SBS…what is it and why should we care?

We have made several posts regarding SBS, which is “String Bed Stiffness” and this is another one!

If you read this post we really need your comment(s), really!

String bed stiffness is the “feeling” when the ball hits the string on a tennis racquet.  Due to the various string materials there will be “soft” and “hard” feelings.  But wait, there’s more!

The string bed is made up of several strings, some longer called the Main string (M)and some shorter called the Cross string(X).  Using “reference” tension each of the sets of string will be pulled at the same machine setting!  It the machine is set at 50 pounds the tension head will stop pulling when it feels 50 pounds of resistance, regardless of what he tension inside the racquet head may be.

SBS is the most effective data for comparing tennis racquet stringing!

Let’s say you come into the world headquarters and we ask you what SBS you would like to have?  Would you know?  Probably not and not many would!  We have grown up using the term “reference tension”, not SBS.

Reference tension is “number” you would ask your racquet technician to set the stringing machine tension system on.  That number will probably be between 30 and 60 pounds (≈13 to 26 Kilo).

So, depending on many other variables, such as string material, string pattern, stringing machine, stringer technique, etc., you can end up with may different versions of the same “reference tension”.

A better way, and one we have been using for over thirty (30) years, is SBS but not everyone has bought into the concept, even though a qualified racquet technician will have a way to measure SBS!  Maybe because it is too much trouble to figure out what your desired SBS from machine X would be from machine A!  It is not!

There have been several really good SBS data collection devices but they have been difficult to use, and pricy!  Not to mention gigantic!

A call to action!
So here is where you come in,

Would you purchase a SBS data collection device?

How much would you pay for such a device?

Would you prefer a mechanical device or an electronic device?

The device must be portable, that is easily carried in a racquet bag or backpack

    Yes or It doesn’t matter

It must be easy to use.

If you use an SBS device would you use a racquet technician that did not know what SBS is or how to measure it?

Thank you for adding your comments to this discussion!  It is important stuff!


Posted on March 3, 2022, in Accuracy, Bad Stringing, Inspiration, Juniors, Kinesiology, Learning, Natural Gut String, Patterns, Players, Stress/Strain, String, String Patterns, Stringing Frequency, Technology. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Bill, thanks for the response!

    Yes, we have developed a SBS testing method that is 100% mechanical and I have been using to for a few months. I believe it is a worthy device and I would hope that others would too but we have found over the years that not many racquet techs and players really care!

    This device is intended to be financially approachable for anyone, which is the only way SBS will become the standard for racquet stringing communication. We have a target price and if we can produce a great product and sell it for a great price we may do it.

    I really thank you for your input and I look forward to others giving us their thoughts!

  2. Hi John
    SBS is as important as swing weight on a racket set up. A RDC machine is the real deal
    but very pricey , a simple digital device would work just fine . Let us know if you got
    some new ideas or a measuring device coming .

Let us have your thoughts on this!