Spin AND stability

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by eman resu, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. eman resu

    eman resu Semi-Pro

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    I like to serve and volley and I rely on a strongly spinny kick serve on many points. I'm not a hard hitter, and I like to use many kinds of spin during points to get me to the net.
    Now I don't care about power, headsize or weight. All I need is a racquet that offers BOTH the spin potential to serve and build the points from the baseline to the net AND great stability for the volleys and chip returns. The problem is these are two opposite things in my mind: weight at 12 vs weight at 3 and 9.
    I can play with anything from 85 to 110 sq in, powerful or not. I would like some comfort though. Is there any line of racquets that unites these two apparently opposite characteristics, spin and stability?
     
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  2. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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  3. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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  4. corners

    corners Legend

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    Organix 4 so modified, final specs:

    14 ounces
    24 points headlight
    300 swingweight

    That's an unorthodox setup.
     
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  5. corners

    corners Legend

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    I think the racquets you have are all fine. But if you really want a new one, I would grab a Yonex Rdis 200 Lite, on sale for $75. These frames have a lot of mass at 12 o'clock in stock form. Put 5 grams of lead tape at 3&9 and replace the stock grip with leather and an overgrip and you'd have a very stable topspin machine with an enormous sweetspot, great comfort and good feel that's still light and headlight enough to whip around for great spin on serves, groundies and approaches.
     
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  6. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    Just put lead at 10 and 2, problem solved.
     
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  7. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Ew, I have the perfect racquet for you. Try the BLX 95 18x20. It is a nice spin frame with spinning drive, not too much power, but not underpowered either. Has great control and hits nice kickers. I really solid frame as well. Can't go wrong there.
     
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  8. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    Screw it, just get the new Wilson steam
     
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  9. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    lol.

    ---------------------
     
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  10. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    I'm thinking about it for myself now, so cheap and well 24 points head light, you just might get the same amount of top spin from a ping pong paddle
     
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  11. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Sorry to get further off topic, but this reminds me of when I first started experimenting with lead tape about 8 years ago. I tailweighted a Wilson Hammer Titanium 5.0 OS with 3+ ounces of lead in the butt, and dropped the tension on my Ashaway Crossfire II from 64 lbs to 54 lbs. The swingweight was probably in the 330s.

    The result (12.5 oz. with balance less than 11.5") was interesting.

    It was amazing for serves. Nice pop, and the spin effects I could get on serve could really make the ball dance in weird directions. Twist serves were natural. If I hit hard enough to get it over with an initial downward trajectory, it dove down into the box and rebounded up explosively. One of the best serving setups ever. But that was the good part.

    Groundies felt like hitting with spaghetti strings. The dwell time was so long, all i could do was hit high-rpm loopers. To hit deep, I had to hit at least 12 feet over the net. Anything lower was a short topspin dipper. Hitting flat was virtually impossible. Yes it was that spinny.

    Volleys were terrible. Very difficult to control due to the extremely long dwell time. Amazing how soft and cushy the feel was considering the frame had stiffness of 72 RA. And amazing how spinny a racquet can be just from adjusting the weighting, even without poly string of any sort.

    This answered the question for me of whether you can go TOO headlight. Yes you can.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
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  12. corners

    corners Legend

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    Great story Trav.

    To take things further off-topic, if a recreational player wanted his setup to deliver approximately the same dwell time as some pro, who is clearly bigger, stronger and has higher racquet-head speed (say, 80 mph RHS on forehand compared to 65 mph for the rec player), what should the stiffness of the rec players' frame be as compared to the stiffness of the pro player? In terms of strings, we know that faster swingspeeds result in less dwell time, and that if the rec player wanted his stringbed to match the pro's in terms of dwell time he should actually string tighter or with a stiffer string than the pro, which is somewhat counter-intuitive. But with racquets, would the slower-swinging rec player want a more or less flexible frame to match the dwell time of the faster-swinging pro?
     
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  13. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    ^ never thought about that
     
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  14. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I think you answered your own question.

    A stiffer frame will have less dwell time than a flexible frame, all other things being equal. The customization anecdote I gave above shows that dwell time is also strongly a function of weight distribution. In fact, the method used to rank racquets on www.racquetresearch.com effectively uses dwell time as the metric, with the assumption that longer dwell time (less shock) = better.

    I am a fan of heavy frames, high swingweight (for stability), stiff dense stringbeds (for volleys), with some openness and give at the perimeter of the stringbed (for spin) - in my opinion, this combination gives what the OP is looking for. A stiffer stringbed makes a racquet more stable on volleys, but if it's too stiff overall it can kill the spin. I also like to use the weight distribution to tune the dwell time of my frame.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
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  15. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    BLX six one 95. (2010 or 2012, but 2010 is a bit more spinny and stable)
     
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  16. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    Or if you want more comfort, try the Head Extreme Pro 2.0
    Spin, stability, comfort, just a tad less maneuverable than the six one due to the head size (100).
     
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  17. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Wilson 105s. Tail weight to -12 points. Dunlop Black Widow 18 for baseline bashing. Gut/Poly if you play all court or dubs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
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  18. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    How about...put on a tacky overgrip and squeeze tightly for increased stability/decreased twisting. Done. Move on.

    It ain't the frame. It's how you use it.
     
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  19. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    To me, a wider string bed is the first thing I think of both for maximizing spin and for stability. For the former, a bigger spin window is the most noticeable quality a frame can bring to the party. For the latter, the physics of twistweight makes the width of the stringbed even more important than the weight at 3&9. (Just like swingweight, twistweight depends on both (1) mass and (2) the distance of that mass from the place where the racket is rotating, but the second of those factors is squared! That's why even lightweight oversizes have player-racket-like twistweights – and, of course, you don't have to settle for a lightweight one.)

    Volley-wise, oversize rackets aren't normally associated with S&Vers, I know, but if you choose a lower-powered one you may find that you appreciate the extra real estate up there on the firing line. I know I do. Wind resistance slows the swing speed down a smidgen, but it sounds like a fast swing speed isn't how you get your points anyway. So maybe a player OS would be worth a demo for you.
    Oh, come on, Corners. Even if the ITF allowed keeping a black hole in your butt cap, it's bound to violate half a dozen environmental laws. Spin is great and all, but the Earth is our MOTHER, man!
     
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  20. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I agree. Ever since I switched to the steam 99s I've won 3 straight matches while only dropping one set. I can hit Nadal like spin with this racquet.
     
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  21. danotje

    danotje Rookie

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    Pk 5/7G gets my vote. 16 x 20 pattern generates great spin while maintaining control. Kinetic stuff keeps it stable anywhere on the court.
     
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  22. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    sounds like you need a heavy, headlight, open pattern racquet.
     
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  23. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    Seriously buy a cheap plat form racket that you can mod up with lead. It's cheaper it doesn't take more than a few minutes, and you get a perfect fit. So I refer you back to my second comment.
     
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  24. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Aero Pro Drive should suit you nicely.

    It's stiff, semi-light, open pattern and is torsionally very stable - great for spin game.

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Bab...-BAPDGT.html?gclid=CLqVy9jhnLUCFQyZ4AodSWUA-g
     
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  25. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    There is racquet customization thread that re-surfaces every so often, I think written by xFullCourtTennisX or something like that. One of the main ideas proposed in that thread is that lead at 12 increases spin. However, no explanation is offered as to how this occurs, other than just a blanket statement that polarized racquets are more spin friendly. I'm thinking this might be the underlying source of the OP's line of questioning? He seems to be verbalizing in the opening post pretty clearly that 3:00 & 9:00 are about stability, and lead at 12 is about spin.

    Yet, I've never heard anybody offer a plausible explanation as to how lead at 12:00 increases spin. Since lead at 12 increases SW much more dramatically than lead at 3-9, and makes the racquet more difficult to swing fast, how does this increase spin? I've mentally mulled over the obvious suspects, momentum, increased ball compression, and still don't quite get it. Am I missing something? I'm 100% open to new ideas/concepts, I've just never heard anybody make a case for this that makes sense to me.

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
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  26. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    What trajectory is used to measure swing-weight? Does that correspond with a modern windshield wiper stroke?
     
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  27. corners

    corners Legend

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    The OP of that thread was just a big crib of a bunch of old trav posts from pre-2008. OP probably didn't explain cuz he didn't know.

    Here's my stab at approximating the hypothesis: More head mass increases spin, whether it's at 3&9, 10&2 or 3&9 by loading the snapback mechanism (which is probably why Wilson made the Steams with high swingweight). But adding mass at 3&9 does not change the dynamic stiffness of the frame while adding at 12 does. Adding to the butt does too. Reducing dynamic stiffness will increase dwell time which increases spin. If you've got mass at 12 and mass in the butt you've got a polarized racquet. I think this is an oversimplification but it's the gist of it.

    So this is with stationary racquets and moving balls. Then you pick up the frame and swing it. Now, like you said, you've got to deal with the other side of the swingweight equation: fine, it makes your frame more spin friendly but only if you can swing it fast, and swingweight also is the primary limit to swingspeed. Going by the small sample of max effort swingspeed studies available, TWU's swing simulator will show that moving from a high swingweight frame to a low swingweight frame and swinging all out with both will result in pretty much equal balls speeds from both racquets, but the spin will be greater from the low-swingweight frame because RHS generates spin.

    But that calculator ignores stringbed effects, mass distribution, dwell time, etc. So if we want to bake that stuff back in, what do we have? I think we're back to anecdotes, unfortunately.

    So if you've got a 350 swingweight frame with BHB7 at 55 and a 315 SW frame with BHB7 55 and I swing all-out with both, which gives me more spin? I've heard it both ways - I've heard guys say that they went down from 335 SW to 315 SW and watched their kicker hit the fence two feet higher than before, and I've heard the same thing from guys that switched from 330 to 350 SW. Travlerajm stresses the importance of the ball flattening effect in spin generation, which he says is increased by high swingweights and stiff strings. So there is that too, which hasn't been adressed much by TWU.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
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  28. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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  29. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    I don't know what you are comparing to but I'd say it is one of the most stable 11.3oz frames.
     
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  30. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Spin is not about moving the racket, spin is about throwing the racket and hanging on so instead of flying off it rotates around your arm. More swing weight (to a point) will increase the throw's momentum.

    Polarization makes that rotation around the arm more in line with rotation racket would tend to do if you would actually throw it, so it happens more naturally.

    Think of throwing a stick with most weight on one end or in the middle.
    Now think of throwing a stick with weights on both ends - this one should rotate more violently and keep more momentum at the ends.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
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  31. veloduffer

    veloduffer New User

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    +1 on the Extreme Pro 2.0. However, I found the Head more maneuverable than my Six-One (had both 18x20 and 16x18). You'll get all the stability, and lots of spin.
     
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  32. mr_fro2000

    mr_fro2000 Rookie

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    Sound like you're looking for a Donnay Pro One 97 (16*19). Read/watch some of the reviews.
     
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  33. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi corners,

    That's super awesome, thanks! That's the plausible explanation I was hoping for. I think the dynamic stiffness issue is the key puzzle piece I'd not considered here. I've just re-read some of Trav's old posts on dynamic stiffness and spin. I've also searched for what TWU Professor had to say on the subject. Here are the three key snippets from the TWU on vibration frequency:

    Quote :"Vibration is a wonderful indicator of dynamic racquet stiffness. The usual stiffness measurement is performed while supporting the racquet at the handle and in the throat while a force is applied to the tip. The stiffness index is a measurement of how much the racquet tip is deflected. This is a static measurement (performed over a much longer time than the impact of a ball) and depends only on the intrinsic forces holding the racquet together and is what we commonly refer to asstatic racquet stiffness. However, when the ball impacts the racquet it is a dynamic, instantaneous event, and the amount of racquet deflection depends on both its stiffness (elastic restorative force) and mass distribution. Bending is directly proportional to the degree of stiffness, for the obvious reason that stiffness is, by definition, resistance to bending. And bending depends inversely on mass because a heavy mass is more difficult to accelerate (and decelerate) into bending motion than is a lighter mass. ... (snip) ... The stiffer and lighter the racquet, the greater (faster) the frequency, shorter the period, and less the amplitude. And the softer and heavier the racquet, the slower the frequency, the longer the period and the greater the amplitude. Every other combination falls somewhere in between. ... (snip) ... When you customize a racquet by adding lead tape, you reduce the vibration frequency. More mass is more difficult to accelerate into vibration, and the racquet will therefore feel softer. The degree of vibration reduction will depend on where you add the weight. If you add it to a vibration node (just below the middle of the head or at the top of the hand on the grip) the frequency will change very little, if at all. If you add it near the tip or the middle of the racquet, vibration will decrease more."
    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/vibration_explanation.php

    All of the above quotes seem to validate the idea that adding lead at 12 and the butt reduces dynamic stiffness. This makes the racquet feel softer on impact, and extends the dwell time. All of that, can create additional spin. However, I think there might be a competing issue at work here? Perhaps the competing factor is that lead at the tip and the butt, increases Recoilweight. This implies additional stability and power, especially for impacts near the tip. It also implies resistance to rotation around the balance point in the throat. All of this seems to imply a firmer, more stable impact, not a more flexible, wobbly impact.

    I dug up a conversation in which the TW Professor also seems to be pondering over the issue of increased recoilweight, vs reduced vibration frequency. He seems fairly certain that lead at the tip reduces vibration frequency. But also uncertain about the amplitude. Recall that vibration frequency is simply the number of times per second the frame vibrates. Amplitude is the measure of how far the racquet will bend on impact. I think the latter is what most people envision when they think of racquet flex, not the former.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=6735403#post6735403

    Nutshell: So, perhaps there is a trade off here? Yes, lead at 12 reduces the vibration frequency and vibration frequency (number of vibration cycles) is a measure of dynamic stiffness. However, what this does to amplitude, (distance of the bend) is uncertain. Also, lead at 12 and or the butt also increases recoilweight, which also creates more a more stable (more resistant to twisting, rolling bending) frame and a more powerful frame. I think this might be the very same trade-off that the TW Professor is pondering inconclusively in the above quotes as well?

    PS. Also big thanks to Anton for the thought experiment / metaphor. That was really useful to me.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
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  34. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I grew up playing serve & volley on grass courts and the ProStaff 6.1 Classic was my go-to racquet for well over a decade. That line of frames from Wilson has been a first choice for top doubles players as well as net-crashing singles players for a long time. When I started working on a stronger baseline game though, I wanted better spin and control without giving up the stability that I like for volleys and block returns of serve.

    The answer for me came with several racquets that were both heavy and rather soft. Volkl has a couple of models in their "10 series" that could be worth a look. I've settled in with the C10 Pro - mine have some lead tape under their grips for a little more HL balance. I should note that these racquets are quite cozy for me in an all-court role, but I've used some others that are even more "spin happy".

    The discontinued Yonex RD Ti-80 is a soft 'n hefty serve & volley demon that seems to give me too much spin (I have a pair). I'd bet that their VCORE 95 D might have some stable and spinny performance, but it would be easy to tune one of their lighter 98" frames with some lead, too. Pacific has the X Force Pro - similar to the old Fischer M Speed Pro #1. Donnay also has one or two heavier models that look interesting, but I haven't sampled them.

    Nothing against the current version of Wilson's Six.One 95 (16x18), but it has a little more backbone than some softer alternatives out there. I could put lots of spin on the ball with my 6.1 Classics, but they were too hot for me from the baseline, especially compared with some more flexible gear.

    Happy hunting!!!
     
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