how much does a racquet really help the player?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by lgbalfa, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. lgbalfa

    lgbalfa Professional

    May 14, 2004
    new york, ny
    i know that it is more the player (form / technique) than the racquet, but how much does the equipment really make a difference for the player?

    for example, if i switched racquets, would i even see a significant change to my game or probably not because of my level (3.5).

    could i benefit from a "better" stick with "superior" technology?

    i know that if if you are a good player, you can probably play with anything for the most part.

  2. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

    May 30, 2010
    SF CA
    At the top pro levels, equipment does make a difference (see the threads about pro stock and paint jobs.) Pros with finely tuned technique still prefer to use frames they grew up with.

    If you are a 3.5, then IMO equipment is maybe 10-25% due to age, strength, etc. Weak and slow and racquet has to do more. Strong and fast, then you can grow into a player's frame by improving your technique. Basically, it's the person not the equipment by the time you're a 3.5.

    If you think that tech will make it easier for you to groove your strokes/volleys/serves (I don't think so as these are technique issues), then go for it. Just be aware that going for a racquet that does more for you like a beginner's frame will not help as you improve because you learn to provide your own 'ooph' as you get better. If you are looking for more power, think lead or string or string tension changes first.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  3. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Feb 8, 2011
    I think the best a racquet can do to 'help' a player is to give them the confidence and the consistent performance to allow them to play their game, whatever it might be, without fear.

    A great racquet almost takes itself out of teh equation, in some ways, as a player can just forget about it and play.

    The wrong racquet can harm a player in so many ways, everything from being a distraction to an actual hindrance.

    The trick is working out what the right frame for you really is.

    I love a 95" player's type frame with a soft flex and a weight around 12 oz because that is what works for me. I have just switched brands for a couple of reasons, but the basic specs remain the same. (the new one has a little more pop, as it happens, but I was fine with the last ones too)

    As I say, the thing is to find what works for you, and don't let other people tell you, either. I used to have the view that certain racquets were better for certain levels etc etc but I have grown out of that now. I know 5.5 + guys with stock LM Radicals and even Volkl DNX-2s and I know 3.0s who swear they have never played better than they do with their new Dunlop bio 200 Tour. If they believe it then it is probably true, yes?

    JUst find teh racquet you don't have to think about, the one where you never notice the plow through or power or the spin, they are just 'there'

    (good luck with that, byt the way! :))
  4. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Jun 29, 2009
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
    pretty much this. i dont believe that one racket is better than anyother. (real rackets im not talking the walmart specials lol)
  5. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

    Apr 9, 2007
    Staten Island
    "superior technology" is a graphite tennis racket, everything else is mostly insignificant.

    Having said that, a different racket can possibly open up a whole new style of play or make things click better for some, tough to say.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  6. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

    Mar 31, 2010
    Take a couple different rackets on the court. You'll notice you're a better/poorer player with certain rackets. Same technique, different results.

    Equipment matters. Period.
  7. KenC

    KenC Hall of Fame

    Aug 31, 2009
    That is the key message this entire subforum should focus on. Some people will naturally hit better with a lighter racquet, others with a heavier one. Some hit better with head light, others with even balance. Some like the feel of stiff frames, others like flexy racquets. Once a person finds his/her perfect "soulmate" things like spin, power and control come naturally with good technique.

    This forum can get quite funny with all the emphasis on how a certain racquet can make you play a whole level better. I see so many people playing really bad tennis with just about every racquet out there (although there is a prevalence of bad players using the APDGT for some reason). The racquet means nothing if a player has bad footwork, is slow and unfit, has really bad stroke mechanics, gets to practice 1hr a week, has no idea how to choose the appropriate shot, never had a lesson in their life, chokes under pressure, etc., etc.
  8. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Jun 29, 2009
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
    ^but my blx 90 staff FORCES me to hit with proper technique, i am at least a whole level better now ;)
  9. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

    Jan 7, 2011
    Out of the comfort zone
    This. If you have the potential to elevate you technique, granny sticks may actually impede that process by allowing you to play adequately with crappy form. A player's stick will give you very accurate feedback about how you are making contact with the ball and will not respond very well to poorly struck shots, thereby FORCING you to improve. However, if you can't improve, then staying with a more forgiving frame should be your destiny.
  10. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

    Jun 11, 2007
    One of my favorite fallacy statements on the board :lol:
  11. money_ball

    money_ball Rookie

    Sep 27, 2011
    Here is a video of myself hitting with a wooden racquet:

    I can tell you that the difference when I hit with a modern racquet is this:

    - more consistent with a much larger racquet head area (the Jack Kramer Pro Staff woodie is 65 sq. in.)
    - much easier to generate power
    - much easier to generate topspin

    But the difference between a woodie and a modern racquet is pretty drastic. Personally I'm not a racquet junkie, and I'm not good enough to appreciate the difference customized racquets make, but as long as the racquet head area is not too big (over 100 sq. in.) and is not too light (under 11.5 ounces), I will play with anything.

    More important than the racquet are the strings. Nothing feels better than a freshly strung racquet. String tension is continuously dropping, so it is important to restring as often as it is practical for you. It doesn't mean that you need a freshly strung racquet for every ball change like the pros, but if you haven't strung your racquet in a few months and you play at least once a week, then the strings, not the racquet, will have the biggest affect on your game.
  12. Yourtenniscoach

    Yourtenniscoach Banned

    Sep 22, 2011
    People on here sweat their racquets more than they sweat their technique. I laugh at some of the guys who are always selling frames in the classified ads. I wonder how they are able to settle in on a frame and get used to on when its obvious their switching like every week.
  13. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

    Sep 7, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    This post should be stickied in this forum.

    A frame that fits your game can help you tremendously. The key is finding that frame or that spec.
  14. Sreeram

    Sreeram Professional

    Sep 27, 2010
    There are racquets that suit our playing style and some that are mostly against our playing style. Find a racquet that best lets you play your playing style with confidence.
    My Current racquet which is AST, lets me put spin on low balls at the same time flaten out shots when I need want them. This is my playing style. There are many racquets that lets me put spin on all the balls but with them I hit fewer winners because I don't have the confidence to hit flater winner with them.
    Also there are racquets that lets me hit flatter but without Spin my second serve gets so weak and also I found that the chances of getting an error out of your opponent is much higher when you have spin on your shots.
    So if you are clear with your playing style then finding a racquet is easier.
  15. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Feb 11, 2004
    I play 4.5. Is the wrong racquet going to make enough of a difference that I'll lose to a 3.5 who is playing with a "right" racquet? Nope.

    But...when playing in-level, against competition that I am on par with, then yes, not only the racquet, but the string and tension come together and that does matter.
  16. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Jan 27, 2008
    Not sure ifyou're joking or not, but I'd still like to ask and anyone who uses a hefty racket and think it's helping your technique. HOw does it help?

    If I'm late swinging a racket, I'll be just as late if not more to swing as a heavier one. Samething with muscling.
  17. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Sep 27, 2011
    Strings and string tension are a lot more important than the racquet.

    I do agree with Rabbit's post also about levels. Also, some racquets fit a style better than others. Jimmy Connors was close to unbeatable with a frame no one else could play with.
  18. djnemo

    djnemo Rookie

    Mar 4, 2009
    For singles: 60% your strokes/technique, 30% movement, 5% racquet, 5% strings
  19. qwanta

    qwanta New User

    Jul 18, 2011
    For me it's a bit like barefoot running. If you run in traditional running shoes with 2" of padding material between your feet and the ground, you can get away with all kinds of bad form/posture (ie. striking heel first instead of on the ball of your foot) because the cushioning absorbs the extra strain and shock the bad technique exposes the body to (at least in the short term, in the long term you will still get injured). If you go barefoot, you are forced to run with good form because any deviation that causes too much strain and shock starts hurting very quickly - you get a lot more feedback.

    With a heavy racquet, it's the same thing, any pain and discomfort caused by flaws in the stroke motion will be amplified. For example, with a light racquet you might get away with not pulling the butt of the racquet towards the ball to accelerate during a stroke, but doing this with a heavier racquet will put a lot of stress on your arm tendons and muscles and will force you to find a stroke that doesn't do this (unless you want to get injured). A light racquet will also allow you to muscle things more without adverse effects, aside from developing bad habits.
  20. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Feb 26, 2010
    I agree with the above quotes, and with whoever said strings also make a big difference.

    Too many ppl here act like whatever works for them will work for everybody, and whatever doesn't work for them is pure trash - thats just being really stupid.
  21. NetNinja68

    NetNinja68 Rookie

    Mar 4, 2011
    I think the impact a racquet has on a payers game in minimal. If you have the proper technique and catch the racquet in it's sweet spot you will play consistently well no matter what racquet you use.
  22. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

    Sep 7, 2007
    Saudi Arabia
    I disagree with those that say the impact of a frame is not big on a persons game.

    The "technology" behind a racquet amounts to about jack squat but I believe the spec of a racquet can be huge for a person.

    Not everyone has the strength to swing a 12+oz 350+ swingweight racquet effectively for a match.

    It is very important to find a racquet spec that suits your game style and ability. After that the brand or tech does not mean much (if anything) at all.

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