Polarizing The Lead Weight On Racquets

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Lefty78, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    I was recently asked to start a new thread based on a post I wrote over in the 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' forum. It was a thread based on an interview with Nate Ferguson. 'larry10s' kindly asked me to explain what I had discussed with Warren Bosworth.

    First, let me say that I am a self-stringer and very picky about my gear. I've always done my own racquet mods and I've tried just about everything at one time or another, but this whole mess started when I decided to look into what it would take to have some lead weight molded into the handles of my sticks. This, in and of itself, occurred after a largely frustrating effort to get a new frame that could do what I wanted it to do. Long story short, I was asking Warren Bosworth about the cost of this (and maybe custom molded pallets in the process) when he asked what I was trying to accomplish. The following is my impression of his viewpoint.

    The main principle is this: everyone has their own preferences in terms of swingweight, balance, etc. That being said, the most effective means to modify a racquet is to add the weight where it alters the playing charictistics the most. This would be at 12 o'clock and under the butt cap, the poles of the frame.

    For example, say you started with two identical frames. One, you modify one by adding X amount of weight exactly on the balance point. The other, you split the same weight between the poles in a proportion that keeps the balance point the same. (This will only be 50/50 if you have racquets with even balance, not HH or HL) These two frames will then have the same weight and balance, but will play very differently. The mass in or near the center of the one frame will add to the swingweight, but will do little to 'work' on the ball. The racquet with the mass at the poles is a completely different story. Just look at what so many pros' are doing these days.

    Personally, I wanted to keep the balance of my racquets stock at 7 pts HL, but to make them more stable with more plowthrough to help combat opponents who hit a heavy ball. I went from lead at 3/9 o'clock and near the top of the handle (a la John Cauthern) to the polarized method and I'm beyond thrilled. For the record, Bosworth clearly admitted that weight at 3/9 o'clock DOES have some benefits (matter of preference) but that any lead I was putting in the handle is best served under the butt cap.

    There was a lot more depth to the conversation, but this was the basis of it. Also, for the record, I do not consider the Cauthern method to be completely without merit, just inferior for the MODERN game of tennis.

    Cheers!
     
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  2. m1stuhxsp4rk5

    m1stuhxsp4rk5 Professional

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    can you explain more on the difference between the way the polarized racket hit and john's method hit? why did you prefer the polarized racket over john's method?
     
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  3. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    ^^^ Sure, but let me first state that there is tons of info on John's method on these boards if you take a look. Basically though, his method is to add LOTS of weight ONLY at the top of the handle. This is not quite what I was doing. I was originally adding some weight near the top of the handle, and more at 3/9 o'clock. This kept the balance point at stock where I liked it, all the while beefing up the racquet. At Warren Bosworth's suggestion, I playtested this setup directly against the polarized method, with both frames having the same weight and balance, string and tension, etc. Here's what I thought:

    My original setup felt completely SLUGGISH next to the polarized one. Especially on serve. The sensation was of letting the racquet snap through the ball as opposed to making it. Kick serves and flat ones alike were easier to execute. I was much impressed with the return of serve also, as the racquet seemed more nimble. This also translated well to volleys, particularly the reflex variety. The differences between the two frames were felt least while slugging it out from the baseline, but that's not so say they were completely unnoticed. The original setup still felt nice when I had plenty of time to prepare to hit the ball, but it's easier to make adjustments with the polarized setup, as when you get a bad bounce or the ball skids off the line (I play a lot on clay). Overall, I highly recommend you give it a try, especially if you are already modifying your frames.
     
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  4. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    Hey m1stuh...-
    I just noticed which frames you play. Should probably mention that I once was very much in love with a St. Vincent PS 85. It was the racquet that served like none other could. My current frames are Dunlop AG 100's, which are lighter, and I was actually trying to modify them to be like the 85 before I tried the polarized method. My thoughts were that lead at 3/9 o'clock would mimic the extra mass of the PWS, and the lead near the top of the handle would mimic the pair of 10 gram steel plates at the same location on the 85. (In a thread somewhere on this site, you can see the photos of a dissected 85 which reveals the plates I'm talking about.) I had the specs of the AG 100 pretty close to the PS 85, but nowadays I believe in the polarized method so much that I purchased new grommets so that I could hide the lead tape at 12 o'clock. As for the KPS 88, I would personally just add a couple grams of lead under the butt cap to make it a little more HL and easier to swing. That being said, Sampras modifies all his frames much like my previous method, which maybe best describes the differences between the two. His method works very well for long, flat old school type strokes, while the polarized setup better suits more modern, heavy topspin shots.
     
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  5. PED

    PED Legend

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    ^^Thanks for the additional color on the subject. I use a polarized setup myself and wanted to know more after seeing your comments last week. Nice work :)
     
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  6. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    interesting - thanks for the info!
     
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  7. davidl7

    davidl7 New User

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    I think it also depends on the racquet and personal preference(playing style). I personally like the weight at 3&9 and top of the handle better. I play against heavy hitters and it feels much better and stable.

    Best thing is to experiment and see what works best for you.
     
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  8. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    my 2 cents. your set up of lead at 3-9 i would put the other lead under the butt cap not at the top of the throat and tell us how that feel. putting lead at 12 increases the swingweight the most on a gram for gram basis. hard to beleive this racquet was not more sluggish than the one withlead a 3-9. the increased swingweight would give you great ploughthrough and power especially on serve if you are able to swing the racquet. an increase in torsional stability is NOT acheived with lead at 12 but at 3-9. last but not least if you go to the pro racquet section and look at pics of lead tape most pics show lead at 3-9. we dont know if some is at 12 or any under the buttcap but we do know there are lots of photos at 3-9 so many pros use this set up NOT 12. the 2 different setups of completly polarized ie 12 and butt cap vs 3-9 and buttcap will give a different feel due to the main difference in swingweigh being greater in the 12 and buttcap setup.lastly when i had aracquet made to demo from bosworth (one of his bosworth racquets) the lead was at 3-9 and the butt cap. one more last comment . the bosworth custom frames use a light racquet frome to which the lead is added for the customers specs to be acheived. vantage racquets the frame is poured in a way that the weight is distributed throughout the racquet. making the swigweight in general for the weight and balance less. this is one reason for their "feel". neither system is better its personal preference . one thing is for sure how the weight is ditributed DOES make a difference. thanks for the thread lefty78
     
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  9. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    Thanks Larry, but I won't be doing any more experimenting. Found what I like. Thing is that my main goal was to keep the racquet nimble but to increase plowthrough. The most important aspect of plowthrough is the longitudinal stability of the frame, not the torsional stability. Increasing the torsional stability was never my main goal. (Not that I think it's worthless)

    When I did my experiment, I kept the weight and balance the same between the two frames. In my particular case, this meant that the polarized frame ended up having less lead in the head and more in the handle than the other setup. I believe this accounts at least partially for the fact that it was so easy to swing. Also, I've been reconsidering my word choice of 'sluggish' to describe my old setup. That's only partially accurate. I think another part of it is that it was clumsy feeling in comparison to the polarized setup.

    As per my conversation with Bosworth, he basically insinuated I was a complete fool to be putting weight anywhere in the handle except under the butt cap. He did, however, admit that if I preferred lead at 3/9 o'clock to 12 o'clock it was OKAY. A matter of personal perference, as you've said Larry, but Bosworth clearly gave me the impression that he thinks MUCH MORE of the 12 o'clock position than 3/9. I'm kind of curious when you demo'd one of his frames. I was under the impression that his racquets use high-density polymer inserts these days and no lead at all. Is it possible he was just trying to temporarily set one up based on the input you'd given him? His website has a form which asks what your current racquet setup is, what your playing style is, etc.

    As for the pro's frames, I think there is plenty of evidence that points to the majority of them (especially the younger generation) going with lead at 12 o'clock (some do both). The top two players in the world, Nadal and Federer, both use lead at 12, and these are two guys with totally different racquets and totally different playing styles.
     
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  10. gymrat76

    gymrat76 Banned

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    [​IMG]

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    To Larry10s, do you claim to have a better knowledge of current trends in pro racquet world, than Bosworth? :)

    Thanks for starting this thread, Lefty, and really wanted to write/learn more about polarization as well. I completely agree with you about the new era tennis players choosing polarizing their racquets as opposed to older 3&9 or those set-ups written by Cauthen. I only read/saw Sampras and Roddick prefering lead at 3&9. Maybe few other ppl who will read this can add more. But pretty much all new players choose set-up at 12 under the bumper and in the handle/cap.

    I have two pro-used racquets. One is a FXP pj'ed PC600 (PT10) and other is a PT630 w/ again FXP pj (PT57A). Both have lead under the bumper and silicone in the handle -as depicted in pics. Until now, I did not come across one single racquet out of Head's Kennelbach Austria factory a set-up any different than this! Almost all Head players DO prefer polarization. This tells something. I can count Safin, Mauresmo (with her dunlop mw200g under pj), Schuettler, Simon, Nadal, and countless more!

    And not only new school players (I am talking about players w/ 100sq inched western gripped top spin players) but older players such as Safin and so many I cant count now also do have polarized racqs. (Ppl who dont believe, go dig the TW)

    Additionally, there is also a change as to "grip size preferences" that goes with the polarization trend. These top spin players are playing with much smaller grips than their true size. That put 'thumb between fingers and hand' is becoming a thing of the past...

    Although I myself am no expert, through humble efforts I tried polarization on few of the 'new school' racquets that I have, such as APDC and Becker Pro.
    And it works just wonderful! My experiences have been exactly the same as in Lefty's original first post. Perfectly agree about the "longitudinal stability" of a frame (you feel that in a polarized APDC)

    Lefty, can you please expand on "putting lead under buttcap"? Are you putting lead inside the handle, by popping out the cap and exactly under the buttcap? Is this how Bosworth described it?

    I found putting lead at that very polar point of right near the buttcap (by wrapping lead on handle under grip) not to be very efficient. Because, the static weight appeared to increase. I could not move the racquet very freely. However, when I wrapped the lead slightly higher (like 2 inches) on the handle (exactly under where I would be normally holding the racquet) I felt that the racquet to feel much more mobile!

    Polarizing an APDC does wonders! And I am trying find the best way to polarize my Becker Pro now...
     
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  11. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    Pros that use lead tape at 3 and 9 oclock.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Semi-Pro

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    Lawl DYoung.
     
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  13. gymrat76

    gymrat76 Banned

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    ^^
    Let me be clearer, you know, things work differently for every player. I never claimed that polarizing a racquet is any better than lead at 3&9. There is no better. Every individual player has different tastes and likes.

    Having said that, I would have probably found 30 times more pics of pros leading at 12 for each pic of 3&9 leading pros you uploaded. But I probably could not. Because, the thing is, racquet companies want prospective buyers to think that their pros play with stock sticks. Meaning, I can't show the lead at 12 of players in the pics I would upload, obviously. Racquet co's don't like shiny silver stuff showing up on the sticks of the players they sponsor. Moreover, usually TOP players are required to have stock looking sticks (Exception is a Roddick, he is one player who likes to lead at 3&9, and Babolat can't hide it anywhere so lead shows) But actually I personally know a pro who is at ATP300ish and even he plays w/ lead at 12/sili in handle on his PC600, mg pj.

    I will only refer to world number 1 & 2, and leave it at that. The players with this setup is literally countless.


    Nadal lead at 12
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=241632&highlight=apdc&page=2

    Federer lead at 12
    (note: for those who dont know, nate ferguson was sampras' personal stringer, owner of priority 1 I believe. he is one of the top if not the top knowledgable person about pro racqs and strings)
    see first post:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=252269

    I will leave it at this. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
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  14. gymrat76

    gymrat76 Banned

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    ^^ Note: atp #3 Djoko also plays with lead under bumper. see nate fergusons thread. world no 1-2-3 plays with lead at 12. Point made I believe :)

    But this is never to mean that one set up is better than the other. Every player can have different tastes and likes.

    But there is a HUGE polarization trend among pros these days..or years...
     
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  15. Tombhoneb

    Tombhoneb Rookie

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    Thanks for all the info guys, been a really good read.

    Gymrat - On your ADPC, how much lead did you put at 12 o'clock and how much round the handle ? Cheers
     
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  16. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    Yes i agree polarization is a common practice among the tour pros, so this way of leading up must make racquets perform way better than frames with different lead tape setups.

    is there a reversible way of adding weight to the handle? cause i want to experiment first and i dont want to mess up the handle.
     
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  17. PimpMyGame

    PimpMyGame Hall of Fame

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    +1 for wanting to know more about the handle...could you fit a leather grip in lieu of adding 10g to the handle? Would it still feel polarised or do you lose something because of the distribution of weight up the racket?
     
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  18. Tombhoneb

    Tombhoneb Rookie

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    You could stick the lead to the back of an overgrip then wrap it around as normal. It wouldn't be exactly the same as wrapping it round the handle due to the angle of the grip, but will give a rough idea.
     
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  19. Tombhoneb

    Tombhoneb Rookie

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    It would have an affect but not the desired one. You need the weight at the tip of the racket and right at the bottom of the handle (or as close to the end of the grip as possible). Adding a leather grip will spread the weight all up the handle and not right at the end.
     
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  20. Gugafan

    Gugafan Hall of Fame

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    How do you know that they all polarize the weight added at 12??? I have yet to see evidence that Federer adds additional weight to the butt of the racket other then the leather itself. Infact do any of the leather grip users (Gasquet, Wawrinka, Monfils etc) use additional weight at the bottom of the handle??.
     
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  21. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    Sure thing gymrat. I am using the lead directly under the buttcap at the moment, although it sounds like what you're doing is similar in effect. Bosworth didn't give an exact technique, but I'll tell you what I did. (I'd show you pictures if only my camera was working.) I used 1/2" lead tape and folded it back over itself sticky side in. I kept wrapping it until I had a flattish brick of sorts (7grams). I then wrapped it with a piece of overgrip. It fits neatly into the buttcap itself, and when I reinstall the cap the pressure between the cap and the inside of the handle compreses the overgrip to hold the lead completely secure- not a hint of a rattle. The lead can be easily removed or altered. I don't think you can do that on a Becker or Volkl though, can you?

    Also, for anyone who's interested, I used a pair of 1/4" X 8" strips (4 grams) at twelve o'clock, and I hid it under the bumperguard.
     
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  22. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Semi-Pro

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    Is that really all of the lead you need to feel the effects of polarization?
    It doesn't sound like very much.
     
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  23. gymrat76

    gymrat76 Banned

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    Well I had some humble experiments w/ my APDC, but pls do not take them as a measure, as I am no great player nor an expert on polarizations etc. Moreover, what works for me (and Im still experimenting) may not and most likely will not work for anyone else.

    Having said that, let me explain how I have been experimenting (with humble and not-really-specific ways) and perhaps it can give some ideas to few ppl and I may get some advice from others..

    I initially went by the Nadal's set up explanied at below site, out of curiousity, at: http://www.hdtennis.com/grs/pro_racquet_specs.html

    First, after putting lead, I realized I put a well over 12grms at 12 o'clock (extending 2 1/2 inches to each side from 12, or covering 10 center mains if I remember correctly. And approx 5 grms at butt (like 2 grams of lead wrapped up around butt and rest slightly higher)
    Took it out for a test, I was basically late for most of my shots. Service action was superb, but very obviously too high SW.
    Then, without really calculating, I started peeling few strips out, until I found a comfortable spot. Nadal's balance point is at 33.5cms, mine is at 32.5. So I def. have less lead at 12 than Nadal's. (Of course I am not comparing myself w/ Nadal or any pro for that matter. But I was mainly trying to say, if most pros are doing the same, there's gotta be a reason for it) This setup is great on serves, deep shots, but still I find it a little too powerful w/ the loose 16g PHT strings on it. Perhaps a true nadal setup with 15l duralast could certainly slow down the pop and increase playing char'istics.

    Btw- I also tried putting lead all across the bumper guard once -no need to hide lead under bumper as most of us here are no pros:) Meaning, lead was covering all the 16Ms (this is definitely what most Head pros have under bumpers!) and that seemed to work very well as well (for me) Slightly more torsional stability, less on longitudinal, but was a great controlled pop.

    I am gladly open to any advice/ideas on polarization methods! Thanks.
     
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  24. gymrat76

    gymrat76 Banned

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    Well when you say ALL, are you referring to top 3 players I wrote about?
    If so, as for Nadal, it is quite well known (greg raven's website, nadal's own website that he explained his setup vaguely -which was discussed here at tw)
    that he has approx 3 grams of lead in buttcap area.

    As for Fed, we didn't know until recently that there is lead under the bumper at 12. I obviously and personally do not know if he polarized his. Neither Nate Ferguson seems to know if he put lead at the butt..seems like he didn't rip apart his racquet's grip to see if there is lead there! :) Needless to speculate on that...But think about it :)

    Djoko, I do not know! But him being a Head player, with quite certainty I could say, he has not only lead at 12, but also has silicone in handle. I have been after Head pro racqs made in their kennelbach, austria factory for a while. I got two (PT57A and a PT10) and I did not come across one single Head pro who did not have silicone in handle, to counter polarize the lead at 12.
     
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  25. gymrat76

    gymrat76 Banned

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    Yep, I have seen that done. Pretty much or will give very similar results to wrapping lead at buttcap, I think. (Though you can add much more weight in buttcap without enlargening the handle with wrapped leads as in my case)

    I didn't give a full chance to trying lead at point zero (buttcap) For me, the racquet felt sluggish, gravity was pulling the lead down :) But serves for something else esp. kicks. I did like the lead at slightly higher. So that leaded part would be in my palm and therefore feel the weight less. But in order for it to be a true polarization, I guess lead has to be at buttcap area, perhaps. I am a novice to these experiments so I dont know. But I personally like the deep shots you get with polarization! :)
     
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  26. Tombhoneb

    Tombhoneb Rookie

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    Thanks for that. I just wanted to get an idea on how much lead was being put at the tip and bottom for a rough guide.

    Once i get more lead, i will give some different setups a go and post my findings. I prefer a heavier racket so will start high and go down from there.
     
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  27. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eql8Jnpa9Bs

    Quite interesting.
    Can you sucinctly summarize what you've done in your mods, according to weight and placement?
    1. two 1/4" X 8" strips (4 grams) at twelve o'clock
    2. butt cap?
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
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  28. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    ^^^Yes. I like leather grips, but I stayed with the stock synthetic (except a new one reverse wrapped for a lefty) covered with one Yonex super grap.(2) 1/4" X 8" strips under bumperguard. Not sure exact weight under cap because I modified it a couple of times to get the balance just right and I don't have my own scale, only limited access to a friends' scale. Believe it's pretty close to 7 grams. Racquet was balanced strung with MSV hex 1.10 and Sampras vibration dampener.
     
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  29. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    I just want to say something for the record. It's regarding which pro's polarize their racquets.

    I PERSONALLY would define the philosophy of polarization as: the belief in addition of weight to one end of the racquet, the other end of the racquet, or both, but nowhere in between.

    I wouldn't limit the philosophy to always using lead at both poles. This should depend on the racquet in question, the amount of weight to be added, and the desired balance point.
     
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  30. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Interesting - I never thought of the patterns of lead addition as an either/or proposition...

    However it makes sense to add the lead in either/or of these well-used patterns because you can thereby feel the full effect.

    If you think about it, the addition of lead anywhere besides than at the balance point - if applied in two locations either side - is always polarizing - just to different degrees.

    But yes at either extreme end of the racquet is going to deliver the full effect.

    Can I just check - a polarised setup is still being used at the end of a lever (our arms) and the with the axis point just sitting just below the holding hand (buttcap), is there some proportional formula we should follow or is it best just to put the same amount at 12 as you put under buttcap.

    (I haev lead at 12 and under buttcap of my MG and LM Rads).

    thx for great thread....
     
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  31. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Semi-Pro

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    I've been using the Cauthern lead setup (lead on the top of the handle, with some more at 10 and 2) on my PS90 customized to 395g. Although at first I hit fine with it, my stick becomes REALLY cumbersome after a few long rallies.
    Just now, I moved my lead to polar ends of the racket, call it Jedi mind tricks, call it the placebo effect, but my racket seems to be a LOT lighter to swing. Can't wait to see how she hits tomorrow, I'll be back with more feedback.
     
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  32. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    of course i do not know more than warren or jay bosworth or nate ferguson etc. i did not say i did . just stating my observations. one of the links above has underlined where it is mentioned there is lead in the head the hoop is also referred to as the head of the racquet so i am not sure the is placed from that comment. the fact that pros take light racquets and make them heavier does not surprise me. i think we will all agree how the weight is distributed makes a difference . if you look at another of the charts many of the swingweights of the pro racquet s were 340 or higher. i know that above 330-335 gets to be too much for me. when you put kead at 12 you get a disproportionate increase in swingweight for the amount of weight added besides the other effects already stated. if it gives you the feel you want then its right for you. there is no right or wrong way to "lead up" a racquet. like chocolate and vanilla its personal preference.imho
     
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  33. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    tried to search for pics of stepanecks bosworth racquet. if anyone has close ups it would be interesting to see if there is lead at 3-9
     
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  34. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Any comments about TW suggestions?

    Any comments about the link below
    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/Customizing/customize.html
     
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  35. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    verified that weight under butt cap is 6.8 grams

    also checked overall weight of my racquets: just as I hit with them = 340.0 grams, and this was completely by accident. sweet.
     
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  36. (K)evin

    (K)evin Rookie

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    so which setup would be better for better spin or bigger sweet spot?
     
    #36
  37. tennisnut16

    tennisnut16 Rookie

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    So polarizing lead tape = more power?
     
    #37
  38. Nix91

    Nix91 New User

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    Ok, I think I see a 9'o clock lead tape from stepanek's racquet XD

    [​IMG]
     
    #38
  39. Nix91

    Nix91 New User

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    and this too????
    [​IMG]
     
    #39
  40. h1l2i3m4w5

    h1l2i3m4w5 New User

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    so adding weight at three and 9 makes it more stable so when you miss hit the racquet doesnt twist right? does adding weight at 12 and under the butt cap do anything for this?
     
    #40
  41. gastro54

    gastro54 Rookie

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    Polarizing the LM Radical

    Polarizing the LM Radical

    These nails are important, they help keep the lead in place near the end of the buttcap.
    [​IMG]

    Lead to add to the buttcap: 17g
    [​IMG]

    Lead at 12: 5g
    [​IMG]

    Final weight: 344.4g = 12.15oz
    12 3/8 in balance pt
     
    #41
  42. truthorbust

    truthorbust Banned

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    Good video.. but he is not saying anything about PJs.. We all know the amount of players that are using those but would maybe hurt sales i guess.
     
    #42
  43. IwishIwasbetter

    IwishIwasbetter Rookie

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    is the boris becker special edition considered polarized? It has silicone in the handle and lead at 3 and 9 and an sw of above 370
     
    #43
  44. cheers

    cheers New User

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    My APDC Setup

    I had a similar experience with APDC and polarization as Gymrat.
    Here's what I did with my APDC:

    1) added TW leather grip + overgrip (additional 10 g):
    I read on TT that the leather grip + overgrip adds about 8-10 grams to the handle area. My goal was to hit a heavier ball off the ground and get more punch with my volleys. I wanted to add weight.

    2) put 10g of lead to the head at 12 o'clock:
    So, naturally, I put 10 grams of lead at the head thinking this evens out the leather grip weight and makes it more toward stock SW, but it felt like a club and was very hard to use! Since the 8-10 grams of weight is distributed up and down the handle, this theory doesn't work out.

    3) put 8g at the head, 1g under buttcap:
    This was much better, but still clubbish. I felt a little arm pain while serving, whereas I NEVER felt pain when the racket just had the leather grip and no lead. Spin and power was great, but still not manageable as I would like it.

    4) put 6g at the head, 3g under buttcap:
    This feels the best to me so far. Great spin, much more power, and effortless flat bombs. My arm held up just fine and I was able to play a match of doubles with it just fine. However, now when I flatten out my groundstrokes I send a laserbeam into the back fence. I need to adjust this.

    5) NEXT - I'm now thinking of trying 4g at the head and 2g under the buttcap:
    Now, I'm thinking that the added static weight is presenting too much power. I would like the option to flatten it out while hitting a heavier ball, so this might be the happy medium.

    Anyway, it's been fun trying this stuff out. I was very against messing with lead tape, but I'm glad I did try it eventually. It is definitely 'customizing' in every sense of the word, I recommend it to everyone.

    If you don't have a leather grip on the APDC and you can handle a heavy racquet (~12oz), you can try my #4 (6g at head, 3g at buttcap) and go from there. Depending on what you want, you can shift the balance for more maneuverability or more power, and start playing with the amount of lead on both sides. It was very important for me to feel the difference from adding/removing weight at head or buttcap and it's something you should feel for yourself to get a better feel of the effects. I also made sure to ask my frequent hitting partners to comment on Spin, how heavy the ball was on serves, groundstrokes, volleys, etc to have an outside perspective on how I played with each lead setup.

    It all sounds very analytical and overkill, but when I play, I just go out there and play, I'm not stopping and contemplating what 1g here or 1g there will do! I'll think about it later on my way home or something.
     
    #44
  45. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    I will try to add lead at 12 on my set-up and report back some time this week on the noticeable differences.

    I own several sticks, but for the past two or so months have been knocking around my modified kblade 98's.

    They are 4 1/4 grip size with leather and two overgrips, 2 lead fishing weights under the buttcap (some wilson's have that convenient foam in the handle) and 7grams of lead tape at 3 and 9- 2 sections of 3.5grams.

    I will shift this the weight from 3and9 to 12 (with some experimentation as it will likely be less than 7grams to achieve my balance) and get back to this thread to write my observations.

    Oh yeah and finally weigh those bullet fishing lead weights as I have no idea how much they actually weigh-- but they have to be quite significant as they moved me 4pts. towards head light balnce after installed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
    #45
  46. Ljubicic for number1

    Ljubicic for number1 Hall of Fame

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    That is Pat Rafter not Stepanek :)???::???::???:
     
    #46
  47. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    So, I did end up moving the weight from 3 and 9 to 12 o'clock... Just my observations.

    I started off with 4grams at 12. Loved it on serves and my 2handed backhand, for some strange reason my kick serves had more kick than when the lead was at 3 n 9, the problem was the forehand, slice and touch shots, just way too much power. Even after removing some weight... A little side note, the frame felt significantly more 'flexy'.

    I next put the weight at 10 and 2 ( with my setup I have a 1/4 grip size with a wilson leather and two overgrips, along with two 10gram lead bullet fishing weights jammed in the foam under the buttcap) this setup was easier to control on the forehands and touch shots. Kick serves and flatties were a little less effortless.

    Next, I decided to compromise and distribute the weight more evenly along the hoop. So I put 2grams at 12, 1gram at 10 and 1gram at 2. This is by far the most versatile setup. Groundstrokes were a lot easier to control and the only aspect I miss from the lead at 3and9 is the flight of the bachand slice. Spin is easier to generate with the current setup and power is on the cusp of being uncontrollable but as long as I stay on my toes, I like it that way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
    #47
  48. PED

    PED Legend

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    ^^Interesting thoughts klementine. I'm actually trying the opposite setup. I've been playing with lead at 12 on my Prestige Pro and am trying it at 3 & 9 instead. I've not tried that setup since I used to play with the old pure storm.

    Any one know of a rule of thumb for adding weight to 3 & 9 and how it alters the SW. My rule of thumb for lead at the tip is that each 1 gram added to the tip alters the balance by 1mm and the SW by 3.5g. That has been verified by my measurements on the RDC, but I was curious as to the effect of lead at 3 & 9 on SW.
     
    #48
  49. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    It all depends on the racquet's proportions-- throat length, hoop shape etc. etc.

    Through trial and error, I have found that lead at 3 and 9 is a 2:1 ratio and much like your observations at 12 it is a 3:1 ratio.
     
    #49
  50. PED

    PED Legend

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    Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for. I don't want to wear out my welcome at my local shop's RDC :) I thought that the 2:1 might be close to the ratio so I added a bit more lead when I shifted the position from 12 to 3 and 9. Now, if that rain would just stop!
     
    #50

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