Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Ross K, Sep 11, 2010.
I chatted with Kate Beckinsale as we shared an elevator.
Vonnegut came to speak at my university. After, he wanted to go out for drinks. I was friends with the guy that booked him so I made the short list. About 8-10 of us. Really cool night.
Any particular thing that he said that stands out? Just curious. He was a big influence/favorite of mine. No worries if not.
I officially hate you all. It's not enough that you get to play tennis more than I, but when you can't make it to the courts, you guys just hang out with Kurt Vonnegut, chat it up with Kate Beckinsale, have a family Thanksgiving dinner with the richest man in baseball, or throw BP to Chipper Jones.
I was previously only envious of your racquet collection.
Good stuff. Cool stories. Am I the only one who thinks Stephen King looks like the type of guy who would stick a little extra breakfast in his pocket only to pull it out and eat it before getting to his car?
Any King fans? What's your favorite book by him? Mine is probably Eyes Of The Dragon of his single books, but The Dark Tower is undoubtedly the best thing he's written, IMO. One of the greatest series ever.
What stood out was that it wasn't odd at all. Here was one of the geniuses of the 20th century and we all just sat around talking. He could have been any one of our grandfathers. He was charming, interesting and funny, and I think genuinely interested in our stories as well. It taught me that people are people, even if they are really damn good at something.
I also race bikes and live in a cycling town. I am friends with four guys that have been US professional champions on the road, mountain and/or cyclocross bike, and one Canadian champion. They too are all just people who happen to be really good at something. All are down to earth guys you can just talk to.
If we're talking about quasi-interesting celeb meetings, not sure if any of you guys are trap / hip-hop fans but this past weekend I hung out with Waka Flocka Flame and his crew. Super nice dude considering the "gangster" persona he puts up. Did a surprisingly nice deed by visiting a local mall next to the highschool I graduated from so he could meet some of the kids who were his fans but underage. (Show was 18+) really humble and down to earth considering he's a pretty famous guy now.
One of my friends saw him here in town last month.
yes I am waiting for the demo...should be any day now. The Dynacore 300 and the 295 also looks intriguing. Glad to see TF lowered the stiffness on all their sticks. They all used to be around 70 or more.
And I bought John Voight's car.....
The 315 Dynacore is still stiff, but I think it's a noticeable improvement from the 320. Don't know if that will hold true for all of them though.
That's awesome! He puts on a pretty insane show tbh, lots of energy. I really liked him live.
Fantastic write-ups all around, from baseball talk ( Powa! An O's brethren! I invite you to MD, Camden Yards, BBQ + Crabs.... Period. ), to brushes with fame ( I find it fascinating that like all great writers,Vonnegut included, none them studied literature ) to gear talk in between.
Not only are there similarities within the two worlds (tennis/baseball) in terms of mechanics and equipment, but the muscle groups used in both sports are eerily alike, hence the injuries - shoulders, elbows, wrists, etc.
Like PP, not much time for tennis as of late. My last outing consisted of the following lesson. 'Fresh balls, that's all, practice with fresh balls.'
On the celebrity front, none for me, although I've had numerous brushes with musicians from my time around. Waiting backstage with my band in college at 9:30 club, opening act for George Clinton and the P-funk Allstars (George Clinton offering me a not so legal substance of which I declined), to meeting Lemmy of Motorhead at the Rainbow in West Hollywood (who hasn't?), to hanging out with Diamond Darrell of Pantera in the late 90's for a night (best friend's sister was a 'groupie' at the time), meeting part owner, Dave Grohl at the Black Cat while waiting for Operation Ivy (this was after Cobain, before Foo Fighters)....
But my all-time most memorable meeting, wasn't an actual meeting at all. Philadelphia, ~1987. The months following the Redskins super bowl win, my family and I were in Philly for a wedding. My step-father and I were waiting for the elevator in the lobby. The doors open, we get in, then a weathered hand stops the doors before they close... a gentleman walks in.
Gentleman - in a raspy, deep voice -'Hey man, you got an extra cigarette?'
-back then, everyone smoked, everywhere, even my step-father-
My step-dad - 'Yeah, sure'
-pulls a Marlboro light out of his pack and hands it to the gentleman-
Gentleman - 'Thanks' -lights up in the elevator-
Step-dad - 'Anyone ever tell you you look like Miles Davis'
Gentleman - 'uh, funny, all the time'
- a long moment of silence as the three of us waited for our respective floors, I watched the gentleman carefully, my lack of experience at 8 years old didn't help me at the time, the elevator doors open-
Gentleman - 'When I see Miles, I'll tell him you said hello'
Step-dad - 'Thanks, it was a pleasure'
The gentleman, Miles Davis, smiled and turned. It wasn't until years later, going through my Dad's vinyl collection and listening to '*****es Brew', 'Live', 'Birth of cool', etc., that my step-dad retold the story to me.
Back on European Clay. I forgot how wonderful it is. Feeling like a little boy who has his first crush.
I love Monte Carlo. If I could choose one non-major to attend in person, Monte Carlo would it be. Rome, Indian Wells, Shanghai would be my next choices, in order. I did attend Cincy in 2013. Got to watch Federer v Nadal in the quarters.
Nice story Klem.
It's been raining a lot here, but I've managed to squeeze a few hits in between to test out my new frames. Nice frames all, but I'm leaning toward returning them and taking advantage of TW's 30-day policy on used frames to try 2-3 more. One of them will almost certainly be the TFight 300, otherwise I'd keep the 315.
Klem, I may have business in Q4 that will lead me back to Baltimore. I will definitely take you up on that if so.
And yes, Miles Davis is the man. I listen to a lot of Jazz and his tunes are on my playlists.
I meant it more in the sense that I am back on European Clay… The outdoor season has started again over here
Not sure if you've been listening to the TK show of late, but this celeb sighting thing has also been going on over there. An emailer's Lauren Bacall story yesterday was fantastico.
It works either way. Enjoy. I wish I had access to clay courts, especially red clay.
If you ever find yourself lost on this end of the sea, write me up and we can have a hit on the red stuff
Red clay suits my game like a glove. I hit with heavy spin which the red clay just accentuates. It also takes the sting out of flatter shots allowing more time to retrieve them. Power Player remembered me as a left hander even though I'm right handed probably because of my twist serve the one time we played a few years ago. :twisted:
I Grew up on the red stuff. Didn't play green hartru until I moved to North America in my 20's. Here's where my opinion differs slightly though Mike, I find a well maintained red claycourt to play faster and higher than hartru. I struggle to hit winners on hartru, on the red stuff, not so much.
Boys, today I played with my first true love: The venerable n6.1 95 16X18
It had been on loan to a buddy that's moving back to Europe, and he returned it freshly laced with some kind of magical poly that felt and played amazingly.
Well, it's back to the drawing board, it's still the best frame I've ever used, and my level jumped a couple of notches as soon as I picked it up, despite not having touched it for years.
I'm now going to embark on an hitherto failed endeavor, namely, to 6.1-ify another stick, this time, it's going to be Yoko. I've failed in the past with the PPro and the Tour G, but I think Yoko might have what it takes given the starting specs.
Knowing what I know now in terms of my shoulder impingement, namely that it's a muscular imbalance that, at least according to my physios, has nothing to do with my racquet of choice, I might stick with it.
I'm still going to give Yoko a fair shake, just because it's such a sweet ride. Bit if Yoko refuses to comply with my demands that it morph into a softer 6.1 that still packs a heavy dose of f@#k you power, it's back to the 6.1 for good.
Mad Dog, aka Dr. Dog, what's your preferred method of measuring SW?
More to come.........
Yes - Mikeler reminded me of a lefty because his backhand was exceptionally solid and so was his twist serve. If I remember correctly, it was also New Years Day when we played, and I may have still "technically" been on illegal substances.
Powa, hit me up! No tennis, just good beer, baseball and crabs!
Gadsby, I'm way behind on podcasts! Once upon a time, I would make room for TK. Unless anything extraordinary happens, I'm slated for NY around USO, not before, again unless the extraordinary occurs.
......Fresh balls, practice with fresh balls.....
There's an oft repeated myth about Nadal having been made to practice with dead balls in order to improve his footwork.
I'm saying this just to keep you thinking
Interesting, my experience has always been red clay being significantly slower than hartru.
We shall goat. Hopefully one day you'll be in NY at a time when I can introduce you to the NTC experience. So much fun. I really hope to get to play on Court 17 one day soon. One outdoor day so far had me on 11, which was still epic given the Ashe background and of course the utterly perfect court surface.
Kind of a genius move.
Most of the Har-Tru courts around here don't have enough clay on them. So they play closer to a hard court in terms of speed. The few I've played on at the swanky clubs do play much more like red clay. Perhaps just the German red clay courts I played at were exceptionally slow.
I was still feeling the effects of legal substances that morning.
There are noticeable differences between single types of red clay, but most of them have a higher bounce than Har-Tru and they absorb spin better. That may explain why players with exaggerated topspin strokes might find their shots to be more powerful on red clay, the court really emphasises the spin and bounce.
Just a question for all you racquet-holics... I am a current USK90 player looking to branch out into one of the old Head Prestiges as the outdoor season starts. I like the Mid head size (90-95), so I'm currently choosing between the Microgel Prestige Mid, IG Prestige, and Youtek Prestige... Any quick rundown or thoughts on which of these 3 are the most well liked? I notice specwise the Microgel is the most flexible, where the Youtek is the thinnest beam wise and probably would be the stiffer one. Would buy an 18x20 in these frames for gut/poly.
Spec wise I like ~12oz, very head light, soft feeling frame since I like to come forward and volley a lot. Initially I started playing tennis with a 2010 6.1 95, and kept going up in spec as I improved as a player.
Appreciate any thoughts you guys may have.
^Played with the MG version for a long time and still hold onto them, no stock of YT or IG versions, which says something of my opinion on them. I have played extensively with all of them, still my favorite out of the bunch is the MG. it's definitely the lowest powered of the 3 and the softest, YT is a close second and is great on serve, never could gel with the IG version, feel was just off for me.
With a leather grip and a couple of grams at 12, the MG version still packs just enough punch, yet is as comfortable as frame out there in that spec range. They are all of the same mold, ie- pattern, beam width, length, etc. The different color choices may be playing tricks on you.
That is intriguing and can see how Rafa's game would benefit but if you hit flatter, it's a train wreck.
I'd love to...Germany is near the top of my list of places I'd like to visit. I could knock two things off my list there.
Doubt it will ever happen though.
Hi guys, this week I hit these:
Wilson Blade 98s : Just two sessions, aesthetically beautiful racquet, I prefer matte over shiny paint, nice metallic green accents.
It is really similar to the previous version, maybe slightly more stable, good stability for its weight, easy to swing and spin friendly (as expected). The 18x16 pattern loses tension quickly, softens the response too much for my taste. I didn't find the control to swing out with consistency, on the other hand, I thought it performed great when moving the ball with a vaguer target, you can rally with this thing for long, increasing the net clearance and not being very ambitious with placement.
Yonex Vcore 97 tour F: Welcome to the Dark side, this Sith paint job is my favorite of the year, Prince Textreme 95 a close second. High quality paint, aggressive style, well done Yonex.
First of all, the grip runs bigger than other brands except for Babolat, we all know that there's little flare to the butt cap, and if you change the base grip, it'd better be a thin one. I put the typical rubber ring to secure the over grips to increase the butt cap flare. The racquet after that, the over, the dampener and a full bed of 1.25 cyclone is at 342 gr.
I've only logged four hours into this frame, but I'm impressed so far. I had the previous Vcore 97 310, but I much prefer this one. It is very light when you hold it, my hitting partners were surprised that it weighted over 300 gr.
The frame swings fast through the air, I didn't expect it had so much power, given the 16x21 pattern, but there's plenty of it when you need it, it only felt slightly low powered on my backhand when forced.
The response is fantastic, it possesses a nice crisp feel, very lively I must say, but clearly, control oriented. It doesn't seem to have noticeable dead spots on the string bed, the sweet spot is healthy, outstanding connection to the ball. That being said, the feel is in the stiff side ( it's a Sith weapon after all) I don't find it uncomfortable though.
I think it suits best a high pace, not much net clearance, type of shot, the top spin is there but for heavy/high bounce top spin there are better options. The under spin game is superb, sweet slices with this stick.
It's also worth to mention, I had great time serving with it, really good control for being bold with targets, and enough power to bring the heat to the T.
To sum up, Darth Maul has gained a place in my bag, I will report again when I discover some more nice traits, or when I come back from Honeymooning island.
^ The 16x21 pattern on the new YY's intrigue me, definitely want to demo. Keep updating
Darth Maul, I like that. He is one of my favorite Star Wars characters.
Can't say that I'm like Klem on this one the. The 21 crosses doesn't interest me much. How hard would it be to skip the starting and ending crosses and make it a 16x19?
Hard to find anything in racquets these days that is actually new, so to that end it does intrigue, especially since I've always gravitated more to closed patterns anyways. Would demo if I were in a demoing mood, but just haven't been of late.
Played again with the 6.1 95. Fist hour, heavenly, second hour......... sluggish.
Yup, that's the thing with this monster, it just punishes fatigue or laziness. It did get better once I remembered that it pretty much swings itself, so I started relaxing and letting the weight of the stick do the job, and this allowed me to conserve energy from the backcourt, but at net and on defense, reaction shots became noticeably harder to pull off.
Still, the specs are perfect, if only maybe 5 SW points and 5 grams static too high. I've really lost my passion for modding lately, so I haven't started Yoko's gender reassignment surgery. But I'm convinced it's absolutely necessary, and that Yoko will only realize her true nature, and be much happier with herself/himself once we add some cojones to the mix
Try thinner/lighter strings perhaps?
That's the paradox of the 6.1-95's. You first pick one up, or after a long hiatus with another frame, and it's feels great. Perfect combo of everything, feel and swiftness.
The the blunt-object-bludgeoning-effect kicks in, ie- WarHammer.
Exactly. That's been the 6.1 story for me, always. First session is always, 'I can totally rock this.' Second session: '****.'
I've actually been playing my best ball of late with the lightest stick in my pro stock stash. An 11.4 oz, beaten up Radical that used to belong to a venerable Mr. Chardy, although speaking of sexual reassignments, it was only after I neutered the thing of all of the lead Mr. Chardy and its second owner had kept on there originally that makes it a very different frame. More girly, no doubt. But this amateur can actually now crack serves automatically with this one at this weight, leading to easy holds of serve while the buttery stick also holds its lighter weight quite well in the other departments as well, but the whippiness has been appreciated of late.
Any of you holics try out any of the new Prince Textremes? I tried the 100T and Warrior 107 and they were both very impressive. I think Prince is on the right track with these.
I used the 6.1 classic for years before coming onto this forum. Now look what has become of me?! :razz:
Also, picked up an interesting demo today. Graphene Prestige Rev weighed up to some weird spec. (I want to say leaded up to the same if not slightly heavier spec as the PC600) Feels super nice just to dry swing (unstrung.) I look forward to stringing it up and trying it next time I get out on court! I might try some slick poly in the high 40s.
Looking forward to hearing about the Prestige Rev. That is a frame that seems interesting to me.
Definitely! I borrowed it off my co-worker who used it for a while and leaded it up to his preference. He used the PT10 for the better part of the last decade before switching over to the Rev. (That being said he finally transitioned to a true MP in the Graphene Radical.) I tried it stock when it first came out, but this frame doesn't lend itself to being hit stock. Definitely needs weight, which this one has in abundance. So I really look forward to trying it. Hoping to get out one day this week if the doc lets me!
I assumed it would need weight. I also assumed I could be a little trickier getting it right since it is 11.1 oz with a 329 SW. Seems like much of the weight would be needed in the handle.
If I recall, vsbabolat weighted one with a good amount of lead in the throat and liked it
It looks like there's some potential there. It's on my short list of possibilities for my next round of tryouts.
I kinda assumed the bulk of the weight would need to go in the handle and/or throat to get a balance I would prefer. I think I'd try to add a leather grip and see how it played and felt and then go from there.
I picked up the Pheind again today. Stared at it. Felt the tingles just like during the honeymoon. Love this frame. Bravo Head, Bravo.
Dude's, I've been burning the midnight oil working on some mods. Here's an interesting pic of one of my Tfights that Gads had modified by ****, turns out he had a half size pallet installed:
It seems the stick was extended by using the ol' TW balsa wood technique, although I haven't really reversed engineered it yet.
Yoko's sex change is pretty much done. I put 15g's of silicone in the handle and 5 grams at 12, turns out there were only 3 up there.
Specs are, with OG: 345 g / 7 pts hl / 320 SW.
I've also setup a Prince Warrior 100 in a very similar way. Hitting some indoor claycourts tomorrow night. Will report back.
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