Power Pads really do provide more power

patrick922

Semi-Pro
what happens if you use some kind of rubber substance instead of leather? what would happen, would it increas the bowing effect?
 
After thinking about this for a second, I can see how they would increase power. Like a Babolat's woofer system, it does increase string length minimally, but I think the power increase would be from the increase angle of the string entering the hole. This would decrease friction, and could possibly add to power. I think this is the theory behind the woofer system too. It not only increases string length, but if you notice, part of the system has to do with the angle which the holes are drilled. Truthfully, I've never added them to increase power, only to keep the string from having to make such a sharp angle into the holes at the throat.
 
"Win - Win" situation!

patrick922 said:
what happens if you use some kind of rubber substance instead of leather? what would happen, would it increas the bowing effect?
;) I think it would work, but best of all, your racquet wouldn't get your girlfriend's racquet pregnant if they ever spent time in the same bag.
 

Lambsscroll

Hall of Fame
Lets suppose that power pads offer a slight difference in feel when you hit the sweet spot, I would think that this would help a player to strike the ball more consistently in that area. What I mean is over time a player would be drawn to that area with each stroke. Just a thought.
 

Bertie B

Professional
I use them. They were different, cool and I had to try 'em.

I added them to the throat to take away the "ping" sound. It worked. Then I added some on the top of the racket to see if I could lengthen string life (incorrigible string breaker, here), verdict still out. But, I've noticed I get a lot more control, and heaps of spin.

String: Unique Big Hitter 17g - Mains (54lbs) & Gosen 17g - Crosses (62lbs)
 

chiru

Professional
question for andrew about the powerpad installation
1) where can u still get fairways!?
2) if you fold it over, how do you get one side to be raw and another smooth, maybe im geometrically challenged, but i feel like once i fold it over, either teh smooth will be folded onto or the raw will be folded onto, no?
 

Lambsscroll

Hall of Fame
Take an old leather grip and cut out a square that can be folded and there you go. I have seen some that weren't folded because the leather was so thick.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I think the name power pads is a misnomer. You have to remember that the little piece of leather used there is compressed totally by the tension put on it. All you're doing is changing the angle of the string as it comes around. I have a pack of plastic power pads that I bought some years ago. These have absolutely no give at all. I really don't think the addition of power pads does anything to enhance power or spin.

The only thing I've ever seen power pads used for is to round out an angle where a string, natural gut, is too severe and could break. I recently strung a Yonex RDS 001 98 for a buddy of mine. He uses Titan natural gut and Yonex 850 in the crosses. The gut broke at the grommet, so I used power pads when restringing to help prlong the life of the string. I remember reading that Navratilova & Shriver were very cost concious. They would practice with synthetic gut and only use natural gut when they played tournaments. That may well explain why Navratilova had power pads installed all over the head, she was trying to save string.
 

NoBadMojo

G.O.A.T.
I think the name power pads is a misnomer. You have to remember that the little piece of leather used there is compressed totally by the tension put on it. All you're doing is changing the angle of the string as it comes around. I have a pack of plastic power pads that I bought some years ago. These have absolutely no give at all. I really don't think the addition of power pads does anything to enhance power or spin.

The only thing I've ever seen power pads used for is to round out an angle where a string, natural gut, is too severe and could break. I recently strung a Yonex RDS 001 98 for a buddy of mine. He uses Titan natural gut and Yonex 850 in the crosses. The gut broke at the grommet, so I used power pads when restringing to help prlong the life of the string. I remember reading that Navratilova & Shriver were very cost concious. They would practice with synthetic gut and only use natural gut when they played tournaments. That may well explain why Navratilova had power pads installed all over the head, she was trying to save string.
Rabbit, those Yonex pancake flipper headshapes like Navrat used would shear gut quite easily and i think that is why they power padded those frames more than others. Remember Andres Gomez? he had his Yonexes' power padded both at the throat and the head. We used to both power pad and tube the throat mains on wooden frames. I agree with you..power pads do absolutely nothing as far as power levels go. Speaking of Gomez, i ate breakfast one morning right next to him....he ate like 6 fried eggs, bacon, and hash browns...training table is a bit different these days ;)
 

Richie Rich

Legend
Speaking of Gomez, i ate breakfast one morning right next to him....he ate like 6 fried eggs, bacon, and hash browns...training table is a bit different these days ;)
sounds no different than when he played. he was pretty big when he won the FO then went out of control afterwards.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
Rabbit, those Yonex pancake flipper headshapes like Navrat used would shear gut quite easily and i think that is why they power padded those frames more than others. Remember Andres Gomez? he had his Yonexes' power padded both at the throat and the head. We used to both power pad and tube the throat mains on wooden frames. I agree with you..power pads do absolutely nothing as far as power levels go. Speaking of Gomez, i ate breakfast one morning right next to him....he ate like 6 fried eggs, bacon, and hash browns...training table is a bit different these days ;)
Yep, as noted in my previous post. Navratilova used them solely to extend the life of her string job(s); as did Gomez.
 

Hessam

Rookie
Power pads extend the main strings where they are used by a few extra millimieters. that will provide more power to any racket. Look at the entire concept behind the V engine Volkl rackets....the reason why these rackets
claim to have a bigger sweetspot and provide more power is because of the slightly lengthened center main strings.

Power pads....to a smaller degree provide the same effect. they longer you lengthen strings...the more power you produce..that is a very simple equations..just look at Oversize rackets.....so power pads to technically provide more power (even if this a very small amount to even be noticed by the average person)....but it's impossible to argue against this fact.
 

Hessam

Rookie
prob true...but it's more likely that it's a combination of all of these factors..increased swing weight, longer main strings, and possilbe decreased tension (more power) in the main strings where they are used.
 

ShcMad

Hall of Fame
anyone? I didn't even know of their existence before this thread. :)
I couldn't find any good close-up pictures of Federer's racquet. I know these are not the best pictures showing power pads, but here they are nonetheless:



Those 3 black bumps on the throat of Fed's racquet are the power pads.



The 4 brown bumps on the throat are Safin's racquet's power pads.

Today, I got to hit a couple balls with my racquet, which I got it strung with leather pads just for the sake of trying them out, and I must say that the levels of feel or power level aren't too noticeable. I have yet to do a little more testing because today was cold, so I didn't play for too long. However, I noticed that the pads do mute the stringbed. The pads clearly got rid of the small amount of vibration that comes after the ball hits the stringbed, and it replaced the usual 'ping' sound with a subtle sound. But, the pads don't totally act like an ordinary vibration dampener. There's still a difference in sound and feel during contact with the ball. I cannot describe it, but the ordinary dampener gives more of a 'thud' sound while the pads give out a muted sound. And, for some reason, the stringbed feels a tad stiffer with power pads, but that might be because the leather I used wasn't soft enough.
 
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Seems like pointless customization nonsense to me. Wouldn't decreasing tension add this power as well? Or perhaps you could just buy a midplus if you wanted more power?

There has to be a compromise here. If you're extending the string bed, then it must lower the control, just as a larger string bed would do this.
 

Hessam

Rookie
Seems like pointless customization nonsense to me. Wouldn't decreasing tension add this power as well? Or perhaps you could just buy a midplus if you wanted more power?

There has to be a compromise here. If you're extending the string bed, then it must lower the control, just as a larger string bed would do this.
you are only lengthening the 8 (safin's racket), or 6 (fed's/pete's racekts), as opposed to lengthening the entire string bed as a midplus or oversize racket would do.

also on the point of lowering tension..... again you are potentially lowering tension (by the strings having slightly more give), or those strings (the sweetspot) that the powerpads are used on, as opposed to lowering tension on the entire stringbed and losing control.

the difference with or without powerpads cannot even be felt with some rackets...but if you have a flexible racket with a thin beam, with proper strings the affect is slight but noticeable.... you have to hit the center of sweetpost to feel the extra livliness of the stringbed with power pads.
 

rasajadad

Hall of Fame
I too used these in the "old days". But when I got my 3rd frame, (see my sig. below,) there were power pads. One pair in the first two strings that went outside the throat. In other words, the 3rd main left and right of center. As I didn't think it was even within the sweet spot I couldn't believe they were performance related.

I do think that if you installed them on a modern racquet where the grommets "lock" the string in place, that it would create the O3 or woofer effect. I.e. more power.
 

Hessam

Rookie
It has nothing to do with a modern frame or not....it depends on a frame with great feel and feeback (i.e. flexible, this beam frame)....

You will not sense the affect of power pads on most medium to highpowered rackets.
 

rounick

Semi-Pro
Power pads or leather pads or whatever you wanna call them,do have some effect on the racquet,simply because they certainly change the mechanical characteristics of the frame/string combination.Wheter their effect is substantial or even noticeable,is another conversation.
If you ever have cut the strings from your racquets you would have noticed how they come out from the grommets in Π shapes.
Also,have you noticed that it is always the mains that break?..
 
Please explain. Because the leather slowly submits to the tight string, thereby compressing and slowly losing tension.

I see no other way to look at it.
 

rounick

Semi-Pro
I will try.

Please remember that this is a speculation,based upon my experience and studies,and not intended to be considered as anything but that.

My point is that,
in a "pad-less" racquet,it is the strings that absorb the impact energry between ball and stringbed,deforming momentarily before "snaping back".After some time and many repetitions,this deformation becomes plastic,permanent,meaning loss of tension.

With pads,some (significant?,petit?,unnoticeable?,I have no way of knowing but definitely some) portion of the energy will be absorbed by the pad,leaving less "work" for the strings.That way the string might hold it's tension a little longer.

Also,because the 8 mains are prolonged by a 2-3 mm margin,that might give the impression of a bigger sweetspot.The rounder shape around which the strings go might also help in creating a kind of "pulley" effect,transferring loads to more main strings,again giving the impression of a bigger sweetspot.
 
Actually that makes perfect sense. The power pads compress instead of the strings stretching. Maybe I'll give them a go. I can't see it being a huge mistake.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
I have been using power pads for years. I have never noticed any increase in speed or the sweetspot getting larger. The only reason I use them is because they dampen the feel of the strings (mains).
 

ShcMad

Hall of Fame
I have been using power pads for years. I have never noticed any increase in speed or the sweetspot getting larger. The only reason I use them is because they dampen the feel of the strings (mains).
Yeah, the sound is quite distinctive. With the power pads, my racquet stringbed doesn't sound like it has a vibration dampener, but at the same time, it doesn't give out that loud 'ping' sound that strings produce when you hit the ball. With the vibration dampener, the sound is more of a 'thud'. With the power pads, the sound is a tad louder and sharper.

Here's a video where you might get the sense of what kind of sound it produces:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDltadqKFGo
 
I have been using power pads for years. I have never noticed any increase in speed or the sweetspot getting larger. The only reason I use them is because they dampen the feel of the strings (mains).
So you're saying that power pads, combined with SW2, will put me on tour in less than two years?

Sold.
 

Hessam

Rookie
you can say whatever you want about powerpads.... but the pure physical facts in its favor producing more power are undeniable.

power pads do stretch the main strings by a few m.meters.....

power pads to add to swingweight of a racket.....

power pads to potential decrease tension on the main strings they are used on.... ( by absorbing some of the shock, and producing more give on the stringbed sweetspot)......

Maybe it's the combination of all these factors...maybe it's just one factor in a small frame as in a PS 6.0 85, but if you set up two frames exactly the same, one with and one without powerpads.....on certain frames the affect of power pads is there.....

If you hit the ball right in the sweetspot...the sweetspot seems to have more liveliness, and less shock (better feedback on your stroke).

It's all together possible that it will help a stringbed to retain tension longer as one of the other posters indicated.
 

mctennis

Legend
The reason for using power pads is to keep the sharp angle of the racquets grommets from cutting into the strings and breaking them. I use gut strings and if I don't have the power pads installed the strings break prematurely.
 

Hessam

Rookie
The reason for using power pads is to keep the sharp angle of the racquets grommets from cutting into the strings and breaking them. I use gut strings and if I don't have the power pads installed the strings break prematurely.
that's only one of the reasons...and that was only true on older wood rackets.... Powe pads do really provide in very small incremental increase in power in some frames.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Yeah, the sound is quite distinctive. With the power pads, my racquet stringbed doesn't sound like it has a vibration dampener, but at the same time, it doesn't give out that loud 'ping' sound that strings produce when you hit the ball. With the vibration dampener, the sound is more of a 'thud'. With the power pads, the sound is a tad louder and sharper.
My experience exactly.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I'm sorry, but how can power pads increase the power of a frame when they are compressed by around 60 pounds of tension? They do not compress and release energy back to the frame. The little strip of leather is already compressed down as far as it can go with the tension applied to the strings.

The only reason they exist is to eliminate sharp angles which can shorten the life of string jobs, most notaly natural gut.

Most of today's rackets have grommet systems built to accommodate this. I only use them when stringing a couple of Yonex frames with natural gut as they have sharp angles.
 

Midlife crisis

Hall of Fame
that's only one of the reasons...and that was only true on older wood rackets.... Powe pads do really provide in very small incremental increase in power in some frames.
No, they won't. The friction between the string and the hole is sufficient to prevent the string from sliding back and forth if the power pad were to have any give. Just take a look at the string next to your tie off string. Notice how it stays tight even if your tie-off string is loose?

Also, notice that when you cut remove strings, that the string sections inside the holes are not worn or abraded in any way whether you use power pads or not, as they would be if they constantly moved in and out as you say.
 

Hessam

Rookie
I'm sorry, but how can power pads increase the power of a frame when they are compressed by around 60 pounds of tension? They do not compress and release energy back to the frame. The little strip of leather is already compressed down as far as it can go with the tension applied to the strings.

The only reason they exist is to eliminate sharp angles which can shorten the life of string jobs, most notaly natural gut.

Most of today's rackets have grommet systems built to accommodate this. I only use them when stringing a couple of Yonex frames with natural gut as they have sharp angles.
Increased swingweight plus longer strings = more power
 

mctennis

Legend
Surely you jest. How much longer do you think a power pad makes a string? I don't think a little piece of leather even weighs one gram.
Zackly.... It doesn't really add anything to it. Only function is to keep the strings from breaking in the frame.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
^^^^ Well, it does mute the mains, and takes out a lot of the annoying vibration/ping from the racquet. But I agree it surely doesn't add any power.
 

Hessam

Rookie
Surely you jest. How much longer do you think a power pad makes a string? I don't think a little piece of leather even weighs one gram.
On my racket the power pads make the strings 4.5mm longer than where they would normally sit if they were to sit inside the grommets.

4mm might not make a huge difference...but you can't argue the physics...

longer strings=more power.

Now you can say all you want that the power increase is negligible etc.... but don't sound stupid and say with 100% certainty that there is absolutely no difference that that slight difference in string lenght will make.

also power pads might weight 1gram or more.
 

Voltron

Hall of Fame
OK, I have a question, how do you make power pads, and where do you put them? I have a bunch of leather, so what do I do?

Thanks,
Volt
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
On my racket the power pads make the strings 4.5mm longer than where they would normally sit if they were to sit inside the grommets.

4mm might not make a huge difference...but you can't argue the physics...

longer strings=more power.

Now you can say all you want that the power increase is negligible etc.... but don't sound stupid and say with 100% certainty that there is absolutely no difference that that slight difference in string lenght will make.

also power pads might weight 1gram or more.
Sorry, but the only stupidity here is overthinking your gear. And, to say that power pads "might" weigh more than one gram is hardly a stirring defense of your original premise. Fact is, they don't add any more power and they don't add any weight. I would also like to know how you measured the difference in your mains. I don't think you're right.

Power pads are created by cutting a section of leather and then folding it in two. Or, if you can still find them, they make plastic ones. I bought a pack many years ago and still have them.

Power pads really don't have much use on today's frames as the grommet system handles the angles the string takes.
 
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