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chopstxnrice
01-04-2008, 07:44 PM
Hey guys, i'm new to the forum and thought it would be a good idea to get some input on a new racquet, since I know very little about the different racquets out there right now.

I've been playing on prince triple threat graphite midsize for the past 7 or 8 years. I don't even remember the racquets before these, since I was pretty young. I'm a recreational college player, I play 2-3 times a week, and I believe I'm somewhere between 4.5-5.0, although this is self rating lol. I feel like it's about time for a new racquet, but the biggest reason is that I've recently developed wrist tendonitis. Painful as heck, especially since I use a full western grip. I have a very strong forehand, and I play with lots of spin. I have a two handed backhand, and I'm usually just a power baseliner. Volleying in singles is rare, but I do like volleying and love playing doubles. I have access to a good tennis shop with a good demo program, so I have access to almost everything, except for some of the older ones. All racquets are strung with NXT 16 at mid tension +2

Here are a few that I'm currently trying:
Wilson k90
Wilson k95
Prince O3 speedport tour

I think out of the 3, I like the 95 over the 90. I'm not exactly sure why (i'm not too good at explaining why i like / dislike racquets lol sorry). But the k95 has a pretty high stiffness rating at 69, so I don't know if that will be good for my wrist.

Here are some others that I just am thinking of trying, from no basis other than looking up what's popular, and taking into account weight.
Yonex RDS 001, 002
yonex RQ 1 tour
Head flexpoint prestige mid (or any of the other prestiges?)
prince speedport black
babolat pure storm tour plus
dunlop aerogel 200

thanks guys, any recommendations / help would be awesome!

Alafter
01-04-2008, 08:48 PM
Go out of your usual spectrum?

Nblade OS.

chopstxnrice
01-05-2008, 08:54 AM
i'm not sure they will still have the nblade available for demo, but maybe the kblade should be available soon. thanks, will try it out

Gasquetrules
01-05-2008, 08:57 AM
A 90 sq. inch racquet is designed for a serve-and-volley or strong attacking all-court type of game. Most players with this style use a one-handed backhand, which gives the variety to get to the net and then volley well once there. So since you use a two-handed backhand and rarely volley, it's not suprising you don't much care for a small-headed racquet. You get a few extremely talented two-handed players who use mid-size racquets, but most like mid-plus or oversized frames. The two hander is just a tighter and more compact stroke than the one-handed backhand. I've found it hard to generate fast racquet head speed with a two-handed shot, so that's why I believe most two-handed players like a large-headed frame. It gives more pop on the ball with a more compact swing than a smaller racquet head will.

I play an all-court game with an eastern forehand grip and full western backhand drive (continental on the slice and volleys), so my favorite size is a 95 sq. inch frame. I like something thin-beamed, headlight and generous flex. Right now I'm playing with a Gamma G325 and also still have some of the older Gamma Tradition 18s that are still in good shape. The two frames are pretty much identical. For awhile I was feeling outgunned with the Tradition 18s, but then I discovered Big Banger strings. I used TiMo 18 and Big Banger Ace in these frames, and these strings add even more control and stability to these frames when facing heavy-hitting power players. The Ace has a bit more power, while the TiMo is better against really hard-hitters.

I'm a big fan of Gamma racquets and think they don't get near the respect they deserve, at least with their serious frames. You might want to try a Gamma G310. It's a mid-plus that should appeal to a two-handed baseliner playing at your level. I have one and like it a lot. It just doesn't have the versatility and finesse of the G325, but is still very solid and consistent frame for accomplished players.

And strings these days are as important as racquet frames. I've made the switch to poly strings, but if you are having wrist or elbow problems, try the Big Banger Ace. I believe it is actually a nylon-based string (not a poly) that Luxilon has worked their magic on. I think it plays just as soft as multi-fiber synthetic guts, but with a lot more control and spin potential. I string both the Ace and TiMo strings between 50 and 52, and have no problems.

BTW, I've got a huge collection of classic racquet frames (POGs, classic Dunlop 200Gs including the original, Muscleweave and Hotmelt versions, several classic-beamed Dunlop Revelation frames, Estusa Powerbeams standard and braided, Pro-Staff 6.0., several classic Yonexes such as the R-22 which I like a lot with Big Banger Ace. I've owned and played with the Head Prestige Classic, and I own and have experimented with both the standard length and XL Pro versions of the Head Liquidmetal Instinct. And the Gamma Tradition 18 and G325s play better for me than any of these frames. They just do everything well and have no serious flaws. Perfect balance and feel. Manuverable with enough power and great control. Precision serving, if not powerful, enough power from the baseline, great in the mid-court and at net.

chopstxnrice
01-05-2008, 09:22 AM
A 90 sq. inch racquet is designed for a serve-and-volley or strong attacking all-court type of game. Most players with this style use a one-handed backhand, which gives the variety to get to the net and then volley well once there. So since you use a two-handed backhand and rarely volley, it's not suprising you don't much care for a small-headed racquet. You get a few extremely talented two-handed players who use mid-size racquets, but most like mid-plus or oversized frames. The two hander is just a tighter and more compact stroke than the one-handed backhand. I've found it hard to generate fast racquet head speed with a two-handed shot, so that's why I believe most two-handed players like a large-headed frame. It gives more pop on the ball with a more compact swing than a smaller racquet head will.

I play an all-court game with an eastern forehand grip and full western backhand drive (continental on the slice and volleys), so my favorite size is a 95 sq. inch frame. I like something thin-beamed, headlight and generous flex. Right now I'm playing with a Gamma G325 and also still have some of the older Gamma Tradition 18s that are still in good shape. The two frames are pretty much identical. For awhile I was feeling outgunned with the Tradition 18s, but then I discovered Big Banger strings. I used TiMo 18 and Big Banger Ace in these frames, and these strings add even more control and stability to these frames when facing heavy-hitting power players. The Ace has a bit more power, while the TiMo is better against really hard-hitters.

I'm a big fan of Gamma racquets and think they don't get near the respect they deserve, at least with their serious frames. You might want to try a Gamma G310. It's a mid-plus that should appeal to a two-handed baseliner playing at your level. I have one and like it a lot. It just doesn't have the versatility and finesse of the G325, but is still very solid and consistent frame for accomplished players.

And strings these days are as important as racquet frames. I've made the switch to poly strings, but if you are having wrist or elbow problems, try the Big Banger Ace. I believe it is actually a nylon-based string (not a poly) that Luxilon has worked their magic on. I think it plays just as soft as multi-fiber synthetic guts, but with a lot more control and spin potential. I string both the Ace and TiMo strings between 50 and 52, and have no problems.

BTW, I've got a huge collection of classic racquet frames (POGs, classic Dunlop 200Gs including the original, Muscleweave and Hotmelt versions, several classic-beamed Dunlop Revelation frames, Estusa Powerbeams standard and braided, Pro-Staff 6.0., several classic Yonexes such as the R-22 which I like a lot with Big Banger Ace. I've owned and played with the Head Prestige Classic, and I own and have experimented with both the standard length and XL Pro versions of the Head Liquidmetal Instinct. And the Gamma Tradition 18 and G325s play better for me than any of these frames. They just do everything well and have no serious flaws. Perfect balance and feel. Manuverable with enough power and great control. Precision serving, if not powerful, enough power from the baseline, great in the mid-court and at net.

Yeah, I definitely have a more compact backhand swing, but I can get plenty of pace equal to my forehand which is a much longer more full stroke and backswing. I don't think I'll be able to try out the older tradition 18, but i'll definitely try out the g325. For some reason I never considered gamma up there with the rest. How does it compare with something like the k95?

fuzz nation
01-05-2008, 10:12 AM
Since you've got access to a lot of frames, I'd say try anything that even remotely appeals to you as long as your shop isn't out to inflict some poverty on you for demoing a lot. Not hard to believe that you're doing okay with the k95 and you'll find (if you haven't already) that it can also be a beast up at net for doubles. Since you're looking at Prince already, see if you can manage a test drive with the O3 Hybrid Tour. I've tried a couple of them and I think that they play like a lean version of Wilson's Six-One (and 6.1) line - quite competent all over the court. Just make sure that you try one with a firm bed of strings because they get crazy with loose ropes.

I never had tennis elbow or anything from my stiff old Prostaffs, so it's hard to say if a specific frame will definately be good or bad for your wrist. Unfortunately, I think you'll only know how something works along those lines after you use it for a while. My memory of the TT Graphite is that it played stiff and light, but the frames that you seem to be looking at now are certainly of a heftier and more stable group. Don't be afraid to sample something that's on the very flexible end of the spectrum of hefty frames just to see what it does or doesn't give you. I switched in that direction and I gained a ton of control over my strokes that I sorely needed, but I can also still hit a hard ball.

As far as Yonex goes, the RDS 002 Tour would probably be the one for you to try since you like the k95 - nothing against the RDS 001's, but I haven't tried one yet and my 002 Tours are very good alternatives to the heavier Wilsons. A softer Yonex you may also look into is the RQiS 1 Tour - a healthy buzz is going around on that one. You may also love that Dunlop AG 200. I tried one and it seemed to be layed out with the baseliner in mind, but I had no great success with it, especially up at the net where I thrive. You may even want to keep notes as you demo different gear just so you can recall what was good or bad about each racquet as you go along. If your testing period takes a while, those notes will come in really handy!

Gasquetrules
01-05-2008, 10:41 AM
I have a hitting buddy who is a Wilson man. He has a Pro-Staff 6.0, a K-95, and an earlier Pro-staff version, which I believe is the 6.1 (I'm not up on all the numerology that Wilson uses to describe their frames, but it's a 95 sq. inch frame, about 12.2 ounces andd 20 mm beam.) He liked my G310 so much that he bought one instead of an N-Blade. He was looking for something just a little lighter than the standard 12-ounce "players frame" that would still play like a serious stick. Wanted it for doubles. He had demoed the N-Blade and liked the G310 better. The N-Blade was just too light.

He has resisted buying a G325 because he has a whole collection of full-bodied mid-size Wilsons that he feels do the same thing. Personally, I like the Gammas better than the Wilsons. They are a tad more headlight, thinner beamed and have better feel and control and are more manuverable.

I haven't played with the N-code and K series 90 sq. inch frames from Wilson, so I don't know if they have the same indescribable feel of the pro-staff 6.0, which is an 85 sq. inch head. I have a Caymen TNT 90, which is a 100 percent braided graphite copy of the pro-staff 6.0 which weighs 12 ounces instead of the 12.5 of the pro-staff 6.0 and has the same feel and flow of the 6.0, but just lighter. I love to hit around with this frame, but because of the small head, you don't want to hang around on the baseline for very long against an opponent with a strong ground game. It's the same story with the 6.0. You've got to be as aggressive as Pete Sampras to win with the stick, and that's not me. I play more like Tommy Hass, spending more time on the baseline -- and being content to win there if I can -- before I come to net. The 95 sq. inch Gammas just offer more consistency on groundies than the smaller attacking racquets do, so it's easier to defend with them from the baseline when you have to, and to be patient and rally until you get the opportunity to come in, but once you get in the transition game and then to net, the Gammas play just as well as the pure attacking frames.

I've noticed that with the Wilsons, Heads, and Dunlops, once they go from mid to mid-plus frames, they usually increase beam width. Wilson's small-headed frames are around 17 mm, while the 95 and above frames are usually 20 mm or more. Same for most Dunlops and Heads, although I do have a Dunlop Select Pro and Classic Pro which are 95 sq. inch heads and still have beams in the 18 to 19 mm range, but neither play as buttery smooth as the Gammas and both frames balanced more evenly, kinda like Head frames. And that's why I like the Gamma G325 and the earlier Tradition 18. They are both 95 sq. inch mid-plus heads, but keep the very narrow beam similar to the small-headed Wilson attacking sticks. And to me that gives them similar feel and control and precision, but with a bit more margin for error. And they keep the distinct headlight balance.

Also, the G325 is listed on TW and other sources as having a beam of 19 and 20 mm. I have two. I have checked them with precision calipers, and both are 18 mm. In fact, my G325s are a few thousandths of an inch narrower than my Tradition 18s, and perhaps one or two tenths of an ounce heavier.

The G310 is a larger mid-plus (98-100 sq. inch range) with a thicker 20 mm beam. It is about a half ounce lighter than the G325, but since it is not as distinctly headlight it swings just as heavy. I think a two-handed baseliner would prefer it to the G325. If you find yourself coming to net often and having to play low volleys and quick half-volleys and overheads and punching back hard-hit passing shots, the G325 is the better stick. If you are the guy on the baseline hitting these shots at your attacking opponent, I think you might like the G310 more. It's balance is more like a traditional Head frame, not so distinctly headlight. But the G310 is still very quick at net and volleys great. Just a little less weight in the handle and without the scalpel-like precision of the thin G325.

Also, don't be tempted to save bucks and buy one of the out-of-production Gamma IPEX series of frames. The IPEX 7.0 specs out very much like the G310. But it is made from some kind of air-carbon process that is supposed to be light and strong, the way most frames are going these days. I bought one and was hugely disappointed. The thing just felt too hollow with no heft, no feel or consitency. I'd say it was OK for the 3.5 player, but not much beyond that. Gamma went back to their roots with this latest G-series of frames. All are made of high-modulus grahite and you can feel the difference. They play like classic grahite sticks should.

chopstxnrice
01-05-2008, 01:56 PM
thanks for the input, i just got back and picked up
wilson k95 18x20 (versus the 16x18 i liked earlier)
gamma 325
yonex 001 midsize
POG, just for kicks
head microgel prestige midsize

the one im most excited to play with is the head microgel prestige midsize. they only had one, and some guy had gotten it before me and for some reason decided he didn't want to demo it. I wanted to try the prestige pro and midplus but this was the only one they had

Jonny S&V
01-05-2008, 02:17 PM
If you have tendonitis and you are one of the cookie-cutter baseliners in todays game, I would try out the POG OS (unless that's the POG you got). If you look at even the pros, the baseliners/claycourters almost all use something 98 sq in or bigger. Look into racquets more in the line of the RDS 002 tour or Speedport Tour (O3 Tour as well). The TT Graphite is the 2nd worst in the POG series (next to the NXG series), IMO.

chopstxnrice
01-05-2008, 03:30 PM
I just tried the POG midsize, i didn't like it at all. I will try the POG oversize in a few days. The yonex 001 midsize was nice, but I liked the k95 18x20 and the MG prestige mid better. I really liked the feel of the MG prestige mid, but i didn't get a chance to hit more than about 10 minutes with it. It felt much softer than either of the k95's, which both are a bit stiff. I will try the RDS 002 tour the next time around, but I am really liking the k95 18x20 and MG Prestige mid.

Anyone have any thoughts on the 16x18 vs the 18x20 k95? I feel like I get much more control with the 18x20, but it seems a bit harder to generate equal amount of spin, and a little less pop, but I think I like the 18x20 better. I wish I could try out the MG Prestige MP and pro though, has anyone tried out all 3?

Scarab_Renfield
01-05-2008, 04:49 PM
If you can get your hands on a Babolat Pure Control Team racquet (not the new Pure Storms) try it out, it has great control and a good pop of power for a 98"2 head size.

tzinc
01-05-2008, 04:55 PM
I recommend Aeropro Drive with Cortex!

DY3K1D
01-05-2008, 08:40 PM
i have an exact replica of andy roddicks stick (strings, dampener, overgrip blah blah blah) and I have to say that I love it. it hits very deep causing the play to hit an off balanced shot hwoever then you can still do a little drop shot. serve is very powerful. i say demo it.

chopstxnrice
01-05-2008, 08:43 PM
I recommend Aeropro Drive with Cortex!

It's a bit too light for me, 11.3 oz strung.

If you can get your hands on a Babolat Pure Control Team racquet (not the new Pure Storms) try it out, it has great control and a good pop of power for a 98"2 head size.

how does pure control team compare to aeropro control? I actually thought about demoing the aeropro control, but babolat is generally pretty stiff, and looking at the specs again, both are rated at 70 stiffness.