Most difficult racquets to use

Godspeed You

New User
Hello!

On a recent podcast, Michael Lewis mentioned a baseball player who added 10+ mph to his fastball by learning how to throw with a heavier baseball. Once his body adjusted and learned how to throw the heavier ball, he was suddenly able to throw at speeds previously unthinkable for his ability level.

I am wondering if there is the possibility of doing something in the same vein with tennis. If someone was to pick up the most challenging tennis racquet and play with it enough to the point of figuring out how to use it correctly, could the tennis player improve? Is selecting a racquet as a way of developing your skIlls a possibility?

If so, what type of racquet, or type of racquet traits would be best for development? Racquet weight? Length? Headsize?

Thanks for the read and any and all opinions welcomed!
 
D

Deleted member 768841

Guest
I’m not an expert in that, but I would look at something like the Pro Staff RF97 or blade 18/20. Maybe also check out the Head PT. 2.0. Those racquets are heavy, harder to swing as fast as a beginner racquet, and are much more for advanced players who can handle the weight. Going from an RF97 to something like a pure aero or A beginner racquet with less weight is night and day.
 

McGradey

Hall of Fame
Prince-God-Tennis-Racquet-4-3-8-NEW.jpg
 

Godspeed You

New User
Thanks for the responses! I guess a better way to clarify my comment would be, "if you could learn how to use any racquet well, which racquet would be the best one to learn how to swing? Are there any racquets that are hard to swing but offer an advantage if you're able to overcome the learning curve?
 
Well first off, learning proper technique comes first and when people pick up a racquet that is too heavy for they, they tend to take shortcuts on technique. This baseball player probably had perfect technique before, during, and after throwing the heavier ball.

But assuming technique isn't a problem, there aren't too many racquets on the market that are heavy like that. The RF97, Yonex VCore ProHD 97, Prince Phantom 93P, and the Wilson Six.One 95 are a few that fit that bill though. Almost all ATP players use pro stock racquets which have been modified and weighted up to suit their needs. The advantage on having that extra weight is that you have greater plow through, stability, and you can hit the ball harder once you are able to handle a racquet's increased weight.

I’m not an expert in that, but I would look at something like the Pro Staff RF97 or blade 18/20. Maybe also check out the Head PT. 2.0. Those racquets are heavy...

The Blade 18x20 is definitely not heavy. 11.4 oz strung.
 

Gee

Hall of Fame
Thanks for the responses! I guess a better way to clarify my comment would be, "if you could learn how to use any racquet well, which racquet would be the best one to learn how to swing? Are there any racquets that are hard to swing but offer an advantage if you're able to overcome the learning curve?
IMO you learn technique best with a heavier control racquet with a smaller headsize that doesn't help you with generating power and punish your technical flaws.
These ones'll help you learn use to the weight efficiently in order to generate power from your technique.
The smaller headsize will learn you to focus
However it is not the easiest way in order to learn the tennis basics.
 
D

Deleted member 768841

Guest
Well first off, learning proper technique comes first and when people pick up a racquet that is too heavy for they, they tend to take shortcuts on technique. This baseball player probably had perfect technique before, during, and after throwing the heavier ball.

But assuming technique isn't a problem, there aren't too many racquets on the market that are heavy like that. The RF97, Yonex VCore ProHD 97, Prince Phantom 93P, and the Wilson Six.One 95 are a few that fit that bill though. Almost all ATP players use pro stock racquets which have been modified and weighted up to suit their needs. The advantage on having that extra weight is that you have greater plow through, stability, and you can hit the ball harder once you are able to handle a racquet's increased weight.



The Blade 18x20 is definitely not heavy. 11.4 oz strung.
Heavy as in swingweight for the blade.
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
-the Wilson ps rf 97 is a challenging racquet to use, (for me, successfully)
-im not 100% comfortable with it
-its heavy!!, but wow does it punish the ball when in full flight
-i would need to modify my backhand to play with this beast,
-the power, spin and plow-through make this a very tempting option
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
Yonex Tour G330 from my own experience. Hard to swing (cumbersome is the word on the street) but if you can, it's all there. And I mean all of it.

-agree, i tested the 330 and the 310, and saw it first hand
-i went wth the 310 and modified it UP to my liking, (y)
 

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
I would think that the best way to do this would be to use wearable weights on your wrists, then remove them for matches.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
I had a hit with an old Head Arthur Ash Comp 2 the other day and it was quite difficult racquet to use with its small head and lots of vibration. While I don’t believe it improved my game, it made me appreciate what we have now and probably helped with concentration.
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
Just curious 1HBDfanatic, what is your mod for the 310? I have one that I never could get it to feel correct.

-for myself, i added 5" total of 1/4" lead strips at 3 and 9
-enough 1/2" lead on handle to make it 10pts HL
-but the biggest thing i found, its the string tension
-im a currently stringing with FB polys, 17g usually, 49lbs mains / 46lbs crosses
 

emhtennis

Professional

NoQuarter

Rookie
-for myself, i added 5" total of 1/4" lead strips at 3 and 9
-enough 1/2" lead on handle to make it 10pts HL
-but the biggest thing i found, its the string tension
-im a currently stringing with FB polys, 17g usually, 49lbs mains / 46lbs crosses

Thank you. Will give this a shot.
 

mnttlrg

Professional
On a recent podcast, Michael Lewis mentioned a baseball player who added 10+ mph to his fastball by learning how to throw with a heavier baseball.

If so, what type of racquet, or type of racquet traits would be best for development? Racquet weight? Length? Headsize?

I have done this and taught this with the Sampras 85, and/or the Ncode Tour 90.

If you can't redirect the ball clean each and every time with those rackets, then you have mechanical flaws in your technique.

If you can whip them and generate spin / power, you can do so with any racket.
 

1stVolley

Professional
Apart from heavier racquet and ones with small head sizes I find playing with a racquet whose characteristics are different than my regular one helps me to understand--and feel--more clearly what my regular racquet's characteristics are. That understanding helps me better utilize my regular racquet because I have a clearer understanding of its limits.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
I played exclusively with a Head LM Prestige Mid for 18 months for this exact reason. It was like having a coach in my hand.

Praise and rewards when I had good footwork and stroke execution.

Punishment and scorn when I was lazy or not concentrating.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

I found the LM Prestige mid to be seriously challenging to hit with.

I have done this and taught this with the Sampras 85, and/or the Ncode Tour 90.

If you can't redirect the ball clean each and every time with those rackets, then you have mechanical flaws in your technique.

If you can whip them and generate spin / power, you can do so with any racket.

Still using my tour 90s! A challenge at this stage of my rec career for sure, but rewarding too. Also a little more forgiving than the prestige mid, ime.
 

bleno567

Professional
I have done this and taught this with the Sampras 85, and/or the Ncode Tour 90.

If you can't redirect the ball clean each and every time with those rackets, then you have mechanical flaws in your technique.

Something tells me Nadal wouldn't be able to hit the ball cleanly with the 6.0 or Tour 90 with his whippy strokes. Does that mean he has mechanical flaws in his technique?
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
Tennis is not throwing, so the analogy is flawed right there. It is much more complex than that.

The modern forehand is a hybrid that shares similarities with:

- cracking a whip or handling a fly fishing rod (or throwing a frisbee albeit that is the backhand), all of which require a lot of wrist muscle activation and pronation.

- punching, «throwing» a punch, which is about activating legs, hips, upper body; it’s about dynamic balance and stability at impact.

Both are not overly focused on extension (through impact).

- throwing (baseball or skipping stones): lies somewhere in between the two other. There’s not much loading of the legs, up-and-down, but mostly horisontal. The big difference is the extension.
 

Deki

Rookie
Dunlop AG 200 Tour- sw in 350, 95 sqin 16x18 String pattern. Great racket.
If I could play with it more than 2 sets it would be my racket of choice. But, to heavy!
 

mnttlrg

Professional
Something tells me Nadal wouldn't be able to hit the ball cleanly with the 6.0 or Tour 90 with his whippy strokes. Does that mean he has mechanical flaws in his technique?
He absolutely would be able to. I have seen guys from my lowly college club team hit huge topspin with the Sampras 85.
 

topspn

Legend
I think it is more the nadal motion then anything else and how a larger head size and sweet spot is conducive to it. He would mishit an awful lot with a small head size.
 
I don’t think he would have any problem whatsoever; even standing next to or directly behind a guy in the top 500 or so when they’re hitting you realise very quickly that their eye hand coordination and ability to put the ball on the sweet spot with extreme racquet head speed is simply insane. In any case, if he needed to Nadal would simply and effortlessly flatten his stroke out enough to make whatever racquet you gave him work.
 
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1HBHfanatic

Legend
Head Prestige.

If you hit it off centre it dribbles on the floor.

Need to be good to play with those

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

-what model? year?
-the new models ,(2020) are much more user friendly, IMO
-but i do agree, the last 3 or 4 models have been pretty hard to love
 

jarko111

Hall of Fame
I'd go with the Prestige line and some of the ProStaffs.
I'm going to have to google the toalson power swing 500. Never heard of it.
 

Jster

Professional
I'd go with the Prestige line and some of the ProStaffs.
I'm going to have to google the toalson power swing 500. Never heard of it.

Zero shock. you will not feel the ball. it is okay to string it with full poly at 60pounds. zero shock upon impact.

the down side is it only comes in L2.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for the responses! I guess a better way to clarify my comment would be, "if you could learn how to use any racquet well, which racquet would be the best one to learn how to swing? Are there any racquets that are hard to swing but offer an advantage if you're able to overcome the learning curve?

I've had personal experience with using an especially heavy "training frame" to help me when I was re-tooling my ground strokes some years ago. In this case, I used a pair of LM Prestige mids. In their stock form, these racquets were difficult for me to use, mostly because they were heavy and had only a moderate amount of head-light (HL) balance. I added a good amount of lead to their handles to give them a weight of around 13.4 oz. and a balance of at least 11 pts. HL. So they were heavier, but also had a more familiar balance and swing behavior for me after adding the lead.

My swing preparation wasn't especially good when I started working out with these trainers and my arm/shoulder would be significantly fatigued after only about 20 mins of hitting on the practice grinder. It took several weeks of deliberate work with these frames to learn more efficient movement and preparation, but they were a huge help for me.

The biggest difference I recognized in my game after those weeks with the trainers was that after a lot of hitting, my legs would get tired instead of my arm. I was using a better kinetic chain for my strokes, including a one-handed backhand, and could workout for well over an hour without feeling any fatigue in my arm like I did starting out. I got the impression that those racquets forced me to learn because they'd only produce decent shots if I used better habits - earlier stroke prep.

One important CAUTION: if you decide to experiment with a heavier training racquet, don't use it for any sort of competition until after you've worked out with it in practice settings for at least a few weeks. On the practice court, we can more consciously monitor what we're doing with our strokes and movement, but we have to do a lot of that on auto-pilot in a match. During competition, our focus shifts much more toward what's happening on the other side of the net. If you're not used to a significantly heavier trainer, it can be seriously stressful trying to play points with it. Take your time with it. Our habits don't change overnight, but with a little dedication they can be improved.
 

Jster

Professional
how do they play?
Heart rate went to gear 5 within 15mins.

Anyway, I lend it to a friend (a coach) , he said it is fun and racquet will somehow tell you whether you are using the correct set of muscles for various strokes by inducinglactic acid

for beginners, there is a Toalson power swing light, aka toalson power swing 400.
 

joah310

Professional
Heart rate went to gear 5 within 15mins.

Anyway, I lend it to a friend (a coach) , he said it is fun and racquet will somehow tell you whether you are using the correct set of muscles for various strokes by inducinglactic acid

for beginners, there is a Toalson power swing light, aka toalson power swing 400.
Haha sounds like itll kill you before it helps you play
 
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