The Official Lead Tape Placement+Racket Customization Thread

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by xFullCourtTenniSx, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    I said I'd do this for a while now, and since I'm up and bored I'll do it now.

    There have been many (and I mean MANY) questions about adding lead tape and so on. Their effects, their benefits, suggestions on locations, and so forth.

    In this thread, I have posted most of my knowledge on the subject, some of which I will reiterate here.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=295789

    I will try to outline most of the information to simplify the reading and understanding process. I'm not the best writer (English is my worst subject and "basic math" is my best), so it still might be a bit foggy. So feel free to ask questions for clarification. Hopefully I won't be the only one to answer because that would put a heavy burden upon myself to constantly check here and answer everything. With this, I can also easily edit information should I learn anything new or a previous conception be wrong (I am human after all). Hopefully all edits will be for the former reason, not the latter. :) I might also edit this from time to time just to reorganize the information and make it more readable, because I'm too lazy to do it on the first go. So let's begin shall we?



    I) General Lead Placement Locations:

    A) 12 o'clock (top of the hoop) - Lead at this location improves power and plow through more than any other location.
    B) 11&1 or 10&2 - Improves power and plow through significantly but also increases stability slightly.
    C) 3&9 o'clock - Improves power and plow through and increases stability by the maximum value.
    D) 6 o'clock - Improves power and plow through slightly.
    E) Throat or handle - Improves power and plow through very slightly. Generally used as counterbalance locations. (Lead on the handle is placed UNDER the replacement grip.)
    F) Buttcap - Used as a counterbalance location.


    II) General trends based on placement:

    A) The farther away from the balance point you add weight, the more dramatically the balance will chance in that direction. Also, increasing the amount of weight added at that location will also increase the change in balance. Basically lead at 12 changes balance towards head heaviness most dramatically. However, 1 gram at 12 won't do as much as 10 grams at 3&9. By the same token, lead in the buttcap changes balance towards head lightness most drastically. And 10 grams at the top of the handle has more effect than 1 gram in the buttcap.
    B) The higher you add lead, the greater the increase in swingweight. Anywhere from where your dominant hand is located and lower has either negligible or no effect on swingweight.
    C) Where you add weight affects the "sweetspot". For example, lead at 12 drags the sweetspot up, while lead on the handle drags the sweetspot down. This is also a change that changes more dramatically based on how much weight and how far it is from the sweetspot. This is why players rackets have tiny sweetspots, as they have a general trend of having very headlight balances. Also, weight on the sides of the sweetspot stretches it. So lead at 3&9 basically makes the sweetspot a little wider, adding forgiveness.


    III) The Two Different Setups
    This is the real juicy part of the post. Generally on the tour, there are 2 types of setups. Most advanced setups will be geared into the "Swingweight 2" range. Now what does SW2 mean? Basically, when you add weight, the racket will produce more power, resulting in more depth. As you add weight, the ball goes closer and closer to the baseline when you hit it. Finally, you get to the point where the ball barely lands in every time. This is swingweight 1 status. As you keep adding lead to that, the ball starts going long. Eventually, you reach the amount of weight that the ball won't go any farther. If you keep adding weight, your swing will be slowed down and the ball will land shorter and shorter as a result. Eventually, it comes back to landing inside the court. This is swingweight 2 status. Pros who use heavy rackets are usually using rackets in the SW2 range like Djokovic, Sampras, and Murray's old racket (I'm not sure what he's using now, but he supposedly uses less weight now). The SW2 range varies based on the player's physical strength.

    A) Depolarized Setup - Basically, this setup has the most stability and power. Weight will generally be added lower on the racket, resulting in a lower increase in swingweight per gram. This means you can add a LOT of weight, and still not exceed your SW2 range. More mass means more stability and power. Usually the added power means a higher tension is required to control it.
    ---1) Examples of users of this setup: Sampras, Djokovic, Agassi, Courier, Edberg, Becker, Connors, and Blake.
    ---2) Types of players supported:
    ------a) Aggressive Baseliner - Blake, Roddick, Lendl
    ------b) Big Server - Roddick, Becker
    ------c) Counterpuncher - Agassi, Hewitt
    ------d) Serve and Volleyer - Sampras, Edberg
    ------e) Big-Hitting All Court Player - Sampras, Becker
    ---3) Benefits:
    ------a) Increased stability
    ------b) Increased power and plow through
    ------c) Increased forgiveness
    ------d) Heavier shots off the racket
    ------e) Increased control
    ------f) Better volleys
    ------g) Better returns
    ---4) Drawbacks:
    ------a) Tends to flatten out your stroke a little
    ------b) The excessive power requires higher tensions to control
    ---5) http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=788364&postcount=1 shows how to create this setup. Basically, you add lead to 3&9 to improve stability and power, then counterbalance it with weight somewhere on the handle. The above link supplies an equation to find your ideal counterbalance location given a specific amount of weight you want to add and a specific balance you want. Of course, you can do that yourself without that equation, it's not all that hard. Most people on this board like to apply counterbalance weight for this setup at 7 inches above the buttcap. Why? Don't ask me, but a lot of people like it. There have been multiple theories such as the location is equidistant from the balance point compared to lead at 3&9, that it's the perfect distance away from the hand such that it doesn't hinder mobility much and offers the best amount of power as a result of the combination of mass and mobility.

    B) Polarized Setup - This setup provides the most spin and power at a given weight. Nowadays, as the game moves towards a more spin orientated game, this setup has become increasingly popular. Because a majority of the added weight is placed towards the poles of the racket (at 12 o'clock with counterbalancing in the buttcap), the SW2 range is reached more quickly, resulting in a low static weight racket. However, as a result of the lower static weight (less power from mass) and increased spin production, lower tensions are usually required to make up for the overall lack of depth and power (which further assists in spin generation).
    ---1) Examples of users of this setup: Nadal, Federer, Wawrinka, Safin, and Rafter.
    ---2) Types of players supported:
    ------a) Any player that relies on using heavy spin - Nadal, Federer, Wawrinka
    ---3) Benefits:
    ------a) Most added power and plow through with minimal weight added.
    ------b) Increased spin potential (heavier spin shots off the racket)
    ------c) Increased consistency for baseliners
    ---4) Drawbacks:
    ------a) Requires the use of heavy spin to control trajectory of your shots
    ------b) More difficult to volley with
    ---5) To create a polarized racket, basically add weight at 12 (you can use long strips that go from 10 to 2 o'clock or longer, or short strips layered at 12) then counterbalance with weight in the buttcap. Sometimes you might feel that you're lacking in stability, so add some lead at 3&9 to fix that. Nadal uses 9.5 grams under the bumper and 2.5 grams in the buttcap. Federer adds a little lead under the bumper to a hand-picked, stock [K]Six.One Tour (now, perhaps to a hand-picked, stock BLX Six.One Tour).

    C) Final notes: Do you have to use one setup or another? No. Not even all pros fall into one of these categories or another (at least, not purely). Not even all pros use racket customized to SW2 status (Verdasco comes to mind). Like in the polarized setup, I suggested that if you required more forgiveness and stability that you add a little lead at 3&9. You can combine setups. Safin had quite a bit of lead at 12, and in addition had strips at 3&9 (though less than at 12; I have no idea about what he does for counterbalancing, if anything). Do you need counterbalancing? No. But should you? Probably use at least a little. Use whatever you feel works best for you and don't be afraid to tinker with it a little. However, you want to write down the setup you like so should you experiment from there, you know how to go back to it. You want to write down the placement locations, amount of lead added, and the overall specs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
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  2. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    IV) Common Solutions to Specific Problems (A.K.A. the F.A.Q.)

    A) I want to improve maneuverability on my racket (and nothing else).
    ---1) You can add lead to the handle to create a more headlight balance or
    ---2) You can add lead in the buttcap to create a more headlight balance or
    ---3) You can replace your synthetic grip with a stretched leather grip (stretched only enough to make it a little thinner, don't decrease the width too much), and place a Wilson Pro Overgrip (or the Yonex equivalent) over it to prevent blisters. This adds about 16 grams if I'm not mistaken... Adds at least 10 for sure. From there, you can add more weight as necessary.

    B) I have/had problems with injury. What can I do to help make my racket better for my arm?
    ---1) Add lead at 3&9 to improve stability (to decrease twisting in your hand, which causes injury) then counterbalance it to make it very headlight. You can follow the suggestions posted above to make the racket more headlight. I suggest weight at 7 inches above the buttcap for counterbalancing, but you can combine that with the leather grip replacement suggestion as well.
    ---2) You want to make the racket a solid weight so that the weight will absorb most of the vibrations.
    ---3) You want to make sure your grip size is perfectly suited to you. If it's too small, then the racket will twist in your hand, requiring a tighter grip to control the racket face. So perhaps try adding an overgrip or two on top of whatever you are using. Also, there is such a thing as too big a grip as well. The good thing about some of the thinner overgrips is that they only change the grip size by half a size, giving you the opportunity to more accurately control your grip size.
    ---4) You want to make sure the racket isn't too stiff for you.
    ---5) Most importantly, go to a good coach and check if there isn't some massively major flaw in your technique that could lead to injury.

    C) I'm an all court player. Which setup should I use?
    ---1) What's your strength? You should probably decide based on that. For me, it's my forehand and serve. The polarized setup benefits my forehand the most because I use a lot of spin off my forehand. And if I add some lead at 3&9 to that, I can still volley well. It adds some power to my serve (not as much as a depolarized setup), but it adds a lot of spin to my kick serve, my best serve. So overall, playing the way I currently do, I play slightly better with a polarized racket because I don't serve and volley all the time anymore.

    D) I want to improve my consistency. Which setup should I use?
    ---1) Depends on how you play. If you use heavy spin, go with the polarized setup because if you get it right, your balls won't go long except if you shank it or your form was way off. You can also use added margin over the net because you hit with more spin. If you don't use heavy spin, go with the depolarized setup. The added power will allow you to use less on your strokes and still keep your opponent back. Because of that, you can focus more on stroke production and controlling the ball, which the depolarized racket will assist in.

    E) Should I start off right away with a SW2 racket?
    ---1) No! Haha. You should start off with a racket in the SW1 range. SW2 rackets are great and all (especially for polarized racket), but you require a full stroke to use it and they will tire you out more than other rackets because more force is required to accelerate the racket. If you feel that you are fit enough (or advanced enough) to use it, then by all means go for it. But your average club player shouldn't mess with it prematurely.

    F) I want more power. What do I do?
    ---1) The obvious solution is lead at 12. However, if you don't like the feeling of the sweetspot being dragged up, then try lead at 3&9 instead. Counterbalancing is optional. But counterbalancing the lead at 12 should bring the sweetspot back down.

    G) I want the benefits of both. Can't I just combine the two setups?
    1) God no! Haha. I've thought the same thing myself once and tried it. It doesn't work out too great. It's better to optimize performance towards one direction, then add a little extra lead as needed to tailor the racket perfectly to you. Like I said, polarized racket with a little lead at 3&9 for stability. You can do the reverse as well (depolarized racket with a little lead at 12 for added power). Pick one setup you feel is most comfortable to you then add lead to where ever you feel is necessary. That's the closest you can really get to combining both.

    Final note: Once you create your perfect racket, write down the specs, not the placement locations! The reason for this is to match rackets. The general placement locations will be similar, but you want to match the specs (swingweight, static weight, balance). The specific amount required at each position will vary (hopefully only slightly) and the counterbalance location will also vary in addition to how much is needed. The problem is that unless you have a Babolat RDC machine, you can't do this perfectly. In that scenario, just get a balance board and a digital scale and match the balance and mass to your ideal racket (the location(s) on the head should be the same). You can't match what you can't measure, so just make do with what you can. :(

    Any questions? Did I miss anything?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
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  3. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
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  4. cellofaan

    cellofaan Semi-Pro

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    Great topic. Some suggestions though:

    I) I'd use swingweight instead of plow through, as plow through is a function of swingweight, weight, and balance. Adding lead at the throat has more noticeable effect on plow through than it has on swingweight.

    II)B) Adding lead below your hand, ie at the buttcap, does increase swingweight, though very little as the distance to the 10cm axis is very small. Same goes for adding lead at the throat. What you're saying isn't wrong, but it can sound like adding lead below your hand doesn't effect swingweight because it's below the hand.

    Final note) The specific amount required at each position will very (hopefully only slightly), I suppose you mean vary?



    Does twu have an article with definitions of power, plowthrough, swingweight, etc? Could be useful to copy them here so everybody knows what those terms mean.
     
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  5. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    1) Eh. I split it up to discuss both. Might not have been 100% clear... But it's a LOT of writing to specifically detail everything like that for each specific position. There's a reason I said ask questions if you need clarification.

    2) I said it has negligible or no effect. Weight on almost the entire handle has a very negligible chance to swingweight. Most people won't notice it. Especially on that inch or two below your hand... Few will notice it, hence my choice of using "negligible or no effect".

    3) Yes, I meant vary. Thanks for catching that.

    4) I don't think they do. I don't frequent TWU much except to use their worksheet.
     
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  6. Indiana Puffed

    Indiana Puffed Rookie

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    Do you have any advise on how to match the swingweight, balance, and weight of two or more racquets? I know that having matching and balance and weight does not always mean identical swingweight, so can you offer tips on how to get all three as close as possible? Is swingweight the most important factor if you want to have two or more racquets that feel the same etc etc?

    Thanks xFullCourtTenniSx for posting the info above, will be a handy guide for me in the future.

    Indiana
     
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  7. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Professional

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    I just experimented with a new approach for lead in the handle of my brand new Prestige Pros: I cut up 40" of .5" tape into 1/2" squares, stacked 'em on top of one another and then glued the stack to the underside of the buttcap. Haven't hit with the new frames yet, so it may not stick for that long once I start hitting with them. But if it does work it's not a bad alternative to fishing weights or silicone. I'll let you know how it works out.
     
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  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Awesome post. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.
     
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  9. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    xfullcourttennis6 GREAT POST !!!!!!! BIG TIME KUDOS!!!!!!!
    you very precisely put in an organized format info that people are always asking about. TERRIFFIC!!!!!!:)
     
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  10. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Great write up. It might be interesting to list the stock racquets that have a more polarized or depolarized set up.

    I think I fancy the latter over the former. Polarized frames seem difficult to swing in certain situations, such as volleys and high 1HBH. I actually think that Fed's weak point (the shoulder high, loaded with topspin, balls that get to his BH) may partially be linked to his polarized setup. I have notice that in the past he had a better response on those balls from the BH wing, when he was still playing with the Pro Staff 6.0.

    On another note: which set up did Gustavo Kuerten use?
     
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  11. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    There should be a sticky for this thread.
    How long strips of lead tape are recommended for adding lead at 3 and 9? 2 inches? 3 inches?
    Whats a good amount of lead to start experimenting with weight there?
     
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  12. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Honestly, nothing on swingweight unless you have a Babolat RDC. And sadly, yes, swingweight is the key ingredient to making 2 rackets feel the same. But different people have different preferences. As you know, it's not always possible to match EVERY spec perfectly everytime, so pros generally have a list of which are more important to match compared to the others. Some like balance the most, some like mass, some like swingweight. Sampras was a tough guy to work for because he wanted all 3 the same. Good thing his rackets had so much lead added to them, otherwise it might have been a serious headache for Nate Ferguson.

    I'd start off by trying to match them before I add weight, then I can add the same amount of weight to all of them. Or, if I know which racket I like, I'll treat any racket heavier as if it had a little weight already added somewhere. Then I just calculate how much less weight I have to put in a general location to have it come out about the same. And any racket that's lighter, I add weight so that the specs are matched. Sadly, it's tough to match the swingweight without a Babolat RDC machine unless you're Pete Sampras.

    Depolarized frames are far better on volleys. Not even debatable. lol And for the high one handed backhand, the polarized frame is tricky to use because you need to be able to apply heavy spin to control the shot. However, I don't have a problem with that personally... I have no idea why. Polarized frames are overall better for me. But you can get some easy pop with a depolarized frame. The racket does all the work.

    As for making a list of stock polarized and depolarized frames... The only ones I know are K90 being relatively polarized, and the n90 and PS90 being depolarized. I heard the Sampras racket is likely depolarized too, which makes sense since what he uses on court is a heavy, depolarized beatstick.

    As for whether he played better with the ProStaff 6.0 Midsize than with his current racket(s), I have no idea. Never seen much of him at the time other than 2001 Wimbledon. He did hit some amazing backhands, but they weren't off high balls. Back then he sliced a lot of high balls if I remember correctly.

    As for what Guga used, I'm not sure. I'd guess he used a polarized setup. But during his time, they were a rarity.

    I can't find any pictures with any lead on his racket. :( Perhaps he went stock? :shock:

    Depends on how much you want to improve stability. If only slightly, then 3 grams total is good. If you want something that's rock solid, then 5-7 is a good number. If you want something that's like a wall, then go into the double digits. Haha.

    How long depends on how much you're adding. Some people like it longer to spread out the effects of stretching the sweetspot. I personally like it longer. Looks nicer, and it requires less layers.
     
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  13. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJfhKEt_4nQ

    pallet removal

    Don't cut toward yourself with the knife!
    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/customize.html customizing racquets

    Fed, Nadal, davystinko: polarized
    Fed at 47/45 lbs. 357g nadal at 54/52 lbs. 334g Davystinko: 50/48 lbs. Pattern of lower tension on polarized frames.
    Joker: 61.6/59.4 lbs 361 g Delpo: 62/62 360 g. Cilic: 60/58 at ?g Murray: 63-60lbs at 364g. Depolarized higher tensions
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
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  14. Acer777

    Acer777 New User

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    So I have a racket with 8 grams at 3 and 9 o' clock and 8 grams at 7 inches from the handle. Would this setup be depolarized? And if so is it heavily depolarized or mildly depolarized?
     
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  15. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    ^^^Wouldn't that keep the balance the same?
     
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  16. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    Your racquet setup is depolarized. It would be heavily depolarized if you had added lots of weight at those two spots.
     
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  17. cesarmo03

    cesarmo03 Rookie

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    full court what do u mean about this? Not even all pros use racket customized to SW2 status (Verdasco comes to mind)
     
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  18. Funbun

    Funbun Professional

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    Why is it that you get less spin with a depolarized setup? I thought you would get more upwards momentum because there's more weight on the sides of the racquet, therefore a faster swing. I thought weight on the poles of the racquet (aka polarized setup) only gave you more plowthrough, not spin.

    Is there something wrong with my reasoning?

    Also, if I'm wrong (which I'll most likely be), would adding a tad bit of lead tape at 12 increase the amount of spin by a little in a depolarized setup?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
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  19. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

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    Great thread! Thank you!
    I am still trying to metabolize all these new info.
    I do have one question.
    What is the polarization of the stock racquets?
    Are in some kind of "neutral" polarization?
    if not, how to tell if a stock racquet is more polarized or depolarized?
    My apologies if my question doesn't make sense.
    cheers,
    g
     
    #19
  20. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    I'd say 3 inches and if you use the normal lead tape, 2 layers will give you six grams. That is a good starting point.

    I wonder BTW what happens if you use really long strips of lead on a racquet. It is not recommended, but I was just thinking how I never got any racquet that wasn't solid stock to play really solid with lead tape. And I am talking about adding over 20 gr. in certain cases. Maybe spreading it all over the head makes the racquet more solid than what I did, which was mainly adding 3 inch layers in specific points. I had the feeling that those points were more solid, but overall the rest of the beam of the racquet kept on feeling hollow.

    What does the OP think of long strips of lead tape?
     
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  21. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Verdasco has a unstrung swingweight of 295 from what I hear. Might even be strung specs... Either way, that's FAR from SW2 status. Federer also isn't in the SW2 range. His racket's swingweight is 338 strung, slightly higher than a stock K90 (cause Nate Ferguson sneaks in a little lead under the bumper). Nadal's is 355, which I suppose could be SW2 for his left hand? Otherwise, it's still relatively low.

    More often than not, it's the depolarized rackets that are in the SW2 status. Polarized rackets don't go that high possibly to retain some more maneuverability so that players can whip through the ball really quickly. But then you have to lower the tension even more due to further lack of power... :?

    Well, if you thought that because of weight on the side of the racket, imagine what you could do if it was all moved to the very tip and you had the ability to whip that upwards... Now that's some SERIOUS upward momentum. Haha. I would know... I was addicted to it for some time 2 years ago.

    And yeah, adding a little lead at 12 would help a little with spin potential.

    The setups on stock rackets vary... They're usually close somewhat to "neutral"... Some are so far off you can tell right off the bat...

    And you can tell by looking at the stock specs. Since polarized rackets have weight towards the poles, it's reasonable to expect that if balance and mass are the same, the more polarized racket has the higher swingweight.

    There's also the option of going out and playing with it. A polarized racket should offer more spin and power given the similar specs. The depolarized out should be better on slices and volleys (granted that it's stable up at net).

    Stylish. :p

    Long strips of lead tape aren't all that uncommon at all. Delpo uses/used them, Roddick uses them, Blake uses them, Safin uses/used them, and Sampras used/uses them. They require less layers and are less likely to fall off (never had that problem though).

    As for turning bad racket into good rackets, not always possible. You can't change flex, improve feel, or reduce the built-in trampoline effect of some rackets. (cough cough Wilson Hyper Hammer cough cough)

    However, I'm wondering if you've tried silicone in the handle (with lead weights. That for one helps mute feel a little from what I hear. But you still have the problems with the trampoline effect (string incredibly high with a poly? lol), and the problems with stiffness. Only so much you can do with a racket...
     
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  22. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    xFullCourtTenniSx, what do you think is the best place for adding lead to gain more control?
     
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  23. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Depends on your definition of control and how you obtain it...

    Personally, for pinpoint accuracy I prefer 3&9. But control through consistency and angles, long strips at 12 because the spin friendliness is a great way to control the ball.

    Overall, I suppose 3&9... But I feel lead at 12 really allows you to open up the court if you have the right strokes simply because the ball drops so incredibly well that you have more court to work with and can go for more daring shots with ease. But like I said, you need to have the right strokes for it.
     
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  24. Indiana Puffed

    Indiana Puffed Rookie

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    Thanks for that information, I appreciate it. In the next few weeks I'm hoping to match a few racquets as precisely as i can and this goes a long way to help.
     
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  25. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    By control I mean the ability to hit balls on the rise with ease, to hit sidespin, and to take huge cuts at the ball without fear of overhitting. I have played with some friend's racquets that have a huge amount of control, and I want to make my racquet play similar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
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  26. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Hmmm... The last 2 for sure can be done with the polarized setup... The thing hits with so much spin it's just insane.

    Balls on the rise I'd probably prefer the depolarized setup just slightly due to the stability factor.

    Overall, you can just get a polarized setup, then add some lead at 3&9 to gain stability for those baseline half volley pickups. But if we're talking about the regular concept of on the rise, then either work fine... I just feel that it's not on the rise unless it's a half volley. Haha. Played on the rise for most of my tennis development...
     
    #26
  27. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    Ok thanks for your help.
     
    #27
  28. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Hey FullCourt, cool thread!!

    What would you think is the difference (if any) in putting the same amount of lead in either:

    One inch strips layered on top of each other at 10:00 and 2:00

    or

    Long strip(s) around the top of the hoop from 10:00 to 2:00 to equal the same amount of weight as the 1" strips above

    I currently use weight at 10 and 2 mostly to pull the sweet spot farther toward the top so I can pound shots that make contact in the upper half of the stringbed without killing my arm.

    Thanks in advance, Mike
     
    #28
  29. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    for applying lead tape under the grip in the handle, how do you apply it?

    do a ring around the entire handle?

    lay it down veritcally?

    example: adding 4g of lead at 7" above buttcap.
     
    #29
  30. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    The latter scenario has increased swingweight, increased power, increased plow through, increased spin potential, lowered stability, and drags the sweetspot farther up.

    I wrap it around in a ring. I try to spread it out if one ring creates too much of a noticeable bulge. It's actually surprising how much it takes to create a really noticeable one. You'll feel it slightly for sure, but it's not all that big.
     
    #30
  31. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    Contrary to popular belief, you should never stick or add anything inside the handle or buttcap. This method actually makes your racquet unstable in it's swing path. Only add weight (lead tape) to the outside of the handle, underneath the grip, and only above the 10cm mark.
     
    #31
  32. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Then I guess many pros love unstable rackets and many professional customizers love creating them...

    Silicone in the handle is a very frequently used method to add weight, and is done INSIDE the handle...
     
    #32
  33. UncleRico.

    UncleRico. New User

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    When adding weight 7" above the buttcap, would you lead above the grip and under your overgrip? Or under everything, which seems like such a hassle :???:
     
    #33
  34. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    It's not really a hassle... But it's your choice... I'd rather not have to replace the lead everytime I replace the grip...
     
    #34
  35. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Professional

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    Yeah, this seems like a strange pronouncement considering how prevalent it is to add weight inside the handle in various ways.

    Also, to report back on my experiment - adding lead to the handle by cutting .5" lead into 1/2" x 1/2" squares, stacking them and gluing the stack to the underside of the buttcap - I have not had any problem with the stack coming loose. I guess I assumed, wrongly perhaps, that swinging the frames would put pressure on the adhesive. But perhaps since there's nothing coming into contact with the stack there's no force pushing against it. So this seems like it might be a nice alternative to fishing weights, it keeps the weight right at the bottom of the handle (I prefer to place the lead at the bottom of the handle rather than 7" up), it's a very quick thing to do, and it's easily reversible and adjustable. I'm using a pretty tall stacks (20" of .5" lead, so 40 .5" squares stacked on top of one another) and they haven't budged in the half dozen outings with my new frames.
     
    #35
  36. lethalphorce

    lethalphorce New User

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    Are there any downsides to adding lead?
    It sounds like my options are more spin & whip (polarized) or more stability and power (depolarized).
    Who wouldn't take one of those?
     
    #36
  37. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    More mass means more tiring over the long haul. Higher swingweight means more force is required to get it going in a swing. Basically you need a strong body.
     
    #37
  38. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Professional

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    And I'd add to that that you need solid technique. I think it's tough for hackers or sub-4.0 players to wield a heavier, head-light (more lead in or on the handle than on the hoop) frame. But once you have solid mechanics and timing and you're using your legs and core for strength and balance coupled with a loose arm and hand for racquet-head speed, using a heavier, head-light frame is a big advantage both for your game and your physical well-being (particularly your arm).
     
    #38
  39. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    It's because you need to bring in your own power.
     
    #39
  40. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Hey Fullcourt, great thread. Thanks for all the info.

    Here's a question: if I have 3g of lead at 12 under the bumper, what would you recommend for the handle weight between the choice of:
    1. a leather grip, or
    2.a synthetic grip with 5g lead wrapped at the top of the handle?
     
    #40
  41. Warren

    Warren New User

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    Hey Supine -

    GREAT suggestion re the .5" squares of lead under the butt cap! I have a PSt GT and already have some lead running up the handle along the top and bottom bevels, and also some wrapped at 7". This config made my stick 5 points HL, but I wanted it tilted a little more towards the HL side. So I followed your suggestion and put in 4g's yesterday (16 squares) under the butt cap. This gave me a balance of 6.2 HL, with very little change in SW (from 327.7 to 328.0), which isn't surprising given that the weight is basically located behind the spot where my palm grips the handle. Your method worked like a charm!

    I've previously tried fishing weights under the butt cap, and no matter how densely I packed them with cotton balls and gauze, they always came loose slightly and rattled over the course of time. Your solution for the .5" squares is perfect. Easily modified, no other materials to muck around with, and it seems like they will stay in place for however long you want them to with no chance of rattling because the edges are not in contact with any component of the racquet or butt cap.

    Thanks for the recommendation - it is very much appreciated!
     
    #41
  42. HitItHarder

    HitItHarder Semi-Pro

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    Lead Tape took paint of my frame

    Last night I was moving some lead tape on two of my racquets and one strip actually pulled a pretty large paint chip off one of my frames. I was not particularly happy. Not the end of the world -- it is a tennis racquet and not a piece of art or anything -- but I want to try and avoid this in the future. Anyone have tips to help prevent this.

    By the way, it was just regular old Gamma lead tape from TW. 3" strips (1/4 wide) at 10 & 2 on the inside of the frame of my MG Rad. Paint chip was probably an inch long.
     
    #42
  43. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Professional

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    Glad it worked for you. You might want to glue the stack to the buttcap with a little super glue or epoxy just to make sure it doesn't pull away. But honestly I don't know if that's necessary because, since it's not being struck by anything when you swing and it moves exactly as the handle does without any other force acting against it, you might not need anything more than the tap adhesive. Good luck.
     
    #43
  44. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    There are certain lead tapes that minimize the problem (if not avoid it entirely) by using a different adhesive. I'm not fully sure what kind they are, or where to get them... Sorry.

    If you do find them, feel free to share where you got them. :) Sorry I couldn't have been of more help though.
     
    #44
  45. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

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    I have a Pure Storm Gt I was trying to use as platform to learn some customization.
    But I have a problem.
    The frame as stock is 1pt HL.
    I want to make a depolarized setup. So I added weight at 3-9.
    Of course now the balance shifted even more toward the head.
    Now, if I want to make this setup HL following the depolarized guidelines (lead on the handle) I have to add too much lead tape.
    It would be much easier to add less weight in the butt cap.
    But at this point I wouldn't have a true depolarized setup, am I correct?
    So what should I do?
    Is the racquet intrinsically not suitable for this type of customization because of its even balance as stock?
    What are the disadvantage of having lead at 3-9 and then in the butt cap?
    Thank you in advance.
    cheers,
    g
     
    #45
  46. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Well, if you have enough weight at both points, it kind of feels like a wood racket... You get that funny flexy feeling.

    The disadvantage is a little less power... Not all that huge really...

    What I'd do personally is to put some lead in the handle to raise the headlight balance, then work from there. So maybe you can try some lead in the buttcap and some on the handle. Your call though. Try what you think will feel better and if it doesn't work try something else.
     
    #46
  47. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    Thats weird. I use Gamma tape on my YTPP and nothing happens.
     
    #47
  48. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Professional

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    Yeah, never had that problem really. Once I think I took some lead off an old frame where the lead had been on it for years and some paint did come off. But on my last batch of frames I had the same lead on them for 9 months probably and never lost any paint when replacing it. I have gotten reels where the adhesive was crap, which was annoying. Yeah, entire reels... careful about buying from a pro shop that looks like they've had the same inventory for 20 years.
     
    #48
  49. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Fullcourt, great thread.
    Question for you:
    I have 3 grams at 12 under the bumper, would you recommend counterbalancing with a leather grip or 5g at the top of the handle with synthetic grip?
     
    #49
  50. dincuss

    dincuss Hall of Fame

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    So if i have a heavy racquet with a high swing weight, its SW2 (de-polarized?)

    and if its a lighter racquet with a high swing weight its SW1 (polarized?)
     
    #50

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