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-   -   Racquet Forum FAQ (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=84719)

diredesire 06-28-2006 11:43 AM

Racquet Forum FAQ
 
This is the Frequently Asked Questions thread for the Racquets sub-forum. Hopefully this will allow us to cut down on the stickies!

Q: How do I customize my racquet?
A: Customizing racquets is the process of making slight (typically) modifications to a racquet to suit a player. These modifications can be anything from adding lead tape/weights, to molding a custom grip shape! The varying methods of customization are too broad to discuss in a simple FAQ, but here is a good guide to get you started:
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/C...customize.html
After reading this guide, you can ask more specific questions in the forum!

Q: I read TW's guide on customization, would adding lead weight(s) to the handle lower the swingweight?

A: No, there is no way to lower swingweight by adding weight to a frame. You CAN, however, lower the swingweight by other means, such as removing material from the bumper guard. For more information see this thread:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=74681


Q: What effect will adding weight to my racquet have on its balance and swingweight?
A: Steve H. has made up a spreadsheet that will calculate these specs for you -- it can be found at http://www.hoboy.net/Hoboy/formulas.xls
Validity of these results has not been verified yet.

Q: What is the best racquet for X type of player?

A: Simply put, there is no specific formula to match a racquet to a player. The best advice you can get when searching for a new racquet is to demo, demo, demo. If there is no demo service available in your area (or if the local service does not carry the racquet you are looking for..) TW provides users an excellent method of demoing frames. More information can be found here:
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/demoprogram.html
Charges range from ~$12 - 31, this covers shipping both ways, 4 racquets max at a time. The program is free, the shipping is not. More information can be found at the link

If you have NO idea to begin with, here is a good read on different types of racquets, and players they are "suited" for.
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/S...ngRacquet.html


Q: I've been demoing, and I think i know what I like, how can I find all the current products on the market that are similar to my specs?

A: TW offers a racquet finding tool, found at: http://www.racquetfinder.com/

You can search by ranging the specs to very tight, or very loose tolerances. You are given the option to search only current models, but can also search discontinued models. This is an excellent resource when you know a ballpark idea of what you're looking for.

Q: What are some arm friendly racquets?
A: There are a ton of different opinions on this subject, so I won't try and list all "arm friendly" racquets. If you want to read about what makes a racquet arm friendly or not, check out this link:
http://racquetresearch.com/
DISCLAIMER: Racquet research (apparently) has stopped being updated because of incomplete/inaccurate formulations, leading to rankings that don't take into account human factors. Take all information read there with a grain of salt, and also do a quick search about any interesting racquets on the boards to supplement any findings you come across. Thanks J D for the input.


It's a little outdated, but it has some excellent information.
Edit (7/4/06): More information about racquet research can be found here:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showp...6&postcount=12


A brief list of arm friendly racquets (feel free to suggest additions)
Pro Kennex 5g/Ki5
Pro Kennex 7g/Ki5x
Volkl C10 Pro
Obviously this list needs work, suggestions please!

More available here:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=77937

Q: What kind of specs are the pros REALLY using?
A: Check this thread here, it is an excellent resource:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=68263


Q: Is there a way I can search through all the Comparative Playtests?
A: Yes, there is!
Quote:

Originally Posted by TW Staff
All comparative reviews can be accessed via the following link.

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/playtests

TW Staff


diredesire 06-28-2006 11:44 AM

Painting racquets
 
NOTICE: All information contained within the sticky (namely the painting guide) is for informational purposes ONLY. I, nor TW is responsible for what you do with this information. If you happen to ruin a racquet, don't complain to me! It's just a loose guideline, do your research and exercise common sense! With that said, good luck!

Q: How can I create my own custom paint job?
A: This is a question that is asked quite a bit, so I thought I would cover some of the basics that you need...

Tools/Materials:
  • Well lit area, free of dust, dirt, grime, wind.
  • Spray Cans of the colors of your choice
  • Spray Can of primer
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic Spoon
  • Spare rag (use one that you're willing to throw away)
  • Stencils
  • Sandpaper ranging from 300 - 1200 grit get wetsand if possible
  • Paint Stripper
  • Masking tape
  • Time, and patience
Process:
  1. Remove the bumper guards, grommets, grips, and rubber grip band from the racquet. You should have nothing left on it. All weights, etc should be taken off.
  2. Tape off the handle with masking tape.
  3. Read the instructions on all the spray cans, especially the paint stripper. Paint strippers are typically very active chemicals, and can seriously harm, injure, or even kill you.
  4. Now that you've read the instructions of your paint stripper, apply the paint stripper to your racquet per the instructions.
  5. Wearing the rubber gloves to protect your skin, carefully scrape off the paint using either the plastic spoon (the spoon may melt, be careful!) or sandpaper.
  6. Once you've got most of the paint gone, wipe down the racquet with a water moistened rag.
  7. Let the racquet dry.
  8. Once the racquet is dry, take out the roughest sand paper you have. This piece of sandpaper is NOT used for hard sanding, it is used to break up/remove as much of the existing primer material left on the racquet without digging into the graphite. Once you've carefully sanded away (using water, if you have wetsand paper) all the remaining primer material, let the racquet dry. If needed, move up to 400/600 grit to remove any tough spots.
  9. At this point it would be wise to review the instructions on the spray cans. I like spraying light, light, light coats from 12" or more away, this ends up in a more even coat, but it wastes quite a bit of paint.
  10. Spray the entire racquet down with primer. This allows all paint to have a common surface to stick to, which results in a nice, even coat. It also gives a common background color, so colors will all show up the same. (note: If the coat of primer you have put on is too light, don't worry, you'll have to put down at least 2 coats.)
  11. After the first coat, there will be some inconsistencies in the primer. Here is where the fun (and patience) comes in. First, let the primer dry, this can take a few hours. Many primers will dry within an hour, but I like to let them harden a little before doing any work on it. After the racquet/primer is dry, take out the 400-600 grit (depending on inconsistencies) sandpaper. On any bumps, blotches, drips, etc, you'll want to use the sandpaper to grind/buff them away. You want a nice, flat finish. Use water as a lubricant, also, this is the point where you will be NEEDING wet-sand sandpaper.
  12. Once the racquet has been sanded down, and the finish is consistent. Let the racquet dry. Once the racquet is dry, you need to put ANOTHER coat of primer down. Remember, use lighter coats, it will actually save you time in the long run. Keep repeating the primer/sanding steps until you have a nice, smooth, flat finish. Preparation is the KEY to ending up with a nice paint job.
  13. Once the racquet is primed, dry, and ready to roll, You can begin the spray painting. This is the part where you get creative. If you want to do multiple colors in your racquet scheme, mask off the parts you don't want painted, and do a single color at a time. The method is the same, paint a light coat, sand inconsistencies off. Paint another coat, sand inconsistencies off. You'll want about 3 light coats for a good finish. If you are doing multiple colors, remove the masking, mask off the colored parts, and continue. The process is going to take a LONG time, but be patient, if you take your time and don't rush, your end product will look great!

For more in depth information, read these guides on spraypainting. They are computer related, but the same ideas apply here:
http://www.xoxideforums.com/painting...-painting.html
http://www.3dgameman.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41252

User Lakoste has suggested these excellent guides:
http://case-mods.linear1.org/case-mo...r-case-part-1/
http://www.mnpctech.com/case-mod-pai...od-how-to.html

User blabit's own paint job story:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showt...=1#post1045671

diredesire 06-28-2006 11:44 AM

Q: What are various weights of leather grips and others?
A: Here is an excellent post from user Larry Baldridge, thanks Larry!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Baldridge (Post 579977)
Leather grips can enhance the "feel" of a racquet in a number of ways. --The feel of the bevels for sure, but also the feel of the ball coming off the strings. Some leather grips can also add weight to the handle, rendering a more head-light balance. Here are some specs on grip weights and other items that may help you determine some variables that affect weight and balance:
Fairway Leather - 25g
Wilson Leather - 22g
Head Leather - 23g
Pacific leather -18g
Volkl Leather -30.4g
All of the above are untrimmed, straight from the package
Gamma Hi-Tech Perforated Replacement Grip - 19g/.67 oz [trimmed to fit]
Babolat "0" vibration dampener - 3.8g/.135 oz
Wilson Pro Feel vibration dampener - 2.5g/.090 oz
#10 rubber band - .7g/.025 oz
16g string in 18 X 20 pattern - 15.9g/.56 oz
Yonex Super Grap overwrap - 5.7g/.20 oz
Wilson Butt cap w/ removable window - 10g/.355 oz
Volkl Soft Butt Cap - 9.4g/.330 oz
Elasto Cross II - 2.3g/.082 oz.[entire contents less applicator]






NOTICE: For Sale Posts in the Racquets forum will NOT be tolerated. They will be deleted without any warning.


Quote:

Originally Posted by TW Staff
Please use the Classified Forum.

All for sale posts will be deleted.

Thank you for your cooperation,

TW Staff


diredesire 06-28-2006 11:44 AM

The J011yroger Guide to Racquet Selection.

How to create a custom paintjob (very detailed)

Comparative Reviews

str33t 06-28-2006 11:46 AM

awesome, thanks for the great tips DD

malakas 06-28-2006 11:48 AM

Well done!:D
The best thread I have read in a while!;)
Great job diredesire!It really helped me a lot!:D

diredesire 06-28-2006 11:53 AM

Thanks guys, It still needs a lot of work, let me know if there are any additions you'd like to make. I'm just trying to cut down on stickies :)

tennis_nerd22 06-28-2006 12:37 PM

and DD is on fire (in terms of making sticky's :D)

Jonnyf 06-30-2006 03:41 PM

Thanks alot DD, im planning on pj'ng an SRD because i cant stand the pj and you've made it alot easier for me to get the info. THANKS

Duzza 07-03-2006 11:44 PM

DD, Would you care to post some pictures of some Paintjob's you've done. I doubt i would ever do it because I'd be scared to ruin it, might test it out on an old i. Radical.

diredesire 07-04-2006 01:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonnyf
Thanks alot DD, im planning on pj'ng an SRD because i cant stand the pj and you've made it alot easier for me to get the info. THANKS

The Super RD Tour? That's a pretty classic collectors frame... if it's in good condition, i'd leave it as is, just because they're ... "rather" hard to find ;)

As far as pictures, I don't have any stored away, but I am considering painting a racquet pretty soon, maybe I can post a work log up... I haven't decided the scheme i want to go with, I'll create a thread soon, i hope!

Lakoste 07-04-2006 08:59 AM

Just to add something to DD's painting tutorial, BE PATIENT, the longer you spend letting it dry in between steps, the better, I mean like a couple days, not hours

Other good links:
http://case-mods.linear1.org/case-mo...r-case-part-1/ best tutorial in my mind on painting, although for computers, he uses supplies you can find anywhere, and the end result speaks for itself
http://www.mnpctech.com/case-mod-pai...od-how-to.html goes kind of overboard with the supplies, but end result is amazing

J D 07-04-2006 10:27 AM

DD, I like the FAQ idea. Good work.

However, I would exercise caution in referring people to Racquet Research. Wilmot McCutchen used to be a member of the boards. Even though he is very knowledgeable about theoretical physics, his formulas did not hold up to scrutiny because they failed to adequately take into account frame behavior, human physiology, and racquet technology. He ended up leaving the boards because he was shown to be wrong on many significant points. I believe he realized the shortcomings of his data because he never updated his site again after that.

So, I would recommend a HUGE disclaimer if you're going to refer people to his site. Some of the frames he has listed in his top third have proven to be some of the worst arm eaters out there while some of the frames in his bottom half are consistently recommended by knowledgeable people, even on these boards, as being very arm safe. This just shows how badly off the mark some of his concepts are. His ideas about shoulder safety in particular are not based on any solid understanding of how the joint functions.

Mr. McCutchen seems proud of the fact that his data contains no human element. To quote his site, "No vague sales puffery, condescending jocularity, or subjective playtest results." Anyone familiar with the field knows that there has not been enough research done yet to be able to make anything more than generalizations about arm safety. Until much more is known about causative factors and how they relate to individual physiology, anecdotal evidence will have to be, by default, the best source for information about wrist, elbow, and shoulder safety.

My recommendation is to not refer people to the site for anything more than a reference guide to some of the physics formulas involved in tennis. His arm safety data is very inconsistent and thus unreliable.

diredesire 07-04-2006 11:41 AM

Updated both posts, thanks guys!

Keep the suggestions coming, i know we've got a ton of threads that you're tired of seeing..

Jonnyf 07-06-2006 01:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diredesire
The Super RD Tour? That's a pretty classic collectors frame... if it's in good condition, i'd leave it as is, just because they're ... "rather" hard to find ;)

As far as pictures, I don't have any stored away, but I am considering painting a racquet pretty soon, maybe I can post a work log up... I haven't decided the scheme i want to go with, I'll create a thread soon, i hope!



Hahaha never thought of that, and its in pretty awesome nick

Greg Raven 07-07-2006 06:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diredesire
[...]Q: What are some arm friendly racquets?
A: There are a ton of different opinions on this subject, so I won't try and list all "arm friendly" racquets. If you want to read about what makes a racquet arm friendly or not, check out this link:
http://racquetresearch.com/
DISCLAIMER: Racquet research (apparently) has stopped being updated because of incomplete/inaccurate formulations, leading to rankings that don't take into account human factors. Take all information read there with a grain of salt, and also do a quick search about any interesting racquets on the boards to supplement any findings you come across. Thanks J D for the input.[...]

Wilmot McCutchen did NOT stop updating the Racquet Research site because of incomplete and/or inaccurate formulations. If this were the case, he would have removed the formulations! Instead, he stopped updating RR for personal reasons, which I won't go into here. Furthermore, Wilmot gave his permission for the USRSA to make use of his research.

For an abbreviated, updated list based on Wilmot's research, check out:

http://webpages.charter.net/gregrave...tresearch.html

J D 07-07-2006 10:13 AM

Greg, I noticed you have a disclaimer for Wilmot McCutchen's findings; "Please note that although Wilmot's approach seems to have some validity, and is the only empirical method we currently have for calculating racquet comfort, different people will interact differently with different racquets. So, a racquet that some might think is comfortable might not seem that way to others. Likewise, a racquet that some might find painful to use might be fine for someone else."

You attribute inaccurate results to player differences. This does not explain why frames like the Pure Drive would be in the top third of his Wilmot's list of arm safe frames whiles racquets like the Dunlop 200G 95 are in the bottom third. Obviously, only some seriously flawed theories could produce rankings like this, regardless of individual player differences.

I don't know why Wilmot stopped updating his site. I do know he left the boards here after his results were questioned on many grounds and even he admitted that his theories and work had significant limitations. Since he stopped updating his site at the same time, I assumed he had gone back to his drawing board to try and address these issues in some manner. Admittedly, this was just an assumption.

I understand the desire for quantifiable and absolute evidence regarding arm safety. IMO, this information is eventually going to come from biomedical engineering, not physics, because you are right about differing interactions. Since results will vary from player to player, it is only in understanding this phenomenon that we will ever be able to accurately predict a frame's arm safety for any one individual.

Any purely mathematical theoretical approach, given the current level of knowledge, is going to be seriously flawed, no matter how exhaustive it attempts to be. I have to question recommending this research to anyone since it seems so credible when it really isn't. The well being of people's arms and wallets are on the line. I think anyone would get a much better idea of which frames are more arm friendly simply by reading this board.

Greg Raven 07-07-2006 07:16 PM

Your points are well taken, but we must start somewhere. I have purchased and used several racquets based on Wilmot's calculations, and found each of them to be comfortable, so I'm more inclined to view them favorably.

Also, you have misunderstood my warning against using the results as absolutes. You wrote, "You attribute inaccurate results to player differences." This is not correct. The results are the results. If they are inaccurate, in has nothing to do with players or player differences. What I am trying to say, in essence, is that your mileage may vary, so to speak.

I don't know of any field of endeavor where the first try was the best and ultimate expression of that field's potential. There may be a load of anecdotal evidence that this racquet doesn't work for that person even though it is rated highly for comfort. However, no amount of anecdotal evidence will ever get us anywhere.

The next step -- IMHO -- for those who feel that Wilmot's calculations are not accurate, not well thought-out, and/or don't include this factor or that, is to come up with another model that better explains the human/racquet interface. I acknowledge that the interactions are non-trivial, but this doesn't mean we shouldn't try to quantify them, and I applaud Wilmot for attempting such a daunting (and thankless) task with such rigor.

As for the relative ratings of the Babolat Pure Drive and Dunlop 200G 95 (Muscle Weave?), I note you produce no support for your all-but-unspoken implication that the PD is an "uncomfortable" racquet while the 200G is a "comfortable" racquet. I've never used a PD -- I'm not a PD kind of guy. However, I played with the 200G for a year or so, and found it pretty comfortable, very much along the lines of the Wilson Hyper Pro Staff ROK that I subsequently used for years (which ranks as being less "comfortable" than the Dunlop). I'm currently using a racquet that calculates out to 4837 (Yonex RDX 500 HD) with no problems, but I also spent last week playing with a racquet rated 5458, and it DID give me problems, even though I played great when using it.

Your comments about a racquet's position in a certain "third" of the ratings therefore doesn't make much sense to me, especially considering that the Pure Drive calculates out to 4654, and the 200G to 4705, putting each of them solidly in the center "third" of the ratings, which range from 2537 to 7323.

Finally, however, I stand on my point that Wilmot did not stop updating the Racquet Research site because of incomplete and/or inaccurate formulations, for the reason already mentioned in a previous post.

J D 07-09-2006 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Raven
You wrote, "You attribute inaccurate results to player differences." This is not correct. The results are the results. If they are inaccurate, in has nothing to do with players or player differences. What I am trying to say, in essence, is that your mileage may vary, so to speak.

Greg, not to try and bust your chops, but I don't see any difference between, "player differences" and "your mileage may vary."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Raven
I don't know of any field of endeavor where the first try was the best and ultimate expression of that field's potential.

But I have never seen a first attempt that not only was so flawed, but where the creator of the method knew it was flawed and simply didn't care. Wilmot has admitted that racquet technology, including materials and shock dampening systems, do affect arm safety. His response was, essentially, I don't have any way to measure those factors so I'm leaving them out.

Also, there is no established basis in biology and physiology for many of his assumptions about what factors do and don't make a frame safe for a certain joint. He's simply guessing, and sometimes incorrectly (my daughter is a biomedical engineer so I'm not just guessing as we have discussed some of Wilmot's theories at length).

In addition, his model of applicable formulas is incomplete because it fails to take into account certain physical properties of the frame/string/ball collision.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Raven
There may be a load of anecdotal evidence that this racquet doesn't work for that person even though it is rated highly for comfort. However, no amount of anecdotal evidence will ever get us anywhere.

So, are you saying there is no validity to scientific observations in the field? Until much more research is done, the ONLY credible evidence is going to be anecdotal.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Raven
The next step -- IMHO -- for those who feel that Wilmot's calculations are not accurate, not well thought-out, and/or don't include this factor or that, is to come up with another model that better explains the human/racquet interface.

I'm guessing you're saying this tongue in cheek because you know the research can be done but it isn't going to happen anytime soon. The only people in the industry that have that kind of money are the racquet companies, and they have a vested interest in making sure this type of knowledge never gets to the public because of product liability. Seriously, give me a half million dollars and I'll do the research and come up with the model.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Raven
I acknowledge that the interactions are non-trivial, but this doesn't mean we shouldn't try to quantify them, and I applaud Wilmot for attempting such a daunting (and thankless) task with such rigor.

I also applaud his efforts. Where I condemn him is in presenting his results to the public as being accurate when he knows they are, to varying degrees, incomplete and flawed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Raven
As for the relative ratings of the Babolat Pure Drive and Dunlop 200G 95 (Muscle Weave?), I note you produce no support for your all-but-unspoken implication that the PD is an "uncomfortable" racquet while the 200G is a "comfortable" racquet.

Like I said, all you have to do is read the boards to see the patterns. I use a Pure Drive Plus, but I couldn't use it if I played every day. It is tough on the elbow and really tough on the wrist. If you read the boards, I think you'll find about twice as many complaints about elbow and wrist problems with the Pure Drive as with all other frames COMBINED.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Raven
Your comments about a racquet's position in a certain "third" of the ratings therefore doesn't make much sense to me, especially considering that the Pure Drive calculates out to 4654, and the 200G to 4705, putting each of them solidly in the center "third" of the ratings, which range from 2537 to 7323.

Look at the RR rankings for weak players. Racquet Research has the PD listed at 51st out of 167 frames. Is that not in the top third? The Dunlop is listed at 113. Is that not the bottom third of 167? (Actually, I am a math and physics teacher so I'm being a little sarcastic here)

BTW, I've also used the Dunlop and know it is a very arm friendly frame. Yet, he has it ranked over 20 places lower than the Wilson Hammer HH 5.2, which was another notorious arm eater, perhaps the worst of the popular frames of the time. And, yes, I have hit with the 5.2 several times and it was horrible for the elbow. If you read the boards from 2002, you would know that my experiences are not in any way unique.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Raven
Finally, however, I stand on my point that Wilmot did not stop updating the Racquet Research site because of incomplete and/or inaccurate formulations, for the reason already mentioned in a previous post.

Since you have inside knowledge of his situation, I will take your word for it. Still, his circumstances do not excuse him leaving his results posted in their current form, as an accurate source of arm safety information when, in fact, even he knows they are not.

Duzza 07-22-2006 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diredesire
As far as pictures, I don't have any stored away, but I am considering painting a racquet pretty soon, maybe I can post a work log up... I haven't decided the scheme i want to go with, I'll create a thread soon, i hope!

That would be great. Maybe like a step by step with pics.


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