Diary of a Racketaholic

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

  1. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Watch the ball you must, young padawan!

    I actually have very modern strokes and I find frames such as the 200/6.1 series to be more than adequate, but it's definitely very personal. Doing arm fitness definitely help with my elbow however, so I cannot say how much of it is the racket vs how much it is due to my arm. :)

    -Fuji
     
  2. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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  3. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    But it sounds like you've already switched to the APD darkside :)
     
  4. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Hahahaha. Yeah.... Today hasn't been a good day. My strength is good, but I don't like feeling like I'm "fighting" the frame.
     
  5. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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  6. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Only played a few minutes with the Steam 99 and VcXi 98d today.
    Preferred the Yonex. Nice sw and balance. Frame felt nice so far...nothing negative. The 99 felt like a solid tweener. Lots of pop for sure. Felt a little heavy and sluggish to me right now due to me being used to the 315 sw of the Blade 104 and this is around 330.
    The Yonex on the other hand was 330 grams static and had a very easy to use swing weight...felt around 320.
     
  7. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    My god, man. What a description. Thanks for the colorful details and tips, will most certainly follow them one day. Only want to go more now.

    Just ate some gluten-full pasta and the legs also feel like noodles. Marathon hit with MD. Positively pooped. Mad Men in 30 minutes. A good day.
     
  8. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    marathon hit w/ Gads today. focused all my hitting with 4 sticks today, the MG Rad MP, Storm GT, Storm Team, and APD Original. while it wasn't my best stuff (left quad is just feeling really fatigued for some reason so footwork was sluggish), it turned out to be VERY productive still. fine tuning the mods on the Storm Team and with Gads help & feedback, getting it closer to a more comfortable, better feeling variant of the Storm GT. the one thing i am able to do w/ the Storm GT that i haven't been able to do w/ the Storm Team is hit sharp angles. also the Storm Team had a tendency to be late on contact vs the GT. didn't mention anything to Gads and had him hit with it and he shared the same thoughts and suggested i move the lead placement from 3 & 9 down towards the throat. we started experimenting and sure enough, the Team started responding. currently have no lead at 12 and moved the lead 4 grommet holes south of 3 and 9. suddenly able to get the cross court angle on my fh and starting keeping my inside out fh inside the baseline. prior to this, i wasn't able to whip the racquet head through the hitting zone quickly enough and was consistently late on the i/o fh so was launching the ball long. consider today a huge win for the Storm Team. i still have some tinkering to do, but getting much closer which is great because the feel of the Team is just fantastic.

    APD Original with Yonex Poly Tour Pro 16g mains with 17g crosses. also punched more holes in the grommet strip. just a beast of a stick. starting to like this stick more and more. and the feel isn't bad either!

    MG Rad MP w/ the holes punched in the CAPs. felt gutless and unstable w/ the lighter CAPs. with stock weight CAPs, felt too sluggish. what to do, what to do. plus it hurt my shoulder even when rallying which is strange. almost threw in the towel on this stick. even looked it straight in the stringbed and said, "you leave me no choice but to sell you". then a light bulb went on and i tried the Gads recommended mod to move the lead down towards the throat. the gates to the tennis heavens suddenly opened up! now, we're talking. much better pop, stability and manueverable. AND no more shoulder pain! :shock: one thing that always struck me as odd was the MG Rad MP stiffness rating. it's 57 but always felt stiff, brittle; nothing like 57. adding the lead lower down the hoop, the nice comfy flex started to reveal itself. got more work to do with this one, but things are starting to look up now!

    huge thanks to Gads for being willing to get down and dirty in the lead sandbox and for recommending moving the lead down low. great stuff.

    i'm gaining a better understanding of lead. will need to experiment with different lead placements on the Storm GT, too, although it's playing quite well in it's current config, can't hurt to experiment as it's possible, the Storm GT could be even better!
     
  9. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Familiar with San Remo, are we?

    A fan of jazz are we now all of a sudden?

    How's the forgery and impersonation business these days Nicky... or should that be Dickie!!! :eek:

    Haha, Nick. Your post put me in mind of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley. :)


    Oh man, I haven't got on to season 6 yet, still wading through season 5 box set... so many episodes, so little time.


    MD - what are your impressions of APD/O re serve? Think I would've been more likely to stay with it if I could have got more out of it consistently. Conversely, I instantly found the 99s to be a dynamite serve stick.
     
  10. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    TBH, even though it serves up serious bullets, the APD/O feels kind of clumsy. i think there's too much weight at 3 and 9 which makes it unwieldy to get around on serves. Both the Storm GT and Storm Team are easier to serve with.
     
  11. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Was just telling MD today that the APD feels sluggish, a bit fat/blobby, on serve. The Steam serves sooo much better/cleaner through the air, though APD has more pop on groundies. (Also at the expense of some control)
     
  12. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I feel just the other way around ....lol.
     
  13. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    Just goes to show that everyone is different! :)
     
  14. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    Steam 99S was a bit to unpredictable imo. It never had "that" for me. In the end it was a bit to much toy-feel in some strange way

    IG Speed Pro was giving me some pain in the elbow. Even with pretty low tension (42 lbs) it had an unpleasant stiff feel for my elbow

    The original APD is controlled power and better touch then the stiffer Cortex-versions of the current APD´s.
     
  15. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    agree.......except for the natural gut, what you say makes sense Corners, its what I thought but when I go softer there is completely no feel. The 'ring of steel' reduces vibration so much that the opposite feels much better, hence I like something crisp in it, TB I didnt like, a few others were ok, the best was the stiffish 'soft' poly MSV Hex, played superb for a few sets then died. Ive found PP Blackout to be the best bet, strung around 47lbs and restrung weekly.
     
  16. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    Agree with Gads, although I had no problems serving with it. At the time I was s&v a lot and because the bc20 loved TB so much my volleys were not great, from the baseline tho, like gads, superb. I also extended mine half an inch and beefed it up a tad.
     
  17. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    RHs

    A good session this AM.

    99s just wasn't doing it for me with Xcite (a bit underwhelmed w/ the string TBH.) Same story as I often get with this frame - erratic and not quite sure what's happening out there generally LOL, but very nice in certain respects.

    So... I just seem to find something too much to my liking with the Blades, especially re the particular solid impact feel, that I may well jettison the 99s all together. I also made a point today of really trying to allow the frame to do the work, which seemed to yield some positive results. I noted serve (and blimey, the loud pop sound was a thing of intimidating beauty today!), manoeuvrability and in general things have improved more than a bit. That said, I've a way to go still in terms of responsiveness from the b-line. Also, the ball can die on me on occasion (a spectacularly lame death as well) and can leave you puzzled and embarrassed. I am also finding the ball consistently traveling at a slightly lower trajectory than I prefer. For some peculiar reason I seem to be getting slightly more in this dept with my gold/black. All of which sounds bad, but I don't really see it like that, and as I say, I will probably be saying goodbye to 99s.

    BTW, I was playing with same gut/poly set up I have in my gold/black in my 16x19 today. End of this week I'll be getting my other 16x19 back strung w/ TB @ I think it was 46/44. Let's see what that does.

    Oh yeah... Rich, cheers for getting back on my query ^.
     
  18. Nikae

    Nikae Rookie

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    Hi Ross, I see you like the blade 98 16x19 a lot. Where can I find your review about that racket? Also, whats your NTRP?

    I can't decide between blade 98 16x19 and babolat pure storm GT ... any help? I play on red clay only, pure baseline player.
     
  19. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Blade is more powerful
    PSGT is more control oriented
    Blade is more weighted towards head
    PSGT is more headlite

    depends on your preferences...both great sticks. If you are a baseliner mostly, go with the Blade. If you are more "all court" player, go with the PSGT.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  20. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Ross...seems like to came to the same conculsion as I did, but you just needed to get the playing time in to do so. I play 3/4 times a week, so I was able to figure it out faster.

    I am really loving the Blade 104. Fit's my game very well. I use a lot of droppers, lobs, slices and feel shots, along with groundstrokes and winners when they are there and the 104 seems to fit this style of play very well.

    I think you would like the regular 99 though, but it's tough to beat the Blade98. If you are happy with it, I would make that your #1.
     
  21. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Nikae asked about the PSGT, not about the PST(GT)....
     
  22. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    you're correct. but the comments still apply
     
  23. Nikae

    Nikae Rookie

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    Ok cool, thanks. What about the feel on impact, how would you, or anyone else, compare them?
     
  24. 808

    808 Rookie

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    It's not that bad. Less powerful than the Blade for sure, but not by that much. The difference in swingweight, 330 to 320 or thereabout, pretty much says it all. I just string it a kilo or so looser than the Blade.

    It also doesn't feel quite as flexible as the specs would indicate, but nonetheless plush, stable and vibration-free. It's certainly not a wet noodle. Good serving frame too, IMO.
     
  25. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    TT Blade 16x19 main feedback/review about three posts down from top... about 3.5, not sure (we don't have this ratings system in UK)... Sorry, never played PSGT, but I'm sure a fair few around here can chip in and assist you.

    Think that's spot on, Jack. It's frustrating to say the least playing just once a week or so as I have been lately.
     
  26. corners

    corners Legend

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    Hmmm, interesting. Stiff head needs stiff string otherwise there's no feel. Doesn't sound like a good match for me because I like a soft stringbed.
     
  27. mozzer

    mozzer Hall of Fame

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    If you are on about the 295g PSGT, then the above comments are a bit out... It had an even balance so had adequate swingweight for such a light stick, was very powerful and great from the bassline, in my experience.
     
  28. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Glad to hear it Jack, it really is amazing for old school, all-court play - slice deep, slice short, dropper, half volley, lob, it's just so user friendly, no surprises, like, ever.

    I did a very telling experiment tonight. Been out of town for a week, no tennis, got home in time for league match tonight with fast, consistent young guy. I decided to warm up and start with the MG Rad to see if I could be more aggressive and less pushy than recent 104 outings. Felt great in warm up, couldn't miss. Start the match, I get down a break 2-3, I'm getting pushed back the whole time, my shots aren't deep enough, even when I attack, just much shallower than with the 104. He's in the middle of the court dictating every point with short angles to either side. (This is why I switched from the MG Rad in the first place, when I started playing stronger 4.5s, always getting pushed back).

    At 2-3, I switch to the 104 (haven't touched it in a week) and immediately he's backpedalling, everything is 40% deeper, he can't attack from that far back, starts missing. I win the next 3 games and finish out 6-4, 6-3. Again, just epic pushing, just out patience-ing him, but this time I was happy to take it because he was fast and hard to attack anyway (very slow courts too).

    So, I do have a BLX 104 on the way, hoping that at 330g and 325SW instead of 340+ SW with the K104, I can get my racket speed back up but still have that nice fluffy granny stick touch!
     
  29. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Anyone know quite what's inside the Blade handles?

    Yes, has anyone ever seriously opened one up? Okay, there's basalt fibres (whatever that actually means), but just wondering if the handle is filled throughout, what with precisely, etc. Noticed last night my old fav way of adding weight to b/cap area - fishing weights, is actually easily done here, so was curious what's happening further down handle.

    Also is it the same with all the Blades - i.e K Blade, gold/black, Black Blades?

    So, has anyone got really 'surgical' on this? :eek: :)

    Wait a minute... klem! I think you may know?...
     
  30. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Out-patience-ing is just a lot of what you have to do sometimes. Same kind of night/opponent for me. Pusher on a slow court. Grinded to a mostly frustrating 3, 3 win in which I struggled to pile up outright winners, just had to pepper the corners and back half of the court consistently.
     
  31. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    That yellowish foam is injected throughout the whole of the racquet, not just the handle. Don't know if this is done after the racquet has been completed or at the time of the mold-injection.

    Yup, the nBlade, kBlade, BLX1 and BLX2 are all the same, when it comes to this wilson 'foam'.

    I'm assuming it makes more of a difference in terms of feel when it comes to the hoop because I've removed all of the foam from the handle and could not tell the difference.

    Cheers.

    EDIT: Here's my Blade2 experiment.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=451527&highlight=blade+experiment
     
  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Not sure about the inside, but those fibers along the handle can sure give you some nasty splinters! If you ever need to replace the grip, DO NOT handle it with bare hands. Put on a golf glove or learn the hard way like I did! Those nastly little pieces along the handle splinter off and will get into your skin very easily.
     
  33. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Keith...it sounds like you might be confusing counter-punching and just playing solid, positional patient tennis with "pushing". "Pushing" typically involves "just getting everything back" without much technique or variety.
    Just because you aren't hitting outright winners, doesn't mean you are "pushing". You are constructing the point and trying to gain the upper hand in the rally and when you do, you force the issue and eventually win the point. That's how I have been playing with the 104 and I have been more consistent than ever. My UEs have gone down and I feel like I'm playing better tennis.

    BTW, where are ou getting those swingweight numbers from??? How is your K104 340+??? And the new Blade 104 is not 330g /325 sw either. It's more like 320-325 g's and 315 sw.
     
  34. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    I'm using the term a bit tongue in cheek, just meaning I'm playing waaaaay less aggressively than I ever have before and instead of always looking to attack I'm just sending the ball back and waiting and almost never attacking. I mean, pushing or whatever you call it is perfectly valid, it's just such change for me, and I certainly miss attacking the ball. I'm continuing on either way and seeing where it leads.

    Re: SW, I'm not getting the new blade, but rather the first BLX version which I will weight up to my preferred range of 330-338g. The K 104 stock SW according to TW is 320 vs. 308 for the BLX. One of mine is much heavier and more HH than spec, more like 326SW stock. I like the feeling of more mass than the stock ~315g but I like the stock balance so when I weight them up to 330-338g and keep the same balance they're up to 335-343SW, based on repeated measurements with the TW calculator. For anecdotal reference, the Blade 98 I just tried felt muuuuch whippier than my K 104s.

    BLX arrives today.
     
  35. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    If you really miss playing an "attacking" style, then go back to that. I could probably lob every shot deep into the backcourt and win lots of games that way, but that wouldnt be fun for me, so I don't. Play the way you enjoy! Winning is fun, but it's NOT everything!
     
  36. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    BLX Team 104 arrived. Specs actually pretty close to TW for strung weight/bal, 299g, 3HL. However, this one is every bit of 27.5", a good 1/4 longer than my 3 K 104s. Will have to see if that's a good thing or bad...
     
  37. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Have you tried adding lead to the throat? Adds mass without balance change and also a more minimal addition to SW than hoop lead placement.
     
  38. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Cheers klem. Epic link/thread btw!
     
  39. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Hit for an hour with Exo 3 Tour 16 x 18 strung with a full bed of B5E at 45 pounds, Exo dempener and Yonex overgrip. Feel is muted and very dampened. Flex is noticeable but not excessive to be that different. I really enjoyed the feel.
     
  40. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I just took the rebel 98 for a spin...I could not get ahold of the sweet spot and the thing just felt clumsy. I hit a western grip and I believe it was ment for eastern or modified eastern.
     
  41. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I am taking to PPs recommendation on synthetic gut...I play my best with it. I love the forgiveness that it provides and the spin and power are actually pretty nice. The price is really welcoming also. I plan on sending my cyclone 17 back along with my 200 tour in return for some PSGD and a new aeropro drive. Any recommendations on tension?
     
  42. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    55lbs for sure. It's what I'm rocking in the 2013 APD right now actually. It feels crispy like PSGD does off the bat, without launching like crazy. Awesome stick for feeding balls, and hitting. :)

    -Fuji
     
  43. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    How's the control at that tension, buddy?
     
  44. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I'm honestly the wrong person to ask for that haha. I can get the ball to do whatever I want with literally any tension. Tension is pretty much useless to me. :razz: I mostly just go for comfort.

    That being said, it the launch angle is nice. It's got a decent amount of give, but I do find PSGD to be rather stiff for a syngut, so I treat it very similar to poly. I don't think I've ever strung it more than 60lbs. The control is good. For reference, I do 56.5lbs in my Pure storm Tours, and 48lbs in my Pure Storm LTD's. Spin is definitely decent, but the string movement is horrendous in the mid 50's I find. As long as that doesn't bother you, you should be good to go. :)

    -Fuji
     
  45. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    My fears are definitely subsided, and consider me sold on the APD 2013 3/8 with PSGD black@55 lbs LOL... Thanks for the review Fuji. I'm wondering if I should wait til my returns go through first before buying...
     
  46. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Big Bang Theory...

    Just thinking back to my highly pleasing session the other day with the Blade, I keep thinking about that high pitched loud pop blast sound on serve I was getting. Have to say, yes, I really like this. :)

    Largely psychological no doubt, but when people are looking across from adjoining courts wondering what that booming noise is, and your hitting partners are commenting on it, it does - did seem to add something to my serve form.

    Anyhow, just wanted to know what is it exactly that causes this big pop sound?... do certain string types/tensions cause this?... is there a particular time period it lasts for? Etc. Obviously I've noticed this before down the years with different strings, but I've never stopped to really analyse it.

    BTW, 16x19 Blade was strung VS/CoF @ 54/50.
     
  47. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    ^^ it's a sonic boom and happens when your racquet head speed exceeds the speed of sound. sounds like you're ready to join the ATP tour! :twisted: ;)
     
  48. Nikae

    Nikae Rookie

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    this ^^
     
  49. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Haha, my bags are packed. I'll be seeing you guys later! :)
     
  50. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Those few words MD lifted my hitting spirits. 'Bout to close a court for tonight!

    Bad news 'holics. After all the experimenting, trials and tests.. I've been hitting with the MgPresMid the past couple of weeks and ordered an IGPresMid.

    Love every stick. I don't know, I'm the kind of guy that can appreciate everything, OS fly swatters to 85sq.in. Old Schools. But the fact that I spent a considerable amount of time (~4years :shock: )hitting and developing with the PresMid means, unfortunately, that it IS my 'wheelhouse'.

    Strung low (48/46) with multi/syn combo and leather.
     

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