Heavier rackets generate more power

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ipodtennispro

Guest
I guess heavier rackets are better:)


http://www.livestrong.com/article/481167-is-a-heavier-tennis-racquet-better/

"According the United States Racquet Stringers Association (USRSA), a heavier racket generates more power, vibrates less and has a larger sweet spot. In general, playing with the heaviest racket you can comfortably wield has more benefits than playing with a lightweight racket, but it's basically a matter of personal choice; style of play, strength and skill level can influence a player's choice of racket weight."
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Yup.
I comfortably wield a 10.2 oz Aero500. That's the heaviest that is "comfortable", to me.
 

pvaudio

Legend
Yes, this has been known for quite some time. The key is comfortably. It's why I facepalm every time I see someone at the courts using a 6.1 90 and doing a 540dg spin after every stroke.
 
I

ipodtennispro

Guest
Not everyone agrees

Yes, this has been known for quite some time. The key is comfortably. It's why I facepalm every time I see someone at the courts using a 6.1 90 and doing a 540dg spin after every stroke.
Well, according to others on another thread, lighter rackets have more power.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
^ A lot of variables to consider. Heavier frames tend to generate more power. However if you can swing a lighter racquet much faster than a heavy one, you could conceivably get more power with the lighter frame. Lighter rackets often are stiffer, have a larger head size, very open string pattern, and are usually head heavy. Sometimes they are longer as well. All of these factors tend to make those racquets more powerful. Problem is that if you hit very hard with this type of racquet it will probably result in shoulder/arm problems after a few years.
 

CDestroyer

Professional
Look at the power level specs of the beginner racquets. They are all super light and have a medium-high to high power level.

There are many factors to consider.
 

pvaudio

Legend
Look at the power level specs of the beginner racquets. They are all super light and have a medium-high to high power level.

There are many factors to consider.
This is simply a matter of wording. A heavier racquet, all things equal, will produce more power. It simply loses less momentum due to ball impact because of its greater mass. That's the important part. Beginning and senior racquets are enormous because they cannot swing players frames fluidly and quickly. So, you end up going to one of these game-improvement type frames instead. It's to let them just focus on getting the ball in play decently rather than generating all of the pace and pop with technique. Because of that, you will reach a limit where the racquet begins working against you. If you have a frame designed for a short and compact stroke and try to hit a forehand like Hewitt, you're going to be in a world of trouble. But yes, the head heaviness is for the same reason: let the balance of the frame bring the racquet through vs. a HL frame will have the player bring the racquet through.
 

pvaudio

Legend
Well, according to others on another thread, lighter rackets have more power.
Without even seeing the thread, I am going to guess that they're saying that if you can swing the racquet faster, you'll get more power? Fair. If you can swing the racquet at the same speed and yet it has greater mass, you'll get even more power. Power is not generated solely by the speed of the frame, it's the frame momentum. That means mass baby! The reason for the comfortably guideline is because if you have a racquet that is too heavy, you lose velocity in favor of mass and power drops. The other end is also true. That sweet spot in the middle is going to be the most powerful for you.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Well, according to others on another thread, lighter rackets have more power.
The problem in that discussion is that the term "power" doesn't always mean just one thing. A racquet might be thought to have power because it's quicker to maneuver/swing when less hefty, or maybe it has more stiffness and yields a more lively response. Let's say it has more "pop". That can seem relatively powerful for sure.

Other frames, including some with more flex and a more mellow response that also give some players lots of potential to spin the ball may have a lot of control - but that extra control in a racquet with less of that "pop" may make it easier for some players to add power to their shots. The extra control in their racquets lets them hit harder while keeping the ball down on the court.

In simple terms though, I agree that racquets with a little extra heft can give me greater potential to hit with more power. If I swing two different frames at the same speed (my same comfortable tempo), the heavier one will bring more inertia to the collision with the ball and typically give me more command over that shot, including more power.
 

LuckyR

Legend
Just so you know, racquets don't "have" power. You have to swing the darn thing to generate power. Lighter sticks can be swung faster, but have less momentum for the same swingspeed. Luckily you don't have to understand any of this. Play with a heavy and a light stick and see which one you prefer. BTW, most advanced players are seeking more control, not power.
 

pvaudio

Legend
Just so you know, racquets don't "have" power. You have to swing the darn thing to generate power. Lighter sticks can be swung faster, but have less momentum for the same swingspeed. Luckily you don't have to understand any of this. Play with a heavy and a light stick and see which one you prefer. BTW, most advanced players are seeking more control, not power.
Shabam! That's all that matters. :)
 

DANMAN

Professional
The truth of the matter is that momentum (p) = product of mass times velocity. P=mv. I'd be willing to bet that a proportional increase in weight is equal to a proportional decrease in swing speed for the average player. Let's not forget that with a heavier frame comes a loss of timing and frequently not hitting out in front as much, which will drastically reduce power.

I have found that for the average player, the 10.5-11.5 range is probably going to provide the most power over the course of 3 sets. I'm a 5.0 and can swing a prestige mid and crush the ball for about a set, but I'd be yearning for my pure drives by the end of set 2 and set 3.

These arguments about the physics of tennis are interesting but in the end not very important. Out of all the high level players I play with, the most advanced frame used is the Prestige mid or Blade Tour. I always see K90s in the hands of weak(er) players who swear they play best with it. A lot of that best feeling is very psychological. Those are my $0.02. As a former teaching pro, I'd never promote anyone who wasn't playing competitively with at least 4.5s to play with a midsize frame. Those frames worked in the days of flatter ball striking, but they are asking for trouble now IMO. They do feel really really good, so if that's where someone's pleasure comes in from tennis, he/she should play with it. Tennis and life are all about expectations.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
Look at the power level specs of the beginner racquets. They are all super light and have a medium-high to high power level.

There are many factors to consider.
Yes, but if you look closely, they all have much higher swingweights than most other frames out there (often higher than the KPS88 or PK KI5 PSE). That means they have a lot more mass in the upper hoop of the frame than just about any other frame. You can see this by checking the hittingweight comparison tool in TWU. It's a great graphic of how mass (in the right places) relates to power.

The only reason beginner frames have such low static weights is because they have absolutely no mass from the lower hoop down to the handle. Hence, the HH balance.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Exactly.

And those beginner frame balances have been used in much heavier versions by some pros to generate huge power and spin.
 
I

ipodtennispro

Guest
Agreed

Without even seeing the thread, I am going to guess that they're saying that if you can swing the racquet faster, you'll get more power? Fair. If you can swing the racquet at the same speed and yet it has greater mass, you'll get even more power. Power is not generated solely by the speed of the frame, it's the frame momentum. That means mass baby! The reason for the comfortably guideline is because if you have a racquet that is too heavy, you lose velocity in favor of mass and power drops. The other end is also true. That sweet spot in the middle is going to be the most powerful for you.
Agreed, and what a lot of people don't realize is that it isn't all about just swinging the racket faster. You have to be able to control that racket head speed at the contact point; mainly, create topspin to keep the ball in the court. I could take a 280 lb. elite athlete and tell him to swing a tennis racket as fast as he can and he could out swing Nadal by creating more racket head speed. Then have them hit the ball as hard as they can and see who hurts their wrist first. Therefore, you are asking the player to have a lot of hand and forearm strength to pick up and control speeds like that. Why, back to the physics of mass. But this is a pointless argument because most people don't swing the racket as fast as they can and never will, which is too bad.
 
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Wuppy

Professional
Donno man, but I like to hit with lots of spin and lighter frames work better for that. I can move them quicker and IMHO a fast swing is more important for spin generation than lots of momentum in the racquet head.
 
I

ipodtennispro

Guest
Donno man, but I like to hit with lots of spin and lighter frames work better for that. I can move them quicker and IMHO a fast swing is more important for spin generation than lots of momentum in the racquet head.

Fair enough. I would be curious to know what kind of spin you are creating. People have to decide if they want to plow through the ball like Sampras or
del Potro or pull up on the ball like the Joker.
 
Heavier rackets generate more power if you can swing them at the same speed.

if you don't have the power to do that the heavy racket won't help you at all.
 

pvaudio

Legend
Donno man, but I like to hit with lots of spin and lighter frames work better for that. I can move them quicker and IMHO a fast swing is more important for spin generation than lots of momentum in the racquet head.
Perhaps, but not fully relevant. If you don't have any power on that ball, your spin is worthless. Look at Federer's FH, and then look at Nadal's FH. Top 50 pros have quoted saying that Federer's FH simply gives you no time to prepare. It just comes off the ground differently than everyone else's. Nadal's forehand, on the other hand, is spin based. No one ever fears hitting to Nadal's forehand, but God be with you if you hit something even moderately less than stellar to Fed's right side. Their spin numbers aren't that much apart when you look at them either. What's the point I'm making? The heaviness created by Fed's FH is why it's lethal. Del Potro and Berdych hit with more velocity, Nadal hits with more RPMs. When you take a little off of both and combine them together, you get the greatest FH of all time. Federer's FH works because it allows his heavy racquet to work for him. Nadal's FH works because his racquet allows him to work it.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Players who have not tweaked the gear or played as long like to put things in black and white.

But everything is a factor.

Example..I would hit with a lot of spin with 11 oz sticks, but the ball was not really heavy. It was not driving through the court with spin and pace as much as I wanted unless I swung super hard all the time.

That leads to unforced errors.

Then you add full poly to the light stick and you have to swing harder.

The secret is to find a racquet weight that you can still rip with, but also create heavy balls with, and block back shots with depth as well. For me, that magic weight seems to be right in the 345 gram area with a SW in the upper 320s.

Thats all well and good but if I am not stringing the stick right, it does not matter. So I prefer powerful sticks that I can control with spin. That means stiff..so this is why I think I love stiff racquets and gut/poly setups.

Now I can hit defensive shots that land deep and reset the point. I can hit touch shots and block back serves. I can hit big attacking shots that land deep and kick high, and I can hit winners off short balls with a controlled swing that helps reduce the mistakes.

People who use really light sticks usually have to swing really hard more ofthen than they should.

I think a nice starting point is 11.5 ounces. Right around there is when you can start tweaking the racquet to make it do everything you need it to..and of course you have to factor in the strings as well.


BTW, Nadal hits the heaviest ball on the tour. I have heard this from pros and guys who have hit with him.

His racquet is not light..the SW is 355. That is a heavy racquet that just feels light to pick up. People say he plays with a light racquet, because most old pros consider light to be under 12.5.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I've found in most equipment oriented sports (not basketball or pingpong), that the closer our equipment is to the pros, the less difference the equipement works for us....meaning all money, little gain.
In motocross, when I rode GeorgeHolland's factory Suzuki's, the powerband was too violent and short, the brakes too sensitive, the forks too harsh, I couldn't feel the gear shifting, it would seldom start easily, and it was too darn tall for my likings. The seat measure 39" tall at it's lowest point before rider sag. I went faster on my lightly modified 125 RM.
When I tried TomCurren's 6'6" surfboard, I found it was too thin, too flat, too light, and too quick for my skills (he was in one of my heats).
When I raced MitsuoItoh's factory Honda 125 3 cylinder GP bike, I barely went faster than on my own production 250 bike. It's powerband was too short (15,000 to 18,000rpms), the steering was waaaay to quick for me, it had 9 gears compared to my 5, the brakes were ONE Finger locking, and the fairing just clipped my visor constantly when I tucked in.
So I figure..... If I ever get to try RogerFederer's racket, it will be TOO HEAVY, for me.

:):):):)
 

pvaudio

Legend
LeeD, you have no idea how many 120lb stick figure kids I've strung for use a k90 or some variant of it. Seriously, it's ridiculous. My main hitting partner, however, uses a k90. He's about maybe 1-2 inches taller than me, so maybe 6ft. He can wield that thing like a club. I remember when they sent out the new 6.1 blacked out frames to playtest and I got one. It felt surprisingly nice. At the same time, I've always used some form of Dunlop 200 (except for my period with the 300G and then the AG100, but as soon as I went back, I realized what I'd been missing!) so something 12oz+. For me, and for my hitting partner, that weight is very comfortable. Everything else just feels too light. The difference is that it's always been the balance of the Dunlop frames that's made me love them. I think the stock SW of my current stick is like 350 or 355 or something, but the 6.1 sticks are all lower and yet feel so much heavier (and they are). There's just something about that weight and in the specific places on the frame that makes me coming back for more :D
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
You do have a point, sort of...
You'll be surprised how many 120 lbs stick figured kids are totally STUPID, have not tried anything else, knows no better, and use what is given them.
I, OTOH :))) am a 155lbs adult, have managed to make it thru 63 years, like to think I"m smarter than the average KID, currently own 12.6 oz STRUNG Mfil and Aero200s, 11.9 oz LMRadMids, and choose to play my match tennis, NOT JUST RALLYING, with the old Aero500's at 10.3 oz unstrung, SW says 308 (that is WAAAY OFF).
I play better with the lighter racket.
I hit harder with my heaviest Aero200 (13oz strung).
You don't need to hit hard to play well. You only need to hit where the opponent doesn't like it. That's easier with my Aero500's. SW is in reality less than 10 points difference, as anyone can tell by swinging one, then the other.
 

pvaudio

Legend
You do have a point, sort of...
You'll be surprised how many 120 lbs stick figured kids are totally STUPID, have not tried anything else, knows no better, and use what is given them.
I, OTOH :))) am a 155lbs adult, have managed to make it thru 63 years, like to think I"m smarter than the average KID, currently own 12.6 oz STRUNG Mfil and Aero200s, 11.9 oz LMRadMids, and choose to play my match tennis, NOT JUST RALLYING, with the old Aero500's at 10.3 oz unstrung, SW says 308 (that is WAAAY OFF).
I play better with the lighter racket.
I hit harder with my heaviest Aero200 (13oz strung).
You don't need to hit hard to play well. You only need to hit where the opponent doesn't like it. That's easier with my Aero500's. SW is in reality less than 10 points difference, as anyone can tell by swinging one, then the other.
This is signature worthy :D
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Small mind, small thoughts.
Small mind, short thoughts
Small mind, keep it simple.
That's what 3 semesters in 3 different junior colleges will get you.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
More power generally goes right into the opponent's favorite strike tempo....
Fixed it for you too....:)
 

Larrysümmers

Hall of Fame
i like using the light apdc because even though its missing the M, i sure can A the racket to generate some pretty good F
 

dParis

Hall of Fame
Heavier rackets generate more power if you can swing them at the same speed.

if you don't have the power to do that the heavy racket won't help you at all.
^^^^
Hallelujah!!
On a stationary ball.

Does this change when factoring the force of an incoming ball at x speed?

In motocross, when I rode GeorgeHolland's factory Suzuki's, the powerband was too violent and short, the brakes too sensitive, the forks too harsh, I couldn't feel the gear shifting, it would seldom start easily, and it was too darn tall for my likings. The seat measure 39" tall at it's lowest point before rider sag. I went faster on my lightly modified 125 RM.
When I tried TomCurren's 6'6" surfboard, I found it was too thin, too flat, too light, and too quick for my skills (he was in one of my heats).
When I raced MitsuoItoh's factory Honda 125 3 cylinder GP bike, I barely went faster than on my own production 250 bike. It's powerband was too short (15,000 to 18,000rpms), the steering was waaaay to quick for me, it had 9 gears compared to my 5, the brakes were ONE Finger locking, and the fairing just clipped my visor constantly when I tucked in.
Aren't you going to tell us about your experience with William Tell's crossbow?

:wink:
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Sometimes, you have to show a little preemptive self motivatated THINKING.....
Yes, an incoming ball has more inertial than a static ball. And of course, the faster and more spin the incoming ball is coming, the more inertial....
And when you read some examples of how ...A PRO's equipment might not be the best for YOU and ME, you have to realize it's just an E X A M P L E !!
Now for sure, I have to defer to your knowledge here.... Did WilliamTell use a crossbow? Or did he use a longbow?
 

Netspirit

Hall of Fame
I love heavy rackets - they teach early preparation, using the entire body vs. arming the stroke, etc.

However, I find that my swing becomes "lazy" after a few weeks of using a heavy racket - the takeback shortens, the follow-through becomes incomplete, the stroke becomes less violent and topspin is much harder to generate.

So, I guess it's best to use something in the middle.
 

drak

Hall of Fame
Without even seeing the thread, I am going to guess that they're saying that if you can swing the racquet faster, you'll get more power? Fair. If you can swing the racquet at the same speed and yet it has greater mass, you'll get even more power. Power is not generated solely by the speed of the frame, it's the frame momentum. That means mass baby! The reason for the comfortably guideline is because if you have a racquet that is too heavy, you lose velocity in favor of mass and power drops. The other end is also true. That sweet spot in the middle is going to be the most powerful for you.
also if you shorten a racket to lets say 26.5 inches Swingweight will decrease by a about 24 on the SW scale. So an older play who has lost some strength/timing can effectively play with a heavier racket and yet still reap it's benefits (stablity, plow through/power) as opposed of going to a lighter frame. Very few think or go this route and IMO is should be experimented with more. What little you may lose in arc momentum you offset with racket head speed. Control often increases as well and timing is much better with the still heavy but shorter stick
 
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tlm

G.O.A.T.
Just so you know, racquets don't "have" power. You have to swing the darn thing to generate power. Lighter sticks can be swung faster, but have less momentum for the same swingspeed. Luckily you don't have to understand any of this. Play with a heavy and a light stick and see which one you prefer. BTW, most advanced players are seeking more control, not power.
This is true but most advanced players use heavier rackets.
 

Tebow

New User
There's another point about heavy rackets that a lot of people is missing here. I'll explain...with a light racket the swing speed is faster than with heavy rackets. However, swing speed kind of becomes secondary if the racket is heavy enough AND timing is outstanding. If you can hit the balls with excellent timing you dont need to swing fast. You just need to swing it stepping in the court and/or hit it earlier. As a matter of fact, the mass of the racket will do the work and swing speed doesnt need to be that great. If you get used to hit way in front of your body with a heavy racket you're gonna experience a type of pace that is something else. But again, timing is key. Swing must be very fluid and free. Now, things get interesting on the serve. It takes a little while to adjust to a heavy racket, but after you do, again, the racket mass will do the hard work. I used to play with lighter rackets and everybody called me crazy when I leaded up my k90 up to 390gm (13.7oz). Boy did my game changed a lot and now it's so easy to generate pace on both wings.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
I guess heavier rackets are better:)


http://www.livestrong.com/article/481167-is-a-heavier-tennis-racquet-better/

"According the United States Racquet Stringers Association (USRSA), a heavier racket generates more power, vibrates less and has a larger sweet spot. In general, playing with the heaviest racket you can comfortably wield has more benefits than playing with a lightweight racket, but it's basically a matter of personal choice; style of play, strength and skill level can influence a player's choice of racket weight."
ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, a heavier racquet has more mass and, therefore, can transfer more energy to the ball. But, velosity is another variable in the equation that also adds power. Generally, you can't swing a heavier racquet as fast as you can swing a lighter racquet. So, each of us has to find the right balance of weight and swing speed to maximize our power.

The same multiple variable idea also applies to the sweet spot. A 100sq.in. Babolat PD weighs about 11oz. strung, and has a sweet spot of about 8"x6". A 65sq.in. Dunlop Maxply Fort, 4 1/2 Medium, weighs about 14oz+ strung, and has a sweet spot of about 3"x3". Longer strings create a bigger sweet spot.
 

rkelley

Hall of Fame
I've been sitting this one out, but one thing interesting thing to consider from a physics point of view is that racquet verses swing speed is not linear. The power source is a human, and that power source has limitations. To think in the extreme, could you swing a 1 oz. racquet faster than a 2 oz. racquet? I couldn't. They'd both feel like I'm just swinging my arm. There's a limit to how fast my muscles can contract and the difference between a 1 and 2 oz. racquet isn't going to have much of an effect.

OTOH, if my racquet weighed 30 oz. I couldn't swing that baby very fast at all.

There's also the issue of the weight of the object you're trying to hit. Even if I could swing a 30 oz. tennis racquet, I'm not sure it would give me much more power than an 15 oz. racquet swung at the same speed. However if I was going to hit a baseball, I'd much rather have the heavier stick.

At the end of day, I think the basic answer is still swing the heaviest racquet you feel comfortable with. The heavier racquet will transfer power better and be more stable, however if you give up a lot of racquet head speed then you've gone too far. Good prep. helps you get that heavier racquet around.
 

ace_pace

Rookie
Heavier rackets do give you more power assuming you can maintain the same swing speed. Usually it'll tire you out if your not used to it and thus make you hit slower balls.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
I've been sitting this one out, but one thing interesting thing to consider from a physics point of view is that racquet verses swing speed is not linear. The power source is a human, and that power source has limitations. To think in the extreme, could you swing a 1 oz. racquet faster than a 2 oz. racquet? I couldn't. They'd both feel like I'm just swinging my arm. There's a limit to how fast my muscles can contract and the difference between a 1 and 2 oz. racquet isn't going to have much of an effect.

OTOH, if my racquet weighed 30 oz. I couldn't swing that baby very fast at all.

There's also the issue of the weight of the object you're trying to hit. Even if I could swing a 30 oz. tennis racquet, I'm not sure it would give me much more power than an 15 oz. racquet swung at the same speed. However if I was going to hit a baseball, I'd much rather have the heavier stick.

At the end of day, I think the basic answer is still swing the heaviest racquet you feel comfortable with. The heavier racquet will transfer power better and be more stable, however if you give up a lot of racquet head speed then you've gone too far. Good prep. helps you get that heavier racquet around.
Yes.

Swing as heavy as you can comfortably handle. The difference in swing speed for most us is neglible for a 300 SW vs 330 SW. The added mass is well worth the effort. Yes, the ball is static weight and at 4.0 level and above you will run into heavy topspin forehands, heavy kickserves, and good pace. You need reasonable mass to absorb the force of the incoming ball.
 
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I think I might be turning nto a bit of a heretic on this one. I have long been an advocate of 12+ oz frames, but I do wonder if that is just because they are what I have always used..

I have switched to a lighter, very head light setup and find I am playing the best I have in many a long year. The mass (11.5oz or so) is plenty to absorb heavy balls at my level (men's open) and the RHS! My lord, I haven't hit this hard in a decade!

Horses for courses, though, and your mileage may vary...
 
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