Do tighter stringing patterns really generate less spin?

I've heard a lot of people say this, but I've also heard a lot of people say that more open string patterns give the illusion of more spin because of the higher launch angle. Does anyone know definitively assuming the same stroke mechanics? Any TWU evidence of one or the other?
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Open string beds will get more traction on the ball to deliver more spin (and a higher launch angle). They also will allow more string movement to accentuate snap back.

I don't think high launched balls give an illusion of spin. They are just a byproduct of rackets that have higher spin potential.

That being said, for most folks the differences are minimal because much of spin comes from RHS, swing plane and racket face angle.
 

chic

Professional
Looser strings *allow* for more spin (same with more open string pattern) but they do not guarantee it. Given a normal style stroke mechanics they both give access to more spin, because the thing imparting spin on the ball.

The main thing that generates spin on the ball is the gripping and snapback of the stings digging into the ball. So the lower the coefficient of friction between the mains and crosses the more spin one can impart. Lowering the tension means less force pressing the strings into one another and the more the mains can bend and snap back in place. It takes decent RHS for this to happen though.
 
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McLovin

Legend
I think what the previous two posts are trying to say is: other things being equal, an open string pattern will allow for more spin to be imparted on the ball.

Exactly how much is a factor of a lot of things. As I like to joke on my string playtest reviews...I may get 10% more RPMs, but 10% more of 10 is still only 11...
 
16x19 will get more grip on the ball and thus the strings have a chance to spin it more, as opposed to 18x20. If you were to get a robot and have them hit the exact same stroke at the same speed, 16x19 would get more spin. There was a video on youtube testing that theory, but can’t find it
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
I think it depends on the density of the string bed and where it is. My Angell TC95 18x20 can create some wicked spin, as much or better than 16x20 VC95.
 

Ryebread

Semi-Pro
I normally play with a 16 x 19 speed MP with 17 gauge, 1.25 strings.

this week I have been playing with 18 x 20 gravity tour with 18 gauge, 1.20 strings.

I’m getting the same amount of spin. The 18 gauge helps. Also helps it become a little more headlight.

I just had a thought. that the gravity tour being 100 size, that’s pretty big for 18 x 20, so it’s probably on the open side of 18 x 20.
 
I think a lot depends on the flexibility of the racket too. For kicks, I played a set with a Pro Kennex Golden Ace a while back, and the spin was amazing. Of course, the consistent power was lacking, but it was a wood racket with graphite overlays. Very flexible. The guys I was playing with couldn't believe the difference. And it was strung with PSGD 16.
 

joah310

Professional
For me, 18x20s are less spin friendly, but if I string it looser, it isn't that huge of a difference to really matter, its like a 16x19 in a 95 vs 100 racket, as long as the mechanics are good, spin shouldn't be that lacking
 

HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
I have no doubt that denser string patterns have less string movement (and vice versa). In my pre-poly days, I’d snap 17G multifilament strings inside 6hrs of play with 16x19 racquets. With 18x19 and 18x20, I’d get 8-10hrs.

That said, I don’t perceive much difference in spin on my shots between open vs closed patterns. Just a lower launch angle with denser patterns, which I prefer.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Open string beds will get more traction on the ball to deliver more spin (and a higher launch angle). They also will allow more string movement to accentuate snap back.

I don't think high launched balls give an illusion of spin. They are just a byproduct of rackets that have higher spin potential.

That being said, for most folks the differences are minimal because much of spin comes from RHS, swing plane and racket face angle.
Higher launch angle has higher trajectory, so the ball bounces higher and often "lands in at the last second" which lead to the illusion.
 

HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
I just had a thought. that the gravity tour being 100 size, that’s pretty big for 18 x 20, so it’s probably on the open side of 18 x 20.
The Gravity Tour has a relatively open 18x20 pattern indeed. As a comparison, the latest 360+ Radical MP that is 98sq” and 16x19 has slightly closer spacing on its central 8 mains than the Gravity Tour.
 

jxs653

Semi-Pro
Open string beds will get more traction on the ball to deliver more spin (and a higher launch angle). They also will allow more string movement to accentuate snap back.
My thought is, snap back doesn't per se create spin but contribute to spin indirectly by allowing consistent stringbed. Consistent stringbed allows better control, which allows more confidence and faster swing, which then allows increase in spin. I feel that dense pattern has more spin potential because of these reasons. (And also for the reason I mentioned in another thread that there more strings per surface to grip the ball.)
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
My thought is, snap back doesn't per se create spin but contribute to spin indirectly by allowing consistent stringbed. Consistent stringbed allows better control, which allows more confidence and faster swing, which then allows increase in spin. I feel that dense pattern has more spin potential because of these reasons. (And also for the reason I mentioned in another thread that there more strings per surface to grip the ball.)
How is a locked stringbed not more consistent than an unlocked one that offers more snapback?
 

jxs653

Semi-Pro
How is a locked stringbed not more consistent than an unlocked one that offers more snapback?
I am talking about the strings that don't snap back and needs constant adjusting like syn guts, multifilament, kevlar, natural guts.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I am talking about the strings that don't snap back and needs constant adjusting like syn guts, multifilament, kevlar, natural guts.
Right. I call those locked and since snapback is limited they should be more consistent especially when countering incoming spin.
 

jxs653

Semi-Pro
Right. I call those locked and since snapback is limited they should be more consistent especially when countering incoming spin.
I am a little confused by your saying "locked." The strings get scattered at each impact during the rally. And after the rally the strings are randomly bowed.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I am a little confused by your saying "locked." The strings get scattered at each impact during the rally. And after the rally the strings are randomly bowed.
exactly. They are locked and don't snap back completely. Poly moves on impact but because its unlocked the strings return to the starting point and are straight. There is moving and there is moving and going back in place. its confusing I grant that ...
 

Fluffy

New User
Not exactly on topic of sting pattern, but hope this older interesting article might still be relevant or helpful. Read conclusion if you want to speed read. I am not agreeing or disagreeing here as I am not technical or skilled enough to really comment on the article. I definitely don't like a "boardy" feel and generally just want to feel a solid, centered hit to feed the dopamine, and thus for me, as much as I enjoy trying new racquets and strings, my mechanics seem much more critical to generating a solid shot with good topspin or backspin.
http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/articles/2005/01/does_higher_string_tension_giv.html#:~:text=Changing racquet tension does not,player's feel of the impact.

Conclusion
Changing racquet tension does not affect spin, but it does affect string movement, dwell time, and ball contact distance. These latter parameters all can affect the ball trajectory as well as the player’s feel of the impact.
The main advice is that high string tensions make your shot more consistent and make it easier to hit topspin shots. If you do not like the “boardy” feel of high tension strings, then use a lower tension but remember to restring regularly to minimize the affects of undesirable string motion.
 
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jxs653

Semi-Pro
exactly. They are locked and don't snap back completely. Poly moves on impact but because its unlocked the strings return to the starting point and are straight. There is moving and there is moving and going back in place. its confusing I grant that ...
It occurred to me that you are relatively a flat hitter, so your locked stringbed is not as badly misaligned, and that's why you questioned in your earlier post how locked stringbed is not more consistent than unlocked stringbed that offers more snapback. Maybe am I right?
 
You can't just look at the string pattern... how open or closed it is matters as well. Is it a 16x19 in a 95sq in or 100sq in frame? You also can't forget that flex and design of frames also play a factor. I've seen 18x20 patterns as open as 16x19 patterns. Some 16x18 or 16x19 can be quite dense in the middle and very open on the sides.

With most things being equal fewer strings and a more open pattern will generate more spin, but that's not to say you can't generate a lot of spin with an 18x20. Often times it's not just that 16x19 or 16x18 generate more spin... but that the potential for spin is a lot more accessible. With an 18x20 your technique has to be a lot better and your ball striking more consistent to generate similar amounts of spin.

I think the biggest benefit or difference between more open patterns and closed has to do with the consistency and feel of the string bed. The more open patterns are a lot less predictable in direction, launch, power and spin. The lack of predictability really goes up when you get away from the sweetspot. I still like 16x19 and 16x18 because they are fun and easy, but what I have come to love and appreciate about the 18x20 is the honest, predictable response of the hit. When I don't have to worry about the ball shooting off the strings or launching at surprising angle... I can better gauge what I did wrong and more accurately correct for it without over correcting.
 

McGradey

Semi-Pro
18x20 is a bit harder to use for a topspin game. Perfectly suited to tall guys (who hit flat/down on the ball), and pros with perfect technique, who in fairness can probably hit 2000rpm shots with a dinner plate.

You can get just as much spin with 18x20, but it takes a more intentional, consistent and aggressive swing to get the same result as you would with a more open pattern.

When on form, 18x20 will reward you with amazing precision and predictability, but on the flip side, if you're a little lazy with your feet or your low to high swing path isn't correct, you might find balls hitting the net or landing short.

Good post from @Hit 'em clean above.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
It occurred to me that you are relatively a flat hitter, so your locked stringbed is not as badly misaligned, and that's why you questioned in your earlier post how locked stringbed is not more consistent than unlocked stringbed that offers more snapback. Maybe am I right?
Sorry man. there is a lot of nuance here and I will try to go through it all.

1st I am not a flat hitter. It probably looks like it if you have suffered through some of my vids. But there is flat in terms of spin and flat in terms of trajectory. Sure I am flat in terms of trajectory. Absolutely. you get a stiff stick and string it in the 80s and have a 370+ swingweight. Its impossible to get a high launch angle with such a set up. Impossible. Remember that graph with pro players and showing the ball spin and bounces? Murray was the "flattest" hitter of the bunch. And he had the highest sw....

BUT I do hit with spin. Everybit as much as other 4.0s out there and no one I played against will say I am a flat hitter. Here is a vid. I am on the far side. I think its clear we are both hitting topspin:


2ndly my stringbed is not locked. Even at my crazy tensions, the strings are super straight because I use a poly cross. But I am betting my snap back is not as much as lower tensions full poly, but its still snapping back.

There is a consistent stringbed feel and a consistent shot. What I meant is that if the incoming ball hits a locked stringbed the strings pretty much don't move because of the friction...so the amount of string movement and string bed deflection and therefore launch angle is pretty much the same everytime. Everytime. Its way more consistent than one that snaps back since the strings move more, the incoming pace and spin will create a less consistent stringbed response since the amount of dwell time, launch and snap will vary on every shot.

There are some players who are more consistent with their shots when the stringbed snaps back and they get more spin and higher angles...but that is consistency of shot, and I was talking about stringbed consistency and feel. I was talking about that when I asked about the locked bed being more consistent than a less locked bed.

Trav had a nice post about this stuff and a great example of Fed (with a soft snapback promiting string bed) struggling with Nadals spin, but some one like blake with high tensions with stiff strings not being phased...

Its a good point that a flat hitter will prefer a locked bed.
 

jxs653

Semi-Pro
2ndly my stringbed is not locked. Even at my crazy tensions, the strings are super straight because I use a poly cross. But I am betting my snap back is not as much as lower tensions full poly, but its still snapping back.

There is a consistent stringbed feel and a consistent shot. What I meant is that if the incoming ball hits a locked stringbed the strings pretty much don't move because of the friction...so the amount of string movement and string bed deflection and therefore launch angle is pretty much the same everytime. Everytime. Its way more consistent than one that snaps back since the strings move more, the incoming pace and spin will create a less consistent stringbed response since the amount of dwell time, launch and snap will vary on every shot.

There are some players who are more consistent with their shots when the stringbed snaps back and they get more spin and higher angles...but that is consistency of shot, and I was talking about stringbed consistency and feel. I was talking about that when I asked about the locked bed being more consistent than a less locked bed.
I see your point now. Couldn't earlier because the notion of locked stringbed is new to me. I haven't experienced such a thing. All the strings get misaligned after each shot (except for poly thanks to snapback) and can't keep the grid shape.
Its a good point that a flat hitter will prefer a locked bed.
What I tried to say was locked stringbed may be a result of flat hitting.

Thanks for your response.
 
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Crocodile

Legend
I think a lot depends on the flexibility of the racket too. For kicks, I played a set with a Pro Kennex Golden Ace a while back, and the spin was amazing. Of course, the consistent power was lacking, but it was a wood racket with graphite overlays. Very flexible. The guys I was playing with couldn't believe the difference. And it was strung with PSGD 16.
Yes with the flexibility of racquets I heard similar things with the older Prince O3 Tours with their Ports and 55ra frames. Many people felt these racquets were very spin friendly. Interesting to see how the new Rip Sticks perform.
 

Crocodile

Legend
Interested to see whether any manufacturers would be prepared to give the diagonally strung racquets another go. The power angle was the last attempt but a newer technology version with updated materials and weight specs could be interesting.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I see your point now. Couldn't earlier because the notion of locked stringbed is new to me. I haven't experienced such a thing. All the strings get misaligned after each shot (except for poly thanks to snapback) and can't keep the grid shape.

What I tried to say was locked stringbed may be a result of flat hitting.

Thanks for your response.
Ah ok. Fwiw if the stringbed is straight it is snapping back and therefore, it is unlocked. If things are misaligned then it is locked. There is a spectrum between locked and unlocked.
The terminology is not the best and probably counterintuitive but its accurate.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I find the best way to maximize spin is make the stringbed as stiff as possible while still stringing in away that promotes plenty of lateral movement of main strings (aka snapback ).

There are several ways to achieve this super-spin-friendly combination:

1. Use super dense pattern, like a BLX Pro Tour, and string really low tension with slippery crosses.

2. Use open spin pattern with slippery crosses and medium tension and really stiff string type (kevlar/poly).

3. Use denser pattern and string mains super tight and crosses super loose, with slippery crosses and stiff mains.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I find the best way to maximize spin is make the stringbed as stiff as possible while still stringing in away that promotes plenty of lateral movement of main strings (aka snapback ).

There are several ways to achieve this super-spin-friendly combination:

1. Use super dense pattern, like a BLX Pro Tour, and string really low tension with slippery crosses.

2. Use open spin pattern with slippery crosses and medium tension and really stiff string type (kevlar/poly).

3. Use denser pattern and string mains super tight and crosses super loose, with slippery crosses and stiff mains.
Soon i will be testing #2 with a 16/10 pattern with kev/ 4g.
 

Robbymack

New User
I don’t think it matters as much as some people claim it does. I switch back and forth now between a few sticks with full poly and others with full syn gut depending on how my elbows feel that day. I can’t say I get “much” more spin with full poly than I do with full syn gut. I also don’t see a huge difference between 16x19 and 18x20 frames. A lot of it is marketing BS and also what kind of player you are. If you’re rather advanced the type of stick you play with doesn’t matter much as your technique more than makes up for any perceived difference in racquet or strings. YMMV.
 

Anton

Legend
I've heard a lot of people say this, but I've also heard a lot of people say that more open string patterns give the illusion of more spin because of the higher launch angle. Does anyone know definitively assuming the same stroke mechanics? Any TWU evidence of one or the other?
Both are true. You get a bit more spin generally speaking, but you also get a higher launch for more arching trajectory.
 

alpenglo

Rookie
Ah ok. Fwiw if the stringbed is straight it is snapping back and therefore, it is unlocked. If things are misaligned then it is locked. There is a spectrum between locked and unlocked.
The terminology is not the best and probably counterintuitive but its accurate.
How about "Low friction between mains and crosses" for snapping-back, and "high friction between mains and crosses" for misaligned and not snapping-back.
 
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