Why do you play 18x20? Trade-offs compared to 16x18 ?

Crocodile

Hall of Fame
For me it comes down to more than whether the frame is a 16/19 or 18/20 and a lot depends on how dense the 18/20 is. For me it's the mass and balance closely followed by the flex. With the string pattern if say I like the feel of a frame but find the 18/20 a little limiting in terms of power, I just lower the tension or use a softer string and all is fine.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
For me it comes down to more than whether the frame is a 16/19 or 18/20 and a lot depends on how dense the 18/20 is. For me it's the mass and balance closely followed by the flex. With the string pattern if say I like the feel of a frame but find the 18/20 a little limiting in terms of power, I just lower the tension or use a softer string and all is fine.
Good point. Strong pattern is about more than how many strings your have. The 100P has a string pattern as open as many 16X19 frames. But I think that the difference is those extra strings on the outside of the bed prevent the inner ones from moving and snapping back so I wasn’t getting as much spin. So it wasn’t so much the density there as much as the additional friction from having more strings on the edges.

If you play with poly I think you’ll get plenty of spin and control from an 18x20 pattern. But I don’t play with poly so I made a trade off.
 

Toby14

Semi-Pro
I just ordered an 18x20 Angell TC95 with the same spec as my 16x19 TC95, both V3.

I guess I need to see for myself what the difference really is between to identical frames with two different string patterns.

Cheers, Toby
 

3loudboys

Semi-Pro
I just ordered an 18x20 Angell TC95 with the same spec as my 16x19 TC95, both V3.

I guess I need to see for myself what the difference really is between to identical frames with two different string patterns.

Cheers, Toby
That is real commitment to this discussion. Nice frame btw.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
The racquets that I wanted to try came in 18x20. I've never hit with 16x18s. I have some 16x19 frames but I prefer 18x20.
 

TforTommy

Semi-Pro
I often switch between my six one 16x18 and 18x20

Love the 18x20. I've never played with 18x20s in the past but when I got the 18x20 6.1 I truly felt that I could place the ball anywhere. I always thought that when people say "I feel like I can put the ball anywhere" was a bunch of bs until I tried it. I thought the spin and such was just fine. Love it on the slice too

I currently play with the 16x18 as I have a full set of them, I find that when I do hit slice the odd time that it does float abit more then my 18x20 but that's more me then the frame. Personally I don't notice too much power difference as I typically string 5 pounds lower in the 18x20

All in all I feel like I can create my own power, I absolutely loved the 18x20 with Big Banger Original, it's my favourite setup i've tried forsure

But thats just me
 

Cashman

Professional
My view has always been that you're just hobbling your racquet and strings by using 18x20.

If 16x18 stringing doesn't give you the control you crave, then I'd suggest the first option should be to reduce your head size. Yeah, it's a bit of work to get used to the reduced sweet spot - but it means you don't have to turn your racquet into a dead fish.
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
Just a few thoughts reg. string pattern and the concept of "free power" or "pace". The two latter terms are often subject to subjective interpretation, but for argument's sake, let's try to view this in perspective of power transfer.

In golf, they often refer to the coefficient of restitution (COR). This in an index that describes how much the clubface deforms on impact with the golfball, and how much energy is transferred. The governing bodies in golf have put a limit on COR, to reduce the length of drives.

"COR" is an acronym for "Coefficient of Restitution." It's a term from the world of science and physics, but one that many golfers know because it is also used in conjunction with golf clubs. "Coefficient of restitution" is a term describing the energy transference between two objects. The coefficient of restitution of Object A is a measurement of Object A's ability to transfer energy to Object B when A and B collide.

In a golf context, Object A in that scenario is the golf club, and Object B is the thing the golf club is striking—the golf ball. Here's how COR matters in a golf club: If, say, a fairway wood or iron has a very high COR, then there is less energy loss at impact with the golf ball compared to a fairway wood or iron with a lower COR. All other things being equal, a higher COR measurement in a golf club equates to more distance.


https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-cor-1563310

When it comes to tennis, everything we do before impact is to impart energy on the ball as it leaves the racket, similar to golf. Direction and force, leads to various type of flight (ball shaping).

As I see it the concept of COR, or clubface elasticity in golf, is mirrored in the two intertwined concepts of string pattern - or more precisely string density, and string tension. Imo, they have to be considered at the same time, as their interaction dictate the racket face elasticity, or power transfer.

In tennis, as in golf, the fact that many of the hardest hitters opt for tight patterns, high tension setups or super-stiff golfshafts, is to control the power they're able to generate. It's better to be short in the middle of fairway, than long in the woods.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
My view has always been that you're just hobbling your racquet and strings by using 18x20.

If 16x18 stringing doesn't give you the control you crave, then I'd suggest the first option should be to reduce your head size. Yeah, it's a bit of work to get used to the reduced sweet spot - but it means you don't have to turn your racquet into a dead fish.
I bought a bunch of pro stocks and they just happened to come in 18x20. There aren't any retail sticks out there like these and thy just happen to play really well.

I do have some Head Pros though - 18x20 in a 65 sq inch frame. There's a lot of control in those racquets. The sweet spot, though, is the size of a dime.

My racquets are anything but dead. I need the control that the strings give me because the racquets are otherwise rocket launchers.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Would elasticity = power? Methinks so.

But whatever floats your boat.
You think wrong. But thats with a lot of people here. They think they know stuff but they dont.
That a ball goes deeper has nothing to do with power when you string at a lower tension. Its just physics. But if you think its power, I let you think that.
When I read this section of the thread, it seemed as though one of you was thinking of elasticity in terms of energy return or "trampoline effect" that produces a certain velocity on the ball. The other seemed to be thinking of elasticity in terms of string bed deformation, which factors into launch angle - how high or low the ball wants to rebound off the racquet face.

If that's what's happening there, you may actually both be right (y)
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
My typical advice to our pals here who are racquet shopping is to not rule in or rule out a certain model just because of its string pattern. I have a couple of 18x20 models in my collection as well as some 16x18's and at least one frame in my loaner bag with an ultra-open spin pattern - I think it's a 16x16 Prince.

The spectrum of frames I've tried through recent years all had their own personalities. But the performance, feel, spin, and control I found didn't seem to have any direct relation to their string patterns.

The only aspects I might expect to see with an 18x20 pattern are a little less string movement and because of that, probably a little extra durability, too. Maybe that would be a big plus if you like to play with a rather soft and relatively fragile string.

Otherwise, try to avoid any assumptions about the feel or performance of string patterns until you try that specific racquet. That's just so that you don't miss out on a diamond in the rough.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
My idea is to buy racquets on spec and then just stick with them for a very long time. I can customize them myself for various performance characteristics. I do very much like the Prestige and Radical lines but Prestiges were just easier for me to get in 2010 and 2011. The newest frame that I've tested is the RF97 which I like a lot - it has less control than my Prestiges but that's okay - it's definitely a racquet that could be my daily driver.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
In tennis, as in golf, the fact that many of the hardest hitters opt for tight patterns, high tension setups or super-stiff golfshafts, is to control the power they're able to generate. It's better to be short in the middle of fairway, than long in the woods.
I became much better at both golf and tennis when i realized they were both games of precision over power. Power without control is meaningless. Yes the best of the best have both power and control, but at lower levels many a power hitter has been dismantled by a crafty old guy with precision shots. Just as I've seen power golfers with 300 yd drives struggle to break 100 and the senior golfer that can't hit further than 200 yards shoot low 80's easily.

That's why I'm playing far better tennis these days with my 18x20 control frames. Point and shoot tennis helps me keep up with the better players. In the old days I tried to overpower people with 16x19 tweeners but found I got completely manhandled by better players that found my concept of power laughable. But by switching to a control frame, developing a wide variety of shots with different depths, bounces, trajectories and pace, I can stay in matches far better against these guys by keeping them out of rhythm.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
I became much better at both golf and tennis when i realized they were both games of precision over power. Power without control is meaningless. Yes the best of the best have both power and control, but at lower levels many a power hitter has been dismantled by a crafty old guy with precision shots. Just as I've seen power golfers with 300 yd drives struggle to break 100 and the senior golfer that can't hit further than 200 yards shoot low 80's easily.

That's why I'm playing far better tennis these days with my 18x20 control frames. Point and shoot tennis helps me keep up with the better players. In the old days I tried to overpower people with 16x19 tweeners but found I got completely manhandled by better players that found my concept of power laughable. But by switching to a control frame, developing a wide variety of shots with different depths, bounces, trajectories and pace, I can stay in matches far better against these guys by keeping them out of rhythm.
You can always add power to a stroke yourself.
 

3loudboys

Semi-Pro
Have always preferred 18x20’s back from Rad Tours through Prince Rebel, Tours and currently the 100P. For me this pattern allows for precise directional control and adequate power at lower string tensions. Spin production has never been an issue with the 18x20 with the right level of racket head speed. The control the string bed offers really assists keeping the ball in the lines when hitting out. Suits my game better as I’ll take consistency over power all day.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I played an open string pattern for the Wilson Burn100 and my so. Was on the Pro Staff 95 for a while. We both popped strings on all 6 racquets every week to 10 days. Both are back to 18x20 and get at least 3 weeks on a set. Not much sacrifice in spin and power in either of our games.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
I recall using the K90 ages ago - 16x19 on 90 square inches. It had just arrived from TW with Wilson Sensation. I think that I broke the strings in either the first or second hitting session and the strings moved all over the place. I had a lot of trouble keeping the ball in the court. This was coming from a PK Redondo Mid at 18x20. I wound up trying polys and copolys in the K90.
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
I became much better at both golf and tennis when i realized they were both games of precision over power. Power without control is meaningless. Yes the best of the best have both power and control, but at lower levels many a power hitter has been dismantled by a crafty old guy with precision shots. Just as I've seen power golfers with 300 yd drives struggle to break 100 and the senior golfer that can't hit further than 200 yards shoot low 80's easily.

That's why I'm playing far better tennis these days with my 18x20 control frames. Point and shoot tennis helps me keep up with the better players. In the old days I tried to overpower people with 16x19 tweeners but found I got completely manhandled by better players that found my concept of power laughable. But by switching to a control frame, developing a wide variety of shots with different depths, bounces, trajectories and pace, I can stay in matches far better against these guys by keeping them out of rhythm.
100%. This is a core understanding to leveraging power.

As illustrated below, a PGA tour professional is extremely more precise with his impact location, than all players with lower handicaps. Keep in mind that as better a golfer you are, the faster you swing (clear correlation), hence the more difficult it becomes to be precise on impact.

This is the main reason why golfers and tennis players should use a swing length that enables them to hit the optimal impact location consistently.

"Swinging with the arm" makes being precise on impact more difficult.
Making a too large swing might give access to more power, but makes being precise on impact more difficult, aso.

So the pros use the 18x20 to harness their power, but why does it seem to work for less accomplished players (than those on the PGA)?There seems to be a psychological phenomenon happening when you opt for a 18x20 pattern, f.inst. by playing with a Prestige MP rather than a Pure Aero: since you chosen the tool for precision, you're not going to ask your body mechanics to go full Thiem on every shot as you might do with the PA.

At least I see this a lot when facing senior players. Some have reconciled with the fact that they're not going to blow anyone of the court, and this acknowledgment often lets them play freely and smoothly, leveraging the opponents pace aso.



From http://www.golfwrx.com/167927/impact-location-by-handicap/

Ps. If you're interested visit the article to look at all the different skill levels and their impact location.

PGA Tour professional impact location (10 shots):



30 handicap (perhaps NTRP 2.5-3.0)



10 handicap (perhaps NTRP 4.5)

 
Last edited:

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
100%. This is a core understanding to leveraging power.

As illustrated below, a PGA tour professional is extremely more precise with his impact location, than all players with lower handicaps. Keep in mind that as better a golfer you are, the faster you swing (clear correlation), hence the more difficult it becomes to be precise on impact.

This is the main reason why golfers and tennis players should use a swing length that enables them to hit the optimal impact location consistently.

"Swinging with the arm" makes being precise on impact more difficult.
Making a too large swing might give access to more power, but makes being precise on impact more difficult, aso.

So the pros use the 18x20 to harness their power, but why does it seem to work for less accomplished players (than those on the PGA)?There seems to be a psychological phenomenon happening when you opt for a 18x20 pattern, f.inst. by playing with a Prestige MP rather than a Pure Aero: since you chosen the tool for precision, you're not going to ask your body mechanics to go full Thiem on every shot as you might do with the PA.

At least I see this a lot when facing senior players. Some have reconciled with the fact that they're not going to blow anyone of the court, and this acknowledgment often lets them play freely and smoothly, leveraging the opponents pace aso.
I find that most older players are using more powerful racquets these days. They have the ability to hit it hard or soft along with throwing junk at you or moving you around a lot. I find fewer using something like a Prestige or heavy Wilson frame. This makes sense as this is where the racquet market has moved to. Some of these players still take a good swing but they don't have to work as hard. I have seen a number of older players move to Pure Drives in the last couple of years.

My approach is to use an XL frame with a lot of lead on my Prestiges and this makes them very powerful so I need the strings at 52 to maintain control. I think that 53 would be better but I worry about arm issues if I increase tension. So 52 is a happy medium for me between power and control. When the strings loosen up to a certain degree, typically after about 8 hours, I hit more balls over the line and then grab another stick.

Using old-school frames doesn't imply that they are wimpy - even for amateurs.
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
I find that most older players are using more powerful racquets these days.

Using old-school frames doesn't imply that they are wimpy - even for amateurs.
It depends at what age you're deemed older player :-D
I agree most players over 60 use bigger sticks.

I find there are two type of old-school frame users that I see or play against: those who can bring the mustard and want to reign it in, and those who opt for control and touch. The first category contains young and older players, where the older players most often are former top players, ime.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
It depends at what age you're deemed older player :-D
I agree most players over 60 use bigger sticks.

I find there are two type of old-school frame users that I see or play against: those who can bring the mustard and want to reign it in, and those who opt for control and touch. The first category contains young and older players, where the older players most often are former top players, ime.
I've seen both categories of older players going to more powerful sticks from players frames. I don't see a lot of older guys using Prestiges or other old-school frames. Actually I see very few players of any age using Prestiges. I'd say that Babolat is the most popular brand that I see.
 
In the old days I tried to overpower people with 16x19 tweeners but found I got completely manhandled by better players that found my concept of power laughable. But by switching to a control frame, developing a wide variety of shots with different depths, bounces, trajectories and pace, I can stay in matches far better against these guys by keeping them out of rhythm.
Pushing and junking wins at ALL levels.
I am on the same path.
The biggest step forward is learning not to crush the ball.
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
I've seen both categories of older players going to more powerful sticks from players frames. I don't see a lot of older guys using Prestiges or other old-school frames. Actually I see very few players of any age using Prestiges. I'd say that Babolat is the most popular brand that I see.
That migh very well be true on a more general, global level, however things are a little different where I play.

I played a match against a guy my age the other day (mid 40s), and he used three PS85. No big weapons though; mid pace, touch and control. I've played against 40+ that were using classic 6.1 95, PT600, quite a few IG Mid and MP, some Dunlops I can't recall the model, aso. About 50/50 big hitters (flat) + serve and volley, and touch and control players. It probably also has something to do with the type of frame you used growing up. F.inst. the PS85s were reissues, but the the 6.1 95 classics were originals (ame goes of course for the PT600).

I almost never see anyone under 40 using a Prestige type of frame though, and no one over 40 that begun playing tennis at an older age.

But back to the OT:

Ime, 18x20 promotes precision, control and variation in point construction. I often wonder why so few train these skills, especially practicing/warming up within the service box (mini tennis) with various types of rules/games to enhance touch and feel.
 
What is a "Prestige type of frame" ?
RA 60-65 medium?
Most youngs use stiff power rackets?

I hit with a 20-something yesterday who uses a Yonex.
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
What is a "Prestige type of frame" ?
RA 60-65 medium?
Most youngs use stiff power rackets?

I hit with a 20-something yesterday who uses a Yonex.
Prestige-like mold
Headsize < 95 sq in (arguably also some 98 and 97)
Beam width < 22 mm, more or less constant taper
RA < 65
HL balance
 
Top