Is My String Dead?
It seems like “dead” is the description of any string that does not play well! So what is “dead” when it comes to string, and, what may be a better description for this feeling?
When a client describes their string as “dead” it probably means the string has lost tension. Some strings loose tension more quickly than others but all string will loose tension over time, and that time is quite short in many cases. We are talking hours here not months!
We know that lower string bed stiffness will return slightly more energy so “dead” can not mean loss of power. Dead, then, must mean the string does not have that “quick response” feeling of a fresh string.
It is well known that most polyester based strings loose tension more quickly than other materials. This is well documented by professional players that change racquets every nine (9) or so games.
So, instead of “dead” I would prefer to use the description “LOEE”. LOEE means “Lack Of Elongation & Elasticity”. LOEE would sound like LOW E.
Elongation is the property that allows a material, tennis string in this case, to stretch without breaking. Elongation is normally referred to as a percent, i.e 8% at 60 pounds, for example.
Elasticity is the property that allows the stretched string to return to the pre-stretched length. A perfectly elastic string means it will return all the way back to the original length. Perfect elasticity is not common in tennis strings. A rubber band is probably as close to being perfectly elastic as we will see but a rubber band would not make a good tennis string.
So, a string with low elongation will, in most cases, also exhibit low elasticity, which will make the string feel “LOEE”. A full string bed of polyester will feel LOEE much more quickly than a hybrid string bed if the non-polyester string is of high elongation.
The next time you consult with your racquet technician tell him or her that your string is LOEE, not dead!