Does an extra half inch on the racket REALLY make a difference to your game?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by MAXXply, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Just curious what your thoughts are about that extra 0.5 inches on a tennis racket and whether it makes a noticeable and improved difference to your game, specifically in terms of maneuverability and timing. I mean 0.5 inches is just 1.27 cms right? All the extra long rackets back in the day came in at 28 inches, a full inch longer. So half an inch isn't that big a deal now, right? Or is it?? :confused:

    I'm referring mainly to the AeroPro Drive + and Pure Drive + models. I can live with the regular versions but it would be nice if they were slightly more headlight. If I don't wanna bother with lead mods, should I simply migrate to the Plusses?
     
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I think for most of us the answer is no. Pros? Maybe. I think your answer lies in the dearth of the once faddish extended length racquets available now. Michael Chang made them popular, but they've gone the way of wide body frames, Titanium Racquets, and soon Amplifeel!
     
  3. thecrusher956

    thecrusher956 Rookie

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    It really depends. The extended length racquets are going to feel more sluggish but offer you more power and less control. It's really a tradeoff about what you want.
     
  4. PrincessAdam

    PrincessAdam Rookie

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    I have an extended and a regular length. I normally play with the 27 but when I hit with the extended I can feel it big time. It does have a more draggy feeling to it, but does help out on the serve and forehand. I have a 1 handed backhand though, so that's why I don't normally use them.
     
  5. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I have 2 Ripsticks (29") and a Thunderbolt (28.5")

    The added reach can come in handy, but they are a lot harder to swing and the Ripsticks wrecked my wrist.

    The serve does come in harder withthe extended racquets , however I have to say that I've never served better than with my regular length Prince Boron.
     
  6. Roddickulous

    Roddickulous Rookie

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    I think once you get used to them, if you ever go down to a standard length again you'll feel like you have all the control in the world... that being said, I love the control I get from my APD+'s
     
  7. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    I'd say that the difference will vary depending on many factors.
    I am more than certain that short players will benefit more from the extra reach, especially if they play with a 2 handed backhand.

    Sara Errani certainly feels that the switch to an extended length racquet helped her out.
     
  8. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Control from the APD? Were you playing with a 40 inch racket before?
     
  9. Faithfulfather

    Faithfulfather Rookie

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    I am a 3.5 player and can feel a difference. The extra reach on serves and groundstrokes are unmatched, but my net game suffered badly. Once you get use to the extra swing weight that comes with the extra length, it probably won't make that big of a difference. I think my problem was mainly psychosomatic. If you continuously switch back and forth for an extended period of time, it will only amplify the differences. This, of course, is only my humble opinion. Try it and let us know your thoughts. It would make for an interesting thread.
     
  10. airdupont

    airdupont Semi-Pro

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    I feel the difference. Have been playing with xl racquets for so long now. I can't get adapted to standard length racquets anymore.
     
  11. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Professional

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    If you want to experiment without actually demoing, just try gripping your racquet a half inch closer to the hoop. It will dramatically increase mobility and consequently headspeed, but makes the racquet feel less stable. Try it.
     
  12. TennisMD

    TennisMD Semi-Pro

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    I have tried them and using radar gun not a big difference if any on avg basis.
    So looking at TWU the only long rkt in the top serving category was the pure storm tour GT+.
    also the only time my arm bothered me was in using the + rkts, I am sure a matter of hitting a little late
     
  13. Francis27

    Francis27 Semi-Pro

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    I only notice the extra length at serves. I feel that with the extra length i always get the ball in the service box
     
  14. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    First answer: That's what she said!

    Now that it's out of the way, I do find a significant difference. Even w/ a regular length racquet, I'm very close to having my pinky off the racquet on my FH vs. BH and volleys. On my second serve, I have my pinky off the handle.

    If you want a more headlight racquet, I suggest you put a leather grip +overgrip or add weight. Most extended racquets also have a bigger swingweight. Although the PDR+ is 6pts HL (vs. 5) it *felt* less HL while swinging. I ended up preferring the regular length PDR as it was less stressful on my 1h-BH.

    If I had a 2hBH or askewed groundstrokes playing S&V, I could see myself using an extended length racquet. One thing though I have seen is people report shoulder pains w/ longer racquets, even so called arm friendly frames like the ProKennex 7.
     
  15. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I think that the sweet spot is a little lower on the 100 sq inch racquets compared to mids and MPs and making the racquet a little longer may move the sweetspot back to where it was before for those using smaller-headsize racquets.

    I use 27 3/4 inches and I have an adjustment period when going back to 27 inch racquets. It took me about two weeks to get used to playing with 27 3/4 inches.
     
  16. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    The extended length is more significant the more mass you have in the hoop. The amount of force striking the ball in the upper area of a heavy hoop with an extended frame is ridiculous. But to get this benefit, you also make the hoop so heavy that net exchanges become pretty difficult.
     
  17. sargeinaz

    sargeinaz Hall of Fame

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    I have a one handed backhand and I'm about to buy a 27.5 inch racket because I'm curious about just that. Does it make a difference? Maybe it will be a good difference? Who knows, but I want to find out. I think it will be a noticeable difference, I just hope it's a positive and not a painful one. I'm 5'8'' hence the reason for trying.
     
  18. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    It does...

    I serve better with extended, my wife too.
    I get TE way easier with extended. Close to body manouvrabillity is affected. Rech is awsome - I can't get passed or lobbed at the net with a 28". However, if the shot goes into the boddy... SHBH doesn't like it much either.
    I mostly play with 27", but have few 27.5 and 28 too. I need to find a 29" for an experiment.

    On the side note, it is interesting that 28" frames often have some monster SW and very HL, compared to a 27" of similar specs. Yet, somehow you don't feel that heavy SW to the full extent?
     
  19. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    For me it certainly has......

    I have used up to 29" frames and I found them to help my serve and I adjusted to the length at the net with no problem. The higher swing weight is just that weight. Since I started playing with 13 ounce standard frames, I don't find 340 SW to be a problem. I currently use 27.5, as that is what is available and the SW is still under 320
     
  20. TennisMD

    TennisMD Semi-Pro

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    I should have added that speed wise no big difference, but I do agree with more in box, but outside of this more neg than pos for + compared to reg length , N.B. I play more dubs now.
     
  21. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    I mean I guess if you think about it, say you were using a 27in. racquet. Good players and pros will be hitting that same sweetspot and getting so confortable hitting that same spot almost everyball. The way they setup and how far they are away from the ball. Then you add a half inch to that racquet, they will be hitting lower on the stringbed then with the other racquet and it would most likely make a difference.
     
  22. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Everything makes a little bit of difference. Nothing but you makes a lot of difference.
     
  23. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    Ummm, no... SW is not the weight...
    I have a Pro-Kennex 20g 28" that's only 318g, with 362 SW (strung), 7 HL.
    Prince Synergy Tour is mere 305g, with SW 327, 8 HL.
    My Prince Precision 770 28" also had higher SW, for the W and balance given. I shortened it to 27.5 and it became great...
     
  24. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    It could make a difference between a sore elbow and a comfortable swing. Not always, but it adds a lot of leverage to your arm.
     
  25. PrincessAdam

    PrincessAdam Rookie

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    My girlfriend thinks the half inch makes a difference too...
     
  26. thecrusher956

    thecrusher956 Rookie

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    Do you lose a lot of control with them though?
     
  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Depends.
    If you focus on the plus's, and forget the minus's, an extended length racket will have more power on every shot, more reach, and better angles on your serves.
    If you focus on the minus's, the long racket will be less quick to the ball, you will have trouble defending body shots, and you'll find most opponent's can handle another 5mph added to your current serve, while they might not be able to handle excellent placement as well or changes of spin and bounce.
     
  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I was waiting for some such joke to come along .........
     
  29. the Town Sherif

    the Town Sherif Semi-Pro

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    someone beat me to it...darnit
     
  30. PrincessAdam

    PrincessAdam Rookie

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    Sorry, couldn't resist :lol:
     
  31. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    If volleying is an issue with extended length racquets, choke up on the grip. ;)
     
  32. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    I have been playing with extended frames for about 15 years. First with Dunlop 200G + 1 and then to the Pure Drive +, AeroPro Drive +, Storm Tour +, and now with Pro Kennex Ki5x. Babolat has been extremely successful in offering these choices, but they also have fewer lines of frames than other companies. Most other companies don't offer extended versions. Maybe its just too much of a hassle and the stores don't want to carry that many options.

    As for myself, I have always enjoyed the extra reach on my serve and backhand. For my forehand it doesn't really matter which I use, but I do get more control with standard length. At the net, I do prefer the maneuverability of a standard frame.

    Altogether, I feel that my backhand is significantly worse with standard frames since I already hit near the head. For all other aspects there are differences but all relatively minor and therefore I choose to stick to extended.

    After 15 years of playing with extended racquets and since I am starting to play more doubles, I am now willing to consider going back to 27" frame. I have yet to find something that is as good as what I am playing with now. Personally, though, I prefer 27.25".
     
  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Choking up on the grip doesn't really work.
    The problem is when choked up, WHERE exactly are you? And with no buttcap on the heel of the hand, you need to grip tighter, making a different tighter swing at the ball.
    Then on returns of serves, where do you grip? You gotta cover wide shots as well as body shots.
    I find most of my peers can handle an extra dose of power and spin, but they can't handle better placement and smarter shots. Meaning, a little more power is nice for the ego, but in the overall game, it makes very little difference.
     
  34. thecrusher956

    thecrusher956 Rookie

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    I prefer standard, the extended length really hurts when it comes to body shots and body shots at net.
     
  35. tennisfreak73

    tennisfreak73 New User

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    i actually had an aero pro drive plus (before i returned it) and honestly you have to be a beast to use that thing. it is stiff and it's not as light as one may think when looking at the specs. i had a 1hbh and it was tough to get around, and generally, imo most plus racquests are geared for the 2 hander. does the 1/2 inch come in handy? well ask yourself how many times you just framed a volley or just missed a drop shot and that should answer your question. if you are strong and have a 2 hander and not 6" tall you may get some benefit from a plus size racquet, in particular the aeropro +.

    one this i must say about the aeropro + is that spin is very easy to generate and has excellent plow through especially on slice and single hand returns, that is if you can get it around. it was just killing my arm and shoulder.
     
  36. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I love XL sticks for my 2HBH, they give me enough room for both hands comfortably and create a lot of extra torque. On the forehand it feels a bit clunky but I manage. The serve is a bit weird since I feel as though I have to toss a bit higher than normal, but other than that it's solid!

    -Fuji
     
  37. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    yes, many differences.

    (Based on my exp with APD+ compared to APD and other standard length frames I've used)

    On the plus side:
    -Easier and more consistent depth on all shots- groundies, slice, and especially defensive shots. This made a huge difference in results, everything consistently at the opps baseline.
    -Easier to hit hard, flat first serves. Much easier to get free points.
    -More solid against heavy pace (I could feel the added leverage)
    -Probably more spin

    On the down side:
    -Had a harder time hitting flat on either wing. Never mattered much in results b/c the APD+ has so much spin based power, but I did miss hitting flat winners, all kill shots had to be heavy spin for me.
    -Mid court volleys were always tough, I'm a bad at those but it was even harder for me with the 27.5
    -Often had wrist issues, and eventually shoulder issues with it. This is what killed it for me.

    I hardly lost a match in my 2 years with the APD+ but I ultimately had to retire it and my wrist and shoulder still haven't totally recovered. I tried to switch down to the standard APD which was fine for me comfort-wise but it just did not do the same thing for me. My shots were shorter, with less weight, less depth control and less pop and % on my first serve.
     
  38. thecrusher956

    thecrusher956 Rookie

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    ^I can easily hit flat with a plus version...what's your grip?
     
  39. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

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    For me, it makes a huge difference. I serve with my pinky off the frame anyway, so in a sense I get the extra length there.
    Somehow when I went back to a standard length frame, my body feels more involved and my strokes feel more solid, especially my ohbh. Some tennis theory talks about how a figure skater can spin faster when the arms are closer to the body and in the same sense, you're putting the contact point further out with the extra length.
     
  40. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    I demo'd the Juice pro. It's not even 1/2" longer but I did have better flat serves. More power and more balls in. May be because it is a new stick I didn't hit as well on the groundies.
     
  41. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    How's my night owl friend doing these days? For me, I could never get use to extended length racquets even though I have given them a shot a few times now. I ended up losing a significant amount of swing speed on groundstrokes but I do agree with your assessment they do give you a nice pop when serving.
     

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