View Full Version : Mixed opinions on what to string tighter: mains or crosses

06-18-2004, 10:35 AM
I've always done my hybrids where I string the mains a little tighter than the crosses to account for the extra length. However, I came across someone who suggested stringing the crosses tighter than the mains to achieve tension equilibrium. The claim for this practice was that the crosses lose tension while tensioning due to friction of the mains and therefore do not recieve the actual tension you give it.

To some of you certified stringers out there, is this the case?


Steve Huff
06-18-2004, 12:50 PM
Both theories are valid. I've had more people that I string for say that dropping the tension of the crosses around 5% felt the best. Also, it depends on the strings you are using.

06-18-2004, 12:58 PM
I currently string with Lux ALU in the mains @ 54 lbs and Wilson synthetic in the crosses (for softer feel) @52 lbs. I sort of agree, at least in my case that I should string my crosses a little higher since the mains are stiff strings, but I don't know if the actual feel will improve by making this switch.

Steve Huff
06-18-2004, 03:38 PM
With those 2 strings, for me anyway, I'd string them at the same tension. The synthetic is more elastic, but shorter in length. The Lux is longer, but stiffer. Also, if you string the softer (and less durable) string at a tension that causes it to reach its maximum elasticity before the more durable string, then you're basically going to get the durability of the less durable one. That's probably not what you want. There's probably no secret formula except trial and error to find out what works best for you. Since strings aren't reaching their maximum elasticity very often, you can probably assume that the one that feels best is the one that's causing both strings to deflect about the same amount with the majority of your shots.

06-18-2004, 04:08 PM
I doubt very much there is a lot of tension less in the crosses during stringing. Even if there is some, keep in mind - they are shorter. Set the same tension for a long main as for a shorter cross and by definition the cross starts out higher. If friction then reduces the tension, probably crosses and mains come out approximately even.

Some theories have higher cross-stringing as improving spin. Or at least a few claycourters are prone to having their racquets strung this way. I tried it once or twice and didn't find any real difference.

06-18-2004, 04:23 PM
I can say that there is severe tension loss in the crosses. I string with my drop weight at the same setting. I have used my Stringmeter to compare the mains and crosses. The mains will read about 65 lbs while the crosses read 35 or 40 lbs. This is with a one-piece job (same type of string). So it is not from different characteristics. I personally don't know that changing the crosses by a couple lbs either way will make a very big difference in playability. But, hey, it's a personal preference; whatever floats your boat...

06-18-2004, 09:54 PM
If you've got Kevlar in the mains, always string the crosses about 6 or 7 pounds looser.

06-19-2004, 01:21 AM
No deuce, if Kevlar is in the mains, then string the crosses about 15% higher!

Gaines Hillix
06-19-2004, 06:41 AM
This is a personal preference issue. There is no formula for this(unless you want to string the whole frame using the Universal Proportional Stringing Method, but that's a whole other subject). The friction with the mains does reduce the tension on the crosses a lot and the stagger that is added to the mains increases the tension on them. However, the shorter length of the crosses makes them stiffer in play(dynamic stiffness), so it balances out. Only Yonex actually recommends stringing the crosses lower(5%) than the mains on their isometric(square top) frames.

06-19-2004, 10:44 AM
Of course, you're right, spinbalz - crosses should be HIGHER with Kevlar in the mains.

In my own defence, I've been sick with a virus all week - I think the constant coughing has rattled my brain somewhat.

Thanks for the correction.

David Pavlich
06-19-2004, 06:12 PM
Another item to think about is the engineers design racquets with equal reference tension at the mains and crosses being the norm, exception being the previously mentioned Yonex (thanks, Gaines) and I think some of the Wilson Rollers, although I may be off base there.

If you do experiment, don't stray too far from equal tension as it could cause stresses that weren't meant to be.