Shaped vs round polys

Will Wilson

Semi-Pro
I am accepting the theory that poly offers more spin because of the "snapback" effect.

I read an article from a Babolet rep that said that shaped polys offered more spin because the flat side snapped back better. However, I've never heard this from anybody else before.

I'm looking to hybrid a soft poly in the mains and a syn gut in the crosses with the goal of maximizing spin and still having a relatively soft feel.
Any advice is appreciated.
 

TennisManiac

Hall of Fame
What the Babolat rep said is incorrect. A round string will snap back much easier than a textured string will. The theory of more snap back leading to more spin only makes sense to me when talking about round strings. I don't think it applies to textured strings.
 
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g4driver

Hall of Fame
What the Babolat rep said is incorrect. A round string will snap back much easier than a textured string will. The theory of more snap back leading to more spin only makes sense to me when talking about round strings. I don't think it applies to textured strings.


I disagree with your assessment than a round string will snap back much easier than a textured string. This absolute statement by you isn't factual

There are plenty of textured strings that have more snap back than round copoly strings and Volk Cyclone Tour provides more spin than any round co-poly string I have put in my Steam 99S frames.

Cyclone Tour beats Babolat Tonic Gut / Head Hawk and Pacific Tough Gut/ Head Hawk in the spin test also.

Not all round copolys snap back as well as some Textured and/or twisted copolys.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Smoother polys slide along each other and generate more spin

Can you provide any proof or that or is that your opinion?

Please name one smooth poly that provides more spin that Cyclone Tour-

I challenge anyone to provide factual scientific proof. I am sure that smooth poly exists, but I am adamant CT produces more SnapBack and spin than most smooth polys.

Maybe TW Tennis University's Tennis Professor can chime in.
 

arche3

Banned
Well you can argue shaped polys have less surface area in contact with each other. So less friction if the poly is stiff enough and doesn't dent. So in theory shaped polys can have more snap back.
 

mikeler

Moderator
Shaped polys aggravate my opponents more who have to deal with my spin. That is more important than any scientific data.
 

Ramon

Legend
I'm looking to hybrid a soft poly in the mains and a syn gut in the crosses with the goal of maximizing spin and still having a relatively soft feel.
Any advice is appreciated.
With a syn gut cross, you might not necessarily need a soft poly to soften the feel. Kirschbaum Black Shark 16 is a rather stiff poly, but when I crossed it Gamma Marathon 15L on my Tour 98 ESP it felt much softer than a full bed and still had wicked spin. Sometimes you sacrifice spin when you go to a softer poly.

One observation I made was that the strings moved around in the hybrid a bit more than with a full bed, but the spin was still much better than with a smooth poly. That makes me think that the extra spin has more to do with the rough surface biting the ball rather than extra snap back. Also, what about twisted poly? They don't have a flat surface, yet they seem to have more spin than smooth poly.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Is this possible? Shaped poly might notch it's cross string less, or notch less itself.
My SolincoTourBite16 is now over a year old, over 85 hours of play, and show no signs of notching or catching on any of it's cross strings. Strings seem free to slide and return into position.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Shaped polys aggravate my opponents more who have to deal with my spin. That is more important than any scientific data.

I have no doubt that CT produces more spin than any poly, whether it is smooth, shaped or twisted. CT Produces more spin than any Natural Gut/Poly that I have tried, including gut from Babolat, Pacific, Wilson, Prince and Klip.

My experience in three Steam 99S frames since last fall, is CT 16g produces significantly more spin the Pacific Tough Gut 16G/ Head Hawk 16 or 17g, but the PTG/HH hybrid last three to four times as long as full poly CT and probably five times longer than V-Torque.

My results are contrary to what many posters on this believe. I just went out and tested all these setups and just called them like an umpire, "balls or strikes". The why doesn't interest me so much as the results.

There are a lot of people who think Gut/Poly is the Holy Grail of spin, and others who claim Gut / Poly in an uber open pattern won't last long at all. Neither of these seem to be the case.

The PTG/HH combo lasted over a month (40 sets) and I finally cut out the gut, when I needed the frame for the Technifbre Multi playtest.

My take on smooth polys vs shaped / twisted / geared is this: nothing beats CT that I have found.
 
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fgs

Hall of Fame
i do think that this spin-debate has more elements to be looking at than string-to-string-friction. i have a heavily topspin centered game and several years ago i started to test quite a lot of strings. i play mainly hybrids with polys in the mains and multis in the crosses, but i have done some full bed-polys too, even multi mains and poly crosses and also natty mains and poly crosses.

my experience so far has been that there are some round polys which create similar amounts of spin as shaped ones. AND i was really getting lots of spin out of zyex mains / multi crosses and natty mains / poly crosses. due to these results i have come to think that the softer and touchier and most important - a lot more powerful string beds even if i went up in tension - these latter two combos provide, lead to a adaptation of the swing path in order to control the shots. in my case i think i'm driving more up on the ball in order not to hit long, generating thus a lot more rhs on impact than i regularly do with the less powerful poly-hybrids, which simply translates into more rpm's and hence more spin on the shot.

i had shaped polys where i simply thought that the ball is slipping off the stringed and i had round polys which provided more "grab" on the ball. i have tried to look up the twu-data base and get to some correlation of the data for stiffness, dwell time, deflection etc. to explain what i experienced on court but i did not manage to find a reasonable explanation. some strings i played in a-b tests which were sporting almost identical data in the lab proved to be quite different on court.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
due to these results i have come to think that the softer and touchier and most important - a lot more powerful string beds even if i went up in tension - these latter two combos provide, lead to a adaptation of the swing path in order to control the shots. in my case i think i'm driving more up on the ball in order not to hit long, generating thus a lot more rhs on impact than i regularly do with the less powerful poly-hybrids, which simply translates into more rpm's and hence more spin on the shot.

i had shaped polys where i simply thought that the ball is slipping off the stringed and i had round polys which provided more "grab" on the ball. i have tried to look up the twu-data base and get to some correlation of the data for stiffness, dwell time, deflection etc. to explain what i experienced on court but i did not manage to find a reasonable explanation. some strings i played in a-b tests which were sporting almost identical data in the lab proved to be quite different on court.

Nice post FSG. You wrote something I hadn't considered, but quoted in bold. The part of your post where you adapt to a given string. The second part of your post in bold reflects my experience as well. When dealing with absolutes, it seems best to proceed with an open mind rather than with the mindset that a particular string will do exactly "X, Y and Z". I don't subscribe to the theory than one string will do this or that, I just try them and if they work for my game, I use them. Just like the umpire: it's a ball or a strike. It either works for me, or it doesn't.

CT is more powerful than other polys like Head Hawk, and I have found using combinations of two polys can tame the power, as opposed to increasing the tension on my frames when I am snapping the strings before 10 sets.

I believe some people on this forum, simply get on here and start typing. They start posting something they've read from either another poster, TW playtester, without having any on-court experience with the subject matter they are posting about. Not sure the reason they do this, but it clearly evident in reading these forums. :shock:
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
I disagree with your assessment than a round string will snap back much easier than a textured string. This absolute statement by you isn't factual

There are plenty of textured strings that have more snap back than round copoly strings and Volk Cyclone Tour provides more spin than any round co-poly string I have put in my Steam 99S frames.

Cyclone Tour beats Babolat Tonic Gut / Head Hawk and Pacific Tough Gut/ Head Hawk in the spin test also.

Not all round copolys snap back as well as some Textured and/or twisted copolys.
also keep in mind these edges become "round" very quickly as the string wears down. It also depends on if you are talking about a hybrid or a full job.
 

seekay

Semi-Pro
Snap-back is one part of the spin picture, representing low string-on-string friction.

To produce heavy spin, it's also important to maximize the friction between the ball and the strings during contact. That's where shaped polys seem to work well. If they're able to grab the ball well enough, they can make up for inferior snap-back.

Depending on your particular swing/contact point/timing/etc., a shaped poly that doesn't slide as easily may create more spin than a very smooth round poly. Or it might not. There are enough differing opinions to suggest that it ends up being a personal preference much more than a matter of right and wrong.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
SolincoTourBite16, NOT the L or the S, does not get rounded at the corners, at least not in over 80 hours of play on my racket, 50+ on my friend Scotts, and well over 110 hours of play on my other bud's racket.
There is NO notching whatsoever, the mains are free to slide across the cross strings.
I have a twin racket that was strung and delivered the same day, one with less than 3 hours of play, and it plays exactly like the one with over 80 hours on it.
My two buds also have backup rackets with the same strings, don't use their backups at all, and feel the same as I do.
 

PaulC

Semi-Pro
Snap-back is one part of the spin picture, representing low string-on-string friction.

To produce heavy spin, it's also important to maximize the friction between the ball and the strings during contact. That's where shaped polys seem to work well. If they're able to grab the ball well enough, they can make up for inferior snap-back.

Depending on your particular swing/contact point/timing/etc., a shaped poly that doesn't slide as easily may create more spin than a very smooth round poly. Or it might not. There are enough differing opinions to suggest that it ends up being a personal preference much more than a matter of right and wrong.
Amen to Snap-back is ONE part of the spin picture.

Many folks here are so obsess to the snap-back factor and totally ignore/forget the others...

A pure topspin player read stuffs on this board and believed that the gut/poly combo may produce more topspin for him than his normal solinco/syn combo because the snapback is supposingly greater ...

I bet $10 with him that he won't like the gut/poly combo.

Turned out the main-string movement is just too much for him despite higher than his normal tension (which he hates) and I won :mrgreen:

Hitting a Federer-ish or Djokovic-ish forehand WITH TOPSPIN (many gut/poly folks do) is NOT the same thing as hitting a Nadal-ish PURE-TOPSPIN forehand (many full-poly or poly/syn folks do).

The strokes and hence the string set-up preferences are different.
 
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KYHacker

Professional
Well, my experience differs somewhat from g4Driver and is more in line with fgs. For me, round/textured polys produce much more spin-- after the first hit. For the first 15 minutes or so, a shaped poly does produce more spin, but I knock the edges off and/or notch shaped polys in the first 15 minutes of hitting. After that, round polys generate more spin for me as a general rule.

That said, the number one determinant of how much spin a string produces for me is the confidence that I have that the ball where land where I want it to land. Shaped poly's (e.g. BH7), for me, almost never have a consistent launch angle and I lose some confidence to hit out (RPM Team is an exception to this.). Textured polys (e.g. Super Smash Spiky) have a more consistent launch angle. I really consider these the same as a round poly because all of the texture is knocked off in the hitting area in about 15 minutes, but these typically don't notch as quickly as a shaped poly. Twisted polys are in between shaped and round/textured in my experience.

Most spin that I have seen for me, though, is a poly-poly hybrid of Black Shark mains, Proline X crosses. My recent experience with Tourna Black Zone tends to make me think it might be a little better as a cross with Black Shark.

Here's my conclusion-- the most spin will be the string that you trust the most to swing out with and maximize your racquet head speed. Racquet head speed is more important than the string.

My current favorites are Black Shark, Super Smash Spiky (17L), Volkl Cyclone 17, RPM Team, and Proline X. All provide similar levels of spin and control for me. I just have to manipulate the tension depending on the string. Once tension is accommodated, the results are very similar, but the feel is different. My overall favorite is Proline X for the duration of a string job. I like RPM Team for the first half of the string job duration over all the others. Second half, not so much.
 
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Sander001

Hall of Fame
I am accepting the theory that poly offers more spin because of the "snapback" effect.

I read an article from a Babolet rep that said that shaped polys offered more spin because the flat side snapped back better. However, I've never heard this from anybody else before.

I'm looking to hybrid a soft poly in the mains and a syn gut in the crosses with the goal of maximizing spin and still having a relatively soft feel.
Any advice is appreciated.
Don't have much recent experience with Tour Bite but it seems to get a lot of praise for spin, and lends credence to the theory that a flat side snaps back better. It has a square shape so it has an increased likelihood that flat sides would be sliding against one another.

I use Black Code 16 and it has great spin and it has 5 sides so theoretically not as good as Tour Bite but still good. I find Black Code 16 very comfortable for a fat poly but there's also Tour Bite Soft.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I think STB16 produces decent spin even over a long period of time because the flat sides DON'T notch into the mains, so they're free to move initially and back to position.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Snap-back is one part of the spin picture, representing low string-on-string friction.

To produce heavy spin, it's also important to maximize the friction between the ball and the strings during contact. That's where shaped polys seem to work well. If they're able to grab the ball well enough, they can make up for inferior snap-back.

Depending on your particular swing/contact point/timing/etc., a shaped poly that doesn't slide as easily may create more spin than a very smooth round poly. Or it might not. There are enough differing opinions to suggest that it ends up being a personal preference much more than a matter of right and wrong.
You made the point I was trying to make to. Snap-back is one part of the equation. IMO, Snap-back is only a small part of equation measuring the amount of spin that can be produced by the same player with the same frame under the same conditions (same court vs same opponent using the same stroke)

Gut/Poly may have the greatest snap-back, but it certainly doesn't produce the most spin in my 12 oz Steam 99S frames, confirmed by myself, and a USTA 5.0 Rated friend, and another USTA rated 4.5 friend who all put the Steam 99S full Cyclone Tour vs the Steam 99S Pacific Tough Gut 16g/ Head Hawk 17g in a head to head matchup. All three of us concluded without question, Cyclone Tour dominated the PTG/HH in the spin category.

The 16g Cyclone Tour full bed blew the PTG/HH out of the water in the spin department. It wasn't even close.
 
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