View Full Version : Lower tension gives more power is a myth....
03-18-2011, 10:59 AM
According to TW String DB, all strings (nat gut, multis/synthetic guts, and polyester) are more powerful at 50-60 lbs than an 40 lbs.
Since there is no data above 60 lbs, i assume that power declines above 60 lbs. Data supports the contention that power declines below 50 lbs.
So this is good news for people with arm problems: string lower than 50 lbs for more comfort and less power for more control...
I'm sure many people have experienced differently?
03-18-2011, 12:02 PM
You might be right. Slow motion videos of a topspin stroke show that the face of the racket is actually neutral or slightly closed (i.e. pointed down). Watching the videos makes it clear that what makes the ball go up is the pocketing of the ball in the strings and the force imparted on the ball by the strings on the bottom of pocket as the racket swings up. It seems to me that if the strings are strung at a lower tension, the pocket is deeper and more upward force would be imparted. Therefore, it seems logical to think that with two identical rackets that differ only in string tension, the one with the lower tension will throw the ball higher (and therefore further) on a topspin shot. This might be interpreted by the player as "more power."
Of course, I could be completely wrong.
edited to add: TW University needs to do some testing on this.
03-18-2011, 12:11 PM
It seems to me that if the strings are strung at a lower tension, the pocket is deeper and more upward force would be imparted. Therefore, it seems logical to think that with two identical rackets that differ only in string tension, the one with the lower tension will throw the ball higher (and therefore further) on a topspin shot. This might be interpreted by the player as "more power."
This is exactly it. Lower tension is not more powerful as the myth has been. But, lower tension is responsible for higher trajectory off the racquet, which makes balls go long, which is then interpreted as more power.
While the OP is correct, lower tension is better for comfort; control is another can of worms, because altering the trajectory off your racquet is going to affect control. Many people are not used to controlling their shots at lower tensions, but some can and do, given they practice and like that "feel". Thing is, tension can be so subjective that things like "feel" etc, affect our strokes and how we control our shots, so it's easier said then done to "lower tension for more control".
The book Technical Tennis also describes this pretty well (and I think the info is also somewhere in TWU if you know where to look).
03-19-2011, 03:58 PM
On a similar note, I have a question. Let's say two of the same racquets have the same strings but at different tensions. Racquet A, which has the higher tension, is played with for x number of hours until its tension is the same as racquet B (never played). The primary difference now is string elasticity (unless I'm missing other factors), and racquet A's strings has lost much of its elasticity.
How does the elasticity affect the trajectory of the ball in racquet A vs. B?
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