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rocket
03-01-2006, 08:17 AM
Time to change this tennis terminology! Quite a few of us get offended when the weapon of their choice falls within the 'tweeners' category, perhaps rightly so. The term 'players racquet' is somewhat lofty & perhaps out-of-date, since the game has evolved from a hard, flat-drive to a furiously fast, spinny-whip. For the latter, it's quite evident that a lighter, stiffer & larger racquet is more appropriate. My tennis is 'old-school' as I like to spank the ball pretty flat, with some top-spin to keep the ball in, but that's me, that's how I play, and a smaller-head, weighty racquet suits my game.

But, do we really care what racquet our practice-partners/match-opponents play with? Not really, not until they earn a sufficient amount of success with it. Only then do we "sit up" & take notice. Why is the nCode Tour 90 such a big seller? Cuz it's linked to some gifted pro, AND, playing with it represents a challenge. Boy, do we love challenge!!! :D That said, some ppl play very well with it, and that's fantastic! For others, a Babolat, or Volkl, or Head is a better choice. Who is the better player in the end? The one who wins the last point, I'd say.

I'm lucky to be playing tennis in an Era where there are more mtls than just wood, there're more than one head-size to choose from, string-patterns, string types, etc. Racquets & their set-ups should be different since we're all different. Yet, we have one thing in common: our undying love for this sport. :cool:

p.s. I'm feeling so philosophical today... it'll pass.

rocket
03-01-2006, 09:10 AM
Sorry guys, you might see 3 posts from the same headline... there was a delay when I click 'send' so I clicked it one too many times... don't know how to delete the other 2. :confused:

ferrari_827
03-01-2006, 12:51 PM
I agree that if you grew up using old school rackets (i.e. heavy, headlight), then jumping to a tweener can be challenging.

How do I know ? I bought a Fischer Pro One FT and Yonex RDX300 recently, looking for a bit more give, lighter weight, and more power.

What I found is that you actually have to swing *faster* to get the same power as a heavier racket, and this can tire you out just as much as something heavy.

Not only that, due to less mass, there is less inherent stability with a lighter racket, and this results in uncomfortable off-center shots.

Note that I only dropped 1 oz to 11-11.2oz (can't imagine playing with a 10oz racket). Was I surprised at having to swing faster and less stability ? Yes.

What did I do ? I slapped on 0.4oz of lead to the Pro One FT and RDX300, and the stability/power issues were solved. 0.4oz = 11 gm (22 inches lead, which is alot).

Now I have the best of both worlds. Power/forgiveness of a tweener, plus the stability of a player racket without excessive weight.

For those used to playing with heavy, player rackets, I wouldn't recommend going down in weight by more than 0.5-0.7 oz. 1 oz is too drastic.

ferrari_827
03-01-2006, 01:01 PM
I suspect that alot of tweener rackets need quite a bit of lead tape to make them playable against heavy hitting. While the stiffness helps with power, it doesn't compensate for the significant drop in mass from a player frame.

I can see someone getting injured sooner, and more seriously with a light racket vs. something heavy. Based on my limited recent experience with lighter rackets, my hand and wrist started to feel numb and tingly, whereas with the heavy player rackets all I ever had was a slight sprain.

NBMJ, are you listening ?

NoBadMojo
03-01-2006, 01:05 PM
It's about the swingweight and balance and not so much about the static weight. The Volkl DNX8 weighs 11oz <as an example>, but is only marginally headlight so you have a good amount of mass in the head to knock some fuzz off the ball. it's solid and stable as can be in stock form at 11 oz's.
My opinion is the terms players frames and tweeners are pretty much useless terms and I've seen arguments and the usual namecalling around here about what really constitutes a players frame, so evidently people cant agree on that anyway

NoBadMojo
03-01-2006, 01:14 PM
I'm lucky to be playing tennis in an Era where there are more mtls than just wood, there're more than one head-size to choose from, string-patterns, string types, etc. Racquets & their set-ups should be different since we're all different. Yet, we have one thing in common: our undying love for this sport. :cool:

p.s. I'm feeling so philosophical today... it'll pass.

Indeed it is good to have choices, but sometimes havng so many choices results in confusion, then people worry more about their gear rather than concentratng on their skillset

I thought it was pretty cool learning to play with wood. If you bought a Maxply Fort and strung it up w. VS, you were playing with what the pros were using and could relate to the game so much better than you can today

VGP
03-01-2006, 01:15 PM
...My opinion is the terms players frames and tweeners are pretty much useless terms and I've seen arguments and the usual namecalling around here about what really constitutes a players frame, so evidently people cant agree on that anyway


Agreed. Go hit with a racket that brings you wins without busting up your arm. Whatever that racket may be.

fishuuuuu
03-01-2006, 01:17 PM
Agreed. Go hit with a racket that brings you wins without busting up your arm. Whatever that racket may be.

Mine has a million holes in it and does just that =)

Just an aside ... who thinks the O3 Tour is a tweener? A players' racquet?

NoBadMojo
03-01-2006, 02:11 PM
I suspect that alot of tweener rackets need quite a bit of lead tape to make them playable against heavy hitting. While the stiffness helps with power, it doesn't compensate for the significant drop in mass from a player frame.

I can see someone getting injured sooner, and more seriously with a light racket vs. something heavy. Based on my limited recent experience with lighter rackets, my hand and wrist started to feel numb and tingly, whereas with the heavy player rackets all I ever had was a slight sprain.

NBMJ, are you listening ?

I'm listening but am wondering if you are telling me something or asking me something or thinking i agree with you
Dont quite get how either a sprain or numbness are very good things to have
In a perfect world we would go against big hitters armed with 13oz of 100% graphite with nat gut in a midsized frame. The reality is it doesnt work that way. Having a heavy frame against a big hitter only is a good thing if you can swing it fast enough for long enough to hit the ball early enough..otherwise, using a heavy frame to prevent an injury may actually cause one.
Just for the hell of it, one day I grabbed a Cat4 frame and played a good big hitter. Dont know how much this frame weighs, but it only weighs slightly more than nothing. I had no trouble at all with the frame being pushed around or being unstable..thing was solid as a rock. Obviously frames lke this dont give you the so called 'plow thorugh' nor can you hit a heavy ball with them, but it wasnt a problem. Misshits would be a problem however and then the frame would become pushed around and unstable and thats where a heavier frame comes in handy from a comfort point of view. This is where the problem comes with midsized frames...are they more stable on misshits? very likely altho maybe not so much more stable because of their headsize as much as more stable because of their weight......are they easier to miss hit? ABSOLUTELY! and that's where the trouble starts..if you dont misshit much...then it's not a problem and its far easier to misshit with a midsized frame than a larger one
The answer is simple. buy the heaviest swingweight frame you can swing fast enough for as long as your sessions last when playing someone at least as good as you and buy a frame with a sweetspot large enough that you can reliably hit when playing someone at least as good as you.

BreakPoint
03-01-2006, 02:21 PM
Just an aside ... who thinks the O3 Tour is a tweener? A players' racquet?

In my opinion, the O3 Tour MP is a tweener because it's so light (11.6 oz.) and the head is so big (100 sq. in.). IMO, "player's racquets" should be at least 12.0 oz. and be less than 95 sq. in.

PM_
03-01-2006, 02:43 PM
IMO, "player's racquets" should be at least 12.0 oz. and be less than 95 sq. in.
...you mean 95 sq in or less...

BreakPoint
03-01-2006, 02:55 PM
...you mean 95 sq in or less...

Well, 95 sq. in. is actually on the boderline. I guess a "true" players racquet should be 93 sq. in. or less, but there's been so much head size inflation these days (sort of like grade inflation ;) ). I mean Prince now calls a 95 a "Midsize", whereas, not too long ago, a 95 was a "Midplus" and an 85 was the midsize. :(

heycal
03-01-2006, 03:19 PM
Having a heavy frame against a big hitter only is a good thing if you can swing it fast enough for long enough to hit the ball early enough..otherwise, using a heavy frame to prevent an injury may actually cause one.

What kind of injury, and how might a heavy frame cause it?

heycal
03-01-2006, 03:30 PM
The answer is simple. buy the heaviest swingweight frame you can swing fast enough for as long as your sessions last when playing someone at least as good as you and buy a frame with a sweetspot large enough that you can reliably hit when playing someone at least as good as you.

I'm afraid I'm still not getting your insistance on swingweight as the key factor... Are you saying that swinging a Babalot Soft Drive at 10 oz. is going to feel the same as swinging a 12 oz. Volkl Tour 10 MP Gen II because they both have a swingweight of 315? That at the two hour mark of a grueling match, you won't feel the weight difference between these two sticks?

tonysk83
03-01-2006, 03:36 PM
What category do you guys think a racquet like a pure drive, that weighs 12+ ounces falls, same with the O3 tour MP 100in if it weighs in the 12+ category. I say this because my PD+'s are at 12.4 and the two O3 Tours I have coming will have enough lead to bring them up to 12 ounces easily. The players tweeners category?

VGP
03-01-2006, 04:03 PM
I think the terminology should be dumped.

DSL
03-01-2006, 04:10 PM
What exactly defines a racquet as a players racquet anyway?

NoBadMojo
03-01-2006, 04:15 PM
What kind of injury, and how might a heavy frame cause it?

all kinds of injuries..the same ones people get from light stiff racquets. in addition, people seem to get more muscle injuries from swinging more weight than they can handle, and heavy racquets (more than someone can handle) are often partially the cause of rotator cuff probs, alongwith misshiting a heavy racquet. nothing beats good technique, and it's pretty hard to have good technqiue if you are swinging more lumber than you can handle
<i'm using 'you' in the most general of terms..substitute 'someone'>
gate swings both ways...too light isnt good, but neither is too heavy...thats' why i say what i say about matching the right swingweight to your ability to swing a racquet fast

NoBadMojo
03-01-2006, 04:19 PM
I'm afraid I'm still not getting your insistance on swingweight as the key factor... Are you saying that swinging a Babalot Soft Drive at 10 oz. is going to feel the same as swinging a 12 oz. Volkl Tour 10 MP Gen II because they both have a swingweight of 315? That at the two hour mark of a grueling match, you won't feel the weight difference between these two sticks?

That's what I am saying..that's the very purpose of swingweight measurements..both racquets would take the same energy to swing altho people would have a preference for a certain balance so they wouldnt feel the same from a feel standpoint. i think you and i have been down this path before....

heycal
03-01-2006, 05:26 PM
...too light isnt good, but neither is too heavy...thats' why i say what i say about matching the right swingweight to your ability to swing a racquet fast

Yes, we've been down this path before, but it's interesting path.... And let me see if I can combine these two arguments and issues into one: I would think that matching the right swingweight to your ability to swing a racket fast would seem to matter little in the injury department. If that were the case, the aforementioned Babolat Soft Drive and the Volkl T10 MP gen II would have the same propensity to cause the same kind of injuries because they have the same swingweight, wouldn't they? And I doubt that's the case -- perhaps you might get TE from the stiff and light Soft Drive and rotator cuff problems from the heavy Volkl but most likely not vice versa as well just because they have the same swingweight.

And if these two rackets are not going to feel the same from a feel standpoint at the two hour mark because they have a different balance, well, isn't that "feel" more important in real world terms than swingweight? And what about the rest of the time we are on the court lugging around our rackets, holding them while we await serve or getting ready to swing them? Swingweight is irrelevant there as well, and static weight is going to be what determines feel, isn't it?

Kaptain Karl
03-01-2006, 05:32 PM
I think the categories create problems among all but tennis newbies. (So, I guess, from the manufacturers' POV, the categories are effective.)

From the club level up ... all the categories seem to to is contribute to snobbish spouting of a bunch of opinion-delivered-as-gospel. The categories ought to be ignored beyond (about) the 2.5 NTRP.

buy the heaviest swingweight frame you can swing fast enough for as long as your sessions last when playing someone at least as good as you and buy a frame with a sweetspot large enough that you can reliably hit when playing someone at least as good as you.Yup. This is good.

- KK

NoBadMojo
03-01-2006, 05:44 PM
And what about the rest of the time we are on the court lugging around our rackets, holding them while we await serve or getting ready to swing them? Swingweight is irrelevant there as well, and static weight is going to be what determines feel, isn't it?

are you saying that it is somehow fatiguing just carrying a racquet around between points and that how a racquet feels while you are just holding it is where it's at?

Kaptain Karl
03-01-2006, 05:46 PM
... the aforementioned Babolat Soft Drive and the Volkl T10 MP gen II would have the same propensity to cause the same kind of injuries because they have the same swingweight, wouldn't they? And I doubt that's the case -- perhaps you might get TE from the stiff and light Soft Drive and rotator cuff problems from the heavy Volkl but most likely not vice versa as well just because they have the same swingweight.You just answered your own question.

And if these two rackets are not going to feel the same from a feel standpoint at the two hour mark because they have a different balance, well, isn't that "feel" more important in real world terms than swingweight?Regarding "what stat is the most telling?" I think SW is the best one. Until some engineers come up with a quantifiable -- mostly universally agreed to -- measure of "feel", SW seems the best.

What stats (which we now tabulate) contribute to feel?
Swing Weight
Weight
Balance
String pattern
(And on another thread, they are talking about the "Center Of Percussion," which as close as I can tell, is a measure of "is the sweetspot high or low?" Yikes!)

No matter what stats you believe drive "feel", you still need to demo the racket wisely. (Two rackets with the same SW can certainly *feel* very different. I don't think anyone is arguing against that.)

SW give you a pretty good starting point. Then ... use what works best for you.

- KK

BreakPoint
03-01-2006, 06:19 PM
Regarding "what stat is the most telling?" I think SW is the best one. Until some engineers come up with a quantifiable -- mostly universally agreed to -- measure of "feel", SW seems the best.

What stats (which we now tabulate) contribute to feel?
Swing Weight
Weight
Balance
String pattern
(And on another thread, they are talking about the "Center Of Percussion," which as close as I can tell, is a measure of "is the sweetspot high or low?" Yikes!)

No matter what stats you believe drive "feel", you still need to demo the racket wisely. (Two rackets with the same SW can certainly *feel* very different. I don't think anyone is arguing against that.)

SW give you a pretty good starting point. Then ... use what works best for you.

- KK

I think you forgot to include the most important element that contributes to how a racquet "feels" and that is its flex, and that would include how it flexes and where it flexes.

heycal
03-01-2006, 07:15 PM
You just answered your own question.
- KK

Yes, in a rhetorical manner to support my point.

heycal
03-01-2006, 07:20 PM
Regarding "what stat is the most telling?" I think SW is the best one.



Really? My Hammer 6.3 has a swingweight of 333. So does the Pk Heritage Type C 98. Do you really think their identical swingweight is the most telling stat about these two rackets, even though one is way heavier than the other and balanced very differently?

heycal
03-01-2006, 07:35 PM
are you saying that it is somehow fatiguing just carrying a racquet around between points and that how a racquet feels while you are just holding it is where it's at?

A lot of things contribute to arm fatique -- particularly static weight. Haven't you read all those posts from guys switching to lighter rackets because they couldn't play well with their 12 oz ones deep in the third set? When we start hearing similar stories about old ladies switching from their high swingweight but featherlight granny sticks becuase they're too fatiguing, then maybe it's time to overly concern ourselves with swingweight. "Oh, Milly, I just can't handle the swingweight of the O3 Pink anymore. I think I'd better switch to the POG because of it's lower swingweight if I want to keep up with Sally in the third set..."

ohplease
03-01-2006, 08:11 PM
If one considers the standard deviation relative to the average value for each spec, where specs with smaller SDs are probably more conserved (and therefore, something that needs to be more constant across all frames), the most important to least important specs are:

1) length 1%
2) cop 2%
3) swingweight 3.7%
4) balance 5.8%
5) stiffness 6.5%
6) head size 6.8%
7) mass 8.8%

That seems like a reasonable answer to me. Feel free to assert that your personal experience trumps the aggregate specs of 219 rackets.

Zverev
03-01-2006, 08:16 PM
In my opinion, the O3 Tour MP is a tweener because it's so light (11.6 oz.) and the head is so big (100 sq. in.). IMO, "player's racquets" should be at least 12.0 oz. and be less than 95 sq. in.
Such classification doesn't make much sense - what, Agassi is not a player?
I think, any racquet (even 100sq with 58 flex) with low rebound power is a player's racquet (don't like this term, though).

heycal
03-01-2006, 08:24 PM
the most important to least important specs are:

1) length 1%
2) cop 2%
3) swingweight 3.7%
4) balance 5.8%
5) stiffness 6.5%
6) head size 6.8%
7) mass 8.8%



Did you mean least important to most important?

Zverev
03-01-2006, 08:26 PM
What I found is that you actually have to swing *faster* to get the same power as a heavier racket, and this can tire you out just as much as something heavy.

I have repeated this argument over and over again, but it gets ignored every time. If you play with the heaviest racquet you don't lose racquet head speed with, that woud be most energy efficient stick (least tiring).

ohplease
03-01-2006, 08:28 PM
Such classification doesn't make much sense - what, Agassi is not a player?
I think, any racquet (even 100sq with 58 flex) with low rebound power is a player's racquet (don't like this term, though).

Further, if we define "player's frame" as lying outside the normal ranges, towards the more demanding end of those ranges, then strictly speaking player's frames are:

sw: 335.2 or more
stiffness: 61 or less
head size: 95 or less
mass: 332.5 or more

and "game improvement" sticks would be:

sw: 308 or less
stiffness: 70 or more
head size: 109 or more
mass: 279 or less

...in order of specs from tightest to loosest SDs.

BreakPoint
03-01-2006, 08:34 PM
Did you mean least important to most important?

No, I think he's saying since most racquets do not vary that much by length, that is somehow the most important thing about a racquet. Why average equates with importance, I have no idea. :confused:

Also, what does the average have anything to do with feel? :confused: Is an "average" racquet supposed to feel the same to everyone and work the same way for everyone's game?

ohplease
03-01-2006, 08:38 PM
Did you mean least important to most important?

No. Length +/- 8% is a racket between 25 - 29 inches long. Most rackets are 27.

Then the cop needs to be in about the right place relative to the hand.

Then the swingweight's got to be something close to what you're used to.

Then balance, then stiffness, then head size, and lastly mass.

Considering each indpendently leads to sometimes strange answers, however. Consider all at once and you can get better answers.

BreakPoint
03-01-2006, 08:43 PM
Such classification doesn't make much sense - what, Agassi is not a player?
I think, any racquet (even 100sq with 58 flex) with low rebound power is a player's racquet (don't like this term, though).

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. A player is NOT defined by the type of racquet he uses. A 2.0 beginner using a "player's racquet" does not make him a "player", does it? Likewise, a 6.0 semi-pro using a "tweener" does not make him a beginner, does it?

A "player's racquet" is defined by its specs, and ONLY by its specs, and not defined by the level of player using it. Therefore, a "player's racquet" is just a type of racquet, as is calling a racquet a "red racquet", and has NOTHING to do with the player using it. It's the same as calling it a "heavy, small-headed, low-powered racquet", but that's too long to write and say, so we use "player's racquet" instead out of convenience.

ohplease
03-01-2006, 08:44 PM
No, I think he's saying since most racquets do not vary that much by length, that is somehow the most important thing about a racquet. Why average equates with importance, I have no idea. :confused:

Also, what does the average have anything to do with feel? :confused: Is an "average" racquet supposed to feel the same to everyone and work the same way for everyone's game?

I'm saying a tight standard deviation, relative to the magnitude of the average, means it's important not to vary that particular spec.

Zverev
03-01-2006, 09:18 PM
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. A player is NOT defined by the type of racquet he uses. A 2.0 beginner using a "player's racquet" does not make him a "player", does it? Likewise, a 6.0 semi-pro using a "tweener" does not make him a beginner, does it?

A "player's racquet" is defined by its specs, and ONLY by its specs, and not defined by the level of player using it. Therefore, a "player's racquet" is just a type of racquet, as is calling a racquet a "red racquet", and has NOTHING to do with the player using it. It's the same as calling it a "heavy, small-headed, low-powered racquet", but that's too long to write and say, so we use "player's racquet" instead out of convenience.
Well, that's right.
I am 4.0 playing with the racquet wich is classified as players racquet and recommended for 4.5+. Why? I don't know. I think they are stupid.

If we have something that is not defined, how can we discuss its use?
Obviously we cannot even agree on what it is, not mention it's pros and cons. "Small-headed" - how small? <=95 ? I agree. <=90 ? I don't.

It does make sense to discuss and argue about pros and cons of specific racquet property, say, weight. But how does it make sense to argue about bunch of them at the same time?
Too many people too many times already said that "player's racquet" is a stupid term brought up by marketing divisions of racquet companies.

Do we have just a little bit of self respect not to argue about useless term designed just to make more profit?

I suggest to declare even mentioning this term as a bad taste.

heycal
03-01-2006, 09:18 PM
Ohplease, I applaud your efforts to come up with a useful guide to rackets. It's possible you have created a fantastic system. However, I'm confident I speak for many around here when I say that this project of yours and your posts related to it are completely incomprehensible and meaningless to most of us.

Doesn't mean it isn't a great system though!:D

BreakPoint
03-01-2006, 09:24 PM
I'm saying a tight standard deviation, relative to the magnitude of the average, means it's important not to vary that particular spec.

Thanks for the clarification. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that that particular spec should be the most important criteria to any individual player, right? I mean, I think we each find certain things about a racquet the most important to us when we select a racquet, right? For some, it may be the length, but for others, it may be the static weight, the swingweight, the balance, the head size, the head shape, the feel, the flex, the string pattern, the beam width, etc. I mean, I think I've read just about every possible parameter of a racquet being the most important criteria for a certain poster here on these boards over the years.

PM_
03-01-2006, 09:40 PM
Well, 95 sq. in. is actually on the boderline. I guess a "true" players racquet should be 93 sq. in. or less, but there's been so much head size inflation these days (sort of like grade inflation ;) ). I mean Prince now calls a 95 a "Midsize", whereas, not too long ago, a 95 was a "Midplus" and an 85 was the midsize. :(
okay well i guess i can live with a couple sq inches of tweenish characteristics, but...if TW can claim X1s to be player's frames then i can live with that too.:cool:

BreakPoint
03-01-2006, 10:16 PM
Ohplease, I applaud your efforts to come up with a useful guide to rackets. It's possible you have created a fantastic system. However, I'm confident I speak for many around here when I say that this project of yours and your posts related to it are completely incomprehensible and meaningless to most of us.

Doesn't mean it isn't a great system though!:D

I agree.

ohplease, I know that you put in a lot of time and effort into your project in an honest effort to help fellow members and I'm sure you're very proud of your "baby". However, I'm not sure that the premise of selecting a racquet based upon what is "normal" or "average" or choosing a racquet that is the most "normal" or most "average" makes that much sense to most people. As we all know from all the disagreements on this board, everyone is uniquely different, have different criteria, and have different opinions, which make racquets, like pants, definitely not "one size fits all".

It would be like if you had a "Pants Selector" and you found that the average pair of men's pants was size 34 x 32 in blue cotton. However, what if you're size 38 x 34 and prefer blacks pants in wool? Should you buy the size 34 x 32 blue cotton pants anyway and try and squeeze into them even though you hate the color and fabric and can't even zip them up?

Wouldn't that be the same as buying the "average" racquet and then changing your game to fit the racquet, rather than buying the correct racquet (no matter how "abnormal" it may be) that already fits your game, regardless of how "normal" or "abnormal" your game may be?

tennisplayer
03-01-2006, 10:31 PM
In a tweener, feel is compromised to achieve more power, as opposed to a player's racquet where feel gets priority over power. That's the best definition I can come up with.

What exactly is "feel"? Here we enter into a somewhat subjective domain. For the main part, "feel" is a certain type of handling - the main ingredients being control and comfort. Herein lies the secret sauce that racquet manufacturers guard closely. I believe this is a certain mass, a certain shape, a certain weight distribution, a certain head shape, a certain composition of materials (flex), and so on. And in the end, it all depends on the player who will evaluate the racquet based on their individual circumstances - their physical shape, their playing strengths, and their formative experiences while starting to play tennis. But certain types of feel are more universal than others, and so it is possible, to some extent, to charaterize racquets as tweeners or player's racquets.

A racquet's weight is very important. Weight is required to deal with hard hit shots. But equally important is how it's distributed, because this determines other characteristics such as moment and swingweight. More weight near the handle reduces the moment, by bringing the center of gravity closer to the grip, and I believe this contributes greatly to comfort and control. However, this does not help in the power department, since that requires mass in the racquet head, and more mass in the handle means less mass in the head. Thus, given that the total weight must remain reasonable, we need to make a compromise. The total weight must remain reasonable because too much weight can cause discomfort and injury by itself, and negate the other benefits of a good design by increasing the moment and/or swingweight beyond reasonable limits.

Coming the issue of head size, again, it is a complex matter. In a control oriented player's racquet, it is easier to find the sweet spot with a smaller head. However, one does need a bigger head for a tweener since the lack of control or feel makes it harder to hit accurately time and time again. I think this is why tweeners have larger heads more often than not.

Note that I am not minimizing tweeners or exalting player's racquets. I think racquet manufacturers know a lot more than we give them credit for, and they make a wide variety of racquets to suit the variability of players and the compromises they will make.

ohplease
03-01-2006, 10:55 PM
Ohplease, I applaud your efforts to come up with a useful guide to rackets. It's possible you have created a fantastic system. However, I'm confident I speak for many around here when I say that this project of yours and your posts related to it are completely incomprehensible and meaningless to most of us.

Doesn't mean it isn't a great system though!:D

It's simply another way of finding answers. The predominant form of answer finding for people here is basically "because I said so." I find that tiresome.

I'm actually rather impressed with the relative racket finder applet so far. I've let it run on two specific instances where people were requesting candidate frames and there were a good number of intersections between poster's recommendations (or plans) and results - even in the case of Kaptain Karl's frankly strange 12 oz, 3 pts head heavy spec.

I might even try the exercise again, just for kicks.

The argument for why it works could possibly be articulated more clearly, but enough people get it to diss it, and its results, and me, so I'm not going to bother. That's quite clear enough. You're going to have to get the rest of the way on your own.

dancraig
03-01-2006, 11:10 PM
What exactly defines a racquet as a players racquet anyway?

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/SelectingRacquet/SelectingRacquet.html

Category 3: Control or Player’s Racquets

Denotes racquets that would be used by professional and high-level club and college team players. These models are typically heavier in weight (11.5-13+ ounces), have smaller heads (85-98), thinner, more flexible beams and are balanced head light to retain maneuverability. The result is a low-power racquet, designed for players who provide their own power and prefer a racquet that offers more control. Can be standard or extended length.

heycal
03-01-2006, 11:28 PM
Really? My Hammer 6.3 has a swingweight of 333. So does the Pk Heritage Type C 98. Do you really think their identical swingweight is the most telling stat about these two rackets, even though one is way heavier than the other and balanced very differently?

There's about twelve different arguments/discussions going on on this thread, but I'm going to try and resurrect this one since it's my favorite of the bunch...

heycal
03-01-2006, 11:30 PM
A lot of things contribute to arm fatique -- particularly static weight. Haven't you read all those posts from guys switching to lighter rackets because they couldn't play well with their 12 oz ones deep in the third set? When we start hearing similar stories about old ladies switching from their high swingweight but featherlight granny sticks becuase they're too fatiguing, then maybe it's time to overly concern ourselves with swingweight. "Oh, Milly, I just can't handle the swingweight of the O3 Pink anymore. I think I'd better switch to the POG because of it's lower swingweight if I want to keep up with Sally in the third set..."

No, he's wrong because... because...

pinky42
03-02-2006, 08:59 AM
Yes, the terminology is biased. It makes no sense to use terms that denote skill level (game improvement/tweener/player) when they're really classifying racquets by weight. I think it does a disservice to people because you hear things like "moving up from a tweener to player's racquet", "can't handle a player's racquet", "too demanding", etc. If a tweener compliments your game, switching to a player's racquet isn't moving up, it's moving down! Yet the attitude persists because we use loaded words. Beginners are the worst off because if they naively pick a game improvement racquet, there's a higher chance of hurting themselves if they don't have someone showing them good technique.

vin
03-02-2006, 09:22 AM
heycal,

I'm with you dude. It's too bad that this interesting topic is burried in this thread.

In my opinion, there's more that goes on in a swing than just rotation (which is what swingweight relates to), and the static weight of a racket is going to effect how you can execute those non rotational parts of the swing. In my opinion, this can lead to msihitting and timing errors when fatigued, and the fatigue doesn't have to be to the extreme of your arm feeling dead.

Based on my experience with this, I consider both swingweight AND static weight and have seen different results with rackets of the same swingweight but different static weight. But that's just my experience and I'm not an experienced teaching pro.

Kaptain Karl
03-02-2006, 09:42 AM
Coming the issue of head size, again, it is a complex matter. In a control oriented player's racquet, it is easier to find the sweet spot with a smaller head.I've noticed a few TW-ers have asserted this over the last several threads addressing the Mid/MP/OS issues ... and I truly don't get this. (Maybe it's because I learned to play with a woodie 65; I don't know.)

I'd love for someone to explain how this is true ... instead of merely making the claim ... which other people seem to repeat as if it's "gospel". But the assertion that "it is easier to find the sweet spot with a smaller head" strikes me as completely counter-intuitive.

The sweet spot on a typical OS frame is (logically) at least 3x the size of my old (65) Dunlop Fort's sweet spot. How does anyone think it would be "easier" to hit with the sweet spot of a 65 over a 110?
___________

There's about twelve different arguments/discussions going on on this thread, but I'm going to try and resurrect this one since it's my favorite of the bunch...heycal and Ed - I'm understanding Ed's "all about SW" statement to be a generalization and a helpful starting point for a racket search. Of course one can fine "exceptions to the rule" but SW seems to be a logical way to sift the initial (overwhelming) number of racket choices down to something more manageable.

If I'm making this worse, I'm gettin' out from between you two...!
__________

ohplease's applet is fascinating -- and I think, helpful. I'm no engineer; it seemed like it might be overkill at first.

BUT ... there's no arguing that ohplease came up with some credible (to me) matches. The point is ... I spent *months* trying to sift through the "noise" and ohplease came up with a list of choices which greatly coincided with my personal research and ohplease did it in minutes. (And, as ohplease already noted, my racket preferences are most definitely "not normal.") The applet is certainly worth consideration, IMO.

You'll still need to actually DEMO the things, but ohplease's tool seems like it will reduce (not elliminate) the all-to-common (for me) demo experience of "Geez! I waited three days for these 2 sticks to arrive from TW. One of them is only "okay" and the other one totally stinks."

Some people will analyze the applet to death. They may be the kind of person who, when you ask "What time is it?" they tell you how to build a watch(!). I'm definitely NOT this type of person. I only care that "a thing" works; I dont' need to know why. ohplease's applet appears to "work". Kudos, ohplease.

- KK

heycal
03-02-2006, 10:19 AM
heycal and Ed - I'm understanding Ed's "all about SW" statement to be a generalization and a helpful starting point for a racket search. Of course one can fine "exceptions to the rule" but SW seems to be a logical way to sift the initial (overwhelming) number of racket choices down to something more manageable.

- KK

SW may be ONE logical way to sift rackets, but my point is simply that static weight is a better guideline to use and therefore is a better starting point and generalization to use when sifting through scores of rackets.

ohplease
03-02-2006, 10:44 AM
SW may be ONE logical way to sift rackets, but my point is simply that static weight is a better guideline to use and therefore is a better starting point and generalization to use when sifting through scores of rackets.

I've come to the conclusion that looking at any one spec to sift rackets leads to too many wrong answers. You need to look at them all, because all of them contribute to the racket.

If you insist on picking out one spec over others (I don't), I've already shown what the order of specs is, and the reasoning behind the ordering. Swingweight "wins" if you want to think about specs in this way, though why you would, I don't know - it all matters.

rocket
03-02-2006, 11:00 AM
Well, since I play with heavy-ish racquets, I find that the main concern is to get the racquet in motion, thus the inherent higher swing weight can play against me. Once it's going, the heft of the racquet helps put some heat on the ball & absorb the shock along the way.

Lighter racquets generally have a lower SW index (unless they're head-heavy) so they obviously travel through the air faster, but since they're lighter, one has to generate more racquet-head speed to counter the weight of the incoming ball (not a problem if the player is a heavy spinner), without which the racquet will be knocked back more than a heavier one, as it doesn't have as much mass.

heycal
03-02-2006, 11:12 AM
If you insist on picking out one spec over others (I don't), I've already shown what the order of specs is, and the reasoning behind the ordering. Swingweight "wins" if you want to think about specs in this way, though why you would, I don't know - it all matters.

I don't think you've proven anything about the order of importance of specs... Also, IF one is going to pick out one spec over others, swingweight is not the winner. I mean come on, relying on swingweight as the key spec can lead one down radically different paths: "I can't decide whether to buy the O3 Silver or the Wilson nSix-One 90, Fred. What should I do?" "Don't sweat it, Bob. They have same swingweight so you'll be fine with either one."

ohplease
03-02-2006, 11:27 AM
I don't think you've proven anything about the order of importance of specs... Also, IF one is going to pick out one spec over others, swingweight is not the winner. I mean come on, relying on swingweight as the key spec can lead one down radically different paths: "I can't decide whether to buy the O3 Silver or the Wilson nSix-One 90, Fred. What should I do?" "Don't sweat it, Bob. They have same swingweight so you'll be fine with either one."

That's right, swingweight is not the winner. Length is the winner. Then the location of the sweetspot. Then swingweight. Mass limps in dead last. If one were to think about these things in such a way. I don't. In fact, you don't even think about it that way, as your purposely constructed silly example shows.

Believe my take or not, the data is what it is.

oldguysrule
03-02-2006, 11:28 AM
I don't think you've proven anything about the order of importance of specs... Also, IF one is going to pick out one spec over others, swingweight is not the winner. I mean come on, relying on swingweight as the key spec can lead one down radically different paths: "I can't decide whether to buy the O3 Silver or the Wilson nSix-One 90, Fred. What should I do?" "Don't sweat it, Bob. They have same swingweight so you'll be fine with either one."


The same could be said about relying on static weight. You can not look at either spec in isolation. When comparing two racquets you have to look at weight and balance together. (as well as other specs). Weight and balance are the key points in determining swingweight. When you play tennis you are SWINGING the racquet. That is why it is a key point for 99% of the people here.

Kaptain Karl
03-02-2006, 11:56 AM
heycal - Why do you persist in exaggerating the views of those with whom you disagree? You express yourself well. Let your arguments stand on their own merits. No need to use cheap debate techniques.

- KK

heycal
03-02-2006, 12:05 PM
That's right, swingweight is not the winner. Length is the winner. Then the location of the sweetspot. Then swingweight. Mass limps in dead last. If one were to think about these things in such a way. I don't. In fact, you don't even think about it that way, as your purposely constructed silly example shows.

Believe my take or not, the data is what it is.

Two posts ago you said swingweight is the winner and now its... length?? Your applet thingy is messing with your common sense and I think you have backwards because of the "data". Are you claiming that whether your racket is 27" or 27 1/2" is more important than whether you're racket is 9 oz or 12 oz or your headsize is 90" or 110"?

vin
03-02-2006, 12:08 PM
SW may be ONE logical way to sift rackets, but my point is simply that static weight is a better guideline to use and therefore is a better starting point and generalization to use when sifting through scores of rackets.

Even though swingweight may not be enough by itself, I don't think that static weight is enough by itself either. But I guess that can differ from person to person.

I think because of the way I hit my forehand, I am sensitive to both static weight and swingweight. About 11 oz and a SW of 310 - 315 seems to be my target range. If either measurement changes enough, it's going to cause trouble for me.

With the LM Instince for example, which is 11 oz and has a SW of 330, it feels easy to swing, but I can feel the racket head sort of pulling away.

With the Tour 10 Gen 2, which is 12 oz and has a SW of 315, I never feel like the racket head is pulling away, but I am more suceptible to adjustment problems in my backswing and at contact.

heycal
03-02-2006, 12:11 PM
heycal - Why do you persist in exaggerating the views of those with whom you disagree? You express yourself well. Let your arguments stand on their own merits. No need to use cheap debate techniques.

- KK

I don't see how I'm exaggerating the viewpoints of anyone I disagree with. NBMJ and others are quite clear in saying they believe swingweight is basically the single most important factor to consider. In rebuttal, I try and illustrate with real-world examples the reasons why I think they are mistaken.

heycal
03-02-2006, 12:28 PM
The same could be said about relying on static weight. You can not look at either spec in isolation. When comparing two racquets you have to look at weight and balance together. (as well as other specs). Weight and balance are the key points in determining swingweight. When you play tennis you are SWINGING the racquet. That is why it is a key point for 99% of the people here.

I'm not suggesting you rely solely on static weight or any other single spec when selecting a racket. What I am suggesting is that swingweight is not the most important spec when it comes to the relative importance of the various specs. Swingweight is not "they key point for 99% of the people here". If you decide to switch from your PS 95, is the Volkl Cat 1 F.I.R.E. going to be on your demo list because it's got the same swingweight? And if it's really the things that determine swingweight that are the most important to you, like balance and static weight as you mention above, well, then balance and static weight are the most important specs to you, not swingweight...

But you know, in a way you almost CAN rely on static weight alone as a good guide, and it's definitely the winner of "The single most important spec I would bring with me to a desert Island if I could only bring one spec with me" award. (With head size winning the silver medal here and grumbling about how it should have taken the gold...) To see for yourselves, go plug in 12 oz. on the racket finder and leave the rest of the specs alone. What this will produce is a bunch of 'players' sticks (like how I'm tying this into the subject of the original thread now?). Rackets with pretty similar specs in most other areas. Then try searching for rackets with a swingweight of 317 or whatever and you'll see that chaos ensues...

So, to summarize: one should consider ALL specs when it comes to selecting a racket. But if push comes to shove and you can only choose by using one spec as your guideline, you know which is most important....

tennisplayer
03-02-2006, 12:59 PM
I've noticed a few TW-ers have asserted this over the last several threads addressing the Mid/MP/OS issues ... and I truly don't get this. (Maybe it's because I learned to play with a woodie 65; I don't know.)

I'd love for someone to explain how this is true ... instead of merely making the claim ... which other people seem to repeat as if it's "gospel". But the assertion that "it is easier to find the sweet spot with a smaller head" strikes me as completely counter-intuitive.

The sweet spot on a typical OS frame is (logically) at least 3x the size of my old (65) Dunlop Fort's sweet spot. How does anyone think it would be "easier" to hit with the sweet spot of a 65 over a 110?

[...]

- KK

KK, I said that "In a control oriented player's racquet, it's easier to find the sweet spot with a smaller head." I can see why this is being misunderstood - on rereading it, I see that I could have stated it more clearly and concisely. What I meant to say is, "it is easier to find the sweet spot with a control oriented player's racquet, period". So a smaller head will be more acceptable in a control oriented player's racquet, and indeed, that seems to be the way manufacturers build them. I am certainly not advocating that everybody use a control oriented player's racquet with a small head!

oldguysrule
03-02-2006, 01:38 PM
I'm not suggesting you rely solely on static weight or any other single spec when selecting a racket. What I am suggesting is that swingweight is not the most important spec when it comes to the relative importance of the various specs. Swingweight is not "they key point for 99% of the people here". If you decide to switch from your PS 95, is the Volkl Cat 1 F.I.R.E. going to be on your demo list because it's got the same swingweight? And if it's really the things that determine swingweight that are the most important to you, like balance and static weight as you mention above, well, then balance and static weight are the most important specs to you, not swingweight...

But you know, in a way you almost CAN rely on static weight alone as a good guide, and it's definitely the winner of "The single most important spec I would bring with me to a desert Island if I could only bring one spec with me" award. (With head size winning the silver medal here and grumbling about how it should have taken the gold...) To see for yourselves, go plug in 12 oz. on the racket finder and leave the rest of the specs alone. What this will produce is a bunch of 'players' sticks (like how I'm tying this into the subject of the original thread now?). Rackets with pretty similar specs in most other areas. Then try searching for rackets with a swingweight of 317 or whatever and you'll see that chaos ensues...

So, to summarize: one should consider ALL specs when it comes to selecting a racket. But if push comes to shove and you can only choose by using one spec as your guideline, you know which is most important....

OK, I can see your point. The rest of your arguements, as KK said, were too extreme. While I can understand your opinion, I don't necessarily agree with it. I think it depends on your approach to selecting racquets. I don't even consider including a head heavy racquet in my list of possibilities. And I don't consider 12oz to be a cumbersome weight to carry around. I am more concerned with how the racquet feels when I swing it and therefore SW is a more accurate guage (for me) of whether a particular racquet will suit my game.

As an earlier poster alluded to....If I gave you two racquets and asked you how they felt, you would hold them by the grip in front of you, swing them around, etc. When you do this you are testing the SW. If the static weight were the most important element, you would let the racquet hang straight down, or balance it on the end of the racquet in your palm. This would help you determine the actual weight. I don't see players doing this. I see them swinging the racquet.

heycal
03-02-2006, 03:01 PM
As an earlier poster alluded to....If I gave you two racquets and asked you how they felt, you would hold them by the grip in front of you, swing them around, etc. When you do this you are testing the SW. If the static weight were the most important element, you would let the racquet hang straight down, or balance it on the end of the racquet in your palm. This would help you determine the actual weight. I don't see players doing this. I see them swinging the racquet.

Yes, but surely we can both agree that swinging a racket a couple of times in a pro shop is not a reliable indicator of anything. Playing with them is. Again, why do we read all these posts about people saying they couldn't swing 12+ oz for two hours anymore and switched to a lighter static weight racket to stay competitive? You can criticize me for using "extreme" examples, but I do so to vividly illustrate the fallacy of being overly concerned with swingweight. Sometimes it's helpful if people are reminded that the O3 Pink has a higher swingweight than the PS 85 in order to realize that swingweight ain't as important as it's made out to be by some folks.

Keifers
03-02-2006, 03:29 PM
My preferred ranges are: static weight 340-355g, swingweight 315-325, and balance point 8-11 pts HL.

Midlife crisis
03-02-2006, 03:44 PM
KK, I said that "In a control oriented player's racquet, it's easier to find the sweet spot with a smaller head." I can see why this is being misunderstood - on rereading it, I see that I could have stated it more clearly and concisely. What I meant to say is, "it is easier to find the sweet spot with a control oriented player's racquet, period". So a smaller head will be more acceptable in a control oriented player's racquet, and indeed, that seems to be the way manufacturers build them. I am certainly not advocating that everybody use a control oriented player's racquet with a small head!

Since in any one shot, you can only hit the ball once legally, and with ANY racquet your chance to correct any mis-hits won't come until the next swing, how does a smaller head help you to "find" the sweetspot?

It seems that if you miss the sweetspot, your swing accuracy was not good and you need to make corrections on subsequent swings. What about a small racquet head facilitates making better swing corrections that a larger head does not?

Kaptain Karl
03-02-2006, 03:46 PM
... You can criticize me for using "extreme" examples, but I do so to vividly illustrate the fallacy of being overly concerned with swingweight.This is just the kind of exaggeration of other peoples' points I aluded to earlier. YOU seem to be the only poster "overly concerned with SW" to me. Everybody else is merely using SW as a handy first guide.

- KK

heycal
03-02-2006, 04:11 PM
This is just the kind of exaggeration of other peoples' points I aluded to earlier. YOU seem to be the only poster "overly concerned with SW" to me. Everybody else is merely using SW as a handy first guide.

- KK

If you use it as a "handy first guide" then you are placing too much emphasis on it in my opinion. I am merely objecting to it being the first spec considered and giving you reasons and examples why.

Funnily enough, I just realized that I apparently practice what I preach: As someone in the market to replace my Hammer 6.3 -- swingweight of 333! -- I play with the "racquet finder" frequently. I set the parameters for all my desired specs to the various levels I'm interested in and go down the list: head size range, weight range, balance, stiffness, length. The one spec I don't bother setting any parameters for at all? Swingweight...

So to me, there are five specs more important than swingweight. Does that make me a moron? Perhaps. Or is that swingweight will essentially take care of itself if all the other specs are to my liking?

God, I hope it's the latter!:p

ohplease
03-02-2006, 04:56 PM
If you use it as a "handy first guide" then you are placing too much emphasis on it in my opinion. I am merely objecting to it being the first spec considered and giving you reasons and examples why.

Funnily enough, I just realized that I apparently practice what I preach: As someone in the market to replace my Hammer 6.3 -- swingweight of 333! -- I play with the "racquet finder" frequently. I set the parameters for all my desired specs to the various levels I'm interested in and go down the list: head size range, weight range, balance, stiffness, length. The one spec I don't bother setting any parameters for at all? Swingweight...

So to me, there are five specs more important than swingweight. Does that make me a moron? Perhaps. Or is that swingweight will essentially take care of itself if all the other specs are to my liking?

God, I hope it's the latter!:p

It is exactly the latter.

The original question was "what's the most important spec?" In my mind, that means which spec has the least variation across all rackets. In that regard, it must, therefore, be length, as length really doesn't vary that much. People have tried variations on each spec, and if they've arrived at a near constant - that spec must be pretty darn important.

In contrast, you're interpreting "what's the most important spec?" as "what gives me the best first cut?" In which case, you want the exact reverse order of the list I posted earlier. Mass has the widest variation, so narrowing on that will lend a certain consistency to your resulting list as all specs have a more narrow variation than mass. You want to walk through that list in reverse order because racket finder is too stupid to otherwise help you out, so you next work on head size - your second most important spec. You can't see how the other spec ranges move in concert with the one you've fixated on, so you've got to define your own.

That's imprecision on your part, not ours. That's also the exact problem the relative racket finder takes care of for you.

tennisplayer
03-02-2006, 04:57 PM
Since in any one shot, you can only hit the ball once legally, and with ANY racquet your chance to correct any mis-hits won't come until the next swing, how does a smaller head help you to "find" the sweetspot?

It seems that if you miss the sweetspot, your swing accuracy was not good and you need to make corrections on subsequent swings. What about a small racquet head facilitates making better swing corrections that a larger head does not?

What I meant was that the inherently higher control in a player's racquet results in fewer misses - I did not mean to imply that one will always find the sweet spot. Also (as someone else pointed out in a different thread, and as you seem to suggest) such a racquet may provide more feedback when one misses the sweet spot, so the user of the racquet can adapt quicker.

heycal
03-02-2006, 06:11 PM
In contrast, you're interpreting "what's the most important spec?" as "what gives me the best first cut?" In which case, you want the exact reverse order of the list I posted earlier. Mass has the widest variation, so narrowing on that will lend a certain consistency to your resulting list as all specs have a more narrow variation than mass. You want to walk through that list in reverse order because racket finder is too stupid to otherwise help you out, so you next work on head size - your second most important spec.

Precisely. This is why I asked in an earlier post if you didn't have the order backwards... We're basically saying the same thing but in a different way, which is that mass and then headsize are the most "important" stats. Glad to see that your fancy gizmo supports plain old common sense, even if I do personally get lost when you start all this high falutin talk like "standard deviation from the mean of plus or minus one" jazz...

Midlife crisis
03-02-2006, 11:26 PM
What I meant was that the inherently higher control in a player's racquet results in fewer misses - I did not mean to imply that one will always find the sweet spot. Also (as someone else pointed out in a different thread, and as you seem to suggest) such a racquet may provide more feedback when one misses the sweet spot, so the user of the racquet can adapt quicker.

That's a lot different than what you said initially, which was What I meant to say is, "it is easier to find the sweet spot with a control oriented player's racquet, period". The original statement I still don't understand, what you just said I agree with.