Diary of a Racketaholic

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Ross K, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    Gads, i had a similar experience as you w/ BHS16. after 3 hours it started feeling dead, but since i didn't have time to restring it, i didn't bother to cut it out yet. i played yesterday in the afternoon when the temperature wasn't as cold and it actually played pretty well still. could be the low temps. i haven't completely written off BHS yet.
     
  2. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    worth a try with 16g RC in the crosses. would soften it a bit and the 16g lasts a bit longer.
     
  3. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    A very brief little casual hit with the BC30 and MGPP just now.

    The latter struck me like all these Head MPs/Prestige Pro-type frames always do, I just truly love that unique solid collared feel but it slightly lacks in the oomph dept.

    The BC30 instantly got my brain thinking: "Wow, sensational feel." Second you notice the big arching spin, but not only that, you can really put a lot of action on the ball too. I also thought (and I recall this from before) it does sometimes seem a bit weak. Lead would help I'm sure. I also noticed that recoil thingy, or whatever it is that when you really go to nail a shot, an extra bolt of zip seems to come from nowhere - and this is a trait I've always like in frames.

    Proper session tomorrow... lads, I'm quite intrigued here... it really does remind me of an APD but with better feel. The specs (as a certain 'modfather' pointed out to me earlier :) ) are close to my modded APD Original... will report back my fellow 'holics.
     
  4. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Im thinking about using it as a cross. Or I may just get 1 more Pro Open and always have one with full RIP in it.

    Or I may use it as my string of choice in 16..I just need to try a few more setups.

    Gads,

    How are you doing with the Asics solutions? I personally love the look and color of those things. My GR3s are so killer, but have worn down and will be seeing a warranty mail in soon.

    I guess I will give up on selling my Big Shots and just wear those for a bit.
     
  5. 808

    808 Rookie

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    Going to pick up two of my new black PD+ tomorrow evening from my stringer and will finally be able to get a hit in with them. Seriously, I can't wait!
     
  6. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    I ended up going with the black/green Resolution 4s, not the green/black Speed Solutions (both just awesome on comfort, but the Speeds were a little too narrow for my forefoot)... 25 hours or so on the R4s and I absolutely love them. Awesome comfort, stability and court grab.

    Ross, not sure what string you said you have in the 30, but these Bast Cores and Tour Bite, to me, are made for each other. The zip and spin you can put on the ball from the baseline is just stupendous.
     
  7. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Gads ok cool..hmmm..tough decision when I buy again. I know you were loving the Solutions. Did you demo them or are you selling the pair?
     
  8. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    No no, the Solution feedback was based solely on trying them on a couple times in the store. The first time I tried them on, I was pretty sure I was going to get them as they were just so supple while being light and I kind of dug the crazy green sneaker look. But when I went back to try on the R4s and the Solutions again I practiced tennis-specific movements for way too long whilst a bored shoe salesman stared at me quizzically. I realized that while the Solutions felt epic running forward and back, when I emulated a tennis swing and put my weight forward on my left foot, that the side of left forefoot seemed to be sort of spilling off the edge of the sole, if that makes sense, while the Resolution sole was just wide enough to keep my foot still corralled in the 'box' of the shoe. But again, I have weird feet: my left is wider than my right, which is why I often have so much trouble finding a perfect match of a shoe for tennis. I still may end up getting the Solutions as a gym workout shoe at some point in the future, but for tennis specifically, the R4s do the job.

    (also, I was a little worried at the 'slipping' factor the TW testers repeatedly mentioned on their Speed Solution review)

    Edit add: another great lighter tennis shoe is the New Balance 851 (for me, in the wide width). No-fuss shoe that you totally forget about while playing and I actually really like the look of them (the white/navy version). I had these recently and wore through the shoe in about four months, and a warranty replacement is headed my way currently. So, SHOE-wise, I'm set to go now for awhile with my Asics and what will be a backup pair of 851s.

    Now, about that racquet thing...
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  9. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Gads you struck again with the 851s. Very nice..i never heard about them before..awesome.

    Anyway..im taking a few days off to rest the legs and then i will be back experimenting with the pro open.
     
  10. ae1222

    ae1222 Semi-Pro

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    I always love this thread, interesting to see your evolution in sticks and strings...now shoes.

    On the string note I never believed that gut in the mains and poly in the crosses would ever last, until I tried it with zarlon black in the cross, I can't ever seem to break it which is a huge bonus. But I think I will stick to full poly, seem to play better with it.

    PP - I will be in Orlando in mid March, I will be looking to sneak out and hit a little. You or anyone you know interested in getting out with me (5.0 former DI player)?
     
  11. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Even playing with old TB like I was earlier, the grab and hold and oomph I got was indeed stupendous... when it's like this, I know TB has no equal.:)
     
  12. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Definitely post up your thoughts 8. I loved my PD+s, just not quite the right fit for me probably.
     
  13. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes let me know, that would be awesome.
     
  14. ae1222

    ae1222 Semi-Pro

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    Sounds good, I will keep you posted. I will bring my stash of PT57A's and show you why I ended my racketaholism...
     
  15. all_backhand

    all_backhand New User

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    This sounds epic...
     
  16. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, great shoes. Low arch, though, so if you have a high one as I do, a pair of Superfeet Blues transforms the 851s into alarmingly fast, light kicks. Second lace-hole at the top is a must, though, to tighten the shoe up around the ankle for some extra support.

    Oh man, this makes me want to go to Florida. A PT57A Day? Awesome.
     
  17. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Oh, and Ae: please make it to Florida sooner rather than later...

    :)
     
  18. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes you have the 57a stash..this will be awesome. :twisted:
     
  19. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Meaghan,

    Having been doing your stringaholic professor's experiment thing with all these polys etc in the last month or so, just wondered now how highly you rate the Pro's Pro Hexaspin Twist? Is it still a brilliant option IYO? I'm asking as I'm deliberating new string-jobs.


    ae,

    I played with a PT630 last week freshly strung with Tour Bite at 45 lbs (probably way too low for many PT 'purists' :) .) I was hampered by a knee problem which affected my little revisit, however, it was still great to wield the mighty frame. As they all know here, I've recently gone through something of a hankering to get back to that unique Head collared solidness and the way frames like the PP, i. Prestige, Rad Tours, etc, address the ball. I was also keen to get back a bit of control and precision too. To check out a much more low powered racket. Plus I simply wanted to explore a bit the kind of frame where technique is paramount and every shot you have to craft perfectly.

    I found it interesting. There was generally more power than I recall being able to access (TB at 45lbs no doubt!), but paradoxically it could still splutter up a quite embarrassingly underpowered response which would plonk into the net. I found that control and precision aspects very nice. The solid feel is still obviously exceptional. However, it's more than a tad different to what I'm used to these days (very dense pattern, for example.) It is indeed a bit too demanding for me. Plus I'm sure I'd struggle if playing better players (I have dim bad memories of really having a bad time with my coach when I wielded this some years back.)

    Anyhow, I seriously reckon I have some kind of 'weakness' here with these Head MPs (I've actually got a newly aquired MGPP in my bag right now) - haha - as the only slight problem with a frame where technique is paramount and every shot is one you have to craft perfectly, is it calls for a way better player than me!:lol: ...

    So good to check out these past 'goat' frames though.
     
  20. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    I rate it very highly ross, I cut out at 10hrs and it was still going string which surprised me. I had it at 49lbs, full bed, very impressive.
     
  21. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Depending on how it goes in an hour or two with the BC30 (and, er, I'm excited I've got to be honest Ricardo, after yesterday's little hit :)), I could put it in there for the next string-job - although, as Gads and I posted last night, these Vantages w/TB is incredible, as I know you'd agree.
     
  22. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    The twist string is softer and would prob play better in a slightly stiffer frame (although I did find barb wire amazing for two hrs in the 20).
    Personally I'd go full tb in the 30 ...
     
  23. westside

    westside Hall of Fame

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    Random question for you guys.

    Do you think it's possible to play better at singles with one racquet and better with another when playing doubles?
     
  24. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    I do, I play a lot of both, my summer league is doubles based and winter league is singles based. Personally I dont have a different racket for both, I can understand why someone would.

    I find doubles is a more accurate game, missing the man at the net, big serving down the middle, good net play, moving forward as a team, holding the middle. A racket and string set can suit this type of play. Most pros play with heavy, stable sticks.

    Singles is more physical, getting your feet right, miss hitting a return but still being in the game, moving your opponent around, more variety in play etc etc......depends on your game and level but I could see someone using a different stick to suit.

    Wish I lived in Melbourne!
     
  25. ryushen21

    ryushen21 Hall of Fame

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    My wallet/paypal acct is about to be very unhappy with me. I did some reading and have basically decided that I am going to try out a few different setups and see which one I like the best/lasts the longest.

    I'm gonna use Pacific Classic gut 16g in the mains for all the setups (PP, I'm taking your word here!) with the following poly crosses (all 17g): SP Tornado (I have to give my current string a shot), BC, BHB7 and CoFocus (16L).

    PP, I know you said that you are using string savers in your setup. Are you starting off with them or putting them in after so many hours of play? How many are you using and at what locations?
     
  26. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Against decent player just now with the BC30 I was 'appreciating' the great feel, surprising serve pop, and general excellent quality of the Vantage. At the same time I was struggling a bit with the frame generally, a lot of errors, timing was off - it just wasn't swinging right - and I wasn't taking care of the basics (my code for playing heavy spinny b-line game.) I lost the set 6-2.

    Second set and I decided to do something I haven't done in a good few months and more - I took out my APD Original. I won it 6-1.

    Just like when I contrasted it with the Exo 100, and the TF Speedflex 315, and the YTPP, and the TF 320, and all the frames I've checked out in the last year or whatever, I left the court this morning thinking I should either return to this racket or seek a good psychotherapist!:) I can just hear Rafa saying whatever the Spanish is for: 'Yep, you've got that right, mate.':lol:


    [​IMG]
     
  27. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    You are going to love the setup..plus it is not expensive if the strings last 3-4 weeks for you in the 18x20.

    string savers..put them in where you see fraying. I ended up using between 20-30 a stick and most of the savers are in the sweet spot. there is no real method of placing them, so just go by where you see the string fraying after hitting and thats it.

    Gads, I have the black lavers coming today in a 9.5. . will report on fit and looks.
     
  28. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    Good choice in string Ry. I've got one of my PST's strung up with Pacific 17/B5E at 60/54. Looking forward to trying it out - Pacific is my favorite of the lower powered gut strings. It doesn't have the same pop as VS 17, but it's a little firmer, which helps me to keep my swingspeed up. I've always found that I groove with gut when I remember that it's not poly, so it's not going to feel like poly - my first few times I used it, I kept slowing my swing down because I thought I was going to rocket balls to the backstop.
     
  29. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Ross, you should accept your destiny. Seems clear that that's the frame for you.
     
  30. ryushen21

    ryushen21 Hall of Fame

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    It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out. I'm still convinced that I'm a bloody moron seeing as I'm going to try out gut again and the Texas summer will soon be upon us. SMH at myself.
     
  31. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't worry too much about heat/humidity for your strings - I've never had too much trouble with gut, even in summer, and MN summers do get pretty sticky at times...
     
  32. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I think he needs to get his hands on a Pro Open before a mass commitment, but yes, I would agree that is type of frame is what he needs.

    I would actually say that's the case for the majority of players who baseline with lots of spin.

    I think the Pro Open may grab him because of the feel and control..hopefully he can find one over there.
     
  33. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    yeah you will be ok. your arm is going to be so happy.
     
  34. ryushen21

    ryushen21 Hall of Fame

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    If it were just one of the elements then I wouldn't be too worried. What concerns me is the variablility that we have in weather here. If it were humid and hot all the time, not such a big deal. But we have swings of hot to seriously hot (110+) and go from wet and sticky to drier than the Sahara in less than 24 hours.

    I know my arm will be very happy and that is the main reason why I am going with gut mains. No signs of any pain from my shoulder injury but being on the safe side is where I want to be.

    I also meant to ask, is that Lock n Roll thing you are talking about free or do they charge?
     
  35. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I just watched free vids. The main thing to really focus on is his feet..how he is shuffling forward and loading off the right foot on the forehand, and then of course how he uses the hip to swing the racquet..that is the secret to crushing shots with little effort.

    Gads..update #2..got the Lavers in..9.5 fits awesome..perfect for casualness. The black ones are freaking sick..matters your style..preference..but I already have some light colored chucks, so these are real nice.

    If I put on my black and Lime ghoat right now, I would instantly be cleared of any cross branding violations and be mobbed on the city streets like a guy in an AXE ad.
     
  36. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    1. Yeah, I'm going to focus on these vids here at the end of the week before I start playing again. Mad Dog got a tip from that site that he shared with me on the one-handed backhand (which I use maybe 20 percent of the time) and I instantly noticed a difference both on his BH as well as when I managed to execute the tip myself. I saw the hip thing last week and definitely need to keep that simple mindset (it's those very simple tricks/habits to think about that help the most; can't cloud the brain too much).

    2. Very nice. New York is sneaker heaven. Shoe places everywhere. Wonder if I can find these here locally somewhere. So far I've been so good, not buying anything, but there's temptation on every corner.

    3. Oh yeah, maybe Ross should try the Pro Open. Seems our lad gets just what he wants with the APD, but always searches for better feel. Maybe the Open is just the ticket. Plus, in a way I don't want Ross to settle on anything so we can continue to reap the benefit of reading his demoing prose.
     
  37. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    APD rulezzz

    Sounds like you've got a winner ;-)

    Claro que si :)
     
  38. PED

    PED Legend

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    This made me smile. I know exactly what you mean. I picked up a fresh pair of Lavers at the Adidas outlet this weekend....just in time for spring.
     
  39. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Meags,

    That sounds more than impressive, I'll have to give it a try out.


    All,

    Any of you familiar with Hexonic (other than PED)? Pretty nice I must say in my APD today. I liked it more than a lot of the TT present day poly faves.


    Gadsy,

    Well, I'm certainly putting it in now at no. 1, though I do want to put it directly up against the BLX 95... but I think it's au revoir Head MPs, BC30, etc, and if I have similar results on Friday I'll strongly consider doing the unthinkable... altering my signature from "Er, racketaholic" to "APD"...


    PP,

    I confess I've cooled a bit on the idea lately. I'm just wondering what can the Pro Open do better for me than an APD or PD already does? For sure though, that type of frame has consistently been proven to suit me and my not entirely extensive repertoire rather well.:) The fact that I'm an obsessive-compulsive racketaholic who can tend to approach a racket like a kid with severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might respond to an having to sit completely still and in silence for an hour, and who loves a great quality frame like a red wine connoisseur appreciates a Chateau Neuf Du Pape - of course muddies the waters somewhat.:wink:


    riau,

    Cheers!... BTW, Still an Exo 100 man? And how did you get on in the end with the open pattern VS the closed?
     
  40. 808

    808 Rookie

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    Ah yes, welcome to the dark side. I knew it was only a matter of time... Vamos! :twisted:
     
  41. 808

    808 Rookie

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    Here you go, Ross...


    ~~~ Black Drive Diaries ~~~

    First things first: I've played extensively with the Pure Drive GT (regular length version) as my main racquet for the past couple of month. I do not, however, have any experience with prior iterations of this frame, the GT being the first one I tried (and immediately liked and fell for). It fits my game (rather aggressive all-court tennis on red clay, always trying to finish the point at net) really well, I especially like to volley with it and prefer it to many so called players frames in this regard. My OHBH is both my favourite and strongest shot.

    So, tonight was my first hit with a newly acquired 2012 Pure Drive +. I chose the extended length version this time around on a whim, really. I have always enjoyed extended frames in the past so I figured, why not. It will take me some more time to fully dial in though, as I have been playing with regular 27" racquets for more than a year or so now. Well, how did it go? In a word – awesome. The Black Drive is, of course, not a totally new racquet compared to the blue GT, but certainly a more refined version. I feel it does everything just a little bit better than the old one. It provides a bit more feedback, has better touch and is slightly less powerful. You can hit with plenty of spin but also flatten out some bombs with confidence, slices are wicked, serves are strong – it's a Pure Drive!

    I modified the frame to my usual specs before playing – strung and ready to go it's 330.5g static weight with a balance of 33cm, including overgrip and dampener. So basically about 10g more than stock and about halfway between the PD and PDR. I have not checked the SW yet, but according to my calculations (based on TW measurements) it should be about 330. That's about 10 points less than my old PD (according to RacquetTune) and would explain the slight loss of power – not that I'm complaining. Anyway, the frame is very manoeuvrable with this setup, just the way I like it. No problems at net. Volleys are easy to put away as are overheads, probably thanks to its stiffness and inherent stability, I guess. Big hitters? Bring it on.

    I'd also rate the 2012 PD+ as a fairly comfortable frame considering its stiffness. Very muted feel, absolutely no vibrations unless you totally shank a ball. I generally like stiff frames and the old PD never gave me arm problems even with full beds of old poly (but it's my opinion that almost all arm/shoulder problems are due to bad technique anyway), the new one may even be a touch more comfortable. Rock solid.

    Conclusion: a very enjoyable hitting experience. Not god-mode like compared to the blue 2010 PD, but certainly up a notch in every regard. I'm stoked and absolutely happy with my decision to get the Black Drives (+). And always remember: PD + VS = money in the bank.


    Addendum re QC: I got three frames. Unstrung they all have a balance of 32cm (spot on) and weigh 296.7g, 296.8g and 297.1g each, so a touch lighter than factory spec. That's pretty decent quality control, I'd say. I could have also just lucked out, though. ;)
     
  42. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Well in my experience with it, it has far better feel and better control as well. It's also more stable. It's up to you, but if you want to stray from the APD, you should try similar tweeners IMO.
     
  43. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Interesting tidbit today guys while messing around with my vcores:
    For those playing/modding yonnies...the yonex stock grip weighs next to nothing...this may explain why I feel the racquet is punching above its weight class...the racquet itself is heavier (sans grip). So you may be adding 10g to the stick with a replacement grip. Basically its more like a 325g or 330g stick than the 320 its listed at.
     
  44. BigM

    BigM Rookie

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    Awesome review. Really enjoyed reading this. I mite actually revisit the extended frame path. Just a quick question, Did you notice a big difference in sw between the standard length vs the plus?

    BigM
     
  45. sargeinaz

    sargeinaz Hall of Fame

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    Did you not like the stock grip it came with? It looks nice. Unfortunately my demo from TW had a wilson grip on it, so I never got to try the stock one. Which grip are you using? Also, since the yonex grip is so thin, when I add like either leather or gamma hi-tec to a yonex frame, the grip size feels a lot larger and basically almost feels like a size up after adding an overgrip. Did you notice this?
     
  46. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    The stock grip is ok, nothing special just a generic syn grip. I like the feel of tightly wrapped bab leather with small ridges for my fingers to fall into. Topped off with tournatac. It doesnt feel bigger becuase I wrap it so tight and the leather kind of molds around the hand after a few days.
     
  47. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Nice to read that 808. I always find the PD+ is slightly under-reported on TT. As I think you know, I used to play the PD+ Team some years back. And much more recently I acquired some PD+ Swirlys. I also seem to like XL rackets for that little extra you get on serve, it helps with 2hbh too, and the reach is nice - in fact I'd say the PD+ is absolutely fantastic in all those 3 respects. However, my issue here is always with how the frame swings, maneuverability, timing, etc. Unlike you, with overheads, net stuff, and general slightly more all court aspects, I always have had little problems with the PD+. Awesome racket however, and one that I know I'm bound to relook at in the not too far distant future.:wink:
     
  48. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Hi Ross,

    I've played with the open pattern for about ten hours. Comparing the closed and the open pattern, the closed pattern seems to be a better match for my game. The open pattern has more power and a tad more spin, but the closed pattern has better control and just gives me more confidence. But they are both great frames.

    However, for the last couple of weeks I've been playing some pretty good tennis with my YTPP (I traded my H22 for a pair of YTPPs).
     
  49. 808

    808 Rookie

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    Thanks. To answer your question – no. But I always had my regular PD leaded up to the SW of the PD+ anyway (3g under the bumper). Last time I measured with RacquetTune my (regular) PD was at 340, but that particular frame was strung with a full bed of Pro Hurricane Tour 17, which in my experience is slightly heavier than full VS (about 2g to 3g?).


    Thanks, and I agree. You don't read too much about the PD+. I feel the new one might be slightly more manouverable, most probably due to the somewhat reduced swingweight. It certainly swings very nice. I urge you to try it! :twisted:
     
  50. ryushen21

    ryushen21 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,201
    Location:
    wherever you were hoping I wasn't going to be
    Breaking update!!!!

    I'm swearing off the lead. The n95, to much surprise, does not seem to need, want or in any other sense require the addition of lead. It swings heavy yet fast and just kills it. One of my regular hitting partners said he can't remember me hitting the ball as well as I have been since I got the n95.

    I have definitely found the groove though. Still trying to get rid of the BLX so I can score another n95.

    I'm also conemplating the possibility of having the Head grip shape applied to my frames. Seeing as I love that shape and it feels better to me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012

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