Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Ross K, Sep 11, 2010.
Did you get a chance to try the blade tour?
You're a mysterious man, Kennedy.
Not yet...I have a fed stick with 4g at 40 lbs for this week
It is a very good all around poly which is perfect for testing out in new frames as you know exactly what you get. I would argue that it is one of the better poly's out there in the feel/playability category similar in this regard to Black Magic. TBH my favorite ATM is Polybreak (sublime in the Prestige) and it would be in the blade right now if I hadn't run out.
Murray, Full poly in the blade? Nice. I could see how that could be pretty fantastic. I put some 16 gauge OGSM crosses in since that was all I had, and I have to say I like the feel of going up a gauge. Interested in seeing how it plays out for me. Still loving the 4g as my mains. Amazing string, if crossed with OGSM, the price drops to under $10 a job.
Gads, nice to hear you hit with the same grip. My coach taught me the nice driving forehand, but I never thought to tweak my grip. I was hitting a lot of short balls until I made this change. Now I am hitting my backhand a lot more square and clean. Hopefully this continues.
Really brings up a Holicy thought though - I have not seen gads play, but it sounds like we hit the same. On paper, we should be using open pattern sticks, but it seems as if I play better when a racquet pushes me more towards hitting flatter. Not that I ever would hit flat, but combining my forehand with an open pattern stick can result in a fluffier ball with too much spin, or if I compensate, a tendency to hit long or dangerously close to the lines every time. With the Blade, I hit far less fluff and much more driving shots that stay in the lines - gives me confidence out there. I will test this theory possibly tonight as I anticipate the arrival of the APD.
Also, another thing I notice..I hit open stance a lot, but there really is so much power and control when I step in with my left foot more against players who hit softer. The open stance seems to push my balance backwards more than I want. I know all the techniquenerds swear by open stance all the time, but when I get my weight moving forward onto my left foot, I can crush the ball with so much more accuracy.
One other thing - bags. This is the time to get bags if you need one - black friday, new bag releases in early '13..etc. Looks like I will be selling my beloved 200s with the yonex bag tomorrow to a local TTer.
My friend has had the Wilson Tour 9 bag, and I have to say it is a thing of beauty. Not just the PJ, but the pockets and lay out. It has the super important cell phone pocket with a soft inside and a lot of padding. Has a wetpocket as well for shoes and sweaty clothes.
A no brainer replacement for me since the blade colored one is on sale now. I liked the yonex bag and find it high quality, but the wilson is a little smaller and seems to hold its shape better. Those little things are key for me since I bike to my tennis club a lot and the bag makes a huge difference. If I didnt bike, I'd probably do something more FedK like..a trader joe's bag, or something equally hipster.
can u provide a link to the Wilson bag on sale? I see the backpack is on sale...is that what u meant?
if any of you guys are interested in a great deal, you can get a reel of Black Venom for 40% off at the tennis site named similarly to the home improvement superstore. Use cyber40 promo code.
Black Venom is one of the best black poly's around....soft, good pop and decent tension maintenance. If you like this string, this deal is a no brainer. TW usually matches price if u want to try and order through them instead.
Jack the mid west store is a place to check for the Wilson Tour 9 racuqet bag, not the backpack.
thanks bud. I wonder why the 12 pack is cheaper than the 9?
and when we gonna see some of that video you keep teasing us about???
I am going to shoot some match play video today and hopefully post some of it later.
We're on the same page here. MD mentioned how we were talking about this the other day and it's exactly why I've long gone against the idea that spin-hitting players should always hit with open patterns, flat hitters should go closed pattern, the APD is made for spinsters, etc, and argued that the other way around has, more often than not, worked for me: closed patterns tend to bring my trajectory down to where I pierce the court more (not to mention the more pinpoint accuracy), and quite frankly, I'm still hitting with spin. Just not so much that the ball is loopy and unpredictable. MD hits a naturally flatter ball, and he's been much better with the APD than me... A lot of my big spinny shots with the apd end up just being too loopy and just long, whereas he's been able to keep it tamed just enough so that the ball is clipping more lines.
A lot of it also has to do with stiffness and power level, I think. Softer sticks with very open patterns, I've been more successful with than the super stiff open patterns. I was able to achieve more depth and trajectory control with sticks like the BC20 or even Yonex 200. With blasters like the APDs and Pure Drives of the world, the ball just seems to trampoline off the bed and go just long. There were a few shots against MD where, with the APD, I don't feel like I'm hitting long but the ball still flies just past the baseline.
As always, different strokes, different folks.
Yes there are no rules it seems. I have the new APd in hand and will test our theory tonight against the mighty blade.
Jack I have a video that ran for 2 gigs..way too long and I need to just grab a couple minutes of hitting and then post it up when I get a chance to chop it. Do not fear, I have a plan. I am tweaking my footwork a little for my own benefit, and should be able to show some before and after.
Hoping to film some hitting with the APD as well..just boils down to what courts I play on this week as some have windscreens.
Loving this easy video bungee trick though..it is really going to help me out.
BTW the Wilson 9 may be more because it of features. Not sure. The size to pocket and space ratio is the absolute best. You can fit shoes, clothes, balls, water and 4-5 sticks in the bag with no problem. It is a perfect size for any club player.
allright guys, I'm going to lay off sticks for a while. Its gonna be hard. With all these new rackets coming i can already smell the closet RH's and suckers who wanna sell their old sticks asap for the newest models.... But i'm gonna try to invest in a Alpha Revo 4000 machine and string on the side. Just keep working and finding my perfect stringbed... Gotta save up for when I decide to move out!
The strings are more important anyways.
My Babo review is up -
Short version - the Blade is a much more comfortable stick, with more control and plow. I did really enjoy the APD, but I too felt it in the wrist and I know long term that I'd be craving a control stick rather soon. That being said, my mind is back open to the Steam Room. I honestly think the Steam is the tweener to demo. The APD is nice, but we all know what it does. Also if the Steam really does get that much spin, it should be easier to keep in the lines. For now, I Blade. I think Placement is everything, and I have been playing great tennis with the Blade as it hits such a driving, accurate laser.
Something I tried tonight while playing...every time, I mean every shot, in my head I would tell myself the stance to hit in. Wide ball to my forehand, I would think "open". short ball - "closed". Backhand - "closed". What I find is that I was hitting much cleaner shots by telling myself what stance to hit out of. I came up in the 90s so for me, stepping into the ball can sometimes be a natural reaction and my feet can get frozen at times. So this little mental drill seems to help.
Also, I dont care what anyone says, semi closed stance is GOAT on forehands that you have time to attack. Stepping into a short ball is the way to go. Your % of winners will go up. I have no idea why some of the people on the technique forum here think you should always hit open, but for me, open is how I generate power when i dont have as much time.
On the backhands, thinking closed before setting up gets my weight forward and my stance aligned right.
Anyway, just a thought from my evening. I didnt film tonight, but I will do it when I get a willing partner again and should be able to show the difference.
Just read your well thought out review. Nice one.
PP, echoing Ross K's sentiments, nice review indeed. i'm interested to see if the stick will grow on you a bit as you spend more time w/ it. i found that it did on my 2nd hit. it's a shame it's so stiff and uncomfortable though because it really can crack winners from literally anywhere on the court.
and i agree w/ you on stances as well. i find that i hit a much cleaner more penetrating ball w/ a semi closed stance as well. open is how i am forced to hit when i'm rushed. i also hit much better 1hbhs when i remind myself to move my feet, close my stance and turn my shoulders enough so i can get my RHS up and drive my weight into the shot. good stuff. glad to hear that i'm not the only one who talks to himself on the court.
PP, nice review indeed. Could u compare the new APD to the PD12 for me? Which felt stiffer, more forgiving, powerful, etc?
I like that it feels heavier. The PD12 stock was too light for me.
But my biggest issue with it was, without full multi, my wrist and shoulder felt sore afterwards. No elbow pain, but could definitely feel it in my wrist and shoulder.
Thanks guys. Ok, the PD 2012 actually felt a little easier on my arm, but not by much. In terms of power the APD has more due to the SW. The biggest thing about all these sticks is you need full poly for control. You could weight it up and do the tsonga setup, which would slow down your swing and allow you to put gut mains in. That is what I did with the Pure Drive and it was awesome, but now that I have a racquet I can rip with, I find it better for my game to play with less powerful racquets under pressure. I also like the sticks a stock weight because that is when the spin gets good.
If I had to play the PD or the APD at stock weight, Im going APD. It is fine with no lead, but if you added a little at 12 and the butt, it would have more plow.
In terms of comfort, I see no improvement at all besides less vibrations.
This leads me to my next demo : I should have a Steam 99s in my hands by Friday.
I honestly am stoked because it will have that wilson gripshape and feel and if there was ever a stick to have next to my blades in the bag, it would be this one. Same weight and balance, so it will answer a ton of questions in terms of what I prefer. If I do like it, I could see myself Gadsing out with 2 Blades and a Steam in the bag. Just taking my time on a nice extended matchplay comparison.
My point is simple..the Bab is nice, but I think the Steam is the tweener that will actually offer something new from what we are used to. We all know what the Babs, Juices, Pro Opens, yy100s...etc do. We don't know what the steam will offer.
Continue Juicing. Wait for the Steam.
I hit with my APD13 this am.
Fact #1: it's an apd.
If you like the pd or apd you will likely enjoy this one. There are improvements and tweeks but it's def a Bab.
If you don't like Babolats, it's not likely that you will switch to this one.
There are some improvements: I did find that it feels much better on contact with the new cortex and handle: its much more solid overall and I would play it stock if I switched to it.
As Maddog noted above, it swings lighter than the older versions and that's a big plus. However, it still feels less mobile than my Prestige S. The S weights 5g more and has the same balance: 33cm. My apd13 weights 324g with a rubber band and tourna.
Looking forward to hitting some more with it but I also found what PP did: the trajectory is a bit higher than it is with some other sticks, I prefer to produce a driving lower traj ball: look at the TW review video, you can notice the difference to what they were hitting with the Blade.
My right collarbone area is throbbing right now after hitting this am. I had a similar feeling with the GT versions of the PDR and apd but not the apd original or apdc.
My S feels like a wand in my hand, it comes around lightening fast and I'm rarely late: the apd swings faster than before but the 100" hoop and big beam is not as agile. Looking forward to PPs feedback on the Steam.
Ideally, I would love to have full TB in this stick at 43/42 and a 1/4 grip to get a true feel on the stick. It's really nice of TW to give us an extended demo with this stick
quoted & bolded for truth!
I had that collarbone pain bad with the PDr after a while. What the heck is it? lol. It made me go to the RDIS 200.
i don't get the collarbone pain, but i do get shoulder, elbow, wrist pain and oddly enough my bicep with stiffer sticks.
Great reviews by PP and PED. Very accurate to a lot of the things MD and I have found thus far with the APD.
PP's early entry into the steam room will be fascinating. He is our Neil Armstrong.
My super plan, if possible, is to film myself steaming and blading. I will then need to make sure youtube accepts such a filthy video onto it's servers.
From what I have seen, it will probably not showcase much on video, but most likely the difference in trajectory will be easy to see. Who knows. To make extra it sexy, I will be sure to wear the new Vapor 9 Agassi PJ as long as they fit me.
I've got a friend who's a PT. I complain to her about my shoulder all the time, and she tells me it's usually rotator cuff regardless of where my pain is. There is a technical word for it, but I'm forgetting it now.
This could be too hot for TV. I love it.
PP, if youtube allows "filthy" stuff like this to be loaded on their servers,
i'm sure your video will be just fine.
That's nothing. THIS is filthy:
OH NO!!! you don't really want to go there, do ya?
Picked up the Tour 9 in blue today to store my Juice. Nice bag!
Yes, score. that bag is awesome. Still waiting on my black one, but let me know any plusses and minuses you see.
what do you guys think about headsize difference? for example would there be a noticable difference between a 100 sq. in. and a 98 sq. in. stick?
Okay, some thought-provoking observations. Sounds slightly like a mixed bag from your POV. Having now read yours, Peeps, Gads, MD's reviews, I think I may also find it something of a mixture. Funnily enough though H, I'm actually a fan of that higher trajectory and it's one aspect I've found hard to ween myself off as I've attempted to transition away from the APD Original.
You're kidding me?:-o ... Oh my god... riiiiiiiight... you lucky so and so!
Ross, the one thing you will like about the apd13 is the feel on impact, similar to the pd12 and much smoother than the earlier ones.
My soreness is not the collarbone but the connective tissue in that area.
One more point, I really like it on my 2hbh, it's very versatile off that wing.
Ross, re the hi traj ball, I was referring to the shots that pp mentioned, I had to be careful to hit thru it otherwise it was like a hanging curve that can get murdered. I found it easier to hit heavier ball with the prestige that took more time away from my hitting partner.
Pluses are lots of compartment pockets. Minuses are only 2 large sections. Seems like a nice bag. Question. When do I use the thermo guard pocket and when do I use the moisture guard pocket?
it's really quite simple. when you want to guard against thermo, use the thermo guard pocket. when you want to guard against moisture, use the moisture guard pocket.
j/k...the thermo guard pocket is mylar lined to insulate your gear from large temperature swings so it's like a cooler. the moisture guard pocket is for wet, sweaty clothes to keep it separated from your other gear that you don't want to get all wet and stinky.
this is the explanation from Wilson
Thermoguard: Protects equipment against extreme temperatures as well as to help maintain the racket’s string tension
Moistureguard: protects equipment against damaging moisture
but both pockets are for racquets? I understand the thermal part, just not the moisture part? Maybe you put your racquets in there if its very humid??
maybe before you play w/ your racquets, you put them in the thermo compartment. after you play, the grip is wet from all the sweat from your palms, you put them in the moisture compartment.
- or -
when it's hot out, you store your racquets in the thermo compartment. when it's raining, you transfer your sticks to the moisture compartment. not that you'd be playing when it rains anyways so the moisture protection is a moot point.
- or -
it's all just a bunch of baloney tech to sell us gullible consumers the latest and greatest bags. back in the 80's, bags held racquets and balls. there was some foam to help the bag maintain its shape. there was no thermo and moisture tech. the same racquets from that era like the POG 4 stripers are still intact and in great condition so apparently the fact that the old bags didn't have all this new fangled tech made no difference after all. :idea:
posted another video today
hitting with the ball machine with my Juice 100. I turned up the speed this time. I couldn't out the camera behind me, so I used an angled front view.
I'll go with C.
You seem to make pretty clean contact, though it's difficult to tell what the ball is doing on the flip side of the cam. Main thing I notice is that you really hold onto the end of the follow through and sort of 'watch your shot' in a very deliberate way. If you're doing that to just get accentuate/drill a stroke/follow through with ball machine, totally cool and that's perhaps what you're doing, but if playing an opponent a suggestion I'd make would be to 'watch your shot' a little less and work on getting the feet moving more quickly to get yourself right back to a good court position, rather than standing there watching the shot for quite as long as you're doing. But again, not sure if you're doing it on purpose now to drill follow-through technique into the head, in which case this is moot.
Jack you have pretty good weight transfer into the court. That is huge. Your prep is definitely late and you are not going to get the timing to really uncork the power until you fix that, but it will not be too hard. I agree with Gads, you are watching your shot like a golfer. You need be moving a lot faster and more fluid. But do not abandon that weight transfer you have going on.
I am staring at a massive 5 gig video I am going to chop down. It will be my "before". What I am seeing is my grip on the backhand was not eastern and my point of contact was awkward many days (such as the one I filmed). My footwork was very active though, but my balance was wrong because I was not thinking about what stance to use on each shot. I have been working on that little swing thought and it has paid off the past few days. I plan to try and film thursday, especially if I hit with this british guy, as his commentary will be hilarious. He gives me a lot of sitters that have heavy backspin, so it was a great night to work on stepping into those balls. As expected, my winner % went up substantially. Also, switching to the eastern grip on the backhand has cured my awkward contact point issue. The blade and I bonded on the backhand side rather well tonight.
As for the Bab, nothing has changed. With the footwork correction, I was able to tee off more, but that resulted in a little elbow pain now and then. Nothing major, but enough to remind me that my bab days are done. I have to re-emphasize how much better the blade is on serve. It is such a beastly serving stick. It also is so much easier on the arm..huge difference. day 2, and I am still blading with no hesitation. The Bab is really fun though. I do like to pick it up for a bit while it's here. Probably spent half my time with it tonight.
Jack, I would use the thermoguard for beverage clothes and ball storage. Thermogaurd does work rather well when its hot and you have a drink in the bag. I actually like 2 pockets. With 3 (yonex had 3) I was less organized. Always mixing up where I put something. To have a dedicated cell phone pocket is gold to me. I always lose my keys and cell in the bowels of my bags. Its the little things to me with these bags. Also, the tour is a more realistic size .
that is something I do for some reason and I am working on being quicker to recover and get ready for the next shot. I don't do it on purpose, but its something a few people have pointed out to me. I need to work on a quicker recovery for sure. Thanks!
JAck, try this drill with a friend. you hit DTL and he hits crosscourt. Its an old drill we did in juniors.
So Id hit DTL to a guy, and he would hit CC to me..id have to get there and hit that shot back DTL..hed have to get there and hit his CC..go as long as you can. Your footwork will improve and you may have an awesome vomit session as well afterwards.
So what's the "moistureguard" for? For sweaty clothes or towels? I thought those 2 large outer pockets were strictly for the racquets???
Also, could you compare the new APD to the PD12?
I did it there..ask away if I missed anything. I will add off the bat that the PD is much better for serves.
The moisture guard is actually best for your sticks. it just keeps them from getting wet of course, but if you ever use gut, it is optimal. It really doesnt matter..I didnt have either in the yonex. I only notice the thermoguard when I would put a drink in there and it stayed cold..very nice.
Are you a golfer? Because that's what i was thinking, too, before PP even mentioned it. The thing about holding onto the follow through and watching your shot for as long as you do, you end up giving your opponent a bigger window to then hit the ball back through. Gotta move those feet. If you really want to get into it, look up videos that concentrate on Fed's footwork. He's the very best at it -- whenever drawn out at all wide, his first couple steps back into the court are both immediate and effortless, and he's nearly always back in a very good position to grab that next ball. The best thing about watching Fed in person is the ability to just stare at his feet throughout some points. The dude simply floats, because his feet are always moving and not in any over-excerted way, just these little but constant baby steps.
Vomit sessions are the best.
thanks for the comparison ...not sure how I missed it
I think you are going to break strings like crazy on the new Steam, but I hope I'm wrong.
Strokes are definitely looking smoother than your last video. Nicely done!
The only thing I can critique is what has already been mentioned, you're just watching the ball way too much after your strokes and your recovery is suffering.
Try the machine even a touch faster next time if you can. High speeds really halt the "watching the ball" phase of the stroke. Another thing to try as well is to put the machine on "random" if it has the feature so you don't know where the next shot is going to be. If you want to have a hope in heck of getting the next shot you have to recover properly!
I have done that drill and its a killer. We actually call it "21" because you would hit 2 shots crosscourt, then 1 DTL. Cross, cross, dtl...cross, cross, dtl, etc. Makes it slightly less "vomit inducing" but its still tough. Problem is I need a very consistent partner to keep this drill going. My fellow 3.5 and 4.0's aren't able to keep this drill going for long. A ball machine would probably be better for me, if I could set it to hit to both spots alternating.
I think I can get the standard 8-10 hours out of a full job as long as its 16 gauge. Thats my guess. I think the Steam will be the tweener of the year. Factors into my prediction : Respected TW posters and testers are screaming about this thing like teenage girls at a Bieber concert. The specs are perfect with a SW that is healthy but won't scare off anyone who finds the Blade a little sluggish and playery. The wilson grip shape. The Pro Open could have been a tweener of the year except that it looked really bad and was not innovative. But anyone who used it was impressed, and you could tell Wilson was on to something. The Paint job is goat. A welcome change from the creepy original steam kaleidoscopic montage. Wilson seems to "get it" in regards to their new line. Blade PJs based on blacked out tester sticks? They clearly read these boards. Drakulie is either more insanely biased against Babolat than I thought possible, or his mind was really blown. He has some of the best strokes I have seen on TT, and they are pretty classic in some ways, so I am really interested that he was this blown away.
My club has a ball machine that will alternate..you may have a good chance of finding one up there.
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