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View Full Version : Female transitioning from power to tweener....racquet help needed!


boosa683
05-27-2011, 02:22 AM
Me - 4.0 female who has been playing 5 yrs, moderate to fast swing, S&V mainly doubles player with varied game, baseline bash as well as drop shot, slice, both a 1 and 2-handed backhand. Weaknesses are overhead and serve.

Have been using the N3 for years. Decided to move to a tweener. After multiple demos, have narrowed down to Hybrid Hornet OS and Youtek Radical OS (the latter absolutely having taken my game to a new level over the past week). I now know what they mean to have "control" with your racquet - what a difference to actually hit out on the ball! Picked up my old N3 the other day and I was shocked at how awkward it felt!

Also, I am prone to tennis elbow and it has now flared. I am thinking this is due to these multiple demos and the improper stringing and grips. Hard to pinpoint to any one racquet because of I have used so many lately. I know the 4 3/8 grip that these demos have is too big for me also.

Questions:
1. Spec/play style wise would you agree the Radical OS is a good choice for me? I was initially concerned about the weight but I find the racquet TONS more maneuverable than my N3 ever was. Can actually hit a decent overhead with the Radical!
2. Stringing recommendations for the Radical to prevent tennis elbow.
3. Is the Youtek worth the extra money. Should I go with the LQ or MG instead and save some bucks or go ahead and invest in the newer technology.
4. Any other racquet suggestions?

Sorry so long and thanks in advance. :)

spaceman_spiff
05-27-2011, 02:58 AM
I think the Radical sounds like a good fit for you. It's a nice frame. The LM has a bit higher swingweight, so it will feel a bit less maneuverable but a bit more stable and powerful. The other two should feel pretty similar to each other.

Another racket you might like is the K Blade Team. It has a slightly smaller head (104 instead of 107), but it has a similar balance, swingweight, flex, and string pattern (18x19). It should play well for you given your experience with the Radical and the similarities between the two.

Bartelby
05-27-2011, 03:13 AM
The current Instinct's on sale.

boosa683
05-27-2011, 05:08 AM
I notice the Instinct has a 100 head size. Up until now I have narrowed my search to at least 105, my thinking being that too big of a jump (coming from the 113 of the N3) might not be forgiving enough for me. Should I be demoing the true midsizes as well and not just the OS frames? How big of a factor is this? Thanks so much for everyone's input. :)

spaceman_spiff
05-27-2011, 05:26 AM
I notice the Instinct has a 100 head size. Up until now I have narrowed my search to at least 105, my thinking being that too big of a jump (coming from the 113 of the N3) might not be forgiving enough for me. Should I be demoing the true midsizes as well and not just the OS frames? How big of a factor is this? Thanks so much for everyone's input. :)

It all comes down to personal preference. It wouldn't hurt to demo a few mid+ frames. You might like them, but you might not.

Some 100" frames have rather round shapes and offer similar room for error as an OS. For example, the Head Speed frames and many Prince frames have a wide face. So, even though they're 100", they still offer room for error on your strokes (as long as you don't hit really low near the throat).

The new EXO3 Tour frames have a round shape and similar swingweight as the Radical OS. And, they are said to be really comfortable due to the soft flex and holes for the strings, so that might be good for your tennis elbow.

max
05-27-2011, 05:28 AM
I play SV; I'd surely avoid using an oversized frame. I also like a lower powered frame, since there are a lot of mid-court kinds of shots (approach shots, half volleys) that are too hard to handle with a power frame.

joeellis
05-27-2011, 05:35 AM
Me - 4.0 female who has been playing 5 yrs, moderate to fast swing, S&V mainly doubles player with varied game, baseline bash as well as drop shot, slice, both a 1 and 2-handed backhand. Weaknesses are overhead and serve.

Have been using the N3 for years. Decided to move to a tweener. After multiple demos, have narrowed down to Hybrid Hornet OS and Youtek Radical OS (the latter absolutely having taken my game to a new level over the past week). I now know what they mean to have "control" with your racquet - what a difference to actually hit out on the ball! Picked up my old N3 the other day and I was shocked at how awkward it felt!

Also, I am prone to tennis elbow and it has now flared. I am thinking this is due to these multiple demos and the improper stringing and grips. Hard to pinpoint to any one racquet because of I have used so many lately. I know the 4 3/8 grip that these demos have is too big for me also.

Questions:
1. Spec/play style wise would you agree the Radical OS is a good choice for me? I was initially concerned about the weight but I find the racquet TONS more maneuverable than my N3 ever was. Can actually hit a decent overhead with the Radical!
2. Stringing recommendations for the Radical to prevent tennis elbow.
3. Is the Youtek worth the extra money. Should I go with the LQ or MG instead and save some bucks or go ahead and invest in the newer technology.
4. Any other racquet suggestions?

Sorry so long and thanks in advance. :)

I'm not trying encourage you to change your mind, but I have recently converted to the new Donnay Racquets. I think they are exceptional racquets.

The nice thing is, you can demo up to 4 at a time from TW for only $20.00. If you read the documentation for the Dual Core racquets, the amount of shock and vibration that reaches your arm is reduced compared to other racquets. They are very good tweener racquets and offer a few with different weights and head sizes. They have a large sweet spot and are very controllable.

Another nice thing in regards to elbow problems is the recommended string tension of the Donnay's. They recommend a lower tension than most other racquets. IMO, I would consider only a good quality multi filament or natural gut for a softer impact. This will also help with elbow problems. I really like Gamma Live Wire.

boosa683
05-27-2011, 06:30 AM
K..have put the Donnay next on my demo list. Not sure if I am excited about the possibility of going to a true midplus or not - there are so many more options now :shock:! I know you can't demo them all and in the end "it's not the racquet"; however, I do feel a drastic difference in the N3 "trampoline effect" I was getting compared to the more control-oriented, heavier racquets.

Spaceman, I already have the Prince EX03 105 to test drive. Might even go smaller now just to see.

As a side note, one thing that has totally amazed me through my recent intense racquet research is just how indifferent most women players are to their racquet choice! I have been asking other various female players what they use and why, etc. and many had no clue about ANY of the specs or what they meant in relation to how the racquet played. A couple could not even tell me what racquet they used (we were not playing at the time)! I suppose because of my intermittent tennis elbow I wanted to make sure I was not using something harmful and in the process discovered just how many options there were out there. I am trying to persuade my teammates now to spread their wings a bit.

Enjoying the board and all your great input.

joeellis
05-27-2011, 06:41 AM
K..have put the Donnay next on my demo list. Not sure if I am excited about the possibility of going to a true midplus or not - there are so many more options now :shock:! I know you can't demo them all and in the end "it's not the racquet"; however, I do feel a drastic difference in the N3 "trampoline effect" I was getting compared to the more control-oriented, heavier racquets.

Spaceman, I already have the Prince EX03 105 to test drive. Might even go smaller now just to see.

As a side note, one thing that has totally amazed me through my recent intense racquet research is just how indifferent most women players are to their racquet choice! I have been asking other various female players what they use and why, etc. and many had no clue about ANY of the specs or what they meant in relation to how the racquet played. A couple could not even tell me what racquet they used (we were not playing at the time)! I suppose because of my intermittent tennis elbow I wanted to make sure I was not using something harmful and in the process discovered just how many options there were out there. I am trying to persuade my teammates now to spread their wings a bit.

Enjoying the board and all your great input.

Good luck with your eventual choice.

The nice thing about the Donnay's is, they are offered in head sizes of 94, 99, and 102 and they come in several weight choices and different string configurations.

They offer better plow thru than any other brand I've tried at a given weight. In other words you can use a 10.5 oz. Donnay and it will have as much plow thru as many racquets weighing an ounce or so more. The thin beams are very aerodynamic, which allows you to generate more racquet speed. With the weighting system, they really do offer a descent amout of custimization as well.

smirker
05-27-2011, 06:49 AM
K..have put the Donnay next on my demo list. Not sure if I am excited about the possibility of going to a true midplus or not - there are so many more options now :shock:! I know you can't demo them all and in the end "it's not the racquet"; however, I do feel a drastic difference in the N3 "trampoline effect" I was getting compared to the more control-oriented, heavier racquets.

Spaceman, I already have the Prince EX03 105 to test drive. Might even go smaller now just to see.

As a side note, one thing that has totally amazed me through my recent intense racquet research is just how indifferent most women players are to their racquet choice! I have been asking other various female players what they use and why, etc. and many had no clue about ANY of the specs or what they meant in relation to how the racquet played. A couple could not even tell me what racquet they used (we were not playing at the time)! I suppose because of my intermittent tennis elbow I wanted to make sure I was not using something harmful and in the process discovered just how many options there were out there. I am trying to persuade my teammates now to spread their wings a bit.

Enjoying the board and all your great input.

As you play the same sort of game as me (doubles predominantly and s&v) I would advise using the racquet selector to narrow down a range of frames to try from each brand.

Personally if I was buying a new racquet based on what I have learned about my needs I would look for a 98-100" head, 11-11.5oz strung and a 4-6 point HL balance with a stifness rating of less than 65 due to a previous elbow injury. This should narrow it down some whilst still giving a lot of options. "Arm friendly" manufacturers I would look at would include; Prince (Tour models), Dunlop, Fischer (now Pacific) Donnay and some of the Head sticks. I would generally avoid Wilson and Babolat as I find them too stiff.

If you can get hold of one, the Vantage line of racquets are great and have something for everyone. Personally I have hit with the VT221 and it was the nicest hitting experience I have ever had.

Have fun demoing!

Staarr
05-27-2011, 06:54 AM
I'm a female player, also prone to tennis elbow...strings are the most important thing IMO. My 3 racquet choices are the Pro Kennex SQ Special Edition - the flex is high but is still a very arm friendly racquet with a 105 head size - mine is strung with natural gut. I also have a Babolat Pure Storm strung with Sig. Pro micronite - a very soft string with lots of power. I just bought a Prince EXO3 Tour Team and that's strung with Prince Premier LT and is very soft as well. The Prince and Pro Kennex are 10.6 and 10.5 but because of the swing weight the Prince feels really light and doesn't hurt my arm at all. I have been on a quest to find the perfect racquet that doesn't hurt my arm and I think the Prince is close to perfect. Good luck with your demos!

WinNCash
05-27-2011, 06:57 AM
Good luck with your eventual choice.

The nice thing about the Donnay's is, they are offered in head sizes of 94, 99, and 102 and they come in several weight choices and different string configurations.

They offer better plow thru than any other brand I've tried at a given weight. In other words you can use a 10.5 oz. Donnay and it will have as much plow thru as many racquets weighing an ounce or so more. The thin beams are very aerodynamic, which allows you to generate more racquet speed. With the weighting system, they really do offer a descent amout of custimization as well.


One of the reasons I picked the Donnay racquet over the other ones I demo'd was the comfort of them... I bought the X-Yellow and have not been sore one time after playing with them. I used to get tennis elbow a lot before that. Supposedly the Dual Core's are even more comfortable.

I would try them!

spaceman_spiff
05-27-2011, 07:04 AM
K..have put the Donnay next on my demo list. Not sure if I am excited about the possibility of going to a true midplus or not - there are so many more options now :shock:! I know you can't demo them all and in the end "it's not the racquet"; however, I do feel a drastic difference in the N3 "trampoline effect" I was getting compared to the more control-oriented, heavier racquets.

Spaceman, I already have the Prince EX03 105 to test drive. Might even go smaller now just to see.

As a side note, one thing that has totally amazed me through my recent intense racquet research is just how indifferent most women players are to their racquet choice! I have been asking other various female players what they use and why, etc. and many had no clue about ANY of the specs or what they meant in relation to how the racquet played. A couple could not even tell me what racquet they used (we were not playing at the time)! I suppose because of my intermittent tennis elbow I wanted to make sure I was not using something harmful and in the process discovered just how many options there were out there. I am trying to persuade my teammates now to spread their wings a bit.

Enjoying the board and all your great input.

I know what you mean about the trampoline effect. So, two things you want to keep in mind are head size and string pattern.

Your n3 has a very large head and an open string pattern (16 main strings and 19 crosses), which are the main factors in the trampoline effect. The Radical OS is significantly smaller and has an 18x19 string pattern, which is why it feels more controlled to you (the softer flex helps as well). Since you like that feeling, I would recommend rackets with 18x19 or 18x20 string patterns, like the Radical OS, K Blade Team, EXO3 Tour 18x20, and Speed MP 18x20.

Even if you decide not to go below 100", these frames will give you that combination of tight string pattern and large hitting surface (the EXO3 and Speed MP are nearly just as wide as a Radical OS because of their round shapes).

boosa683
05-27-2011, 08:01 AM
Great suggestions. Demo list is almost complete for next order.

One other point - I know the Radical OS that I hit so well with is a shorter racquet than what I am used to. Is it possible that this one factor alone could have made the real difference in my hitting? It just felt so gosh-darn maneuverable - like I could set up for every shot so much better. If this is the case, I want to definitely limit my choices to 27" only.

gramdacious
05-27-2011, 08:09 AM
My wife is a 4.0 player and instantly fell in love with the EXO3 Tour 18x20, demoed it and bought it the next day and it really opened up her game. Very soft, supple feel with an enormous sweet spot, don't let the 100 sq inch head size deter you, at least try it first, good luck.

flashfire276
05-27-2011, 08:16 AM
Great suggestions. Demo list is almost complete for next order.

One other point - I know the Radical OS that I hit so well with is a shorter racquet than what I am used to. Is it possible that this one factor alone could have made the real difference in my hitting? It just felt so gosh-darn maneuverable - like I could set up for every shot so much better. If this is the case, I want to definitely limit my choices to 27" only.

Yes it is! I personally thought that it was kind of hard to use and extended racquet. It was great for serves! But on my strokes (and especially volley), it would all go downhill.
The Radical OS is definitely a great choice, because it's a very rare "player's style" OS racquet. You already hit with it, so you know what you already like.
However, I also suggest you to try out the MP version. The MicroGEL Radical MP, because I personally favor the MG over Youtek because of the soft feel. I'm sure you can easily handle the MP head, and it gives much more benefits and solidity compared to the OS.
On top of that, try out the Youtek Speed Elite, Youtek Instinct, and BLX Blade Lite. Note, I'm listing around the 10.5-11 ounce racquets which are considered someone light, and they all have a 100 inch headsize. So it should be very easy and forgiving for you to play with. But of course, it comes down to what you like.

catfish
05-27-2011, 08:51 AM
OP, I am also a female player and have also noticed that many women don't pay much attention to their tennis equipment. A few do, but we seem to be in the minority.

I've had some bouts with tennis elbow and I've found that stringing with natural gut is a real arm saver. Stringing at lower tensions makes a big difference too. I'm surprised more players don't use natural gut. If you are not a string breaker, natural gut is actually more economical because it maintains tension so well.

There a tons of racquets to choose from, and all of the suggestions in this thread are good ones. I would add some Volkl/Becker and Yonex frames to your demo list. Yonex Ezone 100, Volkl Organix 8, Becker DC Pro are all good choices. Also, the Yonex RDis 300 is a good tweener and now on sale at TW. The Becker DC pro has a high swingweight, but the others mentioned do not. They are all worth a demo.

TennisCJC
05-27-2011, 09:50 AM
Rad OS is a very good choice. If you don't break strings often, use natural gut for your elbow pain. Expensive to purchase but they don't lose tension and play well until they break. Babolat Tonic BallFeel (get ballfeel and not longevity as this is 16G vs 15G) or Pacific Classic are both good gut strings that should not break the bank. If you don't want to pay the extra price for gut try Tecnifibre NRG2 as it is a soft and excellent playing nylon multifilament string.

Another thing to consider is to drop your tension a bit. I suggest gut or a multifiliment at 52-54 lbs.

Also, a mid-plus rather than an OS is better for the arm and control. Try the radical mid-plus with lower string tension or other mid-plus heads with lower string tension.

You may also want to try Volkl or Boris Becker rackets as someoone mentioned above. I play volkl now and have in the past. Boris Becker is also made my volkl. These are excellent rackets and the most comfortable on the market in my opinion.

Try the volkl Pb v1 mp (102) or BB Delta Core Sportster, or volkl pb 10 295, or volkl organix 10 295. The volkl 10 series at 295 grams will be similar to the radical mid plus.

Good luck in your quest and I hope you find a winner.