View Full Version : purchasing a wooden racket

12-02-2006, 06:58 PM
Hello all,

I'm trying to purchase a wooden racket just for a little bit of fun and fooling around and to use it as a display.

I am around a 4.0 player (i think), and i mostly stay at the baseline and use a 2 handed backhand.

I've been reading around, but i'm not exactly sure which one to buy.

I think i'm going to go with the Dunlop Maxply Fort, but i'm open to suggestions.

Where would the best place to buy be?

I've been looking around and found a couple on eb ay.

Does this one look playable and ok?

[url]http://cgi.eb ay.com/Dunlop-Maxply-Fort-Wood-Tennis-Racket_W0QQitemZ180056887805QQihZ008QQcategoryZ622 03QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item1 80056887805

get rid of the space in eb ay

Also, what strings and tension should i put it at?

I currently use a nsix-one 95 with SPPP at 58 lbs.

Thanks for the help!

Bottle Rocket
12-02-2006, 07:13 PM
I've got a couple I picked up at garage sales, I'll cut you a deal if you want one. They are all strung, some of them still have gut in them.

I've got a weighty Wilson Jack Kramer model, which is by far my favorite. It is a very well known model and one of the better woodies

People have a lot of misconceptions about these rackets, they are not nearly as bad as everyone thinks. I can play very well with them, even with a nearly western grip. They can get iffy technique in line pretty quick, especially backhand slices. Since you use an nSix-One, you will have no problem with the weight, they actually swing pretty easy.

After hitting with one of these things, going back to a modern racket is quite an experience. You feel like you can swing it 10 times as fast, but you miss the weight. You wonder why people complain about 11 ounce rackets. You then experience the artificial feel and lack of feedback of your current racket...

Because of the small head I would think they would be strung pretty low.

I'm not sure if SPPP would look right though... ;)

Steve Huff
12-02-2006, 09:43 PM
I wouldn't put a poly in a wood. it would be sacreligious. Plus, you'll probably need the extra power. Also, woods have a very dense pattern, so you won't be breaking strings that much. E day can get you rackets pretty cheap, but I'd imagine half of the ones for sale are warped some. I've got some there, but I've gotten my best ones from Joe at woodtennis.com. You can get brand new, never strung rackets from him if you want. Of course, those cost more. But, going through a reputable guy like Joe takes the risk out of getting a lemon.

12-02-2006, 11:25 PM
I see, thanks for all the help.

Well, i guess i'll check out wood tennis, but i'm trying not to spend to much.

I won't be playing with it too much obviously, sorta like a fun toy to play with.

So will the maxply fort be fine?

if the racket is warped, will it greatly affect play?

also, the wilson jack kramer seems to have a lot of interest. how does it compare to the dunlop?

Again, thanks for all of the fabulous help. Kudos out to steve and rocket. :-)

12-02-2006, 11:47 PM
if you buy from e-bay. really make sure there isn't any warping at all in the racquet. Also beware that wood racquets just aren't that strong. If you hit hard with them they will break pretty easily or the string will cut through the wood. Joe has great wood racquets. I would recommend getting one from him.

12-03-2006, 02:26 AM
I found one in the hard rubbish. It's a junior racquet, and weighs 315 grams! LOL.

12-03-2006, 12:20 PM
Alright, tahnks for all the help.

I'll see what i can find.

If i can afford it, i'll purchase it off woodtennis. Thanks.

12-07-2006, 04:23 PM
Hey guys,

I just picked up an unwarped Wilson Jack Kramer for only 10 bucks.

Is that considered a pretty a good price?

It should be on its way right now.

Is the jack kramer a pretty good racket?

What strings and tension would you recommend? Should i just put some natural gut in it?


12-07-2006, 04:41 PM

Just use some 17G synthetic on it. Don't need to go gut. Keep the tension somewhere around 45-50 and you'll be fine.

A JK for 10 bucks? Fair enough, if it's in good condition. I can get brand new ones for like 30 bucks -- that's here in Thailand, it's stored away in a secret shop. That's quite a price but worth for a collectible-class racket.

BTW, JK Prostaff of Autograph did you get? The JK is a fine racket to enjoy with.

12-07-2006, 04:47 PM
It was the autograph version.

I was unaware that there were two versions. What is the difference?

Damn, ur lucky. A brand new one for only 30 bucks?

12-07-2006, 05:38 PM
The diff between the Auto & PS is the flex (and design, of course). The Auto is flexier. The JK-PS was used my McEnroe prior moving to the Maxply.

12-07-2006, 11:21 PM
I have a prince woodie which is really nice to play with. But taking a big swing and hitting high in the stringbed doesnt fell good for the racquet.

Midlife crisis
12-08-2006, 10:56 AM
I wouldn't put a poly in a wood. it would be sacreligious.

That's exactly what I've done, and SPPP to boot! That orange color is unlike anything from the wood days.

To the OP, $10 is a decent price for a good condition JK. If you want old-school feel, string it up with a multifilament or synthetic gut string at about 50 lbs. The dense string pattern and short strings will make that tension play more than firm enough.

Jet Rink
12-08-2006, 11:23 AM
Good idea - but don't sell a woodie short (couldn't resist!;) ) No need to use it for display. It's one of my funnest moments hitting with the high school kids, bringing out my own Maxply Fort (best choice, though the venerable Kramer would be another, equally great choice, in my opinion) - and serve-and-volleying them off the court.

Best thing for your game - like an instant refresher course in just how solid your strokes are - you can't get away with weird form/lazy footwork with a wood racquet, like you can with the Hyper/ncoded "stuff" available nowdays.

And regardless of what you hear around here - you can get MORE spin and BETTER placement with a woodie than you can with an oversized stick.

Forgot to add: JoeSch - on this board - sells wood racquets at www.woodtennis.com. Check it out.


12-08-2006, 02:33 PM
Indeed, woodtennis has been brought up many times.

However, they only had new rackets in stock, and way out of my price range.

I'll have fun with it. Can't wait till tennis season, and pulling out a wooden racket during tryouts. :-)

50 lbs seems too low of a tension, perhaps 55 would be better? Or would i lose too much power?


12-08-2006, 03:00 PM
String tension depends on the head size. A wood racquet generally has a 67" head. That's a lot smaller than the 100" standard of today. The density of the string pattern in a wood racquet is very high, given the head size. And, the power level of the racquet is low. All of these things point toward a much lower tension than you'd use in a Pure Drive.

Jet Rink
12-08-2006, 03:33 PM
Indeed, woodtennis has been brought up many times.

However, they only had new rackets in stock, and way out of my price range.

I'll have fun with it. Can't wait till tennis season, and pulling out a wooden racket during tryouts. :-)

50 lbs seems too low of a tension, perhaps 55 would be better? Or would i lose too much power?


Well, you get what you pay for, so I wouldn't necessarily view a cheap, used wood racquet as a bargain vs. a new, plastic-still-on-the-handle-and-not-warped model ala Joe (or even the famous auction site - though I'd be REAL reluctant to go there).

As far as tension, you can go up into the 70's and down into the 40's if you want - it all depends what you're looking for. To start, string at the middle tension based on the stick's original specs. Then go from there.

And put some gut in it. It's the ultimate great "feel" combination in my opinion.


Midlife crisis
12-08-2006, 08:13 PM
50 lbs seems too low of a tension, perhaps 55 would be better?

These racquets are probably 40 years old or so, and the wood doesn't have the moisture content nor integrity that it did when new. Besides, most stringers agree that 50 pounds now is way more than 50 pounds back in the day.

I string most of my racquets with poly in the upper end of the racquet's recommended tension range. 50 pounds in any of my woodies (JKA, Maxply Fort, Davis Imperial and Professional) feel just about right for me. I can't imagine playing with a woodie at 55 pounds no matter what the string (well, maybe with gut).

12-09-2006, 09:21 AM
Alright, thanks a lot.

i'll try 50 lbs with a normal synthetic and maybe a natural gut.