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-   -   What's better for spin: stiff or soft? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=453632)

tball 02-04-2013 08:26 AM

What's better for spin: stiff or soft?
 
I hit flat and am trying to transition to spin. I find that hitting with spin is far more unpredictable and difficult to aim. Technique aside, do you think that soft racquets offer more predictability and control, or do you think a stiff racquet is better for this purpose?

kazamzaa 02-04-2013 08:51 AM

The theory is that stiff racquets with a large stringbed suit heavy topspin baseline bashing best. Because racquet head moves faster up when hitting through the ball you need a bigger sweet spot. Pure drives and aeropro drives suit that well, but they often kill your arm in couple of months. Pro Kennex 315 does the job better without destroying your joints.

anubis 02-04-2013 09:11 AM

I get way more spin with stiffer racuqets than I do flexy ones.

SJSA 02-04-2013 09:33 AM

The string pattern is more important than racket's stiffness.
Open string pattern such as 16 X 18 or 16 X 19 will be better for spin.
Prince EXO3 Tour 16 X 18 is flexible and better for spin.

Anton 02-04-2013 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SJSA (Post 7190758)
The string pattern is more important than racket's stiffness.
Open string pattern such as 16 X 18 or 16 X 19 will be better for spin.
Prince EXO3 Tour 16 X 18 is flexible and better for spin.

Let me qualify this - they will be better for spin only if you still have the confidence to keep up the racket head speeds.

If you hit flat more open string pattern will rebound the ball at higher angles landing the ball deeper and you may start losing swing confidence and racket head speed.

Softer racket and/or dense pattern racket is better for natural ball drivers.


Prince EXO3 Tour is a great frame for flat hitters looking to get into the spin game. It's low power so it will let you swing out and it has bigger racket head to give you margin get to brush the ball more.

Other good frames for flat hitters looking to get into more of a spin game:

Wilson Blade MP 18x20
Head Speed 18x20 (IG mp or Graphine Pro)
MG Radical MP


Aprox what NTPR level are you tball?

jorel 02-04-2013 10:34 AM

here we go

Lilguy1456 02-04-2013 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jorel (Post 7190902)
here we go

LOL! Perhaps a 4.5 playing at 4.0 and tanking to not get bumped? :)

LeeD 02-04-2013 04:46 PM

As usual, what is "better"?
If a soft racket gives you to confidence to hit thru the ball hard with a fast swing, it's "better".
If a stiff racket flies off your racketface quickly, it's "better", but only if you have the confidence to swing it fast.

tball 02-04-2013 05:14 PM

For flat hitting, I definitely prefer a soft racquet ( and a dense pattern ). I have a feeling that the ball goes where I direct it. But whenever I try to hit spin, the ball dances all over the place (deep and short, and side-to-side), and just does not go when I want it to. I am wondering if I should spring up for a stiff racquet, and if that will give me better control of depth and angle.

In anticipation of some coming suggestions: I have tried stringing tight (and even very tight). That did not improve spin at all. In fact, it made it worse.
It became even less predictable and even more eratic.

The things that I have in mind are Yonex MP Tour-5: very light, 10 pt HL == whippy, with open pattern, also very soft.
or
Donnay Silver: very stiff and lightweight, low swingweight, I assume whippy.

People whom I play with -- those who generate considerable spin -- use Babolat and Head Extreme. Both are eratic, and I win over them most of the time, but their spin is something that my game lacks.

_craze 02-04-2013 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7191675)
As usual, what is "better"?
If a soft racket gives you to confidence to hit thru the ball hard with a fast swing, it's "better".
If a stiff racket flies off your racketface quickly, it's "better", but only if you have the confidence to swing it fast.

Exactly this. A light racquet, generally less stiff, can really produce some spin when swung fast like a pro would. In both cases, the former would still work better for topspin, worse for slice or flat shots; and it'd get pushed around easier, regardless.

edman9898 02-04-2013 05:37 PM

Whats wrong with hitting it flat if it works forYOU? Dont worry about your friends spin. you said you are beating them, right?

_craze 02-04-2013 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edman9898 (Post 7191787)
Whats wrong with hitting it flat if it works forYOU? Dont worry about your friends spin. you said you are beating them, right?

Hitting flat generally sends the ball right into your opponent's strike zone, if the ball goes near them, iirc. It's also generally harder to hit a good flat shot off of a good topspin shot than vice-versa, though that still depends on the player.

edman9898 02-04-2013 06:13 PM

^^^ I'm just the opposite. If I get a topspinner that hits balls that bounce up shoulder high I'm going to flatten them out and hit winners all day. If I get a flat hitter that keeps the ball low I have to hit topspin back to clear the net and thus gives my opponent time to recover. I have to be much more patient against flat hitters.

LeeD 02-04-2013 06:24 PM

Agassi used to use a very soft flexing racket. Few critiques would say he doesn't hit well with lots of topspin.

Anton 02-04-2013 09:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tball (Post 7191737)
For flat hitting, I definitely prefer a soft racquet ( and a dense pattern ). I have a feeling that the ball goes where I direct it. But whenever I try to hit spin, the ball dances all over the place (deep and short, and side-to-side), and just does not go when I want it to. I am wondering if I should spring up for a stiff racquet, and if that will give me better control of depth and angle.

In anticipation of some coming suggestions: I have tried stringing tight (and even very tight). That did not improve spin at all. In fact, it made it worse.
It became even less predictable and even more eratic.

The things that I have in mind are Yonex MP Tour-5: very light, 10 pt HL == whippy, with open pattern, also very soft.
or
Donnay Silver: very stiff and lightweight, low swingweight, I assume whippy.

People whom I play with -- those who generate considerable spin -- use Babolat and Head Extreme. Both are eratic, and I win over them most of the time, but their spin is something that my game lacks.


That really sounds like technique, not a racket problem.

Still, if you want to maximize spin game from your racket string it with soft multi strings on main (NRG2) and soft poly on cross (Hyperion) at mid tension.

mxmx 02-04-2013 10:34 PM

Regarding flat vs. spin and soft vs. hard rackets, my experience of some of the different kinds of rackets were this:

prince 03 blue:
very good on spin(if you accelerate well)
not bad on flat shots
okay direction

k-blade98: tight string pattern
good on spin(if you accelerate well)
excellent on flat shots
excellent direction

03 speedport black(team): open string pattern
okay on spin(if you accelerate well)
bad on flat shots (lose control)
can't remember direction - excellent serve + volley racket

prince exo tour 100: open string pattern
excellent with spin(even on good or bad acceleration)
not good on flat shots (lose control)
not good on direction - flex seems to influence confidence and direction

current racket:
wilson blx surge (green): open string pattern
good with spin
very good on flat shots
good with direction

I basically went for a racket that is similar to the k-blade98, but which is lighter and has more natural spin as well as fewer misshits.

Summary:
In my opinion, on average, if you want to hit flatter: go for a stiffer denser pattern
if you want more spin, go for the flexier frame with open string patterns.
Acceleration and headspeed is also a big factor as well as your kind of follow through. When i switched from the 03 blue to the k-blade, i had to adapt my stroke to be more around my body. When i switched to the 03 black, it was hard to control the power, and had to hit with more brush. When i switched to the exo tour, all fell in place except for the serve mainly....now on a stiffer frame again and so things goes :P

dman72 02-05-2013 05:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7191890)
Agassi used to use a very soft flexing racket. Few critiques would say he doesn't hit well with lots of topspin.

Compared to guys on the tour now, he did not hit with a lot of topspin. Compared to Jimmy Conners, yes he did. Look up his RPM numbers compared to Federer, Nadal, etc.

Anyway, Djokovic uses a flexible frame and he hits with plenty of spin.

Hi I'm Ray 02-05-2013 06:26 AM

The rackets that generated that extra kick forward for me were stiff rackets: PDR2012, TF Speedflex 300, Vcore 100s, Organix V1 MP (on serve). There are also flexible frames that I find easy to consistently hit a low, penetrating & heavy ball. It really depends on the individual frame, not all stiff frames generate that much spin and not all flexy frames are easy to hit penetrating heavy shots with.

fuzz nation 02-05-2013 11:03 AM

The big problem with this discussion is that it's almost impossible to know what racquet will churn out predictable rpm's for you. You might get insane spin from a dense patterned mid that's gummy-bear soft, but you may find a good fit with something light and snappy with no more than middle-weight.

Since you're trying to evolve into more of a spin hitter from a flat hitter though, I'd bet that you enjoy having at least some heft and stability in your racquet to be able to thump right through the ball. There might be a good fit for you among the 11.7-12+ oz. options that also have some softness to them - don't get too hung up on string patterns if you're going to demo a few frames.

Also, you might get some decent guidance if you can let us in on what frame you're using now. I agree with our pal Anton that you're going to need to address your technique very deliberately to tap into higher degrees of spin, but a different racquet may offer better behavior, too.

A mildly lighter alternative with similar flex may be easier to "whup" across the ball with greater head speed (a key to greater spin), but a softer frame of the same weight with a more mellow response may help you to swing more fully without spraying the ball around.

wmilas 02-05-2013 12:24 PM

What the previous few poster said:
Stiff stick with high swing speed is the best, but your form has to be good enough so that you trust the mechanics and you know that the ball will come down as you swing out.
Soft stick lets you "cheat" on the swing. Its more forgiving.
Open bed causes more string movement which yields more spin. Oftentimes more movement is associated with loss of control. If your technique sucks then yes, more movement will cause more ball rotation and a higher launch angle which may or may not launch the ball long.

As posted be others, its different for every frame. I'm only posting generalizations.


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