Federer's racquet - my attempt to replicate it

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Wodz, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    Hi,

    I have researched Federer's racquets over the years and decided to attempt to replicate this as close as possible for fun. I know it is actually impossible so keep in mind that this is just for fun.

    Tell me what you guys think :) High-res links are available on request

    Changes from the stock nCode 90:

    1- Using Wilson natural gut on mains @ 47lbs

    2- Using Lux BB on cross @ 43lbs

    3- This frame has 4 crosses on PWS like Fed's unlike the other stock stick which has 5. Since this racquet has 4 crosses on the PWS it requires the same differential cross spacing that Fed uses for stringing.

    4- 4gr of lead tape added into the head on off-set positions to counteract differential balance. If looking from top of the racquet the bottom lead tape on the head is inserted at 1 o clock and the top lead tape is inserted at 11 o clock. 2grs used on each side. All this means is that I did not add 4gr in one giant pile and also did not split 2gr and 2gr and install them on identical positions at 12 o clock.

    5- 10 string savers installed on 4th cross down and 4th main down. Federer uses an off-set pattern. This means that the 6th cross is started one main further in than the cross pattern on the 4th cross.

    6- Wilson stencil added lower than stock to match RF's 4 cross PWS setup. The top of his stencil starts on the 6th cross and covers the second row of string savers.

    7- Power pads installed on bridge. I bought a 30 pack of leather pads online and used a sharpie to color them black :)

    8- Wilson pro overgrip. Extra padding was added in the butt to mimic Fed's wrap and I tried to match his overgrip spacing. The grip (from bottom) starts with heavier overlap and becomes more regular as you go up the racquet.

    9- Black tape at the top of the grip. I used black electrical tape at the top of the overgrip to mimic Fed's wrap. This actually works very well if you apply the tape and really stretch as you go around while slowly making sure that you overlay the previously wrapped row. About 3 rotations is sufficient.

    10) Custom ties. This is a crucial and difficult part to Fed's setup. His stringing ties are very different from the stock setup and this is for a few reasons but also has to do with his 4 mains @ PWS. This string pattern is especially important for the starting cross tie on the top right. This would normally start on the first cross on the top right but Federer has it starting on the second row which relieves pressure on the first cross row which is where strings commonly break. There is an entire thread about this somewhere on TW.


    Tie locations:

    Start cross: Right side second row down cross.
    End cross: Left side second row up cross

    Start main (gut): Right side second row in mains
    End main: Left side second row in main


    The racquet is now the exact weight as Fed's racquet

    Strung weight: 360g (RF 360.5g)
    Swing weight: 330g (RF 330g)

    The stock stiffness is not far off from his to begin with.
    Stiffness: 66 (RF 65)


    Entire racquet
    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/465645_10200226421002572_1344187327_o.jpg

    View from butt:
    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/530722_10200226426122700_1489147884_n.jpg

    String bed:
    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/736436_10200226443643138_668689918_o.jpg

    String saver setup:
    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/736474_10200226451963346_787290957_o.jpg

    Bottom left tie-offs:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/280599_10200226461123575_881753113_o.jpg

    Bottom right tie-offs:
    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/411929_10200226468083749_456013538_o.jpg

    Top right tie-off:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/736376_10200226474843918_1136839339_o.jpg

    Power pads close-up:
    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/620434_10200226477403982_1184044570_o.jpg

    Close-up of racquet side showing custom stringing setup:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/416680_10200226482604112_748513380_o.jpg

    Handle close-up with black tape:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/280745_10200226486804217_1553949960_o.jpg

    Power pads alternate view:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/266967_10200226494524410_1595300321_o.jpg


    Again this setup is just for fun. What do you guys think :)

    If anyone wants any detailed information please let me know, I would be happy to share how I set this up.
     
    #1
  2. canadad

    canadad Semi-Pro

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    Wow, I was not aware of all the extra tweaks that he uses. Cool! How does it play compared to stock?
     
    #2
  3. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    You can get black finishing tape from TW. Where did you get the power pads?

    And how does it play for you?
     
    #3
  4. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Sell these on egay for $350 each. I wood buy one.
     
    #4
  5. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    great job:)
    what´s the reasoning for putting the lead at offset positions?
     
    #5
  6. babyhagrid

    babyhagrid Rookie

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    Sounds great, let us know how it goes. You have clearly put a lot of time and effort into this project. Enjoy!
     
    #6
  7. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    What's the balance point ?
     
    #7
  8. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Look around but I think Fed's SW is about 355 G now and the balance is about 6 HL. You can find it in TT if you search.

    I would think SW and balance would be very very significant in determine how the racket plays. More so than power pads or string saving which make a difference but not as big a difference as balance and SW.

    What I mean is if you have a racket with SW 330 and balance 8, and then add power pads and string savings; you will notice a subtle difference say "I get a bit more spin and feel". But, if you increase SW to 355 and balance to 6; you will say "holy smoke, I am weilding a weapon of mass destruction now".
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
    #8
  9. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, getting very close to 364 grams, 32.1 cm balance and 350 swingweight is the business. The 350 swingweight is unconfirmed but pretty solid based on lots of indirect evidence and sleuthing.
     
    #9
  10. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, I don't get that either.
     
    #10
  11. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    @canadad - I have not played with it yet. I have played with the racquet itself setup as stock and the strings as gut/lux 47/49 and it was unreal. There were some shots and angles I was hitting with that frame that I simple could not conceive of with other racquets. Hoping to test the racquet this weekend.

    @aimr75 - on egay. I shopped around for leather power pads and bought them for under $10. I found this much easier than trying to make them myself. They are beige and I colored them black. Also I had the electrical tape laying around at home so that was free and worked perfectly.. not something I would have randomly thought of :)

    @treblings - I wanted to maintain a hp balance and had I put 1 long strip of 2gr on each section at the top that would spread the weight too far along the top and disrupt the balance point. I centered and offset the lead to create a counter pull. If the top is offset to the left the weight distribution pulls left and if the bottom is offset to the right the weight distribution pulls right. This creates a counter balance point within the arrangement of the lead tape. I am attempting to apply physics here not actual proven tennis techniques so I could be 100% wrong!

    @ART ART - I need to have it tested on a balance machine. I forget the home method :)
     
    #11
  12. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    More about the lead tape. I used 16 inches worth of lead tape which is 4gr. I cut the tape into 4 strips of 4 inches each. On the top section of the head I placed 1 strip and then placed another strip on top of that as opposed to placing 2 strips side by side or just placing one long strip of 8" (2gr). On the bottom section I did the same and off-set so if you measure the length from middle to left or middle to right it is the same. This means the weight in the dead center is the highest and as you get away from its counterpart the weight creates a balance.

    Does that make any sense? :)
     
    #12
  13. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    Very, very cool. I am very curious how it feels when playing with it.
     
    #13
  14. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    I wonder how Fed pushed his sw from 330 to 350. Also that is his sw on a different racquet than this..albeit they are almost identical in design it is a very curious point. Also I would be happy to find a way to adjust my balance down to 6 if you have any suggestions. I added the 4gr of lead into the head because that is what Fed does (or so they say...) so that creates a head heavy balance and then adding power pads should add a small balance into the throat. I recall reading that Fed's racquet is actually bottom heavy as opposed to top heavy which either does not make sense or I am illiterate.. both are possible haha.

    Also the use of black electrical tape leaves a shiny surface when stretched and wrapped. Not sure if the black finishing tape at TW does something like that. The shiny (gloss) seems to be what Fed has IMO
     
    #14
  15. corners

    corners Legend

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    No, I'm afraid it doesn't.
     
    #15
  16. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    haha no worries mate.. like I said I was not following any type of tennis advice there so perhaps it makes zero difference :)
     
    #16
  17. corners

    corners Legend

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    Let's say you've got a stock K90. The average spec on that racquet is:

    355 grams
    31.7 cm balance
    336 swingweight

    Adding power pads and overgrip gives you:

    361 grams
    31.5 cm balance
    336 swingweight

    To get the swingweight to 350 you add 5 grams of lead tape at 12 o'clock. It's clear from photos posted by Priority One that the lead is placed under the bumper, centered at 12 o'clock, a single layer on either side of the grommet channel, nothing fancy.

    This would give you:

    366 grams
    32 cm balance
    351 swingweight


    How did you add 4 grams of lead to your frame and only get to 330 swingweight? If you're confident that that figure is correct, your K90 was way below the average spec for that model. I doubt your figure is correct. I once had a K90 with a stock swingweight of 328 and that's the lowest I've ever heard of.
     
    #17
  18. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    I highly doubt my numbers and want to run some calculations to determine the weight (strung), sw and balance. I am going to run some home tests to determine the balance and sw. Right now I do not have a way to weight the strung racquet but as you said we are talking about power pads, overgrip and 4gr of lead tape. That should give me a strung weight of 365gr which is 5 above what Fed's unstrung weight was said to be.


    P1 would play a single layer of 20 inches worth of lead tape into the head..? I am basing that off of 1/4" tape. That is so long that it would extend down the sides of the racquet. It should also make a difference if they placed the tape on the front or back side. I was using 1/4" tape perhaps they were using 1/2" tape and just putting it over the ENTIRE head as opposed to one side and maybe.. poking holes in it to allow the bumper to go back on? I am trying to make sense of how that even looks.
     
    #18
  19. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Center layered strips exactly at 12 o'c makes sense and it will increase SW slightly more than longer strips. There are pictures of Federer's rackets at Priority 1 shop without grommets and they use long strips about 8" across the top under the bumper. Either method is fine. Big thing is the SW and balance.
     
    #19
  20. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    No, 2 long strips of 1/4 each tape centered at noon. 1 strip on each side of the string holes and then they put the bumper on over the tape.
     
    #20
  21. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    Trying to find the balance I placed a ruler on a table with 0 at the edge of the tape. I moved the racquet further off the tape until the butt started to come off the table and that measurement was 12". Am I missing something here? haha
     
    #21
  22. darklore009

    darklore009 Professional

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    doesnt federer's racket have a longer shaft than the retail?, but good job in replicating it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
    #22
  23. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    His handle is a good inch shorter or at least it was on the 90
     
    #23
  24. corners

    corners Legend

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    If you're using the home swingweight calculation method make sure to be very careful when taking stopwatch readings and take about ten readings and then average them. Using this method you can get within 1 unit of what you'd get off a Babolat RDC machine.

    The Fed sticks that were posted by FabFed were 364 grams STRUNG.

    Yes, 20 total inches of 1/4" tape equals 5 grams. But you put one ten-inch strip on either side of the grommet channel. The bumper guard is about 14 inches long, so it will all fit. P1 definitely uses 1/4" lead, you can see it clearly in the photos they've posted. Here they are: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=4433219&postcount=1

    You can see in the photos that the amount of lead is different for each racquet. That's because the un-customized frames that Wilson sends P1 are all a little bit different. Swingweight is a very touchy spec, one gram at the tip can change it by 3 units, so it's a very difficult spec to get exactly right at the factory. But the best information the board has is that Fed's strung swingweight is about 350, so if your K90 has the average K90 swingweight of 336 you'd add 5 grams to get to 351. But if your frame has a swingweight different than that you'll have to add more or less.

    You can use this calculator to figure this stuff out for yourself: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/customizationReverse.php

    When you get the swingweight to 350, be careful. If you're not used to such a high swingweight you can hurt your shoulder, especially on serve. So if you're going to play with the racquet make sure to take nice, relaxed 50% effort swings while you get used to all that mass.
     
    #24
  25. Sean4016

    Sean4016 New User

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    What is the advantage of the pads and what did you search for to find them?
     
    #25
  26. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    @Corners - Thanks, I am going to play gentle with the frame at first to see how it plays and ease into it. Thanks for the lead tape info it is very helpful. I want to take proper sw measurements but my first few runs resulted in odd results so I need to work out the kinks since I have never done it before :) FabFed is a god here


    @Sean - The pads reduce vibration and pull on the 6 middle mains almost like a dampener would. In super slow motion when the ball makes impact around the PWS the string bed is pulled backward and the ball momentarily sits into the bed for a certain amount of time depending on the tension of the strings. As this happens the strings are pulled tighter and then as the ball is being snapped off of the strings vibration is created on the strings. On a stock racquet the bottom of the head has a few main strings that are going through a plastic bridge. Imagine if you punched a giant piece of plastic like that, your hand would feel all of the shock and in turn that might off-set your balance but if you were to punch a giant piece of leather it would help absorb a large amount of shock and help retain balance. The pads are helping to keep the racquet firmly in place during contact.

    Here is a direct link to a site that sells the pads - http://www.ioffer.com/i/real-power-pad-for-tennis-racket-156098331
     
    #26
  27. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    I found this nice write-up on the link I posted in the previous comment

    What is Power Pad ?

    Power Pad is a little piece of leather cube, which usually put in between the grommet strip and the string under the throat area of a tennis racket. It can extend the length of the center 6 or 8 main strings, thus increases the size of the sweet spot of the racket for some extra power. It can also help to dampen a little bit of vibration generated from the ball impact, due to the softness of the leather material. Another purpose for the use of Power Pad is to prevent the string from cutting by the sharp edges of the grommet, especially when you string your racket with the most expensive string Natural Gut.

    Used by Pro like Roger Federer, Pete Sampras; Tommy Haas
     
    #27
  28. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    What is Power Pad?
     
    #28
  29. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Where is Power Pad?
     
    #29
  30. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Sometimes the ladies say that it's my house...

    :lol: :razz:

    -Fuji
     
    #30
  31. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ahhhhh........

    Who is Power Pad? :razz:
     
    #31
  32. Sean4016

    Sean4016 New User

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    Thanks Wodz. I appreciate the response. I ordered a pack and am anxious to test them out.
     
    #32
  33. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    PPads were quite common in the wood racket era usually at the bottom of the head. You don't see them much on modern rackets. The babolat woofer system may be the modern equivalent of PPads.
     
    #33
  34. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    haha I copied the text verbatim from the site and it says "What is Power Pad ? " haha.. they should have written "What are Power Pads?" Maybe the people are Russian idk haha
     
    #34
  35. MindoverMatter

    MindoverMatter Professional

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    Do you put the PP on while stringing or after?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
    #35
  36. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    #36
  37. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    This is 100% correct and you will only see PP's installed on wood or wood/hybrid setups.

    Babolat uses a woofer system to achieve a similar goal and this is built into the racquet. This can be seen here on a closeup of Nadal's Aero Pro Drive - http://i13.tinypic.com/6cpkg8m.jpg
     
    #37
  38. ilovetennis212

    ilovetennis212 Professional

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    Entire racquet
    [​IMG]

    String bed:
    [​IMG]

    String saver setup:
    [​IMG]


    Power pads close-up:
    [​IMG]
     
    #38
  39. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    This thread is a failure.

    I know the OP isn't around anymore, but Federer uses a PJ and the racquet he actually uses isn't for sale anymore (unless if you want to pay $150+ for one frame).

    He/she is wasting their time and money.

    Also, it is not the racquet that matters!
     
    #39
  40. Phantasm

    Phantasm New User

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    Cool project you're undertaking! Hopefully you enjoy playing with it too.
     
    #40
  41. Lack

    Lack Rookie

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    Haha wow great work man :cool:
     
    #41
  42. donnaypro

    donnaypro New User

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    great work!
     
    #42
  43. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    You realize that $150-$190 is the standard cost of a new line frame right (the easiest non-Walmart rackets you can get).

    Also, it was discussed to hell over what frame Federer used since 2007, and from 2007-2009, Federer used the K90. Since then, he may or may not use the stock version (handpicked to specs) of whatever Wilson Tour 90 was in production (it's likely he uses the stock version).

    And finally, the OP stated they did this for fun. Also, if you're going to be wrong, try not to make it seem borderline like a personal insult.

    As for this racket, the parts where you need to fix/update:

    1) Buttcap is wrong. Federer used the nSix.One Tour buttcap for his K90s. The reason being that his grip pallet is custom-made, and P1 didn't want to waste buttcaps (they had a bunch of the old n90 buttcaps lying around). If I recall correctly (probably not), Federer used the stock BLX90 buttcaps when he got the BLX line of Tour 90s. Soon after, P1 made their own buttcaps and stuck those on instead. So for a K90, you would need a n90 buttcap. Also, the buttcaps were upside-down more often than not.

    2) String Savers are wrong. While Federer did at one point use Babolat string savers, some time during the K90 era he switched to the Wilson brand of string savers. Any close up pictures you find of his K90 rackets (and any since then), will have the Wilson string savers. He may have used Babolat string savers in the early era of his K90 (P1 started putting up pictures around 2009, and most of the easily found close-up pictures of his racket came out around that time too).

    3) From what I've seen, Federer's racket had a consistent order of which strings were on top (at least, based on who strung it, though it may be consistent through all of the stringers). I forgot which it was. I don't remember if it was the same as mine or different because I had my own preference and stuck to it, though tiny extras like string savers I didn't mind adding on for fun. This one I might be wrong about, but I'm fairly certain, since to work at P1 you pay close attention to detail, which probably means your OCD to a noticeable degree, which would give a high chance that they weave the strings the same way every time (even though they have high work volume; for some people, these little details is like their signature on the racket).

    4) Pretty sure the knots are upside-down. I'm OCD about which way my knots face when I string my racket, and pictures I've seen about Federer's rackets tend to point the same way (if the W on the buttcap is up, then the knots point up, for a stock racket).

    5) Knots themselves may be different. Though he has several people who string his racket, so one of their knots may match up with yours (I remember Ron Yu's knots being particularly unique, though I couldn't tell how; the P1 members could probably tell who strung the racket based on the knots). I also can't tell since you pictured the knots upside-down, but P1 tends to cut the string fairly close to the knots.

    Other than that, pretty good job. Would fool most people with a moderate attention to detail. The entire racket shot taken maybe another foot away would blur out the details enough to fool anyone (just guessing here, not great with cameras; just got suspicious at the string savers when I couldn't see them clearly).
     
    #43
  44. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Yes, I know. It is all a matter of personal opinion, but a lot of people do not purchase frames for over $100. Because of that, they have to rely on the honesty of sellers because there are a lot of dishonest ones on the big auction sites.

    I know, I saw that thread. I didn't get involved in it, but there is an official consensus that Federer uses this racquet:

    [​IMG]


    I wasn't trying to insult him/her, but the PS Tour 90 and the BLX PS 90 are completely different frames. Because of this, the replication process is completely wrong.
     
    #44
  45. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    When someone does a project like this, why is there always that one person that feels the need to jump in and tell them, "it's not the racquet that matters"?

    Do you really think that the OP thought he was going to start playing amazing tennis because he replicated a Federer racquet, lol.
     
    #45
  46. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    There is a large myth that your skill changes when using pro stock racquet. My assumption is valid. :)
     
    #46
  47. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    First of all, this isn't a pro stock racquet. Second, the guy said it was just for fun several times. No need to pee in his corn flakes.
     
    #47
  48. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Okay, now I fully recognize you as a troll. I was sitting on 75/25 before, but now I'm 100% certain.

    1) You typoed there my friend. Federer used[/d] that racket. For like 1 or 2 tournaments. Then he dropped it for his CUSTOM racket.

    2) If he never used the reinvented line of Tour 90s (K90 to current), then the only Wilson racket Federer used that was ever on sale was the China production ProStaff 6.0 85. Since then, Federer has used a 100% custom racket. And it is most certainly not based on the ProStaff Tour 90. The weight and weight distribution is wrong even if you fix the design discrepancies.

    3) Consensus was that Federer either uses the K90 mold with the PS85 layup, or uses the K90 (anything post-K90 I don't care about because it was a hell of a time just discussing about the K90, and the other two rackets are so far off it's far more difficult to believe, though still possible).

    4) The OP used a K90. I don't know where BLXPS90 came in, but it's irrelevant. He's not replicating Federer's BLXPS90, he's replicating the K90 version, which aside from the mistakes I mentioned, would be the closest thing to what he actually used from 2007-2009.

    5) Yeah I don't trust those auctions. Don't want to buy rackets that are fake, mistreated, or on the brink of death.

    6) If you want to buy Federer's old frame, TW has it on sale for $120 a pop. Only difference is they will have a BLX buttcap instead of the old one.

    Among the those who haven't used them, yes. Among those who have actually tried them, it merely leads to a much more pleasant and comfortable hitting experience (mainly for the arm). Also, since this is a RETAIL racket, your assumption based on the previous statement is anything but valid. Maybe if you went with the term "pro-endorsed" or "implied pro model", you would have something.

    Have fun trolling. :)
     
    #48
  49. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Garden of Gethsemane
    You can tell someone that they are wrong and correct them instead of insulting them with childish names. Not every wrong person on TW is considered a troll. I'm not a pro racquet expert or BreakPoint; I didn't even read most of the last post because I stopped caring.

    I've seen what you typed before, so this is my last response to you.
     
    #49
  50. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,755
    I think the K90 is just as valid a suggestion.
     
    #50

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