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View Full Version : Best way to spec a racket line?


6-2/6-4/6-0
02-22-2012, 05:37 PM
If you were able to have input on how your favorite racket company spec'd their line would you want them to:

1. Build their rackets so that they were 20g+ lighter than they were expected to be played so that each player (including you) could add lead how and where they wanted to get the perfect weight and balance.

2. Build their rackets within a couple grams of their expected playing weight so that they play as well as possible in stock form but limit your ability to customize them.

It's basically the difference between the way that Head builds their pro stock line and how they do the retail line. I see an advantages and disadvantages to both, but clearly most companies opt for #2.

Just curious what the racket wonks here think...

jonnythan
02-22-2012, 05:39 PM
What would really be the point of #1? Something like a fraction of a percent of the racquet market (even the "real" racquet market) has the skill and access to expertise to make #1 even remotely useful. And most of those people are either pros (pro players, coaches) or top-level amateurs (college kids etc).

in_ten_city
02-22-2012, 08:28 PM
What would really be the point of #1? Something like a fraction of a percent of the racquet market (even the "real" racquet market) has the skill and access to expertise to make #1 even remotely useful. And most of those people are either pros (pro players, coaches) or top-level amateurs (college kids etc).

Buddy, believe me, I suck at tennis and I spend all day customizing my frames, and there are tons of people out there of all different levels who do the same. It's actually a lot fun adding 36 grams of lead to a frame.

Fuji
02-22-2012, 08:33 PM
First option of course. I'd love to have a very light racket with blank specs so to say, just with the stiffness being controlled and the rest up to me.

-Fuji

lgbalfa
02-22-2012, 08:37 PM
Buddy, believe me, I suck at tennis and I spend all day customizing my frames, and there are tons of people out there of all different levels who do the same. It's actually a lot fun adding 36 grams of lead to a frame.

i customize my frames too but i think most people on the forum do not.

6-2/6-4/6-0
02-23-2012, 06:24 AM
Personally, I'm going to be adding significant weight to frames, almost across the board. I play with a racket at 385g +/-1g, so even something that is stock at 350g unstrung is going to get 20g of lead with me. I like being able to do this, and I have to think that players who use lighter sticks would probably like to be able to do the same thing, but maybe not.

There would likely be a lot more limitation with how you could sell your rackets - they would need to be retailed at pro shops where someone can explain about leading and why this is a better system than weighting the sticks how someone thinks they will most commonly be played. But - of course - that may require an entire modification of the zeitgeist around how most people look at rackets. I think there is likely a majority of players out there who think about putting an over grip on their racket, and then tuning the feel with strings, but a significant minority who think lead/silicone/leather grip are critical customizations to get the most out of your racket...

I'm in product and intellectual property development, so this is what I ruminate about for fun...

alidisperanza
02-23-2012, 08:31 AM
So tempting to pick 3...

If a company advertises something, I expect it to be true within reason. When people search frames, they search based on those written specs because they are standardized. Often times, we look to mod from there but if the racquet is x points, grams, etc lower then why bother post them at all? We'd have to take a company's word for it. " Racquet Z has FANTASTIC SPIN!"(meanwhile it's a 30x32 pattern in a 60 in^2 frame...)

6-2/6-4/6-0
02-23-2012, 09:01 AM
I'm not talking about misleading people by saying that the specs are different than they are, but if you expect that people will take your top-end player's stick and use it at 345 to 355g strung, then you would make the racket maybe 330g strung (and advertise it as such) so that the player can add lead and revise the weighting any way they want to get the specs they want. That way people who like lighter rackets (who would otherwise not be able to use the racket if you were building it to 'expected play' specs) can play it in the stock (or close to it) form and people who like heavier rackets can mod it so that they can can achieve virtually any static weight, swing weight, and balance they desire (within reason)...

alidisperanza
02-23-2012, 09:44 AM
I understand and I definitely see your point but you have to consider that the majority of tennis players buy a racquet because it "looks nice" or they see the pros playing with it. We are a special breed of tuners haha

Also, who'se to say you can't do that now! :)

6-2/6-4/6-0
02-23-2012, 10:38 AM
As I said, it's easy for me because I play with such a heavy racket, but if I wanted to play with something in a 345g range, strung, then I would probably have a harder time tuning it if I started out with a typical player's racket (say a Dunlop Bio200). If I wanted the racket particularly head light (12pts or so), or if I liked a leather grip and wanted a more even balance it could be tough to set it up the way I wanted.

As it is, I'm putting a leather grip on a Bio200 and some lead to hit my 385g, but I'm trying to think outside myself... Is there a significant detriment to speccing the rackets light?

alidisperanza
02-23-2012, 10:52 AM
I'm not sure but I suppose it could change the material basis/ stiffness of the frame. In theory, if they're taking out some weight it implies taking out some material. I don't rightly know if it would be from the frame itself or contrived from the handle-- or even if it would affect play for that matter. I can't rightfully say because I don't know enough about fundamental racquet construction to give an accurate response.

Agent Orynge
02-23-2012, 11:22 AM
Sorry, but a lot of racquets just don't feel the same once you start modding them. I'm not talking about the obvious consequences of changing the weight and balance, but the feel can (and often does) change as well, which completely undermines the point of using a particular racquet in the first place.