PDA

View Full Version : POG 90 to Microgel Extreme Pro? Advice? Others to demo?


nk126
05-28-2008, 07:46 AM
I'm a 3.5-4.0 player with a strong forehand (semi-western), decent but weaker 2hbh, erratic serve, and penchant to go for too many winners from the baseline and off short balls. I can overpower players on my level, but often lose to folks in the 4.0-4.5 range who can handle my pace and beat me with consistency positioning their shots. I didn't play much for years, got into it again about three years ago, and after not having time to play much last summer/winter am getting back into it again in full force. I'm really looking to develop more depth, spin and consistency on my groundies and learn to "dial it back to 70% or so" instead of hitting for the lines as I tend to do whenever I can off the forehand ... even though it's so much fun ;-)

I've been playing with a POG Series 90 but got the chance to try a Head Microgel Extreme Pro (my wife ordered three demos from TW so I threw in the Head as a fourth). Hitting ground strokes I like the Head's feel pretty well and it feels a bit more maneuverable than the Prince, but the Prince felt more controllable to me. But then I played a few games with each and seemed to play better with the Head. Serving was easier and it was more forgiving on out of position backhands.

I love the feel and control of the POG - especially on my forehand - but am wondering if it's too much racquet for my game right now. I'm physically strong enough to handle the weight but my footwork and technique - esp. on the backhand and serve - sometimes make me wonder if a larger head size and/or lighter frame/swingweight might help me play better.

Anyway -- anyone have any advice on other racquets I might demo, or if I should just stick with the Prince and work on my game instead? :-) Working on my game is in the cards either way, but if a slightly larger and even slightly lighter stick would better suit me, I'm up for getting used to a new racquet and putting the POG away for awhile.

Thanks
nk

cheers
05-28-2008, 10:12 AM
I had a very similar experience to what you had. I played all through high school and beyond with a Prince Graphite II 90. I then moved on to a K90 in my mid 20's and played USTA 4.0 (unsuccessfully). I'm used to smaller headsizes and classic frames for their feel and control, but I learned the hard way that this midsize setup only suits me when I'm rallying/practicing. In match situations, where you are pushed around the court with heavier pace and consistency is paramount, I had a very hard time with the K90. I saw myself as a 4.0 during practice (king of the practice rally) but because I was not match-tough, I struggled putting points together with demanding frames at 4.0 league play. It was definitely a humbling experience and right now, I feel I should be playing in the 3.5 league until I can get more match-tough.

I then swallowed my pride and ditched the K90, NXG mid, Graphite II 90's and moved to the other spectrum of racquet types in the PDR+ and Head Extreme Pro. That's when I started to learn the benefits of heavy topspin (I was mostly hitting flat with the midsize frames) and forgiveness of these frames. My idea was to calm my swing down and gain some consistency from a more forgiving frame.

So far, of course I yearn for the feel of the K90 (I always will), but I feel I could be more competitive and have more fun with the Extreme Pro. I found plenty of control with the Extreme Pro but much less feel, but all my balls were deep and heavy (I lacked depth with the K90). I shank the ball much less and I'm able to string together more balls in the rally. The Extreme Pro and PDR+ were definitely more trampoline-like at first, so I went up in tension to 60 lbs whereas I strung my K90 at 55. I won't even consider midsize frames again until I feel I'm maxing out the Extreme Pro (which may never happen), so I'm happy for now. I know now that the K90 was too much racquet for my game and I only wish I made the switch sooner. Some friends of mine also suggested trying out the O3 White and Speedport White from Prince, they say it's like the Extreme/PDR but with a bigger sweetspot and more arm-friendly. I may try that next, but right now the Extreme Pro is it for me.

I hope this helps. All throughout this racquet soul-searching, I was actively reading/searching on TW forums and this place helped a lot. I had bouts of desire to keep the K90's after some rave comments made about it and some other feedback more toward players like me (Bottle_Rocket's post, especially) which deterred me from midsize frames. A collective thanks goes out to you all for all the help/info I got here.

nk126
05-28-2008, 11:05 AM
great post, cheers, and thank you for it. Totally similar - "king of the practice rally" LOL. I also grew up on a midsize frame (pro Kennex silver ace) and always wanted a POG, so got one as a grown up. Great for hitting hard in practice and painting lines with sitting short balls in matches, but maybe it's time to back down from it a bit.

I'm starting a weekly clinic tonight and will use the extreme pro. And ask the pro's opinion if I wind up liking him. I definitely felt like I could generate more topspin with the X Pro, so maybe I'll learn to groove on it. Or wind up demoing more similar sticks.

Tempted to try the POG longbody 100 but no demo is offered. Also had the speedport black rec'd as well. I've used the NXG 100 and really didn't like it.