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anirut 01-14-2010 10:15 PM

Black Ace 93 Modification - for those who asked.
Many have asked me how I turned my Black Ace 93 into a maneuverable "cannon" ... I guess it's all about SW and weights in the right places ...

I must confess that I really don't know how I did it. Things came to my head and it was all serendipity. A lot of the stuff I did were primarily to adjust the grip shape and size. Then I got carried away. I KNOW I wanted a very head-light BA93 (due to the SW) and I started to experiment this and that until things were right ... for ME.

Alright, let's start with the inside:

The picture below shows two low-density rubber foam piece inserts. (From calculations each must be around 3 grams). These pieces were "primarily" intended as shock absorbers. (Yeah, the racket's soft enough but I still wanted more!!)

(The small strip of duct tape in the middle is to hold them together and to prevent them from slipping inside further).

Here you can see the length of the low-den rubber foam piece. I intended for them to be long enough to reach at about the "V". (At first there weren't any lead. These were added later as I needed more tail weight,.)

The reason I added lead "inside" the racket (as opposed to wrapping lead tape on the pallet) was because I wanted the added weights to be as near the racket's center axis as possible. I just thought it may be better. Is it really better or not, may be TW's professors can help explain.

Here's the picture of the two rubber inserts. You can see a strip of duct tape on each of them. I don't remember the weights of the tapes, may be around one gram or so. The reason for the tapes was to prevent "abrasion". You'll see later why this is needed.

Each of the rubber insert (with lead) weight is 9.2 grams. So, with two of them inside the racket, that makes 18.4 grams

(Continue below)

anirut 01-14-2010 10:16 PM


Here's the explanation of the lead positions, measured from butt end. Each of the small lead piece is 1 gram and the longer, 50 mm strip, is 3 grams.

NOTE: the two pieces at 45 mm., these are combined as 1 gram.

Why are the lead pieces in such positions?

The answer is ... I don't really know. Well, the 3-gram strips were "guessfully" placed there at first because I wanted a HL racket, right? The racket played fine but still some thing was "missing".

... Then came four pieces of the 1-gram leads.

The positions of the 1-gram pieces were determined from using the overgrip-holding rubber. You can see that it weights in at 2 grams

I used these rubber bands to determine the positions of the required weights. The positions were determined during play by adding and removing and changing the positions of the rubber band until I find things to be right. Then I noted the positions of the "required weights" and added the weights to the rubber inserts at the determined positions.

DO NOTE that my determined positions are right for me. They may or may not be right for you.

(Continue below)

anirut 01-14-2010 10:19 PM


Now, let's insert this rubber-lead combo into the racket.

As inside the racket is very rough, I needed "guides" to help push the insert in. Also because the rubber-lead combo is somewhat thicker than the hole, it just won't get in. But due to it being elastic, it'll expand back and hold tight when things are done.

The guides are thing and strong enough aluminum strips, longer than the length of the insert. In fact, only one strip may work. Using two strips can be a pain when pulling them out. When you pull out the guide, the rubber strip may come out along a little. To prevent this, use a finger to hold the rubber insert while pulling out the guide. BECAREFUL of any sharp edge of the guide.

Here's why the duct tape strip is needed along the length of the rubber-lead combo insert to prevent "abrasion":

When you use the guide, use it on the correct side. As you can see the protruding nails in there, I placed the guide on the nail side

(Continue below)

anirut 01-14-2010 10:20 PM


As I mentioned from the begining, I actually wanted to adjust my gripshape and size, which all added to the weight, here are pictures of the "adjustments".

The two duct tape grip-reshaping layers, placed in such positions. Why? I don't know, I just happened to have place them like that.

Do note that my pallet is slightly shorter. (See the circle). I did this on purpose as I don't like things getting very thick at the top, especially with overgrip over the leather. This way, the overgrip will go slightly beyond the leather and taper it all out.

The weight of the each side of duct tape. That would mean a total of 5.8 grams (2.9 x 2)

Then I adjusted the grip size a bit, using an old over grip, wrapped non-overlapping

The weight of this old overgrip at 5.6 grams (with the electric tape):

(Continue below)

anirut 01-14-2010 10:22 PM


Before it's all done, leather is then wrapped. You can see here the weight of the leather with the tape -- 22.9 grams:

And, finally, the overgrip. I use PK overgrip. It's not that its PK brand or anything, just because it's good enough and the cheapest I can get. I don't fret over overgrips. If they don't feel right after a certain use, I just change without having to worry about cost.

This is how much it weights -- 7.0 grams:

And then everything's done ... with the top-of-grip rubber band in place.

The final weight is 383.5 grams, strung with ProSupex Synthetic Titan @ 55 lbs. (Sorry I forgot to take pictures of the final weight.) The balance is around 14-15 pts HL (haven't really precisely measured).


Alright, I hope it gives you some insights and ideas on racket mod "trials and errors" (if not technique). I would say that there's nothing such as "the perfect mod". Everyone is different.

Enjoy YOUR mod!!

petercoffey 01-14-2010 10:48 PM

Nicely done...Thanks

MichaelChang 01-15-2010 03:16 AM

wow thanks a lot for the detail write up.

MichaelChang 01-15-2010 03:52 AM

You really added LOTS of weight to the handle. Did you try silicons before? Your idea of using rubber is interesting.

joe sch 01-15-2010 04:49 AM

Great customization work !
Hope you inspire others to find better performance.
Very few players understand that rackets can be optimized and this is especially true for the new light airshells manufactured today.

tennisntn3477 01-15-2010 05:08 AM

Thanks much, anirut!!

anirut 01-15-2010 06:39 PM

Guys, appreciate all the comments.

And, for Mr. Chang:
No, I haven't tried silicone. Thought about it but scrapped the idea because --
1) it would be very difficult (next to impossible) to undo the job and
2) Silicone has very high density and that translates to high weight. Also it'd be dificult to control the added weight. (Yes, it's possible but I don't wanna go through all that calculations.)


Richie Rich 01-16-2010 02:37 AM


Originally Posted by anirut (Post 4281863)
Guys, appreciate all the comments.

And, for Mr. Chang:
No, I haven't tried silicone. Thought about it but scrapped the idea because --
1) it would be very difficult (next to impossible) to undo the job and
2) Silicone has very high density and that translates to high weight. Also it'd be dificult to control the added weight. (Yes, it's possible but I don't wanna go through all that calculations.)


you could squirt out the required weight of silicone on your scale and then pack it into the bottom of the racquet. if you wanted to change it you could remove it but it would be messy and time consuming in order to scrape it all out.

your method works just as well. and you can change it easily if you want

PGAPankey 01-16-2010 05:24 AM

Wow, that seems pretty indepth. Great description. Its funny how some people just pick up what ever and go with it, and some people will go to great lengths to make sure that every detail is perfect. Im the same way with golf clubs. To each there own.

jwbarrientos 01-16-2010 02:08 PM

Hi anirut,

Fantastic job and perfect explanation!!!!

Thank you.

MrAWD 05-18-2010 06:07 AM

Nice job old man!! I have never played with such a HL frame and I am wondering how would that feel!!

One thing that I was not so sure about was where you placed your weight! It looks like you taped the lead to the soft insert and it is not really attached to the frame of the racquet. Should you worry that there might be some unwanted oscillations between that weight and the frame?

To me it looks better to have extra weight as solidly as possible attached to the frame to avoid any oscillations. But, who knows, maybe things are actually better that way!! :)

Still, very nice explanation about your work!!



anirut 05-18-2010 08:43 AM

I didn't feel any oscillations though. Or may be the foam absorbed it all that I couldn't feel it ... :)

MrAWD 05-18-2010 09:06 AM

The thing is that they don't have to be strong enough for you to feel them and still do some damage (or good)...


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