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View Full Version : Has anyone ever hit a ball with a touring pros racquet?


Robert Jones
03-22-2004, 05:30 PM
Just curious what most pros racquets feel like. I know that the model in the store is no where close to the one the pros are using on TV.

I have heard some use lead some just have the manufacturer beef it up internally so you can't tell from the outside.

Just wondering if they have them set for low power on average.

I did swing a teaching pros stick and it was super heavy and had more power than I expected.

At what point did the amateur decide to add so much weight that the racquet was over 13 oz? It seems that most pros have a super heavy stick.

Is that the progression? Do young 5.0 players that have the talent eventually figure out to add a ton of weight? Or do some of the touring pros play with 10 oz sticks?

Just curious.

PistolPete
03-22-2004, 06:03 PM
I've played with one of Nicholas Lapentti's rauquets and the only thing that resmebles the store model is the paint job. Head tape galore, customized grip, everythings different

jarrett
03-22-2004, 06:16 PM
Nicolas coutelot, the french guy who beat Nalbandian last year in R.G is one of my very good friends... He plays a Prestige classic 600 painted like the new LM prestige... I've tried his racquet and it was pretty much unplayable :cry: ... It weighs 378 grams, there are several layers of lead under the bumpers and some silicon in the grip. :shock: His grip is huge, a 4 5/8 with a leather grip and an overgrip. :? The best part of the racquet was actually its string job :P . it is unbelievable: an extremely thin (1.10mm) version of the Big Banger alu that Luxilon doesn't sell on the market 8)... The playablility is exceptionnal but it breaks extremely quickly :( ...

Ash Doyle
03-22-2004, 06:18 PM
Some players 30 and over started out using racquets that were heavier than they are now. In 80's and earlier, racquets were made heavier. Wooden racquets of the seventies were much heavier than current racquets. Players that grew up during these times learned to play with heavier racquets and just stuck with what they grew accustomed. Younger players play with lighter sticks than the older players on average becuase that is what they grew up playing with, and so that is what they are used to. John McEnroe has commented before on how light Roddicks racquet is.

However, a heavier racquet handles spin and power much easier than a light racquet. Despite what you may hear on these board sometimes, it does not take extra talent or super strength to handle a 13.0+ ounce racquet. In the wood era every man, woman, and child that played used such a racquet with no problem. Try it sometime.

There may be an exeption out there somewhere, but I'd think you'd be hard pressed to find a pro using a 10 oz racquet.

NoBadMojo
03-22-2004, 06:30 PM
I've played w. PMacs frame which was also JMacs frame for a short period of time. Totally gloss black and no graphics and only 100 or so were ever made. Flexy..heavy..and very smooth and powerful if you could move it fast enough and it hit a very heavy ball. It came from the factory w. the final weight and balance so no lead tape was needed. It was based on a Wilson mold. All graphite at the top of the hoop and gradually more fiberglass introduced until at the handle it was pretty much all fiberglass (other than binders of course)This very same racquet was taken to Phil Knight at Nike back then and Nike considered getting into the racquet business. This was going to stay all gloss black w. just the swoosh and jmacs signature. The board considered it but viewed it as a distribution problem with the reps and also the fact that tennis was no longer booming. heavier frames most definitely hit heavier balls. if you hit as many balls as these pros do and are that fit, you can sure swing a heavier bat. back when i started playing, all racquets were heavy and we someone swung them pretty well.Ed

Robert Jones
03-22-2004, 07:04 PM
I am older than you think, 43. I used a connors heavy as lead metal racquet. And also a Head aluminum 60 head size plus lead tape. I took a 10 year break and started back up 2 years ago. I have gotton use to the lighter sticks but I had harder strokes with my old metal.

I have a younger brother that is totally retro. He plays in the tennis 4.0 leagues and uses the old Head metal 60 size. I love the look of his opponents face when they see the old stick. He wins often with that old POS stick. I bought him a wilson prostaff for christmas, its huge 85-90 size was too much. Its collecting dust.

I agree that 13 oz is not too much to swing. I just assumed the lighter models were tested and found to be better. I figured we did not have the technology to make a lighter stick back then. But maybe the old stuff was not as bad as I thought.

Deuce
03-22-2004, 10:05 PM
Old frames were much better than today's crap.

I got 4 Prince Magnesium 90 racquets from Cedric Pioline a few years back. They were no heavier than my Mags, and had no special customizations.

@wright
03-23-2004, 07:54 AM
So Deuce, that is a true story?!?!?!

Kobble
03-23-2004, 11:58 AM
I am with Deuce and many others concerning the retro racquets. My game has been greatly enhanced from hitting with old graphite under 85 sq. inches, and even wood. You should see the look on a players face when you out serve, return, volley, and out hit him from the baseline with wood. Especially, when someone witnesses it and says, "I have never seen a player hit with wood like that before." When I purchased my Prestige Classics I couldn't believe the forgiveness that it had compared to other frames I was playing. Even with the new frames, I still have not equaled some of those forehands that I was able to hit with the wood racquet for that short stretch of time. Deuce, I know many local teaching pros who agree with you concerning the latest racquets. Many feel that some of the original Donnay frames were unparalled for feel and control. One guy will not even stock the Babolat frames, because he doesn't believe the build good players. The Pure Control is the only one he will even acknowledge as a real racquet. To finish on topic here, most pros definitely use "outdated" specs. The old racquets were easier on the arm as well.

Deuce
03-23-2004, 09:44 PM
Of course it's a true story. It took a while to get them - through his agent. It was rather interesting.

Kobble - I'm always happy to hear of others who both recognize the value of the past, as well as question the value of the present.

Robert Jones
03-24-2004, 11:49 AM
Well its finally good to hear that I am not crazy. I told my nephews (they are like 20) about the old sticks. I told them I could hit harder serves and ground strokes with my old stuff. They thought I was nutts.

One thing I do better with the new Diablo is overheads and net shots. I can move the lighter frame faster. Maybe extreme topspin is easier from the larger headsize. I would say I had better groundstrokes with the smaller heads though.

irishbanger
03-24-2004, 02:23 PM
Have to disagree with you "old farts" (I'm an old fart too), technology never marches backward. YOU were better when you were younger, not the racket. Its the archer, not the bow.

Kobble
03-24-2004, 10:06 PM
I don't think it is as much the technology as it is the specifications of the latest racquets. The older frames were naturally heavier with smaller hitting areas, which allows most people to groove smoother strokes, and the weight adds to the power of the shots. The weight issue can be solved with customization, but the flexibility and head size of the frame is nonadjustable. Many people like the old school head size and flex of wood and early graphite, but event the most flexible stuff today is stiff by yesterday's standards. The variety of racquets featuring head sizes under 90 sq in. is anemic as well. Also, I find the smaller heads allow me to take bigger cuts at the ball and still keep it in. Maybe it is just me, but I don't benefit much at all from the latest technology. I am sure I would serve bigger with a Pure Drive, but I doubt I would be any better of a shot maker and win more often using it. I think the biggest contributor to the modern game is the advancement in strings. So many options to choose from now, so it is very easy to find the right string to suit your game.

Deuce
03-24-2004, 11:41 PM
"...technology never marches backward..."

That is the most erroneous statement I've read in a long while.

Robert Jones
03-25-2004, 01:21 PM
I read that some of todays pros hit with a wood stick and they measured the serve speeds. The woods were like 123 mph and the new stuff was like 124.5 so yes the new are a tiny tiny bit better in terms of pace but no where near what most people think.

In terms of control I think the new stuff is better. You can take bigger cuts and not frame as many. I think thats the main difference.

And true I was much stronger at age 25 than I am now. So some of its the fact that Im getting to be an old fart.

Robert Jones
03-25-2004, 01:25 PM
technology never marches backwards.

Well thats not quite correct. Many pros are using old tech sticks painted to look like the new ones they are trying to sell. If there were better then why don't they switch to them?

There are many areas in techology that have gone backwards, mostly from marketing and cost cutting measures. Not talking strickly tennis here but thats a new discussion.

irishbanger
03-25-2004, 01:36 PM
Disagree. This is an esoteric thought and one that Jean Paul Satre could better explain, but once something is invented, its always there. If the old rackets were indeed "better", they would still be used and someone would be marketing them.

NoBadMojo
03-25-2004, 01:47 PM
depends on your definition of better IMO. the old technology is better to learn with because it forces you to do stuff properly and is also better because the older stuff was flexy and heavier and easier on your arm. new technology is better for the old and infirmed and non athletic (people that cant generate racquet head speed) because they dont need skills (proper technique) to hit effective shots. as far as serving w. the wooden bats, it was flipper (philipoussisssissssissss) who could serve almost as fast w. a wooden bat as he could w. a tricked up hi tech job..where it has benefitted is in the return of serve and not the serve and also the backcourt western player who doesnt have to worry so much about frame balls w. a larger head because of the steep angle of attack the western grip causes you to make on the ball. thats also why you see less all court and s/v play IMO. dont take my word re the wooden bats..pete sampras said the very same thing when asked what he would do if his offspring wanted to learn tennis. he said 'i would find him a woden racquet if i could and get him started with that' Ed

@wright
03-25-2004, 02:18 PM
I agree, Ed. If you don't get a beginner started with a wooden racquet, then IMO you have to get them started with a heavy, flexible bat without a huge sweet spot so they'll learn not to lean on technology so much. Doing anything less is a disservice to them and just asking for those ugly *******ized strokes that come from a granny stick, not to mention arm-problems.

Deuce
03-25-2004, 09:57 PM
So, 'banger, what you are saying equates to newer being always and inherently improved.

"If the old rackets were indeed "better", they would still be used and someone would be marketing them."

This is not so much erroneous as it is simply ignorant.

Please tell me you're just pulling our collective legs. Different is not necessarily better. Those who possess a potential for financial gain will do their utmost to convince the masses that newer is always better, of course. Their self-interest, however, betrays their often hollow claim.

Jeez...

ohplease
03-25-2004, 11:01 PM
Once again, reading comprehension skills and the lack thereof rear their ugly head.

Irishbanger's point is that given that we are free to choose from the ENTIRE history of racket technology, it follows that the current iterations and evolutions of rackets (or anything else for that matter) is or is very close to the "best" version thereof. It's why we don't wear long linen pants on grass courts anymore, as well as why fish can extract oxygen from water, and NASCAR winners don't race in 1950's hod rods.

Regardless of the validity of the point (and irishbanger does have a point and should be applauded for attempting to raise the level of rhetorical skill in the remedial reading class that is the tw message board), there are lots of ways to rebutt this argument - but inability to even properly understand it has to be the most embarassing.

Deuce
03-25-2004, 11:26 PM
In your effort to criticize the intelligence of others, you might acquire more credibility - though not with me, as I already know that you are one to possess a very specific agenda - you might acquire more credibility with others were you to spell embarrassing correctly.

irishbanger
03-26-2004, 07:11 AM
ohplease---thank you for understanding what I was trying to convey to the unwashed masses and please forgive Duece his inability to see the forest through the trees and his pathetic attempt at philosophical understanding by pointing out a minor spelling error.

ohplease
03-26-2004, 08:18 AM
No, no. Deuce is right. Typos COMPLETELY invalidate the corresponding argument.

Unlike...the...pathological...but...completely...g rammatically...correct...use...of...the...ellipsis ...

/sarcasm off
/grammar **** off

Typo or not, you're still rhetorically 0w3ned and in retreat. Honestly, it's like middle school debate around here - only less mature.

spam
03-26-2004, 02:06 PM
Deuce your breath smells of boredom

Matt H.
03-26-2004, 08:02 PM
i'll take my crack at this.....lol.

I think physics plays a big role in this. The pace and spin of the balls that pros hit, are at much higher levels than average. It's just simple leverage. It's the same reason why we automatically assume that a guy 6'4" 250lbs, fighting a guy who's 5'9" 150lbs will kick the crap out of him.

The heavier weight and slightly more flexible racquet make it easier to handle the power and spin of the ball coming at them. The racquet is very stable, and doesn't get "bullied around" by the impact of the ball.

Deuce
03-26-2004, 10:29 PM
I fully admit to my inability to comprehend that which is illogical.

I see that you cannot get the spelling of 'Deuce' correct, either.

Well, I'm glad that you consider yourselves as being of a higher intelligence, at least. Shall we bow to the presence of pristine genius?

Keep stroking those egos, guys.

Phil
03-27-2004, 01:49 AM
I fully admit to my inability to comprehend that which is illogical.


Pretty pathetic, Deuce-ripping off old "Star Trek" episodes-this has Mr. Spock written all over it. Some logic...

Robert Jones
03-27-2004, 10:22 PM
I think you have it correct. The larger head will aid the extreme forehands. My old man forehand is better today than with my 60 head size in terms of mishits. I am able to swing harder and make far fewer errors. I have more topspin now. But powerwise no. I used my brothers 60 head size yesterday to see what it felt like. Damn it was solid. I could get some good pace with it, but if I tried to hit big topspin I was framing many more balls vs my current 100 size stick.

There seems to be a point of dimishing returns on size though. Anything past 100 starts to loose control. I don't know if the racquets now are any better than those 10 years ago. They are better than 20 years ago.

Remember Borg came back to play senior tennis. I felt sorry for him. He wore his old duds, old headband, used his old stick and got his butt handed to him. I think the next time he played he lost the headband, cut the hair and had a modern racquet.

depends on your definition of better IMO. the old technology is better to learn with because it forces you to do stuff properly and is also better because the older stuff was flexy and heavier and easier on your arm. new technology is better for the old and infirmed and non athletic (people that cant generate racquet head speed) because they dont need skills (proper technique) to hit effective shots. as far as serving w. the wooden bats, it was flipper (philipoussisssissssissss) who could serve almost as fast w. a wooden bat as he could w. a tricked up hi tech job..where it has benefitted is in the return of serve and not the serve and also the backcourt western player who doesnt have to worry so much about frame balls w. a larger head because of the steep angle of attack the western grip causes you to make on the ball. thats also why you see less all court and s/v play IMO. dont take my word re the wooden bats..pete sampras said the very same thing when asked what he would do if his offspring wanted to learn tennis. he said 'i would find him a woden racquet if i could and get him started with that' Ed

Progressive10s
03-28-2004, 04:40 AM
For the longest time, I was trying to recreate the feel I had when I was younger playing sanctioned tournaments and college tennis. Until I borrowed a Head Pro Tour 280 strung with Unique Gut did I realize that it was the racquet weight and the racquet flexibility. I coached a high school girls team in 2001, and played with a Prince Equipe MP strung with generic synthetic gut. The racquet was too inflexible and the string had no feel whatsoever. I am going to switch to a ProKennex PSE , Core 1 No. 6, or Volkl. I believe that new technology is ruining elbows and shoulders.

boris becker 1
03-28-2004, 08:19 PM
somewhat agree. Never had any elbow problems or shoulder problems until playing with my slazenegr pro braided. Have eastern grips on everything and my strokes pretty classical. Had tennis elbow for 3 months in the past year and it had to be because of the racket. I went looser with the tension and only string with technifibre and havent had the problem again.

The poly strings are the worst things possible for your elbow in my opinion

tt2003
10-31-2004, 06:35 AM
I have not played pro racket, but I got a chance to hold sampras racket in a tennis shop. I infer this is the genuine one used by pete, since it is almost same as the one i see in Nike town in san francisco in terms of lead placement, grip size... it is heavy, and i compare my china made pro staff 85 side by side with it, my racket looks like a toy, and sampras racket is looks more professional. The frame is much thicker. Lead tape is double--layered. If i got a chance, i can take some photos, and share with you guy.

galain
10-31-2004, 04:28 PM
As another "old fart" I can certainly see the argument Deuce, Ed and others are making, but perhaps it's just this veiled view of the world my cataracts give me that prevents me from fully seeing the "new is better" argument.

I don't think all new sticks are trash, not at all. I don't think all new sticks are better than older ones either. But I can't buy the "technology never marches backward" argument.

The progression we've seen from fibreglass to graphite to braided graphite to boron to ceramic to hypercarbon to "rollers" to titanium to intellifibres to liquid metal to nanotech and so on is as much a product of what the marketers want us to believe and buy as it is an argument for technological improvement.

Is a racquet with Liquid Metal really that much "better" (and how do we measure this objectively anyway?) than a racquet with titanium in it's composition? Intellifibres changed the tennis world for, what? Two years, tops? Are those frames truly obsolete now that we have "new" technology? Or are they no longer around because we have had that option removed from us by marketers telling us they are obsolete?

I really do think there are some nice frames being made these days. I also love my old sticks, and for my game (and it's not quite dead yet), the old frames are just as "good" as some of the new ones I've hit with. Some of these classics are no longer around for various reasons. The Max 200G was too expensive to produce compared to more "modern" frames and was not able to be made in the larger headsizes that the marketers told us was necessary to make our tennis better.

Many of the companies in the 80's that made beautiful frames - Snauwaert, Rossignol, Spalding and so on, lost market share not because they produced inferior product, but because they couldn't keep pace with the marketing muscle of the big three that were filling ad space with their latest innovations. Many of them also had other concerns also (ski gear for example).

I'm waiting with interest to see if Head have truly discovered the "best" way to make a frame now, with their Liquid Metal technology. Am I really prepared to believe this? Or will this be considered obsolete when something "better" is presented to us on a shiny platter in a year's time? It seems as though Wilson have done a good job with their "nanotech" nSix frames. The feedback I've read here suggests that. Will they treat us with enough respect to keep these frames intact or are we to be told that they have been superceded in a little while by something even "better"? I don't know.

A good frame is a good frame, no matter what age it is. There was some crap made in years past, just as there is now. "Better" is too subjective a term, though, to apply it to something as personal and individual as a choice of racquet, methinks.

But back to the topic - I held Jason Stoltenberg's racquets a little while ago. Head Ti (gasp - no liquid ANYTHING!!!) Radical Mid or Midplus with lots of lead in the throat area. It didn't feel head heavy so I'd guess there was wasn't much added weight up top.

Marius_Hancu
10-31-2004, 05:32 PM
I have not played pro racket, but I got a chance to hold sampras racket in a tennis shop. I infer this is the genuine one used by pete, since it is almost same as the one i see in Nike town in san francisco in terms of lead placement, grip size... it is heavy, and i compare my china made pro staff 85 side by side with it, my racket looks like a toy, and sampras racket is looks more professional. The frame is much thicker. Lead tape is double--layered. If i got a chance, i can take some photos, and share with you guy.

I'd be interested in the exact weight in grams and place of balance measured from the butt cap. Thanks.

mlee2
11-01-2004, 08:43 PM
Nothing's "wrong" with new technology, just the marketing.

As said before, the new stuff is just different, not inherently better.

I personally prefer some of the stiffer frames; Blowing people off the court is extremely fun. :-D