Diary of a Racketaholic

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

  1. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    Perhaps Iontec is the GOAT string in open patterns. People probably think I'm crazy for tubing my Iontec in the ESPs but the response from the strings is so predictable I just start blasting all my shots because I'm so confident I know where the ball is going to go.
     
  2. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    MD, if you get a chance to string up the ai98 again, you should try a poly main (maybe something a little crisp) and forten sweet cross setup at 53#s. I think you have played it with full poly , and I was wondering what you and Gads would think of my hybrid setup in it.
     
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^^^
    Why not post your review here in the AI98 thread?
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=487845&referrerid=59371

    I agree with some of what you say, but disagree with some too. The AI 98 has a pretty tight drill pattern, which can make it less spinny than most 16x19s, but you should just try a couple other string/tension combo's before giving up on it. Something to give you more spin and less power sounds like it might work for you. If you copy your review to the other thread, I'll reply more in depth there.

    p.s. Where's Ross ?????? Is he alright?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  4. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    Haha. I don't think you're crazy at all. That's exactly why I love iontec. You might be onto something about it being a good match in open patterned sticks although I do also love it in my pure storm teams as well. and how could i possibly forget how brilliant iontec plays in the BroStaff 6.0 85 TW reissue!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  5. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    I will eventually. I've just been fiddling with the goat 100 as of late. And now that I've laced it with iontec, it could be a long while before I get back to the excellent Ai98. :)
     
  6. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Californian Clay is nutty, dangerous and it leaves your socks and ball pocket drenched. But it also means nobody else stalking the court to bump you off.

    A stupid, sloppy mess, it was. And a blast.
     
  7. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Will do, and yes, where's Rosdo?
     
  8. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Dear Mr. Corners,

    Good news, bad news. A stormy Friday in SoCal blew in a demo box from San Luis Obispo that you will approve of. A box full of box beams. The Pro Staff 95S with a fresh bed of 4G, to rectify the previous S multi fail, along with the updated Pro Staff 95 and 100, both unfortunately with multi as well, but fresh beds at least (fresh sticks, actually; plastic on handle). Also a Prince Precision Response, which could be of interest to Mad Dog, who is going Prince crazy lately with his POGo sticks.

    [​IMG]

    The bad news: Supposed to be stormy in these parts possibly even into Sunday, which is when the Pro Staff Megahit of 2014, sponsored in part by Kaiser Permanente, is intended to take place. And Wednesday I'm off to a magical place called Indian Wells for a few days, so the time with these demos will most likely be limited to one, two hits tops.

    Preemptive weight adjustments thus may have to be made, especially the 100, to see if there's anything notable that can be squeezed out of them, or if they're just the same good-but-not-great box beam bummers. And the storm gods must cooperate.

    And Brittany said something about the Tour G possibly being available at the demo tent at Indian Wells.

    And the Pure Storm Limited Plus, a frame that for years cruelly eluded America, might soon be available in the form of the Pure Control Tour Plus.

    And Federer goated this morning.

    And I just saw Chris Edwards introduce a new line of shoes that could be a JGads official sponsor.

    And

    [​IMG]
     
  9. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    Federer most definitely goated.

    If he can maintain this form, he could make a decent move up the rankings in March at IW and Miami. Of course, I don't think it matters a whole lot as long as he is in the top eight.
     
  10. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    You guys in Cali need the rain Gads. I've got a shipment of Iontec and some other goodies heading to your hitting partner mad dog1 in the AM. Iontec is my forbidden fruit, I play so dang well with it but it rarely lasts more than a set for me before the shank kills it. One of these days PP and I need to challenge you two to an East versus West Coast doubles match. LeeD will take on the winner by himself. :)
     
  11. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, the ranking won't matter much, as long as you remain in the top eight it usually just comes down to luck of the draws anyway. Man, he looked so good in the latter stages today. And that atmosphere was incredible.

    I'm in! That would be epic. I'm shortly moving to the east coast myself (NY) and the brother lives in South Florida, so hopefully one of these years I could make a Florida meet-up an actual reality. Just grab my sticks, head down there and rent a car. Perhaps next year around Sony Ericsson time, or during my next brutal NY winter.

    MD will be delighted to receive that Iontec for sure. He loves that string. I'm a big fan of its playability, but the feel is just a little soft for me in most frames. In the POG it felt great when I hit with his new setup for about five minutes.

    And yes, the farmers here are just delighted with this rain finally. While the racaholics fume.
     
  12. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    I agree on the rankings. Unless he could get to #2, which is unlikely in the short term, but would give him a chance of getting his ideal draw - Nadal and Djokovic in the opposite half of him.

    He and Djokovic produce the most entertaining matches of the top guys, IMO.
     
  13. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Gads talk me to about these shoes....
     
  14. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Fed will get Nadal on his side of the draw in every major for the rest of his career. The gods seem intent on that.


    No idea. Just love the look of those white/navy Joma Pro Roland shoes that TW just got, a sucker for the 'J' on the sides. But looking at the specs, they might be a little too heavy, as I usually veer toward lighter kicks. At the same time, I feel like I could buy them, head down to Rio and goat them for those Rio Open umbrella girls. Yeah. Something like that.
     
  15. corners

    corners Legend

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    Those would be the Kevlar gods. It's up to you to appease them. You know what to do, for Roger.
     
  16. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    It does seem that way. The current rankings make for some interesting draws with Fed and Murray outside the top 4. But, we'll have to see what is up with Delpo and Ferrer. Also curious about Stan's form post-Oz. Surprisex he didn't play at least one prior to US HC swing.
     
  17. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    I think you deffo need a crisper poly in ai 98

    However every time I use it there is wrist pain ...
     
  18. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Well boys, a couple weeks back I had the chance to hit with the Graphene Prestige Pro. Having been a long time admirer of anything Prestige I just couldn't resist the chance to take it out for a hit. First off I know it is not the same mold as the previous generation and yes it is has lost a little of the "Prestige" like feel of it's predecessor. Now with all that out of the way. Let me say this is a very good stick and has made me want to invest in one to tinker with. Once you get past the fact that this is a totally new stick for Head and that it is quite a departure from the previous generation, you can sit back and enjoy this racquet for what it is, a solid players frame with a little more more of a modern twist. For my game this stick does everything I would expect a racquet to do and more. I think by shifting some of the weight towards the top of the racquet has allowed this racquet to be super stable and hit a very heavy ball without feeling overly heavy. I feel like I could sit back and trade groundies all day with just about anyone without ever feeling tired or fatigued (something I was unable to do with the previous generation). It allows such easy pace and depth with plenty of control. Feel could get a little tinny when outside the sweet spot but this was not an issue for me as I tend to hit fairly consistently and the sweet spot for me felt rather generous. At the net and on serve is where this racquet really shined for me. The head stability allowed me block volley at will or bleed pace of some passing attempts and drop the ball where I wanted. Targeting on serve was spot on as usual and I could really thump some solid serves up the tee or hit a nice heavy kicker when needed. All in all a very good couple outings.
     
  19. Chace

    Chace Professional

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    How does it compare to the youtek IGPP in terms of feel, power, spin and control?
     
  20. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    "They are who we thought they were! And we let 'em off the hook!"

    The immortal words of Dennis Green. And he may have been talking about the larger Wilson Pro Staffs, the ones we dream of making into our box beam soul mates. But they are who we thought they were. Sticks with fantastic boxy feel (though not quite matching Pro Staff 85 or K90 territory), but a ball that just doesn't do enough, a ball that isn't a Pro Staff 85 ball or a 90 ball, nor close enough to it.

    To me the current iteration is the same as the last series, and in the end, they're nice sticks, just not the real Pro Staff dream or close enough to it to make it worth a purchase. As MD accurately said tonight, "I'd happily take one of these if it fell into my lap and mod it up, but I wouldn't buy it." Same here, methinks. You just have to work so hard to get any real drive or zip, and I don't think heavy modding would, in the end, really make it into magic. Main issue is I hit the ball and too often am standing there thinking, 'Go on. Get there.' My bag already has frames that feel incredible, and hit the ball with zip, so again I'll give up on the box beam dream and hope that one day, Wilson will get it just right.

    The 95S was much better with poly (4G), obviously, and isn't as whacky spinny as you'd think. Isn't as spinny as the Steam. There is a slight amount of funk on the bounce, and consistent net clearance, but those extremes aren't as extreme as with the Steam 99. Which for many I think is a very good thing. And of course the feel is far better, although 4G is a little vague, would have preferred something crisper myself.

    The 100 also was surprisingly nice. Weighed it up a bit in grip and with some lead in hoop, swung nicely, has some potential, but again won't make me jump on a purchase or anything.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  21. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    ^^ thx for ordering up that box of demos. you summed it up pretty accurately. i gots nuthin' mo' to add. :)
     
  22. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well I went out and hit with my ai98 but my strings were toasted. Just dead mains that had been in my racquet too long and were about to snap. As we know that is when your game takes a large dump because the feel is just gone and the low tension in a hybrid setup results in balls being launched.

    So I pulled out the Tec 315 again and of course I love this racquet so much. It is actually a lot similar to the ai98, but about 10 grams heavier. I really love that extra weight and it makes me consider adding more lead to the throat of the ai98, but i don't know. The ai98 plays really well at the weight it is at, so I most likely will keep everything the same.

    Anyway, the one thing that kills me with the tec is the grip shape. It is very hard for me to angle my racquet face how I want it when I try to slice and volley. The handle also slips in my hand on groundies sometimes. Basically it feels like the hard corners of the grip are digging in right where my fingers connect to my hand, whereas I have no such issue with the yonex.

    This really makes me want to get the tec modded one day and have a pallet change. Just seems like a lot of work for a raquet I do not use as much. I also seem to play about the same with either stick, so there is not a huge difference. Just the weight of the Tec gives it some serious plow, which is obvious. the ultimate debate for me and a racquet is basically weight. Should I be at 335 or 345? I still am back and forth on this, as there are benefits to both.

    All that aside the feel of the tec is definitely a special thing and I consider it one of the best racquets you can own if you are into pro stock racquets that are based on control. But the yonex is darn close and allows me to play more of an all court game since I am able to hit my slice approaches with more consistency.

    So now I debate weight. Should I go heavier, or is the 335 weight giving me more racquet head speed and spin?

    #annoyingracquetproblems

    Long post cut down - I am considering adding more lead to the throat of my ai98 since I love that heavier feel of the tec. Maybe 4 or 8 grams, which is simply a few 4 inch strips of 1/2 lead on each side.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  23. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    Try it and see how it feels. It will be easy to take them back off if you don't like it, right?
     
  24. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    PP, as you know, nothing that can't be reversed so what's the harm in trying? You might make your ai an even better frame for you. If not, back to 335.

    Once upon a time it wasn't too hard sourcing tk82S pallets. Pallet changes can be a bit of a pain prying the old ones off with some heat, but not too big of a job. I did that with the tec but ended up going back to tk82. Never thought I would like that pallet shape but its grown on me and has become a comfortable feeling for the 2hbh which is important for me
     
  25. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Maybe. As Aimr alluded to, and in my research it is mixed reviews on how easy pallet removal can be.

    Yeah I'm going to add 4 grams to my ai just to see how it goes. What I notice on the tec is that I get a better racquet drop because the weight of the racquet just seems to pull my arm deeper back.

    Its real interesting, but I definitely feel like the more rounder grip shape works for me, especially on slice. My slice with the 315 has never been good and it is due to my racquet face angle being wrong.
     
  26. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    PP you can always send your frame(s) off to **** if you don't want to deal with hassle. They do new pallet jobs for like 40 or 50 bucks and send the frame back to you. Turnaround is very quick, and they have various grip shapes and even half sizes, like 2.5, 3, 3.5, etc. Can also ask them to do precise SW/balance measurements for you while they're doing the pallet switch so you know your spec. This is how I've gotten some of my sticks extended by .25.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  27. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    They have half sizes?? Wow. That is awesome, because I prefer 1/4 grip but the 1/4on the tec feels really small in comparison. Ok, I may seriously do this at the some point now.

    Also the SW/Balance thing is nice as well. I know mine is 328 thanks to RDC, but this is a very good thing for anyone not near such a machine.
     
  28. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    Thats a pretty good observation with the racquet drop and the weight of the frame helping it.. sounds like youre gripping the handle right if you have that feeling.. too tight and its lost.

    I liked the grip shape of the Yonex, it worked well for me and could happily use it.. the tk82 pallets especially on the 2 hander just seems to wrap around my hands just right.. its the opposite if i try the 1 hander with it though.. very awkward. I have a relatively mild eastern'ish grip for my forehand so the tk82 works again since my hand sits nicely on the larger third bevel. Slices are fine with it too.
     
  29. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ahh..yeah I'm more extreme SW, and that is what gets me. The hard angles of the grip dig into the first knuckles of my hand. I was find it with it for 7 months or so, but I did deal with a lot of twisting on the grip, and I guess just shrugged it off. Really noticed more when I went to the YY grip and have no issues there.
     
  30. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Definitely a grip issue and not a frame issue because I hit my very best slices with the Tec. Just perfect on the slice for me. But since I've been hitting Head pro stocks for awhile I'm now fully adjusted to the Head shape and even prefer it now, whereas years ago I absolutely hated it.
     
  31. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Figured you guys might want to see my "blades" ;)

    [​IMG]

    One is battle ready and the other still needs some TLC, but they are my GOAT sticks. :)

    -Fuji
     
  32. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Feel and to a lesser extend control goes to the IGPP, power and spin definitely easier to produce with the Graphene.
     
  33. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    My tennis is put on hold for a little bit. A piece of my stringer broke off last night when I was starting the mains on the ai98. So when I get the chance, ill be dropping it off to someone to string for me. Then I have to see what the financial damage will be to get it fixed. ugh..tennis problems.
     
  34. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    What piece broke off??????
     
  35. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I thought you had more than just one racquet ???
     
  36. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    This is bizarre - the knob that tightens that clamp base. I pushed it up to lock it, and snapped right off!!! So my base is still locked to my slide rails, and I have to figure out how to get that off.

    I have my tec 315 and the string is about to break. My blades are strung with poly that is a year old, and feel like crap. I can still play tennis, but I need to get my ai98 restrung or else I may be playing for 10 minutes and have to leave.
     
  37. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Those are the pro stocks? How do they hit? Like what? Specs?

    Also, I like the pro sock next to the pro stocks.
     
  38. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Yes sir! They hit massively. The pair is H22's, and they play amazing haha. I hit a big ball as is, but these ones just flex super nice. Pretty much all the flex is in the throat, but the head isn't overly stiff either. Basically it's a better PT630 for me, at least feel wise. (Sacrilege I know) but these just have a really good feel. Volleys are GOAT. One of the few frames I actually enjoy volleying with outside the KPS88 and 6.1 Classic. I'm very picky with what I like for volley feel haha.

    The biggest thing for me is that they are XL. 27.5 inches. The weight is 11.1oz strung. Apparently they were used by a top 100 WTA pro. The only one I can think of is Pennetta? I will probably lead them up a little bit, but the swing is nice. Balance is reported at 345mm by the seller, but it feels closer to 2-3 points HL. Tons of silicone in the handle.

    My serve doesn't feel as big as it does compared to the PD+, but the placement is a lot better. So far I really like them, but I will have to tinker with them eventually I think. They don't get pushed around but they just swing so fast haha. Also need to drop tension, I did 55.5lbs with BBO/Intellitour. I'll probably drop down to 52.5lbs and get a bit more free pop.

    The pro sock! Haha, I just emptied out my bag next to my frames, I'm amazed more laundry isn't in the pic!

    -Fuji
     
  39. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    I wish Prince used a pallet system so I could put on a some TK85s pallets on my EXOS.

    #annoyingracquetproblems

    I wish it wasn't - 20 outside and that I didn't have to call at 7am sharp just to get a court at a lousy time on Friday...... I if im lucky.

    #endlesswinterproblems

    I wish my elbow would just heal already

    #everythingfallsapartafterthirty
     
  40. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    These sound incredible. An extended pro stock that's just 11.1 strung, still with room to add weight as needed, with some flexy pro stock feel? Beautiful find, man. Sounds like just the kind of frame I would love.

    And speaking of which, I now have in my possession one of the best new frames I've hit all year - the Babolat Pure Control Tour Plus. It's an extended version of the Pure Storm Limited that I so loved in the past but could never serve with, and this frame basically solves that issue by literally just raising the sweet spot for me by that half inch, as I often make contact up higher in a stringbed which is why I seem to just hit really well with frames that are an extra .25-.5 inches, and here is another example. The thing swings very nicely for an extended stick, though (stock SW still in the low 320s), drips with the same inherent control that the PS Limited always had, and has really good feel from the thin beam. Only knock so far is that I wish it shared the 16/20 string pattern of its Pure Control brothers for a bit more natural spin, as it's a very tight 18/20, but some string adjustments may help there. Just a very solid offering, especially for those who enjoy extended frames.

    All in all, of the handful of new 2014 sticks I've demoed so far (albeit briefly), the Bab Control Tour Plus and Control Tour are my favorites, followed by the Ai98, Wilson Pro Staff S and 6.1 95S.

    Will be at Indian Wells on Thursday. May or may not* hit the TW demo court, depending on if there is anything new and exciting on the wall.















    *Who are we kidding...
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  41. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    dude, just wait till you hit your forties then. it only gets worse and not better.
     
  42. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    Do you use the Theraband flexbar and a hand gripper? The solved all my elbow issues. I do 3 sets of 15 for both daily. They are both in my car so I get an elbow workout at stop lights.

    As MD said, once the 40s hit you need to take preemptive measures. I stretch every night now otherwise I'll get some damn nagging injury.
     
  43. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Also known as 'Ibuprofen'...
     
  44. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Flexbar every night + ice. Here's the real problem.............. kids.

    With a bad elbow, picking up my daughter feels like I'm being tortured, and my newest decided to weigh 9lbs at birth and is up to like 14 already.

    finally bit the bullet yesterday and got some prescription anti-inflammatories. We'll se if that helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  45. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    You mean that by forty I still won't have settled on a racket, thus perpetually aggravating my chronic shoulder problems and my tender elbow by constantly switching frames and strings ............fuuuuuuuuuu
     
  46. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    You should really post some video of you hitting. From how you describe certain things I wonder if you are doing something wrong in terms of technique. It really sucks to have that much pain. The AI's will help, but you have to stop playing tennis and make sure you are properly hitting the ball. There is no other way. Trust me, as documented in this thread I have had my share of injury.
     
  47. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    I have 3 theories as to why my elbow flared up. First of all, lets not forget that it all started with a switch to the TEC. Before that, I'd been pain free for 20+ years.

    1) Racquet, I went from a 52 RA stick to a 64 RA stick. Maybe that shocked the system. Also, went from very open 16X18 to tight 18 X 20.

    2) String, when I first hit the sticks I played them with the strings they came with, ie Tour Bite @ 60, when I was playing hybrids in the low 50's.

    3) Balance, went from 7-8 pts hl to 4-5 pts. I actually think this is the main factor, especially on my backhand drive. My follow through wasn't as snappy with the TEC, so I started forcing the final wrist snap motion to get the same kind of top.

    Anyway, it's probably a combination of all three factors that created a perfect storm for an aching elbow.

    Now I'm back to my EXOS with a syngut/multi hybrid until my elbow heals completely. I know for a fact that there's no friendlier stick than the EXO, and with the string hole ports, I'm actually digging the feel a bit more.

    I know I know, I should just stop playing all together for 1-2 months, but peeps, is a life without tennis a life worth living?
     
  48. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    The Tour 100T ESP is probably softer that the Exos because of the more open string pattern. Do you have a 1 handed backhand? I had to ditch mine 2 years ago as my elbow just can't handle the stress anymore.
     
  49. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,204
    Location:
    Montreal
    Yup, one hander, and it's my best and favorite shot. It's the reason I play tennis, if I had to ditch my one hander, I don't know man, I don't even want to think about it.........

    Anyway, the ESP's really interested my for a while, but I'm too OCD when it comes to strings. As far as I've read, full poly seems to be an absolute must in the ESP's, and that's a no no for me since I'd constantly be worrying about my strings being "dead", and thus always blame the strings for my poor *** technique or footwork.

    The old EXO's are plenty soft, the balance is friendlier for my elbow than my TECS. Still, I can't really volley to the best of my abilities with them.

    How to the ESP's fare at the net vs. the old EXOS? More stability?
     
  50. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    15,513
    Location:
    Roswell GA
    see bolded part above for the most likely culprit. Once you ignite those flames of TE, it doesn't take much to keep them going.

    I am also (like Mikeler and PP) a true believer of the Flexbar. It works wonders.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014

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