Finally joined the Dark Side

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by gavna, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Ater years of playing with the PSltd+ and 6 months with the new Blade 98 - I've surrendered and switched to the New 2013 AeroPro Drive +

    I had to add almost 2 oz of lead and after weeks of messing around stringing all 4 of them with VS Gut Black 17g in the mains at 60lbs and RPM Blast (or RPM team as that felt good as well) at 16g at 57lbs on the crosses.

    I am shocked how much I do like the new version (trust me I'VE NEVER LIKED the APD EVER.....) also funny how many of us older farts 50+ are now switching -
     
  2. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Make sure you use a western grip and a windshield-wiper stroke; superlative with, deficient without.
     
  3. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    How do you find the feel of the racquet compared to what you previously used? what are the pros/cons of doing this?
     
  4. YesTennis

    YesTennis Semi-Pro

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    For gavna and El Zed- I'm almost at the "50 year old fart club." I also just hit for about 2 hours with the new APD, and really enjoyed it. Was also thinking about going gut/poly. Just wondering what you think about this racquet if you hit a semi western forehand and one hand backhand with the APD? I don't his with "massive topspin with full western fh." Do you think the Pure Drive might be a better option? Thanks in advance.
     
  5. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Don't concern yourself about type of grips or if you have a 1hbh or 2......it's a great stick period - my opinion is don't listen to all the bias - it's a Babolt, it's only for folks who hit crazy topspin.......I've been playing for 45 yrs in the Jrs, D1, European club, Penn Tour....etc and currently ITF Seniors, I hit with solid topspin off both wings and play lots of s&v - stick plays great period.

    I did find I love the GUT/Poly mix (I'm sure a high quality multi like Xcel or Nxt or Biphase or Prince Premier would work as well) it just makes it so comfortable.
    I also think stringing it tighter than what is considered normal on these boards - I love it at 60+ lbs as it tames the tremendous power and I still get more than enough spin......I'm seeing more and more guys at the 50+ level giving it a shot. The Pure Drive is also great but the APD just a little more solid - and adding that bit of weight makes it smooth as butter.
     
  6. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

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    But I have the high ground! It's over!
     
  7. YesTennis

    YesTennis Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for your insight. Just what I wanted to hear. I really played well with the racquet stock. I think I've definitely been listening too much to the "Babolat rhetoric."
     
  8. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    I generally agree with Gavna on some points, but also disagree on others. Yes, there is a ton of anti-Babolat sentiment on here (usually by those who select racquets on non-performance basis). Is it the perfect stick, no - it's feel is deficient - at stock - compared to certain other sticks. Is it rectifiable, yes, somewhat easily at that (rendering a rather fun experience). Does it offer performance benefits to other sticks, yes - in my opinion it does.

    That being said, the stick comes into it's own if used a certain way. The same way I wouldn't recommend something like a Fischer Pro Vacuum in order to generate massive top spin, I wouldn't recommend the APD for someone who is a traditional player with a traditional stroke/game. Yes, it can do the job, proficiently at that, but there are better options out there. But if you hit with spin, and implement a western forehand - it's a very, very hard stick to beat. Further, a 2HBH on this thing is sublime; much more apt to utilize it on this stick than say a PT280, which I tend to revert to my 1HBH.

    As to the aforementioned issue of feel - once leaded to an acceptable weight, and filled with silicone/blu tack - the stick is very solid, and a pleasure to hit with. Is it quite to the level of some legendary sticks, not quite, but close enough to allow you to factor in it's numerous other positives. As to arm health, I think a lot of the comments here aren't very helpful. Simply put, a light racquet will reveal and exacerbate issues with swing mechanics.

    Sorry, neglected to answer a few of your direct questions - hence this edit. I've only tried gut/poly on the original APD, and frankly, didn't care for it. Poly, particularly BHB7 at 55M/52C is sublime - at this tension, it feels better than a comparable setup on my Austrian-made PT280. 1HBHs are a bit of an adventure on this stick - to me. This might be one of the areas where I favor the PT280 (in additional to absolute feel). On the APD, I find that I'm much more apt to use a 2HBH as it feels better, and I'm able to absolutely crush a shot (better than the PT280). As to the PD - I personally couldn't stand the PDR, and believe the APD is a better fit for me. Not only from a performance perspective, but just felt that the PDR was noticeably more hollow feeling.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  9. oldschoolrules

    oldschoolrules New User

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    I'll be 47 this year and switched to the apdgt a couple of months ago. Using the same semi-western forehand and eastern one-handed backhand grips I have hit with since I was 13 (when I had to change to leftie because of an accident). It (and the new version) is a great stick for just about any style. I think the people who complain about the racquet are either 1) not used to playing with rounder, larger headed frames, or 2) not stringing it right for their game/stroke mechanics. I'm stringing mine with Xcel at 70 and it performs beautifully. I did, in fact, lead it up (a lot) at first, but after getting used to it's overall feel, am now playing with it stock - other than replacing the synthetic grip with leather. Give it a shot - I feel like its helped me get back the half-step I seemed to have lost about a decade ago! :)
     
  10. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    I think the PD is a great stick (things been around now almost 20yrs and just about anyone can use it) BUT for me I just think the technical differences between it and he APD are huge.

    The PD is just stiffer throughout the whole head and the APD is stiffest at the 3 and 9 o'clock - the APD is just softer in the hoop (softer being relative here) and in this version it's a big difference. I would NEVER say it plays like an old woodie but after about 3 weeks now its as comfortable for me.

    My personal opinion is that way to many folks take the APD and right away go 100% poly at insane low tensions and it plays like crap or kills your arm.

    But it is funny seeing all of a sudden so many man and women picking this stick up.....I play at clubs in Spain, France and Texas on a regular basis and I can say easy 30 to 40% are using it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  11. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    As long as you know your on the dark side. Opposed to the " if you play with a sub 98 sq head your an idiot"
     
  12. YesTennis

    YesTennis Semi-Pro

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    Just wondering where you added the 2 oz of lead? Also would appreciate your thoughts about using Vs 17g vs. 16g for the mains. Thanks
     
  13. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    I slapped the lead inside the hoop from the 2 o'clock to 10 o'clock points on the frame.

    I have always liked 17g and even 18g - I play a good deal on clay and like the extra feel the 17g gives me.
     
  14. pfchang

    pfchang Professional

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    I, too have been seduced by the dark side. Never liked any of the apds or even babolat for that matter. Always been a staunch prestige mp spec user. Bought it on a whim for fun but might think about switching.
    the power is sooo alluring...
     
  15. YesTennis

    YesTennis Semi-Pro

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    For gavna or others: I was able to play with the standard 2013 APD for about 2 hours and really enjoyed the racquet. Quick question-just wondering what made you go with the APD + as opposed to the standard APD. I know that the specs are different (higher SW), etc....How did you find the adjustment with the +, coming from the standard length Blade? I guess I should go demo the +. Andy(play tester at TW) really liked the + version(although I'm certainly not at his level). Thanks in advance
     
  16. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    As much as I didn't want to like the stick, I must admit that I like the new version.
     
  17. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    I thought someone just tried polyester string 1st time.
     

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