Diary of a Racketaholic

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

  1. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I'm probably going to end up with an apdgt+ laying next to me in one bed one sordid night.

    The 320 is the real deal. If it was not a full poly or die stick i probably would have stuck it out. I went on a closed pattern journey, switched from western to SW, and now I am back with the open pattern with the new grip. Win.
     
  2. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    A TF320 with "cushy feel"?!

    [​IMG]

    :)

    R
     
  3. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Good to see you guys keeping things interesting in here. In NY, heading to Ashe tomorrow day for some Fish-Tsonga action, which should be dynamite. Funny that this EXO3 Tour convo has broken out, with the help of Donald Young (he's using the 16 main version, yes?). It's actually the stick I'm trying to get the guy I'm crashing with to get for himself -- he's a 3.0-3.5, rough stroked-but-just-needs-some-pointers-to-click kind of fellow who's about to start taking up the game again with some lessons, and I think the EXO3 is a stellar frame for someone like him to grow into (playable now even at his level, but also very playable for better players, too - obviously). Unfortunately he's upset at the bright orange grommet sides, thinking they look a bit weird. I don't mind them at all, but hey, I've discriminated on looks before, too. Anyway...

    My own TW Playtest of the 18/20 the stick can be found in the User Comments section. It was a stellar frame and I always thought, "Like an APD, but hella nicer on the arm and more controlled." Feel was iffy for me (though I wonder if the Tour Bite treatment Young puts in it would crisp it up nicely), but other than that, the frame was gold all around -- except for those serves. I just couldn't find those heaters on a consistent basis, but Klem seems convinced the tweaking made it shine there. That makes me wonder.

    I will tell you guys this: probably the most arm friendly stick I've ever tried, and that includes anything PK or Vantage. It's soft as a pillow to the arm. And re: the 18/20 v. 16/19, I remember feeling that there was NO way I'd want any more spin than I was getting from the 18. Very nice controlled spin on groundies.

    Fed: good stuff, man. Hope the 320 is a keeper. It sure does look sweet, that new PJ. One of the better PJs of the last couple of years -- taking its place among the YT Prestiges, BB Londons, etc. I was at a tennis shop here today, *******, looking at the racquet wall and thinking, "Why are all of these new sticks so ugly?" There are few new exceptions to that rule introduced lately, the TF PJs among them.
     
  4. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    A liking for a big girl is one thing but, as the creator of the infamous and banned thread 'RILF Club' from some years back, I'm not sure I'd advise you going into any more detail than you already have.

    :shock: :)



    R
     
  5. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Well...I like stiff frames (prostaffs, extremes etc), but it felt much cushier to me than the astgt and tec 325 that I had alongside it. It is no pillow like the pstgt or a prince though. Full poly at 53, exo tour damp, tourna tac, no harsh vibes. 12.2 oz with all the extras on, very solid stick.
     
  6. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Meaghan,

    Re the MG Pres mid (a racket that was way to good for me:) ), let us all know how you get on with it and how it stacks up in your view against the Yonex pro-stocks and the BC20.

    [​IMG]

    Don't know how clearly you can see the frame in the hands of the great Safin himself there (God, what a brilliant, charismatic player/maniac he was - haha... I, for one, wish he was still around to liven things up a bit :wink:), but as you doubtless know, informed opinion has it he indeed played with the self-same frame, albeit leaded up like a tank.:grin:

    R
     
  7. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    haha...thats good stuff. Ross has had a little highlight reel of lawl posts lately.


    Gads, I am intrigued whenever a stick is compared to the APD..especially one with 52 flex. So I may very well demo the thing next to the APDgt+ to judge for myself. I always read about sticks that get compared to the APD and always leave disappointed after a demo. When you say that the 18x20 gets insane spin, I can only imagine the 16x18..for me that is a wonderful thing.

    I really really love the power of the APDgt..I am not sure if the EXO can hang, but if it can, it explains why so many people love it.
     
  8. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Another reason actually I'm curious to finally check out the Exo Tour is, aside from fact I liked the 03 Tour a lot (though, initially at least, I thought that indeed it couldn't quite 'hang' with the APD), is I keep reading reports from ex-APDers who love the Exo Tour. Must be the spin eh? :wink:

    Incidentally, for me, in my suspect hands, I found the 03 Tour to be a real 'counter-punching' frame, a frame for scurrying about the back-court and staying in points for an eternity. Now, I'm not saying that doesn't apply to the APD also, however (and I think it's a major reason I keep returning to the APD), the Bab just has that extra gear of power; that extra blasting voltage is available when you really need it. Sure, I can sometimes overcook things a bit and control issues can arise, but, yep, to have that oomph to call upon is a huge plus-point for me.


    R
     
  9. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting to see safin racket is 370g and the lead placement its the same as mine........

    Safin
    [​IMG]

    Meaghan
    [​IMG]

    Will find out balance it be nice to find out its the same spec as mine...
     
  10. PED

    PED Legend

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    Wasn't Safin spotted recently using a Head Speed?
     
  11. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree..it gives me the versatility to bail myself out with a deep shot loaded with spin..otherwise known as a moonball, but a great defensive shot IMO. The Bab power is extremely addictive especially now that I have revisited the stick with my SW grip change from last year.

    Since I have the well documented tendinitis, I of course am wary that my BABAffair could run out one day...even though I believe these issues were from a flawed serve technique...in the back of your head you want that APD substitute on hand in case something happens. I just have never found one unfortunately. I am still working on getting the plus version, as I believe that could be the way to go. I decided if I do the demo club to try the plus, I will also try the 16x18 EXO3tour and let you guys know the pros and cons..I just am not super excited to demo, and have pretty much abandoned thoughts of trying the Dunlop 500T, since it is a very stiff racquet as well.

    PED, you are correct..Safin has been seen GOATing the Speed. Most older pros are using larger size sticks and at this point it makes sense. I truly loved the Mids..wow did I love those things, but now that I am back used to the 100, I play much better on the backhand side.

    PS : Still have 2 7Gs. Can't get rid of them..too good.
     
  12. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well I though the APDplus was in, and it was not, so I walked out with :

    An EXO3 Tour 16x18.

    It feels rather light..reminds me of the Donnays in terms of easy swing...I have no other feedback yet, but the stick is strung with full natty gut at 60#s..this tension is good because I should get a real idea of the power in comparison to the APD.

    I am mystified by how such a flex stick can potentially hit so big, but I do like a nice flexy racquet...usually they are too low powered though and tire me out..apparently this is not supposed to be the case with the EXO tour.
     
  13. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^Have fun... the entire string-bed feels like a sweetspot with port-holes.

    Stock, you'll need a full (everything you've got) swing to produce the pop you get out of the APD onserve.... but full gut should help tremendously.

    Enjoy.
     
  14. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    I've actually applied the lead tape I use directly onto the port/string hole inserts... aside from under the bumper at 12... abd then inserted them... making my own cutomized weighted inserts... much like Donnay.

    The port holes slide right in with the lead tape... the string-hole inserts need some precaution to not push the lead tape out and crumple it.... and maybe some re-positioning of the tape in certain areas.

    A solution if you find you need lead at 12 (for serves) and want to hide it.
     
  15. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Good luck. Warning, there may be an adjustment period to get used to the feel of the EXO3. It's pretty soft. Bothered me less and less the more I played/got used to it, though. And some lead up top may be needed to find pop on serve. (though I didn't hit with the 16m, just the 18). That 16/18 must be WIDE open, no?

    The stick won't have the crispy response on serve/groundies as the APD, and that may be a deal breaker, but it'll be so much softer on your arm, which could be great health wise.
     
  16. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Wait, there's string-hole inserts and ALSO port-hole inserts? Two separate things? What do the port hole inserts do? Confused.
     
  17. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Nice..how about pop on groundies in stick form? With my tendinitis in the wrist, I really like lighter sticks..the stock weight of this baby is fine with me..its right with the APD.

    Of course, over time I could see some lead going on at 12 if I heal up and like the racque..I could bring the stick to 335 SW without really altering the balance or weight by much.

    First impressions are that I like the thin beam.the head size is very wide..nice open string pattern..good gripshape. I will simply alternate it with the APDgt when I play and see how it goes.

    Gads, I didnt know you hit with this thing...you don't like the flexy sticks correct?

    The one I has is all port hole inserts..which will be fun to try out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  18. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Gads... The frame comes (both) with port-hole inserts.... the string-hole inserts are just that... traditional string-hole inserts that can be applied.

    The string-hole inserts have to be ordered.

    I have port-hole inserts at 12... to help the mains and get them to slide for spin-generation... and opening-up the sweet-spot towards the tip.

    and I have string-hole inserts at 3 & 9 to help tighten the feel up and make it more traditional.

    Nice blend and feel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  19. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Gads,

    Port-holes (in theory and I believe in practice) help the string-movement by producing less friction, as they are not confined by string-hole grommets. This, in turn, opens up the sweetspot.. dramatically and helps in spin-generation.. by allowing the strings to glide and rub against each other.

    String-hole inserts have a more traditional feel and the sweetspot feels standard sized for a 100sq.in. The feel is also tighter and crisper. The string-hole inserts 12.. 3 & 9 will add only about an extra gram in overall static weight. But I don't see the point of having holes in my frame.. if I'm going to use all string-hole inserts.

    PP,

    Yes... the beam and flex are what drove me away from my PresMids.

    These are the two criteria that I look at when choosing a frame... I want a soft feel with a nice thin beam... which is why I held onto my MGPresMids for so long.

    I let them go due to the better overall versatility of the exo3Tour over the PresMids... I don't have to 'drive 100mph' with the exo3Tour as I did with the Mids... if you're not aggressive 90% of the time with the mids.. court positioning is compromised.
     
  20. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    ^ klem - how maneuverable is the exo 100 18x20 for 1hbh (top, flat, slice, etc) ?
     
  21. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Correct, usually stay away from softer sticks but TW selected me to be part of the Prince Playtest with this stick, just before release. Had a ton of fun, briefly fell in love, really made me think twice about playing with bigger headsize because the 18/20 version had a LOT of control, a lot more than probably any 100-inch frame had ever given me. So... it was a lot of fun and I still have very high regard. You can just slap the ball around all day with it. The deal-breaker for me was the serve, where I couldn't feel the ball enough and couldn't get the bombs I rely on during a match. But I never experimented there with lead at 12, which many have said really improves serves.

    Groundie power was certainly plenty there for me, especially considering I'm usually more of a smaller headsize guy and back then, during the playtest, I was playing the Prestige Mid. I just remember every shot I hit was deep with the EXO, it was effortless depth, which was a nice luxury. My TW Playtest result - and full-on (probably much too long) report - is in the "Customer Feedback" section of the EXO3 Tour 18/20, under JGads. I think it's one of the first ones on there.
     
  22. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    I use to hit 1hbh with my PresMids all the time.. just 'cause they felt so good and 'right'.. not to mention the extra 'ommph' they give... though I predominantly play 2hbh's.

    I find myself shying away from 1hbh with the 100sq.in. exo3Tours... they just don't feel 'centered'.. if you know what I mean... hard to consistently find the shot you're looking for on the 1hbh. But slice back-hands feel great.. better than the MgPresMids... probably the funnest slice-backhand racquet I've ever hit. Nice bite and forgiveness.. you can feel the ball sinking into the string-bed.
     
  23. PED

    PED Legend

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    Hope the mods don't see that one :twisted:

    All kidding aside, I think your explanation is excellent. I used an 03 tour for several months back and 2007 and that was what I found as well. Great sticks but I prefer the pocketing on my Babs
     
  24. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Oh awesome..I will go read that review. How did they feel compared to the Donnays?

    Damn..I have no complaints about my APDgt, except fear of injury..lol. So it will be nice to possibly have a flexy option that plays the same. I am very addicted to the ease of use with the good ol Bab.

    My tennis shop has these EXO3 sticks on sale..are they an older model or is this just a promo?

    Anyway, my game that has been working is angles and depth with heavy top, then finishing with a driving winner or following a well placed corner shot to net.

    I also like spinny racquets because my drop shots are more effective. I need to be consistent or I lose. I also need to utilize my spin game to keep my opponent from getting into a rhythm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  25. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Both leave something to be desired in the feel department, but comparing the two the Donnays are more rigid/crisp/thuddy while the EXO is more plush/soft. Better pocketing with the EXOs.

    I just hope that the 16/18 acts as well for you as the 18/20 did in the control department, because "forgiving control" comes to mind with the 18/20. I wonder if the 16 main version might be more erratic, more of a flier, than the closed-pattern brother. Something to keep in mind if you end up hoping for a little more precision as you play. And again, don't be afraid of lack of spin with the 18 mains. It's still there in spades if you want it.
     
  26. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well no..I dont really have any control issues with the APDgt so we shall see how it goes. I just like a balance of heavy power and spin, so this is why I love the babs so much.

    To have all that flex though is truly something I dont even remember having..the Donnay black really let me massage the ball around the court, but started to act a little weird sometimes when I hit out.

    The last racquet I used that was classicly flexy was the Donnay Agassi..such a cool racquet, but not a lot of power..I remember the feel being soooo nice though..just very comfortable.

    It seems like Prince has somehow managed to make a stick with big power and spin and keep it light and flexible..that does not even make sense, but apparently it is happening. well I will have the APD right next to it so I can judge them both fairly and see what happens.
     
  27. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Actually, the EXo3 Tour is not really a power stick. It definitely has less power than the APD.
     
  28. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    This makes me sad..I guess I will find out soon enough..I have read so many different opinions on this racquet that I don't even know anymore..lol.
     
  29. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    thanks. reads like the exo would be a fun hit but not really the one for 1hbh variety.
     
  30. 808

    808 Rookie

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    Just don't be disappointed after the first couple of rallies as it will take some time to adjust to the particular feel of the EXO Tour. These frames are a bit of an acquired taste – even compared to, say, their Ozone predecessors, which were a bit easier to just pick up and go (IMO). On the other hand the full bed of gut should nicely up the FYP.
     
  31. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    It's a great 'canvas' stick though. Amazing how well the flex accepts extra weight. It can be turned into a 'demolisher'. The sound coming off of mine sounds like a shotgun on serve. 'BOOOM!!'

    Which wasn't the case stock.
     
  32. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Will do.

    Thing I love about the APD is I don't need lead to tee off with the thing. 7grams in the buttcap is nice, but I could rip with it stock.

    I know klem hits flatter and uses the 18x20, so I we shall see how it goes with my spin game.
     
  33. 808

    808 Rookie

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    I also do tend to hit a flatter ball and chose the 16x18 specifically to add a little bit of extra spin. Works well so far with no issues re control. Serves needed some time to dial in, but my 1HBH was go from day one (always a good sign for me when trying out frames). I play on clay almost exclusively year round, though.
     
  34. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Awesome..can't wait to hit with it - weather permitting.

    A fan of the 808 kick drum?
     
  35. 808

    808 Rookie

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    Guilty as charged. With some gnarly 303 bass for good measure.

    Have fun!
     
  36. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    For you tec 320 guys out there, what do you think my next stringjob should be?

    I got it with blackcode 15l because the frame said "use blackcode" on it so I thought it was a good place to start.

    I was not a fan of blackcode in my wilsons but its fine in the tec...

    Honestly, I like the way it plays but am thinking about tourbite or maybe my fave poly hyperion.
     
  37. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I liked Genesis Hexonic..Black Magic..Polystar Energy. All were rather nice.

    Ok..I got to spend some time with the EXO Tour tonight. Have to say, the feel was right up my alley..it felt like butter and that made my joints happy..now how much of that was the natty gut, I am not sure. Maybe you EXO tour guys can chime in on how string sensitive this racquet is, but the feel is extremely solid and reminded me a little of (gasp) the mighty PSTGT. With OG and dampener, the stick weighed in at 11.5 and the balance was more HL than my APDgt..I am guessing 7 or 8 pts vs my adpgt which is at 6. I like this because I could easily fire up some lead at 12 if needed and the stick would still be light.

    Anyway..the really solid feel is kind of weird for the racquet being so light, but it is very very satisfying to hit with. The gut made the racquet tough to control when hitting out even at 60#s,but the spin was there. I had no real issues with power to be honest. I do not think it hits as big as the APD, but it is close enough to where I felt fine back there. Backhands were clicking, and the slice is a 10/10.

    Unfortunately I am not serving for a few more days so I did not get to do that. Also unfortunately I broke the center main in around an hour...so I will be going back to the shop to get another demo.

    The comfort level of this racquet, the fact that it is extremely similar to the APD as well definitely has me intrigued. I started playing tennis with Prince sticks, and really have not used one since that really grabbed me...but this really is a very good racquet with a nice plush feel...I really have to applaud prince for making such a nice flexible stick that is so suited for a more modern style of tennis.

    Just hit me up with any questions because I am sure I left stuff out.

    My questions would be how much more spin/control are you EXO guys getting with a poly in the mains? The gut is so comfortable, but it moves all around and breaks in under an hour.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  38. UWBTennis

    UWBTennis Rookie

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    Since your getting a new demo, get it with a poly. I just felt the ball really ripping with a poly when I demo mine. Sadly, the control was not there as much for me. I could get the ball to bounce up 6 feet but it would be 3 feet out. I never really found my range with this racket on my flat shot and even my topspin shot was sometimes flying. I think that might be the small grip size making my shot too wristy as I notice that sometimes my racket face was really open at contact, hence making my shot fly. But yeah, I think this racket is just begging for a full poly job (the racket is so flexible I wouldn't worry and just go with poly in the crosses too) slightly below mid tension.
     
  39. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yeah I'd agree, but I am not sure if I will go full poly even though what you are saying makes total sense. I just really prefer the hybrid string job..but I am always open to try something out, especially with a stick this soft. I like hyrbrids because they break after 6-10 hours and make me restring..which preserves my wrist and keeps me from playing with dead or dying poly.

    I think the control usually just comes with practice..I had real nice control on my 2hander, and my forehand was not flying..it is just tough with gut and a racquet with some power..same thing happened to me with the Donnays when I demoed them.
     
  40. UWBTennis

    UWBTennis Rookie

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    Yeah, if I could afford it I would restring my racket every 10 hours of play, but I can't. Good thing I have a soft poly at a 17 g in my racket or I would end up with some injuries. Your right about the practice thing, i only hit with them a total of 30 minutes before a match so I might have been overly harsh on them.
     
  41. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I have a stringing machine..thank god..it has saved me so much cash. I pretty much restring once a week while watching football.
     
  42. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    I thought the exo3 tour was a very easy racquet to play with, excellent for staying in the point, easy to manuever and very consistent however it lacked that knockout punch quality that you can get from stiffer frames on kill volleys, big flat heaters and slap winners. Of course you could lead it up, but you will lose a little of that sublime ease of use quality

    I liked the exo3 white original better if you are looking for a comfortable APD clone.
     
  43. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Really keen to hear your further thoughts on the Exo and am impatient to hear an update re the serve as this is make or break issue for me. Although, as you refer to, it's great that lead can easily be slapped on at 12, which could maybe remedy any lack of serve pop.

    Keep us updated PP!

    R
     
  44. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    I like Polyfibre TCS. String high, maybe 58-60, as it looses tension. But, has great feel and spin and comfort.
     
  45. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Have you tried Polyfibre TCS?
     
  46. PED

    PED Legend

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    Tourbite 1.25 FTW

    There is no other choice :)
     
  47. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Good call. The white looks very cool, but the balance is 1pt HL..only way to mod that is lead around the grip which is kind of a bummer. The Princes do not have the trap door in the buttcap. I still may grab a demo though since I basically can grab about any stick I want for now.

    The thing about the tour is that it is so freaking nice on my wrist for a baseline spin racquet..the apd is so awesome, but I can tell that my joints will revolt from the stiffness at a certain point..it is just bound to happen or else I would just buy another one and call it a day. The difference between the tour and pretty much anything else (sans 7g)comfort wise is a knockout..it is so insanely plush that I feel a lot more confident with it.

    For me, I need consistency to move the ball all around the court..that is of most importance for me, and I also want a lot of spin and net clearance. I think I can work out the winners with practice, but we shall see...the strings broke before I could really determine more than the fact that I loved the feel and spin.

    I am going to spend more time with this racquet before I pull the trigger, but it was good enough for me to realize that I do not need to risk reinjury since there are actually alternative out there to the mighty Bab.
     
  48. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Tourbite is so powerful it's mind bottleing. It's turned my old wimpy MG PMP's into rocket launchers.

    I strung them up at 52 with TB and could barely keep them in play. Thinking of going up to 55/56 next string job.
     
  49. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

    Joined:
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    2,200
    Location:
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    Hey PP, so the wrist is acting up again? That sucks dude. Don't know if this helps but the 7G gave me wrist pains for the first time in my life.

    I'm pretty sure it's due to the extended length, particularly on baseline half volleys. I hug the baseline and a huge part of my game is redirecting hard shots off the bounce by flicking the wrist, I do this off both my forehand and the one hander.

    The 7G is nice and soft on the joints when hitting normal gourndies, but the added leverage/length means my wrists have to work that much more when flicking a hard struck ball back into court.

    So yeah, just a heads up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  50. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    Agree. 16L is a remarkable string, but I also agree with the later post: it's powerful. I go higher tension on it. My fave string, hands down, only issue is it needs a restring semi-often.
     

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