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View Full Version : I demoed some racquets and I'm SHOCKED!


majordude
11-05-2009, 04:50 PM
If you've followed me in this forum I'm 45, fat and returning to tennis after last playing it in high school. And even then I can't say I "played" it, it was more a game amongst friends.

I own a Wilson [K] Zen Team 103 (pre-strung) (http://bit.ly/234GrD) and a Wilson [K] Four (http://bit.ly/mvQ7a) with some custom string at 60#.

Just for kicks I demoed some rackets. I heard a lot of nice things about Volkl and Babolat so I picked a few...

BABOLAT XS 105 RACQUET
BABOLAT PURE DRIVE RODDICK GT
VOLKL POWER BRIDGE 4
VOLKL POWER BRIDGE V1 MP

By the specs and my skill level I thought I'd like the Power Bridge V1 the best. I started with that. Then the other Volkl then the Roddick then the XS 105.

I was SHOCKED.

Of all the rackets I've played around with now (the two Wilson's included), the Pure Drive was incredible! I felt strong. The racket felt solid and didn't rattle or make those funky "out of the sweet spot" sounds. I felt in control of the ball and was more accurate too.

I don't know if it is because of the weight or the stiffness or what but it was by far the best feeling racket I've used in my life.

By the way, the other Babolat (which the Babolat site recommended for me) felt like my Wilson's. The two Volkl's definitely felt like more expensive rackets than my Wilson's but not enough to make me want to buy them. Of my Wilson's the Four feels better than the Zen.

Can you guys give me any feedback?

mawashi
11-05-2009, 05:25 PM
If you've followed me in this forum I'm 45, fat and returning to tennis after last playing it in high school. And even then I can't say I "played" it, it was more a game amongst friends.

I own a Wilson [K] Zen Team 103 (pre-strung) (http://bit.ly/234GrD) and a Wilson [K] Four (http://bit.ly/mvQ7a) with some custom string at 60#.

Just for kicks I demoed some rackets. I heard a lot of nice things about Volkl and Babolat so I picked a few...

BABOLAT XS 105 RACQUET
BABOLAT PURE DRIVE RODDICK GT
VOLKL POWER BRIDGE 4
VOLKL POWER BRIDGE V1 MP

By the specs and my skill level I thought I'd like the Power Bridge V1 the best. I started with that. Then the other Volkl then the Roddick then the XS 105.

I was SHOCKED.

Of all the rackets I've played around with now (the two Wilson's included), the Pure Drive was incredible! I felt strong. The racket felt solid and didn't rattle or make those funky "out of the sweet spot" sounds. I felt in control of the ball and was more accurate too.

I don't know if it is because of the weight or the stiffness or what but it was by far the best feeling racket I've used in my life.

By the way, the other Babolat (which the Babolat site recommended for me) felt like my Wilson's. The two Volkl's definitely felt like more expensive rackets than my Wilson's but not enough to make me want to buy them. Of my Wilson's the Four feels better than the Zen.

Can you guys give me any feedback?

I think the PD is a great stick n if you feel its the one for you, it's the ONE.

mawashi

majordude
11-05-2009, 05:57 PM
I think the PD is a great stick n if you feel its the one for you, it's the ONE.

There are sooo many different PDs though I am confused with all the options. GT, non GT, Roddick, non-Roddick...

And I haven't tried the Pro Storm which many people like.

I really wanted to like the Volkl's (don't ask why but I've always been attracted to strange brands all my life) but they didn't feel that good. Then again, I haven't tried Yonnix and that seems like one of those strange brands no one knows of. :-?

mawashi
11-05-2009, 06:07 PM
There are sooo many different PDs though I am confused with all the options. GT, non GT, Roddick, non-Roddick...

And I haven't tried the Pro Storm which many people like.

I really wanted to like the Volkl's (don't ask why but I've always been attracted to strange brands all my life) but they didn't feel that good. Then again, I haven't tried Yonnix and that seems like one of those strange brands no one knows of. :-?

Oh man here we go again :lol:

Welcome to club dizzy. Try enough sticks n I'm sure you're going to be spinning about with all the options.

The only way to really be sure is that you demo as many as possible but keep a rec of what you like/dislike bout each stick.

Yonex isn't a strange brand, its an excellent brand, way better in terms of quality than most of the bigger brands.

mawashi

majordude
11-05-2009, 07:03 PM
The only way to really be sure is that you demo as many as possible but keep a rec of what you like/dislike bout each stick.

God bless Excel.

Honestly, I was shocked that one racket felt that much better to me that any other.

ninjatennis
11-05-2009, 07:17 PM
the pd is a great racket. i used it for awhile but then it got too stiff for me.

atatu
11-05-2009, 07:50 PM
I just bought a Pure Drive + GT...I really really wanted to like this racket and even played a couple of league matches with it (and won)...but my shoulder was an absolute wreck after I played back to back matches, the stiffness is just too much, coupled with a higher (for me) swingweight. Did you consider trying to Volkl Powerbridge 8 ?

majordude
11-05-2009, 09:01 PM
Did you consider trying to Volkl Powerbridge 8 ?

Yes! But the company I demoed them through did not have that stick available for demoing. I wanted to try that and the V1 the most but settled on the other Volkl when I discovered it wasn't available. :-(

ClubHoUno
11-06-2009, 05:34 AM
Give the Babolat Pure Storm GT a try. It's a phenomenal racquet - less power than PureDrive, better control and more arm friendly.

String it up with a good hybrid of a multi/nat gut mains and a CoPoly in the crosses and you have one sweet intermediate racquet.

jrod
11-06-2009, 05:40 AM
....I was SHOCKED.

Of all the rackets I've played around with now (the two Wilson's included), the Pure Drive was incredible! ....

It is a nice racquet...for a while anyway. You might also find your elbow in shock as well if you decide to use it after coming back from a long layoff. It's an extremely stiff frame and is not what I would recommend to someone coming back to the game, particularly if your technique isn't flawless.

I suggest you continue looking around and avoid the inevitable...

JRstriker12
11-06-2009, 05:47 AM
There are sooo many different PDs though I am confused with all the options. GT, non GT, Roddick, non-Roddick...

And I haven't tried the Pro Storm which many people like.

I really wanted to like the Volkl's (don't ask why but I've always been attracted to strange brands all my life) but they didn't feel that good. Then again, I haven't tried Yonnix and that seems like one of those strange brands no one knows of. :-?

FYI - on the different PD versions.

The PD GT is the newest version of the Pure Drive that just came out this year. It's supposed ot have some new tech to make the stick play better. Reviews seem very positive for the new GT version being an improvement over the older versions.

The other PD's are the older PD's produced before this year.

Pure Drive Roddick (PDR) - PDR's are versions fo the PD that are supposed to mirror Roddick's specs for weight and balance (they only mirror the specs - they aren't exact. They are heavier sticks (about 11.7 oz) for more advanced players who want a bit more heft. I have the older version of the PDR and it's a great stick, very solid, good power, good spin. If you are not sure if you want a heavier stick, you can always buy a standard PD and add lead to come close to the PDR specs.

PD+ (plus) - the plus versions are just slightly longer versions of all the PD variations.

max
11-06-2009, 05:47 AM
Volkl's a good brand; try something in their 8 series.

Bud
11-06-2009, 07:26 AM
There are sooo many different PDs though I am confused with all the options. GT, non GT, Roddick, non-Roddick...

And I haven't tried the Pro Storm which many people like.

I really wanted to like the Volkl's (don't ask why but I've always been attracted to strange brands all my life) but they didn't feel that good. Then again, I haven't tried Yonnix and that seems like one of those strange brands no one knows of. :-?

Give the Pure Storm Tour GT a try before you decide on the PDRGT :)

cys19
11-06-2009, 08:16 AM
Give the Pure Storm Tour GT a try before you decide on the PDRGT :)

Besides the string pattern, specs on PSTGT seem identical to the LM Radical Tour. I'm instantly curious now.

SlapChop
11-06-2009, 08:23 AM
I think once you find a racquet that fits you personally that you should stick with it. I still haven't found THE ONE but I enjoy my Becker V1 the most. I am going to try the Head YOUTEK next, I am not completely in love with my V1 and I am really looking for the racquet that really clicks with me.

klementine79
11-06-2009, 01:50 PM
3 NEW RULES FOR TENNIS. ;)

1.) If you're over 6'8" you only get one serve attempt.

2.) Anyone using a Pure Drive Roddick starts every game down 0-15.

3.) If your over 6'8" and use a PureDrive Roddick you are not allowed to play.

JOKING OFCOURSE.

The PDR is a great frame... easy, effortless access to power... due to the thick-beam and stiffness.

Don't Let It Bounce
11-06-2009, 05:50 PM
There are any number of racquet recommendations possible based on your playing style, skill level, elbow health, etc., etc., but here's my best guess: you already know the PD is your racquet.

Your description of demo'ing it was such that if you settle on it, you'll get a little thrill every time you pull it out of your bag to start a match. If you talk yourself into something else whose numbers seem more appropriate, you'll remember how the PD felt every time you play with that racquet.

But do settle. Don't get caught up trying to demo every racquet made, especially when you already like the PD this much. The Racquet Gods have spoken, and now you must heed their command.*


*I say all this despite not particularly liking the PD myself.

majordude
11-06-2009, 06:26 PM
But do settle. Don't get caught up trying to demo every racquet made, especially when you already like the PD this much. The Racquet Gods have spoken, and now you must heed their command.

LOL! I do think I want to try the Pro Storm first but honestly, I went out again today and just nailed the ball and it went where I wanted. I know it is a "power" racket but I really felt in control of the ball.

I actually made a few shots that made me go "Damn, I didn't think I could make that shot."

Seriously, it's strange.

majordude
11-06-2009, 06:35 PM
A friend also suggested that I write down what the string is and the tension. Unfortunately this racket isn't marked. I can see it is a Prince string, looks clear, maybe 16... but I can't tell what string it is! Grrr! But, if this gives a clue, the string bites into itself. I can see it fraying in the sweet spot where the strings cross. Any clues?

majordude
11-24-2009, 04:43 PM
Okay everyone. I just received another box of demos. Four racquets. Less than $12 delivered and returned from Tennis Warehouse! :) They rock!

I got:

1. Babolat Pure Drive Roddick GT (again)
2. Volkl Power Bridge 8
3. Babolat Pure Storm GT
4. Wilson K Factor KZen Team.FX Orange

And that is how I rank them.

So I am pretty sure that I'm going to get the Pure Drive Roddick GT.

A friend is letting me use this Pure Drive Roddick Cortex or something (last years model, pre GT). I can feel the difference. I like the GT model better.

In total, if I were to rank everything I think it would go like this...

1. Babolat Pure Drive Roddick GT
2. Volkl Power Bridge 8
3. Babolat Pure Storm GT
4. Wilson [K] Four (my existing racquet)
5. Volkl Power Bridge 4
6. Volkl Power Bridge V1 MP
7. Wilson [K] Zen 105 (my existing racquet, $79)
8. Wilson K Factor KZen Team.FX Orange ($179!... big brother of the one above!)
9. Prince 03 110 (pink, my wife's)
10. Babolat XS 105

Okay, so now I have decided on a racquet, can you recommend a string? I am learning how to do top spin (windshield wiper style).

prjacobs
11-24-2009, 05:06 PM
I'd recommend Babolat VS team 17 gauge natural gut. I also came back to the game after a while and I decided to treat myself to gut for the first time, just to feel what it's like. I have a fairly similar frame, a dunlop 4D 500 tour. It's also a stiff frame and I decided to use gut, because I thought it would be the most arm friendly and would give me the most performance. Many people on the forum say gut doesn't last that long, but mine is great after over 2 months. I'm a believer. It's money well spent :). One thing I've found about using a more powerful frame, is that I can relax my hand more and let the racquet do the work. That seems to counteract the stiffness. I've never played better.
Good luck!

Frank BD
11-24-2009, 05:47 PM
I think you should reconsider the pure drives. I've played with a PD Roddick+ for a little more than a year. I've had at least a bit of tennis elbow pain most of that time and I'm switching racquets. There are other posters in this thread who though they were positive on the racquet said it was too stiff, which I take to mean it gave them arm pain.

I think the pure drives are just too stiff, making them a tennis elbow hazard. Look, you could use the pure drive for a decade and never develop tennis elbow, but if it's something like close to 50/50, then I don't like the odds. I know it feels better to make good shots, but you're playing tennis for exercise and enjoyment. Tennis elbow and being sidelined because of it aren't much fun.

I'm not sure if there's a consensus on a safe stiffness 65? 63? but choose a cutoff and don't go above it. And then choose what feels best below that limit.

As far as strings, if you can afford gut and want to give it a try, sure. A bit lower in price you can try a multi. For lower cost try a synthetic gut. You can search the string section on this board for specific multi and synthetic gut recommendations.

mlewis721
11-24-2009, 05:59 PM
A friend also suggested that I write down what the string is and the tension. Unfortunately this racket isn't marked. I can see it is a Prince string, looks clear, maybe 16... but I can't tell what string it is! Grrr! But, if this gives a clue, the string bites into itself. I can see it fraying in the sweet spot where the strings cross. Any clues?

Probably Prince Premiere LT, Prince Premiere w/Softflex or Prince Syn Gut Multifilament. On the soft end of the string spectrum.

Hominator
11-24-2009, 06:26 PM
As for what string is on that PDR GT demo, just call up TW and ask - I'm sure they can tell you the string and tension (which would likely be in the middle of the range).

I own both a Babolat PDR GT and a Volkl PB8. The Babolat definitely feels more solid because of its weight, but I like the Volkl PB8, too. I'm going to hit/play matches with each over the winter before deciding.

I have my Babolat PDR GT strung with Weiss Cannon Silver String and love it.