PDA

View Full Version : Reviews on Comfortable Racquets to replace APD


Ramon
02-11-2012, 11:18 AM
I recently had the opportunity to demo 5 racquets to replace my Babolat APDGT. I loved my APDGT but it was too harsh on my arm. It has been suggested that if I hit the sweetspot every time, it wouldn't be a problem (great advice, right?!).

Here are the racquets I tried. All of them were strung with full synthetic gut.

Pro Kennex Ki 5 PSE - Definitely not for the meek. The specs say 12.9 oz strung, but when I put it on the scale it was closer to 13.1 oz. The Ki 5 was about 11.8 oz on the same scale (true to specs). The PSE is about 0.6 oz heavier than my old PS 6.1 classic. If that's not bad enough, I didn't like the hard leather grip, so I added an overgrip that increased the weight to 13.5 oz. Not surprisingly, the PSE is extremely stable with excellent plow. The power level is similar to my APDGT and returns are even more solid. I like the feel, and it's very comfortable. The problem is the heft makes it hard to maneuver. I played 2 long, competitive sets with it to see if I could get used to it. I never did get to where I could generate the kind of racquet head speed I get with my APDGT. I thought I was pretty strong, but this is really more of a stick for Hulk Hogan than for me.

Pro Kennex Ki 5 - Very easy transition from my APDGT. Not as stable as the PSE version but much easier to maneuver. The power level is in between the APDGT and PS. Some of my reflex shots were landing short because of the lower power, but I know I can adjust to it. Volleys are good too. It's not quite as solid as the APDGT but comes close. I especially liked both the PK models on serve. The comfort makes it so I can put more into my serves than before. This was a very welcome surprise. Overall, this was my favorite demo but I still wanted a little more stability. Maybe lead tape will help.

Prince EXO3 Tour 100 16x18 - This was the most comfortable racquet of the bunch. I really wanted to like it because of the comfort, but in the end, I concluded it would be too much of an adjustment for me. The power curve is very different from my APDGT. At net it is underpowered, but when I take a full swing from the baseline I sometimes see balls launching and I have to hit with excess topspin to keep it in. This racquet is a spin monster. My topspin serves tended to curve into the net because of the excess spin. When I made adjustments to it, I liked the extra kick. My friend's 18x20 version with full poly was an easier adjustment for me. These racquets have a muted feel, so feedback is minimal.

Pacific X Force Pro 16x20 - This racquet had the best feel out of all of them. Groundstokes were accurate and volleys were solid. It is a forgiving control-oriented racquet with enough liveliness that it doesn't feel dead. Like the Ki 5, I think it can appeal to a lot of players. Compared to the Ki 5, the X Force Pro had better control and feel, but the Ki 5 had more spin and a little more power. I would give a slight edge to the X Force Pro on off-center hits. For me the tiebreaker was the serve. I can serve harder with the Ki 5, and I'd like the serve to be a bigger part of my game like it was when I was younger.

Volkyl Organix 10 325g - This was the most control-oriented racquet of the bunch. I would also place it 2nd in comfort to the EXO3 Tour 100. It was quite forgiving for being a player's stick. My only problem with it was the power level was too low for my liking. All shots including groundstrokes, volleys, and serves were either landing short or required additional effort on my part. Still, I think this would be a great racquet for someone who wants to supply his own power and spin.

There you have it. The winner? None of them! I'm ordering the Pro Kennex Ki 5X. The swingweight will fall in between the Ki 5 and Ki 5 PSE, and I think the extra length will help my serve even more. Lead tape might also help to add stability. It's not the first time I bought I racquet that I didn't demo. I liked the feel of the Aero Storm and the power of the Pure Drive, but I couldn't demo the APDGT, so I bought it anyway and got what I wanted (except for the harshness on the arm).

BTW, if you never demoed a racquet from TW before but can't find everything you like in your area, give TW a try. It's quick, convenient, and very reasonable.

Ramon
02-16-2012, 06:47 PM
I just played my first match with my new racquet:

Pro Kennex Ki 5x - I bought it without demoing, but I think it was a good choice. The length is closer to 27-3/8 than 27-1/2. I was surprised at the difference the extra length made to the swingweight. I thought the Ki 5 could have used a bit of lead tape, but I don't think I'll be using much lead if any on the Ki 5x. The weight is the same as the Ki 5, but somehow it feels heavier and more stable. Maybe that's just because I tend to hit the ball higher than the sweespot on a standard frame, so maybe the extra length compensates for that. Whatever is happening, I like it. I serve harder with it, and I don't have a problem with the higher swingweight. I may not be able with whip it around quite as fast as the Ki 5, but the extra stability on groundstrokes and reach on the serve makes up for that. Comfort is much improved over the APDGT. I'll probably order a 2nd racquet soon.

scotus
02-16-2012, 07:00 PM
Excellent reviews.

Hope you found a racquet to stick with for a while, but if not, keep the reviews coming!

Xpherex
02-17-2012, 04:19 AM
Ramon thanks for your review I was also looking into this rackets, not to replace my APD which I don't have but to find a more open pattern with more feel, I find my Yonex RQiS Tour 1 a little bit muted for me.
1. Could you rank them from 1 to 6 for the most open pattern to more closed, please
2. Could you rank them from most comfortable to least
3. Could you rank them from most curved shots to more straight ones. I usually getting kicks, from my forehand especially.

jjs891
02-17-2012, 04:44 AM
Ramon

Have you thought about trying pK 7G? It's an extended 5G.

Just wondering.

Ramon
02-17-2012, 05:02 AM
Ramon thanks for your review I was also looking into this rackets, not to replace my APD which I don't have but to find a more open pattern with more feel, I find my Yonex RQiS Tour 1 a little bit muted for me.
1. Could you rank them from 1 to 6 for the most open pattern to more closed, please
2. Could you rank them from most comfortable to least
3. Could you rank them from most curved shots to more straight ones. I usually getting kicks, from my forehand especially.

Listed in order of ranking (1st being highest)

1.
Prince EXO Tour 100 16x18 (most open, and feels like it too)
Pro Kennex (all 3 models) (16x20) 100
Volkyl Organix 10 325g (16x19) 98 (smaller head than PK's, so it feels more close)
Pacific X Force Pro (16x20) 98 (closest pattern and best feel)

2.
Prince EXO Tour 100 16x18 (by far the most comfortable)
Volkyl Organix 10 325g
Pro Kennex Ki 5 PSE (if a heavy racquet doesn't bother you)
Pro Kennex Ki 5x, and X Force Pro (too close to call)
Pro Kennex Ki 5 (a bit unstable on off-center hits, still much more comfortable than the APDGT, lead tape might help and it's light enough to use it)

3.
Prince EXO Tour 100 16x18 (by far the most spin, most kick, most curved shots)
Pro Kennex Ki 5 (open pattern and light swingweight)
Pacific X Force Pro
Volkyl Organix 10 325g (capable of spin, but the effort is all you)
Pro Kennex Ki 5x (swingweight much different from Ki 5)
Pro Kennex Ki 5 PSE (by far the heaviest and hardest to get racquet speed)

Ramon
02-17-2012, 05:12 AM
Ramon

Have you thought about trying pK 7G? It's an extended 5G.

Just wondering.

I picked one up for about 1 minute. It felt good for that time. I took it off my list just because the Ki 5x replaces it, but I can't really give a good opinion of it. I know it gets a lot of love on this board, and I'm not surprised.

According to Pro Kennex, the newer Ionic Kinetic system on the Ki series is more effective than the older one, but people who love the older ones will tell you differently.

mikeler
02-17-2012, 05:14 AM
I picked one up for about 1 minute. It felt good for that time. I took it off my list just because the Ki 5x replaces it, but I can't really give a good opinion of it. I know it gets a lot of love on this board, and I'm not surprised.


Not sure if they have plans to replace the 7G, I hope not! :(

Bartelby
02-17-2012, 06:45 AM
x fast pro 100 by Pacific looks a new possibility.

Power Player
02-17-2012, 07:05 AM
Ramon,

I got myself a couple of Wilson BLX Pro Opens and if you want a Pure Drive or APDC that has better feel and comfort, this is the racquet.

The 7g is also an excellent option. I just prefer the open pattern and spin of the Pro Open.

Xpherex
02-17-2012, 09:10 AM
I also would like to hear opinions on QC of those rackets
and where they were made?
I know prince - china
prokennex?
pacific?
Volkl?

Ramon
02-18-2012, 05:18 AM
Not sure if they have plans to replace the 7G, I hope not! :(

I think it can go either way. PK kept the Black Ace going for a long time, and it's older than many of the posters here. On the other hand, my favorite racquet many years ago was the PK Silver Ace. After it cracked, I couldn't get a replacement, and it took me 2 years of experimenting to finally settle on a racquet that I loved again (the Wilson PS 6.1 95).

Ramon
02-18-2012, 05:24 AM
Ramon,

I got myself a couple of Wilson BLX Pro Opens and if you want a Pure Drive or APDC that has better feel and comfort, this is the racquet.

The 7g is also an excellent option. I just prefer the open pattern and spin of the Pro Open.

Good suggestion, but now I think what I really wanted was a racquet that was better for my arm and also a better fit for my game, and the PK Ki 5x seems to fit the bill. I probably would have been happy with the 7G as well. I can swing with more confidence with a players type racquet.

Slim Pickens
02-18-2012, 05:42 AM
I was in the same boat as you not too long ago; looking for something a little softer with modeate power and good control. I demoed the Volkl Organix 10-325 twice and really liked it. The comfort and control were excellent, but I was looking for a little more power. Later, I tried the Volkl Organix 8-315 and found it to be the perfect mix of comfort, power, and control, for me anyway. The comfort and control are excellent, the power though can be difficult deal with until you find the right string. This racquet is very string and tension sensative; powerful strings at lower tension ranges turn it into a rocket launcher. I have found, for me anyway, that a nive poly/syngut hybrid strung in the middle of tension range to be best. Currently I use Isospeed Baseline Spin at 57 in the mains and Forten Tournament Nylon at 54 in the crosses. This combo tones down the power, offers good spin and control, is fairly durable, and is super cheap. I have had this racquet/string combo for about a month now and my elbow issues have gone away, even while playing 3-4 times per week.

goosala
02-18-2012, 08:29 AM
Anything out there would be softer and more comfortable than the APD. Try the PSBLX95.

JackB1
02-18-2012, 03:15 PM
Perfect comfortable replacement for the Babolat is the Becker DC Pro.

mikeler
02-18-2012, 05:00 PM
I also would like to hear opinions on QC of those rackets
and where they were made?
I know prince - china
prokennex?
pacific?
Volkl?


My PKs have Made in China on them.

Carlos A.
05-16-2012, 08:51 AM
And what about Volkl PB 10 Mid? Which is the most comfortable Volkl?