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View Full Version : Using a different racket for my service games


Cindysphinx
10-05-2007, 01:59 PM
OK, I got my rackets restrung (the elbow is better already, thanks for asking!). Both are AeroPro Drives, Wilson Sensation strings for those who care about such things. One is at 55, one is at 58. I was thinking of using the looser one for mixed for the bigger sweet spot and less vibration for the elbow.

Today, I used the looser one in a ladies social match, just to test drive it. I was much surprised to see my serve was noticeably faster. I noticed some difference in groundstrokes too (less topspin, more power). Didn't see much difference in volleys.

I was thinking of using the loose racket for my own service games and the tighter one for the other three doubles service games.

Is this insane? Do people do this? Or should I just go with the original plan of using the loose one for mixed?

Boy, had I known that good strings make such a difference, I wouldn't have waited 14 months to change my strings!!! I'm a believer now. :)

hyogen
10-05-2007, 02:14 PM
i have considered this mysefl..but in a doubles tournament I chose to stick with the racquet that I serve best with (os, XL TT warrior). I got 2nd place and i'm glad i used that racquet).

Might have been able to get 1st if I switched rackets - between games. I can hit better ground strokes and return serve better with the MP TT warrior.

I'm pretty sure there'd be no reason why it would be illegal...

drakulie
10-05-2007, 02:41 PM
If it works for you go for it. But I don't think many players use this strategy for a number of reasons.

Bagumbawalla
10-05-2007, 04:23 PM
My friend uses the Aero Pro, and claims that it is a bit stiff and unforgiving on off-center hits. If he is correct, I think you made a good decision to lower your tension for elbow reasons.

You could just try hitting with your 55lb racket for a week or so and see if you can adapt to that tension for all of your play. If so, then, eventually, I would have both rackets strung the same- at the lower tension.

But it depends, some people are better able to switch back and forth between tensions. For me there is always an adjustment period where I have to mentally retune- for that reason, I wouldn't advise switching back and forth between games. At least experiment first to see how it affects YOU first, before trying it in a match.

raiden031
10-05-2007, 04:33 PM
That sounds a little rediculous to me. I'm one of the first people to say I can't tell the difference between tensions or strings, but I wouldn't switch back and forth between racquets during a match because I could see your strokes getting messed up as a result of your muscles being confused. I would pick one or the other and use it the whole match starting with warmups. Just my take on it.

hyogen
10-05-2007, 11:13 PM
well i've decided to can the idea of having the prince oversize TT warrior Longbody.. it's great on my serves, but messes up my groundstroke game too much i think.

I will just try to develop a good serve with my other main racquet.

Cindysphinx
10-07-2007, 05:46 PM
OK, I tried it. Sort of.

I saw my pro today, and I asked his opinion. Since the elbow's OK, he thought I should go with the tighter racket because control will serve me better than power.

So I just used the tighter racket in the mixed match. I was able to place my serve and get lots of spin when I wanted it, which served me nicely during the first set. Which we lost. Because I couldn't hold serve to take it to a tiebreaker.

In the second set, I was oh-so-very-angry, so I switched to the other racket. I noticed more pop on the groundstrokes, but I couldn't place my serve as well (but still held).

I think the plan will be to use the more powerful racket against weaker opponents (3.0 ladies who are flummoxed by fast serves) and use the less powerful racket for everyone else, where I can get more mileage out of placement and spin.

Cindy -- acutely aware that no racket string job in the world will make up for sluggish footwork on volleys :(

BounceHitBounceHit
10-07-2007, 06:20 PM
OK, I tried it. Sort of.

I saw my pro today, and I asked his opinion. Since the elbow's OK, he thought I should go with the tighter racket because control will serve me better than power.

So I just used the tighter racket in the mixed match. I was able to place my serve and get lots of spin when I wanted it, which served me nicely during the first set. Which we lost. Because I couldn't hold serve to take it to a tiebreaker.

In the second set, I was oh-so-very-angry, so I switched to the other racket. I noticed more pop on the groundstrokes, but I couldn't place my serve as well (but still held).

I think the plan will be to use the more powerful racket against weaker opponents (3.0 ladies who are flummoxed by fast serves) and use the less powerful racket for everyone else, where I can get more mileage out of placement and spin.

Cindy -- acutely aware that no racket string job in the world will make up for sluggish footwork on volleys :(

Cindy,

Actually lots of better players keep a cache of identical frames strung at slightly different tensions to allow them to adjust for playing conditions (including their own, INTERNAL variations! ;) ) However I don't think many use different tensions for serve and return games. CC

sharpy
10-07-2007, 08:47 PM
OK, I got my rackets restrung (the elbow is better already, thanks for asking!). Both are AeroPro Drives, Wilson Sensation strings for those who care about such things. One is at 55, one is at 58. I was thinking of using the looser one for mixed for the bigger sweet spot and less vibration for the elbow.

Today, I used the looser one in a ladies social match, just to test drive it. I was much surprised to see my serve was noticeably faster. I noticed some difference in groundstrokes too (less topspin, more power). Didn't see much difference in volleys.

I was thinking of using the loose racket for my own service games and the tighter one for the other three doubles service games.

Is this insane? Do people do this? Or should I just go with the original plan of using the loose one for mixed?

Boy, had I known that good strings make such a difference, I wouldn't have waited 14 months to change my strings!!! I'm a believer now. :)


Well, I wouldn't be so worried about rackets, equipments and strings as an intermediate player.

I'm pretty suprised you feel a noticable difference with strings/rackets.

In general though, stick with one type of racket, not switching over between games.

It's far more important to improve your skills on the court/fitness than to obsess over exact tension/exact racket per game. Leave that to the pros please.

tbini87
10-07-2007, 09:26 PM
why not find the one you play better with overall and go with that one. i would not want to switch in between games. just not enough consistency i guess. unless it was a very small difference. but i would go with the one that i play better with, or keep them strung differently and pick the one you want for the day. but with that being said do what you want and what works for you!

skiracer55
10-08-2007, 08:44 AM
...one year at Wimbledon was using different rackets/different tensions for the reasons you were talking about...more control on service returns, more power on serving games. So it's a strategy, but it really doesn't work for me. I play with a Head Metallix 2, and I've found, through experimentation, that the best string for me is Technifibre X-1 Biphase 17 guage strung at 62.

But that's here in the Rocky Mountains, where the ball takes off a like a superball and you need all the control you can get. About a month ago, I was out in California for a clinic, and I restrung one of my frames (I have my own stringer) at 60. When I go to sea level, the ball feels like a potato, and I need a little more oomph to get it through the court. This is what another poster was saying about varying the tension for changes in conditions. People think all hard courts are the same, for example, but that's hardly the case. We have courts in Boulder, Colorado that play like (really fast) grass, others that are about medium, and the courts at CU are pretty slow and high bouncing. I don't do it, but there are people who string depending on the speed/surface they play on most.

In general, however, I don't mess around with strings/string tension once I've found what I like. I have three frames, and they are all strung identically. As I said in an earlier post, 10 to 12 hours, max, is all I get out of a string job. It may only be a few pounds light (all string jobs lose tension overnight, whether you play with them or not), but it throws my stroke off, and I'd rather adjust my strings than my stroke...

Midlife crisis
10-08-2007, 09:32 AM
OK, I got my rackets restrung (the elbow is better already, thanks for asking!). Both are AeroPro Drives, Wilson Sensation strings for those who care about such things. One is at 55, one is at 58. I was thinking of using the looser one for mixed for the bigger sweet spot and less vibration for the elbow.

Today, I used the looser one in a ladies social match, just to test drive it. I was much surprised to see my serve was noticeably faster. I noticed some difference in groundstrokes too (less topspin, more power). Didn't see much difference in volleys.

I was thinking of using the loose racket for my own service games and the tighter one for the other three doubles service games.

Is this insane? Do people do this? Or should I just go with the original plan of using the loose one for mixed?

Boy, had I known that good strings make such a difference, I wouldn't have waited 14 months to change my strings!!! I'm a believer now. :)

Strings do make a difference, especially new ones compared to old ones, but the tension difference of 3 pounds between the two would make a practically imperceptible difference inb all speed:

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200502/200502strings.html

and under the section "Tension and Power":

Perhaps the most startling revelation is how altering string tension affects power (ball velocity). The old adage "string loose for power, tight for control" still holds, just not to the extent that we previously thought (i.e., looser strings will not change power by 20 percent, 10 percent, or even 5 percent).

If you drop string tension by 10 pounds, the percentage gain in ball velocity will be less than 1 percent (about .7 percent), or about .4 mph on a 60 mph ground stroke.

What does happen is that the trajectory will be a little higher, which is the primary contributor to why the ball ends up going deeper, with the little bit of added speed being the minor factor.

So, if you're serving faster with the looser strung racquet, it's not because the looser strings give you extra power. It is something else.

kevhen
10-08-2007, 10:36 AM
3 lbs of tension is not much difference but just stick with one frame for serving and returning. I string at 50lbs but use luxilon strings that are recommended to be strung lower since they don't lose tension once in place.

Your frame might be some of the cause of your elbow problems. I find Volkls to be very comfortable and feel less vibrations than other frames I have used including Wilson, Prince, Head, Babalot, and Dunlop frames.

NLBwell
10-08-2007, 10:53 PM
Skiracer55 - I didn't think anyone else would remember Dennis Ralston using two different rackets. Yes, I have to adjust everything to control the ball here in Colorado. If I go to sea level it is incredibly easy to hit the ball in the court - there is just a huge margin for error.

Cindysphinx
10-09-2007, 04:58 AM
Well, I'm liking the tighter racket better. I seem to get more spin with it, and that's pretty important.

So now what do I do with this racket with $26 worth of strings on it? Use it for lessons and practice matches, I guess . . .

skiracer55
10-09-2007, 07:24 AM
Skiracer55 - I didn't think anyone else would remember Dennis Ralston using two different rackets. Yes, I have to adjust everything to control the ball here in Colorado. If I go to sea level it is incredibly easy to hit the ball in the court - there is just a huge margin for error.


...has its advantages. Okay, here's today's contest question: which Wilson wood racket did Arthur Ashe play with before he went to a Head composite? And why?

skiracer55
10-09-2007, 07:25 AM
Well, I'm liking the tighter racket better. I seem to get more spin with it, and that's pretty important.

So now what do I do with this racket with $26 worth of strings on it? Use it for lessons and practice matches, I guess . . .

...the tension you want, so you'll be compensating. Your next purchase: your own home stringer...

Mountain Ghost
10-09-2007, 10:06 AM
Okay, here's today's contest question: which Wilson wood racket did Arthur Ashe play with before he went to a Head composite? And why?

Tony Trabert? Last previous American to win the US Open (1955)? Stiffer Shaft than a Kramer?
___

As for the OP . . . While I completely understand testing racquets, strings and tensions, as well as changing equipment and specs as your awareness and level of play develops, the regular use of different racquets for different games can only distract you from finding REAL solutions to your perceived problems.

Even if you do notice short-term positive effects, the practice borders on head-case nourishment. Just THINKING that some magical weapon-of-the-moment is the solution to a temporary situation is the exact same thing as telling yourself that YOU are not the creator of your positive or negative results, which will inhibit the long-term progress of your technique.

MG

skiracer55
10-09-2007, 02:37 PM
Tony Trabert? Last previous American to win the US Open (1955)? Stiffer Shaft than a Kramer?
___

As for the OP . . . While I completely understand testing racquets, strings and tensions, as well as changing equipment and specs as your awareness and level of play develops, the regular use of different racquets for different games can only distract you from finding REAL solutions to your perceived problems.

Even if you do notice short-term positive effects, the practice borders on head-case nourishment. Just THINKING that some magical weapon-of-the-moment is the solution to a temporary situation is the exact same thing as telling yourself that YOU are not the creator of your positive or negative results, which will inhibit the long-term progress of your technique.

MG

...Wilson Stan Smith Autograph, because it had the longer handle flakes and was therefore stiffer. Okay, this is easy but we'll do it anyway. What racket did Clark Graebner switch to when he stopped using wood rackets?

Mountain Ghost
10-09-2007, 03:40 PM
Trampoline2000?

skiracer55
10-09-2007, 06:17 PM
Trampoline2000?

...you win what's behind Door #3. I'm gonna start a whole other thread on this subject in the appropriate forum (which would be?) and see if I can stump you...but I doubt it...

NLBwell
10-09-2007, 09:41 PM
Didn't Clark Graebener use the Sheffield X-15?

skiracer55
10-10-2007, 08:33 AM
Didn't Clark Graebener use the Sheffield X-15?

...I dunno, but your words have the air of authority, so you're now one up on me. Okay, next question: When Arthur Ashe, who was one of the first players to go beyond wood rackets, gave up his Wilson Stan Smith, which racket did he switch to?

NLBwell
10-10-2007, 07:41 PM
I would have guessed the Head Competition (aka rugbeater or snowshoe) but maybe it is a trick question?

hector
10-10-2007, 09:46 PM
Is this a joke. A 3.0 woman wants advice concerning using a racquet with a different tensions for service games. I can't figure out who is crazier, Cindy or the people who give her advice.

skiracer55
10-11-2007, 06:18 AM
I would have guessed the Head Competition (aka rugbeater or snowshoe) but maybe it is a trick question?

...okay, I promise we'll move this line of inquiry elsewhere...see the "Rackets" forum...

Cindysphinx
10-11-2007, 08:33 AM
Careful, Hector. You keep dissing people's questions because of their USTA level and Topaz and I will come after you.

You won't survive it. Trust me. :)