Friday, January 27, 2012

Pat Markey

ALPHA Tennis String Hybrids might be for your game

I am starting a series of posts on Tennis Hybrid String combinations and covering the A-Z string brands.  The unique thing about this here is that I will find Hybrid combination(s)  that I think will create a good combination for each brand and breaking it down to its bare essentials to help you get an idea of how to create hybrid string combinations to address all playing styles.  Please note that much of my picks and choices are subjective based on my own experiences and years of stringing practice and playtesting and will sometimes focus on price / durability / performance.  The strings will be what is available in the US market generally.

Alpha Racquet Sports - This is the first one that came to mind and not only because it starts with the letter 'A' but because my first stringing machine was a floor model alpha crank machine with 6 point mounts back in 1990.  I used some Alpha strings back then probably due to the inexpensive nature of the strings and it was an easy account to open.  Many times when you are starting out with a stringing business, it is hard to open trade accounts if you are not established or able to meet large minimum orders.  Companies like Alpha are good for those starting out.  You can see by looking at the website that they are not a huge company, they also are promoting the 'stringway' cross string weaving gadget (see an earlier post for more on this) that is also worth a look.  Although it appears that Alpha is not offering much in way of string selection there are several strings that you can find readily available at online retailers.

Since I am working on creating the perfect hybrid with Alpha strings only, I have to take a look at what Alpha is offering currently.   I am looking at finding a good playing combination.  Alpha strings are divided by 6 main categories:  SPecialty, Precision, Euro, Durability, All around and High Performance.  I will stay away from the durability or all around because I am looking to use a thin poly for the cross and and a 16g multifilament for the main stringsor a good monofilament synthetic for the cross if available.  Generally when I am looking to design a Hybrid Tennis string for performance only I look to find the best performing string for the mains and then something to possibly control the power some on the crosses.  A thin poly is a good option as well as a monofilament synthetic.  MAINS: I am going to chose the Apha Sphere because it has a multifilament core and a out wrapping to support the durability aspect, it is a 16g string.  I might also use the ALPHA Gut 2000 (retail price of $5.90), it has been around for some time and back in 2004 has won the #1 rating by the USRSA for playability and spin - it is also a multifilament you can find in a 17g.  CROSSES: I want a thinner poly because generally I will not need to worry with breaking crosses and I tend to associate thinner strings with performance. For the Crosses I am looking at a premium monofilament sold core string called ALPHA VIPER.

PREPACKAGED HYBRID - you might also look at the prepackaged Alpha hybrid called Gut 2000 Poly.  You get a poly and a gut 2000 combination set. 

Other ALPHA STRINGS TO CHECK OUT
All Player Nylon 15L
Topspin cyber power 17g
Apha Hardcourt

You might find that Alpha strings are more reasonably priced than other brands and yet offer many of the same characteristics, check them out yourself.  It is harder however to find all the string offerings by Alpha as not all online retailers may carry the full line.

Pat Markey

About Pat Markey -

Patrick Has been stringing rackets for over 25 years including at many professional events around the country including the US OPEN and AUSTRALIAN OPEN. He brings a depth of knowledge and love for the industry.

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Anonymous
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1:37 PM delete

Before having my spine fused and have to call it quits I used Alpha Gut. Really good feel and had above avg life span.

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