Stiffness Rating help

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by iradical18, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. iradical18

    iradical18 Professional

    Mar 16, 2004
    Lorton, VA
    My understanding of the stiffness rating is how soft the racket plays, can someone give me an explanation of different stiffness ratings and how they apply?
  2. Steve H.

    Steve H. Semi-Pro

    Feb 25, 2004
    The stiffness rating is basically a measurement of how much a racquet will bend if you support it at the ends and apply a certain weight to the middle. So a flexible racquet (RA 60 or less) will bend more than a stiff one (RA of more than 70), with 65 being about average these days for performance frames.

    A stiffer racquet bends less on impact, and so dissipates less of the energy, instead more of this energy is passed to the player's arm and returned to the ball. So, between two racquets, the stiffer one will be (a) less arm-friendly, and (b) more powerful, all other factors being equal (head size, swingweight, balance, strings and tension, etc)

    hope this helps....
  3. Exci

    Exci Rookie

    Jun 17, 2004
    And c) less predictable / controlable due to less feel
  4. Virgilio

    Virgilio Semi-Pro

    Jul 30, 2004
    Is 72 too stiff? I've seen the Z-Tour which is 72...I like that racquet a lot but it seems very stiff? Maybe if I string it like at 60-61 I can gain some of the control lost over power with the stiffness?
  5. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

    Mar 7, 2004
    Stiffness can be toned down by using thinner strings, less tension, or using an open string pattern. 18 x 20 patterns play stiffer than 16 x 19. If you string a flexible racket at 80 pounds, it will play stiffer. I use what is referred to as a stiff racket 68, but string it at 53 pounds. It plays great!

    These days with string technology, lead tape, and even balanced frames, you can pretty much make any racket play stiff or flexible.
  6. Exci

    Exci Rookie

    Jun 17, 2004
    Can you flex it with leadtape? :)
    I would say you can stiffen your racquet by adding leadtape though, but I'm just wondering..
  7. Andy Zarzuela

    Andy Zarzuela Professional

    Feb 21, 2004
    Don't pay too much attention to racquet stiffness especially if you like/play well with the racquet you like. I hit the ball hard and flat, but play with racquets that have a 65 or even 67 stiffness and a very open string pattern (currently using the MP-2i) I play well with it. I've had a few opinions and I've heard that I need to play with something more flexible like <60 stiffness and a denser string pattern. The result? The ball is shanked alot and my timing is off because I've always played with a semi-powerful racquet like the MP-2i, the URQ 1700, V-Con 17, believe it or not I have more control with those racquets than much thinner beamed, less stiff racquets, because I've grown up with racquets like that. So alot of what might "suit" you on paper does not work out. You have to use racquet similar than what you've picked up the game with most of the time. A perfect example of my argument is the Williams Sisters. They hit the ball so hard and provide they're on power. On Paper per se, they should be using heavier, midplus racquets, but they grew up playing with Big Hammers and that makes all the difference.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011

Share This Page