5 Ways to Know if Co-Poly Tennis Strings Are for You

As you know, co-poly tennis strings are “all the rage” on the pro tour – men’s tour and women’s tour.  Co-poly strings are also incredibly popular in the non-professional ranks as well.  But…  Are co-poly tennis strings for you?

Check out the following video for 5 ways to make this determination.

Thanks for checking in.


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  1. Winslow says:

    David, great to see a new post. Can you comment on the differences between poly and co-poly. Seems like polys were on the market first, why this evolution?

    I’m a multifilament guy but am trying MSV Focus Hex 17 right now and am liking it especially from the baseline – just like you mentioned. I’ve fully recovered from tennis elbow two years ago, no problems with this string as of now.

  2. David Henry says:

    The terms are really synonymous. For example, some people will call Alu Power a “poly”, and others will call it a “co-poly”. Co-poly is the more correct term, but poly is the more common term.

    I’m glad you’re liking MSV Focus Hex 17. I have never played it but have strung it for a few clients. And… I’m glad you’re elbow is like new. 🙂

    Take care.


  3. Larry says:

    I was told to string Luxilon co-poly strings at a 10% lower tension that standard synthetic gut (mono or multifilament). So if you normally string at 57 lbs., you would string the Luxilon at 52 lbs. I have done the same tension reduction on Babolat RPM Blast.
    Does this hold true as a rule of thumb for all co-poly strings?


  4. David Henry says:

    Hey Larry! Some manufacturers recommend that you string co-poly a certain percentage below what you would for other types of strings. Some manufacturers don’t make this suggestion. It is my personal opinion that you should string co-poly at least a few pounds lower than what you would string a mono or multi synthetic gut – or even natural gut.

    To give you some perspective… Prior to switching to a full bed of co-poly (Luxilon), I was using some high-end multis at 65 lbs. When I first switched to Lux, I dropped the tension to 62. From there, I gradually decreased it in 1 pound increments until I finally settled in at 57. To be honest, I could probably even go a pound or two lower and still love how it plays.

    Take care.


  5. Tony says:

    Hey David. I fit most of what you listed. I do lack some head speed, but I was just wondering how often you cut out your strings. I currently use a full bed of co-poly in mid 40’s and I usually cut them out every 2 months. Thing is I feel the strings starting to really die by 1 month and dead by 1.5 months, a board by 2. Also, would you suggest going a hybrid?

  6. David Henry says:

    Tony – Thanks for the comment. I have some tennis elbow issues, so I err on the side of caution with regard to cutting out my strings. I usually cut them out after about eight hours of singles play. I could probably eek out a couple more hours with them, but I would rather be safe than sorry.

    Hybrid… It depends. If you like the way a full bed of co=poly suits your game, then stick with it. If it is giving you arm problems, then yes… Consider using a hybrid with a softer multi or gut. If you want more power and touch/feel, then yes… Consider using a hybrid with a softer multi or gut.

    Hope this helps. Take care.


  7. Kevin S. says:

    Hey David, I was just wondering what the differences/advantages/disadvantages there are between Babolat RPM Blast 17 and Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Spin 125???


  8. David Henry says:


    You won’t find much difference between these two strings. Both are from top tennis string brands – perhaps two of the biggest and best string brands out there. Both strings are very popular on the pro tour. Both strings are high quality co-poly strings. Both strings are shaped. I don’t have my stiffness ratings accessible at the moment, so I can’t speak to that. Here are a couple of differences… The gauges are slightly different. RPM Blast is black. Alu Spin is gray. 🙂

    If you have the type of strokes for co-poly strings, then you really can’t go wrong with either one.

    Take care.


  9. corbind says:

    Your video and it’s something most people should watch before buying strings or jumping on the poly/co-poly band wagon. Thank you for producing this video and educating the public!

  10. David Henry says:

    cobrind – Thanks for the comment – much appreciated. Take care. DH

  11. Pete Truesdale Jr. says:

    Thank you for being complete with your descriptions and advice , so many times thoughts and facts are omitted and a full understanding is not gained!

  12. David Henry says:

    Your kind words are appreciated. Thanks Pete! DH

  13. Michael says:

    I stopped using full beds of polys because of the lack of penetration on some shots. It would spin and loop instead of being a good flat shot. They’re nasty when the string dies, the sweet spot shrinks and a 1 hand back hands feels like a dice role in terms of comfort.. You sort of get restricted to using strokes for the poly rather than punching through the ball. And sometimes volleys actually have too much spin on them. Hybrids a very balanced all court option. You still have the options with your shots. And you can still serve and volley. Great video! more people need to see this.

  14. David Henry says:

    Thanks for the excellent input, Michael. Take care. DH

  15. Allan says:

    Very interesting information, David – thank you. Are’nt the simple solutions to elbow /arm problems to reduce the string tension, play with a quality tennis ball and hit across rather than through the ball ? I use Alu Power 125 string @ 52/54lbs for my 100″ Prince Black team racket and get plenty of power/ control and feel. I read that some players are reducing string tension down even lower nowadays – is that true ?

  16. David Henry says:

    Hey Allan – Thanks for the comment. Yes… Reducing tension can definitely help with tennis elbow. I haven’t ever heard the other two suggestions, but I can clearly understand how playing with fresh, high-quality tennis balls could help. I always open a new can every time I play. I absolutely hate playing with tennis balls that aren’t fresh:) I am not sure how hitting across the ball (I assume you mean brushing over it with a topspin-producing stroke) can really help – unless the argument is that there is less impact and shock/vibration on the elbow. Anyway… Yes… It is fairly common to see players stringing co-poly strings in the low 50’s – and occasionally even in the high 40s. I play with a full bed of Alu Power Rough at 57. I could probably go a pound or two lower and still love the way it plays. Take care. DH

  17. Brian Taylor says:

    Very helpful. Confirmed my thoughts that poly/co poly strings are not for me.

  18. Bruce Kociemba says:

    Hello David – I just ran across your post and the info was very helpful to me. I have a few questions. When stringing a hybrid set-up, am I correct in assuming that the poly’s are used for the mains and multi’s/gut for the cross? Second, I often see stringing referred to as 52/54. Are the main’s strung at the higher number? Also, I just read some good things about a fairly new string – Volkl Cyclone Tour which is supposed to be much softer than most poly’s. Wouldn’t a string like that help mute many of the multiple negatives of poly that have been discussed in these blogs? Thanks in advance for your excellent input.

  19. Chris says:

    David, if converting from a full bed of synthetic gut to a hybrid, where do you go with the string tensions? The general rec is to lower your tension on the co-poly, which I am using on the mains, but what about the tension on the gut on the crosses? I have also heard on a hybrid the tension on the mains should be higher than the tension on the crosses, but this would mean your co-poly tension is higher than your gut tension? Thanks for your thoughts.

  20. David Henry says:

    Cool. Glad it helped.


  21. David Henry says:

    Hey Bruce – With hybrids, you can basically do anything you want. The flexibility of options is the beauty of hybrids:) For the most part, in poly and multi/gut hybrids, players like the poly in the mains and the multi/gut in the crosses. However, many players, including Federer, like it the other way around. It all depends on what string bed characteristics you’re trying to achieve.

    52/54 would mean that the mains were strug at 52 lbs and the crosses at 54 lbs. Again, this is common because when you’re using two different types of strings in a hybrid, the playing characteristics will be so different that you’ll want to vary the tension.

    Don’t have any experience with Volkl Cyclone Tour, but the trend these days is to create softer polys. It would definitely mute the negative effects (harshness, stiffness) of polys, but because of that, it diminishes some of the playing characteristics as well – like the ability to produce wicked topspin. There are always trade-offs:)

    Take care.


  22. David Henry says:

    The beauty of hybrids is that you can basically do whatever you want in order to create a unique playing string bed that meets your needs. In other words, there aren’t any “rules”. For example, I have never heard that tension on the mains should be higher. It can be, but it is perfectly fine to have it the same or lower – again depending on the string bed you wish to create. Generally though, players like to have the tension on co-poly strings lower than the tension on gut/multis. Hope this helps.

    Take care.


  23. Strud says:

    Gamma Zo Verve 17 is the best copoly on the market, I’ve tried them all

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