Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Ross K, Sep 11, 2010.
Blading this week, for the honour of Canada! <3
someone needs to photoshop some godzilla fire beams on that pic of raonic
EDIT: here's mine
I was there for Friday's matches. First time I have had a chance to see Milos in person. He really needs to be seen live to appreciate how good his serve is. Just sick. Facility was a perfect setting for the big man's game. They tried to replicate the SAP open tournament right down to importing Yonex tennis balls from Japan.
Haven't been on the boards lately since I started working long hours at a new job. 1.5 weeks ago my father randomly dropped off a wooden racket he picked up at a good deal. It was very light and flexible for a wooden racket so it was much lower powered that others I've used (I later bought a stiffer, heavier wooden racket that feels powerful in comparison). After a whole 45-60min I got into a really good groove with it and was hitting at what felt like 90% and sometimes just flat out hitting it as hard as I could to stay aggressive in the rally. Of course to do this I had to get into position much faster and set up to hit using more of my body/hips. I really felt like my movement was a lot better and I was also surprised at how much pace is possible with a wooden racket. I'm already seeing better pace off my strokes when using regular rackets and think if I keep this up it can really help get my game to the next level.
I ended up buying 2 more wooden rackets after this and scoring the deal of a lifetime on a small stash of random Prince frames.
Yes, Forten Sweet really stood out among syn guts and back then I had tried a ton of SG's. I have only been using it as a cross recently. It doesn't have those stand out qualities as a cross as it does in the mains/full bed, but as a cross it holds tension very well, so it actually feels firmer than many other syn gut crosses (at least for the way I string it) and stays very consistent throughout its playing life.
Haha. Nice edit
Well, you're not the only one. Worst poly experience I've ever had. Had very little spin or control.
I'm wondering what tension you've tried, because I honestly couldn't stand it. I liked the feel of the string bed, but there was more spin and control needed IMO.
I used it in a hybrid which was pretty good, I also got the feeling when I was using it that I wouldn't like it much in a full bed. It seems like many of the ppl who like it use it in a hybrid with syn gut or a multi, and a lot of the ppl who didn't like it tried it in a full bed.
The syn gut hybrid I used didn't have much spin, but it had great control, power, and feel. I'm going to revisit this after my next string job.
Hey Ray, good to have you back!
Pvaudio loves scorpion as a cross with gut mains, so maybe that's what this string is made for? I'm gonna let it sit a bit in my racket for a few days and then see how it plays. Maybe it'll be a lot less powerful than when fresh...
This string basically reminded me of a synthetic but a more firm feel.
Since you have your own stringer now you could probably replace just the crosses with syn gut if you have any lying around. Be sure to mount the racket first before cutting out the crosses!
47. I could keep the ball in the court no problem, control was definitely there, but spin production was definitely lacking. I felt that my shots weren't as heavy, but rather, had a flatter trajectory.
And what a great thing this has been to me! I love stringing!
Re the synthetic: I didn't even think of that, and it just so happens that I have a half set lying around...
This would make sense why I don't like it much. My game with my pro open is ALL topspin, and I can rarely hit flat or else it will sail. I have no clue why... It seems that this string may be aimed at flatter hitting players. I would be interested in putting this string in an 18x20.
If I had to win a match right now, I'd go with the blade 104.
To hit for fun I'd take the steam 99s.
If I had a good nights sleep and was able to quit my job and play tennis all day I'd probably go vcore 95d with lead.
I need to get in a more hardcore league so I can get this sorted.
Leaning blade...still thinking about getting a tec or a C10 or a dunny tour, something heavy and flex.
You should rock that shirt, too. That's a beauty.
Yeah. My favorite full poly set up in the Prestige is Solinco Tour Bite at 48. But, I'm also partial to gut/poly hybrids like Pacific Classic and SPPP. I love spin in general, but I like to do more than slug it out from the baseline playing "modern tennis."
So Gads, between the 16m and 18m tec you prefer the steam? Lol
I can relate to this predicament. Where it really bites you is when you come off of playing a guy where all you have to do is be consistent, get the ball back, you win easily, but then go into another match with essentially the same mindset ("let's just wait...") but the other guy actually doesn't make the same mistakes and starts hitting winners. Shoot, this can even happen within the same match, as it did to me a couple weeks ago. I was hitting solidly to open, not perfectly, but the guy on the other side was burying himself. I was up 5-0, coasting, just getting the ball back, unworried. ...
On the changeover he made a joke about how badly I was killing him, we both relaxed (myself way too much), and the next thing I know he's correcting his mistakes and actually nailing the shots he was missing beforehand, whilst I was still stuck in "just let him make the mistake and coast" mode. Out of nowhere, we were at 5-4 with me having to serve out the set with a nervous arm because all I could think about was, "Are you KIDDING me!? Two points from a bagel and now THIS!?" Thankfully I avoided the epic collapse, served it out and realized I had to PLAY in the second set, and played so much better in a 6-2 win, but still. Had he tied it at 5-5 in the first set it could have been a different match because I might've just imploded completely.
It's so up in the air, to be honest. The Steam's serving and volleying is the easiest and most consistent, but on groundies it's the Tec or my tgk Rad I want in my hands. Against softer hitting players, I love the Steam - I hit an effortlessly deep shot to the corner, arrive at the net, put the volley away, whereas I'm more prone to errors doing the same with my heavier, more low-powered sticks. Against bigger hitting players, I love the solidity of those heavier, lovely feeling player sticks.
Of the two Tec versions, as of this moment I like the 16m better but not ready to call it definitively yet, and it's probably mostly due to the fact that it's still swinging more easily/naturally for me than the 18m, more so than a difference in the string patterns.
Next up: putting lead in the throats of these frames to see how they swing that way. Was talking to Aimr who had that done to his Tec and he likes it so far, and I've liked the lead in the throat in other frames.
I like to slug it out at the baseline, but I like a more driving ball with some topspin for good measure.. I hate volleying but I will do it if I need to change up my game. The prestige mp seemed to really help my game out and let me play the game I like to play, so maybe I'll give that another look.
Its so dicey. Its almost like a character test. Would you like to win more but turn into a tennis gollum...i feel like ive done the players stick thing so many summers it might be the summer of slice...blade 104 with gut 4g hybrid all systems go in serena we trust.
It's all about having fun while we do it, right?
Having fun is nice but i like trophies too, they are very preciousssssss
Yeah, this is what I'll have to see in tougher matches-- if I am forced to hit bigger, rip passing shots from tough positions, etc. with the 104, will I be able to like I can with my old sticks.
What I'm noticing is, with other sticks my rally shot and my aggressive shot are basically the same stroke, just go for a little more on the aggressive ones, a little flatter, closer to the lines. So when I am rallying I am kind of getting warmed up/calibrating for attacking-- I can just hit a little harder, then a little harder, a little deeper, bit by bit, and pretty quickly I'm calibrated for attacking without feeling much risk.
With the 104 my rally shot is so relaxed it's like a different shot altogether, slower head speed, higher trajectory, so it's not really calibrating me at all for ripping a flat ball. Know what I mean? Maybe I should see how aggressively I can hit with that same relaxed stroke. Maybe the 104 just responds better to a really relaxed stroke?
Yeah, it challenges your tennis identity for sure. With the old APDC+ I'd come off the court with a highlight reel in my head of 15 screaming passing shots off of balls the other guy thought were winners. So far with the 104 I come off the court feeling like I just tricked the other guy into giving me his wallet.
I actually feel my dislike for Her Highness waning now that I am racking up bagels with her stick. Like we're family now.
Actually so amazing you said that, I'm picking up my Davis Cup kit tonight from the shop LOL!
Yep this happens to me too. Happens to us all, especially playing 4-4.5ers. these matches have so much more momentum swing because good players turn on their game and don't quit and start thinking about what chic to text for after match consolation when they are down 3-0.
I honestly do not think the racquet matters at this point once you spend time with it and know a few things about your weapon of choice :
- I can serve with this stick
- I can hit consistent and accurate rally balls using varying levels of top and slice with it
- I can hit the big flat winner when needed
I put the big flat winner part last because I think we all have put that first at some point in the demo process. Thats a game killer IMO. Any stick that keeps the ball in the lines is the stick to use. Especially when you are in a situation like gads is talking about and you were looking at a bagel and are about to go to a tiebreak instead.
That is why I bought 3 tecs and am out of holic-demo-curiousity mode. I know the ball is going to stay in as long as I move my feet and set up. It gives me a lot of confidence. Worst thing for me is being in that situation with a TweenCannon loaded with full poly and no feel. Thats when the yips start coming and I get afraid everything is going long because I can't feel a freaking thing. Most likely why I hate woofer grommets after trying to make them work with multiple Bab sticks.
So yeah, while the Blade 104 may make you feel like a pusher, it is only because you are playing guys that let you do that. If I can go out there, conserve energy and hit 60% rally balls and low slice the whole time, ill do it. Is it that fun? Well it doesn't suck. And in a ladder situation or a tourney, league.etc, the more you win, the better caliber of player you play next and then the big hitting commences. you play a guy with speed and some strokes and you will need to turn the juice up a little to get those clean winners you were casually throwing over the net 2 matches back.
This is a good point. It's clearly making easy matches easier, it's the hard matches I'm curious about, that's why I'm a little antsy for the league matches to get going. And yes, the 104 definitely been a balm on my body, expending so much less energy/tension with my regular hitting partners. So checkmarks in those two boxes.
For sure. The worst thing you can do is try to create pace when you aren't getting any back. Thats a solid formula for losing to players you should be beating.
Now if you are getting pace and still can't put the ball away when you have a window, that is a problem.
ever since I started playing with the Blade 104, I have been curious about the Radical OS, so I would to hear from anyone that has tried it. They both are similar in that they retain the "players frame" characteristics while providing a larger and lighter racquet. I would guess that the Rad OS feels flexier than the 104. I just love the new Wilson handle shape though and dislike the Head shape, so that's a major reason to stick with the 104 for me.
I played a radical OS a few years ago and was really impressed with it. Posted a review about it in a Radical thread.
Ended up going with the Radical Pro though.
I'd stay with the Blade.
Keith...for us it should be all about doing whatever brings you more enjoyment to the sport. If you have more fun ripping winners and don't care as much about making more UEs, than do it. If you enjoy playing more steady and consistent, than do that. Whichever leaves you feeling more satisfied after a match is over is the way to go.
The main reason I made the switch is that I know the 104 gives me a better chance to win than the 98. Not by that much...but definitely noticeable to me. But my game is more about counterpunching and moving the other guy around. I can hit winners when the open court is there, but it's not a huge part of my game. My game is more about variety. I love trying to figure out what gives my opponen trouble and then exploiting it. Each match is like a puzzle waiting to be solved.
spoken like a true holic
I am...just curious about it
BTW...got to hit with my friend's TF315 16m yesterday for just a few minutes and it was pretty nice. It didn't feel like it lacked power, but it was definitely one of those "you get out what you put in" sticks. But I rallied nicely with it for 5 minutes before reluctantly giving it back
Also, got to try a Donnay XP Dual 102. Didn't like it too much. It didn't feel anything like the Pro One 97, which I love.
Felt light and flimsy and I have little control with it. I think I strung it too low at 50/55 with a poly/syngut hybrid. Balls where
launching on me and then I went back to the 104 and all was good again.
Also..tried the new hybrid set from Weisscannon called "Dual Reality". Very nice setup indeed. Felt very soft and forgiving for a poly/syngut.
Good power and also nice feel. Highly recommended!
This is the reason why I hate clubs/facilities/leagues that bunch 3.5s with 4s and 4s with 5s.
The hardest thing to learn is to play down to someone. And there's nothing worse than losing a league/ladder match to a player who's less talented. It's a sick feeling.
I agree with both of these. Had my first hit with the Blade in 70 degree plus weather, the power available on an easy swing is unbelievable-this thing is a swiss army knife, it can hit any shot. I've got my favorite poly hybrid in there: tour bite crossed with tour bite at 52/49.
I like your 2nd point as I saw an interview here the other day with Gulbis about playing Nadal.
Gulbis pointed out that Nadal is never going to beat himself, if Nadal is out of position, he'll roll one high over the net with a ton of net clearance and spin and then just wait til he's back into a position to hurt you. He's not trying to paint the lines but just hit with a ton of margin for error.
Heck yeah. To add to that, I used to be so inconsistent, but once I get in a groove now, I always hit the ball back. Especially in practice...i many times hit against 2 players if the courts are busy, and I can keep rallys going forever now. 20-30, sometimes 40 balls back. Couldn't fathom doing that a few years ago unless I was pushing.
I really enjoy a nice long point during matches. It is tiring, but there is nothing more rewarding than a long point in tennis if both players are hitting quality, heavy shots at each other.
Yes, a Blade 16x19 will be arriving soon for the express purpose of ripping groundies!
The 104 is your stick then! I really can't imagine a better stick for all-court, placement, crafty, consistent tennis.
allow me to add that you're hitting with more variety...that's going to get you more points in a match.
Totally agree. It's nice being able to hit numerous good shots at eachother. Not necessarily winners or shots hit really hard, but some well placed good driving forehands from each player makes for a fun rally!
I have to against you, you catch on too quick and adjust to my go to shots..lol.
98, 16X19, the same one I've been using.
It has been said that you don't notice the extended length of the 104, which is somewhat true. But go back to a regular 27" racquet after using the 104 for a while and you DEFINITELY notice it. I remember the same thing when I used to use the Speed 315 Mp. Didn't notice it while playing with it, but go back to a std length racquet and it feels "short"
Count me in too, Mike, Dark Knight, Ray... not my cup of tea at all as a full job. Big disappointment.
Well, the Blade 16x19 showed up early, must have heard me talking about it. Strung it up with full syn gut at 58, roughly as Dr. PP prescribed, seems dead on spec, 330g, 5HL with OG and damper, just right, 76 degress...suddenly can't find a partner?! What kind of cruel joke is this?!:shock:
Hit against the wall, its better than nothing-
Yep..I practice serves and hit the wall if I am jonesing for some tennis. Not optimal, but it gets the energy out of me.
How long do you guys stick it out when trying new ones? I've been going through too many, finally decided to commit to a new xv1 I recently bought. Then this week my wife surprised me with a new formula 100. Played a fun match with the f100, didn't like it as much as the v1 I've been using. So I guess I'll trade/sell it. (Another $200 gone quick)
posted some thoughts on a brief hit today with the Prince EXO3 Red 105 here:
very surprising frame! Not sure if it's a good match, but after enjoying the Blade 104 so much, I wanted to see if there was something even EASIER to use that would work with my game.
I think I am done with playing with sticks "over my head". I am leaving the pure players sticks to you guys
Just had the coolest experience! Went to some cruddy courts nearby to hit against the wall and there's a 5.0+++ hitting serves after a lesson. I ask if he wants to hit. We hit for over 2 hours and man did I learn some things. Now, some of this is not really applicable to my 4.5 matches because, a) no one in the league is nearly as good as this guy and b) no one plays the old school style like this guy so the matchup is totally different, and c) there are things that ARE effective against the 4.5s that were disastrous against this guy. So, this isn't so much "how I'm going to change my game right now" as much as "how real tennis works" or "what to do if I ever face a 5.5!" But, regarding yesterday's pushing vs crushing discussion it was hilarious apropos.
1) The. Only. Thing. That. Mattered. Was. Depth. Any rally shot not near the baseline was 1-3 shots from the end of the point. And all my hotshot 4.5 defense and passing shots added up to exactly nothing. Wherever I went with the pass he was there to easily kill a volley I wouldn't get to on the 3rd bounce. So there was no "making up for lost ground" with defense. Once I left a ball short it was too late. Over.
2) If I tried to be aggressive and hit anything hard to either side it had to be a winner or almost winner, in other words, total commitment to ripping it. Any sort of 80% FH drive to either side to "start working the point" was returned for a winner by him on the next shot. Either a sharp angle cross court or deep down the line in the corner. Every time. It was nothing more than teeing up a winner for him. Hard rally shots down the middle were safer. Now, I could win some points by attacking, but if I attacked I had to go with 100% commitment and rip it hard, deep and close to the lines.
3) Slice was useless unless it was a deep. Anything midcourt he'd hit an effortless winner, just brush his one-handed backhand at a ridiculously short, sharp angle right on the sideline. So easy.
So, that's basically what I learned. All rally shots deep, (pace didn't really matter at all, a deep puffball was better than a FH drive that wasn't as deep) and when attacking, attack 100%. Man it was fun.
Regarding the racquets, I actually ended up with my old MG Rad which I had freshly strung with my go to setup. It was easier to rally deep with the 104 but much harder to attack 100%. The 80% attacking ball I'd been doing with the 104 just didn't do any good. With the Rad I could sort of force myself to try getting my rally shots deeper and then when I had a chance to rip one just rip it 100%.
Strangely, the Blade 16x19 with Forten 17 at 58lbs had by far the lowest trajectory of the three and the least pace. Maybe I've gotten so used to lower tension that the 58 just threw me way off. It was also noticeably less comfy than the Rad and 104, both 57RA. I guess the demo's I hit were strung lower than I thought. I think based on this experience and the comfort the Blade is probably not the grail for me but I'll probably restring the cross with Ice at 54 or so and see if that opens it up, just for kicks. Then sell it the next day!
Ditch the poly and you will be in business. That is not helping things either.
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