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-   -   Increase power: why lead if you can lower the tension? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=439666)

floide 09-11-2012 10:07 AM

Increase power: why lead if you can lower the tension?
 
I'm a 4.0-4.5 player which recently returned to the courts after a 8-year absence. Got my IG Prestiges some weeks ago, as I played almost my whole life with the PC600s (sold :cry:). Always liked the Prestiges, despite the not-so-low power, which I used to fix with a little lead.

Ok, so we all know that some grams in the hoop leads to power boost. But now that I string around 40 lbs - instead of the 60 lbs which I've always been used to -, the power increase was good enough for me! No lead necessary. (And I bought 4 packages of it!)

So, here's my question: If the goal is to increase power, and assuming you're happy with the frame's weight and stability, is there any actual difference between lowering the tension or adding lead? Issues about different levels of control, maybe?

KenC 09-11-2012 10:28 AM

Lowering tension too much leads to less control. I think it best way to approach it is to get the tension to its minimum while still having enough precision, and then if you need more power add some lead to the hoop. Note that if you have to add more than 5-10g of lead to the hoop you probably would be better off with another racquet that has more inherent power, likewise if you have to go down to 40lbs to get enough power.

sstchur 09-11-2012 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floide (Post 6892053)
I'm a 4.0-4.5 player which recently returned to the courts after a 8-year absence. Got my IG Prestiges some weeks ago, as I played almost my whole life with the PC600s (sold :cry:). Always liked the Prestiges, despite the not-so-low power, which I used to fix with a little lead.

Ok, so we all know that some grams in the hoop leads to power boost. But now that I string around 40 lbs - instead of the 60 lbs which I've always been used to -, the power increase was good enough for me! No lead necessary. (And I bought 4 packages of it!)

So, here's my question: If the goal is to increase power, and assuming you're happy with the frame's weight and stability, is there any actual difference between lowering the tension or adding lead? Issues about different levels of control, maybe?

Personally, I think old adage "string low for power, tight for control" is not entirely accurate, and I think it should be tweaked to be something more like:

"string low for depth, and string tighter if you're shots are frequently flying long."

I'm not 100% sure, but I do believe there have been some studies that suggest a lower tension doesn't increase power (at least not very much) but what it does do is change the trajectory at which the ball leaves the string bed. This can help you gain depth on your shots, if that's something you're lacking, and depth is very naturally one way that we might perceive we're getting more power.

Adding mass to the racquet however, can indeed increase power. It's simply the physics of it. If you increase the mass of the racquet and swing at the same speed, you will indeed impart more speed to the ball. If you add weight and swing FASTER, you'll get even MORE power, and if you add weight but swing slower, you might not be gaining any power at all.

TennisCJC 09-11-2012 10:35 AM

Lead at 3/9 o'c will also improve twist weight (torsional stability) as well as improved power. It will also add power to the side areas of the stringbed if you hit off center.

You can also add lead at noon or above the mid-point of the head to move the sweet spot higher. This helps with serves which a lot of people hit higher in the string bed. And, some people hit their groundstrokes higher.

So, you can do different things with lead and tension.

floide 09-11-2012 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KenC (Post 6892109)
Lowering tension too much leads to less control. I think it best way to approach it is to get the tension to its minimum while still having enough precision, and then if you need more power add some lead to the hoop. Note that if you have to add more than 5-10g of lead to the hoop you probably would be better off with another racquet that has more inherent power, likewise if you have to go down to 40lbs to get enough power.

That's a good approach, although I'm not uncomfortable at all @ 40 lbs.

floide 09-11-2012 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sstchur (Post 6892129)
Adding mass to the racquet however, can indeed increase power. It's simply the physics of it. If you increase the mass of the racquet and swing at the same speed, you will indeed impart more speed to the ball. If you add weight and swing FASTER, you'll get even MORE power, and if you add weight but swing slower, you might not be gaining any power at all.

That's a good point. In other words, low tension gives you free power, while lead gives more power at effort. Wouldn't have thought of that.

UCSF2012 09-11-2012 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floide (Post 6892053)
I'm a 4.0-4.5 player which recently returned to the courts after a 8-year absence. Got my IG Prestiges some weeks ago, as I played almost my whole life with the PC600s (sold :cry:). Always liked the Prestiges, despite the not-so-low power, which I used to fix with a little lead.

Ok, so we all know that some grams in the hoop leads to power boost. But now that I string around 40 lbs - instead of the 60 lbs which I've always been used to -, the power increase was good enough for me! No lead necessary. (And I bought 4 packages of it!)

So, here's my question: If the goal is to increase power, and assuming you're happy with the frame's weight and stability, is there any actual difference between lowering the tension or adding lead? Issues about different levels of control, maybe?

You're already familiar with lead. Why tha hell are you asking a question you already know the answer to? Are you bored?

UCSF2012 09-11-2012 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sstchur (Post 6892129)
Personally, I think old adage "string low for power, tight for control" is not entirely accurate, and I think it should be tweaked to be something more like:

"string low for depth, and string tighter if you're shots are frequently flying long."

I'm not 100% sure, but I do believe there have been some studies that suggest a lower tension doesn't increase power (at least not very much) but what it does do is change the trajectory at which the ball leaves the string bed. This can help you gain depth on your shots, if that's something you're lacking, and depth is very naturally one way that we might perceive we're getting more power.

Adding mass to the racquet however, can indeed increase power. It's simply the physics of it. If you increase the mass of the racquet and swing at the same speed, you will indeed impart more speed to the ball. If you add weight and swing FASTER, you'll get even MORE power, and if you add weight but swing slower, you might not be gaining any power at all.

...theories and unreal situations. Are you going to add lead and swing faster?...only if you were swingly slowly in the first place and are capable of swinging faster.

Physics from a lay person, not someone who's actually studied physics. You know there's a problem with their "physics" explanation just because it contradicts with what you find experimentally.

floide 09-11-2012 12:15 PM

I think he meant to swing faster than a normal swing with the leaded frame, not faster than your "fast" swing with the non-leaded one.

sstchur 09-11-2012 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6892339)
...theories and unreal situations. Are you going to add lead and swing faster?...only if you were swingly slowly in the first place and are capable of swinging faster.

Physics from a lay person, not someone who's actually studied physics. You know there's a problem with their "physics" explanation just because it contradicts with what you find experimentally.

F = ma (force = mass x acceleration)

That's not complicated physics. It's taught in any high school physics class. If you increase the mass of the racquet, and the a (acceleration) remains constant (that is, if you are capable of accelerating the racquet just as much after adding lead as you were before adding lead), then the F will be greater.

You said "you know there's a problem with their 'physics' explanation just because it contradicts with what you find experimentally."

If you are finding experimentally that after increasing the mass of the racquet, you are getting less power, then you are either not swinging as quickly as you were before, or your perception is off (not to mention is pretty high degree of error in one's ability to perceive a general increase or decrease in power, since they are so many variables at play in any given shot).

yemenmocha 09-11-2012 12:42 PM

Most adults are capable of swinging the racquet faster than we can reasonably control. One aspect that is great about a heavier frame is that it slows down the swing which can make it easier to have a more controlled shot, yet the ball will still be heavy.

That's my experience anyway.

UCSF2012 09-11-2012 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sstchur (Post 6892524)
F = ma (force = mass x acceleration)

That's not complicated physics. It's taught in any high school physics class. If you increase the mass of the racquet, and the a (acceleration) remains constant (that is, if you are capable of accelerating the racquet just as much after adding lead as you were before adding lead), then the F will be greater.

You said "you know there's a problem with their 'physics' explanation just because it contradicts with what you find experimentally."

If you are finding experimentally that after increasing the mass of the racquet, you are getting less power, then you are either not swinging as quickly as you were before, or your perception is off (not to mention is pretty high degree of error in one's ability to perceive a general increase or decrease in power, since they are so many variables at play in any given shot).

This is exactly what I'm talking about. Physics from the lay person who doesn't truly understand physics. Throwing around magic formulas in the wrong context doesn't say anything. All you idiots ever do is use buzz words and equations like F=ma to make you sound smarter.

This is a tennis ball hitting a racket. This is a COLLISION. You treat it as a collision by using impulse, I, not force, F. What's the difference? ....time. Impulse takes into account time. Specifically, the amount of time the ball sits on the string, not just the amount of force you place on the ball. When you lower the tension on a string, you increase the dwell time the ball sits on the stringbed. When you add lead, you're also changing the dwell time.

You're also dealing with efficiency. Moreso, how much of the racket energy you're imparting onto the ball. This is the most complicated topic, and you can't really calculate it. You have to measure it.

The whole problem is HUGE, and you idiots use the only formula you remember from high school physics, F=ma. And you demonstrate that you don't even know how to apply it.

UCSF2012 09-11-2012 01:01 PM

In simplified terms, F=ma applies to the racket swing. How much force are you applying to the racket to get it swinging? The more mass the racket, the slower acceleration of the racket, given that you're exerting about the same.

It doesn't apply to the ball contacting the strings. It's the wrong principle.

UCSF2012 09-11-2012 01:12 PM

Here's a physics problem for ya:


The Wilson 6.1 95...high mass (12.2oz) , swings fast, ....low power.

The Wilson BLX Tour...low mass (10.7oz) , swings slow (head heavy)....high power

....seems to defy Newton's law of F=MA, right?

movdqa 09-11-2012 02:34 PM

I played around with tensions in the mid-40s when I had my K90s and have played around more with lead more recently. I think that I prefer lead as it can be used for more different effects - adding stability or increasing the sweetspot.

Too much lead can be a problem though. Today I played two sets with one of my high-SW frames (384) and while the power on the serve and forehand were nice, I had a lot of problems executing some backhand shots as it was harder to generate RHS. So I played the third set with my usual frame and it felt like a feather - lots of RHS available.

sstchur 09-11-2012 03:18 PM

Anyway...

floide, I think you should experiment a bit for yourself and see.

Your original question was essentially asking "what's the difference?" And I'd guess there is a good chance you will perceive a difference.

You might find (as I do) that it's preferable to add a bit of weight, but still keep the racquet strung fairly tight. The added mass seems to help increase power and stability, but I don't feel that control is sacrificed.

I've strung rather low before as well, and while it can feel comfortable, and after a time, I'm able to adjust, it doesn't feel equivalent (to me) to adding weight to the racquet. I feel like shots "spray" a bit more with the lower tensions.

It's worth experimenting for yourself and seeing what setup is comfortable for you.

Praetorian 09-11-2012 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6892317)
You're already familiar with lead. Why tha hell are you asking a question you already know the answer to? Are you bored?

well is his a 4.5 after a 8 year absence... so he must have been a touring pro in his former life... so yeah, he's bored

Hi I'm Ray 09-11-2012 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6892592)
This is exactly what I'm talking about. Physics from the lay person who doesn't truly understand physics........All you idiots ever do is use buzz words and equations like F=ma to make you sound smarter.
The whole problem is HUGE, and you idiots use the only formula you remember from high school physics, F=ma.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6862669)
You idiots. Lifetime contracts...

Hey kid, you of all people should not be calling others idiots (see posts below). You think studying physics or going to school for any particular, narrow field somehow gives you knowledge in all aspects of life and makes you smart? Well it doesn't work that way. You study physics, you learn about physics. It doesn't elevate you to some status where you would be calling people idiots.


Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6862315)
The more lead on your racket, the faster/more spin your serves will become.
The more lead on your racket, the more uncontrollable and out your groundstrokes will become.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6857563)
RHS is a theory......Adding lead to a racket hoop adds tremendous spin and pace to a ball..........You want to add serious spin to your shots? Add lead, not RHS.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6479956)
Wilson does not make hollow frames.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6482508)
If buying Wilson, expect foam in the handle. Don't listen to these e Bay buyers who think their hollow Wilson's are authentic.


I'd suggest calling up TW and asking if their Juice (100) frame is filled with foam. I'm pretty sure TW doesn't get their frames from e bay.



Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6861452)
The pro women use these light rackets and they serve, volley and return heavy serves all the time. A lot of them are cranking out serves upwards of 115mph. Perhaps you're not using the rackets properly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BreakPoint (Post 6861809)
The pro women also lead up their racquets to have very high swingweights.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6862020)
No they don't. By far, they don't.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BreakPoint (Post 6862292)
Um..yes, they do. Just like the Williams sisters use swingweights over 350 as mentioned above.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=317438
The women are not that far behind in swingweights. Greg Raven also measured a bunch of male and female pro's racquets' swingweights a few years ago and the highest SW, man or woman, was Jelena Dokic's with a swingweight of 383!
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=251209


Hi I'm Ray 09-11-2012 04:20 PM

-------------------

floide 09-11-2012 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6892317)
You're already familiar with lead. Why tha hell are you asking a question you already know the answer to? Are you bored?

My question is if there is any DIFFERENCE between those 2 ways of getting more power. I know what to do with the lead, just not sure if that's any better/worse then lowering the tension. That's it.


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