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View Full Version : Demo's just arrived


jbpick920
08-10-2011, 11:30 AM
Pretty stoked. Just recieved my first set of demo's. I'll take stock of my likes and dislikes and be back soon for more suggestions. The first set is:

Head Microgel Radical MP
Volkl Power Bridge 9
Dunlop 4D 500 Tour
Babolat Pure Storm GT

gamerx52986
08-10-2011, 11:40 AM
Can't wait for your thoughts. I'm currently considering the PB9 myself. I've used the Microgel Radical and liked it. Switched to the Youtek version bit still carry it in my bag. Used the 4d 500 tour about a year ago with mixed results. I loved the pace I got on my serves but it caused me shoulder pains. Even tried gut in it and had issues so I sold it.

jbpick920
08-11-2011, 06:19 AM
Hit with the PS and the 500tour yesterday. Probably shouldnt have hit with the two stiffest raquets the same day. Got a set with each plus some hitting practice so about an hour with each.

Bab Pure Storm: This is a really nice raquet but if I'm honest with myself its a better raquet than I am a player at this point. Having just returned from a long break from tennis, my consistency is not there like it should be.

Pros: Great spin. Low power so I could really tee off. Good control. Volleys and dropshots were nice.

Cons: Mishits are quite harsh. I have a weak serve and this really provided no help with that. The low power was also a con but that was more due to my skill level.

I liked this raquet. I hit by far my best shots with this raquet. I also hit my worst. I could hit crazy angled shots with this raquet but when they went poorly the ball would be set up on a tee shallow or I would wing it right out of the court.

jbpick920
08-11-2011, 06:27 AM
I really liked the power level of the Dunlop. This raquet is closer to what I need right now.

Pros: I liked the extra power. This allowed me to be a more consistent player because I could slow my swing down slightly and concentrate more on form. Also sweetspot seemed larger. This helped on my serve because hitting closer to the top of the raquet I retained power.

Cons: The control was not as good with this raquet. My volleys went deeper than I like along with my dropshots. Raquet still feels a little stiff.

I liked this raquet also but I'm hoping that one of the next two will be somewhere between these two and more flexy. My power was very good and I could sustain rally's better than with the PS but I also had a harder time hitting winners and the depth and speed control part of my game was not there. This felt more like a baseliners stick.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 07:23 AM
Ok so got to play in a match with the PB9 and the mg rad. Played the first set with the PB9 and really enjoyed the racket. Spin was pretty good but not the best of the lot but power level was good. Also it was an extremely comfortable racquet. Think I may have to go up a grip size though. The MG rad was alright but I didnt even finish the whole second set with it. I didnt like the flex on the serve or anywhere else for that matter. I think I prefer a flex somewhere in the mid 60's after demoing this group.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 07:29 AM
Probably didnt give the Head a fair shake but I just did not like the feel of it from the start.

gamerx52986
08-12-2011, 07:31 AM
For reference, how would you compare the PB9 to the Dunlop? To me I consider the Volkl a light players frame and the Dunlop to be a tweener. Not expecting the power levels to be the same bit could you give your experiences with them? Myself...I'm looking for the control of a players frame with the power of a tweener. The PB9 spec wise looks great to me. However I recently had a demo.of the Blx Pro Open and it may be the frame ok looking for. Power on tap but very controllable.

RyKnocks
08-12-2011, 07:39 AM
Just wondering, why did you decide to demo the PB9 instead of the PB10 Mid? The PB10 Mid has been highly regarded lately.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 07:55 AM
I have been out of the game for 4 years now and I really thought that the PB10 would be a little over my head. I need a raquet that is somewhat forgiving and that didnt seem to be the PB10 from reading some reviews. The Pure Storm fell into this. I'm still competent enough to tell that it is a fine raquet but my game is not precise enough to use it properly.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 07:57 AM
Also the power level. My swing is slower right now as I have to concentrate on my technique and the extra power in the PB 9 is a plus. I hope I answered your question as clearly as possible.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 08:03 AM
gamerx52986, The PB 9 seems like a blend of a players stick and a tweener, while the dunlop is a pure tweener. The power level did not seem that much different. Control definitely goes to the PB 9. Also the PB 9 is a lot nicer on the arm than the Dunlop. If I failed to address anything let me know and I'll take another stab at it. I was seriously considering giving the BLX pro open a try.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 08:13 AM
Power: Dunlop>PB9>PS>MGrad
Spin:PS>Dunlop>PB9>MGrad
Control:PS>PB9>MGrad>Dunlop
Feel: PS>MGrad>PB9>Dunlop
Comfort:PB9>MGrad>Dunlop>PS
Forgiveness: Dunlop>PB9>MGrad>PS

dParis
08-12-2011, 08:39 AM
Pretty stoked. Just recieved my first set of demo's. I'll take stock of my likes and dislikes and be back soon for more suggestions. The first set is:

Head Microgel Radical MP
Volkl Power Bridge 9
Dunlop 4D 500 Tour
Babolat Pure Storm GT
That's a nice mix of racquets, jb. You mention hitting with the two stiffest racquet on the first day but while the Dunlop 4d500t is indeed stiff, the Pure Storm GT may be the most flexible of the group.

I know that some people's eyes start rolling when someone suggests putting lead tape on a racquet, but I really have to suggest this for the PB9 in particular. Just a few grams at 12:00 and/or a couple more at 3 & 9 really improves the performance of this racquet - more controllable power and it opens up the sweetspot a little more.

It's a good sign that you found the PB9 so usable in stock form as it is string sensitive and takes well to customization. It is crazy-precise in depth, directional and touch control. It's one of those good things that you can make even better without changing the basic characteristics of the racquet.

Nice write ups on the rest of the sticks too, jb. I agree with most of your opinions on them.

gamerx52986
08-12-2011, 09:24 AM
gamerx52986, The PB 9 seems like a blend of a players stick and a tweener, while the dunlop is a pure tweener. The power level did not seem that much different. Control definitely goes to the PB 9. Also the PB 9 is a lot nicer on the arm than the Dunlop. If I failed to address anything let me know and I'll take another stab at it. I was seriously considering giving the BLX pro open a try.

Thanks..your answer now makes me want to demo the PB9 before I make my decision. Like I mentioned, I really enjoyed the Pro Open but if the Volkl feels somewhat similar but is even more comfortable.and better control then that's what I want. Plus its available at a great price right now.

movdqa
08-12-2011, 09:42 AM
I would suggest adding some weight to the Rad in the handle and a little at 3/9. I think that this would improve the balance and add the power that you want. The Rad is a great platform for customization as is the PSGT.

BTW, I'm trying to decide between two frames at the moment as well and the main difference is flex: 63 vs 59. As you can imagine, there's a fairly decent difference in power and comfort. I could play with either of these, correctly configured but I'd have to work harder in matches with the softer frame. I think that there are a lot of players, especially older players, with the same issue of power vs comfort.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 10:03 AM
dParis, I misinterpretted harshness for stiffness. Although the pure storm is flexible, it felt very harsh on my arm. I like the head lightness of the PB9 and dont really want to throw off that balance. If I add weight to the hoop I think I would have to equally weight the handle to keep the same balance. May take a little experimenting, but right now until I get my feet back under me on the court, I think raquet customization is a little unnecessary for me.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 10:05 AM
Gamer +1 on the price. I have thought about demoing one more raquet in the dunlop 300 tour, and maybe the donnay xdual gold 99 but for that price difference it would have to be a significant improvement and I dont think I'm at the level that any raquet will make a significant difference.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 10:10 AM
movdqa, I think (from very limited experience) that the stiffness rating is only part of the equation with arm comfort. Different frames can have the same stiffness rating but be worlds apart on comfort. I assume beam width and materials have something to do with this.

movdqa
08-12-2011, 10:18 AM
I've found that the stiffness rating is quite important but there are other factors and technologies that can have an effect on effective stiffness. I've found that polarizing a racquet can result in higher effective flex, even on a fairly stiff racquet.

A racquet can be unstable while being soft if twisting is an issue and lead-tape at 3/9 can help. I can add lead tape in varying places and in varying amounts that greatly affect the feel, comfort and performance of a racquet. I just removed lead from 11-1 and moved some of it to 3/9 and will see how it performs tonight. This is on the stiff racquet.

In choosing frames, I think that stiffness makes for a great starting point.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 10:33 AM
I may try easing into a little tape at 3/9 to raise the sweet spot because I have a tendency to hit towards the top of the string bed. And I did not mean to insinuate that stiffness wasnt important as in general it correlates well with comfort but just it is not always the case. Also should probably say that I took flex into account when making my demo list to try to get a variety of raquet styles.

gamerx52986
08-12-2011, 11:20 AM
Another reason that the Volkl feels so comfortable even with its flex rating of 66 is the.sensor tour grip. I had an older Volkl that used the grip and it pretty much eliminates all vibrations making the frame super comfy.

thug the bunny
08-12-2011, 11:31 AM
jb, I'm not sure you should sell yourself short so quickly. When I started playing my first player's stick (Pure Storm Ltd) I was pretty sucky for a while. I became very well acquainted with that jarring feeling from off-center shots. But that feedback forced me to hone my technique up to new levels. If you have decent fundamentals and put some work in, it should work for you as well.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 11:43 AM
I hear what your saying thug bunny. And if I was back in high school were I could play for 4 or 5 hours a day 5 days a week during the season I probably would. But the extent of my competition now is 6.5 doubles. With one or two 2 hour practice sessions a week. I kinda need something that will perform well for me now and as I improve.

jbpick920
08-12-2011, 11:48 AM
This is one of those situations where I am trying to be self aware and not let ambition cloud my judgement getting me into a raquet I will be as happy with.

thug the bunny
08-12-2011, 12:29 PM
Cool!:)

The Head LM Rad MP is a good mid-level stick.....