View Full Version : Volkl Catapult impressions and comparisions.
08-10-2004, 06:21 AM
I'm an advanced player who up until a shoulder injury have been playing wth a Tour 10 MP weighted at 345g. The injury is now almost completely healed and at age 38 am looking towards the future where I can play for a long time without another breakdown. I've been thinking about the Catapult racquets ( Cat 4,6,7,10, V1, & V10 VE) and was wondering what people thought about them. Do they make less work for a shoulder and what experiences and comparisons can you make between them. While the Cat 10 seems the softest I'm not sure weather you lose out on power compared to the other Cat's and have they been discontinued due to lack of interest or just to make way for the V10 VE. The Cat 4 and 7 are longer racquets, are they a liability or asset to a player.
08-10-2004, 07:42 AM
I've just tested a few Volkl frames looking for a replacement for my POGs which I've used for years. The week I hit 30 my elbow gave up on me and asked for something flexier and more comfortable. I settled on a Tour 10 MP weighted at 12g over stock strung weight.
In getting there, I tried the Catapult 10. It is a strange racquet because it is a bit contradictory in its nature, but I couldn't help but like it even if it wasn't quite for me, yet. Like many others on this forum who have tried it, I found it too light at this stage in my game, and too unpredictable because of the Catapult technology, unless you strung it at 60lbs+. That said, strangely, I found the Cat 10 to still be a racquet that requires a technically good, full stroke, so in that way, it is different to typical 'tweener racquets, and probably different to the higher powered Cats . Of course, as age catches us up, the benefit of the Catapult will show in helping generate power (at a lower tension) as we gradually start to ease up on how hard we hit.
IMO though to get the most of the frame, the shoulder still needs to do the work in terms of rotation etc so like I said above, it may be that the more powerful Catapult racquets will make less work for your shoulder - I'm guessing because I haven't used one. The Tour 10 VE is not supposed to be that different to the regular Tour 10, just a bit more pop.
It's all a question of where you are with your game. I said to myself when I tried the Cat 10 that it would be my perfect racquet if it didn't have the Catapult technology and was about 25g heavier - hey presto, the Tour 10 MP. If you are struggling with the Tour 10 because of the work your shoulder needs to do, then I'm not the Cat 10 is the racquet for you and to perhaps try the higher-powered Catapults will help more than the Cat 10. If it was your elbo causing problems, I'd recommend the Cat 10 if the Tour 10 is proving troublesome.
For what it is worth, a family friend who was a 5.0 went from a POG to a Head iS6 at the age 40 and sings its praises - he is good enough to know how much work he needs to do with that racquet with his arm/shoulder before letting the racquet do the rest for him.
08-10-2004, 09:51 AM
I've demoed most of the Catapult's and in my opinion, the Cat V1 and the Cat 7 are the best of them for an advanced player. The original Cat 3 (I haven't hit with the new FIRE version) was an OK racquet for an intermediate player. The Cat V1 mid-plus is pretty light but with the addition of lead tape if desired, I think can fit a variety of playing styles. It is my favorite of the line. The Cat 7 is a bit firmer and I think is a very underrated racquet. I found it to be much more predictable in its' response than either the Cat 4 or the Cat 10. I didn't really notice the extra length with the Cat 7. That said, my preference may have been due to the string job of the demos I had. The Cats in general are very string sensitive. String toward the upper end of the string range and don't choose a string that looses tension too quickly. Loose strings + Catapult system = trampoline.
People seem to either love or hate these frames, so I would suggest an extended demo of the V1 and the 7 before you decide. Hope this helps and good luck with your search!
08-10-2004, 11:08 AM
I used the Cat 10, own and use the Cat 1 FIRE and the older Cat 3. They are very sensitive to string tension and will trampoline once the strings lose tension. However, use your current racquet then use one of the Catapults. The quietness and perceived lack of vibration is awesome. Plus the racquet allows you to play with less effort which keeps the elbow pain down more than other racquets. Btw, the Head Prestige Classic is even easier on your arm.
08-10-2004, 11:25 AM
i have to resepctfully disagree w. some of the posters about the catapults. i think it's a function of spin rather than string tension....if you hit w. spin you really dont even notice the catapults at work, but if you hit flat...B-O-I-N-G! you can really lose control of your shot. also think the cat7 is a really solid frame, but maybe a little on the stiff side for someone w. a physical problem altho i do think it has nice feel. think the cat10 is pretty much low powered because it is both flexy and light..it's fun to play with though because you can take big cuts at the ball and if you spin the ball it is a very controllable frame and very spinny..i think the cat10 is the most difficult to control when you are stuck hitting a flat shot like a volley you have to hit up on and so forth.. agree about the catv1 and think the cat4 is just too light and i think longer racquets arent the best for arm sufferers. think the classic v1 is really sweet for it's stiffness even though it doesnt have the catapults. have you tried just unweighting your tour10mps and experimenting w. diff strngs and tensions? it's a sweet axe and very easy on your arm i think. also think you need to be technically tight w. the t10mp especially on the serve or you can start forcing the ball which can lead to shoulder probs. hope this helps in some way..the string and tension, as you know, is a very impt part of the equation..what strng have you been using? ed
08-10-2004, 11:58 AM
Mojo, great observation, flat shots reall fly and the Cat 10 still aggravated my elbow. The other Cats, despite their length, were comfortable.
08-10-2004, 12:40 PM
thanks ronaldo..it's nice to get the very occassional kind word around here ;). the cat10 is just plain odd IMO and it does seem to transmit alot of shock despite its flexibility if you dont hit it sweet. it's sweetspot seems much smaller to me than the classic volkl headshape (ala c10 and t10). hope you like your day, ed
08-10-2004, 08:13 PM
Thankyou everyone for the excellent replies, really appreciated.
08-11-2004, 09:50 AM
Upper hoop on the CAT 10 is too stiff (for those looking for true elbow safety). As mentioned in the posts above, if you hit the sweet spot it's really sweet. If you hit high on the racquet face, your elbow will suffer trauma. I used this frame for 8 months and experimented with different strings and tensions in an attempt to offset this effect. Lower tensions and softer strings help but then you lose control. For me, control of my slice approach suffered the worst. A more flexible upper hoop and an 18 main pattern would have solved the problem. The extra flex would give you the comfort and the 18 main pattern would allow you to string lower and still control the ball. I liked the stock weight as a starting point. I made it more headlight and ended up around 11.8oz strung which felt stable enough to me to handle heavy hit balls against 5.0 - 5.5 level competition.
08-12-2004, 06:10 AM
Well, Ive now had a chance to try the V1, C4, C6, C7, C10 , CV10 frames. Here in Australia the Cat 10 and Cat 7 have been discontinued therefore will be unable to use it. The C4 may be a little too light for my style, but is fine for coaching, the C6 is a lot of fun but, perhaps a little unstable when the heavy hitting starts. That now leaves the V10 and the V1. I'm going to see how these two go and at the same time compare them to the more traditional Tour 10 VE MP and Tour 9 VE (16-19).
By the way the Tour 10 MP I have have been using is strung in NXT and Iso Speed Tournament. My shoulder problems started before I started using Volkl's, I was actually using the Premier Tour which was a fine racquet. Since then I have hurt the shoulder twice, but this time it's going to stay fixed.
08-12-2004, 06:05 PM
I have a couple of the Catapult V1 MP rackets. For a baseliner, they seem to be very good. They have plenty of power, but they are still very controllable. They are very arm friendly too. But, I think the feel on volleys is too vague. I find it hard to control volleys, especially compared to my ProKennex 5g. For someone looking for an arm-friendly racket though, the Cat V1 may be the answer.
08-12-2004, 06:35 PM
Croc, those old Head PCs and Radical Tours are as easy on my arm as anything current. Can play all day with either.
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