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Question of the Day: Selective Stringing

Friday, September 28, 2012 /by

TENNIS.com gear editor Justin diFeliciantonio and his technical advisers answer your equipment questions each day. Click here to send in a question of your own.

Hi Justin! I recently invested in some Wilson NXT Control string for my Pro Staff Six.One 95 BLX racquet. I'm getting ready to string it, but hadn't considered that the string is described as having about 50 percent polyester fibers in the blend. I know when I string a straight polyester I will usually tension it eight to 12 pounds lower than the level I'm aiming for. How would this translate for a string like the NXT Control?—Kory A.

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As you correctly note, Kory, Wilson NXT Control is a hybrid multifilament comprised of nylon and polyester bundles. (Racquet Sports Industry’s Greg Raven notes that “[o]ne of the polyester bundles serves as the [string’s] center core.”) True to its construction, the string is marketed as providing the control of a polyester and the comfort of a multifilament.

So how should NXT Control be strung? It really depends on your particular usage case. Wilson doesn’t provide any special instructions for the string. But logically, the reference tension you select should be in tune with whether you’re installing the string for playability or durability purposes.

Says Todd Mobley, a tour-level stringer and owner of Stadium Tennis, in Cumming, GA, “If you’ve been an NXT player, and you’re switching to NXT Control for a less lively stringbed, I wouldn’t automatically reduce the tension, as that might negate the control benefits you’re trying to get.” On the other hand, “If you’re buying the string because you want a more durable version of NXT, dropping the tension on NXT Control will help approximate [NXT’s] feel and performance.”

So if you’re stringing NXT Control for its playability, string it as you would any multifilament; if, however, you’re stringing for durability, try lowering the tension about four to eight pounds—half the adjustment you’d make for full poly. Of course, don’t be afraid to tweak your tension further, and don’t ignore your intuition. If the string’s not playing according to your needs, tweak it.

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