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View Full Version : Using the BLX Pro Staff 90


WilsonWand12
10-17-2012, 09:58 PM
On my serves, I've learned not to muscle the ball, but instead have a nice fluid motion and direct the racquet where it is supposed to go and my serves are much more effective and my arm pain down to a minimum; plus the weight of the racquet supplies ample power, so I don't have to overexert myself. I can generally do the same for my one handed backhand. However, on my forehand, I feel that I may be arming the ball too much, even though I consciously try not to. Lately I've been using a double-bend semi-western forehand with quite a bit of spin, and it is normally very effective, but I feel like my arm is too tense when swinging. Should I do what I do on the serve and find a way to hit the forehand using the weight of the racquet and moreover guide the ball? Or can I be fluid with a double-bend forehand at all? All advice welcome!

effortless
10-18-2012, 04:26 AM
Firstly, what level of play are you at?
This is only my personal experience... I found that the tour 90 favours a straight arm forehand when i switched to it many years ago. I prefer a straight arm forehand because it gives me easy power. Arming the ball with the tour 90 is really really bad in my opinion. A double bend semi western forehand can be a killer shot (look at Djokovic). I just don't think it is suited to the tour 90. Most likely with your swing, it would be hard to hit the sweet spot with 90 sq. inch.

How can you fix it?
Use your whole body when you hit the shot (legs, torso, shoulders, arm, wrist) and keep it flowing. It's also important to hit the ball out in front of you. If you want a straight arm forehand, this is the key. Obviously you have to be further away from the ball at the point of contact. Before anything i would try imitating the shot and watching yourself in a reflection to see if you are doing it right. Then try to keep the same motion when you goon the court.

Stroke
10-18-2012, 05:05 AM
I think it is great to experiment with a heavy, player type racquet like the pro staff 90, POG OS, or Kennex Ki5 PSE, because as you talked about, you can experiment with letting the racquet do more of the work. You mentioned you have gotten a feel for this on the serve and bh. I would suggest shadow swinging on the fh with a somewhat loose grip, and not worry so much about straight arm or bent arm. Just turn your shoulders pre-bounce with a loose grip, and turn back into the ball and let the heavy racquet do the work. It is very difficult to arm a heavy racquet.

WilsonWand12
10-18-2012, 06:34 PM
effortless, I actually used to have a straight arm forehand, but since I was so stiff and arming the ball, it never worked for me. But I can so agree on how it would be more beneficial with this type of racquet. I'm pretty sure my mistakes may have been that I was not using my entire body. Any way to do use the whole body without tiring myself out too quickly? And I consider myself a 3.5 player because my overall game is more consistent than most but still pretty weak.
Stroke, will do! Do I need to change my forehand grip in order to benefit me more in directing the hefty weapon? I can't hit the courts again until next Tuesday, but I feel like using a semi-western grip would help me manage the weight better, or am I wrong?

MikeHitsHard93
10-18-2012, 06:51 PM
Glad to hear that a fellow 3.5 player is using a mid. I'm about to get a Six.One 95 :) not sure which one though. Sounds like me and you are going through about the same transition in our games. Developing even more consistency and improving footwork, setting up early, and using the whole body with a full swing. I believe that is probably the only way we are gonna start using these heavy players rackets!!

effortless
10-18-2012, 06:52 PM
Yeah focus on using your whole body first (focus on shoulder and torso rotation especially). As i said, do some shadowing. If you use your whole body and have a relatively relaxed arm, i think you will develop somewhat of a straight arm naturally with this racquet.

It will be hard to use the 90 at 3.5. If you get frustrated with it don't give up. You will really need to focus on your technique a lot. I also used the 90 at about 3.5 when i was a junior. You will be rewarded long term if you stick to this racquet and adapt your technique to suit the racquet.

You could probably use a mild SW forehand. I personally would slowly try to move towards more of an eastern (just my personal preference for this racquet).

MikeHitsHard93
10-18-2012, 06:54 PM
Yeah focus on using your whole body first (focus on shoulder and torso rotation especially). As i said, do some shadowing. If you use your whole body and have a relatively relaxed arm, i think you will develop somewhat of a straight arm naturally with this racquet.

It will be hard to use the 90 at 3.5. If you get frustrated with it don't give up. You will really need to focus on your technique a lot. I also used the 90 at about 3.5 when i was a junior. You will be rewarded long term if you stick to this racquet and adapt your technique to suit the racquet.

You could probably use a mild SW forehand. I personally would slowly try to move towards more of an eastern (just my personal preference for this racquet).

What is an eastern forehand grip compared to a continental grip??? I have never understood. Please explain to me

effortless
10-18-2012, 07:06 PM
It's a bit hard to explain. If i don't do a good job, do a google search.

The way i determine it is by where my index finger knuckle is.

On an eastern FH your index finger knuckle should be on the biggest flat side of the handle. Put your racquet on the floor and simply pick it how you naturally would. You should have an eastern forehand.

A continental grip is rotated slightly clockwise until your knuckle is on the smallest bevel.

MikeHitsHard93
10-18-2012, 07:20 PM
And how do you hold the racket in conjunction with your wrist when swinging? curled under like a dumbell, or wrist outward?

effortless
10-18-2012, 07:30 PM
Not entirely sure what you mean. On the forehand i have emulated Federer to the best of my ability. I set up with my wrist curled cocked and finish the shot with my wrist back, snapping through the ball at the last moment.

I use the eastern on the forehand and continental on serve, volley, slice etc.

MikeHitsHard93
10-18-2012, 07:32 PM
I guess it doesnt matter a whole lot because I will probably always use a SW FH lol.

effortless
10-18-2012, 07:43 PM
Yeah i think you should be fine with SW FH. Just don't go further west than that, otherwise it will be a disaster. Very occasionally i use a SW FH if want to hit a heavy top spin shot. The racquet seems to handle it fine.

effortless
10-18-2012, 07:44 PM
I'm assuming you use continental on serve, volley, slice etc?

MikeHitsHard93
10-18-2012, 07:52 PM
I'm assuming you use continental on serve, volley, slice etc?

Yeah my serve actually is only slightly SW but everything else is continental. My first serve is pretty flat.

effortless
10-18-2012, 08:01 PM
Yeah my serve actually is only slightly SW but everything else is continental. My first serve is pretty flat.

Well the serve is something you absolutely must change. Almost anyone will tell you that you need a continental grip for serves. You can slowly change it - you don't have to do it all at once.

Just a reminder about what the semi western is: from an eastern grip rotate the handle anti clockwise until your index finger knuckle is on the small bevel right next to the eastern grip bevel.

MikeHitsHard93
10-18-2012, 08:13 PM
Well the serve is something you absolutely must change. Almost anyone will tell you that you need a continental grip for serves. You can slowly change it - you don't have to do it all at once.

Just a reminder about what the semi western is: from an eastern grip rotate the handle anti clockwise until your index finger knuckle is on the small bevel right next to the eastern grip bevel.

Yeah I agree. It's my next overhaul lol. When I get it in, my serve is a rocket. But 1st serve only goes in probably 33%. I change my grip to continental on my second serve and slice the crap out of it. Think Andy Roddick style. lol. I am in college now and only play recreationally at the moment. At the end of HS I was a 3.0. Consistency was bad and I only had a slice BH. Ever since then, everything has been self taught and I would say I am on the verge of 4.0 (consistency killing me). Best shot is inside out FH. I now use a 2hbh that is actually relatively steady. The FH is all or nothing it seems.

effortless
10-18-2012, 08:16 PM
Yeah you'll probably have to change your swing to compensate for the grip change. Thats why i suggested changing the grip gradually rather than all at once. Maybe just try shadowing your serve the way it should be if you can't always get on the court.

MikeHitsHard93
10-18-2012, 08:19 PM
Yeah you'll probably have to change your swing to compensate for the grip change. Thats why i suggested changing the grip gradually rather than all at once. Maybe just try shadowing your serve the way it should be if you can't always get on the court.

I shadow just about every shot. It may sound weird, but that's partially how I've gotten better. Just researching and practicing swings in my basement. Then I go to work when I can at the courts and test it out on my buddies :D

Note that I changed my last post a tad bit.

effortless
10-18-2012, 08:59 PM
good stuff! :)

WilsonWand12
10-18-2012, 10:25 PM
MikeHitsHard93, it sounds like you and I have undergone the same journey to get where we are! I'm mostly self-taught as well, going to YouTube and Talk Tennis, trying to get as much insight as I possibly could, and I've done fairly well so far! And if you're not sure on which Six.One 95 to get, I would be a little bias and say get the Six.One Pro Staff 95 ;) The cosmetics are great, it's a lighter frame for better maneuverability, and still has great control. But if you like the heavy racquets like myself, get the Six.One 95 16X18. I used to own one before I switched to the 90. Had amazing plow through yet great control and spin! But if you tend to hit long, maybe demo or buy the 18X20 version. The denser string pattern will add some more control.

Effortless, you have no idea how frustrated I get! But I keep it together and know it's for a good cause. That was the final reason I decided to go ahead and get the 90, because I knew it would force me to improve my technique. I'll be sure to do more shadowing (all I do in my spare time practically anyway) and focus on body rotation. Will I have a more windshield wiper finish because of the relaxed arm and far contact point, similar to Federer?

MikeHitsHard93
10-19-2012, 06:24 AM
Haha it takes a lot of determination to do what we've done! I love this sport and I will do anything to get better at it!

I believe that I am going to go through with a 16x18 6.1 nonprostaff. Kohlschreiber and Delpo use it, so why shouldn't I? :) I have realized that I don't like closed patterns. I'm a spin player for sure. I'm thinking about trying to find a 1st gen blx. I don't like the color of the new one

HEADfamilydynasty
10-19-2012, 10:45 AM
MikeHitsHard93, it sounds like you and I have undergone the same journey to get where we are! I'm mostly self-taught as well, going to YouTube and Talk Tennis, trying to get as much insight as I possibly could, and I've done fairly well so far! And if you're not sure on which Six.One 95 to get, I would be a little bias and say get the Six.One Pro Staff 95 ;) The cosmetics are great, it's a lighter frame for better maneuverability, and still has great control. But if you like the heavy racquets like myself, get the Six.One 95 16X18. I used to own one before I switched to the 90. Had amazing plow through yet great control and spin! But if you tend to hit long, maybe demo or buy the 18X20 version. The denser string pattern will add some more control.

Effortless, you have no idea how frustrated I get! But I keep it together and know it's for a good cause. That was the final reason I decided to go ahead and get the 90, because I knew it would force me to improve my technique. I'll be sure to do more shadowing (all I do in my spare time practically anyway) and focus on body rotation. Will I have a more windshield wiper finish because of the relaxed arm and far contact point, similar to Federer?

I,m exactly like you two. the difference is that i may be consistent but i no footwork to speak of.:oops:

MikeHitsHard93
10-19-2012, 12:34 PM
I,m exactly like you two. the difference is that i may be consistent but i no footwork to speak of.:oops:

Haha I wonder how many others there are...my consistency is just not where I'd like it to be (if it were, I would be 4.5 right now and likely playing college tennis, which is my dream)

MikeHitsHard93
10-19-2012, 12:37 PM
I actually did a re-evaluation of myself last night, and I would gladly put myself at 4.0. I may try to put something on YouTube and ask everyone what they think on here

effortless
10-19-2012, 03:25 PM
MikeHitsHard93, it sounds like you and I have undergone the same journey to get where we are! I'm mostly self-taught as well, going to YouTube and Talk Tennis, trying to get as much insight as I possibly could, and I've done fairly well so far! And if you're not sure on which Six.One 95 to get, I would be a little bias and say get the Six.One Pro Staff 95 ;) The cosmetics are great, it's a lighter frame for better maneuverability, and still has great control. But if you like the heavy racquets like myself, get the Six.One 95 16X18. I used to own one before I switched to the 90. Had amazing plow through yet great control and spin! But if you tend to hit long, maybe demo or buy the 18X20 version. The denser string pattern will add some more control.

Effortless, you have no idea how frustrated I get! But I keep it together and know it's for a good cause. That was the final reason I decided to go ahead and get the 90, because I knew it would force me to improve my technique. I'll be sure to do more shadowing (all I do in my spare time practically anyway) and focus on body rotation. Will I have a more windshield wiper finish because of the relaxed arm and far contact point, similar to Federer?

Yes. I think your forehand will look more like Federer's if you use your whole body and hit the ball further out in front of you. Obviously there are a few other minor aspects that you would need to work on. I'm a 5.0 who started the same process as you about 7 years ago. I'm still working on my forehand and making it look like Federer's.

I think a big part of why i was able to work through using the tour 90 in the early stages was because i enjoyed the challenge of trying to use Federer's racquet.

WilsonWand12
10-20-2012, 09:33 PM
So I take it that since you are 5.0, your forehand is working quite well? And can you hit out in front of your body successfully with a conservative grip, like modified eastern?

effortless
10-21-2012, 03:35 PM
So I take it that since you are 5.0, your forehand is working quite well? And can you hit out in front of your body successfully with a conservative grip, like modified eastern?

Yeah my forehand is probably my most dangerous shot. Defensively its a decent shot but i think the tour 90 prefers offensive play. As i said there is still heaps for me to work on as well. Whilst i am far from arming the ball i still have to work on using my whole body.

Yeah, i would say my grip is eastern (like Federer's). The very first thing i worked on when i started using the tour 90 was hitting the ball out in front. It seemed to be beneficial. So to answer your question, i do hit the ball out in front with a conservative grip effectively.

In my opinion, these are the things you should work on for a forehand with the tour 90:
- hitting the ball out in front of you
- using a relatively conservative grip
- using your whole body
- hitting the ball on the rise (something important that hasn't been mentioned). The tour 90 is one of the best racquets for this due to its low power, control, feel and pinpoint accuracy. You might as well work with your strengths. In my opinion there is no point using the tour 90 if you are just going to sit well behind the baseline and rally balls back. It won't be fun and you might as well just own a babolat.
- wrist snap

effortless
10-21-2012, 03:37 PM
Its a matter of what to work on first

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-21-2012, 04:15 PM
On my serves, I've learned not to muscle the ball, but instead have a nice fluid motion and direct the racquet where it is supposed to go and my serves are much more effective and my arm pain down to a minimum; plus the weight of the racquet supplies ample power, so I don't have to overexert myself. I can generally do the same for my one handed backhand. However, on my forehand, I feel that I may be arming the ball too much, even though I consciously try not to. Lately I've been using a double-bend semi-western forehand with quite a bit of spin, and it is normally very effective, but I feel like my arm is too tense when swinging. Should I do what I do on the serve and find a way to hit the forehand using the weight of the racquet and moreover guide the ball? Or can I be fluid with a double-bend forehand at all? All advice welcome!

This feels like this should go to the instruction and tips section (or whatever it's called).

Also, a video of your forehand would help immensely, because there could just be a giant mechanical flaw in your forehand that needs to be addressed (or it could just be footwork, which has been the case for the past 2-3 videos).

You can hit ANY kind of forehand and backhand with ANY racket on the market.

Well... There is that two handle racket that might present some issues for some strokes... So you can hit any kind of shot with any conventional racket...

I've seen players hit solid double bend forehands with the BLX ProStaff 90. Hell, there was so much bend, it looked like their elbows were glued to their sides and they swung the racket around like that.

The key point is to use your shoulders in any double bend forehand, whereas with a straight armed forehand you can easily get away with little to no shoulder turn (which is bad form).

Sampras used a double bend (a LOT of people do, though Sampras had a mild wrist bend) and used a smaller and much heavier racket than the BLX ProStaff 90 (85 sqin, 13.8 ounces, and 360+ swingweight iirc).

Again, post a video in the instruction forum. You will get better answers there than you will here.

Also, be warned of critical opinions.

Say Chi Sin Lo
10-21-2012, 04:56 PM
This feels like this should go to the instruction and tips section (or whatever it's called).

Also, a video of your forehand would help immensely, because there could just be a giant mechanical flaw in your forehand that needs to be addressed (or it could just be footwork, which has been the case for the past 2-3 videos).

You can hit ANY kind of forehand and backhand with ANY racket on the market.

Well... There is that two handle racket that might present some issues for some strokes... So you can hit any kind of shot with any conventional racket...

I've seen players hit solid double bend forehands with the BLX ProStaff 90. Hell, there was so much bend, it looked like their elbows were glued to their sides and they swung the racket around like that.

The key point is to use your shoulders in any double bend forehand, whereas with a straight armed forehand you can easily get away with little to no shoulder turn (which is bad form).

Sampras used a double bend (a LOT of people do, though Sampras had a mild wrist bend) and used a smaller and much heavier racket than the BLX ProStaff 90 (85 sqin, 13.8 ounces, and 360+ swingweight iirc).

Again, post a video in the instruction forum. You will get better answers there than you will here.

Also, be warned of critical opinions.

Blasphemy, everyone on these forums knows equipment and technology take priority over skills/talent/practice.

WilsonWand12
10-21-2012, 10:48 PM
XFullCourtTennisX, I came here with the question because I was mostly asking about utilizing the "racquet," therefore, I felt it fit here more than "Tips and Instructions." And I know I CAN hit a double bend forehand, but it's just not the way I want to play, for lack of a better way of putting it. I mean, I'll put it to the test one more time, but I feel like my natural tendency is to hit a straight arm forehand.

Effortless, I'll be sure to work on these things! Thank you! The hardest ones are just being sure to use my whole body and taking the ball on the rise.