What's better for spin: stiff or soft?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by tball, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. corners

    corners Legend

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    You might be right. Aside from the grooves, all the VCores have noticeably thicker-beamed throats, in the plane of the stringbed, compared to Yonex's previous lines. Also, the introduction of the 3D Vector shaft coincided with an almost wholesale switch from 16x19 to 16x20. I wonder if they felt the new shafts granted enough spin to warrant prioritizing control over spin with the string pattern.

    Hmm, I've been looking at some older Yonex frames lately. Read a lot of reviews about the RDS 002 Tour, which looks very nice on paper, but quite a few posters described it as erratic on groundies. I wonder if it shared the 001 MP's torsional instability. Recently I've been leaning toward thinking that frame stiffness is relatively unimportant, in any plane. Maybe I'm wrong. Yonex certainly seems to be beefing up their beams, across their entire line, and from tip to butt.
     
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  2. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Beam thickness is an interesting spec. Because of the RDC Stiffness Scale, where almost 99% of all frames on the market fall in the seemingly narrow range of 60-70, we tend to forget that the stiffness of a beam is is proportional to the cube of the beam thickness.

    This means that a 25-mm beam racquet is over 3 times as stiff as a 17-mm beam racquet (given similar construction)!

    Torsional stability is largely a function of beam width. Thus, a thicker beam gives a significant advantage in torsional stability. It's one reason that stiffer frames tend to offer better directional accuracy. But the thicker beam also comes at a cost of lower spin potential - this is the reason why widebody frames never caught on with higher level players until the advent of the modern spin-friendly stringjob. But with modern strings, if high performance is the goal, then there is no reason to use a flexible frame anymore.

    With racquets targeted toward higher level players, we're seeing a homogenation of specs these days. Just about every frame has a stiffness rating in the high 60s now. And almost all of these have beam width in the 20-23mm range.

    I don't see the 15mm-beam Donnay frames becoming a long-term seller. The one time I was hitting against a 4.0 player wielding a stock Donnay Gold, it was almost comical watching him try to return my hard heavy topsin serve - he couldn't figure out why the ball would hit his strings and rebound high in the air and toward the court to his left every time. Once I gave him one of my racquets, he was able to get my serve in play.
     
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  3. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Problem I described still remains.
     
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  4. corners

    corners Legend

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    What problem is that?
     
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  5. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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  6. corners

    corners Legend

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    So is the problem that only data on the stiffness in the plane normal/perpendicular to the stringbed - as the RDC machine measures - is publicly available, and not stiffness in the plane of the stringbed?

    Travlerajm corrected himself up-thread - it was the N6.1 (65 RDC), not the K6.1 (69 RDC), that he found relatively stiff in the plane of the stringbed compared to its stiffness in the plane perpendicular to the stringbed (65 RDC).
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    #56
  7. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Yes, so even if the theory is correct, we still can't really use it much. Still have to demo to find out
     
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  8. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

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    After some experimentation, I am leaning to the conclusion that to produce a good spin, a racquet must be powerful. Powerful is not the same a stiff. I've seen plenty of racquets which are stiff and dead at the same time ( meaning no power ). Soft also does not mean power-less. Head PT630 and Volkl C10 are very soft, and yet also powerful. I am not sure what it is that makes the racquet return the power back to the ball, but whatever it is, you need a lot of it. Otherwise the racquet head speed needs to increase ~4X to get you the same trajectory you had before. This much acceleration increase may be too much of a jump, too radical for recreational players.

    Its either this, or your racquet power needs to increase 4X. If you go with a new powerful racquet, you'll need to slow down your existing flat shots about 4 times to account for the new extra power. Or, if you stick with your current racquet, you'll need to produce violent bursts of head speed to produce some proper spin.

    Neither of these adjustments are particularly easy to master, let alone mix successfully into one game. This is probably why for those adventurous people who want to diversify their game, it ends up just "a little bit of extra spin" here, a little bit of "flat" there. And this is probably why the majority of people play one style only -- either flat all the time, or spin all the time.
     
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  9. Roadway

    Roadway Rookie

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    i agree. i play in a traditional eastern forehead style and make more flat strokes than spins. if the center pattern is too open, the ball deflects a little than i expected with dense pattern racquets.
     
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  10. Cengusiento

    Cengusiento Rookie

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    What a interesting thread!
     
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  11. corners

    corners Legend

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    It's impossible to increase your racquet speed 4X and also impossible to find a racquet that's 4X more powerful.
     
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  12. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Another really superb thread I must say!

    It is taking a while for all of this to sink in, but I will return tomorrow with some thoughts of my own on this subject
     
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  13. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    I still need some time to understand all the info in this thread, brilliant info, but difficult to understand in places, I will try again tomorrow.
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Maye increase your spin 15%, coupled with a slight drop in ball speed.
    What's with this infatuation with "more spin"?
    Hitting the ball slower and spinnier ....that only increases you court time.
     
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  15. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

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    I am very comfortable playing most people. Flat-hitters or slight spinners are not a problem for me. However, I've played two people who produce really incredible spin. I feel comletely defenceless, if not totally helpless, against them. All of my shots crumble before my eyes. I cannot produce any reasonable response. Hard serve was my only abode and hope.

    I know that gaining spin myself is not going to do anything to help me against these two. I am just curious in the technique (and equipment) that produces such spectacular results.

    I am probably not going to transition to this style myself -- for the reasons that you mentioned, but I'd like to learn this technique, maybe master a stroke or two of this style -- to have it under the belt, so to speak.

    Maybe someday, I'll get invited to exhibition matches :rolleyes: ...
     
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  16. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Grab a polarized stick with some poly and good SW to it.

    look at nadal's forehands in slow motion and try to figure out how to get that whip action to brush the ball hard.

    Oh and be sure to keep the wrist completely relaxed right before and through impact
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
    #66

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