Polarized/Non-Polarized question?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by AJK1, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. powerslave

    powerslave Rookie

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    Hey just curious isn't 'weight distribution or even gradient' a more apt term to describe the way weight is distributed along the frame ? Polarization to me sounds misleading as it is usually associated with directional/vector quantities .
     
    #51
  2. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Well here we are talking about polarized weight distribution which I guess is quite describing.
     
    #52
  3. powerslave

    powerslave Rookie

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    ^ That is what I have been questioning ? Weight distribution can be even ,uneven or even vary as a gradient across or along the frame , but polarized ?

    The word polarization at layman's level refers to phenomenon where there is some change in orientation of entity (wave/particle) just like the domains inside a piece of iron get polarized when one brings a bar magnet close to it or wraps it in a coil with DC supply same is the case with elements in the Polaroid glass that absorb a component of incident radiation and let another pass, but can someone tell me where is the polarization taking place when one adds some mass to a frame ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
    #53
  4. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    "Weight distribution" would be the best term for that, yeah. "Polarized" is to "weight distribution" as "tall" is to "height", so I suppose "polarization" might correspond to something like "tallness".

    The term is descriptive of more than just the physics properties where it's used formally, though. For example, American politics is often described as becoming increasingly polarized in recent decades as politicians and their supporters have adopted increasingly less moderate views. The weight distribution of pro racquets seems to have become more polarized in the last couple of decades, too. You look at the full spectrum of whatever, and there's more whatever on the ends of it.

    Maybe the confusion arises when people speak of "polarized" and "unpolarized" as if they meant something in an absolute rather than relative way. ("She's tall." "Oh yeah? How tall? Taller than what?") It adds to the confusion that we can give an absolute description of stuff like height ("She's 5'10" tall."), but with tennis racquet weight distribution all I know of is relative descriptions ("A Kneissl Tom's Reach has a more polarized weight distribution than a Volkl C10.") EDIT: Later developments in this thread (see Corners's posts) have revealed that there IS an absolute description of weight distribution: polarization index, which is just recoil weight divided by racquet weight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
    #54
  5. powerslave

    powerslave Rookie

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    ^ Appreciate it, however I was being a bit picky on it as it was being used in academic sense here. So wanted to understand the context and more importantly how does one quantify it .

    All in all if it is being used on the similar lines as "politics is often described as becoming increasingly polarized in recent decades" then yes I get the drift.
     
    #55
  6. purple-n-gold

    purple-n-gold Professional

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    young man take a closer look. if you line up(eye) the rackets EVENLY(please notice the lower plastic grommets) you will see that the lead strips will not have much varience. even so there maybe some reason for having varying lengths.
     
    #56
  7. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    The annual ECU-NCSU football game.... now THAT's polarization.
     
    #57
  8. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Polarized meaning concentrated in the extremes (poles) shouldn't be so hard to understand, even though it also has a different meaning in another context.
     
    #58
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Concentrated as in most of the weight is there.

    Adding some weight to the handle and at 12 o'clock does not concentrate most of the weight there. Most of the weight is still in the other areas of the frame. That is what makes the term suspect in this context.
     
    #59
  10. PED

    PED Legend

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    The funny thing is that the term is used often enough on these boards so most people know what it signifies.

    Yes, in a polarized setup, most of the mass of the racquet is elsewhere but the majority of the additional weight added though lead is concentrated at the tip and butt hence the name. :)
     
    #60
  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Write this down, everyone. The correct definition of polarization.
     
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  12. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Concentrated as in relatively speaking more of the weight is in the extremes compared to nonpolarized. Ofcourse we are talking relatives, not absolutes here...
     
    #62
  13. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Dont write it down, since a racket does not have to have lead added to be polarized.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
    #63
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Well, show me a stock racquet which has more weight in the tip and the butt combined than in all the other areas combined.
     
    #64
  15. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    No I wont show you. But a racket can be polarized in design without having lead added was my point.
     
    #65
  16. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    ^is this guy serious?
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What do you guys think about dumbells? Do you think if you add the weights of the 2 balls/cylinders, it wil be greater than the weight of the shaft?
     
    #67
  18. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    Yes. Even with barbells, though much of the weight is distributed throughout the shaft, there is more mass distributed in the tips (where the weights are located).

    I would call either of these setups polarized.
     
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  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Then the dumbell/barbell is polarized in stock form.
     
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  20. (K)evin

    (K)evin Rookie

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    I nominate this for the best post of all time
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I have comented on the pendulum thing before. Before getting all wrapped up in the math, think about this:

    When a pendulum is moving upwards, is it accelerating or decelerating?

    When a pro hits low to high, does the racquet accelerate or decelerate till impact?

    Compare the answers, and decide about the pendulum theory.
     
    #71
  22. (K)evin

    (K)evin Rookie

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    no I agree the Babolat Aero Storm is polarized stock, demo it for yourself you'll see what I mean
     
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  23. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    re 5: So why does adding weight to the butt raise the sweetspot?



     
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  24. corners

    corners Legend

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    Actually, I no longer think it does.

    It does raise the COP (center of percussion), which has been identified as one of the two sweet spots. (Sweet spot as is usually used actually refers to the "sweet zone", or portion of the racquet face that generates adequate power. The "power zones" generated experimentally by TW University show this zone quite well.) The other sweet spot would be the vibration node. When the ball strikes the COP the racquet recoils straight back. When the ball strikes above the COP the tip recoils back and the handle recoils forward (out of the hand). When the ball strikes below the COP the tip recoil forward and the handle recoils back (into the palm). Impacts at and below the COP sound quite comfy; above it, not so comfy. Normally the COP is about in the center of the stringbed, but you can move it up by placing lead either in the butt or at the top of the head. (One of the benefits of polarizing the weight distribution).

    But, these effects were determined by striking a freely suspended racquet with balls. Later, it was found that adding the weight of the hand to the handle lowered the COP in the throat of the racquet, making it irrelevant.

    So it seems that the vibration node (the racquet does not vibrate at all when the ball strikes here) is the sweet spot.
     
    #74
  25. corners

    corners Legend

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    A page back and some time ago the poster Bartleby re-framed the question:

    I want to post my response to Bartleby again because longtime posters are now making semantic and spurious (and silly) arguments about this. It's really quite simple.

     
    #75
  26. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I'm taken back to this quote by Ron Yu of Priority1

    Methinks this another example of the general boards consensus to overthink their gear.
     
    #76
  27. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    Exactly. The posters who come up with this stuff are not professional racquet designers, or racquet customizers. They are like the people who have "Einstein is wrong" web sites with many pseudo-impressive equations to show that Newton still explains gravity best.
     
    #77
  28. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    Travlerajm, knows more about rackets, than 99% users in TW.

    Now, or you have capacity to learn... or not.
     
    #78
  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Answer my post #71 please
     
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  30. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Ofcourse it makes a difference whether a racket is heavier in throat area (non polarized) or in the top and bottom of the racket (aka tip and butt, ie. polarized). But what name you give this is really a matter of preference. In the end its about weight distribution, which ofcourse is an integral part of racket design.
     
    #80
  31. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Okaaaaaay... do we all agree/disagree with this simple statement: weight/lead put on the hoop tip/@ 12 makes the racket come through a tad quicker?
     
    #81
  32. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    I think this should be the post of the year!
     
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  33. Funbun

    Funbun Professional

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    If you have correct technique, then yeah. If you think about it.
     
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  34. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    No not really, I would guess the more weight you put on the tip the slower it gets. A lighter more headlight racket alows for faster movement. But you get more weight of shot/penetration/plowthrough with a higher sw (weight at tip).
     
    #84
  35. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    No, what matters is playing. These dicussions serve to cloud the minds of folks who already tend to put too much thought into their gear. It's like Davydenko's brother replacing paint scrapes with bits of lead tape to keep the frame's weight distribution equal and asking that it be strung .5k different in the first 3 crosses, etc etc etc.

    Terms like this really make me wanna barf to be quite honest. If you add weight, the same amount of weight to a frame's throat area and then take an identical racquet, and add the same amount of weight split between the 12 o'clock and buttcap, no one would be able to tell the difference and it wouldn't affect their play negatively/positively pending set up.

    What you would do in effect is create the same set up.

    If you add the phrase "all things equal", sure. But a lighter racquet with weight added at the tip will still be more maneuverable than a heavy racquet that is headlight.

    And use of the terms 'polarized' 'non-polarized' are still the best sign that you worry more about your gear than your game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
    #85
  36. corners

    corners Legend

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    The upper pendulum accelerates and then decelerates. As it decelerates the lower pendulum accelerates - the racquet accelerates into contact. In other words, as the racquet head comes around and accelerates into contact the hand is decelerating. Same thing happens in baseball, golf, smashing window with crowbar, etc. This is well-known.

    In my opinion the thing that's debatable about Trav's MgR/I thing is the influence of gravity. He's assuming that, on groundstrokes, the influence of gravity is rather large in a high-to-low-to-high stroke (high backswing - racquet drop - swing up into contact). That may or may not be true, depending on the stroke, I suppose .
     
    #86
  37. corners

    corners Legend

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    Definitely we do overthink our gear, but this is a discussion board and to discuss things clearly and simply we need precise words. "polarized" is a fairly simple and precise word to describe a racquet with a relatively high proportion of its mass located toward the tip and butt, toward the poles. Such a racquet will behave differently than a racquet with a lesser proportion of mass in the tip and the butt.

    It's easy to predict how a "polarized" racquet will behave in a collision with a ball and compare that behavior to a less polarized racquet - that's simple physics. It's pretty hard to figure out how a polarized racquet will behave during the swing - that's really complicated physics that haven't been modeled and worked out completely yet. Travlerajm's MgR/I thing is an attempt to predict how different weight distributions will swing. It's worth experimenting with, in my opinion, since there is almost nothing in the literature on this topic.

    Priority One doesn't use the term polarized. Big deal, apparently they don't need such a word in the work they do. Or they have other terms or phrases to describe weight distribution.

    You can quantify polarization by taking the ratio of recoil weight to static weight. I'm not sure what the point would be to discard "polarized" and invent something else to describe that ratio. In fact, I don't understand this debate at all. Given the tendency toward obfuscation and pointless bickering on these boards, if we invent a new term to describe the ratio of recoil weight to static weight, it's likely that posters would key in on the new word and attempt to invalidate it, forgetting all the while that it's simply a tag for the underlying concept.
     
    #87
  38. shanked_it

    shanked_it Rookie

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    sorry to say but you are quite incorrect. There's quite a bit of rotation going on with a racquet in a swing, there are many axis that need to be thought of. If you add weight to the throat, it's easier for the racquet to spin around itself like a propellar. But the thing with "easy to move" is, that it gives less control. Not saying you couldn't play with both, but there's IS a big difference...
     
    #88
  39. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, agreeing with shanked it, you are quite incorrect Rabbit.

    Let's say we take your frame, 315g/33.9cm/334SW, and add 15 grams of lead to the throat (say, 11" from butt). We get:

    330 grams
    33.6 cm
    339 swingweight

    recoil weight: 155
    Polarization Index (recoil weight/static weight) = 155/330 = .47

    Then we'll take another of your frames and add 7.5 grams to the butt and 7.5 grams at 12 o'clock, "polarizing" it. We get:

    330 grams
    33.9 cm
    360 swingweight

    recoil weight: 172
    Polarization Index: 172/330 = .52

    The "polarized" frame - or the "pole-weighted" frame, if you'd rather - has the same static weight and nearly the same balance as the "throat-weighted" frame. But the swingweights are radically different: 339 vs. 360

    I'm not sure, but I think even a beginner could feel the difference between the polarized frame and the other one - could feel it during the swing and could feel it on impact.

    The polarized frame, with swingweight of 360, will have much higher plowthrough and "power potential", or inherent power. Having much higher recoil weight - 172 vs. 155 - it will also be more stable, especially on volleys, returns and one-handed backhands. They will also feel very different during the swing - 360 swingweight is going to swing slower and feel more cumbersome than 339, no?

    These differences are obviously attributable to the different weight distributions of the two customized frames. You can use "pole-weighted" or "polarized" to describe the weight distribution of one of them, or some other term.

    I'm also not buying your "this is just rubbish invented by people who post too much and play to little" argument (Sorry for the paraphrase). There are lots of people who, very prudently, demo lots of racquets before they find one that fits their game.

    There are others who like the feel of a particular frame and instead experiment with different weight distributions using lead tape to find what fits their game. Slapping lead on willy-nilly is pretty fruitless and frustrating. It's better to have some idea of what different mass distributions feel and play like to guide your customization experiments. From experience, I know that I would love the way the polarized frame, above, feels like when it hits the ball (blows through the ball, rather), but I also know that the throat-weighted frame will swing more like a wooden racquet (because the low strength/weight of wood didn't allow manufacturers to take mass out of the throat), which I like. It won't crush the ball as well, but it will swing more comfortably for me.

    Wood racquets: depolarized
    Modern racquets: polarized
    Pole-weighted racquets: polarized
    throat-weighted raquets: depolarized

    What's the big hairy deal?
     
    #89
  40. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    I don't want it to seem like piling on, Rabbit, but I have to agree with other posters that have rebuked your point in this thread. As has been stated before, polarization is just a lable to describe a physical reality in weight distribution of a racquet. I'm one who would be best served by concentrating on stroke and footwork fundamentals and not get caught up in the detail of racquet physics - and generally, that's what I do - concentrate on the basics. But I do find that racquets perform differently for me depending on weight distribution. I find the discussion on the topic interesting and what better place to discuss such things but on a free internet tennis forum?

    Rabbit, the statement in your previous post that I highlighted suggests that your "gear over game" criticism ends at the string(s) you use and the tension they are strung at. Why do you think the weight distribution of your racquet doesn't make a difference in performance, but fretting over whether to use a hybrid or full bed set up with gut/syn gut/poly/multi with different tensions in the mains and X's, does? Shouldn't the set up discussion end with simply finding a decent, cheap syn-gut strung at the midpoint of the racquet's recommended tension, then just go out and play?
     
    #90
  41. NBM

    NBM Rookie

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    this is patently untrue. i am sure it could be done to make the swingweights come out the same if enough effort was put into it or perhaps it would work out by accident, but i believe that adding weight to the throat of a racquet isnt the best use of weight, and the two racquets wouldnt play anywhere close to the same even if you did force the swingweights to turn out the same. has anyone here seen any/many CURRENT pro racquets w. lead in the throat area? that would be a very easy place to add lead if there was any benefit to doing it as opposed to a polarized setup.
    i also dont think polarized means the weight is in the buttcap, but rather in the handle <as in silicone for the pros>. i think weight added to the buttcap (below the hand) is rightly known as 'counterweighting'.
    i find the term 'polarized' to be a useful meaningful simple descriptive term; lots more relevant than SW1 or SW2 (whatever that is)..now THAT has jammed up lots of readers on this forum, beefing up your racquet to really high swingweights which almost no one (not even some male pros can handle). it has also caused injuries to some who buy into such stuff.
    lots of pros take a light racquet and add a bunch of silicone to the handle and lead to the upper hoop...there must be benefits to doing that. it is much easier to explain it by the word 'polarized'.
     
    #91
  42. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I'm not talking about Davidenkos brother here, I'm talking about weight distribution is important for how a racket feels, and swings. Which you confirm with your thoughts on adding weight at the tip of a lighter racket.
    And ofcourse you can feel the difference of concentrating mass in the center of the racket or at the extremes. Both in how it swings and in the placement of the sweet spot. It is not the same set up by a long shot. Spreading the weight also gives more swingweight for the same mass.
    But to me its actually really not important whether we use the term polarized or not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
    #92
  43. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    So people even disagree on this very basic issue?...
     
    #93
  44. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    P1 is a big deal, the polarized racquet brigade on this board are the small fry. Still waiting for the before and after video of that racquet with "super-powers", showing the loopy balls it hit stock and the 110 mph forehands after - probably not on the way any time soon...
     
    #94
  45. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    My problem with the whole polarized or non polarized term is really the initial thinking behind it. The biggest one of which is the whole sw. 1 or sw 2 terms that got included. If a racket is sw 2 it allows all kinds of crazy shots. It all sounds silly and overly complex. And does not equal real world experience. A super heavy headed racket does not swing faster. In my opinion it swings slower than a head light racket. A heavier racket hits a better ball but it does not whip around faster if it has all the weight at the hoop. A lighter headed racket does that. It all comes down to the physical limitations of the player. A heavier racket hits better. That is the general consensus of advanced tennis players. But if it is too heavy you can't swing it properly. So every individual needs to find the ideal balance of weight vs. Usability for themselves.
     
    #95
  46. (K)evin

    (K)evin Rookie

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    so far this is what I've found to be true about racquets and lead tape:

    Polarized Racquets(Lead @ 12 & inside buttcap):
    -Maximum Spin Potiential
    -Has the most Plowthrough and Power with only a small bit of lead added
    -It has more consistency
    -It's difficult to volley with
    -Perfect for baseliners, clay courters and people that like to use heavy spin

    Depolarized Racquets(Lead at 3 &9 plus 7" above handle):
    -has best plowthrough and stability
    -increases control and power
    -needs alot of weight to break into SW2 category
    -racquet has more forgiveness
    -flattens out your stroke which gives you heavy, penetrating shots
    -better volleys and returns
    -better for serve and volley players and players who love a traditional racquet feel

    Weight:

    12.0oz to 12.6 oz:
    -better consistency
    -less power
    -lighter to swing for long baseline rallys
    -better for defensive players

    12.7oz to 13.5oz:
    -more control
    -arm friendly
    -better for all court game and players that like to get up to net
    -more power
    -more for offensive minded player, with emphasis into transition game
     
    #96
  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I have found my mojo
     
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  48. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    This term was used by forum members who were trying to describe the degrees of headlight vs headheavy to balance and whenever people feel like they need to add value to what they say they try to over complicate things by throwing around vocabulary that's unecessary. I honestly think the term is vague because if you mention something is polarized, what do you mean? Is it head heavy polarized or headlight polarized? You might as well just cut to the point and specify if you're commenting about a specific weight point to the frame. On a side note, the majority of frames aren't evenly balanced, so of course something will either be head heavy or headlight. And once one person uses it and it catches on everyone starts to use it. Like high school and trends.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
    #98
  49. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    I must agree with Shanked. I do a quite a bit of lead customization with my TGK's and it's pure physics. Rotational acceleration and torque are all effected by the distance of the mass from the axis of rotation. In a typical groundstroke there are several axis (wrist, shoulder, waist etc) that play a part each affected differently by where the weight if distributed in the frame.
     
    #99
  50. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    TONS of lead in the throat area. Blake's new Head sticks.

    This is all quite amusing with all the talk on set up and precise lead placement etc. It's really simple guys. You pick a stick you like - maybe play around with a little lead if you feel it needs it (now you need to actually be a good player to know what that means - so you need to get to a high level of play before you need to worry about any of this). You add lead and tinker a bit till it feels right to you. Then you are done. Period.

    Then spend the rest of the time hitting!
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

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