The Official Lead Tape Placement+Racket Customization Thread

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by xFullCourtTenniSx, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    I said I'd do this for a while now, and since I'm up and bored I'll do it now.

    There have been many (and I mean MANY) questions about adding lead tape and so on. Their effects, their benefits, suggestions on locations, and so forth.

    In this thread, I have posted most of my knowledge on the subject, some of which I will reiterate here.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=295789

    I will try to outline most of the information to simplify the reading and understanding process. I'm not the best writer (English is my worst subject and "basic math" is my best), so it still might be a bit foggy. So feel free to ask questions for clarification. Hopefully I won't be the only one to answer because that would put a heavy burden upon myself to constantly check here and answer everything. With this, I can also easily edit information should I learn anything new or a previous concept be wrong (I am human after all). Hopefully all edits will be for the former reason, not the latter. :) I might also edit this from time to time just to reorganize the information and make it more readable, because I'm too lazy to do it on the first go. So let's begin shall we?

    I) Racket Specs:

    A) Swingweight - Higher swingweight means more power. You want this number to be as high as you can manage for the entirety of a match. Expected range of values go from like 220 to 400 kg*cm^2. http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/swingweight_calc.php

    B) Twistweight - Higher twistweight means more forgiveness and stability on off-center hits but lowers mobility. (You can think of it as widening the sweetspot.) You want this to only be as high as you need. Expected range goes from 10.5 to 20 kg*cm^2. http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/twistweight.cgi

    C) Recoil Weight - Higher recoil weight means it's easier on the arm on impact (basically, higher means you're less likely to get arm injuries). Same with twistweight, you only want this to be as high as you need, but you can go a little higher to be safe. I'm not going to speculate on the expected range, but 170+ kg*cm^2 is good if you expect to see a lot of high level shots coming your way.

    D) mgR/I - The square of angular frequency, meaning a higher value has the racket coming around faster. However, increasing it affects mobility negatively due to the extra weight and shift in balance point. Or you take away power by lowering swingweight to increase mgR/I. It's one of those fine balance sort of specs if you even want to pursue it. Travelerjam has done a ton of stats on this and concludes an optimum value to be in the 20.6-21.2 range. (Apparently higher is better if you're shorter, and lower if you're taller.) I'm not an expert on this, and there are very few articles on this. Feel free to tinker and see if it works for you or not. http://www.racquettune.com/MgR_I/

    II) General Lead Placement Locations:

    A) 12 o'clock (top of the hoop or under the bumper guard, preferably the latter)

    B) 11&1 or 10&2 (stringbed side)

    C) 3&9 o'clock (stringbed side)

    D) 6 o'clock (Some people do this)

    E) Throat or handle (Lead on the handle is placed UNDER the replacement grip, or better yet, take off the buttcap and put it inside the frame once you know your final specs)

    F) Buttcap​


    III) How to Increase Target Specs:

    A) Swingweight is measured relative to 4 inches from the buttcap. The idea is that people were expected to hold the racket from that location, so they measured it from that location. Weight placed anywhere above or below that location increases swingweight. However, to further customize it for yourself, when adding weight, if you want to minimize the perceived increase in swingweight you feel, put the weight in the center of where you hold the racket - so closer to 1-1.5 inches from the buttcap for more advanced players. Anyways, the swingweight increases exponentially based on distance from the 4 inch mark (or where you hold the racket, but to keep things simple from now on, we'll just assume you hold the racket from that location). Increases in swingweight are equal to the added mass in kilograms, times the distance from the 4 inch mark (in cm, so distance from the 10.16 cm mark) squared. So 3 grams at the 5 inch mark is a 3 kg*cm^2 increase in swingweight, while under the bumper for a 27 inch racket, it's ~10 kg*cm^2 (0.003kg*58cm*58cm). The same amount of weight at 3&9 gives ~6 kg*cm^2 increase (which varies based on racket since for some rackets this location is higher and for others it's lower).

    B) Twistweight is basically the same thing as swingweight, but measured side to side from the vertical axis of the racket. The more weight you add towards the sides, like 3&9, the number goes up. The farther to the side you place it, the number goes up exponentially (which is why most oversized rackets feel more forgiving on off center hits; it's not new tech, it's physics). However, note that almost any weight you add to 12, 6, or even the handle (short of being compressed to the size of a spec of dust) will increase twistweight. If you use long strips of lead at 12, you're giving yourself a decent boost in twistweight. So to avoid that, use shorter strips, if possible, if you want to avoid raising twistweight. As such, this tends to be a secondary priority to swingweight.

    C) Recoil weight is, again, similar to swingweight, just measured around a different axis (these are all different moments of inertia). To keep it simple RW = SW - m*b^2. RW is recoil weight, SW is swingweight, m is mass in kg, and b is distance from the balance point to the 4 inch mark in cm (so balance in cm minus 10.16 cm). So basically, higher swingweight means higher recoil weight linearly, higher mass lowers recoil weight linearly, and a lower balance increases recoil weight exponentially. Even simpler, either have a high swingweight or a low balance point.

    D) Balance is altered simply by adding weight AWAY from the balance point. The farther away, the more drastic the change. I could tell you how to calculate changes manually, but it's probably just easier on everyone if I just link you this: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/customizationReverse.php. Otherwise, the formula is
    l' = (LM - lm)/m', where
    LM = final balance * final weight
    lm = previous balance * previous weight
    m' = weight to be added

    E) mgR/I is increased by increasing mass, raising the balance, and/or lowering the swingweight. Obviously, most combinations of the three aren't favorable. Increasing mass and balance means lower maneuverability. Lower swingweight means less power. Lowering swingweight and raising mass means lower recoil weight and therefore comfort (good luck to your arm). Lowering swingweight and raising balance also lowers recoil weight. One location of compromise is 7 inches from the bottom of the racket. Increasing weight by 17 grams gives about a 1 kg*cm^2 and has less of an effect of lowering the balance.​
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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  2. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    IV) The Two Different Setups
    Generally on the tour, there are 2 types of setups. Either way, you'll have a high(er) swingweight.

    A) Depolarized Setup - Has more forgiveness and comfort at the cost of mobility. Generally, you can swing out more and expect a more consistent response with less adjustment. These types of players tend to like more control over the consistency of the racket face angle, so they also have larger grip sizes. This is all for the purpose of being able to swing out and have a consistent response.
    1. Examples of users of this setup: Sampras, Djokovic, Roddick, and Blake.
    2. Types of players supported:
      • Any player who can provide power and is looking for control and consistency
    3. Benefits:
      • Less twisting on mishits
      • Increased forgiveness and comfort
      • Increased control when hitting flatter balls
      • Better volleys
      • Better returns
    4. Drawbacks:
      • Less maneuverable and can actually feel much harder to swing (RF97 versus K90)
    5. http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=788364&postcount=1 shows how to create this setup. Basically, you add lead to 3&9 to increase twistweight and swingweight, then counterbalance it with weight somewhere on the handle to get a decent recoil weight, if necessary. You can also put weight at 12 like Djokovic does, which gets you to your desired swingweight value with less weight, improving maneuverability versus slapping weight at 3&9 until you hit your desired swingweight. The above link supplies an equation to find your ideal counterbalance location given a specific amount of weight you want to add and a specific balance you want. Or you can use one of the calculators TWU has. You can also just apply counterbalance weight for this setup at 7 inches above the buttcap to improve your mgR/I value.

    B) Polarized Setup - Has more maneuverability at the cost of forgiveness on contact. Basically, max power and maneuverability, relying on genius hand-eye, larger grip sizes, and/or heavy topspin to compensate for bad contact with the ball. Notice the blisters on Nadal's hand? The stock twistweight of Nadal's frame is the same as a K90, but he has more room to hit further away from the center, which means he can hit the ball worse with his racket than he could with a K90. Even with the weight he added, his twistweight is still probably much lower than a lot of current retail frames. If he used a larger grip size or a higher twistweight, his hand probably wouldn't be that beat up. Also, notice the amount of topspin he uses? And how drastically short he hits when he doesn't hit the ball cleanly?
    1. Examples of users of this setup: Nadal, Federer, Wawrinka, Safin, and Rafter.
    2. Types of players supported:
      • A player looking for power that can provide control (either through heavy use of spin or very clean and consistent technique)
    3. Benefits:
      • Most added power and plow through with minimal weight added.
      • More spin friendly due to maneuverability
      • As a result of maneuverability, you can potentially swing faster as well for more pace
    4. Drawbacks:
      • Requires the use of heavy spin or more attention to the swing to maintain consistency, since off center hits will be far more noticeable
      • More difficult to volley cleanly with
    5. To create a polarized racket, basically add weight at 12 (you can use long strips that go from 10 to 2 o'clock or longer, or short strips layered at 12) then counterbalance with weight in the buttcap if necessary or wanted (to get a recoil weight you want). Sometimes you might feel that you're lacking in stability, so use longer strips of lead at 12 instead of shorter ones, or use weight at 11&1 or 10&2 instead. Nadal uses 9.5 grams under the bumper and 2.5 grams in the buttcap. Federer adds a little lead under the bumper to a hand-picked, stock [K]Six.One Tour (now, perhaps to a hand-picked, stock BLX Six.One Tour).

    C) Final notes: Do you have to use one setup or another? No. Not even all pros fall into one of these categories. If you want the KISS version (keep it simple stupid):
    Step 1) Add weight to 12 until you find the swingweight you like.
    Step 2) If you want additional stability and forgiveness, add weight to the sides increase the twistweight (and take off some weight from the top to drop back to the same swingweight). Otherwise, do nothing.
    Step 3) If you want a more comfortable feel on contact, counterbalance to increase the recoil weight. Otherwise, do nothing.
    Step 4) If you care about mgR/I, then tinker with your counterbalancing specs a bit. Otherwise, do nothing. Chances are, you're probably pretty close to your optimal value.​
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
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  3. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    V) Common Solutions to Specific Problems (A.K.A. the F.A.Q.)

    A) I want to improve maneuverability on my racket (and nothing else).
    To take a current racket and improve mobility, it's impossible. If it's final product versus final product (meaning racket that has additional weight on it), you can shift more of the weight to 12 and/or use shorter strips at 12 and remove whatever puts you above your target swingweight. This way you end up with a lower mass and twistweight.​
    B) I have/had problems with injury. What can I do to help make my racket better for my arm?
    1. Add lead at 3&9 to increase twistweight for less twisting and more forgiveness.
    2. Increase recoil weight by either increasing the swingweight or lowering the balance point. If things are really bad, target a recoil weight of over 170, or even 175+. You don't need extreme numbers for this. But worst case scenario, it means stuffing a bunch of weight into the handle.
    3. String looser and/or with softer strings.
    4. You want to make sure your grip size is perfectly suited to you. If it's too small, then the racket will twist in your hand, requiring a tighter grip to control the racket face. So perhaps try adding an overgrip or two on top of whatever you are using. Also, there is such a thing as too big a grip as well. The good thing about some of the thinner overgrips is that they only change the grip size by half a size, giving you the opportunity to more accurately control your grip size.
    5. Most importantly, go to a good coach and check if there isn't some massively major flaw in your technique that could lead to injury.
    6. Beyond this, the racket is probably too stiff. Some people are extremely sensitive, some aren't.

    C) I'm an all court player. Which setup should I use?
    What do you want out of your racket? Control while swinging like an ape - more twistweight (depolarized route). More power while you provide control - lower twistweight. Either way, your final swingweight should be the same.​
    D) I want to improve my consistency. Which setup should I use?
    Probably depolarized. If you're looking for more control, you probably want a higher twistweight for forgiveness and consistency from the racket. If you play with a bunch of spin, maybe try a polarized setup with a long strip of lead at 12 instead of multiple short strips.​
    E) Blah, blah, blah, mgR/I, blah, blah, blah
    Not the guy you want to be talking to about mgR/I and optimizing it. But as far as I know, going through the roof with it is bad because the combination of specs to get there will negatively impact maneuverability and/or power, but too low is bad too since it'll take hinge through contact more slowly, which is more relevant to specific types of techniques and grips than others.​
    F) I want more power. What do I do?
    The obvious solution is lead at 12 to pump the swingweight. The not so obvious answer is to increase the twistweight so that your off-center shots have more punch to them. Depends on how consistent you are with hitting the center.​
    G) I want the benefits of both. Can't I just combine the two setups?
    Yeah. Djokovic does it. Basically anyone who uses long strips of lead at 12 does it (which is basically everyone who puts lead there). But taking the benefits of both means inheriting the negatives of both, which is not having the best stability, but still paying mobility to get some stability. Basically, the idea is max out to your highest comfortable swingweight, then get the twistweight only to be as high as you need. For some people, it's really high. For others, it's really low. You might find out you're on one extreme anyways and are using a polarized or depolarized setup. You could also be right in the middle. Everyone's different. Just don't overstack specs because each one comes with a negative.
    Final note: Once you create your perfect racket, write down the specs, not the placement locations! The reason for this is to match rackets. The general placement locations will be similar, but you want to match the specs (swingweight, static weight, balance). The specific amount required at each position will vary (hopefully only slightly) and the counterbalance location will also vary in addition to how much is needed. The problem is that unless you have a Babolat RDC machine, you can't do this perfectly. In that scenario, just get a balance board and a digital scale and match the balance and mass to your ideal racket (the location(s) on the head should be the same). You can't match what you can't measure, so just make do with what you can. :(

    Any questions? Did I miss anything?


    Post links to other customization threads here (such as pallet creation, extended length customization, and so on) and I will place them in this post.

     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
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  4. cellofaan

    cellofaan Semi-Pro

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    Great topic. Some suggestions though:

    I) I'd use swingweight instead of plow through, as plow through is a function of swingweight, weight, and balance. Adding lead at the throat has more noticeable effect on plow through than it has on swingweight.

    II)B) Adding lead below your hand, ie at the buttcap, does increase swingweight, though very little as the distance to the 10cm axis is very small. Same goes for adding lead at the throat. What you're saying isn't wrong, but it can sound like adding lead below your hand doesn't effect swingweight because it's below the hand.

    Final note) The specific amount required at each position will very (hopefully only slightly), I suppose you mean vary?



    Does twu have an article with definitions of power, plowthrough, swingweight, etc? Could be useful to copy them here so everybody knows what those terms mean.
     
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  5. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    1) Eh. I split it up to discuss both. Might not have been 100% clear... But it's a LOT of writing to specifically detail everything like that for each specific position. There's a reason I said ask questions if you need clarification.

    2) I said it has negligible or no effect. Weight on almost the entire handle has a very negligible chance to swingweight. Most people won't notice it. Especially on that inch or two below your hand... Few will notice it, hence my choice of using "negligible or no effect".

    3) Yes, I meant vary. Thanks for catching that.

    4) I don't think they do. I don't frequent TWU much except to use their worksheet.
     
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  6. Indiana Puffed

    Indiana Puffed Rookie

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    Do you have any advise on how to match the swingweight, balance, and weight of two or more racquets? I know that having matching and balance and weight does not always mean identical swingweight, so can you offer tips on how to get all three as close as possible? Is swingweight the most important factor if you want to have two or more racquets that feel the same etc etc?

    Thanks xFullCourtTenniSx for posting the info above, will be a handy guide for me in the future.

    Indiana
     
    #6
  7. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Hall of Fame

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    I just experimented with a new approach for lead in the handle of my brand new Prestige Pros: I cut up 40" of .5" tape into 1/2" squares, stacked 'em on top of one another and then glued the stack to the underside of the buttcap. Haven't hit with the new frames yet, so it may not stick for that long once I start hitting with them. But if it does work it's not a bad alternative to fishing weights or silicone. I'll let you know how it works out.
     
    #7
  8. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    Awesome post. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.
     
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  9. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    xfullcourttennis6 GREAT POST !!!!!!! BIG TIME KUDOS!!!!!!!
    you very precisely put in an organized format info that people are always asking about. TERRIFFIC!!!!!!:)
     
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  10. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Great write up. It might be interesting to list the stock racquets that have a more polarized or depolarized set up.

    I think I fancy the latter over the former. Polarized frames seem difficult to swing in certain situations, such as volleys and high 1HBH. I actually think that Fed's weak point (the shoulder high, loaded with topspin, balls that get to his BH) may partially be linked to his polarized setup. I have notice that in the past he had a better response on those balls from the BH wing, when he was still playing with the Pro Staff 6.0.

    On another note: which set up did Gustavo Kuerten use?
     
    #10
  11. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    There should be a sticky for this thread.
    How long strips of lead tape are recommended for adding lead at 3 and 9? 2 inches? 3 inches?
    Whats a good amount of lead to start experimenting with weight there?
     
    #11
  12. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Honestly, nothing on swingweight unless you have a Babolat RDC. And sadly, yes, swingweight is the key ingredient to making 2 rackets feel the same. But different people have different preferences. As you know, it's not always possible to match EVERY spec perfectly everytime, so pros generally have a list of which are more important to match compared to the others. Some like balance the most, some like mass, some like swingweight. Sampras was a tough guy to work for because he wanted all 3 the same. Good thing his rackets had so much lead added to them, otherwise it might have been a serious headache for Nate Ferguson.

    I'd start off by trying to match them before I add weight, then I can add the same amount of weight to all of them. Or, if I know which racket I like, I'll treat any racket heavier as if it had a little weight already added somewhere. Then I just calculate how much less weight I have to put in a general location to have it come out about the same. And any racket that's lighter, I add weight so that the specs are matched. Sadly, it's tough to match the swingweight without a Babolat RDC machine unless you're Pete Sampras.

    Depolarized frames are far better on volleys. Not even debatable. lol And for the high one handed backhand, the polarized frame is tricky to use because you need to be able to apply heavy spin to control the shot. However, I don't have a problem with that personally... I have no idea why. Polarized frames are overall better for me. But you can get some easy pop with a depolarized frame. The racket does all the work.

    As for making a list of stock polarized and depolarized frames... The only ones I know are K90 being relatively polarized, and the n90 and PS90 being depolarized. I heard the Sampras racket is likely depolarized too, which makes sense since what he uses on court is a heavy, depolarized beatstick.

    As for whether he played better with the ProStaff 6.0 Midsize than with his current racket(s), I have no idea. Never seen much of him at the time other than 2001 Wimbledon. He did hit some amazing backhands, but they weren't off high balls. Back then he sliced a lot of high balls if I remember correctly.

    As for what Guga used, I'm not sure. I'd guess he used a polarized setup. But during his time, they were a rarity.

    I can't find any pictures with any lead on his racket. :( Perhaps he went stock? :shock:

    Depends on how much you want to improve stability. If only slightly, then 3 grams total is good. If you want something that's rock solid, then 5-7 is a good number. If you want something that's like a wall, then go into the double digits. Haha.

    How long depends on how much you're adding. Some people like it longer to spread out the effects of stretching the sweetspot. I personally like it longer. Looks nicer, and it requires less layers.
     
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  13. kiteboard

    kiteboard Legend

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJfhKEt_4nQ

    pallet removal

    Don't cut toward yourself with the knife!
    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/customize.html customizing racquets

    Fed, Nadal, davystinko: polarized
    Fed at 47/45 lbs. 357g nadal at 54/52 lbs. 334g Davystinko: 50/48 lbs. Pattern of lower tension on polarized frames.
    Joker: 61.6/59.4 lbs 361 g Delpo: 62/62 360 g. Cilic: 60/58 at ?g Murray: 63-60lbs at 364g. Depolarized higher tensions
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
    #13
  14. Acer777

    Acer777 New User

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    So I have a racket with 8 grams at 3 and 9 o' clock and 8 grams at 7 inches from the handle. Would this setup be depolarized? And if so is it heavily depolarized or mildly depolarized?
     
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  15. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    ^^^Wouldn't that keep the balance the same?
     
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  16. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    Your racquet setup is depolarized. It would be heavily depolarized if you had added lots of weight at those two spots.
     
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  17. cesarmo03

    cesarmo03 Rookie

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    full court what do u mean about this? Not even all pros use racket customized to SW2 status (Verdasco comes to mind)
     
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  18. Funbun

    Funbun Professional

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    Why is it that you get less spin with a depolarized setup? I thought you would get more upwards momentum because there's more weight on the sides of the racquet, therefore a faster swing. I thought weight on the poles of the racquet (aka polarized setup) only gave you more plowthrough, not spin.

    Is there something wrong with my reasoning?

    Also, if I'm wrong (which I'll most likely be), would adding a tad bit of lead tape at 12 increase the amount of spin by a little in a depolarized setup?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
    #18
  19. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

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    Great thread! Thank you!
    I am still trying to metabolize all these new info.
    I do have one question.
    What is the polarization of the stock racquets?
    Are in some kind of "neutral" polarization?
    if not, how to tell if a stock racquet is more polarized or depolarized?
    My apologies if my question doesn't make sense.
    cheers,
    g
     
    #19
  20. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    I'd say 3 inches and if you use the normal lead tape, 2 layers will give you six grams. That is a good starting point.

    I wonder BTW what happens if you use really long strips of lead on a racquet. It is not recommended, but I was just thinking how I never got any racquet that wasn't solid stock to play really solid with lead tape. And I am talking about adding over 20 gr. in certain cases. Maybe spreading it all over the head makes the racquet more solid than what I did, which was mainly adding 3 inch layers in specific points. I had the feeling that those points were more solid, but overall the rest of the beam of the racquet kept on feeling hollow.

    What does the OP think of long strips of lead tape?
     
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  21. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Verdasco has a unstrung swingweight of 295 from what I hear. Might even be strung specs... Either way, that's FAR from SW2 status. Federer also isn't in the SW2 range. His racket's swingweight is 338 strung, slightly higher than a stock K90 (cause Nate Ferguson sneaks in a little lead under the bumper). Nadal's is 355, which I suppose could be SW2 for his left hand? Otherwise, it's still relatively low.

    More often than not, it's the depolarized rackets that are in the SW2 status. Polarized rackets don't go that high possibly to retain some more maneuverability so that players can whip through the ball really quickly. But then you have to lower the tension even more due to further lack of power... :?

    Well, if you thought that because of weight on the side of the racket, imagine what you could do if it was all moved to the very tip and you had the ability to whip that upwards... Now that's some SERIOUS upward momentum. Haha. I would know... I was addicted to it for some time 2 years ago.

    And yeah, adding a little lead at 12 would help a little with spin potential.

    The setups on stock rackets vary... They're usually close somewhat to "neutral"... Some are so far off you can tell right off the bat...

    And you can tell by looking at the stock specs. Since polarized rackets have weight towards the poles, it's reasonable to expect that if balance and mass are the same, the more polarized racket has the higher swingweight.

    There's also the option of going out and playing with it. A polarized racket should offer more spin and power given the similar specs. The depolarized out should be better on slices and volleys (granted that it's stable up at net).

    Stylish. :p

    Long strips of lead tape aren't all that uncommon at all. Delpo uses/used them, Roddick uses them, Blake uses them, Safin uses/used them, and Sampras used/uses them. They require less layers and are less likely to fall off (never had that problem though).

    As for turning bad racket into good rackets, not always possible. You can't change flex, improve feel, or reduce the built-in trampoline effect of some rackets. (cough cough Wilson Hyper Hammer cough cough)

    However, I'm wondering if you've tried silicone in the handle (with lead weights. That for one helps mute feel a little from what I hear. But you still have the problems with the trampoline effect (string incredibly high with a poly? lol), and the problems with stiffness. Only so much you can do with a racket...
     
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  22. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    xFullCourtTenniSx, what do you think is the best place for adding lead to gain more control?
     
    #22
  23. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Depends on your definition of control and how you obtain it...

    Personally, for pinpoint accuracy I prefer 3&9. But control through consistency and angles, long strips at 12 because the spin friendliness is a great way to control the ball.

    Overall, I suppose 3&9... But I feel lead at 12 really allows you to open up the court if you have the right strokes simply because the ball drops so incredibly well that you have more court to work with and can go for more daring shots with ease. But like I said, you need to have the right strokes for it.
     
    #23
  24. Indiana Puffed

    Indiana Puffed Rookie

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    Thanks for that information, I appreciate it. In the next few weeks I'm hoping to match a few racquets as precisely as i can and this goes a long way to help.
     
    #24
  25. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    By control I mean the ability to hit balls on the rise with ease, to hit sidespin, and to take huge cuts at the ball without fear of overhitting. I have played with some friend's racquets that have a huge amount of control, and I want to make my racquet play similar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
    #25
  26. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Hmmm... The last 2 for sure can be done with the polarized setup... The thing hits with so much spin it's just insane.

    Balls on the rise I'd probably prefer the depolarized setup just slightly due to the stability factor.

    Overall, you can just get a polarized setup, then add some lead at 3&9 to gain stability for those baseline half volley pickups. But if we're talking about the regular concept of on the rise, then either work fine... I just feel that it's not on the rise unless it's a half volley. Haha. Played on the rise for most of my tennis development...
     
    #26
  27. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    Ok thanks for your help.
     
    #27
  28. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Hey FullCourt, cool thread!!

    What would you think is the difference (if any) in putting the same amount of lead in either:

    One inch strips layered on top of each other at 10:00 and 2:00

    or

    Long strip(s) around the top of the hoop from 10:00 to 2:00 to equal the same amount of weight as the 1" strips above

    I currently use weight at 10 and 2 mostly to pull the sweet spot farther toward the top so I can pound shots that make contact in the upper half of the stringbed without killing my arm.

    Thanks in advance, Mike
     
    #28
  29. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    for applying lead tape under the grip in the handle, how do you apply it?

    do a ring around the entire handle?

    lay it down veritcally?

    example: adding 4g of lead at 7" above buttcap.
     
    #29
  30. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    The latter scenario has increased swingweight, increased power, increased plow through, increased spin potential, lowered stability, and drags the sweetspot farther up.

    I wrap it around in a ring. I try to spread it out if one ring creates too much of a noticeable bulge. It's actually surprising how much it takes to create a really noticeable one. You'll feel it slightly for sure, but it's not all that big.
     
    #30
  31. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    Contrary to popular belief, you should never stick or add anything inside the handle or buttcap. This method actually makes your racquet unstable in it's swing path. Only add weight (lead tape) to the outside of the handle, underneath the grip, and only above the 10cm mark.
     
    #31
  32. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Then I guess many pros love unstable rackets and many professional customizers love creating them...

    Silicone in the handle is a very frequently used method to add weight, and is done INSIDE the handle...
     
    #32
  33. UncleRico.

    UncleRico. New User

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    When adding weight 7" above the buttcap, would you lead above the grip and under your overgrip? Or under everything, which seems like such a hassle :???:
     
    #33
  34. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    It's not really a hassle... But it's your choice... I'd rather not have to replace the lead everytime I replace the grip...
     
    #34
  35. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, this seems like a strange pronouncement considering how prevalent it is to add weight inside the handle in various ways.

    Also, to report back on my experiment - adding lead to the handle by cutting .5" lead into 1/2" x 1/2" squares, stacking them and gluing the stack to the underside of the buttcap - I have not had any problem with the stack coming loose. I guess I assumed, wrongly perhaps, that swinging the frames would put pressure on the adhesive. But perhaps since there's nothing coming into contact with the stack there's no force pushing against it. So this seems like it might be a nice alternative to fishing weights, it keeps the weight right at the bottom of the handle (I prefer to place the lead at the bottom of the handle rather than 7" up), it's a very quick thing to do, and it's easily reversible and adjustable. I'm using a pretty tall stacks (20" of .5" lead, so 40 .5" squares stacked on top of one another) and they haven't budged in the half dozen outings with my new frames.
     
    #35
  36. lethalphorce

    lethalphorce New User

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    Are there any downsides to adding lead?
    It sounds like my options are more spin & whip (polarized) or more stability and power (depolarized).
    Who wouldn't take one of those?
     
    #36
  37. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    More mass means more tiring over the long haul. Higher swingweight means more force is required to get it going in a swing. Basically you need a strong body.
     
    #37
  38. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Hall of Fame

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    And I'd add to that that you need solid technique. I think it's tough for hackers or sub-4.0 players to wield a heavier, head-light (more lead in or on the handle than on the hoop) frame. But once you have solid mechanics and timing and you're using your legs and core for strength and balance coupled with a loose arm and hand for racquet-head speed, using a heavier, head-light frame is a big advantage both for your game and your physical well-being (particularly your arm).
     
    #38
  39. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    It's because you need to bring in your own power.
     
    #39
  40. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Hey Fullcourt, great thread. Thanks for all the info.

    Here's a question: if I have 3g of lead at 12 under the bumper, what would you recommend for the handle weight between the choice of:
    1. a leather grip, or
    2.a synthetic grip with 5g lead wrapped at the top of the handle?
     
    #40
  41. Warren

    Warren New User

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    Hey Supine -

    GREAT suggestion re the .5" squares of lead under the butt cap! I have a PSt GT and already have some lead running up the handle along the top and bottom bevels, and also some wrapped at 7". This config made my stick 5 points HL, but I wanted it tilted a little more towards the HL side. So I followed your suggestion and put in 4g's yesterday (16 squares) under the butt cap. This gave me a balance of 6.2 HL, with very little change in SW (from 327.7 to 328.0), which isn't surprising given that the weight is basically located behind the spot where my palm grips the handle. Your method worked like a charm!

    I've previously tried fishing weights under the butt cap, and no matter how densely I packed them with cotton balls and gauze, they always came loose slightly and rattled over the course of time. Your solution for the .5" squares is perfect. Easily modified, no other materials to muck around with, and it seems like they will stay in place for however long you want them to with no chance of rattling because the edges are not in contact with any component of the racquet or butt cap.

    Thanks for the recommendation - it is very much appreciated!
     
    #41
  42. HitItHarder

    HitItHarder Semi-Pro

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    Lead Tape took paint of my frame

    Last night I was moving some lead tape on two of my racquets and one strip actually pulled a pretty large paint chip off one of my frames. I was not particularly happy. Not the end of the world -- it is a tennis racquet and not a piece of art or anything -- but I want to try and avoid this in the future. Anyone have tips to help prevent this.

    By the way, it was just regular old Gamma lead tape from TW. 3" strips (1/4 wide) at 10 & 2 on the inside of the frame of my MG Rad. Paint chip was probably an inch long.
     
    #42
  43. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Hall of Fame

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    Glad it worked for you. You might want to glue the stack to the buttcap with a little super glue or epoxy just to make sure it doesn't pull away. But honestly I don't know if that's necessary because, since it's not being struck by anything when you swing and it moves exactly as the handle does without any other force acting against it, you might not need anything more than the tap adhesive. Good luck.
     
    #43
  44. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    There are certain lead tapes that minimize the problem (if not avoid it entirely) by using a different adhesive. I'm not fully sure what kind they are, or where to get them... Sorry.

    If you do find them, feel free to share where you got them. :) Sorry I couldn't have been of more help though.
     
    #44
  45. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

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    I have a Pure Storm Gt I was trying to use as platform to learn some customization.
    But I have a problem.
    The frame as stock is 1pt HL.
    I want to make a depolarized setup. So I added weight at 3-9.
    Of course now the balance shifted even more toward the head.
    Now, if I want to make this setup HL following the depolarized guidelines (lead on the handle) I have to add too much lead tape.
    It would be much easier to add less weight in the butt cap.
    But at this point I wouldn't have a true depolarized setup, am I correct?
    So what should I do?
    Is the racquet intrinsically not suitable for this type of customization because of its even balance as stock?
    What are the disadvantage of having lead at 3-9 and then in the butt cap?
    Thank you in advance.
    cheers,
    g
     
    #45
  46. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Well, if you have enough weight at both points, it kind of feels like a wood racket... You get that funny flexy feeling.

    The disadvantage is a little less power... Not all that huge really...

    What I'd do personally is to put some lead in the handle to raise the headlight balance, then work from there. So maybe you can try some lead in the buttcap and some on the handle. Your call though. Try what you think will feel better and if it doesn't work try something else.
     
    #46
  47. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    Thats weird. I use Gamma tape on my YTPP and nothing happens.
     
    #47
  48. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, never had that problem really. Once I think I took some lead off an old frame where the lead had been on it for years and some paint did come off. But on my last batch of frames I had the same lead on them for 9 months probably and never lost any paint when replacing it. I have gotten reels where the adhesive was crap, which was annoying. Yeah, entire reels... careful about buying from a pro shop that looks like they've had the same inventory for 20 years.
     
    #48
  49. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Fullcourt, great thread.
    Question for you:
    I have 3 grams at 12 under the bumper, would you recommend counterbalancing with a leather grip or 5g at the top of the handle with synthetic grip?
     
    #49
  50. dincuss

    dincuss Hall of Fame

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    So if i have a heavy racquet with a high swing weight, its SW2 (de-polarized?)

    and if its a lighter racquet with a high swing weight its SW1 (polarized?)
     
    #50

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