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Kabob190
03-26-2006, 09:57 AM
What are the pros and cons of a heavy or light racket? I see a lot of people add lead tape to their rackets, what does this do? I use a Head Liquidmetal Fire wich is 10.5oz. Thanks in advance.

Midlife crisis
03-26-2006, 01:34 PM
A real basic summary is that a heavier racquet will be affected less when hitting the ball, so that there will in most instances be less shock to the arm. Also, a heavier racquet will increase ball speed even if the racquet head speed is the same.

Lead tape is used to both increase the weight of the racquet and to change the balance of the racquet. Changing the balance can customize a racquet to suit an individual player's style - for instance a baseline player usually wants more weight in the head of the racquet than a serve and volleyer.

vin
03-26-2006, 01:51 PM
Everyone ready for another 15 page battle? :mrgreen:

Heavy rackets tend to feel nicer and more solid, but they are harder to swing. They are usually flexible meaning that they are low powered. But if you can swing fast enough, you may get more power out of a heavy and flexible racket than a light and stiff racket.

Some people will say that using a heavy racket will improve your game, but I think it makes more sense to use the heaviest racket that you can consistently do well with, which may not be that heavy, and reevaluate racket weight as you improve.

To simplify things for yourself, if you wish to, you can pay most attention to swingweight which uses racket mass and it's distribution to give you an idea of how hard or easy it is to swing.

And before anyone makes you think your racket is a poor choice, one of the best 4.5 players in my area as well as the best junior in the area both use the same racket as you. They both have nice modern strokes.

NoBadMojo
03-26-2006, 02:04 PM
In addition, the other reasons why people add lead are for stability. They put it at 3 and 9 o'clock thinking that will make their racquets more stable when typically the problem they are really having is with hitting the sweetspot as most every racquet is stable if someone can find the sweetspot. It often just makes their frames too hard for them to swing instead
Another reason they add lead is because the pros often have lead on their frames.
Some of the better racquet designs have layups which are tweaked very well for max performence in stock form.

Kabob190
03-30-2006, 07:07 PM
Since the general rule of thumb is to use the heaviest racquet that you can comfortably swing i think i am going to add some weight to my racquet. Since adding weight to the head helps the baseline game, adding it to the handle helps volleying? Thats a part of my game i wanna improve so how would i go about adding weight there? How much will it cost?

travlerajm
03-30-2006, 08:20 PM
Well, If you have a 2hb, i"d suggest layering 6-inch strips under the handle. Try adding 4 six-inch strips at a time (2 on top edge and 2 on bottom edge). This will add about 1/2 per layer. The effect will be to make your volleys more stable without affecting your groundies that much. Each layer will flatten out your groundies and serve a little (more solid feeling, and more penetration, but the tradeoff is less spin). Keep adding layers as long as you still feel confident.

The optimum weight will depend on your game. If you like to volley a lot, or play lots of doubles, you'll find the optimum will be in the neighborhood of 12 ounces. If you like to rely on spin a lot, you might go lighter, maybe 11 to 11.5 oz.

If you have a 1hb, you can add the layers as 3-inch strips starting at the butt. This has the advantage that it won't flatten out your groundies and serve. But if you have a 2hb, I'd say you're better off using 6-inch strips, because having all of the lead behind the 2hb pivot point will take a lot of power away from your 2-hander and make it spinnier and less penetrating.

vinnier6
03-30-2006, 08:25 PM
bottom line, if you want to hit a "heavy ball" you will need a heavy racquet...

Kabob190
03-30-2006, 08:49 PM
I do have a 2HB. Also i do put an excessive amount of spind on my forehand, so taking a little bit down wont hurt. I have never added weight to a racquet before so i dont really now where to get these strips, how to apply them, or how much they cost? Thanks

Steve Huff
03-30-2006, 08:56 PM
Ed, I think you're overgeneralizing this time. I put lead on mine at 2 and 10 to get some stability in the upper hoop. A lot of the people I string for have lead tape on their rackets because I put it there. Usually, it's to match and balance 2 or more frames that a person has because, as you know, they often aren't that close from the factory. As for using it because some pro does, the only pro I've ever seen a lot of lead on was Sampras'. And believe me, my game (nor racket set-up) is modelled after Pete's. But, I agree with you that some people probably do add tape for the reason you mentioned, not realizing that a racket that's too heavy can really mess up your strokes.

travlerajm
03-30-2006, 09:04 PM
It usually comes in 36-inch long by 1/2 inch wide strips that weigh 0.5 g per inch. Babolat lead tape is an exception (it's twice as thick, and so it's twice as heavy per inch). You can get it at most tennis shops for about $4 per 36-inch strip. So if you want to add 3 layers, with 24 inches per layer, you'd need 72 inches, or 2 packs of tape. This amount would add a little less than 1.5 ounces to your stick. You'll definitely see a noticeable improvement on your volleys immediately, because the extra weight will make it so the racquet moves much less when the ball hits it. This will make it so you won't feel like you have to swing at your volleys, and suddenly your control and confidence at net will improve dramatically!

One caveat: in addition to flattening out your groundies and serve a bit, the added weight will also add a considerable amount of power. If it seems like you have too much power opn groundies, you might want to increase your tension a little to compensate and maintain depth control.

billyboybeacon
03-30-2006, 10:08 PM
anytime I add lead to the head it kills my shoulder...I like to play stock ..the idea to add weight to match the rackets makes good sense thou thanx

NoBadMojo
03-31-2006, 01:34 PM
Ed, I think you're overgeneralizing this time. I put lead on mine at 2 and 10 to get some stability in the upper hoop. A lot of the people I string for have lead tape on their rackets because I put it there. Usually, it's to match and balance 2 or more frames that a person has because, as you know, they often aren't that close from the factory. As for using it because some pro does, the only pro I've ever seen a lot of lead on was Sampras'. And believe me, my game (nor racket set-up) is modelled after Pete's. But, I agree with you that some people probably do add tape for the reason you mentioned, not realizing that a racket that's too heavy can really mess up your strokes.

Hi Steve...i didnt imply that my list was all inclusive i dont think..i was merely offering up a couple things in addition to..obviously people try and match their frames by the use of lead. I would disagree that all frames arent close from the factory. Volkl has really tight tolerances as does Fischer. it's rare I get one that doesnt feel like the others and i am very sensitive to balance and swinweight. Lots of pros use lead Steve..it's often hidden beneath the bumper guards and handles of these racquets..many of the pros send ther frames off to Bosworth to work his magic on them...even more so than RPNY or whatever that place is called.
I think lead tape <for many> just throws another unecessary variable into the equation and another reason to second guess, and that most people would be better served to learn beter stroke production than to think adding a little lead is goin to somehow transform their game.
Have you found that even by getting the balance and static weight to match by using lead, that often the racquet doesnt swing or play quite like the target frame anyway?

Pixie
03-31-2006, 01:57 PM
i can tel you from my experience, I'm not a big guy, and i need a "heavy" racquet to handle heavy pace/spin.
A racquet that is too light will need a really big effort to work against hard hitters, with a heavier stick, you can rely on its own weight to do the job and swing with confidence that the ball wont just twist your wrist.
Just make shure that you can swing fast enough in ALL your shots (decent racquethead speed) and that you can crush ANY ball that your oponent throws at you instead of having the ball crushing you, and you'll go down the right path.

Take care of you and your game, your attitude is far more important than your stick!

Bora
03-31-2006, 02:31 PM
Or we could just repost this link and get it over with http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/Customizing/customize.html