Discussion in 'Racquets' started by travlerajm, Sep 8, 2006.
Deleted by author.
Thanks for sharing! My only concern would be to be able to get enough racquet head acceleration with this kind of setup. I have to give this high SW / high mass a try really soon.
My racket's close to 13 oz. (366 grams) with only 326 SW and 11.5 pts HL.
I can propably handle higher SW, but, I wouldn't want to. As of now, it's very, very nice and very comfy ...
Thanks for sharing the info, Tjam.
I should note three things:
1) On the forehand, it might take a 20-minute adjustment period to get used to a high swingweight. At first it may seem like you are hitting late, but once you realize that you simply have to start your swing earlier to still meet it out in front, the added swingweight should pay off with more control.
2) On the volleys, it takes an adjustment period to get rid of any habits that you developed from using a lighter racquet - like swinging. As soon as you realize that no swing is necessary with a super-leaded racquet, the volley becomes the world's easiest shot.
3) The serve will probably feel a little weird at first if you are not used to swinging a high swingweight racquet. Don't try to swing too fast at first, and don't overdo it. Treat serving with a heavy racquet like a session in the weight room - and take days off between serving sessions. It will likely take a few weeks for your arm to adjust to the weight so that you can start getting the explosiveness of a high swingweight serving stick.
Eh? I remember in your last post you recommend to use no longer than 4" strips at 3 + 9 o'clock. Now we should use 10" and 11" strips on the OUTSIDE extending from the bumperguard to the throat? That is some odd leading.
I'd guess that adding it to the outside has a greater impact on twistweight, since that's determined by distance from the center.
You have my compliments on another interesting post, travlerajm. Compared to the Sampras setup, it seems like you've removed some lead from the throat/hoop and added a portion of it as tailweight. I remember the Samprasized NXG stick had a SW of something like 375, while this new setup seems like it'd be somewhere sub-365. Have you noticed much of a difference in the speed and spin of your serve with this setup?
Also, what do you think the disadvantages of the Nadal setup are, compared to what you've posted here? Since he doesn't use lead at 3 and 9 I know his twistweight suffers, but the recoil weight shouldn't be too much less. What do you think I would lose if I set my racquet up like Nadal or Moya, instead of the high static weight/high SW combo?
I may still do some fine tuning. The main reason the lead is spread to the lower hoop is to keep the swingweight down. This is the same reason I recommended using short strips at 3 and 9 in a previous post.
Also, I should add that in the past, I had a mental block about using high swingweights. I've pushed through that. And I'm glad I did.
In the past I had tried to match setups of many top pros, armed with knowledge of their static weights and balances, but just guessing at their swingweights. I now know that I grossly underestimated the swingweights of most of the pro setups I used. If you match weight and balance to a pro's racquet, but use a lower swingweight, the result is a racquet that is too depolarized (not spin-friendly enough).
And by underestimating pros' swingweights, I was not using enough lead in the hoop, which is a key to the stability that makes a pro's racquet superior for returning pro level pace and spin.
oh snap that's too heavy for me! over 13 oz?? over 360 swingweight??? right now my racket is 12 oz, with a swingweight of 312 or so. too big of a jump for me..
This setup actually morphed from my Samprasized NXG. I removed the weight from the throat (as I posted in that thread). But the 67 lbs was still too overpowered. Instead of restringing at 72 lbs to reduce power, I went with the tailweighting approach to reduce power, which also adds spin. The result was very nice.
I still like my Samprasized POG OS strung at 72 lbs a lot. But it is a very different type of stick from this one. My Samprasized POG is the prototypical depolarized pro-style racquet. It hits a very flat, penetrating type of ball, with amazing precision and directional accuracy. The flatness of the ball is both a strength and a weakness - I love the penetration and precise targeting, but I have a lot less margin for error. On the serve, I'd say that this new setup hits a ball that is slightly lower velocity, but with significantly more spin than my Sampras setup. On groundstrokes, the spinnier setup was much more comfortable for me during baseline rallies, as the margin for error gives me more confidence to go for shots.
As for the Nadal/Moya setup, I would say that the disadvantage is not only lower twistweight, but also just that it has less mass overall in the hoop. The Nadal style weighting (extreme polarization) is more spin-friendly than mine, but you would be giving up stability on returns and volleys. That's why you don't see any doubles specialists using the Nadal setup.
So a prostaff tour 90 is just perfect?
travlerajm, where did you put the lead on the handle and does the racquet end up hh, hl or balanced
The lead is wrapped around the butt, under the grip. The final balance is 12.25". Since the racquet is 27.5" long, that means it is 12 pts HL.
How much is 12 pts head light. Also I got the impression on these boards that quite a lot of pro's are using head heavy or balanced racquets?
1)when you warpped it around the butt,didnt it make the handle bigger in that section alone making the handle not too comfortable?
2)isnt it better to wrap the lead around the entire grip(and then obviously add an overgrip).
3)any suggestions on how to customize my nsurge?
What happened to 4 points head light?
Chess9 put up a significant question. My own question is what would you recommend more the Sampras setup or this new approach? Also from what I'm seeing the general specs of the third approach matches an old Spalding racket. However I have found that serving sessions just didn't work and it took more than a practice and a match to get used to swinging the racket on groundstrokes. The ball indeed seemed to stay in more and have more pace but it also seemed to be very flat (no spin), I attributed the change to the semi high stiffness and not necesserily the SW. On a different note it seems like the LM Prestige MID is a pretty good platform to start with since it already has high SW.
I'm assuming this setup (with a few mods accounting for racquet difference) would work for a lot of racquets out there? Man, I can't wait to try this with my O3 Tour...
You know, Moya's frame actually has a TON of weight up in the hoop. That is actually where the bulk of his weight is. His frame though light, has a rather heavy balance and a high swingweight. It is actually a rather stable frame.
I was under the impression that most, if not all, of Moya's weight in the hoop was actually underneath the bumper guard - something like 15 or so grams there. He does play with a high swingweight, and I think travlerajm is aware of it, as he's been talking about Nadal/Moya's racquet balance as a sort of seperate category for a while now. The customization he talks about here has 26g in the hoop, which is a 60 percent increase from 15 (if that's what Moya really uses). So travlerajm's has more weight in the hoop total. Also, the placement of the weight isn't nearly as high in the frame as Moya's, so it has a different level of impact on stability. In other words, I don't think travlerajm is saying Moya's frame isn't stable, but rather that it's not as stable as the frame he's described in this thread. I think Moya and Nadal are ok with slightly lower (lower relative to racquets with high static weight, like those of doubles specialists) stability because they're both so physically strong and they don't make their living at the net.
No, here is the exact quote:
"As for the Nadal/Moya setup, I would say that the disadvantage is not only lower twistweight, but also just that it has less mass overall in the hoop. The Nadal style weighting (extreme polarization) is more spin-friendly than mine, but you would be giving up stability on returns and volleys. That's why you don't see any doubles specialists using the Nadal setup."
Moya might only have Xg under his bumper, but the frame starts out with a fair amount of mass up at the tip to being with when Babolat makes the frames for him. Plus his overall static weight, it's not THAT light. It's about 305g, with a 36 or something cm balance. It's beyond a Hammer in terms of balance, weight and swingweight. I couldn't take swingweight measurements since I did not have a swingweight machine on site, but it's massive.
His other theory that it'll take about 20 min to get used to what he is suggesting you do to a frame is quite off, especially if your muscle memory is for a considerably lower weight, different balance and lower swingweight. You might not ever be able to get used to a heavier frame.
Throw in the constant assumption that many male tour players use a frame between 350-360g is quite far off. Average these days is roughly 330g with about a 31 cm balance and a guess at swing(since the diagnostic machine I use does not give out an RDC style number), 335. They get up close to the 350 mark when strung, but it is not common for a club of a frame out there anymore. Heaviest in recent years I've done, is Gaudio with a 361g/30.6cm/~360sw frame. That's no string, no overgrip, no dampener. Then you got someone like Nadal, who is using a frame which weighs only a small handful of grammes more then the stock version. Then you got a middle weight guy like Safin at 336g/31.2cm/~335sw. You get more of the Safin style weight/bal/swing then you do the Gaudio or Nadal. Though the lighter frames are more common simply because they're what manufacturers are offering to players, players can generate obscene head speed with them, which enchances their spin(which Nadal needs to change a bit of technique, not the weight and such of his frame), and the amount of power they get which they can harness with the spin.
I can't really disagree with the rest of your post, since you have much more knowledge of pro frames than I do.
But I don't think this quote here counters my point; in fact, I think it demonstrates it. What travlerajm said there is definitely meant to be a relative comparison to his racquet setup. "you would be giving up stability on returns and volleys" doesn't mean that it's not stable, rather that it's less stable than what I asked him to compare it with. I asked him what the disadvantages of the Nadal-style setup are to what he posted, and he gave me advantages and disadvantages: more spin-friendly, and less stable. It's a relative measure, not meant to suggest that Nadal plays with a frame that has a low stability.
Thomas, I believe your swingweight measurements are in agreement with my numbers. The difference is that I prefer to discuss specs in terms of strung specs instead of unstrung specs. A typical poly stringjob will add roughly 35 kg-cm^2 to the swingweight. So your 335sw unstrung spec for "middle weight guy" Safin would be about 370sw strung. And Gaudio's would be about 395. Nadal's swingweight is about 365 strung (or ~330 unstrung), as it can be calculated accurately with knowledge of his stock swingweight, customized weight and balance, and lead distribution info from his fansite, assuming his fansite is accurate.
And Fitzroy's explanations of the meaning of what I was saying in my posts are accurate.
I think the answer to the question of "which is better, the Sampras setup" or the Double Specialist setup?" depends on your style. If you possess a big and accurate flat forehand, and you rely more on placement than power on your serve, the Sampras setup would be a good option. My forehand is the weakest part of my game (although the Sampras setup does improve my forehand), so it's probably not ideal for my game. If you rely on a big flat forehand, the Sampras setup will turn it into a serious weapon. I am more of a power server than a placement server - that is I like to overpower my opponent with big serves with heavy spin that are not necessarily well placed. The Sampras setup hits a more penetrating and accurate serve, but because it's flatter it has a smaller margin for error. The Sampras setup is also tough to beat on volleys because it is basically like playing with a paddle that is heavy enough that no swing is necessary, it has slightly better accuracy on volleys due to it's tighter stringbed and higher dynamic stiffness.
It basically comes down to what type of ball you are most comforatble using during a match. If you like hitting a flatter ball with more precise targeting, the Sampras setup is tough to beat. If you prefer to hit a spinnier ball with more net clearance, with more margin for error at the expense of a little targeting accuracy, then the Doubles Specialist setup is better. And the feel is much different too. The Sampras setup has a crisp, boardy feel, while the Doubles Specialist setup has the soft and cushy feel.
Travlerajam - firstly thanks for your thought provoking post it cretainly has made me look at my current frame set up.
Question - you mentioned in a previous thread that you needed to strengthen your shoulder to accomodate the additional weight placed in the hoop.
What exercise(s) did you find the most effective to cope with the additional swingweight?...........Thanks
will read in the mornnning
I would say that swinging a groundstroke with a high swingweight is not that big a deal, because you are not working against gravity. The serve is a bit different.
If you want to adjust your shoulder (and arm) to a higher swingweight, I think the best approach is to treat serving with a heavy racquet with the same respect that you would treat resistance workouts in the weight room.
If you don't lift weights for 2 months, the first day back you need to take it easy, and use light weights, and maybe only do one set. If you overdo it on the first day, you'll be really sore for a couple of days. After a few sessions, you'll be able to start increasing the weight, and doing multiple sets in a session. And you will no longer get sore the next day.
With a high swingweight racquet, I think it's a good idea to take the same approach. If you want to use a racquet that has a swingweight of 365, but your normal racquet has a swingweight of 330, then it's probably a good idea to add the weight in smaller increments, giving your arm a few weeks to adjust each time. Start out by increasing your swingweight to 340 or so. It might feel heavy at first, but it will soon feel natural. Once you feel like your arm is no longer challenged by the higher swingweight, then you can try bumping up to 350, and so on.
While this approach obviously take longer, I think it allows you to continue playing tennis at a high level without missing a beat. If you try to make the jump all at once, it is likely that it will feel cumbersome and unwieldy. That's why racquet companies don't think that they can sell racquets with pro-style specs (even though they know that they are superior for performance). They assume that recreational players would be turned off by the heaviness.
For ~10 kg-cm^2 increase in swingweight, I recommend adding about 5g total at 3 and 9. Then you may try adding about 1 or 2 g to the butt for every 5 grams added in the hoop (you can use the amount of butt weight to adjust the power level to your tastes, as it's easier and more instantaneous than adjusting the string tension).
I should add that when I first started experimenting with high swingweights, 350 sw usually felt great for me... I felt like I could bomb serves while I was fresh, but I became erratic when my arm tired, especially if I tried to serve on back-to-back days. But now, a swingweight of 350 feels almost too light, and I can serve hundreds of balls with 350 sw and not get tired. Once I get used to a heavier racquet, it feels like there is no going back. My old low swingweight setups feel like toys to me now. My arm still tires on serves with swingweights in the 360s now, but as long as I keep playing regularly, I'm certain that my arm will adjust. I've also noticed that both my arms seem to be looking stronger and more muscular than ever, even though I stopped going to the gym months ago (my right arm especially is beginning to show the effects).
And if anyone is wondering if you need a large physique to play with such high swingweight? Nope, I'm 5'11", and a lean 158 lbs.
Should this be my Avatar?
traverlajam - thanks for the reply.
Would you please calculate the SW on the undementioned specs of my frame. Pleease show the formula and insert the figures so that I can help mysel in the future - maths is not my strong suit!
Racquet Head: 100 sq ins
Static Weight: 346 gms
balance Point: 30.5cms
Lead Weight ; 2gms @ 3 & 9 ( Total - 4gms)
10gms end of butt cap
OK how should I place my lead on my flexpoint prestige mid? Help would be greatly appreciated.
Looking back at one of your previous posts (in another topic) you said you wanted to try the Sampras seetup with an O3 Tour Mid, but not the MP. (I think.) My question; would applying the lead on the MP help it any compared to the Mid? From what I've seen, the stock MP specs are somewhat close to the NXG OS...
After much experimentation, I have found that high SW doesn't work for me... sigh. My stock PC MP Plus supposedly has SW of 335 or so, and that's about all I can handle consistently at my level. The problem is, higher SW feels fantastic, but I keep hitting balls long, especially the sitters, unless I'm feeling superbly fit, in which case I can barely muster that extra bit of concentration required to hit the ball just right. Without that extra "liveness" in my arms, which some folks are blessed with, I need to limit SW so that the total power level of the racquet is commensurate with the spin I can impart, with my physical capabilities and skills. I have added lead to the handle so that the total static weight varies between 12.1 and 12.3 oz depending on the string, and this has made the racquet feel a lot more stable.
If you can handle pro-level SW, that's great, and it's probably an indicator of your potential. But it's all about compromise for us ordinary mortals...
How far up from the handle did you add the tape travel? I guess .5'', this make it somewhat uncomfortable to grip? Would be interesting to see the resaults on a 27 inch frame.
Just finished customising my new Redondo 98.
10 pts HL
New improved specs.....
8 pts HL (on the money with the ATP formula from Travlerjm)
It took a bit of a juggle.
4.5gm at 3 and 9 oclock (9 total)
24gm inside the handle. Removed the leather grip (losing 18gm net) and put on an overgrip only.
It plays nice, but I need more time on it to get familiar.......
Tme will tell. It feels different enough to throw my timing out a bit. Frustrating, until I get the hang of it. I have got feeling that I will not go back though.
I tried going straight to the 360 sw range, but it was just way too unwieldy. I tried a more modest spec, and maybe I'll try upping it again later.
Volkl T10 VE Mid
Starting specs(actual measured, not TW's):
8 pts hl
2 grams at 12 o'clock
8 grams at 3 and 9 o'clock
6 grams wrapped around the handle at 1 inch up.
9 pts hl
Following the recommendations, this brings it more in line with the 44.6/(sqrt(M)) balance than the stock was. Increases the recoil weight and hitting weight substantially as well.
Only was able to play with it for a bit, but it felt very nice. Not much harder to swing than stock. Felt a little over powered though, so I might try a poly to see if it helps with control. I usually use a multi on this frame since it's pretty low powered to start. The multi felt pretty trampoline like with the added weight.
most of us that play at the 5.0 and under level don't need high the swingweights from adding all this lead, at least not as high as the pro's or tournament players. higher swingweights require extra strength and better timing. plus you tend to slow your swing down which results in less speed of shot.
a swingweight of 330 seems to work for me as well. i get enough spin, power and stability to be able to play a couple of sets without my arm getting tired.
Okay, when you say "butt" how far up the handle are you wrapping the 22 inches of tape?
Also when you made your calculations. Did you come up with the final weight first, then derive the final balance, then calculate the distribution of the lead to come up with that balance?
Funny thing is it seems like most pros don't even use player's frames. Look at Roddick, Ljubicic, Ginepri, etc.
Not sure if you are asking me, but here's the info anyway. I have put 12 grams of lead (4 strips, each weighing 3 grams) under the grip, away from the butt end, length-wise over the bevels. Pretty basic, but makes a considerable difference to feel. The grip (4 3/8") doesn't feel any different.
3) Pro Style Balance R = ~ 44.6/sqrt(M), with R in inches and M in ounces.
Can someone explain to me how to calculate this when customizing your racquet. Does it mean that the racquet will be evenly balanced?
Just buy the book "Technical Tennis" and you can find out how to properly customise your racquet. A lot of what is said around here is just garbage.
A lot of what that book says doesn't exactly gouge the surface; how else do you explain the fact that The Physics and Technology of Tennis is about 10 times the size, with few other topics therein?
A lot of the stuff they say in there doesn't describe the changes that the customization causes; for instance, when I added a considerable (~32g) to the lower hoop, I found that I got less power because I couldn't swing through the ball on my serve. However, I got crazy spin from it, again on my serve. You'll never find that in your Technical Tennis, or even in TPaToT.
Ugh, can anyone give me a little example of what i means so i might be able to comprehend in layman terms. Thanks.
In your first posts, you said pros favor even balanced racquets - actually 2 to 4 pts more HH than the equivalent stock stick. Here you are sayihg it is 12 pts headlight.
In another of your posts, you said that pros now prefer lower static weight and high swingweight. Now you are saying both should be high.
Even a classic player like Federer plays with a sub-13 oz stick and a muscleman like Nadal probably plays with a 12 oz stick after customization (and so does Roddick it appears). Many WTA players pay with 11.5 oz racquets after leading.
I am confused.
Also, can a 3.5 or 4.0 recreational player (75% of rec players are 3.5 according to the USTA) handle this latest setup?
Just put in what the racquet weights for M, and it will tell you the balance point (R) you're shooting for.
In my previous post, I said my racquet after weight added was 354 grams, or 12.5 ounces. So 44.6/sqrt(12.5) = 12.61 inches from the butt cap. That's my goal balance point.
I cheated a little at that point and used the USRSA racquet customizer tool to find what weight to add where for my goal swingweight of 345.
I thought I read this contradiction as well, but I thought maybe I hadn't been paying attention and I didn't feel like searching .
Anyways, I've tried both ways, and it's no contest that the 44.6/sqrt(M) results in a far more pleasant balance for me.
You're not confused. Travler, I believe, addressed this contradiction in his first post, something like 'I had originally thought X, but it turns out the case is Y.'
Yeah. I think he's been engaging in a sort of learning process. No one starts out knowing everything about something like this, but he seems to be pretty good at figuring it out. The good thing is that he's been posting information as he learns and experiments with it, so we can sort of go along for the ride.
travlerajm has, I think, put together a good and fairly reliable amount of information about pro player racquet customization. This thread and others by him are a good way to learn a lot about this sort of stuff - at least, I've found them to be. Ultimately the idea is to try these setups out and adjust your racquets until you find something you really enjoy playing with.
Thanks. That's all i needed.
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