Do stiffer strings offer more stability?

aaron_h27

Professional
If a stiffer racket offers more stability/power than a flexible racket, wouldn't a stiffer string offer more stability on off-center shots than a soft one?

For example if comparing a full bed of natural gut strung at 60 lbs versus full poly at 60 lbs, would the full poly be more stable on off-center hits?
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
The poly would be more controlled, however the way smaller sweetspot would mean you have to really make sure you hit it on point, but poly at 60 pounds will kill your elbow.
 

Humbi_HTX

Rookie
If you are trying to fix off-center shots by having a stiffer stringbed, you should re-think the approach to finding the solution. The only guy I string for with fullbed poly 16g @ 59lbs on a 6.1 BLX 95 Team 18x20 is extremely consistent and plays at a much higher level than me, so I just string it the way he likes it every month.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
If you are trying to fix off-center shots by having a stiffer stringbed, you should re-think the approach to finding the solution. The only guy I string for with fullbed poly 16g @ 59lbs on a 6.1 BLX 95 Team 18x20 is extremely consistent and plays at a much higher level than me, so I just string it the way he likes it every month.
The fix for off-center shots is lead at 3 & 9, I just wanted to know if all things equal does a stiffer string play with more stability than a soft one.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
If a stiffer racket offers more stability/power than a flexible racket, wouldn't a stiffer string offer more stability on off-center shots than a soft one?

For example if comparing a full bed of natural gut strung at 60 lbs versus full poly at 60 lbs, would the full poly be more stable on off-center hits?
Yes. But I think you need to define "stable". There is stable in terms of the racquet (which is what other posters are alluding to), and there is stability in terms of the stringbed. Its doubtful there is a stiffer string bed than what I use and I can tell you that the stringbed feels the same on pretty much every shot. Its stable in that the response is consistent. When I use poly in the 30s for instance, the stringbed is not stable and different spots have different responses and the ball comes off the bed differently almost all the time....
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
The fix for off-center shots is lead at 3 & 9, I just wanted to know if all things equal does a stiffer string play with more stability than a soft one.
I don’t want to break balls here, but I strongly disagree with that statement. The fix for off-center shots isn’t lead, strings or anything other than good technique. Seeing the ball and making contact with the sweet spot. As far as stiff strings go, yes the material is important, but I think it’s about the tension than the string itself.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
The fix for off-center shots is lead at 3 & 9, I just wanted to know if all things equal does a stiffer string play with more stability than a soft one.
I agree with out pal Shroud in terms of a stiffer string bed being more likely to exhibit a consistent rebound of the ball. If the string bed itself is more stable - deforms less at contact with the ball - I'd expect mis-hits to be just a little less prone to spraying the ball off to who knows where.

So consistent and predictable response at contact - at least for me - seems to be about having the right string type and tension. But my impression of stability through contact is very much about having enough heft in my racquet to win the collision with the ball. The racquet is sort of the foundation that supports the trampoline - the string bed - that rebounds the ball. If that foundation isn't heavy enough, it won't hold the trampoline in a consistent position when the ball hits it. That feels unstable to me.

But it also gets ugly for me when I play a heavy racquet with a string bed that's too soft. Maybe if I sample a new multifiber and tension it too low, it will turn too soft for me after only one or two outings. Although the racquet is good and stable - it doesn't twist or flutter against the ball - the response of the mushy string bed is really unpredictable. Three strokes using the same swing may produce three different flight paths on the ball. No fun.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
The fix for off-center shots is lead at 3 & 9, I just wanted to know if all things equal does a stiffer string play with more stability than a soft one.
No stiffer strings will do nothing for that. Stiffness is a measure of how much the strings resist stretching. A stiffer string will require more force to activate the strong bed and will produce more snap back which is the primary way the racquet imparts spin to the ball. However if you’re facing a big server for example and hitting a lot of off center shots the stiffer strings will not do anything other than hurt your arm while you continue to watch balls go careening in unpredictable directions.

Put some lead tape and 3 and 9 and practice getting the ball on the sweet spot. That’s your solution. As for strings I’d suggest a nice control oriented multi rather than poly for arm health reasons.
 

Happi

Professional
If a stiffer racket offers more stability/power than a flexible racket, wouldn't a stiffer string offer more stability on off-center shots than a soft one?

For example if comparing a full bed of natural gut strung at 60 lbs versus full poly at 60 lbs, would the full poly be more stable on off-center hits?
You could try Sergetti stringing method for a more even balanced stringbed.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Sounds like by "stable the OP is referring to Twist weight. I don't think string bed will in any significant way affect that parameter. Don't think racket stiffness is all that important in twist weight either.

It's more about head shape and size, where the weight and stiffness are applied and how much that determines whether a racket will stay stable on an off centre hit.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
I agree with out pal Shroud in terms of a stiffer string bed being more likely to exhibit a consistent rebound of the ball. If the string bed itself is more stable - deforms less at contact with the ball - I'd expect mis-hits to be just a little less prone to spraying the ball off to who knows where.

So consistent and predictable response at contact - at least for me - seems to be about having the right string type and tension. But my impression of stability through contact is very much about having enough heft in my racquet to win the collision with the ball. The racquet is sort of the foundation that supports the trampoline - the string bed - that rebounds the ball. If that foundation isn't heavy enough, it won't hold the trampoline in a consistent position when the ball hits it. That feels unstable to me.

But it also gets ugly for me when I play a heavy racquet with a string bed that's too soft. Maybe if I sample a new multifiber and tension it too low, it will turn too soft for me after only one or two outings. Although the racquet is good and stable - it doesn't twist or flutter against the ball - the response of the mushy string bed is really unpredictable. Three strokes using the same swing may produce three different flight paths on the ball. No fun.
This is the exact problem im having, going to go up in tension. Thanks
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
I agree with out pal Shroud in terms of a stiffer string bed being more likely to exhibit a consistent rebound of the ball. If the string bed itself is more stable - deforms less at contact with the ball - I'd expect mis-hits to be just a little less prone to spraying the ball off to who knows where.

So consistent and predictable response at contact - at least for me - seems to be about having the right string type and tension. But my impression of stability through contact is very much about having enough heft in my racquet to win the collision with the ball. The racquet is sort of the foundation that supports the trampoline - the string bed - that rebounds the ball. If that foundation isn't heavy enough, it won't hold the trampoline in a consistent position when the ball hits it. That feels unstable to me.

But it also gets ugly for me when I play a heavy racquet with a string bed that's too soft. Maybe if I sample a new multifiber and tension it too low, it will turn too soft for me after only one or two outings. Although the racquet is good and stable - it doesn't twist or flutter against the ball - the response of the mushy string bed is really unpredictable. Three strokes using the same swing may produce three different flight paths on the ball. No fun.
I have to completely disagree. When you hit an off center shot the ball will impact the strings fairly close to the hoop. There won’t be much string movement there regardless of string setup. If you are looking to increase stability on off center hits you must increase mass in the hoop (to increase twist weight) and stop hitting off center shots. Simple as that.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
If a stiffer racket offers more stability/power than a flexible racket, wouldn't a stiffer string offer more stability on off-center shots than a soft one?
Not a true hypothesis. The stiffer frame will have a higher RA, higher twistweight or a higher Young's Modulus to handle off center hits. A flexible frame will still bend even with a stiff stringbed. With an off center hit, something has to resist the torque of the mishit. It won't be the strings if the hoop or frame is soft.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I agree with out pal Shroud in terms of a stiffer string bed being more likely to exhibit a consistent rebound of the ball. If the string bed itself is more stable - deforms less at contact with the ball - I'd expect mis-hits to be just a little less prone to spraying the ball off to who knows where.

So consistent and predictable response at contact - at least for me - seems to be about having the right string type and tension. But my impression of stability through contact is very much about having enough heft in my racquet to win the collision with the ball. The racquet is sort of the foundation that supports the trampoline - the string bed - that rebounds the ball. If that foundation isn't heavy enough, it won't hold the trampoline in a consistent position when the ball hits it. That feels unstable to me.

But it also gets ugly for me when I play a heavy racquet with a string bed that's too soft. Maybe if I sample a new multifiber and tension it too low, it will turn too soft for me after only one or two outings. Although the racquet is good and stable - it doesn't twist or flutter against the ball - the response of the mushy string bed is really unpredictable. Three strokes using the same swing may produce three different flight paths on the ball. No fun.
That is a good description of the different kinds of "stability" I was describing. You need both IMHO to experience stability. A solid high swing weight racquet with a stable (stiff) stringbed.

Here is a vid. This guy in the white has like every racquet ever made that would compete for "Noodle of the year" award and has an extensive old racquet collection. Anyhow we played around and at the end I got him to trade sticks. I was hitting with his prince and he got to hit with my Profile 2.7 mid strung with kev/poly at 86 lbs (ok I might have been doing the crosses at 66lbs) anyhow it was night and day. Turn up the volume and listen closely what he says about the feel of that racquet

 

WYK

Hall of Fame
Very easy to test. String it up with 15g poly for a hit, then restring it with 18G poly and see how she does.
 

Happi

Professional
Very easy to test. String it up with 15g poly for a hit, then restring it with 18G poly and see how she does.
Yes, and then you could do a Sergetti stringing where you even out the string bed tension for a larger sweetspot. It does really work.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
If a stiffer racket offers more stability/power than a flexible racket, wouldn't a stiffer string offer more stability on off-center shots than a soft one?

For example if comparing a full bed of natural gut strung at 60 lbs versus full poly at 60 lbs, would the full poly be more stable on off-center hits?
OP, what racquet? Stringbed density plays a role. String thickness plays a role. I have found that if I want a more direct feel, smaller head size has the greatest impact. You’re never going to get a Pure Drive to feel as direct as a Kramer Pro Staff. Modern feel is modern feel. What’s the smallest size you can play with and hit the sweet spot?
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Very easy to test. String it up with 15g poly for a hit, then restring it with 18G poly and see how she does.
Acutally that wouldn't be easy to test, bucause 15g poly would be 4-6 grams heavier than 18G poly.

It would probably be better to test strings of the same gauge but with drastically different stiffness ratings, like Poly Tour Pro 1.25 vs Luxilon 4G 1.25
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
Acutally that wouldn't be easy to test, bucause 15g poly would be 4-6 grams heavier than 18G poly.

It would probably be better to test strings of the same gauge but with drastically different stiffness ratings, like Poly Tour Pro 1.25 vs Luxilon 4G 1.25
Lead, AKA Pb.

But I'll let you in on a little secret most people who have tested it know - the 18G string is more stable at similar tensions in the same racquet and weight.
It's also more stable at 4-6grams lighter.
Also more stable at slighter higher tensions. If you go to more elastic/forgiving strings, they can be more stable at significantly higher tensions.
I also notice a slightly more flexible version of different strings in 18g are more stable than flexy 16g strings.
It just doesn't last as long as 16g.
I've also tried very stiff 18g vs softer 18g, and the softer 18 is more stable as well.
I switch to 18g most winters for more power and less shock. At the end of this winter, I am probably going to stick with 18g.
I string my own racquets, so the costs aren't too bad compared to saving my arm and shoulder.
But, ya know - YMMV...
 
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Arak

Hall of Fame
Yes. But I think you need to define "stable". There is stable in terms of the racquet (which is what other posters are alluding to), and there is stability in terms of the stringbed. Its doubtful there is a stiffer string bed than what I use and I can tell you that the stringbed feels the same on pretty much every shot. Its stable in that the response is consistent. When I use poly in the 30s for instance, the stringbed is not stable and different spots have different responses and the ball comes off the bed differently almost all the time....
Fully agree with this. Stiffer strings/higher tension gives consistent response from the stringbed, less erratic.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I have to completely disagree. When you hit an off center shot the ball will impact the strings fairly close to the hoop. There won’t be much string movement there regardless of string setup. If you are looking to increase stability on off center hits you must increase mass in the hoop (to increase twist weight) and stop hitting off center shots. Simple as that.
I think we're actually in agreement on this. Any racquet I play - the whole package including the string bed - gets more stable when there's more mass to stand up to the ball at contact. I shouldn't use the idea of stability when I refer to only a string bed. That's more about resilience, firmness, resisting deformation at contact, yaddah-yaddah... Racquet stability and a string bed's resistance to deformation are two different things (y)

Softer string probably won't feel quite as harsh on those mis-hits, but I don't look to the strings to affect overall racquet stability at all.
 
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