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. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Chang is using the AeroPro
     
  2. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    The thing is, Andre started out with wooden racquets also, so surely he can handle not only oversized racquets and he also played the racquets Steffi used.
     
  3. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, good to know, guess he would've chosen the elliptical headed Barbies back then if he had the choice.
     
  4. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Right up there with Break Point
     
  5. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I don't know anyone who claims that using a smaller headsize is "more prestigious", myself included. Most people who use smaller racquets use them because they either play better with them or they just like the feel of them or some other characteristic of them. Prestige never even enters the equation.
     
  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, he should, Especially since even with his big 107 sq. in. racquet Agassi couldn't beat Sampras with his tiny 85 sq. in. racquet in ANY of the many, many times they played each other at the US Open and at Wimbledon. That's pretty shameful. :)
     
  7. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Haha, proves my point. UCSF2012 = Break Point
     
  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Hmmm....then why would UCSF2012 constantly slam most of my posts?? The guy hates my views. :???:
     
  9. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    You must be schizophrenic. Lol
     
  10. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    Prestige is what is at stake in the title of this tread.
    The preference of a smaller head has to do with feel and game style, not so much with perfomance, no modern player (heavy topspin) could play better with an 85-90 racquet than with an 95-100 (all other specs being equal). On the other hand, if you have a classic game style, it's possible that you get not only better feel but also a better performance from a mid head size racquet.
    Break Point saved.
     
  11. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    In all fairness, I make fun of everybody. I don't remember mocking you, in particular, because...well, I've lost track. :shock:
     
  12. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    That's exactly it. Not everyone plays the "modern game". Plenty of recreational players out there do not. Heck, even that WTA pro Hsieh beat Robson in the final of the WTA tournament in Guangzhou last week by hitting slice forehands. :shock:

    BTW, guys like Borg and Vilas were hitting with plenty of topspin with their 65 sq. in. racquets and super dense 18x20 string patterns back in the 1970's. Sampras also generated more spin on his serves than most other pros with his 85 sq. in. racquet back in the 1990's. :)
     
  13. TonyB

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    Wow, this is an amazingly well-thought-out reply. I completely agree with this assessment. I completely agree that the pros can control the extra power of the larger frames because they play every day. Most recreational players can't really handle the extra power well enough to take advantage of the larger headsize. They "manage" with the larger frames, but it's difficult.

    It's not about seeming "elite". But it's about working with the tools that make your game better. I've tried larger frames and just can't get the feel of them. I constantly hit the ball long while thinking that I hit it perfectly. On reaction shots, I always end up with an unstable shot because while the stringbed is larger, the frame's stability isn't up to the task.

    Serves are a no-brainer -- the smaller frames can hit better flat serves, no question about it. On second serves, spinny serves work better with larger frames, so that's a negative against smaller frames. But most smaller frames can still hit adequate spin on serves, so it's a matter of learning, practice, and technique. Most players in the sub-5.0 level need more control, not more power. Smaller frames deliver that. Smaller frames are usually also typically heavier, so they're better for your arm. They're also more stable on serve returns and volleys.

    All in all, it just depends on what works better for each player. For me, I enjoy the feel, control, and stability of smaller frames. I've tried larger ones, but they just don't work for me. I figure that's how most players feel when they prefer smaller frames. It's not about wanting to be 'elite', but it's about wanting to play better.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  14. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    I would love to play against someone who plays the modern game. As is, I've never seen topspin come at me. I've never seen a kick serve. Never seen a serve jump over my head. I've only seen extreme underspin. At the San Francisco Open, there were two guys that put noticable topspin. Everyone else hit flat.

    What I see a lot of is people using AeroPro strung with polyester hitting flat.
     
  15. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    I suspect it's because the majority of this forum consists of an older demographic of players, whose technique doesn't allow them to consistently control power with spin. In this case, the smaller headsizes probably are better. But for modern strokes and younger players who can, the 100 crowd have the advantage of more power, easily controlled with spin. Just my opinion.
     
  16. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    I have to disagree somewhat with this. Fact is, most of the "older demographic" of players tend to use super-huge head sizes, in the 100+ range, with tons of power.

    True, the younger crowd is definitely playing with the 98-100 sq. in. frame sizes nowadays, while the 35-55 year-olds mostly grew up with smaller head sizes. But I don't consider either of them an advantage. However, the modern game with heavy topspin is definitely more suited to larger frames and poly strings. The younger crowd has an easier time with this, as they are more athletic and flexible.

    Interestingly, the DOUBLES game is quite the opposite. You'll notice that mostly all of the higher-ranked pro players are older (30+) and many use 93-95 sq. in. frames. Doubles isn't necessarily a game that benefits from heavy topspin and loopy, consistent shotmaking. So there is still room for slightly smaller headsizes.

    I play doubles almost exclusively these days and I don't see any advantage of a larger headsize over a smaller one at the level I play (NTRP 4.5). Even in singles I don't see any difference between players using 100 sq. in. frames and 90 sq. in. frames. It's just that there are so FEW 90 sq. in. frames available on the market that the majority of players tend to use larger headsizes.

    Plus, I think that people are lulled into a false sense of "enhanced performance" of larger frames by retailers that claim "bigger is better". People probably figure larger headsizes are better because there is more room for error. But they don't realize that off-center shots are practically worthless anyway due to the lack of stability in the larger frames.
     
  17. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Yeah, I actually agree with you, especially re the doubles stuff. But we're talking about people on THIS forum. I reckon the 3.0 older crowd that use the 100 plusses generally don't post here. Which is why the mids have such "prestige" in these forums, as the OP states.
     
  18. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    I'm late in here ... Did I miss anything?
     
  19. power level 800

    power level 800 Semi-Pro

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    Thank you anirut. You made me laugh so hard. lol.aaw too funny.
     
  20. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    I see that too around here. It's always amusing.
     
  21. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Tis all about the feel. Nothing beats a PS85 with multi or gut, for me.

    And the precision give me more confidence to swing out.. and still can play well with it.
     
  22. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Can I ask what fh grip you use? 1hb or 2hb? Swing style?
    Just wondering if the stereo-type fits! Feel free not to answer if you'd rather not say :)
     
  23. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    I don't think it's age-related but rather level-related. I would infer players liking the mids are 4.5 to 5.5s (the vast majority anyways). However, many 4.5s and above are using or prefers the Barbies (AeroPros or PureDrives; not so much with Storms though...).
     
  24. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    You don't think it's the old-school strokes that are more suited to the mids? By your argument, I would have thought more pros would be using mids if that were the case.
     
  25. Vcore89

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    Did I not say ''many 4.5s are using Barbies''?
     
  26. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Yes, you did. That's got nothing to do with age though.
    I guess I just reckon people with older style strokes prefer mids, which is usually related to age, not level.
    But others have made the point that many older players use 100 plus, head heavy, light monsters which is also true. I just would have thought if preference for mids correlated more with NTRP than age (as you say), then there'd be more pros playing with mids than midpluses.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  27. Vcore89

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    It wouldn't be prudent of me to talk about pros since I am not one. But evidently, pros by far are wielding midpluses.
     
  28. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Yeah, fair enough. You're obviously using a mid. Do you hit more old-school or modern?
     
  29. Vcore89

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    Everything is old school except for the backhand.:grin:
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  30. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Haha, nice. :)
    I'm pretty much the exact opposite.
     
  31. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    That's not the case where I live/play, I play a power top spin game (not consider myself an open level player), I break strings (black code 1.30) each three sets. I've lost to some proficient flat hitters, but chances are they won't be able to handle the weight of my ball, what I happen to prefer are dense string patterns sticks, 16x19 are too lively to me, and because of my full western forerhand grip I hit with top spin even with the cover on
     
  32. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    It's true, although Borg and Vilas did so with slower swing speeds, and supreme technique.
     
  33. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    It's much harder to swing 14 oz.+ wood racquets as fast as the 11 oz. modern racquets of today. Borg and Vilas also generated all that topspin without the use of poly strings and with incredibly dense stringbeds (if you can imagine how dense an 18x20 pattern is in a tiny 65 sq. in. head). :shock:
     
  34. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    So you are saying that with more of a modern racquet and string, they would produce far heavier top spin, ergo they would have played better
     
  35. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    That's NOT what he's saying, but it's probably true.

    If they play better with wooden rackets, they'd probably still be using those rackets today.
     
  36. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    That's what these guys claim too.
     
  37. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    Maybe but it's quite easy to tell those claims apart
     
  38. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Every guy seems to have a huge forehand. Massive spin. Puts Tsonga to shame. No one seems to be honest and realistic,...."I hit like a girl, I'm not gonna lie. Super flat, and I even put my hips into it...."

    Even in the videos of their match play, high school girls hit harder than they do. Definately serve better.
     
  39. Vcore89

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    The boys and girls (10 to 16 year olds) today hitting with a Roddick-like forehand can impart top spins (h-u-g-e) that would put to shame most adults with their Barbies at hand. Can they do the same with a much smaller headed racquet, I don't know, I'll have to see it to believe it. On the otherhand, boys and girls switching to Dunley (Dunlop) Biomemetics while still swinging with the same ''biceps curl'' forehand aren't revving it quite like the Barbies. Why is that? Hmmm...it doesn't make me wonder.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  40. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Youngsters have been launching forehands hard and long since the beginning of time. Nothing new. Nothing's changed since the advent of the Pure Drive.

    I had monster shots when I was 15, and all I had was a PS 6.1 95 Classic. Of course, we didn't have polyester strings back then so keeping it in the court was a bit hard.
     
  41. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    Its more fun to play with a small head because the lack of power allows me to wack the ball with out having to worry about supplying the right amount of topspin. I'd probably play my best with a midplus, but it requires so much more concentration when i'm out there and just wanna hurt the ball. I think its a personal thing, because i just want to play better if i'm using a mid because it makes me feel federesque
     
  42. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Well exactly, nothing's changed since the intro of Pure Drives!:wink:

    Are we suppose to conclude that Barbie's elliptically-shaped 100s (100s--specific) nailed it? I doubt even with a downsized elliptical head, say down to 85 or 90, Barbies aren't gonna produce those monstrous spins. Just compare their 98s.

    Anyways, as you say you're launching spinning forehands since you were 15, are you still doing the same or hitting it flatter these days?:)

    From time to time I do the ''biceps curl'' forehand but I really like to whack it flatly most of the time.:)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  43. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    I didn't have a monster topspin forehand. I had a monster forehand I couldn't control: won as many points as I lost. That was the 6.1 95 back in the late 90's. Today, I hit with more than ample topspin (ball visibly jumps on landing) but I'm trying to add flat shots to my arsenal. Flat is so much more consistent, and it takes less effort.

    The most spin I've ever gotten on groundies came from the KPS88. My lighter frames like the Prestige Pro, EXO3 Graphite 93, and BLX 6.1 95 produced medium spin. This leads me to believe spin comes from mass, not the lack there of.
     
  44. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    We will never know. Since they grew up using wood racquets, all of their stroke mechanics were geared for small, heavy wood racquets. Who knows how they would have adapted to huge, light modern racquets.
     
  45. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Just imagine how their wooden racquets would snap even more with the stiff polys of a few years back (good there are softer polys now available today).
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  46. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    I play with both a 93" Prince and a 100" Wilson Tweener. I play the same with each, they just feel different.

    I want to transition a 90" next and maybe also get the PS85 to hit with occasionally as that's what Federer and Sampras have used. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. I also want to try a Yonex mid.
     
  47. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I have played 95-98 for last 10 years. Started with wood, played OS 110 when they came out, tried wide 100, and went back to thin beam 95-98 for last 10 years.

    A 93 inch racket can have a big sweetspot if it has sufficient Swingweight and Twistweight - note the stock blx 90 has a bigger power zone than the stock APDGT - Fed's vs Rafa's due to better swingweight on blx 90.

    If you have not tried a 93, then try one. You get the feeling that the ball goes exactly where you told it to go. Very clean and very crisp. You do not get this feeling from a wider body, open string pattern, 100" racket.

    I am very tempted to try the new volkl o10 mid 93. It looks sweet.
     
  48. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Proffessionals have one main objective - win.

    Recreational players should have one main objective - enjoy the game.

    Racket doesn't have to be the most competitive for me to enjoy playing with it.
     
  49. rafafan20

    rafafan20 Professional

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    Same reason why blades have "prestige" among golfers, doesn't mean it helps your game though
     
  50. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

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    I came into tennis in the early 1970's playing with standard size wood or aluminum rackets. Played college tennis from 1976-1980, and was starting to face the Prince rackets then. Went to larger head sizes in the early 1980's. Played with all sizes over the years. Generally felt like a 98 thin beam players frame was the best of all worlds for me. Now am 54 and still a strong player, but not as fast as the top young guys. My son is a 17 year old tournament player, other guys I hit with are generally 20's with the huge power modern game. I can play well and hit consistant with one of the 85-90 frames, but can't generate the power to win points quickly with them. If I was playing other guys my age, I would be fine with that set-up. But to be competitve against the modern game, and counter my lack of ability to run down huge shots, I've got to have a big game as well, and the ability to hit huge shots. So I'm playing a 102 thin beam frame with alot of weight added. I get more power and can hit winners against these guys. If I dig out a thin beam 90 frame, I can hit very well with it, but can't win a point quickly from the baseline. Consistancy does not help much if you opponent hits an outright winner on the 3rd or 4th shot. But I agree, most anyone can play well with any size frame, just have to work with it and fine tune the string and tension.
     

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