physics of racquet head size...

big ted

Hall of Fame
impossible but hypothetically assuming one can hit in the exact middle of the sweetspot everytime,
is there any advantage to using a larger or oversize head? it seems to me a smaller head
would be better as it gets more racquet speed. the smaller racquet can also be strung looser
to get the more power/trampoline effect that a bigger frame can give..
would anyone have any opinion on this?


My experience.

Big size: more sweetspot, more spin, less control

Small size: unforgiving, flatter shots, more predictable trajectory

And may be: more power in big headsize, but there are many important factors other than this (eg a heavy and stiff mid with low tension strings can be more powerful than a lightweight flexy OS )


Hall of Fame
TWU states:
Headsize and Power

Headsize goes hand-in-hand with twistweight. A larger head puts the weight farther away from the long axis and makes it more difficult to move the racquet about that axis. That is why the sweetspot is bigger on larger racquets — off-center hits generally cause less twisting at a given location compared to smaller racquets. But not always. Smaller headsizes may not have the weight located as far from the axis, but there may be more of it, making up the difference.

On center-line hits, a larger racquet in and of itself should not make any difference in power. In fact, you will notice many, many mids and midpluses near the top of the shot peed list along the center of the racquet. That is because they have high swingweight. In fact, many so-called player's racquets are near the top. These are usually characterized by higher weight and swingweight and lower headsize, balance, and stiffness. It is the swingweight that more than makes up the difference to result in higher power potential.

big ted

Hall of Fame
i agree everything being equal a larger frame would give more spin as well (i think..)
but maybe thats because the strings are usually further apart on an os frame


Since mishits happen for all of us non-pros, this hypothetical scenario is pretty unrealistic.

It's well known in golf that a muscleback iron will be more accurate if hit on the sweetspot, but it has a microscopic sweetspot requiring a replicable swing only top players have. Larger cavity back irons are less accurate even on center hits but have a larger sweetspot meaning offcenter hits will travel straighter and longer. They allow us mortals with swings not carved in stone to play golf reasonably well.

I assume tennis is similar in that a smaller headsize will give superior control with less forgiveness. Power will be a function more of SW, string tensions and swing mechanics on center hits.

Tommy Haas

Hall of Fame
A small head size with an open string pattern may be the best of both worlds. For me, that would be 95-98 with a 16x18/19 pattern.