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View Full Version : Head IG Speed 300: Perfect...and Overlooked


TimothyO
08-12-2011, 06:53 PM
The Speed MP 18x20 and 16x19 are very well known. And then there's the new Speed 300. The name implies it's a lightweight little brother to the heavier ans better known 315s. When I picked up my 300 at a local shop after demoing it I mentioned to the stringer that I had been looking for my version of the perfect control oriented players racquet. The stringer exclaimed, "Then you should be looking at the other speeds!". Well, having ownee both of those frames and having dismissed the 300 I knew he was very, very wrong.

Some reference points...the 300 is like...

a PB10 Mid that's more forgiving, spinnier, and lower powered...

or a PSLGT that's even spinnier, a little more powerful, and just as precise...

or an EXO3 Tour 100 that feels far more solid and nothing like a hollow toy...

or BioMimetic 200 Lite that's far more precise and lower powered...

or a Speed MP 18x20 that's far spinnier and a little less powerful...

or an MG Radical OS that's more solid, stable, and control oriented

In other words the 300 offers a perfect balance between power, spin, and control, at least when leaded up which raises another great feature: customization. weighing in at 11.1oz strung an overgrip and dampener will boost static weight to roughly 11.3oz and 3-4pts HL...well within striking distanxe of a solid players racquet around 11.8 to 12.2oz and several+ points HL. You have lots of customization options from middle weight to what many consider heavy by today's standards, at least in rec play.

Assuming you add some lead in the grip and a little around the hoop to achieve something close to player frame weight and balance, here's what you'll find:

- a soft frame that's not mushy by any means and still super comfortable, spin friendly, and offering great touch and feel.

- a fast and maneuverable frame that slices through the air enhancing spin production but still offering a solid, confident feeling. No getting pushed around here and no tinny toy-like sounds.

- very unique feature: an immense, open string bed (100" and 16x19) providing incredible access to spin and YET still providing 18x20 style control and precision. This must be a function of the soft frame and soild hoop. I've never seen power and spin so perfectly balanced before.

- power on demand...hit hard and the incredible spin will drive the ball into the court near the baseline...hit soft and you can nail delicate touch shots and slices that sit down instead of floating. For the first time in my brief tennis career my wife asked that I not hit so hard when practicing...the balls were leaping off the court with such spin and force she couldn't return them...she plays B level ALTA and has played since high school. Over hitting is the bane of new players and few frames offer this perfect balance of spin-controllable power.

Since researching frame design approaches I've always thought a very soft, open pattern, heavy, and HL frame would be perfect (for me anyway). The soft frame would tame the power of the larger open string bed, the open SB would provide easy access to spin, and the weight/balance would provide lightning fast agility and ball-crushing stability. Other frames come close to this ideal but only the 300 manages to provide all this without compromise.

frunk
08-12-2011, 07:13 PM
I have quite the opposite opinion on the racquet. The open string pattern is simply too much with the huge head size.

slice bh compliment
08-12-2011, 07:17 PM
It's not even that big a head size, but I feel what you're saying^. It's just such a weird, round shape.

ANyway, the 300 is not stable enough, imho. The 315 is sweet. The Instinct is for women. The Prestige is okay.

Best of luck with your Speeds.

Ben Hadd
08-12-2011, 07:24 PM
300 is more powerful than the 18x20, with less control, and such a light stick. No where near the capability of the 18x20. It's not a bad stick, but takes second place in the lead for the speed line, and it needs lead tape galore. 18x20 is a playable frame from the shelf.

travlerajm
08-12-2011, 10:54 PM
sounds like somebody just returned from his honeymoon...

Try sticking your low first volleys against someone who hits hard heavy western forehand passing shots. Or blocking back serves against someone who serves hard kickers 100mph+ with 3000rpm. A flexible frame with open stringbed doesn't work too well in those cases, where the launch angle is too dependent on the incoming rpm to have precise directional control. Otherwise, I might still be using my leaded-up cut-down POG LBs.

If your frame passes the test on these types of shots for you, then I guess you've found your mate.

frunk
08-12-2011, 11:34 PM
It's not even that big a head size, but I feel what you're saying^. It's just such a weird, round shape.

ANyway, the 300 is not stable enough, imho. The 315 is sweet. The Instinct is for women. The Prestige is okay.

Best of luck with your Speeds.

The prestige is a monster. Fixed.

forthegame
08-13-2011, 01:42 AM
If memory serves, my impressions of the IG 300 were favourable indeed. I actually enjoyed hitting with the IG Speed 300. I found it very nice to hit. Need more demo time, unlikely though as I'm playing with a few different racquets.

TimothyO
08-13-2011, 12:41 PM
sounds like somebody just returned from his honeymoon...

Try sticking your low first volleys against someone who hits hard heavy western forehand passing shots. Or blocking back serves against someone who serves hard kickers 100mph+ with 3000rpm. A flexible frame with open stringbed doesn't work too well in those cases, where the launch angle is too dependent on the incoming rpm to have precise directional control. Otherwise, I might still be using my leaded-up cut-down POG LBs.

If your frame passes the test on these types of shots for you, then I guess you've found your mate.

Had no problem vs an A level player and triathlete who serves that way. But there's no doubt it requires lead for stability. Definitely needs extra mass against heavier shots. Fortunately at 3.0/3.5 we just don't see that many guys who can serve that hard consistently...most of them think they can and simply end up giving away points with double faults or dinky second serves that sit up like ducks.

Today I hit with it at 11.8oz and messed around with the hoop lead until I found somthing I liked. Ended up with a few grams at 3/9 and a few at 6. Still very HL. Don't know the actual values yet as I was adjusting based on feel.

re: the 18x20 I really enjoyed its precision but found it too powerful relative to its spin potential. I'm finding the 300 more powerful than my PSLGT but its extra spin potential means deep hard shots stay in the lines. And I'm just not having any issues with accuracy. I was annoying my wife today threading passing shots past her while she practiced net drills. I'd smack a few to her directly and then thread a fast, spinny shot down one of the lines. I also found both 315s far more powerful than the 300. They're very stiff by comparison.

However, I do have to be more careful with lobs. I'm not good at hitting top spin lobs yet so they can get away from me. But slices off both wings are easy shots with the 300...they stay low and skid with the extra spin.

Playing style may be a factor too. If you hit flat the 300 might not be a good choice. But if you hit with spin for added accuracy and better placement then it's certainly a good choice.

UkeSoap
08-13-2011, 05:40 PM
I own the IG speed 300 too and it is GREAT! :D I have it strung with Luxilon Black Savage at 58 and it is a spin monster! May change to a multifilament or lower tension for more power. Any string reccomendations anyone?

TimothyO
08-13-2011, 05:54 PM
Uke,

A friend uses a hybrid of an NRG multi mains and Luxilon crosses. Next time I see him I'll ask which.

Today I tried Focus Hex as a cross. After three hours of hard hitting the Hex grooved the gut too much for my tastes so I'm going back to CoFocus crosses.

JT_2eighty
08-13-2011, 09:35 PM
I recall when the IG 300 first came out, I first thought, "what a great platform for customization."

However, I never got around to it as I hit with the YTPP and thought, "what a perfect racquet as is, with no need for customization." YTPP is about 12.25 oz strung with overgrip, and 8pt headlight, open pattern, maneuverable, stable...

I'm sure it would have been possible to get the IG 300 to a similar status, but I didn't find the published YTPP RA(66) to translate at all that stiff on my arm, so I never did get around to the 300 (although still sounds worth a demo one day... if it's on sale sometime)

martini1
08-14-2011, 04:58 PM
On top of that there is the elite as well! It's rather confusing. Usually they only have the "pro" which tells you it is heavier and more HL, and then a lite or team model on the opposite end.

TimothyO
08-14-2011, 06:11 PM
Today I hit at 11.9oz, 9.5pts HL, and with a lead configuration I hadn't tried previously.

The lead under the grip remained the same but in the head I distributed several grams at 1.5/10.5 and 4.5/7.5. These positions roughly coincide with the "corners" of the mains and crosses.

The stability was rock solid. Against an A level ALTA player the frame never twisted in my hand. As before spin potential was outstanding.

I've developed standard operating procedure which seems to work for me. Balls that bounce below the net tape I hit with a low skidding slice. Balls that bounce above the net tape I hit with solid topspin. I know better players can consistently hit topspin even from below the tape and I've been able to do that with deep knee bending. But I feel I'm not yet good enough to try that consistently in match play. One day!

In both cases if hitting a casual, friendly shot I'll loft the ball to drop it with an easy bounce so my hitting partner can return it easily. If hitting aggressively I'll try to skid the slices low and hit the top spin shots as hard and wide from the opponent as I can. Achieving that accuracy hasn't been a problem. The one challenge has been that really hard topspin shots demand an aggressive angle of attack but the reward is well worth it. Court penetration and pace clearly pose problems for those trying to return these shots.

JackB1
08-14-2011, 06:21 PM
Hey Tim. I thought the 300 would be a great fit for me but much preferred the 315. The 300 was just too light and underpowered for me...not a good combination. Granted, I never tried it with added weight, but for me, the 315 was already the right swingweight as is. The IG Instinct has similar weight as the Speed 300, but with added power. For me, the 300 just didn't work.

JackB1
08-14-2011, 06:30 PM
It's not even that big a head size, but I feel what you're saying^. It's just such a weird, round shape.

ANyway, the 300 is not stable enough, imho. The 315 is sweet. The Instinct is for women. The Prestige is okay.

Best of luck with your Speeds.

The Instinct is for women? Why is that? Because its under 12 oz? Your comment is a little ridiculous.

slice bh compliment
08-14-2011, 06:33 PM
^Yes, nice fire right there. Hey everyone, JackB1 likes chick sticks.
Kidding, man.

Well, yes, I'll say it. The Instinct is now officially targeted at women without coming out and saying it.
It's light. It's a widebody. Sharapova.

If you like it, cool. It is not an Airflow. It is not pink or lavender. It looks fine on a man. If you play well with it and it's stable enough for you, it's your stick.

I did not mean to get all retrogrouch/macho on you all....and stuff my values down your throat. I was just sharing my opinion about the HEAD line that I've seen. That's all.

JackB1
08-14-2011, 07:56 PM
Sharapova is endorsing the 100S...not the MP. Berdych is endorsing the MP.
Lots of WTA players use sticks that lots of guys use at the rec level.

slice bh compliment
08-14-2011, 08:05 PM
Sharapova is endorsing the 100S...not the MP. Berdych is endorsing the MP.
Lots of WTA players use sticks that lots of guys use at the rec level.

I agree with both your points. They are merely endorsing those models.

Oh, and the sticks WTA players actually use, yeah, there are some great ones.

TimothyO
08-15-2011, 03:57 AM
Hey Tim. I thought the 300 would be a great fit for me but much preferred the 315. The 300 was just too light and underpowered for me...not a good combination. Granted, I never tried it with added weight, but for me, the 315 was already the right swingweight as is. The IG Instinct has similar weight as the Speed 300, but with added power. For me, the 300 just didn't work.

In stock form the 300 is too light. I bumped mine from 11.1 to 11.9 with a heavier comfort grip and some lead. According to my MRT the SW is up around 340.

Have not tried the Instinct. What's it like in your opinion?

JackB1
08-15-2011, 05:19 AM
In stock form the 300 is too light. I bumped mine from 11.1 to 11.9 with a heavier comfort grip and some lead. According to my MRT the SW is up around 340.

Have not tried the Instinct. What's it like in your opinion?

You won't like it if you prefer low powered, like the Speed 300. But it's very similar to the Speed 300 except the Instinct has quite a bit more power and a more egg-shaped head (like Dunlop). It took me a while to get used to the ROUND shape of the Speed's. I also though it hit a loopier, higher trajectory ball and had to adjust by hitting closer to the net.

If you are going to bump your 300 up past 315 levels, why not just use the 315?
It's not high powered by any means and with the right string/tension, while provide lots of control.

TimothyO
08-15-2011, 09:01 AM
You won't like it if you prefer low powered, like the Speed 300. But it's very similar to the Speed 300 except the Instinct has quite a bit more power and a more egg-shaped head (like Dunlop). It took me a while to get used to the ROUND shape of the Speed's. I also though it hit a loopier, higher trajectory ball and had to adjust by hitting closer to the net.

If you are going to bump your 300 up past 315 levels, why not just use the 315?
It's not high powered by any means and with the right string/tension, while provide lots of control.

I owned the 315s and found them quite a bit more powerful than the 300. Even the 315 18x20 felt more powerful. Of the two 315s I preferred the 18x20.

Having used both 315s I can say the 300 plays like the 315 except the lower power provides so extra control and comfort. In some ways it plays like a spinnier version of 315 18x20.

The key difference is that the 315s are stiffer/more powerful while the 300 is softer/less powerful. I've learned that my favorite frames are "heavy and soft" rather than "heavy and stiff".

JackB1
08-15-2011, 09:54 AM
I owned the 315s and found them quite a bit more powerful than the 300. Even the 315 18x20 felt more powerful. Of the two 315s I preferred the 18x20.

Having used both 315s I can say the 300 plays like the 315 except the lower power provides so extra control and comfort. In some ways it plays like a spinnier version of 315 18x20.

The key difference is that the 315s are stiffer/more powerful while the 300 is softer/less powerful. I've learned that my favorite frames are "heavy and soft" rather than "heavy and stiff".

Fair enough. Personally I can't swing hard for an entire match and welcome a little extra pop in the racquet. I have also found that very soft racquets are hard to serve with for me.

TimothyO
08-15-2011, 04:04 PM
LOL!

There are so many ways to skin a cat. :-)

For power I use Gut mains in the low 50s. I suppose the soft frame + soft strings is the other side of the same power coin: stiff frame + stiff string. My arm can't take the stiff stuff so I stick with the soft side.

Funny you mention serves. I tried lead at 3/9. Very stable but I disliked serving. It felt wimpy. I changed the distribtuion as described above with more mass pushed north of 3/9 and suddenly serves felt great! The 300 needs that extra oomph up there, at least for me.

Hit with the wife tonight and really enjoyed it, especially the slices. Deep and skid low while breaking. Great fun!

honz
08-17-2011, 03:55 PM
sounds like somebody just returned from his honeymoon...

Try sticking your low first volleys against someone who hits hard heavy western forehand passing shots. Or blocking back serves against someone who serves hard kickers 100mph+ with 3000rpm. A flexible frame with open stringbed doesn't work too well in those cases, where the launch angle is too dependent on the incoming rpm to have precise directional control. Otherwise, I might still be using my leaded-up cut-down POG LBs.

If your frame passes the test on these types of shots for you, then I guess you've found your mate.
Haha, like the only good frames are the ones that suit players matching up against open level players? Most tennis players aren't at that level...

all-court-loser
08-18-2011, 04:19 AM
is the 300 more flexible than the 315?

can somebody compare it to the exo3 tour?

JackB1
08-18-2011, 05:41 AM
is the 300 more flexible than the 315?

can somebody compare it to the exo3 tour?

Yes it is. The 300's stiffness rating is 60 and the 315's is 65.

Nikae
09-08-2011, 10:02 AM
I just bought the racket, its a great racket but I feel like I need a bit more weight on it, its not stable enough, especially on backhand side.

any suggestions where to apply the lead tape(I am baseline player, playing on clay courts only)?

JackB1
09-08-2011, 10:11 AM
I just bought the racket, its a great racket but I feel like I need a bit more weight on it, its not stable enough, especially on backhand side.

any suggestions where to apply the lead tape(I am baseline player, playing on clay courts only)?

lead tape at 3/9 will help with stability. You could then add the same amount to the handle, 7" from the end and you will keep balance the same.
I would start with 4 grams at 3/9 and 4 grams on the handle.

Nikae
09-08-2011, 12:46 PM
On the handle? How do I do that...over the main grip? Sorry I never did any racket customization :)

Ash_Smith
09-08-2011, 12:55 PM
I've been given quite a few Speed series racquets since the YT came out including the MP and the Tour and the IG 300 is the only one I've actually got along with and am still using (at least until I get sent the new Prestige's next year!)

cheers

YesTennis
09-08-2011, 01:20 PM
Anyone have any experience with this racquet in comparison to the Head YT Speed Elite or Head YT Extreme MP?

Geology_Rocks!
09-08-2011, 06:24 PM
I would like some info on ig speed 300 vs ytk extreme mp too. Both look really nice for customization.

TimothyO
09-09-2011, 06:18 PM
Haven't tried the extreme MP but here's what I do currently with the very customizable 300.

1. Removed original grip

2. Placed ~3" strips of 1/2" lead tape on each of the 8 grip facets starting at the point where the plastic of the butt cap ends (ie under my hand when gripping racquet)

3. Installed Shock Shield grip and black Babolat Overgrip cut to fit 1HBH...covered exposed handle in black electrical tape for neat and tidy look

4. 2g of lead at 12

5. 2g of lead at 6*

6. 3g of lead under Butt Cap*

*actual lead at these locations tweaked to match weight and balance for my two frames...the stock frames came in 3g and 1 pt balance different.

End Result: 339g (round to 12oz) and 8 pts HL...wonderful plow through and very stable...this morning stretching for a couple of one hand backhand volleys with back to net I was able to still return the shot deep (just light, casual hitting as my ankle continues to mend).

Note too that the Shock Shield is fairly heavy even when shortened so it adds to the weight and HL balance.

This setup is very spin friendly and comfortable too.

TimothyO
09-09-2011, 06:24 PM
On the handle? How do I do that...over the main grip? Sorry I never did any racket customization :)

Remove the grip, stick the lead tape on the bare handle, put grip back on if possible. Some grips like the Shock Shield shred when you unwrap them and it can be tought to rewrap. Others can be rewrapped.

If you're just experimenting you can use Tape to attach the lead to the grip and then apply an overgrip...just don't try that as a permanent solution!

Frankauc
09-10-2011, 06:40 AM
i put 6g of lead at 12 + an overgrip. It makes the racket 2pths hl, about 327g and 326g sw. perfect because i get great plow thru without sacrifiying racket head speed wich is the most importnt for me (i play with lots of spin.) Awesome racket

TimothyO
09-10-2011, 07:06 AM
Frank,

How does that work out vs heavy serves? I've found that at 12oz I can block back heavy serves really well. Once I dip below that it becomes increasingly difficult. For whatever reason 12oz +/- seems to be my minimum for feeling like I can crush a ball easily.

I'll have to gice your setup a try as I too prefer higher head speeds. I can hit spin well at 12oz and a very HL balance...maybe lighter and less HL woild work too.

Any elbow issues hitting that light?

Frankauc
09-10-2011, 07:39 AM
Frank,

How does that work out vs heavy serves? I've found that at 12oz I can block back heavy serves really well. Once I dip below that it becomes increasingly difficult. For whatever reason 12oz +/- seems to be my minimum for feeling like I can crush a ball easily.

I'll have to gice your setup a try as I too prefer higher head speeds. I can hit spin well at 12oz and a very HL balance...maybe lighter and less HL woild work too.

Any elbow issues hitting that light?

my retrun game has always been excellent and it's no different with this racket. in fact it's better. I just put everything back in play and i can crush 2nd serves easier and with more spin. And i play very good players 4.5-5.0.

previously i played with gamma t-7. very good racket (played with it for 2 years) but it was too heavy (i weighted them a bit too much) in long matches. I get more options for customization with the ig300 and i never feel the racket is too heavy. My groundstrokes are heavier than ever and control is way better too. At fisrt i tried it stock but i couldnt play it since comming from a hevier racket, i think it lacks weiht in the hoop. with 6g at 12, its perfect for me.

TimothyO
09-10-2011, 08:36 AM
^^^ Perfect analysis of the 300! :)

You're clearly playing at a higher level than I so must be facing much heavier shots. Will definitely give your configuration a try!

Geology_Rocks!
09-10-2011, 03:14 PM
Seems really nice, but there is something about the head shape (very round) and string spacing that bugs me, and I really don't know why since all this would do is add spin. Is there any downside to this round shape and low string density?

One more thing, I'm currently using a YPP, the plow is great, it's what I like the most on the frame but it can be a little stiff. Can a leaded up speed have similar plow?

Thanks

TimothyO
09-10-2011, 05:37 PM
Good observation Geology. There are a couple of down sides.

I found the pattern great for spin generation with Touch but with Team control seriously suffered, at least for me. So that might limit one's string choices if trying to boost power with thinner mains.

The round shap can lead to torsional stability problems if swing path isn't spot on. While migrating from the PSLGT to the 300 I found myself mishitting. Now I'm ok and don't feel a need for lead at 3 and 9. Last night I noticed the VS black color was wearing significantly in the sweet spot so I'm definitely getting this dialed in.

Not sure about YPP comparison. I've used the PB10 Mid and a leaded up PSLGT both of which had great plow through. with my current confifuration the 300 feels plush and can crush a ball. Not like that in stock form.

JackB1
09-11-2011, 07:21 AM
The Speed 300 may be somewhat overlooked but its far from "perfect".

Nikae
09-14-2011, 07:59 AM
lead tape at 3/9 will help with stability. You could then add the same amount to the handle, 7" from the end and you will keep balance the same.
I would start with 4 grams at 3/9 and 4 grams on the handle.

7" from the end....that the location where racket throat starts (1 inch short actually)?

Am I right?

Can't I just add some weight under the butt cap instead of 7" fro the end....because I need a bit less swing weight?

JackB1
09-14-2011, 08:46 AM
7" from the end....that the location where racket throat starts (1 inch short actually)?

Am I right?

Can't I just add some weight under the butt cap instead of 7" fro the end....because I need a bit less swing weight?

Sure. 7" from the butt end is often used to maintain balance when also adding weight at 3/9 o'clock.

TimothyO
09-14-2011, 01:21 PM
The Speed 300 may be somewhat overlooked but its far from "perfect".

Yes, just some intertubes hyperbole!

:)

In stock form it's definitely too light imo. Definitely a weakness there.

Today I reworked my frames a bit and am really happy with them. Shifted balance and added some weight and the increase in accuracy and stability is amazing.

There's something about the 12oz barrier where plow through begins to really crush the ball. Seems that whatever frame I use I end up somewhere around this weight and balance. For my middle aged arm I get some oomph but in a maneuverable package.

Nikae
09-15-2011, 02:15 AM
lead tape at 3/9 will help with stability. You could then add the same amount to the handle, 7" from the end and you will keep balance the same.
I would start with 4 grams at 3/9 and 4 grams on the handle.

4 grams on 3/9 you say...so is that 4g total (2g on 3 and 2g on 9) or is it 8g total + 4g on the handle? (sorry for dumb questions, but I am new to this stuff :))

JackB1
09-15-2011, 06:53 AM
4 grams on 3/9 you say...so is that 4g total (2g on 3 and 2g on 9) or is it 8g total + 4g on the handle? (sorry for dumb questions, but I am new to this stuff :))

No, 4 g's in total, which is (4) .25" wide strips, 4" long each strip. Each strip is 1 gram, so you have 2 on each side of the racquet....4 in total.

Nikae
09-15-2011, 11:43 PM
lead tape at 3/9 will help with stability. You could then add the same amount to the handle, 7" from the end and you will keep balance the same.
I would start with 4 grams at 3/9 and 4 grams on the handle.

I tried it and I liked it! I had better control pretty much everywhere except on serves. Volleys were so easy to hit (even though i don't volley that much since I play on clay courts only).

Today I will try polarized setup, 4g at 12 and 4g under the butt-cap and maybe I'll and ~2g at 3 and 9. This might work better for me since I am baseline player.

Nikae
09-18-2011, 11:51 AM
Anyone tried polarized setup with this racket? I am having a hard time deciding how much weight and where to place it....

Should I just go same weight at both 12 and under buttcap?

TimothyO
09-18-2011, 07:45 PM
The last couple of days I tried a setup suggested for the London. It works great! Extremely stable and accurate.

1. 1/8" wide tape on inside of hoop from top 8th main down to 6th cross from the bottom.

2. 1/8" wide tape on outside of hoop from 6th cross from bottom down to 6th main.

3. 1/8" wide tape in gaps between 10 center mains at 6/bridge.

4. 1/4" wide tape inside V of throat from bridge to bottom of V (small gap at either end).

Tape should be placed as close to grommets as possible.

Serves were dramatically easier. With my heavy Shock Shield grip and some lead under the grip you get the specs in my signature.

Nikae
09-19-2011, 06:31 AM
Ah, I tried it all, but 4g at 12 + over grip (which is 6g) worked best in the end.

Got some problems with volleying which is understandable, and my backhand is a bit off too...probably just until I get more used to it :)