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View Full Version : heavier racquet = slower ball?


grizzly4life
09-11-2006, 06:31 AM
i added lead tape to my 12oz prince NXG OS and have been fairly happy with the results... not sure how much it weighs, but build up the grip some and and added at least a foot and a half (maybe two feet) of lead tape at 10 and 2 on the head.... i'm thinking at least another ounce, probably less than 2 ounces added, and taken the 12 points head-light maybe down to 8 points (just a guess though)

2 guys i've played with recently remarked they don't think i'm hitting the ball as hard as i did with my wilson HPS 6.1. and i'd added some extra weight to it too, although it's set-up seemed more HL and whippy.

anyhow, somehow i thought heavier racquet would mean faster ball, although i've seen the threads in here and elsewhere saying adding that extra weight often doesn't make up for the slower racquet speed.

is that other people's experience. when you added alot of weight, did your shots slow down?......... even if answer is yes, not certain it's a bad thing. racquet seems more stable. and as a big guy, i can handle the extra mass for quite awhile (not sure about 3 set match though)

Ripper
09-11-2006, 06:53 AM
The way I see it, you can't make a rule saying "the heavier the raquet, the faster/slower the ball" or vice versa. I think everyone has an optimum raquet balance and weight range. If you go out of the range, higher or lower, the ball speed will decrease. Furthermore, as you pointed out yourself, sometimes, you might want to sacrifice a little ball speed in favor of stability. At the end, it's about what will win you more matches. Oh and a lot of this has do with the player on the other side of the net. Depending on how your opponent hits, you might want to go down or up, within the previously mentioned range, preferably. Personally, I've settled on 12 to 12.5 ounces and 1 to 5 points HL.

harryz
09-11-2006, 07:13 AM
is not the same thing as a heavy ball. Think of being in a car accident with two vehicles. You're in a mid-size car, perhaps. The first accident is with a small car, like a VW Bug, hitting yours at 40mph. Now think of a big truck doing the same. The impact and damage is totally different on the receiving end even though the speed of the vehicle is the same. It's not the speed that matters but the mass and weight of impact. In this sense, as I understand it (and I may be wrong) a "heavy" ball doesn't necessarily move faster but has more action. When it hits the ground, it takes off and has both speed and (seemingly) more weight. I don't understand how, since a ball weighs what it weighs and the lead on the racquet or extra mass doesn't mean that you're adding mass to the ball. However, I've been on the receiving end of heavy hit balls and have felt the difference. So have my opponents. Maybe there's a physical explanation. I'd love to know...

NoBadMojo
09-11-2006, 07:15 AM
A heavy ball is the result of hitting the ball with great racquethead speed and high spin rate whilst using a heavy racquet. Not very many can do this.

joe sch
09-11-2006, 07:31 AM
I idea is to gradually add weight so you dont significantly loose any racket head speed and your strokes have more force (f=m*a). The racket head speed is your accelleration and the mass is your racket weight plus your constructive body weight applied to the hit. Very few players hit well on the run, ie apply all the moving weight constructively into the stroke. I would suggest adding 1/4..1/2g lead increments. These are some of the important issue to consider for hitting a "heavy ball"

MasterTS
09-11-2006, 07:35 AM
You've simply added too much weight and now you can barely swing the racquet... Sorry but a classic newb mistake.. I know several 3.0 and 3.5 players that lead up their stick to 13+oz.. and all this is doing is slowing down their game.

The only benefit to adding weight is if you are able to swing as fast as you can without the weight. If the weight slows down your swing, then you've regressed!

Ripper
09-11-2006, 07:43 AM
If the weight slows down your swing, then you've regressed!

Hummm, I have a question for you. Would Roddick, fe, have a faster swing with a lighter raquet? I'd say, yes. BUT his ball speed would go down. Imo, further to what I said in my previous post, a heavier ball is NOT only about head speed. A heavy ball has two things; lots of speed and lots of spin. You can't get that with only head speed. You need an optimum amount of mass. Having said that, I agree too much will be harmful.

Edit: grizzly4life, there have been a lot of debates here about this. Search for them and read all (ok, some) of the different opinions.

grizzly4life
09-11-2006, 07:44 AM
You've simply added too much weight and now you can barely swing the racquet... Sorry but a classic newb mistake..

my 2HB and my serve are much better. it's more the forehand i was thinking of (maybe didn't make that clear at all)

and the guy thought there were fewer errors too.

MasterTS
09-11-2006, 07:48 AM
Hummm, I have a question for you. Would Roddick, fe, have a faster swing with a lighter raquet? I'd say, yes. Imo, a heavier ball is NOT only about head speed.

Roddick will swing a lighter racquet no faster than his current racquet. They are pros and already swing at amazingly high racquet head speeds. I seriously double that if you give roddick a 3 oz racquet he'll swing it 3x as fast or whatever you're thinking. The rate you can swing a racquet is based on your arm speed, and I think roddick will have the same swing speed up to a certain point..

grizzly4life
09-11-2006, 07:49 AM
Hummm, I have a question for you. Would Roddick, fe, have a faster swing with a lighter raquet? I'd say, yes. Imo, a heavier ball is NOT only about head speed.

i was thinking the same thing... i think the guys with the fastest serves and forehands (see my pro player thread) play with lighter racquets..... and i don't think sampras was maximizing his serve or forehand "ball speed". pretty obvious that alot of guys had much higher MPH on their forehand (serve, not sure)

and scientifically, i don't know how your racquet speed doesn't slow down with a heavier racquet. i think you need some not-so-obvious (but perhaps plausible) explanation.

i might add (and didn't have it in my original thread) that i think this has improved my game in alot of areas... just comments by these hitting partners that the ball isn't as fast. FYI, i liked my serve and my forehand with HPS 6.1 very head-light (fairly heavy too) but my 2HB and return of serve (in general) were poor

JordanR
09-11-2006, 07:49 AM
I hit with a friends ~12.5oz nCode something or another (one of those that look like Fed's racquet) from my 8.5oz racquet, and the difference was immediate, a lot more pace. I started with such a light racquet because I just started playing and it felt most comfortable, but with a heavier racquet you definitely should get more pace. Obviously that is assuming you move up correctly and not overdo it like these guys said.

MasterTS
09-11-2006, 07:49 AM
and the guy thought there were fewer errors too.

Maybe fewer errors because your swing was slower so you didnt risk hitting an off center ball.. who really knows.

grizzly4life
09-11-2006, 07:52 AM
Roddick will swing a lighter racquet no faster than his current racquet. They are pros and already swing at amazingly high racquet head speeds. I seriously double that if you give roddick a 3 oz racquet he'll swing it 3x as fast or whatever you're thinking. The rate you can swing a racquet is based on your arm speed, and I think roddick will have the same swing speed up to a certain point..

agree to a point, but racquet weights are all over the map and i doubt it correlates that highly with strength... and you'd think roddick would be one of the strongest guys on tour. hence, you'd think heavier racquet.