How head light is too head light?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by sstchur, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

    Jul 29, 2008
    Sammamish, WA
    This is very subjective question and the answer varies based on who you are and how you play, obviously.

    So in order to keep it simple: /In your opinion/, how head light is too head light. Feel free to back it up with why if you want to. It can be a general answer or a specific answer (as it relates to you only).
  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

    Jun 10, 2010
    I've played with sticks that were so light that they got pushed around by heavy serves and such. These sticks generally 10-11oz unstrung and 1-5pts HL unstrung. I've also played with sticks that were between 11-12oz unstrung that were 8-12pts HL unstrung, which did not get pushed around.

    My point being that there may be a point where an otherwise good solid stick is so HL that it gets pushed around like an overall light racquet, but, I haven't experienced that yet.
  3. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

    Jan 29, 2008
    If you dont counterbalance and only add weight to the handle, you can end up with an extremely low sweet spot.

    Point being, too headlight means that the sweet spot is now lower than what the player prefers.
  4. tlm

    tlm Legend

    Jul 21, 2004
    Depends on the player i want my stick to be at least 8 points headlight, even 10-12 plays good to me.

    The less hl the more plow through+power, but also it is harder to generate really fast racket head speed.

    I think it depends on your style of play if you like to whip the racket + use a lot of topspin then i think at least 6 points hl works best.But if you like to drive through the ball more then less hl should be better.
  5. Jessica

    Jessica Rookie

    May 18, 2009
    does putting lead at the handle affect the sweetspot? That's news to me. I thought the way you would lower the sweetspot was by putting lead at the bottom of the frame, aka the top of the throat.
  6. anirut

    anirut Legend

    Feb 26, 2005
    Krungthep (Bangkok), Siam (Thailand)
    If you really want to know, just add lots of weight in the butt, just for the heck of making it very, very HL, and see what happens.
  7. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

    Jun 20, 2005
    News to me too. I've never heard it before.
  8. cellofaan

    cellofaan Semi-Pro

    Jul 13, 2009
    That's new for me too.

    Actually I think it's just not true
  9. Mig1NC

    Mig1NC Professional

    Jun 13, 2009
  10. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    I can honestly say that I've put enough lead on a racquet handle to make it feel too twitchy for me - I think that the sweet-spot became a lot more elusive like this, but it didn't occur to me that it had moved to a lower area in the string bed.

    In any case, my answer is a subjective one. If a racquet is crazy hefty and needs a lot of HL balance to be reasonably maneuverable, it can still feel stable on contact since there's enough mass riding on the hoop to keep things stable. I think that a 13 oz. frame can feel surprisingly manageable with a 9-10 pt. HL balance, but another racquet with that same balance that only weighs 11.8-12.0 oz. would probably feel too unsteady for me. Again, a subjective issue.
  11. pyrokid

    pyrokid Hall of Fame

    Feb 4, 2010
    it does lower the sweetspot, I can confirm after messing with lead a bunch.
  12. Jaewonnie

    Jaewonnie Professional

    Mar 2, 2009
    is it also possible to lose maximum power as a consequence of lowering the sweeetspot?
    Fastest swingspeed is at the top of the racket and the most powerful spot on the stringbed is the lowest area.
    The optimum is somewhere in the middle. But if the sweetspot is lowered, is it possible to lose some power?
    Altough, wweight is being added to the handle which would mean more potential power which might balance the power out a bit. Not sure though.

    Any thoughts on this?
  13. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

    Feb 1, 2010
    No Man's Land
    i have a 12 HL frame, got it for arm issues, it seems to help and i have gotten used to it, so i wont be changing, i dont really know how a less HL or HHeavy racket plays. Its quite heavy i think about 12oz and it doesnt get pushed around. I am pretty happy with it
  14. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

    Feb 2, 2007
    I thought that the Prince EXO3 Ignite, which is a beefy 12.3 oz strung and 11 pts headlight was entirely too headlight. It was a nice frame, but it was just too whippy and had nothing in the head. This is an example, IMO, of entirely too headlight.

    I can't say that a certain spec (11 pts headlight, 8 pts, 5 pts) is uniformly too headlight. It really depends on the frame -- things such as weight, and, obviously length (10 pts headlight on a 27 inch racquet is going to feel more headlight than on a 27.5 inch or 28 inch frame).
  15. Al1978

    Al1978 Rookie

    Feb 23, 2010
    There's no such thing as too headlight, but my personal preference is about 1 point HL for every 0.1 oz over 11.0 oz.
  16. pyrokid

    pyrokid Hall of Fame

    Feb 4, 2010
    ...looking at it this way actually makes sense.
    And it seems like a lot of manufacturers try and stick with this rule too.

    Only extreme exception I can think of would be the Kobra team FX.
  17. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

    Sep 15, 2009
    If a racquet has a high enough swingweight that it isn't being pushed around, adding weight to the handle (which lowers the balance) will never make it more likely to be pushed around.

    It can, however, seem like there is a correlation between balance and getting pushed around: if you have a maximum weight that you are comfortable with and insist on a low enough balance, you will usually* (see next paragraph for an exception) stick yourself with a lesser swingweight/stability/nonpusharoundability.

    * The exception is if the racquet mass is unusually polarized (distributed more to the ends of the racquet), which can result in both a low balance and a high swingweight without necessarily pushing the weight up really high. Interestingly, that kind of weight distribution also tends to raise the sweet zone higher up the stringbed, closer to the concentrated mass at 12:00, while the concentrated mass at the butt lowers the balance and affects the sweet zone far less.
  18. TripleB

    TripleB Hall of Fame

    Sep 2, 2004
    North Carolina
    Depends on the weight of the racquet. These are totally my opinions based on racquets I've tried in the past (and how my arm responded):

    8 to 10 ounces: anything headlight to too headlight
    10 to 11 ounces: anything more than 3 points headlight is too headlight
    11 to 11.5 ounces: anything more than 6 points headlight is too headlight
    11.5 to 12.0 ounces: anything more than 9 points headlight is too headlight
    12.0+ ounces: anything more than 12 points headlight is too headlight

  19. ManuGinobili

    ManuGinobili Hall of Fame

    Jun 4, 2009
    2000 points head light
  20. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

    Jul 8, 2006
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    Personal preference.
  21. Hooked

    Hooked Rookie

    Jul 7, 2010
    Boston - North
    I agree with TripleB's point that balance and weight need to be considered together as a starting point. I had been using a K90 for about 6 months that was 12.7oz. I don't know what the balance was at that point, but guessing around 11pts HL - essentially the stock stick with a overgrip. My biggest complaint was its maneuverability to the point I was considering a stick change. I decided to try a more head light balance to see how it played. I put a Gamma heat sleeve under the grip and ended up with a 13.3oz K90 that is 14pt HL! It made a radical difference in how the stick felt and moved and I’m never late and rarely hit the ball with the frame any longer. Things I was doing much more frequently before the mod. My advice would be to get some lead tape and play around with weight and balance mods to see what works best for you and don’t be afraid to go too far in the head light direction if you are adding weight along the way. I would also advise you to play your mods against a heavier hitter or two to see how they stand up under pressure. You may be surprised where you end up. I certainly was. If someone told me I would be hitting with a 13+oz extreme HL racquet and loving every minute of it, I would have laughed them off the court.
  22. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

    Jun 14, 2004
    Im playing with a K90 thats ekstra headlight (more dense leathergrip+overgrip+one strip of lead tape at the buttcap). I think the headlightnes decides how natural it is to get the racket around in a windshield wiper type way. I think its quite manouverable, though the weight is about 365g.
    Im not shure as to that headlightness automatically moves the sweet spot down. It can affect it I guess, but it is in a more complicated way, which is about the movement of "nodes" in the racket, which depent on where in the grip you place the lead.
    Also I think the main factor when it comes to stability is the weight in the hoop. But weight in the grip reduces shock, which translates to a more stable feel at the least.

Share This Page