View Full Version : new racket for beginner??

08-10-2004, 06:18 PM
hey everyone, im very interested in tennis , not just a recreational, but more sserious kind, and need a racket (also, am i supposed to say racket or racquet??). I was researching a bit and found the head ti.s6. then i also found thta the head is6 and head ix3. and head iradical and head itour and head ispeed would be good am i right? the link is below.
so what do you think i should get? should i demo it first? also, if i get one of the above rackets (not including the ti.s6 because my local store has it pre-strung) it has the choice for wilson extreme gut 16g, or wilson ultiamate syn gut 16g for a penny more, so which one is better?
also, is intelligence X a lot better than just intelligence? why is the is6's list price so much higher than most of the others i just listed, yet tennis-warehouse's review says that the ix3 and most of the other ones (besides tis6) are better than the is6.?.? most of those are for the same price (at my store), so i gues the price wouldnt matter

o, and how do you string rackets? or are you supposed to get it done by a 'professoinal stringer'? also what tension?


jack mckinney
08-10-2004, 06:29 PM
You should always demo if you have the chance to do so. If you can handle the weight i would go with a players racquet and not anything like the TI6. As far as stringing goes most clubs "tennis" are a good place to start or ask around about a certified stringer in your area. The head I radical would be a great place to start .. Hope this helps

Steve H.
08-10-2004, 06:36 PM
I agree -- one of the Head Radical oversize frames is a good choice. The Ti.Radical can be found quite reasonably these days, also prestrung. Another good choice for someone starting out is the Prince Thundercloud, available at TW for $59.
There are lots of other choices, but I'd say _don't_ get a TiS6 -- it's too light, stiff, and head-heavy. Frames like that let you hit hard to begin with, but can create control problems and arm injuries later on.

08-10-2004, 06:54 PM
even ifyou're serious about tennis, you should still play with a beginner's racquet in the beginning because many racquets that are advanced are too heavy, or string pattern too tight for beginning player to benefit from. This might slow down your improvement, that's why starting out with a oversize racquet with open pattern (16 mains x 19-20 crosses), and weight of under 11 is suitable to start out. This would allow you to learn easier and improve quicker. It is after you get better should u get a more advance racquet. Because as your game improve, you understand more about the game and what is best to suit your game.

My recommedation would be to start off with something inexpensive, if you still learning to drive, you don't go for the porsche. Something like the prince thundercloud, prince triple threat hornet, Head S1 and S6 is okay. All the stuff you mention about the X and intelligence and so forth are all just marketing. What companies do is push new lines of racquets with new technology and so forth. It isn't necessarily that one is better than the other, it really depends on each player's opinion. The older classic racquets actaully are more popular with advance players. Even pros use racquets with very few technology.

Tenniswarehouse offer a lot of help in the specifications of a racquet, read about stuff like weights, swing weights, headsize, string patterns, and so forth to understand what they are. But remmeber, what you want is to improve and if you're serious with tennis, you might improve quickly, so getting a cheaper racquet in the beginning is probably a good idea. Then when you're ready and good enough, then you can drop the big bucks on a nice racquet. Otherwise, if you're sticking with reviews and what the companies tell you, you might end up with a racquet that is too much for you to handle at this stage or too much technology.

I hope this helps.

08-10-2004, 06:59 PM
IN terms of stringing, alot of racquets don't come with strings, so you will have to go to your local sporting good store to string them. String it with your basic synthetic gut (such as Prince Duraflex Syn Gut or Wilson Stamina), your sporting good stores probably will be able to help you with this. But getting really expensive strings is not necessary right now. Also, at what tension depends on your racquet. usually there is a recomended tension on the racquet (such as 55- 65 Lbs). Beginner usually string it at a lower tension, but you can experiment by stringing it at the middle range (in the case of 55-65, it would be 60.), then depending on how it feels, change it higher or lower. You can read up on that at tenniswarehouse learning center also.

08-10-2004, 07:01 PM
ah ok. well, i am goign to try to demo the TiS6, is6, and iRadical and see. any way my local store is dicks sporting goods, and i just dont want to buy online incase i have a few problems. ok, well im really gonna test out the iradical alot, since the first 2 people suggested it. and tennis boy, i think the iradical fits into your specs you suggested?? im not sure but i think it does. and rembmber, at my store, all those rackets' prices are within at least 10 dollars of each other, so take that into account when suggesting something.

and also, is pre-strung something that shows a little more genericky-ness? just wondering because with some things, like gas r/c cars, are normally better in un-made kits. is that the same way with rackets? because my store has the iRadical and Tis6 and is6 prestrung while they have ix3 unstrung, but stringing choices for a penny.
and im also wondering, why is the is6's list price so high, yet many other sites say the others are better? is that just because the others really are better and head just didnt make the is6 as good as it could have been or is it a typo or something? sorry im askin so many questions, just wanna make sure i spend money on the right thing.. :wink:

Kid A
08-10-2004, 07:18 PM
Since you're starting out a pre-strung might not actually be that bad but if they're only charging a penny to put better (maybe?) strings in why not? I don't know what strings head uses for prestung racquets though. Also, I think you may like the I.Rad OS. I used the OS for awhile before I switched to i.prestige but enjoyed playing with it.

08-10-2004, 11:33 PM
prestrung generally is okay as long as you know what its on it. If you read closely on the string, sometimes they say what it is, if it is your basic synthetic gut, it is fine. If it is something cheap like tournament nylon, its probably not worthwhile.

Other things with racquets that might be helpful is that, head heavy racquets (such as the is6 and wilson hammers) are more for beginners who need a little help with generating power. But because of the nature of head heaviness, this might lead to shoulder problems and it is not comfortable in general. Something with head light or even balance is better for u to have on the long run. Also swing weight is also something to consider, the more the swing weight, the more power must be exerted to swing the racquet, it is also inversely related to manverability. If a racquet has greater swing weight, the less manueverable it is. Generally advance racquets have high swing weights, hence they're not as manuverable. But they are dictated to skilled players who don't need their sticks to be very manuverable because they can handle a hard to swing racquet.

Stiffness is also another thing to consider. STiff racquets mean the ball leave your racquet faster, it is also less friendly to the arm because since the stick is less flexible, it doesn't absorb any of the shock, but instead transfer it all to your arm. And this is something to watch out for when you're a beginner since when you don't swing correctly, the tendency is to experience some shoulder pains. Thus, having a real stiff racquet can lead to much discomfort.

Another thing, price is very deceptive with racquets. New racquets with new technology is expensive, but that doens't mean its better. Some quality racquets might be older and cheaper yet be better than these new ones. As you will probably sense with a lot of these fellow message boarders, a lot of them play with traditional racquets with very little technology. So in your case, with the is6 being more expensive, i wouldn't trust that as being the measure of its quality. Sporting good stores sometimes have differnt prices tan online. I would check the online prices for more of the real market value of these racquets.

Bottomline, you probably want a stick that is around 10-11 oz, 100-110 headsize, around 65-70 in stiffness, the balance is really up to you, but evnetually its probably advisable to go for a headlight racquet. An open string pattern also will beneficial because you might not have the right technique yet to help you create top spin, a dense string pattern wouldn't help it.

If you're REALLY a beginner, its probably not a great choice to play with something like the radical. I acutally paly with the iradical oversize right now, but it wasn't the racquet i started out with. It is a good racquet but it demands u to have full long swings so it doen'st give you too much room to cheat.

Search under "racquet finder" in tenniswarehouse, and then input your specs and see what comes up. Then try to see if you can demo a few. demo-ing is probably the most important thing because no matter how long you look online, you won't know what you like unless you have experienced it. Remember, buying a racquet far out of your skill level will probably impede rather than improve your game.

hope this helps.

Brent Pederson
08-11-2004, 06:43 AM
Sorry, but I've got to totally disagree with Tennis Boy here. If you're serious about getting good at tennis, not just messing around, then a high-powered beginner's frame is the worst choice you can make, in my opinion. Sure, you'll get more power right away, even with bad strokes, but what's the point. The idea is to groove good strokes that generate their own power, and the way to do that is with a racket that lets you know when you've done it or not.

I'd start out with a Radical Oversize. It gives you a big sweetspot, which will help overcome the major problem beginners have, which is miss-hits. You'll learn to control the ball, stroke correctly, and, in good time, hit the ball hard. Trying to hit hard before you can hit correctly is putting the cart before the horse.

Control, placement, then power...

08-11-2004, 08:05 AM
I'd recommend the Prince Bandit MP. They're on sale, they were made for the intermediary level player which as a beginner is your next step, they have average weight, average power, average control, and maneuvrable. Plenty good enough to start developing your strokes properly with something that won;t hinder you but won;t provide too much help wither (which can be a hindrance, if you see what i mean).

Warning: don't read too much on these boards - you'll end up convinced that the only frame to have is the one Sampras used, curious too early on about customization, worrying about string, swingweight, balance and all that stuff. You need to get a racquet that feels ok, (which the Bandit might) and then just forget about equipment and think about playing.

Good luck.

08-11-2004, 08:11 AM
by the way, my post above assumes you're an adult wanting to become a good player but that you're learning too late in life to think about becoming a pro. if you're under 10 yrs old however and are looking to see if you have what it takes to make it as a pro, get a POG and learn the hard way with it, and even consider buying an old wood racquet on **** - nothing better for developing technique.

08-11-2004, 10:09 AM
w00t! Wood racquets rule! Yeah, be a man and get a wood racquet. That way if you lose, you can blame the racquet. If you win, you can brag that you are that much better than the other person. It's a win-win situation.

But seriously (yes I can be serious sometimes)... The purist in me would second the idea of getting a POG simply because it will force proper technique. On the other hand, the practical side of me would say that you aren't going to stick with tennis if you become so frustrated that it just isn't fun anymore. This is where the Bandit comes in.

Bottom line: What is your MAIN purpose - to play and have fun (Bandit) or to play competitively (POG)? You really should demo both and see which one feels better.

08-11-2004, 12:45 PM
Sorry, but I've got to totally disagree with Tennis Boy here. If you're serious about getting good at tennis, not just messing around, then a high-powered beginner's frame is the worst choice you can make, in my opinion. Sure, you'll get more power right away, even with bad strokes, but what's the point. The idea is to groove good strokes that generate their own power, and the way to do that is with a racket that lets you know when you've done it or not.

I'd start out with a Radical Oversize. It gives you a big sweetspot, which will help overcome the major problem beginners have, which is miss-hits. You'll learn to control the ball, stroke correctly, and, in good time, hit the ball hard. Trying to hit hard before you can hit correctly is putting the cart before the horse.

Control, placement, then power...

I think there is a little call for confusion here. By no means do i suggest that a beginner should play with a huge racquet that weighs 8.5 oz. If you read the other posts, in fact i mentioned that it is unwise to do so. I started out myself using a tweener racquet (100 head 10+ oz 70 stiffness), and i found that to be a good choice with my racquet giving me a good mixture of control and medium power. High power and light weight racquets are not great for improving, of course, it simply makes up for a player's flaws.

It would be great if the radical works out for you, it does have a good sweet spot. But due to things such as the dense string pattern and flexibility, one would need accomplished full strokes. If you read many of the past posts regarding the radical, the spin potential is the objection to the radical, it is probably not worthwhile for a beginner to start with this dense string pattern.

But the bottom line as i would liek to suggest is that demo-ing and trying a racquet out will answer all your questions. Play a few hours with it with each racquet before making any conclusion. Swinging it in stores don't give you an accurate accessment at all.

hope this helps.

08-11-2004, 07:02 PM
o i am 14. ok so is the prince bandit this??? http://www.*************goods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1282915&cp=714770.695062&filte r=yes&fCat=695062&fbrandid=3300&fpricesort=priceAs cending&parentPage=family
Head size: 95 sq. in. / 613 sq. cm. Balance: 4 pts Head Heavy
Length: 27 inches / 69 cm Swingweight: 332
Weight: 10.1oz / 286g Stiffness: 70 (0-100)
Power Level: Medium Construction: 24 mm Head/20 mm Throat
Swing Speed: Moderate-Fast String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Composition: GraphitExtreme / Copper / Titanium

and head iradical http://www.*************goods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1438424&cp=714770.695062&filte r=yes&fCat=695062&fbrandid=1933&fpricesort=priceAs cending&parentPage=family
Head size: 107 sq. in. / 690 sq. cm. Balance: 4pts Head Light
Length: 27 inches / 69 cm Swingweight: 302
Weight: 11oz / 312g Stiffness: 62 (0-100)
Power Level: Low Construction: 21 mm Straight Beam
Swing Speed: Moderate-Fast String Pattern: 18 Mains / 19 Crosses
Composition: Graphite Composite w / Piezzo Electric Fibers in Shaft

based on specs alone, which one would be recommended? but i will go to the store and try to demo it on the weekend, i have soccer tryouts :roll:
the thing i see about the iradical is that it is 4pts head light while the bandit is 4 pts head heavy, so tennisboy, should i probably go with the iradical, because you say head heaviness can lead to shoulder problems? (dont want shoulder problems at age of 14!! :wink: ) also what if i try bandit at OS? and what is a POG? i dont want to be just a twice a month weekend tennisplayer, in the long run i would like to try in competing and stuff. (also will see what happens with soccer/or future soccer seasons)

08-11-2004, 07:46 PM
I actualy own a TT bandit Oversize. I heard that many beginners have luck with it. It definitely is something to consider. Others that are valuable are prince thunderclouds and TT hornet. Also, you can try the Prince air series as well (airdrive, airlaunch, airstick, etc.). The reason why i recommend a lot of prince is because they have been gearing their products towards more beginner / intermediates for the last few years, and only recently entering back in the race for advance players racquet. So they have some good deals going on right now.

Head has a few good advance racquets so does wilson, as for intermediates or beginners, there isn't anything too noteworthy. Like i said before, just buy a cheaper racquet to grow into. Any of the racquets i mentioned are intermediate racquets and you can play well with them as u become more and more skillful. Then when u find its not giving u all that u desire, then move onto some of the classics or more advance racquets.

Those are my recommendations, try a few from each. Definitely, the radical and the bandit, and the few prince i mentioned. See how you feel with them for you have a mixture there of differnet specifications.

hope this helps.

08-12-2004, 09:03 AM
what are the ggeneral advantages with MP over OS? or OS over MP? and even if bandit is head heavy, will anything happen to my arm?

08-12-2004, 03:12 PM
Generally speaking,

smaller headsizes are better for control, but with less power. They are also better at volleying. Traditionally, racquets were made with very small headsizes.

But now, as the games are more about baseline rallies as opposed to volleying at net, oversize racquets have become quite popular. They have much bigger sweetspots as opposed to small racquets, which makes it more forgiving for beginners who might not have that consistency or aggressive baseliners who just want to have the confidence to swing away.

Then, tweeners also emerged, as a compromise between the two, to retain the feel of a more traditional racquet, but have a more forgiving sweetspot. They compromise some control with some power.

Its really up to a player's preference, although advance players generally go for smaller heads. But there are exceptions such as agassi and ferrero, who enjoy a bigger headsize for they are baseliners.

08-13-2004, 07:31 AM
so then if im a beginner, i would look for OS first then MP??

08-13-2004, 10:33 AM
I would go for an oversize first. But like i said, it depends on how you feel with it. Some people don't like the feel of oversize racquets. But they do offer benefits from the baseline, suchas bigger sweet spot, more power, etc.

08-13-2004, 10:46 AM
In answering your questiion about the head heaviness, generally only beginners who need help generating power use head heavy racquets, but some people do enjoy it. Although i wouldn't say it is a sure way to risk shoulder or arm pain / injury, nevertheless it isn't quite as comfortable as a head light or even balance stick. Just think about it, the name says it all, it is built like a hammer, with weights on the end and you're swinging a lighter handle and such, you can imagine that it reduces your manuverability. In order to make them more comfortable, head heavy racquets generally are made with less weight overall.

The TT bandit OS is 6 pts head heavy. However, it is real light at 9.9 oz. It is actaully quite a comfortable racquet, and does offer a good blend of control and power. I would add some lead tapes to it to increase the weight and stability. When you hit with a light racquet, it is good until you run into someone who hits hard and fast, then it is hard to receieve the balland you have more trouble finding your sweet spot everyday, then the racquet will "twist" in your hand and a long time of this, it would lead to arm discomfort or pain.

However, When you first start out, due to swinging incorrectly with only your arm and not hitting the sweet spot, it is not going to be very comfortable. I use to experience a lot of pain when i first started because of mechanics. Play with people who are a little better than you who you can watch and it will help you get more consistent and improve quicker. Also, taking lessons for some quick fundamentals is also a great thing if possible.

hope this helps.

08-14-2004, 10:18 AM
o no, my store now has ix5 with same price/deal as ix3. so now, since i dont know much about the ix5, i have this selection

ix5 os, iradical os and bandit os
and also, wilson extreme gut or wilson ultimate gut?

08-14-2004, 10:31 AM
Those are good choices to start with, i heard good things about the X6 actually. the Ti Radical MP or OS is a good deal also. Try one from the Prince Air series, they also have some potential. Hope you find one you are looking for.

08-14-2004, 12:11 PM
wait, did u mean to say ix5 or did u type ix6 on purpose. cuz i was asking about ix5. and is the ix6 more for intermediate/advandced?or would it be fine to start out wiwth?

anyway, im probably going to end up with a bandit since its cheaper, but ill see......and which is better, wilson xtreme gut or wilson ultimate gut? also, does the color have ANYTHING at all to do with performance? (like black would keep in more heat and doing blah blah??)
so iradical is a 'safer' choice i guess, would that be right?

08-14-2004, 10:02 PM
The X6 and X5 are both good choices to start out with. A safe racquet to start out with actaully, is the Prince Thundercloud. Its cheap and a popular choice for someone to start out with. I wouldn't say the Bandit or the radical be any of a safer choice than the other. Only that i think you will find playing with racquet such as the x6 or x5 or the thundercloud to be a little easier. Although they won't be as comfortable and might give u arm pain in the beginning, i think most people go through that phase. Not until they learn the proper techniques are the discomforts minimized. WIth that being said, these racquets are not going to be as comfortable as racquets that are headlight, heavy, and flexible (like i covered previously). However, this shouldn't be too much of a problem, at least not for a while. Until you improve better, you will have a better idea what you want and what suits your game and level.

Hope this helps.