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View Full Version : TENSION and SPIN


tbini87
08-22-2007, 12:54 PM
wondering what the effect is on spin with different tensions. what provides more spin, and higher or lower tension? also wondering why. thanks for any input!

kirbster123
08-22-2007, 12:57 PM
Lower tension = more spin, because of more dwell time on the racquet.

nickarnold2000
08-22-2007, 08:37 PM
Do a search - this has been the topic of many threads!

tbini87
08-22-2007, 09:12 PM
i took a quick look but nothing really came up specifically for the effect tension has on spin... i will look more closely next time.

Bottle Rocket
08-22-2007, 10:24 PM
Lower tension = more spin, because of more dwell time on the racquet.

Not only are you not providing us with any evidence that you get more spin with lower tensions, but you also haven't said anything to back up the claim that there is more dwell time on the racket with lower tensions.

Care to elaborate? That's some serious speculation. I'm very interested to hear your explanation.

I am in a position to argue that there is no correlation between string tension and spin produced. There is only the perceived difference and even those differences do not agree with the statement made by kirbster, at least for most people.

There is an incredibly small increase in dwell time as you drop your string tension. Even if the impulse was longer, I still don't think it would make much difference. It doesn't take much to spin a tennis ball (1/15 of the energy imparted to the ball by a professional player), so the slight changes in dwell time makes doesn't make much of a difference.

I think most poeple who have actually done some experimentation have found that higher tesnions give the preception of added spin and this happens for a couple of reaons. One of them is the simple fact that for the same shot, the ball will land shorter in the court. I can go on, but most of this is worthless information.

The bottom line is that there is no relationship between string tension and spin.

nickarnold2000
08-23-2007, 08:10 AM
Well, all I have to say is, experiment yourself. I didn't do well in HS physics so I can't get into the science of it but since I've been stringing under 50lbs (46-48 mains with CF 17) I've been really enjoing the extra spin that this setup imparts. I've also had my regular opponents remark that I've been hitting "a heavier ball lately". I don't hit flat shots often; most everthing is semi-western topspin and, of course, slices. I also play in very humid conditions on clay. This is my experience.

GoochMoney
08-23-2007, 05:11 PM
Not only are you not providing us with any evidence that you get more spin with lower tensions, but you also haven't said anything to back up the claim that there is more dwell time on the racket with lower tensions.

Care to elaborate? That's some serious speculation. I'm very interested to hear your explanation.

I am in a position to argue that there is no correlation between string tension and spin produced. There is only the perceived difference and even those differences do not agree with the statement made by kirbster, at least for most people.

There is an incredibly small increase in dwell time as you drop your string tension. Even if the impulse was longer, I still don't think it would make much difference. It doesn't take much to spin a tennis ball (1/15 of the energy imparted to the ball by a professional player), so the slight changes in dwell time makes doesn't make much of a difference.

I think most poeple who have actually done some experimentation have found that higher tesnions give the preception of added spin and this happens for a couple of reaons. One of them is the simple fact that for the same shot, the ball will land shorter in the court. I can go on, but most of this is worthless information.

The bottom line is that there is no relationship between string tension and spin.

Interesting...I thought that HIGHER tensions produce more spin (and dwell time) because the reduced elasticity of strings makes the ball compress more on impact...not sure where I heard this??

Ripper
08-23-2007, 07:29 PM
Lower. Because I say so.

Errol
08-23-2007, 07:56 PM
Lower because the ball is cupped more.
Higher because the strings dig into the ball more.

Bottle Rocket
08-23-2007, 08:25 PM
Interesting...I thought that HIGHER tensions produce more spin (and dwell time) because the reduced elasticity of strings makes the ball compress more on impact...not sure where I heard this??

You actually just described part of the reason the difference in power between low and high tesnsions is fairly insignificant...

Steve Huff
08-23-2007, 08:42 PM
When the USRSA did tests on this, the results showed that thick, rough strings at a lower tension produced a lot of spin due to more surface area contact with the ball (cupping because of lower tension wrapped string more around te ball, plus thick strings gave more contact). The other setup was thin, tight strings. Thinner made it easier to sink into the ball, tight because it made you swing harder so you got more head speed.

jkonecne
08-23-2007, 08:57 PM
Not only are you not providing us with any evidence that you get more spin with lower tensions, but you also haven't said anything to back up the claim that there is more dwell time on the racket with lower tensions.

Care to elaborate? That's some serious speculation. I'm very interested to hear your explanation.

I am in a position to argue that there is no correlation between string tension and spin produced. There is only the perceived difference and even those differences do not agree with the statement made by kirbster, at least for most people.

There is an incredibly small increase in dwell time as you drop your string tension. Even if the impulse was longer, I still don't think it would make much difference. It doesn't take much to spin a tennis ball (1/15 of the energy imparted to the ball by a professional player), so the slight changes in dwell time makes doesn't make much of a difference.

I think most poeple who have actually done some experimentation have found that higher tesnions give the preception of added spin and this happens for a couple of reaons. One of them is the simple fact that for the same shot, the ball will land shorter in the court. I can go on, but most of this is worthless information.

The bottom line is that there is no relationship between string tension and spin.

I like how you speculated as well and then gave no evidence. What a hypocrite. Well I just talked to my roommate, who is going for his physics degree, and he came to the conclusion that lower tension does mean more spin. Along with that, plus the facts other studies have shown this, this can be concluded.

Bottle Rocket
08-23-2007, 09:45 PM
Ok...

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200501/200501tension.html

I'll trust my engineering education over a "conclusion" that a physics student came up with. I also trust the research that I posted above.

I thought I backed up my thoughts pretty well, but I guess not. Sorry. My post wasn't directed towards you anyway.

Noveson
08-23-2007, 10:01 PM
I like how you speculated as well and then gave no evidence. What a hypocrite. Well I just talked to my roommate, who is going for his physics degree, and he came to the conclusion that lower tension does mean more spin. Along with that, plus the facts other studies have shown this, this can be concluded.

Lol lets see these "other studies" you speak of. Most likely they are titled something like "I hope there are other studies" or maybe "I'm pulling this all out of my @ss";)

jkonecne
08-24-2007, 08:21 AM
Lol lets see these "other studies" you speak of. Most likely they are titled something like "I hope there are other studies" or maybe "I'm pulling this all out of my @ss";)

Go look yourself if you don't believe me. They're out there. People that are out there are pulling that stuff out of their asses too, just as much as I am.

jkonecne
08-24-2007, 08:22 AM
Ok...

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200501/200501tension.html

I'll trust my engineering education over a "conclusion" that a physics student came up with. I also trust the research that I posted above.

I thought I backed up my thoughts pretty well, but I guess not. Sorry. My post wasn't directed towards you anyway.

Well you need a new education then. I like how it says string type has nothing to do with the amount of spin either. Looks like that guy needs a new education as well. And no, you didn't back up a thing.

dave333
08-24-2007, 09:43 AM
I've heard both but I think it makes sense that higher tensions result in swinging harder/faster, which is more spin.

fastdunn
08-24-2007, 10:33 AM
wondering what the effect is on spin with different tensions. what provides more spin, and higher or lower tension? also wondering why. thanks for any input!

This maybe be discussed gazzillian times.

Lower tension = more spin.

However, lower tension also means more pace.
So higher tension might produce lower RPM but maybe higher spin/pace ratio...

sruckauf
08-24-2007, 11:04 AM
tbini87,
This is going to be a tough forum to get a definitive answer. It's nice to hear other people's opinions, but in my opinion people here will simply tell you the setup they use. Anyone here that says definitively, without doubt, that lower or higher tensions produce more spin, is likely just what they are using because they think they have the holy grail of setups, and may or may not serve you well.

I would recommend you string up with a lower tension for a week, then higher tension for a week, and see which one better produces spin given your swing style and string setup.

I'm with bottlerocket though.. I don't think either produces much more spin than the other. I'm of the camp that I like like the feel of a tighter stringbed since it allows me to swing out more, which in turn gives me faster racket head speed, which produces more spin. But again, that's my swing style and tightness preference. YMMV

aznspongehead
08-24-2007, 11:25 AM
I'm speculating that when a racket is strung at lower tension it has too much power for a player to take a BIG swing at the ball. When the racket is strung at higher tension it has too little power for a player to NOT take a big swing and still get the ball deep.

The observed difference in spin from higher and lower tensions can probably be explained by that. Since the player is swinging the racket faster for higher tension, there would naturally be more spin compared to what is produced by the more "reserved" swing of lower tension.

For the purpose of this thread, I think it's safe to say that higher tension leads to more spin. Whether it's because of the strings itself or something that the player does differently, the net result is more spin, and that's all the OP wants to know.

jkonecne now you're being as much of a "hypocrite" as you say bottle rocket is... what do you mean these studies are "out there"? Oh and by the way, the way your sentence is structured implies that these studies are "pulled out of their asses", and so is what you have been saying. You might want to revise. Why is it so impossible that string type has no effect on spin? Just because what you think is "common sense" disagrees with that, doesn't mean it's stupid. People used to think the Earth is flat. At least what that website says seems to be supported by some kind of research conducted at a university.

mucat
08-24-2007, 11:46 AM
When the USRSA did tests on this, the results showed that thick, rough strings at a lower tension produced a lot of spin due to more surface area contact with the ball (cupping because of lower tension wrapped string more around te ball, plus thick strings gave more contact). The other setup was thin, tight strings. Thinner made it easier to sink into the ball, tight because it made you swing harder so you got more head speed.

Interesting. I love low tensions. Next time I will try some thick syn gut. Thanks.

tbini87
08-24-2007, 12:10 PM
well i played with two racquets today, one at 61 lbs and one at 56 (on my nTour 95s). the one at 61 felt like a board and was not easy to hit. the one at 56 felt much better, and for me it produced a little more spin. the most obvious difference was on my serves. with the racquet at 61 i couldn't get much action on my slice or kick serve, but i got a fair amount with the one at 56. so for now i will assume that i can get a little more spin if i string at a lower tension. maybe next i will try one at 51 lbs!

mucat
08-24-2007, 12:28 PM
well i played with two racquets today, one at 61 lbs and one at 56 (on my nTour 95s). the one at 61 felt like a board and was not easy to hit. the one at 56 felt much better, and for me it produced a little more spin. the most obvious difference was on my serves. with the racquet at 61 i couldn't get much action on my slice or kick serve, but i got a fair amount with the one at 56. so for now i will assume that i can get a little more spin if i string at a lower tension. maybe next i will try one at 51 lbs!

The board feeling is because the tension is too high for you. Instead of the string deform and absorb the impact, now you arm and wrist has to absorb the impact.

tbini87
08-24-2007, 07:32 PM
The board feeling is because the tension is too high for you. Instead of the string deform and absorb the impact, now you arm and wrist has to absorb the impact.

yeah, i started to realize that as i played. after a set i switched racquets to the lower one, which is probably where i will string in the future. i thought the racquet at 61 would break in and loosen up but it didn't. i might cut them out if they dont loosen up in a few days.

nickarnold2000
08-25-2007, 04:18 AM
This will be discussed to death with sides claiming victory. Get out and experiment people - you just might surprised yourselves! Just remember to keep an open mind.

Loco4Tennis
08-25-2007, 04:51 AM
one other factor to consider is that higher tension lowers the string movement and hence giving a more consistent string bet,

bad_call
08-25-2007, 05:01 AM
When the USRSA did tests on this, the results showed that thick, rough strings at a lower tension produced a lot of spin due to more surface area contact with the ball (cupping because of lower tension wrapped string more around te ball, plus thick strings gave more contact). The other setup was thin, tight strings. Thinner made it easier to sink into the ball, tight because it made you swing harder so you got more head speed.

my experience supports SH's post. however i mostly choose 17 g strings since spin isn't the only part of my game.

EricW
08-25-2007, 06:39 AM
Not only are you not providing us with any evidence that you get more spin with lower tensions, but you also haven't said anything to back up the claim that there is more dwell time on the racket with lower tensions.

Care to elaborate? That's some serious speculation. I'm very interested to hear your explanation.

I am in a position to argue that there is no correlation between string tension and spin produced. There is only the perceived difference and even those differences do not agree with the statement made by kirbster, at least for most people.

There is an incredibly small increase in dwell time as you drop your string tension. Even if the impulse was longer, I still don't think it would make much difference. It doesn't take much to spin a tennis ball (1/15 of the energy imparted to the ball by a professional player), so the slight changes in dwell time makes doesn't make much of a difference.

I think most poeple who have actually done some experimentation have found that higher tesnions give the preception of added spin and this happens for a couple of reaons. One of them is the simple fact that for the same shot, the ball will land shorter in the court. I can go on, but most of this is worthless information.

The bottom line is that there is no relationship between string tension and spin.

I'm guessing you're right, that string tension doesn't affect spin produced nearly as much as everyone thinks. But what it does do is at a higher tension, you're getitng less power but the same spin, meaning you can swing harder and generate the same power you got at a lower tension, but the spin will be much greater because you're swinging much harder. Same reason players racquets are low-powered.

Bottle Rocket
08-25-2007, 08:59 AM
I'm guessing you're right, that string tension doesn't affect spin produced nearly as much as everyone thinks. But what it does do is at a higher tension, you're getitng less power but the same spin, meaning you can swing harder and generate the same power you got at a lower tension, but the spin will be much greater because you're swinging much harder. Same reason players racquets are low-powered.

Not only that, but you simply get less depth for a any given shot with a higher string tension. This also gives the impression of increased spin.

The link I posted above says exactly what you said.

Midlife crisis
08-25-2007, 10:20 AM
One thing that I don't believe has been mentioned is that the elasticity of the strings themselves allow the ball pocket to be formed assymetrically. In other words, if you swing with an upward path (to generate topspin) and the incoming ball has topspin (from hitting the ground), the string pocket will be deeper below the ball than above the ball. When the strings rebound, this effect will help generate a little bit of extra spin.

This effect is magnified by looser or more elastic strings, and its effect can be seen in how looser strings react. Usually, the ball flies high and long, and it is the result of the assymetric pocketing rebounding the ball at a slightly different angle depending on how assymetric the pocket is. Looser = more assymetric, so the looser the strings, the more the ball flies and the more the racquet face must be closed to keep the trajectory the same.

So, I'm on the side of looser = more spin, though this effect is fairly minor and, I believe, less than the difference that string types would make.