PDA

View Full Version : How does lead at handle affect sweetspot?


borracho
06-05-2011, 11:41 AM
Hi all,

I am looking for more control and manoeuvrability in my Head Youtek Speed MP rackets (unstrung weight 315, 7pts head light). Since I have big hands I have added another syntethic base grip plus an overgrip totalling 20 extra grams on
the handle (on top of the synthetic base grip that was already there).

I still find the racquet very powerful form the basline and since I mainly play serve and volley in doubles (5.0-5.5 level) extra manoevrability can never do harm :). I have 1HBH with moderate spin and a somewhat flatter forehand and have no problems at generating power. Biggest problem problem of my game is returning very hard serves on my backhand when I receive on the left side.

What happens when I put 20grams of lead at the bottom of the handle, besides the 20 grams of extra grips that are already there? I measured the balance again and the raquet will be 14.5 pts HL. More control and manoevrability? How much will it approximately lower the sweetspot?

esgee48
06-05-2011, 11:50 AM
Extra weight in the handle will only make the balance more head light. If you want a larger sweet spot in the hoop, adding lead at 12 and 6 o'clock will enlarge the sweet spot vertically, adding lead at 3 and 9 o'clock will enlarge the sweet spot horizontally. Experiment because lead in the hoop area will increase swing weight and slow down you racquet head speed.

borracho
06-05-2011, 12:33 PM
sweetspot is actually fine as it it, don't need it bigger. However, the racket is more HL so I can react at the net quicker right?

How will it affect my BH return? You say that swingweight increases, so does that mean it it takes me somewhat longer to react to a serve due to higher swingweight? Main problem is that my backhand stroke has a quiet long swing, so I am simply lacking time on hard serves of my opponent. However my backhandreturn swing is way shorter (and also flatter) than my normal in-rally backhand.

borracho
06-05-2011, 02:31 PM
Just did some measurements with my 2 rackets: by adding 18 grams of lead at the bottom of the handle the swingweight increases with 10 grams and balance is changed from 8 pts headlight to 15 points headlight. My feeling says it should be more manoevrable and provide more control, will try it asap :)

alen_david
06-05-2011, 03:47 PM
I think it would drag the sweetspot down towards the bottom of the racket face.

goran_ace
06-05-2011, 07:44 PM
15 pts HL is extreme. Stability will suffer and it will feel a lot different. 8-10 pts HL is already very headlight, you don't want to throw it that far off balance.

Adding lead to the top of the hoop can noticeably raise the sweetspot, but if you're just adding lead to the handle (i.e. not using it to counterbalance weight added at the hoop) it won't have as much effect of lowering the sweetspot since the sweetspot usually sits low on the stringbed already.

fuzz nation
06-06-2011, 04:17 AM
I've tried adding lead to the handles of a couple of different frames I use and this tuning only made them quicker handling for me without any noticeable alteration in the sweet-spots.

Even if a frame is lighter than my usual 12.5-12.8 oz. racquets, it feels slow without enough HL balance for me, especially around the net. I like my gear balanced at 9-10 points HL, but my heaviest "training frames" weigh 13.4 oz. and are 11 pts. HL (these have lead on the handles). Hard for me to believe that you need much more than 10 or 11 pts. of HL balance for significantly better maneuverability, but it's not a permanent alteration you're trying here.

I wouldn't expect your more compact backhand return to get slow with a little extra weight down at the end of the racquet that's under your hand. With more head-light balance, the frames that I've tuned have only felt quicker and easier to get behind the ball. Though I don't know the math in terms of how much lead you need to add to get a certain measure of HL balance, I think you can just trial-and-error a bit at a time to get it feeling right for you.

TennisCJC
06-06-2011, 06:23 AM
To handle hard serves to your backhand, I would try weight at 3/9/12 o'clock. If you use a block type stroke (either a small backswing slice, flat or topspin) to return serve; extra weight in the head will stablize the racket, give a bigger powerzone, and a touch more power. I think weight in the head benefits all the block type shots (slower swing speeds) such as returns, volleys, or "squash" type defensive groundstrokes more than any type of shot. Head weight also helps hard drives too but a moderately light racket can still hit a hard ball when the player is setup and hits it well. A light racket will have a harder time standing up to hard serves and passing shots.

borracho
06-06-2011, 07:34 AM
Thanks all for the very useful replies!

Indeed 15pts HL is quite extreme, but it is ideal to try 1 time to see how much the sweetspot lowered. I made a mistake earlier tho, my second racket without the lead (rest same) is 11 pts HL due to the addition of 20g extra grips, so probably my racket is already ideal for my playing style as it was. But some experimenting can do no harm I think :)

Steve Huff
06-06-2011, 08:41 PM
Adding wt to the handle does make the racket more HL, but does it really increase manueverability? Think about it. You still have the same amount of weight spread out over the rest of the frame, so you are essentially, moving around the same wt as before, maybe slightly more since you've added wt, even if it's in the handle. Any increase in manueverability is in your head. The head "feels" lighter, even though it isn't. Wt, no matter where you put it, will give a more solid feel (if the wt is secured correctly).

tennis-kid
06-07-2011, 12:04 AM
Adding wt to the handle does make the racket more HL, but does it really increase manueverability? Think about it. You still have the same amount of weight spread out over the rest of the frame, so you are essentially, moving around the same wt as before, maybe slightly more since you've added wt, even if it's in the handle. Any increase in manueverability is in your head. The head "feels" lighter, even though it isn't. Wt, no matter where you put it, will give a more solid feel (if the wt is secured correctly).

I bought a Organix 10 295 a few days ago and it is on the way. I am planing to add lead tape on lower grip area and 3, 9, 12 oclock. Is there a any special trick to apply lead tape correctly and securely?

borracho
06-07-2011, 12:35 AM
Adding wt to the handle does make the racket more HL, but does it really increase manueverability? Think about it. You still have the same amount of weight spread out over the rest of the frame, so you are essentially, moving around the same wt as before, maybe slightly more since you've added wt, even if it's in the handle. Any increase in manueverability is in your head. The head "feels" lighter, even though it isn't. Wt, no matter where you put it, will give a more solid feel (if the wt is secured correctly).

this might be true as well as I have compared both rackets by waving m around (on with the lead, the other without the lead) and I didn't feel noticable difference.

Steve Huff
06-07-2011, 06:08 PM
I haven't had the butt cap off a Volkl is quite some time, so I'm not sure what they've done on the inside of their rackets. I know they have some vibration control system, so it might involve something inside the handle itself. If so, I'd just put lead strips under the grip.

TennisCJC
06-07-2011, 07:47 PM
Do not put weight in a volkl butt cap to add handle weight. Remove the grip and put it under the grip. I loop the lead tape strips around the raw grip with is usually about 4-4 3/8 inches around. Using 1/4" lead tape a loop around the grip is about 1 gram. To secure it just take the paper you removed from the back of the lead tape and rub out the air bubbles out with the smooth side of the tape. When done adding strips around the handle, replace the grip and you are good to go.

The volkl handle has a vibration reduction system inside the grip and you should not mess with it.

P99
06-07-2011, 08:11 PM
Adding wt to the handle does make the racket more HL, but does it really increase manueverability? Think about it. You still have the same amount of. weight spread out over the rest of the frame, so you are essentially, moving around the same wt as before, maybe slightly more since you've added wt, even if it's in the handle. Any increase in manueverability is in your head. The head "feels" lighter, even though it isn't. Wt, no matter where you put it, will give a more solid feel (if the wt is secured correctly).

It's not in your head. It's a fact. Here's how you can give it an idea. Grab a hammer. Hold it the way you're supposed to hold it and. swing it. Now, hold the steel part of the hammer. Swing it. Same equal amount of weight overall but you'd be lying if you tell me both swings feel the same. Racket balance is crucial to those that know their stuff really well.

BobFL
06-07-2011, 08:59 PM
Adding lead has something in common with the concept of 'diminishing returns'. After adding lead tape, for example, around the handle the racquet WILL be more maneuverable UP TO a certain point when it becomes relatively too heavy hence sluggish. I say relatively because it is a function of a given player and it does vary.

Furthermore, lead tape basically acts as a magnet for SS. SS will 'follow' lead tape: lead tape at 12 o'clock will raise the ss; lead tape at 3 and 9 will expand it laterally etc.

0d1n
06-08-2011, 12:23 AM
Adding wt to the handle does make the racket more HL, but does it really increase manueverability? Think about it. You still have the same amount of weight spread out over the rest of the frame, so you are essentially, moving around the same wt as before, maybe slightly more since you've added wt, even if it's in the handle. Any increase in manueverability is in your head. The head "feels" lighter, even though it isn't. Wt, no matter where you put it, will give a more solid feel (if the wt is secured correctly).


It's not in your head. It's a fact. Here's how you can give it an idea. Grab a hammer. Hold it the way you're supposed to hold it and. swing it. Now, hold the steel part of the hammer. Swing it. Same equal amount of weight overall but you'd be lying if you tell me both swings feel the same. Racket balance is crucial to those that know their stuff really well.


Nice try P99, but this analogy is overused and inaccurate.
Adding weight to the handle doesn't take away mass from the head when talking about a real tennis racquet.
Holding the steel part of the hammer removes weight from the "head" as well as adding weight to the "handle". It is not the same thing. The added "maneuverability" of the hammer is influenced much more by the removal of the mass from the head (steel "head" replaced by wood handle) than by the addition of mass in the handle (wood handle replaced by the steel).

fuzz nation
06-08-2011, 06:17 AM
Hard to say just how much of the maneuverability phenomenon is in our heads, but I know that a familiar amount of HL balance in a racquet is more comfortable for me, probably because it's handling behavior is more predictable.

When I leaded up the handles on those heavy training frames I mentioned, I altered one of them and left the other in its stock layout. Although I probably added about 0.75 oz. of lead to the handle, that heavier racquet was night-and-day easier for me to use on the courts. In fact, these racquets were almost completely useless for me with their stock balance, but once altered to their present 11 pts. HL setup, they took on a swing behavior that made it much easier to hit a ball.

In my racquet noodlings over recent years, I've tried a couple of different racquets that were lighter than my typical gear, but those less hefty racquets also had less HL balance than my "familiar" racquets and that definitely affected their movement or "release" through the hitting zone. It was easiest to notice the difference when serving. A frame with less HL balance demanded a contact point farther out in front of me than another with more HL balance - regardless of the racquet's static weight.

Seems as though less HL balance makes the racquet "pivot" through a longer swing radius than another with its center of gravity closer to the player's hand. Hard to believe that this doesn't also make a heavy frame easier to maneuver, let's say for quick volleys, when the balance point is closer to the hand in a more HL setup. Since the lead added to the handle is on the other side of the frame's center of gravity, I wouldn't think it would do much to change the sweet-spot on the string bed compared with lead placed on the hoop.

Whatever - I think that lead on the handle is worth a try for anyone who might feel the need for better handling with their current racquet. It's worked for me.

HEADfamilydynasty
06-18-2011, 05:53 PM
I always add weight to the handle, but i also add some to the to bring the sweet spot back up. it helps the maneuverability to an extent but its increased nonetheless.

parasailing
06-18-2011, 06:26 PM
I bought a Organix 10 295 a few days ago and it is on the way. I am planing to add lead tape on lower grip area and 3, 9, 12 oclock. Is there a any special trick to apply lead tape correctly and securely?

You will need to add lead tape to the handle of this racquet. It is unstable in it's current form when hitting against heavy pace of your opponent. I would wrap the tape around the handle like I wrap the overgrip.