How much lower to string crosses than mains?

How many pounds lower would you string crosses than mains without any worry on racket stress?

  • 0lbs lower

    Votes: 8 23.5%
  • 2lbs lower

    Votes: 13 38.2%
  • 4lbs lower

    Votes: 7 20.6%
  • 6lbs lower

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • 8lbs lower

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • 10lbs lower

    Votes: 4 11.8%

  • Total voters
    34

ryohazuki222

Semi-Pro
I’ve been around these boards long enough to see that there’s a lot of varying opinions on this topic. I’d love to actually do a poll around it as an attempt to maybe convince me that I’m being too “conservative”.

poll is simple: if your mains are strung at a certain tension, let’s say 50lbs. How much lower would you string your crosses and not be worried at all about any racket warping or extra bas stresses on the frame.

In my mind, string 1-2 pounds lower in crosses is basically within the human error tolerance of a stringer. So I feel that doesn’t matter at all. Psychologically, I’m convinced that crosses 4lbs below mains is the max 100% safe differential. I also FEEL that 6lbs lower is asking for problems with the racket or weird dynamics. No scientific basis for any of it btw. Also limited personal experience.

vote and post why you voted did!


related: anyone have any ATP or WTA examples of max differential in tension between mains and crosses?
 

BlueB

Legend
Depends on hybrid used. 5 lbs on poly/poly (50/45), 10 lbs on gut/poly (60/50). Voted 8, as an average.
There are no dangers to the frame with high differentials, I exprimented with 20, some other members even more...
 
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ryohazuki222

Semi-Pro
Depends on hybrid used. 5 lbs on poly/poly (50/45), 10 lbs on gut/poly (60/50). Voted 8, as an average.
There are no dangers to the frame with high differentials, I exowrimented with 20, some other members even more...
Interesting. Non-intuitive to me why the string material would matter… curious why you say that?
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I've become set on 4 lbs difference. An ATP tour stringer told me that stringing the crosses 4-6 pounds different enhances pocketing, dwell time and spin. It works well for me.
 

eagle

Hall of Fame
Signum poly plasma 18 at 40 lbs on Mains

Gosen OG Microsheep 17 at 45 lbs on Crosses. Yes. Crosses higher than mains

20 yrs using this set up.
 
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Steve Huff

G.O.A.T.
I use a gut/multi hybrid usually. I string the gut 4-5# tighter than the multi in the crosses (like 60/55). I also use 15L nat gut, and 16 multi if that makes a difference. Some older Head rackets, I'd put the crosses in at 5# higher than the mains. Seems like that differential kept the racket head in it's normal shape the best. There are different theories on which should be strung tighter. 1) The mains are longer, so they should be strung tighter, vs 2) there is ample tension loss due to friction in the crosses, therefore they should be strung tighter. Both are right, so you just gotta see what works for you.
 

ryohazuki222

Semi-Pro
I use a gut/multi hybrid usually. I string the gut 4-5# tighter than the multi in the crosses (like 60/55). I also use 15L nat gut, and 16 multi if that makes a difference. Some older Head rackets, I'd put the crosses in at 5# higher than the mains. Seems like that differential kept the racket head in it's normal shape the best. There are different theories on which should be strung tighter. 1) The mains are longer, so they should be strung tighter, vs 2) there is ample tension loss due to friction in the crosses, therefore they should be strung tighter. Both are right, so you just gotta see what works for you.
Curious if you were stringing lower if you would keep the nominal difference or do a percent difference.

so for example; 45/40 or 45/41.25

im noticing a lot of the higher differential people by number are also doing higher tensions
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Have you braided, or just twisted them?
twisted

sadly the pict hosting site is gone so no photos:

 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
OP - I will string to whatever tensions the client want. If it is more than a 4-5# difference between mains and crosses, I will caution them and will not say that the length will not change. If they want anything higher eg 15#, there is no warranty on frame survival. They have all survived to date, but I will say it anyway and get their nods before doing the work.

For my frames, I string mains and crosses with same tension.

Stress will be distributed over the hoop if it is sound. If the frame is damaged, stress will not and I will not warrant the job or frame. This assumes the client says go do it even after I tell them their frame is damaged.
 

ryohazuki222

Semi-Pro
OP - I will string to whatever tensions the client want. If it is more than a 4-5# difference between mains and crosses, I will caution them and will not say that the length will not change. If they want anything higher eg 15#, there is no warranty on frame survival. They have all survived to date, but I will say it anyway and get their nods before doing the work.

For my frames, I string mains and crosses with same tension.

Stress will be distributed over the hoop if it is sound. If the frame is damaged, stress will not and I will not warrant the job or frame. This assumes the client says go do it even after I tell them their frame is damaged.
thanks. This is exactly the type of situation that I’m trying to get at. IMO if you truly believed 10# no difference… it’s easy to say, but to warranty when doing for someone else when you don’t know the condition of the frame. It’a a different mindset.

Thanks for sharing
 

ryohazuki222

Semi-Pro
I don't care about frame stress, they are a lot stronger than you think. It's about playability and the ratio of spin/power/control I want to achieve.
Makes sense. My original post mentioned frame stress so I thought you meant in regards to that and wondered why the string type would matter for that reason.

absolutely would matter for other reasons
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
Signum poly plasma 18 at 40 lbs on Mains

Gosen OG Microsheep 17 at 45 lbs on Crosses. Yes. Crosses higher than mains

20 yrs using this set up.
Way back when I used Ace in the mains and Power Fiber in the crosses, I strung the Ace at 48 and the Power Fiber at 52. When using poly in the mains, I also strung it lower than the multi in the crosses. :)
 
As has been mentioned already it depends on what you stringing. Poly/poly probably 4 to 5 lbs only. But when I do multi or syngut main and poly crosses I'm typically in the 58lbs mains and around 46lbs crosses area. So 10lbs is fine in my experience as a difference depending on what strings you using
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
Interesting. Non-intuitive to me why the string material would matter… curious why you say that?
Different strings will lose tension at different rates. Gamma TNT or TF NRG2 lose shockingly little tension right up until they snap. If you place these two on top of ALU power at something like 58X54lbs in an open pattern, it could be closer to 58X50lbs by the next day without even touching a ball. Some might like this set up, but none of the guys I string for do. I keep them much closer in tension.
 

ryohazuki222

Semi-Pro
Different strings will lose tension at different rates. Gamma TNT or TF NRG2 lose shockingly little tension right up until they snap. If you place these two on top of ALU power at something like 58X54lbs in an open pattern, it could be closer to 58X50lbs by the next day without even touching a ball. Some might like this set up, but none of the guys I string for do. I keep them much closer in tension.
Makes sense.
 

Jerry Seinfeld

Professional
It is a matter of personal preference but in my experience poly based strings perform better when crosses are tighter than mains. Generally 3 - 4 lbs.
 

ryushen21

Legend
Harry with Tennis Spin put out a video where he strung the mains at 60 lbs and crosses at 40.
Anything that references Tennis Spin is immediately disregarded. This is TTW Law.

I've become set on 4 lbs difference. An ATP tour stringer told me that stringing the crosses 4-6 pounds different enhances pocketing, dwell time and spin. It works well for me.
I agree with this assessment. 4-6 seems to be the happy spot.

The string i made had steel and kevlar mixed together and it was soft
I keep on waiting for you to string your racquets with chicken/bailing wire.
 

lwto

Hall of Fame
I've become set on 4 lbs difference. An ATP tour stringer told me that stringing the crosses 4-6 pounds different enhances pocketing, dwell time and spin. It works well for me.
Are your x's tighter or lighter? I do 4lbs.. 48/52, but my crosses are 4 lbs tighter.. initially only cause theirs so much pressure on the mains that it can actually compress the head,
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
My mains are tighter. Per my signature, I string the mains at 54 and the crosses at 50. Keep in mind that I use synthetic gut in the mains. When I used Luxilon Ace in the mains (many years ago), I strung as you do. The Ace was at 48 and the cross, Volkl Power Fiber, was at 52.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Anything that references Tennis Spin is immediately disregarded. This is TTW Law.


I agree with this assessment. 4-6 seems to be the happy spot.


I keep on waiting for you to string your racquets with chicken/bailing wire.
Thats a good idea to compliment my chicken wing forehand.
 

moon shot

Hall of Fame
Here is some info taken from pro stringers over the years.

full poly
Guga strung his Alu with higher crosses (55/59.4lbs)
Nadal strings his poly with the crosses the same
Wawrinka strings his poly with the crosses lower (61/57lbs)

poly main hybrid
Kontinen strings his Alu/Gut with the crosses lower (25kgs / 24kgs)
Muller strings 4G/Gut at the same tension (20kg = 44lbs)
Ram strung Savage/Gut with the crosses higher (44/47 lbs)

gut main hybrid
Kohlschreiber strings his Gut/BBO Rough with higher crosses (22.5 KGS / 23.5 KGS = 49.6 LBS / 51.8 LBS)
Murray strings his Alu/Gut at the same tension
and of course Fed and Djokovic strings Gut/Alu with the crosses lower
 

ryohazuki222

Semi-Pro
Here is some info taken from pro stringers over the years.

full poly
Guga strung his Alu with higher crosses (55/59.4lbs)
Nadal strings his poly with the crosses the same
Wawrinka strings his poly with the crosses lower (61/57lbs)

poly main hybrid
Kontinen strings his Alu/Gut with the crosses lower (25kgs / 24kgs)
Muller strings 4G/Gut at the same tension (20kg = 44lbs)
Ram strung Savage/Gut with the crosses higher (44/47 lbs)

gut main hybrid
Kohlschreiber strings his Gut/BBO Rough with higher crosses (22.5 KGS / 23.5 KGS = 49.6 LBS / 51.8 LBS)
Murray strings his Alu/Gut at the same tension
and of course Fed and Djokovic strings Gut/Alu with the crosses lower
Great post. To get what I’m looking for, Stan’s 4 pounds lower cross in full poly is exactly the kind of datapoint I was looking for. Thanks for sharing.
 

AceyMan

Professional
In a fullbed—no hybrids–crosses would be:

1.5 kg less in a 16/20
1 kg less in a 16/19
½ kg more in a 18/20
1 kg more in 18/19

All figures are approximate.

/Acey

Why *more* for the crosses?

Two things. (a) friction, and (b) the crosses displace the mains in a zig-zag, making them tighter than when they were originally pulled.
[edit]
 
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