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Serve 'em hard
05-05-2007, 06:41 PM
I was reading something in another thread I can't find now where a poster, Mick I think, said he was a weekend player type and switched to a 107" frame from something smaller. He said that while he had less control of groundstrokes with the OS, it was better for overheads and volleys.

Is this typical, that someone likes larger headsizes for volleys and overheads? I'm asking 'cause I use a 100" frame, and sometimes I hit a few too many off center volleys -- particularly when I'm hurried -- and a few off-center overheads as well. Should I be going larger? (I'm also concerned with arm safety, FWIW.)

Anyone have any thoughts on this? I've heard others say you want smaller heads for volleys, but this guy seemed to prefer larger, and that would seem to make more sense to me -- more hitting space to help you get a racket on the ball in quick net play, so less room for error and mishits.

Bottle Rocket
05-05-2007, 10:16 PM
Learn to hit the ball well with your current racket.

Hitting a clean ball, in my opinion, is the most underrated aspect of playing well. It doesn't matter what racket you're using. Hitting overheards is an extremely hard shot, but you've got to learn how to do it well with any racket. Hitting a little off-center is extremely common and nothing to worry about. Hitting off-center on a small racket is still off-center on a large racket.

If you mis-hit the ball on a 100 inch frame, it is still going to be an awful shot on a 107 inch frame. Not only that, if you completely hit the frame on an OS your wrist/elbow/arm is much worse off. There is a much greater torque because you're hitting the ball farther from the center axis of the racket.

As far as volleys, that can be debated. Manueverability is important and for that most great volleyers prefer smaller rackets. They also have more control. At the same time, it is easier to get your strings on the ball with an OS frame. It all deends on what you like. I don't like OS rackets simply because of their size, but the POG OS is one of the best volleyers out there.

Serve 'em hard
05-05-2007, 10:47 PM
If you mis-hit the ball on a 100 inch frame, it is still going to be an awful shot on a 107 inch frame. Not only that, if you completely hit the frame on an OS your wrist/elbow/arm is much worse off. There is a much greater torque because you're hitting the ball farther from the center axis of the racket.

Worse off than what? If you are implying that a mishit ball on an OS would translate into a complete whiff on an MP and therefore no shock to your arm whatsover, well, I can't agree with that odd theory, since I don't hardly ever see me or anyone else ever completely miss a ball. It's simply not a real life comparison worth making, IMO.... I think this theory came from that interesting but flawed racquetresearch site, which argues for the "more torque from an OS is worse for your arm" theory, even while labeling the POG OS the most arm friendly.

To me, it seems more simple than that: a slightly off center shot on an MP translates into a weak ball and a jolt to the arm, whereas the same ball hit with a larger and more forgiving sweetspot of an OS turns that mishit into a comfy and clean hit. Basically, if you make the "Bullseye" bigger, you'll hit it more often, and that's good for both your arm and your game, right?

Mick
05-05-2007, 11:14 PM
you should demo one. It works for me but a TW reviewer (Ryan) did have problem with the racquet's headsize/weight. He said :

"My volleys were the one area that gave me a little bit of trouble. The only reason being that because of it's heft and being only about 6 points head light, the racquet is not quite as maneuverable as I would like."

They also talk about volley and overhead using an OS racquet in this review.

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/AGRAD/AGRADReview.html

PrinceO3TourOS
05-05-2007, 11:25 PM
I believe Volleys and Overheads are easier with OS heads.

Volleys: bigger sweetspot = more chances to hit the ball with direction (even if it's a off-center hit)

Overheads: bigger sweetspot = more power

:D

Bottle Rocket
05-06-2007, 12:15 AM
If you frame a ball with an 85 inch frame, it isn't that big of a deal. The tennis ball is hitting the frame just a few inches from the axis of the handle. If you hit the frame on an OS frame, the ball is hitting 5+ inches from the axis of the handle. The twisting force increases linearly with distance and is therefore greater on the OS frame.

You also make a good point. Hitting strings far from center is much better than hitting the frame far from center. There is no sweet spot expansion or anything like that, just simple cushion from the larger string bed.

I am not getting any of this from that racquetresearch site or any other website, only from my engineering background and personal experience.

The bottom line is that if these issues are so important in your decision of buying a racket, you need to concentrate on your game and not even think about a new racket. An OS frame is not the cure for someone who keeps framing the ball.

AndrewD
05-06-2007, 05:53 AM
I'm just back from a day's play using both a TT Warrior MP (3 sets) and a POG OS (3 sets). If it's of any help, here's my experience.

I found the Warrior MP to be more jarring on shots hit outside the sweetspot and to have a smaller sweetspot. Partly that's a product of the racquet itself but, mainly, it's due to the larger headsize of the POG OS (107sq) vs the Warrior MP (97sq).

A good and effective shot with the Warrior MP felt very precise. A good shot with the POG OS also felt very precise, albeit more powerful. However, with the POG OS, I could hit an effective shot that wasn't precise. By that I mean, I could be caught out of position or late-ish on a shot and the larger hitting area and sweetspot of the POG OS allowed me to hit a less precise but still effective shot. Much harder to do with the Warrior MP.

On volleys, both racquets felt very sharp on well struck shots. A not-so-well struck volley with the Warrior MP lacked depth and power but was still likely to go in. With the POG OS I could still generate good depth even if my shot wasn't so well struck, however, due to the larger head size and sweetspot of the POG OS it was easier to over-hit. If I happend to open the racquet face a bit too much I was more likely to hit long than with the Warrior MP. For me, that proved somewhat of a benefit as I had to take a bit more care with my volleys when using the POG OS and had to stay very correct on the shot. The extra power meant there was no temptation to swing at the volley - I could punch the shot and utilise the power of the racquet.

On serve, I was having quite a bit of trouble until I slowed down my swing and just worked on using a smooth action. Again, the extra power meant I didn't need to work as hard to get pace on my serve and the larger hitting surface allowed me to generate slice and topspin very easily. Although it felt like I wasn't serving very hard (the smooth swing makes everything feel very unrushed and you don't seem to be hitting hard, even though you are via weight transfer, etc) there was weight behind my shot and people were finding it hard to get hold of. Also, as a doubles player, the extra spin allowed me to move in closer to the net for my first volley.

That's just my experience and it does seem as though I'm in the minority. Personally, I've always enjoyed the Prince oversize racquets (in the 107sq range) and, due to a persistent foot injury I'm seriously considering switching over to one. Just a pity there aren't as many good choices as there were 10 years ago.

Serve 'em hard
05-06-2007, 07:47 AM
Thanks, guys. Interesting stuff. It seems that overall, the consensus in this thread seems to be that OS is a tad better all around for volleys and overheads?

goober
05-06-2007, 08:18 AM
Thanks, guys. Interesting stuff. It seems that overall, the consensus in this thread seems to be that OS is a tad better all around for volleys and overheads?

I would think all things being equal they would be slightly better. The only thing to keep in mind is that a lot of OS racquets are headheavy so this would actually make them harder to play with at the net because of the decreased mobility. If you are going to switch an OS I would try headlight balance.

PrinceO3TourOS
05-06-2007, 09:47 AM
I would think all things being equal they would be slightly better. The only thing to keep in mind is that a lot of OS racquets are headheavy so this would actually make them harder to play with at the net because of the decreased mobility. If you are going to switch an OS I would try headlight balance.

I agree, I like Oversize player's racquets for better results :D

Midlife crisis
05-06-2007, 09:58 AM
I'm an aggressive all-court player and use a "granny stick", with a 115 sq. in. head. Stock, it weighs under ten ounces. I've modified mines to weigh 12 7/8 ounces/363 grams and 8 points HL, with a swingweight of approximately 385. It's strung with poly at the high end of the tension range for this racquet, between 64-67 pounds depending on which poly, but I usually use a pretty dead poly (Kirshbaum P2 is my current choice of string).

The addition of a lot of handle weighting, just under two ounces, has blunted the power considerably, and for normal strokes it hits the ball only a little harder than my 20+ year old Wilson Ultra II midsize, and is slightly less powerful than my son's nearly stock PDR+, also strung with poly.

I've also added about 25 grams to the 3 and 9 o'clock positions, along with other lead strips along the bottom hoop and throat area to reduce the polarization of the weight distribution. It has a heavy, almost classic ball impact feel, and it is no problem to switch back and forth between this racquet and the Ultra II mid, nor even a wood racquet as the feel is pretty similar.

With this amount of weight, the "sweet spot" is probably an ellipse about five inches wide and seven inches long.

What a sweet spot of this size lets me do is to take full swings at shots where I would tend most to mis-hit. From the baseline, I have no problems taking a full topspin swing at a ball that bounces within five feet in front of me. I also will take full swings at shots way up high on my backhand, even if they have a lot of incoming topspin and/or sidespin. I've also found that if I get lobbed, I can run with my back towards the net and in one motion rotate around and take a modified overhead swing and still get good contact, ball speed, and control. This one shot alone has let me be a lot more comfortable and aggressive coming towards the net because now that I'm in my middle 40's, I can't cover as much ground as I used to.

At the upper end of swing speed, my racquet is more powerful than my son's PDR+. However, the large aerodynamic profile blunts the upper end of the swing speed too, so it acts as a buffer towards overswinging when I'm trying to put a ball away.

The only problem I still seem to have is at the lower end of the swing speed spectrum. There is still the ability to just hold the racquet out and with a little push block a ball back deeply, especially with as much total weight and hoop weight that I have. This becomes a problem on volleys against groundstrokes which are hard and below the net, and moreso if I have to stab at them because I will almost never get these in unless I mis-hit them. Otherwise, they land a few feet to many feet out. This seems like a small price to pay for all of the other advantages an OS racquet gives, and is really the only real disadvantage I've ever found. I use a 1HBH and have never had this racquet touch my clothing or body on any swing, and it is not true that an OS racquet decreases your ability to sweetly hit low balls, because the sweet spot is as close to the edge of the racquet as on any racquet, maybe even more so because of the weight that I have added to the hoop.

If you're talking about other disadvantages I've noted, well, I won't try a between the legs shot with something this wide, and maybe once a match I'll catch a ball on the 25+mm thick frame trying to hit a spinny shot. Otherwise, it's all good, and I can't see ever going to anything smaller unless racquets of this size become illegal (which I can't see either).

Serve 'em hard
05-06-2007, 05:13 PM
Some say smaller head size offer more "control", but what does that really mean in practical terms? If you hit a ball with a MP or mid, and then could magically recreate the same shot with an OS, how would the smaller racquet have more control or produce a better shot? I'm only seeing plusses to OS's, not drawbacks...

Heck, does a smaller head size have ANY advantage other than taking up less space in your bag??

Midlife crisis
05-06-2007, 05:41 PM
Some say smaller head size offer more "control", but what does that really mean in practical terms? If you hit a ball with a MP or mid, and then could magically recreate the same shot with an OS, how would the smaller racquet have more control or produce a better shot? I'm only seeing plusses to OS's, not drawbacks...

Heck, does a smaller head size have ANY advantage other than taking up less space in your bag??

In terms of both directional and speed control, an OS racquet, strung with the same string at the same relative tension (tension/length) would have "worse" control. In terms of speed, an OS racquet is going to be more powerful all the time, so it would be like driving an economy car versus a sports car. Both have a couple of inches of travel in the gas pedal, but with the sports car it is very hard to just putter along slowly until you get used to it. Some times, like when making a stab volley, you're going to be at a disadvantage with an OS racquet.

As far as directional control, the longer string lengths mean that the incoming ball spin and angle of incidence will create a greater assymetric pocketing, with the resulting rebound affected by that.

On off-center hits, there is no doubt that OS racquets offer better control, if by that you mean that the ball heads towards where it was intended to be hit.

It is possible to eliminate most, but probably not all, of these disadvantages by weighting the racquet properly and choosing strings properly, and especially so for the vast majority of us who do not play at the highest levels.

Serve 'em hard
05-06-2007, 06:28 PM
In terms of both directional and speed control, an OS racquet, strung with the same string at the same relative tension (tension/length) would have "worse" control. In terms of speed, an OS racquet is going to be more powerful all the time, so it would be like driving an economy car versus a sports car. Both have a couple of inches of travel in the gas pedal, but with the sports car it is very hard to just putter along slowly until you get used to it. Some times, like when making a stab volley, you're going to be at a disadvantage with an OS racquet.

As far as directional control, the longer string lengths mean that the incoming ball spin and angle of incidence will create a greater assymetric pocketing, with the resulting rebound affected by that.


Well, hell! After reading this I'm switching my view -- is there ANY advantage to these monstrous and out of control OS's?!:p

Maybe I should stick with my 100"....

AndrewD
05-06-2007, 08:19 PM
Thanks, guys. Interesting stuff. It seems that overall, the consensus in this thread seems to be that OS is a tad better all around for volleys and overheads?

Just remember that most all of us who replied are OS fans so you're going to get bias. Outside of this thread, I get the feeling that the average player (3.0-4.5) feels more comfortable using a midplus racquet for volleying. I don't know that for certain but it is the impression I get. Just got back from playing in a 32 draw doubles tournament (got 3rd place, thankyou very much LOL) and I was one of only two players using a racquet bigger than 102sq (the POG OS).

If you do want to switch to an OS racquet, I think one problem you'll have is that, these days, there aren't as many great ones. Prince used to have some fantastic OS frames such as the CTS Lightning, CTS Approach, CTS Graduate, Spectrum Comp, Graphite Pro, Graphite Comp, Woodie, Prince Pro, Mag Pro 110, Graphtec DB and DB 26. All of them had beautiful feel, were head light and excelled up at net but were still more than capable from the baseline. These days, their quality range is quite limited and, in my opinion, only the 03 Tour OS, NXG OS, POG OS and Warrior OS can compare to the old models.

Midlife crisis
05-06-2007, 08:53 PM
Well, hell! After reading this I'm switching my view -- is there ANY advantage to these monstrous and out of control OS's?!:p

Maybe I should stick with my 100"....

I see the smiley icon, but seriously the one caveat I wrote was "strung with the same string". I personally would never use anything but a full poly or kevlar type string in an OS racquet.

Serve 'em hard
05-06-2007, 09:14 PM
I see the smiley icon, but seriously the one caveat I wrote was "strung with the same string". I personally would never use anything but a full poly or kevlar type string in an OS racquet.

Why is that? I'm guessing those of us who like to use gut at lower tensions for arm friendliness might have a dilemma on our hands if we want to also go OS in your opinion?

Serve 'em hard
05-06-2007, 09:27 PM
If you do want to switch to an OS racquet, I think one problem you'll have is that, these days, there aren't as many great ones. Prince used to have some fantastic OS frames such as the CTS Lightning, CTS Approach, CTS Graduate, Spectrum Comp, Graphite Pro, Graphite Comp, Woodie, Prince Pro, Mag Pro 110, Graphtec DB and DB 26. All of them had beautiful feel, were head light and excelled up at net but were still more than capable from the baseline. These days, their quality range is quite limited and, in my opinion, only the 03 Tour OS, NXG OS, POG OS and Warrior OS can compare to the old models.

I actually have a Warrior OS, but I prefer standard length racquets, which limits the OS choices even further. Now, WHY I like standard length racquets I'm not even sure, but I think I've been convinced from researching on these boards -- rightly or wrongly -- that extended length sticks are both worse for your arm and less manueverable at the net, too things which matter to me. (Maybe more "trampoline-like" as well? Not sure.) I've also read that 18/19 patterns are worse for the arm than 16/19's, which pretty much knocks out all the Head OS's too.

So what's left if I wanted to switch to larger and standard size OS's with open string patterns? Three come to mind: the Pk 15 PSE at 105" and a borderline length at 27.25 inches, which is a beastly and powerful stick which might not work well with my preferred string of natural gut, and two sticks I've never hit with, the POG OS at 107", and the Fisher M Speed at 105" inches. (I like the idea of 105" frames psychologically speaking -- a bit larger, but not TOO larger.)

AndrewD
05-07-2007, 05:37 AM
Serve 'em hard,

I prefer standard length racquets as well and, if I were to get the TT Warrior OS , I would cut it down to 27 inches (easily down, several threads devoted to it). Apart from that option there's the Avery M3 Oversize, Gamma Ipex OS, Prince Air Vanquish and the Fischer.

Serve 'em hard
05-07-2007, 09:19 AM
Serve 'em hard,

I prefer standard length racquets as well and, if I were to get the TT Warrior OS , I would cut it down to 27 inches (easily down, several threads devoted to it). Apart from that option there's the Avery M3 Oversize, Gamma Ipex OS, Prince Air Vanquish and the Fischer.

thanks for the additional suggestions. Why do you like standard length, arm reasons or playability?

batcrj
05-07-2007, 12:31 PM
I played with the POG OS for years but for the last couple of years I've used various mid/mid+ players racquets. To make a long story short I've gone back to OS. Tried the Fischer m-speed 105 for about a year and the Agassi Radical OS for a little while. I didn't try the POG because they changed the balance. The new version is more head heavy then previous models. Recently I've been playing with the Avery M5 and for me it's the best all around racquet I've hit with. I think it has everything your looking for. Head-light, 16 X 19 string pattern and comes in a little over 12 oz. Nice flex as well but not to flexible. Very arm friendly. I put a leather grip on mine and this brought the weight up to 12.7. For me this racquet does everything well. Plenty of power but still controllable. I use a full set of gut strung at 60lbs. Hope this helps.

AndrewD
05-07-2007, 03:19 PM
thanks for the additional suggestions. Why do you like standard length, arm reasons or playability?

Firstly, I'm just used to standard length racquets as I've only ever played with one extended model (the PD+). Secondly, it was all about performance. I could serve exceptionally well with the extended length frame (and never had any problems on the volley) but my groundstrokes - with the exception of my slice backhand- never really gelled.

Never had one hint of arm/shoulder/wrist pain, even though my extended racquet was also very stiff.

Thirdly, I'm a touch player and, unless the racquet is very flexible, I find it harder to execute my shots and retain good feel when the racquet head is moved further away from my hand. That might be why I like the OS racquets (head is closer to your hand).

Serve 'em hard
05-07-2007, 04:12 PM
I played with the POG OS for years but for the last couple of years I've used various mid/mid+ players racquets. To make a long story short I've gone back to OS. Tried the Fischer m-speed 105 for about a year and the Agassi Radical OS for a little while. I didn't try the POG because they changed the balance. The new version is more head heavy then previous models. Recently I've been playing with the Avery M5 and for me it's the best all around racquet I've hit with. I think it has everything your looking for. Head-light, 16 X 19 string pattern and comes in a little over 12 oz. Nice flex as well but not to flexible. Very arm friendly. I put a leather grip on mine and this brought the weight up to 12.7. For me this racquet does everything well. Plenty of power but still controllable. I use a full set of gut strung at 60lbs. Hope this helps.

I'll look at the Avery, thanks... So gut in an OS? Interesting. Seems like we don't hear about that too often. (I sensed Midlife Crisis would not favor such a setup for himself.)

Serve 'em hard
05-07-2007, 04:17 PM
Firstly, I'm just used to standard length racquets as I've only ever played with one extended model (the PD+). Secondly, it was all about performance. I could serve exceptionally well with the extended length frame (and never had any problems on the volley) but my groundstrokes - with the exception of my slice backhand- never really gelled.

Never had one hint of arm/shoulder/wrist pain, even though my extended racquet was also very stiff.

Thirdly, I'm a touch player and, unless the racquet is very flexible, I find it harder to execute my shots and retain good feel when the racquet head is moved further away from my hand. That might be why I like the OS racquets (head is closer to your hand).

Never thought of an OS head as being closer to the hand. Hmm....

When it comes to issues of length or other sorts of measurements related to tennis, I like to think of examples in extremes to illustrate such issues -- In this case, would I rather play tennis with a ping pong racket or with a squash racket? I think I'd choose the manueverability and touch of a ping pong racket over the extra reach and power of a squash racket...

Mick
05-07-2007, 04:54 PM
I like using the 107 sq-in racquet because when I compete using a MP racquet against guys that use OS racquets, I would always feel they have an edge in equipment over me somehow. But when I use the 107 sq-in racquet, I don't think about that anymore. My opponent can use from 85 to 135 sq-in racquet headsize, I don't care. They don't have an edge in equipment over me. It's all about the peace of mind for me :)

Serve 'em hard
05-07-2007, 05:08 PM
I like using the 107 sq-in racquet because when I compete using a MP racquet against guys that use OS racquets, I would always feel they have an edge in equipment over me somehow. But when I use the 107 sq-in racquet, I don't think about that anymore. My opponent can use from 85 to 135 sq-in racquet headsize, I don't care. They don't have an edge in equipment over me. It's all about the peace of mind for me :)

Ah, but let's look at it the other way. Don't you feel guilty when you beat someone with a smaller racket because yours is so much more powerful and forgiving than theirs? They pull out a pistol and you pull out a machine gun, so do those victories against guys like this even count?? I think not!:p

ndtennis
05-07-2007, 05:11 PM
In my opinion, i like to use a smaller racquet. I feel it gives me more control. I use to hit with an oversize hyper hammer. and it was good for an amature, but if you want to advacne yourself MP would be my suggestion. I liked the control with the MP Radical but i recently picked up a Fischer M Pro #1 98. That has the control and wight and everything really that fits my game

Mick
05-07-2007, 05:17 PM
Ah, but let's look at it the other way. Don't you feel guilty when you beat someone with a smaller racket because yours is so much more powerful and forgiving than theirs? They pull out a pistol and you pull out a machine gun, so do those victories against guys like this even count?? I think not!:p

my view is they made the decision to buy and use the racquets that they are using. An OS racquet is not any more expensive than a Mid size or Mid Size Plus racquet. If they feel that they could play better with a bigger headsize racquet then they should bring a bigger headsize racquet to the courts.

Nope, I don't feel bad about winning at all. It's all fair in love, war, and winning tennis matches :)

Serve 'em hard
05-07-2007, 05:22 PM
my view is they made the decision to buy and use the racquets that they are using. An OS racquet is not any more expensive than a Mid size or Mid Size Plus racquet. If they feel that they could play better with a bigger headsize racquet then they should bring a bigger headsize racquet to the courts.


Sounds like you've already thought this issue through, and I think I still detect twinges of guilt and insecurity about the unfair size of your racket despite your denials.;)

Mick
05-07-2007, 05:28 PM
Sounds like you've already thought this issue through, and I think I still detect twinges of guilt and insecurity about the unfair size of your racket despite your denials.;)

Agassi didn't have a problem using the OS racquet to win all those grand slam titles either :)

Serve 'em hard
05-07-2007, 05:39 PM
Agassi didn't have a problem using the OS racquet to win all those grand slam titles either :)

I think he does. I think he can't sleep at night because of it.

Mick
05-07-2007, 05:43 PM
I think he does. I think he can't sleep at night because of it.

haha...Maybe you are right because later on, Agassi did switch to a smaller headsize racquet, a 98 sq-in racquet, i believe :D

Serve 'em hard
05-07-2007, 05:52 PM
haha...Maybe you are right because later on, Agassi did switch to a smaller headsize racquet, a 98 sq-in racquet, i believe :D

Like a criminal making restitution, a sinner repenting...

Mick
05-07-2007, 06:04 PM
Like a criminal making restitution, a sinner repenting...

and he stopped winning grand slam titles... 2003 AO was his last and he won it with an OS racquet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Agassi

Serve 'em hard
05-07-2007, 06:43 PM
and he stopped winning grand slam titles... 2003 AO was his last and he won it with an OS racquet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Agassi

But at least he can sleep at night, Mick, and who can put a price on that?

Mick
05-07-2007, 06:55 PM
haha. Me, I don't have any guilty conscience. Everytime I unzip the racquet cover of my OS racquet, I feel like Tony Montana saying "Say hello to my little friend" :D

(famous scene from Scarface, Al Pacino)

Serve 'em hard
05-07-2007, 07:01 PM
haha. Me, I don't have any guilty conscience. Everytime I unzip the racquet cover of my OS racquet, I feel like Tony Montana saying "Say hello to my little friend" :D

(famous scene from Scarface, Al Pacino)

Oh, I'm aware of the scene from Scarface. And if memory serves, things did not end well for Tony and his OS racket, did they?

Food for thought, Mick. Food for thought...

Mick
05-07-2007, 07:10 PM
haha. Tony Montana is the GOAT.

he said:

"I'm Tony Montana! You f- with me, you f-in' wit da best!"

Even Roger Federer can't say that.

I want to be like Tony Montana on the tennis court, he uses big weapons and won't take no prisoners.

fgs
05-08-2007, 12:34 AM
serve 'em hard,
i'd like to call to your attention that there is also a nblade 106 which could be counted into the os-section.
apart from that, i'd say os racquets are more forgiving, therefore some people (including myself) like them more. i absolutely don't buy that idea that smaller headsizes make you be more attentive or improve on your footwork nad os racquets make you lazy (i started out with wood and was a competition player way back then too!).
what does it mean more forgiving - when you hit a slight off-center shot, with an os you will still get some decent pace and directional control, while with a mid you will hardly make it over the net. in sosme other thread i mentioned that i really loved the n90 but that i wished i was 10 years younger in order to be able to more often set myself up properly to execute the shot. i'm not, and as all of us i'm getting older each day, so i decided that a 106 racquet would be the right one for ME! everyone should play with what he/she thinks is best fitting their games! it's not a matter of size, but also stiffness, stringpattern, string and tensions employed, so there are a lot more variables to account for.
i string my 106s with a soft multi (nxt tour) and at really low tensions (51lbs mains - 49 lbs crosses).

Serve 'em hard
05-09-2007, 05:03 PM
^
Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't love the specs on that one for elbow reasons.

fgs
05-10-2007, 01:14 AM
what do you think (which spec) will put any stress on your elbow?

Serve 'em hard
05-10-2007, 10:09 AM
what do you think (which spec) will put any stress on your elbow?

Here are the specs for the NBlade OS, assuming we are talking about the same racket:

106 sq. in. / 684 sq. cm.
Length: 27.3 inches / 69 cm
Strung Weight: 11.1oz / 315g
Balance: 3pts Head Light
Swingweight: 335
Stiffness: 60
Beam Width: 22mm Flat Beam
Composition: nCoded High Modlus Graphite / nFoam-filled core
Power Level: Low
Swing Speed: Fast
Grip Type: True Grip
String Pattern:
18 Mains / 19 Crosses

Now, of these specs, the conventional wisdom on these boards -- which could easily be wrong, since I don't think anything has been proven for sure -- would suggest the following are less than ideal:

only 3 pts headlight
a closed 18/19 string pattern
extended 27.3 length
higher SW, but not very high static weight

Like I said, all these things might actually be fine for one's elbow in reality, but all the warnings around here have me spooked about some of these specs so this racket would probably not make my demo list...

The Ball Matters
05-10-2007, 10:56 AM
This is one of the more interesting threads I have read in a while. Can't remember the last time I read every post in a thread. There are good arguments on both sides and truth to a lot of things on both sides.

Anyway, I have always struggled with this age-old question. Up until recently, I have always STRONGLY advocated the control of a 95-98 sq. inch head, expecially on volleys and groundstrokes. I had been so much in favor of the smaller head that I advised many club level players to switch to a smaller head. To me it was a control thing but also a stability thing. Obviously there is more twisting of the arm when you hit an OS off center than a smaller head racquet off center. However....

Recently I have been hitting the Radical AA Ltd. OS and so far have not noticed a big difference in control at baseline or at net. If I must quantify the difference, I would say that no more than 10% off the balls where I miss the target with my OS, do I even wonder whether I would have been on target with my MP. The answer is certainly not yes everytime, making the OS responsible for a fair bit less than 10% of the misses. For sake of argument though, let's say that the OS is responsible for 10% of the misses. On the flip-side, I think I get more than a 10% boost in winners/offensive shots, etc. So, by my math, the OS is better.

Therefore, I am currently happily using the Radical AA Ltd. OS over my previous Prestiges, Radicals and TFights. That said, I like the specs of the new MicroGel Radical Pro so I will certainly give it an extended try.

I guess for now I am slightly on the side favoring the OS, but only very slightly... I could be back on the other side soon......

fgs
05-10-2007, 12:35 PM
serve 'em hard,
i do play the 106 blade myself and have not the slightest issue, but i have to say that i'm playing a soft multi at low tensions (nxt tour at 51lbs mains / 49 lb crosses).
yes, the blade is slightly longer and that would theoretically put a little bit more stress on the arm, but with os racquets, the "sweetspot" moves closer to the hand, so the point of impact should be right at the same distance to the hand as it would be with a mp i guess.
it has a dense stringpattern - this would provide less deflection than a 16mains pattern, but given the fact that the stringbed is larger, also the spacing between strings is larger in a 107 as compared to a 95. it very much depends on the design of the stringbed and not so much on the number of mains. just as a matter of fact, the old woodies i started out with also had a 18x20 stringpattern, and those where really damned small heads as compared to a 106.
only 3 pts hl - that basically is a maneuverability issue which also relates to the next point, the rather high sw. the static is not so low, it's about 315 strung in stock.
the point with the blade is that it has a very low stiffness (both versions), and HIGH stiffness is the main cause for tenniselbow - a light and stiff racquet. the blades do not meet any of these criteria. a light racquet is usually regarded as a 250g "game improvement" racquet which usually is also very stiff and headheavy to a more or lesser degree.
i've been on this board for a little bit over three months now and cannot recall any poster having problems with the elbow, but i might as well not have read all the posts!
i think that the specs you have sorted out can contribute to troubles, but only in cumulative effect with other, more important specs, like stiffness for instance.

Serve 'em hard
05-10-2007, 02:37 PM
The thing is, FGS, if I'm going to choose from all the sticks out there to demo and/or buy, it would seem easy enough to avoid even the potential of trouble from these suspect specs. I don't want to hear justifications, detailed explanations, and excuses for why the NBlade's specs are actually better than they look -- I'll just choose a racket with "good" specs instead! Why take a chance when I don't have to? The world is my oyster! There are plenty of sticks in the sea! The NBlade may be a great stick, but in the cuthroat world of racket selection, it's not going to survive the first round of cuts...

fgs
05-10-2007, 03:18 PM
i was not suggesting you take any risks, i was basically just saying that i do play this frame for quite a while now and do not have any issues regarding arm safety with it, nor can i remember any poster indicating trouble (i mention again i have sureley not read all posts, not even the majority of posts). it's up to everyone to chose his "weapon" and most important to feel comfortable with it. if the specs seem suspect to you, you should really better stay away from it.

Serve 'em hard
05-11-2007, 06:48 PM
i was not suggesting you take any risks, i was basically just saying that i do play this frame for quite a while now and do not have any issues regarding arm safety with it, nor can i remember any poster indicating trouble (i mention again i have sureley not read all posts, not even the majority of posts). it's up to everyone to chose his "weapon" and most important to feel comfortable with it. if the specs seem suspect to you, you should really better stay away from it.

Well, now I'm starting to feel bad I dissed the specs of the NBlade.:( I'm sure it's a great racket...

Mick
05-11-2007, 07:29 PM
Sounds like you've already thought this issue through, and I think I still detect twinges of guilt and insecurity about the unfair size of your racket despite your denials.;)

No more twinges of guilt. I am taking these to the courts tomorrow and Sunday :)

http://i9.tinypic.com/6ex91k2.jpg

Serve 'em hard
05-12-2007, 12:07 AM
^
I knew your conscience would get the best of you eventually. I'm glad to see that you're doing the right thing.

fgs
05-12-2007, 12:20 AM
mick,
that picture of the borg pro's brings back a lot of memories. thank you. i don't have any left, but maybe i'm going to try to buy one sometime. has been also a really great racquet at its time.

serve 'em hard,
no need to feel sorry. the most important thing on the court is the mindset. if there is anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, for instance the thought that a too high swingweight might give you problems, than simply stay away from it and pick one that lets you concentrate 100% on the game. there is no such thing as a universal racquet. i like the blades, others will hate it. there is no reason to enter a dispute, because this is all subjective - just imagine we would all like the same style of woman, that would be either a lot of suicidal women or a big business for plastic surgeons.:D same goes for for men of course.

thetruthshallsetyoufree
05-12-2007, 12:24 AM
Some say smaller head size offer more "control", but what does that really mean in practical terms? If you hit a ball with a MP or mid, and then could magically recreate the same shot with an OS, how would the smaller racquet have more control or produce a better shot? I'm only seeing plusses to OS's, not drawbacks...

Heck, does a smaller head size have ANY advantage other than taking up less space in your bag??

a smaller headsize offers "less power". more control, when talking about racquets, usually just refers to how much power it has. powerful racquets have power, and control racquets have less power.

therefore, it would make sense that a racquet with a bigger head, would feel better with volleys and overheads. more power. but the bigger head could then have too much power when you hit groundies because unlike on your volleys, you are taking full swings. and/or launching the ball into the fence.

but in the end it all depends on whether you want a powerful racquet or one with less power. just because some other guy likes it, doesnt mean its right for you. my doubles partner and best friend is usually going to like what i dont. a smaller headed racquet with a stiffer string at a high tension. i like a bit more power in my racquet than he does.

fgs
05-12-2007, 12:52 AM
the power/control of a racquet is determined by quite a lot of factors besides headsize. it is the stiffness, the stringpattern, the swingweight and last but not least the type of strings employed and the tension. while it is generally true that a smaller headsize will have less stringbed deflection and hence theoretically more control (since the angle at which the ball will leave the stringbed will be smaller), one can string a larger headsize tighter and compensate for stringbeddeflection. so, in the end, extremes not taken into consideration, it is quite possible to set-up a larger headsize to offer the same control as a smaller one, and also have a smaller headsize offer the same power level as a bigger headsize.
while a larger headsize will seem more forgiving on offcenter shots, it will cause more torsional stress on the wrist/elbow. but this is a rather disputed issue, because it is quite logical that the same offcenter shot which still hits the strings on an os might as well hit the frame on a mid, and i dare say that the torsional stress would be greater in the latter case.

Mick
05-12-2007, 07:17 AM
...the most important thing on the court is the mindset...

I don't know if you have seen the movie "The Matrix". Serve 'em hard probably has. Anyway, there's a scene where the main character meets a kid who is bending a spoon. The kid tells the main character not to try bending the spoon because that is impossible. Instead, try to realize the truth.

"what truth?", the main character asks.

the kid replies, "there is no spoon."

Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends--it is only yourself

=> so there is no racquet and it is going to be me who will make things happen out there on the tennis court today http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

Mick
05-12-2007, 12:51 PM
^
I knew your conscience would get the best of you eventually. I'm glad to see that you're doing the right thing.

i think my opponents would have preferred that I beat them with an oversize racquet than with an old woodie. Some of them looked mighty p_ssed. More upset at themselves perhaps because they couldn't believe they could not handle the top spin shots coming off from a small wooden frame.

Serve 'em hard
05-12-2007, 02:48 PM
I don't know if you have seen the movie "The Matrix". Serve 'em hard probably has. Anyway, there's a scene where the main character meets a kid who is bending a spoon. The kid tells the main character not to try bending the spoon because that is impossible. Instead, try to realize the truth.

"what truth?", the main character asks.

the kid replies, "there is no spoon."

Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends--it is only yourself

=> so there is no racquet and it is going to be me who will make things happen out there on the tennis court today http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

^
Stop smoking that wacky tobaccy, Mick.

i think my opponents would have preferred that I beat them with an oversize racquet than with an old woodie. Some of them looked mighty p_ssed. More upset at themselves perhaps because they couldn't believe they could not handle the top spin shots coming off from a small wooden frame.

You actually played a full match with one of your wood rackets or are ya just teasing us?

Serve 'em hard
05-12-2007, 02:52 PM
a smaller headsize offers "less power". more control, when talking about racquets, usually just refers to how much power it has. powerful racquets have power, and control racquets have less power.

therefore, it would make sense that a racquet with a bigger head, would feel better with volleys and overheads. more power. but the bigger head could then have too much power when you hit groundies because unlike on your volleys, you are taking full swings. and/or launching the ball into the fence.

but in the end it all depends on whether you want a powerful racquet or one with less power. just because some other guy likes it, doesnt mean its right for you. my doubles partner and best friend is usually going to like what i dont. a smaller headed racquet with a stiffer string at a high tension. i like a bit more power in my racquet than he does.

Is it maybe too simplistic to say control is really just a matter of less power?

As for OS's and volleys, I would be attracted to them not because I needed or wanted more power on my volleys or overheads -- but instead I would want the extra hitting room and larger sweetspot offfered by the OS. It's not power I would be looking for, just a few less mishits that jar the elbow and send volleys into the bottom of the net.

Mick
05-12-2007, 03:49 PM
You actually played a full match with one of your wood rackets or are ya just teasing us?

yep, but those were lower level guys. There are 2 guys that are at my level but they did not show up today. They might show up tomorrow. It would be mighty tough beat them with an old woodie. To do that, I would have to be in position all the time, have good timing all the time, and hit 2 or 3 consecutive winning shots to win a point. Mighty tough but not impossible though.

Serve 'em hard
05-12-2007, 04:02 PM
yep, but those were lower level guys. There are 2 guys that are at my level but they did not show up today. They might show up tomorrow. It would be mighty tough beat them with an old woodie. To do that, I would have to be in position all the time, have good timing all the time, and hit 2 or 3 consecutive winning shots to win a point. Mighty tough but not impossible though.


Well, judging from your photo there, you look like a pretty good tennis player.

AndrewD
05-12-2007, 04:27 PM
Is it maybe too simplistic to say control is really just a matter of less power?


Yes, it is a bit far too simplistic. A racquet with less power will force you to swing harder and faster in order to generate power. That can lead to less control.

Mick
05-12-2007, 06:49 PM
Well, judging from your photo there, you look like a pretty good tennis player.

I think I am ok. I am certain I am not a 5.0 and I can beat 3.5 players easily so I am somewhere in between. People who can beat me normally would have a strong service and an effective net game. My ground strokes are pretty solid from both sides and I can volley well.

Having not played with a woodie for months, I would say the biggest challenge is not to get myself in a defensive position. Those guys I played with today did not know how to take advantage of the situation but a better player would have. It's different with a modern racquet because with one good shot, you can get yourself out of that defensive position.