Tennis players are hot on the latest string technology, but is there something they're forgetting?
We love spin, and spinny strings - let's get that straight.
Huge baseline rippers that are pulled back down with a magnetic force and explode off the court causing mishits - are pure gold. The feeling of being able to flick a short ball up over the net and have it suck back into the court ups your confidence to the next level. And balls that appear that they are going long, then by some freak force of nature, dive-bomb down into the court and land a foot in - priceless.
So yeah, we're string freaks. But there are a few other things most players aren't thinking about when it comes to generating this rotational goodness.
Here are a few of the top factors that contribute to spin potential, ranked. We'll go from least important down to most important - and you may be surprised that some don't have anything to do with strings at all.
5) Shaped string
It's no surprise that a string with sharp edges will bite and grip the ball. Like teeth, an octagonal, square, or pentagonal string profile will contribute to your felt ripping experience.
Ball to string friction as it's known, can add a little boost to your setup no doubt. But don't get too blinded by the cloud of shredded felt dust - this added sharpness saws through your strings quicker reducing their lifespan.
Think your setup has good spin at 55 lbs? Think again. Take that same exact setup down to 45 or 40 lbs and watch the extra gravitational pull leave impact craters in the court.
When you lower tension your string can stretch more - storing more megatons of potential energy to launch a rocket off the string bed. Careful though, with lowered tension comes added power - and you may be launching some into outer space.
The main string's ability to effortlessly slide over the cross and snap back into its original position is a huge determiner of max rpm's.
String-to-string friction, or lack of friction in this case, is undoubtably one of the biggest factors contributing to your spin. Find the right combination of string and its ability to slickity slide without much fuss will have your ball redlining in the spin category.
2) Racket head speed
You can have all the above but if you have a slow swing speed all you'll be doing is spinning your wheels. To put everything to work you need lightning fast whipping racket head speed if you want more of that mysterious Magnus effect.
According to our calculations, blistering head speed will exponentially increase the spin potential of your entire setup. If you keep swingin for the fences, you'll be rewarded with jaw dropping heavy spin and causing shanks galore on the other side of the net.
1) And the biggest is...YOU
You, and your strokes are the biggest factor in how much spin you can generate. You have the ability to improve your game and strokes over a lifetime. You, can increase your physical fitness and skill in the stroke mechanics department, as well as upgrade your mental status and experiment with different string setups.
While it's tempting (and fun) to get caught up in the world of the latest string tech - at the end of the day, it's up to you.
So how do you start? It's simple - just go out and play.
See you out there.