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View Full Version : Kevlar and that old school feel


Brad Smith
01-26-2006, 09:57 PM
I love the TW boards when it's "new racket" time. I've been searching around for information on a variety of frames and came across this thread

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=78632

It really made things clear. All this time I've been assuming that Kevlar made a racket STIFFER when in reality it makes it more FLEXIBLE and provides shock dampening. I had heard Twaron was another name for Kevlar, which didn't make sense because I love my PT 280/630's with Twaron and they certainly aren't stiff. I also love the feel of the ProStaff 6.0 and I couldn't reconcile that with loving the feel of the PT 280 and Prestige. Now I know they're made of the same stuff. It also explains why I don't like the feel of the POG (100% graphite) but do like the feel of Pure Drive's and Pure Control's with Kevlar. I don't like the Babolat's overall but the feel felt fine to me.

I recently bought a Pro Kennex Type C Redondo because the specs were so appealing but did not like the feel at all and have been trying to figure out why. Turns out the 100% graphite construction is the culprit. I have a demo of the PK Type C mid with 80/20 graphite/kevlar and it feels great. Imagine that...

My quest for a Prestige replacement just got a lot simpler. Look for the Kevlar (or the fiberglass).

Atomic_Sheep
01-26-2006, 10:07 PM
Yeh the pro staff 6.1 classic had a 20kevlar 80 graphite composition and I loved that racket... broke it last week thou :( now i donno what to do coz the new pro staffs feel very different... u can get lots of control but not a lot of power from em :( . But I agree that the perfect blend is 80 graphite and 20 kevlar. I can't say I've played with too many rackets and perhaps I've just gotten used to this one but this just seems so crisp and pure in feel (thats the only way I can describe this)... love it (loved it :( ). Oh well.

BreakPoint
01-26-2006, 11:29 PM
Brad, I totally agree.

Kevlar just seems to give racquets a really sweet feel while minimizing the shock and vibration. The Slazenger Pro X-1 is another racquet that is constructed of braided graphite and kevlar just like the Pro Staffs, and it also has a very solid and shock and vibration-free feel to it, albeit it's stiffer than my PS 6.0 95's.

The only exception I've run into is with my Vantage 90. It's made of 100% graphite (high modulus, high quality variety) but still feels smooth and solid with little shock and vibration. It somehow retains that "old school" feel to it.

Deuce
01-26-2006, 11:37 PM
Yeh the pro staff 6.1 classic had a 20kevlar 80 graphite composition and I loved that racket... broke it last week thou :( now i donno what to do coz the new pro staffs feel very different... u can get lots of control but not a lot of power from em :( . But I agree that the perfect blend is 80 graphite and 20 kevlar. I can't say I've played with too many rackets and perhaps I've just gotten used to this one but this just seems so crisp and pure in feel (thats the only way I can describe this)... love it (loved it :( ). Oh well.

The PS 6.1 Classic was considerably more stiff than is the PS 6.0 85.

Just because two different model racquets contain the same materials - even if the percentages of the materials are the same - does not mean that the two racquets will feel similar to each other.

So... I don't think it's as simple as stating that 80/20 graphite/kevlar will make for a solid but relatively flexible feel. Knowing the material(s) of the racquet is the first step. Knowing the percentages of the materials is the second step. But knowing the percentage distribution of the materials would be the most important step - as in knowing if the majority of the Kevlar is located in the shaft area, yoke area, or upper hoop area. And I doubt the racquet companies will ever give out that information to the consumer.

christo
01-27-2006, 09:48 AM
PK Heritage C 93 = PS 6.0 85 + teeny bit of the stuff Puerta takes. It's uncanny how much it feels like a 6.0 only sooo much easier to play with. The best kept secret on the market. If PK made this frame with a Wilson PJ, people would be lining up to buy them.

kv581
01-27-2006, 09:59 AM
PK Heritage C 93 = PS 6.0 85 + teeny bit of the stuff Puerta takes. It's uncanny how much it feels like a 6.0 only sooo much easier to play with. The best kept secret on the market. If PK made this frame with a Wilson PJ, people would be lining up to buy them.
Brad, does C 93 swing heavier than PT280 as its SW suggests? I've played with a CAP'ed Chinese PT280 before (but never stock) and really enjoyed its swing. How does C 93 compare?

kinsella
01-27-2006, 03:49 PM
I have been posting praise for Twaron/Kevlar/Aramid as a small part of the fiber part of a tennis racquet for quite a while. I find it dampens vibration quickly.

Brad's last point about looking for Kevlar or fiberglass, however, was a non-sequitur for me. I don't like what fiberglass does. Crazy flex that carries on way too long, which is the opposite of the Kevlar effect. For example, the old Wilson Zone 7.1, which was very whippy to me.

Brad Smith
01-27-2006, 04:04 PM
Brad, does C 93 swing heavier than PT280 as its SW suggests? I've played with a CAP'ed Chinese PT280 before (but never stock) and really enjoyed its swing. How does C 93 compare?

Just hit with a C 93 demo. It swings heavier than the lighter PT 280/630's I've used but not as heavy as CAP'ed PT 280's. The feel was much better than the Redondo but not quite as muted as the 6.0 85.

Brad Smith
01-27-2006, 05:33 PM
I have been posting praise for Twaron/Kevlar/Aramid as a small part of the fiber part of a tennis racquet for quite a while. I find it dampens vibration quickly.

Brad's last point about looking for Kevlar or fiberglass, however, was a non-sequitur for me. I don't like what fiberglass does. Crazy flex that carries on way too long, which is the opposite of the Kevlar effect. For example, the old Wilson Zone 7.1, which was very whippy to me.

Agree that fiberglass is different than Kevlar, but it's something for me to look for as opposed to a 100% graphite frame.

I also liked the Yonex frames with High Modulus Graphite.

BreakPoint
01-27-2006, 06:00 PM
I have been posting praise for Twaron/Kevlar/Aramid as a small part of the fiber part of a tennis racquet for quite a while. I find it dampens vibration quickly.

Brad's last point about looking for Kevlar or fiberglass, however, was a non-sequitur for me. I don't like what fiberglass does. Crazy flex that carries on way too long, which is the opposite of the Kevlar effect. For example, the old Wilson Zone 7.1, which was very whippy to me.

kinsella, I agree.

I found the PS Zone 7.1 way too whippy, and weak, to the point that it felt like I was trying to hit the ball with a wire coat hanger. I was demoing both the PS Zone 7.1 and the PS 6.0 85 at the time and the differences between the two were like night and day. I hit with the PS Zone 7.1 for 10 minutes and couldn't wait to ditch it and get the PS 6.0 85 back in my hands. The PS 6.0 85 is just so much more solid and substantial feeling. It was like going from a toy to a real man's racquet.

However, the Volkl Tour 10 Gen II, which also has fiberglass in it, is still somewhat whippy, but not nearly as bad as the PS Zone 7.1.

Deuce
01-27-2006, 09:54 PM
Brad, you've really got to get a hold of an iPrestige Mid...

PrestigeClassic
01-27-2006, 10:22 PM
Brad, it's great to see you again. I agree that Yonex frames (Super RD-Tour 90) were awesome considering that they did not have any sweet Kevlar, but still braided graphite, high modulus at that. Also, the Spalding ATP Tour Pro Stock 200 is not bad, though quite heavy and head-heavy. It is another 100 percent braided graphite frame with a more even and stiffer flex lay-out than the Yonex, not as harsh and hollow-feeling as the i.prestige. I think being braided is half of the magic formula! At any rate, the Spalding has the same frame dimensions as the Prestige, if you want to try out a ~13-ounce, ~325mm frame. Perhaps there was a 95 in the line that was also braided, I'm not sure.

I also liked the feel of the graphite/Kevlar of the Pure Control.

Deuce
01-27-2006, 11:40 PM
Harsh and hollow feeling iPrestige?

What orbit are you in?

The iPrestige Mid is one of the most stable, solid feeling frames I've ever hit with.

I understand different tastes - and if you don't like it, that's one thing - but to call it "harsh and hollow feeling"?? That's rather like describing Federer as being 'shaky'.

Atomic_Sheep
01-28-2006, 02:59 AM
Like I said Deuce... I havent played with too many rackets but from the ones that I have played and with my limited knowledge about the way they are made I could only say what I said... The detail that you went to probably is right and its an interesting fact. I would have thought that the material that they make rackets from would be the same i.e. the kevlar and the graphite would be mixed in one big container and then pressed into rackets so to speak but from what you claim... a lot more goes into it than I thought... fair enough and interesting info.

Brad Smith
01-28-2006, 06:12 AM
Brad, you've really got to get a hold of an iPrestige Mid...

The iPrestige Mid is one of the most stable, solid feeling frames I've ever hit with.

I'm looking for a little more maneuverability and a little more power than the Prestige Classic. Would this describe the i.Prestige?

kreative
01-28-2006, 08:25 AM
I'm looking for a little more maneuverability and a little more power than the Prestige Classic. Would this describe the i.Prestige?

i'd say so, worth a demo.

Deuce
01-28-2006, 10:04 PM
I'm looking for a little more maneuverability and a little more power than the Prestige Classic. Would this describe the i.Prestige?

The iPrestige Mid is, generally, more maneuverable - but I wouldn't necessarily say it's more powerful. Of course, things like power are largely dependent on string and tension, as well.

The feel of the iPrestige is quite different than that of the Prestige Classic. The iPrestige plays stiffer - but certainly not in any sort of a harsh way. It's a rather muted feel. The racquet I feel it most resembles in terms of feel upon impact is the Pro Staff 6.0 85 - with the iPrestige being more forgiving. It's a very solid feeling racquet.

Brad Smith
01-29-2006, 10:31 AM
I'll keep my eyes open for a used one.