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View Full Version : Volkl C10 Pro to PB 10 MP, and general Volkl thoughts


roman40
08-19-2011, 12:00 PM
Long post, by I had to get it out of my system :)

I've been using Volkl C10 Pro for many years, and in the past six months I have been searching for a replacement/upgrade racket. I figured it was time for a change. This was mostly for two reasons. First I started playing tennis a lot more, and participating in USTA Leagues (4.0 Level), which means longer and more grueling matches than during casual play. Second, I've started taking lessons and as a consequence, incorporated more spin into my ground strokes and serves, which is more challenging with a heavier racket.

I've noticed that C10 was a bit too heavy for me, and my racket speed noticeably slowed down (on overage) as the match progressed. I figured I needed a change, I figured that I could find a lighter racket that would improve my game.

So, I've started trying lighter "players" rackets, like Dunlop 300, Head Radical, BB London, etc. No matter how much I tried to like them, I noticed significant issues during volleys, returning heavier serves and ground strokes. It was easier to hit topspin ground strokes and kick/spin serves, but that was about the only improvement and it wasn't enough to make me like the lighter rackets. Also, after reading these forums, I realized that most people were customizing these rackets, by adding weight, almost to the point of negating their lighter weight. Indeed, after trying customization, I did like them better, but then, I thought, what's the point? I might as well get a heavier racket. Basically, anything lighter than ~11.7 ounces didn't seem solid enough (too much wobble on off center hits, poor feel on drop shots, less penetrating volleys, issues with heavy ball, etc.).

Another issue, that I thought was due to heavier C10, was that I started to feel some elbow tenderness. However, with lighter rackets, that didn't improve at all, in fact, I started to miss the flexy feel of C10. So, I think it was mostly due me playing a lot more. I cut down a bit on my playing, to allow time for healing and that helped. However, before I realized this, I settled on a heavier and arm friendly racket ProKennex Ki 5. While it felt good on the arm, I lost my ability to make great drop shots and volleys and the racket feel was pretty bad, very muted. I didn't enjoy it at all, and after playing with a for a few months, I decided it was time for a change.

Now, you might be thinking, stupid me, why didn't I just try Volkl replacement in the first place. Well, I don't know, I guess I got into a racket research frenzy, and wanted a change, to find something new and exciting that would change my game.

However, after much frustration, I just decided, without even a demo, to get the Power Bridge 10 rackets (the fact that they were on sale also helped my decision). Anyway, after hitting with it for a week, I am in heaven. Seriously, it's as good as C10, but better. The great feel is back, the touch is back, the precision and stability on off center shots is improved (I think because of 18/20 string pattern, new technology, slightly stiffer loop). Sure, the spin is not as great as some lighter 16/18 rackets, but to tell you the truth, the difference is negligible, and everything else just feels awesome. I am enjoying playing a lot more, and I am regretting ever doubting that Volkl is the racket for me.

ALso, during this whole process, I started working out more, and heavier racket is no longer a problem for me in the long matches.

So, for C10 users out there thinking of an upgrade, don't make the same mistake I did, make sure to try out the newer Volkl rackets first, there is nothing like them.

BTW, I found that Wilson NXT Tour (and similar) and Natural Gut brings out the best in these rackets.

Now, I am wondering about their Organix rackets, I might try them when the price drops, but I hope for Volkl sake, they didn't mess with the feel too much.

TennisMaverick
08-19-2011, 12:10 PM
Long post, by I had to get it out of my system :)

I've been using Volkl C10 Pro for many years, and in the past six months I have been searching for a replacement/upgrade racket. I figured it was time for a change. This was mostly for two reasons. First I started playing tennis a lot more, and participating in USTA Leagues (4.0 Level), which means longer and more grueling matches than during casual play. Second, I've started taking lessons and as a consequence, incorporated more spin into my ground strokes and serves, which is more challenging with a heavier racket.

I've noticed that C10 was a bit too heavy for me, and my racket speed noticeably slowed down (on overage) as the match progressed. I figured I needed a change, I figured that I could find a lighter racket that would improve my game.

So, I've started trying lighter "players" rackets, like Dunlop 300, Head Radical, BB London, etc. No matter how much I tried to like them, I noticed significant issues during volleys, returning heavier serves and ground strokes. It was easier to hit topspin ground strokes and kick/spin serves, but that was about the only improvement and it wasn't enough to make me like the lighter rackets. Also, after reading these forums, I realized that most people were customizing these rackets, by adding weight, almost to the point of negating their lighter weight. Indeed, after trying customization, I did like them better, but then, I thought, what's the point? I might as well get a heavier racket. Basically, anything lighter than ~11.7 ounces didn't seem solid enough (too much wobble on off center hits, poor feel on drop shots, less penetrating volleys, issues with heavy ball, etc.).

Another issue, that I thought was due to heavier C10, was that I started to feel some elbow tenderness. However, with lighter rackets, that didn't improve at all, in fact, I started to miss the flexy feel of C10. So, I think it was mostly due me playing a lot more. I cut down a bit on my playing, to allow time for healing and that helped. However, before I realized this, I settled on a heavier and arm friendly racket ProKennex Ki 5. While it felt good on the arm, I lost my ability to make great drop shots and volleys and the racket feel was pretty bad, very muted. I didn't enjoy it at all, and after playing with a for a few months, I decided it was time for a change.

Now, you might be thinking, stupid me, why didn't I just try Volkl replacement in the first place. Well, I don't know, I guess I got into a racket research frenzy, and wanted a change, to find something new and exciting that would change my game.

However, after much frustration, I just decided, without even a demo, to get the Power Bridge 10 rackets (the fact that they were on sale also helped my decision). Anyway, after hitting with it for a week, I am in heaven. Seriously, it's as good as C10, but better. The great feel is back, the touch is back, the precision and stability on off center shots is improved (I think because of 18/20 string pattern, new technology, slightly stiffer loop). Sure, the spin is not as great as some lighter 16/18 rackets, but to tell you the truth, the difference is negligible, and everything else just feels awesome. I am enjoying playing a lot more, and I am regretting ever doubting that Volkl is the racket for me.

ALso, during this whole process, I started working out more, and heavier racket is no longer a problem for me in the long matches.

So, for C10 users out there thinking of an upgrade, don't make the same mistake I did, make sure to try out the newer Volkl rackets first, there is nothing like them.

BTW, I found that Wilson NXT Tour (and similar) and Natural Gut brings out the best in these rackets.

Now, I am wondering about their Organix rackets, I might try them when the price drops, but I hope for Volkl sake, they didn't mess with the feel too much.

Your C10 Pros could have been blown-out. It happens very quickly with that frame. However, the PB 10 MP is a scalpel; you can really pinpoint where you want to go, especially if you are a more traditional stylist. If you really like those frames, email me through the site and I can help you.

If you still want to stay with the 16 mains, try the X10 325. It will give you some help with bite on slice BHs, and if you have a flat/topspin OHBH, it definitely helps with taking balls early and keeps you from getting pushed back. It also has a ton of bite, with a very crisp/quick string bed response.

The closest stick to the C10 Pro, believe it or not because it does have 18 mains, is the Melbourne, which plays excellent stock with just a dampener or 2 grams on the bridge. I play tested the frame for Volkl, and only my love of 93in2 sticks keeps me from going there. It has the firm head of the PB 10 Mid, but its ball cupping and string bed response is better. Yet, it is almost as precise, but does more with spin shots, half-volleys, and volleys.

Pneumated1
08-19-2011, 01:12 PM
So, I've started trying lighter "players" rackets, like Dunlop 300, Head Radical, BB London, etc. . . . I realized that most people were customizing these rackets, by adding weight, almost to the point of negating their lighter weight. . . . Basically, anything lighter than ~11.7 ounces didn't seem solid enough (too much wobble on off center hits, poor feel on drop shots, less penetrating volleys, issues with heavy ball, etc.).

I have my Londons customized to around 11.8oz (I would guess; don't know for sure). It's a tricky frame to mod effectively, but with weight distributed at 5/6/7/throat, and with a heavy synthetic, lead, or leather on the handle, I can't imagine why a former C-10 Pro user wouldn't jibe with it. However, I've rarely seen a C-10 Pro user that liked or went to the London; it baffles me.

I guess the beauty of customized, 11-11.5oz. frames is that you can get them to 11.7-11.8oz. quite easily and effectively, whereas you can't shave weight from a "heavy" stick. Nonetheless, it seems you've found your way; enjoy your tennis.

The closest stick to the C10 Pro, believe it or not because it does have 18 mains, is the Melbourne, which plays excellent stock with just a dampener or 2 grams on the bridge. I play tested the frame for Volkl, and only my love of 93in2 sticks keeps me from going there. It has the firm head of the PB 10 Mid, but its ball cupping and string bed response is better. Yet, it is almost as precise, but does more with spin shots, half-volleys, and volleys.

I've hit the PB 10 MP, and I liked it, but it definitely didn't offer the forgiveness or easier "pop" of the London. How would you compare the PB 10 MP with the Melbourne in the pop/forgiveness categories?

I need to hit the Melbourne, just to see.

roman40
08-19-2011, 02:07 PM
Your C10 Pros could have been blown-out. It happens very quickly with that frame. However, the PB 10 MP is a scalpel; you can really pinpoint where you want to go, especially if you are a more traditional stylist. If you really like those frames, email me through the site and I can help you.

If you still want to stay with the 16 mains, try the X10 325. It will give you some help with bite on slice BHs, and if you have a flat/topspin OHBH, it definitely helps with taking balls early and keeps you from getting pushed back. It also has a ton of bite, with a very crisp/quick string bed response.

The closest stick to the C10 Pro, believe it or not because it does have 18 mains, is the Melbourne, which plays excellent stock with just a dampener or 2 grams on the bridge. I play tested the frame for Volkl, and only my love of 93in2 sticks keeps me from going there. It has the firm head of the PB 10 Mid, but its ball cupping and string bed response is better. Yet, it is almost as precise, but does more with spin shots, half-volleys, and volleys.
I haven't tried Melbourne. I go to the net a lot, so higher swing weight and less HL probably wouldn't suit me well (judging from the other rackets I've tried). Also, 18/20 seems to be good for my game, it gives me a little bit more control. Anyway, I am really happy that I finally found a stick that improves my game in all aspects vs C10 and has a feel that I love, which more than I hoped for. I'll need it too, if I get bumped to 4.5 next year (which is likely).

I didn't really consider the X10, because of the price and because other people mentioned that it's feel is very different from previous Volkl rackets, but if that technology makes it's way to future Volkl rackets, then I am sure I'll hit with it at some point. Actually, PB10 seems to be great for both BH and FH slice shots, haven't really noticed any issues there.

Regarding, help with PB10, did you mean customization and/or stringing advice?

TennisMaverick
08-19-2011, 02:11 PM
I haven't tried Melbourne. I go to the net a lot, so higher swing weight and less HL probably wouldn't suit me well (judging from the other rackets I've tried). Also, 18/20 seems to be good for my game, it gives me a little bit more control. Anyway, I am really happy that I finally found a stick that improves my game in all aspects vs C10 and has a feel that I love, which more than I hoped for. I'll need it too, if I get bumped to 4.5 next year (which is likely).

I didn't really consider the X10, because of the price and because other people mentioned that it's feel is very different from previous Volkl rackets, but if that technology makes it's way to future Volkl rackets, then I am sure I'll hit with it at some point. Actually, PB10 seems to be great for both BH and FH slice shots, haven't really noticed any issues there.

Regarding, help with PB10, did you mean customization and/or stringing advice?

The Melbourne actually swings freer than the PB 10 MP. If you can volley with the PB 10 MP--I know since I have a couple of pristine ones gathering dust--you will volley better with the Melbourne.

roman40
08-19-2011, 02:13 PM
I have my Londons customized to around 11.8oz (I would guess; don't know for sure). It's a tricky frame to mod effectively, but with weight distributed at 5/6/7/throat, and with a heavy synthetic, lead, or leather on the handle, I can't imagine why a former C-10 Pro user wouldn't jibe with it. However, I've rarely seen a C-10 Pro user that liked or went to the London; it baffles me.

I guess the beauty of customized, 11-11.5oz. frames is that you can get them to 11.7-11.8oz. quite easily and effectively, whereas you can't shave weight from a "heavy" stick. Nonetheless, it seems you've found your way; enjoy your tennis.

I've hit the PB 10 MP, and I liked it, but it definitely didn't offer the forgiveness or easier "pop" of the London. How would you compare the PB 10 MP with the Melbourne in the pop/forgiveness categories?

I need to hit the Melbourne, just to see.
Interesting, my experience with London was a little different. It was great when I hit the ball just right, but I actually found it a lot less forgiving than my C10, and therefore even less forgiving that PB10, which I found to be more stable on off-sweet-spot shots than most rackets I've tried.

I'm not really into customization, although I don't mind customizing the rackets if it feels almost-right stock. I just felt London would need too much customization to make it work for me.

roman40
08-19-2011, 02:17 PM
The Melbourne actually swings freer than the PB 10 MP. If you can volley with the PB 10 MP--I know since I have a couple of pristine ones gathering dust--you will volley better with the Melbourne.
I guess I'll have to try it at some point, for now I am somewhat burned out on trying new rackets. Also, it's been messing with my game a bit, so I need to settle down and fine tune my game to my rackets for a change, vs the other way around :)

TennisMaverick
08-19-2011, 02:19 PM
I guess I'll have to try it at some point, for now I am somewhat burned out on trying new rackets. Also, it's been messing with my game a bit, so I need to settle down and fine tune my game to my rackets for a change, vs the other way around :)

Cool....send me an email if you need PB 10 MP related whatever.

TennisMaverick
08-19-2011, 02:20 PM
Interesting, my experience with London was a little different. It was great when I hit the ball just right, but I actually found it a lot less forgiving than my C10, and therefore even less forgiving that PB10, which I found to be more stable on off-sweet-spot shots than most rackets I've tried.

I'm not really into customization, although I don't mind customizing the rackets if it feels almost-right stock. I just felt London would need too much customization to make it work for me.

If you mod the London more than 6-8 grams, or polarize it, it does not play well.

zumzool
08-19-2011, 07:20 PM
I agree with TM. The Melbourne is a great choice... Especially at the net. In your case, it sounds like the best option....

TennisMaverick
08-22-2011, 05:34 PM
I've hit the PB 10 MP, and I liked it, but it definitely didn't offer the forgiveness or easier "pop" of the London. How would you compare the PB 10 MP with the Melbourne in the pop/forgiveness categories?

I need to hit the Melbourne, just to see.

The Melbourne's response is a little livelier than the PB 10 MPs, and hits with more spin. Its capped grommet also makes it more stable. However, the PB 10 MP is a real scalpel, and with minimal mods, plays as stable as the Melbourne. Neither stick is forgiving; they are both precision frames.

Pneumated1
08-22-2011, 07:03 PM
The Melbourne's response is a little livelier than the PB 10 MPs, and hits with more spin. Its capped grommet also makes it more stable. However, the PB 10 MP is a real scalpel, and with minimal mods, plays as stable as the Melbourne. Neither stick is forgiving; they are both precision frames.

The problem is that my friend had a stiff poly at pretty high tensions in the PB 10 MP both times I hit it. That probably influenced my memories of the stick in an unfair way. I can't imagine not putting a full multi or soft syn. gut in it at mid tension or lower. I'd love to try that.

As I said, my evaluation could be skewed a bit from a bad string choice, but a little more liveliness and spin would be welcome. Although, as far as precision/forgiveness, I honestly think that I win more with precision frames, but ball quality is obviously a different story there.

fuzz nation
08-23-2011, 05:19 AM
Howdy roman. I've been using the C10's for a few years myself and it seems as though I'm also hooked. My frames are from the older bumble-bee generation, but despite their mileage, I've been having great results with them.

A funny thing happened a few weeks back when I was changing an old overgrip on one of my Volkls - I spotted the lead tape I'd put on my grip (under my overgrip) back when I did a little tuning with these racquets. I'd also tried some 3/9 o'clock lead tape on the hoop, but forgot that I'd done some counterbalancing. The only lead on my C10's now is the stuff on my handles and their balance is around 10-11 pts. head-light. If you haven't tuned in this direction yet, it could be worth a try. For me, this setup is a heavenly thing.

Yes, I promise to also make an effort to get hold of a PB 10 midplus for "further review". For the record, I'm 45 and keeping up a rather busy schedule of playing and teaching/coaching, but I'm certainly no triathlete carved out of wood. Those PB 10's have a very attractive price tag these days and I'm also thinking of sampling a Prince Rebel 95 and perhaps even the Yonex RD Ti 80. Probably won't stray too far though, since my new bag is also Volkl (D'oh!).

OldButGame
08-23-2011, 11:22 AM
I've been using the PB10 MP recently a lot,....and its been great,...(for some reason,...1HBH are better with this than any stick i have),....

Mine came with a Prince Hybrid initially,....and that was great,...then i put Touch Turbo 17g in it,....and that plays great as well,...

I had been having some shoulder issues lately which caused me to pick this back up,....shoulders getting better despite playing a lot,...dont know if its the PB10,....or the strings,.....( i had been using Lux TIMO and that may have been the culprit...)

OzNQc
08-24-2011, 04:12 AM
Howdy roman. I've been using the C10's for a few years myself and it seems as though I'm also hooked. My frames are from the older bumble-bee generation, but despite their mileage, I've been having great results with them.

A funny thing happened a few weeks back when I was changing an old overgrip on one of my Volkls - I spotted the lead tape I'd put on my grip (under my overgrip) back when I did a little tuning with these racquets. I'd also tried some 3/9 o'clock lead tape on the hoop, but forgot that I'd done some counterbalancing. The only lead on my C10's now is the stuff on my handles and their balance is around 10-11 pts. head-light. If you haven't tuned in this direction yet, it could be worth a try. For me, this setup is a heavenly thing.

Yes, I promise to also make an effort to get hold of a PB 10 midplus for "further review". For the record, I'm 45 and keeping up a rather busy schedule of playing and teaching/coaching, but I'm certainly no triathlete carved out of wood. Those PB 10's have a very attractive price tag these days and I'm also thinking of sampling a Prince Rebel 95 and perhaps even the Yonex RD Ti 80. Probably won't stray too far though, since my new bag is also Volkl (D'oh!).

Yeah! I love my T10 VE MPs with that HL balance too ;) It is really easy to get the racket around quick!!!!

SOY78
08-24-2011, 08:29 AM
...Your C10 Pros could have been blown-out. It happens very quickly with that frame...

That could be why sometimes my old C10's and C10pt's feel really really soft almost wood racquet soft. :(

TennisMaverick
08-24-2011, 02:03 PM
That could be why sometimes my old C10's and C10pt's feel really really soft almost wood racquet soft. :(

Some people really like that feeling though. Just increase your string tension and use a snappier string like pre-stretched NRG2, Klip Venom, or of course, gut.

I have two of the first released version of the C10 Pro with the small C10 Pro lettering on the side over a light grey background that I never use.

TennisMaverick
08-24-2011, 02:05 PM
Yeah! I love my T10 VE MPs with that HL balance too ;) It is really easy to get the racket around quick!!!!

If you like that frame, the X10 is really a natural upgrade. It has much more bite and it volleys better, besides the fact that all X frames are more stable.

sansaephanh
08-24-2011, 03:09 PM
To OP:

Have you tried the Rebel 95? Seems like a viable answer to your problems. Its 12oz, but the 14pts hl really makes it feel like a light stick that still maintains excellent plowthrough with a great amount of precision. It has that "buttery" feel as many members describe it.
And tennis warehouse demo's are really cheap. Test out everyone's suggestions for under 20$.

Good Luck!

roman40
08-30-2011, 04:01 PM
The problem is that my friend had a stiff poly at pretty high tensions in the PB 10 MP both times I hit it...
Yeah, I wouldn't like that either. I have a lot of variety in my game, and poly really messes with that (drop shots especially). Plus, from my experience, flexy rackets just don't work well with poly, although I am not sure why (never tried low-low tensions). To me, a good multi, or better yet natural gut, gives me a lot more "gears" to work with. Plus, poly just doesn't play consistently, it seems to get worse and worse after the first week, whereas natural gut seems to have consistent characteristics until it breaks. It's very frustrating when you have to adjust to your racket every week.

To OP:
Have you tried the Rebel 95? ...
Good Luck!
Haven't tried Rebel 95. Have you played with Volkl? How does it compare to Volkl, in terms of feel/comfort/stability? As I said, my conclusion was that Volkl is indeed unique, in a good way, and given how well PB 10 works for me, I think I would have to give up something in order to gain something in another racket. I am surprisingly content about my choice... for now :)