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Gimmick
04-27-2008, 05:51 PM
So TW has this great new function where you can look up different racquet's power potential in thirteen different locations and compare them to other frames. The question I have is the "Power Potential Basics" section. According to this section the racquet with the most control, comfort, and power will be the one with the highest power potential in your sweetspot. I can buy this for power and maybe comfort, but how does the most powerful racquet make for the most controlled racquet?

Try it out, it's the tool is found below the racquet specs.

NLBwell
04-27-2008, 09:39 PM
There are two things called control. A stiffer racket will not flex much and therefore will put the ball more accurately in the direction of the angle of reflection (where the ball ideally should go). This is mathematically control since the racket is theoretically more accurate.
Flexible rackets are called control rackets because they allow the user more variability in how they can hit the ball. It is easier to control depth, angle, and spins. This is usually what is called control in the real tennis world.

Think of Shaquille O'Neal - he may be able to throw the ball more accurately at the square on the backboard because of his strength, but a point guard is more likely to be able to have the touch to make free throws.

TW Professor
04-28-2008, 05:56 AM
There are two things called control. A stiffer racket will not flex much and therefore will put the ball more accurately in the direction of the angle of reflection (where the ball ideally should go). This is mathematically control since the racket is theoretically more accurate.
Flexible rackets are called control rackets because they allow the user more variability in how they can hit the ball. It is easier to control depth, angle, and spins. This is usually what is called control in the real tennis world.

I agree with NLBwell. Here is a quote from http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/totalperformance.html:

"The whole point of a racquet is to hit the ball. A racquet's power potential value tells you how well the racquet does its job. Power potential tells you how effectively all the racquet's other properties — weight, balance, swingweight, flex, headsize, string pattern, construction, materials, design, and strings — combine to hit the ball with the greatest velocity, comfort, and control. Power potential is a measurement of a racquet's success at fulfilling its life's purpose."

A power potential is a measurement that indicates the net result of how much energy has been siphoned off into racquet twisting, recoiling, rotating, and bending. The more the racquet does any of these things, the more uncomfortable the hit and the less directional "control" of the rebound from the racquet. So, we say the RACQUET has more power, comfort and control. However, how the PLAYER interacts with and experiences the racquet can be a whole other matter. That's why demoing is so important.

If you know the scientifically measured parameters of the racquets you play with, then you might, ironically, then be able to conclude that "I get less power, comfort and control from racquets with high power potential." That is a fine statement. It's not a statement about the racquet, but about the player-racquet interaction. The power potential measurement then allows that player an objective measurement against which to choose or not choose a racquet.

Gimmick
04-28-2008, 06:31 AM
The racquet may experience less shock if it's stiffer and has more "power potential", but this is because the shock has been more effectively transmitted to the user. To try and pass this off as the 'player interaction' and claim the racquet itself is 'comfortable' is absurd. I'm not concerned about whether my racquet feels comfortable, I'm concerned about whether I feel comfortable using it.

If we have two racquets with the same preferred specs except one has a stiffness of 72 and one has a stiffness of 58; we know that that the '72' will have more power potential but will not be as comfortable to the user, right?

TenniseaWilliams
04-28-2008, 06:51 AM
Hi, I keep getting confused about this as well. As an aside, The Total Performance Measurement (http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/totalperformance.html) link you provided above has a trailing colon that gives an error.

However, using the old learning center link Selecting the Right Racquet (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/SelectingRacquet/SelectingRacquet.html) , I found this: "Generally speaking, a racquet that offers more power provides less control. ... A beginning or intermediate player though, may find a stiffer racquet that doesn’t deflect as much on impact, provides better control." I like this, is very clear.

Under the player racquets section:
"The result is a low-power racquet, designed for players who provide their own power and prefer a racquet that offers more control."

Is this a new trend to label stiffer, more powerful racquets as having more control? It just looks (and feels) so confusing, seems contradictory to perception, applicable only to off center hits when shock and power differences are more noticeable than rebound angle anyway.

And my elbow really disagrees with stiffer racquets as having more comfort, by the same logic, a stiffer stringbed is more comfortable? Shock is a much more logical measure of comfort.

And the conclusion on the new page really bugs me:

"Power potential is not an artificially created average rating scheme or made-up formula to substitute for lack of data. It is not marketing hocus pocus or sales mumbo jumbo. It is the experimentally determined "overall performance" of the racquet. The consequence of every atom that is put into a racquet is taken into account in the results. It is not just a "power" rating. It is an "everything" rating. "

Gimmick
04-28-2008, 07:06 AM
I think we are attempting to reverse engineer the Gestalt Principle when we claim that power potential is directly proportional to the sum of each of its individual and independent components.

There is no empirical evidence to support the claim that a user's arm experiences less shock from a racquet with a higher power potential, only the hypothesis put forth by the proponents of Power Potential is everything.

In the interests of good science, please install a strain guage with capture capabilities on the racquet support during testing so we can determine which racquets transmit the highest peak impact forces to the user.

NLBwell
04-29-2008, 09:23 PM
Is this a new trend to label stiffer, more powerful racquets as having more control? It just looks (and feels) so confusing, seems contradictory to perception, applicable only to off center hits when shock and power differences are more noticeable than rebound angle anyway.

Actually, in the days of the Yamaha Secret and Profiles, they used the hitting the ball straight factor to claim more control with the (then) new stiffer rackets, so this is not a new thing. You may have been able to hit the ball straighter, but I hit the back fence most of the time.