Thanks for the responses guys! I know I can always count on you, even if it's just Scott telling me he doesn't know anything
Thanks for the article monster! Love it! And yes, busy with life, wife, work and such. Unlike some of you on this board who have known all along, I'm just learning how much work it is to be married, own a house, own a business, give your all at work, have time for friends and family, and on top of all that, make time for your own hobbies, interests, health. Super impressive how people manage all this and more and still find time to relax and enjoy the finer things in life, like T4U
Mad respect, and I have found more than one source of inspiration on these boards
Oh and last time I was up by Boston, I tried yelling Monster but no one responded. Not cool. Do you guys still do the Cincinnati T4U gathering? And where is Dmast now-a-days, is he in the north east or is he in the asia-pacific region?
I ended up doing a lot more research and finally ordering 1 reel, and around 5 individual sets.
1 reel of:
Gosen OG Sheep Micro 17
This is a standard synthetic gut. Lots of good reviews and we plan on primarily using this on the crosses. It was also cheap enough that I don't even mind if I don't end up using all of it in the long term.
Individual sets of the following poly/co-polys that, from reviews, have various playing characteristics.
Babolat RPM Blast 17
Luxilon ALU Power Rough 16L
ISOSPEED Black Fire 17
Head Sonic Pro 17
Volkl Cyclone 17
A couple things:
- There's a mix of popular/expensive poly/co-polys and some of the more budget options in those individual packs. The idea is to see what the difference really is, and if it's worth the price if/when we do go in for strings.
- We went in for the 17 gauge on everything because, at least for my brother, breaking strings hasn't been an issue yet. That might change since he just gained about 4 inches since last summer and is starting to hit harder with more spin and that's the direction his game will most likely go.
- Budget: When I was in High School, obviously our financial situation was different. I put in Kevlar strings and the goal was never to break it. I want my brother to have more chances to try different strings and play around, hence the decision to string our own racquets and eventually go into reels. So I'm not on a penny-pinching budget (tennis wouldn't be my sport if I were) but I am not looking to waste money if the value added is not worth it either.
- How often do I want to restring: We just started stringing, it's still a lot of fun and we take pride and joy in doing it and playing with self-strung racquets. I can see us stringing, at least my brother's racquet, every 2-3 weeks or as required.
-Would my time/money/effort yield better results if spent on improving my movement or mechanics: This might be true for everyone but the most elite pros. That said, stringing a racquet for ourselves is fun, done during non-productive time (when you can't play tennis, like at night), and gets us more excited to think/talk/play tennis. It's exciting and fun to play with new strings and makes us work harder to make the most of it. Obviously we understand that it's our game that wins us matches and makes us better players, not the strings.
- What style of game do I play: my brother's still developing his game. The goal is to follow the mould of djokovic (i.e. 99% of the pro tour): solid baseline game that is not too defensive, and opportunistically aggressive, capable of playing different speeds, and be able to mix it up and have fun. He's got a solid ground game but needs most work on his serves. And tennis is fun, we like having fun, and he loves his slices, drop shots and going in for volleys (his approach and set up for volleys need a lot of work). His game, for the better or the worse, and somewhat expectedly, is going in a similar direction as mine but with a better foundation and emphasis on the basics.
- My game, to be honest at this point I don't care. Given how inconsistently I get to play tennis, I have given up the concept of having a game or working on my game. Instead, I like to have fun. If that means running around the back and lob balls back, or ripping every ball I can reach, or slicing and drop-shotting 90% of the balls I get - that's what it is. I have relatively flat ground strokes and at this point i am not intent on working on new skills. Doesn't mean I don't have high expectations (too high most of the time) of playing well everytime I step on court, but my focus on developing/furthering my game will return as and when my court time increases, and I find my tennis feet. Keep in mind I have been doing a ton of running and lifting over the last 3 years so it takes me some time to move like a tennis player should on the courts when I play so infrequently.
- Which type of string best suits that style of play: There's too much out there. We picked, based on our research, safe combos that are essentially hybrid setups with a softer, playable snythetic gut (most likely in the crosses), with a harder, spin friendly co-poly for the mains. We will definitely play around with the setups and tensions. I play with a heavier, have always strung my racquets in the upper 50s to low 60s and have no complaints but have no problems varying the tension in the crosses and the mains if it means easier power or some new element that I can capitalize on. My brother's latest racquet that he's played with for over a year is a straight up mid-range poly. I think he'll adapt to different set-ups until the point where we have to adapt the set-ups to his game.
Long posts. as usual. Time to catch up on rest of T4U action