Tom, good advice! thanks, george

  5. “Chris, natural gut is still a big senior favorite. thanks, george”

    With 4 kids to put thru college (1 down) gut is not in my foreseeable future. I still do my own stringing . Fortunately I’ve come a long way from wrapping my frayed strings with dental floss to extend their life.

    Btw, Geo the placement of the damper in the pic is illegal. If that’s your stick I’m gonna call it the next time we play at Newk’s lol (sorry for the off topic)

    Chris, the string damper in the picture was a TEST… i was waiting to see if anyone noticed and knew the rule (has to be below the lowest cross string). You win the prize: a free beer at Newk’s! See you there. george

  6. I tried poly strings a few years ago and they caused significant forearm/elbow pain unless I dropped the tension so low that the racquet became a trampoline. I’m now in my mid-60s and one of my primary concerns is body part preservation so that I can keep playing tennis a few times a week. I therefore use a flexible, relatively heavy, but head-light racquet strung with a full bed of multi-filament string (Technifibre X-one biphase is my current favorite). The string frays a lot before it finally breaks in the sweet spot, but a new string is a lot less expensive than a new arm. Maybe in my next life I’ll be able to afford natural gut on a regular basis. I’m curious about Winder Bill’s use of “string-a-lings” at all the cross points. Does this make the string bed a lot stiffer?
    P.S. I hope that your recovery continues to go well, George. Thanks for keeping your blog going.

    Joe, i used string a lings at one point and felt they gave me more topspin on the ball (no scientific proof,,, just my feeling). george

  7. Sure go ahead and string up your racquets with poly if you’re going to re-string every time you play. The pros use their newly strung racquets for, literally, a few games. No club player should be using poly, even going hybrid, in my opinion.

    Alan, my combo/hybrid, strung at lower tension (47 lbs) seems to work for me. thanks, george

  8. I’ve always done my own stringing. Way, way back normal strings on a Wilson Profile were only lasting a week. I went to kevlar strings. After 110 sets, both elbows were giving out and for the next many years I wore braces on both elbows. Then I went back to a normal racket and conventional strings.

    Later I switched to Kirschbaum poly and kept going lower on tension. I ended up at 35 pounds and was able to throw away the elbow braces. The worst thing about poly is how nasty it is to string; almost like using piano wire.

    Bob, hope all is well with you. thanks, george

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