I have to say that there's nothing like a heavy, solid stick

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Torres, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Been experimenting with some 315g-330g sticks over the last few months, adjusting stock weights and balances, and whilst there are some advantages in manouverability, and RHS, there really is nothing like a solid, hefty stick for getting results.

    Slices bite more, serves boom, volleys are rock solid, you can dominate the rallies just that bit more, generate more action and pace on the ball, as well as increasing the ability to turn defence in offense. Mixed with good, fresh poly - I use BHBR 17 - it really is just bliss.

    I've gone back to my 6.1 95s (350g-355g), and I'm staying there.

    That is all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
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  2. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I'm surprised you didn't switch to a PS 6.0 85. :lol: LOL
     
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  3. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    ^ I would, but its 2011, not 1985. More rotations on the ball to deal with these days ;-)
     
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  4. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    I concur, there is really not downside to a heavier racket, if you can get it moving fast enough and your body can handle the stress. Even 330 was a bit too much for me, causing fatigue in long matches and tender elbow/shoulder, before I started working out more (outside of tennis).
     
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  5. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Just got me a 6.1 95 18 x 20 and can't wait to try it out.Moving up from a custom 330g N Blade (1pt h/light).A little extra headspeed should make life interesting.Also,a little more maneuverable on reflex volleys.
     
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  6. TonyB

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    My 40-year old wrist and elbow sometimes complain about swinging a heavy racquet around for 2 hours, but in general I wouldn't be able to play anywhere near the level that I do without it.

    My current frame is 360g and around 340 SW. I've tried dropping to 350g, but I notice the difference right away (in a bad way).

    The one downside is that you can't just flick your wrist at the last minute for a defensive shot. Just too much to ask from an old wrist. But when you can get a decent swing on a rally ball, you can really get some pro-quality shots out of a heavier frame. Volleys are like butter, too. The heavy racquet just absorbs the power and reflects it back.

    Another downside is that it does get fatiguing over a long match. My serves suffer in the 3rd set. But for 1-2 sets, it feels great.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
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  7. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    Is that 360 strung, or not?

    Yeah, 3rd set is a killer with a heavy racket, especially when you spent 2hrs on the first two. It's so common to see older guys play solid the first set, drop a bit in a second, and bomb in the third, and a lot of them use heavy rackets. I guess it's a trade off, between better start and stronger finish.
     
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  8. OldButGame

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    As an older guy, and I'm not speaking for all,..but You are pretty accurate with this,..as far as im concerned,...:neutral:
     
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  9. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    Didn't mean anything bad by it, just something to consider :) Some of our older club members changed to a lighter racket, and it improved their performance in the USTA league.
     
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  10. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    I'd rather hit better shots for 2 hours than scrub around and not play my game with a light frame for 3, even if I ended up winning the match. Maybe if I were a pro, I'd feel differently, but this isn't a way of life for me. It's exercise and personal satisfaction. I get more satisfaction from playing my game and enjoying the shots I hit than I do from winning.
     
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  11. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Seriously???....SERIOUSLY????
     
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  12. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    If you can put the same strokes on the ball - for the same duration - with a 350g racquet as you can with a 320g racquet; then, sure. Why not?
     
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  13. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    Yes. Seriously. We are not all the crazy-cut, freaky-fit stallions that you spend your valuable time with.;-)
     
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  14. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I'm no spring chicken.

    Don't mistake tiredness and the breakdown of footwork which severely affects timing and stroke production, to perceived breakdown of said strokes do to wielding a 15 gram heavier racket in the third set when the tiredness occurs, nor the loss of racquet head acceleration while serving due to the inability to push off the ground with tired legs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
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  15. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    I'm pretty much in love with the BLX 95 16*18, a lot of it has to due with its wt.
     
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  16. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    I know from personal experience, that 15+ grams does make a difference in a long match, and I am in my early 30s and in pretty good shape. It's not just that you get tired from swinging a heavier racket, it's also that you tire overall, which makes is harder to swing a heavier racket. Of course, it doesn't mean anyone should consider switching to a lighter racket, it's a personal choice and depends on playing style, technique and fitness level.

    For me about 330 is just about right, for someone else it may be 350.
     
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  17. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    You need to carefully re-read what I wrote, and put it in context.
     
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  18. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Just finished hitting with the K 6.1 95 and wow,what a blast.So easy to drill the ball,hit winners and put the opponent under pressure with depth and pace.Even with TE and having to run around my stronger b/h,the f/h came off heavy and deep.Can't wait until my elbow heals and I can give the serve and backhand a ride.To all you 'players racquet' users out there,we are living the dream.
     
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  19. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I'm with roman40. I'm in his age range and find 315g-330g to be the best suitable weight. Anecdotally, there's a 40-ish guy in our group who swings a 12oz federer tour and terribly inconsistently. Typical recreational player who has no training or even if he's technically good, he doesn't train regularly like a pro so (no rec player does) it's easily to slip into lousy, lazy/tired set-up, arm-only swing which leads to terrible game.

    It takes serious effort and training to do or use anything heavy. As competent as Federer and Nadal are, they still train hitting simple groundstrokes and tend their fitness day in and day out. These are all the things that recreational people do not do. Hence, it's unlikely that a 350g racket would help their tennis.
     
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  20. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Sorry,let me clarify the above post.I am 42,I hit balls (fixtures 2times)3 times a week but train the rest of my body(arms,legs,core,shoulders a total of 5 times a week plus play over 35/open tournaments regularly.I would probably not be considered a rec player.This submission is in response to the OP whom is also not likely arec player.
     
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  21. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    While I agree with your initial statement, I don't see why you can't have weight and RHS? If anything I find it easier with my 350gram 320mm balance Dunlops than lighter sticks.
     
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  22. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Little bit of a chicken-or-the-egg discussion starting to happen here I think.

    Safe to say that a lot of us have seen good or even exceptional players swinging everything from fly swatters to tree trunks on the courts. When someone has a whole lotta game along with some decent fitness, I think that display of ability tends to make the racquet fade into the background just a bit, at least for me. Whatever...

    I've always loved the heavier gear myself, probably because I go to the net so much. If my frame is too light and unstable for me, I'm in big trouble, but I also think I'm a product of my "gear history" having grown up with wood racquets and heavier graphite models later on.

    In any case, my reality is that if I want to trade bullets with some of the young sluggers I coach or have a good grind session with one of my hitting pals, I need a hefty racquet to really impose my will on the ball. I've tried some middleweights - for me, that's a bit under 12 oz. - and haven't had any success. My one-handed backhand is even more "self-propelled" when I have enough inertia in my racquet, along with proper timing in my stroke. That's me.
     
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  23. Avadia

    Avadia Rookie

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    I have to disagree with this. I am 46 and a typical rec player at the 4.0 level. I play 3-4 times a week and prefer a heavy head light racquet. I have lately been using Dunlop AG 4D 200 Tour and PK ionic Ki 5 PSE. These weigh 12 and 13 oz. (340 to 358 grams) strung and are 6 and 9 pts headlight. I don't find that I get tired or that my strokes suffer during a long match. I do know that I have to be vigilant about setting up earlier with the heavier racquet or I will be late hitting the ball. But the weight gives me all kinds of advantages and I wouldn't want to play without it. My serves have more sting, my groundstrokes have more pace and depth, and my defensive shots are more likely to keep me in the point.

    Having said all that, it does depend on what you can physically handle. I am 6'1" and 215 lbs. and can bench press my own weight, so I am definitely physically strong enough to handle a heavy racquet. In some ways, it is also what you get used to. When I started using the 12 oz. 5 pts. HL Dunlop, it felt heavy and sluggish and I had a hard time whipping it around to the contact point (my previous racquet was just as heavy but much more head light). But after using the 13 oz. 9pts. HL PK monster stick, the Dunlop actually feels light and whippy!

    At any rate, I don't think you can take your personal experience and expand it to all "typical rec players". I know quite a few league players who use heavy (12 oz. and up) racquets and do just fine. Remember, it wasn't that long ago when all the racquets used by "typical rec players" were this heavy or heavier.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
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  24. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Just curious as to what level you guys play at? Because I'm much older than you guys and I have no trouble at all swinging a 365g PS 6.0 85 for 3 sets. And I don't ever work out at all so I'm not in very good shape.
     
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  25. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Ava,

    I didn't make the comment based on my own personal experience. I made that observation based on my playing from 3, 4 court parks, a pool of 150-200rec players and some of which claim to be in tournament. Take it anyway you want. Obviously there's always a few like yourself who think they play well with a hefty racket. At any rate if hefty racket is really what it cracks up to be, you'd see the majority of tour pro (talking about tournament players) relying on it. But I think most are using average to light weight relative to their calibers. Think about that truism.
     
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  26. Avadia

    Avadia Rookie

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    Well, that's a pretty snide remark. I know I play better with a hefty racquet. I hit more aces on the serve. My groundstrokes have more pace and spin and tend to push my opponents back. And I don't get pushed around by heavy hitters. I have played with enough racquets of different weights and swing weights to know for sure what works best for me. And I have the results to show for it, playing very well at the 4.0 level.

    For that matter, I know more than a few people who are solid rec level players who prefer heavier frames. I don't generally see them "slipping into lousy, lazy/tired set-up, arm-only swings." I see them plastering the ball with good form, same as I do.
     
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  27. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Admittedly there's a little snide touch to it but my statement is foremost to say that your case, the few, is more the exception than the rule. How else would I say it? There's always exception and it's in the few.

    Again, generally speaking, do you agree with my assertion that it'd take more effort and training to use hefty equipment, and it's something that most non-pro players do not do?

    i'm not sure what we're arguing about now. LOL. I stated my observation of the reality I see, backed by explanation and reasoning. So, again, my conclusion is hefty racket isn't what it cracks up to be. It doesn't make sense for me and most people I know to use hefty sticks.
     
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  28. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Really....I'm old enough to be some of their fathers.

    What is really happening is a perceived tiredness due to the weight of the racquet, instead of understanding that tiredness leads to timing and stroke breakdown, making the stick feel heavier.
     
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  29. Avadia

    Avadia Rookie

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    I don't agree with your assertion that it takes more effort and training to use hefty equipment. It does take some getting used to, if you are coming from a light stick. But seriously, it doesn't take a ton of training or anything like that. It helps if you have a little strength though.

    I think most people use lighter sticks because that is what is marketed to them by the manufacturers. I also think as most people progress in skill level, they tend to migrate toward heavier frames. They are called "player frames" for a reason.
     
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  30. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    The key is proper stretching and exercise. No matter what racquet you swing.
     
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  31. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I think I'm a bit out of the ball park here but my KPS88's are swinging at around 388 grams strung! I personally love them and everything they do for my game. Nothing else really hits like them! Volleys are god like and so are return of serves. The only thing that suffers is serving late in the 3rd set. This can be easily remedied with better conditioning however. My whole game is based around attacking though, so if my matches are lasting 3+ hours, I'm doing something wrong anyways! ;)

    -Fuji
     
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  32. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I'm at a point the past two years where I'm just confused by the weight issue. . . I wonder if I'm making excuses for performing bad in the third set. Maybe I'm just tired from all the running!

    I tried a light (for me) racquet, at 11.8 ounces, and found it too fluffy and insubstantial.
     
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  33. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    Point taken. Tired legs/heavy feet - that will kill the stroke faster than just about anything, I suppose. 15 grams may make a difference to some; 30-40 grams heavier will make a bigger difference to many more. Come the third set, with a 350g racquet, I know my serves will suffer and I'll be late on more groundstrokes than I would with a 315.
     
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  34. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    nice sig ;)


    for me a heavy stick helps me get a little extra behind juice on my shots, and also feels nice and solid at the net.
     
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  35. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    True. That's why I said, if you can swing a heavier racquet as effectively as you can a lighter one, then go with the heavier racquet. Not to mention you (and others) are bringing up one of my favorite heavy lines - the n/k/blx 6.1's. Those sticks truly are the sh*t. :cool:
     
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  36. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    I agree with this, from personal experience. I remember playing with the K90 and thinking that it was the best racquet I've ever swung ... for about an hour. After that, shoulder fatigue set in, and I didn't connect as well as before. I guess I need to be stronger and fitter to be able to wield that stick.

    And, coming to think of it, the difference in weight between that racquet and my stock racquet (PK Redondo) is about 12-15 grames, and the swing-weight difference is less than 10 units. Still, I felt the difference vividly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
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  37. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    In my experience this is absolutely true! I'm a 55 year old rec player hitting with a 360g 4D200Tour. When I tire in a long match it is because my legs tire from moving my 100 kg (!) body around the court, and as a consequence my strokes suffer because I am getting late in position, not because my arm tires from the extra couple of grams in my racket... I've tried lighter rackets, but I never noticed an appreciable difference in swing speed, because I use the big muscles in my trunk to get my racket (and arm @ ~ 3 kg!!!) moving. I regularly practice my serve hitting hundreds of serves in a row, and my last couple of serves tend to be the best... (PS. I'm in reasonable shape, but certainly not an athlete!)

    I'm always amazed when folks claim with great certainty that with a 15-30g lighter racket they tire less in the third set of a close match. How can you possibly tell? Every match is different, your opponent(s) vary, the conditions vary, your own shape and form varies, and so on and so forth... This makes your personal experience totally subjective. To be able to test for an objective, statistically significant difference for the effect of a lighter versus a heavier racket on your tiredness in the third set you'd need to play at least 15 3-setters with each racket (blinded!) and measure your tiredness in an objective way...

    Subjectively, I'm pretty sure that most of the recent matches I lost in the third set, I would have already lost in the second if I had played with a lighter racket instead... :)
     
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  38. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Well, it's not 15 3-setters (not sure where you get that 15 is statistically sound), but I changed from a 360g racket (C10 Pro) to a 345g racket (M-Pro No 1) 3 weeks ago and have noticed that my shoulder is less fatigued in the 3rd set than it had been during previous matches.

    Now, I will caveat this by saying any shoulder fatigue I felt came later in matches, against D1 or D2 players more than half my age (I'm 43), and only on clay courts where I routinely hit balls above my shoulder. On hard & indoor I could handle the added heft as most balls are waist high and most points are over after 6-8 hits.

    Some of you may say "Duh! Don't hit balls above the shoulder", but that is easier said than done. I tried moving back 8-10ft from the baseline and I wasn't comfortable back there (I tend to hug the baseline). If I move in any further, I'll be playing from no-man's land.

    So for now I am moving to a slightly lighter racket. I'll let you know when I hit that magical 15 3-set match mark...
     
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  39. sansaephanh

    sansaephanh Professional

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    You guys argue too much. Go play tennis and stfu.
     
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  40. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I have tried the whole spectrum of weight...from 12.5 oz to 11 and found more benefits (for my level 3.5) with the lighter racquets. I find myself not perfectly set up many times and this is where the lighter weight really helps. I found that I preferred a "medium" weight of around 11.5 oz strung. Heavy enough to some plowthru and light enough for defensive "flick" shots.
     
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  41. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Agreed, I bought 11 oz racket (316 SW) but customized with lead, dampener, grip replacement, and overgrip to 12 oz with 338 SW. It is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH BETTER with more weight. No freakin' comparison. More spin, easier power, good stability on volleys, and much easier on the arm.

    I'm 54. Any adult past 16 years old, should be able to handle a SW of at least 330. If you cannot, I think it is mostly in your head.

    By the way, if I tire in 3rd set; it is my legs and stamina that show fatigue more than my ability to swing the rackets.

    My wife is 53, 5'4" and small in size. She plays SW about 330-335 and handles it with no problem.

    FORCE = MASS * ACCELERATION and there is no way around that basic law of physics. If you have a lighter rackets, you must swing it faster to generate the same spin and ball speed. Swinging it faster requires more timing and introduces errors. It also is very difficult to "swing it faster" when you are volleying, slicing, or blocking back a fast serve. These types of shots require some mass behind the contact point to be effective.

    95% of ATP pros play SW over 350 g. Even WTA pros frequently play SW over 350 g.

    Mass also protects your arm as the weight absorbs impact.

    Manufacturers are screwing public over with the new rackets with very low SW unless you customize to get decent plow.
     
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  42. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    I typically like a racquet in the 350-360g range. Given that I weigh 108,862 grams, swinging a stick that amounts to 0.3% of my body weight is not significant :)

    Seriously, though, as a 3.5, I find that a heavy racquet helps my serves, my volleys, and, most especially, off-center hits.
     
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  43. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    TennisCJC: I just wanted to chime in, my Girlfriends racket that I modded for her has a SW of 340-345 and she loves it. She knows nothing about racket technology or science of it, but she much prefers it now compared to when it was around 320.

    I can't remember who said it, but most ATP pro's swingweights are in the 360-390 mark. Definitely high, but I think that higher swingweights even help lower level players connect for a lot more solid shots.

    -Fuji
     
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  44. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Agreed. I mod-ed my wife's racket too and she like it better with hi-er SW. My last 2 rackets have been around 337-340 g SW and this works for me at 4.0-4.5 levels. I sometimes consider going hi-er but it feels very stable here and generates easy power with good spin.

    I have not played a racket with a sw below 320 that felt solid, and I have tried many.
     
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  45. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Right now my swingweights are in the 370's. I do have a racket that has a swingweight of around 400, but I rarely use it. They for sure get the job done at this level! (4.0-4.5) As long as I make contact with the ball, the shot is heavy enough to push my opponent back, or at least neutralize their offense.

    The lowest swingweight I enjoy playing with is around 335-340. Anything lighter just gets too whippy for my liking, even with my WW forehand.

    -Fuji
     
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  46. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    i guess my style is that I don't rely much on racket weight. I like the feeling of light weight that I can totally control and whip the ball any way i want. I always suspect that this is a different style of hitting than the one where you rely on a weighty racket to plow through the shot.
     
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  47. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

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    After having shoulder surgery and trying numerous frames over the last 2 years, I will aslo concede that a frame that is HL around 12.3-12.5 oz seems to produce the best results for me, especially with my 1HBH and serving. I also find that my overall control and weight of shot is much more predictable with heavier frames than with lighter ones. I always find myself adding weight to lighter frames to make them play more solidly.
    My surgeon also commented that I should try to play with heavier flexy frames and it will protect my shoulder better than using lighter stiffer frames, so that is what I try to do. I have an ag 200 tour on the way and I am excited to see how it compares to the ag4d 200, which I find a little underpowered and missing the plow my old 200GMW's used to have.
     
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  48. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    There is no doubt that using the heaviest and softest frame for shoulder issues is the only way to go. Doing so allows the stick to do the work, absorbing the force of the ball, and not stressing your arm. Strategically, if the ball overloads your range, take the loss of point and let it go--you don't play tennis for a living.
     
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  49. EKnee08

    EKnee08 Professional

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    What age do you consider "older"? I'm thinking about a lighter stick but like the heavier ones.
     
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  50. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But what do you do against opponents that hit the ball hard and heavy? They will knock a low swingweight racquet right out of your hand. Your best defense is weight.
     
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