How do we feel?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TheOneHander, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. TheOneHander

    TheOneHander Professional

    Jan 9, 2010
    So I was testing out some dampeners and was thinking about how they matched up compared to each other. One had more dampening properties than the other and it gave off a different sound-two things whose feel I could identify.

    But then I asked myself, how do I determine the feel of a racquet? For instance, I know when I hit with my KPS88 that there's a stiffer feel, while when I play with wooden racquets, there's decidedly more flex. Same thing with strings-my PDRGT+ with full Luxilon felt much more stiff than my LM Radical MP did with full NRG2. The same idea can be discussed with hitting a heavy ball and feeling it "tear" across the strings.

    I suppose that I'm asking how the body can tell how a racquet responds during impact. I honestly have no clue.

    Discuss :)
  2. whomad15

    whomad15 Semi-Pro

    Aug 31, 2010
    How do you know how to throw a ball, you just do.
    Ball hitting the racquet creates a reaction which you then proceed to evaluate with words that may describe said reaction
    Stiff, crisp, soft, etc
  3. HiroProtagonist

    HiroProtagonist Professional

    Jul 23, 2010
    I like to use my nervous system and brain:)
  4. TheOneHander

    TheOneHander Professional

    Jan 9, 2010
    Someone taught me how to throw ;)

    I just don't know the step between impact-???-verbalizing feel. How can the hand and the arm tell the flex of a racquet, how do they know when the racquet "grabs" the ball? As you said, what is that reaction?

    A rarity on TT!
  5. cellofaan

    cellofaan Semi-Pro

    Jul 13, 2009
    I don't think we 'know' those kind of things. The only thing our arms and hands feel are the vibrations of the racket (and some torque and forces and stuff).
    It's that we have a certain expectance for different combinations of those things.

    We expect a softer frame to transfer less vibrations, hence a dampened 'feel' is associated with a softer frame, and vice versa.

    Some of those associations are reliable, since they come from experience. We know synthetic gut strings are softer than polies, and most likely have played with either at least once, so we have experience the difference in 'feel'. Same with stiff and flexy frames, and hitting a good shot versus shanking, and everything inbetween.

    What often goes wrong is stuff like swingweight. Especially when it was a relatively new thing, people thought adding weight at the butt lowered swingweight because the frame felt more 'manouverable', while it actually increased swingweight. It's because of wrong expectations/associations.

    A frame 'grabbing' the ball is also more of a projection than actually 'knowing' what's happening. We feel something which we imagine is caused by the frame grabbing the ball, and can be enforced by other notions such as the frame being flexible, the type of string, the 'technologies' used in the frame.

    So 'feel' is something we learn by experience, extrapolation and imagination. That's why beginners are far less sensitive to different frames and strings, they just don't have enough experience to appreciate the (often small) differences, let alone associate them with certain specs.

    Just my 2 cents

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