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View Full Version : Wood Racket comparison - Suggestions please


Harl Goodman
06-01-2011, 04:02 PM
The last 4 weeks I've been playing exclusively with wood rackets, and I expect to use them a lot moving forward.
I don't have a past with wood, so I'm hoping for some feedback that will help better my chances of picking some rackets that best suit me.

Here's what I've discovered so far :
Chris Evert Autograph L - Liked it overall, WAY too flexible for my BH
Jack Kramer Autograph L - Closer, still a little too much flex for the BH
Jack Kramer Autograph M- Felt great, more weight than I can handle
Pancho Gonzales Personal L - Front runner, stiff & still plenty of feel

So, to those who know ...

Were various Pancho Gonzales models similar?

Were other Spalding models similar ("All White Ash")?

Any general recommendations based on my comments above?

Many Thanks,
HG

Up&comer
06-01-2011, 04:39 PM
The last 4 weeks I've been playing exclusively with wood rackets, and I expect to use them a lot moving forward.
I don't have a past with wood, so I'm hoping for some feedback that will help better my chances of picking some rackets that best suit me.

Here's what I've discovered so far :
Chris Evert Autograph L - Liked it overall, WAY too flexible for my BH
Jack Kramer Autograph L - Closer, still a little too much flex for the BH
Jack Kramer Autograph M- Felt great, more weight than I can handle
Pancho Gonzales Personal L - Front runner, stiff & still plenty of feel

So, to those who know ...

Were various Pancho Gonzales models similar?
Were other Spalding models similar ("All White Ash")?

Any general recommendations based on my comments above?

Many Thanks,
HG

Are you saying for training purposes or to actually play competitively?

LeeD
06-01-2011, 04:44 PM
I started on Wilson's stiffest racket, the StanSmith Autograph.
After 2 years, switched to lighter JackKramer M's.
3rd year, winning a C, got sponsored with 4 ProStaffs, but I also worked at a tennis stringing shop which partially sponsored the local pro tourney.
4th year, bought my own mixture of HeadPros and Yonex OPS Greens, and went downhill from there.

Harl Goodman
06-01-2011, 05:44 PM
Are you saying for training purposes or to actually play competitively?

Well, it is good training but I've been playing matches, singles vs wood, doubles vs modern rackets.

jnd28
06-01-2011, 10:33 PM
Would try the Kramer pro staff L or M depending on your weight preference. As was already suggested the Wilson Stan smith is a stiffer version of the Kramer. Also give the Dunlop maxply a go kind of in between the Kramer prostaff and the smith. Plenty others but they would be harder to find.

4sound
06-02-2011, 01:03 AM
If you can find the Donnay Borg Pro, its also another great playing wood.

Dunlop Maxply is a great serve/volley racket. Dunlop McEnroe Maxply has layers of graphite with the wood and is a bit heavier but also a great racket. Balance is different than the Kramers.

Smith was too heavy for me. I liked the Kramer Prostaff better.

Garcia 240 were my all time favorite.

vsbabolat
06-02-2011, 01:37 AM
If you can find the Donnay Borg Pro, its also another great playing wood.

Dunlop Maxply is a great serve/volley racket. Dunlop McEnroe Maxply has layers of graphite with the wood and is a bit heavier but also a great racket. Balance is different than the Kramers.

Smith was too heavy for me. I liked the Kramer Prostaff better.

Garcia 240 were my all time favorite.

There are NO layers of graphite in the Maxply McEnroe. It has fiberglass that made it stiffer in the head.

4sound
06-02-2011, 08:59 AM
There are NO layers of graphite in the Maxply McEnroe. It has fiberglass that made it stiffer in the head.

I stand corrected. Good to know. Thx.

Harl Goodman
06-02-2011, 09:48 AM
[QUOTE=LeeD;5705442]I started on Wilson's stiffest racket, the StanSmith Autograph.
After 2 years, switched to lighter JackKramer M's.

Do you mean the JK Medium was lighter than the SS Medium?

Harl Goodman
06-02-2011, 09:51 AM
Would try the Kramer pro staff L or M depending on your weight preference. As was already suggested the Wilson Stan smith is a stiffer version of the Kramer. Also give the Dunlop maxply a go kind of in between the Kramer prostaff and the smith. Plenty others but they would be harder to find.

I've heard a lot about the JK Prostaff from others too, so I should probably make that #1 on the buy list and evaluate. Thanks for the input!

Harl Goodman
06-02-2011, 09:56 AM
[QUOTE=4sound;5706414]If you can find the Donnay Borg Pro, its also another great playing wood.

I've seen them, but have been reluctant because I've read comments that the sweet spot is smaller than average. When starting with something like 70 sq inches, the thought of a "small" sweet spot is terrifying!
What was your experience?

4sound
06-02-2011, 10:39 AM
Sweet spot on all the woods are small. I didn't notice a difference between the Borg Pro and the others in that regard. Borg Pro feels particularly good on the groundstrokes. Weight and balance are more the contributing factors in the difference for me.

Some of the woods just feel too heavy to get the timing consistent. (Snawart Gerilitus (sp?) comes to mind.)

I really wanted to like the TAD Imperial but it just didn't work for me. It felt like the weight was polarized.

I also really like the feel of the Kramers but sometimes has too much flex like you mentioned.

The Kramer Pro Staff sounds like what you might like.

It's fun to hit with the woods. I take them out for some of my better junior students to play doubles with. I tell them, if they can server & volley with wood, they can do it with anything.

vsbabolat
06-02-2011, 01:13 PM
Sweet spot on all the woods are small. I didn't notice a difference between the Borg Pro and the others in that regard. Borg Pro feels particularly good on the groundstrokes. Weight and balance are more the contributing factors in the difference for me.

Some of the woods just feel too heavy to get the timing consistent. (Snawart Gerilitus (sp?) comes to mind.)

I really wanted to like the TAD Imperial but it just didn't work for me. It felt like the weight was polarized.

I also really like the feel of the Kramers but sometimes has too much flex like you mentioned.

The Kramer Pro Staff sounds like what you might like.

It's fun to hit with the woods. I take them out for some of my better junior students to play doubles with. I tell them, if they can server & volley with wood, they can do it with anything.

Snauweart racquets came in different weights and balances. It was engraved on the side of the frame.

LeeD
06-02-2011, 02:04 PM
Seemed every LStanSmith was about equal to MKramers.
MikeCahill, RaulRameriz, and RichardStockton brought in M JackKramer 4 and 3/4's for me to string in the TranAmericaOpen in 1977.

Harl Goodman
06-03-2011, 09:14 AM
Were there knock-off (fake) wood rackets?
I ask because I looked at a Kramer Pro Staff that did not have the same printing on the throat as every other one I have seen.

vsbabolat
06-03-2011, 09:46 AM
Were there knock-off (fake) wood rackets?
I ask because I looked at a Kramer Pro Staff that did not have the same printing on the throat as every other one I have seen.

Not that I am aware of. What printing was different.

Harl Goodman
06-04-2011, 10:25 AM
Usually one side of the throat reads "Endorsed by Jack ..." and the other side reads "Pro staff specs" and gives all the grip and weight details.
This one reads "sold only through tennis professionals" on one side and has nothing on the other side, although residue indicates there had been a sticker at some point.
There's also an "HX" stamped inside the bottom of the hoop, but I couldn't say for sure if that's unique.
I do know it's the only Kramer Pro or Auto I've seen w/out all the details listed above, and I've never seen one with stickers on it.

4sound
06-05-2011, 01:31 AM
I have a Kramer Pro Staff like the one you have that says "sold only throughh tennis professionals".

It is different than my other ones. I actually like this one the best. It feels a little thicker.

Steve Huff
06-06-2011, 09:45 PM
My McEnroe Maxply has black lines within the frame and says graphite on it.

Mick
06-06-2011, 09:56 PM
my favorite wood racquet is the midsize jack kramer autograph. it plays wonderful (to me) and looks fantastic.

NLBwell
06-06-2011, 11:54 PM
Dunlop Maxply had a very flexible head - good touch. Slazenger Challenge #1 was a stiff racket - good power.
Bancroft Professional was essentialy a Jack Kramer with more of a rectangular grip (like Head). One of my last wood rackets was a Spalding - World Cup (maybe World Open?), I think, a white paintjob. Played very well with that. Very last wood racket I played with was a Slazenger Graphite Challenge with graphite laminations along with the wood. With the weight and stiffness, comparable to all graphite in terms of power. Comparably tiny head, though.

Harl Goodman
06-09-2011, 07:39 AM
Well, after some successful online bidding I've got a Pro Staff and a Maxply (both Light) heading my way. I can't wait to get them strung and compare to the sticks I've been using!
Thanks to all for your responses :)

I also had an interesting thrift store find last night - Jack Kramer Speed Flo.
It felt a little strange when I picked it up, but I bought it because of the low price and the fact that the paint was in good shape. When I got it home, I was surprised to discover that it was 14oz, 8 points HL.

coloskier
06-09-2011, 02:30 PM
I've still got 3 JK Auto's strung with the original VS gut in them, and the gut has only lost 15% tension in 30 years. :-)