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View Full Version : Can't find my holy grail


MaOira
05-26-2008, 11:30 PM
I can't seem to find ideal racquet for my playing style. My forehands and 1hbh are flat. I dont really hit with topspin. I use backhanded slices a lot and prefer to grind it out and wait for my opponent to make a mistake. I don't come to net very often but can when I need to.

I started with a Prince O3 White. I felt it was a little too muted, even with the hard grommet installed, and just a little too much power to my liking. I then moved to the K90 (yes i'll admit i thought i could play like Fed). It was much too heavy for me and could not get used to the weight, and my stroke at that point in time was not good enough to handle that racquet.

I then moved to the nBlade MP. It helped my game a lot, the weight was perfect for me. Although not physically demanding as the K90, it did force me to improve my technique. I was able to sustain long rallies against my opponents and wear them down. But the downside to me was the lack of pace on serve.

I then moved to a Vantage 95 (same spec is vt002) which was probably closest to the holy grail for me. I could sustain long rallies, and the serve was possibly the best I have hit with. The only drawback to me was that I was consistently framing my backhand slices and when i went to net. I thought maybe If i got a Vantage 100 321106 it would help with the framing, give me a little room for error. Well it did... but my serve has lost a ton of pace. And my groundstrokes has become a little inconsistent. I didn't realize a 5 square inch increase and a 10 gram decrease would change the characteristics of a racquet so much.

Please if anyone can suggest some racquets I could demo. I'm currently looking into the Rds-001 MP. Any other suggestions. Currently e-mailing Vantage to see if I can exchange for something else. But any suggestions on other racquets would be helpful. Thanks!

vndesu
05-26-2008, 11:41 PM
try the ag200
or something similar

perhaps a prestige?

anirut
05-26-2008, 11:50 PM
Try the Redondo mid if you have no prejudices against flexy, tight-pattern rackets. TW has them in stock.

rockbox
05-27-2008, 07:07 AM
Have you tried the Microgel Radical?

fuzz nation
05-27-2008, 07:44 AM
It's certainly good that you struck on the right weight in the nBlade and the lack of zip that you want on your serve with that racquet leads me to believe that you might be happy with a different one that just offers some more stiffness. The nBlade is rather flexible overall, I think around 57-58, so you could try a bat with similar heft and balance that also has a stiffness rating in the low to mid 60's.

The RDS 001 mp looks like an interesting option - if it's too stiff or lively for you, the RQiS 1 Tour could be a good alternative. The Dunlop 200 series frames have been a good fit for a lot of flat hitters lately, but if the weight of the Aerogel or M-Fil 200 looks like too much for you, there's also the 300 version in each line. I'm also pretty sure that some of our pals here who have compared the nBlade to the newer kBlade 98 have noted that the "k" has some more backbone and power than the "n" and that the newer kBlade isn't just an nBlade with a fresh paintjob. One more frame you could also read up on is the Volkl DNX 9.

Bottle Rocket
05-27-2008, 08:45 AM
The only drawback to me was that I was consistently framing my backhand slices and when i went to net.


If this is the reason you're switching rackets, you're never going to find your "holy grail".

quest01
05-27-2008, 08:53 AM
Try either the PDR or APDC standard or plus model.

MaOira
05-27-2008, 09:20 AM
If this is the reason you're switching rackets, you're never going to find your "holy grail".

if you have nothing helpful to say why not just ignore this thread that many other people have? are you only selective in your reading? i have no problem wth backhands and slice with a racquet above 95 square inches. does this mean i still need to improve my game? well of course it does. did i need you to point that out? no. with the useful suggestions above i have added the redondo mid+, kblade 98, rds 001 to my demo list. what did i find useful in your post? that you only want to point out peoples flaws, rather than suggest a more friendly racquet or technique to improve someones flaws.

anyway, in regards to the redondo, i noticed that the mid has aleather grip, does the mid+ have it also? it has a different grip lited on tw, and i much prefer using a leather grip with yonex supergrab.

obnoxious2
05-27-2008, 09:26 AM
if you have nothing helpful to say why not just ignore this thread that many other people have? are you only selective in your reading? i have no problem wth backhands and slice with a racquet above 95 square inches. does this mean i still need to improve my game? well of course it does. did i need you to point that out? no. with the useful suggestions above i have added the redondo mid+, kblade 98, rds 001 to my demo list. what did i find useful in your post? that you only want to point out peoples flaws, rather than suggest a more friendly racquet or technique to improve someones flaws.

anyway, in regards to the redondo, i noticed that the mid has aleather grip, does the mid+ have it also? it has a different grip lited on tw, and i much prefer using a leather grip with yonex supergrab.

Are you PMS-ing or something? Chill. Instead of suggesting that its the racquets fault he's just saying you should improve your technique and practice with that racquet. And to throw out a racquet as your "holy grail" because you can't hit a BH slice even though every other aspect of your game is stable is just stupidly ridiculous.

fps
05-27-2008, 10:05 AM
i'm with Bottle Rocket and obnoxious2 on this.

missing a backhand slice is not the racquet's fault. whichever racquet you pick you will get used to the beam width weight head size etc and you will adapt so that you're better at hitting sliced backhands with the racquet. but there isn't a racquet that's gonna turn you into superman. i'm a pick up and play guy, lead tape etc just isn't my scene, it's all time you could spend on court.

whichever racquet you pick, give it a good 6 months before you try another one, jumping around from racquet to racquet will drive you crazy and stop you developing.

MaOira
05-27-2008, 10:12 AM
Are you PMS-ing or something? Chill. Instead of suggesting that its the racquets fault he's just saying you should improve your technique and practice with that racquet. And to throw out a racquet as your "holy grail" because you can't hit a BH slice even though every other aspect of your game is stable is just stupidly ridiculous.

Ok so i lost my initial reply when my phone lost connection. But anyway, after rereading my post, i did come off as disgruntled which i apologize for. But i still stand by besides pointing out the flaw, which i acknowledged, throw something in to help. at the end of my orignal post, the backhand slice is not the problem. my vantage 100 has allowed me the room for error i need to adequately execute it. My primary concern was the loss of pace i had on serve. After trying the 95 and 100 side by side, i can't fathom why the 100 would have less pace than the 95. Is the 10g difference really that much of a factor? If that's the case, i'd rather throw in some lead weight to match the 95, in regards to stability. I'd much rather blow $5 on weights, than $150+ on another racquet. I think i've went through enough.

BullDogTennis
05-27-2008, 10:42 AM
really if the only problem you were having was framing the backhand slices, then thats probably the racket for you. the only problem you were having is probably a bit of footwork, and maybe taken your eyes of the ball.

you seem to be going through alot of rackets, are you demo'ing them or buying them? and how much time are you given yourself to work with them before your deciding you dont like them?

MaOira
05-27-2008, 11:04 AM
really if the only problem you were having was framing the backhand slices, then thats probably the racket for you. the only problem you were having is probably a bit of footwork, and maybe taken your eyes of the ball.

you seem to be going through alot of rackets, are you demo'ing them or buying them? and how much time are you given yourself to work with them before your deciding you dont like them?

i had the O3 white for close to a year. the nblade for a couple months. the vantages are the only ones (with the exception of the k90) that i only had for a short amount of time. i had already sold my 95, so im trying to contact vantage so i can exchange for a 95. we'll see how that goes. the reason i went to the vantage 100 was i felt that i needed a little more room for error , which it did give me, but for some reason pace on serve was lost. the specs are identical to the 95 minus the head size and a 10g decrease in weight.

Bottle Rocket
05-27-2008, 11:07 AM
Helpful? I think coming to terms with the fact that "consistently framing slices" is not the fault of those very common and very standard rackets is about as helpful as anything. Significantly more helpful than constantly swapping frames as an instant fix.

Its one thing to say you're having a hard time getting depth, bite, finding stability, getting a feel for the ball, etc... But consistently framing the shot? Come on.

MaOira
05-27-2008, 11:20 AM
Helpful? I think coming to terms with the fact that "consistently framing slices" is not the fault of those very common and very standard rackets is about as helpful as anything. Significantly more helpful than constantly swapping frames as an instant fix.

Its one thing to say you're having a hard time getting depth, bite, finding stability, getting a feel for the ball, etc... But consistently framing the shot? Come on.

like i said. that slice backhand is no longer the issue. i thought i said that. ok so "consistently framing slices" was a little overexagerrated. but can u address how the vantage 100 can have less pace on serve than the 95? specs are the same minus the obvious headsize and a 10g decrease in weight. thats what is concerning me more. i felt the 95 was the best for me spec wise, i felt the jump to 100 would give me some room for error. its like i have the nblade all over again. everything is fine... but the serve.

Bottle Rocket
05-27-2008, 11:23 AM
like i said. that slice backhand is no longer the issue. i thought i said that. ok so "consistently framing slices" was a little overexagerrated. but can u address how the vantage 100 can have less pace on serve than the 95? specs are the same minus the obvious headsize and a 10g decrease in weight. thats what is concerning me more. i felt the 95 was the best for me spec wise, i felt the jump to 100 would give me some room for error. its like i have the nblade all over again. everything is fine... but the serve.

Sounds like the 10 g decrease in weight is creating a pretty big difference in weight distribution, balance, and/or swingweight. Even if it is, I doubt the difference in pace is huge. Are you using the same string setup as the smaller frame? How do you know you've actually lost pace and things just don't feel differently? Does your hitting partner think you've lost pace?

BullDogTennis
05-27-2008, 11:25 AM
well if your playin with the rackets for months and dont like them then id change also. the radical series from head i have found to be pretty good for volleys and serving placement. but im going from a 98 to a 93 so i can get some more consistency and accuracy. you may just have to demo and demo until you find what you want, but its gonna be tough trying to find something thats "perfect" in every area.

MaOira
05-27-2008, 11:36 AM
Sounds like the 10 g decrease in weight is creating a pretty big difference in weight distribution, balance, and/or swingweight. Even if it is, I doubt the difference in pace is huge. Are you using the same string setup as the smaller frame? How do you know you've actually lost pace and things just don't feel differently? Does your hitting partner think you've lost pace?

yes string setup is exactly the same. klip excellerator @ 58lbs. i know the pace is less cause when i still had the 95 i alternated with both and saw the difference in pace. my hiting partner also noticed the difference. i felt like the increase in headsize would compensate for the 10g decrease. im thinking of experimenting with adding 10g of leadtape to try to match my previous 95. if so. where would placement be most ideal? 6 to just increase static weight? or 3 and 9 to also increase stability.

dabudabuda
05-27-2008, 12:21 PM
i second the suggestions for the dunlop 200 and pk redondo for rackets in the ~12oz range. both great for flat hitting. the redondo though is flexy and low powered in general but slices are buttery and low(might need lead tape if you hit big).

El Guapo
05-27-2008, 12:29 PM
Have you tried the OPT? A little over 350g with an overgrip but easy swinging with good pop and great placement on serves.

SlapShot
05-27-2008, 12:37 PM
I'll be the voice of dissent - there's no such thing as the holy grail.

If you're comfortable with a frame, but one stroke needs a minor change, try and get that stroke working. It sounds like framing the ball on the slice was your only quibble with the 95, and as such, (and provided you still have that frame), you should give it a fair shake again and try and work out the little issues.

Personal (and somewhat similar story): I've been through a few frames in the past year, looking for my "holy grail." I found as close as I was going to get with the FXP Prestige MP, but I found that I was framing my forehand more than I'd like. I went out and pounded my FH, and now, my little bits of my stroke that were causing my problem with framing the ball have been smoothed out, and I'm playing well with that frame.

MaOira
05-27-2008, 01:33 PM
I'll be the voice of dissent - there's no such thing as the holy grail.

If you're comfortable with a frame, but one stroke needs a minor change, try and get that stroke working. It sounds like framing the ball on the slice was your only quibble with the 95, and as such, (and provided you still have that frame), you should give it a fair shake again and try and work out the little issues.

Personal (and somewhat similar story): I've been through a few frames in the past year, looking for my "holy grail." I found as close as I was going to get with the FXP Prestige MP, but I found that I was framing my forehand more than I'd like. I went out and pounded my FH, and now, my little bits of my stroke that were causing my problem with framing the ball have been smoothed out, and I'm playing well with that frame.

Unfortunately I no longer have the 95. I made a deal with someone to sell it, and I didn't want to go back on my word. So I'm stuck with the 100 unless I can work something out with Vantage. I'm gonna try to adjust my serve to see if I can get the pace back. If not, I'll just throw on 10g of lead to see what happens. And I'm sure you all know the "holy grail" thing was just an overexaggeration as well. I'm merely looking for a racquet that I can stick with. I'm pretty much sold on the Vantage racquets. Just trying to figure out the spec which is best suited for me. I wonder if i would've stuck with the exact same spec and weight, with the 100 head size if that would've been it. Unfortunately I dont have another $200 to shell out.

SlapShot
05-27-2008, 01:35 PM
Unfortunately I no longer have the 95. I made a deal with someone to sell it, and I didn't want to go back on my word. So I'm stuck with the 100 unless I can work something out with Vantage. I'm gonna try to adjust my serve to see if I can get the pace back. If not, I'll just throw on 10g of lead to see what happens. And I'm sure you all know the "holy grail" thing was just an overexaggeration as well. I'm merely looking for a racquet that I can stick with. I'm pretty much sold on the Vantage racquets. Just trying to figure out the spec which is best suited for me. I wonder if i would've stuck with the exact same spec and weight, with the 100 head size if that would've been it. Unfortunately I dont have another $200 to shell out.

If you feel like you're close, give a little bit of lead tape a shot. I've found that while lead tape can't make a dog into a wonderstick, it can help with minor problems you have with the frame.

ced
05-30-2008, 03:12 PM
I can't seem to find ideal racquet for my playing style. My forehands and 1hbh are flat. I dont really hit with topspin. I use backhanded slices a lot and prefer to grind it out and wait for my opponent to make a mistake. I don't come to net very often but can when I need to.

<snip>

Please if anyone can suggest some racquets I could demo. I'm currently looking into the Rds-001 MP. Any other suggestions. Currently e-mailing Vantage to see if I can exchange for something else. But any suggestions on other racquets would be helpful. Thanks!

Went through the same thing until I hit with a Gamma G325 ..... found the racquet and saved a whole lot of coin.

FuriousYellow
05-30-2008, 08:45 PM
I'll be the voice of dissent - there's no such thing as the holy grail.

If you're comfortable with a frame, but one stroke needs a minor change, try and get that stroke working. It sounds like framing the ball on the slice was your only quibble with the 95, and as such, (and provided you still have that frame), you should give it a fair shake again and try and work out the little issues.

Personal (and somewhat similar story): I've been through a few frames in the past year, looking for my "holy grail." I found as close as I was going to get with the FXP Prestige MP, but I found that I was framing my forehand more than I'd like. I went out and pounded my FH, and now, my little bits of my stroke that were causing my problem with framing the ball have been smoothed out, and I'm playing well with that frame.

I don't believe in the holy grail either, not after three frustrating years of trying dozens of frames. Over a year ago, I found a frame that I liked that played to my strength, experimented with different strings and tensions and just stuck with it and focused on the tennis.

I'm enjoying playing tennis a lot more. I still have weaknesses in my game, but it's easier, IMO, to work those weaknesses if know what to expect from my equipment.

jck01
05-31-2008, 11:50 AM
MaOira,

The closest I've gotten to the "perfect racquet" has been Volkl Tour 10 VE Mid, which I currently use. If you can handle the weight, you may want to try it out. It's great for volleying and for backhand slices. BTW, even though it's a generation old, it's still sold at T-W and you can also see the T-W expert review for the raquet. Good luck!

MaOira
06-11-2008, 04:15 PM
I'm currently demoing the Volkl DNX 9, Kblade 98, and Yonex RDS 002. So far I'm liking the RDS 002 best of the 3 with the DNX 9 a close second. The Kblade 98 feels a lot stiffer than the other 2 even though its rated a point lower. Of these 3 which would you decide on? if not them what would you also recommend? I prefer my racquets to be standard length and between 11-11.7 oz strung. I'm 5'5 about 145lbs. Flat serve. flat forehand and 1hbh.

Also I've decided to keep the Vantage as my main stick. Just lookin for a backup, can't afford another vantage. Thanks guys.

Ross K
06-11-2008, 09:58 PM
The way you describe your playing style (hitting more flat, grinding out the points, favour slice, etc), the 1st thing that came to my mind were the Pro Tour and 200G MW... basically, I'm talking about relatively low powered, control-orientated but very dynamic racquets with a pedigree just about second to none and in the 18X20 string pattern... why not aim for what some ppl would argue is the very best you could possibly have (certainly the PT anyway)?

the Town Sherif
06-12-2008, 05:06 AM
bottom line dude, is that there is no single racquet out there that can do everything for you right away without any adjustment time. I suggest you get a racquet that accentuates your strength and minimizes your weaknesses and work from there.....

MaOira
06-12-2008, 08:21 AM
bottom line dude, is that there is no single racquet out there that can do everything for you right away without any adjustment time. I suggest you get a racquet that accentuates your strength and minimizes your weaknesses and work from there.....

I agree which is why i'm sticking with my Vantage. but i can't afford another vantage to buy as a backup, i i need a slightly cheaper alternative. unless someone has my exact spec vantage? :)

SFrazeur
06-12-2008, 08:33 AM
I would suggest waiting and pinching pennies, quit cigarettes, forgo sodas, eat at home, take mass transit switch to dial up--all that are applicable to save up. You do not need a back up you need a second racquet.

-SF

ced
06-12-2008, 08:33 AM
I agree which is why i'm sticking with my Vantage. but i can't afford another vantage to buy as a backup, i i need a slightly cheaper alternative. unless someone has my exact spec vantage? :)


I did the whole search bit myself, including the Vantage ..... finally hit with the Gamma G325 and found 'it' ..... only $64/shipped from the bird in Baltimore, tho supplies are running low. At that price it is worth a try. I know , it's not big time classy, but it is :):) big-time feel and hit.

MaOira
06-12-2008, 08:40 AM
I would suggest waiting and pinching pennies, quit cigarettes, forgo sodas, eat at home, take mass transit switch to dial up--all that are applicable to save up. You do not need a back up you need a second racquet.

-SF

pinch pennies check, no need to quit when i never started, havent drank soda in over a year.. seriously.. eat at home check, the other 2, no way lol. i could do a racquet search at a thrift/donation place.. anyone find good racquets at goodwill?

guitarplayer
06-12-2008, 10:21 AM
There is only one Holy Grail, the POG.

RRR
06-13-2008, 09:09 AM
I used to bring a lot of different racquets to the club. an old timer commented that my strokes are ok but i change racquets too often. He said to try to stick to one. I took his advice to heart and stuck with my prestige mids, and true enough, it pays off. practice practice practice.

BAMF
06-13-2008, 11:22 AM
i found a dunlop 200g like the one mac used to use. its tight as hell. i constantly check thrift stores ffor good classics but the pickins are pretty slim

Demoneye
06-13-2008, 11:43 AM
I used to bring a lot of different racquets to the club. an old timer commented that my strokes are ok but i change racquets too often. He said to try to stick to one. I took his advice to heart and stuck with my prestige mids, and true enough, it pays off. practice practice practice.

that is so true.except with me its not the racket its my strokes. for example. on the end of my 1st year i had a good forehand. and then i had a few bad days and i said omg i need to switch my forehand. omg i want a eastern forehand.(i have a semi). and i played with it for a month or eastern and it was horrible. so i watssed a whole lot of time just experimienting and it didnt work.
Like when ever u change rackets think of it like this. you start with 50 points and you switch rackets so becuase you are trying to get used to the racket you dont have as good stroke you want to have. so now your at like 45 points. you spend a month and now you have everything good and you like you strokes. so lets say 55 points. and then you have a bad day or two and say omg omg i need a new racket. you change rackets and spend time ajusting like a month or so. so now your down to 50 point and then in a month you at 60points. you see what is happening? it better to stick with one racket. if tat one racket is seroiusly too old for you or you have grown out of it. switch. but i recomend demoing rackets. practice practifce practice

fridrix
06-13-2008, 05:00 PM
I would suggest waiting and pinching pennies, quit cigarettes, forgo sodas, eat at home, take mass transit switch to dial up--all that are applicable to save up. You do not need a back up you need a second racquet.

-SF

Ahaha. SF, were you the one working with Vantage?

Moira - I am kind of where you are. I have a good racquet for ground strokes but it's not so good on serves. I'm playing with an old Head Classic (Prestige?) Midplus weighted up to 13.3 oz, slightly headlight. Pattern is 18 x 19, headsize is like 100 sq". It's a delight on slices, but really not the most natural serving racquet.

I'd like to get down to a 95" or 98", just for the sake of maneuverability. I've thought about going stiffer or more open patterned too.

SFrazeur
06-13-2008, 05:04 PM
Ahaha. SF, were you the one working with Vantage?


Ah, no. I have advocated on at least a couple other occasions that people should buy a second racquet instead of a "back up" one.

-SF

Ignorant Genius
06-13-2008, 07:14 PM
I can't seem to find ideal racquet for my playing style. My forehands and 1hbh are flat. I dont really hit with topspin. I use backhanded slices a lot and prefer to grind it out and wait for my opponent to make a mistake. I don't come to net very often but can when I need to.

I started with a Prince O3 White. I felt it was a little too muted, even with the hard grommet installed, and just a little too much power to my liking. I then moved to the K90 (yes i'll admit i thought i could play like Fed). It was much too heavy for me and could not get used to the weight, and my stroke at that point in time was not good enough to handle that racquet.

I then moved to the nBlade MP. It helped my game a lot, the weight was perfect for me. Although not physically demanding as the K90, it did force me to improve my technique. I was able to sustain long rallies against my opponents and wear them down. But the downside to me was the lack of pace on serve.

I then moved to a Vantage 95 (same spec is vt002) which was probably closest to the holy grail for me. I could sustain long rallies, and the serve was possibly the best I have hit with. The only drawback to me was that I was consistently framing my backhand slices and when i went to net. I thought maybe If i got a Vantage 100 321106 it would help with the framing, give me a little room for error. Well it did... but my serve has lost a ton of pace. And my groundstrokes has become a little inconsistent. I didn't realize a 5 square inch increase and a 10 gram decrease would change the characteristics of a racquet so much.

Please if anyone can suggest some racquets I could demo. I'm currently looking into the Rds-001 MP. Any other suggestions. Currently e-mailing Vantage to see if I can exchange for something else. But any suggestions on other racquets would be helpful. Thanks!

Try the O3 Speedport Black. Has more feel and a little less power than the White. The O3 Speedport Tour is not bad either. Definitely less power and more feel than the White, swing weight is noticeably heavier as well.

I also like the Aerogel 300 (a touch too light) and the 500 tour (ugly color). Both are nice racquets, you should demo them.

guitarplayer
06-13-2008, 09:27 PM
Here they are, the old and newer version. The Holy Grail of tennis. You just point and shoot, the ball goes in, you win matches.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c320/gibsonplayer/prince.jpg

guitarplayer
06-13-2008, 09:30 PM
The same with the Holy Grail of guitar tone. The Gibson Les Paul. Very simmilar in it's own way to the POG. It's the heaviest guitar, with the heaviest tone. POG is a heavy frame producing a heavy ball. Classics are classics for a reason my friend.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c320/gibsonplayer/princelp.jpg