heavy racquet = better slice?

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Is a heavier racquet better for the slice? does it aid in creating a more punishing low ball? Im talking the block slice that goes very low over the net.

Is the overall heaviness more important, or the swing weight?
 

dnguyen

Hall of Fame
Yes, I prefer to slice than backhand if you rush to the net or use s & v tactic. I am 100% net rusher and s&v all the time. You need to have a good serve with pace.
 

dnguyen

Hall of Fame
Also it give you better stability if used heavy racquet. Mine is 12.7oz at 3 and 9 of Fischer vacuum pro 90.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Is a heavier racquet better for the slice? does it aid in creating a more punishing low ball? Im talking the block slice that goes very low over the net.

Is the overall heaviness more important, or the swing weight?
What racket and static weight/swing weight are you currently using?
 
Is a heavier racquet better for the slice? does it aid in creating a more punishing low ball? Im talking the block slice that goes very low over the net.

Is the overall heaviness more important, or the swing weight?
Maybe it would be more accurate to state "heavier racquet = more efficient slice": I think one can hit just as good a slice with a lighter racquet but I think it takes more effort.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
You think lead at 3 and 9 are the best positions for the slice?
It's certainly what I prefer in my own racquets. I have a few frames that are rather heavy in their stock layout and seem comfortably stable for me. A couple that are a little too light for me out of the box seemed to improve just fine after I added a few grams at 3/9 o'clock, but I also needed to counterbalance by adding lead to the handle (to get back to the balance that's right for me).

Remember that adding a little weight to the hoop of a frame can quickly make it's balance a little less head-light. I'm a firm believer that the "right" balance in a racquet is the key for getting a familiar feel and swing behavior from that frame for that specific player. Each of us seems to have our own personal normal in that department.

I was slicing on grass courts as a kid using hefty wood racquets, so I've always appreciated a rather beefy frame for that kind of play. I don't want to assert that everybody should use what I use just because it's right for me, but I've tried a lot of lighter gear through recent years and it hasn't helped with my slicing at all. I've also loaned heavier frames to a few players for experiments with these sorts of shots and the extra weight and stability helped them with slicing, too.

A heavier frame isn't universally better - I'm often wow'ed by the level of play that I see among stronger kids and college killers who use gear that would just be too light for me. That's great... for them. When we get down to the basic physics of shots like a slice or even volleys where generating racquet head speed isn't a strong factor for commanding the ball, it's easy to make a compelling case for having enough weight in the racquet to make that happen.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Heavier racquet, smaller head = perfect for slice. I've been playing with the PB 10 mid for a year and half now. While PD does tempt me to the dark side, there is nothing better for a slice currently than the PB 10 mid.

This article about Fed's racquet change talks about it:
Changing Rakets is a tricky thing,” Federer was saying, “a mental thing, particularly when that old racket gave me 17 Slams.” A new racket inevitably represents some sort of trade-off. With a smaller head, you can feel the slice more; with the bigger one, you can feel the topspin more. But over all, a more extensive surface area generates pop and provides a larger, more forgiving sweet spot. It just makes life easier — not to mention serving, volleying and reacting to heavy topspin and the irregular bounces on grass and clay. The slightly expanded margin of error is particularly helpful for a one-handed backhand drive, the most technically demanding shot in the game, and one that requires great racket speed and complete commitment.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/24/magazine/usopen-federer-nadal-backhand-wonder-year.html
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
What racket and static weight/swing weight are you currently using?
I use a head youtek ig prestige mp. 18x20, 340g strung. Its 7 pts headlight usually but i have added i think two or three overgrips to the handle (just normal overgrips no leather) 97 inch head
It says online it has a 314 swingweight


Wawrinkas racquet looks really nice for slices:
16x20
380g (i think like 315 normally but leaded up)
360 swing weight
95 square inch head but with the yonex head shape supposed to play with a bigger sweet spot
7pts headlight


Man i am tempted to get one. I should resist... or should i?
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Btw is there a calculation for this? If my racquet is 7 points headlight, and i add x ammount of lead at 3 and 9, how much weight do i need to add to the handle to keep it 7 pt headlight?
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I use a head youtek ig prestige mp. 18x20, 340g strung. Its 7 pts headlight usually but i have added i think two or three overgrips to the handle (just normal overgrips no leather) 97 inch head
It says online it has a 314 swingweight

Man i am tempted to get one. I should resist... or should i?
I've never hit with your racket, but if you're aiming for a good slicing racket and ROS (from your other posts), I would personally add some swingweight.

If you like your current balance, try 10 grams at 3 & 9 (5 grams each side). Then counterbalance with 5-10 grams in the handle/buttcap (if you don't mind a little less headlight, then no need to counterbalance - you're prob already very headlight with your 7 pts plus your overgrips).

That will get you a swingweight of ~335. You'll notice a difference in your serve, ROS, and slice. Prob will help with 1HBH as well. FH sometimes suffers from increased weight (mine tends to flatten out), YMMV...

You might add 5 grams at 3&9 first (with another 3-5 grams in the handle/buttcap), then the other 5 grams in a few weeks once you get used to it...
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I've never hit with your racket, but if you're aiming for a good slicing racket and ROS (from your other posts), I would personally add some swingweight.

If you like your current balance, try 10 grams at 3 & 9 (5 grams each side). Then counterbalance with 5-10 grams in the handle/buttcap (if you don't mind a little less headlight, then no need to counterbalance - you're prob already very headlight with your 7 pts plus your overgrips).

That will get you a swingweight of ~335. You'll notice a difference in your serve, ROS, and slice. Prob will help with 1HBH as well. FH sometimes suffers from increased weight (mine tends to flatten out), YMMV...

You might add 5 grams at 3&9 first (with another 3-5 grams in the handle/buttcap), then the other 5 grams in a few weeks once you get used to it...
Thats probably fine, my forehand is a bit loopy. Thanks ill give this a shot
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Is a heavier racquet better for the slice? does it aid in creating a more punishing low ball? Im talking the block slice that goes very low over the net.

Is the overall heaviness more important, or the swing weight?
My two cents is that i can slice with anything. I dont think it matters for me since my slice is wrong according to the forum. At least compared to the Billy Jean King commercial. If you hit that kind of slice a heavier racquet is better
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
My two cents is that i can slice with anything. I dont think it matters for me since my slice is wrong according to the forum. At least compared to the Billy Jean King commercial. If you hit that kind of slice a heavier racquet is better
What is yours more of a down chop with an open face, as compared to through the ball?
 

weelie

Semi-Pro
My current rackets are even more headlight than my previous ones. Based on this experience, I'd say less head light (or higher SW) is better for slice.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I've never hit with your racket, but if you're aiming for a good slicing racket and ROS (from your other posts), I would personally add some swingweight.

If you like your current balance, try 10 grams at 3 & 9 (5 grams each side). Then counterbalance with 5-10 grams in the handle/buttcap (if you don't mind a little less headlight, then no need to counterbalance - you're prob already very headlight with your 7 pts plus your overgrips).

That will get you a swingweight of ~335. You'll notice a difference in your serve, ROS, and slice. Prob will help with 1HBH as well. FH sometimes suffers from increased weight (mine tends to flatten out), YMMV...

You might add 5 grams at 3&9 first (with another 3-5 grams in the handle/buttcap), then the other 5 grams in a few weeks once you get used to it...
Okay my lead came and ive applied it. 5g each side at 3 and 9, now it is actually 7points headlight (mustve been way more before with those grips) and weighs 356g. It was 346 before - i guess the grips were 6g. Ill try it out tomorrow! If it goes well i will probably try adding more lead too lol
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Btw is there a calculation for this? If my racquet is 7 points headlight, and i add x ammount of lead at 3 and 9, how much weight do i need to add to the handle to keep it 7 pt headlight?
I'm not a math heavy, so I don't have any calculations that will help to nail that down, but there are a couple other aspects to consider.

You can mark your racquet's balance point with maybe a pencil or a little piece of tape before you start any tuning with the lead tape. That will give you something to work back toward as you get into counterbalancing. I think a couple of our pals here like to do this.

My take it a little different though, because my very best tunings have been when I simply tuned by feel. Step one is adding only a few grams total to my hoop and doing this incrementally until I have the stability that I want at contact. Then I counterbalance, but this is the funky part. If I make a racquet heavier with lead tape on the hoop and handle, it's stock balance might not be "right" for me in this more beefy layout.

At least for me, it's often the case that as my frames get heavier, I also need them to be a little more head-light to get a sort of maneuvering and swing behavior that's comfortable for me. I'd bet that when I add lead to the hoop of a racquet, I probably add about twice that weight to the handle when I counterbalance.

One example: If a racquet weighing 11.8 oz. has maybe 7 pts. HL balance and I add at least three quarters of an ounce of lead to that frame, my final layout may easily be closer to 9 pts. HL. I fortunately have access to a nice court with a good backboard and that's a great setting for tuning by feel. The board doesn't mind my stopping and starting as I make adjustments with my racquets. It's not scientific or even terribly precise, but it's the best method for getting my own racquets steadied up and feeling right for me.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Okay my lead came and ive applied it. 5g each side at 3 and 9, now it is actually 7points headlight (mustve been way more before with those grips) and weighs 356g. It was 346 before - i guess the grips were 6g. Ill try it out tomorrow! If it goes well i will probably try adding more lead too lol
I find that as sw increases, so does tension
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I find that as sw increases, so does tension
You mean i need to increase the tension?
@IowaGuy

I applied the 10g to the hoop at 3 and 9 and it feels great! Volleys and slices are so good. Just feels rock solid stable thriugh contact. All i have to do is stick the racquet out and the racquet does the rest.

And when i go to unload a topspin, i can really bash it and create a heavy weighted shot.

For sure it makes me play more like Stan. Before id be content just grinding the same kind of shots same pace all topspin etc, but id get crushed by better players who liked my rhythm. I also got crushed by equal players with 2hbhs since they could deal with morw variety of pace better (although now i have a solid bh slice this isnt a problem) It feels like now im just giving low nasty slices which skid OR heavy ass topspin which flies through the court. Very hard to get used to, seemingly like The Stanimals game. And yes the weight at 3 and 9 makes my backhand destroy the ball. The fh had timing issues initially but it was fine in the end.

Nothing amazing happened to my serve, but i have technique problems with that so..

Anyway i played someone who i rarely beat and won by the biggest margin ive ever beaten him by. Good signs.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
You mean i need to increase the tension?
@IowaGuy

I applied the 10g to the hoop at 3 and 9 and it feels great! Volleys and slices are so good. Just feels rock solid stable thriugh contact. All i have to do is stick the racquet out and the racquet does the rest.

And when i go to unload a topspin, i can really bash it and create a heavy weighted shot.

For sure it makes me play more like Stan. Before id be content just grinding the same kind of shots same pace all topspin etc, but id get crushed by better players who liked my rhythm. I also got crushed by equal players with 2hbhs since they could deal with morw variety of pace better (although now i have a solid bh slice this isnt a problem) It feels like now im just giving low nasty slices which skid OR heavy ass topspin which flies through the court. Very hard to get used to, seemingly like The Stanimals game. And yes the weight at 3 and 9 makes my backhand destroy the ball. The fh had timing issues initially but it was fine in the end.

Nothing amazing happened to my serve, but i have technique problems with that so..

Anyway i played someone who i rarely beat and won by the biggest margin ive ever beaten him by. Good signs.
Glad you are getting results!

Higher sw means more power. I find that nothing but the firmest of string beds will work for me.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Yeah im pretty cheap, usually just get a full bed of babolat blast and wait till it snaps. Dunno what tension, maybe 50kgs or 50lbs whatever it is, but i imagine its pretty low most of the time lol. Doesnt bother me if it stays consistent, i just want the cheap option
 

Curious

Legend
You mean i need to increase the tension?
@IowaGuy

I applied the 10g to the hoop at 3 and 9 and it feels great! Volleys and slices are so good. Just feels rock solid stable thriugh contact. All i have to do is stick the racquet out and the racquet does the rest.

And when i go to unload a topspin, i can really bash it and create a heavy weighted shot.

For sure it makes me play more like Stan. Before id be content just grinding the same kind of shots same pace all topspin etc, but id get crushed by better players who liked my rhythm. I also got crushed by equal players with 2hbhs since they could deal with morw variety of pace better (although now i have a solid bh slice this isnt a problem) It feels like now im just giving low nasty slices which skid OR heavy ass topspin which flies through the court. Very hard to get used to, seemingly like The Stanimals game. And yes the weight at 3 and 9 makes my backhand destroy the ball. The fh had timing issues initially but it was fine in the end.

Nothing amazing happened to my serve, but i have technique problems with that so..

Anyway i played someone who i rarely beat and won by the biggest margin ive ever beaten him by. Good signs.
Yeah I liked the heavy racket too in terms of solid contact but I felt my rhs and serve suffered as in topspin and my shoulder. That was with RF97.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
If you're playing against S&V, the weight is nice because you can use the incoming pace of the serve and don't have to supply as much forward speed so you can put more effort into spin. If you have the time. If you don't have the time, you can just stick your racquet back with a minimal swing to get the ball back, ideally low and without a lot of pace.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Yeah I liked the heavy racket too in terms of solid contact but I felt my rhs and serve suffered as in topspin and my shoulder. That was with RF97.
Ive adopted the stratergy of "slice everything thats hard (or medium difficulty even) to get back"... those heavy racquet slices are nasty and always seem to cough up short / slow balls. I got no problem pulverising them... i guess for me it was more of a timing issue on the 1hbh, not a rhs problem though.

Im using the mentality now of "every monster 1hbh Wawrinka has hit, he's had to earn it with two bh slices prior"

I think this slice game is great. Before i used only topspin and i had to hit a large variety of different topspin: slow, heavy, high, flatter... but in a long rally theyd all melt together and it was a predictable same shot each time. Now its either a slice or a monster topspin. Freakish to deal with
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
If you're playing against S&V, the weight is nice because you can use the incoming pace of the serve and don't have to supply as much forward speed so you can put more effort into spin. If you have the time. If you don't have the time, you can just stick your racquet back with a minimal swing to get the ball back, ideally low and without a lot of pace.
Isn't it a great system?!?

Fast servers = slice blocks back at blistering speeds super low
Spinny servers = can get alot of slice the ball and get it doing all kinds of things
Slow / crappy servers = more than enough time to rip a topspin or just place some nasty angled slice
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Yeah I liked the heavy racket too in terms of solid contact but I felt my rhs and serve suffered as in topspin and my shoulder. That was with RF97.
My serve was terrible with that stick. It was too light and whippy for me stock
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Btw is there a calculation for this? If my racquet is 7 points headlight, and i add x ammount of lead at 3 and 9, how much weight do i need to add to the handle to keep it 7 pt headlight?
My suggestion is to mark the balance point prior to adding any tape. Then add the lead you wish to add to the hoop. Then place weight on the handle until the balance point is restored to it's pre-weighted position. Then affix the weight onto the handle. Make sure you put the weight in the same position you had it when checking the balance.

I'm sure there is some formula but I never trust those things. Too easy to mess it up. This way you're checking the balance as you go.

You should need pretty close to the same amount of weight as you add to the hoop. Perhaps slightly less, but in my experience a few grams of weight added to both the hoop and the handle regardless of the specific position doesn't effect the balance point very much. However if you are particularly finicky about your stick you will notice it and will bother you.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Ive adopted the stratergy of "slice everything thats hard (or medium difficulty even) to get back"... those heavy racquet slices are nasty and always seem to cough up short / slow balls. I got no problem pulverising them... i guess for me it was more of a timing issue on the 1hbh, not a rhs problem though.

Im using the mentality now of "every monster 1hbh Wawrinka has hit, he's had to earn it with two bh slices prior"

I think this slice game is great. Before i used only topspin and i had to hit a large variety of different topspin: slow, heavy, high, flatter... but in a long rally theyd all melt together and it was a predictable same shot each time. Now its either a slice or a monster topspin. Freakish to deal with
What's also fun it hitting a nasty slice in doubles and watching them dump what seems an easy volley into the net as the ball seems to move down the string bed on contact. When my slice BH is on my game is usually on. When it's off, it's a real struggle.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Ok heres my current plan:
Ive bought another roll of lead tape on its way in the mail.

My current racquet specs:
Head youtek ig prestige mp
340g strung + 6g in the handle + 10g at 3 and 9 = 356g total
Headlight balance around 6~7points
315g sw stock +20g from lead = 335g sw

This has been playing great for me. Ive got two of this racquet, so im gonna lead the other one up to the same specs.

Then im gonna give them a few weeks for my body to adjust fully, then try increase the weight again 2.5g each side, (1 strip 5" front and back so 4 strips total, 5g total), to bring the total weight up to 361g and 345 swing weight. Ill then check the HL balance, as i want it around 6~7 points HL. As long as its over 6HL should be fine. Otherwise ill add something removable to the handle. Ill just keep one like this, and the other at 335g sw. Just so i can flick between them to see any difference.

Maybe then ill bump one up to like 380sw and see what that does, and if its too much slowly come down. Just wanna find my sw limit you know? They say you should swing with as heavy as possible... @Shroud ;)
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Ok heres my current plan:
Ive bought another roll of lead tape on its way in the mail.

My current racquet specs:
Head youtek ig prestige mp
340g strung + 6g in the handle + 10g at 3 and 9 = 356g total
Headlight balance around 6~7points
315g sw stock +20g from lead = 335g sw

This has been playing great for me. Ive got two of this racquet, so im gonna lead the other one up to the same specs.

Then im gonna give them a few weeks for my body to adjust fully, then try increase the weight again 2.5g each side, (1 strip 5" front and back so 4 strips total, 5g total), to bring the total weight up to 361g and 345 swing weight. Ill then check the HL balance, as i want it around 6~7 points HL. As long as its over 6HL should be fine. Otherwise ill add something removable to the handle. Ill just keep one like this, and the other at 335g sw. Just so i can flick between them to see any difference.

Maybe then ill bump one up to like 380sw and see what that does, and if its too much slowly come down. Just wanna find my sw limit you know? They say you should swing with as heavy as possible... @Shroud ;)
Good for you. Best to actually try things. But if I can be soooo bold to offer a suggestion, 3&9 increases the twist weight more than any other place. 12 or 1&11 may be a better spot as it will increase the sw more with less weight and not impact the twist weight nearly as much. You may find that twist weight is harder to play with than swing weight.



Let me know when you find the racquet getting sluggish and I can tell you how to fix it.
 
Last edited:

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Good for you. Best to actually try things. But if I can be soooo bold to offer a suggestion, 3&9 increases the twist weight more than any other place. 12 or 1&11 may be a better spot as it will increase the sw more with less weight and not impact the twist weight nearly as much. You may find that twist weight is harder to play with than swing weight.



Let me know when you find the racquet getting sluggish and I can tell you how to fix it.
I thought tape at 3 and 9 makes the sweet spot bigger, while also stabilising the racquet through contact, aka good for slices and for stopping the racquet from twisting from off-centre shots. Why would this make it harder to play with?

Why do you think the stanimal uses weight at 3 and 9 with his 1hander?

Also - i think possibly his racquet is more polarised than mine. He has 372g static weight and 360g sw, with 6-7pt headlight.

If i take my racquet at 340g stock weight and 315g sw, then i add 32g... 22.5g of that needs to go at 3 and 9 (to get 360g sw, assuming 1g at 3 and 9 = 2g swingweight), with the remainder 9.5g going to the handle or something to try and keep it more headlight. I wonder what the balance would be... but i imagine less than 6pt HL. I don't think going higher than wawrinka would do me any good, lol. But yeah maybe id need to put some at 12 to keep it somewhat polarised to match his stats
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I thought tape at 3 and 9 makes the sweet spot bigger, while also stabilising the racquet through contact, aka good for slices and for stopping the racquet from twisting from off-centre shots. Why would this make it harder to play with?

Why do you think the stanimal uses weight at 3 and 9 with his 1hander?

Also - i think possibly his racquet is more polarised than mine. He has 372g static weight and 360g sw, with 6-7pt headlight.

If i take my racquet at 340g stock weight and 315g sw, then i add 32g... 22.5g of that needs to go at 3 and 9 (to get 360g sw, assuming 1g at 3 and 9 = 2g swingweight), with the remainder 9.5g going to the handle or something to try and keep it more headlight. I wonder what the balance would be... but i imagine less than 6pt HL. I don't think going higher than wawrinka would do me any good, lol. But yeah maybe id need to put some at 12 to keep it somewhat polarised to match his stats
Stanimal might also have some lead under the bumper. This would give him lots of SW while keeping twistweight manageable.

For me personally, too much twistweight makes the racket difficult to handle at net (difficult to quickly change the angle of the racket for volleys).

High twistweight can help on ROS (in my experience) because the sweet spot is so large and is very stable on off-center hits (which happens when returning a big serve). So, it's about finding the balance, depending on your playing style.

Just experiment to see what you perfer. Many players use a combo of some lead and 3&9, and some at 12:00. Or, strips spanning from 9 all the way across the top of the hoop to 3 (that's my favorite setup, I have ~10g of lead from about 9:30 around to 3:30). YMMV.
 
Top