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View Full Version : What racquet attributes enhance the slice?


canadad
02-06-2012, 08:01 PM
Just got back from playing with three different racquets, BB London, Pacific Vacuum 90, and the Volkl X8 315. My main racquet is the the London, and it is stellar for me in all areas except my 1hdbd slice. I thought it was just the fact that I lost my touch due to long gaps in not playing, as I seem to always float them a little. Today I tried two different sticks, the X8 315 and the Pacific Vacuum 90. With the X8 315, slicing was pretty effective, but with the Pacific Vacuum, slicing was insanely good.
What racquet attributes enhance the slice? I would like to customize my London's.

klementine79
02-06-2012, 08:10 PM
Flex...... and/or thin beam.

Bartelby
02-06-2012, 08:11 PM
higher sw and tighter string pattern seems to have a strong effect on my slice

Backhanded Compliment
02-06-2012, 08:44 PM
flexible, dense string pattern higher SW, thin beam

tata
02-06-2012, 10:10 PM
I feel higher SW = better slice for sure. It chops through the ball with stability. In a lower SW frame, for me anyway, it feels i get more a sitter/floater ball due to the frame with lower torsional stability after contact. The higher SW frame will keep the racquet face steady and go through the ball but the lower one tends to flutter a bit towards the end and open up a bit (attributed to perhaps lower stability and going through the air quicker, resulting in an exaggerated finish that is too high?). THis is all by feel for me.

Tennis_Crazed
02-06-2012, 10:35 PM
String pattern affects ball at impact and ability to get more spin. I think most importantly technique unfortunately :)

sansaephanh
02-06-2012, 11:41 PM
flexible, dense string pattern higher SW, thin beam

The green Rebel 95. I don't know what to call it anymore lol. So many models of the Rebel... The 09 model? lol. That's what i'm going to label it from now on. Rebel09 or 2k9.

But when I have the for to hit a slice backhand. Its butter in a buttcrack. amazing.

Chyeaah
02-07-2012, 12:35 AM
higher sw and tighter string pattern seems to have a strong effect on my slice

I don't slice much but wouldn't a more open string pattern give more spin? Or is it the spin that "floats" the ball. idk.

ricki
02-07-2012, 01:17 AM
Yes, EXO Rebel is wicked slice machine

morten
02-07-2012, 04:02 AM
String pattern affects ball at impact and ability to get more spin. I think most importantly technique unfortunately :)

i agree about technique, the backhand slice is my best stroke, and i slice good with all rackets. I am a ps85 player btw.

movdqa
02-07-2012, 04:19 AM
Swingweight for me. But there are other factors too that I think are less important.

The best racquets for the one-handed slice backhand for me have been the K90, KPS88, Pure Drive Roddick and the YT Prestige MP. The K90 and KPS88 have 16x19 string patterns with a small headsize. The YTPMP has an 18x20 string pattern with a larger headsize. The PDR is begger with an open string pattern. The PDR gives you a lot of spin but I found less bite than the other frames and I attribute that to the swingweight of the other frames.

I played the K90 stock and the KPS88 stock though the ones that I played with came in heavy. The YTPMP is leaded up to KPS88 weights though the swingweight is much higher.

Hi I'm Ray
02-07-2012, 05:18 AM
We're all guessing here it seems.

I tend to slice well with all the player's frames, and I consistently hit my most wicked slices with a very flexible wooden racket.

I also slice fairly low with good placement with my APDGT that has a lot of weight added to the handle, though the players frames still keep the ball lower. Recently I demo'd a frame with similar characterics to my APDGT and similar swingweight, but I didn't add any weight to the handle - my slices sucked and lacked placement.

For me its not so much the actual swingweight as many of the players frames I have used have lower swingweight than my customized APDGT. I think the biggest factor for me is having a significantly headlight balance and enough weight in the handle.

Larrysümmers
02-07-2012, 05:23 AM
i got my best slice off of a racket that was 9.9oz strung, head heavy, and i think it was 16-19 or 20. with a thick beam and it was 110insq. hit my 2nd best slice with a prestige mid.

fuzz nation
02-07-2012, 07:22 AM
My slice backhand was probably the first shot I learned on that wing back when I was a squirt and playing the game with a hunk of wood. I've always liked a heavier frame, but I've also experimented with some lighter gear in more recent years - let's say in the 11.4-11.8 oz. range.

While a lighter frame has some inherent quickness and might be able to help me to generate greater spin with less effort, especially on my ground strokes, the backhand slice really doesn't depend on racquet speed to be technically "good". That stroke needs proper technique and timing, but if my racquet isn't up toward the neighborhood of 12.5 oz. with significant HL balance, it's much more difficult for me to produce a good slice. Same deal on my forehand side. The stability I get with a heavier frame brings more authority to contact with the ball and absolutely gives me a greater degree of penetrating "bite" on that slice.

I used the stiff old ProStaff 6.1 Classics for a long time and was convinced that an open pattern was where it's at for me, but then I tried out some even heavier mids with loads of flex and very dense string patterns. I had great results with my slice using those racquets, too. As long as the frame is heavy enough for me to be stable through contact (we're all a little different in that department), I seem to be able to hit a better slice regardless of stiffness or string layouts.

Racer41c
02-07-2012, 07:34 AM
Pro Staff 90 is a slicing machine. Supports the heavy, thin beam, head light, medium flex, small head theory.

eleventeenth street
02-07-2012, 08:58 AM
apart from technique, like others have said, having decent mass in the hoop definitely helps drive the slice more

stronzzi70
02-07-2012, 09:32 AM
HEAD IG PRESTIGE MID.............Best slice BH.

KenC
02-07-2012, 09:44 AM
I find it hard to believe that many think that dense string patterns favor slice but inhibit topspin. Does this mean the APDGT can't produce a lot of slice?

I like hitting slice occasionally from both wings, especially for approach shots DTL. I find that too much slice, or backspin, is detrimental as the ball is moving slower, arcs higher in the air, then tends to bounce up and sit just begging to be nailed into a corner. I actually started hitting slice with an eastern backhand grip and hitting more horizontally across the ball and less vertically. It produces a ball with more pace that stays lower, skids on impact and jumps laterally much more. I bet just about any racquet can do this.

LeeD
02-07-2012, 09:46 AM
IF you can slice, the effects are the same as for a topspin shot. ANY good racket slices well. ANY poor racket slices badly.
YOU slice, after you acclimate to your racket.
YOU try Rosewall's racket. YOU cannot slice worth beans. HE can.

corners
02-07-2012, 10:28 AM
I like high swingweight, heavy, headlight, open patterns for slice. A larger handle is also nice. Pretty much the same qualities that I like for hitting volleys.

The thing about the slice is that the incoming shot is already spinning with backspin from your racquet's point of view - even if your opponent's shot was not hit with topspin, it will almost always be spinning with top after it bounces - so you don't have to swing as hard to produce even more backspin and decent pace. Therefore, you're not penalized for having a heavy racquet that you can't swing super fast, like you typically are on topspin shots, where you have to swing faster to reverse the incoming spin before you apply topspin of your own.

If I only ever hit slice backhands and forehands off the ground I would probably use a 14 ounce racquet.

LeeD
02-07-2012, 10:32 AM
Does Corner's really make sense?
While I'll agree with a ball coming towards you usually spins with topspin, just using heavier club does NOT enhance a stronger shot, an easier shot, or a more replicable shot.
There are more shots than volleys and slice backhands in tennis. Choosing a racket is always a COMPROMISE of all you possible shots. Going 14 oz is not compromise for most people. Think about your second serve, overhead, reflex volleys, and of course, heavy topspin loopy short angle dippers.

corners
02-07-2012, 11:33 AM
Does Corner's really make sense?
While I'll agree with a ball coming towards you usually spins with topspin, just using heavier club does NOT enhance a stronger shot, an easier shot, or a more replicable shot.
There are more shots than volleys and slice backhands in tennis. Choosing a racket is always a COMPROMISE of all you possible shots. Going 14 oz is not compromise for most people. Think about your second serve, overhead, reflex volleys, and of course, heavy topspin loopy short angle dippers.

Yeah, I wasn't talking about compromise, because I said if I only hit slices I would go with a 14 ouncer. If I only hit topspin forehands I would go with 11 ounces; if I only hit kick serves I would go with 10 ounces, etc. I think most people gravitate to specs that maximize their best shots and don't compromise the effectiveness of their other shots. If I played like Ken Rosewall - lots of slice, weak serve, lots of lobs, lots of volleys - I would use a 14 ounce racquet, like he did.

Sreeram
02-07-2012, 01:38 PM
I believe Slice is a shot to be naturally played when you are late on the ball. But in modern day tennis it is used to control the pace of the point. In general one has to contact the ball as late as possible to get the best out of slice. I am not a natural slicer but I have to develop it. I got it by waiting on the ball more than other shots.

I find textured strings to suit slice more because it grips the ball and gives you the feel for the underspin. Like others have said thin racquet profile and mobility of racquet will enable you to wait that extra second on the ball.

counterpuncher
02-07-2012, 01:43 PM
apart from technique, like others have said, having decent mass in the hoop definitely helps drive the slice more

I second this. My best slicing racquet by far, was a thick beamed Yonex VCon17 that was tailweighted.

Judging by some of the other racquets that I have had success with: PK BA98, Dunlop 200T and 500T, I would say that a polarized racquet and a flatter grip shape help.

Power Player
02-07-2012, 09:08 PM
I slice pretty well with the 6.1 with gut mains. Something about the feel made it a shot i can hit a lot easier now.

I think you can slice with any stick, but the spin i can get off the bounce from the gut mains and open pattern is very very good.

sansaephanh
02-07-2012, 11:47 PM
My slice backhand was probably the first shot I learned on that wing back when I was a squirt and playing the game with a hunk of wood. I've always liked a heavier frame, but I've also experimented with some lighter gear in more recent years - let's say in the 11.4-11.8 oz. range.

While a lighter frame has some inherent quickness and might be able to help me to generate greater spin with less effort, especially on my ground strokes, the backhand slice really doesn't depend on racquet speed to be technically "good". That stroke needs proper technique and timing, but if my racquet isn't up toward the neighborhood of 12.5 oz. with significant HL balance, it's much more difficult for me to produce a good slice. Same deal on my forehand side. The stability I get with a heavier frame brings more authority to contact with the ball and absolutely gives me a greater degree of penetrating "bite" on that slice.

I used the stiff old ProStaff 6.1 Classics for a long time and was convinced that an open pattern was where it's at for me, but then I tried out some even heavier mids with loads of flex and very dense string patterns. I had great results with my slice using those racquets, too. As long as the frame is heavy enough for me to be stable through contact (we're all a little different in that department), I seem to be able to hit a better slice regardless of stiffness or string layouts.

I always had this feeling lingering in my backhand. I can't handle rackets under 11.6oz. My backhand fails miserably if i do.

I believe its mostly technique. You see all the pros on tour with tons of different rackets all hitting pretty incredible driving slices. Except Rafa and his stupid floaters. Its one of the main reasons Djok beats him so much in my opinion. He is in desperate need of a slice that can neutralize the rally.

sansaephanh
02-07-2012, 11:48 PM
Yeah, I wasn't talking about compromise, because I said if I only hit slices I would go with a 14 ouncer. If I only hit topspin forehands I would go with 11 ounces; if I only hit kick serves I would go with 10 ounces, etc. I think most people gravitate to specs that maximize their best shots and don't compromise the effectiveness of their other shots. If I played like Ken Rosewall - lots of slice, weak serve, lots of lobs, lots of volleys - I would use a 14 ounce racquet, like he did.

dolgopolov cough.

ChicagoJack
02-08-2012, 10:01 AM
1. I have found that stiff, heavy, and stable work best for me. I'm in complete agreement with corners, bartelby, movdqa and eleventeenthstreet but Ima toss stiff(er) frames into the wish list as well.

2. When I switched to my current frame which is extremely stable, (anti torsion bar in the throat, fat beam, lots of silicone in the handle, gobs of lead at 3:00 & 9:00) and rather stiff at 67ra, my slices instantly became so much better. No kidding, I hit my first slice and just said to myself "wow". I'm tossing in BH slices more often in baseline rallies than ever before, and that really helps to keep opponents from finding a groove.

3. My slice technique with my previous frames, which were kinda flexy at 61ra and 63ra, (LM Prestige and Volkl Tour 10 Gen II) required a much longer stroke to place my baseline slices deep. It was a very touchy feely kind of a thing.

4. With my current frame, It's a much simpler, shorter stroke. Much more of a block back kind of thing. There is much less to go wrong with the simpler stroke. One huge + with my current set up, is slice returns on big first serves. Much more effective, especially so for my doubles play. In this situation you need an abbreviated stroke, but it needs to have enough authority on it to keep the opposing net player from being able to gobble it up.

Just my two cents, just thought I'd throw my opinion into the ring fwiw.

-Jack

LeeD
02-08-2012, 10:09 AM
+1 for slicing advantage with bigger, stiffer, and in my case, 2 oz lighter frames.
Since I don't face 5.5 level serves often, the lighter weight does work well.

cork_screw
02-08-2012, 10:44 AM
Flex...... and/or thin beam.


Yup, accurate statement. Let it be known that they don't need to be in conjunction with one and another, but those attributes alone will enhance the slice. Also, if you install a kelvar string like Forten's Kevlar Thin, that will also give you some nice slices. Whateve racquet you have, try throwing on some kevlar strings as a hybrid (full might be too abrasive to your joints) and have it a go and see if you like it. Also, if you really wanna do some experimentations, throw that kevlar in the mains as opposed to the traditional crosses. And anything in the mains will fit the majority of the playing characteristics of the stringjob. So you'll get a more full bodied sensation if you stick the kevlar on the mains, and see how that fits. I find myself that Kevlar is good for serve and volleying, granted you drop the poly very low to compensate and get that extra power that the kevlar lacks.

Thepowerofchoice
02-08-2012, 11:17 AM
Flex...... and/or thin beam.

Also heavy and smaller head...so I thought.

I'm old school slice and dice are my weapons. All my racquets are thin beam, flexy and heavy...my slicing heaven. Well this morning I borrowed my buddy's Babolat APDGT GT and I was shock how well this thick beam, light and stiff frame performs so well for my slice backhand and forhand. I can knife my slice backhand around with pace and spin. I guess my technique is just awesome lol...:)

Boricua
02-08-2012, 11:51 AM
I think its a matter of technique and knowing your racket, whichever it is.