View Full Version : Totally lost on racquet selection.

07-01-2004, 02:20 AM
Hi all, just found these forums a second ago even though I frequent the site -- I guess I just never looked up to the right to see the link. I'm having real trouble picking a racquet that fits. I'll warn you that I tend to be very descriptive when I post to forums, and I know some people don't like to read long posts. Sorry about that, I try to keep it short, but it always just snowballs!

First off, the problem centers around that not only do I no longer know what I want, and I really don't know what I *need* either.

Here's a summary since it turned out so long:

Hand't played for years, picked up a ProStaff 6.1 on the cheap, used it for ~2months. It showed some wear so I got a Triad 4.0. Loved the extra power on the volleys and serve, and the stiffness. Didn't like having trouble keeping the big baseline shots in the court, but just shortened and slowed down my swing to compensate. After vast improvements in my game over the span of almost a year, decided I wanted a new racquet that had more feel to it, and a tad less power so I could take big swings at the baseline. I order a Prince TT Bandit OS, and was very happy with myself. Gave the Triad to my playing partner who was hating his Wal-Mart $17 racquet. I took up the ProStaff, now with all the confidence and imporvements of a year of play. ...Uh oh. Major gigantic "cold feet" here. I could really swing at the baseline and get them in, the way I liked. Net play was great too, although I still didn't like all the vibration (even with dampener) and the really un-stiff feel, and I missed the power -- I was getting slammed upon by my old Triad delivering uber-fast serves and volleys. So I don't want a ProStaff Classic 6.1. And I don't want the Triad 4.0. I realized the specs of the Bandit are almost identical (stupid me). Now I don't know WHAT I want (or need?). No one demos racquets within 70 miles of me. This place is really cool to have demos offered but the shipping charges are too high for me on my limited buget. I realize that seems silly now that I've wasted money shipping the Bandit. Can the Bandit be saved through modification (like adding weight to the tail), or should I just send it back and cut my losses? Can anyone help me out here?

For those of you looking to kill some time, here, have the above in book form :P :

Here's the situation, your help would be much appreciated:

I'm 22, and I've been playing tennis on and off since I was 13. I didn't play much at all in high school, but last September I jumped back into it full time. I knew nothing about racquets, and still don't know a whole lot, but I picked up an old Pro Staff Classic 6.1 at Play it Again for 20 bucks and started playing. A couple of months later, I noticed the Pro Staff had a few fractures starting in the paint, and thought I should replace it, fearing it might up and snap on me. I played with a friend's TT Bandit for a while, and really enjoyed the lightness and the power it provided for me (I tried a Hyper Hammer 6.3 as well, which I found pleasing). I also noticed that the Pro Staff had a lot of vibration in it that I would have liked less of. I guess these racquets are designed to lure us unknowing players into making that snap judgement, eh?

I ened up with a Wilson Triad 4.0 OS. You can stop laughing now. :) I played with it for many months and really imporved my game, playing every day. I loved the extra power on serves and volleys, but I missed being able to take really big swipes at the ball from the baseline and NOT hitting it halfway to the moon when doing so.

So I was generally happy, but felt restricted after a few months of vast improvement, and thought I might like something with a tad less power and more feedback. Remembering my time with the Bandit I ordered it. So whats the big problem all about then?

Well, here it is: The guy I now practice with had a real crummy Wal-Mart bought racquet that he was having an awful time with, so I let him use the Triad while I switched back to the Pro Staff. I hand't touched the thing for almost a year, and at first, I could barely get any pace on the ball and my swings were all awkward. The next day however, I found I was playing better with it, managing really nice high topspin baseline forehands just the way I wanted them, and volleys were nice and controlled, although the serve was lacking. The next day I was doing very well with it, although it felt a LOT less stiff than the Triad, which I didn't like, and I really think I could have used a larger sweet spot because I still tend to hit some off center shots, and even though I know that "heavier racquets are better" this thing just weighs a bloody ton!

So... now I'm really dismayed, because I have this big OS Bandit payed for and shipped, and I suddenly realized (after I ordered it) that its specs are *frighteningly* close to the Triad 4.0. I really thought it played differently than the Triad, since I remember playing with it. I am just SO confused as to what is the "right" racquet for me now that I am doing so well with some aspects of my game with the Pro Staff -- the completely opposite racquet of the Triad or the Bandit -- that it's darn near depressing!

Should I bite the bullet, blow my 20 dollars on shipping charges, and send the Bandit right on back, or what? I'd be fine with that if there is a racquet out there that really fits me better. Can anyone please lend me a clue? :)

Some more detailed info incase anyone wants it:

I'm 5'11", I play hard court singles, am a full court player, love hitting big forehands from the baseline and also getting up in some intense net play. I have a fairly full swing, I think, but I don't really have any reference for whats full or not. For example, I use an open stance on my forehand, starting at about 45 degrees behind me and following through so I'm looking over my elbow. I want more feedback than the Triad provided, and also a little less power for getting those baselines in, I think. But I don't want the very un-stiff feel, small sweet spot, and vibration that the Pro Staff gives me. Hell, I don't even know what technical aspect of the racquet all of these "feelings" are related to, so its hard for me to really pick one that works.

07-01-2004, 04:16 AM
veauger, where are you from?

jaap deboeck
07-01-2004, 04:17 AM
Save the pennies and buy a Volkl V1 102 10 year anniversary addition one grip size smaller with an overgrip and premium 17 gauge twine at high 50's. The other "tweener" and recreational sticks are shipped to clearance bins every few years and are what the cynical mfrs call niche/range fillers. This Volkl is so good it has remained the same (Cat V1, Q V1 MP are similar) since the Ice Age! You have committed the cardinal sin by waivering betweeen head light 27" and head heavy 271/2" sticks. Just stay put with almost even balanced and standard length. The V1 paradigm is now being copied by everyone. 100-102 inch heads 10.5 - 11 ounces, wide body, and near even balance has been discovered. When you switch from heavy weight head light sticks to light head heavy ones at extra length, your swing must radically change and the muscle to brain link gets confused. Avoid this trial and error. unles syou are a tour pluyer at 5.5+ the V1 will serve you well. if you find you hit long use more topspin. Wahtever you do, avoid the xtrmes and avoid long sticks at all cost unless you use two hands from both sides like Seles, Gambill, Santoro, Noorlander. you will need time to get accustomed tojsu tone stick, like one woman. So give it time and let the mind/body nexis form. If you never mishit, and often hit long and can use a smaller head well in pressure situations, try one of the light player sticks now all the rave. The Head LM Instinct and slightly heavier Wilson Tour 95 (not the N version) are near the top of that list. The Triad hammers you have toyed with are gimmicky and offer no feel and little link to real tennis.

07-01-2004, 04:25 AM
veauger, where are you from?

Titusville, Florida. I am thinking of taking the time and driving over to Orlando today to this shop at a country club that has some demo racquets.

Thanks jaap deboeck, I'll see if I can get my hands on one of the Head or Wilson racquets you mentioned. The place I'm going to only carries the "big" names. :\ They are a bit out of my price range, if you compare them to the ones I've been buying which were all under 100. Although if I can demo it, and I really really like it, I guess I could go for a $200 racquet.

Steve H.
07-01-2004, 05:45 AM
veauger, if you're young, 5'11" and can take a reasonable swing you don't need to mess around with Triads or Bandits. But unless you're a tournament player and perfectly coordinated, a real "player's" racquet like the 6.1 is likely to be frustrating, as you mentioned, although it's not at all "unstiff" the sweetspot is small and the power relatively low.

There are plenty of frames in between -- look for something at least 98 sq in and between 11 and 12 ounces. You could go with Jaap's "paradigm" of even balance, but something a little head-light might feel more solid. An oversize like the POG or the TiRadical feels great from the baseline, but if volleying is an important part of your game and/or you use a one-hand backhand you may want to stay around 100 sqin. Anyway, you shouldn't have to spend a lot -- TW has an excellent deal right now on the Volkl Catapult 10 for $89, a great-feeling, flexible frame. If you want something a little stiffer, maybe the Wilson Surge 5.1 at $105. Or lash out and get the ProKennex Laver S for $129 (my current stick) it has good power and a thin beam in the throat, best volleys ever. A little lighter, in addition to the V-1 there is the TiRadical MP at $79, Head iX3 at $89. At these prices, you may just want to pick one and learn to play with it, rather than spending time/money on demos, which can be misleading.

From what you say, I bet you would be happier with any of these than the racquets you have used so far. Will they give you store credit on the Bandit?

07-01-2004, 06:56 AM
I agree with Steve. I think you are at a point where you need to get a smaller head racket. Maybe a midplus. The smaller head will help you develop the big serve and force you to improve your heavy groundstrokes while maintaining a good volley. Look at getting a racket in the 10.7oz to 12 oz range.

I was like you last year. I started up tennis after a nine year hiatus after playing for 15 years. I decided with a players racket Volkl Tour 10MP

07-01-2004, 09:12 AM
longest post I've ever seen in my life! That's okay, it just gives more information so people can help you out better. The posters on this board really know what they are talking about for the most part, and should be able to help you narrow it down. With the Triad and the Pro Staff you went from one side of the scale to the next. The triad has power and is easy to hit with, whereas the prostaff is control oriented, has touch and feel and is more difficult to hit with. You can't just change from the Triad to the Prostaff all of a sudden and beable to hit as well...even the pros can't change rackets and suddenly play the same. Like others have mentioned, changing rackets requires a change in your strokes, something that takes time and effort. I would say that you need something in the middle of these two rackets as you believe you need more control and touch than the Triad can provide, yet the Prostaff is to heavy for you. I would recomment the Prostaff Surge...I'm a wilson fan all the way. It's cheap right now, and has an excellent blend of power, control and touch. It's a good medium between the Prostaff Classic and the Triad. The specs are 100 square inches, 11 ounces strung and somewhat headlight balance. If you don't like the surge or want to go to a different brand, these specs are what you should be looking for. Steve H. gives good recommendations. Good luck!

07-01-2004, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the suggestions!

I just played with the Dunlop 300G, Volkl Quantum V-1, and Head LM Instinct.

Absolutely hated the Instinct, it felt really beamy, and appeared to have too much power for my swing style.
The Quantum V-1 was far too light, but was otherwise pretty nice.
The Dunlop 300G was my favorite of the three, but its still not quite what I'm looking for, I dont think.

I'm going to check out the Volkl Tour 10 next, along with a Hyper Pro Staff.

A quick question -- is it a good idea, after a player has reached, say, the 2.0 level, for them to just try and get used to using the head light 10.5oz+ racquets? Wouldn't this be better for them in the long run? Save the arm, improve strokes, etc? I realize it might be discouraging at first, but wouldn't it be *better* for the person as a player?

Thanks again for steering me in the right direction!

07-01-2004, 07:41 PM
I think you might like the Diablo MP

07-01-2004, 09:06 PM
A quick question -- is it a good idea, after a player has reached, say, the 2.0 level, for them to just try and get used to using the head light 10.5oz+ racquets? Wouldn't this be better for them in the long run? Save the arm, improve strokes, etc? I realize it might be discouraging at first, but wouldn't it be *better* for the person as a player?

the answer is yes[/quote]