Stick with your Stick, but change up the strings

Stick with your Stick, but change up the strings. 
(Brad and Harry’s insight to Polyester strings and tensions.)

I’ve been playing with the Wilson Racket for 4 years, but I always tinker with different strings. I’ve become a Mixologist.  As of right now, I’m really happy using a Wilson string called Champions Choice.  This hybrid combo contains Luxilion ALU Rough and Natural Gut.  I put the Luxilion ALU Rough on the mains at 55lbs and the Natural on the cross at 57lbs. This gives me lots of power and control.

The Luxilion ALU Rough is a stiff string that provides me with durability and is textured so I get greater spin on the ball.  The Natural Gut gives me the feel, touch and power that help to soften up the polyester.  Roger Federer uses the same string but he puts the Natural on the Mains and the Luxilion on the cross.  This provides a softer feel and more power but less durability.

Brad with Harry (Expert Stringer BGTN)

Brad with Harry (Expert Stringer BGTN)

From my own testing, I notice that all Polyester strings tend to lose tension at a faster rate than a multifilament synthetic gut.  If you play twice a week, you can expect a dramatic drop in tension within 4 – 6 weeks.  Although the Polyester strings are great for durability, you would need to change them out every 2 months or about 40 hours of play.

So, all you people with the polyester string in your racket for the past 6 months or more, the strings are DEAD.  Think of an elastic band, if you keep pulling, eventually the elasticity goes.  This is the same with your strings.  

Can Polyester Strings affect your arm?  I say “Yes.”  If you string your racquet with Polyester at a higher tension and suffer from tennis elbow or a sore wrist or even a sore shoulder, you are not alone.  Polyester strings are stiff and your arm takes a lot of shock from these strings.  The remedy to this would be to take the tension down 10% or put a softer cross string like a Natural Gut.  

The good thing about Polyester Strings is that it does provide greater spin on the ball which helps the ball stay in the court.  For optimal performance; re-string more often and test yourself and your strings with a few different combinations that suit your game.

As always, have fun and try your shot at string mixology! Experimenting with various string combos will really help you hone in on what works best for you. 

Ask for our Elite Team of stringers led by Pat & Harry – they love talkin’ strings and tension.

Check out Brad’s online store for more information on string options:
http://store.bradgilberttennis.com/

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3 Responses to “Stick with your Stick, but change up the strings”

  1. Brad Council says:

    Enjoyed your article on strings . I play with full Luxilon but might give the wilson string a try . What Wilson racquet do you use ?

  2. BG says:

    I’ve been playing with the same stick for about five years.
    It’s the (K) SIX ONE 95 with 18 x 20 string pattern.
    Half gut, half luxilon @ 53 – 55lbs
    A good substitute for gut is the NXT…ask Harry or Pat at the shop.

  3. HG says:

    Brad — w/ a gut/poly hybrid, is the only difference in using poly on the crosses v. on the mains the longevity factor? i use VS in the mains and Lux in the crosses. Wondering if there would be any real, noticeable playability difference w/ a switch?

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