advantage of smaller beam racquets?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by lgbalfa, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. lgbalfa

    lgbalfa Professional

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,140
    Location:
    new york, ny
    i was just wondering, is there an advantage of the smaller beam frames (18mm - 19mm)?

    thanks
     
    #1
  2. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Messages:
    992
    in general, slimmer beams are more flexible and make for more control-oriented rackets. also, slimmer beams are usually faster through the air so they are easier to whip or swing because of less air resistance.

    however, a lot of the thicker beams are aerodynamically designed so they also provide the advantage of having less air resistance while retaining the stiffness associated with more powerful rackets.
     
    #2
  3. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,027
    More flexible, probably debatable, more control, definitely.
     
    #3
  4. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Messages:
    992
    i was just saying in general. but yes, not always. however, i have heard people say that two beams of different widths but the same stiffness ratings will play differently with the thinner beam still feeling more flexible. would you say the same?
     
    #4
  5. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,145
    You can get more in your bag. Try stuffing 16 Wilson Profiles or Prince Thundersticks in a flight bag and you will see what I mean.
     
    #5
  6. ThomasTerrible

    ThomasTerrible Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Sweden
    If you're concerned about looks, I think a thin beam racket looks much better than for example mine...
     
    #6
  7. man-walking

    man-walking Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Italia
    Thinner beam:
    - more flex
    - more dynamic behavior/response:
    - higher (predictable) depth and spin control
    - more balanced workload between racquet body and strings upon impact
    - more, easier spin
    - less ball speed in compact and medium strokes
    - higher feel on hard swings, lower on slow ones
    - less forgiveness in compact strokes (ex. volleys)

    Thicker beam:
    - less flex
    - less dynamic response
    - lower depth and spin control
    - more workload to the string and hand/handle, less to the racquet body work
    - less spin
    - more ball (strait) speed
    - lower feel on hard swings, higher on compact ones
    - higher forgiveness in compact strokes
     
    #7
  8. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    Out of the comfort zone
    man-walking summed it up impeccably (nice Mandlebrot BTW!). For me, though, the most significant difference between thick and thin beam frames is the feel on contact. Thin beams just tend to feel 'solid', while thick beams feel 'hollow' and tinny.
     
    #8
  9. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,592
    Location:
    Baseline
    Ditto!

    Have demo'd a few wide beams. They feel like toys for some reason.
     
    #9
  10. ryushen21

    ryushen21 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,201
    Location:
    wherever you were hoping I wasn't going to be
    man and thug said just about everything that I would have said. Thinner beams feel more solid and tend to have more hoop flex to them than the thicker beams. As someone on the boards once said of thick beam frames "you have to give in to their hollow and nihilistic feel."
     
    #10
  11. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,990
    Location:
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
    instant 5.0 rating
     
    #11
  12. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,145
    Thin beam is good if you have spindley legs, don't want a racket wider than your calf.
     
    #12
  13. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,611
    Thin beams offer more flex and control, majority of thin beam racquets are heavy and head light.
     
    #13
  14. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    Transchoptankia
    In terms of millimeters, what is the demarcation line between thin and thick beams?
     
    #14
  15. man-walking

    man-walking Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Italia
    :) There is no (official) demarcation. You have also to take into account oval size as it matters directly with it.

    For ex. personally, in my experience I found a great balance in 21mm flat beam with 98" racquets, I feel I can do/have everything...
     
    #15
  16. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,151
    I play with both Bab thick beam and Donnay thin beam and Head inbetween, and I found NO differences from this aspect. If you weigh them up the same in everything, they'll hit extremely alike with minor different feels from the different materials absorbing the impact.
     
    #16
  17. netguy

    netguy Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    On the Baseline
    Feel and directional control in my experience.
     
    #17
  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,765
    Hijack coming.....
    Does a 19 mm beam swing thru the air faster to improve your serves?
    Or does a too narrow beam start to hurt your stroke by being inconsistent with fast swings (T-300)?
    Can you serve fast with a wide beam? Roddick.
    Does it really matter at all (your maximum service speed)?
     
    #18
  19. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504

    I don't think I can agree with this here, and it seems to be written in favor of thin beams, seeing as how better feel and forgiveness is only given to thicker beams on compact swings.

    I spent the vast majority of my time playing with rackets that have thin beams and/or small heads and usually 12oz +. I also have APDGT and a crazy thick Wilson Profile.

    I really think thin vs thick beam does not matter so much in general, rather its the characteristics of the individual frame that matters more.

    I'll use my own frames and my own observations of them for example:

    Frame 1: Volkl PB10 Mid, 93sq head, 19mm beam, has medium spin, a somewhat flat shot trajectory, less forgiving than Aeropro Drive regardless of shot type, more forgiving than frame 2 despite smaller headsize and thinner beam.
    Frame 2: 98sq in, 19mm throat 22mm Hoop, has a thicker hoop beam but has very low spin, an even flatter shot trajectory, and IMO better feel than the Volkl. Of all my rackets, this racket demands me to be at my best to play well with it, even though it has a medium beam thickness and large head size.
    Frame 3: Aeropro Drive GT, 23-26-24mm beam, high spin, good forgiveness on any stroke, medium curve shot trajectory
    Frame 4: 95sq in, 22mm straight beam, high spin, less feel than Aeropro Drive, but everything else is extremely similar to APDGT to the point where I can freely switch between them, despite the headsize and beam width difference, medium curve shot trajectory
    Frame 5: Wilson Profile, thickest part of beam is around 38mm, low spin, extremely flat shot trajectory
    Frame 6: Boris Becket DC London (demo): 20mm beam, extremely high topspin, high shot trajectory/curve, firm yet flexible
    Frame 7: 90 sq in, 20mm beam, medium spin, medium curve shot trajectory, extremely unforgiving on any shot, many people have commented on how harsh this frame feels after using it.
    Frame 8: Yonex VCore 100s (demo), 24.5mm-23mm beam, felt higher powered than APDGT, very flat shot trajectory (a friend tried it and said the same, many of his shots that would normally clear the net by a foot hit the top of the net), stiffer, harsher feel than APDGT.


    (BTW Feel free to disagree with anything I wrote about my personal observations of the frames above, ppl can never seem to agree much regarding rackets anyways as there is so much personal input from the user. Its just there as an example to show that beam width and frame/playing characteristics did not stay consistent for me.) From what I have observed, the characteristics of frames are kind of all over the place. Two rackets with extremely similar specs and beam width can play and feel very differently from each other and does not guarantee any kind of characteristics. You just have to try a frame out to see for yourself. Specs can be very misleading.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
    #19
  20. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,304
    Location:
    Sydney
    APDGT, high spin, forgiving.....? A 95 sqin straight beam racquet with less feel then the APDGT, which racquet is this?
    DC London, EXTREMELY HIGH spin (more spin then APDGT). Have you played with these racquets?
    Yonex 100S, very flat shot trajectory.... Higher powered than the APDGT..... Are you saying it is more powerful because your hitting it more flat? If the 100S has a flat trajectory, you would be hitting the bottom of the net with an 18x20

    You haven't even played with these racquets have you.

    Also I disagree with the spin of thick vs thin beams. Its more of the pattern and headsize the beam doesn't matter much. Thicker beams can be more aerodynamic seeing how thinner beams are usually box beams.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
    #20
  21. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    What a geek. I quote you in another post and now you look up my posts? Get off my back, keyboard jockey & get a life.
     
    #21
  22. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,304
    Location:
    Sydney
    I'm going through the interesting threads.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
    #22
  23. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Holland - Belgium
    What about thin beams creating a bigger spin window for the same head size?

    And do the aerodynamics of a frame really have an appreciable influence on headspeed and thus spin? Or is it just an other instance of marketing hype?
     
    #23
  24. DavidNERODease

    DavidNERODease Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    148
    For myself, thinner beams have proven to be superior in this regard (larger spin window and better aerodynamics). Most players will expereice fewer frame shots with a thinner beam racquet but it does depend on the player as to what extent. One thing I that I have to mention is that the TW University spin window calculator did not caclualte spin window realistically for me... I used to use a Head Extreme Pro which has a large spin window due it's round head shape but I quicly wore the paint off all 3 racquets in one spot on the frame. After swtiching back to thinner beam racquets I almost never clip the frame and I can really whip them through the air much faster.
     
    #24
  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,765
    Does aerodynamics of a thick beam offset aerodymanics of a thin beam?
    AS SAID, thin beams are rectangular. When is the last time you saw a rectangular baseball bat, airplane wing, or fin shape?
     
    #25
  26. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,304
    Location:
    Sydney
    It wouldnt make much of a noticeable difference. Although theoretically it can make more spin but they don't make many thin beam 100's (well not many that are popular) and they don't make many thick beamed 90's
     
    #26
  27. man-walking

    man-walking Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Italia
    For sure the overall design plays the key role in the racquet behaviour, but I have just given the general way given a classic mold made in different beams (and ovals) but with same beam shape design. (just as example comparing Prestiges with APDs doesn't make sense...)

    Indeed the things get interesting with non-uniform beam racquets, such as Pure Drive or Aero line of Babolat, where the beam witdth and *shape* changes along the racquet body.
    The stringbed section can be very thick and stiff (25-26mm) but having a progressively more rounded and thinner beam near the handle makes the racquet much more prone to longitudinal flex.

    Also in my experience, rounded shape beams (especially up the handle) give some longitudinal flex but with a dampen feel (not crisp), they can be very soft with well struck (centered) balls, while torsionally they are very stable and stiff the as the more you mishit toward sides, even slightly and their feel changes *very fastly* giving a somewhat harsh feel but a "forgiving" directional control on non severe mishits or with bad footwork/position.
    Boxed beams instead give a longitudinal flex with a crisper response (how if they stay a bit more "in load" with ball contact), but torsionally start to feel flimsy/flexy even with a non severe lateral mishit and in such cases the directional control can be very poor with a non perfect player stance or footwork.

    Anyway I see that many more racquets today more than ever are complex hybrids of everything invented in the past years...

    P.S.: old Pro Staffs aren't real box-beamed frames as they are commonly defined, since they are rounded at the beam sides :) , they are quite a mix...
     
    #27
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,765
    "box frames".....
    Do we really know the drag factor of a slightly rounded 4 corners over a more distinct 4 cornered small beam racket? I suspect no one knows.
    There is leading edge drag AND trailing edge drag, both different from each other.
    I remember some wind tunnel testing of trail edge drag, basically, "if you can't streamline it to a NACA foil, just cut if off SHARP"....
    I 've heard less about leading edge drag, but roundness creates vortexes which can raise drag numbers.
     
    #28
  29. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    At a typical speed that most rec players swing their racquet, the difference in drag between the thinnest racquets and even the thickest (say old Wilson Profile) is minimal and something that you will not notice.
     
    #29
  30. ZeroSkid

    ZeroSkid Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,441
    Location:
    Canada
    box vs aerodynamic
     
    #30

Share This Page