Do spin racquets really make that much of a difference?

MoxMonkey

Rookie
I was caught up in this when I first started playing last fall, and wanted to increase the spin of the ball, same goes for poly strings too, though it seems like strings make a bigger difference.

But how much of a difference does it make?

I've played with all sorts of different racquets, and I feel like I can a relatively similar amount of spin from each one. I believe their is a difference, but is there a general percentage that is known from a dense control racquet to a wide open spin one?

I'm thinking this might be one of those 'Indian not the arrow' situations
 

cha cha

Professional
I have recently gone from 20x18 to 18x16 in the same frame size and, for the life of me, I cannot tell the difference.
 

McGradey

Professional
An open string pattern does make it a bit easier to impart spin on the ball in my experience.

Beyond that, it’s mostly marketing.

You can get lots of spin with a dense string pattern, it’s just not as easy to achieve. And the ball trajectory/shape will be different when you compare an open string pattern and a dense one.

It pays to look at the actual density of the stringbed rather than just look at the numbers.
For example, I had an old Prince 16x18 that was more dense in the middle of the stringbed than an 18x20 Wilson Blade.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
For typical recreational players without pro-levels of racquet head speed, the difference is more in launch angle than actual spin. You can notice a difference on serves and a spin effect will tend to give a ball that moves more or bounces higher if the technique is good.

I have one spin effect racquet and with a sharply shaped poly string, the spin capability is way higher than in any 16x19 racquet with any string. But I only swung that way maybe a few times a set - the rest of the time I had to deal with the downsides of high incoming spin sensitivity, a different ball speed profile coming off the stringbed compared to my regular racquet depending on how much spin I was trying to impart, and very short string life.
 
I am keen to believe that, consistent with some TW University tests that you can find on their website, that how much spin is decided more by the number of crosses than mains, specifically the fewer the crosses the more the spin. I’m thinking fewer crosses has less friction against the mains so they can slide and snapback more easily. So there’s not going to be a whole lot of difference between 16x19 and 18x20, which is consistent with not observing a whole lot of difference between most frames.

My only experience with a “spin effect” frame was with a Clash 100S at 18x16 and I indeed felt the higher launch angle but then also the ball would come down into the court and not fly so I believe there was more top spin than usual. As much as I liked playing with the racquet, the inability to flatten out the ball when needed, i.e. the high launch angle, seemed like it might be detrimental in doubles as providing too many opportunities at the perfect height for the opponent to just smash the ball.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I think they do help with additional spin if you hit with some spin. Like everything there are trade offs.

As other's have noted the launch angle is higher so again if you hit the ball pretty flat off the ground the ball can sail.

if you do hit with spin these racquets will go through string. If you happen to purchase one of these racquets that are also stiff you can find yourself in the Bermuda Triangle where the racquet is stiff so you prefer softer strings but you snap softer strings quickly but want longer lasting strings which are typically stiff, etc....
 

Margomael

Rookie
Yes, the spin effect rackets give you more easy spin. But as said before you need to perform the right technique.
The strings last a lot less. They break easier on those rackets
 

MasterZeb

Hall of Fame
Depends on your level and stroke. Below a 4.5 or 5.0 and likely it would make no difference to you. Same with poly strings.
 

Lorenn

Professional
But how much of a difference does it make?

I've played with all sorts of different racquets, and I feel like I can a relatively similar amount of spin from each one. I believe their is a difference, but is there a general percentage that is known from a dense control racquet to a wide open spin one?
Which racquets are we comparing?

To me there are racquets which work best if you hit a certain way

Some are easy to hit flat, but require effort to add spin
Neutral you can hit flat or with spin both are easy just depends on swing.
Those which prefer you hit with tons of spin.

Mostly the density of the string pattern decides.
 
Last edited:

Hit 'em clean

Semi-Pro
Spin friendly/focused frames don't make you work as hard to create spin, but you can create similar levels of spin with other racquets it's just harder to do as consistently or as well. Lower level players are usually not very good at creating spin so any extra spin at all can be a big help. Advanced players, even if they hit flat primarily, still know how to create spin if they need/want to.

The Pure Aero for example is a very spin friendly frame. If I hit with that as opposed to the Speed Pro or Gravity Pro... I certainly can create more spin and it's much easier to create spin even if I'm hitting late or not in the best position to strike the ball really well to create spin. However, I can still hit with near same levels of spin if I have time to setup correctly and make a really good stroke and have good contact... even with and 18x20 players style frame. It's just certainly harder to create as much spin and to consistently get similar levels of spin.

Most frames today are already designed to be spin friendly, much more so than they were 20-30 years ago. So there isn't a huge difference in spin between a lot of frames these days. You can buy more spin (shaped strings, racquets, etc), but you'll get far more of a bump in spin by learning how to hit the ball better. Technique is far more important always when it comes to spin, power, etc. Equipment gains in any of these categories are limited because in the end you still need to make good contact and have a good swing to really get the potential out of any frame.
 

phanamous

New User
They do provide more spin but with way too many compromises. Had the Wilson Steam 99S during the spin craze.
  • With less crosses to stabilize the mains (less friction too), launch angles tend to be higher and less consistent. One compensates making contact with the ball at a steeper angle resulting in more spin.
  • String playability sucks. It's awesome for the first hour, ok for the 2nd, then flyers city for the 3rd. Since the mains now works so much harder, their playability window is tiny and not consistent at all.
  • String durability sucks ass. I tried a thick gauge which helps a tiny bit but then my elbow didn't like it so much.
  • Control not the greatest for volleys and flat shots.
 
I still have a Steam 99S. And agree with everything phanamous says above.

It is in mint condition. I will keep it and offer it up for sale in thirty years time when hopefully it will become a highly desirable collectible.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Spin effect = String eater.

i can get adequate spin for my swing speed with any frame but I do find I "have" to hit with spin using an open string pattern to get control. The launch differences kind of force you to use spin to compensate. With a more closed pattern it's less of a concern so you can hit flatter but then that produces it's own issues of net clearance and risk.

No perfect answer.
 

Purestriker

Semi-Pro
I was caught up in this when I first started playing last fall, and wanted to increase the spin of the ball, same goes for poly strings too, though it seems like strings make a bigger difference.

But how much of a difference does it make?

I've played with all sorts of different racquets, and I feel like I can a relatively similar amount of spin from each one. I believe their is a difference, but is there a general percentage that is known from a dense control racquet to a wide open spin one?

I'm thinking this might be one of those 'Indian not the arrow' situations
Other than the string spacing being noticeable, I cannot tell that much of a difference. Your technique drives the spin.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
I notice pretty big differences among racquets with my semi-western forehand. I can get enough topspin to shape my shots from almost any racquet, but I can get some crazy hops with spin-friendly ones. To me the launch angle is almost a separate characteristic. Some frames like my Prince TT 310 or the Pure Aero have really wide main strings and a big launch angle as well as a lot of spin. But for example the strings on the G360+ Radical Pro or the Dunlop SX300 are spaced tighter and the launch angle is lower, but I still get lots of spin and the ball jumps off the court. The downside of those types of frames is that the ball can dip shorter than I want.
 
Top