Diary of a Racketaholic

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

  1. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Gads, Mad, PP, & others,

    Does Super Smash Orange & Dunlop Ice play more or less comfortable than 4G in a comparable gauge?

    I like the control I am getting from 4G & it felt good in warmer daytime weather, but played tonight in a bit lower temp & it wasn't so comfortable.
     
  2. vinnieSE

    vinnieSE New User

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    Ross, I find the 305 having somewhat tweener characteristics with a lot of control. Lightweight 95", tight pattern, relatively thin beam with a lot of control which is compensated or complemented by the stiffness and reasonable swingweight resulting in some decent power. I find it really easy to swing, good stability and not at all boardy. I currently play a soft poly in 16 gauge, gonna try a 17 gauge next, probably BHB7 or razor code.
     
  3. Sundan

    Sundan Rookie

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    Some of you were testing the new Blades, i tested all but the 16/19 version so i want your opinion so far on that as i plan on testing it tomorrow.
     
  4. PED

    PED Legend

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    This, the 98 hoop of the blade isn't significantly larger than the pro. The blade pattern is tighter than most 16x19s so control is excellent. But the blade has another gear for the put away that's more easily accessible over the Pro.


    The blade pattern is def tighter than the Prestige s which was a string eater, almost as bad as a steam.

    I've owned both mg and yt pros so I've spent a lot of time with them. The blade power is likely from the balance, it's not hard to bring around the 1 pt HL balance but it encourages you to be smooth and disciplined with your form.
     
  5. PED

    PED Legend

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    If you scroll up a bit, Ross and I've been hitting with this for the last week and have several comments regarding the way it plays.
     
  6. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Spring is right around the corner...the trigger finger is getting itchy when thinking about all the new frames I can start demoing...

    I'm gonna be broke by fall.
     
  7. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    For me SS and 4G feel about the same. They both feel kind of 'tough' at the start, then feel better (and play better) as they wear in a bit. I will say that the SS kind of bothered my shoulder a bit on my first couple of hits, the jury is still kind if out for me on this string on the comfort level. Wouldn't sell it nor the 4G particularly 'comfy.' But I do like how both strings play. If comfort is the MAIN concern I'd look elsewhere.
     
  8. Sundan

    Sundan Rookie

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    Thanks Ped,found some info there,im looking forward to the test :)

    I was curious about the old Blade team,Ross got one it seems, how does it play compared to the 2013 104 ?

    The link for the playtest was broken on TW but i found it on the tube and all the testers seemed to like the old Team, while the new one got some negatives on stability.

    I would lead it up to about 325-330 both static and sw anyway,but if the old plays more solid and better overall stock,that should be a better base.

    I play with multis btw and TW testers all said the old version played best with multi so it could be a better chioce for me, however i cant demo it so i would take a chance and buy it untested.

    Final question,the grip size, are they the same on the new and old blades ?
    I find my 93 to have alot thicker grip than my other racquets at the same size,if its so i would go down 1 size.
     
  9. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Fellow holics, which TF frame see you think it's that middle ground between tweener and player frames? I don't see any myself they all seem to be either very stiff tweeners with a close to 70 rating for they are purely players rackets within beans and smaller head sizes. Am I missing something? I thought maybe the 320 but that seems too advanced for myself.

    Also aren't the TF grips kind of rectangular like heads and volkl's?

    Thanks guys
     
  10. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    The 320 has such a wide open pattern which I didn't care for when I owned one. I definitely didn't think it was purely a player stick or a tweener. Decent hitting stick, but just way too much pop for me. If you're looking for some extra horse power, that's probably the best stick for it IMO.

    And yes, the shape is very similar to Volkl. I found head to be a bit more "sharp" on the edges, where Volkl / TF are a touch rounder.

    -Fuji
     
  11. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    now have a Slazenger V98 Tour (18x20) and 2013 Blade 98 (16x19) in the bag. playing with both tomorrow.

    Will be interesting because I am suddenly on a 3 match winning run with the Steam 99 Non-S after bring it up to 350g with 4g at 12. Had lost my previous 5 with it so maybe the adjustment is kicking in. Seems to do better for me against heavy hitters than the craftier types.
     
  12. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks Fuji. It's funny how people never seem to complain about the TF grip shape but they're always complaining about the volkl or head grip shape.

    So you think the 320 it's that middle ground between players stick and tweener, besides the extra power you spoke of? I actually prefer higher power sticks so that would be a plus for me.
     
  13. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Fuji also plays with the pslmtd, so anything is gonna be fairly high powered ;)
     
  14. PED

    PED Legend

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    From what I've seen of your preferences in the past, the 320 might not have as much power as you like. Great stick but it requires more effort on defense and the depth isn't as easy as some others.

    It rewards a fuller stroke, when I moved over to the rad pro from this stick, I noticed immediately how easier the rad was to use in dictating play.

    One last reference, it's lowered powered than the prestige s fwiw.

    If you've ever used a six one Wilson, the 320 plays like that but around 12g lighter at 344g strung.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  15. BalboaNoah

    BalboaNoah New User

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    PK Ionic Ki5 315g Pleasant surprise


    Hi Jack,

    just got done with 4hrs plus of dubs. Today was PK day from my demo box. i just threw in the Ki 5 with my Blade demo because i was curious. in short, a very solid feeling tweener that doesn't feel like a tweener. contact feels kind of like hitting a boxer's heavy bag with a bat. very un-tweener-like.

    it has controllable power (pop like a Pure Drive) and spin. the 16x20 pattern is precise on flat drives and gave more spin than i would have guessed, even with the multi that's in the demo. i like heavy frames around 13 oz and headlight but i could play this Ki5 stock which is 330g strung according to my food scale and headlight. even against the cannon server of our group returns outside of the sweet spot felt solid w/out discomfort. i can't say the same for the feeling i got w/ the 16x19 Blade in this situation, and i don't have too sensitive of an arm.

    not sure if you've ever tried this frame but i think it's a great bridge between classic-type player's frames and the tweener.
     
  16. corners

    corners Legend

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    Nice description!
     
  17. Sundan

    Sundan Rookie

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    So you would prefer the 315 over the blade ?
     
  18. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    The grip shape of the 305 was a bit of a turn off for me, but i still think it is their best stick out there.

    Pks are incredible sticks. Nice to see someone in here carrying the torch on those still.
     
  19. BalboaNoah

    BalboaNoah New User

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    in short, YES! a little background on my prefs so you can understand why. others may be opposite. i like very headlight and heavy frames, love the 80's graphite racket feel. i naturally have topspin to my groundies so i like a frame that can drive flat as well as hit spinning angles, hence my curiosity on the Blade 16x19. i love the PK Redondo MP, but not sure if it can steal enough time from my opponent in singles, hence my curiosity on the PK Ki5.

    i noticed right away the harsh feel of less than true contact on the Blade, you know, the stretched-out backhand against a booming well-placed serve. no harshness with the PK on the same. additionally, i don't know if i could totally adjust to the balance of the Blade. in scrambling situations it's easy for me to not be smooth, be too late with the Blade. no such adjustments needed for me w/ the PK. my volleys are also just more natural with headlight frames.

    i hope this helps. thanks for the question.
     
  20. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Bladesters,

    What's the story on the K Blade 98? (Think it was that frame anyhow... black, bits of bright yellow?) Any fans? Anyhow, there was this hobbit-sized, bald as an egg, continually outfit-changing Spanish coach taking lessons in adjoining court to me all day today. His form with that frame was even more eye-catching than how he looked. :)
     
  21. Sundan

    Sundan Rookie

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    It does help,im switching from the 93 blade partly because its stiff,and partly because its unforgiving,the 98 16*19 is only 1pts softer RA so i guess its very close,but the bigger head should give fewer mishits and the strings perhaps absorbs alittle more, ill give it a try tomorrow and see.

    Im looking at some alternatives such as the PK 315,blade 104/Team and perhaps the Völkl organix 7, which seems soft despite its high RA.
     
  22. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Oops!!!! Double post
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  23. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    This Racketaholic is in overdrive right now. Steam is going and the Graphene Pro may not be far behind. Need to make room for the incoming Blade 16x19 and thinking about a Organix 10 Mid just for fun. I don't think any of these sticks will be able to knock off the Prestige but it is fun trying. I figure I will have some fun over the next month or so before league and tournament play begin and then hopefully settle on one for the remainder of the year.
     
  24. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Some new string purchases as well Yonex Poly Tour Spin, Signum Pro Firestorm, Proline X, Sidewinder, Hexonic Black and some old favorites like Silversting and Plasma Hex, Black Magic.
     
  25. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    haven't tried Ice yet, but i'd say SSO and 4G are pretty similar when it comes to comfort.
     
  26. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    MD, how do you prevent pulling the life out of poly while keeping the string bed firm enough in an OS frame?

    Thanks for that. I'm trying find the most comfortable of these boardy strings, if that makes any sense. Seems like PP mentioned somewhere that Ice is the same or slightly less comfy than 4G. So it looks like SSO, PLX, 4G, & Ice are all pretty much the same in regards to comfort.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  27. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    unfortunately, it's too hard to explain. would need to show you in person.

    IMO, the most comfortable of the boardy strings is the Yonex Poly Tour Pro yellow. great string.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  28. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes. Ice is not a comfy string. Its perfect in a soft stick tho. Equal to 4g.
     
  29. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Thx for the confirmation.

    Wow, sounds like a lot of work to string an OS.

    Yeah, YPTP felt pretty good in those brief few min hitting with it. Definitely on my next order of strings.

    Its been a long time since I demoed the KBlade 98, so my memory might be a bit fuzzy there. It felt noticeably more flexible than the prev BLX Blade and not as solid, but more comfortable. It also swung lighter. Good feel overall but I prefer the BLX.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  30. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    at $65/reel, can't beat that! i should try it but i have way too many strings already.
     
  31. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    not really alot of work. just hard to explain.
     
  32. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah its a great deal.

    I had some 4g left and hit with that yesterday. Was totally exhausted, but still had fun. The 4g mains in the team feels fantastic and plays great. If 4g was priced better it would be my string. But ice is an excellent main for the price, so i cant complain.

    For my next reel i want to find something with the same control and spin, just a little softer. If i go too soft it gets springy and i dont like that feeling or how it plays. Maybe that black isospeed string boricua mentioned is worth a shot.

    If you have elbow issues, ice is on the fence for comfort. It feels great to me, but i have to be diligent and restring every 10 hours of play.
     
  33. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    digging the PK love here.

    Carry that torch. Organix 10 looks like a fun ride. Was hoping someone in here would give it a whirl. Lighter box beam and apparently not a Volkl noodle.

    Embarking on an experiment while here visiting NY: had my two standard length Rads lengthened by .25 inch by **** with a different pallet that matches my goat Zeus stick (which I left home and is at 27.7ish). First hit last night with the infamous Jolly and the newly lengthened sticks felt great. More Zeus-like now in flex, it seemed. Also had these specced out post-stretch because I had no idea what the SW was.

    331g, 32.1 bal, 332 SW for the frame with only maybe a gram in throat (had forgotten to take lead off these when I dropped off).
    335.5, 32.3, 338 SW for the frame with lead at 3/9.

    These sticks are matched so with no lead probably 330 grams with a SW right at 330. Basically right at my beloved old Black Ace Mid spec but now with a touch more length and a more forgiving headsize.

    Really want to know what the SW is on my Zeus .2 but it's back in Cali. Will get it one day.
     
  34. Sundan

    Sundan Rookie

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    So,i demoed the 16*19 Blade 98 today,it was good i decided to test it despite its similar stiffness on paper,because it was noticeable softer.

    Regarding playability it was stable enough for me with good plow,and more forgiving than the 93 as expected,overall it played great.

    Comparing to the 18*20, well its been a few weeks since i tested that but i imagine this feel a little quicker to manouver,but same solid feeling on impact,so if i had to choose from these 2 i would go with the 16*19 i think.

    I guess ill have to demo once or twice more to see how my arm feels.
     
  35. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    [​IMG]

    I am raising my glass here to this excellent holicy behaviour JG...:)
     
  36. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Thank you, Mr. President. And cheers.

    (side note: I feel like Obama would be a fun dude to get toasted with)
     
  37. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Ok, that's good news.

    +1

    Gads, How much did **** charge you for those services?
     
  38. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    ^
    40 bucks per stick for the grip work. Well worth it to me, especially now that all four of my tgk rads now have the same grip shape and are nice and long for the two-hander. Before my standard length Rads had a different shape. Not a huge deal but nice not to think about it anymore. Cannot believe I've now become more of a fan of the Head grip shape after hating it so much for years. Much the same as my relationship to brussel sprouts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  39. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    as promised, X-7 heat of full on 5.0 league battle report..

    VICTORY!!!!

    opposition commented on weight of shot and pace of serve

    yay!!!

    (good test, solid opponent with whom I have had many a tight match, won this 2 and 2)

    also won the dubs, volleys on song.
     
  40. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Cheers indeed. What a great picture.
     
  41. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Way to go with the 7! That flashy green on the sides of the black frame give it a distinct look also.
     
  42. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    RHs,

    It was on the back of a long intense tennis weekend and some rare hitting with some very young good players - the kind of occasion when your opposition is out of your league and you're kind of reduced to just learning and trying not to be humiliated haha:) (about a US level 5+ and upwards?) Anyhow, two long days of trying to hang with some higher level kids all wielding PDs, APDs, Extreme, Rads, etc, meant that when I played this morning there was one thing uppermost in my mind... I had to feel comfortable re swinging easy.

    Fifteen minutes in and I've put the Blade down. :|

    Could be the balance, I know. But having Steamed all weekend, be it the balance, the weight, I don't know what, Blade just felt a tad sluggish and I'm getting jammed a bit, and... I just wasn't in the mood to grapple with manoeuvrability challenges.

    I then did something I've been meaning to do for a while: proceeded to have a good look at the Juice 100 again.

    What I found was it's a frame I can instantly get into a decent groove with. It's definitely in the PD/APD family really but I prefer it in several respects to those (well, certainly arm-shredder PD.) Where it was lacking - more drive and depth and oomph, bit more solidness maybe too, I think the reintroduction off some lead may assist (when I played with this frame a few months ago I got down to playing with zero lead and at lowish tensions... hmm, maybe an error.) So, food for thought there... BTW, it was freshly strung with Poly Pro Tour @ 48 (slightly disappointed in this regard TBH, just not TB, is it?:wink: )

    I then also played a set with the 99s and found it a more extreme experience. Love the bite and zip but the usual slight issues remain...

    Anyhow, not ready to permanently set aside Blade, no, no (the impact feel is just toooo good to do that.) Steam still very much in contention. But, as I said, playing higher level stuff does attune you to some basic fundamentals such as just the most basic of all probably, i.e,: not feeling you're slightly battling the frames weight/balance, rather, just feeling comfortable in how the frame swings, manoeuvres, etc.

    Simple stuff, I know, but it does become more apparent when you've had a humbling and relentless weekend of getting your arse spanked by PD-wielding, spring-loaded juveniles who just relentlessly cannon the ball at you with mega spin, huge power and unerring accuracy, and generally, in a vibe of casual boredom, seem to be able to toy with you at will.:lol:
     
  43. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    I thought I had settled down with a ton of Head Pro-stocks (TGK238.1 XL) but after, what is it now, 3 months, i´m back to the normal gear*****-me again.. Played a (really really bad) match in the German League this weekend. Used a siliconed and leaded PD2010, but i just feels so un-secure with this frame. Dont dare to go for "winners".. Went back to the 340 grams unstrung TGK and they are really solid, but very very heavy.

    My next project will be a run with IG Radical MP and also test the new Graphene Speed Pro intensively for a magazine-article/playtest about this (speed pro) frame.

    My mind is all set that i will like the light, soft IG Radical with about 10-15 grams silicone and lead. Will try to make it 315 or 320 grams unstrung and keep the balance at around 32 - 32,5 cm unstrung. It will have a nice heavy feel and same swingweight as the pro-stocks, but a light weight making it easier to swing and it will be a bit faster and also more comfy for my old body ;)
     
  44. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Very nice, Timbo. Keep it rolling.

    I approve this Radical project. Do tell as you get into it.
     
  45. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    How do you all feel about yonex rackets?
     
  46. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    TF is actually my least favourite grip shaped I've used. I tolerate Head, but I don't care for Volkl at all.

    I think it's a middle ground. The pattern is just so wide open it's ridiculous to try and hit comfortably, for me at least. I love my dense patterns, although they don't have the greatest feeling on my arm.

    That being said, I'm GOATing with the Pure Storm Tour now. I have a hitting session with one of the top open players in my province on Thursday which will really put it through the wringer. So far my coach has said that this stick is the best fit for me, along side the BLX Blade 98. The only issue with the blade was that it bugged my arm. The PSTour just hits too nicely for me not to use, as it's got more then enough free power coming off my shoulder injury. The Prestiges and PSL still are top notch hits though.

    -Fuji
     
  47. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ross, definitley sounds like the Blade will work for you in matches on your level, but you are not moving your feet well against those big hitters.

    A lot of this stuff boils down to technique, and I also think you have yet to figure out an exact spec that works for you. For example, the Juice 100 is a low SW of 311 and doesnt allow a lot of headroom. It obviously screams for 4 grams of lead at 12, and if you did that it would rebalance it a little better to ~4 pts HL and a Sw in the 320s, but the stick would be over 330 grams.

    Getting the Team stick is a revelation because it allows so much room to customize. I think if you are looking for a tweener that feels like a players stick you need to look at light Team sticks that have a lower flex and a light weight. You want around 20 grams of headroom from your ideal specs.

    You are going from a 350 SW Pure Control, to 335 with the Blade to 311 with the Juice..its all over the place. You have to figure out what SW you want to be at before you will ever figure out any of this stuff. That is why I was leading up my Blades for a while..I wanted to see what works best for my stroke.

    What Im finding is that with the Team, I am guessing my SW is around 325 and while I could add a little more lead, I really like what I am able to do to the ball.

    The second thing is I don't even consider if a racquet will work for me just from hitting around. My main criteria is serving. So make sure with these sticks you are demoing that you go up to the courts with all 3 and just serve for 30 minutes or so. It will help you get the SW sorted out.

    SW is the magic # that you have to figure out before you really can settle in.

    The final huge tip of advice is to NOT get addiced to the "plow"of a raqcuet. When I got the Team, I was playing sets against a junk baller and I barely ever hit hard to beat him. I was placing shots, moving the ball, getting it back deep..etc. Basically, even modded, my Team did not feel like it plowed the ball because the incoming shot was no-pace. That's ok because when I played with guys who hit big..guess what - it felt fantastic and the plow was there because of my TIMING and the incoming pace along with my headpseed.

    Sounds like you are getting hooked on a plow feeling from a heavy SW racquet from hitting with lower level players who give you low pace, and then when you play someone who does hit with pace, you are late and your timing is off. You have to get past that if you want to find a racquet that works and get better as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  48. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Ross.....just had a nice hitting session with the Blade 98 16x19 and the Steam 99s. The weird thing is, even though it felt to me more difficult to play with the Blade, my hitting partner was quite impressed with how I played with it. The Blade is a racquet where you definitely "notice" the heft of it while swinging and especially when serving. You cannot arm the ball too often or you will tire qucikly. I definitely needed to use more of my lower body and shoulders to serve effectively. Also needed to set up quicker and try and get in proper position. With the 99S you can definitely "cheat" more. The Blade has so much plow for a 11oz stick, it's crazy. I can see how you love the way it feels on contact. The problem I can foresee with the Blade is that you could get one over spec and it will feel way too heavy. IN this case, I would pay the extra $$ and ask TW for one that is 1 or 2 pts more HL than specs say.
     
  49. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I am still amazed that my 2 Blades are w/in 1 gram static weight and are 2 Sw pts apart. Pure luck.

    Totally bummed that I need to go down in grip size.
     
  50. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    "20 grams of headroom"? I think that's a lot of lead. Personally, I never liked any racquet that had more than 10-14 grams of added lead. Not sure why, but when adding over 15gs of lead, no matter where it is, I always can "feel" that extra lead more than the overall frame feel and I don't like that. I prefer to get racquets closer to my perfect specs and then "tweak" with lead. I usually never go more than 4" ea. at 3/9 + 6-8 grams in the handle if needed for balance. I agree the Steam really NEEDS lead at 3/9...no question, but like I told Ross, the Steam 99 (reg or S) is so superior to the Juice, I would go for that instead.

    I know you keep pushing the Team, but I think the regular Pure Storm is a better platform. It's already 11 oz and almost even balance stock, so just add some weight in the handle and you're good to go.
     

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