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View Full Version : Is 11pts Headlight too headlight?


flargosa
03-04-2012, 03:12 PM
My Babolat Purestorm Tour GT w/ leather grip is 11 pts HL I don't know if this is too HL. Can this cause injury or interfere with developing proper form?

BobFL
03-04-2012, 03:51 PM
My Babolat Purestorm Tour GT w/ leather grip is 11 pts HL I don't know if this is too HL. Can this cause injury or interfere with developing proper form?

No and no. Fyi, Zimonjic's racquet is 14 points hl...

Ronaldo
03-04-2012, 03:58 PM
My fav Pro Staff, Wilson Pro Staff 7.5 95 is 13 pts HL.

flargosa
03-04-2012, 04:57 PM
Ok thanks! I was afraid I would have to take off the leather grip to make it less HL.

sureshs
03-04-2012, 04:59 PM
Yes, too headlight. You won't get much ooomph into the ball from the baseline. It is more suitable for very old style pure serve and volleyers.

That is why even Fed is only 6 pts HL these days. Don't go more than 8.

anirut
03-04-2012, 05:07 PM
If it plays fine for you, just use it. There's no hard and fast formula.

There are more factors than just HL. You have to take into account your playing style, the racket weight, the SW, string type and tension and your on-court laziness for the day too.

Power Player
03-04-2012, 05:17 PM
There are really no rules to what works, but what I notice with a higher hl balance is my arm can fly a little on forehands and not stay under control.

I like lighter sticks so I prefer 5 pts hl or less.

flargosa
03-04-2012, 07:14 PM
Ok, I'm a baseliner. It's probably worth getting it below 8 pts HL then. I'll have to take the leather grip off as I do not want to add lead to the racquet head. It is already at 12.3 oz.

4sound
03-04-2012, 08:53 PM
I think it depends on a few things... Is the weight at the ends of the racket or distributed (also called polarized or non-polarized)? The overall weight, string tension and string type are also factors.

I've played with 11pts HL rackets before but they were above 12.5oz.
I now play with 6-7pts HL but my overall weight is around 12oz.

Babolat Purestorm GT feels more polarized weight to me. I liked it for groundstrokes and serve. I found it tougher on the volleys because it was harder to control the racket head from carrying through. Everyone is different.

dr325i
03-04-2012, 09:32 PM
My Babolat Purestorm Tour GT w/ leather grip is 11 pts HL I don't know if this is too HL. Can this cause injury or interfere with developing proper form?

strung or unstrung?

whomad15
03-04-2012, 10:07 PM
my pog mid is roughly 8pts. my longbody is somewhere around 14. Too headlight does reduce the power you get but it makes the racquet very maneuverable.

kaiser
03-05-2012, 01:42 AM
If your racket is very headlight, that basically means you have a lot of weight in the handle relative to the weight in the head. Rod Cross (physicist specializing in the (bio-)mechanics of tennis) writes about that here: http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2006/04/racquet_handle_weighting_and_m.html

He concludes that:
"Having extra weight in the handle therefore allows a top player to control what he is doing. It slows down the forward motion of the handle and the backward motion of the head just enough so that he can swing the head around with a reasonable effort rather than an excessive amount of wrist torque. An average player doesn’t need extra weight in the handle because he doesn’t swing the handle forward fast enough for it to present a problem. Similarly, he doesn’t need to apply a large torque to rotate the racquet since he doesn’t rotate the racquet as fast as a pro. A recreational player needs to get the same power as a pro does from his racquet, so there must be the same weight in the head, but there is no need for a heavy handle. That’s why almost every light racquet is head heavy and every heavy racquet is head light."

In other words, if you swing fast with a relatively heavy racket, a strong headlight balance should help to control your swing without putting excessive strain on your wrist. On the other hand, if you use a relatively light racket with a wristy swing, you don't need such a headlight balance. I don't think your current headlight balance will affect the power of your shot, because the amount of mass in the head will remain the same.

Power Player
03-05-2012, 05:31 AM
Here is the interesting thing :

Now many Pros are utilizing the free power of tweener sticks and more head heavy balances, ALONG with balances of 5pts hl or less.

Since serve and volley is pretty much gone, that real head light balance is not as needed as much.

Agassi was so good he used a 13oz stick along with a 5pts hl balance.

So in my opinion, if you are a power baseliner, you want to stay as close to even as you can while retaining the racquet head speed you need to hit consistently.

fuzz nation
03-05-2012, 05:51 PM
I'd say it's only a problem if the racquet feels especially twitchy and unpredictable when you maneuver it and take a swing at the ball. It's rather common for stock racquets to be designed with more HL balance as their static weights increase. Without "enough" HL balance, a HL frame can feel rather sluggish, but different players have different preferences.

flargosa
03-05-2012, 06:59 PM
Thanks guys, very insightful. Really liked the article posted by kaiser. I'm still trying to picture the physics in my head.

My take is. You want your racquet just HL enough to feel that you can control the racquet head comfortably. My guess is you want to start even balance, then add weight to the head to add power then add weight on the handle to control rotation, if it feels sluggish. Most importantly adding weight to the handle does not add power.

corners
03-05-2012, 08:18 PM
Most importantly adding weight to the handle does not add power.

And it doesn't take away power either. Most people think that HL means less powerful because most HL racquets, historically, also had relatively low swingweight, and swingweight is proportional to intrinsic power. But racquets like the 6.1 95 series, with 330+ swingweight and 10 HL balance, hit like trucks. The pure storm limited is about the same weight with similar balance, but is underpowered because of its low swingweight.

Hi I'm Ray
03-06-2012, 11:42 PM
Most importantly adding weight to the handle does not add power.

Eh? A lot of classic players sticks have swingweight in the 320-330 range, are flexible, have small heads and sometimes closed string patterns. Don't they get their power potential from their high weight/overall mass which is mostly in the handle? What would happen to the current Prestige Mid, POG, or PS 6.0 if they were say 11oz with all the other specs (except balance) remaining the same?

BobFL
03-07-2012, 06:09 AM
Thanks guys, very insightful. Really liked the article posted by kaiser. I'm still trying to picture the physics in my head.

My take is. You want your racquet just HL enough to feel that you can control the racquet head comfortably. My guess is you want to start even balance, then add weight to the head to add power then add weight on the handle to control rotation, if it feels sluggish. Most importantly adding weight to the handle does not add power.

Most importantly this is bs. Every single additional gram adds power. You just get LESS POWER PER INSTALLED GRAM.

Power Player
03-07-2012, 06:16 AM
Most importantly this is bs. Every single additional gram adds power. You just get LESS POWER PER INSTALLED GRAM.

Yes exactly.

That is why if you want a light stick, you don't want a real HL balance. You want that weight in the head and closer to even.

But you can add weight anywhere in the stick and it adds some kind of power..its impossible not to. It just is WAY more at 12 and not as much at the handle.

kaiser
03-07-2012, 09:03 AM
Most importantly this is bs. Every single additional gram adds power. You just get LESS POWER PER INSTALLED GRAM.

Theoretically that may be true, but my understanding is that in practice adding mass to the handle has a negligible impact on the effective hitting weight, just as it has on swingweight. So not really fair to call it bs...

BobFL
03-07-2012, 09:54 AM
Theoretically that may be true, but my understanding is that in practice adding mass to the handle has a negligible impact on the effective hitting weight, just as it has on swingweight. So not really fair to call it bs...

Sorry but my reply was not driven by fairness. It is a fact. Look again at the bold-ed part. It is 100% wrong. And I have never heard of "effective hitting weight". Would you be so kind to elaborate on it?

corners
03-07-2012, 02:01 PM
Sorry but my reply was not driven by fairness. It is a fact. Look again at the bold-ed part. It is 100% wrong. And I have never heard of "effective hitting weight". Would you be so kind to elaborate on it?

I will. If you were to hit the ball at the balance point of a 320 gram racquet the effective hitting weight would be 320 grams. Of course, the balance point is usually in the throat so you can't hit it there. The further the impact of the ball from the balance point the less effective mass is present at that position. This is simple physics. The effective mass is still quite high at the bottom of the stringbed and gets progressively lower at your near the tip.

The intrinsic power of a racquet, known in physics as the apparent coefficient of restitution (ACOR) and at TW University as "Power Potential", is proportional to the effective mass, or hittingweight, at any particular location. In turn, the hittingweight is roughly proportional to the swingweight for shots hit along the longitudinal axis. For shots left and right of the axis, twistweight (polar moment of inertia) also comes into play, but swingweight is still dominant. Hoop stiffness is also a factor on off-center impacts, especially for those near the tip. Effective hittingweight for any location on the racquet face is easily calculated, provided you know the static mass, balance point, twistweight and swingweight of the racquet.

You can use this tool to find the effective mass of any frame: http://www.racquettech.com/store/learningcenter/lc_effectivemassgeneral.html

So, does adding mass to the handle increase intrinsic power? Using that tool, we can look at a frame with the following specs: 340 grams, 33 cm balance and 330 swingweight. The effective mass 54cm from the butt (21.26 inches) and directly on the center line for that racquet is 171.51 grams. If we add 10 grams to the butt, the new specs would be 350 grams, 32cm balance and 330 swingweight, and the new effective mass at the same location would be 171.66 grams, for an improvement of about 1/10 of a gram. This extra 1/10 of a gram would improve the intrinsic power such that a player might gain a tiny fraction of one additional mile per hour on his shots. In other words, adding mass to the butt of a racquet improves intrinsic power by an insignificant amount. If we put the same 10 grams at the top of the grip instead of the butt, we would gain about 4/10 of a gram in effective hitting weight at the same impact location, primarily because mass added at that location will increase the swingweight by a very small amount (about 0.6 unit). Again, this increase is insignificant in terms of the racquet's intrinsic power, as anyone who has played with two raquets varying by less than one swingweight unit can tell you.

However, adding mass to the handle could change the way the racquet swings for a particular player, and perhaps for you this leads to a slight increase in racquet head speed and thus faster shots. But this has nothing to do with the intrinsic power of the racquet, as another player may have the opposite experience. Elementary physics, as well as controlled experiments with real racquets, shows us that the effect of additional handle mass on intrinsic power, or ACOR, is insignificantly small.

flargosa
03-07-2012, 03:22 PM
Here is a quote from the article. The writer, Rod Cross, is a physicist and co-author of The Physics and Technology of Tennis.
http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2006/04/racquet_handle_weighting_and_m.html

"Adding 30 or 40 grams to the handle does not increase the swingweight or the twistweight of a racquet and it does not increase racquet power. Racquet power increases when weight is added to the head, because that is where impacts occur. For the same reason, golf clubs and baseball bats concentrate weight in the head. However, most professional tennis players like extra weight in the handle because it makes the racquet feel more solid or more stable and easier to control."

kaiser
03-07-2012, 11:29 PM
Here's another one from Rod Cross (http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2006/02/raw_racquet_power.html):
"The inbuilt power of a racquet in the middle of the strings therefore depends only on the length and swingweight of the racquet, and on nothing else."

But kudos to corners, he provided the definite answer in a way I never could have!

gloumar
03-08-2012, 03:34 AM
And it doesn't take away power either. Most people think that HL means less powerful because most HL racquets, historically, also had relatively low swingweight, and swingweight is proportional to intrinsic power. But racquets like the 6.1 95 series, with 330+ swingweight and 10 HL balance, hit like trucks. The pure storm limited is about the same weight with similar balance, but is underpowered because of its low swingweight.

Very true ! And I disagree with those who say HL = old style.
I personnaly really like HL balance for the good mix of stability and spin-ability it gives. Assuming we're talking of 320g rackets or more, and that u have a long swing.
In this case, the HL balance lets the player have a much better racquet head speed to create spin, and the general weight keeps giving the useful stability for returns and counter shots.
So IMO, if you play flat, HL is not useful. If you like to brush the ball with power, it's good.

For using your example corners : comparison of Babolat PSTour Limited with Wilson PStaff ROK. Pretty same characteristics (flex, pattern, HL, head shape). But 15g more for the wilson = very good power under the feet.

Hi I'm Ray
03-08-2012, 03:41 AM
Does the testing take into account where the lead is placed on the handle - the butt cap, under the palm, in the middle or top of the handle?

When I watch the super slow-motion vids of the pros hitting, I see the racket wobbles & twists upon impact. Wouldn't the extra weight at the handle increase the overall stability on impact and increase power or energy return or whatever in this way?

If you were to hold out a racket that was 11oz, then shoot a ball at it with a ball machine at 80mph, the racket would get pushed back but the ball would still bounce off the racket and land X amount of feet from the frame. If the same racket had 1oz of weight added to the handle, lets say across the length of the handle, then you shoot the ball at the same 80mph at this frame in the same spot, wouldn't the frame get pushed back less, and would the ball bounce off the frame and land further than the previous ball?