Why do racquets with a small head size have such high prestige among some people?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by davo81, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. royfrombigd

    royfrombigd Rookie

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    Honestly, the guys that are ripping winners with a 98" head racquet, would just end up adjusting and rip winners with a 90" head and vice versa. Racquet headsize, weight and string can make some difference, but at the end of the day it is all about technique and consistency. And with this self knowledge, I'm contemplating switching racquets again :).
     
    #51
  2. ShiroRm

    ShiroRm Rookie

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    I don't think so. I started using the Youtek Ig Prestige Mid at the end of february (after having used the ag100 since 2007) and I had to stop using a dampener, because I couldn't play effectively with it
    It's a fact that I had to get used to the heavier frame at the beginning, but it's even a fact that I was able to hit the ball effectively without a dampener. The impact was very confortable with a dampener, but the results in play were very poor. Even a rubber band gave me problems
    So I decided to lower the string tension, removing the dampener and now I play a lot better than before, when I used the ag100: the added weight and denser strings pattern really suit my game
     
    #52
  3. greystar403

    greystar403 Rookie

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    You make a very good point about the grip's relationship to the racquet. Weight also factors into this as well.

    Western grips require vigorous upwards wrist action. This means that the bigger head size will lower the risk of off center hits and shanks. Weight needs to be lower because the upward acceleration requires immense wrist strength.

    Conservative grips on the other hand are favorable to smaller head sizes and higher weights because of the stability, control, and less power for flatter shots.

    Using a flat shot on a >100" racquet will result in loss of control and racquet instability and a heavy topspin shot will be shanked or hit off center with a <95" racquet.

    BUT THAT'S ONLY MY OPINION AND A GENERALIZATION. If you can pull it off, props to you.
     
    #53
  4. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    That's not the reason. It has to do with the metric to Imperial conversion (sq. cm. to sq. in.) and the fact that Head wanted to use nice round and symmetric numbers for it's marketing, such as 600, 630, 660, etc. even though the frames didn't actually measure 600 sq. cm., nor 630 sq. cm. nor 660 sq. cm. They are all actually smaller. But when you covert 600 sq. cm. to sq. in., you end up with 93 sq. in. even though the actual head size is 89.5 sq. in. or 578 sq. cm. Same when you convert 630 sq. cm. you end up with 98 sq. in. even though the actual head size is 95 sq. in. or 613 sq. cm.

    PC600 and PT630 sounds a lot better for marketing than PC578 or PT613. Same for the 660.
     
    #54
  5. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    It's not the sound. It's the FEEL. I can FEEL the difference between using a dampener and no dampener. I can put ear plugs into my ears and not hear a thing and I can still FEEL the difference due to the amount of vibration that is transmitted to my hand.
     
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  6. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    There is no difference in the amount of vibration transferred to the hand when using a dampener. To you guys that think so it is all in your heads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    #56
  7. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Okay mr oblivious here is a study on dampeners.



    In this study, we examined the effect of string vibration damping devices on reducing racket frame vibration transfer to the forearm. Twenty participants volunteered to hold a tennis racket stationary in a forehand and backhand stroking position while tennis balls were fired at 20 m x [s.sup.1] towards two impact locations, the node of vibration and the dead spot. A three-way analysis of variance with repeated measures on damping condition, impact location and stroke condition was performed on the data. The resonant frequency of the hand-held racket was found to be ~120 Hz. No significant differences in amplitude of vibration at the resonant frequency were found for the wrist or the elbow when damped and non-damped impacts were compared. Impacts at the dead spot produced greater amplitudes of vibration (P < 0.01) but no interaction between impact location and string dampers was evident. The string dampers had no effect on the grip force used or the muscle electrical activity in the forearm after impact. In conclusion, we found that string dampers do not reduce the amount of racket frame vibration received at the forearm. We suggest that string dampers remain a popular accessory among tennis players because of their acoustic effects and psychological support rather than any mechanical advantage.

    Link to this if you want to read more is: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2...86-8206271_ITM
     
    #57
  8. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    To directly answer your question (seems like most just answered why they like one head size versus another), I think in part there is prestige because the two guys in the open era with the most majors- Roger and Pete played with small headed racquets. Further, us old guys remember playing with even small headed racquets and watching our heros, Laver, etc. playing tennis with real racquets-wood .Lol.
     
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  9. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Never understand the idea of 'holding a mid up to a mp to see the difference'. Tennis racquets are meant to be played and felt, not held and eyeballed. You can clearly feel the head size difference between a mid and a mp and its effect in almost every way, in play. I cant 'see' much of a difference between a 4 3/8 and 4 1/2 grip, or a standard vs extended length racquet either but the difference is unmistakeable in play. Again, I'm not saying us mere mortals do or do not have business using mids, but the headsize difference compared to mp is clearly there and makes a significant difference in play, whether that works for you or against you or you dont care. Eyeballing them doesnt mean anything.
     
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  10. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    I know when I break out my max 200G with its 83.5 inch head I can hit my slice backhand with an accuracy I never hope for with my more modern but still pretty old school Prestige MP (less good for topspin). I use the 200G for hitting against the wall because it sharpens my preparation... perhaps people who play with the smaller head sizes prefer the way it makes them focus? I know when I was playing 100 or 98's 3 years agoI wasn't as good as I am now with the 95's because there was this accuracy and mental sharpening that I need. I only play 2-3 times a week. Also, Ive been playing for 38 years so everything that isnt wood seems huge.

    I might grab a prestige mid some day... because lately Ive been serve and volleying (which surprises me).

    Smaller head sizes change the way you play the game.
     
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  11. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Without a doubt. Mids are simply awesome. I used a prestige mid for a while and loved it. I wll say this, i have seen people switch from mids to mps and they have become harder to play. I believe there is an advantage to using an mp, heck even courier and sampras admit that. But there definitely is a pleasure to using a mid that i definitley appreciate.
     
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  12. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    In my opinion, it's significantly a generational thing. Everybody thinks their own era is some kind of 'golden age'. I can almost guarantee that in 20-30 years time, people will be on here saying stuff like "oh I remember back in the days when they made frames like the Pure Drive Roddick. that was such a classic, quality frame. they sure don't make em like that any more! now THAT was real tennis players racquet."
     
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  13. connico

    connico Rookie

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    Lol, when I see someone hit with a prostaff 6.0 or equivalent I cringe. Great racquet in the right hands, otherwise a waste of time and effort for anyone else, 95% of players.

    Its all vanity...

    Sure if your comfortable with a racquet of that weight and headsize and are winning matches... fine... otherwise its time to reassess...
     
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  14. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I was using a mid for the last year and what I liked the most about it was the consistent string bed, it does not turn into a trampoline after a few times out like mp rackets do.
     
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  15. Winners or Errors

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    No racquet is going to allow you to beat a better player.

    I don't generally lose to players I'm supposed to beat, and when I do it's not the racquet. I would lose to them more frequently if I were playing with a snowshoe instead of a racquet in the 90-95 sq in range, because larger racquets just don't feel right and I'm too old to totally reinvent my strokes. Big racquets just feel too much like trampolines, have too much power, and cause me to become tentative with my strokes.

    Come to think of it, though, I just can't remember the last time I saw someone lose to someone they should beat because of a racquet choice.

    I think this whole thing is simply the "eye of the beholder" problem.
     
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  16. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    You're correct. It IS VANITY.

    90% of the playing population is at or below the 3.0 level. No racquet is going to make much of a difference at that level. The most popular selling racquet in the world is the Pure Drive followed by the Aero Pro Drive, and no 3.0 is going to get anywhere near the full potential of those frames. So, should the player with an 85 say, "LOL at that Rafa wannabe" thinking the racquet is going to help them.
     
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  17. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    The player with the 85 inch racket asking that question is silly. The real question is would that player play better with the 85 inch racket than the 100 sq inch racket that they are currently using.
     
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  18. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    And a lot of it is vanity, another part of it is exclusivity(think pro-stock rackets). Sampras realized that he needed a larger head racket and made the change because what he lost in feel or some other intangible quality, he made up for with forgiveness.
     
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  19. sargeinaz

    sargeinaz Hall of Fame

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    I agree. I hit with what I have fun with and no rackets are more fun than mids, especially the older ones like the ps85, white star and some older yonexes among many others. Never have a lost a match and blamed my racket.
     
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  20. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    They are not going to play better with neither. They are 3.0's or below.

    Didn't realize Sampras was back on tour winning slams. :roll:
     
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  21. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I'm a feel player. I can certainly FEEL the difference between dampener and no dampener. Occasionally, my dampener would pop out due to a mis-hit. And when it does, I immediately notice that the feel becomes more harsh and less soft. That's how I know my dampener must have popped out since I don't look at my stringbed during a point. It has nothing to do with the sound.

    A dampener attenuates the vibration. Thus, less vibration is transmitted from the strings to the hoop and down the shaft of the racquet to the handle and then onto your hand.
     
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  22. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The highlighted part is why their methodology is flawed and their conclusion is wrong.

    When you take a huge swing at the ball, the force of the impact and the resultant violent vibrations is significantly greater than when you just hold the racquet stationary.
     
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  23. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Getting off topic here, but at uni, we all did an experiment where we had to totally block our ears for 25 hours to simulate deafness. We were encouraged to continue with our daily tasks. I had a hit of tennis. I used to use a dampener. At some point during hitting, the dampener must have come off. The racquet felt 100% exactly the same the whole way through the hit. When the dampener usually comes off, I can tell because of the sound. After that, I no longer bothered with the dampener. Total gimmickry in my opinion.
     
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  24. sargeinaz

    sargeinaz Hall of Fame

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    I beg to differ. I always use a dampener. I can feel vibration in my hand without the dampener. With it, I feel no vibration. Only a few rackets dampen well enough for mr without a dampener.
     
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  25. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Isn't 18g too springy? I have tried 18g in a multi and that was just insanely trampoline like even upping the tension. I always wanted to try an 18g natural gut but who actually makes one?
     
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  26. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Mids generally though not a blanket statement feel more solid than their larger counterpart but there are always exceptions like the PSTGT which is a MP that offers just as solid and plush feel. They don't feel as tinny and just have that nice solid heft to them.
     
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  27. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Played with Wilson Hammer 110, crazy power and super spin but manoeuvrability killed it for me.

    Wooden racquets? Yeah sure, so long as I play with a guy wielding an under 70 sq in wooden racquets as well (and the best I can hit a serve with it is about 100 mph tops.), no problem.

    Easy power and spin comes in handy with the 98s and 100s (be it Donnies ''Donnay'', Dunlies ''Dunlop'' or the Barbies ''Babolat'') generally speaking.
    However, only the mids 85 to 90 gives one the control to control the game. Power that can not be controlled is an utter waste!:wink:
     
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  28. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Imo, the 98 to 100 crowd are far easier to control due to added spin. Depends entirely in your stroke production. Hitting flat? Sure, a 70 inch stick will help with control. Hitting modern, heavy topspin? That same racquet suddenly becomes a massive hindrence. ;)
     
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  29. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Under 70s topspin is there, just not to be confused with a Barbie-kind of spin. I did my experiments with racquet head sizes and found the mids to be the better racquet (emphasis: better not best, imo:)) in terms of serves, spins, slice, volleys...and control. A bit wider (larger) and it is a bit measurably different!:neutral:
     
    #79
  30. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    There are many more study's on this subject that prove there is no difference in the vibration you feel. You can keep saying it a 100 times but it does not change the fact that it is all in your head.
     
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  31. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Studies are meaningless to me. What matters to me is what I actually feel. In fact, that's the ONLY thing that matters to me. :)

    It's like the racquets that they measured to have the perfect specs for me. Then I actually play with it and it's totally wrong for me. Measurements don't matter. What matters is what you feel. Machines can't feel.
     
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  32. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Seriously, can you demonstrate some ability to think on your own? Instead of mindlessly regurgiting what other people have told you.

    This is a study of vibration amplitude and resonance frequency conducted to your arm. That has little bearing on string resiliance.

    Take a racket and a tennis ball. Bounce the ball against the ground repeatedly. Put on a worm dampener. Bounce the ball again over and over. Do you detect a firmer stringbed? Don't tell me what studies say. You tell me whether you detect a firmer stringbed.
     
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  33. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Once upon a time, x-ray crystallography research concluded DNA was single-stranded. Now the same research data concludes DNA is a double helix.

    Norwegian scientists have repeated published research stating that the mercury in silver dental fillings (dental amalgams) were hazardous to your health. A few years back, the FDA officially stated that there is no adverse health effects from dental amalgams, because the level of mercury in those fillings is virtually undetectable.

    The world is full of stupid people publishing stupid research. The world is also full of stupid people who are not capable of thinking for themselves. That study above is so erroneous it's ridiculous. Is it easier to get a PhD or to get to 5.5? Dumbasses can get PhD's and publish faulty research.
     
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  34. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Here's why this study sucked balls.

    1) They measured one frequency, 120Hz. They didn't plot a range of frequencies. They measured ONE frequency!

    2) They measured muscle electrical activity. Why on earth would your body behave differently on a biochemical level? Unless your body has a neurological problem, it's going to act the same way regardless. Drugs and physical damage to your neurosensory pathways affect the way your body works, not a vibration dampener on a tennis racket.

    3) There's a bunch more problems with this study, but I'll let tlm figure them out. He has to learn how to think on his own.
     
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  35. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I can think on my own with no problem, just using study's to show you are dampeners do nothing but change the sound. You criticize the study I showed which by the way there are more that say the same thing. But your super scientific study is bouncing balls off the court, that is hilarious. By putting your worm dampener on all you are doing is changing the sound, but in your simple mind that is enough for you to think it really changed something.

    The amount of firmness that a dampener adds is so small it would never be able to be noticed, except for those that live in la la land. Next time string your racket 2 grams tighter thats probably a little more firmness than what your dampener is adding.LOL
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
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  36. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Dampeners do absolutely 0 for reducing vibration and preventing shock to the arm, what you are hearing is what you think you are feeling. There are many more study's that have proven dampeners do nothing but change the sound of your string bed, but many like you are fooled by sound not fact.
     
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  37. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    What studies?

    I'd put 10k on a blind fold and ear plug test that I could feel one with and one without a dampner.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #87
  38. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, and the tobacco companies used to publish studies that proved that smoking was NOT hazardous to your health. I guess you were one of the ones that was fooled and started smoking. :(

    Oh, and BTW, what do you think sound is? Sound IS vibration! That's how we hear sound. So if a dampener has changed the sound then it has to have changed the vibration. That's why the vibrations with a dampener FEEL better than without one.
     
    #88
  39. tistrapukcipeht

    tistrapukcipeht Professional

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    I don't use dampener, but I can tell you the difference between the feel of a racquet with dampener and one without, with dampener is more muted, less lively, since it does mute some vibrations.

    As for arm/should related to vibrations, choose a better racquet with better quality and you have no issues.
     
    #89
  40. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    It's pretty ironic, BP, that you say you don't believe in studies, yet here you are quoting them to make your point. So you believe some studies and not others? Not having a go, each to their own. Just a bit funny! Do you also not believe the studies that link smoking to lung cancer? If so YOU might be the one who starts smoking :eek:
     
    #90
  41. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    Studies can be done well or done poorly. Our science is based on research so it's pretty important that it be done well or we wouldn't be able to do the technological things that we do.

    Research is typically built upon the work of others and if their work or conclusions are faulty, then further research based on that work may be faulty too. I recall reading a paper by the head of the Georgetown Law School in a particular area that I had expertise in and I couldn't believe one of the things she stated. I followed the citations back to three earlier papers and the basis for the claim was from Newsweek Magazine. Unfortunately, later researchers used the same claim but didn't check the sources thoroughly. When you use a source, it's not a bad idea to go through the previous and original sources to determine whether or not something makes sense.

    So studies can be good or bad. The peer review system is supposed to weed out the bad stuff but that depends on others, with critical perspectives, reviewing the work.
     
    #91
  42. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    He is back on the senior tour and playing at a much much higher level relative to people on this forum.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
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  43. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    They are going to play better by definition with one of them.
     
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  44. pshulam

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    The whole argument whether vibration damper makes any difference in feel is silly. I can definitely detect the difference in feel albeit it may not lessen the shock to your arm. Just try it and see for yourself instead of referencing some studies.
     
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  45. effortless

    effortless Rookie

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    It's really hard to explain why a smaller head feels better in your hand. I'll do my best.

    Smaller heads always feel more manoeuvrable to me. The best way i can explain it is: trying to perform surgery with a fine delicate scalpel or trying to do the same with a butchers knife. You will do better with the scalpel because it is more manoeuvrable and you can do a wider variety of motions with it. However, a butchers knife is much more powerful and is more useful if you want to rip into a dead carcass.

    Maybe what i'm trying to say is that a small head is good for finesse. With a small head i feel like i have a better understanding of what is required from my swing to produce a certain shot.

    Bigger heads are better if you don't car much for finesse or variety but just want to rip into the ball with the same motion every time. They are more forgiving, and spin friendly and usually more powerful.
     
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  46. pshulam

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    Good catch. :)
     
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  47. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    and we have a winner.

    that's twice now I have agreed 100% with BreakPoint, hmm, I might go and have a nice lie down...
     
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  48. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    We don't have a winner actually. Our auditory system is far more sensitive than touch. While a minor difference in pitch can be detected by the ear, the variation in vibration required to actually FEEL any difference is much, much larger. Especially if that relatively minor change in vibration is attenuated by a tennis racquet handle before it gets to your hand! Think about how loud you have to turn up your stereo before you can actually FEEL the vibrations through the floor!
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #98
  49. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thanks for making my point. No one on this forum is ever going to get to his level, so whatever racquet they choose, won't make a difference.

    Wrong. They will play just the same. If they are a 3.0, they will be a 3.0 with a 100 sq inch pure drive or a PS85. Neither racquet will make them any better.
     
    #99
  50. januslow

    januslow New User

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    It is funny we have numerous threads at "other equipments" reviewing tons of dampeners and how they feel differently, and yet we have ppl here who cannot even tell the difference of having one or not. I for one, will not care what researches say when I can feel the differences so obviously.
     

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