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aqz
02-29-2012, 06:18 AM
Hello, wooo first post here!

I'm a 4.0 player in need of a new stick. I've been playing with a Wilson K Factor KFour 105 MP for the past 4-5 years (all through high school). Lately, I've been feeling like I'm losing control on my shots. As an aggressive baseliner, I try to hit deep into the court while generating as much pace as possible, but I've been hitting a lot of long shots past the baseline, usually not more than a foot long. Clearance above the net isn't huge either, maybe at most 2-3 feet.

I thus did some research on my racquet and turns out it's more of a power racquet (head heavy, stiff, medium power), which is leading me to think I've outgrown this racquet because I'm starting to consistently generate too much power on my shots. Seeing as how it is 4-5 years old, I guess it's time to find a new one.

Key criteria: Lower power, more control, also less head heavy (feels like I can't hold onto the racquet on my forehands when I swing fast).

I was thinking Head Youtek IG Speed 18x20 or 16x19 (input on which stringbed might suit the transition from Wilson K Four better would be appreciated). Any other suggestions?

Ramon
02-29-2012, 06:37 AM
You are looking at going from one extreme to the other. The 16x19 would probably be an easier transition for you than the 18x20. I haven't tried the Youtek IG Speed, but about a year ago I tried the Prestige models that came before the most recent ones. These racquets will give you all the key critieria you listed, and maybe more of that than you bargained for. However, it does sound like your game is maturing towards it, so I'd say it's worth a demo. You might find that the Head's grip shape is much different from the Wilson's. I prefer rounder shaped grips like the Wilson's.

I also demoed some racquets recently that you might want to try. Here are my thoughts on them:

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

aqz
02-29-2012, 07:27 AM
Thanks for your input! Definitely adding one or both of the Speeds to my demo list. Depending on how the demo goes, I should be able to determine if I'm ready for the entire transition (18x20) or if I still need my racquet to supply some power (16x19).

The grip issue is also pretty big. After 5 years with this Wilson, I've learned to force a semi-western grip because that gives me the best results for my hard hitting forehand. For some reason, however, I'm finding a western grip much easier to "default" to as in it takes me awhile to find the semi-western grip but the western grip feels much more natural and easier to find. I've heard western grips are better for hard forehands because the topspin keeps them in...maybe I'll default to a western after switching to Head grips. Right now, I'm going with a 4 3/8, but I'm thinking about trying 4 1/4 on my next racquet (could always add overgrip).

Great reviews, just wish I knew a little bit about those racquets beforehand (except the babolat). The volkl seemed to fit the best, and sure enough its specs fell right between the 16x19 and 18x20 Speeds. Maybe it's time to start demoing...

McLovin
02-29-2012, 07:46 AM
I have a friend who was in a very similar situation as you. He is a 4.0 player that used the Prince O3 Speedport Pro White and found he was over hitting many shots. He has fairly flat ground strokes & a 2HBH.

After rounds of demos (Yonex, Head, Wlison, Babolat), he decided on the Microgel Radical. You would think going from one of the most rounded grips to one of the most rectangular he would have had a problem, but he seems to have adjusted just fine. And the 18x20 pattern helped him control his shots better.

I guess the fact that they can be had for $79 helps as well...

Also, I know for many people on these message boards, 'Head Microgel Radical' seems to be the answer for all racquet issues (Q: 'I need more spin', A: 'Microgel Radical'....Q: 'I need to hit flatter', A: 'Microgel Radical'). However, in this case, I feel it may actually apply.

aqz
02-29-2012, 08:21 AM
Sounds good. The Microgel has actually the exact same performance when I compared it to the 18x20 IG Speed on TW University.

Andreas1965
02-29-2012, 09:30 AM
Whatever you do, demo the Micro Rad first!
I hit a few balls once with one from a friend, and was VERY disappointed.
Might be a great stick, but not for everybody!!

McLovin
02-29-2012, 09:36 AM
Whatever you do, demo the Micro Rad first!
I hit a few balls once with one from a friend, and was VERY disappointed.
Might be a great stick, but not for everybody!!

I agree, and forgot to mention in my original reply that I don't particularly care for the Microgel Radical (or any Radical, for that matter). I'm more of a Fischer/Volkl person, but many people seem to like that frame (including 3 of my 4.5 teammates), so I thought I'd throw it out there.

aqz
02-29-2012, 12:34 PM
I agree, and forgot to mention in my original reply that I don't particularly care for the Microgel Radical (or any Radical, for that matter). I'm more of a Fischer/Volkl person, but many people seem to like that frame (including 3 of my 4.5 teammates), so I thought I'd throw it out there.

At first I thought about the possibility of half a teammate and then I quickly realized you were talking about skill level.

Alright alright, I'll dish out the $14 or w/e and give these a try!

McLovin
03-01-2012, 02:51 AM
At first I thought about the possibility of half a teammate and then I quickly realized you were talking about skill level.

Ha! I guess I can see how it might read that way, but yes, I was talking about players on my 4.5 USTA team.

For the record, one of the players is a pure S&V, 1HBH, fairly flat hitter. Another is a Del Potro clone, being 6' 4", has a huge serve, and likes to thump the FH, and the other is more of a Ferrer style player. In other words, the frame seems to adapt well to different styles of play.

Also, I string all of their frames, and the S&V player uses 18g Kevlar mains & Gut crosses @ 60/64. The 2nd uses Pacific X-Force 17 & Gossen OGSM @ 56/60, and the third uses Gut mains & X-Force 17 crosses @ 58/56.

So, a range of playing styles and a range of string/tensions. My guess is if you like the weight/balance/feel of the frame, you can find a string combo/tension range that suits you. And again, at $79/frame, you can spend the $ saved on experimenting to find the right mix.

Just my $0.02...

aqz
03-08-2012, 11:28 AM
Just got my demos, about to play test them in 6 hours.

3x IG Speeds (16x19, 18x20, 300)

1x Microgel Radical.

aqz
03-09-2012, 07:03 AM
Liking the IG speed 16x19 315 a lot. Enough control, great maneuverability/fast swing speed. The other two versions sacrifice a bit too much power for me. Guess you were right Ramon.

Microgel Radical feels like I'm never going to hit the sweetspot, but didn't really play much with it to give it a chance. Got two more play tests coming up.