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Play Like a Girl…Part Deux

If you read “Play Like a Girl,” you will have a good idea where this is headed!  This part is intended to make it possible for you to experiment without feeling “forced” so it is based on “numbers” not “feelings.”  Of course, feel is relevant to tennis players.

Two events this week make it easy to compare numbers and feeling.

  1.  A racquet came in from a tournament playing junior that had the good fortune of picking up a competitors racquet and recognize the difference immediately and wanted to try it.  His racquet is a Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 with a swing weight of 302!  The racquet he picked up has a swing weight of 341!  His revised swing weight is 325.
  2. A really good young lady is switching racquets and string setup, so there is a four (4) inch strip of 1/4″ tape on the inside of each side of the string bed in the 3 and nine o’clock position — total weight of about 5 grams, for a swing weight of 321.  During a training session, a coach said the racquet was too heavy and removed about 2 inches total of tape, maybe 1.5 grams, and everything was fine!  This player is strong enough to play with a 335 swing weight so was this a “visual” suggestion, and the process of removing tape convinced the payer that the racquet was now much lighter?

In case you don’t remember there are 28.35 grams per ounce.  So you can see that 1.5 grams is quite small!

Did you know that a dry overgrip is about 5 grams and a wet over grip can be as much as 12 grams?  The location of an overgrip (under your hand) has virtually no effect on swing weight so it generally goes unnoticed.

Unless agreed upon in advance most weight can be removed or re-located so don’t fear your friend…weight!

 

Play Like a Girl!

Yes, I mean it!

Keep reading to see why I suggest you “play like a girl.”

About a year ago, a little girl, Meera, about 12 years old, came into the World Headquarters to demo a few racquets.  She was committed to getting better and wanted a racquet that would help her.

After a few demos, she selected the Head Graphene Touch Radical Pro.  During the discussion of how we were going to set up these new racquets, I mentioned the Head Pro Cap System that is compatible with this model.

If you are not familiar with the “cap” system, it is the plastic parts that fit over the head of the racquet to protect the string.  All racquets have a grommet set, but the “cap” system encloses the string as it is installed therefore is more substantial than the standard grommet set.  The racquet on the left has the “cap” system.

Head Pro Cap System

She purchased two (2) Head Graphene Touch Radical Pro, one with and one without the cap system.

So, other than doing a great job of protecting string it also provides additional inertia, or momentum, that blasts the racquet through the incoming tennis ball!

This momentum creates stability, and a stable racquet will be more powerful and controllable!

But wait, what about all that additional weight?  That is the question we hear anytime we suggest adding weight to a racquet.

Weight is your friend!  Every player is different so matching the racquet to the physical capabilities is critical!

It was so much of a friend to Meera that she quickly came in to have the second Head Graphene Touch Radical Pro fitted with the “cap” system and both racquets fitted with a Head Leather grip!  The leather grip adds about 10 grams to the rear end of the racquet.

So, what are the specifications of this racquet that is being used successfully by a 12-year-old girl?

Take a look at these then tell me you can’t use a “heavier” racquet:

Weight:                               360 grams   (12.7 ounces)

SwingWeight:                    344 Kg/cm² (12.1 ounces)

Points Head Light:            8.03…yes, still very much headlight!

Torsional Stability:            22…very good!

Power:                                2216.6

Recoil Weight:                   176.9

Twist Weight:                    246.9

*Ereca End Weight:          153.0

*Ereca Tip Weight:           207.0

*Ereca is a French company that designs and manufactures racquet diagnostic equipment.

Do yourself a favor and Play Lkie a Girl!

There is more to this story so keep checking back, and, if you have questions please click on “Ask John” above or respond to this post and I will try to answer them.

By The Numbers

Here we go with this numbers thing, again! 

Our Racquet reviews are a bunch of numbers, but what do these numbers mean to you?

We have put together this table with a brief explanation of how each number can be used by you to understand how that property can be helpful.

If you see terms such as typical or normal, ignore them! With tennis players, there is no such thing as “typical and normal”!

If you need to be convinced, take a look at a previous post!

Please let us know if there is a number that needs more clarification or a number we are missing!

ManufacturerYonexWhat it Means
Racquet ModelYonex VCore Pro 97 HDRacquet being reviewed.
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kgStringing machine tension setting. Not, necessarily, the string bed stiffness.
String
Ashaway MonoGut ZX ProString brand name and gauge (Pro being 17Gauge)
Machine UsedTrue Tension ProfessionalStringing machine used.
Static
ASPS, RDC56The stiffness of all the strings as a unit. Normally between 30 and 65.
ASPS, FlexFour64.5The stiffness of the string bed as tested on this device.
Racquet Flex, RDC57 - After stringing50 is low (flexible) and 70 is high (very stiff). Clash 100 is 52 on this device. As is a Head Speed model.
Racquet Flex, FlexFour5035 is low (flexible) 70 is high (very stiff). Clash 100 is 26 on this device.
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness353.8 lbs/InchThis is how stiff the racquet head is across the middle. 300 is soft and 500 is very stiff. This affects the string bed stiffness.
Weight, Grams336285 is light and 360 is heavy.
315 is minimum target weight for performance.
Weight, Ounces11.85

The racquet weight in ounces, typically used in US.
Balance, mm322This is the center of gravity from the butt cap. If you put the racquet on a round rod this would be how much is hanging toward the butt cap.
Balance, Inch12.68This is the CG in ounces for US. Points head heavy or head light is part of this.
Length, Cm68.5This is the total length of the racquet and is the typical standard adult length.
Length, Inch26.968This is length in inches for the US.
Head Width, Inches9.57The inside width of the hitting area.
Head Length, Inches 12.54The inside length of the hitting area.
Head Area, cm2625.8The advertised hitting area in centimeters squared.
Head Area, Sq. Inch97.0The advertised hitting area in inches squared.
Number of Main Strings18The main strings are the vertical strings when looking at a standing racquet. Typically the longest strings.
Number of Cross Strings20The cross strings are the horizontal strings when looking at a standing
racquet. Typically shorter.
Ratio Cross/Mains.687The natural ratio of the string pattern (calculated).
Main String Grid7.25The total distance between right and left main string.
Cross String Grid10.18
The total distance between the first cross string and the last cross string.
Density (% of head filled with string).783
Average Cross String Space.509The higher this number the more the string will move. This number is used to help select the best string setup.
Average Main String Space.403The higher this number the more the string will move. This number is used to help select the best string setup.
Dynamic
Properties of a moving racquet.
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37This is the stiffness of a string bed in kilograms per centimeter based on a frequency.
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.94This is the above converted to pounds per inch.
First Moment, Nm.831This is how heavy the racquet feels in the hand. The higher the number the heavier the racquet will feel.
Polar Moment340This is the resistance to rotating about the center of the racquet on, say a mimes-hit. The higher the better.
Torsional Stability16This is the derived stability number. The higher the better within reason. Anything below 14 would need some help.
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2324This is the "inertia" of the racquet and probably the most important number in the review! The higher the number the more momentum through the ball but less manueverability.
Swing Weight, Ounces11.43
Swing Weight Calculated348.4This number will be larger than the previous swing weight because it is calculated from the very end of the racquet as if there is no one holding it. A very important number.
Power, RDC42
Control, RDC59
Manueverability, RDC71
Power, Calculated 1740.5This number is calculated based on racquet properties.
Head Points6.46 (negative = head heavy)This number is how positive or negative the balance is. A "point" is ⅛ of an inch so this racquet is a little over ¾ of an inch head light.
Head Weight, %47.0%
Center of Percussion21.0This is the spot on the string bed that returns a solid hit.
Dwell Time, ms8.50This is how long the ball and string are in contact with no swing. A big swing will reduce this number by about half.
Efective Stiffness - lbs28.2This number is calculated from the string bed stiffness and the racquet stiffness. Anything under 30 will be "soft" feeling and over 35 will be "harsh".
K, Lb/In179.5
Recoil Weight160.8This number is the racquets resistance to rotating backward. The higher the number the better for volleys.
Twist Weight230.8This is the racquets resistance to twisting in your hand. The higher the better.
End Weight 139.8This weight is used to calculate the precise balance of the racquet.
Tip Weight 196.2This weight is used to calculate the precise balance of the racquet.
9 O'Clock100.4
This is the weight of that position on the racquet head and is used for precise customization.
3 O'Clock99.6This is the weight of that position on the racquet head and is used for precise customization.
Butt Cap135.6This is the weight of that position on the racquet and is used for precise customization.

 

 

Congratulations Sophie!

A huge congratulations go out to Sophie Williams for her terrific run at the recent Easter Bowl in Indian Wells, Ca.!

Sophie played the finals against the number 3 seed Elena Yu…

Having the experience of making the Girls’ 12s final last year, Eleana Yu of Mason, Ohio, said she only had to fight a moderate case of nerves as the No. 3 seed won the Girls’ 14s USTA gold ball and her first Adidas Easter Bowl national title with a 6-1, 6-0 win over No. 7-seeded Sophia Williams of Charleston, S.C.

“Having been in the final before really did help,” said the 13-year-old Yu. “I did feel a little nervous at the start, but once I found my rhythm it was fine and I just felt really confident. I think my opponent was more nervous, but the match was definitely closer than the score indicated.”

Sophie’s great result at the Easter Bowl continues her recent extraordinary results at tournaments around the country.  Below is Sophie holding the first place trophy of a previous tournament.

Sophie, the Winner!

Sophie, the Winner, again!

 

If you have been to Racquet Quest in the past several years, you have probably seen some of Sophie’s forty-five (45) racquets either in “process” or being prepared to ship to her.  Sophie is left-handed, so all the leather grips and overgrip is wrapped left-handed, and each racquet is “sequenced”.  All of the racquets are “matched.” so the only thing that is different is the string bed stiffness (SBS).

Even racquets that are done on the same day may have slightly different string bed stiffness numbers due to the time between racquet number one and racquet number eight.  Sequencing indicates in what order the racquets can be used.

That may seem like a lot of racquets, but if you play as many tournaments as Sophie you need a few!

When Sophie is in town, she is either at the USTA Center or training with Robert Kendrick at the Winter Park Racquet Club.

Congratulations, Sophie!

 

 

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