Discussion in 'Racquets' started by lgbalfa, Feb 1, 2012.
i was just wondering, is there an advantage of the smaller beam frames (18mm - 19mm)?
in general, slimmer beams are more flexible and make for more control-oriented rackets. also, slimmer beams are usually faster through the air so they are easier to whip or swing because of less air resistance.
however, a lot of the thicker beams are aerodynamically designed so they also provide the advantage of having less air resistance while retaining the stiffness associated with more powerful rackets.
More flexible, probably debatable, more control, definitely.
i was just saying in general. but yes, not always. however, i have heard people say that two beams of different widths but the same stiffness ratings will play differently with the thinner beam still feeling more flexible. would you say the same?
You can get more in your bag. Try stuffing 16 Wilson Profiles or Prince Thundersticks in a flight bag and you will see what I mean.
If you're concerned about looks, I think a thin beam racket looks much better than for example mine...
- more flex
- more dynamic behavior/response:
- higher (predictable) depth and spin control
- more balanced workload between racquet body and strings upon impact
- more, easier spin
- less ball speed in compact and medium strokes
- higher feel on hard swings, lower on slow ones
- less forgiveness in compact strokes (ex. volleys)
- less flex
- less dynamic response
- lower depth and spin control
- more workload to the string and hand/handle, less to the racquet body work
- less spin
- more ball (strait) speed
- lower feel on hard swings, higher on compact ones
- higher forgiveness in compact strokes
man-walking summed it up impeccably (nice Mandlebrot BTW!). For me, though, the most significant difference between thick and thin beam frames is the feel on contact. Thin beams just tend to feel 'solid', while thick beams feel 'hollow' and tinny.
Have demo'd a few wide beams. They feel like toys for some reason.
man and thug said just about everything that I would have said. Thinner beams feel more solid and tend to have more hoop flex to them than the thicker beams. As someone on the boards once said of thick beam frames "you have to give in to their hollow and nihilistic feel."
instant 5.0 rating
Thin beam is good if you have spindley legs, don't want a racket wider than your calf.
Thin beams offer more flex and control, majority of thin beam racquets are heavy and head light.
In terms of millimeters, what is the demarcation line between thin and thick beams?
There is no (official) demarcation. You have also to take into account oval size as it matters directly with it.
For ex. personally, in my experience I found a great balance in 21mm flat beam with 98" racquets, I feel I can do/have everything...
I play with both Bab thick beam and Donnay thin beam and Head inbetween, and I found NO differences from this aspect. If you weigh them up the same in everything, they'll hit extremely alike with minor different feels from the different materials absorbing the impact.
Feel and directional control in my experience.
Does a 19 mm beam swing thru the air faster to improve your serves?
Or does a too narrow beam start to hurt your stroke by being inconsistent with fast swings (T-300)?
Can you serve fast with a wide beam? Roddick.
Does it really matter at all (your maximum service speed)?
I don't think I can agree with this here, and it seems to be written in favor of thin beams, seeing as how better feel and forgiveness is only given to thicker beams on compact swings.
I spent the vast majority of my time playing with rackets that have thin beams and/or small heads and usually 12oz +. I also have APDGT and a crazy thick Wilson Profile.
I really think thin vs thick beam does not matter so much in general, rather its the characteristics of the individual frame that matters more.
I'll use my own frames and my own observations of them for example:
Frame 1: Volkl PB10 Mid, 93sq head, 19mm beam, has medium spin, a somewhat flat shot trajectory, less forgiving than Aeropro Drive regardless of shot type, more forgiving than frame 2 despite smaller headsize and thinner beam.
Frame 2: 98sq in, 19mm throat 22mm Hoop, has a thicker hoop beam but has very low spin, an even flatter shot trajectory, and IMO better feel than the Volkl. Of all my rackets, this racket demands me to be at my best to play well with it, even though it has a medium beam thickness and large head size.
Frame 3: Aeropro Drive GT, 23-26-24mm beam, high spin, good forgiveness on any stroke, medium curve shot trajectory
Frame 4: 95sq in, 22mm straight beam, high spin, less feel than Aeropro Drive, but everything else is extremely similar to APDGT to the point where I can freely switch between them, despite the headsize and beam width difference, medium curve shot trajectory
Frame 5: Wilson Profile, thickest part of beam is around 38mm, low spin, extremely flat shot trajectory
Frame 6: Boris Becket DC London (demo): 20mm beam, extremely high topspin, high shot trajectory/curve, firm yet flexible
Frame 7: 90 sq in, 20mm beam, medium spin, medium curve shot trajectory, extremely unforgiving on any shot, many people have commented on how harsh this frame feels after using it.
Frame 8: Yonex VCore 100s (demo), 24.5mm-23mm beam, felt higher powered than APDGT, very flat shot trajectory (a friend tried it and said the same, many of his shots that would normally clear the net by a foot hit the top of the net), stiffer, harsher feel than APDGT.
(BTW Feel free to disagree with anything I wrote about my personal observations of the frames above, ppl can never seem to agree much regarding rackets anyways as there is so much personal input from the user. Its just there as an example to show that beam width and frame/playing characteristics did not stay consistent for me.) From what I have observed, the characteristics of frames are kind of all over the place. Two rackets with extremely similar specs and beam width can play and feel very differently from each other and does not guarantee any kind of characteristics. You just have to try a frame out to see for yourself. Specs can be very misleading.
APDGT, high spin, forgiving.....? A 95 sqin straight beam racquet with less feel then the APDGT, which racquet is this?
DC London, EXTREMELY HIGH spin (more spin then APDGT). Have you played with these racquets?
Yonex 100S, very flat shot trajectory.... Higher powered than the APDGT..... Are you saying it is more powerful because your hitting it more flat? If the 100S has a flat trajectory, you would be hitting the bottom of the net with an 18x20
You haven't even played with these racquets have you.
Also I disagree with the spin of thick vs thin beams. Its more of the pattern and headsize the beam doesn't matter much. Thicker beams can be more aerodynamic seeing how thinner beams are usually box beams.
What a geek. I quote you in another post and now you look up my posts? Get off my back, keyboard jockey & get a life.
I'm going through the interesting threads.
What about thin beams creating a bigger spin window for the same head size?
And do the aerodynamics of a frame really have an appreciable influence on headspeed and thus spin? Or is it just an other instance of marketing hype?
For myself, thinner beams have proven to be superior in this regard (larger spin window and better aerodynamics). Most players will expereice fewer frame shots with a thinner beam racquet but it does depend on the player as to what extent. One thing I that I have to mention is that the TW University spin window calculator did not caclualte spin window realistically for me... I used to use a Head Extreme Pro which has a large spin window due it's round head shape but I quicly wore the paint off all 3 racquets in one spot on the frame. After swtiching back to thinner beam racquets I almost never clip the frame and I can really whip them through the air much faster.
Does aerodynamics of a thick beam offset aerodymanics of a thin beam?
AS SAID, thin beams are rectangular. When is the last time you saw a rectangular baseball bat, airplane wing, or fin shape?
It wouldnt make much of a noticeable difference. Although theoretically it can make more spin but they don't make many thin beam 100's (well not many that are popular) and they don't make many thick beamed 90's
For sure the overall design plays the key role in the racquet behaviour, but I have just given the general way given a classic mold made in different beams (and ovals) but with same beam shape design. (just as example comparing Prestiges with APDs doesn't make sense...)
Indeed the things get interesting with non-uniform beam racquets, such as Pure Drive or Aero line of Babolat, where the beam witdth and *shape* changes along the racquet body.
The stringbed section can be very thick and stiff (25-26mm) but having a progressively more rounded and thinner beam near the handle makes the racquet much more prone to longitudinal flex.
Also in my experience, rounded shape beams (especially up the handle) give some longitudinal flex but with a dampen feel (not crisp), they can be very soft with well struck (centered) balls, while torsionally they are very stable and stiff the as the more you mishit toward sides, even slightly and their feel changes *very fastly* giving a somewhat harsh feel but a "forgiving" directional control on non severe mishits or with bad footwork/position.
Boxed beams instead give a longitudinal flex with a crisper response (how if they stay a bit more "in load" with ball contact), but torsionally start to feel flimsy/flexy even with a non severe lateral mishit and in such cases the directional control can be very poor with a non perfect player stance or footwork.
Anyway I see that many more racquets today more than ever are complex hybrids of everything invented in the past years...
P.S.: old Pro Staffs aren't real box-beamed frames as they are commonly defined, since they are rounded at the beam sides , they are quite a mix...
Do we really know the drag factor of a slightly rounded 4 corners over a more distinct 4 cornered small beam racket? I suspect no one knows.
There is leading edge drag AND trailing edge drag, both different from each other.
I remember some wind tunnel testing of trail edge drag, basically, "if you can't streamline it to a NACA foil, just cut if off SHARP"....
I 've heard less about leading edge drag, but roundness creates vortexes which can raise drag numbers.
At a typical speed that most rec players swing their racquet, the difference in drag between the thinnest racquets and even the thickest (say old Wilson Profile) is minimal and something that you will not notice.
box vs aerodynamic
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