PDA

View Full Version : best racquet for serve and volley?


vinouspleasure
10-09-2009, 01:41 PM
Folks,

My old head i.radical is just about done. What's a good replacement? I serve and volley and I rely heavily on a kick serve, so it's got to be something that works well with a kick (open string pattern), maneuverable at net, a big sweet spot for volleys, something that's delicate enough for drop volleys.

thanks,

5263
10-09-2009, 01:49 PM
I really like the radicals, but to answer your question, I would say find the racket you can serve the best with. IMO you can learn to volley with that.
In S&V, the serve is your approach shot, and I would always say the approach shot is more important than the volley to be really, really good at. If the approach is super, the volleys should be mostly pretty routine.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-09-2009, 01:51 PM
Folks,

My old head i.radical is just about done. What's a good replacement? I serve and volley and I rely heavily on a kick serve, so it's got to be something that works well with a kick (open string pattern), maneuverable at net, a big sweet spot for volleys, something that's delicate enough for drop volleys.

thanks,

I think the K90 works well for all of that. Probably not as good on kickers as the APD, but still an excellent racket. Though anything strung with Luxilon should give a lot of spin.

And the KPS88 is the exact same thing as the K90 but with a different look, stiffer, and added weight at 3 and 9 o'clock equivalent to 0.3 ounces (about 9 grams). It's definitely a meatier stick. The K90 by itself is great at net, and I bet the KPS88 is even better. Though both are almost the exact same thing, except I heard the K90 is more comfortable. Add weight to either of them and you'll have a great serve and volley stick. You could actually do that for any racket if you know where to put the lead.

naylor
10-09-2009, 02:10 PM
Do you want to find something similar to your old racket (headsize, weight, swingweight, balance) or are you prepared to try something completely different?

I serve and volley, and am more of a doubles specialist. When I serve I rely on placement and spin (slice, top or kick) rather than raw power. At the net I have good hands and like to play angles and drop volleys, as well as "bread and butter" punched volleys deep to the baseline between the opponents.

I currently use a Dunlop AG100, one heck of a serving stick and very precise at the net - open pattern, head light, but headsize only 90. The AG300 is also good - open pattern, lighter overall, headsize 95. Dunlop has now introduced the newer 4D models for these, but I assume they will play quite similar to the original ones.

In the past, I have used k90s - again, a very good S&V racket, but you need to be on top of your game to handle that frame.

It might be useful if you also do some research, in terms of the kind of frames you like the look/sound of as possible replacements for your I-Radicals, as that will also give you an indication of the racket characteristics you want to keep - out of head size, string pattern, weight, balance, swingweight, stiffness - and those you are relaxed about changing. Then you can ask people who use those initial choices to rate them as S&V sticks, and refine your thoughts from there.

Good luck!

Lsmkenpo
10-09-2009, 04:02 PM
Volkl C10 Pro

Djokovicfan4life
10-09-2009, 04:30 PM
I really like the radicals, but to answer your question, I would say find the racket you can serve the best with. IMO you can learn to volley with that.
In S&V, the serve is your approach shot, and I would always say the approach shot is more important than the volley to be really, really good at. If the approach is super, the volleys should be mostly pretty routine.

Well, if you like Head and you agree with this then I would try the Microgel Prestige Mid. Best serving racquet I've ever used. It's like the ball isn't even there, it just plows through it.

5263
10-09-2009, 07:39 PM
Well, if you like Head and you agree with this then I would try the Microgel Prestige Mid. Best serving racquet I've ever used. It's like the ball isn't even there, it just plows through it.

I should try it. For singles I often choose one of my 9 prestige tour classics, but in doubles I mostly use the LM instinct XL strung with Pro Supex, big ace micro.
Somtimes I use a Pro Supex dynamic energy on real fast courts, but don't serve as well with it.

vinouspleasure
10-09-2009, 07:57 PM
thanks for the suggestions.

I actually tried the k90 last year and had trouble with the heft of the racquet and thought the sweet spot was much smaller than my i.radical. I used to play with the old sampras prostaff and never realized how small the sweet spot was until I popped a string and tried the i.radical.

the ag100 and 300 looks interesting, I'm going to add them to my demo list.

The microgel looks interesting but I'm a little gun shy on Head. After the i.radical I tried the flex and it was great for a match but I couldn't lift my arm over my shoulder for the next 6 weeks.

my wife has the volk, so that should be easy...

keep em coming, I really appreciate advice from fellow serve and volleyers...

tennis_balla
10-09-2009, 08:16 PM
You want an easy racket to serve with, spin, control and awesome feel on volleys and groundies? Check out Yonex rackets especially the RDiS 100 ;)

5263
10-09-2009, 08:19 PM
You want an easy racket to serve with, spin, control and awesome feel on volleys and groundies? Check out Yonex rackets especially the RDiS 100 ;)

Yes, I want to check this one out.

naylor
10-09-2009, 09:11 PM
Well, if you like Head and you agree with this then I would try the Microgel Prestige Mid. Best serving racquet I've ever used. It's like the ball isn't even there, it just plows through it.

I tried the Prestige Mids after I gave up on the k90 (same reason as you, too hefty / high swingweight, it's nice for grooving strokes at half pace, at full rally pace you have to prepare early for every groundstroke). I found the Mids a good serving racket, but quite muted overall, and without much feel for volleying, so I moved on quickly.

Volkl C10 Pro

This was next on my list of sticks to try, if I didn't like the AG100. Looks good on paper.

As for the Dunlops, I'd suggest you try the AG100 before the AG300. The weight difference (on paper) is close to 30g, so if you like the weight and overall feel of the 100 you'll find the 300 too light. I say on paper, because a customisation that I have done (and most people do) on the AG100 is to replace the dunlop hydramax grip for a TW leather grip (I went for the thinner, narrower version) with a Wilson Pro overgrip, which adds about 20g to the handle - and hence the weight of the racket. With that customisation, my AG100s weigh in at 354g and 10 pts headlight, and the swingweight may perhaps have gone fractionally below the 312 of the stock frame. Now, if you look at the specs of the k90, it's 354g and 9 pts. headlight, but with a swingweight of 336. Hence, effectively, a (leather-grip-customised) AG100 is a less hefty clone of the k90 - admittedly, it doesn't feel as solid on groundies, but by the same token if you tend to get caught late with your preparation then it's a lot easier to manoeuvre into a reasonable stroke than the Wilson plank.

If you find the AG100 still too small (head) and heavy, then the AG300 may be a good option - lighter, with a 98 head. It's actually a very customisable racket, you can add lead to the hoop and handle, and bring the weight and balance to whatever suits your game best.

Another racket I tried is the Redondo - I used the 93, but it also comes in a 98 version. It's a traditional / old graphite mould, reasonably heavy but head-light, so very manoeuvrable for S&V, but also not stiff at all so easy on shoulder and elbow. I moved to the AG100, but I liked the Redondos a lot so I kept those frames too.

Good luck with your tests.

wyutani
10-09-2009, 09:26 PM
Dunlop Maxply Mcenroe of course!

vinouspleasure
10-10-2009, 05:53 AM
I tried the Prestige Mids after I gave up on the k90 (same reason as you, too hefty / high swingweight, it's nice for grooving strokes at half pace, at full rally pace you have to prepare early for every groundstroke). I found the Mids a good serving racket, but quite muted overall, and without much feel for volleying, so I moved on quickly.



This was next on my list of sticks to try, if I didn't like the AG100. Looks good on paper.

As for the Dunlops, I'd suggest you try the AG100 before the AG300. The weight difference (on paper) is close to 30g, so if you like the weight and overall feel of the 100 you'll find the 300 too light. I say on paper, because a customisation that I have done (and most people do) on the AG100 is to replace the dunlop hydramax grip for a TW leather grip (I went for the thinner, narrower version) with a Wilson Pro overgrip, which adds about 20g to the handle - and hence the weight of the racket. With that customisation, my AG100s weigh in at 354g and 10 pts headlight, and the swingweight may perhaps have gone fractionally below the 312 of the stock frame. Now, if you look at the specs of the k90, it's 354g and 9 pts. headlight, but with a swingweight of 336. Hence, effectively, a (leather-grip-customised) AG100 is a less hefty clone of the k90 - admittedly, it doesn't feel as solid on groundies, but by the same token if you tend to get caught late with your preparation then it's a lot easier to manoeuvre into a reasonable stroke than the Wilson plank.

If you find the AG100 still too small (head) and heavy, then the AG300 may be a good option - lighter, with a 98 head. It's actually a very customisable racket, you can add lead to the hoop and handle, and bring the weight and balance to whatever suits your game best.

Another racket I tried is the Redondo - I used the 93, but it also comes in a 98 version. It's a traditional / old graphite mould, reasonably heavy but head-light, so very manoeuvrable for S&V, but also not stiff at all so easy on shoulder and elbow. I moved to the AG100, but I liked the Redondos a lot so I kept those frames too.

Good luck with your tests.


thanks, are the 4d racquets worth trying? I'm using the i.radical oversize as I found it made a big difference on the kick compared to the mid. It sounds like the ag300 might be the way to go but I'll try both.

runningmann
10-10-2009, 07:44 AM
prokennex c1 redondo

BullDogTennis
10-10-2009, 08:35 AM
thats like asking whats your favorite pencil for writing in cursive. you gotta know what you want. not what someone else wants.

moroni
10-10-2009, 08:49 AM
exactly the best racket is the one you play well with... there iso no ''best racket'' for everyone

vinouspleasure
10-10-2009, 02:11 PM
if it's not clear, I'm looking for recommendations. I understand there is no one "prettiest woman".

naylor
10-10-2009, 04:29 PM
thanks, are the 4d racquets worth trying? ... It sounds like the ag300 might be the way to go but I'll try both.

I have the AG100 and my son uses the AG300. These are the older models, currently being replaced by newer 4D versions. The 300 4D is already out (and in 16x19 stringing pattern also) so you can demo that. The 100 4D is just coming out (there's a post in the rackets section that shows some pictures of this new frame as introduced in the Thailand Open, I think) and may not be widely available yet.

Frankly, I would expect the newer 4Ds to play quite similar to the older models they replace, rather than being radical advancements. If so, then it might make more sense to get two frames of the older model - they seem to retail at half price, being end-of-line - for the price of only one racket in the newer 4D version.

NLBwell
10-10-2009, 05:21 PM
Depends on how you serve. Big serve vs. spin serve. If you rely on a spin serve, try a more open string pattern.

naylor
10-10-2009, 09:00 PM
Depends on how you serve. Big serve vs. spin serve. If you rely on a spin serve, try a more open string pattern.

The OP mentioned that he relies on his kick serve so is looking for something that works well for that serve, so likely to be more open pattern stringbed.

The AG100 I have mentioned is 16x19 (and so is the 4D replacement model). The AG300 was also 16x19, but the 4D replacement comes in two versions, "normal" which is 16x19 and Tour which is 18x20 - so, you need to check that you demo the more open one. The Volkl C10 Pro is 16x19 also, whereas the Prestige Mid is 18x20 (I found it good for flat serves, not so good for spin serves), and the RdiS100 also has 16 mains (and either 19 or 20 crosses, depending on whether it's the midplus or the standard frame).

LeeD
10-11-2009, 08:37 AM
Duh.... DEPENDS !!
What's your weakness? What's your strengths?
If you serve too slow, use a small headed racket.
If you like to extreme spin your serves, use a bigger headed racket.
If you are blind as a bad, use a huge racket to volley.
If you have eagle eyes, you can use a small 85 racket and really hit snot out of the ball.
If you are weak and slow to prep, use a lighter racket or learn to prep early and get stronger.
If you are always on time and hit center, a smaller racket will give you more pop.
If you're 70, out of shape, can't move, better use a Weed 125.

tribunal4555
10-11-2009, 08:52 AM
^ First off, use the Gamma Big Bubba if you're out of shape.

More importantly, on topic:

I use the Head MG Extreme Pro 2008, and it's perfectly good for S&V. More rounded head shape for good spin, 100 sq. in, pretty crisp at net.

The best S&V sticks I've tried, however, are the Donnay Pro One International and the Pro Staffs. Oh and the Head PT630.

In terms of more modern sticks though, I think the KPS88 and AG100 are very good choices.

MethodTennis
10-11-2009, 03:58 PM
pue drive gt or k blde 93 from personal experiance lots out there ive not tried i mean lots

4zureSky
10-11-2009, 07:38 PM
Ps 85 and Kps 88.

LuckyR
10-13-2009, 07:55 AM
Supposedly a head light (maneuverable) stick is better for volleying. While true I would make this my number one criteria for choosing a stick, especially if your serve suffers. I would choose a stick that allows great serving and OK groundies and what ever it ends up being for volleys, it is going to have to do.

Slazenger07
10-13-2009, 09:14 AM
The Slazenger Pro X-1 is by far the best racquet Ive ever used. I love this stick. I play a lot of doubles and my volleys are always so sharp and I feel like I have incredible control over them, which I do in large part becuse of this racquet, it is stiff and very control oriented thus it performes brilliantly at the net, I also feel like I have great control over my serve and groundies and the 16x18 string pattern helps me generate the heavy spin that is the basis of my game.

Kick_It
10-13-2009, 10:06 AM
Take a look at the Wilson 95" 18x20s. I use nCode 6.1 18x20s and switched from Head. They're a bit heavier which helps me with my serve; a bit less maneuverable at net - but I've adapted to that. I suppose today's version are the K95 18x20s. Worth a play test.

One thing I'll caution you on is the shapes of the grips are different from Head racquets, and I developed tennis elbow in part because of that (and the stiffer frame) after I switched from a Head Ti.Radical mid. Try different grip sizes on Wilson - e.g. if you used a 4 1/2 on Head, try the 4 3/8 on Wilson and see how that feels. After TE - got my Wilson frames customized to use a Head shape grip and it helped - though is kinda spendy; but I love the shots I can hit with 'em.

Good Luck! K_I

highgeer
10-13-2009, 12:22 PM
The KPS 88 is the best volleying racket I have ever played with. If you have the strength to swing it, it serve like a maddog as well.

Mike