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View Full Version : Does a racket HAVE to be head light to maximize topspin??


BjornBorg
01-09-2008, 06:48 PM
I was hitting with the Head Flexpoint Instinct Team, which is a lighter racket and about 2 points head heavy. Yet, I was getting tremendous topspin and "whipping" through the ball.

Does a racket have to be head light to generate more top spin? Can't a basic even balanced (or close) generate as much top spin as an especially head light frame???

RestockingTues
01-09-2008, 06:49 PM
Spin generation is all dependent on your technique.

LanEvo
01-09-2008, 06:53 PM
yea so it doesnt matter what weight a racquet is or if its head light or heavy because i have 2 racquets that i use that are head light and head heavy

Agent Orynge
01-09-2008, 08:05 PM
I wouldn't say that balance matters as much as swingweight. This may or may not be true, but my common sense tells me that the higher the swingweight the more inelastic the collision, meaning the ball maintains contact with the stringbed longer. The longer the ball maintains contact with the stringbed the more spin you generate. Therefor higher swingweight = more spin. As usual, my understanding of physics may be flawed so anyone who knows better is more than welcome to correct me.

vndesu
01-09-2008, 09:32 PM
i think its easier to generate topspin with head light rackets.
with head heavy to me it feel like just more power.

P8ntballa
01-09-2008, 09:41 PM
Does not need to be head light, its just a head light racquet is easier to maneuver while swinging making it overall easier and less strenuious to generate a greater ammount of topspin. If you have a strong arm and a good technique it really does not matter that much.

Agent Orynge
01-10-2008, 04:22 AM
I stand by my initial assertion.

Gimmick
01-10-2008, 05:15 AM
I wouldn't say that balance matters as much as swingweight. This may or may not be true, but my common sense tells me that the higher the swingweight the more inelastic the collision, meaning the ball maintains contact with the stringbed longer. The longer the ball maintains contact with the stringbed the more spin you generate. Therefor higher swingweight = more spin. As usual, my understanding of physics may be flawed so anyone who knows better is more than welcome to correct me.

This works if you can still generate good head speed which also affects how much spin you can put on the ball. For a given player the highest weight they can still get good head speed on is going to be the best.

Ljubicic for number1
01-10-2008, 05:24 AM
It can work both ways, some of the biggest spin sticks around are pretty head heavy, Prince TT Bandit OS in a absolute spin monster at nearly even balance.

Kevo
01-10-2008, 10:10 AM
It doesn't matter. What matters is how fast you can swing the frame and the location and angle of contact on the ball. So I guess that means is the frame too heavy or head heavy for you?

Zachol82
01-10-2008, 11:36 AM
In general, a headlight racquet is easier to generate racquet head speed with. Therefore most people find it easier to put topspin while using a headlight racquet.

However, if you can already generate good racquet head speed, it doesn't really matter. If you want to hit a topspin shot, no matter what kind of racquet you use, you will be able to put topspin on the ball.

"Does a racket HAVE to be head light to maximize topspin??"

To maximize topspin? If you generate the same amount of power with the same exact stroke and everything. A head-light racquet will probably give you more topspin than a head-heavy racquet. This is because a head heavy racquet will tend to drive through the ball more instead of brushing up on the ball.

Agent Orynge
01-10-2008, 01:23 PM
Alright, I can see that some of you still don't get my point. Let's use the simple physics formula for momentum to demonstrate; p = mv, or momentum = mass * velocity. The transfer of momentum being what counts in a collision (such as the ball colliding with the racquet), let's assume that a given player can swing heavy racquet A and light racquet B at the same speed. If higher momentum is the desired outsome, and velocity remains constant, a higher weight/mass is going to equate to higher momentum. Now, let's assume that under two other circumstances the mass of the racquet being swung and the velocity are inversely proportional to one another. In these instances the momentum should be roughly the same. For example, p = 1 * 2 is the same as p = 2 * 1.

So, while headspeed does generate more momentum (and therefor dwell time as I proposed earlier), so does mass. Therefor a heavier racquet (or one with a higher swingweight) swung at a higher speed will generate the optimal amount of spin. Credit to Gimmick for stating as much earlier, albeit in fewer words.,

Agent Orynge
01-11-2008, 08:41 AM
I'm glad there's no more argument. :D

PackardDell
01-11-2008, 03:36 PM
i think the opposite. With handle-light you can get much more spin.

Higher balance is good for headspeed and therefore for spin. one reason the dense string pattern AG200 has easy access to spin

svebriyos
01-11-2008, 04:35 PM
The question really is do you want to hit a "spin" ball or a "heavy" ball? A ball that has just spin will not go thru the court and sit up, whereas a heavy ball will get a good jump off and also go thru the court. For a heavy ball you need a frame that is as heavy as you can handle without losing swingspeed. Most people have the misconception that they will swing a lighter racquet faster than a heavier one. that is only the case when when you swing without having to hit a ball. On high-speed film you will see how the swing actually slows down before contact with the ball. the opposite is the case with a racquet that has the right weight for your ability and "natural" swingspeed. You will be able to get create more spin and at the same time hit a heavier ball with the heaviest racquet that you can handle.

Agent Orynge
01-11-2008, 07:45 PM
Wow. I like how you show people math and they still argue with their gut feelings...

Stop telling me I'm wrong and <i>prove</i> it people.

retrowagen
01-11-2008, 09:17 PM
Generally, dwell time (ball on string) has mostly to do with string tension, less to do with racket stiffness, and almost nothing to do with racket mass.

The other major consideration as to the ease with which topspin can be imparted to a tennis ball would have to do with the "openness" of the string pattern. All other things being equal, the larger the string grids, the greater the ease with which spin can be imparted - topspin or slice.

While the points regarding racket momentum are well taken, that consideration actually factors more towards the stability with which the topspin (or slice) stroke can be executed without too much deflection when the ball is stricken: the mass of the frame would want to travel in the desired plane of the stroke with less of a deflection off-course from the collision with the ball. Thus an overall heavier frame, swingweight-wise, (which can be achieved via a head-heavy mass bias) ought to feel more capable of producing topspin or slice, by its nature: imagine swinging a hammer in a topspin forehand stroke, then imagine swinging a pencil in a topspin forehand stroke. However, the dwell time on the strings is only affected by the string tension and patttern and racket stiffness, and the actual racket head speed.

downdaline
01-12-2008, 12:54 AM
No, a racquet doesnt have to be headlight to maximize topspin. It needs the optimal balance of technique, swingweight, racquet headspeed and string type (string type to suit the style of swing).

Edit: Ooops, i guess this is a restatement of retrowagen's post. Sorry about that.

haerdalis
01-12-2008, 01:09 AM
Alright, I can see that some of you still don't get my point. Let's use the simple physics formula for momentum to demonstrate; p = mv, or momentum = mass * velocity. The transfer of momentum being what counts in a collision (such as the ball colliding with the racquet), let's assume that a given player can swing heavy racquet A and light racquet B at the same speed. If higher momentum is the desired outsome, and velocity remains constant, a higher weight/mass is going to equate to higher momentum. Now, let's assume that under two other circumstances the mass of the racquet being swung and the velocity are inversely proportional to one another. In these instances the momentum should be roughly the same. For example, p = 1 * 2 is the same as p = 2 * 1.

So, while headspeed does generate more momentum (and therefor dwell time as I proposed earlier), so does mass. Therefor a heavier racquet (or one with a higher swingweight) swung at a higher speed will generate the optimal amount of spin. Credit to Gimmick for stating as much earlier, albeit in fewer words.,
I just wanted to point out that the ball isnt colliding with the strings when you play tennis, atleast it isnt when I play tennis.
So your basic physics may have given you the correct answer but if this was a physics test you would not score many points.
We are talking spin here. Momentum wont say anything about spin. Energy will. So what we are talking about is energy transfer.

Agent Orynge
01-12-2008, 09:19 AM
:D

Alright, let's try this again.

My basic assertion was that higher momentum (achieved by higher swingweight) equates to more dwell time and thus more topspin. I think we can all agree that more dwell time does equal more spin, right?

I'm going to start off by arguing with haerdalis, just because I don't understand his point. How does the ball not collide with the strings? Your observation is way off base here. Not only is it a collision, it is an inelastic collision. An inelastic collision by definition is one where two objects that collide have a greater tendency to stick together. This is BASIC physics people. The longer the two objects 'stick together' the more dwell time you have, and thus more spin. Fin.

Now for some citation. My earlier conclusions were drawn by myself, but from a simple web search I see that at least one other person out there has drawn similar conclusions;

http://www.msu.edu/~jochmans/physicsoftennis.html

And a simple wikipedia article describing the basic principles of collisions, to include a definition of 'inelastic' collision in the very first paragraph;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collision

hawaiirgv
01-12-2008, 10:10 AM
string pattern and stroke style... IMO is always going to be key's in being able to maximize topspin. To answer your original question without needing a degree in physics... no, you do not HAVE to have a head light racquet to maximize topspin

curio
01-12-2008, 02:21 PM
With a decent technique you'll be able to hit much topspin with both, but head-light racquets, for the same headspeed, will provide a better directionnal and power control.

I think that's why head-light help to generate more spin in game.

Agent Orynge
01-12-2008, 05:54 PM
Well, I hope somebody learned something here.