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View Full Version : I have a problem with my K95


Pete.Sampras.
01-30-2008, 03:51 AM
About a year ago I switched from my PS85s which I played for about twelve years to a K95. I chose the 18x20 model. So I bought a few of these but after a while I found out that the tight pattern just doesn't suit my style of play as much as an open pattern does (thought I would get used to it when I "demoed" it). I bought one 16x18 version a few weeks ago (it's not available for demo here) and I like just about every aspect of it, but there was one big problem: My baseline shots often tend to be too long...

Now I want your opinion. What should it do? I'm not sure if more or less lbs would help with the tight pattern because I want my racket to "elevate" the ball a bit more than it does. But the open pattern, well, maybe I would have to string it above 60lbs and maybe that wouldn't be good either (I strung my PS85 at 48-52lbs). I don't know what'll be better...

I use Luxilon BB Alu rough (mains) and Babolat Tonic (crosses) by the way; tension 58 (mains) 56 (crosses).

I don't want to demo/buy new rackets again. What would you suggest?

leonardtay
01-30-2008, 03:55 AM
About a year ago I switched from my PS85s which I played for about twelve years to a K95. I chose the 18x20 model. So I bought a few of these but after a while I found out that the tight pattern just doesn't suit my style of play as much as an open pattern does (thought I would get used to it when I "demoed" it). I bought one 16x18 version a few weeks ago (it's not available for demo here) and I like just about every aspect of it, but there was one big problem: My baseline shots often tend to be too long...

Now I want your opinion. What should it do? More or less lbs doesn't really help with the tight pattern because I want my racket to "elevate" the ball a bit more than it does. But the open pattern, well, maybe I would have to string it above 60lbs and maybe that wouldn't be good either (I strung my PS85 at 48-52lbs). I don't know what'll be better...

I used Luxilon BB Alu rough (mains) and Babolat Tonic (crosses) by the way.

I don't want to demo/buy new rackets again. What would you suggest?

How about closing your racquet face a little more on contact?

Pete.Sampras.
01-30-2008, 04:00 AM
How about closing your racquet face a little more on contact?

I edited while you posted. Sorry for that, but some things needed to be changed in my post ;)

I tried that already and used a full western instead of a semi-western grip but I didn't really help, unfortunately.

Spatula
01-30-2008, 04:04 AM
honestly, you've used the 18x20 for a while....give it sometiem to dial in with the K95. How long have you been hitting with it now? Is it the same setup as you've used int he past? Perhaps a different setup/tension...or just give it time, practice and dial it in.

Pete.Sampras.
01-30-2008, 04:14 AM
honestly, you've used the 18x20 for a while....give it sometiem to dial in with the K95. How long have you been hitting with it now? Is it the same setup as you've used int he past? Perhaps a different setup/tension...or just give it time, practice and dial it in.

I've used it for a year now. That should be more than enough time...

I tried different set-ups, higher and lower tension, but nothing really helped :(

I play a lot by the way. We don't have such an NTRP system here but judging by what I've read, I should be somewhere around 5.0. I just cannot allow myself not to play my best tennis on that level. I didn't get used to the tight pattern as much as I thought I would...

Spatula
01-30-2008, 04:37 AM
If you are in fact near a 5.0 you should be able to adjust your strokes when hitting long. No offense, but I'd question your level. If you can't take a touch off to compensate for balls sailing long, well that's a problem that lower rated players have. Just my opinion of course, and no disrespect intended. Just a honest point of view based on what you mentioned.

If you haven't been able to correct this, perhaps you should consider a different frame. You said you'd rather not do that, but if you've tried different setups, tensions, patterns. What else is there? Only thing I can think of is going for a full poly. That will allow you to swing the same, and have more control and a touch less power. Just be carefull with a full poly on the tension as you know that could induce elbow/arm problems.

SempreSami
01-30-2008, 04:40 AM
Try a K90 :roll:

nickb
01-30-2008, 04:40 AM
About a year ago I switched from my PS85s which I played for about twelve years to a K95. I chose the 18x20 model. So I bought a few of these but after a while I found out that the tight pattern just doesn't suit my style of play as much as an open pattern does (thought I would get used to it when I "demoed" it). I bought one 16x18 version a few weeks ago (it's not available for demo here) and I like just about every aspect of it, but there was one big problem: My baseline shots often tend to be too long...

Now I want your opinion. What should it do? I'm not sure if more or less lbs would help with the tight pattern because I want my racket to "elevate" the ball a bit more than it does. But the open pattern, well, maybe I would have to string it above 60lbs and maybe that wouldn't be good either (I strung my PS85 at 48-52lbs). I don't know what'll be better...

I use Luxilon BB Alu rough (mains) and Babolat Tonic (crosses) by the way; tension 58 (mains) 56 (crosses).

I don't want to demo/buy new rackets again. What would you suggest?

Why the higher tension on the ALU?..its a very stiff string...drop the ALU to 56lbs on the mains and up the Tonic to 60lbs.

Nick

leon505
01-30-2008, 06:02 AM
what did u find was the problem with your k95 (18x20)? I love the tighter string pattern, but i find that it can put more strain on your arm at times.

Spatula
01-30-2008, 06:50 AM
what did u find was the problem with your k95 (18x20)? I love the tighter string pattern, but i find that it can put more strain on your arm at times.

The OP said "So I bought a few of these but after a while I found out that the tight pattern just doesn't suit my style of play as much as an open pattern does "

sabi
01-30-2008, 09:42 AM
I found the 16X18 pattern was much more string dependent than the 18x20, and string loss seemed to result in a more pronounced effect on the less dense string pattern.

If your shots are going long, it's probably a result from you just switching to a quite different string bed. Did your shots go long on the 18x20? What exactly didn't you like about that racquet? Are you a heavy spin ball type player.

In any case, you can find a string and tension that will keep the balls from going long. A lot of people think that going up in tension reduces power and causes the ball to stay in more, but in fact, just the opposite can occur depending on your play style. Play with a super soft string like gut and try to slow your stroke down brush up more and see what happens. The ball will feel differently than with some stiff string like Alu which often requires much faster swing strokes cause you don't have the same ball catch and feel. Or play with a low powered string like Wilson Stamina and see what happens. Another suggestion is PSG 16 gauge in the 62-64 lb range. PSG is an odd string to me. One of the best ever. It's power level is commensurate with the ball coming at you, as if its recoil response is linear through the amount of incoming force, as opposed to Alu which seems to shine for harder hitting and sort suck for slowed paced shots. The PSG might be a good benchmark for you in varied hitting conditions. I say 62-64 because I know a close to 5.0 player that plays in that range. I do agree with the previous poster though that 5.0 players are very good and I've not seen one of them have a problem keeping a ball in. And most of them who are not in college or right of college seem to be playing with ligther sticks than the k95, as an fyi. It's hard to move that mass and swingweight when balls are coming at you very fast. In fact, one can tend to swing out or slap or just lose stroke mechanics cause of the racquet and alas the balls starts flying long on you.

Personally, I play the 18x20 with Kirschbaum Pro Line II and love it. Would recommend the 17L guage a full job of it to anybody dialed in with that racquet. Red color matching the cosmetics notwithstanding.

Pete.Sampras.
01-30-2008, 09:57 AM
You don't need to question my level. If it helps you somehow, I practice with some of the top100 guys here. It's just that I don't want to make a compromise and that I don't want to change anything about my technique. I've played the way I do for 18 years now ;)

I just wanted to know if some of you know an easy way to either make my 18x20 "elevate" the ball a bit more or to find a string that plays like luxilon/gut and tames the power of the 16x18 without increasing the tension too much. I just didn't care about all this string stuff enough before. Natural Gut and later on a hybrid of gut and luxilon always worked fine for me...

I never liked Kirschbaum though, so this will probably not work for me. Nevertheless, I will give it a try. And Luxilon Alu in the mains should have a lower tension than the gut crosses, really? The stiffness never seemed to be a problem for me. I will try that as well.

Someone asked for something like a main problem. Well, it's the angle shots when I use my wrist to change the direction of the ball shortly before I hit it. That's what bothers me the most. The shots lack speed somehow. Serves, overheads, forehands and volles work just fine. I somehow have the feeling that I have to use a bit more power than I want when I hit a hard cross-court backhand (not a big problem though). So it's basically just a small problem, but it's something that bothers me..

Thanks for all the help so far. Any other suggestions?

sabi
01-30-2008, 10:32 AM
Well good luck with your search.

And I was not questioning your level, but commenting in line with a previous poster. I'm not a 5.0 player in that I could not play 5.0/open USTA tournaments and expect to get past a round or two. But that has little to do with strokes and all to do with whether you play competitively a lot. I thought you were guessing at your USTA ranking and so I was trying to convey that when you watch 5.0 players hit they rarely, if ever have a continuous problem of keeping balls in play.

Re the strings. There is clearly a set up out there for you. Alu is a good string, but SPPP and Kirschbaum PRL II are better in my opinion. They have infinitely better feel. What they don't have is the ability to blister back shots like Alu does. But Alu is alu for 2 hours then it becomes something else, basically it goes from being a live string to a dead string pretty fast for me.

It sounds like you weren't having problems with depth with the 18x20. So your reaction may be to the added punchiness of the 16x18, that's been noted by numerous reviewers as I recall.

Anyway good luck. No doubt there is some string and tension set up that would keep you from sailing balls long.

tarkowski
01-30-2008, 12:52 PM
Someone asked for something like a main problem. Well, it's the angle shots when I use my wrist to change the direction of the ball shortly before I hit it. That's what bothers me the most. The shots lack speed somehow. Serves, overheads, forehands and volles work just fine. I somehow have the feeling that I have to use a bit more power than I want when I hit a hard cross-court backhand (not a big problem though). So it's basically just a small problem, but it's something that bothers me..
Thanks for all the help so far. Any other suggestions?

Hey Sampras,

I'm not sure what guage string you play with (the types were mentioned), but going to a thinner guage in both mains and crosses (which may require replacing the tonic with vs depending on what you use) on the 18x20 would help. I hadn't seen that mentioned yet. It would help lessen the swingweight, give a little more power and bite on the ball.

Regarding swingweight - I believe that might be 'part' of the issue. At one point I owned both of these sticks and they are pretty much identical with the exception of the string pattern. All things being equal (QC), this gives the 18x20 a little more heft on top. COMBINE that with poor Wilson quality control (don't get me wrong, love their racquets, still think QC is a problem) and you could have an 18x20 that is significantly heavier to swing than your 16x18.

Have you checked the specs?

I owned a few 18x20's at one point and they varied from 12.3-12.8, and 330 to 345 swingweight. My 16x18 was pretty true to spec at 330. So that compared to the 'heavy' 18x20 was noticeable. Especially noticeable on angle shots where you want good bat speed.

Just a few thoughts...

Take care

Pete.Sampras.
01-30-2008, 01:37 PM
Hey Sabi, I was responding to someone else with that level-thing. Also, it's not a problem if someone questions it. We're on the internet. I could be the real Pete Sampras, I could be the worst player ever... ;)

I played with an open pattern all my life. I bought the K95 with a dense pattern because it seemed that the open pattern had too much power for an advanced player. I just didn't expect the difference between these patterns to be as big as it turned out to be (for me at least).


Tarkowski, the swingweight is not an issue (I know about Wilson's quality problems by the way. It's part of what kept me away from the K90). I like it. I just want more "bite" as you call it. And the strings, well, the mains are 1.25mm and I always thought that it doesn't matter that much when the crosses are a bit thicker or thinner. I used to play with thinner strings before I found Luxilon but there's no Luxilon available in any of the shops nearby that is thinner than 1.25mm...

I think I will give Kirschbaum another try. You guys/gals sure know what you're talking about and maybe their new strings are better. If nothing really works, I guess I will have to use the open pattern with a higher tension - flat strokes will be a bit risky then, even with a higher tension I guess). Not my favourite option though. I hope I will find a great string combo for my dense pattern that solves my small problems. It'll cost some money to test everything though...

fuzz nation
01-30-2008, 01:38 PM
I know that you don't want to dump your frames and I honestly hope that you find a setup that gives you better performance in your strokes. The problem with those Wilson frames is they are indeed rather stiff, hefty, and powerful - hopefully you can track down a solution in the string world to make them bahave for you at the baseline. Good luck with that search.

If you get a chance in the near future, consider trying out a different frame that has a weight and dimensions that are similar to your racquets, but with a good deal more flex. I've been hooked on heavier sticks forever, but the gas pedal on my stiffer racquets was always way too twitchy and I didn't know just how much I had to hold back to control them. When I got a clue and took up with softer frames in the same 12.5 oz. neighborhood, I got my strokes back, but I could also drive returns of serve and land them routinely for the first time in years. The problems you're having sound all too familiar to me and I switched away from older Wilson 6.1's in favor of others with flex ratings in the high 50's to low 60's. After a year or so, I'm having a lot more success.

Thor
01-30-2008, 01:44 PM
Someone asked for something like a main problem. Well, it's the angle shots when I use my wrist to change the direction of the ball shortly before I hit it. That's what bothers me the most. The shots lack speed somehow. Serves, overheads, forehands and volles work just fine. I somehow have the feeling that I have to use a bit more power than I want when I hit a hard cross-court backhand (not a big problem though). So it's basically just a small problem, but it's something that bothers me..

Thanks for all the help so far. Any other suggestions?

OOOUUUCCCHHH.....

sabi
01-30-2008, 01:45 PM
Fuzz nation which sticks did you go to?

Pete.Sampras, I think a full job of the Pro Line series is worth a try. I think even one of the TW testers suggested he was trying the Pro Line I string. Personally I bought by 18x20 from TW with Pro Line II at 17L, 1.20 mm (I think), and they played great out the box. Right now I can only get 17 in the Pro Line II from my local stringer, not 17L. And I still notice a difference between the 17 and 17L, and much prefer the 17L asit was a little livelier and had more bite. Anyway, good luck, and let us know what happens.

Pete.Sampras.
01-30-2008, 01:45 PM
May I ask which racket you are using now Fuzz?

I demoed a lot of rackets before I made a switch. Stupid doubles and clay courts made me get away from my beloved PS85. It's just not a great stick for competitive doubles and we have to play a lot of doubles in our league :(


Edit: Oops, late :P

Thanks Sabi. I will ask if someone around here has your string in that gauge ;)

dejavu
01-30-2008, 01:49 PM
Try adding a little lead to the handle. You'll make the stick a little more head light and will add a tiny bit more spin to keep the shots in.

drakulie
01-30-2008, 01:55 PM
How were your baseline shots with the tighter string pattern?

Seems to me the new frame is the one that doesn''t suit your game.

Pete.Sampras.
01-30-2008, 02:12 PM
How were your baseline shots with the tighter string pattern?

Seems to me the new frame is the one that doesn''t suit your game.

I didn't play much with the open pattern K95 yet. But what I'm missing is how the open pattern elevates the ball and that was what I liked about the 16x18 from the very first moment. Everything else is fine with the dense pattern, except for some angle shots in tough situations. I'm just so used to do that with my wrist quite often but that doesn't work as well with the 18x20 as....


Lead tape might help, dejavu. I'll try that as well. But I like the balance of the K95 as it is. I had LT on my PS85 but didn't feel the need to use it on my K95. We'll see...

sabi
01-30-2008, 02:49 PM
You want more upward trajectory on the balls coming off your string? I'd say go full gut then, try that, or maybe Gamma Livewire Professional as a gut substitute. I agree that in my experience the 16x18 pattern caused the ball to have plenty of upward trajectory off the string bed. I actually don't like that as much, so maybe the Kirschbaum PL II is not the ideal string. Still worth a try, but may not solve that problem. I would definitely go with the smallest gauge string you can find.

Another option may be the Hurricane Original in 18 guage. Very durable string. I love the string in certain racquets, like the softer MG Radical and the K6.1 Team. I've not tried it in the 18x20 k95 though. The Hurricane 18 guage has some of the best bit on the ball and can get heavy spin. I don't use it on stiffer frames though. Anyway, gut at the right tension is probably the best at getting that heavy spin. Otherwise, you may just want to tweak your stroke brush up a little bit more or try a Prince racquet. I see a lot good number of 5.0 players hitting high spin, high bounce, high trajectory top spin off prince frames.

TsongaBonga
01-30-2008, 02:51 PM
geesh, maybe u ought to switch back.

tarkowski
01-30-2008, 03:27 PM
Hey Sabi, I was responding to someone else with that level-thing. Also, it's not a problem if someone questions it. We're on the internet. I could be the real Pete Sampras, I could be the worst player ever... ;)

I played with an open pattern all my life. I bought the K95 with a dense pattern because it seemed that the open pattern had too much power for an advanced player. I just didn't expect the difference between these patterns to be as big as it turned out to be (for me at least).


Tarkowski, the swingweight is not an issue (I know about Wilson's quality problems by the way. It's part of what kept me away from the K90). I like it. I just want more "bite" as you call it. And the strings, well, the mains are 1.25mm and I always thought that it doesn't matter that much when the crosses are a bit thicker or thinner. I used to play with thinner strings before I found Luxilon but there's no Luxilon available in any of the shops nearby that is thinner than 1.25mm...

I think I will give Kirschbaum another try. You guys/gals sure know what you're talking about and maybe their new strings are better. If nothing really works, I guess I will have to use the open pattern with a higher tension - flat strokes will be a bit risky then, even with a higher tension I guess). Not my favourite option though. I hope I will find a great string combo for my dense pattern that solves my small problems. It'll cost some money to test everything though...

Also - I need to clarify my post. I just realized that you're playing with the K, as opposed to the N. My comments were for the n95's which from what I've read, are a bit different.

Please let us know how it goes and what you end up doing!

take care

KOtennis
01-30-2008, 08:43 PM
i have the same problem with my k95, 16x18.
I have been playing mainly with the n95 16x19 for the last year or so and play really well with it.

just bought a k95 and use the exact same setup.
Wilson Stamina 17 on main and cross. same tension.

hit with it for a total of 5 hours now, and all my forehand shots are sailing long.

i have tried to hit the forehand with the exact same technique i hit using the n95, all going long.

i guess i will need more time to adjust to the k95....

Pete.Sampras.
01-31-2008, 06:32 AM
I see that a lot of advanced players have this problem with the K95 16x18. It is very powerful, maybe too powerful for a racket in this category....

galatti
01-31-2008, 07:19 AM
I see that a lot of advanced players have this problem with the K95 16x18. It is very powerful, maybe too powerful for a racket in this category....

Yup. That's why a prefer the N95 18x20!

fuzz nation
01-31-2008, 08:38 AM
I was looking for a racquet that would be more comfortable as an all court player for me than just a killer serve and volley frame - the 6.1 Classic is just phenomenal for net crashing and I found the K to have a very similar feel when I took one out for a long demo.

The two that I really like these days are the newer limited edition Donnay Pro One and the Yonex RDS 002 Tour (SL). Both work great for me from the baseline, but they also have enough touch and inherent punch that I can go to net with a lot of confidence with either one. The Yonex has the edge in the "pop" department, but I get a lot more control with it than I did with my Wilsons. The Donnay provides some of the best feel and control that I've ever had which I think is partly due to its only moderate power (quite an old school vibe). With the Pro One, I can comfortably swing away with terrific consistency and my placement is more overwhelming than my pace.

Some other heavy and soft raquets I've enjoyed are the Volkl C10 Pro, Prince NXG mid, Head LM Prestige mid, and Flexpoint Radical Tour (a crazy spin factory for a baseliner). From the baseline they do good work, but I routinely move forward and I look for a certain feel in my volleys that can be lost in a frame that's very soft. The Donnays seem to run well with multifiber strung toward the top of the rec'd range and the Yonexes run nicely for me with syn. gut in the low 60's. Coming from the Wilson K 95, I'd expect the Yonex and the Volkl to be the easiest to relate to since they give away only a little pop in exchange for a good chunk of control.

Pete.Sampras.
01-31-2008, 12:30 PM
Thanks. As I said, new rackets should be the last option, except for the K95 with the open pattern. But if it comes down to it, I will give the 002 a try ;)