Questions about Polarized & Depolarized set-ups

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I think Polaried rackets (rackets with a higher Recoil Weight) has been blown out of proportion. A uniform stick with have an inertia around the center of mass equal to 1/12 the mass times the length squared. for instance if I took a stick 68.58 cm long that weighed 325 g or .325 Kg it would have an inertia of .325*68.58*68.58/12 or 127.3787775 Kgcm^2 around the center of mass which would be located in the center of the stick at 34.28 cm. If I wanted to calculate the inertia 10 cm from one end the it would be equal to the inertia at the center of mass plus the mass times the distance from the COM minus 10 cm squared or 127.3787775+(24.28*24.28*.325) or 318.9722575. Now that is not bad if you have a racket with a SW of 319 and total weight of 325 it that is what you want. But that uniform racket would have a high balance of 34.28 which may not be what you want. If you want to change the SW, TW, balance or total weight then IMO it would be best to address that and not RW, unless of course you're going to swing the racket around the center of mass.
 

hurworld

Hall of Fame
yes. Much differently if the amount of weight is significant. Will feel like two completely different racquets.
Thanks. I'll give it a go and see. Sounds to me more weight is needed at 7" to achieve the same balance since it's closer to balance point.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Just to share, I’m using modified DR98s for like 2 years now. First went with 340g setup, 7-8HL, 328 SW - achieved with long strips at 3&9 (~2.8g each side), 1-2g (different racquets of a pair) at 12 and counterbalance under the butt cap. Rather stable and forgiving - many off-center shots, even perceived as bad, still appeared serviceable.
But the latest thing was adding ~10g at the throat, around 10”, and that thing just plays so noticeably smoother. That last added lead was pure de-polarization experiment, and I’m not going to withdraw it.
What does adding weight at the throat do? Sounds like I may need to try that!
 

Dragy

Legend
What does adding weight at the throat do? Sounds like I may need to try that!
It actually depolarizes racquet (the percentage of mass near the center of mass gets higher, as opposed to adding mass to the poles - tip and buttcap). There’s been a long MGR/I thread to cover the topic.
The outcome of having less polarization with all other things being equal (yes it’s possible, but no, adding 10g as I did is not such theoretical case) is faster rotating, flipping racquet.
I actually did what I did because I had room to add mass, and was a tad on polarized side, although headlight.
 

Dragy

Legend
yes it’s possible
Well I withdraw this claim. The practical thing is: you can achieve same balance and swingweight with different static mass, where heavier racquet will be less poralized.
Similarly, you can achieve same mass, same balance, but different swigweight, where higher SW will be more polarized.
Also, you can achieve same mass, balance, SW and, consequently, MGR/I (polarization), but different twistweight, by putting lead in different locations on the hoop and counterbalancing in different locations on the handle and throat.
 
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aaron_h27

Professional
SW 333 & 334 on both of my rackets according to an RDC. I was measuring it manually but only got 315. It's good to know im not playing with a wimpy stick! LOL

Anyways my specs

340g (8g of lead at 3&9, 6g in the throat)
6 pts HL
333 SW
MGR/I = 20.8
 
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IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
SW 333 & 334 on both of my rackets according to an RDC. I was measuring it manually but only got 315. It's good to know im not playing with a wimpy stick! LOL

Anyways my specs

340g (8g of lead at 3&9, 6g in the throat)
6 pts HL
333 SW
MGR/I = 20.8
Nice that they were so close to each other, I've heard of much bigger differences than that!
 

supineAnimation

Hall of Fame
Someone already mentioned it in this thread, but adding weight to 10 and 2 or even 11 and 1 is a worthwhile experiment because it's common for players to regularly contact the ball above the center of the stringbed. So it will shift the sweetspot higher and if you happen to contact the ball higher on the stringbed, it will feel like you're suddenly hitting the ball dead center in the sweetspot consistently.

I just tried lead at these locations for the first time and was amazed at the difference. It took some time and experimentation to get it right because there was an immediate and significant increase in power, but after 15-20 years of playing with lead at 3, 9 and 12 (and in the handle to get to 7.5-8pts HL), I'm kinda kicking myself for not trying it sooner.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Someone already mentioned it in this thread, but adding weight to 10 and 2 or even 11 and 1 is a worthwhile experiment because it's common for players to regularly contact the ball above the center of the stringbed. So it will shift the sweetspot higher and if you happen to contact the ball higher on the stringbed, it will feel like you're suddenly hitting the ball dead center in the sweetspot consistently.

I just tried lead at these locations for the first time and was amazed at the difference. It took some time and experimentation to get it right because there was an immediate and significant increase in power, but after 15-20 years of playing with lead at 3, 9 and 12 (and in the handle to get to 7.5-8pts HL), I'm kinda kicking myself for not trying it sooner.
Few grams at 10 & 2 works great on my PS 97S (which already has perimeter weighting system, giving a little extra to 3 & 9).
 

hurworld

Hall of Fame
yes. Much differently if the amount of weight is significant. Will feel like two completely different racquets.
Tried both ways. 6g in the butt cap vs 12g at 7 inch from butt cap to achieve 31.4cm (~9 pts HL) balance.

The 6g under butt cap seemed to have achieved the desired result (better maneuverability), but slight instability (I think I didn't hit cleanly). Feel wise not too dissimilar to before adding weight in terms of service and ground strokes from both wings.

The weight at 7 inch had definitely increased power (plow-through?) as I could not control my forehands for the first 5-10 minutes - mostly landed long. I think I wasn't used to the added mass and didn't swing as loose as I could have. You are right, felt very different from before adding weight. Service felt like more I had pace on the balls.

Unfortunately I only have one racquet (Prince Phantom 93P) and can't do an A-B test. So for now I have gone back to 6g under butt cap and will try it for a longer period before giving the 7 inch placement a try again.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Tried both ways. 6g in the butt cap vs 12g at 7 inch from butt cap to achieve 31.4cm (~9 pts HL) balance.

The 6g under butt cap seemed to have achieved the desired result (better maneuverability), but slight instability (I think I didn't hit cleanly). Feel wise not too dissimilar to before adding weight in terms of service and ground strokes from both wings.

The weight at 7 inch had definitely increased power (plow-through?) as I could not control my forehands for the first 5-10 minutes - mostly landed long. I think I wasn't used to the added mass and didn't swing as loose as I could have. You are right, felt very different from before adding weight. Service felt like more I had pace on the balls.

Unfortunately I only have one racquet (Prince Phantom 93P) and can't do an A-B test. So for now I have gone back to 6g under butt cap and will try it for a longer period before giving the 7 inch placement a try again.
The added weight affects a racquet in two ways:
1. Impact dynamics.
2. Swing dynamics.

For impact dynamics, one of the primary bending modes is halfway up the handle. Placing mass lower than the node (at the butt) shifts the node toward the butt, which lengthens the distance between the two nodes. This lengthens the dwell time and makes the impact feel softer and spinnier. This tends to worsen control on volleys and slices, but may be helpful for generating spin.

Placing mass near the top of the handle does the opposite to the impact dynamics. It shortens the dwell time and makes the impact feel crisper and more stable, but less spinny. This can help for volleys and slices, but may make groundies and serve seem harder to spin.

For swing dynamics, mass near butt will not be very noticeable on forehands because the mass is added at the pivot point of the pendulum (the wrist joint). But mass added at top of handle will increase mgR/I value of racquet, which will make it naturally swing faster about the wrist axis. This may be perceived as more power, depending on starting specs. Certain mgR/I values will be much easier to control than others.

adding mass near butt will reduce mgr/I with respect to a 2hb (because pivot point is halfway up the handle), while keeping mgr/I for forehand the same.
 
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aaron_h27

Professional
I actually depolarized my racket even more by taking lead off of 3 & 9 and moving it to the throat after realizing that you don't need a super high twistweight to make your racket depolarized. So right now my set up is 12g in the throat of my DR 98. I realized lead at 3 & 9 makes the racket too sluggish and clubby. I need to measure the balance point but I believe my MGR/I is somewhere close to 21, or at least closer than it was before. I've come to the realization I do not like high twistweight or polarized rackets for the most part. I can see the benefit of using a polarized frame on clay but my all court game benefits more from a depolarized frame.

338g
325 SW
6-7 pts HL?

I'm liking this set-up a lot, not as much easy power because of the lower SW, but i am much more consistent. My slice backhand & forehand are benefitting from this set-up. I do wish the SW was a tad bit higher for some easy power. But honestly I probably won't go above 340 as i see really no reason too with the current players I face. If 340 is enough for Fed, its definitely enough for a rec player. My game doesn't rely on heavy spins but more placement & variety.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
back after 3 months, Right now my set-up for my DR 98's are

350g
336 SW
8 pts HL
MGR/I = 20.8-9

6 grams at 3 & 9, 6 grams in the throat, 10 grams 7 inches from the buttcap

I need a little weight at 3 & 9 otherwise the racket is flopping around a lot for me and my technique

I dont know how to explain it, but is easier for me to hit targets/play aggressive with a lower SW, high MGR/I set-up.

I went back to a higher SW set-up (355 SW, MGR/I 20.2) for about a month, and it was great for serving but had trouble hitting accurate groundstrokes. Even just rallying cross court i had trouble consistently finding corners and would often find myself hitting more towards the middle. Spin was great though.

During matches i felt like all I could do was play defense even with players who had much lower SW than I did. Shots were very loopy.
 

Crashbaby

Semi-Pro
The added weight affects a racquet in two ways:
1. Impact dynamics.
2. Swing dynamics.

For impact dynamics, one of the primary bending modes is halfway up the handle. Placing mass lower than the node (at the butt) shifts the node toward the butt, which lengthens the distance between the two nodes. This lengthens the dwell time and makes the impact feel softer and spinnier. This tends to worsen control on volleys and slices, but may be helpful for generating spin.

Placing mass near the top of the handle does the opposite to the impact dynamics. It shortens the dwell time and makes the impact feel crisper and more stable, but less spinny. This can help for volleys and slices, but may make groundies and serve seem harder to spin.

For swing dynamics, mass near butt will not be very noticeable on forehands because the mass is added at the pivot point of the pendulum (the wrist joint). But mass added at top of handle will increase mgR/I value of racquet, which will make it naturally swing faster about the wrist axis. This may be perceived as more power, depending on starting specs. Certain mgR/I values will be much easier to control than others.

adding mass near butt will reduce mgr/I with respect to a 2hb (because pivot point is halfway up the handle), while keeping mgr/I for forehand the same.
Because of the benefits and drawbacks of each handle weighting approach, wouldn’t it be better to split the difference and add weight to both? For example, adding weight to the entire handle with lead or internally with silicone or a leather grip (whichever method you prefer). I’m thinking this would give the best overall benefit with least amount of drawbacks?
 

Wheelz

Professional
Seems that most stock rackets are polarized... outside of maybe the Vcore and a few, but it seems harder to find than the opposite. No ?
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Seems that most stock rackets are polarized... outside of maybe the Vcore and a few, but it seems harder to find than the opposite. No ?
Yes

Vcore Pro 330, RF 97, Phantom 93P are the only ones I know that aren't polarized stock.

Ezone 98 is close to being depolarized, same with Pure Strike Team.

Most popular rackets today are polarized, Wilson Blade, Wilson Clash, etc...
 

TennisManiac

Hall of Fame
But now im thinking since some people here say 3 and 9 decreases the maneouverability and sometimes its not so good, that I go with:

3-4grams at 12
1 gram at 3
1 gram at 9

Thoughts?
I think you're right on the money with this. I play with the 2015 Pro Staffs and set up my frames exactly like this.

4 grams at 12
1 gram each at 3 and 9
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Twistweight has to be just right for me, i've gone too far and i've gone too low. The DR 98 is a bit unstable for me in stock form (13.69 TW) i added 4 1.5 gram strips at 3 & 9 and now it's stable. It seems I like a TW around 14.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Still messing around with specs, IM GETTING REALLY CLOSE!!

I realized my limit for static weight is about 346g give or take a gram or two (I'm 5'7, 140 lbs). Static weight makes a racket hard to maneuver for me personally, even with low SW. I always hated those rackets that were like 12.5 oz but only 320 SW, it all makes sense now.

also I don't really like lead at 7 inches from the buttcap, i much prefer it at the throat, it seems like less strain on my arm, to me personally.

I'm basically torn between these two set-ups

Set-up A
340g
353 SW
5 pts HL
20.2 MGR/I

-Pros: more power, more spin, more comfortable, stable, few extra free points on serve
-Cons: consistency, directional accuracy, net play

Set-up B
340g
332 SW
7 pts HL
20.7 MGR/I

-Pros: Accuracy, Net play, Maneuverability, return of serve
-Cons: Less free power, not as comfortable, less stable, less free points on serve, hard to return really fast serves

I'm leaning towards set-up B, as i like to play an all-court game and i may add a gram or two at noon to bump the SW up if needed, & get a best of both worlds.
I do return better with Set-up B so that may be the tiebreaker
 
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Set-up B
340g
332 SW
7 pts HL
20.6 MGR/I
That looks like a great setup. It would work for a lot of players but many don't think to tinker with their equipment.

BTW, how do you measure your SW numbers? I notice you said you had been doing it "manually". How were you doing it?
 

aaron_h27

Professional
That looks like a great setup. It would work for a lot of players but many don't think to tinker with their equipment.

BTW, how do you measure your SW numbers? I notice you said you had been doing it "manually". How were you doing it?
I got Set-up B measured on a friend's RDC so im kinda estimating Set-up A based off that.
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
Wow I do not wt m sticks, my son has recently played around He uses the K factor wilson 95 16 x 19 6.1s He has added wt at the 3 9 points of his frames to try to get more power into his forehands on high topspin shots. His biggest concern is the added wt sometimes effects his contact point which imo is the most important part of the swing
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Posted this in another thread but its applicable here so yeah...

Just wanted to say thanks for the MR^2 formula, i've been trying to see what depolarization does for my game, given that im a shorter player (5'7) with an all court game, 1HBH. I've been using a slightly extended racket for the past 15 months and have been unable to get anywhere near close to 385 due to extended rackets being overly HL.

Before venturing into my current frame, I was always under the impression that high level players use small headsizes and heavy static weights, headlight balance (didn't know anything about swingweight)This led to me using a pro staff 85 for about a year or so, and a RF 97 for a while. My game pleatued and I was losing to players I know I could beat, Frustrated. I don't know why but i started demoing ligter rackets and saw that I played better with them in matches, but that was the only point of reference I had for choosing my next racket. Enter DR 98.

The DR 98 is a great stick, My serve actually became a weapon because of the extra length, and it's super comfortable. My only 2 gripes are the high launch angle and I feel the weight distribution could be a bit better, although most extended frames have a similar weight distribuiton so i don't know how reasonable it is to have a stock depolarized weighting for a extended frame. Most are 5+ HL with 11 oz static. I just so happened to use an extended length by accident, the DR 98's are .125 inch longer than standard rackets and i found that out after I bought it, cool. Atleast I got to try an extended frame.

throughout my time customizing my DR 98, I realized I don't like static weight above 340 grams, i lose too much RHS and my groundstrokes start spraying more than normal, so that is my limit personally for my phsique and strokes. I like a TW around 14-14.5, and I like my SW to be at least 335. Based on the MR^2 = 385 formula I needed a racket that was 2 pts HL if i wanted 340 grams static.

I looked around for rackets that could be weighted to that spec (which are not many) and found that the head mircogel radical could be modded to those specs seeing that it comes 2 pts HL stock and 312 starting static weight...so i went ahead and bought one, its only $89 so i figured why not, curiosity got the best of me. I leaded it up to 340 grams and the balance was 2 pts HL exactly! Perfect. I'm on my way to becoming an ATP Pro. Lol Jk.

I went out for a practice match today with the pre-strung synthetic gut...won 7-6, 6-3 against a guy i normally struggle with/lose to, first impressions compared to the DR 98, lower launch angle due to the string pattern, which was really helpful on chip return of serves and slice backhands. I have a 1HBH and I use my slice quite often and I felt more confident attacking with it. Definitely less errors than normal, but could be due to the string pattern also. For some reason though I had really good consistency with second serves, they were landing deep in the box with more spin than my DR 98's, only 1 double fault for me over a 2 set match is really good. Compared to the 5-6 i would normally hit with my DR 98. DR 98 definitely wins on flat 1st serves because of the extra reach, but I liked everything else with the mircogel. I will do more experimenting and report back.

I am looking for more control on groundstrokes, and to cut down on unforced errors. My DR 98's are great when im playing well, but when im slightly off my game, everything is magnified. That is my reason for searching for a more optimal set-up for my game. I may end up switching back, but im confident that with these specs I can play some good tennis, although my thoughts mean nothing and match-play is the only evidence of such a claim. Don't get me wrong...the DR 98 was a major upgrade from those heavy players rackets and has won me a lot of matches, but i still feel like I can squeeze a little more out of my game.

In summary im thankful that I have found some insight as to the type of racket I can play best with due to threads like these, I was not maximizing my skillset by playing with heavy player's frames that are overly HL with low SW's. I am a short guy and mostly play singles. So now it finally makes sense why I hated certain frames when I demoed them (93p, Dunlop Aerogel 200, etc...)
 
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