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View Full Version : Everything else being equal, do you find smaller headsizes more maneuverable?


BreakPoint
12-29-2005, 01:46 PM
Everything else being equal, meaning the same swingweight, static weight, balance, length, etc., do you find racquets with smaller headsizes more maneuverable than racquets with larger headsizes, just because smaller headsizes take up less air space and don't get in your way as much when you're hitting your shots?

Rory G
12-29-2005, 06:50 PM
Yes, over the years I have usually had better maneuverability with mid or even 95 frames than larger head racquets...given the other equal characteristics

AndrewD
12-29-2005, 07:08 PM
If all specs are equal one will manoeuvre just as easily as the next. You might have the feeling that the smaller one does a better job but, putting personal preference aside for a minute, if all things are equal then ALL things are equal.

Regardless, I do find racquets with a mono-shaft construction far more manoeuvrable than an equivalent racquet with a split-shaft.

I should also add that Ive never had a racquet get in MY way before. Perhaps, if you've got slightly eccentric strokes that might be an issue but it shouldn't be a problem otherwise. Certainly, it isn't a fact that a racquet with a larger head size WILL get in the way (of your strokes I assume). That being the case, it would have been better if you'd said 'I find racquets with a larger head size get in MY way, does anyone find similar?'

Really though, this is a question that doesn't have anything to do with the racquet per se, it's all about the operator. If you think that a pink racquet plays worse than a black one then it will, for you. If you think that a smaller headsize is more manoeuvrable than an equally manoeuvrable one with a larger head size then it will be, for you.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with any of that because 'feel' is an integral, albeit individual, part of the game.

ollinger
12-29-2005, 07:22 PM
Yes, BP, we know we know -- large head racquets collide with your armpit when you try to hit a backhand -- see December's "Tennis" magazine and Mr. Gasquet will instruct you on the one-hand backhand.
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AJK1
12-29-2005, 07:24 PM
Regardless of all this talk being bandied about, everyone should only use racquets that are at least 7+ head points light.

arnz
12-29-2005, 07:31 PM
Well Andrew d, I think you just said something profound there. If you think a pink racquet hits better than a black one, then yes it will, for you anyway. And that is one important thing that most people neglect in these debates.

Its like the winning poker player who wears the same shirt until the tournament is over. Its unscientific, but tell that to somebody like Fed or Sampras.

Imagine walking up to Sampras and saying, "you know Pete, you should play with a 110 sq in racquet, studies say it will do everything your 85 inch can plus cause less mishits." I bet he will throw you out. "Kid, why dont you take that 110 sq inch racquet of yours, enter Wimbledon, and when you've won it 7 times, I promise you I'll switch. In the meantime, SECURITY!!!" LOL

Sorry, I'm writing this half asleep:mrgreen:

jonolau
12-29-2005, 07:44 PM
I personally feel you can play well with whatever racquet you feel comfortable with, be it an OS or Mid. If you have an OS, you will definitely do your deperate best to come up with a BH stroke that will prevent you from hitting your armpit ... though I feel it is an odd place for self-mutilation.

jck01
12-29-2005, 09:14 PM
Everything else being equal, meaning the same swingweight, static weight, balance, length, etc., do you find racquets with smaller headsizes more maneuverable than racquets with larger headsizes, just because smaller headsizes take up less air space and don't get in your way as much when you're hitting your shots?

I played with both Head Ti.Radical OS and Head i.Radical MP (still own both of them), which I assume have similiar swingweight, static weight, balance, length, etc. I also hit with Head i.Radical OS for a few minutes. To tell you the truth, I like the Head Ti.Radical OS better than the Head i.Radical MP when I'm at the net. I seem to play better reflex volleys when I play doubles. Thus, I think IMHO oversized racquet, with everything else being equal, is more maneuverable. It's just my feeling - nothing scientific here.

Although I like the bigger headsize of Head Ti.Radical, I have to admit that Head Ti.Radical is the only one of two OS racquets I owned in the last 5-10 years - the other being the POG. Most of my other 20+ racquets that I once owned (and some I still own) during that time were MP headsize.

BreakPoint
12-29-2005, 11:43 PM
Yes, BP, we know we know -- large head racquets collide with your armpit when you try to hit a backhand -- see December's "Tennis" magazine and Mr. Gasquet will instruct you on the one-hand backhand.

Actually, they don't actually collide with my armpit but they do feel cumbersome as I still need to bring the racquet head back and fit the racquet on my left side. If you hit a proper 1HBH, your hitting arm should reach across your chest with your elbow pretty much touching your chest. I hit the best 1HBH out of anyone that I play with, or pretty much anyone that I've ever played with. That's a fact. People know to never serve nor approach to my backhand because I'll likely hit a screaming winner. My 1HBH is pretty similar to Federer's, with a little wrist flick at the end on topspin shots.

Gee, is it any surprise Federer uses an 88 sq.in. racquet to hit those great 1HBH's?

Deuce
12-29-2005, 11:57 PM
Everything else being equal, do you find smaller headsizes more maneuverable?
> Yes, smaller headsizes don't get in my way as much as larger headsizes
> No, larger headsizes never get in my way so are just as maneuverable

Racquet maneuverability and whether or not a racquet physically gets in one's way during some part of the backswing/swing are two very separate issues, and shouldn't be lumped together.

djones
12-30-2005, 12:14 AM
I find smaller headsizes more manouverable as well, but I think it's 90 % psychological!

I used to play with a Head I and Ti Radical oversize (now Prestige Classic mid) and back then I didn't feel as if it wasn't manouverable.

BreakPoint
12-30-2005, 12:39 AM
Racquet maneuverability and whether or not a racquet physically gets in one's way during some part of the backswing/swing are two very separate issues, and shouldn't be lumped together.

But, to me, that is maneuverability, i.e., the ability to easily maneuver the racquet, including maneuvering it out of my way. I just find it easier to manipulate the head of the racquet and control what it's doing, its angle, etc. if the racquet head is smaller rather than bigger. To me, that's also part of maneuverbility. Larger head sizes also take up more 3 dimensional air space which makes them more cumbersome to move around quickly, which means less maneuverbility.

If you imagine a regulation size basketball, and a big styrofoam ball 6 feet in diameter, both having the exact same weight. The big styrofoam ball will be more difficult to maneuver just due to its sheer size even though it's the same weight as the basketball.

Muse
12-30-2005, 12:51 AM
It's a difficult question to answer because there aren't really any large headed frames that can compair to a midsize frame, but if there were, I think the small headed frame would be easier just because there's less area to be moving around. It'll always be easer to move 90 square inches to where you want it rather than 110 sq in.

Keifers
12-30-2005, 12:54 AM
For my strokes, an OS frame has never felt like it gets in my way.

But I can definitely feel 90" frames move through the air more easily than OS frames -- or even 95" frames. A thin beam (20mm or less) further accentuates that sensation. For me, this kind of maneuverability enhances racquet head speed and ball control (the control I get from making micro-adjustments to the racquet's trajectory and the racquet head's angle of attack just before, at, and just after impact).

When I watch video of Federer hitting a FH with that wonderful whipping motion he has (there's a link to a clip in another current thread), it's easy for me to imagine he just wouldn't be as happy with a 95" or larger racquet. Not that he couldn't play with one -- it would just be that much more work and that much less control.

The Fed knows what he's doin'! :cool:

(Now, am I saying I have the same acuteness of feeling as Roger?! Well,... all things being equal, yes I am! ;) )

Keifers
12-30-2005, 01:08 AM
P.S. Recently, a 5.5 friend of mine really wanted to like the FP Rad Tour. But to him, waving 100 sq. inches around felt like "waving a fan." He's been playing 90 and 93 sq. in. for a while.

(Now, am I saying my friend has the same acuteness of feeling as RF and me? Uh-uhhhh... No Waay!)

AndrewD
12-30-2005, 07:45 AM
Manouevrability and the ability to manipulate the head of the racquet are two totally separate things and Im stumped if you didn't know that.

Regardless, you should have clarified exactly what your interpretation of manouevrability is in the first post (and whenever you write a review) because it differs from the accepted interpretation. If you look at the TW definition they merely refer it to swingweight. Id take their definition to be a standard and yours as a personal modification. That modification invalidates the poll.

NoBadMojo
12-30-2005, 07:57 AM
If you hit a proper 1HBH, your hitting arm should reach across your chest with your elbow pretty much touching your chest.

I hit the best 1HBH out of anyone that I play with, or pretty much anyone that I've ever played with. That's a fact. People know to never serve nor approach to my backhand because I'll likely hit a screaming winner. My 1HBH is pretty similar to Federer's, with a little wrist flick at the end on topspin shots.

Gee, is it any surprise Federer uses an 88 sq.in. racquet to hit those great 1HBH's?

This is very revealing. This person is describing some really awful backhand technique and then proceeds to brag about how very terrific his backhand is....i dont think this person even plays tennis.

SageOfDeath
12-30-2005, 08:03 AM
All things being equal, I haven't seen a large sized racquet that has the same static weight and swingweight as my racquet so I can't say. Though I do know that compared to my 85, larger racquets are definately more maneuverable because they are built to be lighter.

Keifers
12-30-2005, 10:08 AM
This is very revealing. This person is describing some really awful backhand technique and then proceeds to brag about how very terrific his backhand is....i dont think this person even plays tennis.
NBM, I'd like to better understand your post here. Is it a criticism? Or an expression of disagreement? Or an expression of something else? What are you intending to say here?

I have an impression of what your intention is, but I wanted to ask you directly.

(I would have liked to e-mail about this you privately, but you've elected not to receive any e-mails. We can do this via e-mail, if you'd like to take this offline.)

NoBadMojo
12-30-2005, 10:23 AM
Right Keifers..i don't wish to receive uninvited emails.

Michelangelo
12-30-2005, 10:52 AM
Humm... from my experience of Pro Staff 85 and 95 (I owned both for quite a period of time before, stock to stock, no extra weight mod), I'd say 85 is a bit easier to swing for rally, even though the sheet data of 95 is a bit lighter than 85. Should I get the less famous 110 to test drive as well? (Sometimes there's one or 2 on the "famous auction site" for just US$30 around.)

AngeloDS
12-30-2005, 12:00 PM
Another thread by BreakPoint cleverly and ambiguously trying to prove that smaller headed racquets are better :s. Oh well, anyways, I feel that smaller headed racquets can manuever easily but the downside is the ability to control this manueverability aka stability is where people have problems.

BreakPoint
12-30-2005, 02:43 PM
Another thread by BreakPoint cleverly and ambiguously trying to prove that smaller headed racquets are better :s. Oh well, anyways, I feel that smaller headed racquets can manuever easily but the downside is the ability to control this manueverability aka stability is where people have problems.

AngeloDS,
Are you saying that smaller headed racquets are less stable than larger headed racquets? Because I've always found the opposite to be true.

BreakPoint
12-30-2005, 03:03 PM
This is very revealing. This person is describing some really awful backhand technique and then proceeds to brag about how very terrific his backhand is....i dont think this person even plays tennis.

Hmmm....are you really a teaching pro? I'm really starting to have some serious doubts. :confused:

FYI, I have perfect 1HBH technique. A day doesn't go by without someone commenting on how gorgeous my backhand is. I have all the variety and can nail passing shots and winners DTL or crosscourt with ease, including inside-out crosscourt winners.

You want to tuck your elbow in when you take the racquet back in preparation to hit a topspin or flat drive backhand. This way, you can use your shoulder more into the shot rather than relying just on your arm strength, which is what happens when you stick your elbow out too far. That's also a good way to develop tennis elbow. Then you want to take a step forward with your right foot (for right-handers), bend your right knee, lean into the shot with your right shoulder pointing towards the net or slight downwards, and with your shoulder and legs aligned perpendicular to the net. Then move your weight from your back (left) leg to you front (right leg) as you swing your racquet from low to high, following through with your arm stretched out. This is the conventional technique and is proven and works great. (For slices, you want to raise your elbow more and away from the body and swing from higher to slightly lower and through the ball and then follow through with your racquet pointing towards the net.)

I'm not sure if NBMJ hits his 1HBH with his racquet arm reaching between his legs or with his back parallel to the net or whatever, but this is the way I do it and with tremendous success. Just ask anyone that's seen me play. I certainly hope this is the way NBMJ teaches his students or else I'd consider bailing.

BreakPoint
12-30-2005, 05:20 PM
Another thread by BreakPoint cleverly and ambiguously trying to prove that smaller headed racquets are better

I'm not trying to prove that smaller racquets are "better" but only that I find them to be more maneuverable given the same swingweight as a larger racquet, and it seems so far, about 3/4 of the other voters here agree with me. I wanted to see if this poll would refute the assertion by some on this board who adamantly proclaim that headsizes do not influence maneuverability one iota, but that swingweight is the only thing that matters when it comes to maneuverability. So far, it certainly looks like that assertion has indeed been refuted.

BTW, if I actually thought smaller racquets were better then why have I been posting in so many threads (that you have been participating in and debating with me) that I think bigger racquets give some players an unfair advantage, so that racquets ought to be standardized? Wouldn't that indicate to you that I think bigger racquets are better? Did you even give that any thought before posting your claim above? :rolleyes:

SageOfDeath
12-30-2005, 06:05 PM
I'm not trying to prove that smaller racquets are "better" but only that I find them to be more maneuverable given the same swingweight as a larger racquet, and it seems so far, about 3/4 of the other voters here agree with me. I wanted to see if this poll would refute the assertion by some on this board who adamantly proclaim that headsizes do not influence maneuverability one iota, but that swingweight is the only thing that matters when it comes to maneuverability. So far, it certainly looks like that assertion has indeed been refuted.

BTW, if I actually thought smaller racquets were better then why have I been posting in so many threads (that you have been participating in and debating with me) that I think bigger racquets give some players an unfair advantage, so that racquets ought to be standardized? Wouldn't that indicate to you that I think bigger racquets are better? Did you even give that any thought before posting your claim above? :rolleyes:

Don't want to open Pandora's box but you claim that players should be able to play with small headed racquets if they are good. The same is true for any racquet, a player should be able to adjust to any racquet and play with it. That being said, then players choose which racquets they play best with. There is no unfair advantage, even if larger headsizes do provide an advantage then it was your choice not to choose a large headsize.

Don't want to start another debate but that's like banning 28 inch racquets because they give an unfair advantage. It was your choice not to play with one.

BreakPoint
12-30-2005, 07:51 PM
Well, that's why I said some racquets give some players an advantage, not all players. You're right in that good players should be able to use anything and adjust to it. It's the weaker players that have the most advantage to gain from some racquets (e.g., tweeners, game improvement, granny, etc.). Stronger players don't need those and can play with player's racquets or almost anything else, thus, they gain very little advantage from using those racquets that weaker players gain a tremendous advantge from. That's where it's inherently unfair. Better players gain little to no advantage, while poorer players gain lots of advantage. The racquet has helped to compensate for their lack of skill. It helps to neutralize the better player's superior skills.

Thus, the better player choosing the 28" racquet doesn't gain any advantage to the same degree as the weaker player does. Thus, the weaker player has gained an advantage, while the stronger player has not, even if they both choose to use the same racquet. That's where it's unfair. The stronger player plays the same while the weaker player plays much better.

Tennis is not like a gun battle where a bigger, more powerful gun would benefit both sides. Tennis is supposed to be a game of skill, and the more skill you have, the less racquet you need. Only those who don't possess the skills will benefit from a racquet that will do more of the work for them. It does not benefit everyone equally, which is why standardization would eliminate this inequity. With standardization, the racquet no longer matters nor can it influence the outcome. Then all that matters is how much skill the players possess. No more compensating for your lack of skill by using an advantageous racquet that makes you play better and beyond your natural physical and mental skills.

Look at it this way. If you're in a sword fight, and you're a master swordsman but your opponent is a terrible swordsman, and you're both using swords, who would win? The odds are 100-to-1 that you, the master swordsman would win. But now give both fighters a gun. Who has the better odds of winning now? I'd say it's about 50/50. The gun has completely negated the master swordsman's skills and had dramatically compensated for the terrible swordsman's lack of skills. Now, is that fair? There's no doubt the gun is a superior weapon to the sword, but has it increased the master swordsman's odds of winning? No. In fact, to the contrary. But it has drastically increased the terrible swordsman's odds of winning, hasn't it? To me, it's not fair for a weapon to change the odds. It should be only about the swordsmen's innate abilities and skills.

SageOfDeath
12-30-2005, 08:54 PM
Well, that's why I said some racquets give some players an advantage, not all players. You're right in that good players should be able to use anything and adjust to it. It's the weaker players that have the most advantage to gain from some racquets (e.g., tweeners, game improvement, granny, etc.). Stronger players don't need those and can play with player's racquets or almost anything else, thus, they gain very little advantage from using those racquets that weaker players gain a tremendous advantge from. That's where it's inherently unfair. Better players gain little to no advantage, while poorer players gain lots of advantage. The racquet has helped to compensate for their lack of skill. It helps to neutralize the better player's superior skills.

Thus, the better player choosing the 28" racquet doesn't gain any advantage to the same degree as the weaker player does. Thus, the weaker player has gained an advantage, while the stronger player has not, even if they both choose to use the same racquet. That's where it's unfair. The stronger player plays the same while the weaker player plays much better.

Tennis is not like a gun battle where a bigger, more powerful gun would benefit both sides. Tennis is supposed to be a game of skill, and the more skill you have, the less racquet you need. Only those who don't possess the skills will benefit from a racquet that will do more of the work for them. It does not benefit everyone equally, which is why standardization would eliminate this inequity. With standardization, the racquet no longer matters nor can it influence the outcome. Then all that matters is how much skill the players possess. No more compensating for your lack of skill by using an advantageous racquet that makes you play better and beyond your natural physical and mental skills.

Look at it this way. If you're in a sword fight, and you're a master swordsman but your opponent is a terrible swordsman, and you're both using swords, who would win? The odds are 100-to-1 that you, the master swordsman would win. But now give both fighters a gun. Who has the better odds of winning now? I'd say it's about 50/50. The gun has completely negated the master swordsman's skills and had dramatically compensated for the terrible swordsman's lack of skills. Now, is that fair? There's no doubt the gun is a superior weapon to the sword, but has it increased the master swordsman's odds of winning? No. In fact, to the contrary. But it has drastically increased the terrible swordsman's odds of winning, hasn't it? To me, it's not fair for a weapon to change the odds. It should be only about the swordsmen's innate abilities and skills.


I see your point but I am a firm believer the better player always wins. Even if that player was better just for that day. I don't believe larger racquets really give an advantage to any player of any skill level. One thing they do give you is power, but I don't believe that to be true in an extreme form. I don't believe dinks and turn into winners by changing racquets. I do not believe larger racquets can truly compensate for coordination skills which equals less mishits. I can see how they can gain some masking to their weaknesses but not to the extent where they can play at a different playing level just because of their racquet. And if it is true that they do gain a large advantage with their poor playing ability and don't seek to improve their weaknesses, they will undoubtfully plateau and stop improving. I'm also a believer that individual parts needed to play tennis is a skill and can be refined if practiced besides conditioning to an extent.

I'm sure Roddick plays very well with or without his PD. Maybe not at the same level but the point is he is using the racquet that best suits him. I'm sure at pro level he doesn't have a huge glaring weakness that his PD can cover up for him. He definately proves he can provide his own power, iI'm sure he can ace me with a 70 inch wood racquet. That's my opinion of course and it can't be proven or disproven. Or do you have some evidence that might dispute that?

AngeloDS
12-30-2005, 10:22 PM
There are those who talk about tennis and analyze things, and there are those who actually play tennis for fun or competition. Maybe you should write for a magazine?

There are pros and cons to every racquet. Thus, it gives advantages and disadvantages. Which makes things more fair or more unfair. If you need a MidSize frame to produce your accuracy, that can be seen as skill-less because you can't use a larger frame to produce that accuracy. Those with an OverSize frame helps with power, that can be seen as skill-less because you can't use a smaller frame to produce that power.

It goes both ways. No point in argueing, unless you truly are in that situation. Tennis is tennis, play it.

heavyraket
12-30-2005, 10:48 PM
i've had big rakets and i think they make hitting low balls more difficult.

BreakPoint
12-31-2005, 12:04 AM
This is very revealing. This person is describing some really awful backhand technique and then proceeds to brag about how very terrific his backhand is....i dont think this person even plays tennis.

BTW, here's a pic of Federer preparing to hit a topspin backhand. Notice how his elbow is very close to his chest, almost touching it? I'd bet there are lots of people who wished their backhand technique was as "awful" as Federer's. :rolleyes: LOL.

http://cache.gettyimages.com/comp/52488391.jpg?x=x&dasite=GettyImages&ef=2&ev=1&dareq=AB27D05020109421599B35D9256084E8F15A15FC3945 1C9794D2604A015CF9DF

Kaptain Karl
12-31-2005, 12:53 AM
If your racket is "getting in your way" during your shots, you don't need a different racket; you need some lessons.

- KK

BreakPoint
12-31-2005, 01:00 AM
If your racket is "getting in your way" during your shots, you don't need a different racket; you need some lessons.

- KK

Why would I need lessons if a smaller racquet DOESN'T get in my way and allows me to hit just fine? So obviously the racquet solved the problem. Unless you're saying 3/4 of the people here need lessons?

Kaptain Karl
12-31-2005, 01:01 AM
Ed - If what you quoted of BreakPoint, the Pretender in your post #17 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=692872&postcount=17) is an accurate quote ... well, I'll just say I got a great laugh out of it. Wow...!

- KK

jonolau
12-31-2005, 02:07 AM
To put it to test, I just played a full set this morning with a friend's 113 sq in Wilson nCode N3 (vs a 93 sq in T10 VE Mid) and I had an easy transition on my 1HBH, no bruised armpits, and no sticky elbows on my chest ... but I would agree that I had adjustment problems with low returns as I tended to scrape the racquet on the ground.

ssjkyle31
12-31-2005, 07:00 AM
Well, breakpoint you have a valid backhand technique from the description. Feder? I can all take that at face value without seeing some kind of video. As long as your backhand basic gets the ball across the court and it does not cause you any discomfort. So who cares? The main thing you win points. And by the way the question about which swing easier it all depends on the player. For alot of poster it does not matter.