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View Full Version : lighter frame = shape skis


prjacobs
09-09-2009, 01:00 PM
Okay.... I'm 59, and I haven't played seriously in 9 years. But, I was my club champ and for 2 years was undefeated.... So, I don't suck. I'm also not so great. But I was in great shape, competed well, and played smart:) And being a lefty, I'm amazed how often righties don't remember that and constantly set me up:) I bought a head radical pro MP 3 years ago before an unrelated injury prevented me from coming back. And.... I hate it. It feels like a board, and every friend of mine who's tried it agrees. Most of my friends play K six one 90 tours, which feel a lot better to me. Anyway, I'm definitely not in match shape, but I'm working on it.
So.... Here's my feeling: I've demoed many light frames and my current favorite is the Dunlop 4D 500 tour. I used it again today as well as the K six one 95, 16 X 19.
Here's where my analogy to shape skis come in. Anyone who can ski well and has tried shape skis realizes immediately that they require much less work than old school, (read traditional player's racquet:)), skis to work. Now, some people feel it's like cheating, because it's so much easier. Seems people feel the same way about light racquets. I don't care what frame I'm supposed to use. I'm going to use the one that works best for me.
With very little effort the Dunlop 4D 500 tour did a lot of work for me. As long as I didn't take too long a backswing, it was great. For that matter, the K 6.1 95 sprayed balls all over the place when I lengthened my swing. At least this demo version had absolutely no more control... for me. And if I'm pulled out of position, the lighter frame is far superior. Even my mishits seem to make it over the net. I'm still not sure what my new frame will be, but I think there's something to be said for a racquet that's so easy to work with. Yes, It's a stiff racquet, but it's so easy to use, you can relax your hand and let it work:)
So, especially if you not 20 years old and coming back to the game, I'd seriously look at some lighter frames. It's not cheating.

gameboy
09-09-2009, 01:48 PM
If I was going by shaped ski analogy, I would not equate it to lightweight frames. Lightweight frames existed since the days of magnesium and first graphite/fiberglass racquets.

The equivalent technology in tennis to shaped ski is "shaped" frames. Starting with the original Wilson hammer, thicker (from the sides), shaped frames allowed manufacturers to increase power and control the playability of the frame greatly.

Just like shaped skis made the skiing more accessible to novice by making turns easier, "shaped" frames increased power and made the game more accessible to people with short or weaker strokes.

The tremendous power in lightweight packages are what makes today's frames so much more accessible. Not just lightweight itself.

prjacobs
09-09-2009, 01:56 PM
If I was going by shaped ski analogy, I would not equate it to lightweight frames. Lightweight frames existed since the days of magnesium and first graphite/fiberglass racquets.

The equivalent technology in tennis to shaped ski is "shaped" frames. Starting with the original Wilson hammer, thicker (from the sides), shaped frames allowed manufacturers to increase power and control the playability of the frame greatly.

Just like shaped skis made the skiing more accessible to novice by making turns easier, "shaped" frames increased power and made the game more accessible to people with short or weaker strokes.

The tremendous power in lightweight packages are what makes today's frames so much more accessible. Not just lightweight itself.
Okay, I'll buy that. I agree that it's the accessible power that's so easy to tap into.

Fed Kennedy
09-09-2009, 11:06 PM
Every single pro skier uses the new skis. Not every tennis pro uses the new stuff. Federer is basically winning world cup downhills on a pair of garage sale k2s.

007
09-10-2009, 03:31 AM
K2 VO Slaloms or Electra GS's for that matter (circa 1992). Kick-*** skis to be sure!

fuzz nation
09-10-2009, 06:07 AM
Great comparison. When I was in my warrior years, I skied on 195-205 cm. planks that weighed a ton and I needed to wear the skin off my shins to control them. These new shaped skis are absolutely hilarious because they're so much more lively without the painful demands. A big wide groomed slope becomes a thrilling roller coaster ride with these things on my feet and in the steeper stuff or the nasty bumps, I can manage with plenty of confidence. The boots are light years more cozy, too.

Fed needs a racquet that will help him control his shots when he's serving at 120 mph and hitting a world class forehand with awesome mechanics and incredible racquet speed. Mere mortals such as myself enjoy some extra pop since we're not swinging quite so hard and a more lively racquet that's stiffer, lighter, etc. can easily provide that better "fit".

Another comparison that registers in my tiny brain is a race car vs. a grocery getter. The daily driver is quite civilized around town and on the highway, but its speed and handling are limited. It can't hang with a ferocious performance machine, but I've heard a couple of people comment about how their Corvette or Porsche can't really do what it was built for when it's driven on our roads. In that same light, I'll bet that a true pair of race skis or a pro's racquet loaded with unresilient poly would seem downright lifeless with me at the helm. Technology and design are helping the gear meet the masses.

007
09-10-2009, 08:15 AM
The other obvious comparison is Luxilon strings. They perform best (imparting significant velocity and spin on the ball) when racquet speed is high. The higher, the better in fact. Hence their popularity and sucess on the tour and collegiate level. IMO you need to be a 4.5-5.0 minimum to benefit from Lux.strings. Yet so many lesser-skilled players pay big $$$ for Lux.jobs that are essentially worthless to their game. IMO this is poor equipment sales practise combined with lack of consumer education.

Putting Lux. in a 110 sq.in snowshoe for a 3.5 is like selling a pair of 160cm GS Race boards to a beginner,or putting Pirelli P-Zero's on a Chevy Cobalt.

Rabbit
09-10-2009, 08:21 AM
^^^^^^^^^
great post...great advice

Power Player
09-10-2009, 09:26 AM
The new modern racquets are great. I have some Babolats but still prefer old school. The old school stick allows you to control the ball and have better feel. I can get huge racquet head speed with the light sticks plus poly, but I also have to spin the ball like crazy to keep it in the lines. The power of the racquet makes touch shots very hard to execute on the run if you are strong.

My happy medium is the old school OS Donnay because it has the forgiveness of a babolat but the lack of power and increased control of a classic.

JediMindTrick
09-10-2009, 11:32 AM
Every single pro skier uses the new skis. Not every tennis pro uses the new stuff. Federer is basically winning world cup downhills on a pair of garage sale k2s.

Good point, most pros use thin, heavy frames, so the argument that light, thick frames are better is kind of empty.

Fed Kennedy
09-10-2009, 01:40 PM
Ski design is waaay more progressive than racquet design. The best skiers now use radically different skis with reverse sidecuts, etc. But it is a good analogy to say that my babolats are like fat skis in powder. Less work, better results. Good tennis players can play anything but good skiers will not be caught dead without the new skis. They are sooooo much better than the old ones, whereas the k90 is still a very high performance racquet.