Even Balance for Serve and Volley?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by slowfox, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Becker, McEnroe, Sampras - all preferred a racquet closer to even balance. Is it a S&V thing? "Conventional wisdom" often says more headlight is the way to go? Perhaps those 3 guys were the exception to the rule. Plus I'm not sure what guys like Edberg, Rafter, Henman and other pro serve and volleyers had their racquets at.

    Just wondering if there's some benefit to a heavier, even balance stick.
     
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  2. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    It depends on how strong you are I think. Usually a more even balance has a great impact on Swingweight, as it usually increases it dramatically the more HH you go. With volleying it's mostly about just getting the stick in position and letting the racket do the work. If you can get the stick in position with a near even balance racket, quite often you'll stick volleys pretty solidly.

    Just from my own experience of course, nothing is really set in stone.

    -Fuji
     
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  3. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    I prefer a head light stick, but it has to have plow through. My favorites have been the Babolat Pure Drive, cortex version (non-GT), and my current BLX Blade 98. I hope to continue that with either the Steam 99 S or Steam 99. I did try a HH stick once, the purple Wilson Hammer (5.x?), and ended up with terrible hand pain. Good luck!
     
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  4. corners

    corners Legend

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    All three players grew up and developed their games with wood racquets, which were all around even balance. When making the switch to graphite they took their woodie specs with them.
     
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  5. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    I think its more of a racquet for all porpoises rather than just S & V, kinda like fitting the balance for all strokes, a trade off.
     
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  6. robby c

    robby c Semi-Pro

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    They all started with wood racquets. They stayed with those specs after they changed to graphite. If you can handle the weight it does give you more heft on every type of shot, especially touch shots at net.
    Robby C
     
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  7. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    I used to prefer very HL through my 20's, along the lines of 7 plus points. I've gradually shifted down to around 4-5 pts. Maybe not a huge difference but more weight in the head does give one more feel on touch shots and, I've found, has improved my serve. I have more accuarcy and impact now.

    One of the best serving racquets I've ever hit was the KBlade 98. That was near even balance, however, without even a little HL shift all shots began to feel the same and I couldn't distinguish a slice from a flat ball coming off the strings.
     
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  8. corners

    corners Legend

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    Interesting observation.
     
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  9. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    To be fair it was a TW demo and it was a Wilson NXT string. I hit with it several times with various multis, however, I always felt the same way. Also 18 mains deadens the stringbed as well.

    My normal string is VS Team 17. I'm used to feel.
     
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  10. louis netman

    louis netman Hall of Fame

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    It's all about SW. An even balanced frame at 10oz will swing like a 12pts HL frame @ 12.5 oz. IMO, S/Vers prefer heavy and headlight.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Personally, I think it's personal choice.
    I have 12.6 oz rackets at 6 pts. headlight that volley fine.
    I also have 10.7 oz rackets evenly balanced, about 325 SW, that volley just fine.
    More important, how does the rest of the game work with that racket balance.
     
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  12. corners

    corners Legend

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    Deleted post.
     
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  13. SmilinBob

    SmilinBob Rookie

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    Well, I can't speak for other serve-and-volleyers and I may be an anomaly, but I don't like heavy, headlight sticks at all. I much prefer a lighter stick with close to even balance, if not head heavy. Here's why:

    On serve, I want to be able to feel where the tip of the racquet is during my motion. When I come through and pronate at contact, having that feel of where the tip is makes it much easier for me to move the ball around. I've also found that I get more pace with racquets that have some weight in the hoop. Heavy, headlight racquets to me suffer from two issues. The first is that as my motion starts and almost until my elbow stops going up and my arms starts to throw/pronate, swing weight doesn't matter at all. It's all static weight. Heavy sticks just wear me out as I feel like I'm dragging a log up to the ball. The second is that there's no feel without weight in the hoop and I feel like I'm not hitting through the ball as much.

    As a serve-and-volleyer I rely on holding serve to win matches. Therefore I put MUCH more emphasis on a racquet that helps that one stroke rather than being good at everything. I've hit many a racquets that would be great if my game was different but weren't so hot for me serving. I think in general, it just has to do with focusing much more on one shot rather than a bunch. Give me a fantastic serving racquet that's serviceable elsewhere over a jack-of-all-trades stick any day.

    Everybody's serve is different and your mileage may vary, that's just my observations. When it comes to the pros mentioned above, I'm inclined to agree that they transitioned from wood to graphite.

    Wholeheartedly agree. I like the soft yet powerful feel of a 16 mains pattern with a 17 gauge non-poly in it.
     
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  14. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Not true. I used the Dunlop Maxply Fort which was definitely very headlight.
     
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  15. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Even the Jack Kramer Autograph was head light, although not like the Maxply. The head heavy ones back in those days were the Davis rackets.
     
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  16. louis netman

    louis netman Hall of Fame

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    IMO, I think you have to consider the level of S/V play you're wanting to compete with. Most high level S/Vers will opt for heavy and headlight. In light of this, it really boils down to the weight of the ball that's coming back to you.
     
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  17. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    I have to agree that heavy and headlight is the way to go. If your racquet isn't heavy enough, you will have a hard time finding stability and plow through when volleying balls that are sent with substantial pace. Head-lightness on a heavy frame will make it much more maneuverable for reaction volleys, but will still allow it to plow through the ball and punch volleys away.

    If you decide to use a lighter frame however, the closer to even balance, the better.
     
    #17

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