The Elephant in the Room!
I suspect we all have heard that expression!
It means there is something that everyone tries to ignore, but it is too large to do so!
I recently read an article in Racquet Sports Industries authored by Georgetta L. Morque. The title is “Tackling Tennis Elbow.” Tennis elbow is an important topic and deserves much attention. Georgetta is writing about ways to mitigate tennis elbow after the fact.
Let’s try to prevent tennis elbow, so it does not need to be treated!
When we say stiff, it means a string with less than 4% elongation at 60 pounds which is our testing parameter. Most strings, and for this discussion, strings exhibiting that property will be monofilament PET-based (polyester).
Fully understanding this required a lot of testing, both lab and play, for many playing styles and racquets. To make a long story short, as a racquet technologies business, we decided not to promote polyester strings for most players. That sounds silly, but why take a chance when you don’t have to!
Our success is based on helping you, the player, perform the best you can, so it does not make sense to promote something contrary to that philosophy. Probably 75% of our clients have come to us for something different, so we have a “head start.”
So why do so many players use it or want to use it?
We believe it is because they have not been exposed to alternative string materials. Some outstanding players at the pro level use it, so it must be good, and it is for about 10-11 games. Of course, manufacturers and marketers of polyester string stand to make a nice profit! It is in their best interest to promote products by adding some terminology and material to make the string less stiff.
A polyester string is deficient in power and needs to be walloped, and the harder it is hit, the stiffer it becomes, which is the problem. Developing bodies can’t tolerate that level of impact for long.