Difference Between Poly and Co-Poly Tennis Strings

The first generation of polyester tennis strings was known to be extremely stiff, very durable, long-lasting and nothing more. Originally intended for use by chronic string breakers, they did not develop much of a following. To take advantage of this inherent durability and add a touch of comfort, manufacturers soon began blending elements and chemicals into poly strings, reducing the amount of actual polyester used. This development in racket string technology gave birth to co-poly tennis strings. This article explores the difference between poly and co-poly tennis strings by explaining in details the evolution of such materials in tennis strings.

Poly Tennis Strings

When you try to look at the market, polyester has the lion’s share of monofilament tennis strings. Polyester monofilaments, also called gut on steroids, have received attention in the last decades due to the growing number of heavy-hitting pros taking a liking to this choice. Very stiff and with very little elasticity, tennis strings of such material offers better control of speed and direction. Despite the fact that poly strings are extremely durable, it is the “dead feel” that the strings provide that makes this choice popular to professional players. Unlike Kevlar, poly strings provides a dead string bed that can be strung at reasonable tensions resulting to little elasticity and extra spins.

Considered to be one of the stiffest materials in the planet, poly strings are not easy on the arm and shoulders and is not recommended for players suffering from arm problems. They are also impractical for beginners whose high frequency in off-center hits can put them at risk of arm injuries.

Co-poly Tennis Strings

Dubbed as the “new-string generation” by the Federer, today’s co-poly spin players have championed hitting once impossible drives, passing shots and angled winners. The enhancement of the material by adding other elements brought about a generally stiff and slippery co-poly string type. Because of less inter-string friction, players are able to produce extra spins that enhances their on-court performance. The increase in topspin from poly-based blends allowed players to swing harder and keep the ball within the court, while extending rallies. Indeed, spin which is relatively new to the sport, has inspired many touring pros to develop amazing trademark moves and winning strategies.

Like poly strings, co-poly mostly come in firm monofilaments and the added elements and varying manufacturing technology makes for impressive comfort. Also offering great spin potential, this option works exceptionally for advanced players with fast, long strokes. Aside from hitting big, co-poly strings are also good at ball pocketing, offering an equally firm response that can tame the power of big hitters.

Polyester and co-polyester strings are famous (or infamous) for their superior toughness and durability. Both materials have started many trends in the Grand Slam tours and tennis industry as a whole. While a lot of players use a fully poly or co-poly setup, others go for hybrid stringing to enjoy the benefits of durability and elasticity. To further tweak the performance of poly and co-poly to perfectly sync with style of play and preference, other factors to play with include string tension and gauges. But in the end, tennis strings and stringing will be different strokes for different folks.


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