Pro's racquets Head Heavy? or Head Light?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by PurePrestige, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. PurePrestige

    PurePrestige Semi-Pro

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    I've been wondering this for a good while, and i'm leaning towards Head Light. I don't think anyone could add a substantial amount of lead to the head and still get as much racquet head speed as the pros do. I understand that they are stronger, but I don't think anyone is strong enough to use a 12+ oz racquet that is head weighted and still whip it like they do and have as much maneuverability at the net. Does anyone know for sure? I think they may add weight to the head and then custom handles? It makes alot more sense for them to have a head light racquet because it is better suited to racquet acceleration, no?
     
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  2. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    the standard 'used' to be that serve/volleyers and all courters pretty much all used headlight. back courters tend to prefer more weight in the head so went both ways. these days with the ball flying so fast, i would bet the trend is to lighter frames and perhaps more players using more weight in the head ala moya. but this is just conjecture on my part. i would still guess the majority favour headlight but that it is changing. ed
     
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  3. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    From the evidence that I've gathered (from talking to pro's stringers, others, etc.) is that many of today's pros are opting for head heavy racquets, using a lot of lead tape in the head. Since most players today are baseline bashers and not serve and volleys, more weight in the head gives them more power and stability on their groundstrokes. Head heavy practitioners include Agassi, Roddick, the Williams sisters, etc. Philippoussis uses a head heavy stick to put more pace on his serve, and I guess he's strong enough to volley with a head heavy racquet.

    Don't know about Federer. My guess is slightly head light, just from the way he hits the ball.
     
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  4. I thought Philippoussis' racket was 6 points head-light, about 14 ounces. Federer with his whippy strokes you would think plays with a very head-light racket, but it's actually close to even, about 12.5 ounces. I guess pros just need the loads of extra stability and can stand to lose just a little of all the head speed they have.
     
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  5. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    I think Pros are slowly finding out that with these new light weight racquets you can shift the weight towards the center of the racquet and still be able to get the head of the racquet around. By shifting the weight towards the head you have mass to drive the ball. Feds racquet, I believe, is evenly balanced and weighs 12.3 ounces. Roddick and Moya have sticks less than 12 ounces. Guga's is 12.3 and not quite evenly balanced. Some Pros in their 30s started with wood racquets which were all heavy (13 ounces and up)but head light.
     
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  6. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    pros using head heavy sticks is bull.... .You need A LOT OF LEAD to make a playersframe headheavy.More or less headlight is right.True maybe 10 percent of the men and maybe 40 percent of the women use headheavy rackets.btw the 15 prorackets i held in my hand at last years Stockholm were all heavy,headlight.
     
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  7. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    To me, racquets that are 8 points or less head light seem to feel head heavy. :shock: Whats kinda funny but makes sense is that I found 2 specs that seem to work for me. One being 12.6 ounces 12 3/16 balance and the other 12.0 ounces 12 11/16 balance. I shifted the weight towards the head and lightened the over all weight to get the same result. This seems to work with any hitters (soft)racquet. Replacing the leather grip with a synthetic grip allowed me to do this with my pro staff. BTW I'm no pro. :D
     
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  8. Most pros get their rackets LIGHTER than retail rackets for that very reason: so they can tweak them more. Pros need weight in the head and that's fact! It's a whole different world and what works in one world does not necessarily work in the other.
     
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  9. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    Fed's racquet is even-balanced.
     
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  10. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    It doesn't take much lead @ 12 o clock to make a racquet head heavy.
     
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  11. skuludo

    skuludo Professional

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    I couldn't make my Yonex MP Tour 1 Midsize even balance. I only put lead tape at the 12 o clock position and now it's close, but the racket is over 14 ounces.

    Grip size is 4 1/2. Racket says made in Japan. Does this mean I have the Asian version or it could still be the American version?
    I bought the racket in Canada.
     
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  12. activentures

    activentures Rookie

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    The opinion has been expressed that HL frames allow more racket head acceleration. In my opinion it is the opposite. Head heavy-ness(?!?) provides greater momentum. Think of swinging a rope around your head, and then doing it again with a weight tied to the end, the acceleration would be greater in the latter case. Obviously you would need to be strong enough to lift the thing and in the case of rackets, pros are. This theory took me about 3 seconds to come up with when I had already started writing this pos so anyone with any degree of intelligence, please feel free to shoot me down.
     
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  13. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    even if it feels headheavy it doesnt mean it IS headlight..
     
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  14. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    msdill, the lighter rope takes less time to to get moving.
     
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  15. D.  Nelson

    D. Nelson Semi-Pro

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    ........correct.....lighter rope= acceleration heavier rope=momentum
     
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  16. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    sorry perfmode,federers racket is NOT even balanced. balance 31 to 31,5 cm. headlight indeed.. even would be 34 to 35 cm,now try that with lead in such a heavy frame..impossible to hit with,Sampras balance 32,5cm..
     
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  17. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    sampras used a 14oz EB stick.
     
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  18. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    14 oz yes.Not eb..but yes lead around the head of the frame,AND in the handle.Sluggish,but not headheavy,have you ever measured balance?
     
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  19. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    morten, did Fed specifically say strung and no overgrip when he gave you those specs?
     
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  20. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    Sampras used a 14oz EB stick.
     
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  21. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    perfmode,Nate ferguson(responsible of Petes rackets) should know,he said 32,5.And yes,close to 14 oz,not quite though.. Lambsscroll,Fed told me about the lead placement,and how he hated hammer rackets etc,then P Lundgren told me he sometimes used alittle 3 to 4 grams more in the head on clay.The sticker on his racket gave me the exact specs,i held it in my hand,china ps,seemed identical to my ps 85 in every aspect..nothing extraordinary to other ps 85s.
     
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  22. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    #22
  23. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    Pretty simple question. Just take your racket and add 6 strips of lead tape at 3 and 9. You serve will go up about 10 miles per hour.

    Sampras racket was extremely head heavy.
     
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  24. johnqadams

    johnqadams New User

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    re: weight/acceleration

    Actually, a lighter object with more acceleration will have the same force as a heavier object with equally less acceleration. There are a lot of parameters to consider, but a 5% weight difference will not be as huge a factor in preparing for your shots as compared to the feel, control, and stability the player may experience in making the shots.

    -john
     
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  25. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    no, even balanced
     
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  26. ty slothrop

    ty slothrop Semi-Pro

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    i think perf is right, i had always heard close to 14 oz. and even balanced. weight and balance created to match the prostaff jack kramer woodie he used as a kid.
     
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  27. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    exactly
     
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  28. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    Impossible for you, easy for Sampras.

     
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  29. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    NATE SHOULD KNOW... 32,5. it will feel head heavy but it is not head heavy placed on a balanceboard.
     
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  30. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    English, do you speak it?
     
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  31. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

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    What morten said made sense to me perfmode. Racquets that are only a few points head light feel head heavy to me also.
     
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  32. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Of course, Nate should know ...
    but this is confirmed by what I know from other sources:
    ------------
    Here an italian journal published the Sampras's racquet data after measuring
    directly.
    Weight 393g, balance 32.3cm from the grip
    ------------

    Another stringer from here in Montreal who strung for both Agassi and Sampras in the 90s told me 389g.

    My question is: is this balance STRUNG or UNSTRUNG? Guess unstrung, otherwise it might vary with the type of string and its humidity, etc., but checking.

    One of my 6.0 rackets is close by: 395g (over 40g of lead at 3 and 9, 4 layers of Babolat tape, 15cm each split in two to allow space for grommets, 1/2inch wide doubleheavy tape , i.e. 1inch=1g tape, on the inside of the frame, nothing in the handle), 32.5cm balance (from the buttcap), both unstrung.
     
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  33. X-45 Corp.

    X-45 Corp. New User

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    Oh, and I think the best discertation on this is Dr. Howard Brody's book the Physics and Science of Tennis.

    I recommend you all buy and read it.

    I use a 13.7 oz stick that is about 3 points head light. Feels like swinging a two-by-four but damn if balls don't just rocket off the face and my spin stokes all have mucho pace.
     
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