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View Full Version : Is technology really making a better racquet?


hihihi8402
08-11-2004, 07:14 PM
Does all this supposed technology liquidmetal, developed for the military, or intellifibers or nCode or whatever technology is marketed as the new best thing really make for better racquets? It seems like we are just making lighter more powerful racquets for beginners who don't really need to develop proper technique just to have fun. Does all this technology really make a better players racquet? Is the LM radical or the wilson Ncode better than the POG or the wilson prostaff 6.0?

GrahamIsSuper
08-11-2004, 08:42 PM
I play with a racket made of fiberglass that's been around for 12-15 years and whip people who use the latest.

If i pick up one of those rackets, they feel like toys to me since they're so light, and also, you can't control a thing.

Try an Estusa, no bells n whistles.

alan-n
08-11-2004, 10:12 PM
I think you've hit the nail in the head about technology and racquets. It really is for making racquets more powerful with larger sweet spots... but for intermediate and advanced players. Graphite/Kevlar will be around forever, just as natural gut strings will be also. Its just the right combination of heft, weight, feel that demanding players who want to and have the ability to hit the ball where they aim them to be successful.

AAAA
08-12-2004, 07:02 AM
Generally the technology makes the racquets more desirable and usable by a greater percentage of contemporary society.
The older heavier, smaller headed racquets needed greater fitness, strength and technical ability to use effectively.

007
08-12-2004, 07:11 AM
IMHO, for strong players, the best playing/feeling racquets are those with a correct mix of weight, balance and flex pattern.....not super high-tech Area 51 science which is more for marketing hype than anything. Go hit an MP1 Tour and a 7 year old SRD Tour back-to-back and tell me which feels better. Go hit a 10 year old Fischer Vacuum Pro and a current Pro #1 FT....it's a joke really.

BreakPoint
08-12-2004, 01:17 PM
In one word: NO!

I still use a PS 6.0 and think the POG and Max 200G are good alternatives. Most of the new stuff feel like tin cans to me.

Just remember that you can't change the laws of physics with new technology.

NoBadMojo
08-12-2004, 01:27 PM
i think the technology is a mixed bag. i think it can make for better frames. fischers vacuum technic is good technology as is volkl's pure fibre, and i am sure i can think of other useful technology. intellifibres? naah... nano technology? naaah..just might be a way to put more filler and crap in the layups and just market it as something better to charge more and lower the cost. woofers and catapults? B_O_I_N_G! think the lighter/stronger space age materials are good for weight/strength/flex distribution, but also think the basic racquet hasnt really changed much since graphite and oversize. it is good for creating something light and powerful enough that an 80 year old or someoine w. physical impairments can produce some results. ed

Cruzer
08-12-2004, 02:45 PM
This topic was touched on a few weeks ago and I think the answer is no. Obviously the tennis masses are not anywhere near as enlightened as we who frequent these boards are about all the hype new racquet models receive becasue they keep buying all the new technology discarding the latest technology from 16-24 months previously. Racquet makers have been able to make any variation of light/heavy, stiff/flexible, head light/head heavy racquet for years long before liquidmetal, nano stuff, intellifibers, woofers, catapults, power holes, rollers, air handles, v-engines, ultimate titanium, braided copper/tunsten/titanium, hyper carbon..... Tennis racquets are always going to be 27-28" in length, weigh 9-12 ounces, have head sizes 90-115" and the object you are trying to hit with the racquet, a tennis ball has remained unchanged in size and weight.
The average tennis hack will always be looking for the holy grail of tennis racquets that will allow them to serve like Roddick, hit returns like Agassi, volley like Edberg, be the easiest to swing racquet imaginable and cause no arm or shoulder pains. Equipment can help you to a point but you still have to learn to hit the strokes.
Sporting goods stores like Big 5 sell tennis racquets that were the lastest technology 4-5 years ago at significantly lower prices than the latest Wilson/Prince/Head stick and lots of good players buy them. Kudos to the marketeers at Wilson, Head, Prince et al. becasue they can continue to sell the latest "technology" at hefty prices with new models being introduced every 10 to 12 months.

David Pavlich
08-12-2004, 06:18 PM
While it's nice that so many here are 5.0+ players and have the consistency to use small, heavy headed racquets, you are in the minority on the tennis court, by a long shot.

2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 are far and away the most numerous players out there. They don't have the game to play effectively with PS 6.0 or POG MP, especially the women. 99% of the ladies don't have the upper body strength to handle the weight nor do they have the skills.

Any technology that helps them or anyone is good. If it allows a player to play up another notch, then that's great!

I have several 4.5/5.0 guys that play with racquets like the 300G, Wilson HH 6.3, H6 MP, QV1 mp and so on. I have one guy that's at least a 5.5 that plays with the H Tour mp. He's just plain excellent, but he prefers lighter.

This ongoing hoohaa about "players aren't players unless they're swinging at least a 12.5 ounce racquet" is baloney. You play with what feels best, not what the conventional wisdom dictates...even if it's the new stuff.

No different than new cars. The 55 Chevy is a neat car (I owned one), but Chevy kept making better cars with new technology and the customers bought the new stuff. It's what the buying public wants, or should I say demands. Racquets are no different.

David

NoBadMojo
08-12-2004, 07:06 PM
well clearly there is something wrong w. the game..if the technology were so good, more people would be playing this great game IMO and the game wouldnt be dying this slow death..... there really is no reason to make an 8or 9oz ultra stiff frame. as far as the htour mp frame for a 5.5..well..thats actually a pretty low powered small sweetspotted frame more suited for an advanced player and swings heavier than its static weight because of the even balance.. i think we've all killed this topic to death over and over again.....everyone is surely entitled to their opinions <including me> ;0 ed

brijoel
08-12-2004, 07:24 PM
i think there is a big difference in tech of cars and tech of racquets, and it's a very skewed argument.

when looking at offering a racquet and claiming it makes 30% more power vs a car that does 30% better in crash tests......wanna bet which is the more factual statement?

in all reality, racquets come down to a few factors......
weight/distribution, length, stiffness, balance, and properties of materials used. in all the variety of racquets i hit with, that had this that or the other technology, NONE ever helped me be a better player.
the only factors that ive ever found to have a profound change of feeling of a racquet, were the above except for composition, and the only composition change i can ever seem to feel is the difference between layered or braided graphite. materials dont seem to make really any diffence at all, i mean can anyone really vouch for liquid metal's contribution to the prestige? lol, it doesnt feel any different than any other racquet in terms of still being a damn racquet..... anything that says a material is 15% stiffer or whatever is a crock, because all of the materials can be manipulated to produce a certain firmness or stiffness......

NoBadMojo
08-12-2004, 07:41 PM
agree..it's the archer not the arrows. the only real advancements since wood have been graphite (lighter) and oversize (bigger)..i think this lightweight and high powered thing is way out of control, and 2.5's can surely swing something with some mass to it unless they are very old or are physically handicapped...and often they swing something heavier much better than something lighter. ed

Deuce
08-12-2004, 10:53 PM
David wrote:
"2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 are far and away the most numerous players out there. They don't have the game to play effectively with PS 6.0 or POG MP, especially the women. 99% of the ladies don't have the upper body strength to handle the weight nor do they have the skills."

If this argument were factual, then there would have been only approximately 716 tennis players in the entire USA at any given moment in the wood racquet era.

The composition of today's racquets - if you want to call them racquets - is 5% Research & Development, and 95% Marketing.

brijoel
08-13-2004, 12:38 AM
David wrote:
"2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 are far and away the most numerous players out there. They don't have the game to play effectively with PS 6.0 or POG MP, especially the women. 99% of the ladies don't have the upper body strength to handle the weight nor do they have the skills."

If this argument were factual, then there would have been only approximately 716 tennis players in the entire USA at any given moment in the wood racquet era.


totally agree, and completely forgot to mention this earlier.

what i find so ironic, is that all of the older people who tend to qualify for the "power" racquets that ive talked to, wont have had tennis elbow their whole life and all of a sudden hafta look for "arm friendly racquets" because their latest and greatest, super light, tech shmeck racquets have f***d their wrist/elbow/shoulder/etc up. not to mention the younger folks who have problems much earlier in their life due to the tweener racquets...

BreakPoint
08-13-2004, 03:15 AM
I guess my opinion is that if you don't have the strength or the skills to play tennis, then hey, try golf or bowling. The fewer people crowding the public courts, the less I have to wait for an open court. :lol: Also, the fewer lets we have to play during our matches due to the people on the courts next to us constantly spraying balls into our court. :lol:

What really gets to me is seeing people with obviously no tennis skills using an ultra-powerful racquet with a huge head able to get the ball across the net over and over when that ball had no business coming close to crossing the net. I guess I'm just one of those people that thinks tennis is supposed to be hard. It just wouldn't be fair to have any shortcuts. But, hey, that's just me. :shock:

I also drive a manual transmission car because I think an automatic makes driving too easy and I find little satisfaction in doing things that are easy. Life, like tennis, is suppose to be hard. That gives one the motivation to improve, whether it's their life or their tennis skills. But then again, if there were no automatic transmissions, 90% of the people in the U.S. would be riding bicycles to work. :wink:

Steve H.
08-13-2004, 06:31 AM
Hmmm. I'd love to agree with Deuce, brijoel, etc because old flexy racquets feel better without a doubt, but the sad and annoying fact is, the newer ones make you more competitive.

Case in point -- I play every week or so with a 60ish guy who has been playing for a long time; he now uses a sub 9 ounce Head S5, doesn't hit terribly hard but runs me all over the place with deep placement mixed with drop shots. Last week his wife took the S5 to her lesson, and he played with his old racquet, a classic 12 ounce plus Head graphite; his strokes looked flowing and beautiful but I beat the c**p out of him, all I had to do was hit a deep drive to his backhand and I would get an easy short ball back that I could put away. The next time we played he had his S5 back and we were back to parity.

Technology may feel cheap and nasty, or as BreakPoint observes kind of unfair, but in a lot of cases it helps you win, which is on the whole more enjoyable than getting clobbered. Guess we all choose our own balance points, so to speak....

BreakPoint
08-13-2004, 10:07 AM
I see where Steve H. is coming from and I agree. I love the feel of my PS 6.0 but I don't always win with it. I could probably win more with the Head Ti Fire Tour I picked up a few years ago when I was looking for a bit more power and maneuverability. Still, I never use the Ti Fire Tour but always use the PS 6.0 because nothing feels better than hitting that sweetspot with the PS 6.0. It is very addictive and makes me look forward to playing tennis as much as possible just to experience that great feel for the ball. I also got tennis elbow from using the lighter and stiffer Ti Fire Tour. I guess I'm choosing great feel over winning matches.

I guess it comes down to this: Would you rather have great sex twice a week or really bad, lousy sex every day of the week?

Skinny Dip
08-13-2004, 10:30 AM
I guess it comes down to this: Would you rather have great sex twice a week or really bad, lousy sex every day of the week?

Hmm, define really bad, lousy sex.

BreakPoint
08-13-2004, 11:04 AM
I guess it comes down to this: Would you rather have great sex twice a week or really bad, lousy sex every day of the week?

Hmm, define really bad, lousy sex.


Use your imagination or as Mick Jagger sang: Can't get NO.... Satisfaction....... :wink:

brijoel
08-13-2004, 01:18 PM
see the opposite goes for me, i play horribly with anything bigger than about 93 sq/in, really 90 is pushin it. in the past year, i dont get out to the courts anywhere near as much because i have severe back issues, but i just cant stop playing, lol. i mean im lucky if i can get out once a week.
due to this, all of the stereotypes suggest i should have to "step it up" with a "better" racquet....while its true i can play with the other racquets, i dont ever hit the ball as hard or as well with them as i do my prostaff. even when im having a really bad day i can slow things down and finesse a win from time to time. when i used to play with my prescision response ti, there was plenty of pop but i couldnt do much else with the racquet, and thats not even really a high powered racquet.

"Case in point -- I play every week or so with a 60ish guy who has been playing for a long time; he now uses a sub 9 ounce Head S5, doesn't hit terribly hard but runs me all over the place with deep placement mixed with drop shots. Last week his wife took the S5 to her lesson, and he played with his old racquet, a classic 12 ounce plus Head graphite; his strokes looked flowing and beautiful but I beat the c**p out of him, all I had to do was hit a deep drive to his backhand and I would get an easy short ball back that I could put away. The next time we played he had his S5 back and we were back to parity. "


the problem with this......
he went BACK to a racquet he hadnt used everytime.
this would be a much more useful example if he had been using the 12 ouncer all along and suddenly he picked this other racquet up and wiped the floor with you.....THAT would be an argument for it
to me, all this says, is that he adjusted to swinging a light racquet, and more than likely was swinging late due to difference in timing and stroke. there is no denying that one can simply adjust their game in one sitting no matter what racquet they are using. as far as im concerned he could have used another sub 11 ounce racquet and still played like crap because he wasnt used to it.

Steve H.
08-13-2004, 05:27 PM
brijoel, you've got a point -- some of it may have been due to not being used to his old racquet. OK, here's another less extreme example (me) -- last year I was using a C10 Pro and loving the feel, but found that in a fast game I would mis-hit and hit short too often. So I started using a PK Heritage S, a little lighter, stiffer, and bigger head, and right away started winning more games from the same people. Annoying, as I say -- nowhere near as pleasurable, but it's taken me to the "next level"! I think you'll hear a lot of similar tales. Note that this is not about technology (it's just graphite and kevlar, like your PS85) just a frame with more forgiving and powerful specs.

TennsDog
08-13-2004, 05:27 PM
I don't have much to say about new technology vs. better frames, but I just want to say something about if a racket can make a person play better. I played the number one singles player on my team (I played four doubles) a couple weeks ago with an NXG and got creamed 1-6. I played him 2 weeks later with a LM Instinct and served for the set against him at 5-4 before losing in a tiebreak (I always lose tiebreaks). One could say I was having a good day or whatever, but I know the racket definitly made a difference in my game.

brijoel
08-13-2004, 07:20 PM
Note that this is not about technology (it's just graphite and kevlar, like your PS85) just a frame with more forgiving and powerful specs.

^^^no tech, lol. i went a little extreme with the whole wood to now example as well, but what david pavilich (sp.?) said i find to be a total crock....saying that technology in a racquet is going to give you a better game is just rediculous. the physical factors have been the same since even the wood area. the only thing technology has really done has nothing to do with the racquets, but more so in the production process being able to make each racquet more similiar to the next and be able to make racquets under cheaper circumstances (not that it gets passed along to us).
anyone who believes an ncode racquet is going to make them a better player is only kidding themselves or just knows nothing about racquet and play physical dynamics.

Deuce
08-13-2004, 11:39 PM
TennsDog: Man, this doesn't mean that the Instinct is a better racquet than the NXG - it only means that it is a different racquet than the NXG. The Instinct likely suits you better - it's no more complicated than that. This is far more likely due to the weight and balance of the frame than due to any 'new technology'.

Steve - perhaps when I'm '60ish', I may consider playing with a light, big, snowshoe monster frame. But, until then, I'll stick with the little, heavy frames - because they're more about what tennis has always been - and ought to be.

BreakPoint, your post of August 13th, 6:15am was absolutely perfect. The stuff about the balls having no business crossing the net was priceless - and so very accurate - as was the mention about fewer players meaning fewer lets due to fewer balls being sprayed onto our courts.

I could not agree more with your perspective that tennis should not be easy, and that the big, light racquets are a shortcut (which is similar to cheating, if one's standards for that sort of thing are high). The more difficult a task is, the more reward and fulfillment we feel in accomplishing that task. If something is made easy, there is little if any fulfillment in it. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to bother the majority, who live by the very convenient philosophy that the ends justify the means.

David Pavlich
08-14-2004, 07:34 AM
David wrote:
"2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 are far and away the most numerous players out there. They don't have the game to play effectively with PS 6.0 or POG MP, especially the women. 99% of the ladies don't have the upper body strength to handle the weight nor do they have the skills."

If this argument were factual, then there would have been only approximately 716 tennis players in the entire USA at any given moment in the wood racquet era.

The composition of today's racquets - if you want to call them racquets - is 5% Research & Development, and 95% Marketing.

I would say that I am correct in my assessment of the most prolific number of players in certain groups even when the woodies were the norm.

However, when woodies were the norm, the ball went back and forth like slow motion replays and why would that be? Because the racquets were too heavy and too small to produce any power for the mere mortals that don't have the strength to whip around a club.

If that's how you would like to see the 2.5 ladies play, then maybe the USTA should eliminate any frame under 12 ounces that is any more space age than a Hudson Hornet.

What I don't get is this mindset that if a player can play better tennis with the help of the new equipment, the person isn't playing tennis. Contrary to popular belief, at least here on this board, there are players out there that enjoy the game without conforming to what some 4.5+ players think the game should be.

If everyone that played tennis had this mindset, the game would already be dead. Imagine the dissapointment of a 35 year old first time player that takes lessons for a year, plays a couple matches a week and is only rated a 3.0 at the end of the year...and she's hitting with a Triad 4. I can hear her sitting on the bench asking herself why she wasted all of her money and time to go from a 1.0 to a 3.0 in a year. Better stick to playing chess.

And I love the posters that complain that they lost to a player with less technically sound strokes than he has. That's it...blame it on the opponent because the opponent gets the ball back. Imagine that! A player has the gaul to return one of my technically beautiful forehands. Blame it on the opponent that's using a 10 ounce showshoe. How dare he return one of my blistering backhands that I just hit with my POG MP classic frame.

Technology, marketing...all the stuff that seems to be loathed here are going to continue on its merry way. You can choose to ignore it and do what everyone does...play with the equipment that suits you, whether thats a brand new n-code liquid metal hot melts 6000X with laser rangefinder or a T2000.

But this garbage of savaging players that enjoy the game of tennis because now he or she can actually swing a racquet without having the ability to do a 200 lb military press is absurd.

David

NoBadMojo
08-14-2004, 08:27 AM
<snip>However, when woodies were the norm, the ball went back and forth like slow motion replays and why would that be? Because the racquets were too heavy and too small to produce any power for the mere mortals that don't have the strength to whip around a club. <end snip>
This simply isnt close to true, except for maybe some of the women.
Back then you actualy did have a little time to setup for shots though and there was so much more variety in tennis... points were so much more fun and the play much more creative. tennis is so one dimensional IMO opinion because of the equipment it almost doesnt even resemble tennis anymore. ed

Aoya
08-14-2004, 08:41 AM
Yes, a racquet will make you play better.

If you believe for a second about the hype, it'll give you confidence, and that in turn will let you play at your best.

Mentality is 90% of the game.

Eug
08-14-2004, 09:23 AM
I'm currently debating whether I should go for the new Ncode tour 90. Currently I have a prostaff 6.1 classic. Im debating over whether the "improved" technology will be like a better version of my prostaff. I guess a demo is will decide it all. I personally have a bias against racquet technology. I stand with Breakpoint in saying that Tennis should be challenging. Some say that it will drive people away but look at golf! I dont know one person who doesnt constantly complain about how hard and how much they suck in golf. And golf is bigger than ever. Look at the technology in golf and still people suck and love the game.

BreakPoint
08-14-2004, 12:59 PM
Do they allow aluminum bats in major league baseball? NO!! There's a reason for this. It's because it would make the game too easy and everybody would be hitting homeruns. Can you imagine if every player who stepped up to the plate hit a homerun? Baseball would be even more boring to watch than it already is. Almost as boring as watching Roddick hit ace after ace after unreturnable serve.

BTW, I'd bet you won't be seeing laser guided rifles in the rifle competition in the Olympics this week. It would just make hitting the target way too easy. There would be much less rifling skills needed. People should win gold medals because of their athletic skills NOT because they have the best equipment.

kninetik
08-14-2004, 01:10 PM
I know of one technology that works. Dunlop's Grafil Injection process makes tennis so plush and soft I love it even more when I return to it after demoing or using stiff players frames of today.

brijoel
08-14-2004, 01:25 PM
david you still dont get it, and as an MRT im kinda disappointed in a lot of your views really. for one, you of ALL people should understand that racquets have had the same factors since the wood era....why is that? BECAUSE YOU CANT BEAT PHYSICS WITH TECHNOLOGY!!!
personally i think this has all gotten off subject.....a 115 sq/in racquet is no more freakin advanced than a 90 sq/in racquet these days.
you keep posting all this BS, but never really state any facts of anything. just explain one technology that has some relevance to make you play better that doesnt have anything to do with stiffness, weight, balance, shape or length. cause whatever the material is, it effects every one of those things, and all of which are the same damn factors that have been around since the begining of racquets.

Pro_Tour_630
08-14-2004, 01:41 PM
I own a shop and I love selling those $250 + sticks to ignorant folks when they really can play with a $99 players stick just as well if not better. :roll:

kooyah
08-14-2004, 01:46 PM
Honestly, don't you people ever get tired of this topic? It reappears every few weeks.

If some people want to play with 27 oz. sticks with a headsize of 45 square inches, then good for them. If others want to play with snowshoe-sized racquets loaded with space-age technology, then good for them.

If some people want to play with 20-year-old racquets that they think are better than anything else in existence, then good for them. If others want to play with racquets that just hit the market and have hype and new technology surrounding the release, then good for them.

So long the racquet works for the player who is using it and that person is fine with what they are using, it really shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks.

tennisplayer
08-14-2004, 02:02 PM
I have been using a fairly old racquet - Yonex RD Power 10 Long (MP) - and got the urge to demo a newer racquet. So I tried the Babolats - PD+ and PC+. The Babolats were amazing for ground strokes and serves - even better than my RD-10! I could not believe it. I got a tad more power and spin, but that little amount made a big difference to my consistency. My partner was stupefied by the change in my game! I was hitting equally well with the PC and PD.

But in the end, I decided to stay with my trusty RD-10, for two main reasons. The RD felt better with volleys and overheads, in spite of having a much higher static weight and swingweight. Also, after a week of hard hitting with the Babolats, my arm was a mess - my wrist was hurting, and my forearm was beginning to feel a little dead. But I have had a history of arm problems, and this was clearly not a safe racquet for me.

So it's all a fine balance. Far from condemning new technology, I have come to the conclusion that technology does make a difference. Even a small difference at the highest levels - where skills are not in question - could mean the difference between winning and losing. Lord - and David Pavlich :-) - forgive me, but I can't believe the 2.5's and 3.0's can really use the benefits of new technology to advantage - except perhaps for the lightness of some racquets which makes them easier to swing!

cakewalk
08-14-2004, 02:02 PM
Is technology really making a better racquet?

What do you mean by 'better'? Better than what?

cristian p
08-14-2004, 02:04 PM
I have to agree with David here and I honestly think the personal attacks on him are uncalled for. All I believe David was trying to say is that each of us should use a racquet that suits him or her best, for whatever reason it may be, whether it’s a wood racquet or a racquet constructed through nanotechnology.

I also agree with David that the snobbery exhibited by many on these boards, and by many tennis players in general, is disheartening. I’ve been a teaching pro now for almost 10 years now and the number 1 reason I hear from many recreational players on why they don’t pick it up regularly is because they feel embarrassed about playing. We always wonder why more people don’t pick up the sport, but then you get comments like “they have no business on the tennis courts with these ultralight, stiff racquets with Catapults, n-codes, and Liquidmetals” and you understand where the source of the embarrassment comes from. If a racquet, whatever specs or new or old technology it may have, helps someone enjoy the game more, then I see that as a good thing.

I don’t know whether these new techonologies really “work” or not, but there is a trend now towards lighter and stiffer racquets, just as there was 20 years ago. For those claiming they want to make tennis as difficult as possible, sell all your PS 85s and Prince Graphites – which would’ve been consider racquets for pansies 20 years ago – and go all wood, and just let other people play with what they want to play with.

cakewalk
08-14-2004, 02:26 PM
heck yea! all wood :mrgreen:

By the way, if the newer racquets are making the game easier to play, then those of us sticking with older equipment should work that much harder to keep up.

But I do agree that at least some of the marketing exploits unwary buyers into purchasing racquets potentially harmful to their long term game (and elbow, too!). razzle dazzle!

GrahamIsSuper
08-14-2004, 02:31 PM
Breakpoint, the USTA has rules regulatating headsize, length, etc. The regulations are enforced around where I live. Tennis is a game of finding yor opponent's weakness and exploiting it. 5 extra square inches or power isnt going to give them an invincible game.

Regardless of how they do it, if they beat you, they're "technically" better than you. Period. Doesn't matter how you win, if you win. Same thing with lobbing or "moon balls", they are the same as groundstrokes, and if you lose to them, the other player is better than you are, as they found your weakness. If you have to use tech to do it, so be it. Learn to play your game, and don't worry about what they are doing.

NoBadMojo
08-14-2004, 03:07 PM
firt of all christian those racquets were NOT considered racquets for panzies back then, maybe other than the super oversized frames that were made possible w. the technology. maybe you werent playing T back then. when graphite first came out guess what? the frames were pretty heavy anyway, especially by todays standards. i know..i come from the woodie era. and i dont buy into that kids dont want to play because they are embarrassed (thats just kids making an excuse)....its mostly the kids find out that tennis 'aint' easy and they dont have what it takes to stick with it because they want some sort of quicker gratification and maybe are too lazy to do the work...people arent slamin david, they are just disagreeing with him and his logic which i happen to find pretty flawed myself. that sure doesnt make david a bad person, most of us simply dont agree with him. as far as snobbery...i really dont see it that way..i see people w a passion for tennis here and the ones that know tennis and like all court ball and being able to hit all of the shots rather than some of the shots, arent big fans of some of the technology because it truly has changed the game and not for the better and it makes it more difficult for the cream to rise to the top. we've seen the same thing happen in golf w. the technology and the poster making the analogy of technology to pro baseball and no aluminum/graphite bats makes a very relative observation. anyone w. any size or physical skills at all has the capacity to swing a frame weighing at least 10 to 10.5 ozs..if they cant, they really probably wont enjoy or stick w. T anyway and would be best served by taking up some other sort of activity. it's sad to see tennis made more difficult to learn for many new players because the frames are so powerful that beginners have no control whatsoever of the ball since they have no clue about spin and stuff. which is another reason why they quit. so that makes technology good for the game somehow?and as a footnote i am a very long time teaching pro. my .02. ed

Eug
08-14-2004, 03:27 PM
Guys, lets not forget what this post is all about. "Is technology really making a better racquet?" Thats the question. And the simple answer to that is yes. Racquet's are stronger and made more precisely. They are also more comfortable. We all went off into different tangents and started talking about different things. If you want to get into theoretical discussions, well, just post another topic.

cristian p
08-14-2004, 04:11 PM
Ed:

1) The “racquets for pansies” comment was tongue in cheek, since so many people on this board seem to get some derived macho-superior attitude for using them. The fact of the matter is, those graphite racquets were substantially lighter, stiffer, and bigger than the racquets that were available at the time of their introduction… and guess what, they appealed to the younger juniors who wanted to, god forbid, hit the ball harder. Courier, Sampras, Agassi… It’s funny how people rave about the “flex” of racquets, because they were considered to be board-stiff 20 years ago. Just for the record, I am a pansy myself, since I play with -- and have for virtually all of my playing career through the national junior ranks, at college, on the futures and satellites tour, and now as a teaching pro -- a Prince Graphite. Sorry if I don’t buy into the whole “racquet technology is ruining the tennis game,” because it’s not new. The complaints about too much power, etc. has been beating to death over the past few decades, and it’s going to continue indefinitely into the future. People here lament about Roddick’s power being boring to watch, which I admit I’m not a big fan of watching myself, but why isn’t there similar criticism of Sampras, Ivanisevic, Becker, Stich or other players when a similar percentage of the points that they win are based on unreturnable serves… or Lendl or Courier who bashed opponents from the baseline with brute power?

2) I don’t know what you consider just a simple disagreement with David’s views, but comments directed towards his MRT certification or qualifications just because he has a different viewpoint is going too far in my opinion. We may agree and disagree on different topics, but it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re not a good teaching pro. Maybe David may have read it differently, but if someone makes some negative comment regarding my aptitude for the job that I do, I take that personally.

3) While I’m not going to delve into detail, re: the lack of people (not only kids but also adults, playing tennis) because it’s gotten off topic, I’d like to note that the embarrassment of playing (what I mentioned) and the difficulty of picking up the sport (as you pointed out) is one in the same. Despite supposedly being a so-called gentlemen’s sport, I find tennis players to be among the most arrogant and inhospitable group of people to deal with. People realize tennis is a skill-intensive sport which is extremely difficult to pick up, but imagine you, as a 2.0 or 2.5 trying to improve, while people like Deuce or Breakpoint roll their eyes or curse at you under their breath when your balls accidentally roll onto their court… or laugh at your racquets… or make fun of you when you can’t make proper contact with the ball… or complain that lesser players like you shouldn’t take up their precious court time… for most recreational players, they have no aspirations to be a 5.0 or a club champion, they just want to have fun – why deal with all the snobby crap? It’s not worth it. Again, it’s off topic.

David Pavlich
08-14-2004, 07:10 PM
david you still dont get it, and as an MRT im kinda disappointed in a lot of your views really. for one, you of ALL people should understand that racquets have had the same factors since the wood era....why is that? BECAUSE YOU CANT BEAT PHYSICS WITH TECHNOLOGY!!!
personally i think this has all gotten off subject.....a 115 sq/in racquet is no more freakin advanced than a 90 sq/in racquet these days.
you keep posting all this BS, but never really state any facts of anything. just explain one technology that has some relevance to make you play better that doesnt have anything to do with stiffness, weight, balance, shape or length. cause whatever the material is, it effects every one of those things, and all of which are the same damn factors that have been around since the begining of racquets.

I would say that you don't get it. I deal with players that are tying to improve their games. All of the items you list such as weight, stiffness etc. are the major factors in what makes a racquet do what it does. The new technologies have allowed the manufacturers to enhance the performance of the racquets, especially the light, stiff ones that are so loathed here.

However, 15 years ago, the technology didn't allow for the lightweight frames that are so pervasive today. Perhaps my customers are weaklings from eating crawfish, but the vast majority are looking for racquets that weigh LESS than 11 ounces, including most of the men. I have found after selling 5 or 600 frames, that weight is THE most influential point that makes the final decision.

Sure, some players are more sensitive to flex and the other influences, but weight is the overwhelming point for a final choice. Most, not all, but most of the teaching pros here use light racquets to feed balls. Why? So they aren't worn out at the end of a day of feeding balls.

Me being a MRT has nothing to do with what my customers find the most comfortable for them. It seems to me that as I've said before, many posters here would much rather see tennis played in slow motion and force everyone to hit with racquets that do nothing to enhance the ability of the average 2.5/3.0/3.5 that isn't strong enough to bench press 50 lbs.

And to get back to your post, and it fits within my analogy, you would rather see a 3.0 that hits the frame as much as he or she hits the strings play with a Tour 90 and get totally frustrated than hit with a TT Scream that maybe he or she can generate enough head speed and hit the strings a little more often. Maybe after playing a while and gaining a little confidence, this player might be ready to graduate to a more challenging racquet.

And I don't post BS. How many people have you had demo frames and come back to you with their impression? I've had hundreds. I've had players demo 10 or 12 racquets before making a choice. I, along with the customer, explore all the avenues that will make the customer's final decision to be the best informed as possible. I start them with what I think will fit their game best. I send them out with 2 diverse racquets, which allows me to determine a direction to go when he or she comes back. I listen to their comments and go from there. I'm not stuck on one type of racquet or what I think the person should be using. I let the customer decide. Listiening to you, it wouldn't matter what the customer wanted...since technology can't overcome physics.

If you walked into my shop and told me what type of game you played and I TOLD you what you should be using, would you buy a racquet from me? I doubt it. You'd want to demo to see what frame worked best for YOU, not Joe Schmuck because he thinks you should use a 13 ounce wooden racquet.

And speaking of wood, you state that technology can't overcome physics. You must be inhaling tennis ball felt. If you're convinced of that statement, I trust you use a T2000 when you're in a serious match with an evenly matched player. Is that so? C'mon! Do you? If not, then you're argument is a straw dog.

The technology that allows the manufacturer to make light, easy to handle frames isn't going away. It has enhanced the recreational game. The best selling frame in the country weighs barely over 11 ounces strung. Get over it.

Oh, and just in case you don't know it, little technology items like Woofer grommets and Catapult grommets have nothing to do with stiffness, or length or shape or any of the other items you list. However, these two items DO have and effect on the way the ball leaves the stringbed. I've given you 2 examples of technology that is relevant to the flight of a tennis ball that has nothing to do with your parameters. I've just returned your serve down the line. How's your defense?

David

David Pavlich
08-14-2004, 07:29 PM
Ed, you ole' timer:

I certainly can't argue with you about the game from a teaching or playing standpoint. I took up tennis late in life and I'm a 52 year old 3.0 hacker on a good day.

However, I know what people are looking for in racquets. I've had enough of them come through my store to know that there aren't near as many players interested in playing with a 12 ounce racquet as there are that are interested in sub-11 ounce racquets.

The most prolific frame in my store has been the H-Tour (mp and os)...10.6 ounces strung and 90% of them purchased by men. It outsells the Pure Drive and the LM Radical.

The frames that move the slowest? I don't think I need to tell you.

Take the men out of the equation and now we're talking 10 ounces or less. And even with that said, I still don't see these ladies that are using these blunderbusses cracking winners from 5 feet behind the baseline. BUT, they are actually hitting some very nice groundies because they now have a racquet that matches their strength and ability.

I read your post about the days when the game was slower and more fun. When I see local tournaments having to cut off the entries, it sure tells me that these people are having fun. Afterall, they're playing for a tropy or plaque or some other token, not a $50,000 prize.

All I'm saying is that the technology that has evolved has enhanced the recreational game. What is so bad about that?

Wait 'til you see the new Head Preventor frame! I figure when it becomes widely known, this board is going to lose a lot of its posters due to random leaps from the local bridges or skyscrapers!

David

NoBadMojo
08-14-2004, 07:53 PM
yea man..gotta love head..they come up w. the head preventor after slamming the consumers w. light and stiff stuff that has caused injuries, so now they can sell all these very same injured people the head preventor frame to help them get better :)...are they launching this around us open time?oh..gotta have those head precentor strings too. ,,and might as well spring for that special Head Protector elixer drink too w. nano carbons in them.... i really dont think the technology has enhanced the recreational game at all....the biggest prob i face teaching people new to the game is control not power (other than the old, very young, and infirmed of course). i am not arguing w. you..you gotta sell the folks what they think they need..that doesnt necessarily mean it is a good match to what they 'actually' do need right? and w. americans being so lazy and fat and so wanting instant gratification....its the gimme the light..gimme the powerful. only my opinion...i am sure you are very diligent in trying to hook these people up and making happy customers. i find it odd that people are now bigger and stronger and faster that play serious tennis than before and they are using lighter and lighter..i think it is ruining the game at many levels of play. personally, i wouldnt even stock the hTour....i think it's junk, but it seems to be working for your customers. you sure there isnt too much mercury or kryptonite down there in the brackish water turning your customers into weenies?? :) anywho....it's just banter and speculation, but i gotta tell you that tennis is more fun when you have variety..variety is the spice..and there aint much variety in the 'modern' tennis game IMO. ed

David Pavlich
08-14-2004, 08:37 PM
Hey Ed, isn't a little late for you to be up? I know my eyelids are starting to droop.

I understand what you're saying about control, but I see a lot of people out there playing with very light frames that are very accomplished players. And it's all done under control. If the stroke is correct, chances are very good that the ball will land in the court.

FYI, 40-45% of my racquet sales are Wilson depending on when I check the sales numbers. I don't know what it is in your area, but if you didn't stock racquets like the H Tour or the TT Scream or the LM8 or the H4, you wouldn't be in business long.

Like it or not, this is the sales trend. I do my best to put a player into the heaviest racquet he or she is comfortable with. Can't do much more than that.

Good Night!

David

Deuce
08-14-2004, 10:08 PM
Eug wrote: “Racquet's are stronger and made more precisely. They are also more comfortable.”
Have you ever hit with a wood racquet, Eug? Or even a Head XRC, or Dunlop Max 200G? Today’s frames are by and large light and stiff – two elements which very much counter comfort. Comfort comes in large part from weight and flexibility. Wood and early graphite/fiberglass frames are the most comfortable frames by far – but one has to hit the sweet spot to feel it. And so the discussion reverts again back to skill and challenge. If you really think that today’s racquets – generally – are more comfortable than wood racquets, then you’ve obviously never played with wood – or, at least, never hit the sweet spot with wood.

Ed (Mojo) – great stuff. Everything you wrote is spot on.

David Pavelich wrote: “However, when woodies were the norm, the ball went back and forth like slow motion replays and why would that be? Because the racquets were too heavy and too small to produce any power for the mere mortals that don't have the strength to whip around a club.”
Again, David, you make it sound as if POWER is the only element – or at least the main element – that makes tennis good or enjoyable. You seem to be entirely unaware of the value of other elements in the game – like touch, angles, shot selection – or, as Ed says, VARIETY. Hell, you’re 15 years older than I am – you certainly should be well acquainted with the more artful game of the past – you’ve obviously witnessed it first hand. I guess you just didn’t like that type of game, for one reason or another.
Reading what you write, David, one would get the distinct impression that tennis has never been more popular than it is today. This, of course, is not the case. In fact, tennis was most popular (in terms of people playing) back in the late 60s, 70s, and early 80s – when people were using those wood racquets that you claim are far too small and heavy for any mere mortal to use. Not only were they using wood racquets, but they must have derived an enormous degree of enjoyment from playing with those terrible, small, heavy racquets, because they were coming out to the courts with their ancient, low-tech racquets, in greater numbers than they come today, with their modern, high-tech, high marketing frames. Interesting, isn’t it?

The unfortunate fact is that the great majority of the racquet marketplace is dictated by people who go into a store and find either the racquet whose color scheme most appeals to their eye, or the racquet that their favorite pro is supposedly using, take the unstrung frame off the shelf, swing it four or five times through the air, pronounce that it feels really good, and buy it. These are the people to whom the racquet companies cater. These are the people who are responsible for what the racquet companies offer us. And people like myself – and I am far from alone in this – are justifiably upset because the racquet companies are virtually ignoring people who A) Are knowledgeable about the game and the equipment; B) Enjoy heavier, smaller, more flexible frames; and C) Don’t buy into any of the marketing lies and BS.

BreakPoint
08-14-2004, 10:50 PM
BTW, when I mentioned in Page 1 of this thread that: "technology can't change the laws of physics", what I am specifically saying is that no matter how light, how stiff, or how large your racquet is, the weight, size, and incoming velocity of the ball doesn't change. Thus, the force at impact of the ball on your racquet is the same and must be countered by either the racquet or your poor arm.

Imagine trying to hit a baseball coming at you at 80mph with a wiffle ball bat. It just doesn't work. You need weight to counter the weight of the ball. Until they reduce the official weight of tennis balls, light racquets will never work. You just can't cheat the laws of physics!!

Swan Song
08-15-2004, 02:44 AM
You know what?! This technology makes a racquet better happens because all these companies hear comments like "Oh, this new racquet improved my game and so and such..." The reason why some people say this new racquet(in terms of technology) improved my game, is because this techie whatever stuff makes SOME player confidednt. If the racquet company did not witness or heard this comment, this whole argument about technology would not exist in the first place. Lastly, I hope this argument will not become a Hatfield and McCoy feud.


P.S. Some statements might sound like I am offending some people, but CLEARLY, I do not mean to cause any offense. About oh is this new racquet better than mine questions. There is NO SUCH THING as a better racuqet. It is all PERSONAL PREFERENCE.

ohplease
08-16-2004, 11:47 AM
A gauntlet: I dare each and every poster on this thread taking the "purist" position to get together time, effort, and most importantly - $$$ - and start their own racket company. Obviously, the evil racket company cabal (hence: ERCC) doesn't care about us at all! We'll show them how it's done! DIY! DIY! DIY! There's got to be a market out there for the stuff we want! And it'll be so big that we'll be able to avoid boutique pricing and compete on price, too! Unlike every other gear related sector!

G-Starr, MegaAge, and Topspin have gotten off their couches and are taking on the ERCC. Why aren't you? I mean, look at those three companies! They're just *raking* it in. Oh, wait - money is evil. Make it a non-profit, dedicated to the interests of the game. That way we can avoid any ugly accusations of profit motives. People are already playing in wood-only tournaments. We can DO this! Leaders LEAD! Come on!

No? Too hard? Easier to sit around on your couch and be an internet genius? Brow beating the rest of the tennis population into seeing it your way so that the resulting infinitesimal group preference shift will be noticed by the ERCC and everything will be ok, again? And then they'll produce nouveau retro frames like the Rok and we can dump all over it and not buy it, anyway? Boy howdy- that's a MUCH more effective and direct way of going out and getting what you want. Forget that crazy start your own company stuff!

...

In other words, put up or shut up. Otherwise you just sound like a bunch of old ladies at a quilting bee.

You're perfectly free to play with wood and touch and angle, if you like. However, the second you start whining about how OTHER people should play that way, too - then you're not at all different than the punk high schooler complaining about how he lost to a pusher. How he would have won if only his opponent would have played more to his liking. Playing style fascists on either end of the spectrum. Both losers in every sense.

...

Moral of the story: anti-pusher whiners and player's frame whiners - same difference - maybe separated by 20 years, 20 pounds, and a receding hair line.

kooyah
08-16-2004, 04:51 PM
A gauntlet: I dare each and every poster on this thread taking the "purist" position to get together time, effort, and most importantly - $$$ - and start their own racket company. Obviously, the evil racket company cabal (hence: ERCC) doesn't care about us at all! We'll show them how it's done! DIY! DIY! DIY! There's got to be a market out there for the stuff we want! And it'll be so big that we'll be able to avoid boutique pricing and compete on price, too! Unlike every other gear related sector!

[edited for brevity]

Moral of the story: anti-pusher whiners and player's frame whiners - same difference - maybe separated by 20 years, 20 pounds, and a receding hair line.

::applause::

Pro_Tour_630
08-16-2004, 08:30 PM
I have to lay down the gauntlet oh please McGreevey :oops:

Deuce
08-16-2004, 09:04 PM
I suppose one has to hand it to people who deliberately miss others' points because they desperately wish to further their own agenda; who take discussions down ridiculous pathways; and who allow themselves to object to others' perspectives, while not allowing those others their original objection.

'ohplease' admittedly has got this self-serving hypocrisy down to an art.

NoBadMojo
08-16-2004, 09:32 PM
two words for ohplease..those would be 'oh please'. someone else can form those two words into a an appropriate sentence if they wish to.

ohplease
08-17-2004, 07:59 AM
I'm shocked - SHOCKED - that among this group of go-getters we can't get enough initiative together to make this thing happen.

How about we lower the bar? Own a pro shop - then sell nothing but player's frames. Nothing but *old* player's frames. Refuse any string jobs involving modern materials like kevlar or poly. String all rackets on Klippermates - since anything "better" is just marketing BS. Give lessons? Refuse to teach anything other than Continental - mayyyyybe Eastern grips - and S&V. On grass. And those students better be carrying the "right" kind of rackets, too.

Because really, to do anything "less" is to be no better than those big, bad, conspiratorial, multinational racket corporations - to contribute to the degradation of the very game itself. For nothing more important than money. Money. Look at it - such an ugly, ugly word. M-O-N-E-Y. Tsk - disgraceful. In fact, such hypocritical behavior is precisely at the root of all of Western society's ills. Honor begins at home! Pass up those tainted dollars! Be better people! Leave a smaller environmental footprint! We can't wallow in the same filth as these corporate entities, so eagerly destroying the game, can we?

It's OUR job to educate the great unwashed. Again: DIY. To snicker and sell them grandma's flyswatter, to sigh and teach them the windshield wiper forehand - to do either is to contribute to the problem! Refuse their business! We shall overcome! We must - and lo, we shall!

Otherwise, as in all things, people might not take us seriously when they see that we expect other people to cut into their bottom lines, while ours remains so...tainted. Repent! Repent before it's too late!

Steve H.
08-17-2004, 09:35 AM
ohplease, I can see you raving on a street corner with a "repent" sign in one hand and waving a Big Bubba with the other.

It seems that our little racquet technology debate is a microcosm of ongoing cultural conflict between mass marketing and tradition going on all over the world. Who has "better" food, Chez Panisse or McDonald's? who is the "better" musician, Mozart or Britney Spears? You can't just judge by who sells the most units.

Every day in many ways we all make choices between easy access and working harder for what we know in our bones to be more satisfying. And it's tempting for people who are taking the harder path to act condescending, to be sure, maybe mostly to help convince themselves that all the extra effort is worth it. Let's all lighten up, and vive la difference!

Eug
08-17-2004, 10:03 AM
I can now picture everyone here on these boards holding hands and signing while we sit in circle around a tennis court. Pass the Gatorade! 8)

tkoets
08-17-2004, 12:16 PM
Guys,

I think that Steve H. has a point regarding the fact that this debate is a microcosm of the cultural conflicts going on in our society. We see it on every hand, from the Olympics to tennis to the food we eat. There’s a sense that we’ve lost much of the quality – the art, or essence, or whatever you want to call it – of many things in life, and have replaced them with quick, pre-digested, “make it easy” variants that are devoid of quality and substance. I think tennis is no different, and the results are evident on all hands.

We have taken heavier, smaller racquets that require more skill to use and reward the user with control, stability, predictability and feel, and have replaced them with racquets that are supposedly easier to use and make tennis easier to play, yet are nowhere near capture the quality and essence of their counterparts of old. And for all the claims that the racquet manufacturers make, I have found that most of these “new and improved” racquets simply do not do what they are advertised to do.

I’ve tried probably hundreds of racquets over the years that range from so-called “player’s sticks” to “game improvement” racquets. I understand and accept the fact that there are extremes in either direction and that both are equally bad. Having said that, I have found that as you move further and further away from the so-called “player’s racquets,” you end up having a different set of problems and the same overall results on the scoreboard.

Consider the typical player’s racquet. You have more weight to move around, which means you have to prepare early and properly. The added weight can be tiring. However, the weight and smaller head gives you stability, predictability, and control. The racquet simply responds to you. You get out what you put in. You have to work harder, but at least you have more predictability in what you’re doing and usually know why things don’t work out as you planned.

Now consider a lighter, bigger, stiffer racquet. They are allegedly supposed to make tennis easier to play. They certainly are more maneuverable, and more powerful. But do they really make tennis easier to play? Not to me. I find that I have to put a lot more topspin on the ball just to keep the ball in the court, which means I often have to prepare just as early, or even more so, than with a player’s racquet. I also find that the lack of mass makes the racquet less stable, more whippy and less easy to sense where the head is during the stroke. I notice it mostly on things like the serve where you have to rely on weight to feel where the racquet is throughout the stroke.

I believe these lighter, modern-day racquets degrade the quality of tennis all-around. I have found lighter, larger, and stiffer racquets are so tolerant of error (we use the polite term “forgiving”), that my opponent can mis-hit the ball pretty badly and yet the ball will still come back to me, only with tons of sidespin or who knows what kind of “mojo”. And I have a difficult time returning shots like that with any kind of racquet. And so, often those players win points that, to be honest, they have no business of winning. With a player’s racquet, those shots would probably not go over the net or would sail long.

So, for those of us who appreciate the skill and artistry in shot selection that can occur in tennis, and that a player’s racquet typically affords, we lament the fact that the bigger, lighter, stiffer and more powerful racquets are taking this artistry and style out of the sport, even at the recreational level. If we all had player’s racquets, we wouldn’t be able to simply out-power our opponents with sloppy shots and get away with it. I think that’s what some of us dislike. It’s the general trend of the sport, not what any particular player chooses to hit with.

I have found that at my level, my limiting factor is more my technique than the racquet I am using. The experts tell me that I need a lighter, stiffer, bigger racquet to make tennis easier and more fun. But I have found that such racquets in fact make tennis more difficult and less rewarding, and therefore less fun.

I want to win, and yet I find that the racquet doesn’t make near the difference that I’ve been hoping it would. At least with a player’s stick, I can enjoy a small taste of what tennis was meant to be, and how it was meant to be played. I can try to put variety in my game and not have to worry about my racquet being too powerful or so light and stiff and devoid of feel that I get no sense of satisfaction in hitting the ball even if I do win a match with it. And the artistry and challenge of tennis is, to me, is where the biggest rewards are to be found.

So what should an intermediate player do? When a person becomes serious about tennis and wants a good quality racquet he can commit to for a good while, what does he do given the hundreds of choices out there?

larrhall
08-17-2004, 04:43 PM
Given a few weeks to adjust to a slightly lighter frame with a bigger hitting areas, most of the racquetheads here would almost certainly play better than with their favorite, heavier frame.

Why is that? It's for reasons that we, thirty-something to fifty-something and more, prefer not to discuss. We are older all the time, slower all the time, a little weaker all the time. We practice less. Heck, most of us no longer play matches. If we do, then no tournaments. Most likely, we don't in fact play matches but the occasional set. Yet we talk as if nothing has changed from five or six years ago when we did all those things.

I actually prefer to play with a heavy frame, and love all graphite, or graphite with kevlar (graphite is the best feeling to me). But I read the comments by Christian P, and notice also that Andy Roddick, who is worlds and worlds above all of us as players, hits with an 11.5 ounce frame (more or less). We see Wayne Arthurs bombing 130 mph serves with the same stick, but we don't recoil. Nah - we convince ourselves, with our 2-6 hours of weekly court time that we'll do just as well late in a second set with a 13 ounce frame as with a nice solid modern player's stick of 11.5-12 ounces.

I doubt it.

The other thing that nobody talks about is that most of these 'true' players' sticks have very small hitting areas. I know my SRD Tours do. But again, give me a 98 si head size for a few weeks, tire me out (it doesn't take long), and I'll make better contact with the 98 than the 90 si. I don't switch because currently I'm not playing matches and don't foresee playing any. But if that changes and I pick it up again 'seriously', I am pretty sure it won't be with the SRD Tour 90, much as I love it.

A whole lot of posturing here by folks who have stared time in the face and laughed it right out the door...

along with some realists.

Deuce
08-17-2004, 09:20 PM
Thank you for that excellent post, tkoets.

If I possessed the capacity to express my thoughts on the matter as clearly as you have done, I would have written pretty much exactly what you wrote.

Phil
08-17-2004, 10:53 PM
Oh Please, oh PUH-LEEZE STFU w/your whinning about whinners.

Okay, that off my chest, I'm probably one of those "purist" types, but I totally understand David's position here. The game is not just for 5.0 studs. It would be STOOPID to expect a 65-year old man, an average player, to play effectively, and HAVE FUN, using a Wilson PS 6.0. Don't forget, most people who play the game do so for FUN. To call a player a "cheater" for using a legally-sanctioned "old lady" stick is to be ignorant of the changes in the game and technology.

Tennis as sport is (loosely) comparable to battle-it matches two opponents, who are never truly equal in skill, and requires that they use their bodies and brains, strength and subtlety, wit and guile to defeat their opponent. What each of them bring to play is their CHOICE. The "purist" MAKES HIS CHOICE to play with an obsolete stick, while the technology adapter makes HIS choice to play with an ultra light wand that may give him a needed edge. If the racquets they use are "legal", then there is no reason to label one or the other "wrong" or "out of touch". Each CHOOSES his own preferred weapon, be it long sword, axe, mace or lance. Wait, this is tennis...

Anyway, to call one or the other side jerks or hard headed or cheaters, is way too simplistic. That's like saying that the 5,000 hungry, tired and worn down English bowmen who COMPLETELY ANNIHILATED the 30,000 French mounted knights ON FRENCH SOIL at the battle of Agincourt, were "cheaters". The English used a new and, at the time, misunderstood technology-the long bow-against an enemy that was living in the recent past, who believed that their "purist" instincts in the form of a slow and heavily mounted calvalry charge would win the day. Each side made their choices-one side, however, chose to WIN. But for years after that, the French cursed the English as a bunch of cheating, scheming devils, unworthy of doing battle with them. This is the kind of thinking I see in this thread.

Do I advocate geriatric sticks? For me, no. I don't use them because they don't allow me to serve with the combination of pace and control that I need in a serve-dominated game such as mine. BUT, I will NEVER begrudge an opponent for using a lighter, more nimble stick, and I cannot, in good conscious, pee and moan if I lose to such a person-we both made our choices, and on that day, mine was the wrong choice. This is just another reason why the game is so interesting and diverse-because we CAN make choices-in equipment, playing styles, etc. Therefore, to argue one side or the other in this debate is kinda pointless. Technology doesn't make the game "better"; it just offers more options. It makes the game DIFFERENT, as another poster pointed out.

PusherMan
08-18-2004, 12:10 AM
Strong, Phil. Very strong. Nothing more needs to be said about this subject.

Now I'm off with my trusty POG mid to do battle with those pesky Babolats!!!!

Phil
08-18-2004, 04:47 AM
Thanks for the compliment, PusherMan-Appreciate it.

louisc
08-18-2004, 06:14 AM
Good post, Phil. The time will probably come for each of us when we accept that our traditional frames need to make way for something that is in keeping with the changes in our style of play as we get older. If I can still get the ball over the net when I'm 80 because I'm using a lightweight power frame, great!

Chanchai
08-18-2004, 07:18 AM
Nice discussions. I personally liked what Phil said.

But I have to say... Tennis Elbow isn't a new phenomenon, I think it did exist in the 80s.... and 70s... and for a long time before that... heck, medical references (I'll mention webMD anyways for this post's sake) attribute tennis elbow more towards abuse of some daily activities, but further aggrevated by tennis in general. Frustrate yourself on that tight jar lid? Etc...

Using a player's racquet or a wooden racquet doesn't spare me from Tennis Elbow. Applying the proper technique that works best with those racquets helps to reduce my chances of getting tennis elbow.

I played with a few wooden racquets recently. It was fun, once I did go towards traditional technique. Certainly, using a semiwestern grip with an open stance practically killed my arm and my chances of hitting the sweet spot were less and I started feeling like wood racquets give you tennis elbow more than anything in the world. Then after 10 minutes, I went back to the eastern grip I first learned, maybe a continental sometimes, stayed in a neutral stance, stepped in as I swung, generally swung slowly (or at least, letting it go with momentum and the racquet doing the work for me) and suddenly I was hitting some nice shots. Not really the shots I really like, but I was hitting nice shots with good pace and placement more or less. So that was nice--once I applied more traditional technique or technique that doesn't have the amplified pain inducing results on a wood racquet.

Then I'm playing with my Tour 90, most say it's definitely a player's frame, some argue it isn't (for odd reasons). Can't swing like crazy on it, but I can use my modern techniques. In fact, using the techniques I used on the wood racquet, I just lost a bit of control, hit a lot of balls long, and felt that anybody could hit a volley winner on my shots (well, they could do that when I was playing with wood too, much of the time anyways--did get some nice passing shots here and there). So I go back to more modern techniques. Semi-western forehand, loose and true eastern backhand, neutral/semi-open/open stances a plenty. I'm pretty happy, but of course if I go for a really western style with this racquet it kills my arm and makes me feel like I'm overworking those tendons and ligaments in my arm. With the wood racquet, it was weight and tiny sweet spot that pretty much forced me to slow down or use traditional methods. Here it's just more like weight making sure I don't go for much wrist or snap through shots like crazy. But it feels good to hit, very stable (much more stable than both wood and "modern" racquets). I'm happy. I get to use my main techniques.

And then I go to my 300G, my main racquet. When using traditional techniques, I just feel like I'm holding back or losing control. So yeah, it is a lighter racquet and the sweet spot is a bit bigger than the other racquets--so I go for fewer flat shots. I'm still using semi-western forehand and various eastern and continental backhands, heck, I'm also using my semi-western backhand (drive and topspin oriented). But the thing is, I'm also going for my western forehands too, I can use a bit more of a compact serve motion that doesn't kill my shoulder if I exagerate the serve or feel like my timing is soooooo critical. I don't get that heavy serve, but I do get a serve that kicks more out of spin than energy displacement and weight transfer. My shots are faster but not as heavy. And to be honest, I like all this. I like moving my contact zone forward and I feel I actually have more shot selection depending on what I do.

And of course all of these have had their downsides... And must be kept in check within each realm. Witht he wood racquets, I had to make sure that the sweet spot was number one priority. It was like, miss the sweet spot and you go to elbow and even shoulder hell. Hit the sweetspot and you get good control in a low paced game, but you can be a candidate for volley fodder too. Depends on your opponent. With the racquet that I have closest to a "Players racquet" I got to make a lot out of traditional techniques, but I was also able to implement modern drive techniques. My focus just wasn't on spin, but that's just me... some people are spin masters on the traditional graphite player frames (though it seems like many such people also get various injuries). And then I go to lighter frames and I can use more modern techniques while traditional techniques just don't match up to the modern techniques with these racquets imo. But I still use them when I feel it's called for.

But this is all just the experiences I had. Different equipment, different technique. Obviously with ALL OF THE RACQUETS, if you swing way too hard and out of control, you're likely to get tennis elbow. However, if you're also late in hitting the ball and hit it behind you, YOU ARE ALSO A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR TENNIS ELBOW. So long as you got your timing right with a heavier racquet, you should be fine with it. But if it's heavy for you, less maneuverable, and let's assume you don't have fast reflexes, that could be bad. Just because using a light frame to the point of excessive overswinging and constant mishits causes problems for you doesn't mean that the other racquet won't give you tennis elbow. In fact, I swore I heard more about Tennis Elbow back in the day than I do now. And of all the people that I know of that have tennis elbow, a good 95% or more are above the age of 30 and more than half are using traditional frames. But I won't stop people from speculating.

However, I understand the argument is that a more traditional frame encourages you to not experiment with heavy swinging (unless you started very young). Therefore, the argument goes something like "because you won't go for so much, you're less likely for tennis elbow." Thing is, if you're still chasing the ball like crazy, have poor timing, and either mishit or swing way too late or off your back foot too much, you're still getting tennis elbow no matter what. It just shows up more if you're playing like 2-5 times a week than if you are the casual person that plays once a week or once a month. Some of the "modern racquets" I think were originally designed for such people.

With the popularity of modding (adding weight) on the serious tennis level, I say no wonder companies have extra incentive to come up with lightweight racquets for more "advanced" players (instead of just the casual folk implied in the above paragraph). They don't like how light it is? They can add weight. They like how light it is? They don't have to complain about the racquet being too demanding/limiting. You can add weight, but your less likely to subtract it.

With different racquets, which may include different technology, there's just going to be different ways of exploiting the different advantages and reducing the different disadvantages associated with the properties of the racquet. That's part of the reason why techniques may vary on the effective level (such as pro level). Other reasons include different body types (male vs. female is probably one popular base for the topic, but it extends to individuals with factors like reach and hip/leg/shoulder/arm strength). Different muscles group focus is definitely in there. But tennis is a sport, it's an activity that requires physical work. When you keep pushing certain areas of the body around, other areas will either compensate or that worked area will burn out. If the technique has a limitation, it will be exploited by someone else. If the person persists in forcing that technique under circumstance, it's going to come at some cost.

And we are more aware of issues with the body now than we used to be. Sports Science has come a long way (especially with the cold war in the past). We lock onto areas, but sometimes nothing is done. Heck, two-handers had so many benefits, but now there are players with left wrist injuries. Traditional technique actually seems to have more tennis elbow casualities on higher levels, but modern technique has hip casualties.

To many people, the realm of sports represents pushing the envelope of the human body. Injuries are a natural part of the process. But of course, we gotta work to reduce their chances and that's a factor in discussions like this.

But to be honest... when people bring up the tennis elbow debate... the extreme examples apply to extreme equipment (imo, I'd say Hyper Hammer is a good case for a racquet that's super stiff and light causing more tennis elbow--but I think it has more to do with the hollow construction combined with above factors, how many vibrations are you going to get out of that?!). But I don't think tennis elbow is as common as it used to be, but it still happens. I figure, if you want to complain about the pairing of modern techniques with modern racquets, a better area to focus on is hip and wrist injuries.

Back to what I was saying in the beginning though.... it's the technique that really brings out the injuries though. Especially the abuse of a technique, because you're putting in hours after hours of overwork on certain isolated areas. And it only gets worse when you deal with balls that kick funny or balls you completely misread or are too slow to get to.

For every few people that have huge power, there are a few people that can turn that power to their advantage and work the ball. On the pro level, counterpunchers like Coria or talented ball strikers who take the ball early like Agassi or Federer are extreme examples. On the casual level--you still have your pushers who show that they can deal with power to a good extent (and they still drive you crazy right?). You still have your local talents who can turn your pace into a winner. You have a few rare talents that can turn a heavy topspin shot against them into a vicious dropshot with heavy backspin.

But the thing is... I can't say power tennis rules the recreational level... it doesn't rule the junior level as well as the counterpunchers, with the exception of the talents. On the college level it may rule. And on the pro level it shines, but shouldn't it always shine in the pro level anyways? Besides, doesn't it make it more interesting to watch players like Federer, especially considering the times? But why do some of us rip on a guy like Coria because he has no power but has gone near the top? Or how did a guy like Hewitt come up on top for a good while on fast surfaces?

Besides... currently on the pro level, last year's trend of the slice bakchand big forehand combo isn't all over the place now. Most players have been building transition games or trying. A good amount of power players are charging the net way more than in the past. Trends always happen, and for those that miss a more balanced game of tennis, the trend is more towards all-court play. It won't be pure all-court play for everyone... but no matter the trend, there are always exceptions and there are always different styles.

I should also say that injury on the pro level, I believe that it's more to do with the level of training and athleticism involved in the last couple decades or so. The ideal for many athletes is to manage peak performance and ability to be used at the right moments, and to maintain the body like a machine when it is at that level. But sometimes it's a thin line... Many athletes push their bodies beyond capacity or capability, maybe even play above themselves due to chemicals (adrenaline). And their bodies will take a toll. The tour is long and grueling, they're only more likely to get injured...

Anyways, to get back to the thread title... I don't know if technology is making better racquets. I think it's just opening up more ways to play the game, but in the process of discovery, certain trends will become popular, but that also has to do with influential players (Borg and Agassi really being influences for the baseline game). I'd like to think that racquets are getting better, but the truth is that they're just getting different and they bring advantages and disadvantages and players have to manage that within their own bodies limitations. In a sense, yes, racquets are getting better--but to use different equipment properly, we sometimes have to go to different applications (techniques). And of course, we have to manage the negatives. Just because a racquet is heavy doesn't make it good. Just because a racquet has a huge sweetspot doesn't make it good. Just because a racquet is light, doesn't make it good. So on and so on and so on. It's just different, and the burden of balance and making sure we don't overdo things and hit the ball cleanly is upon us.

I certainly wouldn't teach pure wood racquet techniques to someone using a granny stick, it's too discouraging to just launch the ball off the court even with slight strokes and open grips. But I certainly would not teach modern techniques for players with wood racquets either, that'll just kill their arm. It's just different. You use different equipment differently and each has their warning stickers (so to speak). Both are gonna damage your body when used improperly--DUH.

-Chanchai

PS But I tell you, aside from recreational racquets for once a year play... I doubt racquets were made to just suck. Though marketing departments will try to spin whatever is in it, whether it's just a new way of calling an old thing or not. Would we moan about the new "uber bar" on a PNG because we thought it wasn't the stabilizer bar but some new technology made of RT Graphite? BTW, RT stands for Room Temperature :P

Eug
08-18-2004, 12:33 PM
That was the longest post ever recorded on the internet :lol:
I do agree with your statement that new racquet technology brings new advantages and disadvantages to the game. I guess it just keeps things interesting. I'm all for that only if the player with the new technology truly understands how to exploit the tech. My fear is that 30 years down the road they will have self swinging racquets with dials and knobs to adjust spin and depth...hehe

NoBadMojo
08-18-2004, 12:51 PM
volkl is coming out w. adjustable catapults....a little dial that you can crank the BOING up or down with.......ok that was a lie, but thats what its coming to:) ed

BreakPoint
08-18-2004, 12:53 PM
WOW, Chanchai!!!! Are you writing a book on the subject? Maybe a three-part article for Tennis magazine? That post was so long my eyes got tired just reading it. Sorry, but I gave up and didn't finish reading the whole thing. Perhaps a summary or Cliff Notes version would help. Maybe a table of contents? My fingers get sore just thinking about all that typing. :wink: :lol:

tkoets
08-18-2004, 01:37 PM
Phil,

I appreciate your post, but I think your wartime analogy is a bit difficult to tie to tennis. The fundamental objective of war is to win by killing people and breaking their stuff. That is a fixed definition that is unlikely to ever change. And as such, the better the weapon you have, the better the chance you have of meeting the objective.

If the purpose of tennis is simply to win no matter what it takes, then your analogy would correlate very nicely. And to some, perhaps that is the case. And so the racquet that maximizes your capability to win is what you go with. So if you can routinely serve 130+ mph, you get a lighter, stiffer racquet that allows you to bomb serves all day long and you beat your opponents primarily through your serve. And if you’re on the Pro Tour and want to stay there, it might make some sense (in a pragmatic sense), since winning means a higher ranking, and more money coming in, and more fame, and so forth.

However, to one who appreciates tennis for the art, the finesse – the ability to construct a point rather than simply blast balls back to the opponent and dominate them by your power – for that kind of player, the trend toward lighter, stiffer, and more powerful racquets is not so great.

Again, it’s not about what’s best for individual players, it’s really all about the overall direction tennis, and really our society as a whole, is heading. Now of course if someone is physically unable to wield a heavier racquet, a lighter racquet would be a viable alternative. But I think the reason for choosing such racquets is often for other reasons, namely to give a person as much power as they can so they can overpower and therefore dominate their opponents. And that takes the art out of the game, not to mention it makes for very boring tennis. And despite the fact this can be debated, you can see what has happened to the popularity of the sport as the “power game” has become more prominent.

I’m not saying that our choices should be restricted. I’m just sad that the type of choices we have exist at all, because the choices we have are symptomatic of a deeper problem as I discussed in my previous post.

chazz
08-18-2004, 01:56 PM
I'll throw in my 2 cents on this topic. IMO the racquet manufacturers should go back to using graphite, fiberglass and kevlar in their racquets. The technology that was used in the first graphite racquets produced was the best. Now it's just all marketing. The old racquets of the 80s and early 90s were way more comfortable. I don't see why it would be difficult for someone just learning tennis to swing an 11 or 11.6 oz racquet in a midplus headsize. Even a 12 oz racquet that is balanced headlight isn't very hard to swing. IMO a sub 10 oz super oversize racquet is going to keep someone from learning proper stroke mechanics and therefore keep them from improving. I'm not saying those racquets don't have a place but i think a majority of people would be better off with racquets that aren't as stiff and light. Tennis elbow has been mentioned as a symptom of people using light and stiff racquets. I know that improper technique can also be the cause as was mentioned. I'd like to add that there are more people with wrist problems as a result of using light and stiff racquets and it's not just bad technique that causes it. I myself was using a light and stiff yonex racquet. It was great at first with the amount of racquet speed i was able to get but eventually my shots kept landing shorter and shorter and my wrist really started to bother me. I went back to my trusty RD7 and the pain went away. It only took me awhile to get used to serving with it once i remembered to let the racquet do all of the work. I may switch to a lighter racquet but it won't be too light and definitely not a stiff racquet.

Chanchai
08-18-2004, 02:48 PM
Sigh.... I actually did attempt to make a Cliffsnotes version for some of you... and it still came out at like 4 pages... There was just too much I wanted to say and I tend to sweat the smaller details because they help to communicate what I mean (be it logical, faulty, or effective--it's how I feel and stand by after all).

Even this summary (which is way smaller than the cliffnotes--believe me) makes it tough for me to accept as a summary... Sigh... having a fast typing speed (like 130-150 WPM depending on mood, train of thought, and how you measure WPM) sort of encourages me to just type whatever comes to mind.... and we could talk about carpal tunnel syndrome brought on by modern keyboards (JUST KIDDING!!! But... typewriters would still create carpal tunnel syndrome).

-Tennis Elbow isn't new and it's more a result of bad technique than the racquet (but of course, some racquets are vicious--a Hyper Hammer 2.3 I tried out is not only light and stiff, but hallow and is asking to carry vibrations all over the place unless you play it like a granny stick). I doubt tennis elbow is more prosperous now than it was in the 80s and 70s when it seemed like the biggest topic of tennis.

-Played with various wooden, traditional graphite, and modern racquets. Just kinda went through my personal experiences with them and why I ended up using a different set of techniques for each... To be honest, the wood killed my arm the most in the process of discovering why traditionalists love traditional technique--you can't use anything but that on wood unless you're insanely strong and accurate.

-Different racquet = different techniques imo. Different techniques = different advantages and disadvantages. Different advantages and disadvantages = different areas of caution and potential for injury.

-If someone wants to worry about modern injuries with modern techniques--I would look at abuse of the hip and wrists. Tennis elbow always exists because of arm activity, so with modern techniques, it's just more important to keep that contact point even more forward and with a bent arm instead of straight arm. Shoulders are at risk with both traditional and modern racquets, but the nature is a bit different.

-I think lighter racquets were originally designed to be step up racquets. At some point they've become racquets targetted at different niches. On the advanced level, I feel that modding contributes to the decision for making "lighter player racquets" (if you can call them that)--it doesn't make the decision, but you can always add weight, while taking down weight is usually a bad idea with racquets.

And then I wrote on a lot of other points, but along those lines of thinking. But I am acknowledging, listening to, and trying to emphasize and understand the counterarguments and the bad experiences of some others here--and bad speculations too (instead of just hearing and trying to know) .

-Chanchai

Chanchai
08-18-2004, 03:02 PM
Another area I'm curious in discussing about is just comfort-racquets. Like pure comfort racquets with no concerns of feel or maybe even power.

For example... I don't advocate the Wilson Triad series... but to be honest, my feeling with some of those racquets is that it really was the most arm friendly racquet I've swung, simply for the fact that it really felt like I was hitting whiffle balls (or those tiny golf like whiffle balls). I didn't feel any shock at all. But of course, the complaint for such racquet is that there is no feel. But I could still control my shots, I just didn't feel them through.

Curious on thoughts on racquets like that which were clearly created in attempts at making racquets for beginners that didn't have nearly as much risk in destroying arms as other racquets. But obviously, such racquets were not made to be marketed to a lot of us.

As a side note... I recently checked up on Racquet Research, a site I don't normally go by (maybe out of ignorance). But it rated the Triads as horrible... but it wasn't so nice to the Pro Staff Original either.

-Chanchai

Shane Reynolds
08-18-2004, 04:36 PM
I like David's comments but I think Phil has nailed it here. Good reference on Agincourt. I'm sure you know this but others might not - this is actually where we get "the bird." The French were so upset after losing so many men that they offered a reward for the second finger of English archers (so they could not use their longbows). The English defiantly held up their second fingers in battle to show that they were still capable archers.

Moving on, I think my autosignature says it all. If people truly believe there are only a few "true" racquets out there, why do they come to a messageboard about racquets? Would they not be string groupies since there is no point to ever changing racquets? When I was struggling to learn golf (and yes, I finally gave up), my friends told me "wait until you hit the ball squarely one good time and watch it fly - then you'll know if this sport is for you." I have to say, that was one of the most satisfying feelings in my life when I finally did get a hold of the ball and hit it a couple of hundred yards (into the woods). My point is that people coming to the game for amusement don't care to take lessons and practice drills every week - they just want to go out with their buddies and play a little tennis. Newer materials make the game more enjoyable. You can argue all you want that the samurai is a better warrior, better trained and more highly skilled but bullets go through him just fine (unless he's Tom Cruise). I'm sure there is a generation out there (mostly without computers) that think the game was ruined by aluminum and graphite. If there wasn't a market for the newer racquets, the manufacturers wouldn't make them.

Steve H.
08-18-2004, 06:25 PM
Chanchai, to answer your questions about the Triads -- with those layers in the throat they dampen the vibration, but they are still light, stiff, and head-heavy so they still put a lot of torque on your arm at impact. I've known several Triad 3.0 users, especially, who had serious wrist and elbow problems.

RacquetResearch considers only the mass, balance, and swingweight in producing its ratings, which is only part of the story -- stiffness and string composition and tension are also significant factors in arm safety. (duck! RR is another favorite topic for a lot of discussion)

Chanchai
08-18-2004, 06:54 PM
Steve, thanks a lot. I appreciate the direct response and the explanation :)

So the issue with the triads is how the variables add up to a lot of torque on the arm. Though the feel is completely dampened, no matter what, you're still going to be torquing that arm up as a result of the swing and I'm assuming you're implying encouragement of overswinging as well?

Yeah, about RacquetResearch... the reason I don't really pay much attention to them is because I had a feeling for what you said (but for the sake of argument, I do read the site once in awhile--because some others believe in it). That is, I felt that Racquet Research is really focusing on a few variables and more or less just create a set of formulas for their rating based on the official spec of the racquet. And as you said, that's only stating part of the story. There's still technique, but on the racquet side of things, there are still other elements not factored in even from the specs most people look at (like the stiffness rating not necessarily being truly accurate because it's just throat stiffness, right?).

Anyways. THANKS! :)

-Chanchai

Exxion
08-18-2004, 07:49 PM
I thought the topic was about if new technology made better RACKETS? Everybody starts to talk about how it changes the GAME(such as more options, the art of the game, etc.)

The REAL question is, if you were to play YOURSELF in a match and one of you uses a wood racket and the other you uses some modern nCode/Liquidmetal/whatever racket, WHO WOULD WIN?


conclusion, technology=better rackets even though it'll change the way the game is played

edit: BTW i stopped reading after the 4th page, sorry if somethign was already said or this topic ended already =)

Deuce
08-18-2004, 10:08 PM
Another excellent post, tkoets...

But, in doing a search, I've found that you're experimenting with several of the current generation of stiff, light frames. Does this not run counter to what you express as your perspective, or philosophy?

Phil
08-18-2004, 11:09 PM
Tkoets wrote:

Phil,

I appreciate your post, but I think your wartime analogy is a bit difficult to tie to tennis. The fundamental objective of war is to win by killing people and breaking their stuff. That is a fixed definition that is unlikely to ever change. And as such, the better the weapon you have, the better the chance you have of meeting the objective.

The warfare analogy is not at all difficult to tie into tennis, especially if you go back to see that I added a qualifier-i.e. that a tennis match is LOOSELY based on warfare. Maybe I could have qualified it more to read "Medieval warefare" or pre-industrial age...because both activities, as I said, pit opponents against each other seeking to defeat the other with whatever they have at their disposal, within the "rules" of their respective activities. The objective of chess is not to kill people either, but it is LOOSELY based on warfare. Is the analogy any clearer for you now?

If the purpose of tennis is simply to win no matter what it takes, then your analogy would correlate very nicely. And to some, perhaps that is the case. And so the racquet that maximizes your capability to win is what you go with. So if you can routinely serve 130+ mph, you get a lighter, stiffer racquet that allows you to bomb serves all day long and you beat your opponents primarily through your serve....

However, to one who appreciates tennis for the art, the finesse – the ability to construct a point rather than simply blast balls back to the opponent and dominate them by your power – for that kind of player, the trend toward lighter, stiffer, and more powerful racquets is not so great.

I appreciate art and finesse in the game too, but it can become an obession. The person who appreciates tennis only for the art and finesse is the same person who criticizes the "pushers" and the "baseline bashers" who play anything BUT finesse tennis. Brute force and finesse exist in the same sport, which to me is the beauty of the sport. For you to define tennis as a purist/aestheticist's game is to narrow the sport-what makes the sport interesting is the contrast of styles. My point is that both the bashers and the fluid S&V'ers exist in the same game and make their choice as to what style/racquet they will apply.

Again, it’s not about what’s best for individual players, it’s really all about the overall direction tennis, and really our society as a whole, is heading. Now of course if someone is physically unable to wield a heavier racquet, a lighter racquet would be a viable alternative. But I think the reason for choosing such racquets is often for other reasons, namely to give a person as much power as they can so they can overpower and therefore dominate their opponents. And that takes the art out of the game, not to mention it makes for very boring tennis. And despite the fact this can be debated, you can see what has happened to the popularity of the sport as the “power game” has become more prominent. .

I think the "dominance of power" is cyclical at the pro level, and at the club level (not junior level, where the power game certainly dominates now) I still think that finesse and placement share the mantle with power, even with the hyper sticks. As far as your analogy of tennis' direction mirroring the decline of Western Civilization, I think this is a stretch. Our game, as much as we love it, is not such a barometer of decline. If anything, it is indication that society is becoming more diverse and tolerant-to different styles and different ethnic backgrounds of the players-but even this is somewhat of a stretch.

I’m not saying that our choices should be restricted. I’m just sad that the type of choices we have exist at all, because the choices we have are symptomatic of a deeper problem as I discussed in my previous post

Tkoets -

In other words, you're saying that the choices that we HAVE right now should be restricted (because they reflect a deeper problem). This sounds to me like the kind of academic gobbedlygook that comes out of the universities and ideological publications (both left and right). I don't buy it, but I appreciate your arguments and the way you presented them.

tkoets
08-19-2004, 04:52 AM
Another excellent post, tkoets... But, in doing a search, I've found that you're experimenting with several of the current generation of stiff, light frames. Does this not run counter to what you express as your perspective, or philosophy?

Deuce, good observation, and I need to clarify. The convictions I have are a result of many "rounds" of putting them to the test and proving them to be true. Over the years, maybe after a frustrating loss, or at the advice of a friend or someone "in the know", I have occasionally been tempted to try something that makes tennis "easier" to play, or to give me an edge at my 3.5 level. I guess you could say that deep down I knew my convictions were right, but I guess I needed to go through the process of putting them to the test so I could be more confident of them.

And so, this last foray into current generation stuff did nothing more to further cement my convictions on this issue, and I feel more and more confident that I'm right. In a sense, I have seen this "quick fix" mentality crop up occasionally in my own attitude, and every time I have indulged it, I find it leads me nowhere. So part of this has been a maturation process on my part, discovered out, so to speak, in the areana of tennis. The bottom line is there are no shortcuts to improvement -- it can only come through hard work, patience, and the inner motivation to improve. Equipment plays a role, but not near as much as we're led to believe.

So for me, I'm back to the point where I think I need to consider a heavier, more flexible racquet, and once again am looking amongst the myriad choices about me trying to figure out what would be the right choice. Any suggestions, by the way?

Hope this helps clarify things. And thanks for your post! Phil, thanks for yours, too, not enough time to digest it right now but will try and address it as soon as I get a chance.

Deuce
08-19-2004, 10:15 PM
I appreciate the detailed explanation, tkoets.

As for racquet suggestions for you, my only advice would be to go back at least 10 years, to a time when racquets were made more to the standards you seem to enjoy. Perhaps a Pro Tour 280, which first saw the light of store shelves in 1994... Or a Fischer Vacuum Pro 90 from approximately the same era. Essentially, the further you go back in time - to an extreme of perhaps 1980 - the more likely you are to find a racquet which meets your criteria. If you've never tried, say, a midsize graphite/fiberglass frame from the 80s, I suggest you do so, rather than placing your hope in any of today's crop of frames. After going through a series of more modern frames (Pro Tour 280, Prestige Classic, MuscleWeave 200G 90...) I, personally, am enjoying the game more since switching to a midsize frame from the mid-eighties. These are the racquets I grew up playing with; the racquets with which my style of game was built. These older racquets can be found on ****, as well as in the For Sale section of this message board.

Good luck.

PusherMan
08-19-2004, 11:13 PM
Awwww...How Cute. Deucey has found a new flexy throat friend. :twisted:

ilian
04-01-2007, 09:31 PM
When it comes to technology, I know one that has definitely made a big difference and is still missed today and could not be replaced by any other. Yes, you guessed it right - it is the injection moulding that was used for the making of Dunlop MAX 200G.

Lambsscroll
04-04-2007, 05:10 AM
Does all this supposed technology liquidmetal, developed for the military, or intellifibers or nCode or whatever technology is marketed as the new best thing really make for better racquets? It seems like we are just making lighter more powerful racquets for beginners who don't really need to develop proper technique just to have fun. Does all this technology really make a better players racquet? Is the LM radical or the wilson Ncode better than the POG or the wilson prostaff 6.0?

The new technology adds variety. Nadal plays well with the new technology. Moya too. Federer plays with specs closer to the PS 85. Young athletes now have a greater pool to choose from than 15 years ago.

Leoboomanu
04-04-2007, 06:59 AM
All is fair in love and war... So whatever it takes to win right?
Most of the discussion relates to preference and playing level...
Anyway, here's a thought that really relates to technology...
Same raq (model)different tech...
N90 vs k90
radical os... Liquidm,intel,flex,original yellow
Pd+ or with cortex
pog os vs o3 tour os
played all, lets see what u all can say...

Jack & Coke
04-04-2007, 08:15 AM
imo, unless the size and weight of the ball changes, you're not going to see too many real advancements in racquet "technology".

All of the different combinations of flex/stiffness, weight, length, etc. are pretty much out there now. There's only so many combinations that you can come up with.

The strings are where advancements can really come into play.. but not so much with racquets anymore.

ollinger
04-04-2007, 08:20 AM
Jack & Coke
Interesting post. You don''t feel there are advances to be made in racquets but list the K90 as one of your frames. Why did you bother?

shojun25
04-04-2007, 08:20 AM
I don't think most new racquet technologies are necessary. I believe some technologies, the ncode and the O3, helps. Ncode bringing more stability to the racquet, and the O3 because of physics. There might be other racquets that have better technologies, but I can't think of any right now.

There are some racquets that are pure graphite, PK Redondo, POG, and PS, that pwns because its just a well-made, old school racquet.

People don't really need all these new racquets to become better. They just have to practice (IMO).

Leoboomanu
04-04-2007, 09:56 AM
IMO, yup strings are one of the better advancements in tennis, lux and pro hurricane...
And i don't care if other think otherwise, but Babs are changing the future of player frames with the aero and pd...
IMO again, aerodynamic frames help alot, with spin that is... powerful flat balls are great, but the spin shots really adds another dimension to the game...
Yes, flat put-aways are amazing to see, but nadal's tight angle spinners are just as impressive...
Imagine having both shots in your arsenal...
And please let's not restrict player frames to the 85's and 90's, we're not calling nadal, agassi, roddick etc., lesser players are we?

And YES shojun... Practice practice practice...

Jack & Coke
04-04-2007, 09:59 AM
Jack & Coke
Interesting post. You don''t feel there are advances to be made in racquets but list the K90 as one of your frames. Why did you bother?

ollinger,

I'm a fan and owner of many different frames. More than what I listed.

Unlike most here, I don't play with only one "holly grail".

I play for fun, nostalgia, and curiosity.

Each time I hook up Sunday mornings with my friends for doubles, I bring a different frame.

I love all my frames for different reasons. None are "better" than the others. They just play differently. I actually swing differently for each racquet I decide to take out. Now that's not recommended for the "serious" player who wants consistancy in their game so they can move up the rankings.. but that's me. I do it for fun.

Don't judge me just because I own a "new" technology K90. It's a great frame.

kalic
04-08-2007, 10:44 PM
O3 is technology that works, and Yonex head shape... Other princes, wilsons, heads etc...are marketing gimmicks to me.

Eric89
05-10-2007, 09:00 PM
Wait, wait, wait.... the pure drive i just ordered isnt going to make me serve OR hit forehands like andy?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

tennis_hand
05-10-2007, 10:19 PM
Does all this supposed technology liquidmetal, developed for the military, or intellifibers or nCode or whatever technology is marketed as the new best thing really make for better racquets? It seems like we are just making lighter more powerful racquets for beginners who don't really need to develop proper technique just to have fun. Does all this technology really make a better players racquet? Is the LM radical or the wilson Ncode better than the POG or the wilson prostaff 6.0?

Short answer Yes.

Long asnwer: you won't be interested.

Alafter
05-10-2007, 10:44 PM
Short answer Yes.

Long asnwer: you won't be interested.

Psssssst *points out grumpy old smarty guy from the other similar thread with the one eye avatar* Careful, may bite.

pow
05-10-2007, 11:01 PM
I thought that technology made the better racquet for the longest time because it sure seemed that way for say... computers? I applied that logic to racquets also and never gave much thought to trying out older racquets. Once I did, I was blown away, I don't know why but I felt like I had so much more feel. For the longest time I had a bias against older racquets thinking that perhaps new advancements made the difference, nope. You gotta try them out youself to be sure.