Tight string pattern matching spin potential?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by alidisperanza, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

    Jul 27, 2008
    The fishy looking thing that sticks off the East C
    I have a buddy that played D1 tennis and hits a very heavy topspin ball. He takes back the racquet in a very relaxed manner but has fantastic racquet head speed. His racquet of choice is a Prestige Mid which has an 18x20, tight pattern with a full bed of Pro Red Code strung pretty loose-- 52ish max

    What throws me off is that every time he's tried a more open string pattern, his ball doesn't quite have the same weight or jump to it. His best ball is coming from this tight 18x20. I know that there's a tendency towards producing a "spinnier" ball with an open pattern but could it be that due to his very high rhs, the extra grip/snap from the tighter mains imparts more spin?
  2. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Apr 20, 2010
    The mass of the racket and even the stiffness could also impact spin rates, and yes, RHS will also have an effect.

    I have played 18x20 rackets that seemed to produce as much spin as 16x18 or 16x19 too. I had a flexible 18x20 volkl that produced spin as well as any racket I have played.

    Spin is mostly determine by the stroke - RH speed and angle of the string bed at impact and steepness of the lift in the stroke path.

    Mass of the racket, stiffness of racket, string type, and string pattern contribute to a lesser degree.

    It is hard to say why you friend hits less heavy with other open string patterns unless you evaluate all the factors. My first guess would be the new racket has a lower swing weight - lower mass - than your friends prestige and therefore produces a less heavy ball.
  3. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

    Sep 3, 2004
    I do not think that pattern matters.

    I get more spin from Donnay Blue (18x20) than from many 16x19 racquets.
    Not shure if strings have much to do with it, or nothing at all.

    In his case, there is no Prestige Mid with 16x19, so he must be using some other racquets. I definitely see difference in spin between different racquets.

    The only time I clearly saw a pattern difference was on two identical Vantage 95" -- one dense and one open. The open produced noticeably more spin.

    All other cases are moot.
  4. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

    Jul 16, 2008
    Lots of variables. I have come to the conclusion that 18x20 stringbeds are easier to control, and that 16x19 tend to be hot and launch balls more unpredictably. As a player who relies on a good deal of spin, I find that lack of predictability a real handicap. Maybe I could get more spin with a 16x19 stringbed, but I'm just too inconsistent with them to have faith in the repeatability of my strokes.
  5. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

    Jul 27, 2008
    The fishy looking thing that sticks off the East C
    I definitely agree with a lot of what you're saying but he is very consistent in hitting a rally ball-- same stroke, same launch angle etc (within reason)... See below

    I think the exact point of this is that he's using other frames but I'm also talking about within reason-- see below. I would love to see the difference if we could get our hands on an open pattern prestige mid but it's unfortunately not happening.

    As usual, I failed to qualify my original post...Here are some of the frames that we've messed around with.

    The frame he currently prefers is the LM Prestige Mid
    His Strung Weight: 352g
    Balance: 7pts Head Light
    Swingweight: 340
    Stiffness: 61

    One of the frames we've tested this with is my Yonex Vcore 95D
    My Strung Weight: 351
    Balance: 7 pts HL
    My Swingweight: ~327
    Stiffness: 63

    Another frame: Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.1
    Strung Weight: 352g
    Balance: 10pts HL
    Swing Weight: 332
    Stiffness: 65

    Others include my YouTek Radical Pros which easily match swing weight, static weight, and stiffness (too lazy to go dig up the stats). Yonex Vcore 89 tour, Blx 95 16x19. We're both racquet Wh*res so the list goes on...

    My question is not specifically aimed at him but theoretical. Assuming a very high racquet head speed, can one get more spin off a tighter pattern. The general concept behind using a more open pattern is that there's less main/cross friction and more room for the strings to displace and snap back. Since he has a very high rhs, could this potentially work in his favor because he has more ball/string surface area that's still snapping back?
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  6. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

    Feb 11, 2010
    I guess that if he's getting the same RHS with his 340 SW Prestige as with rackets with a SW around 330, that should a long way in explaining the heavier ball with his Prestige, both in terms of speed and spin.
  7. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

    Oct 5, 2010
    I've come to the same conclusion.

    I currently own two AG 4D 200s (18x20) and two heavier AG 4D 200 Tours (16x19). I get more spin with the 200s since they're faster even with a static weight of 12.3 oz. So I believe RHS is more important than pattern for spin.

    All else being equal (static weight, SW, etc.) a more open pattern might support more spin potential but I don't think it's so much more spin potential that it's worth the loss in precision. In other words, with the right string selection a dense pattern can generate plenty of spin to get the job done while also providing far, far superior control compared to an open pattern.

    I just love the laser-like precision of a dense pattern and get tons of spin from high RHS and a gut/poly hybrid. Best combo imo. I feel confident threading the needle on passing shots with a dense pattern while open patterns are just too unreliable in my hands.
  8. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

    Jul 27, 2008
    The fishy looking thing that sticks off the East C
    I agree with everything you guys are saying-- I've played dense patterns for the extent of my tennis experience until this year. The question isn't necessarily one of control though-- there is a lot more control on a tighter bed. I'm just trying to rationalize what my brain tells me "should" be reverse.
  9. Justin-JP

    Justin-JP Rookie

    Mar 22, 2011
    That LM Prestige Mid is more flexible and with a high swing weight than either of the other two frames mentioned - both of which contribute to spin potential. You also need to take into account the chap would be used to the Prestige and likely his timing is better than a couple of random pick-me-up frames.

    An 18 x 20 can produce a lot of spin but the more crosses in place, the more friction there is to hinder the poly snap effect. If there was an 16 x 18 LM Prestige Mid which had exactly the same balance/weight/sw as his existing 18 x 20, you'd expect to see an increase in spin potential.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  10. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    I used to think that string patterns were a big deal in terms of spin potential and general performance, but after using several frames over the years, I also don't think that they matter too much. I only offer this general advice for anyone considering a certain racquet, just so that they don't rule something out just because of its string pattern.

    The LM Prestige mid is a beast of a frame - I have a pair of them with some added lead on their handles for more familiar HL balance. They weigh in at 13.4 oz. with 11 pts. HL balance and I honestly use them more as "trainers" than as regular players. If my game is sharp and up to speed, I can do obscene things to the ball with those racquets, including churning out some bananas spin on the ball, but they're only good for full speed slugging (at least for me). Anyone who can swing that racquet well will have very little trouble producing a truly heavy ball with it, I think.

    I enjoy at least as much "spin potential" with my old Prince NXG mids, which have an extremely crowded 18x20 string bed, lots of heft, and at least as much flex as those LMP mids. Then I recently scored a pair of Yonex RD Ti 80's: 98" head, open pattern, and they whip out so much spin for me that I need to remember to flatten out my swing a bit when I use them or my topspin shots tend to dive into the net.

    A few years back, I tried a pair of LM Radical mp's (dense pattern) with different strings and lead tuning, but the spin quotient for me with those frames was always frustratingly low. I also currently use the open-patterned Volkl C10 98, which I find to be only average in terms of spin potential, but those frames are super cozy for me and nicely controllable. If I want to make spin with them, I'll get it if I make the effort.

    Blah-blah-blah... Long story long, but just be careful to avoid too many assumptions until you take a racquet out for a test drive.

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