thick mains and really thin crosses. Would this create more spin?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by 2ndServe, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    The ridges would be more pronounced. Would it make for more spin?
     
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  2. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    It might help a little.
    At your tensions, probably not much.
    It's been fairly well established that the spin makers are:
    a) technique
    b) open string patterns
    c) High string to ball coefficient
    d) Low string to string coefficient
    e) all of the above, in varying combinations

    You're looking at increasing c), so yes it should help a bit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
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  3. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi 2nd serve,

    Yeah, cool, I kind of get what you are envisioning here. Old concepts die hard. Mid 90's - 2009, there was a lot of debate on the topic of string to ball friction. Mark Woodforde was rocking his ultra thick string in his extreme open pattern frame. Circa 2005, Jay Schweid was making comments in tennis mags that thick string enhances spin, and raising a lot of collective eyebrows in the process. Good times. Today, we don't debate that issue with the passion that we used to. That's because the answer is old news. But still, questions about how to best increase ball to string friction keep rolling in here with the regularity of waves crashing into the beach.

    Short Answer:

    1. Not likely. Your quest to increase ball-string friction would be dubious at best, because thinner strings and open patterns promote ball-string friction, not thicker strings. In addition, you'd be increasing the angle of the weave, which increases string to string friction. So you've got a dubious maybe at best, on the part that matters only slightly (high string-ball friction) and a definitive no on the part that matters the most (low string-string friction)

    Longer Answer :

    1. Yes the "ridges" would be more pronounced with a thick/thin combo, but getting the string to grip, grab, or bite the ball is not a huge problem. It's going to happen no matter what strings you have. In the sport of Table Tennis, where the ball does not deform, there are strict regulations about the thickness of the rubbers for tournament play, and the contact angles are much greater, getting adequate surface friction on the ball is a very big deal. If you want to get in deep up to your eyeballs about spin generation and ball friction, hang out in those forums LOL. But in the sport of tennis, where the ball deforms quite a bit, and the string bed deflects, not only is the ball sufficiently "gripped" by the string bed, it is literally smashed into it, squashed down to half its original shape. If the forces are great enough, ultra high speed video reveals that the ball is squashed nearly flat.

    2. So what this means is that there is limited room for improvement here. You cannot get any "more" bite or friction happening when the ball is already squashed into the string bed like a bug on a windshield. The only meaningful thing that can be said about ball bite, is that there is biting a tiny bit sooner, and there is biting a tiny bit later. By a "tiny bit", I mean a crazy small amount. The total duration of typical ball impacts is 3-5 milliseconds, or said another way 4/1000 of a second. Let's put that into perspective. The blink of of eye lasts 300-500 milliseconds. Ball impacts occur during a much shorter time frame than most players would guess, and the amazing number of posts discussing which string has the most or least dwell well time, stand as testimony to that misconception. (Mostly what you feel, for as long as you feel it, is post impact frame vibration that is occurring long after the ball has left the string bed, but that's another conversation altogether) Anywhoo... as the ball enters the string bed on a typical topspin ground stroke, the racquet face is tilted slightly. The tilt in the racquet face means that the ball slides a bit before taking hold, a textured, or thin string will bite the ball slightly sooner.

    3. If the strings are slippery enough to create a slide and snap back scenario, a textured string will grip the ball slightly longer with that last little flick of additional spin as the ball exits the string bed. But that last little flick, (that creates the additional spin) isn't going to happen at all if the strings are not sliding amongst themselves.

    4. Points 1-3, explain why it can said that low inter-string friction is much more important than high ball-string friction.

    I'm not making this up, I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said a gazillion times before, it's just the basics. There is a mountain of published articles, and dozens of links around here to support what I'm saying.

    PS Are you still playing with Kevlar at high tension? You might be feeling cocky and invulnerable now, but that stuff will get ya for sure. I know of no long term user that does not suffer serious consequences eventually.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
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  4. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    great inputs and analysis. Thanks for the write up. I always enjoy the scientific and theory side of things.

    Yes, I am currently still playing with kevlar. Though kevlar according to this

    http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2012/01/string_selector_2012.html

    losses tons of tension 20+ lbs after a bit of hitting. I've been using it since I was a kid with about a 7 year break from not playing. I actually don't like it per se but returning serves with new/tight strings is a lot easier for me. I actually take 1st and 2nd serves on the rise and come in to the net. Once the tension goes taking serves on the rise is very tough and the ball just catapults.

    Kevlar with MSV hex has given me no arm troubles. But Kevlar with Forten Sweet at 70lbs feels like a board and my arm is starting to feel it. I'm going to dial it down.

    Thanks again to the both of you for the knowledgeable input.
     
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  5. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Get ready to pop mains pretty quickly if you break by notching... 18g crosses saw through 2x as fast for me.
     
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  6. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    simple answer is: the mains affect the playability of the ball more than the crosses. IF you're going for spin, then you want strings in the mains that produce more spin.

    Thinner strings produce more spin than thicker strings, so you want thinner strings in the mains.

    Thicker strings in the crosses only if you want to, but again you'll get better spin if you have thinner strings in the crosses as well. it won't affect it as much as mains, but it will help.
     
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  7. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yes, in theory, as Jack explained. Ball-string friction probably does have importance during the snapback phase, when the mains have to "re-bite" the ball. Very thin crosses will reduce the angle of the weave which should reduce resistance to the mains sliding and snapping back. So a thick main (good ball-string friction) + thin crosses (low interstring friciton) should be good for spin.

    On the other hand, very thin crosses and mains would reduce the angle of the weave even more, and as long as the thin mains provided a lot of friction with the ball (Cyclone 18 or similar, kevlar 19) this might be even better.

    But in terms of reducing the angle of the weave, the best way, obviously, is to use a more open pattern, and specifically to reduce the number of crosses. Which is what Wilson and Prince are doing in 2013. (And probably everyone else too.)
     
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  8. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I don't know why, but you strike me as an incredibly smart person :shock:
     
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  9. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    To be fair, ali, most people don't crush the ball into oblivion like you do and end up breaking poly every hour or two :D
     
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  10. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Did I tell you about my mad-scientist stringjob idea?

    J
     
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  11. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    :shock::shock::shock: Out of the darkness!
     
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  12. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    [​IMG]

    J
     
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  13. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    he's back!!
     
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  14. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Whatcha got and what do I need?
     
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  15. rst

    rst Rookie

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    which stringset affect the ball most on general topspin/slice shots??

    aretn the mains brushing up/down into the balls?? i dont know if thinner here or there would make much difference as each grid has a high and low ridge. i expect the give of the guage would affect spin more??
     
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  16. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Me smart? Pfff.... I'm just a dumb jock with a knack for explaining things. But thanks for the props anyways, I'll take em where I can lol.

    - Jack
     
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  17. ckcgary

    ckcgary New User

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    Thin cross string will cause luck of power for the whole string bed. I tried main 1.25 with cross 1.20 and cutted it after 2 games.:oops:
     
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  18. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    Methinks you are over-thinking this.
    Pick something.
    Get used to it.
    Play.
     
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  19. jcollura4

    jcollura4 Rookie

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    i think its a duribility issue
     
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  20. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Someone test it out via experiment. String up 2 rackets and see what the results are.

    I can tell you that thiner gut mains and same poly crosses did NOT create a noticable increase in spin. (Gut mains from 16g to 17g Tough Gut and Kirschbaum PL X 16g on both). Same tension and everything else. Same model racket.
     
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