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View Full Version : Input on possible racket change


sansaephanh
02-24-2012, 10:34 PM
So i'm a 3.5 with 4.0 groundstrokes on good days and I currently wield 2 2009 model Rebel 95s. I try to hit variable spin serves to get my opponents off guard, but mostly to maintain a type of consistency. I have a kick serve that doesn't kick more half the time, a slice serve with minimal movement, a hard topspin serve to replace my flat when i need to get it in, and a low staying flat serve. Again the flat serve is low staying probably cause i have no pop.

I love ripping the penetrating flat forehand and hitting nice high bouncing or low flowing defensive shots to set up my stronger groundstrokes and touch shots including short angles and dropshots). My goal is to be a all courter, but my volleys are horrible. I tend to not look at the ball and miss the ball altogether(yes its that bad). I don't break strings too often, but can tell when my strings are dead or about to break.

My friends are who are at a 4.0 level(self rated) playing round robin matches say i have decent groundstrokes but am lacking a bit of pop on my serves and volleys. For sure the problems with volleying are in confidence, form, and footwork. Though, on serves I used to easily hit fence in one bounce, but now not i'm not getting enough pop into the ball.

This was copy and pasted from my string thread, but I would love some input on a racket change. I'm going to receive some Pro Staff 6.1 Classic STRETCHES. I fell in love with the pop and feel of the PSC6.1 but it was too wild for me. I need my dense string patterns, I just do. So i found some on the classified section and bought them impulsively. Dense string pattern with the pro staff pedigree? Is it a dream come true? Only time to tell. I want to stick a good amount of lead in the handle to add the mobility i know i'll need for the quicker moments in tennis. I'm losing weight focusing on getting more flexible and getting my cardio up.

From the 2009 Model Exo3 Rebel to the prestigious(though it isn't the prestige ironically) Pro Staff 6.1 Classic Stretch.

I love the quick racket head speed and feel of the Exo3 Rebel despite its static weight. It has incredible plow through and big sweet spot combined with great comfort. Though its downsides include the muted feel which many people do not enjoy and crap load of difficulty for stringing if ill equipped for the job. Some people say the paint job is horrible as well, but they are just mad cause its a different color then their rackets :).

I've played the 16x19 pattern PSC and found it uncontrollable and slightly sluggish. But beautiful in all other areas of the game. Im really excited. What do you guys think?

fuzz nation
02-25-2012, 06:15 AM
Don't really know what sort of input you're interested in there. Are you wondering what to expect with the newly acquired ProStaffs or are you considering another direction? I'll babble for a little bit regardless...

Gotta love a heavier frame's inherent stability for good volleys and I'll bet you'll get that with both of these racquets. If your volley technique simply isn't there yet, get some solid instruction sooner than later. Otherwise it's much more likely that you'll practice bad habits which will only take longer to un-learn. That's one of the more frustrating things for any developing player to endure.

I still have three of my old 6.1 Classics and even used one of them for a set with my doubles group this past week. It's no mystery that the 6.1 line has offered great options for both serve and volley players as well as doubles specialists over the years. I'd love to try one with the 18x20 pattern just for the sake of seeing how it works in action.

I'd bet that the stiff ProStaffs will play a little hotter than the softer Rebel 95. That's nice for helping to get good pop on volleys and serves, but I switched away from my ProStaffs when I developed stronger baseline skills and needed help from my gear in terms of consistency. For the record, I've been settled in with the Volkl C10 for a while. It gives me that familiar hefty, head-light layout and while the extra flex makes for slightly less zing in my volleys for example, the more mellow response has been great for adding control to my ground game when I take full swipes at the ball.

I wouldn't be surprised if you find a similar contrast between your ProStaffs and your Rebels. The 6.1's can be hard to top when looking for some authority in a S&V or doubles setting, but a softer alternative like your Rebel can offer a less touchy gas pedal when you swing away. That can translate into fewer unexpected fliers, but the racquet still has enough heft to give the ball a really good thump!

sansaephanh
02-25-2012, 01:08 PM
Don't really know what sort of input you're interested in there. Are you wondering what to expect with the newly acquired ProStaffs or are you considering another direction? I'll babble for a little bit regardless...

Gotta love a heavier frame's inherent stability for good volleys and I'll bet you'll get that with both of these racquets. If your volley technique simply isn't there yet, get some solid instruction sooner than later. Otherwise it's much more likely that you'll practice bad habits which will only take longer to un-learn. That's one of the more frustrating things for any developing player to endure.

I still have three of my old 6.1 Classics and even used one of them for a set with my doubles group this past week. It's no mystery that the 6.1 line has offered great options for both serve and volley players as well as doubles specialists over the years. I'd love to try one with the 18x20 pattern just for the sake of seeing how it works in action.

I'd bet that the stiff ProStaffs will play a little hotter than the softer Rebel 95. That's nice for helping to get good pop on volleys and serves, but I switched away from my ProStaffs when I developed stronger baseline skills and needed help from my gear in terms of consistency. For the record, I've been settled in with the Volkl C10 for a while. It gives me that familiar hefty, head-light layout and while the extra flex makes for slightly less zing in my volleys for example, the more mellow response has been great for adding control to my ground game when I take full swipes at the ball.

I wouldn't be surprised if you find a similar contrast between your ProStaffs and your Rebels. The 6.1's can be hard to top when looking for some authority in a S&V or doubles setting, but a softer alternative like your Rebel can offer a less touchy gas pedal when you swing away. That can translate into fewer unexpected fliers, but the racquet still has enough heft to give the ball a really good thump!

This sort of "babble" was what I'm really interested in. Its hard to make a thread these days without people coming in and saying "just go play with it and see if you like it." Obviously that's going to happen whether they say it or not, but whats wrong with a conversation every once in a while?

Anyways, what I am really looking forward to in this racket is improving my 2hbh. I can hit a pretty nice winner when I need to, but am missing that little extra zip on the run. I feel the extended length along with the stiffer frame will more than compensate for my short swings on the dash. As for getting jammed and racket head speed, I really plan to try to add some lead at the bottom. I have experienced the balance and whippy, port feeling of the rebels and Im pretty sure some weight in the handle will give me a similar feel. Also, i have some pretty bad habits hitting high on the frame. Maybe that 1/2in will make it or break it for me. Either way, if you REALLY want to try one fuzz, I can send it to you as a demo =D. I have had a taste of being a PSC junkie lol.

Every once in a while I'll pull it out in spite of the string pattern and hit with it. Oh my the feel is great. I plan on being healthy enough to lug around the PSC stretches through the long tennis days. I've been going to the gym and running. Not much change yet, but I'll get there.

Anyone have any experience with the 18x20?
What kind of strings would you recommend someone with a baseline game, looking for more spin on groundies and serves? No polys please. People have recommended NXT Tour and Nat Gut since I don't break strings, they'd both last me a while.

sansaephanh
03-02-2012, 02:30 AM
Revive so I don't have to start a new thread.

You know I fell in love with the deliberate feel of a nice heavy racket. 12+oz with 34+sw. But man, I just strung my friends [K]Pro Tour and it feels great. 11.1oz. 314 SW. 10 pts HL 16x20. I'm getting a great deal more spin to my game with just testing this light frame, but miss the insane counter punching potential of my rebels. I know there is a ton of threads on heavy vs light frames, but I can't help but wonder what my most optimal weight is.

This is really just me pondering to myself, but if anyone wants to start a conversation or share experiences about what you guys had to go through to find your optimal specs, I definitely won't shy away from you =D

Ramon
03-02-2012, 03:32 AM
Here's what I went through recently when I demoed racquets.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=413091

mrsandoo
03-02-2012, 07:34 AM
Sansaephanh,

I use the 18x20 on the BLX 6.1 and recently demoed the new BLX 6.1 16x18, because like yourself, I am looking for a little bit more pace on my shots.

However, I found the difference in pace to be minimal. I am sure there is a difference, but none of my opponents said they felt anything noticeable. You certainly arn't going to get the jump in power from a 6.1 to a PDR.

But I did notice more spin generation, but again it is subtle. It was more noticeable than the difference in power, but it's not big enough to make or break your game as some people put it.

How much top spin are you looking for in your ground game? If you want a more loopy groundstroke (like Nadal'ish), I would take a look at an entirely different set of racquets. I always found the 6.1 to be more suited for a flat stroke (There is still top spin).

Couple other things I wanted to say.

I found the 6.1 (both versions) to have just the right pace and penetration on the run, but not on a defensive shot. If I have to lean back what so ever to return the ball because I am so out of position, the balls tended to land flat.

And that's where the K Pro Tour seemed to shine so much. I actually bought one couple years ago to address this problem and I think it suits my game better, but like you said, there were short comings on those counter punch shots.

I am waiting to demo the Juice, so you might also want to give that a try. I've read its sort of between the 6.1 and the K Pro Tour.

Best of luck!

Steve Huff
03-03-2012, 08:46 PM
If you like the 18x20 patterns, you might like the PK Black Ace or Redondo 98. Maybe even the new Rebel 98. Others I can think of would be a kBlade 98 or the SP Black Tour. How about a Babolat Pure or Aero Storm (16x20). Demoing is still your best bet, but these are rackets you may want to put on your list.

loosegroove
03-04-2012, 02:17 AM
What kind of strings do you use, and how long has it been since your sticks have been restrung? You say you're not a string breaker, so maybe it's just a matter of replacing your old dead string that's been sitting in your racket for too long to regain some of the pop.

sansaephanh
03-04-2012, 12:24 PM
Here's what I went through recently when I demoed racquets.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=413091

Nice! Glad you found a racket that suits you so far. I say so far because the Rebel suited me for about a year lol. I mean it's still a great stick, but I think I need more spin in my game. Though with open string patterns I tend to hit net all day. Just an adjustment i haven't made yet.

Sansaephanh,

I use the 18x20 on the BLX 6.1 and recently demoed the new BLX 6.1 16x18, because like yourself, I am looking for a little bit more pace on my shots.

However, I found the difference in pace to be minimal. I am sure there is a difference, but none of my opponents said they felt anything noticeable. You certainly arn't going to get the jump in power from a 6.1 to a PDR.

But I did notice more spin generation, but again it is subtle. It was more noticeable than the difference in power, but it's not big enough to make or break your game as some people put it.

How much top spin are you looking for in your ground game? If you want a more loopy groundstroke (like Nadal'ish), I would take a look at an entirely different set of racquets. I always found the 6.1 to be more suited for a flat stroke (There is still top spin).

Couple other things I wanted to say.

I found the 6.1 (both versions) to have just the right pace and penetration on the run, but not on a defensive shot. If I have to lean back what so ever to return the ball because I am so out of position, the balls tended to land flat.

And that's where the K Pro Tour seemed to shine so much. I actually bought one couple years ago to address this problem and I think it suits my game better, but like you said, there were short comings on those counter punch shots.

I am waiting to demo the Juice, so you might also want to give that a try. I've read its sort of between the 6.1 and the K Pro Tour.

Best of luck!

Well I hit more of a driving topspin and am really just looking for something to let me hit better loopy ones. Also the extra spin will make my serves more viable to set up winners.

As for defensive shots, I really try to swing up or drive the slice and place it uncomfortably for the opponent, but at my level it doesn't happen as near as enough as I would like. I seemed to hit them fine with my rebels, but with the lighter K Pro the light weight gave me more time to swing faster and really feel where I wanted to spin it. With the heavier frame, it just kind of plows through the ball on these defensive shots and sometimes sends them long, wide or into the net.

Yeah the Juice sounded interesting! I really didn't want to pay premium price for a new racket though. I tend to look towards second hand ones since I'm a budget player.

If you like the 18x20 patterns, you might like the PK Black Ace or Redondo 98. Maybe even the new Rebel 98. Others I can think of would be a kBlade 98 or the SP Black Tour. How about a Babolat Pure or Aero Storm (16x20). Demoing is still your best bet, but these are rackets you may want to put on your list.

The redondo sounds most interesting, but the 16x20 string patterns are making their way into my heart. Sometimes I have trouble hitting flat, but that added spin was so addicting. I demod the Rebel 98 and almost switched, I hated the strings that were in there and wanted a little more weight to the handle. I think I would switch if I had the money, but alas I'll have to wait till the second hand ones get cheaper lol.

What kind of strings do you use, and how long has it been since your sticks have been restrung? You say you're not a string breaker, so maybe it's just a matter of replacing your old dead string that's been sitting in your racket for too long to regain some of the pop.

Well its been a while since i restrung, I actually have a thread for the last time i did it, but I don't get out to play much anymore cause of work, but when I do I think I hit pretty decently for my level. For the exception of my bad footwork screwing up my backhand on off days.

I currently have a full bed of Forten Sweet 16 in one of my Rebels. Going to string up my spare with a bed of Gosen Sheep Micro 17 to see how it feels. I also have some Isospeed Baseline Control 16 that I'm reluctant to use because I don't break strings... why use a poly when I can probably get better playability off synthetic guts? Comfort, price, and playability keeep me on the cheap synth guts. Though I definitely wouldn't mind trying a hybrid for more spin.

I want to restring both my rebels but HATE stringing O-ports with no table brake or stringing tool. My friend broke some ports in one of my grommets and I still haven't replaced them lol. I probably will soon when I order some test strings for my beautiful 6.1 Classics.