Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Ross K, Sep 11, 2010.
I don't think clay destroys NG. Our topspin forehands (PP included) are what do it.
Honestly the control isn't a Lux level, but it's pretty darn good. It's a bit lively but I don't find the problem of over hitting with it. The durability I've had so so luck with. On my first hybrid bed it lasted me just over 5 hours of hitting before the ice popped. That was in a Rad Pro though, and it just eats string. In my Blade it hasn't popped yet and I've put probably close to 5 hours in, and whole the control is still there it's starting to loosen up a bit. I haven't measured it, but since the pattern is closed I'd say a safe bet that it will at least last until the 8 hour mark.
Once I do some more heavy testing I'm hoping to consistently get about 8 hours a string bed, and since I'll be rotating 5 sticks I should be set!
^ this player has the shots to own them all but the old legs fail and it becomes quite ugly.
Well fellow RH's, I bid you adieu!
Well done, sir. Well done. One of my all-time favorite frames. And I'm guessing you were able to load up on them at that insanely cheap closeout price. My compliments. The Limited is one of those frames made for the esteemed gentleman.
In these parts, man, I'm totally crushing on these TGKs. Played about as well as I can tonight and split a couple of marathon sets in two hours time, both of us playing at a very high level. Same story tonight - played one set with my standard length and one with my extended, and I'm just ripping the court open with sharper angles with the standard and then just peppering the baseline with consistently deep, heavy shots with the extended. I lost the second set with the extended, but just barely -- had two set points I couldn't convert and I really played about equally well with both, just a little differently.
Two-handed backhand VERY much improved after a lesson last week. Key thing I wasn't doing: turning/twisting into the shot with my torso. Instead I was kind of staying planted with the feet and standing too straight up and letting the arms do too much of the work. Big thing was practicing twisting so much into the shot with the body so that the back leg would kind of swing around in the follow-through to land toward the side of the court as a recovery step. Also did a very helpful drill in which I had to actually let go of the racquet with my right hand during my follow-through, so as to force yourself to really swing all the way through with that left hand. Totally shows you how the left hand/arm should really be doing all of the work on the two-hander (other than shoulder and torso turn, of course)
It's funny -- my coach is a total Agassi-**** like I've become. On both the forehand and backhand that we've now worked on in lessons, he's brought me in to look at Agassi slow-mo video of his strokes on both wings.
Backhand still a work in progress but tonight, was definitely on the way back.
jGads. Black ace PM ME! lol. I really likes sets of sticks.... Lol.
Alright, played a total of 5 1/2 hrs of tennis today with some of the mentioned demos - 2.5hrs of singles (just hitting) w/a college level friend, 30min food break, & 3hrs of doubles (using just the BLX Blade) with random opponents/partners.
Extreme 2.0 Pro - Ross, you're going to like this one. Head took a page out of Volkl's book and put big grommets at 3&9, just like you'll find on the V1's. It plays almost exactly like a PDR2012 but swings even lighter and faster, and feels pretty soft on impact. It doesn't have a stiff feel like the PD's & is vibe free. I think this might even top the Formula 100 in terms of comfort & feel but I'll need more time with it. I didn't get to serve w/it yet. Mods were 1.25 grams at 12.
BLX Blade '11 - Long post here, as comparing the BLX Blade to the ADPGT w/PLX is like comparing apples to oranges with their different headsize, beam design, and string pattern. I don't think I'll need to say much more about after this though. Blade came w/a k-grip instead of the stock leather pro hybrid grip, I added 5.5 grams at the buttcap to compensate for the lack of leather grip as it felt too light on the swing at the handle end. Started with 1gm at 12 but ended up w/only .5gm which I could have done without too. My usual frame is 11.7-8gm SW340, but somehow this 11.2-3oz SW335 frame felt pretty beefy & I can totally see why PP and that Peliwo guy just play it stock - I'd probably just play it stock as well. Very solid feeling, foam filled, firm and stiff feeling but with some flex. Was strung w/full bed of an unknown poly but it had more power off the ground than my APDGT w/Pro Line X/Forten Sweet (its really a low powered set up). Both offered a high degree of control (I'm amazed what this PLX stuff does in the APDGT, great in doubles for me but too little power in singles) Groundies: more pop & a consistent, low trajectory w/the Blade, but I was able to mix up spin, pace, & trajectory to throw off opponents better with the APDGT. I'm in a transitional phase between 1-2HBH so I rely on slice a lot right now, luckily ppl don't seem to deal with it too well. Blade had much better control on slice but it wasn't skidding or spinning as aggressively as with the APDGT, I was still getting weak replies but was not forcing as nearly as many UE's. Great control on the 1HBH & felt confident to attack with it. More pop and much easier to put the ball away on volleys using the APDGT/PLX. The Blade swung really fast and easy on serves with good pop. I haven't practiced or worked on my serve in a long time so my technique is almost non-existent right now. With the Blade I hit a flat trajectory 1st serve with a lot of topspin that hovered around the low 80mph range @ about 70%, good enough against rec players as very few came back. Placement with the Blade was quite good. 2nd serve was awful on my part but thankfully I didn't have to hit too many. Didn't get to try any of the flatter, faster serves yet as I'm not sure how many I could pull off in a game w/out practice. At first the Blade felt really firm and lower powered in general, but as the day went on I found the stringbed to feel much softer and I was getting better power on groundies than with the Extreme - perhaps I adjusted better to the Blade and my timing got worse w/the lighter swinging Extreme Pro. Good game results with the Blade so far(it was an easy transition), I think it would play better with a hybrid and its definately a racket I can switch to, but right now I'm not sure if I will switch and what I would actually gain from doing so.
F 3.0 Tour was awsome, more on this another time.
Fascinating stuff, Ray. Look forward to further frame feedback posts. Without doubt, and as you're pretty familiar with my frame tastes/requirements, from what you say, you've got me interested in the Extreme Pro a bit now. Plus also, the Blade does sound intriguing, though it's the new open pattern is the one that's been on my mind of late.
Today I'm in mourning, and it relates to the tawdry and grubby necessity of having to fund my addiction (of course I'm hoping to be mainlining soon on the new APD, the 99s, or open pattern Darth Vader stick or whatever.) The mourning anyhow is due to me having to say my goodbyes and make my peace with one of my fav frames of all time, the 16x18 N95. :shock:
Man oh man, this racketaholic thing sucks... forgive me if my eyes are welling up a bit here, gentlemen, but, we were close for a while... we had some times...
RIP N95. :cry:
Yesterday I practiced a few minutes with a Pure Drive Roddick 2007 model. My tennis partner wanted to test it and loved it. He traded one of his rackets the Pure Storm, the black and copper color, for my PDR. I liked this Pure Storm alot. Nice weight, comfortable and good control. Its less powerful than the APD and PDR. Could be an option for me. It has a solid hit with that distinct Babolat feel. It was strung witj poly mains and gut crosses. We will see how it compares with the 2013 APD and with the Volkl Classic V1. I also played yerterday with a Wilson Hammer 7.3.ight weigjht and 110 head. Weird playing with such big a racket head but it created effortless spin and had very good feel. Was strung with Kirshbaum Pro Line 1 at 60 and gut at 58. A bit light though and a bit too much power in flat shots but overall a great racket that surprisem more so as this Wilson has some years.
Gads, that is really interesting. The backhand definitely needs that torso involved. How close are you keeping the buttcap of the racquet to your hips? I am experimenting with that as my BH is still really inconsistent some days. Really cool that the coach is into Agassi, and letting go with the right hand on the follow is something I need to try.
Haha why thank you! I was actually able to load up on the Used section of TW's store. Lets just say I paid less then half of what the new ones were on sale for... :razz: I was cruising late night on Friday and suddenly when I hit refresh these bad boys popped up and I couldn't believe it. One is a bit worse for wear with some chipping, but the other ones are pretty much brand new that could use a new bumper and that's about it. I'm so happy to be finally done messing about with sticks. I used the PSL for almost an entire season last year and it did wonders for my game, then I started to go into RH land and buying ridiculous amounts of sticks I didn't need.
That's awesome regarding your TGK's though! Honestly, it sounds like for me at least that the standard length is suiting your game a touch better since it lets you open up the court. At rec level play, it's all about giving your self a bit of room for error and margins that you can play to your advantage. The XL one does seem like a funner hit though!
I totally know what it's like to have a wicked BH lesson. I want to get some video of my backhand from the behind view so I can see exactly what I'm doing with it. My coach used to play on tour and he basically turned my 2HBH into something that may very well win me a spot on the D1 roster in the new few years. It's just incredible what a few good lessons can do for you. The toughest thing for me like you said is getting the left hand to be dominant. One of the best backhands I've faced is from a guy who is truly ambidextrous from birth. It was amazing to sit and watch him be able to pound ground strokes with either hand, and his 2HBH was supremely good haha. I for sure want to try that drill of letting go the right hand, it seems like it'd be good practice!
Haha love it!
For my part, having just gone through the old frames I still have laying around, and inspired by some recent post exchanges with Gads, I'm planning on taking out a Rad Tour Twin Tube standard and the XL one too, as well as a slightly damaged old Triple Threat Warrior (how I got this frame I don't know. I certainly don't think I ever played with it due to a crack in the hoop.) It will only be a brief hit but could be fun.
My coach was talking about this last week, he said to keep a fairly good distance from your body so you don't hit the bh with crocodile arms and no power.
He used to hit 2 hands off both wings til college when they converted him.
I thought for a moment you were going to say you had to get a job...
The guy I hit with last night was switching rackets every game. He would leave the spare at the back fence. He used a full natural gut setup on service games and full synthetic gut on return games. My favorite part of the evening was when I aced him twice in a row and on the 2nd ace I knocked his spare racket over.
Is that guy good? I heard him bragging about how he was the doubles champ before once, but it looked like you were wining.
Fuji, I ordered a set of Ice 17 along with the OGSM 17 reel I needed to grab. So I will have the same setup in the blade against the 4G/OGSM.
Thinking 51/53 should do it.
LOL too funny.
He brings ringers into the Club doubles draw! His game is not a good match up for mine. Other guys he will give fits. I don't let him reset the point with defensive shots. Once I pull him off the court, I close into net for the kill. Classic anti-pusherism. :twisted:
That sounds like it should work if you want a bit more pop in your rig! Let me know what you think of it. I hope I'm not over hyping it aha, I really like it though.
Did he use dead poly at net? Anyway, kind of weird to do that in my opinion.
lol yeah it was great when you called him out for moonballing into the lights. I do the same thing now...i learned. If I hit a shot into the corners, I start running in. Even if it is a running CC forehand, if the guy can get a racquet on it, its going to be a dropshot or lob, so I follow that shot - as tiring as it sounds.
My friend has a baby due any day so my OTC days may be done for a little bit.
Now why would your friend go and do something like that to you? I hope you had a serious fireside chat before he made his decision to bring another person into this world and to destroy your OTC time.
LOL..its funny because he is super anxious but I dont blame him. Dude got a ton of girls before finally marrying his GF after she pretty much held him over the coals about it. She is a good one though. I am sure once he has the kid a lot of his anxiety will go away, but I (thankfully) have no idea yet.
It's great having kids. Less time for yourself:evil:. more responsibilities:evil:but it brings a nice, new dimension. Well, at least for me.
Fuji, that Pure storm Ltd is one stick I never gave a shot to, but I bet it is freaking awesome. Amazing that babolat can't sell a stick that flexes at 59 and is built for control. I guess they are phasing it out too.
I have to get the right GF first. I always seem to get girls that are 25 or so..really fun, but none are ready to chill out on the partying.
He will get anxiety worrying about his kid! They can definitely be a stress relief but also a stress creator.
Yeah I love the PSL series. I'm honestly amazed that it's not a top seller right along side the PD/APD. It just hits like butter and it feels amazing on the arm!
It's why I'm stocking up, I have a feeling once they can get Harrison off it that they will start to get rid of it. He's been using the original for a while now I guess and it's one of the reasons they've been sticking it around from what I heard. I hope to get maybe another 4 more in the next year and just be set for a while. I've heard of some issues with them cracking prematurely so I want to have a few handy.
Hmm. Don't really think about the buttcap -- asked my coach how my take-back was on the bh (if it was too high, low, extended, etc.) and he said not to worry about it, that it's fine. But here's some video. My coach takes video with his ipad now, so he films you before against a ball machine, then brings you in and shows you what you're doing and compares it with, say, an Agassi video to make you feel awful about yourself. But then we went back out and worked on it some more, and here's video from that. (on the 'before' video, my back leg wasn't swinging around like I was working on here, it was all torso and arms but my back leg stayed back, which threw my balance way off through the shot)... Still very much a work in progress, my bh, always more of a shot to keep me in a point to get back to my fh. The bhs got better after we did the off-hand drill a bit later, along one other drill that focused on contact point... but anyway, here are some random hacks:
Great score on those PSLs.
And yes, the off-hand drill is great. Really opens the eyes to just how much the left hand/arm needs to control things. (Ross' tip of keeping the right pinky actually off the end of the handle a touch also shows you this)
That is pretty lame. Nice work on knocking the other frame down. Well done, sir.
Gads, nice swing on that backhand man. Something about the feet seems awkward, but I am not sure. I do like seeing how you turn to the side and come in on short balls, as that is something I screw up sometimes.
Did your teacher say anything about footwork? It is tricky on the backhand since it requires that extra step.
Only tip I would have is try to make and yourself always move your feet by doing the side to side thing between balls. It sucks at first, but you will be amazed at how quick it becomes a habit, and you get to balls a lot smoother.
Could also be the socks. But you're right, the feet are weird. Part of the awkwardness was the ball machine kept stalling and I never knew when the thing would spit the ball out, not to mention where. Ball machine is still a weird experience for me since I rarely use it (wish I could do so more often, though) Against an actual human in match play last night I felt much more at ease with timing and flow. Here I was more fidgety. I'm also standing too straight up at times here, and we worked on getting lower to the ground a bit more after this vid was taken.
That's because about 2% of the tennis playing population can effectively play with one Great stick but takes alot of footwork (as you know)
Maybe be a bit lighter on your feet when expecting the ball, less grounded. But for me the footwork was good.
Gads I forgot to drop compliments on the socks, and of course the epic Vapes.
One thing my guy had me working on is simple two step setup: 1.split, 2. take the crossover step first, for the bh, it would be your right foot, then
3. your next step is your plant with your left foot to drive off and make sure your hips come through the shot (like you mentioned earlier in the page) then 4. recover and repeat
If you concentrate on your X over step, it all falls into place.
I was shuffling side to side to get to the ball before and have found it's much more efficient to use the crossover as it forces me to set up better and made my 2hbh really improve. Before I was leaving too many sitters in the middle.
Nice strokes on your part
You dont step out with the left like you would with the right on a forehand?
I thought the first step was always out for either side.
TRUTH. If your footwork isn't on with the PSL, the ball can easily fall short. Epic training stick in that regard. You have to put the work in.
Fuji, how's your serve with that thing? That was the biggest fault for me (pardon the pun). Just had to work so hard to get any real juice out of it.
Yep, agree. Lighter on the feet is definitely a need. I have bouts of very good footwork where I feel like I'm doing well, and other times where I'm lazy and too 'heavy-footed'. Sometimes I feel like my footwork is so much better when the pace and player is up a bit, rather than a guy who hits softer, in which I can fall into laziness and be my own worst enemy.
Really interesting. Will try the cross-over and see how that plays out. Thanks.
Actually I would definitely not use the crossover step first. I believe that is going to get you into trouble. I used to do it and my balance was all out of whack. The crossover step on the first step is better if you need to run wide and hit from an open stance.
This is a great explanation :
"THE FIRST STEP TO EMPOWERING YOUR BACKHAND
IS TO IMPROVE THE USE OF YOUR NON-DOMINANT LEG
One reason why your forehand is stronger than your backhand is because the foot that moves first, the back foot, happens to be your dominant foot/leg. You easily move this foot first, and if not, at least it manages to keep the contact spot ahead of you, in the direction of the net, and not off in the direction of the side fence. On backhands, though, your non-dominant foot/leg fails on both accounts, and it drags behind as the dominant foot tries to take over.
In everyday life there is no problem moving to your right or to your left, your feet move easily and unencumbered. You don't make the distinction, "this is my backhand side, it's weaker, I should go around and approach it from my forehand side." The first step to empowering your backhand is to move your back foot first and forward and train it to keep you moving into the ball. It's awkward at first, but you will get to the ball faster, your momentum will be directed into the ball, and when combined with other elements to come, you will be establishing a strong foundation with the body from which to empower your stroke. I used a ball machine to train my non-dominant leg/foot. I held my left foot in the air and moved it forward when the ball appeared. And I took 4 steps, making sure my left foot moved forward on that third step.
Why is hitting open stance popular with the pros? Conventional tennis teaches the front foot to step first by doing a crossover step. Here the back foot pivots against the ground (1E) and the front foot takes a step as step #1. The back foot becomes step #2 and contact is made in an open stance.
An open stance is rhythmically sound when the first step is a crossover step (step #2 leaves you on the back foot). Furthermore, pros starting with a crossover step avoid stepping into the ball with the front foot because one more step throws the 1-2 and hit rhythm off into 1-2, 3, and hit. And they've experienced that stepping sideways with the front foot doesn't empower the stroke, as explained in Step 3."
I was doing the crossover step first and its not a good habit. It feels more natural, but if you step out with your back foot first (the left on a backhand) you will see that it is lining up behind the ball easier like it does on your forehand.
^ Okay... I shuffle into my bh... will try that initial cross-step before planting and hitting through... incidentally I've been guilty lately of hitting from too open a stance and have rediscovered the effectiveness of really focussing on planting properly and hitting more closed.
Thats super old school. Honestly I would not do it. you will still hit closed doing it the more modern way.
right foot first to the right, short or deep ball
left foot first to the left, short or deep ball
get going with large steps
4 steps groundies, 2 on volleys
Also, you never want to shuffle into any shot. Only guys like Fed can pull that off. It requires great speed and is inefficient unless you are at top level.
^^I guess its not for everyone. It's made a big difference for me.
I like the explanation PP gave above about the key to the bh is using the non dominant leg. Funny thing is, the X over lets me do just that.
My final plant step is with my non dom left leg and it reallys helps me bring my hips around as well as emphasize the left arm more.
It may be just me though. I've always hit VERY open off both sides so I was probably in need of closing it up a bit.
Probably playing again tonight, and then possibly with MD tomorrow, so I'll see how the cross-over step feels on a couple of balls. I could see how it could hurt, and how it could help. Probably a very individual thing. Shuffling over to my backhand is probably just engrained in my feet by now, though.
You guys notice that we're talking a lot more about technique in here lately rather than sticks?
Boys, I think we're growing.
I guess it's a matter of the situation as well, here's Fed doing a little crossover as well as a little shuffle. Love the crossover at 45 secs to setup the fh rocket.
Awesome vid. Now that is some epic light-on-your-feet movement. Literally floating about the court.
This vid is even better, really using the front leg to set up the drive off the back leg for both wings.
I guess that's the emphasis more to me than the first step, he appears to use both.
You like what I had imagined even down to your description of the backhand stroke. Since I've come back to the 2 hander, I'm more partial to my left hand doing more work than yours is currently doing. It may be worth a shot to really focus on that left arm doing the heavy lifting. My 2 cents.
Yep, very much agree. The hand drills I mentioned came after that video was shot and they really helped me out in that regard. The one drill was the right hand coming off the racquet right after contact and following through with just the left going through the shot, and the other drill was hard to describe, but I'll try: I had to keep my racquet way out in front and my arms just about totally extended. No take back. And I was supposed to hit backhands by keeping those arms extended and basically deflecting the ball with just body turn and the left arm flicking the racquet through. Key to the drill was A) learning to consistently find a contact point very much out in front of you rather than letting the ball get inside/back, and B) to accentuate that you can get the ball back just fine on many a backhand by just meeting the ball out front and letting the body and left arm do all the work and not 'overdo' anything like a huge take-back or anything when you don't need to or have time.
This latter drill was really eye-opening, because once I got the hang of it, I was hitting solid, deep shots back to the other corner without basically any take-back and feeling as if I wasn't really doing anything. Was barely 'swinging' the racquet, just meeting the ball at the right spot out in front and flicking it back, but as long as I met it at the right place and in the sweet spot and I had my weight twisting 'in'/forward into the ball, it was a perfectly fine shot. Like I said, this was really eye-opening at times for me.
Thats what really killed me in Jr. Orange Bowl. Its important alright!
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