Tension differentials between mains and crosses - which produces most spin?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Torres, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    If I have a poly and string up a racquet at say 53/52, will that produce more spin than say, the same racquet strung at 52/53?

    If so, why?

    (the actual tension is obviously for illustration, so it could be 52/54, 54/52 etc)
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
    #1
  2. Dragan

    Dragan Rookie

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    Purely hypothetical guess would be that lower tension in mains should produce marginally better spin, everything else being the same, due to more pronounced mains snap-back effect.

    However, in such a close tension ranges (only 2% difference between two setups) I don't believe anybody could tell what is better in a blind test.
     
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  3. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I would imagine the same as Dragan. Nonetheless, I don't think you'd notice it.
     
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  4. Muppet

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    Just for theory's sake, I'd think that looser crosses would allow the mains to move and snap back more easily than putting the slack on the mains. On the other racquet, tighter crosses would make the mains deflect more deeply in the weave. Wouldn't this jam the mains up more and get in the way of their movement?
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
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  5. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    That's what I would have thought ie tighter crosses = less spin, but its not something I've tried very much (have always strung at the same tension M/C for the same string), so its not something I'm sure about at all.

    I throw the question out there in the hope of futher responses or insight......
     
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  6. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Its the mains that produce the most spin in your racquet, so stringing the mains lower will produce more spin.

    But on the flip side, you also have to loosen your crosses too. Correct me if i'm wrong, but when the crosses are tighter than the mains, that will raise the overall reference tension... sort of undo-ing your efforts in loosening your mains.

    If you're stringing at 53/52, then bring both down at least two lbs, if not more, together, in order to increase spin.

    And, perhaps string a smaller gauge too. The thinner the string, the more spin.
     
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  7. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Do an experiment and come tell us.
     
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  8. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    You do realise that you still haven't explained your previous suggestion about how you can string a racquet without having to cut it from the reel, that it wasn't necessary to measure string lengths etc.

    I'm still waiting for your explanation.
     
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  9. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    You're going to wait for a while, because I don't even know what you're talking about.
     
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  10. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I wait in anticipation! :mrgreen:
     
    #10
  11. brucie

    brucie Professional

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    Agree in theory... Mains generate the spin on groundies at least...
     
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  12. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    It depends on the strings and frame in question.

    Let's assume a softer main (gut or a soft multi) and a stiffer cross (poly or a stiff multi or synth gut). Generally with this setup you'd want a lower tension cross and higher tension main to balance the two. You probably wouldn't want to string the mains looser in this case.

    Reverse the above and you might want to string the stiff mains looser and the soft crosses tighter or the same since the natural differences in stiffness might balance the two.

    In the two cases above you don't have much of a choice and spin will be determined by other factors.

    Assuming a homogeneous setup you generally want the longer mains strung a little bit tighter than the shorter crosses to even out stringbed stiffness. The idea is that the longer mains naturally flex more than the shorter crosses and in the interest of producing a reliable SB you might want to balance the relative performance.

    So again, there's not much of a choice in some ways.

    The problem is that not paying attention to string choice and pattern first can result in a wonky stringbed. For example, string natural gut mains at 48 and super stiff poly crosses at 52 in a very open pattern and you'll probably have some control issues. Spin will be the last of your worries.

    To maximize spin potential start with your choice of mains and crosses, pay attention to string friction and ball friction, and then base relative tension on string choice and density (more open string closer together, more dense you can increase the difference). Worrying about spin potential and relative tension before considering string choice and pattern is putting the cart before the horse.

    Finally, the mains do contribute most to spin but the must be just right, not too soft (won't snap back fast to flick the ball and cause spin) and not too stiff (fail to move enough). I've experienced both using the same strings. For every string choice and frame there's a Goldilocks Tension for spin, power, and control.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
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  13. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    You made this much fuss about a miscalculation? Stupid old man.
     
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  14. fortun8son

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    Others were wondering, too. Cocky, know-it-all, young whippersnapper.:)
     
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  15. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    What I'm highlighting - and I've seen this in numerous posts of yours - is that you act all cocky and glib, like a know it all, but in reality you don't have any clue whatsoever about the subject matter that you comment on, whether it's strings, racquets, technique etc

    Your post about how it's possible to string a racquet without cutting the string from the reel is a very obvious example of your stupidity.

    You try and make out that you know more than you actually do but in short, you're a fake. A whopper. And a big one at that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
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  16. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Hey Torres, don't sugar-coat it; tell him what you really think lol. I see posts in here sometimes that make me shake my head, but some of UCSF's do kind of...well, standout.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
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  17. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    You should be old enough to know one thing in life: you pick your battles. You don't make the biggest fuss over rushed typing.... "OMG, he must be the stupidest man on earth. He said C before B! Ah. So wrong and so arrogant!!!!"

    And of course, in all this, you miss the big picture: If you want to know how much string to use, you measure how much it took and account for it next time. That was the main idea of that paragraph, but you're obsessed about errors from rushed typing. You must have been too cool for school thirty/forty years ago.

    I'll get an editor one of these days to monitor my blog posts. It obviously matters for you old farts. He'll do the thinking for you so you don't have to.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
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  18. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    SAT skills don't go away just because you've graduated from high school. ...what's the author's main point in lines 18 through 24? You're not reading A Tale of Two Cities. It's an internet blog. You got caught up in word choice, allusions, symbolism and the works.
     
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  19. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Torres is like that so just ignore him.

    I made an innocent comment once on the aesthetics of a racquet and he poured scorn on my preciousness.

    I then found a thread where he gushed about the beautiful blueness of his racquet and his string, etc.

    I wrote a barbed remark about this apparent inconsistency and he had it removed.
     
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  20. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Dats tournes fir ya. All bhbr no substance.
     
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  21. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Yea, I know. That's why it's fun to mock him.

    As to his original question, which produces more spin? I've already tested out this situation on the court, on more tension combos actually. I already know the answer. Perhaps I'm a "know it all," but "this know it all" won't tell it all. I'd rather people figure it out for themselves.

    I prefer experimentation and discovery. He enjoys theoretical explanations. Throw in a few buzz words and phrases like "snap back" and "low friction" and he'll sleep well that night.
     
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  22. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    That's not "rushed typing".

    You're a whopper.

    No amount of back tracking or trying to change the subject is going to change the fact that you don't have a clue what you're taking about, and that you put on an act to hide your general cluelessness.

    Given that your last 'suggestion' involved running round a tennis court with a racquet that has a reel of string dangling off the end of it and which hasn't been tensioned because you haven't cut the string from the reel, anything that you "know" is going to be about as much use as a rubber contraceptive with a hole in the end of it. :mrgreen:

    You're a whopper.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
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  23. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I'm still waiting for video of the infamous torreball. Uber spin and pace.
     
    #23
  24. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I want to know what tournes means when he calls you a whopper? Did they say that in the 40s?
     
    #24
  25. The Flightless Bird

    The Flightless Bird New User

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    With the recent advent of 16 x 15 string patterns, where there are considerably less crosses than the norm (wilson S racquets), that result in less friction imparted on the mains thus higher spin potential, would stringing the crosses looser on a 16 x 19 mimic this characteristic?
     
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  26. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    My opinion from what I have read is looser crosses are better if same string in mains and cross. Tighter crosses prevent mains from sliding. My view is you conceptually want to get the mains at a tension that feels good for power, and control and string the crosses 2-4 loser to let them slide a bit to optimize spin.
     
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  27. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    What if the string used for the mains holds tension far better than the string used in the crosses (i.e. gut mains and poly crosses)? Might one try a higher tension on the crosses than the mains knowing that in short order that differential is likely to be reversed?
     
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  28. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    you could but I don't. my experience is gut or poly mains at say 56 with a poly cross at 52 plays well for about 10 hours and plays OK for another 5 - 10 hours if you aren't a string breaker.

    I like gut or multi mains at 52-56 lbs, but poly is really tight even 52 lbs. I would not string gut mains at 56 and poly at 58 hoping the poly loosens up unless you like hitting with a board because poly at 58 is very very stiff.
     
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  29. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I follow.

    The strings I like best seem to be polys around 55-60 lb (for whatever reason). I just play better with this type of setup (way more balls land in, serve is better, etc). Something like Volkl Cyclone 16 at 55 to me feels great.

    But, at age 42, I have a newly acquired case of OMS (old man syndrome) and the full poly hurts :(

    Ive found if I try the gut at 50-55 and the poly in the same 50-55 range, that the balls fly more on me as I just cant swing the same and have the balls land in. Thus, the idea of the gut at 55 lb (which is the practical upper limit for the cheapo gut I use) and the poly at ~60. This seems to tame the power enough (but I have no idea if it causes a drop in spin as well). It may, but perhaps it is a small differential.
     
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  30. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

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    Just theory...
    I've tested both stringing with a full bed of 40 lbs and changing the main/cross difference up to 5 lbs. The initial thought is looser crosses = more movement in mains = more spin for snap back.

    BUT....
    Consider stringing crosses tighter = more side to side tension in your mains which would result in a STRONGER snapback but with less movement length.

    Hypothetical
    Looser crosses allow your mains to move 0.5" but with a tension of X.
    Tighter crosses allow your mains to move only .35" but at a tension of 1.5X.

    Wouldn't having the strings having more tension result in faster snap back imparting more spin? I think each string set up should be tested as it may yield different results based on friction, personal ball striking, string elasticity, etc

    In my personal experience with over 25 string jobs with my own rackets i still go back to using the same tension in mains/crosses with using a full bed of poly (MSV hex 1.10mm or more recent BHBZ 1.23). In fact when I tested BHBZ I strung a full bed of 40 and one at 41/38. I liked the full 40 better.

    I'm sure the spin potential of 40/40 vs 41/38 is negligible.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
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  31. phanker

    phanker Rookie

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    By default, the resulting mains tension will be much higher than the crosses when strung at the same full bed tension. With the crosses are strung, it adds further tensions on the mains. How much it adds I'm uncertain. I assume that as you play, the tension difference would even out a bit.

    I'm in my early experiments but have found that I prefer to string the crosses 4lbs heavier in hybrid using the same poly for mains and crosses. I seem to get more predictable balls in play as the mains don't move as much. As for spin, I can't say if I notice enough of a difference.

    How much of a tension difference to use will depends on how wide the racquet is also. On my Head Extreme Pro 2 which has a really wide body, it eliminates the trampoline effect too. I feel like I get more spin as a result. The string bed just feel more consistent and balanced if you know what I mean.

    My 2 cents which might not be worth much right now as I'm rather new to stringing.
     
    #31
  32. SCRAP IRON

    SCRAP IRON Professional

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    Bring this guy back. These banned dudes make things more interesting. As informative as it is to discuss the merits of gut/poly hybrids, it's not nearly as entertaining as reading these guys' internet jabs!
     
    #32
  33. SCRAP IRON

    SCRAP IRON Professional

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    With the exception of FedAce of course...
     
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  34. g4driver

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    Thought I was the only one who was bummed they banned Torres.

    What got him banned ? Was it the C3PO reference to JackB ? ;) that post actually cracked me up because it was spot on - ;)
     
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  35. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    ANYWAY, back on topic. If I string a full bed of multi at 62 lbs, would it be beneficial at all to string the crosses a couple lbs looser? Would I get any more spin?
     
    #35
  36. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    I have the same question...

    Imagine for a 95" closed 18x20 like the Rebel 95, I am about to try the Wilson NXT at 20Kilos mains. But I wonder at what tension should I string the crosses to improve spin...
     
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  37. wmrhawk

    wmrhawk Rookie

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    interesting question indeed

    I've pondered this and never came up with a good theory or solid evidence to support tighter vs looser.
    I think there are many variables that would affect the outcome from one racquet to another and even player styles.
    That being stated, I think I've stumbled upon an important variable affecting my Wilson 105s Steam (and probably other open, spin-friendly sticks): the use of slippery cross string with a rectangular profile.
    My claim is based on the responses I've been getting recently since trying out Gosen polymaster as a cross string. I've always hit with a lot of topspin and other players have consistently commented on it, but lately I've been hearing howls of protest (tongue in cheek, presumably) about my "illegal" racquet, strings, etc. I've just begun to use it, and I haven't had a chance to experiment much w tensions, but there seems to be something there that accentuates the spin.
     
    #37
  38. ShahofTennis

    ShahofTennis Semi-Pro

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    After a lot of string jobs with some very drastic tension differentials and a variety of string patterns, head sizes, and string-bed types: I have found that spin is mostly produced using the mains because of the ergonomics of our swing. Racquets like those from Power Angle were made to optimize spin potential using the natural ergonomics of our swing. Crosses don't generate nearly as much spin through the ergonomics of our swing because most strokes don’t engage the crosses at a point where there is potential for their movement and the subsequent snap-back.

    When considering the more traditional string beds; for example 16x18, 18x20, and 16x19; there are more crosses than there are mains, but don’t let this fool you. About the same amount of string for the crosses goes into the racquet for the mains. Crosses primarily function in tempering the mains so that they cannot trampoline the ball nearly as much as they could if they were strung in, and played with, without the crosses (Please don’t start the old witch hunt routine where someone feels the need to point out that mains alone could warp the frame, I know they will, that’s why no one does that). Generally for these string types; I would recommend creating a sort of differential in the mains and crosses, where your mains are strung higher. In a midsize frame, the best tension is anywhere between 48-54 lbs. When you have a midplus or oversize head; its best to string in the upper 50’s or even lower 60’s depending on your fitness and strength. The crosses are to be strung 3-5 lbs lower, this lower tension will allow the mains to move and snapback more freely, naturally increasing the spin potential in any string bed.

    For the newer spin friendly frames; for example: 18x16, 16x15, 16x16, etc. Higher tensions are a must (Tensions less than 57lbs mean you’re asking for it), and the general need for differentials between mains and crosses is all but nullified, and you can string both mains and crosses at the same tension because there are less cross strings that can temper your mains. But even in these frames the understood laws of tennis apply. Mains generate spin more than crosses. Why? Because you’re still using the exact same swing.

    The mains are the bigger deal here when it comes to spin. Tensions higher than what are recommended will result in the mains being more resistant to movement, and tensions lower that what are recommended will result in the mains being less resistant, but beyond some threshold; less able to snap-back after being moved. Keep in mind that this is considering you have a “normal” swing. If you play soup kitchen tennis and your swings more closely resemble Ladling, then your best bet is do the exact opposite on the more traditional string patterns.
     
    #38
  39. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I seem to have been resurrected from the dead... :mrgreen:

    As for tension differentials, I've found that slightly lower tension on the mains (rather than the other way round) improves spin potential slightly. Gives a different response from the string bed but the difference in spin noticeably hitting slice or twist serves.
     
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  40. phanker

    phanker Rookie

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    I found this to be case too. The higher cross tension prevents the mains from moving 1 way on the racquet and staying there. When hitting or serving slices, you don't lose as much spin as a result of the mains now going the opposite direction. Slices are more consistent and too as a result.

     
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