Each week we receive questions from customers seeking advice about hybrid string setups, specifically with poly-based strings. This post seeks to provide a general guide to those who are considering a poly-based hybrid.
Generally the first decision to make is whether to use the poly-based strings as the main or the cross. The answer to this will depend on what the player is seeking to accomplish. If s/he is seeking greater durability, in most cases the mains will be the poly-based string with a synthetic gut cross string. (This can vary according to hitting style, but the majority of players we serve break the mains before the crosses.) If the player is seeking to add additional control to an existing synthetic gut or natural gut setup, then the poly-based string is sometimes used as a cross string.
Many who approach us already know where they want to use the poly-based string. The more important question to them, is what to use as a complimentary string? One advantage of using a hybrid over a full poly based string setup is a softer partner in the stringbed can result in greater comfort. Because the goal is often adding increased comfort, the thought is to use an ultra-comfortable multifilament string. The question is which one is most durable?
We believe the concept of using a multifilament string in hybrid with a poly-based string is flawed thinking. There are two primary reasons behind this belief.
1. Multifilament strings do not hold up well at all in a hybrid with a poly-based string. Either as a main or a cross, the poly-based string, being infinitely stiffer, will act like a saw, cutting through the multifilament in a relatively short period of time.
2. The playing characteristics of the poly-based string will dominate the stringbed. The poly-based strings possess very distinct playing properties and while they can be softened with a synthetic stringbed partner, they will still dominate the stringbed.
Because the poly-based string is dominant, we believe it is extremely difficult for even advanced recreational and league players to be able to distinguish a difference between a hybrid consisting of a soft solid core synthetic gut or a multifilament string. (NOTE: We do believe a hybrid does offer a more comfortable and different playing stringbed than a full poly-based setup.)
Since a stringbed consisting of a soft solid core synthetic gut and poly-based string will play nearly identical to a hybrid of a multifilament and poly-based, we believe the soft solid core synthetic is definitely the way to go. There are two key advantages:
A. The softer synthetic gut string will last longer.
B. The softer synthetic gut will cost less!
We are currently playtesting a variety of hybrid setups and will post results when there is enough data to be of interest. In the interim we will list some of the soft solid core synthetics that we recommend.
Forten Sweet Synthetic Gut
Signum Pro Ultra Power SF
Yonex Tournament 80 Spin
Signum Pro Topspin SF
Guts and Glory Tennis offers our customers another advantage. Our stringing professionals play and understand string products and how they relate with one another in different frames. We are uniquely positioned to make recommendations related to equipment (string choice) that others frankly can not match. Take advantage of our experience and realize that if we make a recommendation that you do not enjoy, we will replace it for you at no additional charge. Satisfaction is always guaranteed.