It seems like I am talking about where things have gone a lot recently but it is important, I think, to recognize what differences disappearing things make!
The mention of Swing Weight (inertia) causes many reactions from “who cares” to it “is the most important thing about my racquet”! So to be clear swing weight is the most important dynamic characteristic of a racquet while leading up to contact with the ball.
OK, that is out of the way but what contributes to swing weight? The weight distribution of a racquet determines swing weight and it can be changed (increased) by adding weight strategically on the racquet. The best possible use of added weight occurs around the mid point of the racquet face. This is sort of 3 and 9 o’clock. Obviously adding weight to the very tip of the racquet will add more swing weight with less overall weight but this location does not have the benefit of added torsional stability.
Here is the genesis of this post: I received four (4) racquets from a manufacturer to put together for a client. This includes cutting to length installing pallets, butt cap, grip, and any other customization that is required. Before I do anything I take data from each racquet in the “raw” form.
In this particular case there was a slight variation in swing weight. That is not an issue but what happens next is. I will be very brief.
Three (3) of the four (4) racquets had a Poly/Gut (1.27mm and 1.30mm) hybrid format and the third had a all polyester format. The all polyester format was 1.11mm! Very thin string, hence, disappearing weight. So, you know what is coming now…the swing weight of this racquet was much lower than the others.
So, you can have several racquets in your bag but unless they are strung with very similar string the swing weight may be different. Most players can feel the difference in a few units so it helps to know “where did my swing weight go?”
I always match the racquets. If the player switches to a different string modify the swing weight suit it!