Tension vs power and launch angle

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
forgive me if this has been already addressed in detail, but I couldn't find a clear cut answer doing a search.
My questions are as follows
- for one piece stringing, what is the lower/higher tension effect on power and launch angle?
- for a hybrid gut/Poly,
. what is the mains lower/higher tension effect on power and launch angle?
. what is the crosses lower/higher tension effect on power and launch angle?
- for a hybrid gut/ZX,
. what is the mains lower/higher tension effect on power and launch angle?
. what is the crosses lower/higher tension effect on power and launch angle?

Main reason I am asking is that according to the String Performance Database, with a fast swing, Energy
Return increases with higher tension. I am wondering if lower tension only affects launch angle, but not power. This is also something I recently noticed upon using an ESP racquet, where increasing the tension allowed me to lower the launch angle on my slice.
Due to a long quest for a comfortable setup, I've ended up with a Gut/ZX hybrid. However, I am wondering if the results are different for different string types.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
As far as I know, variations in tension mostly affect launch angle or maybe the amount of deflection at contact. Higher tensions reduce that deflection, so launch angles can be more predictable - it's easier to keep the ball down. In my limited experience with spin-pattern racquets, the wrong setup can seem REALLY wrong, probably because the ball is being controlled by fewer strings. If those fewer strings get too loose, the unpredictable deflection will dramatically increase compared with a more traditional string layout.

Can't comment much on trials with gut/poly hybrids, etc., but I've found more direct affects on the feel and performance of my racquets when altering the tension of the mains. Tighter or looser crosses don't seem to change things as substantially, but I'm also pretty much using good ol' syn. gut.

According to the writers of Technical Tennis, changes in power (I like to call this "rebound energy") are negligible regardless of string type or tension in a given racquet. At first I found this really hard to believe, but eventually it occurred to me that I'm a really big fan of feel and what's comfortable for me. I can get the best performance from my racquet when I can best feel the difference between good and not-so-good contact. While some of the kids I coach are in love with their poly hybrids or full poly setups, those are typically too harsh for me. Most contact feels not-so-good. I often get my best feel from a snug set of 17 ga. syn. gut.

If a certain setup feels especially right to you in terms of its comfort and behavior, your string search is probably over.
 

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
Thanks fuzz.
So, nobody to add anything? Should I conclude that dropping tension on Xs in a hybrid will increase launch angle, while dropping tensions on Mains will soften string bed?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Having mains much tighter than crosses allows you to get the advantage of a loose stringbed (more spin), without giving up the advantage of a tight stringbed (low launch angle, crisp dwell time, and good direction control). There's a reason I string my mains at 90 lbs and my crosses at 40 lbs. And I'll never go back to stringing mains and crosses the same ever again.

Going the other way, with crosses tighter than mains, will tend to lock the stringbed and make it feel harsher. I don't recommend it unless you like it very loose.

As far as launch angle, the former will have higher launch angle than the latter, but that's not why I do it. Actually, I prefer to keep the overall tension high enough to minimize launch angle while still getting good snapback.

If you string with a large differential, you'll need to prestretch very thoroughly to get the benefits to last longer than a session or two, or else the tensions will quickly equalize and play like a normal stringbed after that.
 

TheMoon

New User
Having mains much tighter than crosses allows you to get the advantage of a loose stringbed (more spin), without giving up the advantage of a tight stringbed (low launch angle, crisp dwell time, and good direction control). There's a reason I string my mains at 90 lbs and my crosses at 40 lbs. And I'll never go back to stringing mains and crosses the same ever again.

Going the other way, with crosses tighter than mains, will tend to lock the stringbed and make it feel harsher. I don't recommend it unless you like it very loose.

As far as launch angle, the former will have higher launch angle than the latter, but that's not why I do it. Actually, I prefer to keep the overall tension high enough to minimize launch angle while still getting good snapback.

If you string with a large differential, you'll need to prestretch very thoroughly to get the benefits to last longer than a session or two, or else the tensions will quickly equalize and play like a normal stringbed after that.
I thought this method only apply for Kevlar ? Does it work in soft main like multi, synthetic and gut? Can gut even handle 90lb lol?
 
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Maybe a bit of exaggeration but IMO "feel" and launch angle are 99% what differences between strings are about. And that "feel" is most probably related strongly to dwell time. It is provd also in e.g. Technical Tennis that the difference in power between strings and tensions is totally negligible.
 

Muppet

Legend
I've found that if I string poly/multi @48/53 I get a lower launch angle and I have to think more about clearing the net comfortably until I get it dialed in. Playing multi/poly @55/51 I haven't had to think about it. What's happening with my tensions, differentials, and string materials to produce varying launch angles? Since I use a 5 lb. differential for poly/multi, I'm wondering if I'm cancelling the launch effect or driving it even lower? Does the multi main become the stiffer string? (I'm using Dunlop 200 racquets.)
 
I've found that if I string poly/multi @48/53 I get a lower launch angle and I have to think more about clearing the net comfortably until I get it dialed in. Playing multi/poly @55/51 I haven't had to think about it. What's happening with my tensions, differentials, and string materials to produce varying launch angles? Since I use a 5 lb. differential for poly/multi, I'm wondering if I'm cancelling the launch effect or driving it even lower? Does the multi main become the stiffer string? (I'm using Dunlop 200 racquets.)
Same basic results here.....if the mains are higher than the crosses in tension, the ball "leaves" the racquet higher (increased angle) versus the same setup with the mains and crosses the same tension (or the crosses at a higher tension than the mains).
 
I've found that if I string poly/multi @48/53 I get a lower launch angle and I have to think more about clearing the net comfortably until I get it dialed in. Playing multi/poly @55/51 I haven't had to think about it. What's happening with my tensions, differentials, and string materials to produce varying launch angles? Since I use a 5 lb. differential for poly/multi, I'm wondering if I'm cancelling the launch effect or driving it even lower? Does the multi main become the stiffer string? (I'm using Dunlop 200 racquets.)
Same basic results here.....if the mains are higher than the crosses in tension, the ball "leaves" the racquet higher (increased angle) versus the same setup with the mains and crosses the same tension (or the crosses at a higher tension than the mains).
Yes, that @Buford T Justice . Then, also the fact that multis keep tension better than polys. So after a while, multi/poly will have mains at a "much" higher tension than crosses BUT poly/multi will have crosses at a much higher tension (huge decrease in launch angle...).
 

Muppet

Legend
Yes, that @Buford T Justice . Then, also the fact that multis keep tension better than polys. So after a while, multi/poly will have mains at a "much" higher tension than crosses BUT poly/multi will have crosses at a much higher tension (huge decrease in launch angle...).
Thanks, I hadn't thought of that difference in tensions over time wrt launch angle. Very helpful.
 

supineAnimation

Hall of Fame
Having mains much tighter than crosses allows you to get the advantage of a loose stringbed (more spin), without giving up the advantage of a tight stringbed (low launch angle, crisp dwell time, and good direction control). There's a reason I string my mains at 90 lbs and my crosses at 40 lbs. And I'll never go back to stringing mains and crosses the same ever again.

Going the other way, with crosses tighter than mains, will tend to lock the stringbed and make it feel harsher. I don't recommend it unless you like it very loose.

As far as launch angle, the former will have higher launch angle than the latter, but that's not why I do it. Actually, I prefer to keep the overall tension high enough to minimize launch angle while still getting good snapback.

If you string with a large differential, you'll need to prestretch very thoroughly to get the benefits to last longer than a session or two, or else the tensions will quickly equalize and play like a normal stringbed after that.
Wow. 90lbs? So if you were stringing full poly for yourself what tension combo would you use?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Wow. 90lbs? So if you were stringing full poly for yourself what tension combo would you use?
I don't like full poly mainly because it has very poor tension-holding properties compared to kevlar/ZX.

That said, several of my hitting partners who are full poly users have followed my stringing tips on prestretching and using tension differential, and now they all swear by using thoroughly prestretched poly at high differential.

By thoroughly prestretched, I mean taking a 20-foot segment of poly, anchoring one end, tying the other end around a handlebar tool, and leaning your body weight on the string until the relaxed length grows by approximately 8 inches (or until you can no longer increase the length by pulsing your body weight.

My friend who bought my siliconed diablo mid a couple of years ago is currently stringing it with cheap forten 16g poly at 60/40 fully prestretched, and he is amazed at how remarkably well it plays more than a month of play after stringing. He strings for many of his friends, and he does the same for them now too, since they like how the stringbed never dies like conventionally strung poly. I hit a few balls with his racquet the other day (it had about 30h of play on it), and I have to say it was the best-feeling full poly stringbed I'd felt.

The prestretch helps with tension stablity, and the differential helps keep the mains moving. I'd be sure to choose a poly that is dent-resistant and has decent tension maintenance for a poly. If you are using a midplus, I'd recommend going higher than 60/40. Maybe 70/40 would be better.
 
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supineAnimation

Hall of Fame
I don't like full poly mainly because it has very poor tension-holding properties compared to kevlar/ZX.

That said, several of my hitting partners who are full poly users have followed my stringing tips on prestretching and using tension differential, and now they all swear by using thoroughly prestretched poly at high differential.

By thoroughly prestretched, I mean taking a 20-foot segment of poly, anchoring one end, tying the other end around a handlebar tool, and leaning your body weight on the string until the relaxed length grows by approximately 8 inches (or until you can no longer increase the length by pulsing your body weight.

My friend who bought my siliconed diablo mid a couple of years ago is currently stringing it with cheap forten 16g poly at 60/40 fully prestretched, and he is amazed at how remarkably well it plays more than a month of play after stringing. He strings for many of his friends, and he does the same for them now too, since they like how the stringbed never dies like conventionally strung poly. I hit a few balls with his racquet the other day (it had about 30h of play on it), and I have to say it was the best-feeling full poly stringbed I'd felt.

The prestretch helps with tension stablity, and the differential helps keep the mains moving. I'd be sure to choose a poly that is dent-resistant and has decent tension maintenance for a poly. If you are using a midplus, I'd recommend going higher than 60/40. Maybe 70/40 would be better.
Interesting. I've had the exact opposite experience with polys. In fact, once I came upon this website and changed the way I string them by being more gentle and waiting a few seconds before clamping after each pull, it changed the way they played dramatically.

So much more comfortable, even stuff polys, and even more spin. Might be worth an experiment for your friends.

The link won't post here, but if you Google the following, it's the first result: "The Definitive Guide to Stringing Polys and Co-polys."
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
Interesting. I've had the exact opposite experience with polys. In fact, once I came upon this website and changed the way I string them by being more gentle and waiting a few seconds before clamping after each pull, it changed the way they played dramatically.

So much more comfortable, even stuff polys, and even more spin. Might be worth an experiment for your friends.

The link won't post here, but if you Google the following, it's the first result: "The Definitive Guide to Stringing Polys and Co-polys."
I see a connection between the two. Only, what @travlerajm suggests is kind of hybrid between the two (but for what I understand he doesn't use full poly). Poly on crosses strung at tension low as 40 lbs won't suffer. If done in full bed of poly, then only the mains will lose their elasticity, but it'll give you more control than full bed of poly at lower tension. So, travlerajm's option is more control oriented because ot tight mains, but it uses the same principle on crosses.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Interesting. I've had the exact opposite experience with polys. In fact, once I came upon this website and changed the way I string them by being more gentle and waiting a few seconds before clamping after each pull, it changed the way they played dramatically.

So much more comfortable, even stuff polys, and even more spin. Might be worth an experiment for your friends.

The link won't post here, but if you Google the following, it's the first result: "The Definitive Guide to Stringing Polys and Co-polys."
How is that guide not just a fancy way to prestretch?? Iirc there is some tension adjustment which i for one dont understand the need for, but the 30 sec pulls just prestretch the string. I do that manually and with long pulls.

Sure the long pulls also overcome some resistence from the mains while stringing but imho the main benefit is from the prestretching
Getting the same dt from less tension is not a bad thing either

Also using kev mains increases the time between string jobs

Also i did try the method with the ltec strings and well it didnt work at all for me. Glad its working for you
 

WarrenMP

Professional
I have been playing around with string tension and different types of strings to get a feel for different launch angles and power. One observation is that a lower tension is sensitive to how you swing. Everyone agrees that lower tension and elastic strings pocket the ball. With ball pocketing, you have the opportunity to have the ball travel the same direction that you are swinging. The only issue is if you have a heavy topspin swing the ball can dwell on your racquet when you are swing up that cause the ball to launch higher. I like playing with low tension or more elastic strings (i.e., multis or guts). It forces you to analyze your swing and I feel I can move the ball more dynamically.
 
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