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kevhen
09-17-2004, 06:29 AM
Does anyone know the ideal weight of a racquet for solid volleys? I know mine at 11.5 ounces and a few points headlight is not maybe the best volley racquet despite being a great serving racquet. With more weight, I think the volleys would feel more solid on off-center hits and have more punch to them as well. Any thoughts or advice on weighting for a good volley racquet? I am trying to find an excuse for my weak 4.0 volley abilities. What do you serve and volleyers use? Thanks,

a529612
09-17-2004, 10:12 AM
Try 13 ounces and up. The weight gives me lots of confidence at the net.

ferreira
09-17-2004, 11:09 AM
Kevhen,
aren't you afraid your groundstrokes might suffer? I use a Pro Kennex 5G, which manages volleys pretty well against my hard hitting 5.0 partner (he uses a Pro Staff 6.0). I do though wonder if a heavier racquet would benefit my game. At 4.0 and still working hard to "tame" S&V, I'm rather afraid to experiment. I think I'll open a post regarding when/why to change racquets. By the way, what racquet do you use?

Bungalo Bill
09-17-2004, 11:34 AM
Does anyone know the ideal weight of a racquet for solid volleys? I know mine at 11.5 ounces and a few points headlight is not maybe the best volley racquet despite being a great serving racquet. With more weight, I think the volleys would feel more solid on off-center hits and have more punch to them as well. Any thoughts or advice on weighting for a good volley racquet? I am trying to find an excuse for my weak 4.0 volley abilities. What do you serve and volleyers use? Thanks,

This is a good post Kehven. I play with a 15 ounce racquet. You can count on this (assuming good technique).

1. More powerful serves

2. Stronger crisper volleys

3. Better control on groundstrokes and the ability to change directions on the ball even if it is not an ideal ball to change directions on.

4. Half-volleys are firmer and easier to control

5. Better control and power on the return of serve

6. Slows down the swing and promotes clean contact as more mass is sent to the ball helping to eliminate racquet twisting on off-centered shots. The slow down of the swing allows for a player to go through the ball better which gives increased confidence on your shots.

7. Slicing feels like butter. A very fun shot to perform with a heavier racquet.

Adding weight on the racquet is a wish I have that all aspiring tennis players would start doing. Obviously, you have to work up to an "ideal" weight on the racquet.

However, racquet weight still remains in the preference item that only you can determine.

I would suggest you purchase the Power Disc (sold here at TW) and practice with it on. This will help strengthen your swinging muscles and I can make a sure bet your going to love the extra weight on your racquet.

With extra weight it is (IMO) easier to concentrate on form because you will notice you don't have to swing fast or hard to generate good pace and placement. Most of the pros on tour use "painted" racquets. They are heavier then the racquets that you buy in tennis shops.

I have always been on the side that when tennis moved to these lighter racquets it was more for beginner to intermediate players to enjoy tennis more. If you are an advanced player (which sounds like you are) you should leave this notion behind and seek to add weight to your racquet.

Where you add weight is another story. If you want we can continue talking about where you should add weight to find out your preference. Don't worry about the notion of being late for the ball. If you prepare properly and let the racquet plow through the ball you will be fine.

On another note, you want a head light racquet for volleys. If you play doubles a lot, a head light racquet is ideal for responding hard hit balls sent to you.

The weighting of the Power Disc places the wieght at the 6 o'clock position of your racquet. This makes the racquet more hefty but does not tamper (at least not too much) with the head lightness of your racquet. You got lots of mass with the head of the racquet still very manuverable.

ferreira
09-17-2004, 11:54 AM
Bill,
given I am 4.0 S&Ver, playing a PK5G (11.7oz, 8 pts head light), what would you suggest I started out doing? I've been playing with the PKs since the beginnig (over 4 years), really like them, but can't replace them here - importing would make them cost me around US$ 300 each. I've been thinking about switching to the Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 (around 12.5 oz., 11 pts HL), which I can get here for around US$ 120. What would you suggest?

kevhen
09-17-2004, 12:10 PM
I have a Volkl Tour 8 now and really starting to enjoy it as I can put away balls now. I had a 10.5 ounce Volkl Quantum 8 before and it was a good defensive racquet. The tour 8 weights 11 ounces but I have added 2 layers of head tape to sides at 3 and 9 and it now weighs in at 11.5. I may keep adding more to see if I can stand more without affecting my game adversely. Another guy broke a string last night so he was hitting with his 13-14 ounce racquet and I tried it out and it was hard to get into the right position, but when the ball hit, it was very solid and no twisting at all. So I think a 12 ounce headlight racquet might still be a good compromise so I will just keep adding tape and see what works.

I did demo a couple years back those 8 ounce Head racquets and found their was no control and felt they would cause elbow damage. I always wince when I see other people using them.

Bungalo Bill
09-17-2004, 12:12 PM
Bill,
given I am 4.0 S&Ver, playing a PK5G (11.7oz, 8 pts head light), what would you suggest I started out doing? I've been playing with the PKs since the beginnig (over 4 years), really like them, but can't replace them here - importing would make them cost me around US$ 300 each. I've been thinking about switching to the Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 (around 12.5 oz., 11 pts HL), which I can get here for around US$ 120. What would you suggest?

I would suggest you purchase the power disc and practice with it. YOu need to learn how to swing with a heavier racquet.

A heavier racquet for years at the club player level has been a taboo for tennis players. Any player that has played this game for years knows this is a "marketing" gimmick promoted by the racquet manufacturers for whatever reason.

The Hyper Pro Staff is a good racquet. Hopefully you will be able to demo it before you buy. I happened to like the new Prostaff 6.0 95 a lot. I thought it was a well made racquet.

This is just my preference, I always like to see players adding weight to their racquets to eventually bring the racquet wieght up to 15 ounces. I think racquet wieght from manufacturers has gone too far the other way. Adding wieght will not hurt your form and it will promote better concentration and confidence when you strike the ball. You will suddenly see you dont have to swing hard (on some shots you will swing less hard) to pop that ball.

If your asking me, more is better.

Think of it this way. The racquet you buy off the shelf which is in your case a players racquet (heavier). You are buying the heaviness of a cadillac car. The ball is a Volkswagen Bug. On a head on collision, you will have good penetration through the Volkswagen from the extra wieght. However, there is still a chance that your cadillac could twist or shear off the Volkswagen sending your cadillac off a straight line through the car.

When you add weight you are turning in your Cadillac into a Mack Truck that is fully loaded. When a head on collision occurs, the Volkswagen will be smashed to bits while the Mack truck continues in a straight line through the Volkswagon unphased.

As your muscles strengthen you will be able to get the swing speed going as you did with the lighter racquet so it is just a matter of your muscles adapting. If you mistime the ball and hit late, the extra mass will help you get the ball back better.

Illegal_edge
09-17-2004, 12:29 PM
I've found that the heavier the racket the more solid the volley but the trade off usually (with head light rackets) is that the racket is not as manuverable or quick at the net. As of now I use the Yonex Mp tour-1 90 and its about 12 ounces. Its 12 ounces has forced me to use good technique on my volleys but the results are worth it.

ferreira
09-17-2004, 12:32 PM
Bill,
since you mentioned it, is it hard to "go down" from a 100 in. to a 95 in. racquet head?

kevhen
09-17-2004, 12:50 PM
15 ounces sounds a bit extreme to me, but maybe a person's muscles can adapt and get used to it. I like the lighter 11 ounce racquets for making quick defensive gets at the baseline and for generating lots of spin and pace especially on the serve and also for quick movement at the net, but I am sure a heavier racquet will strike the ball much more cleanly and require less effort. It's definitely worth experimenting with. So head light is still good for vollies as long as the handle has some mass to it?

Bungalo Bill
09-17-2004, 12:56 PM
15 ounces sounds a bit extreme to me, but maybe a person's muscles can adapt and get used to it. I like the lighter 11 ounce racquets for making quick defensive gets at the baseline and for generating lots of spin and pace especially on the serve and also for quick movement at the net, but I am sure a heavier racquet will strike the ball much more cleanly and require less effort. It's definitely worth experimenting with. So head light is still good for vollies as long as the handle has some mass to it?

Kehven you often talk like you know something about tennis. 15 ounces is actually not extreme. It is extreme only because you havent been around tennis very long. You should spend more time studying tennis vs. just providing an uninformed opinion that makes it look like you're an expert.

If a player is already playing with a 12 ounce racquet adding wieight to build it to a 15 ounce racquet is not extreme. It is a gradual build up.

You said "but maybe a players muscles can adapt". There is no question the muscles will. This is a proven and well known thing about wieght lifting. In other words, there is no "maybe".

Bungalo Bill
09-17-2004, 01:00 PM
Bill,
since you mentioned it, is it hard to "go down" from a 100 in. to a 95 in. racquet head?

No. I dont think you will have a problem.

kevhen
09-17-2004, 01:10 PM
So how heavy are the pro's racquets once tape has been applied? I thought they were more in the 13-14 ounce range but if 15 is good then 16 or 17 ounces might be even better. What is the heaviest racquet that has been used by a top pro?

jediknightdan
09-17-2004, 01:20 PM
1

papa
09-17-2004, 04:57 PM
BB wrote:

"A heavier racquet for years at the club player level has been a taboo for tennis players. Any player that has played this game for years knows this is a "marketing" gimmick promoted by the racquet manufacturers for whatever reason. "

Its about time someone started talking about this. I like a heavier racquet (not quite 15 oz but close) and for the life of me cannot understand why the trend has been to lighter models. Although I do not have any proof, I think light racquets can lead to elbow and shoulder problems.

It might be something like looking for furniture - you sit on a chair/couch for a few minutes and bingo you buy it only to find out later that its the most uncomfortable thing you're ever owned and that you would rather be sitting on milk crates.

Racquets might be the same thing - people take a few practice swings in the store with an unstrung racquet and it feels pretty good (I guess) and they end up buying the thing. Later they discover they have elbow or shoulder problems but seem reluctant to attribute any of the blame to the light racquet. I've heard discussions of "how good" certain racquets were because they were so light - crazy, absolutely nuts.

I've played with some "lighter" racquets as demos and absolutely hate them - especially after a couple of hours.

bee65n
09-17-2004, 10:03 PM
I have heard that quite a bit of pros now use light (~11ounce), head heavy rackets these days because they were used to them from a young age.

nyu
09-17-2004, 11:58 PM
Once a player reaches higher nrtp levels(4.5+), a heavier racquet is neccesary, whether the player has been playing with an 8 ounce racquet for years or not. Try returning a 110 mph serve with an 8 ouncer, and watch the racquet fly out of your hand. I personally think the reason lighter racquets have become the trend in tennis gear is because to somebody who plays once or twice a week at the 3.0- levels, it feels really good to be able to wield the stick and swing it fast and feel powerful, all the while bunting the ball back and forth during matches, letting the racquet do the work against weaker strokes.

I've seen many players in 3.5 nrtp tournies using light racquets, and it works, because their opponents hit softer balls and don't cause the racquet to twist on contact. The ball becomes much heavier as you move up in ability, as your opponents will be using heavier racquets, which really drive through the ball. Once you hit 5.0, anything less than a 12.5-13.0 ounce racquet is comparable to entering a monster truck rally in an F-150. I started with a Ti, Heat, which couldn't have weighed more than 11 ounces strung(I was 3.0 at the time). I now use an ncode six-one 95 that with lead weighs a little over 13 ounces, and I'll be adding more weight gradually as the year goes on.(5.0 now)

That said, I do believe that lighter racquets aren't neccesarily that bad of a thing for lower level recreational. Yes, they reinforce bad habits and create horrible form, but when just trying to keep the ball in play with a friend, the lighter racquets make it much easier. A heavy racquet will hurt somebody who doesn't have solid technique. I've seen many players try to switch from extremely light racquets to more solid ones and kill their wrists or shoulders because a person must actively work on not trying to overswing when using a heavier racquet.

One of few things that I will disagree with BB on is that a player just "adapts" to heavier racquets. A friend of mine added just 6 ounces of lead tape to his racquet(which weighed a little over 10 ounces). After two days of hitting, his wrists and forearms hurt so badly that he had to sit out a week. He didn't have a coach out there with him telling him to relax his swing and let the heavier weight of the racquet create power. Player's who use lighter racquets tend to wrist shots, which will cause major problems when switching to something heavier, I know this from experience. I guess my point is that unless a person has good technique and is knowledgable about how to modify they're strokes to accomodate the added weight, or a coach to guide them in the transition, changing to a heavier racquet can cause injury and make tennis much less enjoyable. Keep in mind that not everybody has a coach.

There's much more I would like to write, especially about how if the industry made racquets heavier in the first place, we wouldn't have many of these problems, but it's late,lol.

Rudy

andreh
09-18-2004, 02:07 AM
BB,

I play with a PS 85 Original 6.0 w 9 grams of lead tape attached under the but cap. About 13 ounces ( just under 370 grams).

I had 12 grams in the hoop at 3 and 9 before but removed it (that is, moved 9 of those to the buttcap) because I imagined that I had problems moving the stick around. Or rather, people told me that I had problems moving it around and I bought it. But I always had my doubts, the problems I had may have originated from other things than a heavy racquet. Your post has inspired me to put those 12 grams back. And keep the 9 under the buttcap. I'll see how it feels.

second set
09-24-2004, 10:24 AM
Bungalo Bill: This is a good post Kehven. I play with a 15 ounce racquet. You can count on this (assuming good technique).


Bill, always appreciate your posts...

Thought I'd try to add wieght, I like to experiment. Starting with a HPS 6.1. I've added 9 gms under the grip and about 13 gms at 3 and 9 o'clock... (22 gms ~ 0.75 oz)

Any tricks for hiding this lead tape as you add more (and more...) Or do you just keep layering it on.

Second Set

perfmode
09-24-2004, 11:41 AM
In the days of wood racquets, even children played with 14oz racquets. Weight is your friend. Sampras played with a 14oz PS85.

Bungalo Bill
09-24-2004, 12:05 PM
I have heard that quite a bit of pros now use light (~11ounce), head heavy rackets these days because they were used to them from a young age.


That is not true bee65n. Many pros beef up their racquets as they get stronger and better. Most of the pros racquets you see are only painted versions of what you buy in the stores. They have different specs compare to the store level ones.

I am not a proponent of beefing up your racquet to just have a heavy racquet. Like any other thing you have to work up to the wieght you feel is right for you. I am a proponent that todays off the shelf racquets are too light once you reach 4.0 and up.

Like anything else it takes practice and working with the new weight to get used to it and allow the muscles to adapt. The muscles will adapt! If your going to add wieght to the racquet make sure you know how to add weight to the racquet and understand how the wieght on a certain area of the racquet will effect the balance.

I like a head light racquet for manuverablity. I will place my wieght at the throat. When I add weight to the throat it makes the racquet heavier in a static position. But the head lightness isnt affected too much. If you place weight in the handle you are asking make the your racquet more head light. etc.

Bungalo Bill
09-24-2004, 12:09 PM
Bungalo Bill: This is a good post Kehven. I play with a 15 ounce racquet. You can count on this (assuming good technique).


Bill, always appreciate your posts...

Thought I'd try to add wieght, I like to experiment. Starting with a HPS 6.1. I've added 9 gms under the grip and about 13 gms at 3 and 9 o'clock... (22 gms ~ 0.75 oz)

Any tricks for hiding this lead tape as you add more (and more...) Or do you just keep layering it on.

Second Set

I wouldnt keep layering the wieght on the handle. I cant remember if the HPS 6.1 is hollow in the handle. You need to take the butt cap off to find out. If it is, I suggest placing some fishing weights in the handle instead of tape around the handle. You will have to add some packing material because you obviously dont want the weight rattling around as you swing the racquet. My racquet does have a hollow handle so if I want to add wieght there that is what I would do. Let me know how your handle is configured.

kevhen
09-24-2004, 12:17 PM
Should women use heavy racquets too? Do the top female pros use 14-15 ounces racquets?

Some of the hard driving backhands I saw at the US Open this year seemed to come from the racquet having some beef behind it. I know when I try to hit my backhands that hard, I tend to offhit the ball and lose pace or shank it to my right. Possibly with more weight on the frame and practice, I can really start driving through those backhands for winners.

second set
09-24-2004, 01:25 PM
Should women use heavy racquets too? Do the top female pros use 14-15 ounces racquets?

Some of the hard driving backhands I saw at the US Open this year seemed to come from the racquet having some beef behind it. I know when I try to hit my backhands that hard, I tend to offhit the ball and lose pace or shank it to my right. Possibly with more weight on the frame and practice, I can really start driving through those backhands for winners.

Found this quote while searching: "A 78-year-old native of Las Vegas who lives in Los Angeles, [Jack] Kramer won 10 Grand Slam titles. He also carried a big stick: His personal racquets had a 5-inch grip and weighed 15 ounces. "

ferreira
09-24-2004, 02:11 PM
Bill,
what is the difference in shot outcome between lowering string tension and weighting a racquet (and not altering string tension)?
I suppose you gain power both ways, but get more control increasing weight. Am I correct?
By the way, today I used a Pro Staff 6.1 Classic. According to my (well experienced) hitting partner, my strokes were deeper and, most of all, considerably "heavier", including my serve. This is a no BS guy, straightforward and honest, so I'll take his word as a serious remark. What I really felt was the difference in slice, definitely more penetrating. I use no granny stick myself (PK 5G), but I certainly felt my strokes were more fluid, less "arm" was needed. I'm pretty decided to purchase a pair.

Bungalo Bill
09-24-2004, 02:24 PM
Bill,
what is the difference in shot outcome between lowering string tension and weighting a racquet (and not altering string tension)?
I suppose you gain power both ways, but get more control increasing weight. Am I correct?
By the way, today I used a Pro Staff 6.1 Classic. According to my (well experienced) hitting partner, my strokes were deeper and, most of all, considerably "heavier", including my serve. This is a no BS guy, straightforward and honest, so I'll take his word as a serious remark. What I really felt was the difference in slice, definitely more penetrating. I use no granny stick myself (PK 5G), but I certainly felt my strokes were more fluid, less "arm" was needed. I'm pretty decided to purchase a pair.

Boy that is a tough question as it depends on so many things. But I can tell you this. You will have more control from a heavier racquet then a lighter one. A lighter racquet will twist more on impact on a hard shot as compared to a racquet with some beef.

Looser strings will give you more elasticity when the ball hits the strings, so you will get more spring or "power" off your racquet. The combination of the two and what they will do together depends on the poundage of the string in relation to the flex of the frame and the heaviness of the racquet.