Racket head size?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by shaneno, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. shaneno

    shaneno Professional

    Oct 9, 2010
    Can someone explain to me the differences between having a bigger head size to a smaller one? Is it with a bigger head size it more forgiving? I am currently using the new fed racket which is 90 square inches in Head size. So if I were to switch my racket to the new Wilson blade 16x19 that has a 98 head size. Would the head size make. Difference?

    I just wanna know what the difference of a smaller head size to a bigger one. And any other information on this subject would help. Thanks.
  2. hisrob777

    hisrob777 Rookie

    Mar 29, 2010
    I would think the bigger the head the larger the sweet spot. A smaller head cuts through the air more easily. If you can wield the smaller head and hit that sweet spot it's magic. I'm not a magician so the smallest I play is 95.
  3. Midguytenis

    Midguytenis New User

    Dec 22, 2012
    bigger size more contact area, more forgiving.

    smaller size less contact area, less forgiving.

    Yonex rackets are more forgiving and easier to play, that is what i found.
  4. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2009
    There are exceptions to that rule, of course. Wilson KPS 88 had the biggest sweetspot I've ever experienced (confirmed by TWU). But it's true for lightweight midsized frames, their sweetspot can be hard to find.
  5. ohcaptain

    ohcaptain Rookie

    Aug 28, 2005
    How is that possible?!
  6. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

    Oct 5, 2010
    The idea that a bigger head size is more forgiving is partially true.

    Off-center hits will feel softer in general when using a larger head size But those same off-center hits will be less precise. What the lord giveth the lord taketh away. With the 90 off center hits will feel like a thud. With the 98 they'll go somewhere over the net.

    Head size is also misleading. My 98" PSGTs are the same height and width as my 95" Dunlop 200 Tours. It looks like the extra area comes from the lower "corners" of the hoop. And the PSGTs definitely play like a smaller head when it comes to precision.

    Weight also matters. A heavy, high SW but small frame can feel plush with a seemingly larger sweet spot. A light, low SW larger frame can feel boardy with a small sweet spot sometimes.

    While modding my PSGTs recently I noticed that concentrating lead at a certain point above the 8th cross resulted in a plush hit. Higher or lower gave me less spin and less pocketing. Only putting lead at 12 felt stiff and boardy. It all depends so you gotta try it on the court.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  7. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

    Aug 13, 2012
    WA State
    Depends on what you mean by forgiving. My 6.1 90 has more plow through, accuracy, and it's easy to find the sweetspot with than my 95 k factor. The K factor I have to "find" the sweetspot, which is weird,unless it's a topspin or slice shot.

    So while a bigger head may appear more forgiving, if you are hitting it out or not accurate is it really more "forgiving"?

    I switch back and forth, but prefer the 90. The 95 does have a distinction over the 100+ heads, or for example the Blade 98, it's head is wider and heavier, so there is more weight behind each shot then with the 98 or bigger.

    But again that's just for me, each player is different. If you just want to get the ball over the net without sharp placement, go with a bigger head, if you want accurate shot placement stay with the 90 and practice.
  8. Bowtiesarecool

    Bowtiesarecool Rookie

    Aug 27, 2012
    New Smyrna Beach, FL
    To the average player, no. However: http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2006/01/the_inch_that_changed_tennis_f.html

    It all boils down to how you play. If you have an average game, with average strokes, a larger head will give you more room for error with mis-hits.
    If you have a big fast swing, and a semi to full western grip for topspin forehands, a bigger head will give more room for error also.
    If you play a more conventional game and don't put a lot of "junk" on the ball, and you don't have problems finding the sweet spot, then a larger head will do nothing for you.
  9. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2009
    It is possible, if specs are like these:
    Headsize = 88
    Weight = 361.4
    Balance = 32.50
    Swingweight = 348
    Twistweight = 14.55
  10. corners

    corners Legend

    Jul 31, 2008
    The biggest difference is in "spin window", a term that describes the effective width of the racquet face when attacking the ball with an upward trajectory to produce topspin. See: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/trajectory_info.php#window

    Spin Window

    This is the maximum available approach window for the ball so as not to clip the frame coming in or going out and to have enough room to slide along the racquet face. The width of the spin approach window is actually less than the width of the string landing zone that it gives access to and also less than the total string runway available — but first you have to get in the window. The window varies according to shot characteristics, impact location, racquet width at impact location, frame height at impact location, and the angle of impact. Larger spin windows have greater room for error which increases reliability of and confidence in the shot, and thus encourages faster and steeper swings to increase spin.

    To compare spin windows for racquets, make sure all the inputs are the same for each racquet.

    To compare spin windows for different shots, change one variable at a time on racquet B and see how that effects spin window compared to A.

    The spin window is the maximum approach window available — the amount if you just missed the frame as it approached the stringbed. But as long as the ball comes in anywhere inside this window and thus lands on the available string landing zone, you will have room for a clean hit.​

    Some brands use headshapes that are especially wide or narrow, so spin window varies quite a lot. You can't just go by the size of the head. You can compare the spin windows of different racquets, as described above, using this tool: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/trajectory_maker.cgi#window

    Aside from spin window...

    2. Wider-faced racquets tend to have higher twistweight than narrow ones, so midplus frames usually are more torsionally stable than mids, if the two frames have similar swingweight. There are exceptions to this, and it's easy to create one yourself with some leadtape added to 3&9 o'clock, which increases twistweight and torsional stability quite a bit.

    The torsional stability offered by high twistweight also means that shots struck near 3&9 rebound at a greater speed than with low-twistweight sticks. So, in general, a midplus will produce a faster shot if the ball is struck off-center than will a mid.

    3. Midplus frames are, all else being equal, a little more powerful than mids. But most experienced players will increase string tension to achieve equivalent stringbed stiffness when moving from a mid to a midplus. If tension is adjusted like this the midplus will not be more powerful than the mid.

    4. Midplus frames tend to have more open patterns. Open patterns are generally believed to produce more spin than closed ones. Open patterns also tend to rebound the ball at a higher angle, making for more natural depth. (Although depth can just as easily be achieved with a dense pattern by adjusting one's swing and/or racquet-face angle at impact.

    5. It has been conventional wisdom for a long time that mids are more accurate than midpluses. This is debatable if string tension is adjusted as described above, if poly strings are used, and if spin is used for depth control, but mids continue to have the reputation as being the most precise sticks around. It's probably true, although Rafa seems very accurate to me with his 100 square inch, 16x18 Bab.
  11. acura9927

    acura9927 Semi-Pro

    Feb 20, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Same here, Fed makes it look so damm easy with his 90. I tried a 90 once and it was a joke, shanking and more shanking. I stick to 95 as the smallest size.
  12. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo G.O.A.T.

    Aug 30, 2005
    Because he grew up using an even smaller frame, the Pro Staff 6.0 85. That's why he makes the 90 look easy.

    For anyone that grew up using a midsize, the 90 is not a thing.
  13. 3fees

    3fees Legend

    Jun 24, 2010
    the smaller head size makes everything more compact as too switching to larger head size this may not get the job done as you think,if you string the smaller head size racquet at lower string tensions they play pretty the same as larger ones with a given tension, there is a several pound range where this is true.

    May thE ForCe bE wIth YOu.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  14. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

    Aug 16, 2007
    IME mids tend to serve better than MPs. They also seem to be better at volleying. MPs often have more spin, their spin window is bigger. Mids tend to hit heavier and faster flatballs, again IME, YMMV. But in the end things like swingweight, weight distribution and balance might play a bigger role than headsize alone.

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