Why do pros lead up sticks? Why not have a custom made?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Lilguy1456, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    Why do some pros lead up sticks so much? Why not just have a stick made perfectly tailored for their game? I understand they may want to make little adjustments, but it seems if companies are going to take old models and paint them new for pro use, why not just create it perfect to begin with?
     
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  2. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    My theory is that rackets are made with layers of carbonfibre. So to fine tune the weight, balance etc, you need to apply lead or some other kind of weight. Varying the layup of the racket is not exact enough for that.
     
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  3. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    Interesting...I thought there was a definitive answer to this...so we don't know for sure?
     
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  4. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Because creating specific sticks for every single player who would want one would cost a fortune in time and labor. Easy to just have one stick that many could customize..........economies of scale.
     
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  5. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    There is lots of lead in the PE handles of Wilsons, even for off the shelf frames.Shows how hard it is to get within tolerances.
     
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  6. corners

    corners Legend

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    This, and also, it's very difficult to manufacturer two racquets so that they have the exact same specs, especially the exact same swingweight. Take Fed - Wilson sends P1 a bunch of racquets that are produced to a target swingweight about 10 units below what he actually plays with. But they can't get it exact on every stick, even for Federer. So P1 gets one with 340 swingweight, another with 335 SW, another with 345 SW, and so on. From there it's a simple matter for P1 to add a little lead to each one to get them all to 354 swingweight. (This is not a confirmed figure, BTW, but it's the best guess at this point.) If Wilson tried to make them 354 themselves they'd end up with half the production run going over 354 and the other half under 354. So P1 would still have to add a little lead to the lighter ones to match them, but there would also be a bunch of useless sticks with greater than 354 swingweight.

    (Consider that only one racquet company even tells us what the target swingweight is for a particular model. They print the weight and balance targets on the frame, but not the swingweight. Only Prince does, and that might be because the way they build their heads (with the holes) makes it easier to get the weight distributed consistently.)

    I have heard that Yonex actually customizes their pro frames exactly to the player's specs, in the mold. I don't know if that's true and I've never heard of another company doing this. It could just be a legend, but it kind of adds to Yonex's quality reputation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
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  7. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    Yonex clothes, ohh so comfy
     
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  8. フェデラー

    フェデラー Hall of Fame

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    Not sure about that last statement. Stan clearly leads his up, but Nalby and Hewitt do not. So it's very possible that they do
     
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  9. boinz

    boinz Rookie

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    I got a pair of Yonex pro stock which has the player's name in the throat.
    They are factory made to be much heavier than retail specs and also more head light... but real pity I cannot measure the flex becos of the lack of proper equipment.
     
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  10. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

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    i'll tack on a +1 to both of these. it'd be really cost and time intensive to do it for everyone in the stable (especially if you were trying to get a new endorsee sticks at for the aussie warmups after they inked a new deal a month or so ago). maybe it would happen more if there were more of an offseason but i wouldn't hold my breath.

    i'd really like the yonex story to be true though! :)
     
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  11. smiley_face

    smiley_face Rookie

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    Ask Filip Peliwo, is he still aroung here?
     
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  12. corners

    corners Legend

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    You can measure flex. You just need a clamp and a 25kg weight. That's what the Bab RDC measurement is based on.
     
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  13. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    Can you please explain the procedure ?
     
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  14. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    Because it's just simpler to use lead. And even better, completely reversible and modifiable

    We see it with head pro stock frames, made purposefully light so that you may add lead at your leisure to achieve the right weight, balance, SW and feel you require.
     
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  15. Lavs

    Lavs Professional

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    I am sure Hewitt's rackets exactly the same you described and do not have any lead in.
    But not sure about Wawrinka's ones as I saw lots of lead around the hoop..
     
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  16. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    This ^^

    I also suspect its just easier once the player gets their rackets back from the customzier and they can give them a little tweak here and there to get it just right.
     
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  17. Dave M

    Dave M Hall of Fame

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    I had 3 from Joachim Johansson, totally custom out of the mold, not for mere mortals like me but best racquet for the 10 mins where your footwork is good and timing is on!
     
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  18. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    Indeed, and unless it was someone like P1 tennis doing it, I always prefer weighing and balancing my own frames personally; it removes any doubt on the court.
     
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  19. SandV

    SandV New User

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    (Consider that only one racquet company even tells us what the target swingweight is for a particular model. They print the weight and balance targets on the frame, but not the swingweight. Only Prince does, and that might be because the way they build their heads (with the holes) makes it easier to get the weight distributed consistently.)

    Don't know about the Storm, but the old Bab Pure Control printed the swingweight range on the frame, using the term Dynamic Inertia.
     
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  20. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Vaguely recall him saying that his racquet is stock. He did also say that he might start experimenting with lead soon.
     
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  21. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    What is always puzzling about customizing a frame is a tennis player goes thru great pains to read all the racquet specifications for balance, weight, swing weight etc. and then as soon as they get the racquet they modify the racquet and change the racquet dynamics. A professional could hire someone to build the perfect racquet without going through all the modifications. For the average recreational player it doesn't make sense to buy the racquet because you prefer a certain type frame and then modify it anyway to play differently.
     
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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Soon, 3D printing and nano-manufacturing technologies will make all this moot. You will be built a custom frame atom by atom according to your needs.
     
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  23. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    For the rec player, the most affordable option is to find something that's close to what you like and customize. So wouldn't it make sense to go that route?

    It's not only weight, it could be grip shape or just making sure all your sticks have the same weight/balance.

    Sure there are companies that will do totally custom rackets for us average folks, but at a hefty cost most people won't pay.
     
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