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View Full Version : Shortening a POG OS: has anyone else tried this?


AndrewD
06-27-2005, 11:27 AM
My brother was a long-time user of the old Snauwert Hi-Ten 50 (Mark Woodforde's old racquet) and has struggled for quite a while in finding a suitable replacement. Naturally, given the unusual string pattern he couldn't match it but thought he might come close with a POG OS (open string pattern, high spin potential, excellent control). He liked the feel of the racquet but just couldn't get used to it and felt something was missing in comparison to his old Snauwert (excluding the stringing).

Then it dawned on him that one of the characteristics of the Hi-Ten 50 was that it was a touch shorter than standard length. Im not sure of the exact measurement but going on memory it appeared to be 1/4 - 1/2 inch less than your typical 27 inch frame.

So, he thought if he reduced the length slightly then he might get something closer to what he was used to. He didn't want to cut anything off the racquet (be a real disappointment if he didn't like it and make it impossible to sell) so he removed the butt cap, wrapped some head tape around the very end of the handle to create a butt cap 'shape' and then reapplied the grip and overgrip. End result is a POG that measures 26.5 inches in length (could be a touch longer as the measuring tape used was just a give-away from an Ikea store).

We had a hit with it yesterday and today for some quite surprising results. The removal of the butt cap seems to make the racquet swing lighter (closer to his old Hi-Ten 50) and be, therefore, more maneuverable. Power levels don't seem to have altered, control still seems good and reach, while marginally less, wasn't a major issue. On serve he merely does what he did with his Snauwert which is to slide his hand down a touch further on the handle which pretty much gives him back the full 27 inch length. The biggest change I noticed, when I had a chance to try it, is that volleying is far easier and slice shots appear to have more bite. Chipping and charging is effortless although topspin seems harder to generate off the backhand side but not so noticable on the forehand. As the racquet feels to swing quicker through the air more racquet head speed can be generated.

All up, he seems very happy with the result. The racquet isn't really shorter, in essence (put the butt cap back on and it goes back to standard) but it is in effect. The only area he remains unhappy about is the larger headsize (107sq on the POG vs 100sq on the Hi-Ten 50).

Alan, my brother, is 5`11 and a high level club player so, given his height and standard of play, using a shorter length frame is quite unusual and pretty much unheard of around here.

Has anyone else tried anything similar with a racquet, know of anyone who does this or plays with, what is in effect, a junior racquet?

Gaines Hillix
06-27-2005, 11:46 AM
AndrewD, I have heard of this being done, but only with mixed success. These home made "butt caps" usually don't last very long because of the force being put on them when the racquet is swung hard. The tape slips and pretty soon comes off the end of the handle.

AndrewD
06-27-2005, 01:31 PM
Gaines,

I'm sure that will happen here as well.

Of course, if it proves to be a success (and that will be judged over a number of weeks, not just one hit) then Alan may decide to do something more permanent. He might even eliminate completely the butt cap shape and just use it as is. I actually found that not having the Prince butt cap in place made the grip feel not unlike the one on my old Dunlop 200G. There was never any discernible shape to the Dunlop which may be one reason a lot of people - especially those used to Wilson- never liked the racquet. Or, he may just put up with having to replace the tape as needed. He only put on two wraps (twice around) so it wasn't a significant amount, although only a small amount was required to raise the end a touch.

Still, I think he'll hold off doing anything drastic until he figures out if he is comfortable with the head size. That's pretty much the only thing he doesn't like now. Is checking out the POG longbody and Diablo mp as they have the 100sq head size he prefers. Only trouble with the longbody is the extra length although I do remember someone on this board who had cut one back and was looking to sell.

Z-Man
06-27-2005, 01:49 PM
I think Monolinguist might have been the one looking to sell a shortened POG LB. I cut 1/2 off of one of mine and it plays great. Similar to the Diablo MP, but maybe a tad more feedback. More glassy and old school feeling. It's easy to cut one of those down, but I can't imagine going shorter than 27in. However, I'm a 5'9" counterpuncher with a 2HBH, so the longer sticks fit my game. I'll bet you can murder short balls with a short stick, but it's certainly a give and take situation.

AndrewD
06-27-2005, 06:00 PM
Z-Man,
I guess its an acquired taste. Of course, it makes the POG OS more head heavy to that's one down side. It still seems to swing quite nicely but he'll try to tail weight it to see if that helps. Shortening the frame just brings your hand closer to the head of the racquet so if you've got shorter, 'punchier' style shots then it can be okay. Alan just grooved his game using the Snauwert and would prefer that same feel. I dont remember it being much good for flat serves but it was a killer on slice and kick. Being a toucher shorter than average it probably doesnt give you the leverage for a power serve but it gives you more control over the larger head size which is why slice and top are effortless. Also increases 'touch' on your shots.

Alan has considered doing that with a longbody. He's a big fan of the older style feel and it is actually a bit cheaper than the Diablo. He'd want it down at 27 inches though.

So, how about a few comments regarding your modified longbody? Im curious to know how it plays, control and power levels, groundstrokes, serves and volleys?

GregOz
06-28-2005, 02:15 AM
Andrew,

That sounds like a really weird kind of idea but Im really interested to hear how it goes. We've got courts the next two weeks, until the Open Championships (you got your entry in ?) so do you think Alan would come on down and we can see how it goes? I don't think Ive ever used a shorter than standard racquet but I think I can see how it might work with an oversize, especially that POG OS. By the way, James is selling his if Alan is interested.

Z-Man
06-28-2005, 11:42 AM
Andrew:
I like the modified POG LB a lot. I'm not an expert, but I'll try to describe it:

First of all, very similar to the Diablo MP except I cut mine to 27.5, which is better for serves and 2HBHs. The beam is so thin and the feel is so great you really get the sense that you know where the head is at all times, and you can tell exactly where on the stringbed you made contact. Topspin, slice, and spin on serves is easy to generate. The head isn't too big or too small. For me, it's a compromise stick, so I'll tell you what it is in terms of other racquets. Volleys better than a 28in POG LB, backhands and serves are better than a LM prestige, which hurts my shoulder for some reason. Consistent string bed. You don't have a crazy error-causing hot spot like with a prestige. Short ball forehands don't go long like with the POG LB, but aren't as easy as with a shorter stick (won't be a problem for you). With a touch of led, plays a little like the PK 7g, but with more feel.

Come to think of it, honestly, if you want anything under 27.5in, I'd get the Diablo. The only real advantage of a cut POG LB is that you can get a little more length for serves and backhands. The feel is a tad more old school with the POG, but you have to cut more off which could effect balance in an unexpected way. If you cut one, be sure to test the balance and have some tape handy in case you want to alter it.