Category Archives: String – Old

Old string information

What Can String Failure Tell Us – Part Deux

In Part Un we discussed the difference between shanking (mis-hit) and friction failure.  It was obvious that the string was broken.  But what happens when it is not so obvious?

Part Deux, this part, will examine the frictional notching failure of monofilament string and how we can be prepared for it!  To further refine this discussion we will be comparing PET polyester has PEEK monofilament string.  The reason is that each material while both will notch one requires more time to reach the critical dimensional decrease that is a failure!

In almost every Racquet Quest Podcast we talk about tension v string diameter and agree that once 50% of the string diameter is notched away the string is vulnerable!  So a .050 (1.27mm) diameter string that has a tensile strength of 120 pounds at 50% notching will have 60 pounds of tensile strength remaining.

Notched v un notched string

This graph is a string that was broken during use.  The string was removed from the racquet.  The top line is the tensile strength in the area of no notching so you can see that it is pretty strong still and has stabilized due to use.  That stabilization is indicated by the very tight stress/strain grouping.

However, things go sideways when the notched area of the string is put under stress.  The string failed at a force of 63.8 pounds, or about 59% of the used tensile strength.  Not bad!

So, notching is failure-inducing but how long it takes to create the fatal notch differs with string material.  This particular set of strings had about six (6) hours of play.

In Part Trois, we will look at PEEK material under the same conditions!

 

Looking at the Differences

 

For the past fifteen (15) years or so, most string discussion centered on polyester. By now, you know our position on polyester, so we won’t go through that again right now. What we will go through right now is the difference(s) in a polyester string!

PET, polyethylene terephthalate, is the standard “material” in the better quality polyester string, so how can there be so many different versions of the same material?

Can you say “additives”? Luxilon has made it part of their brand to use acronyms for materials in each string’s description. ALU, for example, is aluminum, Timo is titanium/molybdenum, and I don’t know what 4G is.

So let’s take a look at the differences in a couple of polyester stings. Shown here are two (2) polyester strings, Luxilon ALU Power and Volkl V-Star. You can see the difference in stiffness between them, the V-Star being “softer,” but what you can’t see is the V-Star package does not say “co-polyester” but instead Co-Polymer!

Polyester? Co-Polyester? Co-Polymer?

We know “co” is two or more and “poly” is many, so how many of anything does any material have in it? We may never know and probably shouldn’t care as long as we have the presented data.

What can we see from this graph?

  • ALU Power reaches 50 lbs quicker (stiffer)
  • ALU Power exhibits good elasticity
  • V-Star is more linear (consistency)
  • V-Star has a greater tensile strength
  • V-Star is softer (takes longer to reach 50 lbs)

How would a player know this by just looking a the package? I am not sure! Adding the word “soft” or “comfort” or “feel” may persuade a player to try the string, but what if a better decision could be made before spending the time and money? 

No graph or chart will take the place of proper racquet stringing and setup, but it may help provide some needed information!

House Cleaning!

Every once in a while Racquet Quest decides to do a little house cleaning and that means opening boxes that have not been open for a long time!

And surprise!  We find a lot of really interesting and exciting tennis racquets!  Most of these have been on the Racquet Museum site but now it is time for them to find a new place to hang out!

Most of these racquets are new!  Many have been strung for evaluation purposes but have not been played with!  All of the racquets will be fitted with a new grip.  All the racquets will come with the string that is now in the racquet, unless new stringing is requested.  All racquets are sold “as is”.  Most of them are new, but the string may be several years old.  There will not be any “junk” offered, just good racquets!

Racquet BrandModelHead SizeGrip SizeStringConditionPrice
Wilson nCode n11155NXT16New200.00
Weed125 Tour EXT1253Weed Synthetic GutNew50.00
Weed135 Open Tour1353ALU Power RoughNew50.00
Weed125 X-One 251253Weed Synthetic GutNew50.00
PrinceTour 100 18x201003NoneNew150.00
PrinceEXO Warrior 1001002Prince Premier AttackNew
150.00
PrinceEXO Red 1051053Prince Premier LTNew125.00
Prince EXO Blue1103Prince Premier LTNew125.00
PrinceEXO Rebel Team 98983Prince Premier/Beast HybridNew150.00
PrinceEXO Rebel 98983Prince Premier/Beast HybridNew200.00
PrinceEXO Rebel 95953Prince BeastNew200.00
HeadSpeed LTD Edition XT1004NoneNew100.00
HeadInstinct MP XT1002NoneNew100.00
HeadGraphene Instinct PWR1153PPS 17New 150.00
HeadGraphene Touch Radical PWR1103FXP 16New 150.00
DunlopAeroGel Smoke1005Silk 17New 100.00
DunlopM-Fil 3 Hundred985NoneNew150.00

BYOS?

Bring Your Own String!

This post is a brief explanation of why we do not, normally, string a tennis racquet with string supplied by the customer.

  1. The string may not be suitable for the player or racquet.
  2. The string is not in good condition.
  3. The string package is damaged so the condition of the string is unknown.
  4. The string reel is tangled which requires a great deal of time to untangle.
  5.  There is normally no cost savings.

We do, however, keep client supplied string at the World Headquarters for those clients that buy it.  The string is owned by the client and can be taken for off site tournament use.

The number of different strings and brands that make it impossible to keep an adequate supply of all of them without knowing they are going to be used!

Of course there are cases that are not categorized above.  The client can go to the “Easy Order” tab on this site and add information to the form which clarifies the string, racquet, and condition.

We can take a look and make a decision based on that information.

The BYOS stringing cost is $30.00.  This cost is subject to actual review of the string and racquet.

Racquet Quest keeps a very broad and deep selection of the best possible strings from many brands.

 

String. What is important?

The essential function of string in your tennis racquet is to return energy to the ball as it collides with the racquet. It is evident that if there is no string or a broken one, the racquet can not do what it is intended to do, and your shot is going nowhere or worse, everywhere!

There are about thirty (30) string brands, and each brand has about ten (10) different models, and maybe three (3) different colors, so there are nine hundred (900) possible selections! Nine hundred is way too many strings!

You and we need to consolidate string data so we can make the right decision for you, your playing style, and your physical capabilities.

We test every string for elongation, creep, (stability), with a little bit of elasticity data observed. This testing returns our exclusive Power Potential© for each string, and that is the basis of our decision-making process. Naturally, the higher the elongation, the more power the string will return to the ball, and conversely, the lower the power potential, the less power that “can” be generated. You can observe this fundamental by dropping a tennis ball on a concrete floor and then on a strung tennis racquet from the same drop height and see which one bounces the highest.

I use “can” because power, to a great extent, comes from how hard you swing the racquet, which, of course, brings the prospect of overdoing it and subsequent injury! A low power string demands a more powerful swing that involves the entire arm, hips, and legs.

Low power, in the form of a stiff string, has been associated with control, therefore, the increased use of stiff strings. However, with stiffness comes another downside, and that is stability. Stiff strings typically lose tension quickly and need to be changed frequently. So here is the real problem; the string may not be broken, but it is not playing well at all. There is a difference between durability and performance! If your goal is long term performance, a stiff string is not the answer.

What, then, is the answer?

Choose a string with an elongation of 10% or higher! Oh, great! You say. How am I going to know that!

Well, beginning January 1, 2020, I will be posting the power potential of every string we have tested over the years! There are over 500 items on the current list sorted by brand. The color coding is RED if 5% or less, GREEN if 10% or higher, and BLUE for everything else. Note, however, that natural gut is included in this data and will probably not reach the 10% Power Potential© threshold, but is still the best performance string available.  This is due to the dynamic properties of the natural fibers, so, until there is a separate classification gut will be included as is.

A previous post, “What is Soft?” goes into graphical detail.

As new strings are added, some older ones may be deleted because they are no longer manufactured. However, some very old ones may remain due to their “legacy” status. This chart is a preliminary format but will get us map toward the right decision!

Click here to see all the current power potential data.