Posted on August 09 2019
Want the best strings for spin? – Here is all the information you will ever need!
Those of you who have read Andre Agassi’s Open, will know his thoughts on how drastically the introduction of polyester changed the game. Players were able to hit shots not thought possible before, through polyesters far better string potential compared to a synthetic or a gut. Agassi even thought they should be banned when he first used a racket strung in polyester. Fast forward to 2019 and every professional player in the top 100 as far as I know uses polyester in either a full bed or in a hybrid set up.
So here is the science for why, for a string to provide high levels of spin potential it needs to have a combination of high string to ball friction while also having very low friction between the strings. The reason polyester creates so much spin is when the ball contacts the strings the ball stays on the strings for much longer due to their very high levels of string to ball friction. The strings with by far the best string potential in the market for me now are Solincos Tour bite and Tecnifibre's Blackcode 4s, these are square shaped and bite into the ball and grip onto the ball due to their shape. While they are similar in construction to other polyesters, through years of testing it seems the square shape gives unrivalled spin and power creation
Now more spin can be created than putting either of those strings in a full bed (mains and crosses) and this is due to the aforementioned need for strings to have very low string to string friction which is known as low co efficient friction of strings. So this is where the polyester hybrid shines!
Mixing a shaped polyester like Solinco Tour bite or Tecnifibre blackcode 4s with a smooth round slippery polyester like Tecnifibre ice code reduces the coefficient friction of the two strings. This is very important as it allows the strings so slide freely along the crosses and snap back faster into place propelling the ball with more RPM’s. The perfect harmony between string to ball friction and low coefficient friction between strings is found within this setup – go for a thinner gauge of string like 17 to increase spin production further for me the best string on the market to use as a cross is Tecnifibre's new Ice Code in the 1.25 gauge. It’s amazing at holding its tension and stays feeling fresh for far longer than any other polyester on the market, due to it being heat treated with Tecnifibre's Thermocore technology in its production and having a crystalline polymer construction to provide ultimate tension stability and power.
Now it is worth noting when using this setup please do not string over 58lbs – strings historically were strung at 60bs and people have kept at this tension while changing onto polyesters – this is dangerous as polyesters are FAR more stiff than synthetics and cause more shock on the tendons and muscles which can flare up tennis elbow. If anyone tries to tell you to string polyester over 55lbs to keep control they don’t understand the string! Nadal strings at 55lbs, Federer has crept into the very low 50’s and Flippo Volandri beat Federer on clay using polyester strung at 45lbs!
Please also restring the setup before it breaks if the mains string starts moving around on the crosses and needing to be straightened between points. This means the string has become “dead” and has lost its ability to snapback freely – which means the strings will feel spongey and you will lose spin production, it also is far worse for your joints and arms. Save yourself the issue of inflaming your tendons for the sake of giving it to your local stringer! Nothing compares to a fresh restring before an important match, in a mental game knowing you have the advantage of the best string setup in your racket can provide a much needed confidence boost!
For the ultimate spin production string set up use Tecnifibre Blackcode 4S OR Solinco tour Bite in the mains in a 1.25 (17) gauge with Tecnifibre ICE code in the crosses – I recommend trying that setup at 55lbs as nice start point for you to tinker around to find the tension best suited to you!