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View Full Version : Matching racquet to player - Non technical


NoBadMojo
03-01-2006, 04:14 PM
In light of all the techno speak being parsed here at the TW board surrounding racquet selection, I would like to offer up a more simple way to choose an appropriate racquet. I dont think tennis is played in the lab, and I dont think ACOR, COP, data from hitting short lengths of strings with hammers, etc is what most people need to make a good selection.

Here is a simple way to choose a frame:

-Determine your swingweight range. This would be the heaviest swingweighted frame you can swing as fast as you need to when playing for as long as you usually play when you are playing someone at least as good as you. You can use other frames you have hit as a reference point. Better to err slightly to the light side as it is far easier to add a little weight to a frame, but sometimes almost impossible to take it away

-Determine what the minmum headsize is in which you can reliably hit the sweetspot when you are playing someone at least as good as you. if you can't reliably flush hit a 95 headsize, dont buy one.

These are really the only two elements you absolutely need. To further refine and limit your choices, determine what balance point you like best. I dont recommend head heavy frames as a rule. If you dont really know, base it upon playing style.
-If a baseliner choose a frame with a balance of even - 5 pts headlight
-If an all courter choose a frame with a balance of 5-10 pts headlight

For length, I usually recommend standard, or 1/4" longer is fine. If you do the above, the stiffness usually takes care of it self, along with the other stuff

Plug this data into the TWracquet finder and it should produce some good options. I suggest going with current models only. With your list, you can then check playtester reviews and feedback from the forum to help reduce your choices as needed. From the viable options select 3-4 frames and order demos. From these demos, you should like 1 or 2 of them..pick one and call it a day.

I realize there are other elements that could be involved, but this is all people really need to do. So you may end up with a swingweight range of say 300-310 and headsize of 98-105 as you dont need oversized..you are a baseliner so choose that balance......<end>

heycal
03-01-2006, 06:37 PM
love the idea of a simple and non-technical way to choose a racket, so I appreciate you trying to come up with one and think most of your guidelines seem sound. But again, the swingweight issue is problematic in my opinion...

To wit: I currently use a Hammer 6.3 with a swingweight of 333. I have no problem swinging this racket for a couple of hours against better players. So using your guidelines for choosing a new racket, one of the sticks I came up with is the Pro kennex Heritage Edition Type C 98, which has the the same swingweight as the Hammer. Since swingweight is king in your book, should we assume that neither my game nor my body will be affected by switching from a 9.8 oz racket to a 12.3 oz one for either better or worse as long as I can reliably hit the sweetspot? That the dramatic increase in static weight is essentially a non-factor since the swingweight is the same?

I think it's time we restore static weight to it's rightful place on the throne of what's the most important "weight".

NoBadMojo
03-01-2006, 07:16 PM
i answered this in the other thread in which you saw that i answered

Bolt
03-02-2006, 06:33 AM
In light of all the techno speak being parsed here at the TW board surrounding racquet selection, I would like to offer up a more simple way to choose an appropriate racquet. I dont think tennis is played in the lab, and I dont think ACOR, COP, data from hitting short lengths of strings with hammers, etc is what most people need to make a good selection.

Isn't swingweight measured in "the lab?"

oldguysrule
03-02-2006, 06:49 AM
Very sound, common sense approach to choosing a racquet. This will work for 95% of tennis players today. The other 5% will either a) be extremely technical and analytical in all of their decisions and want to apply that to the choice of a racquet resulting in mind-numbing options and variables that will work only for them, or 2) be happy with the generic racquet they bought at Target.

As to the static weight question....I am not sure how NBMJ answered it, but essentially the really light racquets are ruled out because he is not recommending anything that is head heavy. Which is a good rule of thumb for anyone playing more than once a month.

Interesting to note that these recommendations will only exlude light, HH racquets....

oldguysrule
03-02-2006, 06:55 AM
Isn't swingweight measured in "the lab?"

I should add to that list...c) be someone who finds something wrong with everything.

Kevo
03-02-2006, 08:35 AM
I think that if you add a similar common sense recommendation on static weight like you hove on swing weight then it would be just a perfect. Jumping from a low to a high static weight can produce problems and should probably be avoided.

NoBadMojo
03-02-2006, 09:23 AM
I think that if you add a similar common sense recommendation on static weight like you hove on swing weight then it would be just a perfect. Jumping from a low to a high static weight can produce problems and should probably be avoided.

Kevo you are welcome to write something that may fit into my guidelines using static weight if you think it will improve things for people, or certainly create your own guidelines.
From my viewpoint, static weight is already considered in the swingweight, and I am suggesting people avoid head Heavy frames so you're not going to get any huge swings in static weight anyway.
Over the years, I've come to learn that people notice swingweight and balance whilst playing before they notice static weight....that kind makes sense even based upon the terms 'STATICweight' and 'SWINGweight'. That's why when people pick up a new frame, they tend to not just hold it stationary <static> they tend to swing it around or at least jostle it around a bit to get a feel for how heavy it really feels when you SWING it

cruzersi99
03-02-2006, 09:31 AM
Kevo you are welcome to write something that may fit into my guidelines using static weight if you think it will improve things for people, or certainly create your own guidelines.
From my viewpoint, static weight is already considered in the swingweight, and I am suggesting people avoid head Heavy frames so you're not going to get any huge swings in static weight anyway.
Over the years, I've come to learn that people notice swingweight and balance whilst playing before they notice static weight....that kind makes sense even based upon the terms 'STATICweight' and 'SWINGweight'. That's why when people pick up a new frame, they tend to not just hold it stationary <static> they tend to swing it around or at least jostle it around a bit to get a feel for how heavy it really feels when you SWING it

i tend to agree. Static weight is deceiving also because of balance points. Often times many players, even up to the 4.0 level struggle to identify the heavier of two frames when just holding at the handle.

Bora
03-02-2006, 09:39 AM
And then there are those players with big swings and previous injuries who can't play with anything remotely stiff :)

I like the idea of trying to simplify the selection process. I think the racquet mfgs make this whole thing way too complicated by introducing so many sticks with similar characteritics.

Also, there are always the exceptions. I love a large sweetspot and don't mind a racquet with 107 head but I am quite fond of my RDX500 Mid and can't really get myself to like the RDX500MP. Go figure!

heycal
03-02-2006, 09:43 AM
i tend to agree. Static weight is deceiving also because of balance points. Often times many players, even up to the 4.0 level struggle to identify the heavier of two frames when just holding at the handle.

But swingweight is more "deceiving", in that rackets with the same swingweight are going to feel very different when you go out and actually play with them for a couple of hours. Look at my own racket, the 9.8 oz. Hammer, vs. the PK Heritage Type C 98 at 12.3 oz. Or, as I cited in another thread, the O3 Pink vs. the POG. If you focus on the swingweight, you are going to think those two racket feel about the same. But do you really think they do?

cruzersi99
03-02-2006, 10:05 AM
But swingweight is more "deceiving", in that rackets with the same swingweight are going to feel very different when you go out and actually play with them for a couple of hours. Look at my own racket, the 9.8 oz. Hammer, vs. the PK Heritage Type C 98 at 12.3 oz. Or, as I cited in another thread, the O3 Pink vs. the POG. If you focus on the swingweight, you are going to think those two racket feel about the same. But do you really think they do?

Of course not, but that's why static weight, and swing weight are not the only factors. You have stiffness, string pattern, "technology", and again balance points.


I think people really do get too caught up in racquet choice. Hell, I almost did these past few months. In an effort to find something more comfortable on my arm, I have demo'd 10-15 frames. Mostly players frames, but some tweeners.

In that time, I've tried to hit 4 times a week, and play as many sets as possible. Granted some frames served better, some vollied better, etc. But at the end of the day I've lost one set out of ~30, and it wasn't the racquet that caused it. I ended up going with a frame that doesn't do anything really special. I don't hit with nearly the same pace, but it's solid and comfortable. As a result, I'm less worried about my arm, and I'm confident when I swing it.

I think that most people on these boards care more about what they are carrying then about their game. I think most people on these boards think they are better then they are. I think that for the most part, people will like what they want to like and I'm okay with that. In fact, I think that as long as you are swinging something you like, you will probably play better, that being said those who are truly advancing in there game will begin to migrate to frames that truley suit them.

oldguysrule
03-02-2006, 10:20 AM
But swingweight is more "deceiving", in that rackets with the same swingweight are going to feel very different when you go out and actually play with them for a couple of hours. Look at my own racket, the 9.8 oz. Hammer, vs. the PK Heritage Type C 98 at 12.3 oz. Or, as I cited in another thread, the O3 Pink vs. the POG. If you focus on the swingweight, you are going to think those two racket feel about the same. But do you really think they do?

Nobody thinks they feel the same. Nobody is saying they feel the same. Everybody is saying they feel totally different. You are arguing with yourself on this. What people are saying is that when you are playing tennis, you are swinging the racquet. Therefore, swingweight is a better, more accurate starting point for racquet selection. The only way to make a light racquet have the same SW as a heavy racquet is to make it more head heavy. And the vast majority of tennis players do not want a HH racquet.

Using your logic, I could say that static weight is "deceiving" because two racquets with the same weight would feel very different if one had a SW of 280 and the other had a SW of 330.

I don't actually think one or the other is deceiving unless you know nothing about the balance point. As OhPlease said, you can't just look at one spec in isolation.

heycal
03-02-2006, 02:30 PM
Therefore, swingweight is a better, more accurate starting point for racquet selection.

No, it is not. What part of two wildly disparate rackets like the O3 Pink and the POG having a similar swingweight are you not understanding? What part of plugging 12 oz static weight into the racket finder and having it spit out several similar frames are you not understanding?

If the vast majority of tennis players don't want HH rackets, then the last thing they should do is use swingweight as a starting point.

Rath
03-02-2006, 03:26 PM
In light of all the techno speak being parsed here at the TW board surrounding racquet selection, I would like to offer up a more simple way to choose an appropriate racquet. I dont think tennis is played in the lab, and I dont think ACOR, COP, data from hitting short lengths of strings with hammers, etc is what most people need to make a good selection.

Here is a simple way to choose a frame:

-Determine your swingweight range. This would be the heaviest swingweighted frame you can swing as fast as you need to when playing for as long as you usually play when you are playing someone at least as good as you. You can use other frames you have hit as a reference point. Better to err slightly to the light side as it is far easier to add a little weight to a frame, but sometimes almost impossible to take it away

-Determine what the minmum headsize is in which you can reliably hit the sweetspot when you are playing someone at least as good as you. if you can't reliably flush hit a 95 headsize, dont buy one.

These are really the only two elements you absolutely need. To further refine and limit your choices, determine what balance point you like best. I dont recommend head heavy frames as a rule. If you dont really know, base it upon playing style.
-If a baseliner choose a frame with a balance of even - 5 pts headlight
-If an all courter choose a frame with a balance of 5-10 pts headlight

For length, I usually recommend standard, or 1/4" longer is fine. If you do the above, the stiffness usually takes care of it self, along with the other stuff

Plug this data into the TWracquet finder and it should produce some good options. I suggest going with current models only. With your list, you can then check playtester reviews and feedback from the forum to help reduce your choices as needed. From the viable options select 3-4 frames and order demos. From these demos, you should like 1 or 2 of them..pick one and call it a day.

I realize there are other elements that could be involved, but this is all people really need to do. So you may end up with a swingweight range of say 300-310 and headsize of 98-105 as you dont need oversized..you are a baseliner so choose that balance......<end>

This really is the best advice on racquet recommendation I have seen so far. Very simplified but scientific at the same time.
By combining swing weight and a head light balance, the weight is taken into account automatically.
The only thing that is not apparent is the flex.

NoBadMojo
03-02-2006, 04:49 PM
This really is the best advice on racquet recommendation I have seen so far. Very simplified but scientific at the same time.
By combining swing weight and a head light balance, the weight is taken into account automatically.
The only thing that is not apparent is the flex.

thank-you Rath. If you stick swingweight and headsize into the TW racquet finder along with a preferred balance range if you have one, the flex, beam width, static weight, and other stuff mostly takes care of itself other than for some anomolies, Lighter frames are most usually going to be stiffer ones and have wider beams. Of course if someone picks a lightweight frame they should research and find which are most healthy to use.

Rath
03-02-2006, 08:06 PM
thank-you Rath. If you stick swingweight and headsize into the TW racquet finder along with a preferred balance range if you have one, the flex, beam width, static weight, and other stuff mostly takes care of itself other than for some anomolies, Lighter frames are most usually going to be stiffer ones and have wider beams. Of course if someone picks a lightweight frame they should research and find which are most healthy to use.

Right on... So, for example, you could have a light weight frame with a low swingweight and head light balance. But the racquet mfr has to increase the power level by increasing the stiffness (means more shock) or increasing head size (means less control). I guess one has to find a happy medium there.

Or if you desire high swingweight and head light balance, the weight has to be increased to get the high swingweight. Now because of increased weight you have more mass for collision. This means you could have a less stiff frame.

Hence, it looks like the pick up weight is not really used in the racquet design as a primary variable. It is more or less a derived quantity based on swingweight, balance, head size, flex etc.

NoBadMojo: After working out the different combos based on your selection criteria, everything makes sense to me. It seems like, you have actually laid out the fundamentals of racquet design. Let me say it again: Excellent Post!!!

rj_md
03-02-2006, 08:19 PM
ey, thanks for the tip. i'll keep those in mind.:)

AndrewD
03-03-2006, 02:39 AM
Excellent thread Ed and excellent suggestion.

As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating so, I punched the numbers into the TW racquet finder (balance, swingweight and headsize only) and got a cluster of 20 racquets. Of those 20 I've previously tested 12, discounted a couple due to flex and been unable to test 5 of them. Included in the 20 were the racquets I've tried and enjoyed enough to consider using (Prince Diablo MP, 03 Tour and TT Warrior MP) one that I did play (Volkl t10 mp Gen2) and the one I currently use (Volkl t10 mp VE).

That I came up with those 5 (not to mention the others) is a pretty fair indication, to me, that you've hit on a very simple but effective system of racquet selection.

I'll mention that the reason why I think flex should be omitted from the original search is that (1) racquets flex in different ways, despite their rating and (2) it allows you to make a more subtle judgement based on 'feel' rather than a rating. Eg. the Head LM Radical MP fits my specs but I found it overly harsh, the APD standard fits my specs but was too harsh, the TT Warrior MP is rated the same stiffness as the APD but I found it considerably more comfortable. If I'd put in my ideal flex level I'd have missed the Warrior which fits the bill on all counts bar flex. If Id tried one of the ProKennex frames I might have found something similar (stiff but very comfortable). Omitting flex allowed me to concentrate on feel and place a bit more trust in my ability to discern comfort levels (for me).