Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by srvnvly, Aug 1, 2012.
check out the lead on these racquets from a Priority1 tweet:
awesome find! those are really long strips of lead
His frames must be pretty head heavy!
Awesome pic! I was curious so thought I'd use the TW Customization worksheet and get some estimated specs. I'm not sure if Babolat gives pros lighter pro-stock racquets, though I don't think they do. But assuming his base racquet is a stock APDGT, the base specs would be 320g, 33cm balance point (4 points HL), and a 331 SW. I estimate that there is at least 14 inches of lead tape on those racquets, divided into two 1/4 inch strips (those are 1/4 in strips, aren't they?), which would add 7 grams to the head. The new specs would then be 327g, 33.76cm balance (1.7 points head light) and a 355 SW!
That static weight seems rather low for a pro player, especially someone as strong as Tsonga, so let's assume that P1 adds 20 grams of weight to the handle, centered at 4 inches. The specs would then be 347g, 355 SW, and a 32.4 cm balance (6 points head light). That's a beast of a racquet and must have some annihilating plow through!
If I'm not mistaken Tsonga uses the APDGT+, not the standard length. I could be wrong but that's what I remember from the thread with his actual stick.
You are correct.
Those single strips actually don't weigh that much. The tone of weight in the handle will.
Thank for the confirmation.
Good to note. The GT+ base is more headlight (6pts) with a higher swingweight (339). Given just the addition of 7 grams to the head, the new balance of the GT+ would be 324g / 33.81 cm (3.5 pts HL) / 364 SW. If they add 20 grams to the handle at 4 in., the swingweight remains the same, though the static weight obviously changes and the racquet would be almost 8 points head light.
For all I know there's another thread where someone has one of his racquets and has measured his specs. What most interests me is how much that amount of lead under the bumper would increase the swingweight and change the balance point. It gives quite a bump in swingweight, but intuitively I would have thought it would affect the balance even more.
someone correct me if im wrong but i do remember a thread of someone posting tsongas apdgt and there was silicone injected in the handle.
You are correct. I found that thread:
That thread also says that the static weight is 346 grams without overgrip. If I am right that there is approximately 7 grams of lead in the hoop, plus 3 grams for the dampener, the weight would then be ~327 grams on a stock APDGT+. So P1 must then add approximately 20 grams of silicone to the handle.
1. is it only me or does that look like not just one layer but 2 (or more .. lol). that would mean his sw is way higher than 360. (it makes sense also in the way how p1 costumized rogers racquets: there were different lengths of lead used but here it seems like everywhere the same. but if you look closely for example at the first strip, there seems to be one layer of lead on top of the first layer. but the top layer doesnt seem to be as long as the first....)
2. are these racquets not finished or am i seeing an illusion? why does it appear that on one side there is only one long strip of lead but on the other side there are 2 strips next to each other.
3. do we now that its a apdgt+ .. could also be a apdc+
With regard to your second point, I think it's just the angle, and that there is only one strip on both sides. The lead starts on top of the hoop and then goes down inside of the grommet chamber. You can see into the grommet chamber that is further away from the camera on each racquet, and hence can see the lead there, but because of the angle you can't see the near side of the chamber, and you just see the lead on top of the hoop. --They might put a layer on top, but that would would certainly give a crazy swingweight! I see the part you mention, though it could be just a little bubble in the lead. --I'm not sure if it's the GT or the Cortex, but I'd assume the specs aren't that different.
I have four IG Prestige MP Pro Stocks and they came with three strips of tape from 10:00 to 2:00 - the swingweight was measured at 384. It's an interesting frame to hit with. The broker had a fairly difficult time selling these - not too many people want frames with that swingweight. You can remove some of it but it seems that most people like to leave them as they received them.
My regular frames are only in the low 360s.
You need an up-close look to be sure on layers. Some folks can do a pretty good job on layering so that it's hard to see multiple layers.
"Only" in the 360s? That would be a beast for most of us! haha I'm curious -- what do you find to be the biggest difference in playability between a 330SW racquet and a 360. Obviously it will be more difficult to get around, but if one can (at least temporarily) get over that obstacle, I'd be interested to hear how it comes through the contact zone, feels, and the sort of action on the ball you get.
My SW has moved down quite a bit in the last year or so, down from the high 380's to around 340. I'm not him but I can give my insight to it.
Free Power. Man with a high SW the free power is huge. Get your stick in front of the ball and you are more then likely getting it back. Volleying with it creates huge stability and groundies become very very heavy. The only downside for me is the serve. It really took a toll on my shoulder/wrist/elbow for serving which is why I only did it for a few months. It's definitely a very nice feel off the ground, so in my mind a perfect rallying spec. Not very good for match play for myself however. :razz:
I played with the KPS88 before going to the Prestige and they were in the mid-340s.
Fuji's comments are spot on.
On volleying, you just have to get the racquet to the ball and then apply the right amount of touch. The incoming speed of the ball against the mass gives you a nice deep shot with very little effort.
The problem is the serve - on the 380s. I serve my best in the low 360s. I can't accelerate the 380s as fast so I lose pace though I can hit nice spin serves with it. If I try to accelerate it too much, I have arm problems.
On groundstrokes, there's tons of power. Great for hitting heavy topspin. On stretch shots, you can flick the forehand and get reasonable depth with some power (Berdych does this regularly). On the backhand, you can get the ball back when stretched just by meeting the ball though it sets up a putaway for the other player. I can sometimes do a backhand flick (topspin or slice) on defense.
It's nice defending with a OHBH against high-kickers too as the mass takes the sting out of the ball on off-center hits and you can still get a decent ball back. I've been doing a lot more running and fitness work this summer than playing tennis as I'm training for a race. It really helps being in decent shape if you want to play with heavy racquets.
Yes, you think you are strong enough to go from SW's in the 340's or so to the 360's...but then try playing 3 hard sets with it. Even though you're swinging something that still weighs less than a pound, you'd be amazed at how much more gassed you are. I tried it in a match a few seasons ago and I got crushed in the 3rd set because I was so tired.
I think huge swingweights are beneficial if:
-you hit every day
-are in excellent shape
-play guys who actually hit hard
At my level, I rarely face a shot that overpowers me because of swingweight. I probably have the biggest serve of anyone I play, and I'm lucky if it's over 110MPH, so I'm never having the racquet knocked out of my hand by some dude bashing 120MPH+.
In my case, and this probably goes for most guys 4.5 and under, the liabilities from such heavy sticks tend to outweight the benefits. You lose a ton on defense and reaction shots.
I know lots and lots of very good college players, D3 through D1 (although not upper echelon D1), teaching pros/coaches, and very high level juniors who use regular sticks with little to no weight additions
Doesn't surprise me.
If you hit the ball in the sweetspot you can return anything even with a 8.9 ounce racquet.
I think a SW of 340 is comfortable. All of my racquets are leaded to this and I can handle it for a 3 hour game. But anything more than that is just fatiguing. I think I'd have to do some serious exercise off the court to be able to wield a SW of 360+
I think that people should play with whatever is comfortable and what they win with. I find that I do better with higher swingweights than lower though I've played with much lower swingweights too.
I don't consider myself unusually strong, but my leaded Pro Kennex Ki 5x has a swingweight of 377 (my own measurements using TW's test method), and mass-wise it's not even in the league of Pete Sampras' racquet, which I'm guessing had to be well over 400. My racquet gets to over 390 just by putting 4 more grams of lead at the top, which I've played with before but prefer it without. Players in the 70's played with even heavier racquets than Pete.
it does look like there are at least 2 layers of lead tape.
I use to play apd plus leaded to tsonga specs and it's a log to serve with but once you connect it splits the ball in half.
It definitely takes two layers (0.5 mm thick) 10-12 inches of gamma lead tape to get there
rest is silicone in one chamber to get to desired weight and balance (15gr usually).
Reason it's not exact science is due to wonderful -+7 Babolat quality control which they actually state on the racquets themselves as a genius disclaimer like it's normal
Length: 69.9 cm
Weight: 346gr (strung, dampener, without overgrip)
Balance: 33.1 cm
Gripsize: #4 (4 1/2)
Silicone in handle
Btw priority one stated before that they do not add silicone to his racquets so they probably arrive like that from Babolat
It looks to me like he has about 14 grams of lead on the top of each frame. I'll bet the swingweight is somewhere above 400. Tsonga is a beast. That should feel like a feather to him.
That's a lot of lead. I feel if you need that much lead to get your frame where to where it needs to be you actually need a different frame to begin with.
> That's a lot of lead. I feel if you need that much lead to get your
> frame where to where it needs to be you actually need a different
> frame to begin with.
Most of my Pro Stocks came with at least that amount of lead. But Pro Stocks are lighter than retail frames to accommodate wide variances in customization.
In the case of the Pros - they are doing marketing work for retail frames so adding a ton of lead is a reasonable way to show pros using what appears to be a completely retail frame.
Are you saying that "pro stock" frames are lighter than retail?
I find that hard to be true.
As it is, retail frames are already too light.
Actually it's not that hard to believe. I have a nice collection of Pro Stocks as well (IMO) and at the bare bones they are usually around 8oz-9oz (from my experience) at the hair pin. After you build it up with silicone and lead you are able to make it to whatever spec you want. Pros are used to a certain spec and they need the room to get to that spec.
that is usually the case. it allows for many different customization options. all of the stock pro frames i've had my hands on have been light.
We rarely add silicone to any racquets. We use a different preferred material. We only use silicone unless specifically asked by a player, which doesn't occur very often.
As for Jo's racquets, we mold a custom handle on an unleaded frame, and add any weight necessary to get to his specs.
If it's not a secret what kind of materials?
All the talk is mostly about silicone.
Thank you in advance.
can you enlighten me on something of this:
Given than Bosworth uses epoxy and lead rod, and Nate is a Bosworth disciple, that seems like a probability to me.
It's also easier to control the placement and amount of mass to be added in this manner, not to mention that it dries so much faster.
Hmmm... sorry but either I understand RJYU post differently...
So it is my understanding that P1 always uses silicone UNLESS the client, in this case the player, asks for something specific.
So the fact that Nate was with Bosworth has nothing to do with it.
I'm guessing English is not your primary language?
I hope you're just using a hyperbole here. :|
14g is not a lot at all.
The position on where it is will bump up the SW considerably though. If you put 14 grams at 3/9 your SW is going to be a lot less then if it's piled up at 10/12/2.
Of course you probably know that but it's good to put out there anyway. :razz:
The 14 grams is along the top of the frame, so it's going to have a considerable effect. Tsonga is one of strongest guys on the pro tour, so he probably notices the improved stability and plow but not so much the weight.
Nice photo, but contrary to what some might think thats not a whole lot of weight up top. If its single layer then definitely not, however I think from looking at it, its might be double layered but its still not a lot. Have to remember as well those rackets are pretty light to begin with.
I'm waiting for RJYU to elaborate on the subject. IF it is not a problem for him.
As for what he wrote. I agree with your previous statement.
Very very true!
For comparison, Jo's old Wilson that he used back in 2005 was 347g unstrung so the Bab is a good deal lighter for him.
^^^Pretty sure his Wilson was standard length. The increased SW from extended length usually allows players to reduce static weight for a given SW and BP.
It was std length and much more of an Head light balance: 31cm strung balance vs 33cm on his apdgt plus.
I agree now that there seems to be two layers of lead. Using TW's customization calculator, that would put Tsonga's swingweight in the mid to upper 380s! Moreover that 14 grams increases the plow index % by 23.4% -- that's a ton. That racquet must annihilate the ball on impact, especially in Tsonga's hands. With respect to the handle, however much weight they add there won't affect the swingweight but just the balance and static weight. I'd guess they add 15 to 20 grams of their material to the handle.
Thanks for chiming in, Ron. I'm also interested in this preferred material. For one, it would be great if us lay customizers could know of a material that lacks some undesirable features of silicone and has some desirable features of its own. Though I understand if the identity of the preferred material is, as it were, a secret ingredient in your methods that you don't want out in the open.
Teniludius, the mystery material is most likely urethane foam - easy to insert and spread within the whole handle, pretty easy to remove and has the edge over silicon because it gives the customers the choice of various weights by using different density foams and still filling the whole void.
The foam provides the dampening qualities regardless of it's density because it will fill the whole handle and its quite brittle and prevents flexing of the handle and less rebound energy lost to flexing.
You just have to notice what Wilson is doing in their own handles to see the use of foam already there in the industry. I'm guessing P1 are using something similar.
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