View Full Version : Why Does a Larger Frame Have Less Control?

01-03-2006, 04:31 PM
Is it because the sweet spot is larger? Does a larger sweet spot have a hot spot in the middle that causes you to lose control? Does the large sweet spot cause you to get lazy about where you make contact and thus somehow lose control?

If a racquet is stiffer or has some new trampoline technology like woofers or O-Ports, the sweet spot will be bigger. Does that inherently mean it will have less control? Would stringing looser have the same effect on control and power?

01-03-2006, 05:20 PM
- it probably doesn't have control on off center shots that would be completely frames or missed by small head anyway
- normally it's lighter, so less stable, thus twists more
- and the last, most important factor in my opinion, it has more open pattern, thus less predictable stringbed. 18x20 has the best control.
the only way to achieve control with big heads is to spin everything.

Midlife crisis
01-03-2006, 09:13 PM
You'll have less control with a more powerful racket. That's because more ballspeed means longer flight path and any deviation from the intended path will create a larger deviation at landing. This applies to a small headed racket that is strung loosely with a highly elastic string as well.

The reason why it is said to apply to oversized rackets is because they are typically more powerful, but there are ways, such as by using inelastic strings, that can reduce power and add control to an oversized racket.

01-04-2006, 12:42 AM
Kind of like with F1 racing, in tennis it's all about the stringbed, the only item that comes into contact with the ball, or road surface. At contact, the strings will have a longer range of movement, which for some players can be hard to control. Sometimes on put-away's the stringbed will pocket a bit more than wanted, so the ball might land out. Woofer grommets accentuate this--they might pocket even a defensive ball more than wanted. In the end, more power = less control.

01-04-2006, 12:53 AM
The three main factors that will favor better control are:

1. A smaller head
2. Stiffer frame
3. Tighter strings

01-04-2006, 12:56 AM
isnt it a more flexible frame... as it cushions the ball ?

01-04-2006, 02:08 AM
isnt it a more flexible frame... as it cushions the ball ?
A more flexible frame will result in trampolining.

01-04-2006, 02:15 AM
A bigger headsize racquet doesn't necesarily have more power.
It's just that the longer string on the bigger headsize have more trampoline effect.
So by stringing it tighter, you'll won't get mroe power out of an oversized racquet.

It's actually not the racquet but the longer strings which are the cause for the extra power.

01-04-2006, 04:42 AM
I thought I read a thread in here recently that said the only real benefit of a smaller head is pinpoint accuracy when hitting the lines. But most lower level players shouldnt try to hit the lines?

01-04-2006, 04:51 AM
A more flexible frame will result in trampolining.
I am not sure that this is true.

01-04-2006, 05:49 AM
A more flexible frame will result in trampolining.

I am not sure that this is true.

It's not true. The ball leaves the string bed way before the frame goes back to it's original position. So, it's quite the contrary. More flex equals less power.

01-04-2006, 05:51 AM
djones has this well covered i feel. it's mostly the longer main strings.

01-04-2006, 05:59 AM
I am not sure that this is true.
My apologies if I got this wrong as the second statement was made in reference to the Flexpoint technology of my FXP Tour. :mrgreen:

01-04-2006, 07:19 AM
I have no control issues on the Os players sticks, such as the Radical Os, the POG OS etc.. but get into the real stiff frames and it's launch city..

01-04-2006, 12:20 PM
A more flexible frame will result in trampolining.

That is not true, the time that the ball actually touches the strings is much shorter than the time it takes for the racket to flex fully. The ball is already gone before the racket even begins to trampoline back. There are several articles around that show this.


01-04-2006, 12:25 PM
It's kind of hard to explain without images. But consider a 90 sq inch frame which is strung at the same tension as a 110 sq incher, all other specs and (ball- and racket-)velocities and such being the same as well.

The reason why the 110 sq incher is more powerfull and has less control is one and the same:

The strings deflect more than those in the 90 sq incher.

Why this gives more power is easily understood just by "gut feeling". The trampoline effect is bigger.
Why this gives less control is perhaps less easily understood. I'll try and explain only in words without resorting to mathematics.

Image you would hit the ball with a racket with a solid stringbed, meaning there would be no deflection of the strings. If we take the ball as a solid object with no rotational movement (of course this is not realistic but not assuming this would unnessecarily complicate things) approaching the racket under an angle alfa with respect to the racket face, then the angle at which it is deflected is 180 degrees-alfa. Think of pool table where you smack the ball against an edge of the table without giving any effect. This would be true for ANY location on the stringbed. No matter whether you hit the "sweetspot" or not, the ball does the same thing.

Now, we consider a stringbed that does flex. The ball approaches again under angle alpha with respect to the racket face. The angle at which it is deflected is no longer 180 degrees-alpha, but depends on the flex of the strings. Now the flex of the strings is DIFFERENT AT ALL LOCATIONS on the strinbed. Thus, the angle at which the ball leaves the stringbed is now a function of where the ball hits your stringbed.

Now, consider the two mentioned frames at the same tension etc. The flex of the stringbed directly next to the frame is nothing for both frames, but .........and here it comes....... the maximum flex (in the center of the frame) is far greater for the 110 sq inch than for the 90 sq inch. So with the same minimum flex and a different maximum flex, the variation in flex over the stringbed is far greater for the 110 sq. inch frame than for the 90 sq. inch. Since the range in flex is greater for the 110 sq incher, the range of possible "exit angles" is also greater for the 110 sq incher than for the 90 sq. incher.

If you would always hit the ball in the exact same location, then this doesnt really matter. But since we are mortals and do not hit all balls at the same location (and under the same angle etc.), the deviations of the ball from what we expect it to do, can be greater in the 110 sq incher. Thus, the 110 sq incher is considered less predictable and thus has less control.

The same is true for velocity control. The less variation of flex in the stringbed, the more uniform it is in its flex and thus the power you get out of a ball becomes less of a function of where you hit it on the stringbed.

The more the stringbed resembles a solid, non flexing surface (denser pattern, smaller head, tighter tension), the more control (both directional and depthwise) we have, because it matters less and less where on the stringbed you hit the ball.

Now this is a very crude explanation but I hope it illustrates the point a bit.


01-04-2006, 01:13 PM
I agree about the longer strings and more deflection of the stringbed in larger headed racquets resulting in more trampoline effect, and thus, less control. Bigger racquets also tend to have wider beams which give them more power but less feel, both of which also results in less control.

Lastly, it is your frame that gives you directional control of your shot, and since you hold and swing your frame, and not the strings per se, the closer proximity of the hoop/frame to the sweetspot where you hit the ball, the more directional control you should have of your shot, that is, the better aim you should have since you're aiming with your frame. That's another reason why smaller headed frames tend to have more accuracy than larger headed frames.

01-04-2006, 07:27 PM
I like your explanation. Sounds reasonable that it's inconsistent response of the string bed that causes a loss of control. It also makes sense that these new stiffer strings allow people to control a larger head. So as this relates to the other thread I started, won't O-Ports, Woofers, Rollers, etc, reduce control if they do indeed enlarge the sweet spot?