(Dis)Advantages of Extended Length Racquets

Pinocchio

New User
Okay, we know that bigger headsize generally means more power, tighter strings = more control, thinner gauge = more spin, thicker gauge = greater string durability, etc, but if one is playing with a 27.5 inch stick as opposed to the same model that is 27 inches in length, what would the main differences - all other factors being equal - really be?

Your opinions are very much appreciated.

p.s.
Does anybody know any pros within the top 100 that use 27.5 inch racquets, beside Nalbandian?
 

soyizgood

G.O.A.T.
Okay, we know that bigger headsize generally means more power, tighter strings = more control, thinner gauge = more spin, thicker gauge = greater string durability, etc, but if one is playing with a 27.5 inch stick as opposed to the same model that is 27 inches in length, what would the main differences - all other factors being equal - really be?

Your opinions are very much appreciated.

p.s.
Does anybody know any pros within the top 100 that use 27.5 inch racquets, beside Nalbandian?
I might be wrong, but I read somewhere Roddick uses a 28" racquet.

For guys with big hands as well as 2HBH, an extended length racquet comes in handy. The swingweight is likely to be higher than with standard length, but with a fairly flexible racquet this can translate into some nice cross-court angles as well as for longer swing motions. That's just my .02.
 
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nickb

Banned
Advantages:

- More power
- Better reach
- Good for 2HBH
- Good for shorter players
- Helps get more power on serve

Disadvantages:

- Higher SW
- Hard to move around at net
- Can make the player hit late (if they are not used to it)
- Can hurt some players arms..

Roddick uses 27.5, Ferrer is close to 28...there are many many pros using rackets over 27.5 in the top 100..they are very popular.

Nick
 

martin

Banned
Didn't notice more power on serve. In a test with philippoussis and some good players and amateurs it was proven that you don't get any more pace with longer rackets Even a superlong widebody powerracket didn't serve noticably harder than a classic flexible wooden racket but you might create better angles. Groundstrokes might be more powerful but how can you measure that?
Personally i like standard rackets because it's more maneuverable.
 
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elee3

Rookie
Biggest advantage by far is the higher racquet head speed you can get if you ever get comfortable with an extended length racquet. My forehand is vastly better with a 28 inch POG. The higher racquet head speed gets me more spin so I can hit the ball flatter without a problem.

Biggest disadvantage is most people don't ever get comfortable with an extended length to take advantage of the extended length. This is where you get the complaints about extended lengths being the worse racquets ever.

It's pretty much like a shoe. If you are comfortable with it you won't feel or barely feel the disadvantages.If you aren't comfortable with it, it feels like there's no advantages at all.
 

ledor

Professional
yes, prince made him his own signature graphite racquet, which came in 95 sq in. and 107 sq in. and both were 28 long, and had a blue paintjob. I grew up with this racquet so i'm used to extended length racquets.
 

Bottle Rocket

Hall of Fame
In a test with philippoussis and some good players and amateurs it was proven that you don't get any more pace with longer rackets Even a superlong widebody powerracket didn't serve noticably harder than a classic flexible wooden racket
Care to share this test with us? A link? A book? An article?

The laws of physics don't quite agree. The results of that test would also say that you can produce just as much pace with a 15 inch racket as you can with a 27 inch racket, or a ping pong paddle for that matter. I would be very interested in reading more about this little test.

To the OP, please check this thread

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=168561&highlight=

Here was my response to the original question:

The ball comes off the stringbed of a 28 inch racket the exact same way as it would an indentical racket with an inch or even two inches cut off. There is no change in "control". The only change is in your head, your own perception. It is due to the fact that your own inaccuracy is exposed. I would go so far as to say you have more control with an extended length racket. Becuase of the increased reach, there is the possibility to hit shots that are not possible with a shorter frame. That is not the whole story though.

The increase in length and the increase in leverage makes it easier to miss. If you miss a little bit with a 26 inch racket, you're going to miss a lot with a 28 inch racket. Timing is much easier with a shorter racket, as is the margin for error. Because of the smaller margin for error, It is most likely easier to have a bad day with an extended length rackets. You can miss by a significantly larger distance than you might otherwise, causing you to feel a like the court is shrinking around you, which I think can easily to lead to a feeling of less precision and even a loss of confidence.

As far as length goes in other aspects, it is extremely important. The increase in pace on serves without a comparable increase in effort can be significant, same with groundstrokes. The increase in leverage has a larger impact than an increases in weight when it comes to a racket swing. The same speed swing relative to your wrist/arm gives a higher speed at the tip of the racket. A shortened racket can put you at a tremendous disadvantage once you get to a certain level in this game. Why 27 inches works out to be the magic number, I have no idea...
 
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HyperHorse

Banned
Care to share this test with us? A link? A book? An article?

The laws of physics don't quite agree. The results of that test would also say that you can produce just as much pace with a 15 inch racket as you can with a 27 inch racket, or a ping pong paddle for that matter. I would be very interested in reading more about this little test.

To the OP, please check this thread

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=168561&highlight=

Here was my response to the original question:

The ball comes off the stringbed of a 28 inch racket the exact same way as it would an indentical racket with an inch or even two inches cut off. There is no change in "control". The only change is in your head, your own perception. It is due to the fact that your own inaccuracy is exposed. I would go so far as to say you have more control with an extended length racket. Becuase of the increased reach, there is the possibility to hit shots that are not possible with a shorter frame. That is not the whole story though.

The increase in length and the increase in leverage makes it easier to miss. If you miss a little bit with a 26 inch racket, you're going to miss a lot with a 28 inch racket. Timing is much easier with a shorter racket, as is the margin for error. Because of the smaller margin for error, It is most likely easier to have a bad day with an extended length rackets. You can miss by a significantly larger distance than you might otherwise, causing you to feel a like the court is shrinking around you, which I think can easily to lead to a feeling of less precision and even a loss of confidence.

As far as length goes in other aspects, it is extremely important. The increase in pace on serves without a comparable increase in effort can be significant, same with groundstrokes. The increase in leverage has a larger impact than an increases in weight when it comes to a racket swing. The same speed swing relative to your wrist/arm gives a higher speed at the tip of the racket. A shortened racket can put you at a tremendous disadvantage once you get to a certain level in this game. Why 27 inches works out to be the magic number, I have no idea...
I read the article myself when that particular issue came out.
Finally enough, Flip got more power from a wooden racquet, but it wasn't so great for groundstrokes because of the smaller head.
I believe he also tested with a Gamma Big Bubba (29" long monster OS)...
So you can throw out your backyard amateur physics.
In the real world you dont get any extra power from a longer racquet.
You do get MORE MARGIN FOR ERROR. I used a Chang OS Longbody so i know what i'm talking about.
 

Nellie

Hall of Fame
I like longer racquets because I can get more head speed for faster servers with more action. I als get more power on ground strokes, but this is often bad for my control. I particularly like the extra length on my 2 handed backhand. the balance simply feels better. I think if you look at pros as a whole, many of the players with the better 2-handed backhands use extended racquets.

On the big down side, I notice less touch/feel on volleys.

The longer racquets also have a lot more swing weight. I was trying a K6.1 X that has a swing weight of 360 stock, and it was a beast to get around after a while.
 

mishin900

Rookie
so is it better to use extended length rackets if you feel comfortable with it? i demoed TF320 XL last month and i actually felt fairly comfortable with it. The best thing was better margin of error and control on serves. I got more control on flat serves and more spin on spin serves.
 

Bottle Rocket

Hall of Fame
Here is the article Bottle Rocket but you'll probably be in denial and find a way that you're right even if the facts prove otherwise.

http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Bleachers/8832/mpdoc11.htm
Mark hit serves with his standard frame, a wooden frame, and a 29 1/4 inch Dunlop.

That test really settles it for you?

Because they compared COMPLETELY different frames of differing size, composition, stiffness, swingweight, and balance, with only the handle shape and strings being the same? A 29 1/4 inch frame?

Really?
 

martin

Banned
Mark hit serves with his standard frame, a wooden frame, and a 29 1/4 inch Dunlop.

That test really settles it for you?

Because they compared COMPLETELY different frames of differing size, composition, stiffness, swingweight, and balance, with only the handle shape and strings being the same? A 29 1/4 inch frame?

Really?
Actually they should have tested with an extended racket and a standard racket with same stiffness, composition and swingweight. In this case they compared different rackets and the results was more or less the same but the stiffness and swingweight actually favoured the longer racket because this was a superhigh powered widebody instead of the low powered standard racket that was used as comparison. Not a fair comparison i think.
So what does this tell you Bottle Rocket??
 
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Douggo

Semi-Pro
Anybody know the weight of the Dunlop Max Superlong +2.25? And do we know if Scud was allowed to lead it up to his liking? And should we really be surprised that a professional tennis player hits as well with his own chosen racquet when compared to some random racquet?
It's an interesting case, but it's not much more than that.
 

elee3

Rookie
And should we really be surprised that a professional tennis player hits as well with his own chosen racquet when compared to some random racquet?
Totally agree. Takes a long time to get use to any racquet. Few hours of testing is going to say much.

Another flaw with the test is the tiny sample size. They recorded 15 serves on Philippoussis's tests. With such a small sample size, if he ever gets on a hot streak or a cold streak the data is going to be way off. You need to take samples in the realm of thousands so streaks don't throw the results off.

From my experience if a 27 inch racquet is more powerful then a 28 inch racquet, the 27 inch racquet is going to hit bigger serves.

If the only difference between 2 racquets is just the length than the longer one is going to give more pop if the player ever gets accustomed to it. And it takes a long time to get accustomed to changes on the racquet, else pros wouldn't need paintjobs all the time.
 
D

Deleted member 25923

Guest
I thought Nalbandian's stick (rds 001 2008 ) was 27 in.
 
D

Deleted member 25923

Guest
So he's not even using the rds 001 2008? Figures.


By the way, do you guys actually say all of the zeros when saying that racquets names or just call it the rds 1?
 

SFrazeur

Legend
By the way, do you guys actually say all of the zeros when saying that racquets names or just call it the rds 1?
I've mentioned the racquet a couple of times and when I did I said "RDS zero, zero, one" But then again I liked the sound of the word "zero." :)

-SF
 

martin

Banned
Ofcourse there are some flaws in this test but that only favored the longer racket because it was a super high powered widebody. It was not only longer but had a power advantage. Why not the same racket extended and standard, this would be more fair.
And if it's not surprising that philippoussis hits the same serve with his own racket it is surprising that he hits the same speed with a classic wooden racket. A racket that he never uses. The amateurs had similar results as Philippoussis. some people here just react without reading the article.
 

kaiser

Semi-Pro
Higher swingspeed with extended length racket (say 28") over normal racket?
With same swing 1/27 = 3.7% higher swingspeed, congratulations...
 

boramiNYC

Hall of Fame
Not very intuitive but I believe longer racquet is more suited to taller and bigger players not shorter players. Shorter players strength is fast (high frequency) swing and longer racquet slows this down. Reach can be covered by faster feet.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
Theoretically you can get a higher swing speed but an extended racket also slows down your swing speed with the higher swingweight. I play with a 28.5 and some days it feels like I'm swinging a tree.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
The optimum length for serves is somewhere in the neighborood of 27.5" for a midplus frame. Going longer than this has negligible advantage for serve speed.

For a given swingweight, the increase in tipspeed due to the extra leverage of longer length is offset by the decrease in head mass. And decrease in head mass has the disadvantage of lower stability.

And if the head mass is kept constant, then the increase in leverage may not result in an increase in tipspeed, because the higher swingweight may result in lower angular velocity.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
^ I really have to agree with this. My game is heavily dependant on a decent serve to come in on. When I sawed off my 28.5 to 27.5 I served much better. I hit with a bunch of spin so I gained oodles of racket head speed going -1 inch. I thought returns and volleys were much more responsive too. I've been using a longbody racket for sometime and I always thought a 28+ racket would be great for returns but I'm beginning to think about even going to 26.75. The extra length is pretty detrimental on quick returns.

And choking up an inch didn't feel right as your wrist doesn't have the same range of motion with an inch+ of handle below your wrist, at least for me.
 
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Ramon

Legend
I read somewhere that David Ferrer uses a customized 29" racquet.

I use a 27.5" Pro Kennex Ki 5x, and I also demoed the 27" Ki 5. I think the only difference is the length of the handle. The longer racquet feels noticeably heavier due to what the extra length does to the swingweight. It also feels more stable, probably because the extra length alters the angle at impact so your hands don't feel as much of the bending force. Other obvious benefits include serve power and reach. The main drawback is maneuverability.
 

DirtBaller4

Rookie
I used to play with a Wilson hyper hammer stretch OS. I didn't even notice the extra .5 inches until I went to a 27 inch racket and noticed it was ever so slightly faster to bring around on the one handed backhand.

But it could also be the fact that I went from 110 to 100 square inches head size wise.

I would have to agree that the difference is negligible due to the offset of the higher swing weight. But I have never tried a 28 or 29 inch racket
 

arteddie

New User
Biggest advantage by far is the higher racquet head speed you can get if you ever get comfortable with an extended length racquet. My forehand is vastly better with a 28 inch POG. The higher racquet head speed gets me more spin so I can hit the ball flatter without a problem.

Biggest disadvantage is most people don't ever get comfortable with an extended length to take advantage of the extended length. This is where you get the complaints about extended lengths being the worse racquets ever.

It's pretty much like a shoe. If you are comfortable with it you won't feel or barely feel the disadvantages.If you aren't comfortable with it, it feels like there's no advantages at all.
Not head speed per se but higher ratio of racquet tip speed to handle/forearm speed. This helps with plow through and spin.
The extra height on serves can be a huge advantage.
 

tennis347

Professional
Angell has come out with XL frames in the K7 line with the Cyan, Lime and Red. I do agree that using an XL does have some good positives which are better reach, more power and plow behind shots. However, sometimes the SW can be a bit cumbersome if above 330 or so.
 
Quite a few pros use extended lengths... most obvious successful one is Deigo Schwartzmann which I believe is 28"? I've played with extended racquets off and on... for me the two I used the longest were the AeroPro Drive + and the Dunlop CX200+.

Advantages
Better reach, can really help on defensive shots
Better power and stability
Serves... better power and higher percentage in

Disadvantages
Return of serve when ball coming into the body
Net play... less maneuverable and body shots are tougher
On servers it can be harder to get as much spin or angle that with std length
Tend to get less spin on groundies and serve... just more to get around, higher swing weight, etc.

Most of the disadvantages can be minimized or fixed simply by choking up on the handle. Point is that you have the option to have it play more like a standard length racquet in certain situations that you might find challenging, etc. For the most part, I enjoy extended length racquets... but they do sometimes play a little harder on the arm.
 

TW Staff

Administrator
Giving this a little bump to ask if you guys could ask the playtesters anything about their experience playing with extended racquets, whatchu got?!

Thanks!
Michelle, TW
 

pow

Hall of Fame
Giving this a little bump to ask if you guys could ask the playtesters anything about their experience playing with extended racquets, whatchu got?!

Thanks!
Michelle, TW
Do you feel extended provides more spin?

Is extra half inch the preferred extended length among the playtesters?
 

Wheelz

Semi-Pro
How do you manage prefered balance on extended racquets ? Do you still go for the same as 27inch ? For example the Yonex extended racquets have the balance changed compared to their normal versions.
 
Michelle - I assume by its absence in the current lineup that the new version of the Dunlop CX200 will not be coming in an extended length version. It would be too bad if so because I had been looking forward to the next version.

Assuming that’s true, of the current extended length racquets available for sale which is the one that reminds you most of an extended length RF97?

Giving this a little bump to ask if you guys could ask the playtesters anything about their experience playing with extended racquets, whatchu got?!

Thanks!
Michelle, TW
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Michelle - I assume by its absence in the current lineup that the new version of the Dunlop CX200 will not be coming in an extended length version. It would be too bad if so because I had been looking forward to the next version.

Assuming that’s true, of the current extended length racquets available for sale which is the one that reminds you most of an extended length RF97?
Where can you get an XL RF97?

I have XL YT Prestige MP (27.75) and IG Prestige MP (27.6) I love these frames.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I currently have around 12 extended length rackets. I don't have any anymore that are longer than 28". I have given away or traded at least another dozen XL rackets.

I've tried everything from 29" (ITF legal max length) down to 27.25." I have cut rackets down to 26.5 in increments of .25" just to see what happens. I am 5'10.5" with 33" arms. I was career public school freestyle wrestler, later a weight room gym rat, and career special operations military. I coached baseball, softball and volleyball. I even spent 7 yrs working with expandable batons and made canes/staffs for some some years. I get sticks.

I really think my personal sweet spot is 27.3." However, the right frame for me trumps the extra length. I have done quite a few different things to add extra length and nothing works as well as cutting an XL down to 27.3" Adding an XTP buttcap is not the answer for me, I have tried at least 8 of those. Trying to add spacers doesn't work so well because stock buttcaps don't have enough room for that bottle cap, balsa wood disc, to securely attach the buttcap. If I were a high roller I would just send all my rackets to R N P Y and have custom grips installed. Why do all these Chinese made rackets have to be just 27" long? Is it a communist conformity thing or has the world of tennis racket manufacturers told the Chinese that rackets must be 27" or has the Chinese manufacturers told the racket brands that all rackets must be 27"?

Would it cost that much more to sell rackets with 29" hairpins, a butt cap and a base grip and let the buyer adjust the racket to their own preferred length? Pro shops could make a fortune helping folks sort that out and us DIY folks could have their dream racket "kits." Every racket then becomes "pro stock."
 
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