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View Full Version : Favorite standard woody to play ?


joe sch
02-22-2009, 04:59 PM
Since this is the classic racket section, I thought it would be very appropriate to have a poll for your favorite standard head woody racket that you played. Polls are limited to 10 entries so I tried to choose 10 of the most popular late model wood rackets. Please feel free to comment on other wood models you favored and found to be great playing sticks. I really like the Wilson prostaff and advantage models and find the bancroft borg personal also an awesome woody to play.

jimbo333
02-22-2009, 05:11 PM
Joe, you havn't put this in the classic racquet section!!!

The answer is the Dunlop Maxply surely:) Just a bit worried there is going to be a U.S biased vote here, but it's gotta be the Maxply, the best woodie ever!!

Now if you are going to include wood composites I would go for the Head Vector (the wood/graphite version), what a racquet that is:):)

Kirko
02-22-2009, 05:13 PM
played the kramer auto. from 1965 to 1982. loved it especially the select model (firm-flex) looked like a stan smith auto. made in england. funny about the pro staff kramer guys who used it thought the world of it and those of us who did not use it couldn't stand it. the kramer auto. could take a variety of string tensions to fit the player or level they were at; I strung mine always at 55 lbs. I knew guys who often went into 60 + lbs. range.

jimbo333
02-22-2009, 05:16 PM
In fact just noticed you've got the Head Vilas up there!! The Vector is a slightly bigger/heavier version of that, a really really great racquet:)

Pictures to follow in 6 days when I get my new camera:):)

SFrazeur
02-22-2009, 05:20 PM
I've taken to hitting a bit with wooden racquets, but I haven't tried any of the racquets mentioned.
I've played with the Yonex 7200 Couguss (light, about 12 oz) and a Spalding Davis Cup, (heavy, probably 14+oz).

I'm going to customize the Yonex with lead for a bit of fun.

-SF

LeeD
02-22-2009, 05:23 PM
Wilson's... Smith were heavy and stiff.
K's were medium heavy and sorta stiff.
PS's were medium flex, medium lightweights.
CE's were medium flex, light weight, and fragile heads
I played mostly PStaffs. Me, light and skinny, kinda weak. You had to change out the frames every 3-4 stringjobs because they went soft fast.
DunlopsMaxPlys were stiffer framed than all but Smiths, but the heads were medium soft, and the sq in seemed less than the above Wilsons
Tads were notoriously soft and supple, better for players who liked to caress the ball rather than hit the ball.
Bancrofts were very good, similar to a softer shafted Maxply, lasting much longer, and nobody really using them.

joe sch
02-22-2009, 05:30 PM
Joe, you havn't put this in the classic racquet section!!!

The answer is the Dunlop Maxply surely:) Just a bit worried there is going to be a U.S biased vote here, but it's gotta be the Maxply, the best woodie ever!!

Now if you are going to include wood composites I would go for the Head Vector (the wood/graphite version), what a racquet that is:):)

Oops, my mistake. Ill put a link in the classic section but it may dissapear before many see ...

Thanks
Joe

jim e
02-22-2009, 05:30 PM
The Tad Davis Imperial deluxe was my favorite. Only problem with them was they broke too readily. They would snap right at the neck, and the head of the racquet would fly right out.I then switched to the Slazenger Challenge #1. after a # of broken Tad's.I still have a Tad Davis from 1971.That Tad still has the Bow Brand gut from when I strung it in 1971, and it is still playable!I used it a # months back, and even won playing with it.Says a lot about nat. gut and drying out!

joe sch
02-22-2009, 05:36 PM
played the kramer auto. from 1965 to 1982. loved it especially the select model (firm-flex) looked like a stan smith auto. made in england. funny about the pro staff kramer guys who used it thought the world of it and those of us who did not use it couldn't stand it. the kramer auto. could take a variety of string tensions to fit the player or level they were at; I strung mine always at 55 lbs. I knew guys who often went into 60 + lbs. range.

Kirko, many kramer auto lovers as it was the biggest seller ever. Wonder how many played the earlier 7 point crown version ? It was a little more stiff and the wood was suppose to be better during that era. I have a few and really like how hefty they play.

Expired
02-22-2009, 05:36 PM
Grandmas Maxply McEnroes.. dried out gut, they had been strung and sitting for 14+ years.

joe sch
02-22-2009, 05:40 PM
The Tad Davis Imperial deluxe was my favorite. Only problem with them was they broke too readily. They would snap right at the neck, and the head of the racquet would fly right out.I then switched to the Slazenger Challenge #1. after a # of broken Tad's.I still have a Tad Davis from 1971.That Tad still has the Bow Brand gut from when I strung it in 1971, and it is still playable!I used it a # months back, and even won playing with it.Says a lot about nat. gut and drying out!

Jim E, You mention an important point for me ... these classic woody's need to be strung with natural gut. I really love finding one with good Victor Imperial !

joe sch
02-22-2009, 05:43 PM
Grandmas Maxply McEnroes.. dried out gut, they had been strung and sitting for 14+ years. Try putting some baby or mink oil on that dry gut, it helps bring back the life.

Mick
02-22-2009, 05:46 PM
donnay borg pro for me, for the standard size wood racquet.

i played with the borg pro midsize for a while and found that i like the standard version of the borg pro better.

Kirko
02-22-2009, 05:50 PM
Kirko, many kramer auto lovers as it was the biggest seller ever. Wonder how many played the earlier 7 point crown version ? It was a little more stiff and the wood was suppose to be better during that era. I have a few and really like how hefty they play.

oh my gosh ! they were wonderful! you know Joe every once in awhile I would get one and it played like magic!! I guess the guy who made it along with the wood selected made it above "the rest". guy who taught me when I was a kid Butch Buchholz used the kramer pro staff and loved it! I checked one out and never got or understood why it had such an ardent following.

roundiesee
02-22-2009, 05:52 PM
Actually all these rackets are so good, it's really tough to put one over the other. The Dunlop Maxply Fort is such a legend, that probably will take first place IMO. Then very closely followed by Jack Kramer Autograph, Borg Allwood, and JK Prostaff. Would have loved to have played with the Head Vilas because I've heard so many wonderful things about it.

Kirko
02-22-2009, 05:59 PM
Actually all these rackets are so good, it's really tough to put one over the other. The Dunlop Maxply Fort is such a legend, that probably will take first place IMO. Then very closely followed by Jack Kramer Autograph, Borg Allwood, and JK Prostaff. Would have loved to have played with the Head Vilas because I've heard so many wonderful things about it.

the Vilas was a much talked about frame for feel and all round playabilty. I used to play a guy when I lived in reno,nv and he hit some of biggest topspin shots I ever played against and he strung his @ 72 lbs. with uncoated gut 17 ga. wow could that kid crack the ball !!!!!!

joe sch
02-22-2009, 06:18 PM
oh my gosh ! they were wonderful! you know Joe every once in awhile I would get one and it played like magic!! I guess the guy who made it along with the wood selected made it above "the rest". guy who taught me when I was a kid Butch Buchholz used the kramer pro staff and loved it! I checked one out and never got or understood why it had such an ardent following.

Kirko, you were taught by a HOF player, wow. I feel blessed to have been taught by one of the best players from the 1960s named Roger Werksman but very few will remember him.

Ronaldo
02-22-2009, 06:19 PM
Where's the Wilson Advantage?

joe sch
02-22-2009, 06:58 PM
Where's the Wilson Advantage?

I should have added it with the wilson prostaff. I feel they play pretty similar.

Ronaldo
02-22-2009, 07:17 PM
I should have added it with the wilson prostaff. I feel they play pretty similar.

Understand, that incredibly damped, flexible feel is unmatched. Actually prefer the razor's edge feel of the Maxply Fort. And we strung 68" heads at 60plus pounds, what a feeling.

Kirko
02-22-2009, 07:31 PM
Kirko, you were taught by a HOF player, wow. I feel blessed to have been taught by one of the best players from the 1960s named Roger Werksman but very few will remember him.

back in the early sixties he taught at the country club my parents belonged to and his Dad Earl Buchholz was an icon here in st.louis in tennis circles they have a lot of pics. at the triple A racket club in forest park here in st.louis. in fact a lot of great players eg. ashe as a kid, jimmy connors of course and his Mom Gloria Connors. I always go into the pro shop to lok at them when I play there during the summer its a clay court club and I don't really like playing on clay , but my pal I hit with all the time loves clay.

roundiesee
02-23-2009, 01:35 AM
the Vilas was a much talked about frame for feel and all round playabilty. I used to play a guy when I lived in reno,nv and he hit some of biggest topspin shots I ever played against and he strung his @ 72 lbs. with uncoated gut 17 ga. wow could that kid crack the ball !!!!!!

Really wish these are still available. Would it be wishful thinking to consider these as a match for modern day Babolats?? Does anyone still use a woody in today's power game??

Ronaldo
02-23-2009, 06:41 AM
Really wish these are still available. Would it be wishful thinking to consider these as a match for modern day Babolats?? Does anyone still use a woody in today's power game??

Stepanek? The Ladies Man

Bud
02-23-2009, 07:20 AM
I like how my Rossignol Strato plays :wink:

treblings
02-23-2009, 01:03 PM
my favourite would be the little known Donnay Rod Laver Number One.
amongst the racquets you mentioned are 5 i played. i would rank them
1. Head Vilas
2. Snauwaert Brian Gottfried
3. Wilson Kramer Auto
4. Dunlop Maxply
5. Slazenger Challenge no.1

Luminous
02-23-2009, 01:07 PM
Wilson Jack Kramer Prostaff

shadowrtype
02-23-2009, 02:12 PM
JK Pro Staff gets my vote. I love this stick and the Advantage with their firm but soft feel. The Autographs are nice but a bit too wobbly for my liking. I'd love to try some others to compare. The Maxply has got my interest.

joe sch
02-24-2009, 04:03 AM
I know there are many more woody players on these boards than this poll reflects but of the 30 voters, approx 2/3 owned and played wilsons. Not surprising since the Wilson JK autograph was the best selling woody ever with more than 10 million sales. The prostaff was also slighly more favored with many players as is shown in our poll. Probably 2nd to the wilsons in sales and slam championships is the dunlop maxply which also is reflected in this poll. The slazenger ch#1 was the top racket before the maxply but this was before the time of most of the players on these boards.

treblings
02-24-2009, 10:45 PM
The slazenger ch#1 was the top racket before the maxply but this was before the time of most of the players on these boards.

you make me feel very old, since i played with the challenge no.1:)
i think slazenger produced this racquet well into the 70īs.
also, with wood racquets, we used to play them till they broke. some maxplys in my bag were 10-15 yrs old. they looked and played very much like the newer ones.
i bought a hazells streamline a few years back, that had newer strings in it, and the seller assured me, his father had played with the racquet for more than 40 yrs.

plasma
02-25-2009, 12:44 AM
I remember Aaron Krickstein and Andrez Gomez warming up with a pro durring an 80's tournament. This pro was using a wood racquet on clay, hitting continental forehands which looked more like modified overheads, it was beautiful. Back then there were a few top players using standard racquets, but graphite mids had for the most part taken over by then on the pro scene, even though they were much more popular on the club scene back then.

Ronaldo
02-25-2009, 03:37 AM
you make me feel very old, since i played with the challenge no.1:)
i think slazenger produced this racquet well into the 70īs.
also, with wood racquets, we used to play them till they broke. some maxplys in my bag were 10-15 yrs old. they looked and played very much like the newer ones.
i bought a hazells streamline a few years back, that had newer strings in it, and the seller assured me, his father had played with the racquet for more than 40 yrs.

Funny, my wooden racquet felt dead after about 9 mos. Only had one, kept re-stringing it monthly.

treblings
02-25-2009, 11:23 AM
Funny, my wooden racquet felt dead after about 9 mos. Only had one, kept re-stringing it monthly.

As a youngster i didnīt have a lot of money to spend on tennis.
so maybe i only played with dead racquets and never knew it:wink:
also re-stringing was out of the question. broken strings were repaired by the local pro shop.

JW10S
02-25-2009, 01:20 PM
Having played with every racquet listed in the poll it was tough but I decided to vote for just one. For me the last generation Slazenger Challenge #1 just edges out the Dunlop Maxply Fort as my favorite of the lot. I do have a soft spot for the Spalding Pancho Gonzalez as well and it would be a close 3rd.

Ronaldo
02-25-2009, 02:57 PM
As a youngster i didnīt have a lot of money to spend on tennis.
so maybe i only played with dead racquets and never knew it:wink:
also re-stringing was out of the question. broken strings were repaired by the local pro shop.

Started playing at 20 in 1977. Patching strings was still done. New wood racquets were $30-35.

joe sch
02-25-2009, 05:31 PM
you make me feel very old, since i played with the challenge no.1:)
i think slazenger produced this racquet well into the 70īs.
also, with wood racquets, we used to play them till they broke. some maxplys in my bag were 10-15 yrs old. they looked and played very much like the newer ones.
i bought a hazells streamline a few years back, that had newer strings in it, and the seller assured me, his father had played with the racquet for more than 40 yrs.

treblings, you are correct that the slaz ch#1 were made to almost the end of the wood era, like the most of the other greats. Very short period for the midsize woody's. Sorry to make you feel old, I meant that the era for domination of the slaz raqs was probably not remembered by many of the posters. That is cool that you have a hazells strung for play. They are soo valuable, it would be really special to see one being hit. I only have one in my collection. I bet that not many posters even know what treblings are ? I love the classic old natural gut string jobs !

Cheers,
Joe

plasma
02-25-2009, 06:18 PM
I would love to find a hazel streamline...to find one that was actually playable...wow

dataseviltwin
02-25-2009, 09:52 PM
From the "autograph racket no one has ever heard of before..." I liked the Snauwaert Jan Kodes. Nice looking racket, and was on sale when my Kramer Auto met its demise on a fence post (25 years ago... old guys know how to throw rackets and not break them - comes from *lots* of experience... ;-) ). Still got that one, but was in my sister's garage for awhile, and it warped... :( Oh... and for non-history buffs... Jan Kodes won Wimbledon the year of the boycott... (Stan Smith era...).

jmjmkim
03-09-2009, 09:03 PM
I loved the Wilson Advantage. It was all black with gold pin stripes on em. And the racket had a nice powerful flex.

joe sch
03-10-2009, 04:59 AM
I loved the Wilson Advantage. It was all black with gold pin stripes on em. And the racket had a nice powerful flex.

The Wilson Advantage is my favorite modern woody, with the JK prostaff a close 2nd. I have a few advantages with 3/4 grips strung with Victor Imperial that still play unbelievable..

yuth
03-22-2009, 06:23 AM
This is my favorite. Too stable and flexible for me.

http://upload.tarad.com/images/758508.jpg (http://upload.tarad.com)

http://upload.tarad.com/images/185279.jpg (http://upload.tarad.com)

Very good racquet, right?

hoodjem
03-22-2009, 08:35 AM
I used a Wilson JK ProStaff from 1979 to '86, the moved to the PS 6.0

When I got the JK ProStaff, I also tried out the Head Vilas and wanted it. But it was a little too expensive at $45.00. I think I paid $30.00 for the Wilson.

Now, I hardly blink at $150 for an AG100. Inflation!

plasma
03-24-2009, 10:06 AM
e plurubus borg pro
http://i41.tinypic.com/qqbluo.jpg

secret to wood racquets: don't hit too hard. Like T'ai Chi one discovers the power of effortlessness, and how grounstrokes are more about managing, timing, and interpreting incoming inertia rather than merely generating it F=mXv+timing/awarenes
Sifu Quai Chan Plasma Kane

vsbabolat
03-26-2009, 06:57 PM
Have you guys seen this Wilson ad?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIvxP9VMo9I

Kirko
03-26-2009, 08:47 PM
Have you guys seen this Wilson ad?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIvxP9VMo9I

I remember that ad ! its painful to say it :)

J011yroger
03-26-2009, 09:19 PM
Hey woodfellas. . .

I am looking to pick up a few for the outdoor season and hopefully play in a few wood tournaments.

Looking for reccomendation on something I will be able to play more than a few times without it snapping in half. I have a pretty stout track record of breaking them hitting.

Thinking Donnay Borg, they were pretty tough right?

Thanks in advance for the help.

If you need an idea of how I play here is a somewhat recent vid.

http://vimeo.com/3789362

After the first minute or so I am warmed up and hitting normally, kind of soft hitting in the beginning.

Appreciate it.

J

Bud
03-27-2009, 03:05 AM
Have you guys seen this Wilson ad?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIvxP9VMo9I

Interesting to note how clean that first shot is by BJ King. Check out her eyes tracking the ball directly to the sweet spot of that tiny headed racquet.

Impressive stuff!

Bud
03-27-2009, 03:13 AM
Hey woodfellas. . .

I am looking to pick up a few for the outdoor season and hopefully play in a few wood tournaments.

Looking for reccomendation on something I will be able to play more than a few times without it snapping in half. I have a pretty stout track record of breaking them hitting.

Thinking Donnay Borg, they were pretty tough right?

Thanks in advance for the help.

If you need an idea of how I play here is a somewhat recent vid.

http://vimeo.com/3789362

After the first minute or so I am warmed up and hitting normally, kind of soft hitting in the beginning.

Appreciate it.

J

Perhaps, it's just me but your hitting doesn't appear to be that hard. It's medium pace and fairly flat. I can't possibly imagine you breaking any wood racquet hitting at that pace.

I've never seen anyone break a wood racquet playing tennis (club or professional) unless they slam it against the court in anger. The flexibility of wood absorbs much of the impact.

Try a JK Autograph or Pro Staff.

The Borg Pro is stiff by wood racquet standards.