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View Full Version : What's wrong with using lighter racquets to take big cuts at the ball?


Thomas Bird-Itch
05-01-2007, 09:19 AM
I know everyone here uses a 14 oz stick, but I just thought I'd ask. I use just under 11oz and play 3.5/4.0.

WChiang
05-01-2007, 09:30 AM
Before this thread turns in to the typical weight/headsize catfight...of course there is nothing wrong. First of all, I think you were being sarcastic when you implied that "everyone uses a 14 oz. frame" and secondly the weight, headsize, swingweight, flex and all of the other variables depend on playing style, level, type of game/swing, fitness, etc. I think generalizations on either end of these debates does no good. Personally I cannot use a frame under about 11.5oz or 318-320 swingweight because I also take a big cut at the ball and for some reason I am prone to arm injuries when I go lighter. That is not the case for some other players. That is why there is no answer to questions like the one posed in this thread other than there is nothing wrong with using a lighter stick if it works for you and it does not create injury. To each their own.

Best of luck with your stick!

sureshs
05-01-2007, 09:43 AM
I know everyone here uses a 14 oz stick, but I just thought I'd ask. I use just under 11oz and play 3.5/4.0.

That is not correct. Some use 15 oz sticks. And that is before leading. They are the real men on this forum.

McGee
05-01-2007, 09:48 AM
That is not correct. Some use 15 oz sticks. And that is before leading. They are the real men on this forum.

LOL, I think you have some issues.

Back to the OP...I think that a sub 11oz stick is great for taking big cuts at the ball. I had some of my best results using a 300g (I think it was about 10.8 oz. or so) and I could create some wicked spin and it was very maneuverable. As WChiang said I think it depends on your game.

crash
05-01-2007, 09:50 AM
There is nothing wrong, it's just that at a certain level of power, it's hard to get stability and power using a light racquet. You can generate good power with a racquet under 11oz, but as you improve and you face harder and heavier shots, you'll probably realize it's harder to return them than it would be with a little heavier racquet...

s.sharm01
05-01-2007, 10:14 AM
I use a dunlop 200G XL which is a fairly light racquet, or at least seemed light to me. But the biggest problem i see with super light frames, is that its hard to handle a very heavy ball. But like mentioned before, it is important to take into account other factors. the frame i use is extemely flexy, which doesn't help in handling heavy balls IMO. A stiffer IMO is probably better. So i think if you can find a frame that is stiff, and light it should be ok. Other wise i think its a bit difficult to take heavy balls on, as well as pushing the ball deep enough.

nickb
05-01-2007, 10:19 AM
You also have to remember that there are some great low powered light racquets out there. The wilson nblade and mfil300 are great examples of these...I could play with both of these but I just prefer the added stability and plough through of heavier frames. Some people on these boards found the nblade very low powered even coming from heavier sticks so it just shows you that you dont need a heavy racket for control. If under 11 ounces suits you and you play well with it then thats good...enjoy the racquet.

BreakPoint
05-01-2007, 10:22 AM
the frame i use is extemely flexy, which doesn't help in handling heavy balls IMO. A stiffer IMO is probably better. So i think if you can find a frame that is stiff, and light it should be ok. Other wise i think its a bit difficult to take heavy balls on, as well as pushing the ball deep enough.
That's right. A light racquet also needs to be stiff to compensate for the lack of mass. Mass provides power, as does stiffness. A light AND flexible racquet will not work as you'll have a hard time countering heavy balls and getting them over the net. However, the problem with a light AND stiff racquet for many people is that it places much more stress on your arm/elbow and can lead to tennis elbow for many people. With a light racquet, your arm has to do more of the work since there isn't the mass there to do the work for you.

Thomas Bird-Itch
05-01-2007, 12:29 PM
Interesting... I forgot about the stiffness factor. I recently went with a slightly stiffer model at the same weight/balance and it's working better. I like the increased power, but I still tend to hit a little long under pressure. Guess I'll just see how it goes as I improve...

McGee, what do you use now? I used a 300G for two years. It was hard to put that one down.

atpbook
05-01-2007, 01:47 PM
That's right. A light racquet also needs to be stiff to compensate for the lack of mass. Mass provides power, as does stiffness. A light AND flexible racquet will not work as you'll have a hard time countering heavy balls and getting them over the net. However, the problem with a light AND stiff racquet for many people is that it places much more stress on your arm/elbow and can lead to tennis elbow for many people. With a light racquet, your arm has to do more of the work since there isn't the mass there to do the work for you.
well said, bp. i always wonder how you can find the time at work to respond to this forum :)

PrinceO3TourOS
05-01-2007, 01:58 PM
I completely agree with WChiang :D "there is nothing wrong if it works for you" I hope you defeat those arrogant players with heavy racquets, they think they're pros :D

fuzz nation
05-01-2007, 03:00 PM
I played with wood racquets as a kid, so I'm scarred for life!!!

Actually that's a sad-but-true statement. If I learned big strokes growing up, I know I'd use a different frame. Hey, whatever works is a very good thing. Plenty of my pals can wail on me just fine with their gear, lighter or heavier, and I'm just happy to have a good match.

drakulie
05-01-2007, 03:31 PM
Absolutely nothing wrong with using a lighter racquet. If it suits your game>> more power to you.

stevekim8
05-01-2007, 03:40 PM
there's nothing wrong lol
i like o3 red mp
it feels so good

jonolau
05-01-2007, 04:19 PM
This thread sounds like a baited trap .... ;)

stormholloway
05-01-2007, 04:40 PM
It's physics. More mass means more momentum potential.

couch
05-01-2007, 05:17 PM
It's physics. More mass means more momentum potential.

Keyword: Potential :)

tennis_hand
05-01-2007, 05:23 PM
one good thing: easier to return hard hit balls. probably the only reason i chose the heavier racket.

N4n45h1
05-01-2007, 05:35 PM
if you get your racket head fast enough then its pretty much the same as a heavier racket at a slower speed, but.... last time i broke strings on all my rackets and had to borrow a babolat tweener from a friend i got pushed alll around the court

jonolau
05-01-2007, 06:09 PM
We can go on posturing till the cows come home, but at the end of the day, it's what you're comfortable that's important. There is nothing wrong with taking big cuts with lighter racquets or with heftier racquets. If you can't hit in the sweetspot consistently, no racquet is going to save you.

Demo different ranges of specifications to see which one is suitable for you and stick with that decision. Don't let others' opinions sway your own comfort level.

mhstennis100
05-01-2007, 06:15 PM
I don't think anything is wrong with it. My dad uses sub 10 oz. sticks, the Wilson N6's (not 6.1) and still beats me. I use 12+ oz. sticks and he has no problem beating me. Just preference I guess.

T_S_N
05-01-2007, 06:42 PM
i play with some really hard hitting people when i play singles and i can't play with a racquet -11oz because the stabability is just not there for me

grizzly4life
05-01-2007, 06:52 PM
i'd add one more thing.... i know some big hitters who play with light racquets, and when it gets tense vs. pusher/retriever/counter-puncher, the unforced errors pile up..... basically saying wailing (sp?) away in practice, you can pretty much use any racquet, but in matches you need more control

grizzly4life
05-01-2007, 06:59 PM
i'd add one more thing.... i know some big hitters who play with light racquets, and when it gets tense vs. pusher/retriever/counter-puncher, the unforced errors pile up..... basically saying wailing (sp?) away in practice, you can pretty much use any racquet, but in matches you need more control

Redflea
05-01-2007, 07:45 PM
In the end it's technique that leads to good results, and it's important to choose a racquet that fits your strength, fitness, etc.

A heavier or lighter racquet could result in better or worse results, depends on the individual. Main idea is to choose one in the right weight range for you.

Fedace
05-01-2007, 07:48 PM
Does anyone like mettallix 2 ?

ollinger
05-01-2007, 07:51 PM
Fedace
Pay attention!! This is a different "What's wrong with..." thread.

couch
05-01-2007, 07:53 PM
i'd add one more thing.... i know some big hitters who play with light racquets, and when it gets tense vs. pusher/retriever/counter-puncher, the unforced errors pile up..... basically saying wailing (sp?) away in practice, you can pretty much use any racquet, but in matches you need more control

Maybe they just can't handle pressure. If you can hit the shots when the pressure's not on then why would it be the racquet's fault when a player misses shots when the pressure IS on? :confused: Sounds like a player issue to me or am I missing something.

couch
05-01-2007, 07:54 PM
Does anyone like mettallix 2 ?

Yes. That Enter Sandman song was killer back in the day.

Noveson
05-01-2007, 08:23 PM
i play with some really hard hitting people when i play singles and i can't play with a racquet -11oz because the stabability is just not there for me

Unless you are using a 1 oz racquet, the stability is there as long as you hit the sweetspot. Which is what you should be focusing on anyway, instead of a racquet.

grizzly4life
05-01-2007, 08:28 PM
Maybe they just can't handle pressure. If you can hit the shots when the pressure's not on then why would it be the racquet's fault when a player misses shots when the pressure IS on? :confused: Sounds like a player issue to me or am I missing something.

you could be right.... but i don't see that in similar guys that play control racquets. just my observations, and it's shocking how early these guys (2 of them) go out of club tourneys. and i'm talking 280g racquets (didn't even know they exist)

praetorian909
05-01-2007, 08:41 PM
Well I used to use a light-ish racquet (11 oz) until I started playing against my friend who consistently serves 100+ mph. They're not flat serves either, but with a lot of spin so that it's really 'heavy'. It physically hurt just trying to return his serves.

So I eventually switched to a Prostaff Tour 90 (~13 oz) which was soo much better. (And I'm sure this is why pros use heavier racquets). The extra weight also makes it more stable for off-center hits.

Besides, 13 oz is light compared to wood racquets :)

NoBadMojo
05-01-2007, 08:58 PM
i've hit with a very light frame against a big server. maybe a little over 10ozs..a Cat4. i had no stability issues at all. the racquet didnt get pushed around. obviously, heavier racquets give you better so called 'plow through' but plow thru does a person no good at all if they cant get the frame around on the ball on time. hit the sweetspot on any quality racquet and there are no stability issues

it isnt a matter of choosing either a heavy small headed frame or a light large headed frame...for almost everybody, the best choice lies somewhere in between and varies by the individual,

i get pegged as someone who promotes large headed light frames in error when i always say people should buy the heaviest frame they can swing fast enough for as long as their sessions last when playing someone at least as good as they are. could be 10 ozs..could be 12. its also a good idea to pick a frame in which you can reliably hit the sweetspot.

TheFranchise
05-01-2007, 09:01 PM
I'm a 4.5 player in the Northern section, and I use a Wilson H-Blaze...all 9.3 ounces of it.

BreakPoint
05-01-2007, 09:03 PM
Unless you are using a 1 oz racquet, the stability is there as long as you hit the sweetspot. Which is what you should be focusing on anyway, instead of a racquet.
Not true. If you use an 8 oz. racquet and try and volley a heavy ball coming at you at a very fast pace, your racquet will recoil causing instability even if you hit the ball in the sweetspot. There's just not enough mass there to be able to counter the momentum of the incoming ball.

Don't forget that as you move to a lighter racquet, the ball doesn't also get lighter but is still the same weight as before. It's all about the collision of a heavier object with a lighter object. So until the balls also become lighter, a heavier racquet is always going to be more stable than a lighter one, all else being equal.

Noveson
05-01-2007, 09:05 PM
Not true. If you use an 8 oz. racquet and try and volley a heavy ball coming at you at a very fast pace, your racquet will recoil causing instability even if you hit the ball in the sweetspot. There's just not enough mass there to be able to counter the momentum of the incoming ball.

Don't forget that as you move to a lighter racquet, the ball doesn't also get lighter but is still the same weight as before. It's all about the collision of a heavier object with a lighter object. So until the balls also become lighter, a heavier racquet is always going to be more stable than a lighter one, all else being equal.

Of course you are right, my fault for the gross exaggeration. Considering where most racquets that players on this board play with(high 10-12 oz) stability shouldn't be much of a factor if you hit the sweetspot, right?

BreakPoint
05-01-2007, 09:09 PM
Of course you are right, my fault for the gross exaggeration. Considering where most racquets that players on this board play with(high 10-12 oz) stability shouldn't be much of a factor if you hit the sweetspot, right?
Well, like I said, a heavier racquet is always going to be more stable than a lighter racquet, all else being equal.

Look at praetorian909's example above where he switched from a 11 oz. racquet to a 13 oz. racquet and the increase in stability that he experienced against big hitters.

When I hit against guys that hit the ball very hard or very heavy, I have to switch to the heaviest racquet in my bag to be able to counter their big shots. I just get pushed around too much with my lighter racquets.

haerdalis
05-01-2007, 10:37 PM
There is nothing wrong with using a lighter racquet. I have to say I am starting to come around. I have tried many lighter bigger racquets of late and some are quite stable despite their "lower" weight.
Still if you can handle the mass it can be better.

pow
05-02-2007, 12:53 AM
There is nothing wrong, I really liked the nblade, still like it but I like to have a higher plow through effect from my racquet. It takes time and practice but once I was able to swing and time the swing of a heavier frame, it really pays off because the recoil on impact is much smaller and I really feel in control. I need all the stability I can get especially on my 1 hbh side.

Thomas Bird-Itch
05-02-2007, 06:21 AM
I didn't intend for the post to be a trap. I know everyone here is slightly biased to whatever they're using, but many of you speak from years of experience and have an open mind. I know the racquet isn't what makes the player either, but it can limit them. I just wanted to bounce the idea and see if there were any consequences I wasn't thinking of...

I'm aware of the lower stability, but the manueverability is very valuable to me. I hadn't thought much about stiffness so I'm glad someone brought that up. I did notice it recently and changed racquets; increasing it helped! I'm still tweaking the tension on my new (old stock) racquet, but I think it's a great match for now.

McGee
05-02-2007, 06:40 AM
Interesting... I forgot about the stiffness factor. I recently went with a slightly stiffer model at the same weight/balance and it's working better. I like the increased power, but I still tend to hit a little long under pressure. Guess I'll just see how it goes as I improve...

McGee, what do you use now? I used a 300G for two years. It was hard to put that one down.

I went from 300g to 200g to Prestige MP. Recently tried the Head Extreme Pro which I really liked and the DNX 10 mid which I absolutely love but the swingweight might be a little much for me. Actually the sw of the Extreme Pro is pretty high also, but it has a bigger sweetspot I think. That 300g was a nice frame though! I also hit with a nice Vantage frame within my swingweight range with a 100" headsize and 63 flex that was nice. I have not settled on a final racquet choice yet unfortunately.

praetorian909
05-02-2007, 07:15 AM
Not true. If you use an 8 oz. racquet and try and volley a heavy ball coming at you at a very fast pace, your racquet will recoil causing instability even if you hit the ball in the sweetspot. There's just not enough mass there to be able to counter the momentum of the incoming ball.

Don't forget that as you move to a lighter racquet, the ball doesn't also get lighter but is still the same weight as before. It's all about the collision of a heavier object with a lighter object. So until the balls also become lighter, a heavier racquet is always going to be more stable than a lighter one, all else being equal.

BreakPoint, I was just about post the same exact thing! There's just some practical limit to how light a racquet is playable because of the set mass of the ball. Sorta like a baseball bat compared to a baseball.

And I wanted to re-emphasize, the reason why I even started trying heavier racquets was really just so my arm wouldn't be in so much pain when returning my friend's fast + heavy serves! Even just sticking out my racquet put so much shock thru my hand, wrist, & arm.

Though this probably does have a lot to do stability since a lot of torque required to force the ball to spin in the opposite direction (topspin serve to my topspin return). So having more weight at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock helps a lot with that. Thinking about it now, guess I shoulda just gone with slice returns...

jonolau
05-02-2007, 07:27 AM
I'm using much lighter racquets not because I'm concerned about weight, but more based on a lower swingweight. I used to play with a 376 gram racquet for 8 years with no issues at all. But after about a 3 year layoff, it was fun to take big swings with it, however the stamina just wasn't there anymore and I couldn't sustain a full match with it.

Hence I've moved to a racquet with a lower swingweight which still allows me to take big cuts at the ball, maintain my swingspeed, and subsequently created huge returns.

I've never really bothered too much with racquet specifications. I've only bothered with the following:

1. My stamina - as long as I can sustain long matches/rallies without tiring out my body, that's the right racquet.
2. When I'm able to maneuver it with ease and hit wide angled returns.
3. When my opponents comment on the power and accuracy of my serves and groundstrokes.

Those are much more valuable than numbers tagged onto the frame.

John Galt
05-02-2007, 07:32 AM
I'm using much lighter racquets not because I'm concerned about weight, but more based on a lower swingweight. I used to play with a 376 gram racquet for 8 years with no issues at all. But after about a 3 year layoff, it was fun to take big swings with it, however the stamina just wasn't there anymore and I couldn't sustain a full match with it.

Hence I've moved to a racquet with a lower swingweight which still allows me to take big cuts at the ball, maintain my swingspeed, and subsequently created huge returns.

I've never really bothered too much with racquet specifications. I've only bothered with the following:

1. My stamina - as long as I can sustain long matches/rallies without tiring out my body, that's the right racquet.
2. When I'm able to maneuver it with ease and hit wide angled returns.
3. When my opponents comment on the power and accuracy of my serves and groundstrokes.

Those are much more valuable than numbers tagged onto the frame.

I couldn't have said it better myself :D

goober
05-02-2007, 07:54 AM
I'm using much lighter racquets not because I'm concerned about weight, but more based on a lower swingweight. I used to play with a 376 gram racquet for 8 years with no issues at all. But after about a 3 year layoff, it was fun to take big swings with it, however the stamina just wasn't there anymore and I couldn't sustain a full match with it.

Hence I've moved to a racquet with a lower swingweight which still allows me to take big cuts at the ball, maintain my swingspeed, and subsequently created huge returns.

I've never really bothered too much with racquet specifications. I've only bothered with the following:

1. My stamina - as long as I can sustain long matches/rallies without tiring out my body, that's the right racquet.
2. When I'm able to maneuver it with ease and hit wide angled returns.
3. When my opponents comment on the power and accuracy of my serves and groundstrokes.

Those are much more valuable than numbers tagged onto the frame.

While I agree with what you are saying, I think if you know the numbers it can help you decide which racquets to demo. Swing weight, static weight and balance are key factors in deciding if I will even consider a frame.

jonolau
05-02-2007, 08:03 AM
While I agree with what you are saying, I think if you know the numbers it can help you decide which racquets to demo. Swing weight, static weight and balance are key factors in deciding if I will even consider a frame.


You're not wrong to say that. Having knowledge of numbers will eliminate as many variables as possible and narrow down the search.

However, some gems may fall through the gaps and you may end up totally missing the holy grail ....

Most important: be true to yourself. Know your own abilities and limitations. All of us may have to re-look racquets that we may have scoffed at in our earlier and fitter days ...

I always thought that the O3 White was a ladies racquet and the specs were way off from my norm. How wrong I was when I picked up my wife's O3 White for a match. It was a hoot to play with and I didn't get myself tired out. Best of all, I used it to trump someone I always had problems beating. That was when I humbled myself and moved away from my heftier and smaller-headed racquets.

Thomas Bird-Itch
05-02-2007, 08:18 AM
Good posts, jonolau. I agree with goober too. Unfortunately, specs tend to vary among sites. I've found Tennis.com (USRSA measurements?) to be the most consistent. Doing searches on racquetfinder.com, I've missed/dismissed/tried several that were just out of range, perhaps b/c they were measured incorrectly.