View Full Version : How did you choose your current racquet? (What is wrong with new racquets?)

01-14-2005, 08:56 PM
After over 3 months of testing I realized that almost every "player's" racquet today suffers from too much power, too little control. It seems as if these racquets are created so that anyone, regardless of their skill level can play with them. Pure Drive was all power and no control, 200G wasn't even close to being a "player's" racquet it once was, NXG, the new POG, was very uncomfortable (maybe the grip was the problem), and way too powerfull as well. Every racquet I tested - nSix-One 95, LM Prestige, Volkl V-10, Babolat PC seemed like a tweener. All except one...

I am not a fan of Prince and I really dislike Jennifer Capriati, and originally when I picked this racquet up I expected it to fail me just like the others. But I fell in love with Diablo. It is a true control oriented stick. It lets me hit every shot with as much power as I can dish out, and every shot somehow manages not to go long and yet, my serve still regularly tops 115 mph.

My question is, how did you end up with your current racquet? Did you just get an upgrade from the older version (like from I.Radical to LM Radical), or did you test several frames? How did you decide what to test? And to those that tested Diablo, what did you think?

Thank you.

P.S. Sorry if this message is crap or has already been asked - it is my first post.

01-14-2005, 09:24 PM
I've been using the Prestige Classic for yeras now; I bought a Prestige Tour on a whim and got hooked.

01-14-2005, 09:27 PM
i got head intelligence extreme cuz it was the most decent cheapest racket in the market i went to...

01-14-2005, 09:33 PM
I got my PT 280s also on a whim. But more importantly, they were super cheap.

01-14-2005, 09:48 PM
Prestige Classic 600 - realized it's the greatest / best racquet ever made :).
Currently strung with Bow Brand 1.20mm natural gut - soon to be 1.10mm natural gut :D.

01-14-2005, 10:13 PM
I've always been partial to pro staffs since learning how to play with a HPS 6.1...since then I've demoed pro staffs and ended up with the Ncode90...love it

01-14-2005, 10:16 PM
Congratulations on your 1st post. A well produced debut, I would say.

I have only begun to play regularly within the past 2 years, and mostly with an aluminum Wilson "Performer" that I found in my garage. What started two years ago as an excuse to hang out under the sun and hit a ball with a stick, is evolving into something of an addiction :-) . I find myself asking the same questions as you. I'm still trying to figure it out. Within the last 6 months I've played with a variety of better racquets, the Volkl V1 classic being one of my faves. I demoed the Diablo MP a while back and it did stand out IMO. I am going to demo it again on Sunday to remind myself why. (Quite a different racquet than the V1.)


01-15-2005, 12:46 AM
I chose the Head Graphite Edge (from the 1980s) as my racquet after having nearly the same experience you did, 'alphabet'. The great majority of current frames being garbage, and even the best among them not being close to the great frames I played with in the 80s, I simply got fed up and said to myself "To hell with this. If I like frames from the 80s, I'm going to bloody well play with frames from the 80s."

01-15-2005, 01:04 AM
I think the problem is that there are so many different choices and new ones keep appearing all the time. I wonder sometimes how can people have so much confidence in just buying the updated version of the old racquet (I did it also - got hyper 6.1 after owning classic 6.1), but it seems that changes are rarely for the better. I really got excited when nSix-One came out, but that was one of the most dissapointing racquets I have tried in my testing.

I really want to try the older frames, especially POG, but finding demoes of these is a real pain. The beauty of the old racquets is that their price is cheaper than the new, technologically advanced ones. POG sells for $120 at TW - its "updated" version NXG sells for $180. Also, there is no question what kind of player POG was created for. I can't say the same about 90% of today's "player's" racquets.

Craig Sheppard
01-15-2005, 06:15 AM
I was happily using my Pro Staff Classics but had a wrist injury quite a while ago, and my shoulder wasn't feeling so well all the tim. At the time I was working out somewhat so I was suprised. So...my lumberjacking days seemed to be nearing and end with the PSC, so I thought maybe there'd be something out there a little more body-friendly.

I first looked for immutable qualities I liked about racquets in the past--for one, an open string pattern. Second, about a 95-ish head size. So that narrows down the field quite a bit. I know I like racquets on the heavier side with good feel and flex, so I didn't want a solid piece of titanium. That narrowed it down even further before I tried any sticks. I demoed a few sticks from TW for fun, mostly just to see if I could find a winner right off the bat... no dice really.

A friend of mine let me try a few different Fischers and I really liked the Fischer feel, but something wasn't just right about it. Turns out the one he didn't have in stock was the Pro Extreme FT, since no one seemed to like it. That was heavier, flexible, 16x18 pattern and 95 sq in.... He got one in, I tried it, and loved it...

I don't think finding a stick is very hard if you know what you want and don't have brand grudges. Most likely there will be something that feels right to you out there.


01-15-2005, 07:05 AM
I am currently still demoing sticks. But I just felt that my old lightweight stick didnt suit me anymore, so I started demoing and reading through reviews here. Step by step I figured out what I did and didn't like (spec wise) and it seems I'm going to end up with volkl sticks. Btw adnankujundzic, if you think modern "player" sticks are too powerfull, try out the Volkl Tour 10 VE mid strung at high tension, I really really have to hit out fully with it to keep cross court groundstrokes near the oponents baseline.


William Bedford
01-15-2005, 07:33 AM
I grew up playing with Head PT 280's. Then used a Prestige Classic for 5 years. Switched to the Tour 90 when it came out, then bought a few ncode tour's. After more than a decade with 18X20 string patterns, moving to 16X19 was awesome. Have finally settled on ncode tour, stock, with gut pre-stretched and strung at 59lbs........

I did get sucked into the hype at one point and bought an ncode 95 - but it was way too powerfull. I didnt like the LM Prestige Classic......

01-15-2005, 08:00 AM
Which headsize Diablo did you like? The mid's specs are close to the POG mid's. Also to the other people, where did you find PC600 and PT280 racquets for super cheap?

Brent Pederson
01-15-2005, 08:02 AM
If you're having problems with too much power, I've got a Yonex ti-70 88 I'll sell ya at a good price. You need a nuclear arm to get the ball back to the baseline with this thing...

01-15-2005, 09:40 AM
i chose my current racquet (PS 6.0 95) after much deliberation and research. i had found out that it was a great racquet for a onehanded backhand and had alot of control, something i needed.

i needed a softer, more comfortable racquet than my surge, so i switched and put in softer strings too.

01-15-2005, 02:41 PM
I played with 98 for years, and had to string it on 69/67 lb to avoid filling near by forrest with tennis balls. With that tension it was nice to play with. But strings don't show tendency to stay that tight for too long.

My first post on this board had about similar topic like yours. I could not demo sticks, so I did some reading - playtests, board...

I thought - if I could tame relatively heavy 98 stringing tight, I can do it on mid too if necessary (I decided to go for mid since I liked several mids I tried - somewhat more predictable response for me).

And I bought LM Prestige Mid, powerfull, but one certanly can lower the power using some dead tightly strung strings. Same goes for RDX500Mid.

Actually - with RIP Control they are not overly powerfull, and certanly not prone to trampoline effect. LM was with Gamma Synthetic gut. I was shocked for a few minutes (until I cut out strings :) )

So, my ex sling got nice successors. Strings are powerfull instrument to adjust racquet.

K. Wilson Moose
01-15-2005, 02:58 PM
But I fell in love with Diablo. It is a true control oriented stick. It lets me hit every shot with as much power as I can dish out, and every shot somehow manages not to go long and yet, my serve still regularly tops 115 mph.

Yeah, it seemed like Prince was finally headed back in the right direction, then we get news of the latest intros.

01-15-2005, 06:43 PM
I choose a racquet by whatever criteria is important to me. That sounds funny but it is what everyone does. I have found that the website:www.racquetresearch.com is quite good. There is a section about " The Complete Idiot's Guide To Choosing a Racquet" which explains the criteria for selecting a safe racquet with respect to wrist, elbow, shoulder injury. It is a shame that it is no longer maintained. But, in that same article is a formula for determing a good racquet based upon mass, balance point from butt in cm and swingwieght. I use that to determine whether a racquet should be in my demo list.

This is an excerpt from that article:

A fairly accurate index of racquet quality, which can be computed using published racquet specs, is the ratio Mr2 / I

M = racquet mass, in kilograms
r = balance from butt, in centimeters
I = swingweight, in kg.cm2 (about an axis 10 cm from the butt, the axis used for published measurements)

To find out what the magic number should be please read the article, its all there and well worth the few minutes to read.

Currently I use the old Babolat Pure controls. but I ordered a Wilson nCode SixOne 95 today, I will play test it and see if it meets my criteria. Currently one of those criteria is a little more pop on my serve.

Hope this helps....

01-15-2005, 07:06 PM
Every racquet I tested - nSix-One 95, LM Prestige, Volkl V-10, Babolat PC seemed like a tweener. All except one...

I've tried the nSix-One 95. It's far from a tweener.

Anyhow, I chose mine based NOT on how it felt but how i played with it (results). I'm using the Standard Pure Drive. I don't care how a raquet feels if I can't win a match with it.

01-15-2005, 08:26 PM
I've tried the nSix-One 95. It's far from a tweener.

The only reason one might not consider nSix-One a tweener is because it is one of the heaviest sticks around. Yet, if your arm can handle the racquet, any full swing will produce a shot that will go long. Also, I think that the racquet plays lighter than its 12+ ounces. It contains more power than the previous 6.1s. Along with the Babolat PD, this was the most powerfull racquet I tested. With so much power available, I can't consider it a player's stick.

01-15-2005, 10:05 PM
I demo'd a bunch of tennis racquets. I tried out the Prince Diablos (both Mid and MP) and didn't care for them. I pretty much wanted a racquet that felt good in my hands and had the control I was looking for. Out of everything I tried, the Wilson Tour 90 was the racquet I barely even touched (I thought I was going to end up with the LM Prestige). I ended up buying the Tour 90 because of a great deal and I'm glad I did. From there on out, I've tried the nCode 90 and the PS 85 (love them). I definitely enjoy the Pro Staff line.

01-16-2005, 09:35 AM
I came to my current racquet, the ProKennex Core 1 #10, sans bumper, through a determined demo process. I reviewed my previous racquets, what I liked and disliked about them, and developed a range of specifications: weight between 10.5 and 11.9 oz strung, swingweight no greater than 336, with swingweight dropping as weight increased, length between 27 and 27.5 inches, stiffness less than 70, even balanced or head light.

Then I started demoing racquets that fit into that specification range, looking for that elusive blend of power, control, good performance on all strokes (especially half-volleys), and arm- and shoulder-friendliness.

It took a while, and I have an oops - a Head LiquidMetal 4 - in my bag, but I finally, I think, found the right racquet for me, right now.

01-16-2005, 10:21 AM
The last two times I switched it was mostly accidental. I had a focused demo program, just in case something better was out there and a racquet that was not on the list weasled in. I tried a ROK for kicks a few years ago and fell in love. I tried an LM Radical when the strings were shot in my ROK (traveling with just one) and loved the big, even responding racquet face. The Rad was too light and stiff (lead fixed the weight, but not the stiffness) and its brother Prestige did not have the even responding face, so I revisited the PT 280 and voila! Goldilocks and the three Heads.

John Kinsella
St. Louis, MO

01-16-2005, 12:21 PM
I choose PS 85 cause Sampras used it. And it's a great racquet also. The only drawback(small head) is not a problem for me.

01-16-2005, 12:43 PM
Chose Volkl CAT 1 after a 15 minute hit w/club members spare. Was using a Pro Tour 280 and then tried the CAT. Could not believe the lack of vibration and ability to keep the ball deep with little effort. Was hooked.

01-16-2005, 01:20 PM
Chose the NXG OS first because I thought it was the best for my developing game. Well, after bulking up and learning proper technique etc etc, switched to POG mid for more control and more maneuverability. Switch came when I played with a friend's POG mid and loved it.

01-16-2005, 02:27 PM
I chose my last racquet (Head Tour Xtra Long) because I was learning a 2 handed backhand and the extra length seemed to make that shot easier to pick up. After cracking the Head a year later, with my right shoulder worse for wear, I've lost ground with my regular group.

I am now in the process of re-vamping my game-topspin instead of flat to reduce the unforced errors. In doing so, I wanted to move up to a players racquet to take that variable out of the picture. With the number of choices out there I decided to buy three different racquets. Since the shipping price from TW is beyond what I want to spend, I am only demoing racquets which are locally available (Volkl & Babolat).

I put together a list of 20 racquets weighing 10.9-12 ozs and I tried to learn as much as possible either demoing directly or indirectly. For whatever reason I want racquets made by the "other" companies-Volkl,Yonex,PK,Slaz & Fischer. The indirect method seems to drive all the tennis snobs on this board to distraction, but it serves a purpose. It inovles asking questions-comparing this to that . It's interesting that as time goes on, fewer & fewer repond to my questions, but hey, thats OK, I'm almost finished.

Based on what I've learned, I bought the Slaz X 1 and the Pro #1 and will add one of the V-engines or Gen II. If my game does not improve with those, at least I'll know its not the racquet. I plan to use all three racquets for 2005. If I really hate one them,I'll sell it.

What's wrong with today's racquets? Nothing. Just too many choices to sift through without annoying the general TW board population.