View Full Version : Transitioning from a Player's Racquet
10-02-2006, 06:12 AM
Currently playing with a Yonex RDX 500, and am looking for a new frame. I've tried lighter frames in the past but never found something I loved. I'm 45 play a lot of doubles and the volley is the strongest part of my game. Has anyone had experience transitioning to a ligher racket (say 11 ounces strung) and found that it was worth the change. I'm looking for a little more power and a little more hitting surface (for return of serve on hardcourts) but I want to keep as much feel as possible. It always seems that the lighter and stiffer racquets give up too much feel.
This is a tricky one...depending on the type of stroke you have, I've found that while the lighter racquets feel more powerful and easier to swing at first, they require much more energy over a longer period of time to generate sufficient ball movement versus a heavier racquet. You simply have to work harder to get the pace you need (I play 4.5-5.0). On the flip-side, the heavier racquet will wear you down over extended play as well, but the mass actually does more work for you versus a lighter weight stick.
I play w/ the Wilson nCode 6.1 and have been trying to lighten up for 6 months now without success...with one exception...Babolat. I'm hesitant to go to the "dark side" though, but these racquets (Pure Drive/Pure Storm) seem to provide the stability and ball movement of a 12 oz. stick without the weight. I've been playing w/ a PD Roddick and really like it...but it's the same weight as your RDX500...you may want to try a PD at 11.2 oz. It'll have a totally different feel than your Yonex, but worth a shot.
If you like the feel of the RDX500, you may want to try Head Instinct, or in my case, I wheeled out the flexible Head TiRadical OS - a players racquet in a lighter package with a big sweet spot.
Hope this helps!
10-02-2006, 07:04 AM
BHud makes some excellent points here about lighter vs. heavier racquets. Whenever I go from a lighter player's racquet back to a heavier one, I very quickly notice and appreciate the work that its extra mass does for me. And, counterintuitively, my arm and shoulder feel noticeably less stressed after using the heavier frame (unless I've been silly and tried to muscle the racquet around).
I would suggest demoing the PK Type S and Type R racquets -- they'll give you more pop than the RDX 500, and both are rock-solid on volleys with sweetspots that feel as large as the hoop.
The LM Radical might be another good candidate. Or the TI Radical, as BHud suggested.
10-02-2006, 07:22 AM
When I read your post I thought of 3 racquets: the Babolat Pure Storm, the Dunlop Maxply McEnroe, and the LiquidMetal Radical Midplus. Not sure the Radical will give you as much pop as you're looking for but all three are very solid racquets.
I own the Mac and strung at a lower tension (55/56) with a softer multi (Yonex Tour Super 850 Feel 16g) it's a very solid racquet from all over the court.
However, I will admit I have ordered four demos in hopes of getting a little more pop out of my serve (compared to the Mac racquets).
10-02-2006, 07:47 AM
RDS 003. 11 oz. strung, more pop & same feel Yonex as the RDX. Yeah, its a tad bit stiffer, but you'll adjust. Stay in the family man! :mrgreen: The Radical & Dunlop's are nice racquets also. GL
10-02-2006, 08:45 AM
I've found a lighter racket to be just what the doctor ordered. I'm playing with the Volkl Cat 8 V-engine weighted to 12.2 ounces. That's down some from the C10 I was using. The Cat 8 is more user friendly and does a little more work for you. It also has an open string pattern which I love. I've posted this before, but if you look at the college players, by and large they're all using frames heretofore described as "tweeners". The "players" frame of yesterday is quickly fading into yesterday. It is being replaced by frames that are lighter and have bigger heads. These frames are pretty much 100 sq in. And, my frames have the same RDC as the C10, around 64 which is flexible. There are frames out there that will meet your criteria, you just have to look.
I don't find my arm any more tired than before and I don't see any less stabilty out of what I'm playing with. It's all about finding the right racket/weight for you. I've been very lucky in that regard. There are some advanced players who can go out with a 9.6 ounce racket and play all day without any physical or game problems. Message in short is don't limit the frames you try by some preconceived notion of what you think will work best for you. I was lucky that TW asked me to demo some frames which included the non-cat version of the V8. I couldn't believe how much work I was getting on the ball and how much easier it was to play with it. I looked on the court next to me and there was a recently graduated D1 player using a Pure Drive. "Hmmmmmmm...maybe I did miss a meeting...." was my first thought. It wasn't too much longer that I shelved all the ideas I had about frames in favor of a new technology-laden frame.
10-02-2006, 09:41 AM
No answer for me but just a reminder. I think whatever it is, you better get a flexible racquet since RDX 500 is flexible and at our age we are injury prone, such as tennis elbow.
10-02-2006, 10:07 AM
Are you using the Mid or MP version? What is your level of play? Why are you wishing to go lighter?
I would look more into swingweights than static weight, as 11oz frames can have wildly varying swingweights.
There are many myths on this forum about the advantages of heavier frames and players frames
I for one have gone lighter and lighter with the passing of time and with people i play hitting the ball harder and harder. You dont have to sacrifice ball feel if you are flexible enough to know that lighter and stiffer frames can also give you great ball feel. The trend even on the pro tours is to lighter, stiffer, and larger headed.
10-02-2006, 10:12 AM
I've found that transitioning to a lighter frame is easier in doubles. Since most of my doubles matches revolve around 4 shots - the serve (and its cousin the OH), return of serve and the volley, its easier to use lighter, more powerful frames because they really add quickness and manuveurability. The ROS and volley are mainly short, quick strokes in doubles. Lighter frames can really help with these shots and the added power of a stiffer frame means they have more sting even on reaction shots. The serve can be trickier since added racquet mass really helps.
I've been experimenting with a switch from an almost 12 oz PK 5g to a modified Bandit OS weighing 10.8 oz. In stock form the Bandit was too light and too head heavy. So I changed it to my liking. My unforced errors have dropped dramatically because I can react much quicker during close in net exchanges and on body serves and volleys. Its also easier to take a big cut at a return and power back topspin shots because of the increased racquet head speed. Reaction volleys go back with pace and control. Not sure how folks can say lighter frames tire you out as I have found I actually don't have to swing as hard now to get depth and pace on my shots.
For me, the serve has been a tougher transition, requiring me to tweak my mechanics and especially focus on adding a good bit more spin to keep the shot in. Holding serve has been harder during this time since I can't always dictate points with my traditional big flat serves. The upside is there is more time to come in behind the ball and anyways placement is more important than power in doubles. I had to go up on string tension to improve control, but by using 17 gauge string and utilizing the Sweetspot Suspension, have had no arm/shoulder problems. So I agree with Rabbit that all in all it has been a change for the positive.
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