Tennis EquipmentTennis Racquets

Extended Length Tennis Rackets

Do long body tennis rackets have any advantages? Who uses them?

Over recent weeks I've been reviewing the new Wilson Blade v8 range of rackets, which includes the Blade 104 v8.

The Blade 104 v8 is an oversized 104 square inch racquet, and it's also extended in length compared to most tennis racquets on the market. 

In this case, it's 27.5 inches in length (69.85cm), whereas the standard length of a tennis racket is 27 inches (68.58cm).

This was the first time I've used a longer racquet, but what is the reason for that extra half an inch? Does it help your game or hinder it? Would I switch to it?

This post will explain everything you need to know about extended length tennis racquets.

What is an Extended Length Racket?

measuring tape

An extended tennis racquet is self-explanatory. It's a tennis racquet that's longer than the standard 27-inch racquet.

The extra length is added to the handle, and they typically come in at 27.25 inches, 27.5 inches, and 28 inches in size. 

The extra length is either part of the manufacturing process like the Yonex EZONE 98+.

Or a standard 27-inch racquet is customised by a racquet technician by adding length to the grip and then reinstalling the butt cap.

What are the Advantages of an Extended Racket?

federer serve reach

An extended length racquet has several advantages. One of the biggest is that it gives you extra reach on the serve, the return of serve, overheads, on double-handed strokes and up at the net.

By making contact with the ball higher up on serve, you can achieve a higher margin of error and produce more ball speed, which is why Michael Chang opted for a 28-inch frame.

With the racquet being extended, the swing weight of the frame increases, which also gives you increased power potential.

That means you can use a more flexible frame and gain more controlled power rather than obtain it via a higher stiffness standard length racquet.

Other advantages include:

  • More stability against heavy topspin balls
  • A higher swing weight without an increase in static weight
  • A higher recoil weight, so potentially more arm friendly

What about Disadvantages?

racquet maneuverability

With a list of advantages so long, why aren't 28-inch racquets the standard size everyone uses?

Like everything in tennis, there's a trade-off, and by extending the racquet, you sacrifice manoeuvrability. The racquet becomes harder to swing and slower through the air.

Adding 0.25 inches to a standard length frame adds about ten swing weight points to a racquet, although this can vary.

For example, a Babolat Pure Drive has a swing weight of 320 kg/m2, whereas the Babolat Pure Drive Plus, which is just 1/2 an inch longer, has a swing weight of 324 kg/m2.

This is still quite a big difference even though they are identical racquets and have the same static weight.

The other disadvantage is that getting used to an extended racquet, finding the sweet spot, getting your spacing between your body and the ball, etc., takes some adjustment. 

I found the Blade 104 v8 different to play with, especially on the backhand, as I'm using a one-hander, so it will take some recalibration to play well with.

That's why I think the most significant disadvantage for most players is that it takes quite a while to get used to. Whereas some players might instantly click, others will not.

Who Should use an Extended Racket?

monfils h19

There is no set formula for who should use an extended racquet as we see players of all game styles using them, from the 5ft 7″ Schwartzman to the 6ft 3″ Gael Monfils.

As with most things tennis racquets, it is a matter of personal preference. 

In general, I think long-bodied racquets are more suited to experienced intermediate and advanced players with fully developed strokes.

Extended racquets generally have a higher swing weight, so you need good (early) preparation and solid stroke mechanics to adjust for spacing and timing.

If you are a player who likes weight and often adds lead to a racquet, then a Blade 98 with 6 – 8 grams of lead at 12 o'clock will be just as easy/difficult to swing as an extended 27.5 inch Blade 98, so for you, that extra length could be a good thing.

Usually, I'd recommend demoing a racquet, but to get to grips with an extended frame, you'll need to use it for an extended period.

Hence, a long term demo or temporarily adjusting a standard racquet which I explain below, is one solution.

What about new players? Should they start with a 28-inch frame? Maybe, it depends on their natural abilities and how they intend to play. I'd recommend asking a coach after one or two lessons, and they should be able to advise you on the way forward to get the best out of your game.

Can You Extend a Standard Length Racket?

racquet end cap

Yes, you can. Several DIY methods are available on youtube showing how this can be done using balsa wood and epoxy glue.

There is also a dedicated product called the XTP Extended Length Butt Cap, a piece of plastic that slips over the end of your racquet and replaces the existing butt cap.

I haven't tried this product, but it looks like the easiest and most cost-effective way.

Just be aware that it will add a little thickness to the bottom of your grip.

You could file some of your grip away to get a more flush fit, although I'd recommend testing it first without a permanent type install. That way, you can switch back if you do not like it.

You can see an example of the XTP heat fit process below:

What is the Best Extended Racket?

babolat pure drive plus

BABOLAT PURE DRIVE PLUS 2021

If you've read my other posts here, you'll know that there's no such thing as the best tennis racquet

That is no different for extended racquets, and the best racquet is the one that suits your game.

Is it the Pure Drive Plus due to its playability? Or is it the EZONE 98+ thanks to its plough through?

The only way you'll know that is by finding a racquet that has specs that match your preferences, ability and playing style. 

The best racquet for you is always the heaviest racquet you can swing equally fast on all planes of contact for the duration you intend to play for.

The good news is that, unlike the racquet market as a whole, extended frames are more of a niche product, and manufacturers typically only have one or two in their range, which makes choosing slightly easier.

Some of the most popular extended frames on the market right now include:

Which Professional Players Use Extended Rackets?

michael chang racquet

Extended length racquets first gained popularity when Michael Chang started using the 28-inch Precision Graphite Michael Chang in the early 1990s.

It gives me better trajectory on my serve, adding five to seven miles per hour. It gives me more of a margin of error on my serve and a better percentage on my first serves. I've had more aces than ever before Michael Chang on his Prince Longbody Racket

At the time, that caused Prince, Dunlop, Wilson, Weed and Spalding to rush into the extended racquet market, launching 28-inch, 28 1/4-inch, 28 1/2-inch and 29-inch long bodies as they saw it as a way to boost sales in a market that was flatlining.

However, the fanfare around long-bodied racquets was relatively short-lived. As of 2021, the vast majority of the racquets produced are the standard 27-inch racquets, with only a handful of extended racquets available.

So does that mean not many ATP or WTA players use them? It's the opposite, as they've decreased in retail sale numbers, at the professional level there's a significant number of professionals using them.

At the time of writing, somewhere between 10-20% of pros use extended racquets.

Check out the list below that contains both active and retired players, all of whom have used an extended racquet in their careers.

Most of them have used an extended racquet throughout their careers. Whereas some switched, Hewitt used a Prince long body but later changed to a standard 27″ Yonex racquet.

Player Racket Length
Albert Costa 28 inches
Albert Ramos 27.5 inches
Andy Roddick 27.5 inches
Benoit Paire 27.5 inches
Bernard Tomic 27.5 inches
Bob Bryan 27.5 inches
Caroline Wozniacki 27.5 inches
Daniel Hantuchova 27.5 inches
David Ferrer 27.5 inches
David Nalbandian 27.5 inches
Diego Schwartzman 28 inches
Edouard Roger Vasselin 27.5 inches
Elina Svitolina 27.5 inches
Eugenie Bouchard 27.5 inches
Evgeny Donskoy 27.5 inches
Fabrice Santoro 28 inches
Fernando González 27.5 inches
Gaël Monfils 27.5 inches
Goran Ivanisevic 27.5 inches
Guillermo Coria 28 inches
Hsieh Su-wei  29 inches
Igor Andreev 27.5 inches
Jamie Murray 27.5 inches
Jarkko Nieminen 27.8 inches
Jelena Ostapenko 27.5 inches
John Isner 27.4 inches
Jonah Bjorkman 27.5 inches
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 27.5 inches
Juan C. Ferrero 28 inches
Juan Martín Del Potro 27.25 inches
Julien Benneteau 27.5 inches
Jurgen Melzer 27.7 inches
Justine Henin 27.5 inches
Kei Nishikori 27.25 inches
Leighton Hewitt 28 inches
Li Na 27.5 inches
Marcelo Rios 28 inches
Marcin Matkowski 27.5 inches
Mardy Fish 27.5 inches
Maria Kirilenko 27.5 inches
Marion Bartoli 29 inches
Michael Chang 28 inches
Mike Bryan 27.5 inches
Nicolas Kiefer 28 inches
Nicolas Massu 27.5 inches
Nikolaj Davydenko 28 inches
Novak Djokovic 27.1 inches
Olivier Rochus 27.5 inches
Pablo Andujar 27.5 inches
Pablo Cuevas 27.5 inches
Paradorn Srichaphan 27.5 inches
Philipp Kohlschreiber 27.5 inches
Qiang Wang 27.5 inches
Raemon Sluiter 27.5 inches
Richard Gasquet 27.5 inches
Richard Krajicek 27.5 inches
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 27.5 inches
Sam Querrey 27.5 inches
Sebastien Grosjean 27.75 inches
Serena Williams 28 inches
Thanasi Kokkinakis 27.5 inches
Tommy Robredo 27.5 inches
Venus Williams 27.5 inches
Xavier Malisse 28 inches

For additions to this list and any corrections, please leave a comment below.

Other Common Questions

schwartzman

Are extended racquets mainly for short people?

One misconception I've seen, primarily because Diego Schwartzman uses a long body racquet, is that they are designed mainly for shorter stature players.

While it's true that several shorter players have used them, they work equally well for taller players. As I mentioned, both Roddick and Ivanisevic used extended frames.

The tallest player I know of who uses them is Nikola Aracic, who runs the Intuitive Tennis Channel. He's 195cm and uses an extended Babolat Pure Drive which he's discussed his reasons for using in several videos.

Does he need extra reach? Not at all, but that's the frame he uses, and it helps him produce an ATP quality serve.

Is there a limit on how long a tennis racquet can be?

Yes, the maximum legal length of a tennis racquet is 29 inches.

This is from the ITF rulebook, which states: “any racket that exceeds 29 inches (73.66 cm) in overall length, including the handle, is non-conforming.”

The rule to limit racket length became an official Rule of Tennis on 1 January 2000.

Why are racquets 27 inches as standard?

There doesn't seem to be any real rhyme or reason why 27 inches is the accepted standard length for a racquet. 

It is likely through trial and error that this length frame became the optimum for most players.

One explanation that has some logic is that the first racquets made were 27 inches in length and 9 inches in width, equal to the net's height, which is 3 feet (or 36 inches). When a player stood one racquet on end and the other on its side, you could verify the net's height.

Have you used an extended length tennis racquet? Got some opinions you'd like to share on using them? Or have questions about long-bodied frames? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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51 Comments

  1. What about juniors,? Is it not so, your first “adult” racket, with which you start to train regularly, will be always your preferred one, in terms of length, swingweight a.s.o.?
    I don’t know what was Federer’s first racket (as a junior) but how long did he play with Wilson 90″, while everyone was playing 95-98″?
    I have experimented a lot with rackets (lead tape, extra light frame, extra large head, even double strung Blackburn, but it always quickly ended with coming back to the classics – first Wilson HyperHammer, then Dunlop M-Fil 3Hundred and finally Babolat Pure Strike. Maybe it’s only my individual specs 😉

    1. Yes, well maybe not the first adult racquet but most pro players stick with the racquet that they were using when they broke through onto the tour with which is around 16/17 for a lot of them. Some do change of course, Thiem decided to use the new generation Pure Strike over the old one.

      Fed used a Pro Staff 85 until the early 2000s, then switched to the Pro Staff 90 until 2014 and has used RF97 since then.

      1. 85 was probably standard in early 2000s, no? But then Fed used 90 for the most of his very long prime time. 97 was unavoidable because of the power revolution in the game. I remember the view of Fed playing 90 against some of power players and the frame was flattering, bot able to absorb the power of the coming ball (if I understand it correctly).
        TBH – I don’t know, what are crusial differences between Thiem’s old and new Pure Strike, do you?

      2. Could have new Pure Strike to do with his wrist problems? Did he change it just when deeply changing his hard court game?

      3. Re Thiem’s racket – can we ever rely on what they officially say about the gear? Thiem’s current 3rd gen could be still the same but with third gen design (for marketing). Is it not so with all top players? They can’t change really a racket every year but manufacturers need to sell new rackets en masse to fans and hobby players. I guess, nobody will tell all his/her secrets about customized rackets or about playing the same racket since 10 years 😉

      4. Different mould and no X-Sider grooves … hmmm, this still tells nothing about the real specs of the customized racket, right? It’s still something about how the racket looks like. A bite more than painting, not much, right?
        Can’t you have a different mould and still the same crucial specs? Can’t the manufacturer change the mould and some other visible details, but still give the racket specs the player wishes?

      5. You can tell from the pictures the racquet is a 3rd Gen Pure Strike. He basically has the retail frame we can all buy that has been lightly customised. The Pure Strike was in effect designed for him so this makes sense.

        I posted Thiem’s specs on the blog post about his frame, posted by Babolat, and verified by those who have strung for him at tournaments.

      6. Thanks, Jonathan. I didn’t know, Pure Strike was designed just for Thiem. Just found via Google, that Pure Strike was first released in 2014 and not for Thiem, but for Tsona. Then in 2015 Thiem switched from Head to Pure Strike and is since than the main ambassador for the brand.
        I can recall IThiem working with Babolat guys on this racket during off-season on Tenerife, but this was lDecember 2017.

  2. An idea 😉 Everyone should play with a racket’s length inversely proportional to body height. So everyone staying with the arm upright and holding the racket at it’s same place, should be level 😉
    50 inch racket for Diego, 10 inch racket for Isner 😉
    The starting point (default) would be Fed’s racket 🙂 – for ever!

  3. hi Jonathan,

    I’ve read all over your site and am thankful for all the knowledge you provide. (I’ve also commented on an older post today, but realized I didn’t include enough info)

    Could you recommend a tennis racquet for an advanced player;

    I am 6ft, and play quite aggressively, I prefer to play behind the baseline, and am a professional athlete (not a tennis player) so I am well-conditioned.

    I have a Wilson Six.One Tour and Babolat Aero Pro Drive racket from around 7 years ago now, and want to upgrade I don’t have a budget. I would also like a string recommendation for the racquet you recommend 🙂

    Thank you

    Mark

    1. Hi,

      Thanks.

      Can you demo some racquets?

      A Wilson Six.One Tour and Aero Pro Drive are quite different. Which one do you prefer playing with and why?

      Then I can make some recommendations.

      Strings – what do you string with currently?

      Cheers.

      1. Hi Jonathan,

        Thank you for your response!

        I prefer the Aero Pro Drive as the racquet head is 100 vs the 90 on the Wilson. But I’d argue that the Wilson fits my style more, I get really flat, deep shots with the Wilson, whereas I have to put more effort into my swing with the Aero to receive the same result.

        I string with RPM Blast at 52-55 lbs. But haven’t restrung in years and have no idea of the current market.

        I used to have Andy Murray’s racquet, I forget the name now, (it was orange), and that also helped with my depth in court.

        I’m really looking for a racquet that compliments my ability to create extremely fast shots, that has always been my strength I guess comparatively Nick Kyrios would be a good example. It goes without saying that I am not on that level.

        Thanks for your help again!

        M

      2. Ok thanks for the info.

        First off, the RPM Blast will be absolutely dead if you have had it in for years. I’d get a fresh restring in if you are currently playing with it, will make a world of difference.

        Can you demo some frames?

        I guess somewhere in the middle between a Six.One 90 and an Aero Pro Drive could work for you then. Something more forgiving than a 90 sq” but not as whippy/spin orientated as an Aero Pro Drive and you have plenty of choices, I’d recommend demoing a handful as it’s never one size fits all.

        Pro Staff 97, Blade 98 v8, Ezone 98, Vcore 100, Head Gravity Pro 2021, Pure Drive 2021, Clash 100.

        All of those racquets can work well for a fast arm type player with decent stroke mechanics…

        You might be able to rule some of those out by reading/watching some reviews of them, then you could pick 2 or 3 to demo.

      3. Hi Jonathan,

        I can deffo demo some racquets, thanks for your response 🙂

        What strings would you recommend for;
        Wilson Blade 98 (16×19) v8 Tennis Racket
        Yonex EZONE 98 305g
        Yonex VCORE Pro 100 Tennis Racket
        Babolat Pure Drive Tennis Racket (2021)
        Head Gravity Pro 2021

        At current, I am veering towards Yonex as I grew up in Japan and trust their quality control above all else. I can only find the Yonex Ezone in Grip 2 though.

      4. Hi Jonathan,

        I haven’t played regularly until recently, hence the dud RPM Blast. I don’t tend to break strings that often regardless, as I hit so flat.

        Thank you for your advice so far. More research has pointed me to the new Wilson blade v8 at 18×20 (better for flat hitters) or the Ezone 98 vs the Vcore Pro 100.

        Let me know your thoughts for the 3 above 🙂

        Thank you so much

        M

      5. Hi Jonathan,

        I’ve gone with the Wilson Blade 98 (18×20) V8, with Tecnifibre Triax – 16 (1.33mm) at 58 lbs mains and crosses.

        Excited to try it out.

        Will return and demo others if need be.

    2. Hi Mark,
      I know, you was asking Jonathan and for a good reason, because the man has deep knowledge about tennis and tennis gear 🙂
      But while he knows a lot about rackets, what does he know about you (as a player)?
      Advanced, playing aggressively behind the baseline – still you can be one of 100 different players, who would say the same about themselves.
      Why don’t you take some hours hitting with professional coach, not to change or improve your game but just to find the optimal racket? Professional coaches do have mostly enough experience and also ability to get some demo rackets of your or their choice, after some hitting with you and learning everything about all your shots. Then they can choose some demo rackets to let you test, while hitting with the coach and he will see, with which racket you are playing better generally or which one is best for what you want to get improved in your game.
      Because I do assume, you don’t want actually to upgrade your racket but your game, right?
      If this is somehow not the option for you, you are for sure good served by Jonathan’s recommendations 🙂

      1. We can figure out to a degree what type of player someone is by what they say about their current racquet in terms of what they like, what they don’t like etc. Assuming they have some objectivity about their game 😀

      2. Sure. But is it not better to go through “reality test” with a coach? Of course, it’s up to everyone to choose their way to the “best racket” for them (if such exist ;)).
        Objectivity? Are you kidding?

      3. Hi PRF,

        I’ve just noticed your response below.

        I appreciate your reply to my questions, however I am confused as to the passive-aggressive responses to Jonathan… is that really necessary?

        I am asking a reasonable question which surely has many answers, I don’t think the way you have approached this is beneficial for me or anyone else, and comes across arrogant in my opinion…

        Are you kidding 😉

        Thank you,

        M

      4. Yup, a coach should be able to recommend a suitable racquet + string based on playstyle.

        But e.g. if someone says they are a flat hitter and want to play inside the baseline, then I can of course rule out several frames that are less suited to that style of play due to their characteristics.

      5. Dear Mark,
        You are maybe new to this site and don’t know the style of discussions between Jonathan and me. They are never passive- or active-aggressive, but they may look as such for you. No problem.
        Yes, I’m partly kidding, but my (unwanted) answer to your post was simply based on my own experience as a long-year hobby player.
        After I had some courses of lessons with a coach, I was always able to get a valuable input from him re racket and strings fitting my style, (changing) level of skills and (changing) age 🙂
        If you prefer to rely on Jonathan’s recommendations, I can only tell you, I have not always followed hints of my coach (for instance he meant, double-hander would fit my physicality better than one-hander, I learned at the very start and liked, finding it more natural.
        So don’t take it too serious and whatever anyone says (it was only goodwill, nothing else), go your own way.
        About objectivity and kidding – again I meant my own experience. An example – Over years I believed to have quite good forehand, but my SHBH only good for slicing. Then suddenly a new coach, I took some “upgrade” lessens after years of no contact with any coach, meant, my SHBH had better timing and style than my forehand. Which was just a perfect hit for me, because I have always more happy with my backhand than forehand, even if I was doing lots of UE’s on backhand 🙂
        Apologies, Mark. I tend to write long comments (my profession is linguist) so take it easy.

      6. @Jonathan
        How could be Mark a string breaker if he has not restrung FOR YEARS? I must think, if he meant – for years of regularly playing or for years of not playing ?

      7. Just another idea for you to have better background to recommend Mark the best racket. Everyone can record a video from his game with a partner (I was doing this regularly to be able to see it home and mostly I have seen something I would never expect (mostly it was looking worse than I would expect from my feeling during the game – that’s why I doubt about “objectivity”. If Marks sends you such a video and you can see say 10-15 minutes of his natural play, you would know a lot more than he can tell you. Of course if you have time and will to go that deep in recommending and Mark thinks, it could really help him.

      8. Yes, video is always a good idea for judging a playing style.

        I watched this earlier – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1ssxoYdeos

        Let’s do a hypothetical pick of racquets for these guys…

        My pick for Andre Dome, would be an out and out players frame, Pure Strike, RF97, Head Graphene 360+ Radical Pro, Vcore 95, Vcore Pro 97H etc. Even then I could see him beefing it up with lead to get the swing weight even higher.

        And in keeping with the post 😀 with a two-handed forehand, a slightly extended racquet could be helpful. So Yonex EZONE 98+ is also one option without needing a custom handle sorting.

        For the younger guy that is a little harder as I see he’s only 15 which makes it tricky to know what weight he can use effectively. Blade 98, Pro Staff 100, Vcore 98, Head Gravity.

      9. Yeah, this video is made with a professional software, I guess. But even standard digital compact camera and tripod do the trick. You can record from different angles and positions, so you can observe better the hitting technique.
        One of my coaches used to make some lessons using ball machine, selecting programs, letting me do the exercise and from time to time recording short videos with smartphone, allowing the slow-motion playback, so he could show me, just after the shot was made, how it looked like, and what were my errors. This would be not possible via verbal description. That’s what I meant with my remarks about “objectivity”. Not that someone praises himself deliberately knowing nobody can prove it wrong, but that nobody can describe in some phrases, how he plays. You may think, you play topspin, but video shows, you just hit flat. Or opposite. Video is here the best solution, if you cannot play yourself with the guy, who wants your recommendations, which would of course be optimal.

      10. It’s made using an app called Swing Vision. Anyone can use it, a pretty clever piece of software. I did recommend in my gifts post 😀

        Unfortunately, it’s iPhone only, and I don’t use Apple products, so I have to wait for the Android version to come out, which is meant to be in the works.

      11. With Apple, I don’t like the product or the business. I also don’t think their phone is particularly good, just a hype product.

        Amazon – yes sometimes, depends on where I am and what the product is. I also don’t like the business a whole lot as they’ve contributed to killing the high street but sometimes they are the only realistic option.

      12. So we have similar reasons 🙂 Of course, as you said, we sometimes have no other option. Can hate Microsoft as business but must have it on PC. Or it is Apple, which I hate even more.
        The only working “policy” is for me to stay with some good version (of software and hardware) and not buy any new model/version or I must really replace my old PC and I don’t get new one without Win10.
        Actually I have 3 PC’s, all working, the oldest from 2009 with Win7 Ultimate, 7 years old Asus laptop with the same Win and the newest, 5 years old PC with Windows Professional (last opportunity to have a new PC without Win10), because Ultimate was no more available with new PC’s.
        It’s about the same as with “saving” energy and environment. The only “saved” energy is the one you have not used. My 20 years old Honda CRV is still running at no cost and probably I will never buy any new car in my life. For sure not electric 🙂 While living in the forest and buying everything via Internet and delivery by DHL/DPD/whatever, I don’t need to make more than 500 km/month. The same with all the hype about photovoltaic. I’m heating with wood in a Jotul fireplace. I have learned to use so called “upper burning”, so that actually no smoke is emitted, everything is burned down and converted into heat and accumulated in the cast iron fireplace. And I use half the wood others do by being lazy and not ready to learn 🙂 Well, too much off-topic 😉

      13. It wouldn’t surprise me that in X years, it’s shown that electric cars are worse for the environment overall. I mean look at Diesel, that was billed by governments as the eco friendly choice, now it’s a pariah 😀

        Even now it’s hardly clear cut, an electric car needs to be driven 80k kilometres before it’s matched the petrol equivalent in terms of the carbon footprint. But I don’t want to get into the whole climate business, it’s up there with the biggest scams of all time, alongside the Mexican beer virus.

      14. Well, to buy a new car (electric or not) before the old one is no more useful, has a big carbon footprint itself. Then there will be a big and growing problem with recykling batteries (the same with solar energy) and on the end we will understand, the problem is the technology of producing and using energy, not the energy source. Assuming the global economy survives this all. Oldies will be rewarded with less problems to think about in terms of own life 😉
        BTW – some years ago I have seen in Internet a “personal” Hawkeye system against quite affordable price, but it seemed to work only on well maintained hard courts. I guess, Swing Vision will only work well on hard courts too.

  4. Just an idea for New Gen extended rackets 😉 A button or some AI feature allowing to extend your racket only when you need it (on serve, when having troubles to reach the ball. I’m sure, it would be technically possible. Maybe next could be changing string tension, controlled by your mind (Virtual Reality technology or something) 😉

  5. A lovely read!

    With all this talk about customisation, I would love it if Wilson could make an absolute custom tennis racket? Imagine if we could set the weight, length, thickness and fully customise it to our needs? Kind of like pro’s do, but for everyday players? The world is all about customisation and personalisation now… wonder if that’s something that could be a thing for the future?

    1. Wilson does offer a custom service, but it’s only really colours etc.

      If you want a more custom racquet, Angell is the place to go. They will never do thickness as a chosen variable though as it’d be too much work. They are using a set hairpin and then customising.

      1. Yes exactly!

        While colours are great, would have been nice to customise other things too.

        Will check out Angell, thanks for the recommendation!

    2. Sounds nice, but who is really able to define their needs with such precision, he gets a customized racket to play and not to hang up in a home tennis museum 😉
      I have seen once the process of customization for Dominic Thiem. While basic things are long agreed upon, 3-4 guys from Babolat come for some days to his off-season camp with many variants, then he plays with every racket and choose the one which seems to be best fit. But after longer playing session he has some remarks and wishes. Next day they come with another variant a.s.o.
      Can you imagine such a process for “everydays player”? And how much would it cost if you are not sponsored but just a regular customer?
      The customization offer from Angell or anyone else is simply marketing. They do some simple adaütions acc. to your specs and are not responsible for the effect. But they sold just another racket or maybe 5 and additionally their service.
      Do you think, you can desiogn the racket from scratch, based on a default frame? You want the racket to be longer by 1,12 cm. Simple. You want swingweight to be higher by 1,75 kg. No problem – they add lead tape here or there and here we go. You want the racket to have the head larger by 0,78 inch. Stop! This needs a custom mould. You can get it maybe, but this is not customization but designing a new racket from scratch. Then you get the racket, which costed 2x Porsche Cayenne and it shows, it’s completely not playable. The problem hangs on your wall 😉

      1. When you use someone like Angell you are paying for quality control and the ability to get 2, 3 + racquets that are identical in specs. That rarely happens in the retail world, you can get specs all over the shop so you need to be careful or match them yourself.

        So you are basically getting the Pro-stock treatment that pro players get, without the added theatre of them turning up at your practice session with some prototypes. They simply work to your requests.

        If you buy three Pure Strikes, and you want them at 340g, what will you do if you one weighs 350g? You can’t remove those 10 grams. With Angell, you don’t have that problem…

        I have two Zus racquets that offer similar service, probably the best frames I’ve ever used, 338.9 strung, 31.90cm balance. 95sq”. Just a little unforgiving, especially if I go weeks without having a hit but when you play well they’re great to play with.

      2. But this is not what Zee had in mind, no?
        BTW – I was always having 2 rackets of each model, I used, Sometimes not from the same channel. And I had never the feeling, they are not equal. Maybe I was never playing on the level, where such things matter 😉 Or I was never hardware-oriented, I was always focused on trying to play my best, whatever the racket, surface, ball and and … But I can imagine that players with higher level (still not pros), who are more regular in every aspect of the game) can feel even small differences between allegedly identical frames, with identical string setup, during the same hitting session, the best against coach or similarly skilled and regular partners.
        Because you are both a player and heavy expert in all gear elements, may I ask you, how your so intense and detailed interest on the hardware was born?

      3. Yeah, he wanted to customise beam width etc. like you say, it is unviable for anyone to offer.

        I would not be able to tell the difference between a few grams in static weight. But it’s when the balance is slightly off that it is easier to feel. You can feel the weight at different parts of the racquet. Do you have two pure strikes?

        Hmm, dunno really when I got into the equipment side of things. I always liked testing racquets and strings just to see if I think they are good, bad or the same as previous model / similar strings. And the blog is a good platform to share those opinions on.

        The stuff about the physics, customising etc is just a byproduct of questions people have posted here.

      4. Yes, I have 2x Pure Strike (second generation I guess) and 2x Dunfil M-FIL 3HUNDRED, all still usable and kind of similar to the extent I can even change Pure Strike to Dunlop and back again in the same game and everyone I change, I have a good feeling for a while but after some rallies somehow I prefer Pure Strike.
        The difference between my Pure Strikes and Dunlops is a different string setup (both hybrid but completely different) and because I don’t use Dunlops too often, I have not restrung them for 2-3 years now and strings are still OK.

        Your depth of interest in the hardware may have to do in your generally analytical brain so maybe you are going into things deep, if you have really an interest, not necessarily practical but simply cognitive.
        I think, I’m similar, but my points of interest, where I go deep into them, are different. And you are probably fascinated by the learning process itself, so you may go deep into something new, for which you never had an interest, but it suddenly appeared 🙂

  6. For the club player I think the Babolat Pure Drive Plus would be the ideal LB to start with. It’s ‘only’ 27.5 inches (instead of 28), and it features a friendly 324 swingweight. Which is a lot closer to what most 27″ rackets offer than the whopping 349 of the Blade SW102 or 351 of the Isner Prince Beast LB.
    I got myself one the other day. Can’t wait to give it a go !

    P.S. only 19 players of that list are still active.
    So it’s really only a handfull of pros that use longbody racquets today.
    But that’s really irrelevant; club players should never want to use what the pros use anyway.

    1. Yes, the Pure Drive Plus is a popular frame to use.

      27 of the players on this list are still active of the 64 I included in it. Extended frames are very popular on the pro tour. 20% or so.

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