Power via RHS or racquet weight?

Should we swing faster or get a heavier racquet to achieve power?


  • Total voters
    30

Fintft

Legend
Imo, we should swing faster, RHS being key and going for higher weight to achieve power is probably the wrong way.
At my club, nobody lower than 4.5 swings fast enough and (case in point), my "almost 5.0" and club champion partner told me to swing faster, by using a lighter racquet...


...you would have gotten a higher RHS

Pointing out that Alcaraz is using a lower SW, or that top college players don't modify their racquets, says what? What has that got to do with ME, or YOU?
 
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Fintft

Legend
The question before this one should be how much power does a rec player really need? My view is that it’s quite overrated and counterproductive.
You are right, but don't change the subject lol
I.e about 5 years ago, I had the strongest FH among all the 3.5s at my club who had it measured with a police radar gun. I had only one attempt (falling on my butt, due to using clay shoes on hc) and it was only 80 mph. The coach expected more, but than again, he is the one who gave me the funny cc feed...
 

Slicerman

Professional
This is a tough and complicated topic. There's a lot of factors involved.

I think more racquet weight isn't always suitable. There's got to be a point of diminishing returns. Just find the optimal weight for yourself and stick with.

As for RHS, I think it's only attainable if you have good enough skill. Every player with solid stroke mechanics should be able to reach RHS of the Nth degree. But the important question is.. should the player actually be trying to max out their RHS? and is it beneficial to them? If you can physically swing super fast, but you don't have the timing, focus, coordination or movement/positioning to pull it off, then its a pointless exercise. You'll only be increasing your errors by mishitting the ball. I don't think its really sustainable either. Another issue would be physical exertion and use of energy. If you're just a normal recreational player, then you probably don't have the physically conditioning nor have the time to commit to such a conditioning to keep it up consistently. At the rec level, I think it might be more ideal to improve your level by playing better tactically. That's just my take. Personally, I'm a player who relies more on ball placement and variety. I do occasionally try to go for "max" RHS, but its not appropriate or necessary on every shot. If I have the choice of hitting a good target with 50% power and win the point then I'm happy with that.
 

Fintft

Legend
This is a tough and complicated topic. There's a lot of factors involved.

I think more racquet weight isn't always suitable. There's got to be a point of diminishing returns. Just find the optimal weight for yourself and stick with.

As for RHS, I think it's only attainable if you have good enough skill. Every player with solid stroke mechanics should be able to reach RHS of the Nth degree. But the important question is.. should the player actually be trying to max out their RHS? and is it beneficial to them? If you can physically swing super fast, but you don't have the timing, focus, coordination or movement/positioning to pull it off, then its a pointless exercise. You'll only be increasing your errors by mishitting the ball. I don't think its really sustainable either. Another issue would be physical exertion and use of energy. If you're just a normal recreational player, then you probably don't have the physically conditioning nor have the time to commit to such a conditioning to keep it up consistently. At the rec level, I think it might be more ideal to improve your level by playing better tactically. That's just my take. Personally, I'm a player who relies more on ball placement and variety. I do occasionally try to go for "max" RHS, but its not appropriate or necessary on every shot. If I have the choice of hitting a good target with 50% power and win the point then I'm happy with that.
Yes about diminishing returns...
High RHS, with good timing? 70-80% power being what the coach suggested
 

Slicerman

Professional
Yes about diminishing returns...
High RHS, with good timing? 70-80% power being what the coach suggested
Yeah, 70-80% RHS is a good measure, which is fast enough stay competitive in points but still manageable to stay reliable.
That's the ideal circumstance. Though realistically, IMO, swing speed is okay to dip down lower depending on the rhythm of the rally and also situation.
Also, I don't always correlate RHS necessarily with "power". its possible to go 99% RHS and still have no power.. lol. While a simple bunt can have loads of power or speed.
It really depends on how you meet the ball.

And yeah. High RHS + good timing is best. High RHS is useless without good timing.
 

LuckyR

Legend
The question before this one should be how much power does a rec player really need? My view is that it’s quite overrated and counterproductive.
Best post in the thread. To take it even further, every racquet type can produce more power (when swung by an average adult), than any level player can handle. The trick is to figure out what percentage of maximum (since no one, no matter how skilled should be swinging at their maximum) gives you access to enough spin to create high consistancy shots.
 

Fintft

Legend
Best post in the thread. To take it even further, every racquet type can produce more power (when swung by an average adult), than any level player can handle. The trick is to figure out what percentage of maximum (since no one, no matter how skilled should be swinging at their maximum) gives you access to enough spin to create high consistancy shots.
And here I was thinking that the trick was to figure out what's the heaviest racquet one can handle/swing?

B/c I am eager to bet that I can't swing a 360g racquet as fast and as long, as I can swing a 330g one (sw being more or less equal). The problem being compounded at lower levels.
Your post is about dialing down your shots, which is a sepparate topic, imo.
 

Slicerman

Professional
My philosophy when it comes to racquet weight, is that you go up in weight to make it "heavy enough". I don't think there's any real advantage to keep on adding more and more weight.
Basically add enough weight so that your racquet doesn't get pushed around by the average shots you face. Once you find what's heavy enough then that's your optimum weight.
Adding more weight isn't necessarily gonna give you more spin or power. If the goal is get more spin, then too much weight could be detrimental to achieving that.
At some point, the racquet drop and whip through on a heavy topspin stroke will be too demanding, especially on the forearm.
It will give more easy depth on shots, but depending on what type of shots is your go-to, it might make you miss long more often. Then you end up holding back on the swing, which in the end is counter-intuitive.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
The question before this one should be how much power does a rec player really need? My view is that it’s quite overrated and counterproductive.
it is not about power but about shots that have some weight behind it. I have played with a lot of heavy old school type racquets. I have played with modern racquets like the Pure Drive and Prince Tour Exo3 as well.

My observation is that while racquets like the Pure Drive are extremely forgiving and so beginners gravitate to them they are also best suited for players with very good technique. Ones who can swing fast and still keep the ball in play. What happens to folks who dont have the technique to swing fast and keep it in play is that they lose confidence in matches after a few strokes and just start dinking.

So, contrary to popular option that old school heavy racquets are best suited for advanced players, my personal observation has been that heavier racquets are better for the average rec Joe who doesn’t have the technique or time to master a fast swing. You can use those racquets for a relaxed swing and still get enough weight on the ball to make it uncomfortable for your opponents. Those relaxed slower swings are easier to replicate in a real match also.
 

ubercat

Professional
I got a big bubba recently. Which is basically a huge light racquet with a trampoline power effect because of the large string bed. It actually goes bong when I hit it hard. It is heavier coz its bigger.It does help you out in tight spots like flicking a wristy shot caught late, volleying off your shoelaces, blocking a volley over the net player s head or hitting a ball that's got behind you. And it's a wonderful slice machine. But I m having to move to a steeper swing path and from Eastern to semi Western to control the rally ball power. Funny had a young guy who beat me this week in the breaker complain he was playing tentative and not hitting hard. I asked him when he had hit hard how many points had that won. He admitted not many. At our level I think attacking via net play or hitting on raise or through variety on is better than big hitting.

He beat me through fitness and playing safe. Which is exactly how you should beat a crafty old guy. He had tried hitting heavy topspin shots. Honestly easy to counter. Just stay back a step or two and loop them back.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
it is not about power but about shots that have some weight behind it. I have played with a lot of heavy old school type racquets. I have played with modern racquets like the Pure Drive and Prince Tour Exo3 as well.

My observation is that while racquets like the Pure Drive are extremely forgiving and so beginners gravitate to them they are also best suited for players with very good technique. Ones who can swing fast and still keep the ball in play. What happens to folks who dont have the technique to swing fast and keep it in play is that they lose confidence in matches after a few strokes and just start dinking.

So, contrary to popular option that old school heavy racquets are best suited for advanced players, my personal observation has been that heavier racquets are better for the average rec Joe who doesn’t have the technique or time to master a fast swing. You can use those racquets for a relaxed swing and still get enough weight on the ball to make it uncomfortable for your opponents. Those relaxed slower swings are easier to replicate in a real match also.
I tend to agree. I had a buddy who wanted to learn tennis. I met him on the court. He had his Walmart Federer special and I had my normal heavy racket. He really struggled to get the ball over the net. I swapped with him and now I was struggling to get the ball over the net while he was hitting the crap out of things
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
I voted swing faster. Approach a racket that is 330 grams or roughly 330 SW- 340 SW you will need to swing at 90% of your maximum effort including your legs and core and be in a perfect position to create a ball that is indeed 10-15% heavier and more powerful than the best possible outcome with a 310-320 gram 310-325 sw stick. That heavier ball might win a point or two, but how often will you be in position to milk that extra power and spin out of that heavy stick. Same for flat first serves, advantage heavy, but then disadvantage for kick and slice because the thing is so beastly.

And, well said, you don't "need" that power to win matches.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I voted swing faster. Approach a racket that is 330 grams or roughly 330 SW- 340 SW you will need to swing at 90% of your maximum effort including your legs and core and be in a perfect position to create a ball that is indeed 10-15% heavier and more powerful than the best possible outcome with a 310-320 gram 310-325 sw stick. That heavier ball might win a point or two, but how often will you be in position to milk that extra power and spin out of that heavy stick. Same for flat first serves, advantage heavy, but then disadvantage for kick and slice because the thing is so beastly.

And, well said, you don't "need" that power to win matches.
Interesting take on the kick. I serve mostly kick serves and its never as good with a lighter racquet. For me at least the extra rhs is way tougher to do and time.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
Interesting take on the kick. I serve mostly kick serves and its never as good with a lighter racquet. For me at least the extra rhs is way tougher to do and time.
Yes, well, I find for me it's harder to really kick with a stick like the Yonex Pro 97 H than the Regna 98, Vcore 95, or Ezone 98, Ezone creating the greatest kick because I can maneuver it so quickly and easily.. Now, I do every once and awhile get a deeper kick with the H, the kind that sticks in the chain link fence because of the spin, but it's not easy and not automatic to get that perfect hit with the hefty racket.
 

McGradey

Professional
it is not about power but about shots that have some weight behind it. I have played with a lot of heavy old school type racquets. I have played with modern racquets like the Pure Drive and Prince Tour Exo3 as well.

My observation is that while racquets like the Pure Drive are extremely forgiving and so beginners gravitate to them they are also best suited for players with very good technique. Ones who can swing fast and still keep the ball in play. What happens to folks who dont have the technique to swing fast and keep it in play is that they lose confidence in matches after a few strokes and just start dinking.

So, contrary to popular option that old school heavy racquets are best suited for advanced players, my personal observation has been that heavier racquets are better for the average rec Joe who doesn’t have the technique or time to master a fast swing. You can use those racquets for a relaxed swing and still get enough weight on the ball to make it uncomfortable for your opponents. Those relaxed slower swings are easier to replicate in a real match also.
It’s a good point; a more modern powerful racquet will enable easy low level play, but as you progress you’ll find it’s imperative to have solid technique to control the ball as you start to add more pace and spin to your shots.

As for the poll, I voted racquet head speed. I think being comfortable swinging fast and freely is what separates good players from the rest, speaking generally.
 
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Fintft

Legend
Interesting take on the kick. I serve mostly kick serves and its never as good with a lighter racquet. For me at least the extra rhs is way tougher to do and time.
I hear you.
As for me, like Nadal, I use the serve mainly to start the point and then I'll push you back with my groundies (4.5 and under) on both wings. Plus that I use the first serve twice. And rely also on my ROS, especially against 3.5s(they can't really serve to my FH with impunity).
At the net, or when defending a lighter racquet helps as well.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
The technique is reflected in those levels such as 4.5...
And again, imo, no player at my club has the techinque to swing a racquet, unless he/she is at least 4.5, if then...
4.5 isn't good technique... lol They're just competent at executing most shots at a basic level. There is a large difference between 4.5 and good technique.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I hear you.
As for me, like Nadal, I use the serve mainly to start the point and then I'll push you back with my groundies (4.5 and under) on both wings. Plus that I use the first serve twice. And rely also on my ROS, especially against 3.5s(they can't really serve to my FH with impunity).
At the net, or when defending a lighter racquet helps as well.
Weird. Lighter racquets never volley as well. I can see defending. Why do you waste time with 3.5s anyhow.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
For me, swing weight has made a bigger difference in overall play. I have been lucky enough to demo all kinds of racquets over the years, from lites to the RF Pro Staff, and for me I find the stability of a heavy racquet more beneficial in handling pace and weight of incoming balls than being able to get a little more TS hitting. And I can still hit more than enough TS with the heavier stick with less effort. I think the X factor here is the open string patterns that can generate more spin, and do so on (supposedly) any weight racquet.
 

Fintft

Legend
Weird. Lighter racquets never volley as well. I can see defending. Why do you waste time with 3.5s anyhow.
I understand that your volley (as your shots) are stronger with a heavy racquet, but my reflexes are better with a lighter one, so that the frame meets the ball :)

Atm I only have a 4.5 (realistic, not self inflated rattings) partner, the rest are 3.5 (if that), also due to summer, as my other good partner ("almost 5.0") only plays at my club during the indoor season (red clay, during our long winter).
The coach and her brothers don't have membership anymore and playing with them once a week, doubles aka lessons on hard court public courts has been a bonus over these past weeks.
My other stronger partners were young, one got a bf and is out of town most of the week, two moved to different towns, one got upset b/c I wanted him to be able to rally a few deep balls dtm (starting with his feed!), as per coach @Jake Speed at the time (Don't know if the coach is still around though - Last seen Oct 22, 2021).
 

Fintft

Legend
For me, swing weight has made a bigger difference in overall play. I have been lucky enough to demo all kinds of racquets over the years, from lites to the RF Pro Staff, and for me I find the stability of a heavy racquet more beneficial in handling pace and weight of incoming balls than being able to get a little more TS hitting. And I can still hit more than enough TS with the heavier stick with less effort. I think the X factor here is the open string patterns that can generate more spin, and do so on (supposedly) any weight racquet.
Yes I remember how I prefered 16X18 to 18X20 in the 6.1. 95
Atm I am considering if the open string pattern, 16X19 is worth USD100 more per stick in an TF40 (305 or 315), also due to the fact that I would need minimum 2 over the summer?
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Yes I remember how I prefered 16X18 to 18X20 in the 6.1. 95
Atm I am considering if the open string pattern, 16X19 is worth USD100 more per stick in an TF40 (305 or 315), also due to the fact that I would need minimum 2 over the summer?
yeah, I know I have posted a bunch over the years with the different stick, using open and ‘standard’ 18x20 patterns but I personally experience much difference overall.Sorry, to clarify that, when I was using the Burn 100s I noticed, and more important opponents noticed a distinct I trace in spin, but I was breaking string on 3 racquets bi weekly and was too expensive for me!And I just did yet another play test of the 16x 19 version of the Blade, and maybe it is just my lack of understanding, level, or technique, but I just get nothing more I can notice out of more open patterns that would cause me to switch.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I hear you.
As for me, like Nadal, I use the serve mainly to start the point and then I'll push you back with my groundies (4.5 and under) on both wings. Plus that I use the first serve twice. And rely also on my ROS, especially against 3.5s(they can't really serve to my FH with impunity).
At the net, or when defending a lighter racquet helps as well.
Speaking of Nadal, isn't that the answer? I swear he added weight to his stick when he was improving his serve. Uncle Tony did an interview about it IIRC.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I understand that your volley (as your shots) are stronger with a heavy racquet, but my reflexes are better with a lighter one, so that the frame meets the ball :)

Atm I only have a 4.5 (realistic, not self inflated rattings) partner, the rest are 3.5 (if that), also due to summer, as my other good partner ("almost 5.0") only plays at my club during the indoor season (red clay, during our long winter).
The coach and her brothers don't have membership anymore and playing with them once a week, doubles aka lessons on hard court public courts has been a bonus over these past weeks.
My other stronger partners were young, one got a bf and is out of town most of the week, two moved to different towns, one got upset b/c I wanted him to be able to rally a few deep balls dtm (starting with his feed!), as per coach @Jake Speed at the time (Don't know if the coach is still around though - Last seen Oct 22, 2021).
People suck.

I will have a different take because I think you can add weight and still get the same kind of rhs so volley doesn't suffer, etc. Don't get me wrong, people add weight and it slows down the racquet. But that doesn't mean they are doing it right...
 

Fintft

Legend
yeah, I know I have posted a bunch over the years with the different stick, using open and ‘standard’ 18x20 patterns but I personally experience much difference overall.Sorry, to clarify that, when I was using the Burn 100s I noticed, and more important opponents noticed a distinct I trace in spin, but I was breaking string on 3 racquets bi weekly and was too expensive for me!And I just did yet another play test of the 16x 19 version of the Blade, and maybe it is just my lack of understanding, level, or technique, but I just get nothing more I can notice out of more open patterns that would cause me to switch.
Did you also say RF ProStaff, was it 97A? It is 16x19, right? I never break strings with that, except for gut, as I cut poly after 10-12h.
 

Fintft

Legend
People suck.

I will have a different take because I think you can add weight and still get the same kind of rhs so volley doesn't suffer, etc. Don't get me wrong, people add weight and it slows down the racquet. But that doesn't mean they are doing it right...
Nah, I loved playing with 20 years old, as long as it lasted...But they don't have the same stability in their lifes, as adults do.
I shall try to find more young partners, if I raise my level of play. I failed/ played poorely at my latest chance, hope more will come.
As for the 3.5s, I can't abandon my friends, although they don't improve( one tries though).

I can swat my 330g new racquet like a badminton stick at volleys, something that I couldn't do with my 365g RF97A.

Good for you that you know how to add weight, I've always played stock, but considering tungsten/led now.
 

Fintft

Legend
Speaking of Nadal, isn't that the answer? I swear he added weight to his stick when he was improving his serve. Uncle Tony did an interview about it IIRC.
Maybe it was weight or maybe he was on drugs when he served so hard winning the US Open. Afterwards they used a shoulder injury as an excuse to never serve as hard again, who knows?
 

LuckyR

Legend
And here I was thinking that the trick was to figure out what's the heaviest racquet one can handle/swing?

B/c I am eager to bet that I can't swing a 360g racquet as fast and as long, as I can swing a 330g one (sw being more or less equal). The problem being compounded at lower levels.
Your post is about dialing down your shots, which is a sepparate topic, imo.
Basically, since power is not an issue for the average adult player, the variables for racquet selection are arm health and control (through both RHS and stability). RHS is impacted by SW and stability by weight. Arm health by balance and weight.
 

Dragy

Legend
I love my SW (around 335-336) for stability rather than power. Never feels like racquet flops under hard or heavy shots, allows me to block hard first serves even in odd posture - back behind.
I did add extra weight to counterbalance that SW tough and ensure that it comes around quick enough. For example, stock Gravity Pro feels slow to me coming into contact, while some mass above the handle sets it back on track.
To get power from that SW, however, I need to prepare, load well and swing fully. If I get tight to push the racquet around, no good power.

I haven't played with lighter sticks for quite a bit and cannot report if I get more or less power. I just remember more instability from like 7 years ago playing with stock APD+
 

MoxMonkey

Semi-Pro
I've wondered about this. I have played primarily with an RF97 for the past year. I finally found a racquet that replaced it, a 2015 pure drive tour +. This racquet weighs 25 grams less, and has about the same SW, probably because it's a little longer and a little less headlight. They both come thru the same on the swing, which is probably why I like the PDT+ so much , it feels similar to what I'm used to in a shadow swing. As someone who likes to hit big and with spin, I find everything about the PDT+ to be more electric, the balls have more pace and action. I don't know why this is exactly, but it's working for me. Although I don't feel like I'm swinging faster, it is blatantly obvious the ball is getting more energy put into it.
 

slipgrip93

Semi-Pro
I've wondered about this. I have played primarily with an RF97 for the past year. I finally found a racquet that replaced it, a 2015 pure drive tour +. This racquet weighs 25 grams less, and has about the same SW, probably because it's a little longer and a little less headlight. They both come thru the same on the swing, which is probably why I like the PDT+ so much , it feels similar to what I'm used to in a shadow swing. As someone who likes to hit big and with spin, I find everything about the PDT+ to be more electric, the balls have more pace and action. I don't know why this is exactly, but it's working for me. Although I don't feel like I'm swinging faster, it is blatantly obvious the ball is getting more energy put into it.
It could be due partly to a difference in twistweight. Based on the TWU twistweight list (link), the 2015 PDT could be the one listed with 15.32 twistweight. While the RF97 is listed at 13.94

Per thread topic, I'm of the opinion , if liking a heavier racquet, one could go for higher swingweight as one can (train to) handle while keeping a relatively decent rhs (where don't want to be just bunting with a heavier swingweight & twistweight), where an increased static weight can be offset by weight mods to the handle to keep the balance head light-er as preferred(Shroud has shown sometimes), where it likely ends up a personal feel & preference setting of a combination of these variables.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Nah, I loved playing with 20 years old, as long as it lasted...But they don't have the same stability in their lifes, as adults do.
I shall try to find more young partners, if I raise my level of play. I failed/ played poorely at my latest chance, hope more will come.
As for the 3.5s, I can't abandon my friends, although they don't improve( one tries though).

I can swat my 330g new racquet like a badminton stick at volleys, something that I couldn't do with my 365g RF97A.

Good for you that you know how to add weight, I've always played stock, but considering tungsten/led now.
weird. I had to add weight to the RF97A because it was too headlight and messed up my timing. Only had it a short time because it was a playtest, but got it up to 422g. Was a beast but the flex was too much for me, or it was too inconsistent and would flex on some shots and not on others. Would have liked it to be stiffer.
 

Fintft

Legend
weird. I had to add weight to the RF97A because it was too headlight and messed up my timing. Only had it a short time because it was a playtest, but got it up to 422g. Was a beast but the flex was too much for me, or it was too inconsistent and would flex on some shots and not on others. Would have liked it to be stiffer.
422g, that's got to be some kind of record on this forums! :)
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
weird. I had to add weight to the RF97A because it was too headlight and messed up my timing. Only had it a short time because it was a playtest, but got it up to 422g. Was a beast but the flex was too much for me, or it was too inconsistent and would flex on some shots and not on others. Would have liked it to be stiffer.
Who made you have to do this, this is glorious and insane too. I wish you filmed the hitting session.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I still have 4 like new Prince Black Team sticks. Should break them out to see how the low weight and SW plays at this stage of my game.

Head Size: 100 sq. in MP
Length: 27 inches
Weight: Strung — 10.4 oz Unstrung — 9.8 oz
Balance: 4 Pts Head Light
Flex: 68
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Swing Weight: 295
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
Made is pretty much the right word. My ridiculously large handle adds like 40g so I need lead on the hoop to counter.

Here is a point with it and you can see the lead on the hoop if you look close. I will spare you the handle vid. Papa mango on the other side

Working that forehand winner, nice.
 
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