Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TennisTypeR, Oct 31, 2009.
I have a question: Will adding lead alter the stiffness of the racquet ?
Well... For such a head heavy and different racket to start, it'll be tough to reproduce the feel, let alone the specs. To reproduce the specs, you need to place 2 grams under the bumper for a little bit of added power, and 6 grams of lead at 3&9 (around 20 inches up the buttcap when measured on a k90) for that rock solid stability it's known for. Try using 2 strips of 3 inches. Then you have to put 41 grams of lead tape of lead tape in the buttcap, or 4 inches from the buttcap if you want to be very accurate. I'd just do my best to get those 41 grams in the buttcap, cause that's a LOT of lead. :/
You're going to get a pretty dead and low powered response, similar to the K90, only more so because of the added flex.
Another option is to add 10 grams of lead at 3&9 (try 4 layers of 2.5 inch strips) for even more stability and 39 grams in the buttcap.
First thing I think you should do is replace the synthetic grip with a leather grip and tell me the new specs and balance. Or if you can't, tell me the weight of the old grip and the new weight of the racket with the leather grip. With the leather, you'll add about 4-8 grams for free.
And for the staples question, there's a buttcap, and then there's a buttcap's trapdoor. Some buttcaps don't have a trapdoor like what your Dunlop racket has. The trapdoor is basically a lid to the inside you can easily remove and reattach without taking off the grip, a VERY nice feature (except when you stuff in so much weight the trapdoor is exploding off the buttcap now and then). A bunch of the more current rackets have it, but Prince is too dumb to do it so they don't have a trapdoor. I swear, it's the crappiest modern tennis racket company ever. It was great a decade or two ago, but since then development must've dropped all the workers with brains and common sense or something. Yonex rackets still don't seem to have a trapdoor either, which is rather disappointing...
The actual buttcap itself is stapled to the foam pallet underneath your grip.
Yes, the handle of the RDS 003 was hollow.
... What do YOU think? lol
No, it doesn't. But if you add enough weight at the right places, it might feel different in its flex. Once I set up my Wilson racket in such a way it felt as flexible as a wood racket. It literally played and felt exactly like my Wilson Jack Kramer Autograph but with a larger headsize!
Thanks for the answer. Yeah, I was basing it off the "feel" of the racquet when hit the ball with it. I felt that it bent less upon ball impact so that somehow led me to suspect that adding weight would alter the racquet's stiffness.
My standard length (70cm), 100sq.in Dunlop has a balance point of 325mm - based on a finger balance test it seems to be immediately under the head. What's the simplest lead placement solution that won't alter this balance ?
The one i'm using it takes 6' to get 3g.It's the Gamma 1'' for 1/2 g.
Yes, the handle of the RDS 003 was hollow.
So,did you put Silicone and Fishing weight s in the handle?
Would please tell me your procedures to alter the RDS003 with lead,if you've written here,let me know i'll look for.
... What do YOU think? lol
No, it doesn't. But if you add enough weight at the right places, it might feel different in its flex. Once I set up my Wilson racket in such a way it felt as flexible as a wood racket. It literally played and felt exactly like my Wilson Jack Kramer Autograph but with a larger headsize![/QUOTE]
Where to apply lead and change the feel of the racket to lower flex?
If you change the feel to more flexible it meas you can place at some places and make it feel harder right?
tried searching through the threads, not sure if this has been discussed before.
anyone has experience of leading up price ozone tour rackets? esp at 3 & 9?
I've done it with my prince O3 tour which I used to play. I used 4mm wide lead tape. Just put it next to the holes. I had quite a lot of lead at 3 & 9, not exactly a stable racquet in stock form.
I'm lookin at the Dunlop AG500 Tour and Technifibre Speedflex 315... both supposed to be a more controllable Pure Drive clone... similar SW, stiffness, beam... Biggest difference is the Speedflex is 15g higher in static weight and about 4 pts more HL.
Technology aside, does this imply that the Speedflex just has more heft while swinging and is maybe a lil more maneuvarable?
Is there any difference in placing lead on the outside of the frame opposed to inside the hoop. I have two Head YT Rad Pro's and one frame has lead inside the hoop at 10 @ 2; the other has lead under the bumper a little higher up. I moved it up further to have it completely hidden under the bumper.
There is a pronounced difference in the way both frames play. The frame with 3g of lead at 10 & 2 inside the hoop swings lighter and I find it a bit unstable playing hard hitters or heavy topspin. The frame with 3g of lead under the bumper swings heavier and plays a tad more solid but requires more effort to get the frame around on groundstrokes. This frame works better against hard hitters. Both frames have 3g of lead at the top of the handle, same tension, same mains but different poly crosses. I have a third frame that I'm thinking of putting the lead outside the hoop under the bumper at 10 & 2. My logic is that this should play right in the middle of my other 2 setups.
If you keep the amount added very low, the change in balance will be very small, almost unnoticeable. 3 grams or less shouldn't do any noticeable change regardless of where you place it.
But the simplest location would obviously be exactly at the balance point of the racket when it's strung.
But it's better to place lead at locations where they will create the changed you want, then counterbalance if you want the original balance.
Well... I placed HUGE amounts of lead at 3&9 and in the buttcap. I'm guessing 20 grams in the head, and 24 in the buttcap?
And I supposed heavy amounts of lead only at the center of the racket (the top of the throat or the top of the pallet) would create a more stiff and solid feeling.
You wouldn't notice a difference in how your arm responds to it (though you shouldn't as me about it, I've never had problems with stiff or flexible rackets), but it will feel like a more flexible/stiff racket.
It might feel more maneuverable to you, but stats on paper don't always tell everything about a racket. Demo them. The Speedflex 315 might actually FEEL more maneuverable because of the weight distribution and frame design.
Few people would notice the difference. Slightly less prone to twisting. Biggest difference you would notice actually, is the court scraping off your lead tape, which you would have to constantly replace as a result. Just settle for placing a little more lead inside the hoop (a few grams) and avoid the headaches.
I can't demo TW doesnt do demo for 8000 miles away
Well my general question is, on paper, what mightbe the difference in feel between 2 rackets with everything else the same but significantly different static weight?
Well, if EVERYTHING was the same except for the amount of mass, then it would feel heavier, more solid, more power, more plow through, and maneuverability will be different. People have differing opinions on what's easier to move around.
Like, for me, I like something with a solid amount of weight and with good heft in the head, otherwise it's too light and I can't feel the racket when I'm moving it around in my hand. But at the same time, if it's too heavy it might be a pain to get around, but that's rarely an issue for me except maybe on defensive shots, where I might not be able to blast one using a pure flick.
However, the Speedflex should be just as maneuvarable as the PD but with less power. However, with the center of mass lower, it might feel more maneuverable. But swingweight and the amount of weight in the head isn't a clear cut way of comparing maneuverability between two rackets. If anything, I supposed center of mass (balance) would be a more useable reference because of the added leverage near your hand. But for me, I really go by the weight in the head (because I let the racket do the work, which means focusing on swinging the head around) so balance has very little meaning to me in terms of maneuverability. There's also weight distribution and so on. Too many variables basically to differentiate the maneuverable feel between two rackets without demoing, especially since many of those variables don't show up on paper.
But if I were to guess, the Speedflex should be just as maneuverable, if not more maneuverable, as the PD, based on your technique. Like I said, for me there's going to be very little difference (well, I guess if the racket's too light I might start muscling it around a bit more so the Speedflex would feel lighter).
I would reccomend the Speedflex, because headlight rackets are nicer to customize since there's less need for a counterbalance. Rackets that are head heavy or close to even require quite a bit of counterbalancing, which make them a big pain in the ass.
Thanks Full court for all ur brilliant advice
Full Court is the man...TT Forums Poster of the Year 09
fullcourt tennis hope you can help
Iv leaded my kblade98. Iv used quarter of an inch lead tape and every four inches is approx 1g. its been leaded at 3 and 9 with 4 strips on each side
and also in the handle . 2 g on top of handle and the rest of of the 7 g spread evenly on handle .
From my reading of your previous posts you have recommended not placing lead on handle unless it is also placed around bumper. I tried this and could not swing the racket so my preferred set up the k blade is 3 and 9 and around the handle. the racket weights 330g , is this a polarized set up? what have i done to this racket in technical terms???
Furthermore i thought the balance point was in the middle of racket however the racket specs indicate it is slightly above middle is this strange?
Lead doesn't have to be on the bumper if there's lead in the buttcap. And buttcap is different from the handle. By buttcap I mean very bottom of the handle, give or take an inch or two. By handle, I mean anything from the bottom of the throat to around where your dominant hand is. Lead only in the buttcap creates a headlight balance and reduces the racket's power. Some people like it... But I don't like reducing the power of a racket, I like to augment it while also improving control.
Anyways, no this is a depolarized setup. In technical terms you've increased stability with a slight bump in power and plow through.
And your question regarding balance is way to vague. Overall, balance should stay roughly the same, if not a little more favored towards the handle. I'm guessing you used 8 grams in the head? Depending on exactly where you put the lead on the handle, it could be slightly more head heavy... But it should still retain a headlight, though almost even, balance. The blade line of rackets aren't that headlight to begin with.
XFullcourtX, as a followup from from the bowling ball effect discussion earier-I've tried the higher tension lately of 60/58 with KB pl2 full poly, BBO and also Concept Pure.
It's very effective and the depth control from tighter tension is very nice. I found I can swing flatter and still have it drop in nicely.
The one fly in the ointment is that I've been playing in sub 40 temps for the last 2 weeks so I'm looking forward to getting back to some warm weather to see how that works out.
The only downside to this tighter setup is that you really gotta bring it on the racket head speed to generate that type of ball. The tighter tension doesn't yield the easy power of the looser strung poly and spin seems a bit diminished with the higher tension.
Thanks for your good input on the topic. I might drop the tension a bit since I've moved up to 16g polys to improve string life. The bowling ball effect was really nice when I used 17g PL2-its' quite soft and the ball was coming over hard and heavy
how do you augment it whilst retaining control??
Yeah... Sadly I'm too used to low tensions and generating balls with heavy SPIN to try and go back to generating heavy flat balls... I don't like the feeling of swinging flat through the ball to generate depth and pace anymore. I like a combination of the strings doing the work for me in addition to some height, with heavy spin to control things for me. I've tried hitting with high tensions, and it's rough. Can't believe I used to be able to pull off winners with that kind of setup. :shock:
Also, the colder temperatures will make the strings a bit tighter. That's why in hot weather, some pros put their rackets in the coolers, so they retain their tension. Hot temperatures loosen up the rackets more quickly. Stringers must take this information into account, which is why some players might have their rackets strung during a match - because they didn't take it into account or the they incorrectly predicted match temperatures resulting in string tensions that don't cooperate.
Furthermore, in cold temperatures the ball doesn't bounce as high. In hot temperatures, the ball really comes off the court. I'm not 100% sure which lets the ball fly through the air faster, but I'm going to guess higher temperatures make the ball really go through the air. But yeah, in general hot temperatures result in faster-paced play. The cold temperatures with the sudden increase in tension might've slowed things down a little more than you wanted.
Power comes from mass in the head. Eventually there's so much mass that you can't swing it quick enough to rocket it into orbit. Basically, SW2 status.
The two options are the two setups I already said. With a depolarized setup, you can whack away (or try), and the ball will still likely land in. Any off center shots won't be as jarring due to the increased stability. Essentially the racket becomes far more forgiving, but has so much power that higher tensions are required to keep the ball from running off into a neighboring country.
The polarized setup uses spin to control the power, letting you swing out and having the spin drop the ball in. Though at certain swingweights according to some (haven't experimented outside those ranges enough to confirm yet as I've no rackets left to try it on) the power increases more than spin and only at a certain SW range do you notice the ball becomes noticeably spinnier.
Of course, to each their own method of developing the best feeling racket they can get. It's about having the racket provide you with confidence in your shots, which is the key to optimal performance at a player's given level.
For Federer, it's a racket he can flick around. For Sampras, it's something that's dead and really hammers the ball. For Nadal, it's something with a big of heft in the head with plenty of access to spin. For Safin, it's a hammer with a bit of added stability. For me... I'm happy with a K90. Might find something better later. But for serves, it's absolutely a heavy depolarized setup. No doubt. Just too much pace, control, and weight on the ball to argue against it. For groundstrokes, it's a heavily polarized setup (as I like to use heavy spin). Sadly, there's no real medium... So I'll stick to the K90 which has essentially cultivated my game into what it is now. Everyone has a different opinion on which racket or setup gives them more control, though the general concepts to gaining more power remain the same: swing faster, hit through the ball, use a heavier racket that's comfortable to swing (basically add mass to the racket), or string with lower tensions (IMO, this only adds depth, not power).
Interesting thing to me is that I see so many folks asking about how much and where to put the lead but almost no follow ups as to how it played when they did this. Come on folks, give us some feedback about how adding lead to the head and 7 inches up from the handle worked or did not worh for you, and what combos worked best on which rackets.
I got into deep thought mode (no I wasn't high) one night and had the following idea: The reason the 7 inches thing worked so well for most people, because the distance from that point to the balance point of the racket is the same as from the balance point of the racket to the lead tapes (or more precise, the center point of the led weights).
Yea that wasn't easy to read...
if any of you guys have the tools (balance board, ruler) could you do some quick measurements? Just assume lead is placed at 3&9 o'clock on a 4-7 pt headlight racket. Even if the lengths are not the same, they could be pretty close.
I personally havent had the chance to try that, because I always use an overgrip and that in itself is already a counterweight.
Setup: Speed MP 16x19 - looking for more stability since this racket has really low twistweight
3g each at 3&9 o'clock
Overgrip - about 5g
1g at somewhere below the throat lol the tough life of no tools
Does replacing the original grip to a leather grip changes the weight of the racket? TW leather is considered 32 grams. Would this be added to the strung weight of the racket? My racquet (Volkl DNX10 mid) 340 grams + 32 grip + 6 of lead (3,9) = 378 grams total?
Yes... synthetic grips are on average 20g (dont remember precisely the weight of Volkl grip though)... look at the sticky in the "other equipment" section.
A strung weight from the manufacturer counts the synthetic grip and just that (no overgrip)
Well, since the synthetic grip is 20g and replaced with a 32g leather grip, the new weight should be: 352grams [(340-20) + 32] + 6 lead = 358 grams total.
Check out the lead placement on Davydenko's racket. What kind of set up is this?
This has been answered before, and you will find those answers here
yes, but if you look at his racquet, it has an inch slab of lead on opposite sides, bottom half of the racquet. I assume he is making dragging the sweetspot lower?
my post was not in reference to yours, looking at your post, with those odd lead placements- Davy must like 3 1/2 and 8 1/2 better then 3&9? No idea on that one
It felt amazing. It really made my racket felt a bit easier to swing (as opposed to just 20 grams in the head alone). But it wasn't as much power as say a few inches up higher, but it was the boost in maneuverability I needed to wield my 13.8 ounce stick on serve consistently (and as a weapon). On groundstrokes there was a little bit of added power (compared to just 20 grams in the head). This was on a K90.
Personally, the 7 inch up method is the lazy man's way, but it works great for most people so they don't need to do a few calculations and measure things out. Haha.
As for what works best for what racket, not many of us have that many rackets to be able to know exactly what works best for what racket. Also, different players like different things.
I'd say that for most light rackets, lead would be required at 3&9 for stability and not much would be needed at 12 because the racket already generates a lot of pop, but lacks in stability. From there, counterbalance would be needed. So maybe replace the replacement grip with leather (adds 12-16 grams) with two Wilson Pro Overgrips (+8 grams), put in a LOT of silicone in the handle (20 grams I supposed), and perhaps 8 grams at 7 inches up from the buttcap. I'd say at least 10 or even 14 grams in the head. And the reason there's so much counterbalance is because of the inherently head head balance of light rackets. If not for that, stick with a regular synthetic grip and less silicone in the handle. The result should be a significantly more stable racket with a slightly more muted response (due in part to the silicone and added weight causing less shock to the arm).
Or you can totally polarize the racket and junk rallies with heavy spin.
For heavy rackets, most are stable enough as it is, and any added weight at 12 for a little extra pop could cause it to be too much to handle. So most don't need any added weight. If people needed it, it'd probably be at 3&9 for a more stable response against heavy hitters.
Really depends on the racket, the player's style and physical abilities, and the type of competition the player sees.
You're right, at a glance it's pretty close. (I used my hand, not a legit ruler and balance board.)
It's probably something he likes/grew up with. I've heard their family has been pretty... Odd in their handling of rackets. I heard they apply lead tape to scrapes on a racket to make up for loss weight.
Some players like it, some don't.
What Have I Done Here?
On an nTour 95, I added 5g at 10:00, 5g at 2:00, 8g at the top of the grip and a couple grams of silicone in the butt cap to get the balance point back to exactly stock (even). Did I depolarize this racquet? I'm guessing I like it because it reminds me of the wooden racquets I used when I learned to play.
I just added 3 strips of H shape lead, spreading out at 12 spot. A total of 1.5 gram. My apdc feels already heavier with swing weight. Shots feel more launchy now. Definitely better than before where I had to exert so much effort to whip.
Does anyone have any idea to make it even better?
Reading everyone else's messages, I don't get how you guys can add so many grams, like over 10 grams in total to the hoop. Isn't that way WAY too heavy?
Actually... You just polarized it, albeit you didn't put it all the way to the top. :wink:
Replace the H-shaped weights with some decent lead. I find the Gamma 1/4" width works great. But some have found better ones that don't peel off paint. But it doesn't really peel off paint often for me unless the paint was weak there to begin with and I don't change the lead too often cause it stays put.
And 10 grams is nothing. CAPS grommets add 10-15 by themselves I hear. Depends on the racket and placement though, as well as your own ability to wield hefty sticks. I have no problem with it. Hell, aside from volleying I can wield a wood racket perfectly fine. The only reason I can't volley with it is because the head is too small to find those bullet passing shots that dance in the air produced by graphite rackets with Luxilon strings. I'm not good enough at the net to pull it off with a wood racket... Though with a midsize graphite I can actually do something with those balls. lol
There is only one simple key to using heavy rackets: loosen up and let the racket do the work (basically, stop muscling the ball).
Thanks for setting me straight on this. like the polarized setup. Last step is to use 50lbs tension next time I restring.
It's a very mild one though. I overlooked the 8 grams at the top of the handle, but still it's slightly more polarized than a normal depolarized setup.
Hey xfull and others,
First I put 1.5 grams (H stuffs) stretching out across the racket tip of my apdc. It was nice hitting. i wanted more plowing so I put additional 3.5 gram of tape stretching from 11 to 1 position. Polarized at this point? Now hitting is kinda ..uncomfortable. Volley lacks pop and sharp cut. I realize I do not hit well with head heavy! So, to counter I just put on 5 gr on the handle (7" from buttcap). I'll see how it hits, but do you guys think 10 gr total changes a racket much? Particularly apdc?
Also, if I lack pop and plow-thru effect again, I'm not sure what to do next. Meaning, all I have again is the same racket but heavier and harder to weild around. The racket's weight is reaching the point that I can feel it and it might become an issue.
You can already notice a difference with 3 or 4g, so yea 10g can be a lot especially when the balance is changed.
Plowthrough is normally achieved by adding lead to the 3&9 o'clock.. because that is where the impact happens (most of the time anyway), extra weight at that area efficiently adds to the stability and mass of the impact your racket creates on the ball.
So would you call capping your racquet and add some weight to the handle "depolarized". I guess it's almost like adding 2 long strip of lead tapes from 10 -7 and 2 -5. I capped my old radical twintube and added about 18 grams into the handle to get the balance back up to 8 pt HL.
I love the stability and feels of the racquet after I capped it. Any pros and cons with capping vs lead tape in different locations? Thanks
D@mn, I can't hit at all with 10 gr on my racket -- 5 at the tip and 5 at 7" handle. The first 15 min of hitting was nice where I focused on accelerating the racket and let it do its thing. After that it became a little mental and physical draining because I'm more used to whipping the ball with my own power.
I've taken off 4 gr at the tip. Left 1 behind and 5 at the handle. Shadow swing inside the house seems nice.
Do you get more power if you only add weight at the handle (7" from end)???
Buttcap = 0 SW added
Top of racket under bumperguard = max SW added
Everything else is proportionately in that fashion. Obviously the 7" spot isnt the best for adding power, but it supposedly has some other benefits
Well... Capping looks nice, it's relatively straightforward, and it protects the frame from those low ball scrapes. But (this can be positive or negative), it supposedly creates a stiffer/firmer feeling, adds weight around the whole head, and is a major pain in the ass to do/undo.
For lead tape, there's infinite possibilities so it allows you to do a little more fine tuning, but at the same time it could take a little longer to find something you like (simply because it's not like slap lead on and "yes or no; do you like it?"). With lead you can change your racket a lot, but you can't really affect stiffness (though you can change how it feels with enough added weight). Lead might not always look as neat or clean... Especially if you're unable to hide it or if you have a funky set up.
Lead tape is basically you have more precise control over placement and amount of weight added. Capping is more of a racket protection thing that adds weight and changes the feeling of the racket dramatically as a sort of side effect. Overall, if you can put CAPS on a racket, I think that's one of the nicest options you can have in customizing a racket, simply because it changes the racket so much with a single change. But it's a whole different thing compared to lead tape, which is more of a performance enhancer.
Had a question xFullCourt...
I read some of your previous posts about depolarization and some by other people who have talked about depolarizing by placing mass in a single location (not at 12 or butt cap obviously but more at around throat/7 inches above butt cap).
So if I have a more polarized stock frame, and I want to depolarize the frame as much as possible with lets say 10 grams, while making it more HL than it sits stock, do you advise adding weight at 3&9 and then weighting the handle lower (lets say 5 inches above buttcap), or is it better to add the full 10 grams at a point, for example, 7 inches above the butt cap?
xfull could you help me customize my MG Instinct? After being strung in is 1pt HL. I built up the grip with heat shrinkwrap to effective raise the weight .5 oz and make the racquet 4 pts HL. I like the feel of this racquet and would like to add a little more stability to my ground strokes and heft to my serve. At most i probably would like to add anywhere from .5 ozs. to .8 ozs to my racquet.
Thanks in advance!
There’s a futures tournament going on at my local tennis center and my friend is stringing the racquets.
I was there last night with him and handled some of the racquets. I saw all kinds of lead configurations.
There was a prestige pro that stood out. The racquet had two 4” strips of the half inch thick lead on each side of the inner throat. They were overlapped in a way that that outer 2 inches were 1 layer, and the middle 2 inches were 2 layer.
The racquet also had a bunch of 4” strips of quarter inch thick lead around 2/3ish and 9/10ish. From the looks of it I thought it was going to be billy club, but just swinging it a couple of times felt really nice. I took pictures of the set-up so I could eventually try to copy it.
Are you going to share those pics to audience?
i can upload them when i get home from work.
Just be aware that there may be weight inside the handle or under the grip that is not as easy to see.
i almost want to get my scale and go back. i would be able to calculate an approx. amount of lead under the handle, if any, by getting the weight of the racquet and subtracting the weight of the visable thread since it's generally accepted that 4 inches of 1/4 thick lead is 1 gram, and 1/2 thick lead is 2.
Yes indeed. You can also form a good estimate based on any observed movement of the balance point from stock. You can look up the stock balance point pretty easily and you can test the racquet in question with a tape measure and a ruler. Then you can back into the amount of weight needed in the handle to offset what was added to the hoop for the measured balance point.
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