Does a racquet become less powerful when counter-weighed?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by dunlo, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. dunlo

    dunlo Rookie

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    Hi
    I added 25 gr to Liquidmetal 5 in the handle.
    Is it less powerfull now?
     
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  2. Mugatu

    Mugatu Rookie

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    no.. but if you added the weight to the head instead, the weight would have a greater effect in increasing power..

    weight in handle is good. reduces shock and makes racq feel more solid
     
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  3. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Let's see. Everytime you add weight to a raquet, no matter where, you're making the overall weight, the swingweight and the plow through factor, go up. So, no. Your raquet should have more power, not less. Of course, the effect of adding the extra weight closer to the handle is far less dramatic than adding it to the hoop area.
     
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  4. dunlo

    dunlo Rookie

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    OK but all sticks that are hrad light are less powerful like my POG mp,so making the racquet more head light even with weight should decrease the power?
     
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  5. tarkowski

    tarkowski Professional

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    Nope - that would be an apples to oranges comparison. Ripper is correct - anytime you add weight, you add power. Not as noticeable when added to the handle, but true nonetheless.
     
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  6. J D

    J D Rookie

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    Since the racquet flexes back at ball impact so much that the head literally deflects backwards until after the ball has left the strings, not much of the mass in the handle can actually be turned into power transferred to the ball. The mass in the head is much more significant in creating power than the mass in the handle.

    In addition, power (kinetic energy) is equal to mass times velocity squared, which means that velocity is twice as important as mass in the potential energy your frame creates. If adding weight in the handle is slowing down your swing, it is very possible that you are experiencing a loss in power.
     
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  7. 10nisNe1?

    10nisNe1? Rookie

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    interesting....

    1. so, adding lead on the handle will make racquets flexier? flex is not good for power right?

    2. if adding lead tape on the handle will still slow down my swing, which is detrimental to power, why put it on in the first place?

    im really curious because im in the habit of putting lead tapes on the handles of my racquets. i dont like flex but i want my racquets really head lite.
     
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  8. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    It means velocity is (literally) exponentially more important. Not "twice." At least to the extent that elementary physics equations are useful in describing this complex physical phenomenon.
     
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  9. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    Adding weight in the handle will NOT make a racquet more flexible. But in general, you are correct in that more flexible = less powerful. Whether this is "good" or not depends on you.

    It'll only slow down your swing and be detrimental to your power output if your physiology is such that a couple grams makes a measurable difference in your ability to swing a racquet. For most people, it will not. The change in mass relative to the human ability to swing a stick is very small. The change in the mass relative to the mass of a tennis ball, however, is not insignificant. So in many cases, it behooves you to add mass you can control.

    Don't worry about it. Indeed, consider tying a brick to the handle of an old Wilson Profile. Head light like hell, and very little flex.
     
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  10. 10nisNe1?

    10nisNe1? Rookie

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    whooo, thanks grimjack!
     
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  11. byealmeens

    byealmeens Semi-Pro

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    Well stated Grimjack. Let me add that there are advantages to making frames more headlight - particularly if they are head heavy. As stated earlier, it helps stability, but it also increases comfort and is much easier on the arm.
     
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  12. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    There are a lot of uninformed posts on this topic going around. So everyone read carefully:

    The axis of rotation (often called the pivot point) is more important than the balance point. For the forehand, the pivot point is about 2.5 inches from end of the handle. For the serve it's usually about 2 inches, and for the 2hb, it's 4-6 inches from the end.

    Adding weight in the handle above the pivot point of your stroke will add power, but adding it below the pivot point (i.e., in the buttcup), will take it away.

    Adding weight above the pivot point will increase your swingweight and make it harder to generate spin, flattening out your shot and making your shots more penetrating.

    Conversely, adding weight to the buttcap will make it easier to whip the head around, so spin potential is increased. According to the standardized definition of swingweight, adding weight to the buttcap always increases swingweight; However, in practice this is not true - your racquet will become spinnier with more weight in the buttcap. The weight will act as a counterweight, making it easier for the ball's momentum to push your racquet head around.

    If you add weight only at a point 4 inches from the end of the handle, your fh will get more powerful (and flatter), while your 2hb will get less powerful (but spinnier).

    If you disagree with this post, my suggestion is that you go experiment with the weights before you reply. I think you'll find that everything I say is accurate. For example, try adding 2-4 ounces of fishing weights to the buttcap, and then go try to hit a 2hb; you'll find that it will feel like trying to hit a hardball with a whiffle bat - the ball will hit your racquet and die. The forehand will feel less powerful too, but not as dead as the 2-hander due to the different pivot point. And the amount of spin you can generate on the forehand and serve will be absurd. Of course, you'll need to drop the tension 10 lbs in order to have enough power to clear the net.
     
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  13. Two Fister

    Two Fister Rookie

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    Should we not also consider the fact that a tennis stroke is typically not just rotation around a pivot point (where you grip the racquet), but the whole racquet including the handle moves through space. And the handle probably moves on average of at least four feet through space on a forehand and maybe a bit less on a two handed backhand.
     
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  14. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    What J D said is important.

    Edit: I'm refering to this:

     
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  15. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    I (respectfully) disagree with your post....

    Edit: Ok, after thinking about this, I think you may, in fact, be right!
     
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  16. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I'm glad you asked, since this is another issue that people have trouble understanding.

    The effects of weighting on power that I'm referring to still apply even if your racquet face stays at the same angle all the way through your shot. The axis of rotation is the point where the racquet pivots due to ball impact.

    The swingpath only comes into play when talking about spin. Since some players have whippier strokes than others, the difference in spin caused by added weight will depend to some extent on the stroke.

    To better comprehend the axis of rotation (in terms of the effect of added weight on power), take the extreme case of a volley where you hold the racquet firm and stationary and allow the ball to hit it. Upon impact, the racquet will pivot around the axis of rotation, and the ball will rebound. If you add weight to the buttcap, the ball will rebound at slower velocity. If you add weight to the upper part of the handle, the ball will rebound at higher velocity. The magnitude of the effect of the added weight is proportional to its distance from the axis of rotation.

    I hope this clears things up.
     
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  17. J D

    J D Rookie

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    We're probably caught in math semantics here. However, mass*v^2 literally means m*v*v, which means that velocity is multiplied in twice as opposed to mass, which is only multiplied in once. Thus, velocity has twice the role (is twice as important as mass) in creating kinetic energy, or energy available to be transferred to the ball.

    However, looking at the physics of impact, we can figure that more energy is lost in the impact with the lighter, faster frame than with the heavier, slower frame. This means that, in reality, velocity is not twice as important, but still significantly more important, than mass in creating power.

    10nisNe1, as others have said, the mass in the handle helps with stability, feel (for most people), and vibration dampening. If you like the way your frame plays and/or feels with more weight, keep it that way.

    Travlerajm, I think you need to reconsider, as Two Fister said, your application of the axis of rotation. I don't know how you play tennis, but the axis of rotation of my frame for most of the time on my groundstrokes is my shoulder. On the serve, it's my shoulder, elbow, and wrist. The axis of rotation regarding the angle of deflection at impact is in the handle, but this is overall a very insignificant number in the power equations. Thus, all of your summations based on your pivot point are, too varying degrees, incorrect.

    I'm sorry to seem rude, but do you really volley without moving the frame? On a drop volley, maybe, but then the frame is held loose, not firm. The axis of rotation on a normal volley is the elbow. So, the example you're using to illustrate your point is drawn from a shot that is never hit in a real tennis match.

    On this we do agree.
     
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  18. Zeph

    Zeph Rookie

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    if anything, more powerful.
     
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  19. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Sorry. It's not a real life Example, just trying to help explain the point. I think the best way to convince the skeptics out there that tailweighting (weight added at the buttcap but not in the rest of the handle) will reduce power and add spin is to get them to actually try it.

    I challenge all the skeptics to try the following easy experiment:

    Tape about 30-40 g of weight to the bottom of the butt cap with masking tape. If you don't having lead fishing weights, a stack of quarters will do. Make sure it is secure enough that it doesn't move around or fall off when you swing. This setup is easy because you don't even need to remove the grip.

    Go out and hit some balls and report back on whether your power level goes up or down, and whether your spin goes up or down. We need some testimonials to give closure to this debate!
     
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  20. dunlo

    dunlo Rookie

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    I experienced this same example with LM5 added 25gr in the butt.
    It is very different from the 15gr version.

    Definitely less power but better feel and control.
    The volley example is true;there are times when you just block the ball;the 15gr version was more friendly at those shots.
     
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  21. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    25 grams?? are you nuts? Get another racket if you must add this much, and yes it may feel less powerful when counterw. a racket, and less stable. Like a boat with too much weight at the back... lol
     
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  22. dunlo

    dunlo Rookie

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    A bOAT???
    That was interesting.
    You must experiment to find the best for anything.
    And 25gr is not that much on the handle;it is on the head.
    Don't be so funny next time OK?
     
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  23. JediMindTrick

    JediMindTrick Professional

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    Actually, he is wrong.
     
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  24. JediMindTrick

    JediMindTrick Professional

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    The thing is that in the case of the racquet - ball impact the energy is not relevant, but instead the momentum is important and the momentum is mass * speed. So the mass and the speed are equally important.
     
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  25. A-Train

    A-Train New User

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    where's the pivot point for a backhand slice? for a topspinn BH?
     
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  26. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    Here is the only way to go : buy a reel of lead tape, experiment yourself with different amounts of lead placed at different places, then stick with what works best for you. No need to e=mc² and co...
     
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  27. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    The pivot point for a 1hb (regardless of the type of spin) is approximately the same as for the forehand.
     
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