Comparing 16x20 to 18x20 string patterns.

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by tennisrick, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. tennisrick

    tennisrick New User

    Jul 25, 2008
    Hi, I am looking to buy a new tennis racquet and I want more power, and spin than my current racquet (K-Blade Tour which has an 18x20 string pattern). I am a 4.0 player with a semi-western forehand grip who hits the ball pretty flat but I would like to learn how to put more spin on it. I have demoed a Babolat Pure Storm Tour and like it a lot but am worried that the 16x20 string pattern will still be too dense. I am asking if one can still get enough bite off the string bed even if it is a 16x20 instead of a 16x19 or 16x18. Thanks!
    MikeMechanic likes this.
  2. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

    Jun 12, 2008
    Columbus Ohio
    I have been hitting flat for 30 years. Never had much top spin even with a grip change. I have always hit with a 18X20 pattern. Just changed to a Head radical tour with 16x19. My new topspin is amazing. I cant believe the difference.
  3. Murray_Maniac

    Murray_Maniac Banned

    May 23, 2008
    Yea 16x20 provides great spin. I use a diablo mid and it is 16x20 and it creates a lot of spin. I came from an 18x20 (k6.1 team) and the diablo mid allowed me to learn how to hit w/ more spin. I havent hit w/ that Babolat but it should be the same case.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  4. JRW

    JRW Rookie

    Feb 19, 2004
    You also need to take string spacing into consideration. At one time I had both a Babolat Pure Control and Wilson HPS 5.0 both w/ 16x20 patterns. The Wilson hit with noticeably more spin than the Babolat due to the strings being spaced further apart.
  5. In D Zone

    In D Zone Hall of Fame

    Apr 5, 2006
    16 x18
    16x 20

    Main pattern is all consistent.(16). Variation of the cross offers more stablity and control.

    As JRW pointed out the spacing of the cross pattern plays a big part l
    Depending on the head size and the model of the racquet.

    I have played with all string pattern and did not really noticed a big difference in the spin, except when you compare it to the 18x20.
  6. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

    Aug 16, 2007
    There is quite some controversy over the features of open vs. closed string patterns. A closed (18 mains) is supposed to give more control and less spin and an open (16 mains) would produce more spin, less control according to conventional or rather traditional tennis wisdom.

    However there is some scientific evidence that points out that both patterns can produce equal spin.

    I would say the difference will be especially in the feel. Open feels more flexible, the strings give more on ball impact and dwell time increases a little. Closed will feel a little more rigid, more boardy.

    Much of this can be adapted to personal preference by choosing a good tension, gauge and type of string.
  7. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

    Jul 8, 2006
    I've gone from 16x19 to 18x20 and the biggest difference I've noticed wasn't a drop off in spin, but a compression in the size of the sweet spot. I have more control over my swings since my frames aren't too lively, and my serves seem to be more precise.
  8. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

    Jul 28, 2006
    just wondering why so many people are hunger for topspin?

    hitting flat isn't bad at all, as long as you clear the net.
  9. vndesu

    vndesu Hall of Fame

    Jul 18, 2007
    if you want a 16x20
    for a lower price go for technifibre.
    i love my 335 and its stable all around.

    if you want a 16x19 go for the ag300
  10. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

    Aug 16, 2006
    Yes, but hitting a ball flat(with no spin) means you can only get a certain amount of ball velocity before it flies out of bounds. If you look at Fed and Nadal's FH, the ball speed is incredible! There's absolutely no way they could hit those wild angles and passes without the benefit of topspin controlling the ball and bringing it back into the court. As you climb higher up the rankings, you'll see more and more "top" being used.
  11. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

    Aug 23, 2006
    on the lighter side - sometimes i hit with so much topspin that the ball doesn't even clear the net. :mrgreen: that's when i know some flat is needed.
    hklbkup likes this.
  12. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Aug 12, 2007

    I'm in exactly the same boat: I have 18 X 20 racquets that I like for the control, but I want to get more pop and spin.

    Right now I am demoing four 16 X 18-20 racquets for this exact same purpose: the PST, Yonex RDS 001 MP, Wilson K90, and Dunlop AG100. The 16 X 20 pattern is fine because the 16 is on the mains string, and the mains strings give spin. A ball responds virtually the same to 16 by 20 as 16 X 18. Almost no difference.

    If you like the PST (I do; it is the second best IMO of the ones I am demoing), then get it and put thin gauge (1.20mm or smaller) poly in the mains strings to maximize spin. It is a nice solid raquet.

    If you still want the 18 X 20 control, try a PS Ltd. Some people (maybe with western grips?) say they get spin out of it.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
  13. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

    Feb 3, 2005
    I agree. However, once you start to hit the ball pretty hard, spin is necessary to keep the ball in play. Also, angles are easier to play with spin. You can hit the ball with more net clearance and still have it drop in.

    As for the OPs question about string pattern and spin, I think swing weight is probably more important than string pattern. The key to spin is the speed of the racquet at contact. You have to be able to swing the racquet up to the ball quickly to generate lots of spin. The pattern is secondary to speed.

    My spin actually got a little better when I switched to my current frame even though I went from 16 to 18 mains. The new frame is heavier with a lower swing weight.

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