Tennis Warehouse has a string performance tool that allows players to evaluate strings based on their stiffness level, which is the key spec for determining how arm friendly a string is likely to feel. The tool’s data is culled from a machine constructed by the authors of “The Physics and the Technology of Tennis,” Crawford Lindsey (“TWU Professor”) and Rod Cross, physicist from the University of Australia. Using this tool, I have assembled the following lists for the player in search of a more arm friendly control string. I have limited my focus to poly-based monofilaments.
About five years ago…
Gamma set out to create a hybrid cross string unlike any the tennis industry has ever seen. FYI: hybrid cross strings are, with some definite exceptions, the soft counterpart to the stiff poly main; their job is to supply the hybrid with comfort, power and touch whereas the polyester main is supposed to deliver control, durability and bite (for spin). The problem Gamma set for itself was this: how could they preserve the traditional properties of a cross string (e.g., comfort, power, feel) while also smuggling in a property that the majority of soft strings aren’t particularly known for, that being low friction or a surface that facilitates the sliding action of the main strings. It should also be noted that Gamma wasn’t looking for the kind of low friction that comes from a silicone application (like many co-polys); rather, they wanted the kind of legit slipperiness that is baked right into the molecular structure (so it doesn’t perish with play). Finding the right substance wasn’t easy, but after years of testing and tweaking, Gamma finally settled on a material from the fluoropolymer family. The name they chose for the string was Glide.
Now that Winter has released its cold grip on most of the country, it’s time to start thinking about the long tennis season that lies ahead. In light of this realization we have some good news and some bad news.
First, the bad news. If you didn’t get a chance to play a lot this winter, your timing will likely be a little off. With that in mind, I want you to go grab your racquet.
Go ahead, I can wait.
Now that you have your racquet in hand, I want you to look at your stringbed. If you don’t see any strings, keep reading for the string deals below. But let’s say you do see strings, and let’s further speculate that they are the same strings that were in your racquet at the end of last tennis season. If that’s the case, allow me to be frank. Those strings are old and have likely lost too much tension. With tension loss comes changes in feel, power, friction properties, and trajectory (i.e., bad news). Couple that with the winter rust plaguing your mechanics and your timing problems just got worse. In other words, it’s time to restring.