Hybrid Stringing…What is it and Does it Matter?

When the discussion is about stiff polyester string, it will always include the word “hybrid”!  Typically this word is used to convince players that by putting a “soft” multi-filament string in the cross position the string bed will be easier on the wrist, elbow, and shoulder.

Intuitively this makes sense, but in reality, the reverse could be true!

I began analyzing hybrid string beds years ago and did many just to test the theory. At the time it did not seem so important because, frankly, the use of polyester based string did not approach the usage of current times.

I have nothing against the polyester string(s)! I do have an issue with bad applications of polyester string(s).

I am bringing this up again because recently an “interviewee” stated that that replacing the polyester cross string with a multi-filament would cure the ills of a very stiff string bed.

The bottom line:

A high elongation string of any material can increase the string bed stiffness of a hybrid string bed!

How can this be?

Stiff (polyester) strings are “stiff” and the tension applied to them during stringing is low. However, high elongation (multi-filament) strings will be influenced more by tension and become “stiffer”.  The cross stings are typically shorter, and there are more of them, so the combined affect is stiffness.

The initial reaction to this conundrum is to automatically reduce tension on the cross string by a certain amount. Again this raises another issue, and that is racquet distortion.

During the installation of the main strings most stringing machines will allow the racquet to become wider, sometimes a lot wider! So, reducing the cross string tension may not return the racquet to the designed shape. What happens then is the racquet will continue to move around trying to find a “safe” place and therefore the string bed stiffness changes.

In summary, the hybrid string bed will not be statistically different than the full string bed of polyester. This is even truer if the initial string tensions of the polyester are very low, such as 35 to 40 pounds.

So if you feel the need to use polyester just go with lower, lower,  tensions.



Posted on June 24, 2017, in co-polyester, Learning, Patterns, Polyester, shoulder, String, String Patterns, Tension, Tips. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Tom, thanks for the comment! The instinctive thing to do is just that…high elongation string in the main with the stiffer string as the cross. Probably 95% of gut hybrids I do are that format.

    When it comes to tension reduction I would recommend that you know the distortion of the racquet and make tension adjustments based on that. If the racquet is really wide I would not reduce the tension.

    There are many variables to consider so experimentation is helpful.

    If you have a certain string and format I may be able to arrive at more data.

  2. thanks John, now what about the reverse, putting a multi or a mono core sync gut in the mains and a soft to med stiff poly-based string in the cross at a lower tension ???
    And its comparison to a nat gut replacement ( for the multi or the mono core sync gut).

Let us have your thoughts on this!