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View Full Version : PowerAngle playtest - first impressions


Hitman99
02-20-2012, 07:32 AM
Bought a PowerAngle Grand at auction, played with it for the first time last night. I am a senior (68 y.o.) USTA 4.0 player, previously played with a Wilson Hyper Carbon Hammer 2.0, probably the lightest, stiffest racket ever made, strung with Babolat VS 17g @ 55 lbs. Love that racket, but it has given me shoulder pain, and at my age, more aches & pains are the last thing I need. I play men's doubles almost exclusively, played serve/volley tennis until my knee replacement surgery this past summer, from which I have almost completely recovered.

The PowerAngle Grand is a 115 oversize racket, fairly stiff and powerful. It came strung with "Golden Set" poly at 60 lbs, which I will replace just as fast as I can find a local stringer who will tackle the re-stringing. The racket does not feel like it is strung at 60 lbs, and the strings also feel fairly loose.

The racket has a very different feel compared to what I am used to. The sweet spot is immense, and there is certainly some trampoline effect. It is hard to say whether this is a result of the racket design, the strings, or both. There is not as much "feel" as I expected, nor perceived spin. It took a good 40 minutes of warmup hitting before I felt ready to play. During 2 hours of match play, I never felt completely comfortable, or felt like I was hitting the ball as well as with my trusty Hammer.

Surprise! I won the first set against tough competition, won all my service games. I didn't notice much difference on my serve, but my opponents sure did, expecially on the ad court. I was consistently able to drive my opponent completely off the court to his backhand side, and he had trouble even getting the ball back. On the forehand side, my opponent's forehand return was weaker than normal, and I started to serve/volley again, with success. I really don't have a good slice serve to go along with my kicker, but I was able to hit some wide serves that were effective. I didn't have any double faults.

The biggest improvement was with my service returns, especially lobs. One of my opponents is faster than light, with a wicked net game. I almost always lob return his serves, but they often fall short, and I eat the overhead. Last night, I was consistently hitting my lobs near the baseline, with good directional control.

Groundies were inconsistent. I hit a few shots that were extraordinary, including one crosscourt FH service return that hit the sideline about 3 ft. from the net, one of the best shots of my life. Overheads were not spectacular, but very consistent. Volleys had better depth, but were mostly limited by my average technique.

One of my favorite shots with my Hammer is a BH overhead, which I can often snap for clean winners from behind the baseline. IMO, this shot is easier with a light, stiff frame. I can't hit this shot effectively with my other racket, a Head Metallix, or any of the demos I have tried. But I can hit it very well with the PowerAngle.

Bottom line is that I played very well with this racket, even though it didn't feel comfortable to me. The guys I played with, who have known me for years, said it was the best I've played in recent memory. I will play with it again tonight, against more tough competition.

After that, I have two demo rackets coming in from TW, another Grand and a Centric (108 head with a 18/18 string pattern). These rackets will be strung with Wilson NXT, and should give me a better idea of optimal stringing. I don't think I will try the Pro (98), even though the 16/16 string pattern offers intriguing potential for spin.

This is very much a work in progress, but so far, I'm encouraged.

Hitman99
02-23-2012, 07:32 AM
Second day of play was not as successful. The poly strings are so crummy that volleys fly uncontrollably. Serves were still good though.

My two demo rackets arrived last night from TW, will be playing with them this weekend.

I have also been conversing with Joe Schartman about the Vortex Extreme Spin racket. I read all the old threads from last summer, where there were several VERY enthusiastic supporters, but almost dead silence since then. Perhaps it's because TW doesn't carry their rackets.

Hitman99
02-23-2012, 12:39 PM
Hmmm, I wonder why I'm even bothering to post about this.

Xpherex
02-23-2012, 12:57 PM
I read it, I was interested in those rackets but as far as I cannot test it I won't buy it. thanks for the info.

gramdacious
02-23-2012, 01:08 PM
Thanks for the review Hitman99, I read it because I know virtually nothing about PowerAngle racquets. It seems as if most people on this forum aren't playing with a racquet with a headsize that big so that is probably the reason for the lack of responses. But there is a market for those frames as well and I'm sure this review has offered that market some insight. Good luck in your matches

Hitman99
02-23-2012, 03:27 PM
Thanks, I was beginning to think I was talking to myself! :)

Steve Huff
02-23-2012, 09:33 PM
Just came across this post. I had heard that it played soft. You confirmed it. Maybe even softer than I had originally thought. I find them interesting though, just not $150 interesting.

Marcus2137
02-23-2012, 10:14 PM
I've been watching this post also, sorry for not responding. I appreciate your review and would appreciate any more thoughts/experiences you can share about these rackets. Next time I have a chance and can get a couple of rackets to demo, I'm thinking about demoing one of these just to try. Thanks

Hitman99
02-24-2012, 06:10 AM
I would not describe the racket's playability as soft, at least not yet. The crummy strings make it very difficult to assess its true characteristics.

I am hoping to playtest both of the demos today, if I can find a hitting partner. If not, I have doubles matches scheduled for Sunday & Monday evenings. I will post my impressions ASAP.

Hitman99
02-24-2012, 10:54 AM
Just returned from a playtest session with a good friend. We both hit with both of the demo rackets, plus the one I already own (with the dead strings). Somewhat disappointing results, as follows:

Grand (115 head size) demo with PowerAngle proprietray syn gut strings - this racket is livelier than the one strung with poly, but also has a lot more vibration. It made my arm hurt in the lower bicep area after 30 minutes of hitting. Good access to topspin, but I could not play with it on a regular basis with this stringing.

Centric (108 head size) demo with NXT strings, higher tension - this was very powerful, plus had lots of spin. My friend loved it, as he has a good forehand, and was able to generate significan topspin with minimal input. Very easy to hit "moon balls" that would bounce head high at the baseline, and topspin lobs were difficult to return. I didn't like it, felt it was too heavy overall, plus head heavy. I am so used to an oversize frame, I also had trouble with the smaller head size. Much less vibration though.

Grand (115 head size) with Golden Set poly strings - I hit with this again, confirmed my initial impressions. My friend really liked this racket because of the ease in hitting service returns, & asked if he could buy it from me. It actually played better with the dead poly strings than the demo racket with NXT, plus there is not nearly as much vibration. I will play with this racket again Sunday night, and again on Monday night.

li0scc0
02-24-2012, 11:07 AM
I wrote a review a while back on the PowerAngle Pro. I enjoyed the racquet, it had a bit too odd of a balance for me to use, at that time. To make it 8 pts headlight it required too much weight in the handle. NOW I would be fine with it, I think.
String sensitive, and since I string myself that was another reason I went away from it. BUT...it was a great racquet to use. Honestly I find the design interesting and compelling. And the results were solid. And ah, that was pre-elbow trauma :)
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=296562&highlight=powerangle+li0scc0

Hitman99
02-26-2012, 08:26 PM
Played with the Grand racket again tonight. Probably the best I've played in the last 3-4 years. I learned to relax, not try to do too much, hit too hard, hit too much topspin. Result was I got everything back, could put the ball exactly where I wanted, got plenty of stuff on the ball. Once I relaxed my arm, my serves started hopping, volleys were crisp, half volleys were effortless, everything was just singing.

I got so many unforced errors on serves & overheads, all because of the spin. I had 6-7 aces to the ad court, hitting the sideline, completely unreturnable.

Tomorrow night will be a tougher matchup, against stronger players. Can't wait to see how I do. I am stoked!

:) :) :) :)

Bud
02-26-2012, 08:53 PM
Hmmm, I wonder why I'm even bothering to post about this.

ROFL :)

I don't think the PA frames will ever be popular. I tried one (95 sq. in.) a couple of years ago and hated it. Nothing worked with my game.

I'd also hate to restring one.

Just came across this post. I had heard that it played soft. You confirmed it. Maybe even softer than I had originally thought. I find them interesting though, just not $150 interesting.

Yep, the demo I had was strung with a multifilament and trampoline is a good word to describe the feel.

tennismonkey
02-26-2012, 08:57 PM
specs-wise the powerangle grand 115 is very similar to my wife's old head ti-s6. same head size, almost identical weight, swingweight, stiffness. i would imagine the powerangle plays like a spinnier version of that ti-s6 (which wasn't hurting for spin either). i experimented with leading one up to make it headlight and about 11 1/2 ounces. didn't play right. stock was best.

pheonix6579
02-27-2012, 05:58 AM
I'd also hate to restring one.



The PowerAngle Grand is a 115 oversize racket, fairly stiff and powerful. It came strung with "Golden Set" poly at 60 lbs, which I will replace just as fast as I can find a local stringer who will tackle the re-stringing.

Definitively would be interested in trying a PA frame just to add it to my list. I think it would be a fun hit. Though issues with stringing one IMO might outweigh the "fun" part. I can only imagine the multitude of words i might mutter while stinging one up.

Hitman99
02-27-2012, 09:12 AM
From what I can tell from the stringing instructions, it's not difficult at all. Only quirk is lowering the tension slightly on a few strings.

li0scc0
02-27-2012, 12:57 PM
stringing a Power Angle is different, but not hard.

Xisbum
02-27-2012, 06:03 PM
Played with the Grand racket again tonight. Probably the best I've played in the last 3-4 years. I learned to relax, not try to do too much, hit too hard, hit too much topspin. Result was I got everything back, could put the ball exactly where I wanted, got plenty of stuff on the ball. Once I relaxed my arm, my serves started hopping, volleys were crisp, half volleys were effortless, everything was just singing.

I got so many unforced errors on serves & overheads, all because of the spin. I had 6-7 aces to the ad court, hitting the sideline, completely unreturnable.

Tomorrow night will be a tougher matchup, against stronger players. Can't wait to see how I do. I am stoked!

:) :) :) :)
Was your second Grand outing with the demo or the one you bought? And did you give up on the Centric? I play with two different Wilson models, both 118, but I can still go back to my trusty 98s with no problems, except loss of whatever power I generate. Waiting to hear about your next outing.

Hitman99
02-27-2012, 08:53 PM
Was your second Grand outing with the demo or the one you bought? And did you give up on the Centric? I play with two different Wilson models, both 118, but I can still go back to my trusty 98s with no problems, except loss of whatever power I generate. Waiting to hear about your next outing.

All of my actual competitive play has been with the one I bought. I played earlier tonight, was even more pleased than last night. I was very relaxed, felt like I could hit the ball wherever I wanted, any time I wanted. One of my opponents has a very strong forehand, and every time we got on a little bit of a forehand/forehand crosscourt duel, I won. Not because I was hitting with more pace or deeper, but because I was more consistent, and hit with a bit more spin. Several times he hit so deep that I was hitting the ball on the very early rise, almost like a half-volley from the baseline. All I had to do was keep my wrist firm and the ball went back ---- DEEP.

Backhands were effortless, with decent pace and depth. I hit several lob service returns for clean winners. Volleys were crisp. Serves to the ad court were very strong, right on or near the sideline. My opponent was standing completely outside the court to receive serve. I won all my service games very easily, first time in recent memory that has happened.

My partner played with the Centric. At first, like me, he tried to do too much with the racket, hit several balls wildly out. Then he relaxed a bit, settled down, and started hitting very well.

What I have found is that you don't have to baby the ball, or shorten your swing, or try to spin the ball more to keep it in the court. You just have to swing smoothly, and the power and spin is there. I have hit harder forehands with my Hyper Hammer, but I've never hit so many consistent shots in a row with good depth and spin with any other racket, all without a lot of effort. The racket provides a tremendous confidence level.

Next step is to restring it with fresh strings. Based in some advice I got from a very senior member of this forum, I am thinking of trying MSV Hex.

Hitman99
03-04-2012, 05:42 PM
Played again tonight against all USTA senior 4.0 players. I didn't really dominate, but came very close. One of my opponents started calling me "Allstate" because I was the home of the "good hands" people. Big difference was my return of serve, which was deadly. Also, I was killer at net, hit lots of winning touch shot volleys.

This racket has definitely elevated my game, big time.

Next step is re-stringing it with natural gut, next weekend.

VOLLEY KING
03-04-2012, 06:59 PM
Hey hitman

I know the power angles very well. They have some really nice feeling sticks.

I would have posted it in my "crazy" racquets review but these racquets are no longer "crazy". They have been accepted by every one.

The racquets are great....but I found that the stringing pattern really did nothing different to the ball . I found no extra spin from any other racquet.

Having said that they are still solid and great racquets. The feel , control ,balance and power are great.

I would recommend them to everyone .

Hitman99
03-04-2012, 08:37 PM
Hey hitman

I know the power angles very well. They have some really nice feeling sticks.

I would have posted it in my "crazy" racquets review but these racquets are no longer "crazy". They have been accepted by every one.

The racquets are great....but I found that the stringing pattern really did nothing different to the ball . I found no extra spin from any other racquet.

Having said that they are still solid and great racquets. The feel , control ,balance and power are great.

I would recommend them to everyone .

Well, I agree that it is a great racket that has improved my game immensely. However, I don't agree that they have been accepted at all. Especially on this forum, most are obsessed with "players' rackets". They will spend hours discussing whether a given racket will play slightly better, with an extra gram of lead tape, and whether it should be on the head, handle, whatever. A new stringing design - blah.....

The tennis community is notoriously ultra conservative, and new ideas are not embraced with any acceptance. So be it.

VOLLEY KING
03-04-2012, 08:43 PM
Well, I agree that it is a great racket that has improved my game immensely. However, I don't agree that they have been accepted at all. Especially on this forum, most are obsessed with "players' rackets". They will spend hours discussing whether a given racket will play slightly better, with an extra gram of lead tape, and whether it should be on the head, handle, whatever. A new stringing design - blah.....

The tennis community is notoriously ultra conservative, and new ideas are not embraced with any acceptance. So be it.

You are right. I stand corrected.

whomad15
03-04-2012, 11:10 PM
The powerangle racquets are very cool, I only demo'd the pro but my hitting partner immediately complained because my regular groundstrokes jumped up about 12-18" higher from the added spin. Serves and returns also benefited from the power/spin gain compared to my pog 93"

My only issue with them is that with the pro, it already is a heavy racquet and it was an even balance, whereas I was used to the same weight but very headlight.

VOLLEY KING
03-05-2012, 06:12 AM
I'm interested in the Pro 98.

It has the specs I like an is similar to the old Pro 98.

The reviews that I have read give it good reviews and state that the open string pattern just give it a HUGE amount of power.

I did also read that the vibration was pretty bad and it's actually the reason I stopped using my old 98.

The paint job of the new one looks awful. Is it really beige??

Not that that matters......but beige? Lol

Hitman99
03-05-2012, 07:01 AM
The powerangle racquets are very cool, I only demo'd the pro but my hitting partner immediately complained because my regular groundstrokes jumped up about 12-18" higher from the added spin. Serves and returns also benefited from the power/spin gain compared to my pog 93"

My only issue with them is that with the pro, it already is a heavy racquet and it was an even balance, whereas I was used to the same weight but very headlight.

I haven't tried the 98, but did demo the 108. Same general reaction --- tremendous power and spin, but a little heavier than what I like, with head heavy balance --- felt like a club. It was strung with NXT at a fairly high tension, and was too lively. I think it would do much better with a softer string bed at lower tension.