Boris Becker (BB) London Club

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TimothyO, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. goherd27

    goherd27 Rookie

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    Strings

    Thanks. When purchasing string will 1 package of each type do only one racquet?
     
  2. drak

    drak Professional

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    It's a spray can, dries in less that 5 minutes. I remember in the 70's tennis boom I "strung my way thru college" working at a local tennis shop and we used the cans of shellac with a brush - spray works well.

    I'm just coming back from a 3 month layoff, been skiing a ton (season pass) and had a wrist injury. I still have the PB9, a BB London and now a Bastcore BC30 (very nice). When I have had a chance to play more I will do a thorough comparison.

    Drak
     
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    No. You will be able to only use half a package for each so u will get 2 stringjobs out of 2 packages. No waste.
     
  4. Snype

    Snype New User

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    Hello. This is my first post on this forum. I am located in Belgium (small country in Europe, in the middle of the France-Germany-UK triangle).
    According to this document, I would be ranked 5.0 in your country.
    My previous racket was the Fischer M Pro N°1 98 UL, and I just switched to the BB London. I string my London with Babolat Xcel 17 at 21 kilos in the mains, 19 kilos in the crosses. I am thinking of trying Tecnifibre XR3 or TGV instead of the Xcel (wich breaks in about 15-20 hours of play for me), and lowering the tension of 1 or 2 kilos.
    I was wondering if any of you also use very low tensions, as I do.
     
  5. mattymatt

    mattymatt New User

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    Just for my reference, 21/19kg is equivalent of 46/41 lbs. I must say that is very low. London is already a powerful racket. I would not go any lower than 51 lbs main. At 5.0, you are definitely a much better player than me (4.0). Hope you get more feedback from better players in this forum.
     
  6. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    That is extremely low for this frame with a non poly. I would start at mid tension (55) and go from there.
     
  7. Snype

    Snype New User

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    My first string job on this frame was Babolat VS 16 at 23/21 kilos, wich I found too stiff for me (not comfortable enough).
    So I decided to loosen the tension, and now I have one frame strung with Xcel 17 at 21/19 kilos (wich I like quite well) and the second frame is strung with XR3 16 at 19/17 kilos (this one I haven't tried yet).

    Yes, I prefer lower tensions, by far :grin:
     
  8. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I assume that you are playing primarily on red clay? If so, since the frame is so light, that your tensions are quite appropriate for your level of play. You can only go so tight, before no matter how fast you swing the racquet, you cannot overcome the weight of your opponent's shots, especially if the weather gets bad and you play through the rain.

    When asking Americans this question, you have to realize that even in Florida on Har Tru, it is never nearly as soft or wet as red clay, and the bounce is much lower, so the ball quality which you are accustomed, does not exist here, unless you are in the Northeast, where we do have red clay experience. Also, most players in the USA play on hard court, so of course, play with higher tensions.
     
  9. Snype

    Snype New User

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    Thanks for your input, TennisMaverick.
    You are perfectly right, 95% of the tournaments are on red clay over here, and since we have a moist climate (in average, it rains 200 days a year in Belgium), we are used to very slow and soft conditions of play.
    So I don't need to worry anymore, I'm completely normal :)
     
  10. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    It's been a long time since I've hit on European red clay. The last time I hit was around 8 am in Lisbon, where it was so foggy, I could barely see the player on the other side of the net while I warmed him up. The matches were played all day in light rain, non-stop. The ball fluffed-up almost as big as a softball, so if you strung your racquets too tight, your arm would fall apart in no time. It actually makes tennis fun; it makes tennis feel like other sports. Even on Har Tru, few players in the USA play in those conditions. But 200 days of rain per year? That must make everybody tough!
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  11. Snype

    Snype New User

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    And Lisbon is 2000 km in the South of Belgium, you can imagine the amount of rain we get here ;)
     
  12. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Do the clubs allow you to play on the courts in light rain during non-matches?
     
  13. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Welcome to the forum, Snype. What did you like better about the London that convinced you to switch from your Pro N°1?
     
  14. Snype

    Snype New User

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    If there aren't any puddles on the court, and no risk to heavily damage it, yes we are allowed to play.

    I was looking for an arm-friendly racket, that could help me put a little bit more weight in the ball, and with a thin beam. The London achieved that. On the other hand, the London is stiffer and it's less maneuverable than the Fischer at the net.
     
  15. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I decided to go back and put 1/8" strips of lead on either side of the throat: 4 1/2" on each side.

    Now I have (all 1/8" strips) 5 1/2" on each side of the stringbed from 3/9 down to 5/7, a pair of 2" strips on the outside of the frame at 5/7, covered with head tape, two 2" strips on the bridge, two 4 1/2 strips on the inside of the throat, and four 1" strips stacked on the saddle of the "V".

    I have a total of 47" of 1/8" lead on the hoop, down through the throat, which comes out to just under 6grams.

    The racquet feels amazing at impact with this setup. Spreading out the lead is a new revelation for me, as it creates such a balanced swing feel, and most importantly for the London, maintains the characteristics of the frame without overwhelming its inherent qualities. It felt like the London, just more solid.

    I'm playing a match with it this evening, so we'll see. If I decide I want it just a touch more headlight, I'll probably buy the thinnest TW leather and put on it, which shouldn't affect the stiffness of the frame as much as counterweighting the handle with lead. Am I correct in thinking that?

    Also, the only gap in the lead chain from 3/9 all the way down to the bottom or the throat is a 1" void between the bottom of my 5/7 mods and the bridge. Should I eliminate that gap, or am I splitting hairs here? Thanks.
     
  16. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I played a match last night and have to say I am playing better than ever now that I have my London outfitted with nat gut/copoly. It seems like the perfect blend of power, touch and feel. I tried the nat gut / V-Pro combo last night and it was very nice. The V-Pro is a very smooth, round poly, so it works extremely well with the gut. I have finally learned how to swing fast at my second kick serves without fear of hitting them long and this hybrid combo gave me a lot of kick spin. I can now get the up over shoulder height consistently and that's big for me.

    My groundies with the London are now also more consistent than ever. I can stay in rallies longer and usually can outlast my opponents on consistency alone. There is alway power in reserve to go for winners when the time is right with the London and I am learning to place them better while still swinging under control. Only weaknesses now are all on me and not the racquet.

    So once again...couldn't be happier with my London and I don't have any "overwhelming desire" to look anywhere else. I feel so connected now on my shots and that took awhile, but now it's there. Everyone else as happy with the London as I am? I am wondering if everyone stayed with it or some (like the original poster) have moved on?
     
  17. skeeter

    skeeter Semi-Pro

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    Great to hear, Jack. I, too, am extremely happy with the London, especially since I'm both dialing in with a good string set-up (same as you, gut/copoly) and working well with the attributes of the London. One could say that I'm both "learning from" the London and "mastering" it at the same time. Ultimately, I'm thinking less and less about the racquet (now that I've found a good one that works for me) and more about strategies and stroke production, which is a good approach to be taking IMO.

    In short, so far so good!
     
  18. eldub20

    eldub20 Rookie

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    London vs PK7G or 5G

    Post deleted and question submitted as a new thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  19. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I echo those words completely!
     
  20. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Very cool. We don't use as much top dressing on the red clay here in the USA, so the puddles occur very quickly. Thus, the courts need to be closed, basically for the whole day, or else, it's like stepping on peanut butter, and then, maintenance has a full day of work. That's why they invented Har Tru, although, it's a poor substitute.
     
  21. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Using the leather grip should work well as a counter balance.

    You made-up for the gap by covering the 5/7 lead with head protection tape, if I understand you correctly. That should make-up the difference for the .25 grams.

    IMPORTANT: How does it volley against pace now?
     
  22. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I can't describe how perfect this setup is for me! It defies logic, but the racquet actually played softer. I felt like the ball pocketed even better with the added weight. I can't stress enough how balanced/one-piece the response was. Plow, ball quality, and penetration were all heightened--even enhancing the feel, which I thought impossible for this frame with lead.

    After three sets, and just for comparison's sake, I hit a stock London for a few games. The stick plays remarkably well at my level stock, but these new mods have won me over. My playing partner commented that I hit a lot more spin with the stock racquet, but a heavier ball with the modded stick. Plus, the modded stick just felt almost perfectly plush, where the stock racquet had that slight, torsional play outside the sweetspot. It became evident side by side, although the London is a plush racquet stock, don't get me wrong.

    As far as volleys, I always felt like I had to assist the volleys with a little more swing stock, which put a premium on timing. With these mods, volleys were paradoxically rock solid with a pillow-like feel, without the extra swing. Funny you should ask about volleys against pace, as this was THE standout shot for me today, maybe besides my serves. The ball just didn't intimidate the stick in the least. And while I would like a few more points hl, I'm scared to mess with the setup, as the feel and response is almost perfect for me. You also have to consider that I cover the whole bumper with headtape, play with an "O" dampener, and overgrip. I know the overgrip balances things out a bit, but I'd be open to suggestions as to whether or not I should just leave things alone.

    Unbelievable how a few weeks ago, I put about the same amount of lead (in 1/4" widths) in select locations from 3/9 to the bottom of the pallet, and the racquet felt like a brick. This setup is sublime, and one I've been looking for since I bought the sticks!
     
  23. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Heretic! You have broken SPECTARD LAW!

    You must follow standard mods from your traditional graphite frame or SPECTARD recommended SET-UPS from SPECTARD experts ONLY.

    You may continue to enjoy this non-sanctioned SET-UP until you lose. There is only a one-time SPECTARD "EXEMPTION". Then, it's back to SPECTARD SET-UPS, or, "Off with your head"!

    And you need to read and react faster so you don't need to protect your bumper guard with tape. Why should the ball ever drop that low to consistently scrape the ground after the highest point of its bounce?! You should know what your opponent's options are according to his strengths, weaknesses, and predilections, which will tell you what shot he will hit, as soon as you contact your own shot. That's the definition of anticipation on a tennis court.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  24. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Hey Pneumated1, your experiment sounds fun.Where did you get those 1/8" lead tape from? Thanks.
     
  25. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    This London has been a puzzle, as the traditional mods simply do not work. Heretic I am; I'm fully sold! Just under six grams of lead (that's not much) and this stick feels like a lighter, more maneuverable, more controlled, more comfortable BB 11, which was always the end goal for me. And that's with a poly main. Thanks for the 1/8" tip; I'd have never thought of it.

    My anticipation is probably one of the better points of my game, but I'm sure I could stand improvement. Thanks for the free tips either way. The only reason that I put the head tape on the stick is because I tend to drive the racquet head into the court on serves, on occasion. I'm only 6'2", but I have long arms and legs---like an orangutan.:) However, I don't consistently scrape the court, even then. That's probably adding unnecessary weight, so I'll take it off and stock up on some bumper/grommet sets---if I'm reading you correctly?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  26. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    To me, finding the optimal playability for a racquet through mods is very interesting. With the London, however, it's been quite a challenge, as the stick stiffens like crazy with isolated and denser weights.

    I don't think they make 1/8" lead tape, but I cut my 1/4" in half. I would recommend this setup, or something close to it, for any London user wanting to stabilize the frame a .25 oz or so. It plays amazing!
     
  27. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    What is this experiment? I am just curious.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  28. Snype

    Snype New User

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    Could you post pictures of your customized frame, to see exactly how you modified it?
     
  29. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    Ok. I just purchased the london and like it so I will buy another however I need some string advice as I've gotten confused reading this thread. The stick I just bought was strung with VS gut mains at 55lbs and Alu Power crosses @ 51lbs.

    This has been my standard setup for a while .. my sig is old. After reading through the thread I would like to try a better setup for "pocketing." Should I switch the x string? Following some of the advice it seems if I stick with 55 gut mains then the ALU power cross should go to about 47. However maybe that cross is not the best for pocketing. Any advice here?
     
  30. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    It has become quite enough. A long time ago.

    Fire your therapist.
     
  31. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    That setup should work fine. Surprised you aren't getting nice pocketing with that setup. You could try a softer copoly in the crosses like PF Black Venom or Volkl VPro.
     
  32. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    the stringbed feels quite stiff compared to my pb10 with same setup. I may have to wait a bit as I've only played 2 hours so far. I definitely feel the power and spin vs the pb10 for my strokes. PB10 was great for me while I was fresh but after a set I lost the ability to swing it fast enough to do much.

    I think I will try a softer cross. Maybe the Volkl vfuse, venom or cyclone. Ill shoot for a 47ish soft co-poly cross and a 55 gut main.
     
  33. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    How about just using full gut or gut/syngut?
     
  34. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    That is exactly right. Your poly should be around 8-10% stiffer than your gut. The first thing you should do is drop the tension on the poly 4-5# to compensate for the stiffness. At that point, at least theoretically, your gut and poly should play at a similar tension. Then you drop the cross strings another 2-4# to compensate, especially in the London for the stiffness created by the DC on the cross strings. I would recommend 47-48# regardless of how soft your poly is. Hope this helps.
     
  35. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    If I get a chance, I definitely will. But this week is especially busy. Eventually, yes, but remind me if I don't.
     
  36. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    Excellent. I will try that. Thanks.
     
  37. Beagle97

    Beagle97 New User

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    Thanks for sharing your findings. This is really helpful information from both yourself and tm. For people like me that are lost when it comes to leading up a racket, it is pure gold. Many many thanks.
     
  38. mattymatt

    mattymatt New User

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    That makes a lot of sense. One should not just drop the tension of the cross before considering the string types of the main and cross. I have two londons with WS turbo twist (poly) Main and Gosen synth Cross. I have equal tension on one racket and lower cross tension on the other. The racket with the equal tension plays better.
     
  39. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    No problem. It should be a lot more playable, giving you back your pocketing/dwell.

    The racquet plays great stock, but I personally think it needs a little weight to optimize it (taking into account variances for playing levels/styles). I experimented with lots of setups and kept trying to load up specific locations (3/9, 5/7, pallet) with lead---to no avail; something was just missing. Maverick's suggestion to start wherever you will in the hoop and apply light lead in a continuous chain down through the throat is pure magic. I think the key is to use 1/8" lead (1/4" cut in half) and to put the strips at 5/7 on the outside of the frame (starting at the bottom of the DC material). If I were to add any more lead to the hoop, it might be just a little at 5/7 just to create a little more spin, as these mods will flatten out your ball a bit, which I prefer.

    I'm currently hitting CyberBlue in the main and Gosen in the crosses, and if I stick with a poly, it will go in the crosses in the future. But my only reason for using a poly is to keep me from busting the mains, so while I want a softer stringbed, I don't know which direction I'll go.

    But to all hybrid users with the London, the prescription above should work.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  40. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Thanks. Yea, I've also noticed that when you lead a frame, especially in the hoop, different frames respond to leading differently. The frame's flex/feel may be enhanced or deadened/stiffened depending on where you place the lead.

    I've tried to put around 15g on the London at 12/3/9 and counterweight with a leather grip just to see how it plays like although the weight/sw have gone beyond my comfort zone. But the ball feel wasn't that good. I think this echoes everybody's experience that the London doesnt play that great when heavily leaded.

    Currently I have 1.5g at 12, 1.5g at 3/9 combined, 1g at 5/7, plus leather grip, totaling at 11.6oz. I got this setup from T-Mav in the original London thread with some slight changes of my own. It plays marvelously with 1 frame of Pacific gut/WC Silverstring, and one with full WC Black5edge. I think my setup is close to yours in the hoop, and leather grip instead of yours with lead in the bridge/throat. 1/8" lead makes the weight more evenly/'naturally' distributed throughout the frame and I'm guessing that may contribute to your playing experience as well.
     
  41. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Pneumated1's different lead placement and different playing experience.
     
  42. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    How does that full B5E setup play? I got a package of that string but haven't tried it yet. Any recommendations for tension? How does it compare to the gut/poly hybrid? Do you get a lot more spin with the full poly racquet? Thanks.
     
  43. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Ahh...got it. Everyone is free to do what they want, but IMO the London needs nothing...nada...zilch...zero. Unless it's getting pushed around by heavy hitters at the 5.0 and above level and if that's the case, you probably should be playing something more like the Melbourne or the Legend anyway. When I first got my London, I experimented a little with small amounts of lead at 3/9 and I thought it took a little away from that great London flex and feel that drew me to the racquet in the first place. Why would I want to take any of that away? Unless the racquet felt too light to me, which it doesn't. I don't have any "stability" issues with the racquet stock. When it flutters, it's because I missed the middle of the racquet. Also, I really like the "whip" I get with the stock racquet (which has a 325 swingweight) and any more weight will add swingweight and slow down my swingspeed. I am late on swings much more than I am "early", so no need to add more weight for me.

    Anyone else adding lead to their London's? Has it really improved it's overall performance?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  44. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    Wow, 15 grams in the hoop?! I can imagine what they played/felt like.

    My second best lead setup was 2grams at 5/7 and 1gram at 3/9 and 3grams at 6.5" from the butt, but it in no way compared to my current formula. What I love about the current setup is that I don't "feel" the weight in any specific area, as it's so evenly distributed and balanced. It literally feels like it's an inherent/natural part of the frame.

    I would bet that you get a little more spin and flex in the throat than I do, but I guess these are examples of having to know what you want out of the frame. My plan is to try a leather grip myself for a few more pts headlight; it'll compliment or ruin the setup; and if the latter, it's an easy fix.

    Hey, thanks for sharing. It's good to know that someone else has gone through the same experience.
     
  45. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Head tape, unless you want weight at 10:00-2:00, really changes the racquet's qualities and balance more than anywhere else. Weight in this area provides for the greatest amount of leverage from your hand. When we used this tape distribution, we also covered the pallet with lead tape, approximately 46 in, and then, with two overgrips--the player prefers to feel everything--as Becker used to do. This will come pretty close to your leather grip covered with one overgrip.

    I commend you in your resistance. Letting the SPECTARD leaders know that resistance is not futile, is the beginning of regime change. But be prepared for the SPECTARD armies to attempt a No-Fly Zone.

    If you're scraping your racquet on your service follow-thru, that means that you are collapsing at the waist as you contact the ball. If you're going up for the ball, just like you want to move forward towards an on-coming ball while hitting groundies and volleys, you would never contact the ground after ball contact.

    Try these things in combo or by themselves:

    -Hold your tossing hand or elbow up as long as possible, or, keep reaching up with your tossing arm, even as your arm swings at the ball.
    -Stretch your rib cage with the upper arm of your tossing arm and keep it stretched even as you swing at the ball.
    -Lean your head back so that your face is parallel to the sky and your chest faces up as you begin to swing upwards to the ball. If done correctly, and if your mouth were open, I could feed you Skittles directly down your gullet.
    -Finish high on your serve by swinging up and snapping down at contact. Try to follow the circumference of the ball, regardless of the type of spin you are applying. Reference Lendl, Becker, or Sampras. See Sampras on the Tourna-Grip ads/package.

    Doing any or all of these techniques allows you to increase your racquet head acceleration to the max, which in-turn, provides for more pop or spin. If you ever have the opportunity to be on-court or behind the court with players who serve like those three that I mentioned, you will hear a distinctly different sound when they contact the ball on first serves. Edberg, Mac, and Rafter's serve had a distinctive sound as well. BTW, what is your set-up?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  46. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Besides the fact that the PB 10 Mid is softer, the heavier and greater plow thru of the PB 10 Mid effectively makes the string bed feel loser. To compensate, drop your string tension in your London.
     
  47. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I was a baseball pitcher for 15 years, so when I started playing tennis my natural inclination was to "pull" the ball down on serve. This tendency, coupled with laziness and fatigue, would result in, as you say, my bumper scraping the court. I hardly ever do it anymore, but I've played with head tape for 4-5 years, so I'm just used to the weight being there. For instance, I even put it on demos, because I know that it'll be a permanent part of my setup. I'm gonna take it off see what I think. That may eliminate my perceived need for a leather grip as a counterweight, but I may miss the weight and plow--only one way to find out.

    As far as my serve, thanks for the tips. I actually "broke down" and took a serve lesson a few years back. Once I learned, as you've commented, to explode up through the ball with snap and pronation, it all came together for me. At this point, if I get a little lazy or lose a little timing, I just hit too high on the stringbed (instant feedback), but I don't scrape the court---because I'm moving up/into the ball regardless. While my first serve has become more of a weapon, I'm still working on getting better penetration with the kicker. I read about 6 months ago about holding the head, face, chest up on both serves, but this has really helped my second serve a lot.

    And even at my level, I occasionally hit an ace that makes that distinct sound. The sound, feel, and explosion off the court let you know that you've done everything right. Becker, Lendl, and Sampras simply did/do it on every serve, but I'll take a closer look at some footage.

    As far as my setup . . . you'll have to buy yourself a London before I can divulge:)
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  48. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I was editing while you were posting. I was adding this above:

    "When we used this tape distribution, we also covered the pallet with lead tape, approximately 46 in, and then, with two overgrips--the player prefers to feel everything--as Becker used to do. This will come pretty close to your leather grip covered with one overgrip."

    In baseball, you move forward towards your target, as you do for groundies and volleys, ideally. It is always better to play the ball and not let the ball play you. If you are moving towards your target, the ball, then you should be moving up for a serve.

    My Londons are gone; they were taken by the SPECTARD police after I broke their laws. We smuggled in banned Melbournes, and in total heresy, are using them with only "lead distribution"(another newly banned term)on the bridge, spanning 10 mains, plus, using a trimmed rubber band instead of the heavier 3.3 gram standard BB vibration dampener. We now train with four people: 2 players, a coach, and an armed guard.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  49. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    The feel at impact and ball response/quality are perfect with the hoop/throat mods, but I definitely feel the head heaviness just a little more than I prefer. I just want to be clear: are you recommending the lead tape with two overgrips or the leather with the overgrip-----or either?

    And what is the armed guard fitted with: a 14oz, Sampras autographed PS 85, with Kevlar---as a decoy?
     
  50. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Either, leather with the overgrip, or lead tape with two overgrips.

    Weapons? Just armed with a NYC attitude. He just needs to keep the SPECTARD insects from biting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011

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