Softening a racquet

McLovin

Hall of Fame
#1
Has anyone here ever tried to 'soften' a stiff frame? I read somewhere that some pros will string their new frame around 80lbs, then cut it out, then restring it again at 80lbs, etc. Are there any metrics on this using an RDC? Curious about how many times you need to do it, what the total drop in RA is, does it have to be hit with, is simply stringing it at a high tension, then letting it sit for hours/days/weeks good enough, etc.

Basically, I have a few older Fischer Back Granite Pro No 1s that I've been hitting with on & off for ~ 5 years. I recently tried a brand new Pacific X Force BX2 (which is essentially the Black Granite Pro No 1), and was surprised at how stiff it felt. I'm hoping I can 'soften' the frame a bit.

For the record, the X Force is a fairly soft frame (60 RA), but I had a bout w/ TE a year ago (due to trying 4G Rough), and after 10 months I'm finally pain free. I don't want to go down that road again. My Black Granites are getting old, and I'm looking to stock up on replacements.
 
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#3
Your arm isn't worth it. Sell it and by a softer frame. BTW, you can now play on the red clay at the USTA center on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Agree, with the gigantic offering in racquets that we have today at our disposal it's not worth it to try something that may hurt an arm.
 

McLovin

Hall of Fame
#4
Your arm isn't worth it. Sell it and by a softer frame.
Agree, with the gigantic offering in racquets that we have today at our disposal it's not worth it to try something that may hurt an arm.
Yeah, I know, and I've tried a few of the offerings, but in all honesty, an RA of 60 really isn't that stiff. And in fact, according to TW, this frame came in at an RA of 58:
I presume that is after stringing, which leads me to think that my Black Granite frames are probably in the lower-mid 50s at this point. And there really aren't many frames out there that are lower.

But to my question...is it possible to soften up a frame by simply stringing it at a high tension multiple times?
 
#6
Don’t waist your time,my friend.
Buy a Prince TT100p,Prince Phantom,Angell(all models are Foam Core Filled,very confortable!) or ProKennex.
Low RAs and you will have your arms protected at med/low tensions with every string you want to use


Enviado do meu iPhone usando o Tapatalk
 
#9
Has anyone here ever tried to 'soften' a stiff frame? I read somewhere that some pros will string their new frame around 80lbs, then cut it out, then restring it again at 80lbs, etc. Are there any metrics on this using an RDC? Curious about how many times you need to do it, what the total drop in RA is, does it have to be hit with, is simply stringing it at a high tension, then letting it sit for hours/days/weeks good enough, etc.

Basically, I have a few older Fischer Back Granite Pro No 1s that I've been hitting with on & off for ~ 5 years. I recently tried a brand new Pacific X Force BX2 (which is essentially the Black Granite Pro No 1), and was surprised at how stiff it felt. I'm hoping I can 'soften' the frame a bit.

For the record, the X Force is a fairly soft frame (60 RA), but I had a bout w/ TE a year ago (due to trying 4G Rough), and after 10 months I'm finally pain free. I don't want to go down that road again. My Black Granites are getting old, and I'm looking to stock up on replacements.
I see restringing often softening the racquets all the time. I know that one of the seniors graduating this year used Textreme Warrior 100 for all four years. Advertised RA was 66 strung I believe for this racquet. Last weekend all three of his (obviously banged up a bit but tons of life still left) were put on RDC right infront of me. The strung RA was 59, 60 & 60. Off course strings are free and among all other players I always saw this particular guy in the stringing room the most. He strings mid 50s but like 99 percent of players I have seen, has zero interest in equipment and tinkering etc. I have also seen beat up Graphene Radical Pros coming to low 60s.

Might be a combination of college level tennis and restringing, but anyway yeah, I can definitely see a lot of restringing softening up the racquet given my own experience.

Also, my Pure Control Swirlys are at an unbelievable 62 RA strung. These were advertised as 71 RA strung when new back in 2001. You can definitely have RA drop as big as 10 points or so on these PCT. Just gotta wait out 18-20 years.
 
#11
String it at 80 lbs. Cut strings out. Repeat process 50 more times. That'll tune down the stiffness a bit. We'll be here when you're all done and you can tell us how it went.
 
#12
There's a quicker way to theoretically fatigue the resin matrix. I would probably use Kevlar strings. Mount the frame loosely and just string the mains at no more than 40#. The frame will squash and that should start fatiguing the hoop. Don't know how many times you need to cycle thru this, but the resin will definite start to develop micro-cracks. Maybe 10-20 times and then check RA? Do not tie off and just reuse the string. If you want to 'crack' the throat/shaft/hoop part of the frame, support the 2 ends of the frame and put a 25# dumbbell in the middle. Periodically flip the frame, e.g. once every 3-12 hours? You can check by trying to bend the frame over your knee or checking RA. 3¢
 
#13
I've soften frames before using body weight standing on the throat with the butt and tip supported on something. I does softens up the frame but you really have to flex it quite a bit. Not for the faint of heart. Some material is more responsive than others so start low and add more flex as needed. In a way, I'm breaking the frame in faster by doing this. I add memory foam in the butt also to help with a softer feel also. With proportionate gut/poly stringing, some have turned out pretty comfortable and very customized to how I'd like a frame to play. Just need a lot of patience.
 
#15
Stosur use to get her pure controls strung multiple times @80-90lbs to soften them up I recall..... I imagine it only softens the hoop flex not the throat.

Was the 4G in your old Fischers? If so then it was the string and I dont know how harmful 60RA can be? Your just used to very soft feeling old frames. Start with a nice soft string in the pacific and if it feels fine you can gradually work your way up to RPM blast or whatever you want. No! Dont do that.
 

McLovin

Hall of Fame
#16
Thank's for the info, guys. Yeah, I was concerned that the softening of the throat would be missed just by stringing & cutting out. Granted, these frames have a 20mm beam in the throat (20-23-25 taper), so they're probably already fairly flexible there, but still...hard to reproduce playing w/o actually playing...
Was the 4G in your old Fischers? If so then it was the string and I dont know how harmful 60RA can be?
Yes, it was. Won't go into to much detail, but it was essentially an 'experiment'. Only 2 sets. Here's the details if interested:

My normal string is gut/poly. I'm not looking to change frames at all. The Pro No 1 mold is what I'm most comfortable with, and since Pacific has it, I'm kinda stuck w/ their iteration.

I forgot to mention that, while I'm using the 295g version, I've extended it 1/4" and added leather + lead to bring it to 315g, 10pts HL (unstrung). I used to like 320g, but after learning how to extend them, I found 320g was too sluggish. Taking some weight away from 3 & 9, along w/ some at the throat, gave me exactly what I wanted.

Maybe 10-20 times and then check RA? Do not tie off and just reuse the string. If you want to 'crack' the throat/shaft/hoop part of the frame, support the 2 ends of the frame and put a 25# dumbbell in the middle. Periodically flip the frame, e.g. once every 3-12 hours? You can check by trying to bend the frame over your knee or checking RA.
Yeah, I was going to not tie off. Just leave it on the machine for a day or two. The weight thing might be a possibility. Unfortunately I don't have access to an RA machine. Maybe I need to investigate. @downs_chris, you know anyone w/ one?
 
#18
Restringing can drop ra over time for sure but If you don’t care about your current factory paint you can drop RA in minutes ..
My personal best is dropping 8 pts in RA. I’ve done for my personal frames and others . The gentleman that tested me out to become cert MRT, has now done this method as well and dropped more than a few pts off RA.
You would have to have solid knowledge of your frames skeleton to know where is safe to go deeper but it’s 1000% doable with certain sanding methods.
 

McLovin

Hall of Fame
#19
Also, my Pure Control Swirlys are at an unbelievable 62 RA strung. These were advertised as 71 RA strung when new back in 2001.
Are those the '+'s or regular length? I used the + versions for 4 years. Loved them, although I'd never be able to swing them today. 330g in a 27.5" length? Not gonna happen...

@teachingprotx, are you suggesting I sand the paint off the frame? Not sure I want to do that yet.
 
#20
I’m saying if you have a frame that you love but really “really “ desire to make it softer and the desire of making it more flexible/ softer outweighs the factory paint job then yes I’m suggesting you ‘ think ‘ about taking off layers. Like I said it is scary unless you know the bones of the x force ..
I do not so I would be cautious . I wish I had a old cracked x force to do some cadaver work and i could get to know her from the inside out !
 
#21
Are those the '+'s or regular length? I used the + versions for 4 years. Loved them, although I'd never be able to swing them today. 330g in a 27.5" length? Not gonna happen...
Nope, regular length Pure Controls but Tour versions (strung with OG + dampner come to 355g, swingweight 336). No other word comes to mind except for 'Beasts'. Obliterate the ball. I can only imagine what the '+' would do with 350 swingweight strung. I don't play extended and no way is that '+' going to be comfortable swinging. Mine at 355g static weight strung are already outside my specs these days so I rarely use them anymore as I have gone down to 335g ish strung and 330 swing weight.

I also forgot to mention that I had them custom painted all black with initials in throat. I am pretty sure such a steep RA drop could also be because of obviously paint stripped off and both sticks being sanded all the way down. The sticks were pretty well used as well before I sent them for custom paint so multiple factors playing in here I think.
 
#22
instead of trying to micro damage expensive new racquets, why dont you buy cheaply second hand racquets that are used well and strung many times? Of course you can always string low tensions. Dont tell me 20 kg tension feels stiff.
 

McLovin

Hall of Fame
#23
@ron schaap, the BX2 version of the X Force is not ‘new’. It was replaced by the BXT version 3-4 years ago. As such, I can find ‘new old stock’ for around $100.

And I have been on the lookout for ‘gently used’ ones, but there’s not much out there. There were a bunch 4-6 months ago on TT, but those have been sold.
 
#24
@ron schaap, the BX2 version of the X Force is not ‘new’. It was replaced by the BXT version 3-4 years ago. As such, I can find ‘new old stock’ for around $100.

And I have been on the lookout for ‘gently used’ ones, but there’s not much out there. There were a bunch 4-6 months ago on TT, but those have been sold.
So true . You could find those all day couple years back but I haven’t seen one in decent nik in a long long time .. funny how that works it’s tuff finding sticks just a few years old but finding rackets from the 80,s is fairly easy. Guess folks are still enjoying the frames from not that long ago :)
 
#28
The flex of a racket isn't just from the head, right?
I'd imagine a lot of flex is from the throat of the racket, so wouldn't stringing at high tension have minimal effect on the rackets flex at the throat? Is the softening of a racket over time due to the restringing, or continuous use (flexing at throat from actual hitting over years).
 

McLovin

Hall of Fame
#30
How did you extend it with the molded butt cap?
The new BXT pallets fit over the BX2/BX1/Fischer hairpin. You just need to staple them in place.

I was able to acquire a bunch of 'uncut' BXT pallets, along w/ the wood dowel filler that goes inside the part of the pallet that hangs off the hairpin. The reason I'm looking for BX1/BX2 versions and not BXT versions is that the pallets are reusable on the older models. Once installed on the BXT hairpin, they can only be removed by cutting them down the middle.
 

McLovin

Hall of Fame
#31
The flex of a racket isn't just from the head, right?
I'd imagine a lot of flex is from the throat of the racket, so wouldn't stringing at high tension have minimal effect on the rackets flex at the throat? Is the softening of a racket over time due to the restringing, or continuous use (flexing at throat from actual hitting over years).
Well, thats what I'm trying to find out through this thread. My original question still stands, which leads me to believe nobody has hard data that says "stringing a frame at high tensions will reduce the RA by X units".

Using different strings/tensions alters the way the frame will play, which is what I'm trying to avoid. I'm not saying I'm going to find the answer, or that one even exists, I'm just investigating before I make my decision, which is: Do I load up on 'new old stock', or wait for something 'gently used' to show up here or the 'Bay.
 
#36
It’s a great frame . My all time fave oversize is the head satellite 27 Length . Second head club master . Then mag pro 105. It’s interesting as on some shots the mag pro is stiff and others flexy. Kinda like a dynamic Dunlop 200 g stiffness thing going for it. The other one that seems to do that is the head satellite , the club master is a uniform flex monster thru and thru . Don’t much care for the looks of the club master but when “ painted black out “ looks menacing instead of dated and gramma ish )
But all sticks look good all black to me :) which is funny as I don’t really care too much for the color black . But on tennis rackets its always a no nonsense serious look no matter the shape or size of the frame
 
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McLovin

Hall of Fame
#38
@teachingprotx, yes, I know all about the Mag Pro No 1 105. One of my good friends used that for ~ 5 years, then changed to the Pacific reincarnation about 4-5 years ago. I've hit with his a few times, but anything over 98" just feels clunky to me these days. Funny since I used OS frames for so long (Graphite, Donnay Pro One, CTS Blast, etc).
 
#39
@teachingprotx, yes, I know all about the Mag Pro No 1 105. One of my good friends used that for ~ 5 years, then changed to the Pacific reincarnation about 4-5 years ago. I've hit with his a few times, but anything over 98" just feels clunky to me these days. Funny since I used OS frames for so long (Graphite, Donnay Pro One, CTS Blast, etc).
It’s so true too! Once you hone in on mid or small mid plus it’s weird going to anything over 95 I think . For me anything over 95 is an oversize
 
#40
There's a quicker way to theoretically fatigue the resin matrix. I would probably use Kevlar strings. Mount the frame loosely and just string the mains at no more than 40#. The frame will squash and that should start fatiguing the hoop. Don't know how many times you need to cycle thru this, but the resin will definite start to develop micro-cracks. Maybe 10-20 times and then check RA? Do not tie off and just reuse the string. If you want to 'crack' the throat/shaft/hoop part of the frame, support the 2 ends of the frame and put a 25# dumbbell in the middle. Periodically flip the frame, e.g. once every 3-12 hours? You can check by trying to bend the frame over your knee or checking RA. 3¢
Damn, does this mean that all my Graphtech 90s are all toast now? They all play fine and had kevlar mains @ 65lbs for almost 30 years.
 
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