I was just talking to friend about string tensions for a full bed of polyester string. I have offered to install L-Tec using the JET method in his new Wilson BLX PS 6.1 100; as you may know, the JET method with L-Tec is optimal at lower tensions (36-48lbs).
As I explained to him about the JET method and how the lower tension allowed the strings to play better for longer. My friend brought up the recommended string tension for his racquet, “Found this on Wilson’s site. I know you were saying something about not stringing me any higher than 52. But looks like the recommended string tension starts at 53lbs. Shouldn’t we start there instead of lower?”
That’s when it dawned on me, I don’t think I have ever followed the manufacturer’s recommended string tension as a place to start. Just to give you an idea of what my string tensions are; I used to string between 60 and 65 lbs and over the last 6 months or so, I have been in the mid 40’s on a regular basis. It’s a matter of preference, remember that.
Why is it that I never paid much attention to the recommended string tension? Probably because I didn’t know the difference between string tensions at the time. As I got older and better, I still didn’t care to follow the recommended tensions, I just learned what felt the best in my tennis racquets. Even after I knew what felt good, the tension experiment kept going from there; sometimes I would go well above the recommendations and other times well below. It gets even more complicated when using a hybrid stringjob; at times the mains will be higher than the crosses and vice versa.
Should you use the recommended string tension or not?
Well, yes and no. The idea behind the manufacturers suggested tennis ranges is a baseline range for that particular tennis racquet to perform well in the hands of the player who does not know where to begin with the tensions.Yes you should use it because it’s a good starting point. It iss a good enough tension range to get you through your tennis. On the other side of the spectrum, you should not use the suggested range because it is not absolutely necessary to use that tension range. You can go above or below and not “hurt” your racquet; and no, Wilson, Babolat, Head, Donnay, Dunlop, or Prince will not frown upon you if you do go with a tension outside of what is printed on the racquet.
If you are still having trouble deciding what string tension you should use, you should consult with your stringer about string tension; he or she is filled with tons of information and can help you find the best string tension for you. Just like a tennis racquet, the strings and tension that you figure out over time. You make adjustments with every string job until you find the right amount and combination of tension.