Big Hitters With Very Light Rackets...??

#1
I have been going to the boys 18 and under national championship every year since I was a child, and I have noticed a definite trend in recent years of their rackets getting lighter and lighter. Once of the recent champions just went to the US Open hitting a stock racket at 11 ounces strung and 320 swing weight. (no lead, no modifications)

I am wondering how many of you play against or consider yourselves to be 4.5-plus level big hitters who successfully use very light rackets...

To mention another example, I just played against a college player who uses a stock Blade 98s, and he can swat a nasty shot with that thing.

Which rackets do you like that are in this weight range? Which ones are junk? What makes this weight range better for you? Are there specific changes in specs that you would look for in a racket when you move down this far in weight?

I have some of my own ideas on the subject now after doing some experimenting, but I want to hear your thoughts first.
 
#2
Plenty of good/top amateurs in my country (some of them had an ATP top 1000 ranking) play light sticks as well, around 300 gram unstrung. A decline in weight compared to 10 year ago where the average unstrung weight would be around 320 gram. Have to admit, you still see a lot of prestiges nowadays.

I am a low ranked amateur but every match I hit a few very hard flat shots with an 295 gram unstrung stick.

So no heavy stick needed to hit hard or play at a high level.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
#3
I play at 325 now. Pure aero plus and i add lead in throat to get it to 325 if needed. Swingweigt is 335.

Standard length i like them more at 340. Sw the same or a bit higher.

The light frames really allow a different style. Sw grips and more brush on the ball- more angles.
 
#5
I'm a 6.0 and can't play well with a light racquet...maybe because I played most of the time with a Prestige Mid, had to beef up my IG Prestiges Mid Plus to get consistent shots, specially on the forehand...
 
#7
RHS is the key. I can swing fast with lighter frames, but I do not have the control I need. So I use heavier frames that let me swing slower, time the collision correctly and still overpower the ball. I tried light frame with SW at my spec and I still swung thru the ball too fast. I think I am too old to change now-a-days. :( in my beer.....Da GF just called me a dinosaur.... :p
 
#9
Justine Henin played with a really light racquet but high swingweight, it enabled her to be able to stay in the points and her backhand to punish. Swingweight is important for the type of stroke and player, everyone is different. I suggest finding something that suits you.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#10
Justine Henin played with a really light racquet but high swingweight, it enabled her to be able to stay in the points and her backhand to punish. Swingweight is important for the type of stroke and player, everyone is different. I suggest finding something that suits you.
In fact, static weight is not important at all, it's just a burden. What matters are rotational inertias: SW, RW and TW. However, without certain mass present in the racquet rotational inertias cannot happen. But popular concept in at least ATP tennis is to allow racquets with big SW and RW by customizing polarized setups with least static weight. So there's a trend in ATP where static weight drops, but SW not as much, RW likely not too.
 
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#11
In fact, static weight is not important at all, it's just a burden. What matters are rotational inertias: SW, RW and TW. However, without certain mass present in the racquet rotational inertias cannot happen. But popular concept in at least ATP tennis is to allow racquets with big SW and RW by customizing polarized setups with the least static weight. So there's a trend in ATP where static weight drops, but SW not as much, RW likely not too.
To give an example of the above for the original poster - Nadals Twist Weight (TW) and Static Weight are very very low compared to the others on the ATP. Even though he is using a 100 inch frame, it wouldn't be surprising if he is using the least forgiving frame on tour. APDO had a ridiculously low TW compared to its reiterations in the APD Cortex/GT and the latest Pure Aero has an insanely high TW. This low TW/Static and average swingweight (330's from memory) makes Nadals frames exceptionally hard to play with due to the minuscule sweet spot. Now, I would love to grab an APDO and give it a whirl but its a punishing frame and not fully utilised by many. I feel the Pure Aero in comparison is insanely sluggish and bad for 1HBH, its all personal preference, high TW and Stiffness killed this frame IMO.

Now on the other hand Djokovic has a ridiculous Swing weight and his TW is also very high. This gives him stability inside the baseline on returns and allows him to bully his opponents off the court. Without these factors his frame wouldn't be able to take the brute force and return it with ample power.

All this means is - pick the specs that are right for you, copying others won't help but can give you an idea of what you like or dislike in a frame.
 
#12
The 295-300gram unstrung, swingweight around 320 is where its at for most players. Ideal for intermediates up to a very high level with these specs. Needing a heavy weight RF97 to be awesome is a myth. Love slaying leaded RFs and Prestige users with the 295g no lead, no leather grip, no gut/poly hybrid------off the shelf, full poly, XT Radical MP.
 
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tata

Hall of Fame
#13
Rekon it's possible to pull it off with something like a prince TT100T with a tad weight somewhere between 10 and 2? I like that frame but definitely needs a bit more beef.
 
#14
I used a light stick in a doubles match at the weekend and the weight definitely made some very fast reaction volleys a lot easier, without question.

I don't think having a heavy racquet is essential. It's not like any of us are facing the shots of top pro's on a weekly basis.

I think weight should just be a matter of personal preference.
 
#15
Weighting racquets up like the pros is not necessary for almost any rec player. In most cases, it simply slows down RHS and induces early fatigue. The fatigue isn't so much a factor in doubles matches, but in singles for the over 40 crowd a weighted up racquet is more about ego than practical results. The various "tour" models of racquets are about as heavy as necessary. Even at 4.5, the ball just isn't so heavy that you need a SW in the 360s or whatever.
 
#16
I'm torn... too light and the racquet gets pushed around a bit, especially on backhand slices is where I notice it most... But too heavy can lead to other issues.

My current racquet is 323.5 gr - 11.41 oz strung w/ lead tape.
 
#17
Rekon it's possible to pull it off with something like a prince TT100T with a tad weight somewhere between 10 and 2? I like that frame but definitely needs a bit more beef.
I have gone down in static weight over the last few years. From following a "play as heavy as you can" to "maximize RHS by playing as light as you can without getting pushed around."

With the TT100T, I was getting pushed around only against the hardest hitters (one very muscular player with an RF97). I then switched to the Warrior 100 and more recently to the TT100P, which has become my favorite in the series. With just a little weight on the 100T you should be fine.

It requires better technique to play with a lighter racquet at a higher level. You have to have good acceleration and especially a consistent contact point in front of you. IMO a lot of rec players prefer a heavier racquet as it allows more margin for contact point and stroke.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#18
The arm can take a lot more when you are a youngster.
I guess one can make up for that with RHS.
However, how solid one's technique has to be to make it up with the RHS?

The fatigue isn't so much a factor in doubles matches, but in singles for the over 40 crowd a weighted up racquet is more about ego than practical results
Even at 4.5, the ball just isn't so heavy that you need a SW in the 360s or whatever.
Having something like SW around 340 is useful, IMO it makes things easier and can give you an edge.
But the thing is, there isn't much choice of such sticks in the market. And customizing has to be thoughtful as it can mess up how racquet swings, so you really don't get the gain you should be getting.
It's not the big SW which will make racquet laggy and fatiguing to swing with, it's the wrong mass distribution which causes a racquet to swing harder than it needs to.
If one knows this, he can do effort to make some great custom setups.
I can set up a racquet with SW around, say, 355, which isn't fatiguing at all, if starting from a light platform.
And this is one of pro customizer's tasks, in a pro world. To ensure that player's setup swings easy for its specs. Pros don't handle some sloppy customizing job, and that's the secret how they handle their specs.
 
#19
Weighting racquets up like the pros is not necessary for almost any rec player. In most cases, it simply slows down RHS and induces early fatigue. The fatigue isn't so much a factor in doubles matches, but in singles for the over 40 crowd a weighted up racquet is more about ego than practical results. The various "tour" models of racquets are about as heavy as necessary. Even at 4.5, the ball just isn't so heavy that you need a SW in the 360s or whatever.
Not only about weighting up to be like pros. With racquet specs too light I attempt to use too much wrist and not proper shot selection. Arming the ball is a huge issue among lower levels and leads to more injuries and issues with progression. This can be avoided by choosing a spec in which enables you to improve but improve by using your entire body to generate power. This is a big issue with babolat racquets / tweener frames because they are easy power leading to lazy strokes.

Lower swingweight and RW is also going to impact a lot with vibrations and recoil leading to long term stress on your joints.

There are huge advantages with properly assessing your frames weights. As for the pro swing weights etc nadal uses in the 330s and 340 weight which is similar to tour level frames. Federer at 360 and 355 is quite high but not out of reach if you are physically fit. Issue is that people dont swing with their body and instead use their arm for power.
 
#20
Possible it has something to do with my style of play but lighter racquets don't have the plow through of the heavier racquets. I notice a big difference from the RF97 to the PS97. Especially playing heavy hitters and taking balls right off the baseline. Light and stiff along with poly strings is about as tough as it gets on the arm.
 
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zalive

Hall of Fame
#21
Possible it has something to do with my style of play but lighter racquets don't have the plow through of the heavier racquets. I notice a big difference from the RF97 to the PS97. Especially playing heavy hitters and taking balls right off the baseline.
PS97 and RF97 don't share the same layup composition, so it's not just specs difference.
PS97 is BLX (basalt) graphite composite. RF97 is pure graphite kevlar braid.
Basalt is a lower quality material when it comes to energy return.
IMO PS97s is the best choice among the family. It still has customization room and it's a pure graphite-kevlar braid just as RF97. It's also flexier and more comfy than RF97.
 
#23
PS97 and RF97 don't share the same layup composition, so it's not just specs difference.
PS97 is BLX (basalt) graphite composite. RF97 is pure graphite kevlar braid.
Basalt is a lower quality material when it comes to energy return.
IMO PS97s is the best choice among the family. It still has customization room and it's a pure graphite-kevlar braid just as RF97. It's also flexier and more comfy than RF97.
That is true but if you add the weight to the PS97 at 12, 3, 9 and at the grip then it has the plow through. To me that would make the weight more significant than the graphite composition layup differences.
 
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Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
#24
People keep talking about arm issues, but I don't see it. I use round poly in RS Lyon and my arm never hurts at all. I do know how to hit the ball with kinetic chain, so that helps, but arming the ball with a heavy racquet will hurt you just as much. The secret to not being pushed around is to hit the ball out in front. You can never get pushed around if you have the right contact point.

Kygrios plays with a stock frame that he added a leather grip to and doesn't get pushed around. In fact, he does the bullying on the court.

As others have said, the secret is the healthy swingweight. Mine is over 330, which I find to be ideal.

I do think that heavier static weight can make a difference on volley and approach shots. It's a lot easier for me to do those two things with a heavier frame. But tennis is a game where you build around your strength and then practice on your weakness. If your strength is a baseline/spin game, then you will probably benefit from a lighter/power frame and poly.

If you are tall, powerful and able to hammer flat shots deep and then come to the net, then a classic/heavy frame is still a real nice option.
 
#25
.... But tennis is a game where you build around your strength and then practice on your weakness. If your strength is a baseline/spin game, then you will probably benefit from a lighter/power frame and poly.

If you are tall, powerful and able to hammer flat shots deep and then come to the net, then a classic/heavy frame is still a real nice option.
I think this about sums it up, really. Although I absolutely love the feel, control, slice, volley-performance of my (overspecced 12.2 oz) Pure Control 95+, it's a simple fact that I get substantially more easy depth and spin when rallying with the larger, YY SV98+; it provides a more difficult timing issue for my opponents. And, I'm winning matches with it. The fact that it's a 98 sq in frame, a bit thinner beamed than most racquets in its weight class (11.4 oz), and still sporting a very healthy 340 SW all combine for a happy medium between enjoying a sweet hitting, demanding players frame and a more whippy/light tweener. There's probably many racquets that will fit the bill for this, I just happened to settle on the SV98+.

As for arm issues - none, and I too play with all poly (RS Lyon 17L @54 lbs).
 

tata

Hall of Fame
#26
I have gone down in static weight over the last few years. From following a "play as heavy as you can" to "maximize RHS by playing as light as you can without getting pushed around."

With the TT100T, I was getting pushed around only against the hardest hitters (one very muscular player with an RF97). I then switched to the Warrior 100 and more recently to the TT100P, which has become my favorite in the series. With just a little weight on the 100T you should be fine.

It requires better technique to play with a lighter racquet at a higher level. You have to have good acceleration and especially a consistent contact point in front of you. IMO a lot of rec players prefer a heavier racquet as it allows more margin for contact point and stroke.
I'm also considering going down that path. Lately I've been wanting to go lighter as it is easier to time the ball and I like to meet it out in front. I have a TT warrior 100 as back up with my main still the PCR97 which happens to swing easy for its weight. Just thought all this weight is excess baggage and if I could afford to go lower without being pushed around then it would be beneficial .
 
#27
Everytime i go down in weight i get excited. Till i hit the ball!!! No substitute for high sw imho.

It also haa to do with where you stand. Baseline huggers need higher sw...
 
#28
In fact, static weight is not important at all, it's just a burden. What matters are rotational inertias: SW, RW and TW. However, without certain mass present in the racquet rotational inertias cannot happen. But popular concept in at least ATP tennis is to allow racquets with big SW and RW by customizing polarized setups with least static weight. So there's a trend in ATP where static weight drops, but SW not as much, RW likely not too.
Is that why the Wilson Ultra Tour is so light stock and the same with Dunlop's new Srixon Revo CX 2.0 Tour 18x20? Gone are the days of a stock 12oz unstrung weight.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#29
Is that why the Wilson Ultra Tour is so light stock and the same with Dunlop's new Srixon Revo CX 2.0 Tour 18x20? Gone are the days of a stock 12oz unstrung weight.
The thing is that UT has a pretty decent SW for its weight, and yeah, it does suggest that UT is stock polarized, to a degree (has disproportionally more mass in the upper hoop compared to traditional racquets).

Manufacturers have their own reasons. Lighter is cheaper, lighter means less material. Everything counts but especially graphite which is relatively expensive. I suspect even matte paint is the choice since you can make it thicker, meaning heavier, meaning less graphite in the layup.

On the UT: I think manufacturer didn't want it to be heavy to cut manufacturing cost but as well to make it a platform; and at the same time they never wanted it to be unplayable in stock form, and for that you need certain SW and preferrably bit of TW (as low TW makes a tiny sweet spot), because they are aware that majority of buyers will never customize it nevertheless of it being designed as a platform.
 
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#30
People keep talking about arm issues, but I don't see it. I use round poly in RS Lyon and my arm never hurts at all. I do know how to hit the ball with kinetic chain, so that helps, but arming the ball with a heavy racquet will hurt you just as much. The secret to not being pushed around is to hit the ball out in front. You can never get pushed around if you have the right contact point.

Kygrios plays with a stock frame that he added a leather grip to and doesn't get pushed around. In fact, he does the bullying on the court.

.
Krgrios has a lot of injuries?
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#32
Kygrios plays with a stock frame that he added a leather grip to and doesn't get pushed around.
I searched the thread and nowhere mentioned anyone actually measured SW on his racquet. All known is that his racquet is 325 grams unstrung including a leather grip (probably without OG).
He plays with XI98 (it's visible from squarish head geometry as well, latter AI and DR were more rounded), but obviously used different PJs (AI and DR) later.

Since it's another PJ it's obviously not a retail stock. Because it's not a retail racquet, we can only speculate what's inside, is it a custom layup or a stock layup, and which SW does he use. But it's not a problem for Yonex to actually make a stock polarized pro stock racquet within tight specs for him, since they have their own manufacturing facility in Japan. Which can even eliminate a need for lead if specs are kept tight (however we don't even know whether there's lead under the bumper guard or not).

Now, if I speculated myself, since XI98 geometry gives lots of power for its specs, I'd speculate he plays with lower than usual SW for pros, but not lower than 335-340 SW.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#34
Using fast RHS for a light racquet must have effects throughout the entire kinetic chain in the long term. Increased wear and tear on the whole body.
It's the momentum (quantity of movement) of racquet's head that plays the role. With lower SW you need proportionally higher RHS to get the same momentum. Which can be done.
But actually playing with a higher RHS with similar consistency requires a better technique. So, to play successfully with a lighter racquet with everything else being the same, you need a better technique.
Where I think it's better for the arm to have a higher SW racquet are mishits. Off centres and shanks don't look good when using a lower SW racquet, especially if stiff (and lower SW plus flexy is not an easy setup to play with).
 
#35
It's the momentum (quantity of movement) of racquet's head that plays the role. With lower SW you need proportionally higher RHS to get the same momentum. Which can be done.
But actually playing with a higher RHS with similar consistency requires a better technique. So, to play successfully with a lighter racquet with everything else being the same, you need a better technique.
Where I think it's better for the arm to have a higher SW racquet are mishits. Off centres and shanks don't look good when using a lower SW racquet, especially if stiff (and lower SW plus flexy is not an easy setup to play with).
I think it is user preference.

Professional athletes will have different needs to amateurs.

On one hand people claim that they are unable to swing a 350g racquet for a full match as they get to tired.

On the other hand these same people would have you believe that they are able to swing a 300g racquet at full speed with perfect technique for an entire match.

These two positions are unbelievable.

A professional athlete has the choice which way they go. A desk jockey that isn't fit enough for one, definitely is not fit enough for the other.
 
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#36
It's the momentum (quantity of movement) of racquet's head that plays the role. With lower SW you need proportionally higher RHS to get the same momentum. Which can be done.
But actually playing with a higher RHS with similar consistency requires a better technique. So, to play successfully with a lighter racquet with everything else being the same, you need a better technique.
Where I think it's better for the arm to have a higher SW racquet are mishits. Off centres and shanks don't look good when using a lower SW racquet, especially if stiff (and lower SW plus flexy is not an easy setup to play with).
I have a problem where the static weight and SW of my racquet is fine for my FH, but either the SW is too low or weight is too light for my 2BH. I often find myself going through the strike zone too quickly on the backhand side.

When I used to hit a 1BH it was fine because I only used one arm. Using two arms with the 2BH makes it feel like I'm swinging a wiffle ball bat. My PK5G is stock without any lead or OG and strung with Xcel 17g.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#37
I think it is user preference.

Professional athletes will have different needs to amateurs.

On one hand people claim that they are unable to swing a 350g racquet for a full match as they get to tired.

On the other hand these same people would have you believe that they are able to swing a 300g racquet at full speed with perfect technique for an entire match.

These two positions are unbelievable.

A professional athlete has the choice which way they go. A desk jockey what isn't fit enough for one, definitely is not fit enough for the other.
At some point of tennis growth, a player develops his strokes using certain specs. It's logical you feel the best when playing with similar specs racquets, as your strokes are modelled using those specs, so they will likely be the most effective using those specs.

I started with rec tennis as a student in early '90's when there was lots of heavy racquets around and when SW around 330 was normally present in rec racquet selection as well, not just players racquets. I developed my strokes using heavier racquets and though those strokes were nothing special in terms of bare RHS and not quite technically sound (especially FH was not), I used my core on both FH and BH as this was an easy way to get some power and consistency when wielding a heavier racquet. I was self taught, never studied strokes, using the core came naturally.

Now, if a player learns his strokes using a light racquet and is self taught like I was, few things will likely happen. One is that he will develop a high RHS since this is a must when playing a light racquet based on player's head size. The second is that he will not quite need using the core to get this high RHS since racquet is easy enough to swing to get lots of RHS from your shoulder rotation, so he will likely use his core less. And of course, his strokes will get naturally completely accomodated to those specs. Now, if you give such a player a heavier racquet, it's normal it won't work. He will try to reach the same RHS using mostly his shoulders, and doing this will wear him out.

But there's another aspect. Heavier racquets are sensitive to weight distribution, and weight distribution is a matter of manufacturing variance, which can accidentally happen to be better or worse. If worse, you get a stick that really is laggy and tiring to swing with. It's not about its SW as much as about something wrong with the (non existence of) equilibrium of its weight distribution. In which case this racquet is simply hard and inferior to play with. Also, when there's a customization involved, customization itself can mess the weight distribution up if not done the right way. Result is the same (sometimes even worse) than a bad manufacturing varation racquet.

I have some custom setups that have heavy specs but are quite easy to play with (say, around 355 grams and 350+ SW). I had different players tried them. None of them complained racquet is hard to swing with, many were surprised when I told them the specs. They found it surprising they can actually swing them easily. Some complained there was too much power on them, however. And it's question whether they could play better or even equally good using them since those specs are not what they're used to playing with (though most of them would not get tired since racquet is carefully balanced to be easy to swing with). And even for me it takes adjusting to make the most of them, since I grew on playing with SW approx. 330 and 340-345 grams racquets (it was mostly Prince Precision Spectrum 630 MP 97'' 14x18 with double basic grip and OG).
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#38
I have a problem where the static weight and SW of my racquet is fine for my FH, but either the SW is too low or weight is too light for my 2BH. I often find myself going through the strike zone too quickly on the backhand side.

When I used to hit a 1BH it was fine because I only used one arm. Using two arms with the 2BH makes it feel like I'm swinging a wiffle ball bat. My PK5G is stock without any lead or OG and strung with Xcel 17g.
I understand you. Possibly you lost some of core rotation when switching to 2HBH? I see players with great DHBH use core rotation a lot, but to see this in lower level rec tennis, for example, is quite rare. Recently I saw the player hitting against the wall with beautiful DHBH and he was rotating his core a lot, he was generating lot of topspin too, this is where I know the stroke is really good.

A quick fix solution for you might be this: go up with SW, then grip FH lower (not at the end of the butt cap) to effectively lower the SW on the FH side?

Interestingly, I was recently thinking about this since I experienced lately some major problems with my OHBH. The story is actually long how and why this has happened...but some sticks became too hard to swing with my OHBH while FH was fine. I found that gripping the handle lower was actually helping. But eventually lately I found what was wrong with my OHBH (I forgot I need to press my upper arm against my body in prep and for some odd reasons this didn't happen anymore naturally and I didn't even think of it being the biggest reason; and not doing this influenced the whole stroke changing it from a start...everything; incredible), and luckily now I find no problem with heavier specs sticks as long as they are reasonably tuned to swing easy for their specs.
 

tata

Hall of Fame
#39
Everytime i go down in weight i get excited. Till i hit the ball!!! No substitute for high sw imho.

It also haa to do with where you stand. Baseline huggers need higher sw...
I guess this is where a light racquet with a polarized set up works out. You can still keep it fairly light
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
#40
I searched the thread and nowhere mentioned anyone actually measured SW on his racquet. All known is that his racquet is 325 grams unstrung including a leather grip (probably without OG).
He plays with XI98 (it's visible from squarish head geometry as well, latter AI and DR were more rounded), but obviously used different PJs (AI and DR) later.

Since it's another PJ it's obviously not a retail stock. Because it's not a retail racquet, we can only speculate what's inside, is it a custom layup or a stock layup, and which SW does he use. But it's not a problem for Yonex to actually make a stock polarized pro stock racquet within tight specs for him, since they have their own manufacturing facility in Japan. Which can even eliminate a need for lead if specs are kept tight (however we don't even know whether there's lead under the bumper guard or not).

Now, if I speculated myself, since XI98 geometry gives lots of power for its specs, I'd speculate he plays with lower than usual SW for pros, but not lower than 335-340 SW.
Cool man.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
#41
I think it is user preference.

Professional athletes will have different needs to amateurs.

On one hand people claim that they are unable to swing a 350g racquet for a full match as they get to tired.

On the other hand these same people would have you believe that they are able to swing a 300g racquet at full speed with perfect technique for an entire match.

These two positions are unbelievable.

A professional athlete has the choice which way they go. A desk jockey what isn't fit enough for one, definitely is not fit enough for the other.
Its not unbelievable at all to imagine someone using a 300 gram frame for an entire match because it happens all the time. Babolats are 300 grams unstrung and are some of the most commonly used frames in the world.

Its all about how you hit the ball, your grip, style of play.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#42
Its not unbelievable at all to imagine someone using a 300 gram frame for an entire match because it happens all the time. Babolats are 300 grams unstrung and are some of the most commonly used frames in the world.

Its all about how you hit the ball, your grip, style of play.
Certain racquets offer easier power for their specs. Hoop geometry, stiffness, materials in layup, string pattern and its distribution, or something special like woofer grommets.
Yet additionally it how racquet swings. If it swings easy relative for its specs you get bigger RHS, hence bigger power.
And of course, there's a string bed, strings and tension make massive difference. For example I recently got used racquet from the bay which was likely strung with Luxilon Alu Power Soft. Tension was not that small, 25/24 kg. I can tell that this string gives massively more power than any of my usual strings (YPTP, SPPP, Firewire...).

All outside of technique and style of play, this is yet additional on everything, above is just about racquets. But we know most ATP pros can generate huge power with their strokes, its just they don't use it equally.

Many Babolats use woofer grommets which give better energy return than classic grommets. I use similar racquet, Pro Kennex Destiny FCS. Though it's open pattern and quite stiff too, almost as PD, because it has classic grommets it doesn't give the same power as PD at similar specs. Because of this Babolat don't quite need heavier specs. For many Yonex racquet it's similar, its upper hoop is wide and because of longer crosses in the upper hoop they provide more power for baseline hitting. Players report regularly Yonex racquet hit bigger than their specs suggest.
 
#44
I have a problem where the static weight and SW of my racquet is fine for my FH, but either the SW is too low or weight is too light for my 2BH. I often find myself going through the strike zone too quickly on the backhand side.

When I used to hit a 1BH it was fine because I only used one arm. Using two arms with the 2BH makes it feel like I'm swinging a wiffle ball bat. My PK5G is stock without any lead or OG and strung with Xcel 17g.
Could not agree more. When I try lighter sticks my forehand is fine but my two handed backhand is not nearly as lethal as it is with my RF 97. That is the main reason I have been sticking with it although my shoulder has been bugging me lately. My need to try some lighter racquets again if shoulder does not improve.
 
#45
Its not unbelievable at all to imagine someone using a 300 gram frame for an entire match because it happens all the time. Babolats are 300 grams unstrung and are some of the most commonly used frames in the world.

Its all about how you hit the ball, your grip, style of play.
That isn't what I said.

"A professional athlete has the choice which way they go. A desk jockey what isn't fit enough for one, definitely is not fit enough for the other."
 
#46
I think it is user preference.

Professional athletes will have different needs to amateurs.

On one hand people claim that they are unable to swing a 350g racquet for a full match as they get to tired.

On the other hand these same people would have you believe that they are able to swing a 300g racquet at full speed with perfect technique for an entire match.

These two positions are unbelievable.

A professional athlete has the choice which way they go. A desk jockey what isn't fit enough for one, definitely is not fit enough for the other.
Well said. One of the great shortcomings for most of us is that we don't know what we don't know.

Lots of us probably go on the impressions we get from one rig or another, but that may boil down to nothing more than a certain feel we get with one racquet/string combo that registers as "right" in our heads when we hit a ball. The actual performance of that racquet might be almost identical to a half dozen others, but when the feel is good, the paint job is super sexy, Uncle Roger's name is on it, etc., we give it a home in our bags.

I'm not pointing fingers - I'm sure that I'm just as susceptible to these impressions as anyone else.
 
#47
There's a big catch-22 to keep in mind with this general discussion I think.

I'm in the camp that prefers heavy, head-light racquets with at least moderate flex. This is probably rooted in my serve & volley upbringing through my formative years and I still go to the net all the time. But I also do some teaching and coaching and this experience has led me to believe that a heavier or lighter racquet isn't universally appropriate for everybody.

Players with marginal technique can often benefit from a lighter racquet because it's easier to manipulate on short notice than a heavier alternative. But to really rip on the ball with that light racquet, a player needs to swing extra fast to generate the additional head speed compared with a heavier frame. That demands a LOT of skill and hand/eye coordination to make that faster swing produce a decent shot over and over again. So a light racquet can work both for a not-so-good player and for a really good player.

A heavier racquet can thump the ball with more moderate swing speeds (less demanding swing timing here), but it might require slightly earlier preparation to get it to the strike zone on time. So a weaker player might be able to do well with this sort of racquet if that player can't generate really big swings, but a stronger player with efficient technique including a decent kinetic chain can use a beefy frame to really hit with some authority. So a heavy racquet can work for either a not-so-good player or a really good player, too.

Once we learn a certain swing tempo early on, we're probably more inclined to use a racquet that fits that tempo going forward. Making a big change is possible, but I doubt it's ever seamless.
 
#48
It's all pretty simple. Take a light racquet out strung with your preference of string and play with it for week. Do the same with a racquet of weight. Most people already know which one they prefer but that kind of test will resolve it in your mind. Level of play can rule out a number of choices. My wheel house is from 12.2-12.6 strung. PS 97 in stock form is too light and Wilson 6.1 95 and RF97 are just right.
 
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#49
I use a pure drive lite, I add some tail weight so final strung weight is 318-320 grams. I add 2 grams total at 10/2, so swingweight is still very low (TW says stock is 299, but I don't think its quite that low). I serve mid 120's and have no trouble with hard shots. I used to have horrible arm pain using heavy rackets (ki5 PSE, redondo, ai98 with lead at 3/9). All my problems went away and my serve got faster (and lasted 3 sets) when I went lighter. light can work just fine
 
#50
I have tried a few lighter rackets recently that didn't have enough polarization. I have never had a single moment of arm problems in my career, but I actually felt some amount of discomfort from bashing light with a flimsy 12 oclock.

On the other hand, a heavier racket usually plays better for me with a lower swingweight, which is to say with less polarization.

So I am turning increasingly modern in my game, almost by accident.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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