Cross strings tension compared to mains tension

wferdinand

New User
I stringing my racquet for 23 kgs (50 lbs) both mains and crosses from same copoly in the last few months. Before this I stringed 23 kgs (50 lbs) to mains and 22 kgs (48 lbs) crosses, but I felt too loose this setup, same mains/crosses tension is for me more balanced, don't loosing flexibility of stringbed, but stiffer and have better control.

This is a frequent thing how how crosses lower 1-2 kgs (2-3 lbs) than mains, but for example Rafa Nadal using mains and crosses at same tension.

So, my question is what are advantages and disadvantages these three case:
  • crosses have looser tension than mains
  • crosses same than mains
  • crosses have higher tension than mains
 

mctennis

Hall of Fame
Depends of the strings. Some strings lose tension at different rates. Some strings have different stiffness ratings. I do not compare anything the pros use to what I should use. They restring every few sets so their racquets feel the same all the time. I have strung hybrid setups at the same tension and also a full bed ( same strings) at the same tension. It is whatever you think feels and plays the best.
Normally I always have the crosses at least 3 lbs less than the mains. Even more if the string maker says lower it by "X" percent.
 
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am1899

Hall of Fame
Assuming the same string throughout the whole stringbed:

I find with the crosses looser that will increase launch angle and snap back. I generally feel precision is compromised somewhat, though. Whereas if the crosses are strung tighter than the mains, that will lower launch angle and decrease string movement. Generally this setup will feel stiffer and less forgiving to me also. The more the differential, the more these effects are accentuated. Mains and crosses strung the same tension, generally you’ll be somewhere in the middle (obviously) with all these effects.

If you have a hybrid of two different strings, then the individual characteristics of each string (and the characteristics created by them being combined together) is in and of itself another fairly complex variable that may or may not have its own effects on what I have outlined above.
 

Rabe87

Professional
I string my crosses 3 pounds tighter as I need control on flatter shots more than I need spin. So if you're a topspin player = crosses looser, if you hit with classic flat hard strokes = crosses slightly tighter, if you don't really care and/or equal tension for both crosses and mains works for you then do that :)
 

Muppet

Legend
When I string a hybrid with a poly and a multi or synth gut, tightening one more than the other gives me more of the feel of the tightened one. Also, I like to think in terms of stiffer string/softer string rather than main/cross. The softer string needs extra tension regardless of its orientation.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
When I string a hybrid with a poly and a multi or synth gut, tightening one more than the other gives me more of the feel of the tightened one. Also, I like to think in terms of stiffer string/softer string rather than main/cross. The softer string needs extra tension regardless of its orientation.
Weird. Always do kev mains and the crosses are the same tension or less tension up to 50lbs lower sometimes. Got this from the kev/zx thread where the stiffness of the string is taken into account in terms of tension differential. Something about the stiffer string losing more tension vs the softer string.
 

Muppet

Legend
Weird. Always do kev mains and the crosses are the same tension or less tension up to 50lbs lower sometimes. Got this from the kev/zx thread where the stiffness of the string is taken into account in terms of tension differential. Something about the stiffer string losing more tension vs the softer string.
I'm not sure what happens to the feel of the string bed 5 days after it's strung. There's too many variables. But while the strings are fresh, a tighter cross will feel more prominent if the other string stays the same. And the same goes for tightening the mains, per se. And I bet the ZX will feel more dominant with 5 more lbs. on it, but maybe not better.
 

1HBHfanatic

Hall of Fame
Imo crosses control the feel of the string job..
in a FB poly string job only (hybrids change the dynamic), this is how I look at it:
Higher crosses = tighter feel, smaller sweet spot, " it seems", ime
Lower crosses = softer feel, bigger sweet spot, with the added bonus of better snap back
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
What actually happens, or what I found from using SM, is that when you increase the cross tension, without increasing main tension, on the stringer, your main strings would get tighter. So overall SB stiffness increases. I restrung cross strings a few times to increase the tension and that was what I found.

I suspect that when you do high differential, i.e. high main low cross, the main never really gets tight. The hoop flex comes into play and I do not have any data to tell me what happens. It appears that the hoop has a tendency to keep a high main low cross tension ratio. Or you can increase cross tension so much that they can get close. And yes, that means a more locked string bed.

On a side note, I also noticed that as the racket is played, the center strings loosen more than the outside strings. I suspect that is where the so called trampoline effect came from, where there is a hot spot on the string bed.
 
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