Originally Posted by kaiser
I think Jack is doing an excellent job trying to explain the complex and sometimes not very intuitive physics behind racket power. Kudos for his efforts which I don't think get the credit here that they deserve. He has made clear that in terms of the inherent power that is attributable to the racket SW is by for the most inportant factor with stiffness coming a distant second. If I understand it correctly, stiffness has the most influence when you don't hit the ball in the center of the stringbed and especially at the top of the stringbed. Therefore his focus on the serve, because this is where stiffness should count the most (Jack, please correct me if I'm wrong). You are now making a big deal about 2 or 3 miles per hour extra you might get from a 'modern' stiff racket, but I bet that before reading Jack's explanation you would have thought it could easily be 5 to 10 miles per hour. You could give him credit for that.
Well your response is interesting, as I was a bit surprised how termed Jack's comments comparatively more "pleasant" when he was the only one who actually engaged in personal attacks (despite his actual claims).
You are right, Jack did a very nice job reciting various passages from a book. Kudos to him. What Jack didn't do very well, despite his efforts, is answer the particular question before him. I don't quite think you understand what the point of the thread was, before getting derailed by Jack. Further, I think you fail to recognize that his latter points directly contradict his own earlier posts - hence my effort to glean exactly what he was trying to say. To summarize, the thread was intended to discuss the following premises:
1) That there is some performance gain from "modern" racquets (such as Babolats) versus the "classics";
2) These "classics" are largely revered, whereas a fair portion of modern racquets are viewed as necessary evils that should be discarded if we ever return to the golden days of 1980-90s graphite use and design;
Those are the points of the thread and what was discussed a few months back. Once this thread was revived, Jack joined the fray with his "riddle" - thereby stumping us plebeians - with the anticipated knowledge of why the careful selection of a racquet doesn't matter when it comes to an increases in power. Admittedly fascinating, and something I couldn't wait to understand. What we got instead was reference to a power table (provided by TW) that in fact clearly showed that despite differences in numerous variables, distinctions in power indeed existed (albeit in terms of dropping a ball onto a stationary racquet...). I still believe that this is disingenuous figure as an end-all-be-all if you're trying to extrapolate the ultimate power potential of racquet (as you yourself said, it fails to apply "the most important fact" - SW). Jack took offense to this, notwithstanding the fact that this was a tepid comment and on its face not even directed to him (just the worth of the measurement itself).
After pages of recitation, we eventually get to the point where he admits that there is a difference of power (2 to 4 mph), but in terms of serve speed and when hit at the tip of the frame. While an interesting fact, and again explicitly proving that a difference in power exists, the practical worth of this point is questionable as it presumes that consistently hitting with the tip of a racquet is desirable. More importantly, however, is the admission that power increases are more manifest elsewhere on the frame. If you can't see how this directly contradicts his initial thoughts and the supposed answer to his "riddle," I don't know what to say. Finally, I think it holds that if you gain 2-4 mph at the tip, and the power differences are more pronounced elsewhere on the racquet, then yes it could feasibly reach 5 to 10 mph. Apologies if a 2 to 4 mph gain isn't much for you, perhaps 5 to 10 may be, but then again it doesn't really matter because to others even a 1 mph gain is significant.
I'm not really sure if I care if there are any further posts on this thread, and frankly i'm tired and disappointed for spending so much time and energy on responding to Jack (or even typing this post). The main premise of nostalgia versus technology is what I was really interested in, and something that I believe most others are interested in (rather than a hyper technical discussion of specs). What I definitely don't want is pages worth of citations concerning a straw-man argument, exhibiting a flawed understanding of the material or an inaccurate application.