PDA

View Full Version : Thinking of reducing racquet weight


Maui19
01-17-2012, 01:27 PM
I am currently playing a stick that weighs around 360g and has a SW of about 338. Recently, my shoulder has started to whisper small complaints to me (and am a geezer 57 yo). I have started doing the Thrower's Ten (which is really 19 exercises, but I digress...), and I don't practice serves or overheads any more, which takes a toll when I play matches.

I love how this racquet plays, but I am thinking about lightening it some to ease the load on the shoulder.

The question is how much to lighten it. I have leaded it up, and removing the lead and going back to stock will give it a weight of 343 and SW of 318. Is this going to be enough to make a difference? Do I need to go that light? (I would pull the lead and try it out, but I am out of lead tape right now and want to make these changes intelligently).

Opinions wanted.

LeeD
01-17-2012, 02:37 PM
Hit with 343. If not enough difference, choke up on the handle by 1/2", giving you another 20 odd lighter SW.
I went from moderate grip 337SW to 308SW (Dunlop200's to 500's), and find I use the same grip for both, meaning I can appreciate the drop in weight and SW.

user92626
01-17-2012, 02:57 PM
What are the levels of your group people? Do they consistently serve above 80mph, ie the one bounce hit the back fence serve, or pound their groundstroke shots like that too?

To me, anything less than that makes a 11.7oz plus rackets useless or worse a liability.

LeeD
01-17-2012, 03:46 PM
I'm often off track in my answers, so keep it in mind....
I think a lightweight racket is GREAT against soft hitters, spin hitters, lobbers, dinkers and what most of us consider "pushers".
I think a heavier racket, around 12+ oz, is very effective against solid hitting opponents of the 4+ levels, especially hard or heavy spin hitters.
Now which do you really play against most often?
My take. I need to beat the lesser players, and I seldom beat my peers or better players, so what difference heavy or light against them?
Nothing worst than losing to lesser players, and I pick my rackets specially to beat them.

Maui19
01-17-2012, 04:44 PM
What are the levels of your group people? Do they consistently serve above 80mph, ie the one bounce hit the back fence serve, or pound their groundstroke shots like that too?

To me, anything less than that makes a 11.7oz plus rackets useless or worse a liability.

I'm playing with 4.0s and occasionally a 4.5 or two. I like playing with big hitters, but honestly don't see them that much.

Fed Kennedy
01-17-2012, 09:08 PM
350g with 328 sw should be sexi enough

ian2
01-18-2012, 10:07 AM
Could your shoulder be complaining about the racket and/or string stiffness and/or your technique, as opposed to the racket weight? "Slimming it down" won't necessarily help your shoulder.

That said, 360g/338SW is indeed a hefty racket. However, lowering the SW by 20 pts will make it play completely differently. You may or may not like it, and chances are that you won't, given that you are (I assume) used to utilizing the racket's mass/inertia and letting the racket do the work. I'd think something with a lower static weight but similar (or slightly lower) SW might fit the bill better.

And BTW, Thrower's Ten (19, LOL... though I paired it down to 6 or so) did wonders for my shoulder last year. For a couple of weeks, it got to a point where I could barely raise my hitting arm above the shoulder. I started doing (selected) Thrower's Ten with low weights/resistance, and completely healed within a week.

Maui19
01-18-2012, 12:53 PM
Could your shoulder be complaining about the racket and/or string stiffness and/or your technique, as opposed to the racket weight? "Slimming it down" won't necessarily help your shoulder.

That said, 360g/338SW is indeed a hefty racket. However, lowering the SW by 20 pts will make it play completely differently. You may or may not like it, and chances are that you won't, given that you are (I assume) used to utilizing the racket's mass/inertia and letting the racket do the work. I'd think something with a lower static weight but similar (or slightly lower) SW might fit the bill better.

And BTW, Thrower's Ten (19, LOL... though I paired it down to 6 or so) did wonders for my shoulder last year. For a couple of weeks, it got to a point where I could barely raise my hitting arm above the shoulder. I started doing (selected) Thrower's Ten with low weights/resistance, and completely healed within a week.

I played for two hours today with my "slimmer" racquet, and I must say my shoulder seems pretty happy. The only difference I noticed on the court was that I needed to be slightly more aggressive with my volleys. So far, so good.

kaiser
01-19-2012, 06:46 AM
I guess we are pretty similar in that I'm an old geezer too (56...) playing with a fairly heavy racket 4D200T, SW ~245-250, 370 g, 9-10 HL. Being an old geezer I regularly have little pains and sometimes bigger pains after playing tennis or doing some other sport (eg, ice speedskating). And as there is always a bunch of guys on these boards to tell you that as an old geezer you have no business playing with a heavier racket, you can't help wondering whether the little pains you feel are caused by the weight of your racket. Until now, however, the pains in my case (shoulder, wrist, back, knee, etc) have come and gone, while I've stuck to the same racket with the same weight.

Now, if I had been playing with a lighter racket and I had been experiencing the same pains, I wonder if I would still have attributed them to my racket (which then would already be light and therefore 'good for my age', except if it was also really stiff, etc) or just to the fact that I'm an old geezer and thus need more recovery time between matches...

The crucial question to ask is, what causes the pains you experience? When my knees hurt, it's not likely that my racket would be the cause of that particular pain. But what about a shoulder pain? Would/could a heavy racket be a cause for that or would a lighter, and likely stiffer racket be more of a liability? The first would be heavier but absorb more shock, the second be slightly easier to wield but transfer more shock and you would also have to swing it faster to get the same pace on your shots... Should I suspect the static weight or the swing weight? Or the balance? Or the string? The string tension? Is my pain due to the racket at all? Or have a just been playing a little more often than usual? Have I been swinging out more than usual (trying/practicing to hit big spin, etc)? Did I warm up properly? Did I cool down properly, did I change to nice dry and warm clothes immediately after playing? Or was I just unlucky (I've had bad lower back pains from just brushing my teeth...)? WHO KNOWS???

One thing you can be sure of at our age, once you have some pain or injury, it will take a while to go away, whatever you do or change...

bad_call
01-19-2012, 07:15 AM
I played for two hours today with my "slimmer" racquet, and I must say my shoulder seems pretty happy. The only difference I noticed on the court was that I needed to be slightly more aggressive with my volleys. So far, so good.

could be u had a not so good day last time out (another old guy here).

for this player strange that the 12.6 oz stick doesn't bother the shoulder at all but the 12.4 oz stick did...then again maybe i shouldn't go so big on the flat serves. ;)

Maui19
01-19-2012, 07:56 AM
I guess we are pretty similar in that I'm an old geezer too (56...) playing with a fairly heavy racket 4D200T, SW ~245-250, 370 g, 9-10 HL. Being an old geezer I regularly have little pains and sometimes bigger pains after playing tennis or doing some other sport (eg, ice speedskating). And as there is always a bunch of guys on these boards to tell you that as an old geezer you have no business playing with a heavier racket, you can't help wondering whether the little pains you feel are caused by the weight of your racket. Until now, however, the pains in my case (shoulder, wrist, back, knee, etc) have come and gone, while I've stuck to the same racket with the same weight.

Now, if I had been playing with a lighter racket and I had been experiencing the same pains, I wonder if I would still have attributed them to my racket (which then would already be light and therefore 'good for my age', except if it was also really stiff, etc) or just to the fact that I'm an old geezer and thus need more recovery time between matches...

The crucial question to ask is, what causes the pains you experience? When my knees hurt, it's not likely that my racket would be the cause of that particular pain. But what about a shoulder pain? Would/could a heavy racket be a cause for that or would a lighter, and likely stiffer racket be more of a liability? The first would be heavier but absorb more shock, the second be slightly easier to wield but transfer more shock and you would also have to swing it faster to get the same pace on your shots... Should I suspect the static weight or the swing weight? Or the balance? Or the string? The string tension? Is my pain due to the racket at all? Or have a just been playing a little more often than usual? Have I been swinging out more than usual (trying/practicing to hit big spin, etc)? Did I warm up properly? Did I cool down properly, did I change to nice dry and warm clothes immediately after playing? Or was I just unlucky (I've had bad lower back pains from just brushing my teeth...)? WHO KNOWS???

One thing you can be sure of at our age, once you have some pain or injury, it will take a while to go away, whatever you do or change...

Great post--believe me I have asked myself the same kinds of questions you mention here. I call it a problem of infinite variables. ;)

The reason I think my racquet setup may be a factor is because I started to notice regular mild discomfort (not pain really) at about the same time I started hitting a lot of practice serves. My shoulder really doesn't like it when I play golf, then hit serves and overheads.

I am hesitant to even call it discomfort because it is so mild. Two Advil makes it go away completely, but I would like to eliminate the cause before it becomes a problem, so I have lightened my racquet, try not sleep with my arm above my head, and do regular shoulder exercises. Notice that cutting back on tennis wasn't mentioned in there ;)

bad_call
01-19-2012, 08:05 AM
Great post--believe me I have asked myself the same kinds of questions you mention here. I call it a problem of infinite variables. ;)

The reason I think my racquet setup may be a factor is because I started to notice regular mild discomfort (not pain really) at about the same time I started hitting a lot of practice serves. My shoulder really doesn't like it when I play golf, then hit serves and overheads.

I am hesitant to even call it discomfort because it is so mild. Two Advil makes it go away completely, but I would like to eliminate the cause before it becomes a problem, so I have lightened my racquet, try not sleep with my arm above my head, and do regular shoulder exercises. Notice that cutting back on tennis wasn't mentioned in there ;)

at our upper years laying off too long (unless seriously injured) isn't the best option (IMO).

kaiser
01-20-2012, 02:15 AM
Great post--believe me I have asked myself the same kinds of questions you mention here. I call it a problem of infinite variables. ;)

The reason I think my racquet setup may be a factor is because I started to notice regular mild discomfort (not pain really) at about the same time I started hitting a lot of practice serves. My shoulder really doesn't like it when I play golf, then hit serves and overheads.

I am hesitant to even call it discomfort because it is so mild. Two Advil makes it go away completely, but I would like to eliminate the cause before it becomes a problem, so I have lightened my racquet, try not sleep with my arm above my head, and do regular shoulder exercises. Notice that cutting back on tennis wasn't mentioned in there ;)

You say your shoulder discomfort started after you started practicing serves and overheads in addition to your regular golf and tennis activities. Definitely points to over-use of the shoulder... I have no idea whether a lighter racket would help here, but I definitely think you will be well-advised to pace yourself and give your shoulder some time to recover between such shoulder-intensive activities!

TennisCJC
01-20-2012, 09:01 AM
a 20 g drop from 338 to 318 is a pretty big drop but trying it is the only way to know if it will work for you. I play 340 g with SW 335+ a bit (335-338) at 5 pts HL. I was playing 356 g with 338 SW. I bought a volkl o 10 295 and customized it to maintain the same SW but lower the static weight 16 g - just over 1/2 oz.

Both have great stability and power but like the lower static weight more.

By the way, a higher weight can actually be better for your shoulder as it will deliver more power with the same swing speed and it will absorb shock better too.

Look at string type, string tension, and technigue for possible causes of soreness too. If you play poly, string it low 40-52 lbs and hybrid it too.

Geezer too - 55 yo.