Discussion in 'Racquets' started by jd1966, Mar 27, 2006.
please discuss the pros / cons of head light vs. head heavy racquets... thanks
You sound like one of my 10th standard social science teachers - discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a democratic government...
Anyway, to be brief and in general, HH gives you more power and is less stable on volleys. HL is what most people use (atleast 3.5 and over) for better control and is more forgiving on the arm and more stable on impact.
I've learned to appreciate "EB" (Even Balanced) raquets or close to it (up to 5 points HL)...
HL all the way for me.
Much better manouverability, stability and feel. Also, HH hurts one's arm more.
As it is I have both HH and HL racquets in my posession, so I speak from my own experience.
HH much better on comfort rallying and hitting deep without effort.
HL much better under pressure but alot of mishits and sometimes the ball go mysteriously short.
i think as you get intermediate or advanced-intermediate that HL is where you want to be. maybe not extreme.
i could elaborate further if you're interested.
When I was a beginner, I played HH...
But now I can't stand HH. HL is awesome...
Weight in the head - this is where you need it.
But you cannot put much weight in there because the racquet would become too heavy to handle (high swingweight) though you still need that weight for stability - therefore you start adding more weight into the only place left without swingweight increasing too much - the handle.
As you are done and have your stick around 12oz - you are probably headlight already - but it's not because headlight is better (some people confuse cauze and consequence here), it's because you've been forced to do so.
Manufacturers have realised that lots of people playing club tennis are unfit couch potatoes and they don't play heavy hitters - two good reasons not to need that weight - but these people still want to smack the ball hard.
To satisfy needs of these people manufacturers have come up with light racquets, and they have removed weight from the only place possible to still retain overall power - the handle, they have removed so much weight from there that they needed to make racquets even stiffer which increases power even more.
So that's the story - you would love to have the weight in the head - that's the spot you hit the ball with, right? you don't use hammer handle to hit the nail, do you? But the swingweight might be too high to handle - though bigger swingweight is better for power and stability, not for racquet head speed though.
So there are many variables in this equation, you need to consider all.
check the links I give in this posting:
Best arm friendly racquets?
If you swing like a beginner you go head heavy (>0 pt. balance). If you swing like you know something, you go head light (<0 pt. balance).
Pete Sampras racket was prob Head heavy considering all the lead tape he put on the frame?
Great post. I was going to weigh in, but I agree with everything you said, so now I don't have to.
I think sampras's stick was about 1 pt HL with all the lead tape he put on it based on various info on these message boards. Carlos Moya seems to have an actual head heavy racquet, though I'm not certain haven't seen anything on the boards that is final.
i believe many of the spanish players have hh racquets (lead tape added to the head to change balance) to really let the racquet work the ball. also, many pros play w/ racquets w/ near even balance for increased stability. recreational players either choose hh or hl racquets because hh racquets are light to swing, and have power in the head (stable) or hl racquets which are heavier, but can't have too much weight in the head, else they can't swing it effectively.
Traditionally baseliners prefer more mass in the head of their frames and serve/volleyers/allcourters prefer more headlight
I tryed one of this for the first time today, it was the tirad hyper hammer.
Felt pretty nice for basline and serve, very unstable at net, it relys on inertia to keep stable, and manuverability not so good.
But it really changed my mind about these rackets
I have heard the opposite - bad on arm, etc.
Just because Sampras used leadtape on the head doesn't mean weight was not added to the handle to balance it....on the whole he played with balanced sticks - neither HH nor HL...
I believe he had his racquet counter-weighted in the handle to preserve HL.
If you're a hard hitter then head light is better so you can have more control on your strokes (for advanced player). If you're a beginner with weak strokes, use a HH racket and then change to HL once you get better.
pete sampras racquet
very nice info
Let's call HL anything north of 4 pts. All else equal, HL are easiest on arm, esp for 1HBH, easier to combine with higher weight and still have maneuverably, only way to go if you spend a lot of time at the net, they like a faster swing. Make you do more of the work on a serve, but more precise. All of which is why many pros use them.
Near neutral (say 0 to 4 pts) are nice if you camp out on baseline, have 2HBH, or have a slower speed swing. If the racquet is on the light side (say 10.8-11.5 oz), you can still maneuver it but get more power for less swing effort. Easier than HL to whack a big serve. Can be trouble for the arm unless lighter/good mechanics. Need good volley prep and technique to be good for that. Decent number of baseliner pros, esp women, use these, and a lot of strong amateur baseliners.
HH are for better power when you have a restricted swing or swing speed, tend to produce unhappy arms unless you have good mechanics, unwieldy for volleys unless light, which can make for even more arm woes, allow you to really kill serves if you can get them moving. Lot of smaller or older players use these, some pros or good amateurs lead up their hoops, have excellent mechanics, know what they're doing and why. Otherwise to be avoided, and do not agree that beginners (by def with weak mechanics) should start with HH sticks. Whatever hard returns they gain even with bad swings will be offset by their sore arms and lazy habits (my .02).
I dont understand that so many think that hh is for baseline play. I have tried them+ there is no control when hitting hard. I think hh racquets are for those who dont have enough power.
Hl is so much easier to generate fast racquet head speed+maintain good control. Also as mentioned hh racquets are hard on the arm.
Head Heavy helps with stability. Head light helps with manuverability.
On of the effects of head heaviness was a higher sweetspot, another effect was increased injuries. That is why HH racquets are virtually extinct now in comparison with the very popular Wilson Hammer series back in the days.
i'm a bit confused about how the pros deal with SW.
if they used to higher SW, then how come they use HL sticks?
(forgive my confusion).
because HL racquets feel more maneuverable.
yes i know,
but i thought their SW is high, so how can it be so HL?
(am i confused? )
polarization and/or very high static weight.
ok... i thing i get it.
I very much prefer HL. Small head (85-93 sq in).
Is it possible to convert or reduce the HH effects on the arm with some weight on the butt cap for example ?
I have two racquet a Pro Tour 280 that is around 340-345gr strung but with HL 5-8 i don't remember, and now i acquired a Pro Lite Tour 630 that is HH 8, but 300gr strung.
I thought that could use the Lite like a second racquet, i thought they were the same racquet, but discovered not.
I play very good with the Pro Tour 280, so if i want to get the lite similar in specs, control, do i need to add weight on the butt cap ? Or because it is lighter i don't need it ?
Let me know what you think about it.
For me it should be 6-8 pts, specifically when we are talking about frames 330+. No one really uses a head heavy frame so it shouldn't really be on topic. I prefer 12pts+ hl.
I prefer them weighted towards the butt end .
I do not agree with you. HH should be more stable on volleys. Most Doubles players play close to Even balance or less HL balance for a reason. But singles players play a lot HL like 10 pts etc for a reason.
In general I find the more HL balance a racuqet is it will be easy to wip for forehand to generate spin. Serve is also easy with more HL balance because the head is ligher and only the head snaps at the point of contact. Easy to snap the head on the ball with HL racquet.
I used to prefer 12 Oz 8+ pts HL racquets before, which should be perfect for a singles player with good technique. Now that I understand my own lack of technique, I go for 11.5 oz 5 pts HL racquet. This way I get a lighter and relatively HL racquet.
What does Even balance racquet mean?
I've wondered the same. Say if you have a 2pt HH racquet with a swingweight of 310 that weights 10.5 ounces and you add .5 ounces to the handle that's going to change the swingweight and the balance. You're getting more plow through and a whippier swing right?
In theory all that does is change the balance. you dont really change SW at all by doing that. Though it probably helps with a whippier swing and added comfort from a higher recoil weight.
My 2 cents is that its a good strategy to do just that: start with a HH frame and add weight to the handle. My go to racket these days starts at 15pts HH but ends up around 4 pts HL. I used to play with obscenely HL rackets like 36pts. IMHO there is a correlation between static weight and HL balance with the heavier a frame is in most cases getting you more HL balance to control the racket. Starting with a light HH racket its easier to customize to a higher SW but lower static weight if you use a more even balance.
...and just for the record, we're talking about a balance point that moves no more than 1.5" from center on a 27" racquet. It's not like there's not mass in the head of a head-light racquet.
Old info but pretty much still pertinent
Some other classic topics are on this older web site but the logic is still there....
For me, I would have some start with the heaviest frame they can handle properly, not the lightest.
And would stay very close to an even balance to HL.
HH....nope, don't suggest it nor recommend it.
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