View Full Version : You must choose between 2

Craig Sheppard
01-04-2005, 07:24 PM
Ok racquet testers... what would you do if you had to resolve this dilemma?

You have 2 racquets. You play relatively well with both of them. Yet you notice certain shots are better than others with each frame.

One frame enhances your weapons (in my case, forehand and serve) and doesn't really do anything for your liabilities (return of serve, backhand). They're ok, but it doesn't help them. But it really lets you pound the good stuff.

However, the other frame doesn't do much for your weapons, but brings up your liabilities a notch or two. So my forehand is ok, but I can't get as much on it. Same with the serve. But the backhand and return of serve is more consistent.

So which do you choose? The first one that accentuates your weapons, or the second one that helps your less confident shots? All other shots are about equal or close enough. Specific racquet models are unecessary, insert any two you like... Which would you stick would you pick?


Craig Sheppard
01-04-2005, 07:27 PM
BTW, I'm a solid 4.0, know I can push 4.5 with practice...

01-04-2005, 08:09 PM
Isn't it about winning matches, also? How about picking the racquet that gives you the best results (scores)? Play the same few players with each racquet.
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01-04-2005, 09:44 PM
Personally I wouldn't pick either, however, if I had to choose it would be the one that added a bit to the weaker parts of your game. Sounds like the frame that adds to your strengths is giving you some extra power but the weaker parts of your game aren't able to handle that. The other frame is just solid and doesn't give you more zip than your weaker shots are able to handle. Still, depends on whether you feel you need that bit extra to win or if you feel you need a more well-rounded game to be successful.

01-04-2005, 10:10 PM
This a tough one. I'm an old cuss of 51 and when I was raised, a well-rounded man was prized. We were encouraged to develop fully, in all phases, and be Renaissance men. One was supposed to work on their weaknesses until they had no weaknesses.

If life in the USA in the 1980s and 1990s taught us anything, it was: INGORE YOUR WEAKNESSES, PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS!!! Sad, but true. Life is less challenging and more boring this way, but you see the success of one drone after another in business, Andy Roddick in tennis (unfair to pick on him, but a good example among many), etc. ... Barry Bonds ... the demise of the 5-tool player in baseball ... Specialization in all sports, especially basketball and football.

Our fellow poster, NoBad, a teaching pro and an older cuss than I am, has said here more than once, get a racquet that exaggerates your strengths. I hate the idea, but he's probably right.

01-04-2005, 11:15 PM
i'd pick the frame that would make my game more well rounded. if my strengths were strong enough, i wouldn't need to accentuate them more. instead, i'd look to play more consistent, percentage tennis. in my case, my serve and my forehand are my weapons while my backhand is more of a rally shot. if my backhand applied a little bit more pressure through finding depth easier, i'm sure it would open up a few more opportunities to unleash my forehand.

01-04-2005, 11:56 PM
Depends on your style of play and psychological factors. Let's see...

If you play an attacking style as opposed to counterpunching, chose the prior and enhance your weapons without weakening your weak strokes. Confidence is VERY important to pros and of course, us lesser mortals. Since attackers take the initiative in a point, you'll be relying on your weapons more often. The first choice should perform better and help bolster confidence, whilst the second choice does not complement your game and may frustrate you in your ways. If your confidence falls apart, well, you'll know the result of the match.

If you are a counterpuncher/pusher, the reverse will be true. Mull over this, the context/frame/approach of your play. Hope this helps.

Craig Sheppard
01-05-2005, 04:55 AM
ollinger, I've won more matches with the racquet that enhances my strengths... Not sure if that's just b/c I haven't played as many matches with the well-rounded racquet. But I haven't lost many when using the "strengths" racquet.

Hyperstate, yes, I'm an agressive player. I don't look to counterpunch. Sometimes I need to be more patient, but I very often force points.

What's funny about this is that the "strengths" racquet is actually much lower powered than the "well-rounded" racquet. I tend to hit flatter, heavier balls with it and more spin with the well-rounded racquet.

You guys' advice is appreciated... I don't like switching racquets so I'm thinking about your comments.


01-05-2005, 05:03 AM
Go with the "one that helps your less confident shots."

This is the exact delima I'm having with the RDX-500 Mid VERSUS the RDX-500 Midplus.

The RDX500 Mid allows me to hit the same great shots I hit with my POG mid but to a higher degree. It doesn't however improve upon my weaker areas - mainly volleys and power on serve.

The RDX500 Midplus allows me to get much more pop on my serve and my volleys are now fantastic (I've served and volleyed more with this racquet in the last week than I did all last year). It does however lessen the effectiveness of my returns on the forehand side - the ball doesn't quite get as deep as it does with my POG mid or the RDX500 Mid. I, however, think this can be improved upon with time, maybe a little lead tape, and having it strung the way I want.

Therefore, I'm going with the Midplus because it helps my game in the areas I need help and I think with time I can get the one or two areas it weakened back up to where they are now.

Hope this helps.


01-05-2005, 05:40 AM
i didnt say go with a racquet that exaggerates your strengths, i said 'go with a racquet that best supports your strengths and go to work on your weaknesses'. there are exceptions of course....if you go with the frame that helps your weakest strokes, but adversely affects your strengths that is obviously wrong by its very definition. roddick is an extreme, but a classic example. take away his pd+ and give him a rdxMID and see what happens to his game.....i will answer that..it would go in the dumper. a racquet is a racquet..it's not Excalibur....it's not going to give you any particular shot anyway.

Craig Sheppard
01-05-2005, 05:45 AM
Veeeeerrrrrrryy interesting, TripleB... veerrrrry interesting...

That does sound almost exactly the same. My volleys are a little better with the "well-rounded" racquet for sure. It definitely helps me play a more all-court game. But my volleys were still pretty decent with the "strengths" racquet. Just like you said, I can't get my forehands as deep with the "well-rounded" racquet.

Have you noticed the Midplus being too powerful? In my case, the "well-rounded" racquet is more powerful, which somtimes causes me to push balls long and hit a little too hard--which is very aggrivating. The "strengths" racquet requires a bigger swing but seems to be more controlled.


01-05-2005, 06:10 AM
as an afterthought, why not pick a racquet that best supports your strengths, but is good at everything..an all courters frame? cant go wrong there. it's just absurd that people think they can buy racquet and buy a volley for example...that's just being dillusional. and even if the racquet does excel at a volley, it's gonna really let you down somewhere else. tripleB doesnt seem to understand that peoples perceptions of things are just that..they are perceptions, and vary by person...he's over the top obsessed w. this stuff and is advising people when he doesnt even have the ability to pick something on his own like a big boy, and has to ask people about every subtle nuance of everything. as far as perceptions go, my perception of the RDXMP is that it doesnt serve very well and doesnt volley well in spite of what TRipleB proclaims, and those are the very reasons he MIGHT change to this frame. the MP is very stellar from the backcourt however...so perceptions vary.

01-05-2005, 06:15 AM
I repeat: The object of the game is to win. WINNING IS FUN. LOSING IS MUCH LESS FUN. There is a virus on this board that affects the operator instead of the computer and it's called "TripleB OCD." It afflicts "experts." An expert is defined here as someone who believes he can learn more from overanalysis (paralysis by analysis, if you will) than by simply looking at the score. Does a racquet enhance my virtues, expose my liabilities, give me one shot and take away another, or prevent tsumanis? DOESN"T MATTER. If it causes you to win more, it will make the game more satisfying for you. Play several or more players with both racquets and you will have your answer.
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01-05-2005, 06:17 AM
ADDENDUM - I also found that the RDX MP was a very mediocre serving racquet, at best.
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01-05-2005, 06:49 AM
ADDENDUM - I also found that the RDX MP was a very mediocre serving racquet, at best.


The facts are yonex designed the RDX line of racquets in a failed attempt to recreate the yonex RD-7.

It's truly amazing seeing the amount of people being suckered into buying an inferior racquet.

TripleB, please go search **** and purchase more RD-7's or finally stick with your trusty POG mid.

A few coaching lessons working on your weaknesses wouldn't go far astray either.

Craig Sheppard
01-05-2005, 06:59 AM
Hey guys, come on lay off TripleB, it's only his hobby for chrissakes... at least his day job is among the noblest of professions. It's just fun to talk about this stuff, like it's fun to talk politics or sports.

Mojo, I'm not looking for to buy a game by buying a racquet. I play the same game no matter what, just that certain racquets seem to accentuate certain parts of my game. This post was about what's better: tending toward extremes or playing more even. I think the "support your strengths, work on your weaknesses" is good advice.

ollinger, K.I.S.S. I guess eh? It is true, I have won more with the first ("strengths") racquet. The second racquet feels nice to hit with, but I seem to win with the first, even though it feels somewhat awkward at times. Go figure.

I guess I'll be sticking with my Fischer Pro Extreme FT's. I win with 'em. I'll keep the Slazenger X1's in the bag... The Extreme is the "strengths" racquet I was talking about, the X1 is the "well-rounded" racquet. Didn't want to initially state models since that paints people impressions immediately.


01-05-2005, 07:10 AM
Definitely choose a racket which helps your weaknesses, but also doesn't hurt your strengths. Often I think people get carried away with this idea of a racket fixing a stroke, when the problem is a more basic technical one which no racket can help. Conversely, with really good stroke mechanics, you can adapt to variety of rackets whether it's an X1, RDX, or even the ncode 90.

But I think you guys need to give TripleB more credit, surely he knows what is good for him after all these demos. And trust me, the RD-7 and POG are not good volleying rackets, the RDX is far better in this regard. If you can play decently with an RD-7 or POG mid, then the RDX midplus is a piece of cake.

I sort of think some people are annoyed that the RDX500 has been vindicated by TripleB, not that it needed vindicating (especially after Redflea and myself).

01-05-2005, 07:25 AM
craig my comment was a general one and not directed at you in anyway. ferrari why does everything have to be about the rdx whatever? who cares?

Craig Sheppard
01-05-2005, 07:34 AM
Ok no prob Mojo hard to tell in writing sometimes. Wow I ignited a little flame war here... was hoping to not do that by leaving particular racquets out of it. Just a general question to all. I think I'll just shut up and practice those weaknesses.


P.S. I don't even like Yonexes!!! ;-)

01-05-2005, 07:41 AM
no problemo craig...yes..things get all twisted up in a written conversation. lots of people dont like yonexes....that headshape is best for flipping griddle cakes and not playing tennis with for many ;) they dont serve well for many and they dont volley well for many...many of them give you zippo in the upper hoop. gimme a good basic all courters frame anyday and i will learn how to make it work. it's the archer not the arrows.

Craig Sheppard
01-05-2005, 07:59 AM
Funny you mention that, I threw a year of my tennis life away to 2 Yonex RD-Ti 50s a few years ago. Didn't serve very well with it, and couldn't volley worth a darn. Gave it many months... finally switched back to the PSC 6.1 and it was like old times. I'll never play with a flapjack flipper again!

01-05-2005, 08:13 AM
Is PSC 6.1 = Wilson HPS6.1 ? if so, you must have rocks in your elbow, and maybe a little higher up (just kidding).

01-05-2005, 08:15 AM
ya man..the answer is simple..buy something good in all areas and stick with it and learn to get better with it. lessons and drills mixed in with matches sure wont hurt either. to me, playing good T is fun...improving is fun, learning to hit new shots is fun, winning is alot of fun and certainly more fun than losing..demoing is fun too, but it really doesnt help you do the other stuff, but it does give you a pretty lame excuse when losing..you can always blame it on not being able to find the right frame :)..again, nothing directed at you craig..just generalities and stream of consciousness stuff..sorry if i am boring anyone,

01-05-2005, 08:44 AM

I thought that the RDX-500 Midplus would be a little too powerful when I first decided to demo it. At one time I tried the Volkl Tour 10 V-Engine Mid and Midplus and found the Midplus just to be overly powerful for my game. I was anticipating the same thing from the RDX-500 series but I was wrong. The midplus has quite a bit more power than the mid but I haven't found that much of a dropoff in control. I can still swing out (like I do with the mid) but the balls don't go long, they just have more pace. Maybe it's the flex or maybe it's the string pattern, I really have no idea, but the ball falls in. I don't have that unexpected burst of power (that sends balls sailing unexpectedly) that I've found in other midplus racquets. It's almost as if I get the same results as with the mid but with a more controlled swing and when I need that extra power boost it is there without losing control of the ball.


Correct me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you are saying that if one racquet is better that another in one area it HAS to worse in another? WHY? Why can't a racquet improve an area of your game without hurting another? He asked for an opinion so I gave him mine. My opinion is just that....MY opinion. It's what I think. Just like you think the RDX500 MP is poor for serving and poor for volleying. I've hit more aces and more winners at the net over the past week than I have in a long time....so I think the opposite of you. It doesn't mean that you are wrong or I'm wrong...it just means our opinions are different. We agree that it is a stellar racquet from the backcourt. I have some problems returning on the forehand side but that's typical of every racquet I try. I believe that it's good to start each sentence with a capital letter, obviously you don't. We are different!!!


So now I'm a "virus?" :? Maybe WINNING isn't the point from everyone here. Maybe improving areas of your game (which may mean losing as you improve these areas) is satisfying to some. Maybe demoing every racquet on the market is satisfying to some. WINNING a match doesn't always equal FUN!!! What guy who just starts playing? Maybe improving is satisfying to him. If just being able to get out there an play wasn't fun then not many people would stick with tennis for very long. You can't tell if a racquet is better than another by "the score." I could play horrible tennis with a racquet and still win 6-2, 6-2. Then again I could play some of the best tennis ever with another racquet and win 6-4, 6-4. Score doesn't always indicate how well you played. Even though I lost more games the second match I still may have play ALOT better.


If Yonex was trying to recreate the RD-7 why did they make the RDX-500 so light? I'm just wondering. I measured my RD-7 and it's 361g. I measured the RDX-500 and it's 348g. BTW: I have three RD-7 racquets that I will use as a back up to my new RDX-500.


Thanks. If I would have known that my opinions were going to cause so many non-helpful responses to your post I would have kept them to myself. Good luck in your search.


Thanks for your support. It is true that I've demoed MANY racquets (probably the understatement of the year), but I have seldom felt as good about a racquet as the two RDX-500 models. And never has a single racquet felt so great from all over the court. This is the truest ALL-COURT racquet that I've ever tried. I volley horribly with the POG mid and RD-7 but fantastic with the RDX-500 Midplus. It may be the flex or it may be that I just love having that extra area on the face that gives me so much confidence. When I, a 'stay planted to the baseline and get everything back' player who has had NO serve to speak of in the past comes to net, you know something at the net has to be working right with this racquet. Some say that you can't buy a stroke which may be the case, but the RDX-500 Midplus sure helps my volleys 100 fold.

Peace to all.


01-05-2005, 09:24 AM
What happened NoBadMojo? When you 1st started posting, your insight was incredible and you stayed away from the petty squabbles that sometimes arise when you put a bunch of passionate tennis zealots like us together on one board (its actually kind of fun!).

BUT NOW...over 1800 posts and intimately involved in every discussion, often bashing fellow posters (although I must say that your insight is still great)? It must be the winter thing...although I hope you don't get too carried away...just remember "The Shining"! Johnny's been a bad boy...

01-05-2005, 09:40 AM

it's really excellent idea to ask your question in concealed form! One of the better here, I would say.

Otherwise you could turn out to be sucker thinking that you like what you like, not knowing that your racquet of choice is just unsuccessful copy of some other that it doesn't resamble at all.

Not knowing is to be blessed sometimes ;)

01-05-2005, 10:20 AM
With reference to the RDX ones... why not string the Mid with more powerful string, at a lower tension... that way you should get the control AND some power?... thats what all prestige users do.

01-05-2005, 10:41 AM
Bhud i still try and stay away from the petty squabbles (i did for a long time), but after a while the people who become really overly relentlessly obssesive about things like their rdx or those/him pontificating every nuance of them trying to choose a racquet get to me. lots of good people have left this board in the year or so i have been here. i will try and do a better job of ignoring, and i appreciate your perespective on this. i'm not a perfect person. thanks.

01-05-2005, 10:52 AM
Sorry Mojo. I'm going to demo the X1, ncode 90, and a couple of Volkls in a couple of months, or sooner weather permitting, so I'll have something else to talk about. I know I'm a bit of a rabblerouser so don't be surprised soon if the people think that the X1 or ncode90 are almighty sticks from heaven (!)

01-05-2005, 11:19 AM
I REALLY do not think anything bad about NoBadMojo. He has oppinions, lots of expirience and is willing to share it.

It just puzzles me how praising any racquet (and especialy excellent one) can be annoying?!

Lots of sticks have occasional periods of hype. I just percept they have followers, which means they posses certain set of good qualities. That's all.

01-05-2005, 07:00 PM

Have you tried taking the frame you "kinda like better" and messing around with lead tape, strings, and tensions to get the right setup for strengths and weaknesses that you're looking for?

Craig Sheppard
01-05-2005, 07:10 PM
wolfpackfive, no I haven't done too much. I've never been much into taping. It always ends up being worse than better, especially since my racquets are over 12 oz to begin with. Strings, yes I've played with a little. I'll probably fiddle with it a little more, but it is a good thing to suggest.

BTW, are you a Stater? ;-)

01-06-2005, 12:32 AM
Sorry Mojo. I'm going to demo the X1, ncode 90, and a couple of Volkls in a couple of months, or sooner weather permitting, so I'll have something else to talk about. I know I'm a bit of a rabblerouser so don't be surprised soon if the people think that the X1 or ncode90 are almighty sticks from heaven (!)

Ferrari, why demo new sticks if you found the racquet you are perfectly happy with? Demo'ing without a real reason (except because it is fun of course) will most likely hurt your game, why take that chance? Now be a good boy and don't cheat on your RDX, she will not like it! ;)

01-06-2005, 05:09 AM
Trust me, nothing will move me from an RDX except another Yonex, I know it's a great frame. The demoing is just for fun and just to know I've "played" with them at some time. I'm hoping that I'll stick with the RDXmid for a few years.

01-06-2005, 09:36 AM
If you live and die by your serve and forehand, I would get the racket that matches up with your strengths. IMO there is more downside by weakening your strengths than upside from improving your weaknesses. Put another way, you will lose more points by diluting your serve and forehand than winning points by improving your weakness. Eventually you will find yourself reminiscing about how great your serve and forehand used to be and end up getting a stick that will get you back there anyways.

Craig Sheppard
01-06-2005, 11:13 AM
Eventually you will find yourself reminiscing about how great your serve and forehand used to be and end up getting a stick that will get you back there anyways.

Are you a psychologist, alfa? I was almost ready to switch when I started reminiscing the way you're describing it! So I pulled out the older sticks for another go, and sure enough some of the good stuff came back. I'm sticking with the racquets I've used for the last year or so, which give me the big forehand/serve. Just really ironic you mentioned that. Good logic there.


Gaines Hillix
01-06-2005, 11:59 AM
Craig, just my $.02, but I am on the side of going with the one that helps your strengths and working harder on improving your weaker strokes. Your serve and forehand technique must already be pretty good and you have confidence in them. More confidence in those strokes has to be a plus. I can't imagine that just a racquet change is going to completely make up for the weakness in your other strokes(no offense intended!).

01-06-2005, 12:04 PM
whew....36 posts later people are starting to see the light :) alfa and craig have it figured out and now they can go improve. i would like to add that an exception to the rule might be an anomoly like the pure drive + because that is mostly just a serve forehand frame...buy something that best supports your strengths, but is good at everything and you are on your way to more fun and better T.

01-06-2005, 12:48 PM
just out of curiousity what were the original two racquets?

Craig Sheppard
01-06-2005, 01:16 PM
Mojo, did this post turn out like a wandering country road or what? I ask a question, got some good responses, I misinterpreted some things, a minor flame war started, then we were Yonex this/Yonex that, got back on topic a bit, and think everyone's in agreement now.... whew... my actual game has more consistency in it! ;-)

Thanks guys, BTW... Mojo, I like playing w/ my Fischer Pro Extreme FTs. They really seem to fit me. It's just the wackiness of Fischer that made me think twice. You know... the slightly weird length, the nasty buttcap, and the small sweetspot. All add up to a frame that's kinda quirky...


The tennis guy
01-06-2005, 01:19 PM
Changing racquets constantly is detrimental to your game because you have to adjust constantly. Pick one racquet, and stick with it at least for a few years unless you outgrow your racquets.

01-06-2005, 01:31 PM
lol craig..thats the way things seem to work around here....sometimes it is good to be off track if it leads to something productive, but sometimes things just turn to crap. things seems to somehow be rdx related no matter how unrelated. fischers are a bit of a puzzle i agree, but they are pretty darn sweet <for the most part> IMO. I go back to the VTPro98's the precursor to the Pro1 (same mold i think) and that was my frame of choice for a few years..it was quirky too but quite a bat...as a Fischer fan, I think you would really enjoy taking her out for a spin. i'm sure you know you can build up the buttcap..i liked it...or actually the lack of it...ed

Craig Sheppard
01-06-2005, 03:23 PM
moos, my original racquet that I said accentuates my serve and forehand was the Fischer Pro Extreme FT, which I've played with for about 18 months and have played pretty well over that time. The new racquet that I found was a better "all around" racquet, but took a little off here and there, was the Slazenger Pro X1. They're both cool frames, IMO. I know the X1 is stiffer and more powerful, must be something in the way I hit it. Tend to hit flatter and harder w/ the Extreme, more spinny w/ the X1.

Mojo, I saw some used VT Pro 98's and was thinking about getting one... perhaps I'll check it out. I've found choking up a little bit (I'm sometimes a 3 finger player, not the best always) helps w/ the buttcap issue. I even tried to replace one with a Head buttcap--but didn't get very far when I found about 30 staples in the original buttcap. Yikes. I tried electrical tape once and it came out worse...oomph. I'll figure it out someday. If I had nothing to fiddle with I wouldn't have as much fun. Thank gawd I have a stringer to play with.


01-06-2005, 05:49 PM

PSC 6.1 means Pro Staff Classic 6.1, not Hyper Pro Staff 6.1.