The swingweight of a racquet is a measurement of how heavy a racquet feels when you swing it. The swingweight is a combination of the racquet´s static weight and the balance of the racquet. A racquet that is more head heavy will have a higher swingweight compared to a racquet that has a head light balance. Even though these 2 racquets might have the exact same static weight, the head heavy racquet will feel heavier when you hold it and when you are striking the ball, because the swingweight is higher.
More advanced players mostly prefer higher swingweights because it helps them to redirect the power of big hitting opponents. Beginner and intermediate players prefer a lower swingweight just because it´s easier for them to get the racquet moving fast enough to get it into the right place at the right time. It will be easier for them to generate swing speed to get the ball to go where they want it to go.
So how does the swingweight of a racquet affect your game?
The 2 things that the swingweight of a racquet will affect is the power and the stability of the racquet.
A racquet with a lower swingweight will twist more at the moment of contacting the ball while a racquet with a higher swingweight will be able to plow through the ball more at contact. A racquet with a lower swingweight will twist more at the moment of contacting the ball resulting in losing power. When the swingweight of a racquet increases, the power increases.
Racquets with a lower swing weight will feel more maneuvarable compared to a heavier one. Maneuverability will be an advantage for quick reflex volleys at the net, but a disadvantage for power on groundstrokes. This is because as the racquet moves more at contact, you will lose power.
With stability we mean how much a racquet moves at the moment of contact with the ball. Stability will be an advantage for power and control, but will be a disadvantage for producing racket head speed. Racket head speed is a key factor in creating top spin.
Racquets with a lower swingweight will feel more maneuverable because the racquet will be more head light balanced, having the weight of the racquet more centered towards your own hand.
Low swingweight = 305 and below (Manueverable, suitible for beginners)
Medium swingweight = 310 to 325 (Moderate maneuverability and stability, suitible for all ability levels, but ideal for intermediates)
High Swingweight = 325 and above (Very stable, more suitable for advanced players.
So how can you change the swingweight of your racquet?
You can change the swingweight of a racquet basically just by adding weight to the racquet. Adding weight to your racquet can be done by either adding lead tape to your racquet or by putting silicone into your racquet handle. Lead tape can be added anywhere on your racquet to add weight, but the location of where you put the lead tape will affect the swing weight and performance of the racquet.
Adding lead tape under the grip will just like the silicone in the handle increase the static weight of the racquet but won´t do much to the swingweight. However, adding lead tape to the top of your racquet doesn´t only change the static weight of the racquet but also the swingweight will go up.
If you want to change the swingweight of your existing racquet you will need to customize your racquet as said before. This is not very difficult to do yourself but it´s important to understand what you want to happen to your racquet and how to achieve that.
It´s also possible to let a real pro customize your racquet, as professional as it gets :). The racquet customizer will listen to what you want out of your racquet, or even watch you playing and he will understand exactly what needs to happen to your racquet to make it the racquet of your dreams
A very well respected shop around racquet customization is based in Germany, www.ringroll.de
Want to know more about how to choose your perfect racquet? Click HERE