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TennisTypeR 10-31-2009 02:33 AM

Lead tape placement qns
 
Just a question about racquet customisation. Why do some people place lead tape all around the racquet head instead of putting them at specific positions(3&9, 12 o'clock.etc). What effect does it have on the racquet?

skier318 10-31-2009 06:18 AM

Adding weight anywhere on the racquet increases it's MOI (moment of inertia) and overall weight. The specific locations are always counter balanced (around the axis of the grip), and placed based on player preference for any number of reasons - maneuverability, racquet head speed, power, control, etc.

pshulam 10-31-2009 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisTypeR (Post 4068849)
Just a question about racquet customisation. Why do some people place lead tape all around the racquet head instead of putting them at specific positions(3&9, 12 o'clock.etc). What effect does it have on the racquet?

That would make it head heavy - more power/heft -- less maneuverability.

xFullCourtTenniSx 10-31-2009 07:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisTypeR (Post 4068849)
Just a question about racquet customisation. Why do some people place lead tape all around the racquet head instead of putting them at specific positions(3&9, 12 o'clock.etc). What effect does it have on the racquet?

Well, once we reach a certain point in our games, we have pretty dang big groundstrokes. Most rackets are in the SW1 category (the lower swingweights). Moving them up to SW2 status (high swingweights) adds control to our swings, as well as giving power and spin. No matter what, adding weight will pump up the swingweight (albeit to different levels based on WHERE you put it).

So basically, everyone that plays tennis on a high level and uses custom weighted rackets is eventually going to end up playing with ridiculously high swingweights (okay, ALMOST everyone; Verdasco is one of the exceptions). The difference is HOW they want to get there. Some people want rackets that are insanely stable and plow through the ball, giving insane amounts of power and control for anybody good enough to swing it around (like Sampras, Roddick, and Courier). Others like the rackets to be very easy to whip around, allowing them to use heavy amounts of wrist action in their shots and allowing them to generate unprecedented amounts of spin (like Rafter, Nadal and Federer).

To get insane amounts of stability and plow through on the ball, you need VERY high levels of mass on your racket so that you can barely feel the ball's "weight" on contact (you can still feel the ball extremely well, but you might notice a more muted response than before thanks to the added stability). But the more mass we add, the higher the swingweight. So if we do it wrong, we won't get as much mass as we want, and we'll already reach our ideal swingweight in the SW2 section. So these people will put the weights lower on their racket (closer to the center of the racket; 3&9, as well as around the throat or top of the grip for counterbalance). That way, they can put more weight on their rackets to reach the amount of power and plow through they want without exceeding their ideal swingweight specification. This is what we call a depolarized setup. It's what most pros used. 95% of pros (if not more) prior to the year 2000 used this kind of setup. A wood racket is essentially a depolarized racket, so 100% of people prior to graphite rackets used a depolarized setup.

Others like their rackets to be less hefty, while still having that nice, high swingweight. To do that, they want every bit of mass they add to increase the swingweight as much as possible, so that they add very little mass to the racket, but get that nice spike in swingweight. They will end up putting the weight near the top of the racket (under the bumper guard) and some inside the buttcap for counterbalance. But since at this point, people don't care too much about balance, most of the added weight goes under the bumper guard (I hear Nadal adds 9 grams under the bumper and 2 in the buttcap while all of Federer's added racket weight is under the bumper, which I'm guessing is 2.5-4.5 grams). These rackets have lower static weight and become more manageable and spin friendly. Also, since the weight is mainly distributed towards the ends of the rackets, it spins on it's axis better, allowing for even better access to spin and racket head speed. This is what we call a polarized setup. Nowadays, a lot more people are using this setup thanks to the lighter rackets out there. Also, this is the reason why we will see some pros with a ridiculously low racket mass.

Now, which setup is the best? That's up to personal preference, as stated before. I love both (currently using/trying a slightly polarized setup like Federer). A depolarized racket is the more conventional type of racket customization (as it's been around longer) but it's a little more difficult to do (overall, but it depends on the racket as well). It grants extra forgiveness, stability, and pop so most people should generally look to have this kind of setup. It's the best for aggressive baseline hitting, as well as for serve and volleying. If you want to take the ball on the rise, or are an aggressive returner (like Agassi and Blake; both of whom use a depolarized setup), then you'll love the stability and power this setup gives. The other one is better for people who feel like they have all the power, forgiveness, and stability they need, but are lacking in some spin and margin for their shots. This is where a polarized setup can help, because it really adds a lot of spin to your shots and gives you extra margin over the net to safely stay in points. Nadal uses this setup to great effectiveness, employing heavy spin off the forehand and serve, constantly pulling his opponents wide and out of position. Rafter liked it because his big weapon was his kick serve and athleticism. A polarized setup added extra kick and action to his serves. He would kick a high one up to the opponent's backhand, then use his athleticism and feel for the ball to put away volleys. Though, this caused him to be less effective on grass, where serve and volleyers should dominate (as you can guess, almost all serve and volleyers use a depolarized setup). However, I must say that I found the polarized setup to be more erratic overall. It becomes difficult to control the racket sometimes (because the power and spin might not always be as consistent due to lack of stability), but most of the time you'll get good results if you like to use heavy spin.

spacediver 10-31-2009 07:54 AM

wow excellent post x!

JackB1 10-31-2009 11:27 AM

I agree. What a great write up about these different weight setups. Thanks for all that great info "XFull.".

So to summarize......added weight at 12 oclock and low on the handle (near the buttcap) is a polarized setup and Added more weight lower and in the middle of the racquet is a depolarized setup? You do polarized if you want to increase sw with the least amount of weight possible and you do depolarized if you want to add more weight overall in order to reach the same sw? Am I right so far?

So if we have 2 racquets of identical swingweight, but one has more mass near the top and the other has more mass in the handle and is more HL......which will have more power and plowthru? Wont the one with more weight near the top have more power amnd plow? It seems like if you had more weight in the handle and a very HL balance, you would need to provide more of your own power, since the hoop will feel very light and whippy. But with the polarised racquet, there will be more mass higher up and behind the contact point, so wont that translate into more power and plow?

TennisTypeR 10-31-2009 11:18 PM

Wow thanks for your replies guys! I really appreciate it. I have gotten great understanding about this issue. :)

xFullCourtTenniSx 11-01-2009 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackB1 (Post 4069707)
I agree. What a great write up about these different weight setups. Thanks for all that great info "XFull.".

So to summarize......added weight at 12 oclock and low on the handle (near the buttcap) is a polarized setup and Added more weight lower and in the middle of the racquet is a depolarized setup? You do polarized if you want to increase sw with the least amount of weight possible and you do depolarized if you want to add more weight overall in order to reach the same sw? Am I right so far?

Yes you have the general idea right.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackB1 (Post 4069707)
So if we have 2 racquets of identical swingweight, but one has more mass near the top and the other has more mass in the handle and is more HL......which will have more power and plowthru? Wont the one with more weight near the top have more power amnd plow? It seems like if you had more weight in the handle and a very HL balance, you would need to provide more of your own power, since the hoop will feel very light and whippy. But with the polarised racquet, there will be more mass higher up and behind the contact point, so wont that translate into more power and plow?

The depolarized racket doesn't put all of the weight in the handle. It actually has most of the weight in the head at 3&9. This will add the power and overall plow through we are looking for in out groundstrokes. As counterbalance, we add some (or a lot, depending on what you feel works best) weight around the throat or the top of the handle. Someone suggested 7 inches above the buttcap, which works extremely well in my opinion. There is also an equation to find the "perfect counterbalance point" somewhere on this forum is you look up "How to depolarize your racket". I've added 20 grams at 3&9 and 14 grams at 7 inches above the buttcap on one of my K90s and it plays very well and has tremendous plow through with only maybe 10-15 more SW units compared to my polarized 12.5 ounce Yonex RDS 003.

If anything, a depolarized racket and a polarized racket can have the exact same balance and swingweight, while the depolarized racket can have far more mass.

Given two light rackets, I can easily produce two rackets with the same swingweight and balance, but the mass on the depolarized racket can be higher by about a full ounce, if not higher! One will produce noticeably more spin, while the other more power, stability, and plow through.

When making a depolarized racket, we're looking to increase swingweight as well, just in a far more conservative matter so we can add more effective mass without raising swingweight too rapidly, which will limit the amount of mass we can place on the racket. If you put all the weight in the handle, the center of mass will be so low that you might as well hit the ball with the handle instead of the strings. There really is no point to having an excessively headlight racket. Power comes from having weight in the head, and maneuverability comes from having weight in the top of the handle as counterbalance (how far up or down depends on the player).

You more or less have two basic options when adding 15 grams of lead to the head. You can put it under the bumper guard around the top of the hoop, or layer it at 3&9. Layering it at 3&9 will produce more power, while having it under the bumper gets it moving around faster (which is why I said it's more erratic overall, especially since to hit a good shot you need a loose arm). If you layered the lead at 3&9, the swingweight will be a little lower, and the racket will be more maneuverable, so you can add more weight (either at 3&9 again, or around the throat or handle as counterbalance) until the swingweights are matched. At this point, from the physics equations of F=MA and Momentum=MV^2, we can tell the new racket has far more power, stability, and plow through (it can more easily drive through the ball because it's more stable and has more power through contact). Also, since the weight is lower and closer to your hand, you can more easily control and direct the weight of the racket during the swing, allowing for better control and a more consistent contact (whereas the polarized racket can get all whippy and out of control sometimes).

When adding lead tape to the frame, you must always add lead to the head. There is no point to adding lead in the buttcap alone. It does nothing. It raises the swingweight (slightly), lowers the center of mass, raises mass in the most pointless manner, and it's biggest effects are mostly mental, where since you think your racket is more headlight, it will be more maneuverable. It will give you more heft in your hand when holding it, but it won't translate into power into the ball. To do that, you need the lead to be placed farther up and away from your hand. This is why I feel that adding weight to a head heavy frame is pointless. You can counterbalance it all you want by adding lead at the top of the handle, but you're better off finding a new racket that's headlight. You want to be able to add more weight to the head than to the buttcap/handle/throat. It's not always going to happen, but if you want the biggest power boost, that's how it's going to have to be.

When you add weight to the hoop, the mass isn't behind the ball. When you add it to 3&9, it's right on the center of the strings, allowing the weight to most effectively respond and react to the ball and push through it more effectively. This is where plow through comes from. Adding it to the top merely increases racket head speed due to a whippy feeling you get during the swing similar to a ball at the end of the string. The best description would be comparing a stick with a ball of mass at the very far end of the stick. To accurately control the stick with precision while swinging full force, more focus and strength is required. If you let it go (loosened up your arm/hand), the mass will pull the stick in the general direction your swing left it off at. Then if you swing a stick with the ball of mass in the center of the stick (or at least closer to your hand), it's easier to more precisely control the stick no matter how fast you swing, even with a loose arm and grip. This is why a depolarized racket has more plow through and stability (aside from the fact that weight at 3&9 help increase torsional stability; AKA resistance to twisting at impact), the weight is easier to precisely control and get behind the ball. This is also why (as I've said numerous times; sorry about that) a polarized racket is overall more erratic. If your swing is off by a little, the mass at the top of the frame will keep the racket going in that direction, magnifying your swing error. The spin it generates will keep it from going long most of the time, but it's still pretty inconsistent.

Headlight balance is great for intermediate players, but once you want some serious pop on your strokes, and your lightweight 11-12.5 ounce rackets don't generate enough punch anymore, you're going to have to sacrifice some of it for power. Once you reach 5.5+, balance doesn't matter, weight distribution does.

The reason people liked the K90 more than the previous Tour 90s was because of the newer weight distribution, which made it feel more maneuverable, have more pop and plow through, and go faster through the air even with the higher swingweight. And the reason people like the K88 more than the K90, is because the weight was reworked again, in such a way that power and spin are even more accessible regardless of the higher swingweight and mass! (You'll notice that even if you depolarize your racket heavily to such a degree it's meant only for flat hitters, you'll still find plenty of added spin thanks to the improved weight distribution.) The previous Tour 90s I'm guessing had most of the weight centralized near the top of the handle (right under or at where the Wilson W logo is, which could account for why the design had a longer pallet design than the PS85 and the K90). The K90 was reworked to move that weight more towards 3&9 (if not slightly higher) and maybe moving whatever's left of the mass closer to the buttcap. This explains the higher swingweight.

What really matters in making a racket the best that it can be is WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION. That and that alone is what makes a great racket what it is. Well... That and mass... But mass is useless if it's just slapped on randomly.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. Try to be as specific as possible, and I'll try to cut it down and be more concise next time I respond. >< Hopefully my English teacher will improve my writing skills by the end of the semester. :) But as you can guess, there's a lot more behind rackets and their performance than just their specs (unless we got far more detailed about the specs of the rackets).

xFullCourtTenniSx 11-01-2009 12:45 AM

Oh, and I took this out of the previous post (too long) cause it wasn't wholly relevant, but I still think it's rather interesting information (though I have no solid proof since I don't have a bunch of advanced equipment as well as Sampras' rackets and so on). It is purely theoretical (most of it), but I feel it's quite logical and it explains a lot of what is already confirmed and what I read on these boards (which isn't always true as we know when it comes to conspiracy theories of pro rackets).

//====================================//

The ProStaff Tour, which the n90 design is based off of, was meant for Pete Sampras. Sampras would place a lot weight around that general area where a majority of the ProStaff Tour's weight is centered as counterbalance for the lead he puts on the head (or at least Nate Ferguson did it). With this, Ferguson would have to put less lead in his racket and could just slap it on the head and be done with it. (Yes, Wilson will occasionally make rackets specifically designed for top pros and sell them to the public, which is a mistake since those rackets were incomplete and require lead to finish it.) This is another reason why the K90 is so popular - it's a finished product. Federer has been using that EXACT racket (specs, weight distribution, EVERYTHING) for 7 years now. Recently he seems to be adding a little bit more weight to it, but it's hardly a noticeable difference aside from more comfort (it could explain the recent pile up of errors though in the past few years; yes I said it wasn't a noticeable difference, but some people can feel the performance difference and I'm sure Federer is one of them). He probably did it in his attempt to create a heavier ball and win the French Open. Everything he's done in the past several years has all been for that. If he never cared, he'd still be ripping relatively flat, penetrating winners all over the place. Now he hits with far more spin and might have changed his racket setup slightly since 2006 to help that. All I really know though, is since his switch to the K90 (or him staying with the K90 but with the K90 paintjob, whatever you prefer), is that his groundstrokes are occasionally very erratic, which has pretty much never happened during his rise to power and his stay atop the ATP ladder. Also, sometime since the switch, he's been adding weight under the bumper guard (polarizing the racket, making it less stable as I mentioned). You put two and two together and you can logically infer these points that I have mentioned. If he stayed with a stock K90 (with tight quality control), he probably would still be playing as well as he did in 2006 (and still won the French Open without sacrificing the 2008 Australian Open, 2008 Wimbledon, and the recent 2009 US Open). But either way, he'd still get crushed by Nadal. Polarizing your racket only makes it worse against him. But at least he generates a heavier ball and still dominates a majority of the tour.

JackB1 11-01-2009 06:57 AM

Wow.....XFull, you are the man! How did u get so knowledgeable on the subject, if u don't mind me asking?
The mods should sticky this thread for those that want to understand racquet weighting and balance.

If I understand correctly......only add weight to the tip (12 oclock) if u need more pop or snap in your serves. But the more you add to this point, the more erratic your control becomes.

So if you wanted to add lets say 15 g's to your racquet and keep balance the same, it sounds like the "preferred" way is to add about 6 g's to 3/9 and about 9 g's to the handle, about 7" above the buttcap (which would be about in the middle of where your top hand would be?).

Also, you never mention adding weight to 10/2 instead of 9/3?
Wouldn't 10/2 be a nice compromise to give you the plowthru of 9/3, with a little extra power?

So.....

1) Depolarized = more plowthru and stability

2) Polarized = more power but less control

xFullCourtTenniSx 11-01-2009 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackB1 (Post 4071212)
Wow.....XFull, you are the man! How did u get so knowledgeable on the subject, if u don't mind me asking?
The mods should sticky this thread for those that want to understand racquet weighting and balance.

If I understand correctly......only add weight to the tip (12 oclock) if u need more pop or snap in your serves. But the more you add to this point, the more erratic your control becomes.

So if you wanted to add lets say 15 g's to your racquet and keep balance the same, it sounds like the "preferred" way is to add about 6 g's to 3/9 and about 9 g's to the handle, about 7" above the buttcap (which would be about in the middle of where your top hand would be?).

Also, you never mention adding weight to 10/2 instead of 9/3?
Wouldn't 10/2 be a nice compromise to give you the plowthru of 9/3, with a little extra power?

So.....

1) Depolarized = more plowthru and stability

2) Polarized = more power but less control

For adding the 15 grams, you can go either way with that actually. 9 grams at the head or handle, it doesn't really matter. 9 at the head will produce more power, while 9 at the handle will be more manageable.

And you're right about the difference between depolarized and polarized, except that polarized doesn't necessarily straight out give more power. It gives more racket head acceleration. That can essentially equate to more power as power/force is generated from either (or both) increases in mass or velocity/acceleration. I'd prefer to keep it at polarized means more racket head speed (if you know how to use it right). Also, the control problem isn't as big of a factor as I might make it sound. Higher racket head speeds (especially at the tip) can be used to create more spin on the ball, resulting in more control. Your ability to accurately control the racket head at high speeds will surely go down, but as long as you use spin to give you margin it's going to be fine (but don't be too surprised if a few don't go your way, but with the spin it generates you'll get plenty of margin so you won't notice 99% of the times where it happens).

And 10&2 and 11&1 will give still give power/plow through and increased racket head speeds, though I prefer to stick to one side and go all out in that direction. But if you were going to do that, I suggest 10&2 since it doesn't reduce your racket head control as badly but will give you noticeable more momentum in the head. If you go to 11&1 you might as well put a strip of lead across the top of the hoop. I don't personally advocate a bunch of 3-5 inch strips at 12 to polarize a racket, I prefer a long strip that can actually be as long as 15 inches across the top of the hoop so the center of mass won't be raised as much and the racket won't become more difficult to control. Some people prefer it that way, and I'm not saying you shouldn't do it. Try it, it might work for you, but it doesn't work for me.

It all depends on what you need from adding weight. Sometimes it's not as straightforward as wanting more power. You might want more pop, but are want a hint more spin on your shots than a 3&9 setup will give, and are willing to sacrifice a little pop to get there. In that case, yes go for 10&2.

If you want more pop on your serves, I recommend lead at 3&9 unless you might want to get a little added spin and kick on you spin serves as well, then 10&2 might be more appropriate. I've never personally experimented with 10&2 but it should add more spin than a 3&9 setup although you will probably lose a little stability and power (probably not a noticeable loss though unless you add a lot of weight). Personally, a polarized setup messed with my serve the most. Granted the amount of spin and kick I got on slice and kick serves was truly amazing, but it was difficult to really control it and stay as consistent as I liked with it. Occasionally I'd get too much lift and send it long, or too much spin and send it short or into the net (but with a giant explosion off the court). Granted, I didn't stick with the racket and practice with it as much as I should have, which probably would've fixed the problem, but from an immediate racket switch standpoint, it was simply too erratic. Now, for groundstrokes, I don't think I missed a single topspin stroke long or into the net. I easily ripped the ball 2-4 feet over the net and had them all safely drop on or inside the baseline with no problem and had insane amounts of kick on them. My friend could actually consistently pull off drop shots with so much spin they landed next to the net and died on the bounce, if not going back into the net. And he ran me around all over the court using heavy spin to generate sharp angles to both sides of the court. Polarized setups are great for people that love to use heavy spin or those who look to add more spin to their games (and want to play with heavy spin). Playing flat with this racket is meaningless (and maybe risky as well, though I wouldn't know). So for serves, you'd really have to put some more spin on them to control them. You can still hit everything very quickly through the court, but you need to use more spin to control it and gain back the accuracy you lose. In the end though, you can hit just as hard, if not harder than before, but with much more spin and safety. You just won't get nearly as much pace as a depolarized racket. I mean, you can still hit flat groundstrokes and flat serves with plenty of pace, but it's not where the racket really shines for me. If you're going to specialize in that, might as well depolarize your racket.

When using a depolarized setup on serves, I could still generate plenty of spin (same if not more than usual) to drop second serves consistently into the court deep with the same amount (sometimes more) of action and kick. The only difference was that those second serves were moving through the court at least 10 mph faster. My friend tried serving to me with one of my depolarized rackets and me using the polarized racket, and I couldn't even push the ball a foot in front of me. The ball was just so heavy, AND it came in faster than normal. A big server playing with a depolarized racket doesn't really have to worry much about holding serve. They just bomb a big first serve, then finish off whatever floater comes back. It's part of the reason Sampras had such an easy time on serve. Maybe 20% of the reason. His racket was heavier than most, and as such (with the spin and pace he generated) people had a difficulty keeping their racket stable and plowing through the ball at contact. Playing with a depolarized racket, most first serves were service winners and most second serves were essentially slightly slower first serves with more kick (compared to me using my regular racket).

Actually though, if you made contact around where 10&2 is, you'd get more plow through than with a 3&9 setup. Most people generally make contact at 3&9 though. Nate said pros generally hit higher up on the stringbed (hence the placement of Federer's string savers), but I doubt that. Pictures and slow motion videos at contact show that the pros still hit almost exactly in the center aside from a few shots where they'll hit it closer to the top (intentionally or accidentally I'm not sure).

And generally I read a lot, paid attention in physics when we learned about force, conservation of momentum, and so on (stuff that can be applied to rackets), and I actually experiment a lot with racket customization. I have 2 heavily depolarized rackets at 13.8 ounces that generate tremendous amounts of power, 1 polarized racket at 12.5 ounces (without overgrip) that generates tremendous amounts of spin, 1 lightly depolarized racket at 12.9 ounces that has a lot of power and slightly increased spin, and 3 slightly depolarized K90s (that I'm testing out to decide if I'll switch to this setup or not; 2.5 grams under the bumper) that are more comfortable during swinging and generate a little more racket head speed and spin/lift. My dad also uses a heavily depolarized racket (that he personally made through months of trial and error to slowly add and remove weight until he found the perfect setup) weighing in at around 13.3 ounces.

And one final word, if you polarize a racket, the more weight you add, the less you'll notice the inconsistencies of the racket, but you can easily fix that with practice time.

Oh, and the bit about adding weight 7 inches above the buttcap came from a John Cathen I believe. It wasn't my idea. I tried it out and it worked beautifully (solved the problems I had with depolarizing a K90 because originally I was reluctant to put weight under the grip fearing bulkiness under the leather, which wasn't even noticeable). Here's a step by step of how to depolarize your racket.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showp...64&postcount=1

His ideas differ slightly from mine, but he's probably got more experience in the subject. Then again, that might be why he's seen as such a crazy person to some people. :shock: That, or his nonstop ranting about concepts people don't understand because he doesn't explain them or their benefits too well. But he has a pretty solid grasp of what he's doing as well... Though he seems to change his racket setups far more than most people, and he goes nuts when a pro (like Federer) doesn't full on fit 100% into his beliefs of racket setups. When he found out Federer's racket wasn't as heavily polarized as he thought it was, he freaked out and went on a rampage.

Ross K 11-01-2009 11:40 PM

To the OP,

Thanks for all that ^... very interesting indeed... you know what? I think this forum needs a 'lead tape doctor' - and you're just the man for the job!:)... so...



Dear Lead Tape Doctor!:wink:

I'm very interested in depolorized LT set ups for my AG 100 mid (need more stability and SW I think) and DNX 10 mid (needs more power on serve)... what would be the way to go re locations/amounts of LT, etc?

Thanks,

R.

Meaghan 11-02-2009 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ross K (Post 4073040)
To the OP,

Thanks for all that ^... very interesting indeed... you know what? I think this forum needs a 'lead tape doctor' - and you're just the man for the job!:)... so...



Dear Lead Tape Doctor!:wink:

I'm very interested in depolorized LT set ups for my AG 100 mid (need more stability and SW I think) and DNX 10 mid (needs more power on serve)... what would be the way to go re locations/amounts of LT, etc?

Thanks,

R.


The AG you would add lead at 9&3 and at top of handle, both stabilize the racket and the weight in the hoop will add SW.
The Volkl prob needs just a 2 or 3g at 12"

SW moniter @....
http://www.usrsa.com/store/learningc...nedswtbal.html

Meaghan 11-02-2009 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xFullCourtTenniSx (Post 4070841)
The reason people liked the K90 more than the previous Tour 90s was because of the newer weight distribution, which made it feel more maneuverable, have more pop and plow through, and go faster through the air even with the higher swingweight. And the reason people like the K88 more than the K90, is because the weight was reworked again, in such a way that power and spin are even more accessible regardless of the higher swingweight and mass! (You'll notice that even if you depolarize your racket heavily to such a degree it's meant only for flat hitters, you'll still find plenty of added spin thanks to the improved weight distribution.) The previous Tour 90s I'm guessing had most of the weight centralized near the top of the handle (right under or at where the Wilson W logo is, which could account for why the design had a longer pallet design than the PS85 and the K90). The K90 was reworked to move that weight more towards 3&9 (if not slightly higher) and maybe moving whatever's left of the mass closer to the buttcap. This explains the higher swingweight.

What really matters in making a racket the best that it can be is WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION. That and that alone is what makes a great racket what it is. Well... That and mass... But mass is useless if it's just slapped on randomly.

I completely agree with what you're saying and find the above very interesting. Im a fan of the weight distribution in the pst90 and didnt like the distribution in the k90 finding the hoop a little too stiff. With the kps 88 it seems IMO like a return to the weight distribution of the pst90 yet with a higher SW. So it feels real soft in the hoop like the pst90 yet has the plow of the k90.
The kps feels like wilson have married the 2 rackets and added a little pop.

xFullCourtTenniSx 11-02-2009 12:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ross K (Post 4073040)
To the OP,

Thanks for all that ^... very interesting indeed... you know what? I think this forum needs a 'lead tape doctor' - and you're just the man for the job!:)... so...



Dear Lead Tape Doctor!:wink:

I'm very interested in depolorized LT set ups for my AG 100 mid (need more stability and SW I think) and DNX 10 mid (needs more power on serve)... what would be the way to go re locations/amounts of LT, etc?

Thanks,

R.

Haha. I'm quite honored. I can't recommend amounts since that differs greatly from player to player. Depending on your age I'd recommend adding plenty of lead to get the thing into swingweight2 (SW2) status if you're at your peak, going into your peak, or are slightly after your peak (my dad manages such a setup and he's knocking on 50 soon). If you feel it's beyond your abilities and would tire out too soon, add near minimal lead to keep it well in the swingweight1 (SW1) category.

Though meaghan's suggestions are pretty solid. (more on that a little lower)

Swingweight1 - Basically, as you all know by now (hopefully), adding mass adds power and swingweight. So swingweight1 is basically where you've added mass and increased swingweight to the point where all your balls are at the depth you want them to be (around 3 feet inside the baseline).

Swingweight2 - As you keep adding weight to your ideal SW1 range, you'll find that the ball starts to go long. As you keep adding weight however, your swing will start to get slower and slower and as a result, the ball starts landing shorter and shorter until it finally comes back to the depth you once had in the SW1 status (around 3 feet inside the baseline). With this, you can swing out on every stroke, and still have the ball drop in no matter what (as long as you didn't make a giant swing error). Most pros generally use rackets in the SW2 category (though I wouldn't be surprised if the racket feels like it's in the SW1 category because they're so strong and used to the racket already).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meaghan (Post 4073051)
The AG you would add lead at 9&3 and at top of handle, both stabilize the racket and the weight in the hoop will add SW.
The Volkl prob needs just a 2 or 3g at 12"

SW moniter @....
http://www.usrsa.com/store/learningc...nedswtbal.html

Yep. That's pretty much it right there. Though I would also recommend trying lead at 3&9 instead of at 12. Try both, but one setup at a time. I find that with lead at 3&9, you get more power, but at 12 the racket really goes through the air better. Placing lead at 12 isn't exactly depolarizing your racket, but it's not a bad thing to experiment with.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showp...64&postcount=1

This has a good step by step method of how to depolarize your racket, including trial and error procedures as well as counterbalancing. Check it out. I really can't put it up much better than that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meaghan (Post 4073055)
I completely agree with what you're saying and find the above very interesting. Im a fan of the weight distribution in the pst90 and didnt like the distribution in the k90 finding the hoop a little too stiff. With the kps 88 it seems IMO like a return to the weight distribution of the pst90 yet with a higher SW. So it feels real soft in the hoop like the pst90 yet has the plow of the k90.
The kps feels like wilson have married the 2 rackets and added a little pop.

I think you're right, since, like I already mentioned, the ProStaff Tour was meant for Pete Sampras, and so was the [K]ProStaff. Granted, they are both incomplete versions meant to make it easier on Nate to add lead to Sampras' rackets (needs less lead tape), but the [K]ProStaff is more of a finished product, like the [K]Six.One Tour. The ProStaff Tour was basically a ProStaff 85 with Sampras' counterbalance already added on the racket. But the weight was counterbalancing nothing, and Sampras used a lot of weight in the head, meaning the counterbalance weight was heavy as well. I'd be willing to bet that if the ProStaff Tour had enough weight added at 3&9, it'd be a fantastic racket! The [K]ProStaff is essentially just that! It's probably maintained most of the weight in the center of the racket like the ProStaff Tour, but moved the rest to the head and added a few more grams at the head (or JUST a few extra grams added to the head). This way, it felt more balanced and the racket became more complete. That'd explain why the feel of the [K]ProStaff still differs greatly from the [K]Six.One Tour - because the weight distribution is still far more similar to the ProStaff Tour, but with weight added to the head.

I think the added pop and plow through comes from the added weight in the head though, which is exactly what the ProStaff Tour needed.

Gee... Now I'm tempted to buy a [K]ProStaff and a ProStaff Tour to verify my theory. :) Though I'm sure most head light rackets can be fixed with lead if you know where to put it. Sadly, head heavy racket take a lot of lead to fix because of the fact they are pretty empty aside from the head, and even there they are pretty hollow. You can still salvage them, but I find it far better just to get a new racket, since trampoline effect can never be fixed except by stringing VERY tightly.

It's always better to have a lighter version of a pro's racket than a pro's platform racket that requires lead tape to finish, since most people won't spend the time to lead it up properly (or don't even know how) and will just whine about how poorly it plays.

Ross K 11-02-2009 02:22 AM

XFullCourt (or should that be Dr Lead Tape!?) and Meaghan,

Thanks for replies.

I've already got a small amount of LT @ 3 and 9 on the AG100 (although no lead above handle, just a leather and OG down there), and a small amount of LT on the DNX mid @ 10 and 2. Something like 3.5 gs each on both frames. I obviously need to add more as suggested and in larger quantities then...

Cheers again,

R.

TennisTypeR 11-02-2009 05:04 AM

xFullCourt, just another question. Have you ever played with the kblade tour? Does it have any special counter weights as mentioned on the ProStaff Tour? I find the stock version kind of light and whippy is it wise to put lead tape at 3&9? THanks so much! :)

Meaghan 11-02-2009 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ross K (Post 4073140)
XFullCourt (or should that be Dr Lead Tape!?) and Meaghan,

Thanks for replies.

I've already got a small amount of LT @ 3 and 9 on the AG100 (although no lead above handle, just a leather and OG down there), and a small amount of LT on the DNX mid @ 10 and 2. Something like 3.5 gs each on both frames. I obviously need to add more as suggested and in larger quantities then...

Cheers again,

R.

Hi Ross if you take the leather off the AG and use the difference in weight to the synthetic grip and add that to the top of the handle you may find some difference in stability as its located in that particular area rather than spread throughout the handle.

Meaghan 11-02-2009 05:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xFullCourtTenniSx (Post 4073089)
Haha. I'm quite honored. I can't recommend amounts since that differs greatly from player to player. Depending on your age I'd recommend adding plenty of lead to get the thing into swingweight2 (SW2) status if you're at your peak, going into your peak, or are slightly after your peak (my dad manages such a setup and he's knocking on 50 soon). If you feel it's beyond your abilities and would tire out too soon, add near minimal lead to keep it well in the swingweight1 (SW1) category.

Though meaghan's suggestions are pretty solid. (more on that a little lower)

Swingweight1 - Basically, as you all know by now (hopefully), adding mass adds power and swingweight. So swingweight1 is basically where you've added mass and increased swingweight to the point where all your balls are at the depth you want them to be (around 3 feet inside the baseline).

Swingweight2 - As you keep adding weight to your ideal SW1 range, you'll find that the ball starts to go long. As you keep adding weight however, your swing will start to get slower and slower and as a result, the ball starts landing shorter and shorter until it finally comes back to the depth you once had in the SW1 status (around 3 feet inside the baseline). With this, you can swing out on every stroke, and still have the ball drop in no matter what (as long as you didn't make a giant swing error). Most pros generally use rackets in the SW2 category (though I wouldn't be surprised if the racket feels like it's in the SW1 category because they're so strong and used to the racket already).



Yep. That's pretty much it right there. Though I would also recommend trying lead at 3&9 instead of at 12. Try both, but one setup at a time. I find that with lead at 3&9, you get more power, but at 12 the racket really goes through the air better. Placing lead at 12 isn't exactly depolarizing your racket, but it's not a bad thing to experiment with.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showp...64&postcount=1

This has a good step by step method of how to depolarize your racket, including trial and error procedures as well as counterbalancing. Check it out. I really can't put it up much better than that.



I think you're right, since, like I already mentioned, the ProStaff Tour was meant for Pete Sampras, and so was the [K]ProStaff. Granted, they are both incomplete versions meant to make it easier on Nate to add lead to Sampras' rackets (needs less lead tape), but the [K]ProStaff is more of a finished product, like the [K]Six.One Tour. The ProStaff Tour was basically a ProStaff 85 with Sampras' counterbalance already added on the racket. But the weight was counterbalancing nothing, and Sampras used a lot of weight in the head, meaning the counterbalance weight was heavy as well. I'd be willing to bet that if the ProStaff Tour had enough weight added at 3&9, it'd be a fantastic racket! The [K]ProStaff is essentially just that! It's probably maintained most of the weight in the center of the racket like the ProStaff Tour, but moved the rest to the head and added a few more grams at the head (or JUST a few extra grams added to the head). This way, it felt more balanced and the racket became more complete. That'd explain why the feel of the [K]ProStaff still differs greatly from the [K]Six.One Tour - because the weight distribution is still far more similar to the ProStaff Tour, but with weight added to the head.

I think the added pop and plow through comes from the added weight in the head though, which is exactly what the ProStaff Tour needed.

Gee... Now I'm tempted to buy a [K]ProStaff and a ProStaff Tour to verify my theory. :) Though I'm sure most head light rackets can be fixed with lead if you know where to put it. Sadly, head heavy racket take a lot of lead to fix because of the fact they are pretty empty aside from the head, and even there they are pretty hollow. You can still salvage them, but I find it far better just to get a new racket, since trampoline effect can never be fixed except by stringing VERY tightly.

It's always better to have a lighter version of a pro's racket than a pro's platform racket that requires lead tape to finish, since most people won't spend the time to lead it up properly (or don't even know how) and will just whine about how poorly it plays.

(BOLD 1) I was just referring to Ross' Volkl here with him needing a bit more pop rather than depolarisation.

(BOLD 2) I have both and have taken the leather off both rackets to have some room to play with. Im not feeling like the 88 actually needs any added lead as like you said its more of the finished article but i have added led to the pst90 but at 12". I think I will add a little more weight at 9&3 rather than 12 and see how your theory holds out. I'll let you know. I can add more weight there adding power and plow without raising the SW as much as at 12.

steve728 11-02-2009 06:55 AM

First, to all, this has been an enjoyable and informative thread!

Second, to xFull (Dr. Lead Tape) or anyone else, I have a few follow up questions. If I put 2 grams at 12 o'clock, but also put 2 grams at 9 o'clock and 2 grams at 3 o'clock, is this essentially the same as "putting lead all around" the hoop? Does this negate any benefit of either the depolarized or polarized set up? Or does it give you some of the benefits of each? I'm counterbalancing these weights with lead in the handle, which is mostly on the grip 7" above the buttcap, in order to maintain HL balance. If it's okay to keep lead at all three places on the hoop (4 grams total at 9 and 3 & 2 grams at 12). Would this make it a primarily depolarized set up with a little more racquet head speed and spin? Any proper proportion for this kind of set up, such as putting 3 grams at 9 and 3 o'clock with 1-2 grams at 12 o'clock? Or is it just better to stick with one set up and sacrifice a little? I guess I kinda want it all! A bump up in swing weight, stability, and spin, while maintaining maneuverability and minimizing the increase in static weight.

BTW, for some reason, putting lead just at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock wasn't great for me. Hasn't been good for me with any racquet I've tried. Maybe because the sweet spot moved?

Unfortunately, I'm trying to figure this out with as little tinkering as possible because I have Head CAP grommets and would love to be able to hide the lead under them before the grommets get too flared to re-use.


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