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View Full Version : Whats wrong with OS racquets?


Golden Retriever
01-07-2005, 11:52 AM
Why do people flaunt on OS racquets? Not only people on this board but people in general. I use a OS and love it. One of the best players I have encountered to date uses the Prince NXG OS. Agassi has used OS racquets for all his life. Actually I didn't care whether people like OS or not until I tried to sell one of my OS racquets. I couldn't get anyone to buy it just because it was an OS racquet. At the end I had to sell it at a big discount. The racquet was so well kept it was practically brand new but still nobody would buy it at a fair price. OS racquets cost the same when you buy them new but their resell value is nowhere near their smaller counterparts. So as a OS racquets lover I am getting a raw deal. Now only if I could get more people to buy them..... Frankly, they are way underrated. Especially if you have a 2handed backhand you should really try to convert to an OS. Admittedly, the forehand suffers a little from an OS but all the other aspects of my game improve with an OS.

AndrewD
01-07-2005, 12:10 PM
I dont know why the re-sale value would be lower than a mid or mid-plus. My only guess is there is some stigma attatched to using the bigger head and that, Agassi apart, most of the 'big name' male players use the smaller head.

The only draw back I've found with an o/s is that its generally not as smooth on the serve and usually doesn't have the same crisp feel on shots (even if they are just as effective) but apart from that I think they can play just as well as the smaller head frames.

Personally, I've been trying to buy an o/s POG second hand here in Australia and I can't get them at all. What type of racquets have you been trying to sell?

Gaines Hillix
01-07-2005, 01:28 PM
Most OS racquets out there now are too light and powerful for expert and pro level players, especially the men's side. There are a few OS frames with players racquet specs, but they are the exception, such as the Head Radical that Agassi uses. Most of the players that frequent this board use mid or mid+ size frames. I have a couple of OS frames, but they don't have the same level of control that the others do. Just my $.02 .

python
01-07-2005, 01:37 PM
Perhaps you are looking at it from a 'wrong' perspective. A tennis racquet is a disposable good mass-produced for thousands and thousands of people. It is not priced like a car or a computer for obvious reasons. And although it can last for years with proper care, a racquet is not meant to be an instrument that holds value such as a nice violin or a classic Harley Davidson.

If you get tired of your racquet, I'd suggest donating it to someone who needs it more than you do, like the kid hanging out at the public courts with his dad's old woodie. Alternately, look into gold bullion if you need your investment to hold its financial value.

ej
01-07-2005, 02:09 PM
The Head I Rad OS and POG OS are great frames. I've met several 5.0s who use these frames. My sense is that there is too much symbolic capital attached to small head sizes and heavy weight (both of which have tremendous advantages on the court but receive too much self-congratulatory praise off the court). When I came back to tennis after 12 years I was using and loving my old RD7, but I was so suprised how hard-core people thought the frame was. Having been out of tennis for so long, I was still of the opinion that it was an EASY frame to play with. When I used it in High School it wasn't seen as that big of a deal because wood was still in memory. The PS 6.0 85 wasn't a big deal either in the late 80's -- it simply WAS NOT seen as such a hard core impressive racquet to use because many of the people using it still had Jack Kramer's and T2000's and aluminum Head Edges in their closet; indeed, the vaunted 6.0 85 and POG Mid were seen as newer, easier technology.

But now there is a small group of people who are so proud of using "players" frames. There is this complicated hierarchy and the racquet companies feed it by ranking frames according to ability. Problem is: I've seen great player's using so-called "tweeners" and terrible players using so-called "player's" frames. [Frankly, I think it takes a great player to master some of the "tweeners" I've seen, which play like trampolines attached to toothpicks. On the other hand, I've seen "player's" frames that were more unstable than some "tweeners". However, when a player's frame twists or torques, people think its because of mechanics, but when a "tweener" twists, people are quicker to blame the weight. Regardless, I'm starting to see what NoBadMoJo meant when he said that unstable racquets are an urban myth. I would add that the whole hierarchy of racquets and rankings and weight and headsizes, though very important to playability, can very often get mythologized, i.e., specs as fetish].

I know this one guy who uses a Wilson Tour 90 even though it's too small and heavy for his particular game. When he was urged to demo something a little larger and lighter, he kept asking if it was a "players" racquet. He didn't want a "tweener" even if it suited his game because some guy at the tennis warehouse, one year ago, kept saying the 90 was the "IT" frame.

NoBadMojo
01-07-2005, 02:34 PM
thanks ej..it makes the abuse from racquet purists worthwhile when the light bulb switches on for a person here and there, and i've helped someone.

AndrewD
01-07-2005, 03:29 PM
So, NBMJ, what's your opinion of the Head I Rad OS and the POG O/S for the 3.5-4.0 kind of player. Both are in my price range and good solid frames. I've taken your advice about the larger head size and those are the two that seemed in the right range (your other suggestion, the TT Warrior I tried and wasnt keen on).

Tenny
01-07-2005, 03:48 PM
Hi

I am not NBMJ but think POG OS the one you SHOULD try. Radicals are good but you will eventually play better with heavier POG OS and Spin generation of Radicals aren't great compared to POG OS. POG OS isn't even my current 'game' racquet but I always carry it along. I found it does deserve its reputation. I am about 3.5 player but have no problem handling 12oz racquets (Radicals are under 11oz I believe). Even though you feel it(POG) heavy initially, your body will adapt soon and it plays great strung with a cheap syngut string (My personal standard of good racquet, not because of cost though). I hope this helps.

* Initially, I wasn't that impressed but when a shock dampener fell off by accident it felt GREAT. So, now I play without a shock dampener. One example of small things making big difference. And I had similar experience with Warrior. There are many people who like the stick but I was very disappointed and sold it within a week.

AndrewD
01-07-2005, 04:02 PM
Thanks Tenny,
If weight is the only issue I dont see 12 ounces or so being 'heavy'. I leant to play with a wooden racquet then went to a Dunlop 200G (old style). Neither of those would be considered light but they never felt cumbersome to me. Never liked the muted feel you get when you use a dampner myself. Just personal taste but like to feel all the life in the strings lol

NoBadMojo
01-07-2005, 04:06 PM
bummer on the TTWarrior Andrew....i'm surprised i suggested that one for you at your level..was there some reason to not try the Volkl V1 Classic? I've gotten lots of folks into that one at your level who were very happy. i think you're the dude who played downunder football? so you're capable of handling some weight. How bout' Big Ben and those Steelers? I'm afraid my experience w. the POG OS was very limited and from very long ago, and I've only spent time w. the Radical in MP version, so cant help you there. i've never played oversize. if you can say what you liked and didnt like about the TTWarrior , maybe we can steer you in a better direction. what are you using now and what do you like and not like about it? we'll get this figured out for you, and soon you will be on your way to good racquet health.......dr mojo.

joehight
01-07-2005, 04:32 PM
Don't oversize raquets give you less controll, i.e., harder to hit the ball where you are intending with them? And don't many of them give you so much power or tamborine effect that you may not be able to hit through the ball with a proper follow through? Causing you to develop too short a stroke. Regarding Agassi, I saw him change from his OS to a middie mid-match once because he wasn't controlling the ball the way he wanted.

AndrewD
01-07-2005, 04:38 PM
Dear Dr NBMJ,
I've been having this problem... LOL.
Thanks mate, yep Im the ex Aussie Rules player.

Are you telling me Ben Graham made the Steelers lineup? Bloody amazing but good luck to him if he did, the guy's got a left foot like a mule. Bit erratic but you better tell your boys to get ready to run way,way back lol.

You did suggest the Volkl V1 Classic but way out of my price range Im afraid. Easily in the $300plus range, even through TW(factor in shipping) as was the LM Radical MP which I did like. POG only comes out at $200 from TW with shipping so its a nice price for, what I believe is a high quality all-round racquet. Also figured if I found the O/S too much there is a mid-plus version I can drop down to without massive adjustment required in feel etc.

Didn't like the TT Warrior simply because I found there was too much power on groundstrokes. Nice bit of zip on serves and good spin but just too much pulling back of my strokes with both the mid and oversizes. Over felt more comfortable and more manageable than the mid but still didnt have the control I wanted or comfort.

Also have to say, it didnt feel as 'solid' as my Prince Mono or Dunlop 200G (old style). Tried a Volkl C10 Pro (cheapest Volkl available to me) and didnt like how dead it felt in the upper part of the head.

With my 200G I like the solid feel of the frame and comfort but not the fact I can't buy any more of the damn things and they do have a tendancy to warp LOL.
With the Prince Mono I like the feel overall but it doesnt really reward topspin as much as I'd like for groundstrokes or serving. Also, too hard to find a replacement. Stiffness rating around 64 which feels fine to me, nice weight (strung must be around 12.2) and head light balance.

So Doc, what's the prognosis?

Ryoma Kun
01-07-2005, 04:46 PM
believe me, if i could maneuver an OS head like i can with my midsize, i would switch. for me thats the only thing holding me back, i dont mind the oddball look.

ej
01-07-2005, 05:17 PM
Don't oversize raquets give you less controll, i.e., harder to hit the ball where you are intending with them? And don't many of them give you so much power or tamborine effect that you may not be able to hit through the ball with a proper follow through? Causing you to develop too short a stroke. Regarding Agassi, I saw him change from his OS to a middie mid-match once because he wasn't controlling the ball the way he wanted.

I think OS racquets can sometimes be very hard to hit flat; I had trouble generating headspeed on serves and some of them seem to wobble on off-center volleys. Unless they're perfectly contructed and strung tight, they don't feel precise or crisp enough. For the super heavy topspin baseline player -- one who brushes the ball and has less drive -- I think OS frames can often add loads of control. On the other hand, Agassi has perfected a compact drive with his Radical, but he has superhuman control.

Given the larger stringbed, you can usually string them tighter without losing the upper hoop. For the clay baseliner, they can often give you more control because the larger sweetspot is helpful for quick re-adjustments; however, they can feel clumsey on the out-of-position whip.

Since I tend to hit flat when I put the ball away and since I like to serve & volley, I can't use an OS -- too unpredictable for my stroke style and timing, not manuverable enough, no surgical drop shots, i.e., larger stringbeds, for me, seem to lack touch, i.e., I feel very far away from the ball.

However, when I want to got out on the dirt and trade heavy baseline topspin strokes, I would take a POG OS or an I RAD OS maxed w. thin kevlar in a heartbeat.

K. Wilson Moose
01-07-2005, 05:45 PM
Didn't like the TT Warrior simply because I found there was too much power on groundstrokes. Nice bit of zip on serves and good spin but just too much pulling back of my strokes with both the mid and oversizes. Over felt more comfortable and more manageable than the mid but still didnt have the control I wanted or comfort.

Andrew,

You may want to try the Laver S or SX, nice controllable power, solid on the volleys, and nice spin for a MP (100si) headsize. Both are excellent.

I didn't like the Warrior OS either, but the MP is a very nice frame. Did you playtest with different strings in the MP? As a suggestion, Technifibre 515 plays very nicely in this frame, tames the power, and has a nice feel.

Golden Retriever
01-07-2005, 05:53 PM
I dont know why the re-sale value would be lower than a mid or mid-plus. My only guess is there is some stigma attatched to using the bigger head and that, Agassi apart, most of the 'big name' male players use the smaller head.

The only draw back I've found with an o/s is that its generally not as smooth on the serve and usually doesn't have the same crisp feel on shots (even if they are just as effective) but apart from that I think they can play just as well as the smaller head frames.

Personally, I've been trying to buy an o/s POG second hand here in Australia and I can't get them at all. What type of racquets have you been trying to sell?
Pure Drive OS. Sold already at a big discount. Yes most top male pros use smaller racquets BUT many female pros use OS and most men 4.5 and under can't swing half as hard as the women pros.

AndrewD
01-07-2005, 10:59 PM
Sorry about the tough price drop you got GR. You should have advertised it on Australian ****, probably would have got a much better price for it, if you could deal with the shipping hassle.

I've got no probs with an oversize. Of course, it does all depend on what feels good to you but im more than willing to see how the o/s goes. One of the benefits to me, of the POG o/s and mid, is that they dont look like they'll get pulled from the shelves in 12 months time. Plus they give the best price for a good quality frame that is recognised as suitable for a wide range of playing styles. Here in Oz the only one that can match it for price is the Wilson range (nSix-One's and Prostaff range)and I have concerns that they might be a bit stiffer than I would like.

JennyS
01-08-2005, 06:39 AM
I play with the Babolat Pure Drive OS and think it's a fantastic racquet.

NoBadMojo
01-08-2005, 07:14 AM
dear aussie rules.......
ben roethlesberger <sp?> not ben what's his name....k. wilson has it figured out re the tt warrior..you can tame the power in that bat with strings.if you are good with the weight and balance and feel of the thing, you could go dead string on her and that might solve your problem..that frame hits pretty soft as i recall so i suggest a softer playing dead string (poly)..maybe try one of the iso speeds..the iso speed pro is sort of dead and the iso speed control is really dead. from the technifbre line you might try their soft control strings..the trc i believe for one. so if a matter of economics, maybe you can tell us what brands make economic sense for you and we can take it from there. also, i may have my t10mps up for sale assuming i will dig the Gen2's like a day off, and you would be able to handle the weight of those, and the sweetspot is huge on these. we'll hook you up with something good. some of the frames from the PK line might be good for you because they are frgiving and have weight to them..can you get Pro kennex down under at a reasonable cost?

TennisMD
01-08-2005, 07:46 AM
Interestingly, I have been having the same conundrum. Since Aug I have been playing the N Code 6.1 95. Reasons mainly supposed serving superiority and better control. However recently have taken out the POG OS and the LM RAD OS and have been impressed with how they play, the LM RAD is modified to weigh 12.1 0z TW was able to send me a stock racquet that weighed 11.5 0z. As I see it tennis is a game of emergencies, ie.your opponent is always trying to put you out of position and the higher level you play the more this happens. So with this in mind with and OS frame you are more likely to return these shots and as Arthur Ash once said if a good club Player 4.0 to 5.0 gets the ball back 5 times he is highly likely to win the point. so are you gaining more, based on the Arthur Ash principle, by using a OS or are you gaining more by the control and serving superiority of the 95 inch racquet. I am still struggling with this question. This week I will be playing with an LM Rad OS freshly strung at 65lbs and modified to 12.1 oz and I will see if I get and answer. Play at 4.0 level at singles attempt to mimick an Aggessi like game, doubles serve and volley.

AndrewD
01-08-2005, 04:35 PM
NBMJ,
thanks very much. Ha, sorry about the Ben confusion. One of the Aussie Rules guys was trying to make it in the States as a punter, thought that's who you meant.

Playtesting with different strings wasn't an option unfortunately. Also, being a discontinued frame it just isnt available to us here.

In terms of brand, only Wilson and Dunlop make economic sense. With the others it just comes down to one or two frames being within my range. I'd narrowed it down, in terms of cost and availability, to the ones I mentioned earlier - POG O/S, I-Radical (although now scarce but available through TW), Wilson n-Six One's and the Slazenger X1.

I'm a bit wary of the Volkl after trying the C-10 and disliking it and, of the ones mentioned above, have reservations about the Wilsons and the Slazenger as have tried the old Wilson ProStaff 6.1's and didn't like the fit or feel. ProKennex, like almost everything else at the moment, is in the 300 range. Im told that some sort of shake-up in distributors here in Oz has meant that they're bringing in either beginner or top-end range with little to nothing in the middle. So they keep the prices low on the former and high on the latter.

Need a frame that I can string at a variety of tensions due to the very changeable climate here and the variety of surfaces we play on. One week it's hard court, the next its synth grass, porous, indoors or even traditional grass. Dont like an overly stiff frame so wouldnt want something over a 64 rating. Would prefer more of a traditional feel (seem to dislike the feel in hand of ones over 22mm wide) and one that makes me play the ball not does all the work itself. Prefer headlight in the 8pts range and one that is condusive to hitting heavy top off both sides or chip and charge slice off fore and back.

I want one that gives the best balance of those things. Have no desire to chop and change racquets, use two at once etc. Just want one that will let me do the playing, challenge me to refine my strokes and build my game. Something tried and tested that I can purchase a few of and happily play with for the next 5 or so years.

Am leaning towards the POG O/S for most all of those reasons. How good a choice do you think that would be?

Power Game
01-08-2005, 05:07 PM
From a purely stringing perspective: OS racquets use more string and also break strings faster than mid or mp.

NoBadMojo
01-08-2005, 05:26 PM
Andrew no prob. I was just messin with you re the Ben thing, but why do the football referee's down under wear those long white labcoats? :) is there some interesting history behind that? I really cant say whether the POG OS would be a good choice for you. Seems like you really have a good grasp of what you are looking for. Why dont you input the specs into the TW racquet finder and see what it spews forth? I was suggesting something from the PK line because some of their frames have the larger sweetspot you are looking for and also nice weighted for you. My feeling is why not take advantage of something new if it can make you play better and have more fun by playing better? this is not a knock on any POG fans. i've forgoten if you have acess to demos where you are? as to the Volkls, they al have ther own personalities like frames from other lines, so just because you didnt like the c10 doesnt mean you might not like something else from the line.

The Pusher Terminator
01-08-2005, 06:30 PM
Os racquets are mainly for baseliners...they are bulky and not very maneuverable. Therefore for an all courter or a serve and volleyer the oversize would be a very poor choice. If you are more of a one dimensional player and want to stick to the baseline then an OS may actually be the right racquet for you.

carTW
01-08-2005, 06:46 PM
Andrew, I've played with the I.Radical OS for a couple of years. It is a bit lighter and less headlight than your desired specs, but it is an excellent frame. Decent and controllable power, I could generate very good spin with it and the strings lasted a very long time for me (18 mains help a lot there). It doesn't feel quite as solid as the POG OS, but I would say it has more controllable power (to me the POG OS has more of a hot spot in the center, like many OS racquets) and is a little more manoeuvrable.

AndrewD
01-08-2005, 09:45 PM
Thanks guys. I'll take all of those suggestions on board and see what I can get hold of. Where I live there isn't the option of playtesting which is why I was looking at the traditional, tried-and-tested frames like the POG but am popping down to Melbourne for a week so will see if I can have a hit with something a bit more modern.

NBMJ, gave the racquet tester a try and it came up with some interesting results. The POG o/s, Volkl Tour10 MP and Slaz X1 were all among the 8 frames my search brought up. The others were the ProKennex Kinetic Pro 5G you mentioned plus the Wilson Prostaff Tour 95, nCode nSix-One 95 and two Yonex frames I discounted. I'll give the first three plus the ProKennex a bash while Im in Melbourne and see what I like. Price will dictate things a bit but if none distinguish themselves above the other I'd say my choice will come down to the POG, Volkl and Slaz. Thanks again for the help.

By the way, Im not entirely sure why they wear the white coats. Some, however, have suggested its because they aren't allowed to wear their straightjackets in public lol. I'm sure its just a tradition thing from when the long white coat was the only option.

NoBadMojo
01-09-2005, 04:56 AM
funny on the straightjacket andrew :O.....here in the US, they are going to the long labcoat for football, but only on the sidelines for each team, and the Labcoat is emblazoned with 'Balco Labs' :) what kind/level of football did you play?

carTW
01-09-2005, 06:21 AM
Andrew, just one more thougth: looks like you like to use a lot of spin so you might be prone to breaking strings easily. Unless you use a longer lasting string such as polyester, you might break your string a lot more often with a POG (19x16 on a 107 sqIn frame) than with say a PK Kinetic 5g (20x16 on a 100 sqIn frame). Even if the PK costs more upfront it might still be cheaper in the long run to go with a denser string pattern.
I went from the i.Radical OS to the Slazenger X1 and I break strings (using the same string) at least twice more often with the Slaz.

mombasa
01-09-2005, 10:07 AM
I currently use a LM Radical OS and i think it's a fantastic racquet; What I love in a OS headsize is the forgiveness on shot and the spin-generation ability.

AndrewD
01-09-2005, 12:17 PM
Good info carTW. Constant breaking of strings would be a nuisance and costly, at least until I get something I can do my own stringing on (bit of a necessity when you dont have access to pro shops).

Strangely, I seem to find greater difficulty in hitting with mid-plus racquets when it comes to groundstrokes than I do with either an oversize or a mid. They feel okay on volleys and serves but always too powerful on groundstrokes. Probably an unconscious thing. Find I add some extra top with an oversize and flatten out a bit with a mid but get stuck sort of 50/50 with the mid-plus. The LM Rad was the exception but it didnt really give a lot on slice and gave too much on volleys.

NBMJ, I played to reserve level in the AFL and then the rest of my footy career in country and suburban leagues (one step down from AFL and not so well-paying lol). Don't your umpires still wear those black and white outfits that make them look like humbugs (boiled lollies/sweets)? Still, cant be as bad as the outfits they gave us when I called lines at the Open. Each year we looked like we'd come straight out of some shelter for the sartorially challenged while the umpires at the French, Wimbledon and US looked smart and up to date LOL.

NoBadMojo
01-09-2005, 01:11 PM
............................

NoBadMojo
01-09-2005, 01:14 PM
Andrew that's pretty sweet you were a linesman at the open. are you dong that this year? you can wear a long white labcoat with a TW sign and then we will recognize you.....the refs here are called zebra's, and after a few tinny's their stripes all kind of blurrrrrrrr. i'm still hacked off that fosters isnt even made in aussieland anymore around here. do you guys think fosters is pretty much swill? i guess Melbourne Bitters is the real deal? I was involved in training sessions for USTA linespoeple not so long ago...they are really conscientous and do a great job..i think soon they will rely on the shotspot technology to make the lines calls. reserve level ball is pretty high level stuff i would say..later on,ed

AndrewD
01-09-2005, 02:10 PM
NBMJ,

No, my umpiring days are well and truly over lol. I started doing it when I was 21 and kept going for about 10 years. Got less and less enjoyable as I went along and did a lot to kill my love of the game (actually took up until this year for the bug to bite hard again). Just way too much whining and too much politics - and that was just the umpires LOL.

Can't complain though, got to see some primo tennis and probably the best era we've had at the Aus Open since it went open. Called service line every year from 90 to 96 and did the men's final each year. Sure you wouldnt remember the face but the 'FAULT' rings a bell lol. Sad to say that most people are right and the umpires we had were pretty woeful. Conscientous but woeful lol. Dont recall ever having an eyesight test and you'd think that would be mandatory lol. Still, 10 years calling service for 3 overrules and no major drama isn't too bad (and thanks to Johnny Mac for my one and only centre court photo opportunity lol)

Sorry to say, most all Australians think that Fosters isnt fit to drink. Pretty much only a brew for tourists and something we sell to the English as a cruel method of payback lol. VB (Victoria Bitter) is the most popular or Carlton Draught but you'd be missing out if you didnt try Cascade, a Tasmanian brew.

danniflava
01-09-2005, 03:20 PM
I have a question.

Would anybody here think that it's okay for you to have two of the same racquets, but one being midplus and one being oversize?

NoBadMojo
01-09-2005, 03:53 PM
so andrew....i was hoping that you might have been the one linesman who would finally punch mac's lights out..i thought some crazed aussie would be the one to just lose it ...i guess you werent wearing sunglasses to call lines. remember when mac would yell at linespoeople for wearing sunglasses, insist they remove them, and say stuff like 'you dont' see me wearing sunglases do you?"..what a load! thanks for the tips on the brews.

LafayetteHitter
01-09-2005, 04:16 PM
Ed,
I really like the new Signature, i'm switching as well, since I can't play like Federer using a Prostaff I guess I can use a sledgehammer and play like Milos?


Thanks for the help in the e-mail btw, I will wait, got tempting to get a chance to play with that racquet a bit early, but hey what's a couple of weeks.

Scott

NoBadMojo
01-09-2005, 05:26 PM
Scott you're welcome. pls know that anyone can use the wilson sledgehammer, but few can play like Milos ;O it's really funny, but i know a teaching pro of the same ilk as Milos.