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View Full Version : Racquet on edge during serve-drag effect


justsomeguy
04-08-2008, 12:50 PM
Does anyone have a link or anything to show how much drag occurs if you do not take the racquet up on edge? Or how much additional speed you may obtain if you take it up on edge?

Not trying to get into serve mechanics, here, just physics (is it physics?:oops:) I would like to be able to show someone the benefits of this. They won't take my word for it.

I always wondered about this myself. If drag is the issue here, wide beamed sticks must have more drag and those fancy O3 racquets should have less drag on the serve, right? Theoretically speaking, of course. Don't want to argue about racquet technology or lack thereof.

Please excuse my ignorance. I don't usually spend much time thinking about the science of tennis.

Bungalo Bill
04-08-2008, 12:52 PM
Does anyone have a link or anything to show how much drag occurs if you do not take the racquet up on edge? Or how much additional speed you may obtain if you take it up on edge?

Not trying to get into serve mechanics, here, just physics (is it physics?:oops:) I would like to be able to show someone the benefits of this. They won't take my word for it.

I always wondered about this myself. If drag is the issue here, wide beamed sticks must have more drag and those fancy O3 racquets should have less drag on the serve, right? Theoretically speaking, of course. Don't want to argue about racquet technology or lack thereof.

Please excuse my ignorance. I don't usually spend much time thinking about the science of tennis.

Is there a reason why you care about this? Shouldn't this be posted in the racquet forum?

justsomeguy
04-08-2008, 12:58 PM
Is there a reason why you care about this? Shouldn't this be posted in the racquet forum?

The reason is in the original post. Should it be in the racquet section? I have no idea. Thanks for your help, though.

justsomeguy
04-08-2008, 01:01 PM
Was there a reason you posted in here Buffalo Bill? Do you have the answer or are you just being a putz?

chess9
04-08-2008, 01:21 PM
Drag is not a significant number at the very low velocities tennis racquets are swung. Any racquet manufacturer who posits drag as a significant performance factor is engaging in mere puffery.

This has been discussed many times here. Use the search function.

-Robert

justsomeguy
04-08-2008, 01:28 PM
Drag is not a significant number at the very low velocities tennis racquets are swung. Any racquet manufacturer who posits drag as a significant performance factor is engaging in mere puffery.

This has been discussed many times here. Use the search function.

-Robert

Thanks for responding, Robert. All the instructional sights say that you should bring the stick up on edge for increased head speed. I can find plenty of stuff in searches that back this up, but nothing that proves or disproves it.

So are you saying that it's all crap? Doesn't matter if you bring the racquet on edge or wide open? Not enough speed difference to matter?

Every pro I have ever seen does it. That's good enough for me, but I am curious if there has ever been a study to prove the benefits.

chess9
04-08-2008, 01:36 PM
Thanks for responding, Robert. All the instructional sights say that you should bring the stick up on edge for increased head speed. I can find plenty of stuff in searches that back this up, but nothing that proves or disproves it.

So are you saying that it's all crap? Doesn't matter if you bring the racquet on edge or wide open? Not enough speed difference to matter?

Every pro I have ever seen does it. That's good enough for me, but I am curious if there has ever been a study to prove the benefits.

You don't do that to reduce drag, you do it because it offers superior biomechanical efficiency. As you may know, if you have supinated the wrist to open the racquet face prior to delivery of the coup de grace on the ball you have effectively unloaded all the forearm muscles and extensors. Many beginners do that. It's called the Frying Pan Serve. Don't do that. :)

-Robert

Bungalo Bill
04-08-2008, 01:44 PM
Was there a reason you posted in here Buffalo Bill? Do you have the answer or are you just being a putz?

Well since we are calling each other names, why dont I call you JUSTSOMEIDIOT.

I was trying to see if you could be better served by the people who know most about racquets you moron.

swimntennis
04-08-2008, 01:51 PM
Every pro I have ever seen does it. That's good enough for me, but I am curious if there has ever been a study to prove the benefits.

IIRC, Tatiana Golovin and Nicole Vaidasova take it up open.

Vaidasova's Serve (http://youtube.com/watch?v=pCK520HiCss)

Golovin's Serve (http://youtube.com/watch?v=AhDF8OkcCWg)

Yup, they do. And both have abbreviated service motions.

justsomeguy
04-08-2008, 01:52 PM
You don't do that to reduce drag, you do it because it offers superior biomechanical efficiency. As you may know, if you have supinated the wrist to open the racquet face prior to delivery of the coup de grace on the ball you have effectively unloaded all the forearm muscles and extensors. Many beginners do that. It's called the Frying Pan Serve. Don't do that. :)

-Robert

LOL. I'll try to keep that in mind. I wonder why so many of those instructional sights say it is because of drag? I owe my friend a dinner. You can't believe anything on the internet!

Thanks again!

justsomeguy
04-08-2008, 01:57 PM
Well since we are calling each other names, why dont I call you JUSTSOMEIDIOT.

I was trying to see if you could be better served by the people who know most about racquets you moron.

LOL. You can call me whatever you like. I don't care.

I thought you were just being a creep. Obviously it was my mistake. You wouldn't do something like that.

chess9
04-08-2008, 02:30 PM
IIRC, Tatiana Golovin and Nicole Vaidasova take it up open.

Vaidasova's Serve (http://youtube.com/watch?v=pCK520HiCss)

Golovin's Serve (http://youtube.com/watch?v=AhDF8OkcCWg)

Yup, they do. And both have abbreviated service motions.

It's ok to take it UP open, but when you bring the racquet foreward from the drop you should point the butt cap at the ball with the racquet on edge. Vaidosova clearly does that. I believe Golovin does as well, though I only looked once at her serve.

-Robert

chess9
04-08-2008, 02:33 PM
LOL. I'll try to keep that in mind. I wonder why so many of those instructional sights say it is because of drag? I owe my friend a dinner. You can't believe anything on the internet!

Thanks again!

Do you have a URL for that comment about drag? I suspect you may have misinterpreted something one of the pros said. I don't know a single pro who talks about drag, unless he's talking about his sexual preference. ;)

-Robert

justsomeguy
04-08-2008, 02:51 PM
Do you have a URL for that comment about drag? I suspect you may have misinterpreted something one of the pros said. I don't know a single pro who talks about drag, unless he's talking about his sexual preference. ;)

-Robert

There are actually quite a few. Google is your friend.

Here is one:

http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/step12-4stroke.html

Quoted from the link:

Acceleration is power, and pros make the tennis racket fly on a serve by moving it through the air on its edge for as long as possible before hitting the ball to minimize drag. Only just before contact does the racket face actually turn to face the ball. The dreaded waiter's tray scenario will short-circuit this process and abruptly grounds the stroke. Of note, all other strokes encounter wind resistance during their setup and forward stroke, thereby necessitating a certain degree of strength to move the racket fast. On a serve we get a break, we can make the racket slice through the air by moving it on its side. Which is why the serve set-up seems effortless.

Pretty hard to misinterpret that.

mordecai
04-08-2008, 02:57 PM
Acceleration is power, and pros make the tennis racket fly on a serve by moving it through the air on its edge for as long as possible before hitting the ball to minimize drag. Only just before contact does the racket face actually turn to face the ball. The dreaded waiter's tray scenario will short-circuit this process and abruptly grounds the stroke. Of note, all other strokes encounter wind resistance during their setup and forward stroke, thereby necessitating a certain degree of strength to move the racket fast. On a serve we get a break, we can make the racket slice through the air by moving it on its side. Which is why the serve set-up seems effortless.

Pretty hard to misinterpret that.

This is entirely wrong. The reason bringing the racquet up on edge is effective is because it delays your forearm pronation to the last possible moment, where your whole arm will turn over flipping the racquet inside out. This is the key to power, not "reducing drag".

chess9
04-08-2008, 03:00 PM
This is entirely wrong. The reason bringing the racquet up on edge is effective is because it delays your forearm pronation to the last possible moment, where your whole arm will turn over flipping the racquet inside out. This is the key to power, not "reducing drag".

Yes, and the author of that piece should consider editing it for accuracy.

-Robert

Bungalo Bill
04-08-2008, 03:00 PM
LOL. You can call me whatever you like. I don't care.

I thought you were just being a creep. Obviously it was my mistake. You wouldn't do something like that.

Obviously it was your mistake.

justsomeguy
04-08-2008, 03:04 PM
Obviously it was your mistake.

What a loser. Don't you have any kids tennis strokes to bash?

chess9
04-08-2008, 03:05 PM
There are actually quite a few. Google is your friend.

Here is one:

http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/step12-4stroke.html

Quoted from the link:

Acceleration is power, and pros make the tennis racket fly on a serve by moving it through the air on its edge for as long as possible before hitting the ball to minimize drag. Only just before contact does the racket face actually turn to face the ball. The dreaded waiter's tray scenario will short-circuit this process and abruptly grounds the stroke. Of note, all other strokes encounter wind resistance during their setup and forward stroke, thereby necessitating a certain degree of strength to move the racket fast. On a serve we get a break, we can make the racket slice through the air by moving it on its side. Which is why the serve set-up seems effortless.

Pretty hard to misinterpret that.

That's an unfortunate quote, and I now understand why you were confused. When one thinks about the profile of a tennis racquet and the sort of drag numbers it produces, the physics equations would only generate very very small differences in drag from a 20 mm frame to a 25mm frame. I'm an old bike racer, and have a degree in physics/math, so I know more about drag than I'd care to admit in mixed company or when children are present. :) But, by way of example, in a 40K time trial a top aerodynamic bike frame, wheels, and rider (substantially larger than a racquet) might only reduce one's time by a few seconds over the average bike with a well seated rider.

The author of that quote is not a scientist, I assume. His instruction is excellent, other than that minor misunderstanding.

-Robert

justsomeguy
04-08-2008, 03:15 PM
That's an unfortunate quote, and I now understand why you were confused. When one thinks about the profile of a tennis racquet and the sort of drag numbers it produces, the physics equations would only generate very very small differences in drag from a 20 mm frame to a 25mm frame. I'm an old bike racer, and have a degree in physics/math, so I know more about drag than I'd care to admit in mixed company or when children are present. :) But, by way of example, in a 40K time trial a top aerodynamic bike frame, wheels, and rider (substantially larger than a racquet) might only reduce one's time by a few seconds over the average bike with a well seated rider.

The author of that quote is not a scientist, I assume. His instruction is excellent, other than that minor misunderstanding.

-Robert

I will take your word for it. I appreciate your help on this. That was what I was looking for.

I read that cyclist shave their legs for drag, but isn't it actually to help in wound treatment or something? Easier to clean and treat a wound that isn't all hairy? I dunno. I read and remember a lot, but not always correctly.

chess9
04-08-2008, 03:27 PM
I will take your word for it. I appreciate your help on this. That was what I was looking for.

I read that cyclist shave their legs for drag, but isn't it actually to help in wound treatment or something? Easier to clean and treat a wound that isn't all hairy? I dunno. I read and remember a lot, but not always correctly.

It's really more of a tradition. When you have bad road rash, the medics are going to scrub the area anyway. That's when the fun begins. :) Swimmers also used to shave down. Many still do, but the new swimsuits have obviated the need for shaving. I only shaved down once, for an Ironman event at Lake Placid-Ironman USA. I actually had my fastest 2.4 mile swim to date. :)

-Robert

Bungalo Bill
04-08-2008, 03:42 PM
I read that cyclist shave their legs for drag, but isn't it actually to help in wound treatment or something? Easier to clean and treat a wound that isn't all hairy? I dunno. I read and remember a lot, but not always correctly.

Well this is something I can answer you on because between the ages of 28 and 32 I trained for the Ironman competition in Hawaii and had plenty of cycling experience.

Yes, I used to shave down to help if in case I crashed. The ahir on the skin (especially on pavement) would pull on the skin tearing open a wound. If you shaved down these abrasions were more of a scraping and would be easier to clean and take less time to heal.

chess9
04-08-2008, 03:47 PM
Well this is something I can answer you on because between the ages of 28 and 32 I trained for the Ironman competition in Hawaii and had plenty of cycling experience.

Yes, I used to shave down to help if in case I crashed. The ahir on the skin (especially on pavement) would pull on the skin tearing open a wound. If you shaved down these abrasions were more of a scraping and would be easier to clean and take less time to heal.

I suspected you were a crazy old man. Now you've confirmed it. :)

-Robert

JavierLW
04-08-2008, 03:55 PM
Well since we are calling each other names, why dont I call you JUSTSOMEIDIOT.

I was trying to see if you could be better served by the people who know most about racquets you moron.

He wasnt asking about his racquet, he had a question about technique in regards to drag on the racquet.

Do you really teach tennis? Im surprised, you dont seem to have a clue as to where he's coming from and you seem ready to jump to conclusions.

chess9
04-08-2008, 04:11 PM
Read some of Bungalo Bills instructional pieces here before you judge him based on his posts in this thread. NO ONE has done more for tennis instruction here than BB.

-Robert

Bungalo Bill
04-08-2008, 06:50 PM
He wasnt asking about his racquet, he had a question about technique in regards to drag on the racquet.

Do you really teach tennis? Im surprised, you dont seem to have a clue as to where he's coming from and you seem ready to jump to conclusions.

LOL, did you read my first post? Or are you just being selective? I would guess you jumped to conclusions too! LOL!

If you are going to point out my "jump to conclusions" why arent you pointing out his AND NOW YOURS!? Are you being selective? Further, I dont see any tips or instruction coming from you?

It is probably best (based on how little you know) to stay out of it.