There is an old, well known little anecdote, "the pot roast story." It illustrates the point of understanding the reason for your traditions and methods. For instance, why did the players of old hit flat strokes? Not because they were inherently superior, but because it was hard to aim that tiny racquet head, and strike cleanly, with a whippy topspin stroke. Now we have player's racquets, built like their wooden counterparts with a new material. If we were to guess Ayn Rand's position on this, we wouldn't have to. There's already a passage in The Fountainhead regarding them-- except they used architecture: "the famous flutings on the famous columns - what are they there for? To hide the joints in wood - when columns were made of wood, only these aren't, they're marble. The triglyphs, what are they? Wood. Wooden beams, the way they had to be laid when people began to build wooden shacks. Your Greeks took marble and they made copies of their wooden structures out of it, because others had done it that way." So, let us think on this subject: What is a player's racquet? I'll tell you what, but I'll do it step by step. ----- What are the 'stereotypical' parts of a player's racquet? - Small Head Size A small head size means shorter strings-- less power. It's generally considered that a lower amount of power is better for increased control. - Heavy Static Weight This serves to increase stability. Increased stability means less un-intended deflection in the racquet face. In other words, the place you're aiming stays aimed at. - Low Balance Point This is done for two reasons: The first is increased mobility, and is the more commonly cited result of a lowered balance point. The second is decreased stability. Citing the Physics and Technology of Tennis as my source, the racquet tends to recoil around the axis at the balance point, parallel to the string bed. As you might know if you've ever had a basic primer in physics, you know that the longer a lever is, the easier it is to push or pull to get the desired results. Hence, a ball striking further away from the balance point-- by hitting closer to the tip or by moving the balance point down results in greater recoil, and therefor lower stability. - High Swing Weight This, also, has two effects on the racquet, if not three: The first is that it increases the inherent power in the racquet. It's a fact, that a heavier mass causes greater rebound, to a point. Swingweight is something like the friction of rotating objects-- long story short, heavier object, higher swingweight. Radius also comes into play here, or concentration of mass. The second, is increased stability. Think about it-- you run into someone with your body, as compared to a car running into them. Extreme example, but it makes sense. The third is a decrease in swing speed-- somewhat negating the increased power, but not enough to make the net increase negligable. - Low Flex Rating This causes three things to happen: One, the flexier frame deflects more, actually decreasing the amount of control. Two, the flexier frame absorbs more of the incoming ball speed, hence decreasing power. Three, it causes more vibration in the frame-- not "shock," vibration. What we call 'feel.' This comforts people, lets them know how much control they have over the shot. It's not necessary, but for second-checking. So, let's go over all that, shorter: Headsize: Power Mass: Stability Balance point: Mobility, Stability Swingweight: Power, Stability, Swing Speed Flex: Control, Power, Feel ----- That makes a list of 5 things that make up a player's racquet: (low) Power, (high) Stability, (high) Control, (controlled) Swing Speed, and (accurate) Feel. Power is generally considered a matter of control: a high-power racquet tends to get unweildy in the control department. Stability is, as I've demonstrated, part of control, or the repeatability of a stroke regardless of the incoming shot. Control is control. Swing Speed is a factor in control. You can have a fast swing speed, but after a point you start to mishit, your frame starts to recoil more, and you tend to miss more. Feel is an auxilary to control. It is something of a sensor, a light in your head that says "I hit that with control." ----- We can, based on this argument, conclude that the only defining factor is control, and that in fact any way which would increase control should be applicable to a player's frame. We can conclude that feel is not truly required, as we seem to think. Assuming you have sound strokes, you shouldn't be using your arm to tell if you hit it right. You should assume it'll be where it was supposed to go, because your stroke was proper and your racquet is accurate. When your stroke is not proper, then the ball will go out, and feel won't fix that. Based on this theory, a 'traditional' player's racquet is just that-- a tradition. However, there should be other ways of making a player's racquet, which help the modern game in the way that tweeners do, without all that lack of control and it's various offspring (such as stability and low-power). I'll be working on how that would happen over the next day or two, and we'll see how that is when you put it in your pipe and smoke it. Thoughts?