Stability = Weight?

flex

Rookie
1 - For a racquet to be 'stable' does it essentially means it have (a reasonable amount of) weight? For all practical intent and purpose, when people want to 'make a racquet more stable,' does this equate to adding weight? And/or they other variables/methods?

2 - A hypothetical: Let's say a manufacturer makes a 'Lite' racquet and a heavier 'Tour' racquet. Both being equal in every aspect except for the weight.
If you add lead tape to the 'Lite' racquet to match the weight of the 'Tour' racquet -- will both play identical? (both racquets are now the same, including balance)
 

Dragy

Legend
It’s not any weight. If you pick a typical UL 265g racquet and throw in 30g into the handle, it’s stability would barely improve. Meanwhile, if you attach 15g around the hoop (12, 3&9 o’clock) it’s stability will improve significantly.
You should also consider “clean hit” stability and “off-center” stability. Former is affected by any mass added to the upper hoop, best result at 12. Latter is associated with twistweight and improved my mass added far from “middle line”. Wider racquets have better twistweight by design, for similar mass, as pieces of that mass is farther away.

So how can we help your particular cases? What issues do you have?
 

flex

Rookie
It’s not any weight. If you pick a typical UL 265g racquet and throw in 30g into the handle, it’s stability would barely improve. Meanwhile, if you attach 15g around the hoop (12, 3&9 o’clock) it’s stability will improve significantly.
You should also consider “clean hit” stability and “off-center” stability. Former is affected by any mass added to the upper hoop, best result at 12. Latter is associated with twistweight and improved my mass added far from “middle line”. Wider racquets have better twistweight by design, for similar mass, as pieces of that mass is farther away.

So how can we help your particular cases? What issues do you have?
I hit with a LM Radical Oversize and like a lot of aspect of it, especially it's ease of playability. But it did feel 'hollow' and not as stable as the Prince Phantom Pro 100 18x20 which I was swapping back and forth between

Purely based on 'results' of winning/hitting good shots consistently/not expending a lot of energy - it is hands down the LM Rad OS
For balls where all-the-stars-align and it's in my preferred strike zone, my preferred pace and I am set up correctly...then the Prince Phantom Pro produce a really sweet feeling stroke

How can I mod the Rad to make it more solid?

Spec of the LM Rad OS
Head Size107 square inches690 square centimeters
Weight11.2 ounces318 grams
Balance Point13.125 inches
33 centimeters
3pts Head Light
Flex Rating58Range: 0-100
Swing Weight330Range: 200-400

For comparison -
Spec of the Prince Phantom Pro 100 18x20

Head Size:100 in² / 645.16 cm²
Strung Weight:11.9oz / 337g
Balance:12.4in / 31.5cm / 9 pts HL
Swingweight:326
Stiffness:55
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Sometimes its just a feel thing that takes some experimentation. My experience is that a leaded up light racket does not feel the same as a heavier racket. I think it has to do with material distribution and density. I am aware of the lead tape on my rackets sort of the same way I am aware of the head of a hammer. I don't have to look at the hammer, or the chisel. I can swing and hit the chisel without hitting my hand while looking at the tip of the chisel, not the striking surface.

But you could easily try 15 grams on the handle so the weight and balance starts to match racket to racket. Don't even take the adhesive backing off. Just wrap an overgrip over it.

If you find that doesn't make much difference, I might add 2-4 grams at 3 and 9 and see how that feels. Maybe add a couple of grams to the throat and see how that feels.
 

Junioradae

New User
I hit with a LM Radical Oversize and like a lot of aspect of it, especially it's ease of playability. But it did feel 'hollow' and not as stable as the Prince Phantom Pro 100 18x20 which I was swapping back and forth between

Purely based on 'results' of winning/hitting good shots consistently/not expending a lot of energy - it is hands down the LM Rad OS
For balls where all-the-stars-align and it's in my preferred strike zone, my preferred pace and I am set up correctly...then the Prince Phantom Pro produce a really sweet feeling stroke

How can I mod the Rad to make it more solid?

Spec of the LM Rad OS
Head Size107 square inches690 square centimeters
Weight11.2 ounces318 grams
Balance Point13.125 inches
33 centimeters
3pts Head Light

Flex Rating58Range: 0-100
Swing Weight330Range: 200-400

For comparison -
Spec of the Prince Phantom Pro 100 18x20

Head Size:100 in² / 645.16 cm²
Strung Weight:11.9oz / 337g
Balance:12.4in / 31.5cm / 9 pts HL
Swingweight:326
Stiffness:55
Is the phantom pro 100 18x20 the racket you currently play with?
 

joah310

Professional
You can try weight at 3 and 9 or 10 and 2. I prefer 10 and 2. Makes things stable for me. Also weight at the top of the handle imo is one of the best place to counterbalance.
 

kvan

Rookie
2 - A hypothetical: Let's say a manufacturer makes a 'Lite' racquet and a heavier 'Tour' racquet. Both being equal in every aspect except for the weight.
If you add lead tape to the 'Lite' racquet to match the weight of the 'Tour' racquet -- will both play identical? (both racquets are now the same, including balance)
To address your question 2, they’ll likely play similarly, but you have to remember that while lead tape application can help you match the specs of the racquet to a T, manufacturers would probably use other methods to increase the weight of the “Tour” frame’s hoop. The material and method they use to weight up the hoop will play a part in how the frame feels, and may affect stiffness/vibration dampening, for example.

In short, I think you’d get very close, but they may feel (and therefore, play) a bit different.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
If you want to feel stability, pick up a racquet that is >330 grams unstrung with a balance point of 6HL or more. As the balance point and the weight get lower, maintaining stability requires stiffening the racquet, which is why basically all of the racquets lighter than that are quite stiff. No substitute for weight. It is also why arm problems are frequent with today's lighter, stiffer racquets.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
I've also found stringing it little looser or with a softer string like multi makes it feel like the same racket is marginally more stable if that makes sense. I feel twist rate can be affected by the tension and string type also
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
2 - A hypothetical: Let's say a manufacturer makes a 'Lite' racquet and a heavier 'Tour' racquet. Both being equal in every aspect except for the weight.
If you add lead tape to the 'Lite' racquet to match the weight of the 'Tour' racquet -- will both play identical? (both racquets are now the same, including balance)
I have a kinda sorta match to your hypothetical question. I currently use the M-Fill 200 (18x20) and MuscleWeave 200 (18x20). Although the racquets do feel slightly different in stock configuration, once leaded to my personal tastes, I can pick either up and play identically. I am currently demoing the CX 200 Tour (18x20). With a leather grip, an unstrung MW 200 weighs 336grams. Strung, my CX 200 Tour weighs 332grams. Even leaded up, the CX 200 Tour is not playing as nicely as my MW 200/M-Fil 200s. I have about four hours with the CX at just tonight the strings felt like they bedded in, I don't know really how to explain it other than that way, I was hitting better but there is still enough of a difference. The racquet vibrates more and it isn't dealing as well with off center hits which is really affecting my bh mostly...even my fh slightly. I'm taking one of my MW 200 back to stock just to see if, even in stock form, it maintains that playability for me moreso vs the CX that is leaded about 15g higher. This is my attempt to see if I should maintain hope that the CX can be brought to bear as a replacement frame or give up on it.
 

canta_Brian

Professional
To address your question 2, they’ll likely play similarly, but you have to remember that while lead tape application can help you match the specs of the racquet to a T, manufacturers would probably use other methods to increase the weight of the “Tour” frame’s hoop. The material and method they use to weight up the hoop will play a part in how the frame feels, and may affect stiffness/vibration dampening, for example.

In short, I think you’d get very close, but they may feel (and therefore, play) a bit different.
This is an interesting one. I need new frames and I can’t decide whether to go for the lighter frame and add weight, knowing I can choose my balance and have greater adaptability, or choose the factory built heavier option with less room to mod.

Especially as it seems all the rage to produce 3 very different weights in racquets these days and call them light, pro and Tour or such like.

Are the heavier models different to the light ones or do they just have “factory lead”?
 
I had an Ultra Tour which i wanted to black out. I sanded off the paint entirely and before painting it i wanted to check the feel without the paint. Since i was afraid to scratch the fibers, i placed all over the raqcuet some head guard tape. Left the specs standard. All i can say is that it was the best feeling racquet i had ever played with! Felt tremendously soli all over!
 

kvan

Rookie
This is an interesting one. I need new frames and I can’t decide whether to go for the lighter frame and add weight, knowing I can choose my balance and have greater adaptability, or choose the factory built heavier option with less room to mod.

Especially as it seems all the rage to produce 3 very different weights in racquets these days and call them light, pro and Tour or such like.

Are the heavier models different to the light ones or do they just have “factory lead”?
From what I understand about the racquet manufacturing process, manufacturers will vary the number of layers of graphite/fiberglass/etc. and change how/what they fill the hollow racquet core to vary weight from model to model. Of course, mold geometry (head and beam width/shape) also influences how you can distribute weight around the frame.

Even assuming that the “Light”, “Pro”, and “Tour” use the same mold geometry, the thickness and number of the graphite layers within the frame will likely differ. This influences weight. Since graphite (or other material used to construct the frame) has different material properties compared to lead, and it’s not possible to place lead internally in the frame where graphite layers would exist for heavier models, it would be very difficult to get a “Light” frame weighted up to play exactly like the “Pro” or “Tour” frame.

In short, the heavier models are likely not just the “Light” frame modded with internal lead (but I’d be happy to be proven wrong or have this confirmed by other users like @Babolat Official if they have more insight).

And ultimately, I’ll always suggest demo’ing the frames you’re interested in if you haven’t already to get a better sense of which version of a racquet line works for you. An IRL side-by-side comparison is still the best thing you can do!
 
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canta_Brian

Professional
From what I understand about the racquet manufacturing process, manufacturers will vary the number of layers of graphite/fiberglass/etc. and change how/what they fill the hollow racquet core to vary weight from model to model. Of course, mold geometry (head and beam width/shape) also influences how you can distribute weight around the frame.

Even assuming that the “Light”, “Pro”, and “Tour” use the same mold geometry, the thickness and number of the graphite layers within the frame will likely differ. This influences weight. Since graphite (or other material used to construct the frame) has different material properties compared to lead, and it’s not possible to place lead internally in the frame where graphite layers would exist for heavier models, it would be very difficult to get a “Light” frame weighted up to play exactly like the “Pro” or “Tour” frame.

In short, the heavier models are likely not just the “Light” frame modded with internal lead (but I’d be happy to be proven wrong or have this confirmed by other users like @Babolat Official if they have more insight). And ultimately, I’ll always suggest demo’ing the frames you’re interested in if you haven’t already to get a better sense of which version of a racquet line works for you. An IRL side-by-side comparison is still the best thing you can do!
Kind of what I thought would be the case. Is it fair to suggest that with added weight it’s possible to have a slightly softer frame?
 

kvan

Rookie
Kind of what I thought would be the case. Is it fair to suggest that with added weight it’s possible to have a slightly softer frame?
Generally, yes, although I’d clarify to “slightly more stable” rather than “softer”.

More weight translates to more mass. More mass means more particles between your arm and the ball at impact that can absorb more vibration. The mass can also increase the twistweight of the racquet since more energy would be needed to move the racquet from its current position (inertia). This can make the frame feel more solid or less metallic, but isn’t directly correlated to flexibility of the frame.

RA or stiffness can be related to mass added to a racquet, but it depends on what material you’re adding to the frame to add the mass, and how you’re adding the material.

For example, think of one of those pink rubber erasers. If you take a single one, it’s pretty soft and easy to bend along its long side. You stack two on top of each other and although you’re adding more of a “soft“ material, it makes it much more difficult to bend.

In short, adding lead to the frame will have a bigger influence on stability over changing the inherent material properties of the frame (flexibility).
 
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Chezbeeno

Professional
Seconding what most others have said - it's all about where the weight is distributed. IMO the Clash feels way more "solid" than the Clash Tour, simply because of the balance. That being said, material can make a difference, too.
If you want to make a frame more solid, the most straightforward way to do it is add weight at 3 and 9.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
From what I understand about the racquet manufacturing process, manufacturers will vary the number of layers of graphite/fiberglass/etc. and change how/what they fill the hollow racquet core to vary weight from model to model. Of course, mold geometry (head and beam width/shape) also influences how you can distribute weight around the frame.

Even assuming that the “Light”, “Pro”, and “Tour” use the same mold geometry, the thickness and number of the graphite layers within the frame will likely differ. This influences weight. Since graphite (or other material used to construct the frame) has different material properties compared to lead, and it’s not possible to place lead internally in the frame where graphite layers would exist for heavier models, it would be very difficult to get a “Light” frame weighted up to play exactly like the “Pro” or “Tour” frame.

In short, the heavier models are likely not just the “Light” frame modded with internal lead (but I’d be happy to be proven wrong or have this confirmed by other users like @Babolat Official if they have more insight).

And ultimately, I’ll always suggest demo’ing the frames you’re interested in if you haven’t already to get a better sense of which version of a racquet line works for you. An IRL side-by-side comparison is still the best thing you can do!
Hi Kvan,

You are correct that the heavier frames are not just lighter versions with lead added.

-Josh
 

cortado

Professional
I have a kinda sorta match to your hypothetical question. I currently use the M-Fill 200 (18x20) and MuscleWeave 200 (18x20). Although the racquets do feel slightly different in stock configuration, once leaded to my personal tastes, I can pick either up and play identically. I am currently demoing the CX 200 Tour (18x20). With a leather grip, an unstrung MW 200 weighs 336grams. Strung, my CX 200 Tour weighs 332grams. Even leaded up, the CX 200 Tour is not playing as nicely as my MW 200/M-Fil 200s. I have about four hours with the CX at just tonight the strings felt like they bedded in, I don't know really how to explain it other than that way, I was hitting better but there is still enough of a difference. The racquet vibrates more and it isn't dealing as well with off center hits which is really affecting my bh mostly...even my fh slightly. I'm taking one of my MW 200 back to stock just to see if, even in stock form, it maintains that playability for me moreso vs the CX that is leaded about 15g higher. This is my attempt to see if I should maintain hope that the CX can be brought to bear as a replacement frame or give up on it.
In light of this, why are pro-stocks so revered on here if a lot of them are actually very light in spec, before being weighted up with lead, silicon etc?
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
In light of this, why are pro-stocks so revered on here if a lot of them are actually very light in spec, before being weighted up with lead, silicon etc?
Well, after having done what I said, I can say that my CX leaded up does play slightly better than my stock Mfil. I did have to play around with weight amount and placement quite a bit until I felt comfortable with the CX. I think biggest advantage I see of a lighter frame to customize is the amount of room to play around while keeping weight down overall. To give some numbers with my finalized specs, CX is at 258g. Stock MFil (strung and with overgrip, vibe damp, head tape) is 263g. What I play my Mfils at is 282g.

Would I get rid of my Mfils (if I played them stock) and pay to switch over to the CX? No. With no customization of the CX from stock? Hayyeellllll no. Have I decided to add the CX to my current stock and rotate in as needed? Mmmmmmmmm.....I haven't decided. What I should do is go all in and fully match the CX to my current Mfils and then compare. The CX is designed differently from the older 200 line so full on matching is more difficult "at home".
 
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