What is a Hybrid?
Hybrid stringing consists of using different strings in the main and cross strings of a racquet. Hybrid stringing can be as simple as varying string thickness between the main and cross string, to using completely different string materials.
Why Should I use a Hybrid String?
Hybrid stringing is gaining popularity as more players are looking for a blend of string qualities. By selecting different hybrid combinations of string, players can fine-tune the playability, comfort, durability, liveliness and control offered by the stringbed. For instance, heavy hitting players can find a good combination of durability and playability with a polyester main string and natural gut or premium synthetic cross string hybrid.
Selecting the Main String
When choosing a hybrid, note that the main string will dominate the overall feel and playability of the two strings. For example, using a stiffer polyester string as your main string will provide a lower-powered feel with more control and durability. Conversely, using a softer natural gut, multifilament or synthetic gut string will provide more power, comfort and “feel”. Furthermore, when using a polyester string and a softer string together, you will get more spin potential from the stringbed using the softer string in the mains. This is due to the polyester string typically being more slippery and giving the softer main string a slick surface to slide and snap back on at impact with the ball.
Selecting the Cross String
Think of the cross string as having an influence on the main string. While you will not get the full benefit of the string’s playing characteristics, the overall feel of the stringbed will be altered. For example, a soft and forgiving cross string, such as natural gut or multifilament synthetic, can soften-up a stiff and durable main string, such as polyester. Conversely, a stiffer, lower-powered polyester string can provide a bit more control and spin compared to a full bed of natural gut or multifilament.
To further customize your hybrid selection, you can vary the tension between strings. As a general rule, main strings should be strung tighter than cross strings. This is a popular set-up with professional players and is a good way of increasing the size of the sweetspot. We recommend a tension variance of 2-3lbs and have a maximum tension variance of 5lbs on hybrid stringing.