View Full Version : Racquet stiffness confusion

06-29-2004, 06:58 PM

I'm a bit confused by the racquet stiffness ratings. Both the Wilson Tour 90 and Volkl Tour 9 have a stiffness of 68, but I found the Volkl considerably stiffer than the Tour 90. Both racquets are strung at 60lbs, the only difference being the Wilson has natural gut.

The Dunlop 300g has a rating of 64 and I found the Volkl Tour 9 even stiffer than that, almost board-like.

Is it just me, or are the stiffness ratings a bit misleading?


06-29-2004, 07:27 PM
if you are talking about the v-engine9 from volkl i agree that it plays stiffer than the stiffness rating indicates, possiby because of the stabilizer bar. stiffness ratings can be misleading. they're a decent guideline, but any decent player is gonna want to base their opinions on actually playing w. the frames rather than going by the specs IMO. ed

06-30-2004, 12:47 AM
It's just a lack of proper measuring technology. Ie. turning response to a single number, where we have complex responses dependable on force, speed etc.

06-30-2004, 01:37 AM
I think racquet flex is measured roughly around the bridge-throat intersection. AFAIK there is no other commercially viable way for measuring racquet stiffness. The stiffness felt during actual play is in part influenced by the flex in the head, string/tension used and any racquet handle dampening systems, not just the throat flex. Also note that the load applied to the racquet by the RDC machine is very different from the load applied when striking a ball. When striking the ball the load is applied very quickly and has a very short duration. Materials often flex differently depending on how a load is applied.

06-30-2004, 03:45 AM
I think Racket stiffness rating are not taking into consideration the string or tension of the racket. I tried a Prince Diablo MP strung at 56 pounds poly, and it was way to stiff. It felt like an aluminum baseball bat. Stiffness rating of 62, which I thought, meant flexible.
I switched to a Wilson Surge 5.1 stiffness rating 68 with Poly strung at 53 and swear the racket is less stiff and much easier on the arm and shoulder.
I also tried the LM Prestige, which felt like a board. It was strung at 58 pounds and has an 18 x 20-string pattern, which I think contributes to stiffness.
The open string pattern provides more flex at the string level. Dense patterns do not. Therefore, to me the flex rating is not an accurate measure of how a racket will play. It is like the argument of Head light verses Head heavy. A head light racket shifts more of the weight back to the handle, which puts more stress on the wrist and shoulder. Head heavy moves the weight to the contact point, which maximizes power and reduces stress on your arm and shoulder.
On TV the pro’s have a ton of lead tape on the head, which helps in stability and power. I have tried all combinations, and for me the 4 point head light is the best. Anything more than 4 suffer from power loss and sore wrist / shoulder.

06-30-2004, 12:34 PM
huh??? The studies that I've seen say that head light racquets are better for you wrist, shoulder, and elbow.

As for the pros, what you don't see, is that they probably have a ton of lead tape in the handle, too.

Steve Huff
06-30-2004, 02:14 PM
You said the Wilson had natural gut. What did the Volkl have in it? I think the one with gut would naturally feel more comfortable (softer).

06-30-2004, 05:13 PM
The Volkl has some cheap Fischer string as it's the first time I've had it strung it. It's called Fischer Attack - not sure what gauge, but it's at 60lbs.