What weight and balance do you like your racquet?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by kevhen, May 16, 2006.

  1. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    I think after beefing up from Bill's suggestions I might be slimming back a little now. I had beefed up to to a little over 12 ounces but now am back to about 11.75 ounces and playing well. The racquet's balance point has 14.25 inches above in the head and 13.25 below in the handle making it 4 points head light (1/8 inch from the center for each point).

    So my ideal racquet at this point is 11.75 ounces and 4 points HL with a 4 3/4" grip and 27.5 inch length, 100 sq inches. What is your ideal racquet weight, size, and balance?

    I find if my racquet is too headlight, it lacks punch on groundstrokes and vollies and may even swing too fast and cause me to be too early and mishit the ball especially on my backhand. If the racquet is too heavy, then I may be late on my swing (usually forehand) and may lack zip on my serve. If my grip is too small, then it twists more on off center hits. If my grip is too large then I lack control. The extra half inch length helps add more pop on my serves and I can always choke up if I am late on returns.

    I use hockey stick tape and a 1 pound scale to get my racquet weighted just right. How did you guys find your ideal racquet specs?
     
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  2. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Perfect! Make it your own. I had to tailor back some as well. Just not playing as much anymore. ;)
     
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  3. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    I still can't believe you play with a 15 ounce racquet. That is insane! 13 ounces seems too much for me. I guess my old wooden racquets might weigh 15 ounces but then they are lacking in power (mostly because they flex so much) and my game would suffer almost a full level.
     
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  4. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    All of my racquets are around 12.4-12.8 oz. They are all head light, but I haven't checked the balance points on them. The two main ROKS I use are .4 oz apart!

    -Robert
     
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  5. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    I play with a 15 oz racquet, and train with an 18 oz woody.
    In paper, sounds like a lot, I know, but somehow it feels totally natural and comfourtable.

    If I play with anything below 13.5 oz, I go insane, I shank every ball, and the swing is totally erratic.

    Probably, the balance must be, at least, 12 pts Head Light MINIMUM, I still don't know how to "home-measure" the balance of my racquet.
     
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  6. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    What I do to home measure the balance is to put the racquet with the handle over the edge of the kitchen counter and adjust it until the head starts lift off the counter. Then just measure the distance to that balance point. Mine was 14.25 with the racquet 27.5 inches long. To be evenly balanced it would be half of 27.5 or 13.75. Since mine was lighter in the head by 4/8 inch, it is 4 points headlight.

    After adding about 3/4 ounce of tape from 8 to 4PM on my three favorite frames, Dunlop 300GX, Volkl Tour 8, and now new Volkl BB10, they all have this balance point and weight (4pt HL and 11.75 ounce).

    On the frame that I struggle with, Dunlop 200GX, I had added tape to the head from 11 to 1 but it still is like 8 pts HL and weighs over 12.5 ounces and I lack pace with this frame but the control is very good.
     
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  7. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    The distance from WHERE to the balance point, kev?
    LOL, can you post a pic... or a drawing or something, please ;) ?
     
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  8. North

    North Professional

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    My racquet is 12 oz and 8 pts HL. Totally suits my game. It doesn't feel heavy at all, even after a long match. Wood racquets don't feel particularly heavy, either, though I've never played a whole match with a wood racquet.

    Anything much lighter than about 11.7 oz and I'm with you Andres - I really have to change my swing (that it gets erratic is a good way to put it).
     
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  9. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    You are a player after my own heart. :) The heavier the better.
     
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  10. righty

    righty New User

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    I bought three Prince NXG OS 4 1/2 racquets from TW. One of them weighed 11 7/8 and the other two were 11 5/8. They were advertised with a balance of 11 pt. HL.

    I then changed the grip to the Gamma Gel Contour. It increased the weight (and probably made it more head light) by 1 oz! It felt great, except that the grip feels uncomfortably larger.

    I guess I'll go back to the original grip, and stick with it. The extra weight was good, but the increase in grip size was not.

    Ideally, a 12 1/2 oz racquet with a 4 1/2 grip would be great, but I am wary of messing up the balance. I tried some racquets with balance points of 8 and 6 and they feel a bit awkward.
     
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  11. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Measure the distance from the head to the balance point. So if you use a standard 27" racquet then every 1/8" greater than 13.5" makes it one more point headlight.

    Since my Dunlop 200GX still lacks power at 12.5 ounces maybe I will put even more weight in the head and test it out again.

    My new Volkl BB 10 is either named after Bungalo Bill or Boris Becker. Even the dampener that came with it says BB.

    One thing I notice about people with light racquets (like 11 ounces or less) is that they twist alot especially on off-center volleys. The lady I played league doubles with recently needs to beef up her racquet since it seems to be twisting all over the place like Chubby Checker but I don't think she would listen to me since she thinks it good to hit swinging while running volleys with an under-weight racquet.
     
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  12. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yes, this is correct. However, I'd use something other than the edge of a counter to find the balance point - like the back edge of a knife or steel ruler. Doesn't really matter that much but you might find a little difference.
     
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  13. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Let's see... the balance point of my racquet it's exactly 38 cm (15.2 inches) from the top of the head.... so.... that's 5 cm greater than the 13.5'' ...

    1/8 of an inch = 0.3125 cm.

    So... 5 cm = 16/8 inches??

    It's my racquet 16 pts HL? Is that possible?

    Well... if that's correct... it's good to know :p
     
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  14. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

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    I've changed the weight of my racquet around quite a bit in the last few months. When I was mostly hitting with my son, I got my 28" long racquet up to 380 grams and about 8 points HL. Then, as I started playing competitively and found that I just couldn't handle the pace, I've been gradually moving the weight down and making it more headlight. Currently, I'm at 358 grams and 11 points HL. It's still a hefty swingweight considering it's 28 inches long. My second racquet is 338 grams and 9 points HL, and I've used that a few times when I've been tired or really overwhelmed by ball speed when volleying.
     
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  15. Rep. Timothy Calhoun

    Rep. Timothy Calhoun Banned

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    John MacEnroe makes fun of people who use longer than standard-sized racquets. 27.5" is fine, I think. John never said anything about Roddick's PD! . . . Chang on the other hand :rolleyes:.

    No 'long' racquets for me. Also, no big headed ones either. . . . Just 'regular' for me. Weightwise? . . . about 12 ounces is fine. Balance? . . . even or slightly HL.
     
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  16. soyelmocano

    soyelmocano Rookie

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    I prefer heavy racquets and a head heavy feel. However, I have moved the balance point down since I started back playing. I used to play a lot and injured my shoulder after coming out for the first time one spring (laid off for winter). Didn't play for about 10 or 11 years. I started back - shoulder still weaker and less flexible but did some rehab in those years. The last time I weighed my racquet (ncode 6one 90) it was 14.3 oz. I'm guessing it is around 14.5 now. Using the finger scale, the balance point, if I remember correctly, is around the "l" or "i" of Wilson in the V of the throat.

    The thing about using a heavy racquet is that if you swing well, it is not really too much harder to do (assuming it does not weigh some crazy 30 oz or something). For example, I explain to people that I can swing and hit hard with my racquet for hours because I don't swing with my arm. Take a look at a golf swing. From the top of the backswing it starts with a forward movement of the back knee. The hips then follow and then shoulders, with arms and hands bringing up the rear. My forehand is similar. Rotate the hips, the shoulders, and hit the ball in front of the body where the wrist naturally straightens from laid back to square. Let the weight and natural snap do a lot of the work.

    On my one handed backhand, it is all about a little shoulder rotation and pulling the butt of the racquet toward the ball and letting it all snap naturally out in front of the body.

    Serve is similar. Hip slides forward, left arm/shoulder are up because of toss. Go up with legs and rotate hips. Swim with arm/shoulders so that there is upper body rotation. Let everything snap into place out in front of you.

    A couple good ways of showing this are:
    1) Take off your shirt (unless you're a hot girl, then call me first) and swing it like a forehand. You will notice that the shirt will straighten to parallel with the net a little in front of your body. That is the spot where physics is your friend.
    2) Roll a beach towel and tie a knot in one end to approx. the length where you would hit the ball in your string bed. Try serving with the towel. You will notice if done smoothly, the towel will straighten in front of the body. If snatched, the towel will just lay back. You can actually serve a ball over the net with the towel if done well.


    What was I saying???? Oh yeah. I like heavy racquets that are head heavy, but currently have one that is heavy and either head light or close to even.
     
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  17. Rep. Timothy Calhoun

    Rep. Timothy Calhoun Banned

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    *snores* .....

    IMO, nothing wrong with a heavy racquet, but heavy AND head heavy? Say good bye to being able to play when you get older!
     
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  18. mislav

    mislav Semi-Pro

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    Hm, not sure if we come up with the good results. I admit to suck at math. The balance point of my n6.1 is at 36 cm but I just can't make that into balance points. Help please?

    Anyway, my racquet specs and my racquet preferences (even pics) are listed here:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=98733
     
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  19. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    36-33 cm = 3 cm = 9.6/8 inches.

    Apparently, 9.6 pts HL.
     
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  20. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, this is the problem of the "heavy racquet". If you play on very fast courts and the ball is really moving "and" if you find your not can't catching up with the ball (hitting late), you might (better) consider changing the racquet weight. If everything is equal (which it seldom is) than the heavier the racquet the better.
     
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  21. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Good thread.

    I am playing with the weight and balance of my racket as well. I play with a Wilson PS Blitz. I have two identical rackets and I intend to keep one stock and modify the other so I can test the difference in feel.

    I am looking to add more weight toward the handle to make it head-light and also add weight to the overall racket to make it heavier.

    Any tips/guidlines on adjusting your racket's weight and balance? According to TW the blitz is sub 10 oz. Is it possibble to add a once or two?

    I was looking for a sticky on the subject, but I didn't find anything.

    Any advice would be helpful. Right now, buying a new stick is not an option, so I am going with what I have.
     
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  22. soyelmocano

    soyelmocano Rookie

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    @ Rep Tim:
    I know I tend to ramble, but please forgive me. Also I said I preferred the feel of a heavy racquet and the feel of head heavy. With a head heavy racquet it seems as though you can get the motion started and as they say in golf "let the club do the work". However I am currently using a heavy racquet that is probably head light because I recognize the danger of the extra stress. That is why I couldn't play for many years. Went out in early spring thinking I could still hit like the fall before. With my head heavy racquet trying to really snap off some hard serves. Of course being young and indestructible I did not need to warm up. Next thing I know, I brushing my teeth left handed for a couple of weeks because my muscle won't bring my arm up to shoulder height.
     
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  23. str33t

    str33t Professional

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    11.5-11.7 ounces and 5-6 pts headlight
     
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  24. Rep. Timothy Calhoun

    Rep. Timothy Calhoun Banned

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    If you like that HD heaviness but want to better avoid that pain, try playing w/ a heavy head light racquet, but with a HIGH swing weight. Maybe an EVEN balance with a high SW. Much better (for your arm's sake!) than playing with a HD heavy racquet.
     
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  25. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

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    Definitely, which is why I don't want to go any lower. I'm an aggressive, all-court player and I'll bash a groundie to win a point at any opportunity. I find that I need at least this amount of swingweight to make these shots effectively, so even if 358 grams is a tiny bit more than I might want for the most rushed of my shots, if I were that rushed all the time, well, then my opponent is simply better than me and I need to prepare earlier somehow.
     
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  26. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    I just added more lead <edit> Interesting! I stopped at the Post Office. After adding more lead (to what the Grocer's Meat Scale said was an 11.7oz stick) the P.O.'s scale reads "11.6oz". (The butcher's thumb must have made the difference before.)

    They are 2HL ... and I always thought they were slightly HH.

    - KK
     
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  27. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Why do the manufacturers make so many 9 and 10 ounce racquets when the knowledgable player uses 11 ounces and up?
     
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  28. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    I think I can justifiably claim that I've thought about racket specs to a degree that would frighten most people - even regular posters on this board.

    That said, I have an easy test for my racket specs: if I'm think about my frame, at all, then something ain't right. In other words, if you're at all distracted by your stroke mechanics, or the interaction between your mechanics and your racket - instead of competing - then you've got more work to do in terms of mods/demos/string selection/whatever.
     
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  29. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Because the knowledgable players were, once, kids, around 5 or 6 or 7 years old. A 24'' - 9 oz racquet is so less demanding for them than an 11 oz ;)
     
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  30. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    I can answer that. The manufacturers know that the "average" person spends maybe five minutes tops picking out a racquet. They don't hit with it, don't actually know very much about racquets in general but they are the customers who buy the bulk of product (racquets). Just go to any sporting goods store or department and listen to someone buying a racquet - seems like its all about weight and the lighter the better to the average player.

    So like everything else, the people who make the products listen to what people want and produce accordingly - end of story.
     
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  31. brucie

    brucie Professional

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    around 300 nd between 5 to 8 pts HL
     
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  32. TennisAsAlways

    TennisAsAlways Professional

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    static mass = + 15 ounces

    swing weight = + 360 kg · cm²

    balance point = very head-light
     
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  33. pham4313

    pham4313 Professional

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    small correction...full length of std racket or the n6.1 is 69 cm so midpoint is 34.5 cm. Thus deviation 36-34.5 = 1.5 cm/2.54 ~0.6 in = 4.7/8 therefore should be 4.7 pts HL if you measure 36 cm from the top of the hoop, not the handle. If 36 cm away from handle it should be head heavy
     
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  34. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    36-34.5 cm = 1.5 cm
    1.5cm/2.54 cm/in = .6 in
    0.6 in/.125 = 4.8 points HL
     
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  35. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, all this "talk" about adding weight really surprises me - I don't think they are playing on fast courts with the ball really moving. Baseline players I can understand but playing doubles is (or can be, allowing for age of course) something else. I just question the ability to play with a "heavy" racquet in good doubles - maybe its just me but I don't think so.
     
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  36. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    I agree, if you are playing both singles and doubles on fast courts you need something between 11 and 13 ounces otherwise your reactions are going to be late, but maybe other people have more strength and quickness than what I have. Being very headlight would help but also would reduce power which is nice to have when playing aggressive on a fast surface.

    Maybe on a slow surface like clay, a 15 ounce racquet would be an asset with it's stability and added control and plenty of time to set the shot up.

    Has anyone weighed Fed's racquet or any other pro? Do clay court players use heavier racquets than grass-court players? Coria-Nadal racquet weights vs Federer-Hewitt-Roddick? Women's racquets weights tend to be even lighter too.
     
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  37. mislav

    mislav Semi-Pro

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    Ljubicic's PD+ weighs 370 grams. Ivanisevic's racquet was heavier, but don't remember the exact weight.

    Anyway, I am one of the people who like playing with heavy racquets. I also prefer playing on clay. Perhaps these two preferences of mine are actually connected, but I find no problem swinging and reacting to fast balls on hard courts either.

    But I believe you might be onto something here.
     
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  38. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I think people with more time hitting with a heavier racquet will grow accustomed to it. If someone is not playing a lot, a certain weight may be too much to get good performance out of the racquet. In general, players should go as heavy as they can. It is all relative.
     
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  39. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

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    I might be a fairly old dude (middle 40's) but I can bench 200+ and leg press 1000+, and there is no way I can get both myself and my racquet moving fast enough for quick exchanges at the net if my stick is any heavier, and especially not if my opponent has a chance to hit an aggressive shot. Some of it might be recognition and reaction time but I don't think I've lost much in this respect. It is just that the game is so fast when everyone has a modern racquet.

    I actually found that I can't hit even the same level of topspin with a 380 gram racquet as I can with a 360 gram racquet. There's a loss of racquet head speed that I can't get back without using a really large, loopy swing, and again mostly I don't have the time nor coordination to swing that huge.
     
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  40. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Exactly.

    You know people talk about dirt players but we spend a great deal of the time at net where the ball doesn't touch the surface. Quick exchanges are the name of the game, as you mentioned, and the "heavy racquet" become a liability. Wish it wasn't so but when a strong guy like you can't get the racquet around, the rest of us are hopelessly out sinc.
     
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  41. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    I hit with my newly 11.7 ounce weighted racquet last night and think it could stand another tenth of an ounce or two to give it a little more power as my backhand was early on a few slow incoming shots. So I think my ideal is really pretty close to 12 ounces. I know my vollies and groundstrokes are late when using a heavier racquet and I can't get the pop on my serve either. The only nice thing about a heavy racquet when playing on a fast surface is that it absorbs the heavy incoming pace better but it makes it harder for reflexive shots that are needed when at net or when playing very aggressive opponents.

    Can anyone hit 110+ mph serves with a 15 ounce racquet? I know I couldn't.
     
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  42. mislav

    mislav Semi-Pro

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    I think it depends more on the swing technique than on muscle, so it might be possible.

    As you know, kevhen, the serve is the weakest part of my game, so I can't really speak from my own experience. Besides, I've never measured the speed of my serve. Don't know of any place that provides this service here.
     
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  43. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well on the other hand, using a heavier racquet allows one to develop a very short response to a volley. Wielding the racquet around like a swordsman may be difficult but if a player can discipline themselves to use the non-dominant hand more they can volley at the net with a heavier racquet on quick exchanges.

    A lot of it has to do with technique, anticipation, legwork, and the weighting of the racquet (head light, etc).

    With a heavier racquet you simply do not have to do as much.
     
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  44. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    A heavy racquet is much more important in doubles than in singles. The only real downside performancewise to going heavier is reduced spin on groundstrokes. In doubles, the added control on volleys more than makes up for any loss in maneuverability at the net. And a heavier racquet makes it EASIER to return hard-hit balls or play on faster courts.

    Consider that the average racquet weight of ATP doubles specialist is more than 13.0 oz., but the average weight of top-100 ATP singles players is 12.5 oz. Doubles specialists rely on volleys for a living, so they need heavier sticks. Also, the high swingweight of heavier racquet tends to make your serve more unreturnable, so if you're a serve-and-volley singles player, then heavier makes sense then.
     
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  45. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, its hard to argue with the "facts". However, getting the racquet quickly from one side to the other as well as up and down does create a problem with a heavy racquet. Now, many (if not most) of you guys might be stronger than me but the "extra" weight really gets to me after a couple of hours - I can actually feel it. If I were to be at net while the opponent camps out at the baseline trying to drive the ball through me, I'd use a heavier racquet. However, a great deal of the play is when both sides are in the up position and reaction time/placement is more important than anything else.

    And on the serve, I'm not trying to go for "unreturnable" serves - I just want to keep the returner at bay so he isn't in a comfortable position hitting the ball back. The fact that he gets it back isn't the most important thing to me.

    You guys might be looking at this thing very differently than I do. Going for aces with big first serves works sometimes and maybe thats the game you play. Hey, if it works for you, fine.
     
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  46. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

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    My racquet's heavy enough (~360 grams) that all I really have to do is to get it out there and I usually don't have any problems if the ball is fairly close to me unless it's volleyed pretty hard. I do have problems if I have to lunge to reach the ball, and those are the times when a lighter racquet would help. I get clues where the ball is going from my opponent's racquet position so I start to move, but need to make mid-lunge corrections after I actually see where the ball goes. I'm then in a weak biomechanical position and a heavy, long racquet doesn't help.

    It's something I need to work on, but I don't play doubles that often and then not usually against 5.0 and better players who often put me into that situation. I think it's just the reality of the situation that I'm not good enough to react to these shots, or not good enough to not give them a shot where they can hit this kind of shot.
     
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  47. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Would a heavy racquet be good in windy conditions where you have to make mid-swing corrections?
     
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  48. mislav

    mislav Semi-Pro

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    No problems there. Actually, if the ball happens to get blown too close to my body, I have more chance of getting it back with a heavier racquet.
     
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  49. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Certainly, actually heavy racquets work well with shorter strokes.
     
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  50. Woodstock_Tennis

    Woodstock_Tennis Rookie

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    Looks like most you guys have experience adding weight to a raquet, want to add about 2 oz to mine, thinking about 1.5 in the handle, and .5 in the head, making it a little more head light. Got any tips on going about this?
     
    #50

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