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View Full Version : Racquet regrets and lessons learned


urbo73
06-08-2008, 05:16 PM
As a 3.0 player, a person getting back to the game after many years away, a person who's read this and that opinion, a person who's demoed many racquets, I've come to realize that there will always be two main schools of thought which differ in their approach when it comes to answering this basic question asked many times (by myself included):

"What's a good racquet to start out with and improve?"

There are two schools of thought that I can both understand. But rather than argue about which is "right" and which is "wrong", I'm creating this thread to see if people can share their experiences with what has worked for them, what hasn't, why and why not, mistakes they may have made along the way, and what (if anything) they might change with regards to racquet selection if they were to take their knowledge that they have now and go back to when they started out.

Now I realize there are differing factors - age, body condition, etc. So please share this as well.

One school seems to suggest that it's better to start out with a player's racquet, while the other says it's better to start out with something less demanding until you move up. But it not so simple, and I can find arguments for and against both approaches if I think logically.

But again, I'm curious, and I think it would benefit others who ask this question all the time, to see what others who've been through this have to say now that they have and know more.

For instance, are there some 30 year olds who started out with a mid+ and now use a smaller/heavier racquet? The other way around? Etc, etc. Please share!

stevekim8
06-08-2008, 05:26 PM
well, to start off, i have used both midsize and midplus size. i started off with midplus size, because i didn't know anything about size when i started. when i changed from liquidmetal prestige midplus to liquidmetal prestige mid, i felt a HUGE difference, and back then, i thought it was the headsize that made the difference. but now, i realize it's not.
I think that the smaller headsize being demanding has not much to do with the actual headsize, unless you are comparing like 120 sq in to 90 sq in. if you are comparing midplus to mid, which could be, for example, 90 sq in to 98 sq in, you can barely see the difference between the frame headsize, because it is decreased as all-around. So, it's decreased little by little everywhere, which wouldn't make TOO MUCH difference. i believe that there's no difference in playing.

if i was to have two racquets, 90 sq in and 98 sq in, but same exact weight and composition, i wouldn't feel any difference. i believe that the difference between midsize and midplus size is mainly the weight, not the frame size. since we see that there's 8 sq in difference, we would think that there's huge difference in headsize. in reality, there's barely any difference. it's just that most mids are heavier than midplus, and that's what makes the frame more "demanding", i believe. i believe that it's just a psychological effect, more like a placebo. when you think that something is small, you will FEEL that it's small, since it's on your mind.

so unless you are comparing HUGE to REALLY SMALL, i don't think you can feel the "headsize" difference.

this is purely my opinion from my experience, so don't flame me even if i'm wrong.

i think i wrote a lot, because i'm bored. :D

-Steve

meowmix
06-08-2008, 06:02 PM
My tennis coach/teacher recommened me a Wilson n5 OS last summer. After hitting with it for about 9 months, I began to strongly dislike it. It became too powerful, and very unstable- I was unable to return a heavy penetrating shot. My stroke mechanics were all shot to h#ll too- I had been playing with a 12+ ounce aluminum mid from the 80's. After about a year, I accidentally cracked my n5, and switched to a heavier (11.5 ounce) smaller head size, player racket. That's helped me advance far quicker, and has forced me to improve my stroke mechanics. I personally think it was the weight that helped.

urbo73
06-08-2008, 06:07 PM
well, to start off, i have used both midsize and midplus size. i started off with midplus size, because i didn't know anything about size when i started. when i changed from liquidmetal prestige midplus to liquidmetal prestige mid, i felt a HUGE difference, and back then, i thought it was the headsize that made the difference. but now, i realize it's not.
I think that the smaller headsize being demanding has not much to do with the actual headsize, unless you are comparing like 120 sq in to 90 sq in. if you are comparing midplus to mid, which could be, for example, 90 sq in to 98 sq in, you can barely see the difference between the frame headsize, because it is decreased as all-around. So, it's decreased little by little everywhere, which wouldn't make TOO MUCH difference. i believe that there's no difference in playing.

if i was to have two racquets, 90 sq in and 98 sq in, but same exact weight and composition, i wouldn't feel any difference. i believe that the difference between midsize and midplus size is mainly the weight, not the frame size. since we see that there's 8 sq in difference, we would think that there's huge difference in headsize. in reality, there's barely any difference. it's just that most mids are heavier than midplus, and that's what makes the frame more "demanding", i believe. i believe that it's just a psychological effect, more like a placebo. when you think that something is small, you will FEEL that it's small, since it's on your mind.

so unless you are comparing HUGE to REALLY SMALL, i don't think you can feel the "headsize" difference.

this is purely my opinion from my experience, so don't flame me even if i'm wrong.

i think i wrote a lot, because i'm bored. :D

-Steve

Good stuff, but when you did switch, what did you find most demanding about the weight? Did your game suffer or get better?

urbo73
06-08-2008, 06:10 PM
My tennis coach/teacher recommened me a Wilson n5 OS last summer. After hitting with it for about 9 months, I began to strongly dislike it. It became too powerful, and very unstable- I was unable to return a heavy penetrating shot. My stroke mechanics were all shot to h#ll too- I had been playing with a 12+ ounce aluminum mid from the 80's. After about a year, I accidentally cracked my n5, and switched to a heavier (11.5 ounce) smaller head size, player racket. That's helped me advance far quicker, and has forced me to improve my stroke mechanics. I personally think it was the weight that helped.

Why did your coach recommend that n5 if you were happy with the 12+oz 80s racquet? What was his reasoning (and I know many coaches have totally different and sometimes downright bad opinions)? I've talked to several coaches and some are really clueless to be honest, it's scary!

Mick
06-08-2008, 06:11 PM
i have all kinds of racquets but the ones that I feel most comfortable with are the light midsize racquets (below 11.0 oz strung). When I want to play my best, those are the ones that I would bring to the court. I would use the other racquets (smaller headsize, heavier racquets, or both) to play against lower level players.

tennis_hand
06-08-2008, 06:11 PM
use whatever you play best with.

ignore all these crap talk about which racket is best.

Nellie
06-08-2008, 06:12 PM
Regrets -

Buy a racquet after reading time and time how great it was, only to not the racquet. Listen to your gut and buy the one you like.

I also regret buying a racquet because it was in my favorite brand. Except for grip shape, I think most companies make fairly similar offendings.

At the same time, another regret I have is buying a couple of racquet that I like during the demo, but hated after playing a couple of weeks. I think the key is to know yourself, what you like, and how you want to play.

As a newer player, you will likely want some thing not too demanding, but something you could grew with.

I am biased, but I think a larger, but more flexable racquet (something like a pure drive oversize (OS) or radical OS), would be great racquets to start.

In my opininion, too much stiffness ends up hurting your technique, but encouraging you to poke at the ball with incomplete strokes. I think that an OS is good in that you are still working on your eye-hand, and the extra forgiveness is really useful. I will tell you that you will win more with an OS racquet, and OS racquets help you keep your interest in the game

armsty
06-08-2008, 06:25 PM
I regret buying the first racket I liked out of a possible 5 I had planned on demoing. It's turned out to be way too light as I've grown over the past 18 months and is like playing with an air stick. Horrible decision.

namui
06-08-2008, 06:30 PM
I don't recall a case of anyone I know that switched from power racquet (light weight, head heavy balance) to player's racquet (heavy weight, head light balance). I have seen many cases in the opposite direction, however. It is someone who developed technique with player's racquet when s/he was young and then switched to more of the power type when they got into the senior range of age.

meowmix
06-08-2008, 06:38 PM
Why did your coach recommend that n5 if you were happy with the 12+oz 80s racquet? What was his reasoning (and I know many coaches have totally different and sometimes downright bad opinions)? I've talked to several coaches and some are really clueless to be honest, it's scary!

For a few not so great reasons: my strings were too loose (I'd never restrung, so I was using genuine 80's string, which I think was/is gut- I still have the racket) and lack of stability. He thought that racket was too unstable. Funny thing is, the n5 OS was even less stable.

When I initially demoed the n5, it actually felt really nice. Nice crisp pop, not too uncontrollable. I later found out the demos at the place were strung weekly, and with NXG Tour. When I got mine, it was strung with wilson syn gut.

urbo73
06-08-2008, 08:07 PM
I don't recall a case of anyone I know that switched from power racquet (light weight, head heavy balance) to player's racquet (heavy weight, head light balance). I have seen many cases in the opposite direction, however. It is someone who developed technique with player's racquet when s/he was young and then switched to more of the power type when they got into the senior range of age.

This is very interesting. I read a lot about starting with a tweener and then moving on, but how many have done so, at what point, and did it help them or do they regret NOT starting with a non-tweener. I guess this is a main thing to think about that doesn't really get answered.

baek57
06-09-2008, 01:32 AM
This is very interesting. I read a lot about starting with a tweener and then moving on, but how many have done so, at what point, and did it help them or do they regret NOT starting with a non-tweener. I guess this is a main thing to think about that doesn't really get answered.

i started with a junior -> oversized -> midplus -> mid. to be honest i think it would have been better just to start with a midplus in the 11oz range and go from there. but at the time i just used whatever was given to me.

Fedace
06-09-2008, 02:23 AM
Wilson K factor K3

larry10s
06-09-2008, 03:50 AM
i am 55 started playing 6 years ago. started with prince tt warrior (mid plus 11.3 oz. 5 points hl)recommended as a racquet to grow with. one that woukd force me to learn good technique bot be alittle forgiving. i then switched to a prince thinder bolt cut to 27 in and spec to 12. oz 10 points hl. (i played around with lead on the warrior and found i liked the extra weight and more headlight balance).the thunderbolt was always too "big feeling" in my hand and although it hit great i went looking and boght several racquets along the way i.e. kblade tour becket 11(12 oz) k6.1 95 16x18. babolat aerodrive cortex (nadal racquet). babolat was too p[owerful not enough control, k6.1 95 could not handle the swingweight ( but GREAT to hit with), kbt and becker after the honeymoon not enough power for me. i just bought 4 vantage racquets 95 headsize 16x19 63 flex and customized to 12.2 oz strung and 9 points headlight . this after buying one and getting a demo and playing with them for 6-8 weeks. still a control racquet but with just enough extra pop to help me.

Automatix
06-09-2008, 04:23 AM
i started with a junior -> oversized -> midplus -> mid. to be honest i think it would have been better just to start with a midplus in the 11oz range and go from there. but at the time i just used whatever was given to me.

Very similiar here... but without the junior frame so...
OS -> MP -> Mid

And I think that it would be much better if I started with a lighter MP racquet.
Also I find younger players skiping the OS frames progress faster.

nickb
06-09-2008, 04:31 AM
As a coach I reccomend 95-102in frames that are at least 11 oz strung and heavier frames for the guys...I think that is perfect for most beginners...not too heavy and a good hitting area/sweet zone.

urbo73
06-09-2008, 04:49 AM
For those who switched from a MP to a MID (and also from lighter to heavier), how did you know when it was time to switch?

jmverdugo
06-09-2008, 04:53 AM
Hi, Im 31.
I played for about 1 year when i was 13 (I think!) started using a white kneissel then change to the POG OS.
I started again about three years ago and have being very serious about it. The first racket i bought was a Wilson n6 OS, it was a good racket, I bought it following TW recommendations, truth is that I was fine with that racket, untill i used another racket, TF305, i felt the weight of that TF helped my a lot on my swing. Since i couldnt find a TF305 i just bought the Hybrind shark MP. again very good racket, this rackets weights just 320 strung and in the beggining I was having consistency problems by the end of a match, this not so high weight was affecting me, i started to do some weight lifting and problem solve. Then a friend of mine bought a RDS001MP and I used it for a while and like it very much, however it was very, very underpowered compared with my previous rackets. I have been using this racket for a year and I still have troubles at the end of long matches.
I know that the only reason i changed rackets until the point where i am right know is because the control/power kool aid you read everyday on this boards. I didnt even know about control untill i came here, before that i just tried to improve my technique and physic, after ttw was much easier to blame the racket. The main reason i still using the yonex is because i am a very obsesive person and I know that if a keep my weights weekly training going on I have no problems.

I beleive that that racket does not teach technique nor force you to hit properly, a teacher does that and you can use any racket you want and still develope proper technique under the right guidance. Eventually you may want to try new and more advance stuff but you have to be aware that it will be more demanding and will requiere more commitment from you.

Im with the other people that thinks that a good racket for a begginer man is a light mp: ksix team, kblade, aeropro, etc.

JMO.

sureshs
06-09-2008, 04:58 AM
use whatever you play best with.



And how would you find that out?

larry10s
06-09-2008, 05:50 AM
for me i was guided to switch to heavier racquets( thanks to my teaching pro) since you are asking the question i would guess its time for you to demo some mids to get a feel assuming you have or are woking toward the tehcnique they are made for

Rei
06-09-2008, 06:06 AM
I changed 4-5 rackets, from Diablo Midplus > Aero Pro Drive> Aero Pro drive Cortex> Kfactor 95 > and now settle with Nblade.

My lesson learned is that I'm not competent enough to wield those rackets. I regret not knowing my own capability and waste serious hard earned money.

Now am very happy with Nblade and progressing from 4.0 to around 4.5 according to my coach.

stevekim8
06-09-2008, 06:38 AM
Good stuff, but when you did switch, what did you find most demanding about the weight? Did your game suffer or get better?

well, i didn't find any difference in "demanding" when i switched. mid just felt a whole lot better due to higher swingweight and ability to let me swing through the ball more. also, i liked how mid gave me whole load of stability.

my game definitely got better

fuzz nation
06-09-2008, 06:56 AM
I thought I would regret my switching racquets a few years ago because I tried out a couple of bad fits for me, but I learned a bunch about racquets in general along the way. I was convinced that I needed a lighter frame to be able to do more than block a lot of balls, but my old Prostaffs were so stiff that I couldn't swing out and keep my strokes down on the court without a dramatic swingpath. Lighter bats didn't help me a bit, but when I tried some heavier ones with a lot more flex, I got a new lease on life. I could still serve and volley, but my strokes developed really well - not just because I got a different racquet, but because I decided to work on the nuts and bolts of my game and pursue a higher level.

My biggest regret is having missed out on playing college tennis. Oh well. Racquets have certain features that make them a better fit for some players over others and finding that best fit can take some luck, but it doesn't matter all too much if you don't also develop your skills. The racquet can't swing itself, right? Finding that nice fit just gets the distraction of the frame out of your way so that you can concentrate on being a better player.