Big racket dilema :confused:

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by T-Vex, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Up till very recently I've been playing with Wilson (K)Blade Tour (head 93, 324 g unstrung, 4 3/8 grip, 18*20, 10 pts HL).
    Something like this --> http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/KBL93/KBL93Review.html

    For a long time I was using poliester Luxilon tensioned at 24 kgs. Before that I had Wilson Sensation (multifilament string) at 24 kgs. Both string were 1,28 mm I believe, not sure, but definitely on the thicker side.

    After transitioning to Luxilon I started to feel less power, as it was expected. But I like the aditional spin I achieved on forhend which allowed me to swing even harder at the ball, and a pretty stiff and control-based setup allowed me a lot of control in my shots.

    I was able to hit big of both wings, but "framing" was becoming an issue on the backand (double) side. Moreover, I was never able to hit the serve no where near as fast as I'd like, and had a lot of problems with placing it on the AD side at the "T".


    Anyways - after about 2 months, I started to feel discomfort and pain in my right sholder (Im rightie) and wrist after matches, and pain continued even after switching to softer (MSV Soft Control) strings with the same stick.

    That is when I decided to go with a lighter racket, counting it should ease the pain cause by I pretty heavy (360g strung) and stiff setup for only a recreational player somewhere between 4.0-4.5 level.

    I tried two test rackets and decided to go with very very similar stick to this:

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-61TMBX.html


    It weighs 289g unstrung and is 4 points HL, those are only microdifferences.

    Anyways, I've been using it in my last two matches, and it would be very mild to say it feels like another sport!!

    Is it possible that only 35 grams lighter stick (ok when strung he is probably cca 10grams lighter than my previous one) can make me feel so much different when swinging my backhand???

    In the first match I was like I dont know to swing or to hit the BH to fall in the court. And BH was always my more consistant weapon!! I was like "WTF??!"

    The biggest problem is I have no feel whatsoever on the ball while making a contact on BH side. So it travels all the way around, just not where i would like it.

    Obviously, lighter piece made me a bit "to strong" with my big BH swings, but what bothers me most is disastrous stability I feel on both hitting sides!!! I became affraid to hit with full power because there is to much probability of BLX twisting in my hand making a shot go wild!!


    On the forhend side I noticed fantastic control on inside-in direction, its ok when going diagonal (normal cross court forhend), I even achieved much more of spin (but far less pace) in that direction... but control diminished in when going paralel with the right sideline.

    On the serve I noticed more pace, which is good, but not as much I was hoping to achieve :cry:
    And Im having hell of a trouble with controling second serves that I spin a lot! They go wildly out a lot of the time!


    I have a big swing on forehand side, that's another reason I decided to try a lighter version, but overall, Im very unsatisfied, so Im seeking advice from experts here.

    What to do?
    If I switch back to heavier racket with a bit bigger head (say 97-100), shoulder will start hurting again (as will wrist) - although they hurt now too, but a much less...


    If I stay with my current light racket, try to get used to it, Im not sure if I will manage to do that. Cause I really really dont like the unstability which is more than obvious and causes my all kind of problems in offense and defense.


    (btw I strung my new 289g piece with Wilson Sensation at 24 kgs)


    Advices and comments please... :confused::confused:
     
    #1
  2. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Not sure I followed all you were saying. It sounds like you could try a racquet that is a little more flexible and a little lighter than the Blade Tour . How about the Head Ig Radical Pro, flexible, fairly powerful, weighs about 11.4 oz, or BLX ProStaff 95, soft, plush, control racquet about 11.5 oz or the Boris Becker Lodon Tour, I think it is somehere in between these two racquets.
    I have hit with all these racquets. Good on the arm and good racquets. But what works for me might not work for you. Demo
     
    #2
  3. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Sorry if was to long or unclear...

    I dont know what exactly I am looking for but enough control, slightly more power, more stability and disappearence of the pain!

    I was thinking maybe I should try flexible pieces, but then again - those are less stable and have less control, so... don't know exactly where to go from know.

    I see a lot of frustration if I persist with my current frame.
     
    #3
  4. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    I would have gone away from all poly to a hybrid first with the old racquet. If that still causes pain, then back to a multi or to something like RIP Control or Red Alert. I would also drop tension because poly at 53 in a 93 or 95 head (18x20) has got to be tight feeling.

    Light sticks are not good for generating power as you have to swing either very hard, or if using a 'granny' stick, have a VERY short stroke. You dropped over 1.5 oz and more than 10 SW units (kg-cm^2) when you switched. That's why you are feeling less plow and depth on your shots.

    If you're hitting late, that's a technique issue, which can be fixed with a shorter takeback using the old racquet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
    #4
  5. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    My demoing options are pretty damn limited since I dont live in States (i demoed in my local city - options there are very narrow; in one of two stores with demoing options, there are only two test rackets - both light, strung at 22 kgs with polyester strings!!! How the hell is anyone able to find any control and feel anything with such a setup???)

    Anyways, I studied your suggestions, which I thank you for.

    Head IG Radical is a bit expensive for me and I am not sure how I would react to an open string pattern (been playing 18*19, 18-20 for years) combined with bigger head. Sounds like lot less control than what I am used to.

    BLX Prostaff 95 is almost exactly what I have now.

    And I dont like the Boris Becker piece, 93 head and a pretty flexible frame doesnt sound promising reagarding offcenter shots...



    What do you think about putting some lead tapes on my current frame, say 15-20 grams?
    Could that do the trick for me maybe, is it able to atain stability by putting lead at handle and 3-9-12?

    Btw, what do u think where does my pain actually come from?
    From racket stiffness combined with closed string pattern (18*20) and narrow sweet spot?
    Or is it more conditioned by racket weight (swingweight?)

    Im not sure how much of a factor those variables can be in creating my problem. :confused:
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    When you go lighter in weight, you need to compensate with bigger grip sizing;.
     
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  7. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    If I understand your OP correctly, it's light vs heavy (~12 oz) stick. I have had this dilemma myself for a long time, and haven't heard anything conclusive.
     
    #7
  8. Dreamcastin

    Dreamcastin Rookie

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    sounds to me like the previous poster said, try droping the tension on your poly 5lbs or so, and/or put something softer in the crosses.
     
    #8
  9. Magic of tennis

    Magic of tennis Semi-Pro

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    First, you have to rest your arm/shoulder/wrist. Don't play tennis until you are completely free from pain.
    It is not worth to keep playing when you hurt. Body is telling you something.
    It need time to heal. If a racquet is causing you pain, isn't it common sense to change to different racquet? There are many comfortable racquets out there. You might not play well with it or not as good as pain causing racquet but your wrist/arm/ shoulder is more important. I know someone who love playing tennis but can't play anymore because small wrist pain he ignored and now he has permanent wrist injury . He can't play with one hand so he have to hold racquet with two hand FH. It ruined his game. He plays table tennis now.

    As someone said earlier, string tension is very important. You can lower string tension and try soft multi string. PK 7G, 5G, Prince exo3 tour, volkl are very flexible.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
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  10. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Ok, probably its hard to read the opening post in whole, so to sum it up:

    Now I have 289g (unstrung piece) with Wilson Sensation (Multi) strung at 24 kgs (53 lbs).


    @Magic of tennis - I don't know if am I able to take a rest from tennis. My game suffer to much even after 7-8 days of not playing, so... until my shoulder brakes or at least dislocates, I guess I'm gonna continue torturing myself :oops:


    No one commented about lead tapes, could they do the trick?


    Or should I just go with a heavier piece with a bigger head size (to atain faster serve) or open string pattern and strings like I have now (soft multis)?

    There are so many variables to be adjusted :cry:
    And the problem is, I've improved enough to feel even a tiny change in any of the variables!
     
    #10
  11. Clemsonfan

    Clemsonfan New User

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    I have returned to tennis after a really long layoff and for me a 35 gram difference is a HUGE change, even with similar swingweights. I demoed two racquets with a 24 gram difference and I could barely hit the ball with the lighter racquet, even whiffing on overheads which is my best shot. I would argue it might take some time, and probably customization to make you feel more comfortable.
     
    #11
  12. Korso

    Korso Semi-Pro

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    Poly strings are a lot stiffer than multis. I would not play with them for more than 15hrs before restringing. I found out the hard way myself. You should string polys lower than you would any other string for more comfort too.
     
    #12
  13. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i second the opinion of other posters here, that you should have first looked at the strings before changing the racket.
    when i changed to poly i was delighted at how long the strings took to break.
    seemed like a good way to spend less money. not a good idea. once the poly is dead, it hurts your arm.
    also, you can play poly with less tension, it doesn´t lose control and is easier on the arm.
     
    #13
  14. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Well, that was the first thing I did - change the string to softer ones (poli to multi).
    The one thing I HAVEN'T THOUGHT of doing was droping the tension in poliester.

    Although, I wasn't aware of fact that poliester strings cause pain when they go dead, and that they go dead that fast. But it seems impossible to break those, not with playing 2-3 times a week for 2 hrs.


    Anyways, been looking into TW a lot today, I think I found a piece that could be perfect match for me:

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Wilson_BLX_Juice_Pro/descpageRCWILSON-WJP.html

    Unf, it's a bit to expensive, I'd have to pay considerable amount for shipping to, so... don't know, will try to find it in my local store, but dont expect it to be any cheaper.

    The other option is this:

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Wilson_BLX_Pro_Tour/descpageRCWILSON-PTBLX.html

    I'd preffer a bit more open pattern in the strings, but since it is a bit lighter piece (228 strung), I can prob put few grams into the head to achieve something like 2-3 pts HL racket to boost the serve and spin... and till have a racket moderate of weight!

    What do you think of my plan?
     
    #14
  15. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think the lux string hurt your shoulder and wrist and it pain was not caused by the racket. In a small head racket with a dense string pattern; try lux mains at 48 lbs with a multi or syn gut cross at 52 lbs. You could go 2-4 lbs lower on both if you want.

    I develop wrist and elbow pain using polys in the 54-56 lb range. Now, use 48-52 range and issues have gone away. It also took me several months to develop issues with poly.

    Also, try use syn gut mains at 52 and lux crosses at 48 which will be even softer but you'll still have the control and extra spin of the lux. This is the poor man's Federer setup as he uses gut mains with lux crosses.
     
    #15
  16. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    I was never fond of hybrid setups, although I can see many rec. players use them.
    But I just dont feel the ball well, consistant, don't know. I'm not comfortable with it.

    It would be interesting to see how poly behaves at say 22 kgs. But if they really go dead that fast, I think it's a waste of money.

    I'd rather stick with multis, they're soft, they provide good control, and I'll try to compensate for spin with smaller gauge or more open string pattern.
     
    #16
  17. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Unfortunately, pain is often caused by defects in technique. It can be exacerbated by the use of poly (especially dead poly) and/or stiff racquets, especially lighter stiff racquets.
    Out of curiousity, do you have a one or two handed backhand? Where exactly is the pain?
     
    #17
  18. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    many rec players and also some lesser known pros like a certain gentleman from switzerland:)
    i get the feeling you are set on buying a new racquet. i say go for it, just don´t expect it to be the solution
     
    #18
  19. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    I also get teh feeling that OP is going to buy a Wilson no matter what anyone says. If you think the BLX Team is unstable, wait 'til you try to volley with a Juice Pro!
     
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  20. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    I would rather avoid buying a new racket if I can, you are wrong!

    Anyways, today I bough 38 grams of lead tapes and have a plan of placing 20g on racket. I need help with that, please.

    Where should I put those tapes not to disturb the balance?
    It's easy for head (at 3, 12 and 9 equal amounts), but what with the handle? Where to put lead, at the bottom of the handle, at the top of the hadle, to arange it equally?

    Tnx
     
    #20
  21. JohnB

    JohnB Rookie

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    I would try 3 grams on each side from 10 to 11 and from 1 to 2 (6 grams total) and distribute 20 à 25 grams evenly along the entire handle.
     
    #21
  22. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    that would change the balance of the racket, one thing the OP said he wants to avoid
     
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  23. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    I found this on tennis warehouse:

    Also, they said adding lead at 3 and 9 is good for achieving more stability...

    Well - a lot more stability that 289g piece offers is my big goal, so is it ok to just put lead at 6 o'clock? Only by making my racket heavier by 20 grams I should achieve much more stability in shots, shouldn't I?


    Thanks for help.
     
    #23
  24. JohnB

    JohnB Rookie

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    Sorry, I didn't read that. I thought the OP wanted a similar feel as the KBlade. I think, that what I wrote, can get a similar swingdynamic, but then with a more forgiving and more flexible platform.
     
    #24
  25. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    I had some torsional stability issues with the KFactor Team and the RQiS XL 95. Some lead at the 3 & 9 worked wonders. Didn't even bother with the handle since the new SW worked perfectly.

    Keep in mind, aren't the Kblade 93's a recipe for shoulder pain? Small headsize + tight string pattern + stiff + heavy
     
    #25
  26. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Ok, I put on 18 grams on 6 o'clock (on the inner and outer part of the head - a little longer tapes were put on the inner side, but about 9 grams is in the inside and outside), I play today, will see how it behaves!!

    I'm very eager to see efffects of this experiment...

    Btw, I feel weakness, maybe I got lead posioning :oops:
     
    #26
  27. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Yesterday I tried my "new" new racket - it's something totally different!

    I can't say what happened with the balance, nor can I measure it :x but feeling is defenitely not good. It feels like swingweight has increased a lot! At start I was unable to put serve in, just could'nt swing it fast enough to finish the move as required! I found it very hard to move the racket on both forehand and backhand, and when i was little to late with those strokes or didnt execute them as fast as possible - ball just got risen up and never landed!!

    But when I managed to execute the shot in its wholeness, the produced ball was so damn heavy my opponent racket almost got kicked off in every shot at the beggining of the match! He was stunned by the "heaviness" of my balls (tennis balls! :))

    Stability was definitely much better, but still not good enough at the top of the head!
    And even my serves where "heavy" as hell, eventhough I never managed to produce nowhere near the speed I wanted with that shot!


    Conclusion - I should definitely take off at least 40% of added weight and distribute what's left in a more balanced way!
    There is a lot of experimenting in front of me :cry:


    Btw - what amount of lead is enough to put on 3 and 9 just for the sakes of ataing torsional stability??
     
    #27
  28. sansaephanh

    sansaephanh Professional

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    I didn't feel like reading past this post, but a 18x20 tweener seems right up your alley. They're usually nice and soft. Most beginners have a thing for the prince tweeners. I recommend giving those a try. From the hybrid shark, to the exo3 line tweeners. Power, spin, comfort, and control for nice swings.
     
    #28
  29. JohnB

    JohnB Rookie

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    There's no surprise here. Why don't you try what I wrote before? I think you'll like it. 3 grams from 10 to 11 and from 1 to 2 (6 grams total). Then add enough mass along the entire handle till it feels good.
     
    #29
  30. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    I will!
    TY!
     
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  31. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Did it!
    Put 3 grams on each side from 10 to 11 o'clock
    And 6 grams at the top of the handle (that was easiest since I would have to unwarp the overgrip and put another - dont have it now with me). I read somewhere (think on TW) that adding lead at the top of the handle is OK, it should be ok balance-wise.

    Is it?
     
    #31
  32. JohnB

    JohnB Rookie

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    It's a good idea. You need to put just enough mass at the top of the handle until you feel your rackethead is most under control. If you're having trouble achieving that, it could be that your swingweight is too high or too low. Just adjust the mass at the rackethead till it feels better and then the mass at the top of the handle. Keep doing this if needed. If the racket feels in tune with your stroke, but a bit sluggish, it could be that the balance is too long. You can try if adding weight at the butt improves it.
     
    #32
  33. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I skimmed, but I have to ask. You were changing your Luxilon strings frequently right?

    -Fuji
     
    #33
  34. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Today I did as you recommended. 6g in the upper head, 6g in the handle (top).
    Stability was better, swingweight was much lighter then the other day (when I had all 18 grams at 6 o'clock), but still I'm not satisfied with how my groundstrokes behave, especially forehand, since I spin it a lot and hit it with a lot of power.

    I was missing a ton for a couple of inches, even shots that normaly go in were going out for about 2-3 inches - very frustrating.

    Yeah, I was able to hit the serve faster, but overall my balls were much less "heavy" than the other day, so I'll definitely go with at least 6 more grams, maybe even 8!

    Should I try and put those last 8 grams at 6 o'clock now?


    Nope. I was using them for about 2 months, people already told me it's pretty possible my arm-wrist troubles started to develop after string went "dead".

    No I am on Wilson sensation, it's not that good for spin, so there's a solid window for adjustment there also, but I think it's more about swingweight.
     
    #34
  35. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Ok, statements as "I spin a lot" and "hit with a lot of power" should be taken lightly, since I'm a 4.0-4.25 player.

    Anyways - I'm not "feeling" my groundies good enough to be attacking with confidence!

    Btw - I looked up for a ball hitting pattern (fluff) on my racket, this is where my hot striking zone is settled (when turning the racket 90 degrees clockwise):

    [​IMG]


    I guess it has something to do with semi-eastern grip that I use and the fact I try to spin it as much as I can on the FH side.
     
    #35
  36. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Eastern, not semieastern LOL :)
     
    #36
  37. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    my rule of thumb lead advice:

    1. Add just enough weight at 3+9 for adequate torsional stability
    2. Get swing weight where you like it + liven up top loop by adding lead at 12
    3. Add weight in the lower handle until the balance feels right and racket doesn't feel hollow down low.

    There are some rackets that have very low sweetspot and for those I recommend concentrating lead at 10 and 2, I don't think your racket is one of those.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
    #37
  38. JohnB

    JohnB Rookie

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    This method of putting mass on the top of the handle is "discovered" by Travlerajm. It's about getting the rackethead in tune with your stroke (mostly noticeable on the forehand) so that you can relax during your swing. Because, if tuned right, the rackethead will follow your wristmovement with ease. The top of the handle is the most effective place to speed up the rackethead relative to the hand.

    If you feel you have to apply force with your wrist to speed up the rackethead, lowering the swingweight or adding mass at the top of the handle will result in needing less force of the wrist. If you keep adding mass on the top of the handle there come a point when the rackethead will travel faster than the wrist and your shots will probably travel left of target (if you're righthanded) and go in the net more.

    This method is difficult to get perfectly right, but it may be worth a shot for you.

    If you got a practice wall you can try to add/subtract weight on the top of the handle until you notice that your shot go where you're aiming. If you succeed with that, but you still don't feel the plow you're hoping to get, add a bit more at the rackethead and then again some more on the top of the handle until your aiming is OK again.

    So to answer your question. I think first adding more weight on the top of the handle may be worth a try. But you have to really finetune. I believe even 0.5 grams at that location makes a difference.
     
    #38
  39. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    The dead Lux will definitely kill your wrist! I noticed when I hit with a set of the dead stuff in my buddy's racket that my wrist was mauled almost instantly.

    Stay away from that poly and you should be able to heal up fine! Have fun with the modding process though, it's a super fun way to spend your time! :D

    -Fuji
     
    #39
  40. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    UPDATE:

    Yesterday I played with 3g at 9-11 and 1-3, 2 grams at 12 and 2 grams at 6 o'clock + 10 grams at the top of the handle.

    Interestingly, at first it felt like swingweight is to big, but after I overcame slowstart (heavy weather yesterday), it felt about ok. Serve was just ok to swing it as fast as I wanted, forehand and backand were much much better as was overall control!

    Everything is better, but still I am not satisfied. Still I feel a bit "to strong" on my double-handed BH, and shots dont have as much heaviness as they had few days ago when I played with 18 grams at 6 oclock (obv racket was seriously head heavy then!)


    I'm not sure where to go from now, I need a bit more stability and swingweight, but I'm not sure what is the easiest way to produce it? Should I put a bit more on 6 and 12 and the handle?


    Btw, although I'm playing with a lighter racket and very soft strings for about 10 days now, my shoulder and wrist hurt again :( :(
    Obviously it has to bee something to do with technique, and possibly not having enough muscles to support my big hitting!

    I had to go back to weight lifting, which I don't like cause then I have to think to much about what to eat etc...
    ...anyone has a good programme for an average recreational player which has other obligations in his everyday life?

    TY!
     
    #40
  41. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    I'd try moving the 10 grams to bottom of the handle and move the two grams from 6 to 12.
     
    #41

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