View Full Version : How much RA change before racquet needs replaced?
09-25-2007, 04:00 PM
In the mid-1990s I began using Wilson ProStaff Classic 6.1 racquets. When new they measured RA flex in the low 70s (quite stiff for a players' racquet).
Over time the racquets became more flexible, eventually measuring in the 67-68 range before I replaced them.
I should add that this was a long time, about 10 years cycling four racquets and playing regular leagues, practice and tournaments. I typically had them restrung every couple of months unless the strings broke earlier.
The change in flex happens so gradually you don't notice it until one day you pick up a new version of the same racquet and you suddenly remember the pop and control you had when the racquets were new.
My question is - is there a formula of RA percentage change when a racquet should go ahead and be replaced?
Say if it starts out as a 70 should it be replaced when it measures a couple points more flexible?
09-25-2007, 04:31 PM
if it was me, i wouldn't replace them unless it really affected my game.
01-03-2008, 08:11 PM
I change when the RA goes to zero. IOW, when the racquet breaks.
I don't hit as hard as I used to so I don't break racquets much anymore.
I agree with the others, if I adjusted with the racquet over time, I don't see reason why I should get rid of nice racquets.
01-04-2008, 07:14 AM
I think that you're on to a really subjective thing here. I switched away from the old 6.1 Classics because I wanted more flex to get my strokes under control, yet still pop a volley well. Settling in now with the Donnay Pro Ones that are rated around 58, but I just love their feel. Even if my Prostaffs have softened up over time, they still feel hard to me compared to what I've adjusted to in my softer frames which I am using with huge confidence.
No argument though, if you get a bug in your head that your racquet is too dead, too stiff, too light... your perception is that it's just plain not right for you anymore. We're crazy like that. The empirical number that you've seen in terms of your old racquet's lower flex rating isn't even something you conjured in your imagination, so that can easily convince you that your frame has "broken down" over time. Basically if your frame doesn't work anymore or you only think that it doesn't work anymore, it's probably time to start test driving some potential replacements. Otherwise, I wouldn't know how to measure that a frame is used up unless it's no longer in one piece.
01-04-2008, 07:31 AM
I agree with fuzz in that it's really subjective. For example, some pros change their racquets every season (I believe Federer and Agassi do/did this) but then their livelihood depends on their equipment so it's understandable that they're picky about their equipment. For the rest of us, I would assume that as soon as you're not getting the pop from the racquet that you're used to, then it would be time to switch...either from the racquet fatiguing or that we're getting older or out of shape to wield the current frame effectively.
I've been constantly fiddling with my frames for the past few years. I started adding lead and enjoyed the benefits of such customization to the point where I would keep adding it. My shots kept getting better until I got to where things didn't match up well any more. Too much weight and too much power with tension to high. Going back down in weight didn't help so I got a lower powered frame.
I started putting lead on that frame and have been getting better with it to. Now I'm back to the point where I'm swinging too much weight around and it's limiting my serve, so I'm testing frames again. I think what I've realized, unfortunately, is that as my game keeps changing I am going to keep outgrowing my frame and may end up buying new sticks every year to two years until my improvement levels out and I find a fit long term.
It's kind of strange how you can get so attached to a frame playing one way and then later end up where it just doesn't quite fit like it used to. Of course I don't have to change frames, I'm sure I could keep playing and improving with what I have, it's just that sense of connectedness to a frame that really fits your game adds a lot to the enjoyment of playing.
01-04-2008, 11:40 AM
i heard that 2 years was a good time to change. i;d change it if i started to feel that its affecting my game negatively. i;ll probably end up changing sooner because im a racquet-aholic ;)
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