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fireball11
07-22-2011, 12:17 PM
Hi,

I'm new to the forum, and was hoping to get some advice about new rackets.

My story: I played competitively since I was 12, but stopped when I got to college. I'd say I was a 4.5. I'm out a couple years now, and have just gotten back into playing.

I'm looking to get some new sticks. My last purchase (I think from 2003) were a couple of Hyper ProStaff 7.6's with rollers (http://www.racquetfinder.com/?name=7.6&manufacturer=Wilson&hsMin=&hsMax=&lMin=&lMax=&wMin=&wMax=&swMin=&swMax=&fMin=&fMax=&bpMin=&bpMax=&bwMin=&bwMax=&mains=&crosses=&current=N&max_price=&x=30&y=22). I remember loving it before, but now I just feel really disconnected... and it feels weird at the net. It is great to serve with, though.

What I like most about it is the balance and weight.

I'm more of an all court player, leftie, and use a 2hbh.

A friend suggested I look at:

BLX Six.One 95 [16x18]
BLX Blade 98
BLX Pro Tour

I've always played with wilsons, but am open to suggestion.

I plan on demoing stuff next week. Just wanted to hear what people have to say about the choices.

Fuji
07-22-2011, 12:19 PM
BLX 6.1 95 are pretty sweet rackets! I still hit with my Prostaff Classic 6.1 quite frequently!

I can't really say much about the others, but I have heard the Pro Tour is a bit hard on the arm. :)

-Fuji

fireball11
07-22-2011, 12:28 PM
Yeah, from reading the boards, it looks like the BLX 6.1 95 is pretty popular. It's definitely the one I'm most excited about demoing.

HiroProtagonist
07-22-2011, 12:58 PM
Well since you have been out a while why not expand your horizons and see whats out there, variety spice of life and all that.

Judging by the spec range of the racquets you are set to demo I will suggest a couple of my favorites:

-YTK Prestige MP: in almost any of the iterations it is simply the best all around racquet in the world, control, feel, comfort, spin, power, it has it all in one package, other racquets may do one or two things better but none do everything as well as the Prestige MP

-YTK/MG Radical MP: The single most suggested racquet on TT, why you ask, well it has a lot of the charm and attributes of a Prestige MP but more flex meaning more comfort and a different softer feel, it is also lighter and more evenly balanced therefore better suited for someone who cant handle the weight of the Prestige, perhaps a bit more easy power than the Prestige, less plow through, however, I find equals less control than the Prestige(Rad is often moded w/ lead tape)

-Pure Storm Ltd: The only Babolat worth looking at imo, just oozes control in a softer package, very flexy and comfy really a joy to hit with, the sweet spot can be a bit small and it is perhaps less forgiving than the Prestige also due in part to the fact the racquet is under powered, you will have to use the weight of the racquet and your technique to produce the mph, but it will reward you if you can.

The BLX 6.1 95's are great (dont rule out the 18x20 either) and would certainly be one of my suggestions. All of my other favs are demanding mids that I love to hit with but dont get my best results, I think your on the right track and I hope this helped.

fireball11
07-22-2011, 05:13 PM
Hiro-

Thanks for the reply!

I've always heard the Prestige line was solid. I'll definitely give both of those a try.

I've never been a fan of Babolat- I was forced to play with a Pure Drive during a match in HS and have sworn off of them ever since... Even if the PS Ltd is amazing, subconsciously I'd make it terrible haha

HiroProtagonist
07-22-2011, 07:15 PM
I've never been a fan of Babolat- I was forced to play with a Pure Drive during a match in HS and have sworn off of them ever since... Even if the PS Ltd is amazing, subconsciously I'd make it terrible haha

Can't blame you, I tend to feel the same way but the PSL is that ever prevailing exception to the rule. But you will save yourself some demo time by eliminating it so that's a plus.

Good luck on your demos and remember to keep some notes on your feelings about the frames it will save you some headaches later.

fanatic32
07-22-2011, 07:37 PM
I play with the Blx 6.1 98 18x20.. solid stick and good control.. and fun to play with.

drgchen
07-22-2011, 07:55 PM
I play singles with the head prestige mid (currently I use the microgel, my favorite was the i.prestige).

I use the BLX 18x20 when I play doubles (subjectively it seems to give me a bit more power and I like it for the volleys).

I would advise taking your time and demoing a few different racquets. I also played competitively through high school. Took some years off, then got back into tennis. I started by buying tweener racquets which I soon grew out of- they just weren't heavy or solid enough for a higher level of play. I ended up wasting the money on those racquets.

If I could go back I probably would also demo the babolat- so many people use them, so just see if they suit your game.

OldButGame
07-22-2011, 07:58 PM
Yeah,..The Babolat PSL that Hiro endorsed is really a super racquet!!!!....Hiro's description of it was 'spot on'.http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/images/icons/icon14.gif

fuzz nation
07-23-2011, 05:51 AM
The Wilson 6.1/Six-One 95's are a great line of frames that have always been popular among all-courters as well as doubles players. They have some heft and stability, enough head-light balance to be rather maneuverable, and some backbone (stiffness) to give them a significant degree of pop at contact. I'm like our pal Fuji (and probably a few dozen of our pals here) in that I used the ProStaff 6.1 Classics for a long time. For serve 'n volley work and heavy doubles action, these are my all-time standouts.

While the snappy response of a heavier, stiffer frame can bring some advantages for some players, there can also be a trade-off. As I started working on a more solid baseline game, I found the extra pop in my ProStaffs to be detrimental for my consistency and control. When I tried several different racquets with similar weight and balance along with much more flex, I was truly amazed with my boost in control. Suddenly I could take full swings with a boatload of confidence because the response of the racquet was so much less touchy.

A softer racquet can have a downside of its own in the form of playing too dead and unresponsive, but that all varies from one to the next and can also be further affected by string type and tension. I sampled a couple of frames along the way that were so soft that I couldn't get that punch on the ball that I like around the net or perhaps with a blocked return of serve.

I'm very happy these days with the overall performance I get from my Volkl C10 Pro 98's, but the other "10 series" Volkls look like nice options among the more flexible crop, too. As you try this that and the other, the Wilsons might be great for you, but I think it's smart to pay attention to stiffness when narrowing down what's a better fit for your game. For the record, I'm not big on the Babolats either, but I'm certainly cool with anyone getting the "right stuff" with their gear.

fireball11
07-24-2011, 01:40 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone.

After doing a bit of research- it does seem that the PS line is a bit different than the other Babolats.. To be honest, I actually like the look of the Ltd. So I'll reserve judgement until I hit with it.

I actually had a chance to hit with the BLX Pro Tour yesterday. It felt good- to hold- I liked the weight and feel of it. Playing with it was a different story. It seemed a little uncontrollable. It may have been whatever my friend had it strung with, but it had wayy too much power and not enough feel imo. I just couldn't keep it from sailing long.


But I'm picking up the demos on Monday. The shop only lets me take 3 at a time. First week is gonna be:

- Six.One 95
- YTK Prestige MP
- And either Blade 98 or PS Ltd

(Next time around I'll try out the Volkl- never hit with one. I'm kinda interested. Thanks for the info fuzz nation!)

I'll update after I have a chance to play a bit.

fireball11
07-28-2011, 07:59 PM
First round ended up being:

BLX 6.1 95 [16x18]
Bade 98
Pro Storm Ltd
(Both Prestige MP's were out)

Had a chance to play quite a bit with all three rackets and here's what I found:

6.1 95 - Just wow. This racket was amazing. I was seriously not expecting it to be this good. Every ball I hit felt perfect. Nice spin and control, and with just enough power. I played a match with a friend, and after I crushed him, I wanted to drive to the store and buy 3! (Luckily they were closed) If I had to say, the only negative is that it's a little more heavy than I'm used to. My current PS 7.6's top out at 341 & 343 with grip tape and dampener. And this racket ended up being 354 w/ only a dampener. It doesn't seems like much of a difference, but it got noticeable over a match.

Blade 98 - This was also a really good stick. Shots were crisp and it was great at the net. But had a little too much power. When I really got going, my shots tended to be kinda long and I felt like I would have to change my hitting style too much to compensate.

Pure Storm Ltd. - Hiro, you were absolutely right. I really wanted to hate it. I thought my aversion to Babolat would make it suck in my hands. I was soo wrong. It blew me away. It did take me abt 20 minutes to get used to it, but when I did... it was unreal. The control is phenomenal. But, like many of the reviews said (I just saw the TW one a min ago) there is a lack of power. Also, it's a little demanding. I found that if I'm not on form or make a slight mistake it'll make me pay. For example, when my opponent forced me to run across, and I had to reach a bit- it was completely unforgiving. Being kinda short (5'8") doesn't help any.

Well, I still have the wkend, so I'm gonna play some more and narrow it down. Next week, I'm testing out the Prestige MP and the C10.


I did have some questions, though. About modding. I've never thought about it, or tried it, but am wondering:

1. For the PS, could you bring up the power with some mods, or even certain strings?

2. I've been wondering about the weight issue on the 6.1 95- if it was like just SLIGHTLY lighter, it would be perfect for me. It is possible/easy to make rackets lighter? My friend suggested I get a 6.1 Team and lead it up, but that would take a lot of lead...

pyrokid
07-28-2011, 09:22 PM
Try the Pure Storm Tour while you're at it. It's like a lighter version of the K95 that feels wayyy nicer but hits the same monster ball.

HiroProtagonist
07-28-2011, 10:39 PM
I did have some questions, though. About modding. I've never thought about it, or tried it, but am wondering:

1. For the PS, could you bring up the power with some mods, or even certain strings?

2. I've been wondering about the weight issue on the 6.1 95- if it was like just SLIGHTLY lighter, it would be perfect for me. It is possible/easy to make rackets lighter? My friend suggested I get a 6.1 Team and lead it up, but that would take a lot of lead...

Well for the PSL you can try a powerful multi at a low tension, or try a soft poly(BHB, BM, SPPP) and a syngut or multi hybrid at low tension to increase the power.

As far as making the 6.1 lighter that is a little more difficult/impossible, but what you can do is make its balance more HL by adding weight to the handle/butt cap which will make it FEEL lighter and easier to swing.

fuzz nation
07-29-2011, 07:00 AM
The Storm line from Babolat is rather their exception compared with their Drives, etc. in that the Storms are typically softer (they have a lower flex rating). Anyone with an aversion to really stiff gear is usually encouraged to try their Storms before throwing Babolat under the bus.

I'll think about a slightly less hefty alternative to the current 6.1 95's, but I should note that my Volkl C10's have turned out to be such a good fit for me in contrast with my 6.1 Classics, mostly because they're slightly lighter (yet still plenty stable for me) and also soft enough without playing at all dead. Again, not trying to assert that "you need to use what I use", but I often recommend the Volkl 10 frames as good options when our pals here are looking for a softer, more civilized alternative to the 6.1 95's.

Both are very nice frames, but everyone has that "good fit" that they typically recognize when they feel it. Just make sure that you look for that feel when you're hitting a ball on the courts.