Babolat PST feeling sluggish...looking for advice

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Double_Bagel, May 15, 2013.

  1. Double_Bagel

    Double_Bagel Rookie

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    Hi guys,

    Picked up a few racquets of late, and have been hitting up with them - mostly with a Prince Rebel 95, Tflight 320 vo2 max, Wilson AK90, Dunlop bio 200 tour and a babolat PST (non-GT).

    The one I had the highest hopes for was the PST, but it's actually been really disappointing so far. It feels REALLY sluggish. I can barely whip it back in time when returning fast serves. It's SW is around the same as the 95 and the K90, but both of those racquets I can wield very easily and as such are quite reassuring. The PST on the other hand feels like a liability for me on court.

    I've seen a thread on here about removing the bumper guard to reduce swing-weight. Would that make a difference on the court? I'm just a tad wary about modifying the hell out of this racquet too soon, thinking that I can go against the grain of all the babolat engineers in making it "better".

    Got my eyes on a Blade 93, a PSL, a Donnay Plat 94/99 and a Diablo mid as well. (Yes I'm a shameless racketholic) - are the PSTs notorious for being a big sluggish on court? Should I stick with it and mod it? Would any of those other sticks be potentially worse? Bear in mind I have played with a PS85 for years and loved it. Heavy sticks doesn't always seem to be the problem for me, so Im thinking it could be the SW causing issues?
     
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  2. corners

    corners Legend

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    Before doing surgery on the bumper, try adding 5-7 grams at the top of the handle. You can tape on a quarter for a quick try.
     
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  3. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    big difference if you remove the bumper guard. remember that every gram at the head = 3 pts of SW. assuming your PST has a SW of 335, removing the bumper which weighs approx 9 grams, you could drop ~25 pts of SW. that's HUGE.

    i haven't tried the PST (non GT model) but i have tried the PSTGT and found it too sluggish for me. i'd recommend trying the PSGT (non tour model) and mod it which is what i've done. i've added a leather grip and lead to the handle to make the balance more similar to the PSTGT all the while keeping the SW lower than the stock Tour.
     
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  4. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    Dr. Corners Ph.D knows his stuff. listen to him and heed his advice. :)
     
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  5. counterpuncher

    counterpuncher Professional

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    I've had the same issue with the PST for years. It does have a high SW, but it also feels like a log in comparison to just about every other racquet I've tried in a similar spec. I get the feeling it is depolarized stock and that gives it that log feeling when swinging it.

    A couple of things that I have done that have helped:

    1/ If you have a dampener, either play without one or with a rubber band instead, as this will drop the SW by a few points.
    2/ Go to the thinnest gauge string that you can, 1g - 3g reductions are possible, depending on your current string and make a huge difference in SW.
    3/ Remove the bumper guard and replace with as much lead tape as you can handle to counter the loss. The racquet won't necessarily be better, but it might fit your game better.
    4/ Look for a ligher spec/lower sw PST. Due to QC differences, I'm now in the possession of a low 320's sw PST, which suits me far better. Plow through, power and stability is less, but my improved results speak for themself.
     
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  6. Double_Bagel

    Double_Bagel Rookie

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    Interesting stuff! Thanks Corners - ill start with the coin at the top of the handle trick first, and failing that, I'll look at trying what Counterpuncher recommended.

    FYI, I added a leather grip to it when I bought it as the original bab grip was hammered. Besides making it heavier, and a bit more headlight, how would this have affected the playability of the racquet? Are the PSLs as "loggish" on court as the PSTs?
     
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  7. Double_Bagel

    Double_Bagel Rookie

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    I'm at my GOATish best when wielding the Tflight 320 or the Rebel 95. They felt great from the first hit. However, those two sticks I actually expected the least from...as the PST has rave reviews and has been a staple racquet for a lot of good players. I'm a tad disappointed that it hasn't worked for me so far...I don't like being "defeated" by a racquet :(
     
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  8. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    How do you know the SW?

    Are you going by the published data, or did you measure the SW of the particular racquet you play with?

    It is possible that the particular Pure Storm Tour you have has a much higher SW than the average spec measured by TW and other retailers.
     
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  9. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I thought the racquet rather polarized. it seems to have a fair bit of weight at the tip.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
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  10. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Sell it and get the LTD version. Much more head light.
     
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  11. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Or if you sell it ... get tw to find you one with a lower sw!
     
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  12. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    maybe your technique doens't allow to swing a heavy stick. is it just return of serve?
     
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  13. Double_Bagel

    Double_Bagel Rookie

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    Mostly return of serve or when I'm off balance out of position. Played with heavy sticks before (PS85, K90 and so on) and never had issues with preparation before.

    Good call on the SWs - I have only referred to only published data, not accounting for individual variances.
     
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  14. Double_Bagel

    Double_Bagel Rookie

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    Is the polarization of racquets listed in the TW specifications usually?
     
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  15. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I used to play with the PSTGT but recently switched to the Graphene Speed Pro. It weighs about the same and has about the same SW but doesn't feel as sluggish especially on serves.

    The Graphene is a tad stiffer so I ended up putting silicone in the handle to dampen it a bit and it has worked out well.
     
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  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, for whatever reason the PST just felt so sluggish on serves and eventually it bothered my shoulder. My next racket was the PK 7G which on paper, looks to be similar spec wise but just was so much easier to swing.
     
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  17. Dasol

    Dasol Rookie

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    I also have been using relatively heavy frames such as Ncode Tour (90 inch), Blx 95 (18X20), C10pro, PDR, and my main frame is now PST. Compared to those frames, I do not particularly feel that PST is really sluggish (I know this is very subjective). And honestly, those heavy frames are sometimes sluggish to me when returning very fast and heavy serve and when I am out of position, and I think this is simply common for recreational players using heavy sticks. Despite this occasional sluggish feeling, the reason why I like the PST is because it produces very heavy balls and gives so much confidence when I am in a match situation. Its sweetspot, for me, is very big and I feel that it is even bigger than that of the standard Pure Storm. Also, very stable for volley and I can hit very fast flat first serve with the PST.

    Before doing some surgery on the PST or selling it again, I suggest you to give it some time to adjust, and if you still feel that the PST is REALLY sluggish, then there are plenty of other great players' frames for you to choose. :)
     
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  18. Double_Bagel

    Double_Bagel Rookie

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    Well, it's certainly reassuring that other far more experienced (and probably far more talented!) players such as Mikeler have experienced the same issues as me.

    No doubt the PST is a fine frame and in particular is brutal at put away volleys. I'm serving big with it too, but they are shooting an extra meter or two long. Probably a technique issue, and perhaps dialing in the timing. Need to stick with it a bit longer as Dasol advised.

    Stringing it at 58lbs with Tour Bite may have been a mistake too. Counterpuncher and a few others chimed in on another thread that these frames don't play well with poly at high tension but really come alive when strung much looser. Something to try next string job; go with my old favorite Cyberflash and see how it performs at 50lbs.
     
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  19. Jakesteroni

    Jakesteroni Rookie

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    As some suggested put some lead around the buttcap area. The problem I had found was the same, but the QC on them is pretty bad. You may have one that is more SW than posted on the site.
     
    #19
  20. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    On serves is where the PST falls short for me too. I now use the PK Ki5 315 which is what I consider the best all round racquet available today. It doesn't excel for one particular stroke, but it does everything just fine.
     
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  21. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Babolat seems to construct their racquets with a 10 gram steel piece embedded in the handle and with the added weight in the tip this results in a rather hollow feel to the main body of the PST racquet.

    This technique gives it a polarized feel.
     
    #21
  22. Double_Bagel

    Double_Bagel Rookie

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    Added 6 grams of lead at the top of the handle as per Corners' advice. It felt better doing a few practice swings before stepping on court, but when on court in the heat of it, it was still really cumbersome.

    At some point in rallying my dampener flew off (big Volkl type) so I guess I would have shaved a few points of SW at that point too, not that I noticed.

    Might get it re-strung at lower tension and have the bumper removed. I'll add protection tape and lead where the bumper was if need be and go from there.
     
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  23. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    What about 3 grams around the handle and a 1 gram rubber band?

    Remove bumper and shave paint off - a saving of 1 or 2 grams perhaps - replace bumper?
     
    #23
  24. ivo

    ivo Rookie

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    Or you can get GT 2011 model. I am sure it is different from non GT or maybe even from 2009 GT.

    To me it swings too easy. I have different problem, that it has not enough mass in the head and my 1H BH doesnt fly.

    It swung so easy to me, that I send it 700km away to measure SW on RDC machine and it was far away from TW measured 333. It was 317 with thick 1.3mm Red Code string.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
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  25. Double_Bagel

    Double_Bagel Rookie

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    Jeez. That is LOW! Freak racquet? :p
     
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  26. ivo

    ivo Rookie

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    I am sorry, english is not my native language, so I dont know what you exactly mean by "freak" because my translator gave me 3 different results.. :)

    But from TWU site you can see that non GT and GT models are different racquets with very different power levels at 12 o clock = more mass= more heavy at tip.

    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi...Storm:Tour|RCBAB|&racquetC=none&racquetD=none

    My racquet is from sole importer of babolat racquets in my country.

    BTW if I need to get SW lower and remove some mass from the tip, I drill a lot of holes to bumper instead of removing it ( same as Fisher racquets, for example).
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
    #26
  27. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    'Freak' means in this context 'unusual' or 'extremely rare'.
     
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  28. ivo

    ivo Rookie

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    Weight and balance is exactly like written on racquet, so I dont think it is freak racquet and other PSTs 2011 have higher SW

    Also other sites has measured lower SW than 333. For example:

    Racquet Specifications
    •Headsize: 98 sq. in.
    •Length: 27.00 in.
    •Weight (strung): 12.00 oz.
    •Stiffness (Babolat RDC): 65
    •Balance: 12.80 in. Head Light
    •Cross Section: 21mm Straight Beam
    •Swingweight: 316 kg*sq. cm
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
    #28
  29. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Tennis Warehouse University also shows a much lower SW. 322 for the 2011 version and 323 for the 2009 version.

    For 333 to be correct there must have been some monsters in TW Retail's sample if they really average five frames to get their specs.

    So far I've found TWU's specs more accurate than TW retail even though retail claims to average multiple frames.
     
    #29
  30. Double_Bagel

    Double_Bagel Rookie

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    If I'd had any inkling there was such a massive difference in SW between the GT and non-GT Tours, I would have definitely picked up a GT.

    Does this SW difference apply to the PSLs as well? Or just the Tours?
     
    #30

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