View Full Version : Does Your Opinion Change WHEN...

Andy Zarzuela
08-13-2004, 09:56 AM
you see your oponent (or just anybody) playing with an light, big oversize racquet? Because when I was at Bollettieri, there was a kid in my group playing with a Hyper Hammer 6.3 OS and I figured he must not be good, but he beat everybody he played (I never got to play him unfortunately).
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08-13-2004, 10:47 AM
as a veteran, i can tell you that if you wish to play tennis for life, your success is gonna be pretty shortlived by taking the easy way out by going for stiff and powerful and oversized stuff where you really dont need good mechanics (there are exceptions of course)..you may thump some players initially w. your light and powerful gear, but things catch up and these kids w. the pd+'s strung w. alu are gonna wish they hadnt when their arms fall off and they are still in their 20's....and they are still stuck with a pure drive game. my .02. ed

08-13-2004, 11:28 AM
Well said, ed. Couldn't have said it better.

08-13-2004, 12:12 PM
Andy - I feel ya. It is much like when someone shows to a tourney with one of those tiny old three racquet bags. Or when they show up wearing running shoes. When they show up with only one racquet. And the guy who spins his racquet and lets drop on the ground. I always think that it will be an easy day at the office!

BTW I lost to the guy wearing running shoes.

08-13-2004, 12:37 PM
thanks @wright for the props..exceedingly rare around these parts and much appreciated. hope you like your day. ed

08-13-2004, 12:46 PM
NoBad.. I'm not sure I agree with you completely.. we're currently seeing a generation of pros for whom rackets similar to the Head Tour Prestige series were the norm and hence the ones they learnt to play with.

The trend now is towards lighter stiffer rackets.. I think in 10 years the best players then will be using these lighter stiffer rackets because it's the feel the grew up with. As for their arms falling off.. I don't see it happening simply because they'll be hitting the sweet spot on the majority of shots.

08-13-2004, 01:38 PM
lighter and stiffer=ouch and very few players reach the pro level so that really doesnt equate very well to the amateur playing public. because the pros can use something (they can use almost anything) doesnt translate very well to people that dont hit thousands of balls every day w. the right technique (for the most part) who hit the swetspot as opposed to kids that go out and hit as hard as they can w. light and stiff frames w. stiff strings and bad technique..it catches up to you..i know this because i work w. ranked pure drive juniors who are 14 or so complaining of wrist and arm pain. oddly, these are the very same juniors who cant volley at all and cant do anything else but hang out at the baseline. pete sampras sez that he didnt know if his kid would ever want to learn to play tennis, but if he did, he would be sure to find something made of wood for his son to play with to start. i would say that samps certainly knows a little more about this than me.and you too. the trend is to lighter and stiffer frames because the ball comes so fast now at the pro level and pros play for the money and prob wont be so interested in playing when they are in their 50's and just want any edge they can get and will use any gear that helps them acheive those goals, even at the expense of their health...i'm tellin all those that will listen here to embrace the flexy w. some mass to it and avoid polys at all costs...then they too can play good (painfree) ball when they reach 50. ed

Camilio Pascual
08-13-2004, 02:21 PM
I'm with you NoBadMojo. My fellow olde pharts pick up my Prince Original Graphite OS sticks and grunt at how heavy it is and hate it...until they hit a few groundies with it. It is getting harder for me to make returns against fast servers because of the high swingweight and I am experimenting with 2 of those Prince More Precision Demos TW is selling. I do believe there have been improvements made to shock dampening in recent years, but a light racquet is just not going to be stable and give the same control as a heavier racquet. I don't agree with you about OS sticks. The POGOStick is not that powerful and I need to use good technique to get power. An OS will be more forgiving to the arm on off center hits, which will help me play tennis for life. I also don't buy the notion that an OS stick is inherently less accurate than a mid or midplus.

08-13-2004, 02:40 PM
good point about the oversize not being harmful to your body camilio, but there arent too many POG oversized equivalents out there..oversize most often means light and stiff these days..there are always exceptions of course like the POG110 which is quite an axe :), and i still contend that if you learn to play T w. a smaller headed frame you are gonna be a better ball striker than w. an oversize. it is tough when you get older striking a balance and to not go to the darkside :)... ed

big ted
08-13-2004, 03:59 PM
i dont think light big oversized racquets are for beginners but they are for girls

08-13-2004, 04:12 PM
I am young and like rackets that are older than me!!

If someone handed me a Babolat I would laugh, no way will you me get using one of those. I have used a POG OS, PC600 and SRD Tour 90 in my 13 years of playing tennis and I have used the POG OS since I was 4 and I am really pleased that I have.


Alley Cat
08-13-2004, 04:47 PM
I agree with NoBadMojo......I had been playing with a T10 MP and briefly switched to an 11oz frame last year. Immediately got shoulder tendonitis and was out for 2 months. Went back to the Volkl and no more problems. I still play with a 12 oz frame and continually face players, young and old, that use 9.5 to 11.5 oz sticks. A few have off/on arm problems and refuse to believe that it is the racquet. Sometimes I'm tempted to demo a lighter frame when I see a player using one and doing very well.........but based on experience it just isn't worth it. Plus I still love the feel of hitting a flexy 12 oz frame on the sweetspot.

Jeffrey Wang
08-13-2004, 04:47 PM
Guys, basically I agree with all your points. But there is more than the racquets. These days, players are learning to hit heavy topspin using semi or extreme western grip and open stance. The results is the speed of ball increase but the weight behind it reduced. So using a lighter racquet is exactly to do so and no problem to play with same style of players. In our playing group, there is a guy (30+) using western grip and heavy top spin. Me just traditional eastern with flatter strokes and good weight. I have to stay at or inside of baseline and hit right after bounce to prevent lossing the control of the point. once I got a short return, he can't retunr to my forhand whoich is low with lots of punch. All because of his stroke and light weight HH racquet. But I have to admit, I have hard time to keep up with his shot if go deep. I have to shorten my swing for better timing and ends up short ball to him. Fortunately he can't volley, so i just keep the ball high over the net for depth. Unless serve and volley game return, this baseline topspin game will make lighter racquets more popular even in Pro level.

08-13-2004, 07:28 PM
Pundits can moan all they want.

The game has changed and extreme topspin is here to stay.

Tennis has always been about of evolution and trends. Just because we see majority of young players sticking to the baseline doesn't mean volleys have gone extinct. It's just that extreme baseline play is the flavor of the week. Just as S&V was the flavor of the week in the 70s. When the majority of players start a certain style, it always
makes the minority seem wonderful or god-like, thus switching the trend eventually as Federer might do.

Remember when Agassi first came out in the early 90s? Everybody still had s&v as part of their arsenal but it was Agassi who defied the rule by rarely coming to net and bombarding the competition solely from the baseline. It was a marvel for everybody to watch. It wasn't too long ago (6 years ago) that people were complaining about how boring s&v was because Sampras was boring or getting old to watch all the time. Again, it's all about what the flavor of the week is.

And about light, stiffer racquets making arms fall apart...you do realize this is the EXACT SAME argument made when graphite racquets came out in the 80s? Graphite racquets sped the game up and consequently forced players to a whole new level of athleticism and arm muscles to handle faster paced shots.

I predict the same happening here, these light racquets have made extreme spin tennis possible. You'll see juniors with arm problems because frankly, they're muscles aren't up to par to muscles needed for the western style.

As the western trend stops being a trend and more of a legitimate way of playing, more people will realize they need stronger muscles, need to groove their strokes properly and most importantly: train their body properly.

Steve H.
08-13-2004, 08:26 PM
table tennis, anyone?

08-13-2004, 08:27 PM
Have any of you seen what Jan Michael Gambill plays with? I believe it is a Prince more Power or something of similarity to it. I think it is one of the most powerful frames in the prince lineup,

Andy Zarzuela
08-13-2004, 08:32 PM
Have any of you seen what Jan Michael Gambill plays with? I believe it is a Prince more Power or something of similarity to it. I think it is one of the most powerful frames in the prince lineup,

He plays with one of Prince's old THUNDER series (Can't remember exactly which one) What's shocking about it is that it's 28 inches and has a 115 sq. inch head! He strings his racquets at 71 lbs (with some lead tape, although heavier it ads more pop) though, but still that's a dang blaster that makes the Williams sisters look like they play with "players" racquets!
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Steve Huff
08-13-2004, 10:37 PM
Like NoBad said, they use them because they want to win NOW. We're an impatient society, so immediate results are what counts. Same argument some people use for taking steroids. They don't think about the long-term consequences. When Roddick was playing Agassi last week, they were comparing their forehands. Roddick uses a lot more wrist, while Agassi turns his shoulders more. That's why Agassi is still able to play at his age. I doubt that Roddick, with his style of game, will still be playing competitive pro tennis when he passes 30.

08-14-2004, 12:15 PM
Steve, that is a great point with the Roddick/Agassi comparison. It's so true. I'm not sure if it was the best idea, but when I first started playing tennis (I had a natural swing/ability) I played with the PS 6.1 Classic. I was big enough to use an adult racquet, but I didn't know the difference from A begginer/tweener/players stick but it really made me concentrate on my strokes. I haven't used anything too light in my days, and I'm very glad I haven't. I'm only 19 right now so I can't say for sure what's going to happen to my game in the future, but I doubt my arm will be hurting anytime soon. I now use a Ti. Classic, which I would reccomend to anyone, but even that racquet weighing in at just uder 12 is quite demanding. I also hit with a prestige mid and it just makes me think about the people around me. When I see someone using a light tweener power racquet, i feel it is the easy way/quick way out, and like most of you said, it is. In the long run developing strokes that are made for players racquets is the way to go! my two cents.


cristian p
08-14-2004, 12:21 PM
Let's not forget that Agassi's had a history of wrist problems. Roddick has not, although it's still very early into his career.

08-14-2004, 12:53 PM
ya man..you would never really want to teach a roddick style forehand..he often hits it straightlegged, his head always spins out of the shot, and he just generally flails away at the ball..its the new classic pure drive forehand but hard to call it a classic. as to agassi's wrist, he uses alu which can be very hard on your wrist....he thinks he plays better w. the alu, so his wrist comes in 2nd quite likely. ed

Shane Reynolds
08-14-2004, 02:10 PM
I have played with all types of racquets for over 20 years now and have never had trouble due to the racquet until I started using heavier, "player's" racquets. I am presently having some shoulder problems that I have previously blamed on the Diablo MP. Now that I have switched back to the Pro Impact FT, the problems are gone. I don't think it was the Prince racquet, in retrospect, but rather my form in trying to use it. If I saw someone with a Weed or something like that, I might wonder about them but other than that, I just assume they picked out what they liked the best and if they beat me, I'll enjoy the handshake just as much as if they were using a PS 85.

David Pavlich
08-14-2004, 06:58 PM
Camilio: I noticed that you're trying a lighter frame and it's because you can't get around quick enough with your POG OS frame on fast serves. I finally had to give up my POG OS because I noticed that one day after hitting a basket of balls (backhand) my wife was feeding me, my shoulder was tired. I guess being an old codger has finally caught up to me. I dragged out my DB 800 and guess what...no tired shoulder!


Craig Clark
08-14-2004, 07:26 PM
NoBadMojo-How do you modify your Volkl T10 MP? I tried the frame about a year ago and loved it off the ground, found it adequate at net, but simply could not serve worth a darn with the thing....any thoughts?

BTW: 42yo male, 5.0 level, Aggressive all courter/S&V, currently playing the Wilson nCode 6.1 Tour 90.



08-14-2004, 07:47 PM
aye craig..we play the same style and the same level (altho i got bragging rights on you for the age since i'm an older dude) so perhaps this might be meaningful for you. i found it really good at everything including volleys, but also wasnt doing well with it on the serve. i found that for me you gotta really stay solid mechanically and very smooth to serve ok with this frame (more so than many other frames)..anywho..i decided that i couldnt serve as well w. it because it wasnt headlight enough for me, so i performed surgery on a grommet set..i trimmed as much grommet/bumper material away as i could and put a leather grip on and man did that make a big difference....i dont know how these spec out, but i'm serving great with them and have 4 set up exactly the same..i think headlight frames are good serving frames for the most part. so i went from maybe 4 points headlight to 8-10 pts headlight and they play sweet for me and i didnt lose anything groundstroke or volleywise. if you are a racquet scraper you are gonna chip the finish..i'm not a scraper and play on the dirt so i didnt mind doing this. this really did change the dynamics of the frame and i dont find it unstable at all because of less weight in the head. i can also swing it faster for longer and get more soin on the ball and it still hits a heavy piercing ball for me. hope this helps. ed

Craig Clark
08-17-2004, 06:56 PM
Thanks Ed, that is actually very helpful. Would you mind communicating the specs on your customized frames? Static wt, exact balance, etc?

I too find that the degree of 'head-lightedness' (is that a word?) is CRITICAL to serving well. I have pretty good mechanics on first and second serves, and can still crank it up in the 110mph+ category once I've warmed up and loosened the shoulder a bit :)


08-18-2004, 06:41 AM
craig i have no idea how mine spec out. i tend to adjust a frame by feel and performance and not specs..i've never even felt the need to spec one of these to the others because they all feel exactly the same to me and i tend to notice small things.. i had one which was heavier feeling to me, so i sold it..sorry i cant be of more help. ed

Craig Clark
08-18-2004, 07:33 AM
Hi Ed,

That's funny b/c I am the very same way. Thanks anyway for your reply.


08-18-2004, 09:02 AM
Gotta jump in on NoBad's side of this one. If I were to teach a novice how to play, what would I use? Definitely a player's racket. If a new player starts with a Volkl C-10 or Wilson 6.0 (85) (just 2 I have used and am familiar with, no slight to POGO and others) and puts the same effort into his game as another equaaly skilled athlete who uses a light oversized stiff rakcet who do you think will develop their game more? I'll go with theplayer's racket every time. The long term results will overcome the fast start available by the "game improvement" rackets.

08-18-2004, 10:37 AM
thanks baseliner..craig and anyone else interested in a possible good tip. whenever i experiment w. some frame or string tweaking, i also give the frame to a hitting partner so i can see what the ball is really doing..ie how well it penetrates the court, is it heavy etc. there is a fellow teaching pro i drill w. weekly and he hits a similar ball altho a little flatter. i have found it helpful to do this. thoughts anyone? ed

Craig Clark
07-30-2005, 04:09 PM
thanks baseliner..craig and anyone else interested in a possible good tip. whenever i experiment w. some frame or string tweaking, i also give the frame to a hitting partner so i can see what the ball is really doing..ie how well it penetrates the court, is it heavy etc. there is a fellow teaching pro i drill w. weekly and he hits a similar ball altho a little flatter. i have found it helpful to do this. thoughts anyone? ed

Doug mentioned this to me today, and I think it's a great idea. Thanks again, Craig

07-30-2005, 04:21 PM
I'm more of a fan of smaller headed rcquets, that are somewhat heavy. Atleast 11-12 oz is real good, and I really like 90-95 sized heads. I don't like huge racquets, they just feel... I don't know. They don't feel right. They feel like they're for girls.

My friends and I during our tennis season kept raving about tennis racquets. We didn't know much, and I think it played a lot with our mental game. I remember using my coaches Wilson PS 6.0, and I felt invincible because I remember my friends and I talking about smaller headed racquets how the sweetspot was the whole racquet and how we could just demolish everyone.

I actually was using my coaches Wilson PS 6.0, and had severe wrist problems when I was forehand volleying. My wrist was just getting racked. I couldn't take it. I was extremely reluctant to take forehand volleys with any racquet, I always too kit to my backhand even if it was a body-block volley.

I have a Babolat Pure Drive Plus @ 54 lbs, going to go to Luxilon Big Banger 16L ALU soon.

This racquet has definately done wonders for my wrist on forehand volleys. I was forced to do them during tennis camp drills. And bam, it just felt so good on my wrist. There was hardly any shock to my arm or wrist, because of the woofer system and having a gamma shockbuster damp.

I have no wrist or elbow problems with my Babolat Pure Drive Plus. It actually feels very good, and very wonderful.

I think problems arise because people lack real good technique. Even though I'm hitting with all I have on my forehand and with my one handed backhands.

I hardly use my arms to generate the power. They're pretty much a guide and stabalizer while my shoulder/hip/leg and upper body creates most of the power.