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Whirly
05-12-2011, 01:01 PM
My first post here!

I'm struggling with choice over a Tennis Racquet purchase. I am unable to demo and will have to take a risk so any and all comments are welcome.

I am deciding between the Prince EXO3 White and the Babolat Aeropro Drive Cortex GT (although throw in other suggestions if necessary).

I am lower level intermediate player who could do with more consistency. I tend to take a pretty big swing at the ball so I'm looking for a bit more control oriented to help me make the transition. I am an all-court player so i'm up at the net as well as base-lining.

These are the things I have in mind
- Favorable to lots topspin
- Allow me to be a bit less cautious when attacking (hence leaning towards more control)
- Not too advanced

Any advice you can give me would be great and please say whether you think I'm looking at completely the wrong racquets and if there are better recommendations.

kiwiconman
05-12-2011, 04:13 PM
Babolat Pure Drive. THE original tweener racquet. For me anyway :)

Up&comer
05-12-2011, 04:55 PM
Head youtek instinct is a pretty viable option. And it's on sale.

Whirly
05-12-2011, 10:23 PM
Up&comer: For the Head, I think I am more preferable to the open string pattern but if I get a chance to check it out I will

kiwiconman: Any reason you would go for the Pure Drive over the Aeropro Drive? A lot of what I am reading suggests the Aeropro is very similar but offers a bit more feel.

Any love the the EXO3 White?

Whirly
05-12-2011, 10:25 PM
Just a bit more information, dunno if it is relevant but I'm a shorty at 5foot5 and 24 yrs old.

TheOneHander
05-13-2011, 02:59 AM
The Pure Drive was simply the original tweener-it's basically become the golden standard for all tweener frames. That being said, the Aeropro Drive is an excellent racquet. You can't go wrong with either of them, though. They offer quite a bit of free pop, but if you're a lower-intermediate player looking to move up, they'll suit you well. They're easy racquets to play with. What was your previous racquet?

Whirly
05-13-2011, 03:08 AM
I'm definitely leaning towards the aeropro from the comments. I was worried it would be too much of an advanced racquet since pros use it.

My previous racquet which is currently on its last legs is a pretty old Prince Powerbeam. I cant actually remember the exact model (im at work at the mo so cant check). It has a pretty thick matte silver frame and big head which I bought about around 7 years ago. I stopped playing for about 5 - 6 years which is why I have not bought a new one till now but I am playing almost every day now .. iv caught the bug!

Whirly
05-13-2011, 04:05 AM
Ok since I have the opportunity for a string upgrade and a choice on tension for not too much extra should I bother or just go with factory strings? Its something I know next to nothing about.

String choices are
RPM Blast
Pro Hurricane Tour
Vs Touch Natural Gut 16

I would also have no idea on tension :D

rlau
05-13-2011, 04:09 AM
How about a Volkl Organix 8, Boris Becker London or Prince Exo3 Tour Team? I guess they are more arm-friendly than the Babolats.

fuzz nation
05-13-2011, 04:48 AM
The Aeropro Drive is certainly a popular racquet, but I don't really have much of any experience with it. Given what you seem to be looking for though, I'd expect you to get a better fit with the EXO3 White. It has a potentially great layout to make it a comfortable hitter given your level of play and it has some more flex than the Babolat. That should give you an extra degree of control compared with many other models, including the stiffer Babolats.

As far as strings are concerned, I'd warn you off of the poly strings for sure. Those are inherently NOT resilient and really only appropriate for players with highly developed games who need to take more power away from their racquets. Since the EXO3 White isn't super rigid, its flex will give its response some moderation without having to pair it with stiff, lifeless string. I'd bet that you could be happy with that racquet for a very long time.

You can do some of your own research around here in terms of different string types. The natural gut will be a very soft feeling and arm-friendly string type that supposedly retains all of its playability right up until it breaks. It's the most expensive stuff around, but its combination of softness and performance can be tough to beat. Might be nice to give it a try if it's going to be an affordable upgrade. Probably smart to go toward the higher end of the recommended tension range with the nat'l gut, just so it doesn't play too soft and springy.

Multifibers will give you a less expensive alternative in a softer string, but not quite as soft as the nat'l gut. Synthetic guts will typically be even more firm and "crisp" feeling, but the issue of feel is almost entirely subjective. I enjoy thinner 17 gauge syn. gut in most of my racquets just because that seems to give me a crisp feel, enough softness to be comfortable for me, and enough "bite" and feedback to generally work well. Thicker gauge strings (16 or even 15 gauge) will offer better durability, but might have more of a clunky, harsh feel from one to the next.

Whirly
05-13-2011, 04:56 AM
fuzz nation: Was soooo close to buying Aeropro with Pro Hurricane Tour strings at really high tension but since you said that I will hold off for a bit do some more reading and get more opinions.

Whirly
05-13-2011, 07:57 AM
Well I went with Aeropro Drive GT
Pro Hurricane Tour + Xcel Hybrid Strings
59lbs String Tension

Was swayed by all the sparkling reviews.

I will post a follow-up after using it and let you know my thoughts.

sepidoel
05-13-2011, 10:14 AM
I apologize for interrupting, but what is a tweener player?

prjacobs
05-13-2011, 10:28 AM
Well I went with Aeropro Drive GT
Pro Hurricane Tour + Xcel Hybrid Strings
59lbs String Tension

Was swayed by all the sparkling reviews.

I will post a follow-up after using it and let you know my thoughts.

Be aware of how your arm feels. The babolats are notoriously bad on your arm and @ 54, (I'm older:) ), I'd be careful. (Yes, I know that many people have no arm issues, but the forum is full of complaints about the harshness of the APGT and PD frames).
Good luck... It you start to have arm issuess, I'd go natural gut.
Then sell it :) ....
I was going to recommend the Volkl X 8 as Riau recommends.
Seriously, enjoy!

Whirly
05-13-2011, 11:17 AM
sepidoel: Since no one more knowledgeable has chimed in yet, although I'm far FAAARR from an expert here is a quick explanation of 'tweener'

At first you will be using a beginner or "player improvement" or "power" racquet. They tend to have bigger heads and the racquet will generate a lot of power. Then there are the "player" racquets which are your normal ones for the decent players. If you are intermediate and looking for somewhat of a transition between two you will have a tweener with a middling power rating good for all rounders with a balance of power and control.

If any of that is wrong please correct.

prjacobs: I have been reading a lot about arm problems with the babolats I will definitely pay attention. Not had any trouble in the past but I am keeping in mind the other options mentioned if worse comes to worse.

ced
05-13-2011, 02:11 PM
Any advice you can give me would be great and please say whether you think I'm looking at completely the wrong racquets and if there are better recommendations.

...... but so hard to find : KNEISSL BLACK STAR (2010 version).

sepidoel
05-13-2011, 07:25 PM
sepidoel: Since no one more knowledgeable has chimed in yet, although I'm far FAAARR from an expert here is a quick explanation of 'tweener'

At first you will be using a beginner or "player improvement" or "power" racquet. They tend to have bigger heads and the racquet will generate a lot of power. Then there are the "player" racquets which are your normal ones for the decent players. If you are intermediate and looking for somewhat of a transition between two you will have a tweener with a middling power rating good for all rounders with a balance of power and control.

If any of that is wrong please correct.

Thank you so much. When I heard the word "tweener" I always associate with "tweener shot", that's why I never able to figure out what "tweener racquet" is. Silly me. :P

Well, I don't have much suggestion on OP's question, but AFAIK I was quite in love with Prince Ozone Tour (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Prince_Ozone_Tour/descpageRCPRINCE-POZT.html) before. It's very stable racquet that I and my coach respected. The good thing is when one becoming more advance this racquet is still usable, and cheap too. :)

I have no idea about the new Prince EXO3 Tour 100 (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Prince_EXO3_Tour_100_16X18/descpageRCPRINCE-PEX03T.html).

2 cents.

jayserinos99
05-13-2011, 11:15 PM
Late, but here are some racquet suggestions:

-Donnay X-Red 99 (look at Kal-El 34's reviews for more information; real easy to swing and is not too powerful)
-Dunlop Biomimetic 300 (not too stiff, easy to maneuver)
-Gamma CP-900 (the stiffness is a bit worrying though)
-Yonex RDiS300
-Prince EXO3 Tour 100 (my preference is for the 18x20, but the 16x18 is great for loopy spin and the Team seems interesting)

One thing about the Babolat Drive series frames when I've used them is that they have a good amount of pop and you need to use spin to keep the ball in play. The AeroPro Drive has slightly less pop than the Pure Drive so that'll help you and since you went with poly, that'll only help to tame the inherent pop of these frames. As everyone pointed out, Babolats are known to give people arm problems so be wary of that. Since you went with the hybrid, you put Hurricane mains and Excel crosses right? If so, that should help with softening the string bed.

kiwiconman
05-14-2011, 12:25 AM
Like what TheOneHander said, the Pure Drive was really the defining tweener racquet. Almost a pioneer of sorts and Babolat's first claim to fame in the racquet industry.

The Aeropro Drive was only created so that Rafa (who actually started out in the juniors with a Pure Drive) would have a signature racquet.

The Aerpro Drive is pretty much a Pure Drive with an aerobeam shaft. They have virtually identical specs.

TheOneHander
05-14-2011, 05:07 AM
Like what TheOneHander said, the Pure Drive was really the defining tweener racquet. Almost a pioneer of sorts and Babolat's first claim to fame in the racquet industry.

The Aeropro Drive was only created so that Rafa (who actually started out in the juniors with a Pure Drive) would have a signature racquet.

The Aerpro Drive is pretty much a Pure Drive with an aerobeam shaft. They have virtually identical specs.

Not only that, but identical drill patterns and head shapes. I've laid my
Pure Drive over a friend's APDGT and there is literally no difference in the head shape or string spacing.

Just to correct Whirly's post about tweeners, a player's racquet isn't a "normal" frame. A tweener is, because it can be used by anyone at any level. Now, a player's stick is intended for an individual who has a highly developed game, but some people at the lower levels use them as well. For instance, an old friend of mine picked up tennis in his later years, and found a MG Prestige Mid for a low price. He's been using it even since, and has developed a solid game. However, he's the exception, not the norm.

Whirly
05-18-2011, 12:21 PM
Racquet came this morning. Just played my first match with it. Won 6-2, 6-0. Man SO MUCH SPIN! Really awesome! Cant wait to get some coaching.