Heavy Racket vs. Light Racket

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by tennisnewbie09, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. tennisnewbie09

    tennisnewbie09 New User

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    I've been reading a lot about why you should have a heavy racket and why you should have a lighter racket. A lot of the information I read is very theoretical and geared towards marketing. We all know that theories and marketing is about convincing people to spend their money on new rackets.

    I'm asking for people with experience to chime in and provide me with some information, insights, and advice on the benefits of having a heavy and/or light racket?

    Whatever information you can provide about the pros and cons of playing with a heavy versus light racket and does it matter if the heavy or light racket is stiff or flexible?

    Also, is a heavy or light racket better for beginners and what do you do when you improve? Move to a different racket based on weight? Why do the pros add lead tape and why do we even need to customize our rackets if technique, conditioning, and footwork, ultimately will determine how well we play?

    I know there is so much information out there and to me, it's really confusing and I wish that I can find it simplified (if this is indeed even possible).

    Thanks for any information, insights, and advice.
     
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  2. un6a

    un6a Semi-Pro

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    Light vs Heavy, is very personal thing. It depends on your strength, technique, style of play etc. You must try some racquets and find your comfort zone.
    It was stated many times here that ideally you should play with heaviest racquet you can comfortably handle for few hours of hitting.
     
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  3. Candide

    Candide Professional

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    For what it's worth heavy all the way. If you want to protect your body and develop your game then having some weight behind the ball can't be beat. Tweener racquets are misnamed and misunderstood. The Nadals and so on can use them because they have perfect technique but if you are working on your game the temptation to 'wrist' or 'arm' the ball with these things is always there and hence the never ending complaints about arm pain from social tennis players. Go big.
     
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  4. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    Use the heaviest racquet you can and the thinnest strings you can. Your racquet should also be at least somewhat headlight, how much is a personal preference.
     
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  5. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    To the OP. Are you a beginner at tennis and that is why you are asking this question? I can see you have made 19 posts, but joined in 2008. With so many threads on this subject since 2008, have you not seen any?

    Sorry to sound negative, but it's not clear from your question as to whom this racket is for? It just seems as if you are asking a bunch of questions that get asked every other day.

    In summary, personal choice; after trying a few out you find out whether you prefer a heavy or light racket, large or small head.....the rest is just fine tuning of strings and grips that most people seem to change shortly after they have just had a bad game.
     
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  6. paul_tennis

    paul_tennis Rookie

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    IMO is a personal preference, some like heavy racquets others like light racquets.

    I personally like heavy ones, currently playing with a BLX90.
     
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  7. Volley123

    Volley123 New User

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    With my shoulder I can no longer play as long with my 12 oz Prince Graphite. I now go with a 10.7oz Volkl and it has helped. As I strengthen my shoulder I will probably transition to a something heavier but still below the 12 oz. So lighter racquets for shoulder issues, heavier for TE.
     
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  8. Racketdesign

    Racketdesign Rookie

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    Heavy and headlight, within your own limits.
     
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  9. lobman

    lobman Rookie

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    If you haven't, check out the Jo11yroger Guide to Racquet Selection on the Board--really good stuff. My experience is what he recommends--go with the heaviest racquet you can comfortably handle. I'm using a 12.6 oz and my game has improved as a result.
     
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  10. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    Medium W and somewhat HL is the way to go. Over 11 - 11.5oz it would be heavy enough not to hurt your elbow and light enough not to hurt the shoulder (assuming yo are an average male). Then if you wanted to weigh it up a bit, there's still space and it's easy.
    On the other hand, it is quite hard to reduce the weight of an already heavy racquet.

    BTW, the "tweeners" are not light racquets. They are mostly medium.
     
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  11. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    I recommend using a light racquet and build coordinated ball hit- swing speed,,Heavy racquets are a recipe for serious shoulder injury unless your ready to use them,

    remember you have to run around with this heavy racquet and that will tire ya out,

    with a light racquet its always easy to carry around and hit the ball.

    newbies-use a light racquet to get use to what your doing

    oldies- use a heavier racquet as now you know the shortcuts and ya dont tank yourself chasing balls down.

    :mrgreen:
     
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  12. tennisnewbie09

    tennisnewbie09 New User

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    thanks!

    Thanks for all the advice and sharing of experience. I've been playing on and off for the past 3+ years. I don't play more than a few months at a time because I have to travel for work and each time I come back to the game, I have trouble with my strokes.

    I've asked teaching pros in my area and they recommend lighter rackets, which they said will help me swing quicker to get the ball in front of me, but then there are those that believe a heavier racket will force me to hit the ball more fundamentally and it slows my swing down so I have to focus more on technique and footwork. I just get confused and that's why I asked all these questions.

    Ultimately, I just want a racket that I can feel comfortable with. I've demo tons of rackets and I sort of like the "tweeners" racket, I guess. Off all the rackets I've tried, I've seem to play best with the Head or Prince rackets. I play the worst with Wilson and Babolat for some reason, which was why I asked about stiffness and flexibility.

    Thanks again for all the advice and experience. Now that I have more information, I'm as confused as ever :confused:
     
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  13. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Right, so you should know exactly what you're doing or you should be guided how to swing a heavy racquet properly. Otherwise it it safer to use a lighter racquet and... play badminton ;)
     
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  14. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    Brilliant, my case, I played mostly with aroung 300g frame, but for Golfer Elbow went to a 315g (322 with lead tape) frame but head light one.

    At the end of day, like un6a said is about personal preferences.
     
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  15. makinao

    makinao Rookie

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    When I started playing at 12 in the 70's, the tennis books I read said a "light" racquet was about 12oz, "medium" was from 13-14oz., and "heavy" was 15-16oz. My first racquet was a hand-me-down "medium". Since then, i've either bought stock, or weighted up all my racquet to at least 11.5oz strung. I never had a head-heavy racquet. I guess I simply got used to that kind of weight and balance. My legs will usually go before I'm too tired to swing my racquet. My present racquets are over 12oz strung.
     
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  16. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Throughout my teaching and coaching, I like to remind everyone that learning this game is very much about developing dozens of little habits which all need some degree of maintenance. You're not alone as far as getting rusty every time you get away from the game for a while. Busy players can sometimes benefit from a long weekend off, but once we take a couple of weeks away from the courts, we usually start to lose it in some way or another. The GREAT news (I think) is that after you get a couple more years under your belt, you'll have more of a foundation built up that will be less likely to evaporate over your time off. As long as you're learning and practicing good habits, you won't need to worry about unlearning them down the road.

    For better or worse, you'll probably know what's a good fit for you in terms of the right racquet when you feel it on the courts. That's why so many of us encourage our pals here to demo racquets when they can, since there's really no substitute for getting to know any racquet by hitting with it. One idea that might help over time is to keep a little record of any frames you sample along the way. That may give you a better idea of what you prefer in terms of a racquet's static weight, balance, and flex.

    There is certainly such a thing as too light of a racquet for a certain player, but there's also such a thing as too heavy. If a racquet is light enough for you, it should be okay for a full day's action on the courts without wearing you out, but also heavy enough that it will be somewhat stable through contact and do some work for you as far as sending the ball where you want.

    While a frame's weight will contribute much to its stability and potential for powerful shots, the flex of a racquet has a lot to do with its relative amount of "pop" or the general response of the string bed (given a similar string setup). A racquet with more flex might seem to have more control, but if a frame is rather flexible and also rather light weight, it may seem relatively under-powered. You may notice that many frames with flex ratings in the low 60's or lower are also around 11.8 oz. or more.

    Some stiffness in a racquet might be better for some pop on volleys and blocked shots, but a racquet that's especially stiff might also be rather "hot" and unpredictable. The Babolat Pure Drive is a very popular model, but it's what I'd call a middle-weight with lots of stiffness. That makes for a rather lively racquet, but also one that's easier to swing fast. Players who want to hit with lots of spin or hit with a little less than maximum effort can benefit from this sort of racquet. Again, we find these things out as we go.

    Although you mentioned that you've done better with Head and Prince racquets, those makers have lots of different models with lots of different spec's. It's impossible to know what you could be better off using without knowing the specific models that you tried. If you remember anything you liked or hated, feel free to share.
     
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  17. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    BASIC RACQUET FACTS
    A heavier frame = more power.
    A heavier frame = less vibration.
    A heavier frame = larger sweetspot.
    A stiffer frame = more power.
    A stiffer frame = larger sweetspot.
    A stiffer frame transmits more of the shock load to the arm than a more flexible frame.
    A stiffer frame provides a more uniform ball response across the entire string plane.
    A larger frame = more power.
    A larger frame = resistant to twisting.
    A larger frame = larger sweetspot.
    A longer frame = more velocity and therefore more power.
    A longer frame = more spin due to increased velocity.

    Pretty much use the heaviest frame you can manage, and head lightness allows you to do that
     
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Balanced by...
    A lighter frame you can actually handle......
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Meaning, you can bring a full auto .50 caliber machine gun to a fight, but if you gotta hump it 30 miles TO the fight, maybe a Glock 9 might have been the better call.
     
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  20. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I went the lighter route about a year and a half ago to get faster swing speed. Note- never had elbow issues. Dramatically increased my swing speed, my top spin, gave me more bite on my kick serve, helped me (I think it did anyway) prepare quicker especially on returns of serve to my BH.

    Downside was I had to make adjustments on volleys and drop shots, lost a little velocity on first serves.

    I might go up a little in weight, but I like my faster swing speed. Different strokes for different folks.
     
    #20
  21. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I played with woodies in 70' and 80'... Thanks God, I don't have to do it any more :D
    Ir really referred to medium in todays terms and common weights. 11.5oz that you mentioned, is bang on to what I'm talking about. Never go HH, I agree. Most of 320-330g racquets of SW 315 to 325, would be about 4 to 6 pts HL.
     
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  22. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    You already answered most of your questions and more... You know the rough specs that you like and you already have some brand prefference. Should be easy to refine it from there...
     
    #22

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