Heavy racquets

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
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.
No disagreements. If you saw what I posted, I'm just questioning the logic that rec adults who are taking up the sport casually need to play with heavy racquets aka real racquets. As I said, unless you are consistently going to play high level 4.5s or above, which most rec players in their lives will never do, there's no real reason to move to a heavy racquet, and in fact lighter might be better. In the end, try both and go for what you like. OTOH if you're serious about tennis and are committed both on court/off court to move up, then yes, you'll need to seriously think about transitioning to heavier frames.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
As I said, unless you are consistently going to play high level 4.5s or above, which most rec players in their lives will never do, there's no real reason to move to a heavy racquet, and in fact lighter might be better.
It's interesting because most of my social tennis is played against 3.5-4.0 level players. My "serious" tennis pits me against a lot of higher level players. I play a couple Calcutta events where I'm typically paired with a 4.5 and could be facing a 5.0+3.0 pairing along the way. I play in an ITF Seniors Masters tournament where its age bracketed so I've faced plenty of 4.5 level players and a few 5.0 level players in the 50+ age group.

So i wouldn't say you won't play high level players in your life. There are events that do provide that opportunity.

Having a HL but stable frame is the biggest thing for me in these events.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
It's interesting because most of my social tennis is played against 3.5-4.0 level players. My "serious" tennis pits me against a lot of higher level players. I play a couple Calcutta events where I'm typically paired with a 4.5 and could be facing a 5.0+3.0 pairing along the way. I play in an ITF Seniors Masters tournament where its age bracketed so I've faced plenty of 4.5 level players and a few 5.0 level players in the 50+ age group.

So i wouldn't say you won't play high level players in your life. There are events that do provide that opportunity.

Having a HL but stable frame is the biggest thing for me in these events.
You are playing Seniors. Do they hit heavy enough for you that you'd feel any difference with a 300 sw racquet?

In any case, you probably are one of those outlier cases. How many rec adults play ITF tournaments? However, if someone says that they introduced their wives to heavier racquets, what scenarios do you realistically see those wives ever needing a 330 or above sw racquet? Again, our definition of light might be different. You mentioned a PD as a tweener. For me a PD in stock form is fine for most rec adults up to the 4.5 level. It's a 321 sw. I don't consider that as a light racquet.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
You are playing Seniors. Do they hit heavy enough for you that you'd feel any difference with a 300 sw racquet?

In any case, you probably are one of those outlier cases. How many rec adults play ITF tournaments? However, if someone says that they introduced their wives to heavier racquets, what scenarios do you realistically see those wives ever needing a 330 or above sw racquet? Again, our definition of light might be different. You mentioned a PD as a tweener. For me a PD in stock form is fine for most rec adults up to the 4.5 level. It's a 321 sw. I don't consider that as a light racquet.
My wife uses the Blade 104 SW model. 340 SW. And really destroys her light racket opponents. And handles my shots fine with it. In mixed she’s faced 100 mph serves and the racket is stable enough to redirect those serves back.

PD wasn’t overly light. My Aeropro team was too light. PD just wrecked my arm or I’d be using it today.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
My wife uses the Blade 104 SW model. 340 SW. And really destroys her light racket opponents. And handles my shots fine with it. In mixed she’s faced 100 mph serves and the racket is stable enough to redirect those serves back.

PD wasn’t overly light. My Aeropro team was too light. PD just wrecked my arm or I’d be using it today.
I love it that Wilson sells a racquet like the SW model.
 

KG32

Rookie
It's interesting because most of my social tennis is played against 3.5-4.0 level players. My "serious" tennis pits me against a lot of higher level players. I play a couple Calcutta events where I'm typically paired with a 4.5 and could be facing a 5.0+3.0 pairing along the way. I play in an ITF Seniors Masters tournament where its age bracketed so I've faced plenty of 4.5 level players and a few 5.0 level players in the 50+ age group.

So i wouldn't say you won't play high level players in your life. There are events that do provide that opportunity.

Having a HL but stable frame is the biggest thing for me in these events.
Playing against a high level opponent is nowewhere near equal to playing high level tennis. He was referring to something else
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Playing against a high level opponent is nowewhere near equal to playing high level tennis. He was referring to something else
Not how I read it. He said rec players aren't going to consistently play against high level 4.5's and above. And while I agree, they may play against them often enough to need something to hold up to their shots.

I like the fact that I can go toe to toe with 4.5's and hold up to their shots for a while before losing the point. Most 4.5's compliment my groundstrokes. Sadly it's my serve and return game that usually lets me down.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Not how I read it. He said rec players aren't going to consistently play against high level 4.5's and above. And while I agree, they may play against them often enough to need something to hold up to their shots.

I like the fact that I can go toe to toe with 4.5's and hold up to their shots for a while before losing the point. Most 4.5's compliment my groundstrokes. Sadly it's my serve and return game that usually lets me down.
You're correct on how you read what I posted.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
I stand corrected then (can’t say I agree though)
I don't think any racquet automatically makes you a higher level player. You still need to put in your dues. The person who puts work and plays with lighter racquets is still going to be better than the person picking up heavier racquets and trotting out to the courts once a week without much other work done.

However, if things are relatively equal, yes, heavier sw racquets help you against higher level players. Doesn't have to player's racquets. A Liquidmetal 8 which is a very light but HH, high swingweight racquet can also help. But high sw is needed when playing folks who can consistently crush the ball. Not exactly stating anything that is revolutionary.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I don't think any racquet automatically makes you a higher level player. You still need to put in your dues. The person who puts work and plays with lighter racquets is still going to be better than the person picking up heavier racquets and trotting out to the courts once a week without much other work done.

However, if things are relatively equal, yes, heavier sw racquets help you against higher level players. Doesn't have to player's racquets. A Liquidmetal 8 which is a very light but HH, high swingweight racquet can also help. But high sw is needed when playing folks who can consistently crush the ball. Not exactly stating anything that is revolutionary.
AS I've said before its less about weight and more about stability. If the racket is stable, you can take on a pretty heavy ball even with low static weight.

My wife's Blade 104 SW is only 11.5 oz but with a SW of 340, it is very stable. My 12.5 oz Prince Phantom is less stable than that Blade (but more comfy).

I think its useful to talk oranges and oranges. Heavy is a relative term. To be precise I'd view anything under 11 oz strung weight as a light racket. Anything over 13 oz strung as a heavy racket. And Everything between 11 and 13 oz as pretty standard weight.

My journey started with 10.5 oz Aeropro Team and moved to 11+ oz PD+ to 11.5 oz Blade 104 to 12 oz Phantom to 12.5 oz Phantom 93P. So I've increased weight by a shocking 2 oz over my journey from 3.0 to low 4.0. I don't view that as a monstrous change and certainly not enough to significantly slow RHS or maneuverability but enough to give a bit more stability and plow.
 

KG32

Rookie
I don't think any racquet automatically makes you a higher level player. You still need to put in your dues. The person who puts work and plays with lighter racquets is still going to be better than the person picking up heavier racquets.
Oh of course, I agree 10000%.

I quoted your answer where you answered and quoted an answer I was referring to. Nevermind, happy hitting with whatever stick you guys want
 

Crashbaby

Rookie
Rf97 black & white was cheap, now it’s reduced to only $135 ea at Tennis Only. That’s seriously good value if you can swing it. If you’re curious about a heavier stick, hard to lose on that deal.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
Rf97 black & white was cheap, now it’s reduced to only $135 ea at Tennis Only. That’s seriously good value if you can swing it. If you’re curious about a heavier stick, hard to lose on that deal.
Dunno, guy hitting on the NXT court whipped out a Prestige Classic mid. Curiosity killed his strokes
 

glenWs

Rookie
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.
I have trouble hitting with a light frame. Doesn't feel like I have anything in my hand when I start my motion. 11.2 strung is sorta my base. With light frames, especially in the heat of a match or on the move, I can't time my contact -- just too quick through the ball. And forget overheads. I use a Pure Drive Tour, Tour Plus and Beast Pro LB. Good technique is rewarded instantly. Volleys are solid, and overheads are lights out.
 
I have trouble hitting with a light frame. Doesn't feel like I have anything in my hand when I start my motion. 11.2 strung is sorta my base. With light frames, especially in the heat of a match or on the move, I can't time my contact.
So nice to read your post. I thought I was a freak and it was just me that couldn't hit a ball with lighter frames like most the guys I play with have. My base is around 13 oz strung and 12-ish pts headlight.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
I have trouble hitting with a light frame. Doesn't feel like I have anything in my hand when I start my motion. 11.2 strung is sorta my base. With light frames, especially in the heat of a match or on the move, I can't time my contact -- just too quick through the ball. And forget overheads. I use a Pure Drive Tour, Tour Plus and Beast Pro LB. Good technique is rewarded instantly. Volleys are solid, and overheads are lights out.
more SW has always helped my 2HBH ... for some reason. after a certain point its a liability for my FH and serve, though.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
more SW has always helped my 2HBH ... for some reason. after a certain point its a liability for my FH and serve, though.
Totally relate to this. I was out for a hit this morning and pulled out my POG107. I can hit great 2HBH with that racquet's 340 SW. But it gets a bit tiring on serves and FH's after a couple sets and I start hitting late.

I probably serve best with a 320 SW, hit FH's with a 330 SW and hit 2HBH's with a 340 SW. So I tend to gravitate to 330 SW just as the happy medium.
 

kabrac

Semi-Pro
Totally relate to this. I was out for a hit this morning and pulled out my POG107. I can hit great 2HBH with that racquet's 340 SW. But it gets a bit tiring on serves and FH's after a couple sets and I start hitting late.

I probably serve best with a 320 SW, hit FH's with a 330 SW and hit 2HBH's with a 340 SW. So I tend to gravitate to 330 SW just as the happy medium.
I've previously owned a POG 107, 93, and the Longbody. Thinking about picking up the POG 107 again while it's still available.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I've previously owned a POG 107, 93, and the Longbody. Thinking about picking up the POG 107 again while it's still available.
For a 30 year old design it is an awesome frame. Controls better than most OS, really hits on the rise nicely and redirects pace on returns like no other. Its a beefy frame but so much fun when you are hitting out front with it. If I'm playing singles on Clay, it really shines.
 

kabrac

Semi-Pro
For a 30 year old design it is an awesome frame. Controls better than most OS, really hits on the rise nicely and redirects pace on returns like no other. Its a beefy frame but so much fun when you are hitting out front with it. If I'm playing singles on Clay, it really shines.
I play on clay mostly too. I think the reason I sold it was I use a one handed backhand and although the weight didn't bother me, I just feel like I needed a smaller headsize for my backhand. I started to hit 2 handed when I had it and could hit some sick, flat angle rippers. I also loved it on returns and very consistent from the baseline unless the ball landed long. Hits good consistent spin serves. Flat serves, not so much. But I like it and I like the look and it plays great even with basic nylon or syn gut which is even better, even though I normally use poly. I think when I get it I'm going to string it with ProBlend just to make it even more of a fun throwback setup
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I have trouble hitting with a light frame. Doesn't feel like I have anything in my hand when I start my motion. 11.2 strung is sorta my base. With light frames, especially in the heat of a match or on the move, I can't time my contact -- just too quick through the ball. And forget overheads. I use a Pure Drive Tour, Tour Plus and Beast Pro LB. Good technique is rewarded instantly. Volleys are solid, and overheads are lights out.
That has a familiar ring to it. I was using really hefty wood racquets when I was a squirt and I've never been able to use anything lighter than maybe 12.5 oz. throughout my tennis "career". When I've tried to lighten up on a couple different occasions I've only hurt myself.

I think that when we start out with this game, we're more or less a blank slate. If we start with either a lighter or a heavier racquet and use that for a little while, that probably becomes our reference or what I think of as my "personal normal". So swing tempo and style of play can be built around that racquet behavior to a large degree. I've had no success with switching to lighter racquets. With that in mind, even if I think that somebody could benefit from a heavier alternative (maybe one of the kids I coach), I never assume that a racquet switch will be 100% helpful or an easy process.

But one constant with our game through the years has been the weight of the ball. A lighter racquet can be easy to swing and maneuver, but even with current larger head sizes, newer frames can only get so light before the ball starts to push the racquet around. Without "enough" stability in a player's racquet, some shots can be relatively difficult - I'd include a slice backhand and solid volleys in this column. So I don't preach that everybody should use a heavy frame just because I do, but I do believe that it's important to have enough racquet to command the ball.

Something else I thought of when you mentioned your racquet ups and downs above was the importance of racquet balance. I think that this is a pretty big deal in terms of how a racquet will swing through contact and how it will maneuver, especially around the net. Lighter racquets don't have so much HL balance, especially compared with heavier options like my 12.7 oz. players tuned to 11 pts. HL. But those lighter frames move differently with substantially different balance. As you use different rigs that might have different specs, pay attention to what fits you best. I like to look at the combo of static weight, balance, and flex when I want to figure out if I might like a certain racquet.
 

grhcan99

Semi-Pro
I have the POG 107 too. If that's the only racquet I have I'd be ok playing with it. But I have the C10 Pro which is heavier yet easier to swing. Only downside is the smaller racquet head which doesn't help when my timing is off on certain days. At the end of the day, any of these two serve my needs.
 
I think that when we start out with this game, we're more or less a blank slate. If we start with either a lighter or a heavier racquet and use that for a little while, that probably becomes our reference or what I think of as my "personal normal".
I think there is a lot of truth in this. While most of the guys who started around the time I did, started at 10 oz or so I started at about 12.nI offer to others to try out my racquets. As soon as I hand it to them, they hand it back not even taking a shadow swing or two saying at 13.5 oz, which is what feels good to me, is too heavy. I demo'd a Wilson Ultra last night thinking I should switch to a lower weight, modern frame. The lightweight felt kind of nice. As soon as I started hitting balls I immediately missed the easy power I'm used to from my modified Pure Control and Pure Storms.
 

sma1001

Hall of Fame
I've recent picked up a Head Radical Twin Tube OS - the "zebra". Despite being such a large head i'm finding that the stability offered combined with 18/19 pattern and 58RA gives me a very high level of consistency without losing control. For example it allows me to play a "block" defensive shot when facing a deep and powerful shot on the backhand that catches me out of position - which i tend to have problems with when playing lighter sticks. Given the HL balance i am not finding it difficult to move around.

I am also playing with the Ultra Tour (2.0) with some lead in the hoop, and enjoying that too. But no block defensive shot with this one...
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
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.
I bought an old PK black ace so I could play while healing my TE last year. I’ll say this much. After hitting with that racquet for a month or so I really appreciate what the modern racquets do for us.
 

kabrac

Semi-Pro
I have the POG 107 too. If that's the only racquet I have I'd be ok playing with it. But I have the C10 Pro which is heavier yet easier to swing. Only downside is the smaller racquet head which doesn't help when my timing is off on certain days. At the end of the day, any of these two serve my needs.
I'm thinking of picking up a POG 107 since TW is selling them again. Which edition do you have?
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I bought an old PK black ace so I could play while healing my TE last year. I’ll say this much. After hitting with that racquet for a month or so I really appreciate what the modern racquets do for us.
That's a common reaction.

You switch to a softer racquet and then try to figure out how to get pace out of it.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
That's a common reaction.

You switch to a softer racquet and then try to figure out how to get pace out of it.
It’s definitely challenging. Your timing has to be really good with those flexible racquets and with the small head size you really have to prepare early and use good form or you end up just dumping the ball in the net.

However when you take a full swing and connect properly on a forehand and you feel the racquet flex and watch the ball zing off the strings like a rocket. What a satisfying sensation.
 

Simon_the_furry

Hall of Fame
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.
You're correct. If your technique is half-decent, a racquet in this range will probably be the most comfortable.
 
When I started out as a kid I taught myself on an old wooden Slazenger stick, the thing weighed a ton. I’ve tried to play with sticks around the 290-290g mark but I always end up back at my Vcore 95D which is weighted up to 334g unstrung. Probably because it’s something like my original wooden stick, hefty with a small head. Use a lighter one to learn, and then learn what weight makes you kick on.
 
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