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Racquet Customisation


The probability that any racquet manufacturer produces a racquet that exactly matches your playing style is essentially zero. For this reason, most serious players and practically all touring pros play with some sort of customised racquet. 


More and more, we are finding that recreational players benefit as much , if not more than touring pros from this “tweaking” of their racquets. Whether it is to improve performance or help alleviate injury, there is no reason why you should not look into customisation. 


Normal wear and tear on tennis racquets causes the plastic guard that covers the top of the racquet to wear down. This is known as the 'bumper guard'. The racquet also contains several grommets that guide the string through the frame, and protect the strings from sharp edges in the frame. These occasionally need to be replaced as they wear down and crack. These can be replaced as an entire set on the frame. The prices are different for each racquet and I do not keep these on hand. If you feel your racquet may need this, be sure to give me enough time to order them for you. (One week is usually ok, but in some older/rarer frames, replacements can be more difficult to find.)



What is racquet cloning & customisation? 



Racquet customisation can range from matching two or more racquets to the same specifications (cloning), increasing overall weight, increasing overall length, changing balance, improving torsional stability, to counter - balancing and changing the racquet’s sweet spot. All level of players are discovering the benefits in customising their racquets. 


By increasing the weight of the racquet, increases the amount of power the frame will yield. Also, depending on where you place the tape, you can change the location and dimensions of the racquet's sweet spot to better suit your swing. This will reduce vibration and the frame won't twist as much when you miss the sweet spot.


Additionally, when you add weight to the tennis racquet, you will change its swing weight. The further away from the handle you place the weights the more the swing weight will increase. This can be a double-edged sword. As the swing weight increases, the frame will become more powerful, but it will also become more difficult to generate racquet-head speed.



Here are the basic locations to place lead tape.


(1 inch of 1/2 inch wide lead tape weighs .5 grams, while 1 inch of 1/4 inch lead tape weighs .25 grams)



12 O'Clock


Get ready for a power surge. If you are having difficulty hitting the ball deep on the tennis court this could be your solution. Enough weight will turn your pea shooter into a bazooka, but watch out, you'll be sacrificing maneuverability, which could spell disaster for your volleys. Also, the sweet spot will shift towards the top of the frame.



10 O'Clock and 2 O'Clock 


If your looking to make your tennis racquet more stable, especially on balls hit near the top of the frame, this adjustment should do the trick. By stretching the sweet spot towards the upper edges of the frame the weight will allow the racquet to stay firm in your hands even when you don't make contact in the center of the string bed. Expect a slight increase in power and a considerable drop off in maneuverability.



3 O'Clock and 9 O'Clock 


Other than the increase in swing weight, it's all upside for this tennis racquet lead tape configuration. You'll have more power and a substantially wider sweet spot. Although adding weight at 3 and 9 O'Clock will effect the twist weight of the frame. 






6 O'Clock


Expect greater stability with just a smidgen more power and a slight sacrifice in racquet maneuverability. If you tend to make contact close to the throat of the racquet, this will pull the sweet spot down towards that area.



Handle


Net rushers rejoice! By adding a little weight at the tennis racquet handle you might just find the extra help you need to put that devastating touch on your volleys. Best of all, there will be no change in swing weight or maneuverability.