Category Archives: String
All string information
A frequently asked question by our clients at the World Headquarters of Racquet Quest, LLC is “what is your favorite string?”
I am going to tell you what it is, and tell you why it is, and why, I believe, it should be your favorite string as well!
It should come as no surprise that natural gut is our favorite string! Well, of course, you say! It is probably everyones favorite but it is way too expensive for most recreational players! You are correct that natural gut is everyones “favorite” string, however, you may not be correct about it being too “expensive” for recreational players!
What follows is predicated on the belief that “performance” is the primary factor in selecting a string.
On the positive side:
- Natural gut plays better longer than any other material.
- Natural gut is more stable than most string materials.
- Natural gut is more forgiving (comfort) than most other materials.
- Natural gut is more eco-friendly than other materials.
- Natural gut is a good hybrid component.
On the not so positive side:
- Natural gut is expensive @ $70.00 to $75.00 (installed).
- Natural gut is more expensive than other materials.
- Making natural gut string is very labor intensive.
- Making high quality natural gut is limited to a “few” major manufacturers.
- Natural gut can be affected by moisture.
And, how do you quantify “plays better”, anyway? Some players are fine with string that has long since offered any performance! Some strings have a “play”life of a couple of hours! So, the player must decide on what is important.
But, if you ask us, natural gut is our favorite string!
Racquet Quest, LLC has for years been doing the extensive evaluation of racquets and string for the benefit of our client’s customization requirements.
Now we are making this evaluation “program” available to anyone that wants to dig deeper into the workings of the string in the racquet!
This is serious stuff and requires significant resources but it is worth it!
Please contact us of you would like to take advantage of our evaluation program!
The new Prince Vortex design is a new offering of an older string pattern with 14 main strings and 21 cross strings in a variable taper beam…whew! You can see by the throat design that the main strings are longer that a conventional throat design. The longer the main strings the more energy they can return…sort of, and in some cases!
The beam starts at the grip with a strong 25mm then tapers into a 23mm at the throat and then back to 25mm at the tip. Do not let the beam dimensions fool you! The RDC flex of 59 after stringing is quite acceptable for most every player style.
We have been taking coefficient of friction (COF) data for years but have not included it this review format, until now. The 14×21 string pattern is unique enough that it is worth including. You will see the numbers on the review specs so we won’t go into them now, however the numbers are interesting.
The 14 main strings contribute to a very “open” area right about where most extreme “spin” shots are hit according to our data of string failure positions.
The frame geometry is sort of “Aero” like. The shaft is trapezoidal that transitions into a “reverse” trapezoid around the head. It makes the racquet look stiffer than it is!
Take a look at the specs then pick up a demo to see what the numbers mean to you!
|Racquet Model||Prince Vortex 300|
|Reference Tension||56 lbs - 25.4kg|
|Machine Used||True Tension Professional|
|Racquet Flex, RDC||59 - After stringing|
|Racquet Flex, FlexFour||40.0|
|Racquet - In Plane Stiffness||526.3 lbs/Inch|
|Head Area, cm2||652|
|Head Area, Sq. Inch||101.1|
|Number of Main Strings||14|
|Number of Cross Strings||21|
|Main String Grid||7.30|
|Cross String Grid||9.50
|Density (% of head filled with string)||.686|
|Average Cross String Space||.452|
|Average Main String Space||.521|
|Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT||32|
|Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in||176.98|
|First Moment, Nm||.790|
|Swing Weight, Kg/cm2||319|
|Swing Weight, Ounces||11.25
|Swing Weight Calculated||329.7|
|Head Weight, %||46.6|
|Center of Percussion||21.7|
|Dwell Time, ms||9.48|
|Efective Stiffness - lbs||30.2|
|Coefficient of Friction: M||.400|
|Coefficient of Friction: X||.262|
Of course color matters! Brands have made history on color! Prince Green, Head Orange, Babolat Blue, for racquets but what about string?
Sure, again! Luxilon Silver, Babolat Black, Solinco Green, Victrex Putty…what? Which of these monofilament strings do not have any color pigment?
If you guessed the Victrex you would be correct. But why not? The natural color of the polymer is probably the very strongest a string can be, however, without color they would not be at all interesting or recognizable! The natural Victrex color is typically what we use when evaluating the string because it is visually different.
Victrex does make strings with black-pigment, but this post is about the difference pigmentation can make in a string. In a previous post some years go we determined that color had very little affect on string properties and this evaluation shows pretty much the same result in a different format.
You can see by this graph there is very little difference between the two Volkl V-Star strings. In fact it would be safe to say the strings are identical.
For the past few years and certainly the past year Racquet Quest has been committed to tennis racquets and yours is included!
Hopefully the days of the “mask”are over and we can resume actually talking to each other and be understood! Of course if you prefer to wear a mask that is OK, too!
Here is what is not OK!
Not caring about your tennis racquet is not OK, and by that I mean keeping it in the best possible condition. That includes string, grip, grommet sets, overgrips and general reactions of beating it against the ground or net!
We have seen five year old racquets that look brand new and five day old racquets that are in really poor shape! One of the most damaging “strokes” in tennis is the ball pickup stroke! This is not a stroke at all but a way to keep from bending over to pick up balls!
Using the racquet head to scoop up the balls is easy and cool! It is also the quick way to ruin the bumper guard which is there to protect the Racquet from normal stroke, not pick-ups!
So, what do you do about it? The next time you consider scooping up balls with the racquet consider tapping the ball to start it bouncing or simplpy use the fingers on your hand to pick up the ball…that would be good!