View Full Version : Racquet Handle Weighting, SW and Maneuverability

11-22-2006, 10:12 AM
There's been quite a bit of discussion and debate on topic of swingweight, leading the handle, and maneuverability. Just wanted to pass along what I consider to be an informative read on the topic.

Best Regards


QUOTE 1: "The measured swingweight refers to rotation about an axis four inches from the butt end of the handle because that is how a racquet is swung in a swingweight machine. If all the extra weight was added at this axis, then the swingweight wouldn't increase at all because the extra weight remains on the axis and no extra force is needed to rotate it around the axis. "[1]


QUOTE 2: "A player swinging a racquet does not rotate it about a fixed axis, especially not the one used to measure swingweight. Just before the racquet hits the ball, in the last few inches of the swing, the racquet will be swinging about an axis that is somewhere beyond the end of the handle, not inside the handle itself. But the swing action starts well before that, when the racquet is back. The whole racquet is swung forward through a distance of about four or five feet and it covers that distance in a split second in a fast serve or groundstroke. In order to get the whole racquet moving forward through four or five feet, a forward-directed force is needed on the handle. In addition, the racquet needs to be rotated through about 90 degrees in a forehand or backhand so it is pointing in the right direction on impact with the ball. "[2]


QUOTE 3: "Adding 30 or 40 grams to the handle does not increase the swingweight or the twistweight of a racquet and it does not increase racquet power. Racquet power increases when weight is added to the head, because that is where impacts occur. For the same reason, golf clubs and baseball bats concentrate weight in the head. However, most professional tennis players like extra weight in the handle because it makes the racquet feel more solid or more stable and easier to control."[3]


QUOTE 4: "Having extra weight in the handle therefore allows a top player to control what he is doing. It slows down the forward motion of the handle and the backward motion of the head just enough so that he can swing the head around with a reasonable effort rather than an excessive amount of wrist torque. An average player doesn't need extra weight in the handle because he doesn't swing the handle forward fast enough for it to present a problem. Similarly, he doesn't need to apply a large torque to rotate the racquet since he doesn't rotate the racquet as fast as a pro. A recreational player needs to get the same power as a pro does from his racquet, so there must be the same weight in the head, but there is no need for a heavy handle. That's why almost every light racquet is head heavy and every heavy racquet is head light."[4]

"Racquet Handle Weighting and Maneuverability"
By Rod Cross, University of Sydney, Australia, April 2006
Racquet Sports Industry Magazine
A Publication of The United States Racquet Stringers Association
[1][2][3][4] http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200604/200604science.html



11-22-2006, 10:22 AM
Quote 2 is tonight's homework for those who believe SW is an adequate descriptor of how easy or difficult a particular racquet is to swing.

11-22-2006, 06:33 PM
Hi Ollinger, ;) I can't for the life of me understand why this issue is so stubbornly contested. It's simply a measurement. A quart, a pint, an inch, an ounce, a gram, a unit of SW, big deal. You can debate until the cows come home how to interpret those numbers, or how best to use those measurements, but at the end of the day, what you choose to do with the information is up to you.

Happy Holidays

11-22-2006, 06:35 PM
Quote 2 is tonight's homework for those who believe SW is an adequate descriptor of how easy or difficult a particular racquet is to swing.

Wrong, bucko. But you're close. The problem is that the axis isn't fixed between two people, and it's not fixed between shots, and it's not on the racquet. Not even close to the racquet, even.

11-22-2006, 08:35 PM
Moment of inertia about any axis can be converted to one around any other parallel axis thru the "parallel axes theorem". Hence where the axis is not that important.

11-22-2006, 08:45 PM
I think i'll listen to Rod Cross!;)