View Full Version : Stiffnesses effect on racquets?

04-14-2006, 05:26 PM
Right now, I am toying with the idea of changing racquets from my Diablo Tour 93 to a steel racquet I got for cheap at a used sports equipment store. Now, I like my Diablo, but I had been contemplating using the steel racquet (Bancroft "Aries," I have been led to believe.. there is no info on the web about it) for quite some time. I was deterred when I discovered that my serve and the Bancroft's flexibility didn't mix, but that has since changed. However, I don't really need advice about this... unless someone has some RDC stats regarding the Aries, because I'd love to know that.

My real question was brought about by all this: What effect does stiffness have? I have always heard stiffer racquets are more powerful, but does a flexible racquet have a distinct advantage as well? I know that they are in theory at least more arm friendly, but is there a PLAYING advantage?

04-14-2006, 05:28 PM
Are you serious about using a steel racquet in high school tennis?

04-14-2006, 05:31 PM
Psh. I dunno. It would be fun. I just wanted to introduce the question fully. Besides that, I am a low-ranked doubles player. At this point, I really haven't got much to lose so if I can make it work for my strokes, I can make it work for the games.

04-14-2006, 05:35 PM
Stiffer racquets are less arm friendly, more powerful. More flexible ones are less powerful (if you are talking about depth wise could be more control) and more arm friendly.

But the stifness of racquets is more significant to the feel of the racquet to me. I like racquets ranging in the mid 60s. Too much higher feels too harsh, too much lower feels too flimsly. Feel doesn't really provide any "playing" advantage, but it's always a desirable trait in a racquet.

What benefits are you hoping to gain from a flexible or a stiff racquet? If you want to take your results to the extreme, try a wood racquet or the white Ncode 125 sq inch.

04-14-2006, 05:37 PM
Actually, I did try a wood racquet, though I did not try it for long; after about half an hour practicing my serve (actually, I really rather liked it; the grip allowed me to take a more severe grip than I usually can, and that managed somehow to add some small amount of pace to the ball... I don't really understand it too well myself) I heard a crack that worried me and did not wish to continue with it for fear I'd break it.

04-20-2006, 12:55 AM
There's a lot of misinformation going around, so this should clear things up.

The main benefit of a flexible racquet is more spin. Specifically, the flex in the throat is what is important.

It' s a commonly circulated myth that pros use thin-beam racquets because they have less power. This is not true - it's because of the spin potential. The added spin allows them to hit harder and higher over the net while still keeping the ball in play. And a flexible racquet can still be spin-freindly even when the racquet is very heavy.

Due to this added spin potential, flexible racquets are usually classified as control racquets. However, if you are hitting a flat shot, such as a volley, or blocked return, a stiff racquet actually gives more directional control because the frame doesn't deflect as much. Keep in mind that if you use a stiff racquet, you need to string it tighter to take away power to get the same depth control.

So basically, for the 3 different aspects of control:
1) spin potential. - (flexible = better)
2) directional accuracy. - (stiffer = better)
3) depth control. - (less power = better, so adjust tension based on stiffness)

04-20-2006, 06:48 AM
There's a lot of misinformation going around...

Understatement of the day!

You just won a TW $50 credit. Please feel free to use it whenever you want. Just keep in mind that, when using it on items, which have a discount, the price before the discount will be applied*

*Psss... for you, everything has a $50 discount.