Just Add Lead - the TW racquet (& shot) fix-all

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by OrangeOne, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    When I read a thread where someone is posting about a (perceived) problem with their racquet (or sometimes about a problematic shot / serve / game), I'll often check the following, just for my own amusement....

    ....how many posts does it take before someone suggests that, whatever the problem is, adding some lead (commonly at '3 & 9') will solve it?

    The other day I found a thread where it was suggested in post 3 (ie. reply 2), and just thenI saw an OP mention themselves within their OP (...my racquet feels hollow, will adding lead help?).

    I swear there must be an army of posters out there who wait for a racquet thread to be posted, and they almost compete to be the first to say "Have you thought of adding some lead?" ;) It's like the TW Racquet-Forums own little version of 'Godwin's Law':
    As a TW Racquet (or shot/serve/game improvement) thread grows longer, the probability of a someone suggesting the addition of lead to the frame approaches one.
    I think, perhaps it's time to counter such suggestions with the stark truth, the truth that no-one really wants to know. Anyone who wants to is welcome to join in on the bandwagon of sharing reality. The next time someone asks why their shots are going long or their backhand up the line doesn't have enough spin, I dare you to say:

    Just add practice :D
     
    #1
  2. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    damn, you mean adding lead won't make me better? i guess i have to remove the 3 lbs of lead (at 3 and 9) now :sad:
     
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  3. Duzza

    Duzza Legend

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    I agree. I've evolved from the old mentality that adding lead may improve my game. Because while it may, improving my fitness and actually hitting more balls would be just as good for me. I pretty much let the racquet do it's own thing these days as long as it doesn't give me any injuries in return :D
     
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  4. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like a great sig line.
     
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  5. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    i wish you told me that earlier. would've saved me a fortune with all the racquets i've bought in my lifetime. course i'd still be playing with an old bancroft wood racquet but i'd probably be pretty damn good with it. and i'd have a huge right arm from lugging that lumber around. :)
     
    #5
  6. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    HA!

    Having a nice a.m. chuckle here with me-self. I know I've suggested the lead here and there (for a racquet, not some shot), but I've honestly never gotten much help from the stuff. I like my racquet to work when it's "bare nekked"!

    ...now what's all this hassle about practice?...
     
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  7. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    This is awesome! I get it. Now, where do I stick the lead tape on this thing you call practice...?
     
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  8. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    Taking advantage of physics (such as adding weight) obviously couldn't augment someone's game in a beneficial manner.

    You know, it's not always about what makes you play better. Some people may prefer heavier/weighted frames and still not play better at first, but who are we to criticize? I think it would only encourage them to play better and develop a longer swing in the long run.
     
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  9. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    well, just get a 12oz racket....

    OrangeOne, please write another thread on the 12oz racket replies.
     
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  10. Gimmick

    Gimmick Semi-Pro

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    try looking at the review for the Microgel Instinct. Over and Over they complain about it feeling too light. Its no wonder lead becomes the cure-all for anything under 13oz.
     
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  11. Ljubicic for number1

    Ljubicic for number1 Hall of Fame

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  12. Silent

    Silent Semi-Pro

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    I assure you that I completely get your point.

    But, if all one needs to do to get better is to practice more, and to get a suitable racquet is to demo a lot of them, then what's the purpose of this forum exactly ?

    I mean, whichever question one's gonna' ask on his game will be answered by "practice more" ? What kind of advice is that ? Practice what exactly ? If one does not know how to make a shot, how is he gonna' practice it ?

    In my mind, to tell someone to practice more is a better advice than to tell someone to add lead, if the objective is to improve his game, however I feel that both suggestions are at least incomplete.

    I mean, if that site had a sticky where it said that all you need is to practice more and demo, whoever pays for this would save a lot of money in bandwidth...
     
    #12
  13. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    A takeoff of the 'Just add lead theme' is people asking where to add the lead. Then people chime in with saying 'if you add 2.5 grams at 3 and 9 and 1 gram at 12 then your racquet will perform perfectly and all your shots will land wihin a foot of the baseline.

    The purpose of adding the lead is to customize the racquet to a particular specific unique individual. Evidently not only can you just add lead, but there is a magical way to add it so that it works the same for everyone. ;)
     
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  14. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    i know where to NOT put the lead. i tried 2 grams at 3 and 9 o'clock on my shoes, then 10 grams and now i'm at a little over 4 pounds. i am pretty sure now that it is NOT helping my game in any way. i feel a little sluggish but i've noticed that after removing the lead . . . well i will post my results in another thread.
     
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  15. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    :) Very funny. My biomechanics concept emerges, yet again.........Hummmmmmm, thinking of which..........maybe we should add lead to our arms?? :) CC
     
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  16. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Will wearing a watch on my racket arm help?
     
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  17. Serve em Up

    Serve em Up Rookie

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    Very observant, good post!
     
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  18. iradical18

    iradical18 Professional

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    Nope, I've tried practice, doesn't work. Much easier to add lead.
     
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  19. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    Lead is very player specific, but it definitely can change the feel of a frame. So for people who don't really like the way their frame feels, it can be a very cheap fix. I know I've enjoyed the benefits of adding weight for a while now. While lead can make a frame feel better when hitting, I certainly wouldn't suggest it for fixing stroke problems.
     
    #19
  20. Douggo

    Douggo Semi-Pro

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    Only if you're looking to reduce the swingweight of your racquet.
    Also consider some lead under the watch strap. Or at 3 and 9 o'clock on your watch. But you can leave it there all day.
     
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  21. curio

    curio New User

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    no surprise

    I couldn't agree more with you Gimmick

    TW reviewers never say that they find a racquet unstable, they simply drop this note :
    "I believe that most of these problems can be remedied with the addition of lead tape to specific parts of the racquet." (found in Microgel Instinct review.)

    TW itself presents lead tape as the universal solution to most racquet problems. It's no surprise that posters here, who read reviews with attention, are influenced by that and consider this solution perfectly valid.

    I think that it would be more honest to restore weight customization as personnal preference and not speak like it was a magical tool to (try to) fix bad or unadapted frames.
     
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  22. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    :D

    Methinks you are an enemy hidden within the ranks!

    It is a myth that a heavier frame will result in longer swings, in fact, if you don't have the technique you may end up chopping at the ball with a heavier frame.

    It is also a myth (especially in the modern game) that longer swings are indeed what are necessary, when in reality, faster headspeed is indeed what is often needed to compete...

    Hehe :)

    It's the reverse, TW would make less money from sales, I suspect :). I love the posts from people asking how they can improve, how they can practice better. That's when I truly think these forums shine....

    Hehe! I tell you what, you should have seen the amount of lead I had to add to the camera to take those pics of your man Tsonga! He's so freakin huge that I needed to counter his mass!

    Another enemy in the ranks! Hehe - look, i'm not completely against it, but I think it gets recommended way too early and way too often in these forums, and often (can you hear a can of worms being opened here?) to players who are very much at the beginner end of the spectrum! I don't want to get into a "what NTRP should people start adding lead at debate" (ugh), I do think that racquet modifications should be further down the track than, say, learning how to hit topspin!
     
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  23. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    You make a bunch of good points, and I'd certainly expand on the red section by adding "especially when there are so, so many frames on the market to choose from".
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
    #23
  24. curio

    curio New User

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    Precisely !
    After some customization experimentations, I found that most of times the stock frame feel is better than the same racquet leaded.

    My deduction is that finding a racquet adapted to our game (specs-wise), with good feel and stability is much more important that endlessly trying to improve a bad choice.

    Too bad that TW prefer to write something like "yes, this racquet that we found unstable is ok for you because you will maybe be able to improve it with specific modifications that no one knows, even us (and we didn't even tried)" than orienting players to appropriate choices.
     
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  25. dpfrazier

    dpfrazier Rookie

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    I add lead asymmetrically, i.e., only at 03:00PM PDT (meaning only in the afternoon, and only in the summer), and always have the leaded side on the leading edge of the stroke, i.e., on the bottom for a slice, on the top for a topspin.

    Racquet edge plows through the air magnificently, eliminating any minute harmonic distortions caused by insufficient mass.

    All strokes now have 1000 RPMs more spin that with a regular leaded (i.e., low octane) setup. <EOM> <WTF?>
     
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  26. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    While it may be true that a heavier frame will not guarantee a player will develop full strokes, it does give them incentive to do so. If a person is motivated enough and improving their game is a priority for them, I don't see why using a heavier frame shouldn't be recommended.

    Now, last time I checked a heavier racquet swung at a fast head speed generates more power, spin, and depth than a lighter racquet swung at the same speed. It's simple physics.

    Look, I'm not advocating against people simply learning to play better, but there is something positive to be said about adding weight to a frame.
     
    #26
  27. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Yea this whole BS with adding lead tape is nonsence - you don't see pros with chunks of lead on their rackets do you? No wait, just about all of them.

    lead can make a good difference (or bad) - which is why it is advised to TRY that.
     
    #27
  28. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    I'm not a huge user of lead, because I've been lucky with getting racquets that I like in stock form. I've played around with lead, but usually end up taking it off.

    The thing I find really funny around here is the sheer amount of lead that some people add. I always thought of lead as a tool to make minor adjustments. But, some people use it to completely change the racquet.

    So when I read, "my 11 oz. racquet was too light and unstable, so I leaded it up to 12.2 oz," I always get a chuckle. That may be an extreme example, but why not start heavier. Anyway, whatever works for you, that's what's right.
     
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  29. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I would have to agree with this entirely. I wouldn't recommend any leading to anyone who is not a fairly competent player. You have to at least be able to hit the ball consistently enough to feel and appreciate the difference you're making. If you can't hit the side of the court you're aiming for then you don't need any lead. ;-)
     
    #29
  30. chlsmo

    chlsmo Semi-Pro

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    I only add lead to my racquets at 3 and 9 o'clock. I gotta say though it sucks to wake up that early.
     
    #30
  31. Gmedlo

    Gmedlo Professional

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    If the lead is actually doing anything for you, you'll feel it with a very small amount. Less than ten grams can make an unstable racquet stable as hell.
     
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  32. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Priceless, I'm genuinely laughing :)
     
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  33. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Absolutely doesn't. My frame has never given me incentive to do anything, and when I've used frames that are too heavy for my liking (and I like 'em heavy to start with) I don't swing any 'fuller', I just mistime stuff.

    I agree entirely. So buy the heaviest (highest swingweight) frame you can swing properly for the number of hours you need to...

    Agreed. So buy the heaviest (highest swingweight) frame you can swing properly for the number of hours you need to...

    Of course there is, just not for 90% of players, and it's not the solution for 90% of problems - more practice is! ;)
     
    #33
  34. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Yup, they hit balls 10-40 hours a week.
    They train physically 10-20 hours on top of that.
    They often use the same frame throughout their career, and they play on different courts with different balls every week.
    They are generating more pace and spin than you or I ever will.

    Of course I have no problem with high-level players adding lead, but the average player here is probably 3.5, meaning every second poster is less than that, and yet the average solution offered is adding lead. Ridiculous.

    Advised - by whom? Many players will go their entire tennis 'career' without anyone ever suggesting lead - and yet here, it's the first or second thing mentioned....
     
    #34
  35. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    I'm the same. I'm not anti-lead....

    You're not quoting extreme examples - I've seen worse I'm sure!

    For the record, with mods of that much, it reminds me of when you see people who buy a ... Nissan Micra / Toyota Corrolla / Hyundai anything... and spend twice what the car is worth 'hotting it up'.

    Now, I get personalisation, and if you want to make a car a little wilder or louder, fine. There is a point, though, where if you're about to drop $10k or 20k or 30k on a corolla, why not just buy an MR2 / Celica / Supra instead....and that was designed to go fast and handle well in the first place!
     
    #35
  36. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Good point. It's such a fine change that if you're not already at the level (really) of aiming for even a 1m tunnel on the court with a shot... stick with more practice.
     
    #36
  37. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Kinda a repeated joke, but I still laughed :)
     
    #37
  38. stox

    stox Rookie

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    Hey, I resemble that remark! 54 grams added to the head of my sticks.
     
    #38
  39. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    Peeple start needing lead after a bad tennis session to fix the instability of the racquets on backhands forehands serves, not enough plow through getting pushed around etc etc etc
     
    #39
  40. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    If either of you are even half-serious, you're in the wrong thread :)
     
    #40
  41. skraggle

    skraggle Professional

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    I thought this was a pretty good thread, but then I added some lead to it and now it's perfect!
     
    #41
  42. dpfrazier

    dpfrazier Rookie

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    :):):)...Pb rules!
     
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  43. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    I think the makers of Head On (apply directly to the forhead) need to start making a line of lead applicators. They would be RIFE with customers!

    Lead-on, apply directly to the racket.
    Lead-on, apply directly to the racket.


    Lead-on, I HATE your commercials. But your product allows me to not practice!

    :D
     
    #43
  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Where did you add it?

    Seriously, does a recreational player (4.5 and below say) really need to add lead? Isn't it possible to find an appropriate stock racquet? Is tuning with lead really going to make a difference?
     
    #44
  45. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Ha! Skraggle and YULitle made funnies ...good ones! LOL

    Remember: Lead On...Lead Off

    signed,
    Mr Miagi
     
    #45
  46. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    All kidding aside, adding lead tape is very useful in matching rackets, which TW does for free apparently.

    Anything beyond that can quickly become addicting to the point where you are swinging a head heavy 14 oz racket. Don't go crazy. Do like my 2nd grade teacher used to tell me when I had a heavy hand with the glue stick.

    "a little dab'll-do-ya" :)
     
    #46
  47. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Noo, (unless someone wants to correct me), TW will match racquets from the stock they have roughly for free, or pretty-accurately for $20. I do not believe they use any modifications for this process, it's my understanding they just pick from their stock and check specs, finding the closest 2/3 etc.
     
    #47
  48. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    most companies will <for no charge> pull frames which are closest match for weight and balance. for a fee they will rdc them to pick frames which are closest match for swingweight, and for a larger fee they will customize multiple frames so they match in all respects
     
    #48
  49. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    The point is - LEAD DOES in fact change the way racket plays.

    Does this point depend on how many hours a week you play? NO
    Does it mean the right amount of lead will make the racket swing itself NO
    Does it mean it's always a good idea to put more lead on? NO
    So does it make sense to suggest playing around with (dirt cheap) lead to someone who is less then satisfied with their racket? YES
     
    #49
  50. chlsmo

    chlsmo Semi-Pro

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    i should read more carefully.

    Sorry about that... :oops:
     
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