Heavy racquets

#1
I had a post a few months ago concerning beginner racquets for myself , but this is slightly different.

When I first started the common advise was to get a light racquet with a 100+ head size. I understand the logic, but these racquets are a relatively new phenomenon. Back in the day, weren’t all racquets relatively heavy with smaller head sizes? If new players could learn on them then why are so many against them now for beginners? I’m not talking about women or juniors that perhaps lack sufficient upper body strength, but for relatively strong adult males it would seem, in terms of stability and comfort a heavier racquet would be the way to go, something between 11.5-12 ounces. I’m just trying to understand the logic.
 
#2
Never saw your post or I would tell you to try ranges of frames. I’m guessing ppl gravitate towards advising on lighter and bigger head frames is because they are easier to swing and give you margin for mishits which can make tennis easier to play. The norm back in the day use to be 95 anything bigger seemed like it had a stigma of being made for players that are older and need more assistance with power with the exception of Agassi because his was still a players frame with 18x19 so it was still a tighter pattern . These days 100 sqin is of the norm even 95 is considered small now. With the evolution of strings you can hone in the power and create a bigger sweet spot. I’d say demo ranges like pure drive, Wilson 97, Ezone 98, phantom frames. Not saying get those but see which category of frames feel good to you, then I’m sure you’ll grow and learn to yearn for something more or less from your frame, sometimes it’s as a simple as changing the string. Good luck in your search. Just get the big bubba from gamma. Jk.
 
#3
I had a post a few months ago concerning beginner racquets for myself , but this is slightly different.

When I first started the common advise was to get a light racquet with a 100+ head size. I understand the logic, but these racquets are a relatively new phenomenon. Back in the day, weren’t all racquets relatively heavy with smaller head sizes? If new players could learn on them then why are so many against them now for beginners? I’m not talking about women or juniors that perhaps lack sufficient upper body strength, but for relatively strong adult males it would seem, in terms of stability and comfort a heavier racquet would be the way to go, something between 11.5-12 ounces. I’m just trying to understand the logic.
While it's better to learn proper stroke production with a heftier racquet, to improve means being able to square up the ball on the strings repeatedly. That's just a much more difficult task, even at lower levels, if others are using modern racquets and strings that can hit the ball fast and/or with a significant spin.

I occasionally will pull out a wood racquet to hit with. I'm USTA 4.5 rated and probably couldn't consistently beat many of the 3.5 players at my Club with a wood racquet because they can put enough spin on the ball to make it difficult to hit the sweetspot consistently with any full swing. I tend to simplify my game, never trying to be aggressive or aim close to the lines, and instead try to hit as flat as possible. It's the only way I can find to get more balls back consistently, and it removes all those better parts of my game that I've tried to develop over the years. My opponent can tee off more, because I don't put anywhere near my usual spin or speed on the ball. However, give that opponent a wood racquet also and the relative skill levels get restored.

I guess the old saying of "never bring a knife to a gunfight" applies. Don't know if you are old enough to remember but Bjorn Borg tried to come back at some point while still using his wood racquet when everyone else had moved on. He never got close to being competitive. And when you're learning the game, you have to be competitive to move up to the next level of opponent skill. Using more difficult equipment just delays progress in moving up in skill level.
 
#4
... I’m not talking about women or juniors that perhaps lack sufficient upper body strength, but for relatively strong adult males it would seem, in terms of stability and comfort a heavier racquet would be the way to go, something between 11.5-12 ounces. I’m just trying to understand the logic.
Perhaps today's lighter larger-head racquets are not that inferior to heavier smaller-head racquets in terms of stability and comfort?
 

robbo1970

Hall of Fame
#5
From my own experience, when I got back into the game after a long break, I went straight out and got a larger headed, lighter racquet, purely on the basis that the vast majority of racquets I was seeing were in that range. However, it was not until I got a smaller headed, heavier racquet that my re-progression took off.

Initially I felt I had to focus very much on my swing and striking the ball properly, but to be perfectly honest, after a few games it soon becomes instinctive and part of your normal way of playing. I would also say that using a smaller headed, heavier racquet actually makes me less error prone, and I'm talking about 93 head, 12oz strung weight. More control, less stray shots.

But racquets like mine are not for everyone, this is just my experience. I would definitely suggest trying a few heavier racquets out though.
 
#6
Thanks guys for all your input. It seems like the consensus is “whatever you’re most comfortable with.” I also look at in terms of what the other guy (or lady) is using. To use an analogy are the smaller head, heavier racquets like an old antique rifle? Accurate, require more expertise, but a bit too outdated? Are the more modern, lighter racquets a bit like an an assault rifle? Not as accurate, anyone can pretty much use it and has lots of power? Who wins in that battle? Would it also depend on the type of game one plays? I’m guessing someone that comes to the net a lot wouldn’t do well with a pure drive or a beast. Likewise, I’m guessing a counterpuncher wouldn’t fair well with a Prestige.
 
#8
Thanks guys for all your input. It seems like the consensus is “whatever you’re most comfortable with.” I also look at in terms of what the other guy (or lady) is using. To use an analogy are the smaller head, heavier racquets like an old antique rifle? Accurate, require more expertise, but a bit too outdated? Are the more modern, lighter racquets a bit like an an assault rifle? Not as accurate, anyone can pretty much use it and has lots of power? Who wins in that battle? Would it also depend on the type of game one plays? I’m guessing someone that comes to the net a lot wouldn’t do well with a pure drive or a beast. Likewise, I’m guessing a counterpuncher wouldn’t fair well with a Prestige.
Actually I think you were onto a grain of truth in your first post up top.

Lighter racquets are a trade off like anything else. For some folks, a light frame might be helpful when getting started and some players may not have the fundamental strength to handle anything with much weight. But what I also recognize after some years of teaching and coaching is that these racquets can reward bad technique more often than others that we'd consider to be heavier or "more demanding".

That post above by our pal robbo1970 is interesting because I think it puts a little light on this issue. Heavier racquets - especially frames that are more old-school with extra flex and smaller head sizes - generally produce decent shots only when we repeat decent habits. If we try to get away with late preparation or simply arming the ball, they'll penalize us after only several minutes. Lighter racquets can let us get away with being lazy.

I've always used heavier frames and I try to avoid the mindset that everyone else should use what works for me. But scrawny 11-year-old boys and girls have enjoyed my 12.7 oz. frames in the past and I've also seen how lightweight "beginner" racquets have kept some players sort of stuck at a level where they stand on the court with straight legs and wave at the ball. There's no motivation to do more than that if a fly swatter will send the ball on its way with little effort.
 
#9
My wife has moved to heavier frames at my urging and she now can barely play with her old cronies. She knocks those light frames right out of their hands with her pace. Yesterday she seriously got asked by her opponents if she could quit hitting so hard because she was scaring them.

I think light frames are really for kids and squash players. I think they stunt proper form development for many intermediate players. Just like with golf, as you improve you move on from oversize perimeter weighting game improvement irons to midsized perimeter weighting to muscle back blades.
 
#10
Gilles Simon uses a prestige
I think that it's safe to say that just about every type of player at the pro level is represented by the Prestige. It's a Pro Stock platform frame so it's quite flexible as to what you can get out of it with the right amount and placement of lead tape.
 
#11
I think that it's safe to say that just about every type of player at the pro level is represented by the Prestige. It's a Pro Stock platform frame so it's quite flexible as to what you can get out of it with the right amount and placement of lead tape.
Correct
 
#12
I think that it's safe to say that just about every type of player at the pro level is represented by the Prestige. It's a Pro Stock platform frame so it's quite flexible as to what you can get out of it with the right amount and placement of lead tape.
Are you saying a personally modified Prestige is the way to go?
 
#13
Are you saying a personally modified Prestige is the way to go?
No. But it is an incredibly flexible frame for professional players. There are a lot of customized Radicals out there too.

It may be that recreational players couldn’t find a setup that they like due to fitness or technique issues.
 
#14
OP, I've been playing with all sorts of rackets throughout my tennis life and seemed to have settled around the same range that you are thinking. 11.5oz+ players sticks. there are a couple of things that I personally keep track of over the past couple of decades that are key characteristics i keep in mind. String pattern density, stiffness, overall weight and balance(swingweight and twist weight included).

I tend to like very control oriented and maneuverable feeling rackets with dense string patterns.

Dense string patterns: 90-95 square inches I like 16x19 and 18x20, anything larger than 95, I basically need 18x20 to play as usual or I have to do major adjustments on court.
Maneuverability: If the weight is 11oz+, the weight I usually need it over 7pts head light(or greater than 32cm). I have been known to also enjoy really light rackets with a balanced or head heavy swingweight (as long as I also have my dense string pattern)
Overall weight: My main rackets are currently 2 YTIG Prestige mid: 93 square inches, 18x20 and 11.8oz unstrung. Both weigh in around 12.8oz after string and overgripped. The weight and balance kind of cancel each other out and it feels really good to play with.
Stiffness: Based on the TW stiffness rating, anything 67 and over spells doom for my elbow and wrist. My sweet spot is between 63 and 65.

Just remember that the weight helps to an extent, but I had a revelation recently with the 2015 Prince textreme that made me think that I really might not need that heavy of a stick. It weighed in at just over 11oz and had super bouncy multifilament in there, but boy did it feel good. Felt almost exactly like my 13oz prestiges. You just need to find a spec range that is comfortable and stick with it.

The rest is all form and fitness anyways.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#16
My wife has moved to heavier frames at my urging and she now can barely play with her old cronies. She knocks those light frames right out of their hands with her pace. Yesterday she seriously got asked by her opponents if she could quit hitting so hard because she was scaring them.

I think light frames are really for kids and squash players. I think they stunt proper form development for many intermediate players. Just like with golf, as you improve you move on from oversize perimeter weighting game improvement irons to midsized perimeter weighting to muscle back blades.
That is just about the best compliment an opponent can give. Kudos to your wife! and to add no she shouldn't stop hitting with pace.(y)
 
#17
That is just about the best compliment an opponent can give. Kudos to your wife! and to add no she shouldn't stop hitting with pace.(y)
Most of the folks I play with have some level of competitiveness. If one person gains an advantage, the others try to figure out what it is to counteract it. Or adopt it themselves.
 
#18
When I started out I played a racket that weighed 377g and it was a 93, I think (in the early 1980s, a 100cm was oversize). It was the same mold as my coach's, solid old style racket, not stiff at all, not light, not head heavy. Then I got a Wilson Hammer, which was a lot lighter (10oz?) but very head heavy, it was very soft RA as well, and a 95. I remember trying a Prince 107, like Agassi's, felt very slow, heavy and clumsy in my hands. Then in the early 1990s, you got huge rackets and long bodies. Then later, poly strings, which to me was a big game changer. Anyway, as a kid in the 1980s, I did not know half as much of specs as I do now. And my game was quite different. (I played mostly on outdoor clay, now mostly on indoor hard court.)

With the internet, everybody "knows" more than they really know. Now I was never very athletic or heavy built, I am skinny nerd. But coming back to tennis after 20 years hiatus, I felt a 12oz racket felt the best (Dunlop F2.0) but I got elbow issues with anything stiff and remotely head heavy. So I compromised by building a "heavy" racket that is very head light, by adding 60g to the grip of a lower-RA 290g frame... and it is over 100 too, at 102. So, it is a wonderful modern beginner racket. :D

For a beginner, I would suggest a very regular racket. Not oversize, not very stiff, not long body, decent weight and decently headlight. Probably 16x19 to aid in spin creation, but probably not poly strings. Then he/she can move from that to any direction if need be.
 
#19
I think you need to consider the context of the tennis game as well. Even from when I was a kid back in the 80s, the tennis game was just starting to evolve into the modern, high spin, high racquet head speed game we see today. That necessarily made the older, heavier, HL sticks somewhat outdated. Then came the advent of poly and we were off to a whole new realm. Enter the tweener.
Long winded way of saying you need to find the right racquet that fits both your physical and tennis skills.
More than likely, the ideal racquet for your current state of the above will dictate a certain setup. IMHO, you should always go with slightly heavier rather than too light and work to develop the swing and footwork to unlock the power and spin of the racquet. Also, don't overlook grip size and shape. Not all grips are the same and considering the grip is the only physical interface beween you and the racquet, it needs to be comfortable and appropriate.

Good luck!
 
#20
Years ago ITF recommended these specs: weight 11 oz or more, SW320 or more and 4HL or more. To me, 11 oz, 320SW, 4HL frame in the 95-110 head size range is the minimum spec for teenagers through old age. stronger adults can certainly handle more weight and SW too. Just demo a few heavier frames and see if you like them. if you do, play with it.
 
#21
My wife has moved to heavier frames at my urging and she now can barely play with her old cronies. She knocks those light frames right out of their hands with her pace. Yesterday she seriously got asked by her opponents if she could quit hitting so hard because she was scaring them.

I think light frames are really for kids and squash players. I think they stunt proper form development for many intermediate players. Just like with golf, as you improve you move on from oversize perimeter weighting game improvement irons to midsized perimeter weighting to muscle back blades.
What racquet was she using? What level was she playing against?
 
#22
What racquet was she using? What level was she playing against?
She was using the Blade 104 SW autograph. The ladies were some old 3.0 friends from when she started back 5 yrs ago. Doesn't much play with them anymore but they needed a 4th so they asked her to come out. Don't think she'll get too many more invites as she's clearly progressed beyond these moonballers (and learned to take their shots out of the air and send them back hard.)
 
#24
Just an observation... when I look over our large rec areas, everyone looks like they are playing handball, not a tennis game with positioning, weight shifts, and large muscle timing. That's fine - I agree with the above that light racquets make it just easier...
 
#26
You see, I’m a 38 year old, fairly strong male (lower body probably marginally stronger than upper) and I’ve been a fan of tennis for a while. I figured actually learning to play myself and making it a hobby would be far more healthier than sitting in my recliner watching it on television. I hope to eventually play in local 40+ Tournaments and become certified to coach. I live in the Southern U.S. where football is king, but for a lot of kids it just isn’t their thing for various reasons. I figure teaching them how to play tennis would be a productive outlet for them. Long story short I want to learn the right way so I can play and teach the right way.
 
#27
Years ago ITF recommended these specs: weight 11 oz or more, SW320 or more and 4HL or more. To me, 11 oz, 320SW, 4HL frame in the 95-110 head size range is the minimum spec for teenagers through old age. stronger adults can certainly handle more weight and SW too. Just demo a few heavier frames and see if you like them. if you do, play with it.
Any suggestions at to which I should definitely NOT try?
 
#29
In other words light racquets help makeup for bad technique?
Or encourage its persistence.
A bit of both, yes :)

IMO, if a lighter racquet helps the player generate good racquet-head speed and allows him to drive through the ball consistently with power and spin then it is a good choice.

OTOH, if a players is often late (due to deficiency of technique or movement or both) and uses the lighter racquet to help him catch-up to balls all the time then, IMO again, the player is better off using a heavier racquet and adopting a shorter-swing, more blocking-type flat shot game. Heavier racquets are really good for that. Brad Gilbert and even John McEnroe at the baseline come to mind as players who reached the very top of the game using this style so it isn't as limiting as it may sound.

Of course, the Holy Grail of modern tennis is being able to drive powerfully through the ball with a heavy racquet. Alas, for most of us, this style is not easily attainable :(

Another point: not everyone is capable of going through a long 3-setter and serving consistently with a heavy racquet. Make sure you're still able to move this mass after two hours of serving.
 
#30
The problem with humans is as soon as we put a scoreboard up we lose sight of the process and become to results oriented. A beginner will get better results early on from a light powerful racket. They will often then settle for bad strokes with good results and accept a lower ceiling on their tennis.
If you remain process oriented you will get better feedback from a heavier player's frame as to how your strokes are developing. If you don't unit turn early and get your feet in good position, you will make a bad shot. But if you do things right there is no better feeling than a purely struck FH with a player's mid. Using that negative and positive feedback has really pushed my game forward from my old PD days. Still can't serve likeI did with that PD but my footwork, shot variety, anticipation, feel have all really advanced. I can play tennis with good players and not feel humiliated to be on the court with them.
 
#31
Light has different meanings for different people. Are we talking static weight, swing weight, or a combination of both? Plus blasting some 3.0 away is different from taking on a strong 4.0. A 4.0 might use a lighter racquet and generate enough pace to trouble and easily beat many of the relatively newbie folks who found success at lower levels with heavier racquets.

Game at every level is moving towards skill and speed. Even in the NBA it is more about skill now. If you can swing a heavier racquet and be quick enough to handle pace then stick with it. Else don’t delude yourself and give your opponent an unnecessary advantage.
 
#32
I'm still of the view that you use the heaviest racquet you can for the type of game you have. Il'm no fan of light racquets because the benefits of heavy racquets are too good to resist including the all important arm safety and feel.
Of course you don't want to go overboard with things and at the same time understand that going too light can be detrimental to your game.
Most racquets in shops are marketedto the 12 to 16 year olds who will start in the 285g to 300g. A strong male or woman can easily go heavier.
 
#33
I'm still of the view that you use the heaviest racquet you can for the type of game you have. Il'm no fan of light racquets because the benefits of heavy racquets are too good to resist including the all important arm safety and feel.
Of course you don't want to go overboard with things and at the same time understand that going too light can be detrimental to your game.
Most racquets in shops are marketedto the 12 to 16 year olds who will start in the 285g to 300g. A strong male or woman can easily go heavier.
I’m 5’7 and 280. Yes, I’ve got big bones. LOL
 
#34
Game at every level is moving towards skill and speed. Even in the NBA it is more about skill now. If you can swing a heavier racquet and be quick enough to handle pace then stick with it. Else don’t delude yourself and give your opponent an unnecessary advantage
I'm not sure how quickness really comes into play in the equation. When I play 3.0-3.5 i stand on the baseline and dictate play. When i play 4.0-4.5 players I stand 4 feet behind the baseline and try to stay in the rally. The speed of the ball is about the same at those different areas of the court. In order to play at the baseline against better players, I wouldn't need racket quickness but better hand eye and timing as I'd be hitting a topspin ball on the rise. If I had that degree of better hand eye and timing I'd be the better player.

The only times I've wished for a lighter racket was on stretched out recovery squash shots and for serving late in a match. For so many other reasons (deflecting first serves, volleying hard forehands, half volleys, driving midcourt balls) I find the extra mass useful.

Every time I knock a 280 gm racket out of someone's hands I chuckle.

Play a racket heavy enough to comfortably deal with the pace of ball you are facing and light enough you can still swing fully with ease.
 
#35
I'm not sure how quickness really comes into play in the equation. When I play 3.0-3.5 i stand on the baseline and dictate play. When i play 4.0-4.5 players I stand 4 feet behind the baseline and try to stay in the rally. The speed of the ball is about the same at those different areas of the court. In order to play at the baseline against better players, I wouldn't need racket quickness but better hand eye and timing as I'd be hitting a topspin ball on the rise. If I had that degree of better hand eye and timing I'd be the better player.

The only times I've wished for a lighter racket was on stretched out recovery squash shots and for serving late in a match. For so many other reasons (deflecting first serves, volleying hard forehands, half volleys, driving midcourt balls) I find the extra mass useful.

Every time I knock a 280 gm racket out of someone's hands I chuckle.

Play a racket heavy enough to comfortably deal with the pace of ball you are facing and light enough you can still swing fully with ease.
If you stay behind that far, a really good player will mix it up and play drop shots and beat you easily. Basically what you are saying is that you'll give up a certain court advantage because of who you play with. As for racquet quickness, I play regularly with a 5.0. If you play with someone who hits fast paced shots consistently well, you'll know what I'm saying. It's easy for folks to say how they'll handle speed with heavier racquets if they've not done it against a high level player who can give them real heat consistently.

BTW...my racquet swingweight is 340 (Solinco Pro 10). His is 320. So, I do know the addiction to heavy racquets myself. I also know its pros and cons when going up against higher players.
 
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#38
OP, I've been playing with all sorts of rackets throughout my tennis life and seemed to have settled around the same range that you are thinking. 11.5oz+ players sticks. there are a couple of things that I personally keep track of over the past couple of decades that are key characteristics i keep in mind. String pattern density, stiffness, overall weight and balance(swingweight and twist weight included).

I tend to like very control oriented and maneuverable feeling rackets with dense string patterns.

Dense string patterns: 90-95 square inches I like 16x19 and 18x20, anything larger than 95, I basically need 18x20 to play as usual or I have to do major adjustments on court.
Maneuverability: If the weight is 11oz+, the weight I usually need it over 7pts head light(or greater than 32cm). I have been known to also enjoy really light rackets with a balanced or head heavy swingweight (as long as I also have my dense string pattern)
Overall weight: My main rackets are currently 2 YTIG Prestige mid: 93 square inches, 18x20 and 11.8oz unstrung. Both weigh in around 12.8oz after string and overgripped. The weight and balance kind of cancel each other out and it feels really good to play with.
Stiffness: Based on the TW stiffness rating, anything 67 and over spells doom for my elbow and wrist. My sweet spot is between 63 and 65.

Just remember that the weight helps to an extent, but I had a revelation recently with the 2015 Prince textreme that made me think that I really might not need that heavy of a stick. It weighed in at just over 11oz and had super bouncy multifilament in there, but boy did it feel good. Felt almost exactly like my 13oz prestiges. You just need to find a spec range that is comfortable and stick with it.

The rest is all form and fitness anyways.
which Prince frame in particular?
 
#39
weak arm -- uses heavy racket, strong arm -- uses lighter racket, I cannot handle heavy fast ball with light racket which wobbles a lot (unstable), my arm is not strong enough, especially when i need to hit down the line shot.
 
#40
Has anyone used the Völkl C10 pro?
I've had C10's for several years. These are a great example of a current racquet offering a combo of old-school and modern features. The modern aspect is the 98" head size, but the flex, narrow beam width, and general personality of the C10 give me a vibe that reminds me of the earlier generations of graphite frames.

I switched to the C10 when I needed a more flexible alternative to my old Wilson 6.1 Classics. The flex of the C10 gave me an instant boost in baseline consistency and the feel/comfort with the C10 was very easy for me to live with as my game was trending from primarily serve and volley into more all-court play with a little more time spent around the baseline.

The C10 is my easy choice these days when I want to do some singles slugging. Very easy power for me along with good control when I'm working out with perhaps one of the stronger kids I coach. I've added some weight to their handles to get a degree of head-light balance that's familiar for me, but otherwise I like them the way they are.

One personality quirk with the C10 that's worth noting is it's "hoop flex". This seems to make the response or liveliness of the string bed drop off a little bit as the ball makes contact further up toward the top of the hoop. Not a "problem" - I actually think that this feature makes the C10 effectively more arm-friendly than we might expect from its flex rating of 63. I string mine with syn. gut and they've been supremely comfortable for me since day one.

I also keep another Volkl model in my bag; the Organix 10 325g (and I just got the newer version of this frame on sale at TW - the V-Sense 10 325g). These racquets were disappointing for me when I first tried them in stock form, but after leading their hoops and handles, their feel and performance really came alive for me. More than just a subtle transformation. The touch and control I get with these frames is a bit better than with my C10's, so I usually use these for feeding in lesson settings, playing doubles, and occasionally for singles, too.

My 325g's have also offered me a little more spin potential than my C10's, but not quite the same high octane. With both frames in my bag, I have a really good situation - all bases are covered. And on some days when I'm a little off with one racquet, it often feels good to swap out to the other - sometimes my C10's feel right for doubles. Both weigh in at around 12.6-12.7 oz. with 10-11 pts. HL balance.
 

n8dawg6

Hall of Fame
#41
tt logic: “need some advice. i am a 4.0ish [3.0 USTA] player. im a heavy topspin hitter, mostly baseline with a big kick serve [30 rpm in varying directions], but i can play all-court to finish points. i started out with a RF97 with lead at 3 & 9 and silicone in the handle but found I was getting pushed around a lot when playing with 5.0s and 5.5s [my coaches, when i am paying for lessons from them]. i already have about 12 g of lead at 12 [probably true]. my question: should i wear a wristband to bump up my swingweight? i hope to be a 4.5 by this fall. thanks in advance.”
 
#42
tt logic: “need some advice. i am a 4.0ish [3.0 USTA] player. im a heavy topspin hitter, mostly baseline with a big kick serve [30 rpm in varying directions], but i can play all-court to finish points. i started out with a RF97 with lead at 3 & 9 and silicone in the handle but found I was getting pushed around a lot when playing with 5.0s and 5.5s [my coaches, when i am paying for lessons from them]. i already have about 12 g of lead at 12 [probably true]. my question: should i wear a wristband to bump up my swingweight? i hope to be a 4.5 by this fall. thanks in advance.”
Befuddles me too. I have seen far too many high level players (college and otherwise) play with bone stock Radicals, APDs, PDs and Blades ripping fuzz off the ball to believe the BS that you can't play high level tennis unless you add one thousand grams to the racquet. Or for that matter, a rec level 3.5 or 4.0 needs a heavy racquet to progress or his strokes would get ruined. Only on T Dub, I swear. Get a racquet. Get coaching. Work on fitness. Period. There are no shortcuts to playing better tennis.
 
#46
If you stay behind that far, a really good player will mix it up and play drop shots and beat you easily. Basically what you are saying is that you'll give up a certain court advantage because of who you play with.
Yes. That is why they are better than me. I can't handle their pace with my limited coordination and timing. But again its nothing to do with racket weight.

Are you saying if I played with a lighter quicker frame I could suddenly beat 4.5 players as a 3.5? Is a racket switch holding me back? Is that why I've only gone from an APD Team wielding 3.0 to a Prince Phantom wielding 3.5? If i'd stuck with that Team, I'd be well on my way to 4.5 goodness?

Enough facetiousness. Footwork, coordination and fitness are what's holding me back. Not because I've gone from 11 oz to 12.5 oz rackets. The best set I played against a 5.0 player was when demoing a RF97. Racket held up to his power magnificently. Arm tired serving after a set but it was far easier to surf off his power with the RF than with my Babolat PD. To me stability is more necessary against more powerful players than weight or RHS.
 
#47
From my own experience, when I got back into the game after a long break, I went straight out and got a larger headed, lighter racquet, purely on the basis that the vast majority of racquets I was seeing were in that range. However, it was not until I got a smaller headed, heavier racquet that my re-progression took off.

Initially I felt I had to focus very much on my swing and striking the ball properly, but to be perfectly honest, after a few games it soon becomes instinctive and part of your normal way of playing. I would also say that using a smaller headed, heavier racquet actually makes me less error prone, and I'm talking about 93 head, 12oz strung weight. More control, less stray shots.

But racquets like mine are not for everyone, this is just my experience. I would definitely suggest trying a few heavier racquets out though.
agreed... I grew up with very heavy sticks and the 12.6 oz frame I currently use is my version of a light frame.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
#48
Are you saying if I played with a lighter quicker frame I could suddenly beat 4.5 players as a 3.5? Is a racket switch holding me back? Is that why I've only gone from an APD Team wielding 3.0 to a Prince Phantom wielding 3.5? If i'd stuck with that Team, I'd be well on my way to 4.5 goodness?
That question can be spun the other way too:

"Are you saying that if I played with a heavier frame I could suddenly beat 4.5 players as a 3.5? Is a racket switch holding me back? If every beginner played with a heavy racquet would they be well on their way to 4.5 goodness?"

As I said, I do play with heavier racquets myself but I know better players than me who do play with lighter racquets. It's just a matter of preference for the most part unless you are consistently playing higher level players, which most rec players are not.

I know regardless of the racquet I play with, I'm never going to beat my ex 5.0 friend. However, I like the feel of a heavier racquet better than a lighter racquet and it helps more than it hurts against other lesser players. However, there are pros and cons to both, especially when you talk about most rec players who are not going to be playing a high 4.5 or above. So just advocating heavy racquets as what would benefit most, doesn't really hold true.
 
#49
That question can be spun the other way too:

"Are you saying that if I played with a heavier frame I could suddenly beat 4.5 players as a 3.5? Is a racket switch holding me back? If every beginner played with a heavy racquet would they be well on their way to 4.5 goodness?"

As I said, I do play with heavier racquets myself but I know better players than me who do play with lighter racquets. It's just a matter of preference for the most part unless you are consistently playing higher level players, which most rec players are not.

I know regardless of the racquet I play with, I'm never going to beat my ex 5.0 friend. However, I like the feel of a heavier racquet better than a lighter racquet and it helps more than it hurts against other lesser players. However, there are pros and cons to both, especially when you talk about most rec players who are not going to be playing a high 4.5 or above. So just advocating heavy racquets as what would benefit most, doesn't really hold true.
Well I'd agree to some degree with that. I think a lot depends on what pace of ball you face and whether the racket is stable. Heavier frames tend to have more stability to hold up to pace. But 2.5 level ladies facing bounty moon balls only need a OS 10 oz racket to hold up to that pace. But that racket would get knocked out of their hands by a 5.0 players shot. But they aren't playing 5.0's so its unnecessary go heavier for them.

I started as a 3.0 with a APD Team. As I started playing stronger and stronger players up to 4.5, I've gravitated to heavier frames because they are more stable for RoS, volleys and groundstrokes against heavier balls. Now swinging my Team feels like swinging a toy racket.

I doubt there are many 4.5 players using 10 oz frames. Certainly on these boards its a lot of tweeners with lead added.
 
#50
That question can be spun the other way too:

"Are you saying that if I played with a heavier frame I could suddenly beat 4.5 players as a 3.5? Is a racket switch holding me back? If every beginner played with a heavy racquet would they be well on their way to 4.5 goodness?"

As I said, I do play with heavier racquets myself but I know better players than me who do play with lighter racquets. It's just a matter of preference for the most part unless you are consistently playing higher level players, which most rec players are not.

I know regardless of the racquet I play with, I'm never going to beat my ex 5.0 friend. However, I like the feel of a heavier racquet better than a lighter racquet and it helps more than it hurts against other lesser players. However, there are pros and cons to both, especially when you talk about most rec players who are not going to be playing a high 4.5 or above. So just advocating heavy racquets as what would benefit most, doesn't really hold true.
No, a 3.5 isn't going to improve to 4.5 by using a heavier racket but a 3.5 that is working hard to move up to 4.0 and 4.5 over the next 2 to 3 years should probably play a racket that can handle that level. the player's skill level trumps gear tweaks but it is wise to play with gear that is a good fit for your current level and target level. I too have seen excellent players win with crap rackets. I have a friend who played D1, was an alternate on a world team tennis pro team and is in his college's tennis hall of fame. He played an oversized light Wilson piece of crap probably because he got it on sale and he beat almost everyone he played even in local mid-level leagues though he rarely practiced and had significant knee issues. But, he if was trying to win tournaments at his level (4.5 or 5.0), I think he would be more competitive with a better frame for his level.
 
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