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View Full Version : Sensitivity to Racket Specs - Matching


vin
01-27-2006, 07:09 AM
I have two of the same rackets that are very close in spec. One was a few grams lighter than the other, but also more head heavy. I added a few grams to the handle of the second racket to match the weights and counter the balance, but it's still almost a point more head heavy than the other one. I thought that would be close enough.

The first racket I play great with, but I have noticably more trouble finding the sweetspot with the second one. It doesn't make sense to me. Can one balance point really make that much difference? This has been happening consistently for about a month now.

I do hit with a lot of topspin and with more head heavy rackets I do tend to hit the frame more often as I come up on the ball. But we're talking a 1 pt balance difference here!

What's going on here? I could be hitting great, change rackets, and like a switch was flipped, immediately start mishitting. I don't get it. Has anyone else experienced this?

I know the obvious thing would be to add weight to both rackets to make the balance exactly equal, but I play so well with the first one as is that I don't want to change it. Besides, I'm still in disbelief of how such a seemingly small difference could have this much effect.

SteveI
01-27-2006, 07:16 AM
I have two of the same rackets that are very close in spec. One was a few grams lighter than the other, but also more head heavy. I added a few grams to the handle of the second racket to match the weights and counter the balance, but it's still almost a point more head heavy than the other one. I thought that would be close enough.

The first racket I play great with, but I have noticably more trouble finding the sweetspot with the second one. It doesn't make sense to me. Can one balance point really make that much difference? This has been happening consistently for about a month now.

I do hit with a lot of topspin and with more head heavy rackets I do tend to hit the frame more often as I come up on the ball. But we're talking a 1 pt balance difference here!

What's going on here? I could be hitting great, change rackets, and like a switch was flipped, immediately start mishitting. I don't get it. Has anyone else experienced this?

I know the obvious thing would be to add weight to both rackets to make the balance exactly equal, but I play so well with the first one as is that I don't want to change it. Besides, I'm still in disbelief of how such a seemingly small difference could have this much effect.

The other frame could be off... not only in FLEX but in Swingweight as well. If the SW is higher for the "trouble" frame.. you could be getting the frame in position.... just a bit later. You would need to get both frames on a Bab machine to be sure.

Hope this helps..

Regards,
Steve

louis netman
01-27-2006, 07:20 AM
A mere 1 point difference is sevral grams of weight on one end of the balance spectrum. It's a difference that will require a slight adjustment period mechanically and possibly, more of an adjustment period psychologically... That's why pros have their sticks identically matched, not just in balance, but in overall distribution of weight. They can't afford to deal with an adjustment period of any sort...

Midlife crisis
01-27-2006, 08:00 AM
A mere 1 point difference is sevral grams of weight on one end of the balance spectrum. It's a difference that will require a slight adjustment period mechanically and possibly, more of an adjustment period psychologically... That's why pros have their sticks identically matched, not just in balance, but in overall distribution of weight. They can't afford to deal with an adjustment period of any sort...

I think you give the pros way too much credit. Sure they can often discern subtle differences the rest of us can't, but even the best pros don't always have their racquets matched exactly. See here:

http://www.******************.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?num=1136377426/1#1

REBOB is Bob Patterson, here:

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200511/200511stringer.html

and he says that even though he tries, he still sometimes doesn't get them to perfectly match. If this guy is one of the best and doesn't, it probably means that slight differences like this are pretty much unnoticeable to pros, much less mere mortals like the rest of us.

kinsella
01-27-2006, 03:54 PM
When matching my sticks, I have found the most critical dimension we mortals can control is balance. We can't change the flex. Even a one point difference in balance can cause a timing problem.

gregraven
01-27-2006, 04:04 PM
That's why I check the flex first. If it's off, I exchange the racquet or get another one that does match. No sense building a house on a foundation of sand, so to speak.

vin
01-28-2006, 05:45 AM
Thanks for the responses. I thought maybe it was mental, but I guess not.

The racket I'm happy with is slightly lighter than spec and balanced right about on spec. I guess now I have to decide if I want to deal with ordering more of them and requesting specific specs, which I've done in the past with poor success, or find a lighter racket that I can always customize to the point I want. A headache either way!

PBODY99
01-28-2006, 08:09 AM
Thanks for the responses. I thought maybe it was mental, but I guess not.

The racket I'm happy with is slightly lighter than spec and balanced right about on spec. I guess now I have to decide if I want to deal with ordering more of them and requesting specific specs, which I've done in the past with poor success, or find a lighter racket that I can always customize to the point I want. A headache either way!

Yes, it is but that is one of the prices you pay for the level of consistency your game requires. It is one of the hardest things to get peolpe to understand about the equipment side of this game.

IMHO after 19 years assss a USRSA certified stringer, try the route of a racket that is lighter but with the flex you want. You have a better chance of matching swingweight that way.:cool:

louis netman
01-28-2006, 08:18 AM
Thanks for the responses. I thought maybe it was mental, but I guess not.

Anything physical or mechanical that causes your game to plummet can quickly become a mental issue.

vin
01-28-2006, 08:53 AM
IMHO after 19 years assss a USRSA certified stringer, try the route of a racket that is lighter but with the flex you want. You have a better chance of matching swingweight that way.:cool:

That makes a lot of sense, but get to the point I want (11.8 - 12 oz, 8-9 pt HL, SW ~315, ~62 flex), I'd need a racket at the same flex, ~11.5 oz, ~5pt HL, and SW < 315. There aren't too many of those. :(

I added 3g of lead to the handle of the problem racket to give it the same balance. We'll see how that works out.

Anything physical or mechanical that causes your game to plummet can quickly become a mental issue.

Great, so you're saying it's both? :D Seriously, I agree that an equipment problem can cause confidence problems.