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View Full Version : Experiments in racquet lengthening =)

zerojoshua
01-15-2012, 10:05 AM
I like to experiment and try new things with everything I do. Today's experiment just happens to be extending one of my tennis racquets.

A question some tennis experts might ask is:

Why would you want to extend your racquet?
You will lose maneuverability and quickness.

One of my hypotheses is that keeping swing-weight to a minimum while adding weight to the handle can help maintain racquet control.

Many extended racquets in the past, because of the weight of material composition, have had very high swing-weight.

Many extended racquets in the past have been far to head heavy and light weight, which would add to a less stable feel.

Yesterday, a friend of mine let me use one of his least favorite racquets (Wilson K Fierce FX 105) to start my experiment. For fun I attached an aluminum pole to the end of it adding 5 inches in length and 2 ounces in weight. This was a perfect racquet to start my experiment with because it had a swingweight of 295 and only weighed 10.3 ounces.

Beginning weight was 10.3 ounces and 6 inches of aluminum pipe (2 ounces)
= 12.3 ounces and ended up 14pts headlight (I think swingweight/ and low end weight are more important factors).

Beginning length was 27.25 and end length was 32 inches.

I knew that control would be an issue because the racquet handle was now round instead of hexagonal.

I wanted to try service speed. One of our university police officers clocked my serves with my Prince 03 racket all in MPH (108, 113, 116, 99, 111).
After 20 practice serves with the Wilson K frankenracquet I was clocked at (130, 118, 133, 122, 112). Surprisingly I was able to get 3 of the 5 serves in!
I realized that, over time, a person using an extended racquet would slow down arm speed to compensate to add control and would eventually serve about the same speed. I've heard many racquet professionals say that the length would not add speed. I believe that hypothesis to be incorrect.

I realized that, over time, a person using an extended racquet would slow down arm speed to create added control and would eventually serve about the same speed. I've heard many racquet professionals say that the length would not add speed. I believe that hypothesis to be incorrect.

The next part of my experiment is to actually modify an old racquet I have laying around Hyperhammer 3.6 with rollers.
When I first tried this racquet it was out of control and I just plain hated the lightweight, headheavy, and oversized head (115).

In order for me to modify it to my liking I added 1.5 ounces of lead to the handle (end weight, 11.6 oz 8pt hl) and used a tight hybrid string set up (Cyperflash 58lbs mains, Forten Nylon 60lbs Crosses).
I really tried my best to be unbiased, but I was blown away by the performance of the racquet. Certainly it took several minutes to adapt to the added power, but after I did it felt great.

So now I am in the final process of added modifications to my new Frankenracquet.

I will be adding an 1 1/4 inches to the Hammer 3.6.
Pictures of what I am in the process of doing.

I understand that I am unbiased and added criticism or input will be needed.

I will drill holes in the bondo to bring the racquet to the desired weight.

zerojoshua
01-15-2012, 10:08 AM
Oops, I meant to say I was bias, not unbiased!! (Ironic)

zerojoshua
01-15-2012, 11:37 AM
Bondo is now in place and am waiting for it to dry. As some of you might have noticed, my Frankenracquets swingweight will probably be far to heavy. Right now I would like to see if I can do a quality job on a racquet that isn't overly important to me (Hyperhammer 3.6).

Eventually I will do it on the K Fierce FX 105 and give the resulting specs and service speed increase. Pictures will be posted around 6pm Central.

ChicagoJack
01-15-2012, 11:52 AM
I'm intrigued, and curious... is a 32 inch racquet legal?

scotus
01-15-2012, 12:12 PM
I'm intrigued, and curious... is a 32 inch racquet legal?

I believe 29 inches is the max length allowed.

movdqa
01-15-2012, 12:58 PM
Why not try to get a pro stock hairpin to work with? It would be a lot easier than attaching things to SL racquets.

zerojoshua
01-15-2012, 02:12 PM
Why not try to get a pro stock hairpin to work with? It would be a lot easier than attaching things to SL racquets.

Not sure what a pro stock hairpin is. Could you explain? Thanks for your response.

movdqa
01-15-2012, 04:05 PM
Pros and sponsored juniors may have customized racquets made for them. They start with a hairpin which is longer than a standard length (27 inches) racquet. It is cut to the desired length and then the grommets, bumper, pallet or foam handle is added, silicone in the handle and lead under the bumper, grip to produce the final product.

zerojoshua
01-15-2012, 04:06 PM
Pros and sponsored juniors may have customized racquets made for them. They start with a hairpin which is longer than a standard length (27 inches) racquet. It is cut to the desired length and then the grommets, bumper, pallet or foam handle is added, silicone in the handle and lead under the bumper, grip to produce the final product.

Very interesting. I will look into it. Thanks!

zerojoshua
01-15-2012, 04:20 PM
When I started, the racquet without grip and overgrip weighed 8.7 ounces strung. After the bondo hardened and I sanded surfaces it weighed 10.9 ounces (+2.2 ounces). I then drilled three holes to achieve my desired gain of +1.5 ounces. The length was 27.75 inches and is now 28.8 inches.

With grip and overgrip
28.8 inch length

zerojoshua
01-15-2012, 04:21 PM