Help a college player find his new frame

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by EasternRocks, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    #1
  2. DukeLit

    DukeLit Rookie

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    Hey! I just made a post about some racquets I've tried lately, so you might find it helpful. I'm a 5.0 player and I occasionally hit with the team at the university where I teach:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=8648094#post8648094

    I demoed a Blade 98 and over the course of 3-4 hitting sessions I don't think I hit one solid backhand with it. Something about the balance didn't work for me.

    If you don't mind 12+oz, the red Yonex Vcore Tour swings smoothly (for me) and is super solid.
     
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  3. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Looks like you settled on the 18/20 Wilson Six One. I am vaguely interested in it but it seems like the frame is just going to be even tougher to swing than the Blade. The last thing I want now is something that will feel even more club like than the Blade.
    Essentially, I am looking for a racquet that has legitimate plow through and that solid crisp response (both the Blade and Speed Pro have it), but something that is a tad more maneuverable than the Blade and a tad less stiff than the Speed.
    It's funny. The Blade is great for my backhand and it feels awesome to crack them, but its hindering my forehand. The Speed on the other hand is awesome for my forehand but I just can't get that ball pocketing on my backhand and it just doesn't feel like my racquet is connected to the ball when I swing my backhand with it. Maybe its the balance?

    I've been looking at some 18/20's and maybe the Prince Tour 98 might be something I should try? It says its a bit more maneuverable than the Blade, but it seems like the frame doesn't have enough solidity.
     
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  4. DukeLit

    DukeLit Rookie

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    It's hard to explain--at 12.3oz, sure, it's "harder" to swing than an 11oz Blade. But I have zero timing issues with it, whereas I couldn't get the racquet through contact fast enough with the Blade. For me, it comes down to balance and where the weight is on the frame.

    I don't think there's an easy fix--for me, at least, solidity comes with a little weight. The Ai 98, however, didn't feel flimsy at all; it just felt too fast for me, which isn't what I need for my game.

    Edit: And I did realize that I like tighter string patterns. The Wilson 18x20 worked well for me, as did the 18/19 Tecnifibre and the 16/20 Yonexes. I never thought I'd like many of these frames (I had a contract with Prince in the juniors years ago), but they all have their merits--and they're all nice and head light.
     
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  5. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    So.. you're suggesting that even though the Wilson Six One has both a higher static weight and swing weight, it actually swings faster for you? That's an interesting thought. Maybe #'s do lie or is it maybe the HL balance of the Six One that negates the clubby feel that it would have if it had a more HH balance like the Blade? You have me interested in the frame now....
    Have you ever tried the Speed Pro? I used it last year in college and it was alright but I feel like there might be another frame out there that I might enjoy a bit more (I'm one of those equipment junkies)

    I am not interested in trying Yonex's/Tecnifibre's so I am not going to even ask about em.
     
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  6. DukeLit

    DukeLit Rookie

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    The six one isn't an easy frame to swing, but it just fits my strokes better than the Blade, for whatever reason. I'm guessing it's because my strokes like a more headlight frame with some weight in the head.

    Other than that...it's all intangibles, and hard to explain what works and why. I suppose I'd make the distinction this way: the Blade felt "clubby," because I couldn't get the racquet going the way I wanted. The 6.1 just felt "heavy," i.e., traditionally balanced but with nice heft--so once I got it moving it came through contact how I wanted. And I was never really late with it, despite the weight.

    Edit: Sorry, forgot to mention I haven't hit with the Speed Pro, but one of our seniors on the team was playing with it before graduating. If I were to play with Head, it'd probably be a Prestige MP, but I didn't like the older one and know without demoing that the new one won't work out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  7. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Cool, thanks for your input. Do you teach at Brown or Bryant? I'll try the Six One 18 mains this week and see how it goes. I have the other following demos in my order:
    Prince Response 97
    Babolat Pure Strike Tour
    Wilson Six One

    The last one I am not too sure about.. its the Prince Pro Tour 98. My brother demoed it and I got to swing it a few times, but wasn't sure what to make of it. Is this a good frame to try? Or maybe I should try the Prince Tour 100 18 mains?
     
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  8. DukeLit

    DukeLit Rookie

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    I'm a prof at Brown.

    I haven't hit the Prince 98. I did play the Exo3 Tour 16x18 for 18 months after a hiatus from tennis. I loved it most of the time but never enjoyed serving with it. And in tight matches I found myself too tempted to spin the ball with it. I will say, I always wish I had tried out the 18x20 tour, as it may have been what I was looking for. I was a Prince guy growing up, so naturally I don't think you can go wrong with either one!
     
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  9. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    The Wilson Six.One 95 18x20 definitely is a good suggestion. The HL balance makes it feel much less clubby than the Blade (I had the same timing issues on my backhand).

    The Prince Tour Pro 98 is a really nice frame actually. It feels slightly firmer than the advertised 61 RA IMO (no discomfort though). I'd give it a try if I was you. The Tour 100 on the other hand will be too soft and vague for you IMO. The very soft flex along with the O-Port grommets will be too much of a difference coming from your GSP.

    I never really connected with the Pure Strike line to be honest. Babolat tried to get the best of both worlds from tweeners and player's racquets but IMO they managed to get the disadvantages of both worlds instead. Give it a shot and see what you think.

    I'm not sure which Prestige you played with, but the new Graphene Prestiges sound like they fit your needs. The Graphene Prestige Pro especially is a racquet you should look at IMO.

    Wish you fun demoing and I hope you find what you are looking for! :)
     
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  10. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    You can always count on SpinToWin to give you great input.

    Just a few things I would like to comment on:
    1. Yes the Six One looks like it might be actually an easier swing due to its balance, but I'm still trying to convince myself that even with a 12.3 strung weight and a 330+ SW, it is manageable and it won't be as demanding or more demanding than the Blade 18/20. My fear is that this frame will actually be even more "clubbier" than the Blade. What do you think about this concern? Obviously I need to hit with the frame first, but this is just an initial thought just purely looking at #'s. The racquet looks sweet though.
    2. I will try the Prince Tour 98. However, I am curious if you know how solid it feels compared to a Speed or even the Blade. I want that crisp feel, but I don't want a frame that can't give me that plow through. The benchmark of how much stability and plow I am looking for in a racquet is the Speed Pro. And I agree I don't think the Prince Tour 100 is for me primarily because of the different feel and the O ports which would take me a long time to adjust to.
    3. I too am a little iffy on the Strikes. Tbh, I'm iffy on Babolat as they've never really connected with me. I've hit with the Strike 18/20 briefly and I remember I just didn't like it after 10-15 minutes of hitting. The chances of me switching to either iteration of the Strike isn't high. The 18/20 has a review stating that it has an unforgiving sweet spot, which is not what I am looking for. The Strike Tour is a bit more interesting, yet it seems like it is in the same category as the Six One (even tougher to wield than the Blade/GSP?), and that's a frame I'd rather play with due to its price and my slight personal bias against Bab.
    4. With regards to the Prestige, I tried the MP because I was a user of it back in the day when the Flexpoint was out. I however found the MP to be way too underpowered, tot he point where I would have to swing extremely hard just to even get the ball past the service line. It veers way too much to the side of control. It is the same feeling I received when I playtested the Pure Control Tour. Fantastic control and it felt very maneuverable and whippy... just no plowthrough.

    This might be my final list of frames to try. Please comment on it. And just a reminder to people reading this thread, I'm only looking to switch to a racquet that isn't a very far departure from what I am used to in the Speed Pro. I just want a frame that can help resolve the timing issues with my backhand and even maybe get a racquet that is a tiny softer because the Head gave me wrist issues throughout the 2 years I've been playing with it.

    1. Wilson Six One 95 18/20
    2. Prince Pro Tour 98
    3. Babolat Pure Strike Tour
    4. Babolat Pure Strike
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  11. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    hi i think six one Will be too demanding over time...
    try control tour its less demanding lower power but plow is there just tweak it with small amount of lead or strings and youre golden its really a good racquet...
     
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  12. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    I wouldn't get the Pro Tour 98, unless you are good at customizing. I would rather suggest the Tour 95. It sounds like you might want to try the Pure Control Tour or Pure Control 95. Also, if you like the lighter frame that feels plush, I would recommend the AI 98. The AI 98 is super maneuverable and very, very easy to swing.
     
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  13. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    I play with the Pure Strike Tour, which is a heavy racket, but once I was dialed in after a few hitting sessions, I was able to hit my hardest and the heaviest strokes using the Pure Strike Tour. It is an awesome racket. Lately, though, I've been hitting with the Tour G 330 and am in the process of making the switch. Not because there was anything wrong with the Pure Strike Tour. Rather, the Tour G 330 makes playing tennis more fun with its power potential, accuracy and the sound it generates when striking the ball...
     
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  14. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Unfortunately, I have already tried the Control Tour and it isn't the frame for me. It is not nearly powerful enough nor does it have the plow through I am looking for. Both the Speed and the Blade do a better job of having that solid feel when contacting the ball. And yes that's my fear for the Six One so I'll see how it feels when I demo it.

    Ok, I'll bear that in mind. The Pro Tour 98 does seem a bit light for me and I won't be demoing it after all. Again the Control Tour isn't for me as I've already tried it before. The Control 95 is just too soft according to its RDC rating and it is also a very very low powered frame acc. to the playtesters. I want to look for a frame that gives me a lot of the attributes the Speed does, but maybe in a 95-98 sq inch size.

    The Strike Tour is on the demo list. Have you hit the Speed Pro or Blade before?

    Any other racquet endorsements or suggestions? A more maneuverable Blade would be fantastic... or a smaller head sized Speed Pro, one that is also maybe a tiny tiny bit less stiff.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  15. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    six one 95 18x20 has the best stability and plow of any current racquet on the market BUT like previous poster I needed more headlight balance in order to make it easier to swing. also you better be good at hitting that sweet spot but as you are a college player i think that should not be a problem for you...

    try vcore 97 330 as well its like more head light blade

    are you a one hander?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  16. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I get that feeling as well...that it might not be too friendly if I don't hit it cleanly. But I'm still willing to give this frame a try.
    Unfortunately I'm not going to be looking at any Yonex's
    No I don't have a one hander
     
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  17. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    That's the funny thing, numbers can be really deceiving before you hit the court. The Graphene Speed Pro is easy to swing thanks to its HL balance and its polarized weight distribution. The Blade seemed to have a lot of weight in the hoop which made it really unmaneuverable for me. The Six.One on the other hand felt more maneuverable thanks to its HL balance/having more weight in the handle, which made it easier to whip through the contact point. Just give it a try and see for yourself.

    The Prince Tour Pro 98 will lack the plow you are used to and will need some lead at 3/9. If you do not want that, then leave it out of your demo list.

    I realize that you didn't like the Prestige MP, which is why I suggested the Graphene Prestige Pro. They made the racquet stiffer and the beam thicker, so it will have noticeably more power and forgiveness than the MP. It is quite similar to the GSP IMO, just with a bit more control.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Are you coming this side any time soon?
     
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  19. DukeLit

    DukeLit Rookie

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    Hey Suresh! I wish, but it's not likely. You and the SD crew are always welcome in Providence, though!
     
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  20. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Even though the #'s may indicate that the Six One might be a heavier swing and will feel clubbier, I actually believe you and think that the racquet will actually be an easier swing than the Blade.

    Do you think the Six One is substantially harder to wield than my GSP? What I do know is that the Blade is definitely harder to swing than the GSP.

    I am officially leaving the Prince out of my demo list. And with regards to the PP, I am not very interested because of the leather grip. I have tried them before but will always be a fan of synthetic based ones. I also am not looking to downgrade in the power department with whatever racquet I choose to play with next.

    My final demo list is
    1. Wilson Six One 95 18/20
    2. Pure Strike Tour
    3. Pure Strike 18/20 (not sure why this is in here... sort of a filler frame since you get up to 4 frames at a time)

    I can still add a 4th if anyone gives me a solid recommendation. Again only Prince, Head, Wilson, or Babolat and the goal is to find a whippier, more maneuverable Blade in addition to a fast feeling frame like the Speed but possibly in a little softer package.

    Are you a believer that the Blade is easier or harder to swing than the Six One 95 18/20
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  21. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    Pacific X force Pro ... zero tolerance makes them easy to match too
     
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  22. macguyvur

    macguyvur New User

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    What about the six.one 95 S ? have you demoed that @EasternRocks?
     
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  23. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    The Graphene Speed Pro is slightly more maneuverable, but neither of the racquets is what I would call clubby. After some minor adjustments I could easily hit with both. I would say that swingweight generally is slightly overrated and that balance is underrated as a stat. Until recently I was playing with a racquet with a swingweight close to 360 and I had no maneuverability issues except on really wippy kick serves. Swingweight within the 330s is still easily manageable with solid fundamentals/technique. In the end only you can say whether the racquet is maneuverable enough for you or not, so give it a shot and see for yourself.

    You said that the Pure Control Tour lacked stability and plow for you. The easy answer for that issue: try the Pure Control Tour +. The added length adds some plow and power as well as reach, so it definitely is worth a try to see whether you can manage an extended length frame, as the advantages are quite significant.

    The Graphene Speed MP feels more comfortable than the GSP and is the closest performance wise to your current racquet. It is slightly less stable, however the open string pattern gives back the forgiveness and power that the "lack" of heft would otherwise take. Certainly worth a try (much more so than the Pure Strike).
     
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  24. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Have not, but am hesitant to try the S models. Don't know if I can get the same amount of precision and control for my flatter strokes.

    Makes a lot of sense. I'll report back what I feel with it.

    With regards to the Control Tour +, I've never been a fan of extended length frames. It seems like it would take a while to adjust to, especially seeing the comments made by the TW playtesters. Not only does it seem like it has a higher SW and static, it also has another .5 inches.

    I've tried the Speed MP, but found the power overwhelming and I couldn't rein in the pop. There is definitely instability and I don't think I can see myself using it without a substantial amount of lead to stabilize it. The lead would however only make the power increase.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
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  25. macguyvur

    macguyvur New User

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    Yeah, I understand, I have the same concerns. But the TW testers seemed to love the 6.1 95 S, even Chris who is all about control. It's worth a demo for me when I get the chance in a couple weeks.
     
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  26. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    I unfortunately don't have the luxury to demo frames that I normally would never even think about trying/using. I have less than 2 weeks before my season and I am hoping to commit to a new frame, otherwise, it's back to my Head and a few more months with it.

    It's been a rough process of switching. Thought I had the "right frame" multiple times (Both patterns of the Blade and Radical Pro), only to play a few matches with it and realizing it wasn't instilling the confidence I need in my frame.
     
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  27. macguyvur

    macguyvur New User

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    I have a Graphene Speed Pro, and I have had the same experience. Nice plow through, more power than I could control, unstable off-center, too much to wield around for me, need a more head-light balance, esp for long one hander. But when you hit it right you get more spin out of that 18-20 stringbed than any other 18-20 I've hit.
     
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  28. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    How about this demo list (at least you have 4 options that you have not tried yet and that are worth some consideration)?

    1- Wilson Six.One 95 18x20
    2- Babolat Pure Strike Tour
    3- Pure Control Tour Plus (not less maneuverable than a Pure Strike Tour, for real)
    4- Prince Response 97
     
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  29. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't say the power is more than I can control. It has enough of both to keep me satisfied. The only issue I have with it is the stiffness. It's just a tad too stiff for me and as a result I lose connection with the ball primary on my backhand wing.

    I have 1 and 2 already on the list. I'll take your opinion and put the other 2 in the list and take out the regular Strike. Without play testing yet, I think I'm already leaning in the direction of the Wilson only because I already have the Wilson bag, stencil, and other products because I made that premature switch to the Blade (Got the college package)
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
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  30. macguyvur

    macguyvur New User

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    I didn't mean to imply that you had issues controlling the power -- that's all me. Feel suffers too for me, never felt connected either. I've got high hopes for the PS97 315g-unstrung version. But you can't wait at all now, have get yourself set up asap before your season, right?
     
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  31. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Yeah my season starts first week of September and the first tournament is second week...so I'm already behind the 8 ball. I hope I can find a frame that I can adjust to quickly...something that's not too far from the Speed but different enough that I can get things I was lacking from it.

    With regards to the 315 PS I'm hesitant now only because of the low swingweight. It just seems like a frame that won't have any plow and stability at that spec. The thicker beam than the current PS is encouraging though and that'll solve the low power level of the current PS I'm sure. My history with 18/20's also doesn't have me jumping out of my seat for the frame
     
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  32. DustinW

    DustinW Semi-Pro

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    Graphene Prestige Pro
     
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  33. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Too underpowered and leather grip turns me off
     
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  34. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    I am looking at other companies and noticed Dunlop's Biomimetic F2.0 Tour. Anyone know anything about this frame?
     
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  35. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Still looking guys!
    Yonex AI 98 is a running favorite as of now but it definitely has a feel that is foreign to me... Very flexible and different beam.

    Can anyone comment on a AI 98 vs Speed Pro comparison?

    I'm curious about the VCT 310 too, which is the only other Yonex I'm considering.

    Can anyone do a side by side of the 3 frames? Which one of the Yonex frames would I adjust to easier?

    Spintowin,
    I know you were helping me a lot but unfortunately a lot of the frames I tried didn't work or didn't give me the wow factor to stick with any of them.
    This is a list of frames I have tried within the last 6 months:
    1. Pure Strike 18/20
    2. Blade 18/20
    3. Blade 16/19
    4. Radical Pro
    5. Prestige MP
    6. Speed MP
    7. Six one 95 18/20
    8. Pro Staff 97
    9. Pure Control Tour (tried this last year)

    I have now ventured towards Yonex as you can see above. Do you have a stance on the questions I wrote about above? Not sure if you have any playing experience with either the AI 98 or the VCT 97 310 so this might prove to be a tough ask.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
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  36. KYHacker

    KYHacker Semi-Pro

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    Dunlop's are great. I used the 4d 200 for a good while and loved it. Much better than the Blade. I could never get the pop I wanted on serve with that version. Newer version is supposed to be a little crisper with a little more pop and a little better on the serve. Quality control on Dunlops is almost as good as Yonex.
     
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  37. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Still not convinced about Dunlop, after trying the 300 Tour 4D a long time ago and came away with a negative experience. If there is any brand that I have bias against it might be Dunlop. The new iDapt racquets are not convincing me otherwise.
     
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  38. KYHacker

    KYHacker Semi-Pro

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    200/2.0 series is completely different from 300/3.0 series. 300 series was way too light and low-powered. 200/2.0 is much more solid. I would really recommend a demo of both F2.0 and M2.0.
     
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  39. kailash

    kailash Rookie

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    I also played with Graphene Speed Pro for several months and felt the same; currently demoing tons of racquets. Here are my suggestions:

    1. Modified Graphene Speed Pro: replace the grip with something like Wilson Shock Shield or Gamma hitech gel grip. Try full bed of multi strings or hybrid strings on lower tensions. If you like these, no need to look elsewhere!
    2. ProKennex Ki 5 or Q Tour: Awesome racquets; super arm-friendly and very underrated. Will save the arms for the long run! Definitely demo these if you can.
    3. Modified Wilson Pro Staff 95 (16x19): Bit low powered, but with some added weight, this will be wonderful.
    4. Maybe the new Graphene XT Speed Pro! Don't know about the stiffness, but open string patterns will play softer.
     
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  40. Voriad

    Voriad Rookie

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    I was in a similar situation as you, easternrocks. I'm playing to get into a d1 school and for the past two years, I've played with the graphene speed pro. Yet, like you, the racquet isn't on the soft side. I wanted a racquet with similar playing characteristics, but a better fit. I played with the ai 98 and at first, because the racquet feels so different (like you mentioned), I had trouble adjusting. However, after a couple hitting sessions, I got completely dialed in and a perfect fit. I probably won't switch to it because I didn't get completely dialed in in time for the season, but I definitely think you should give it a couple hitting sessions. I think you'll come to love it.

    Hope this helps man!
     
    #40
  41. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. Thanks Voriad. Speaking of your desire to play collegiate tennis... if you have any questions on the recruiting process or just what coaches are looking for, then feel free to leave your email so I can contact you.

    I haven't played with the AI long enough so there is no way I could adjust in such a small window of time, so I am not too worried just yet. It's nice to hear from someone that used the exact frame that I previously used and seeing positive results from the AI.

    Did you try any other frames other than the AI? It was pretty close to an impulse buy especially after hearing some rave reviews of it, including Andy from the TW Playtest Team. I made a commitment to it after reading additional reviews here on the boards, but I want to go back and check if it was the best option Yonex has for my game and what I'm looking for in a racquet moving away from the Head. A few Yonex frames that I am curious about are the VCT 97 310, which I have read may lack plowthrough (low SW in the 310s) and not that much of a difference in stiffness, ball pocketing. Sean Hemmer's comparison to the Prestige MP and Babolat LTD also doesn't have me jumping for joy because those 2 frames are extremely underpowered IMO. The other is the SI 98, but the stiffness rating of 70 just has me doubting the frame even more.

    By season, I'm assuming your HS season? If it is, I'm sure you have the opportunity to continue to play with the AI. Don't drop the racquet if you already like it!

    Won't be interested in looking at discontinued frames. Always was intrigued by the 200's but Dunlop probably isn't going to get much love from me moving forward. Thank you for the suggestion though.

    Tried #1, which was why I stayed with the Speed longer than I did. I was able to make the racquet a bit more forgiving by adding lead at 3/9 to expand the sweetspot outwards. Was able to get a tiny bit more ball pocketing/forgiveness this way, but I sacrificed maneuverability.
    #2- not keen on PK racquets. 61 stiffness seems way too soft for me. I'm already trying to get used to the 63/64 stiffness of the AI!
    #3 - Tried my teammate's PS 95 and did find it underpowered... maybe lead would change the frame and be something I'd like. Unfortunately, the frame is being discontinued and that's not something I am looking for.
    #4 - I have thought about the new Speed Pro as well. A poster here had the racquet and reviewed it (Parasailing). Unfortunately he said it was stiffer than the offering now and that's the last thing I wanted to hear! It doesn't seem like there's really any other differences. Again, I found some issues with my Speed that made me look for a replacement so a newer version of the Speed that plays similar probably isn't going to be something that will work for me.

    Thanks for your suggestions and input though!
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
    #41
  42. Soundbyte

    Soundbyte Semi-Pro

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    Give the PK rackets a chance... They make great rackets.
     
    #42
  43. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Haha. You don't know how many jokes there would be on my team if I ended up wielding one of those!
     
    #43
  44. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    In terms of feel, the Yonex VCore Tour 97 will be closer to the GSP than the Yonex Ai 98.
     
    #44
  45. auzcar

    auzcar New User

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    EasternRocks, since you seem to have have tested all the frames I'm looking at, I would be very interested in a comparison if you have the time and energy.

    I play with the Blade 18x20 atm, albeit with a leather grip and silicone in the handle making it fairly head light. I love it for serves and forehands but it feels really flimsy ln the backhand if I don't hit it dead center. The racquets I've been looking at is the 6.1 95 18x20 and the Pure Strike Tour, as well as the AI98. I've tested the AI98 and found it too muted but that was with a multi and not my preferred full bed of poly.

    Playing style-wise I've no idea how we compare but I'm a tall guy and my game is built around power and striking winners from my forehand side as well as a big serve. I like to slice on my backhand and rarely goes for winners on that side but I like to hit a heavy high percentage rally ball and that is where I find it troublesome with the Blade.

    If anyone else have played with these frames and can offer a comparison, feel free to chime in, I would very much appreciate it.
     
    #45
  46. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    Have a look at the Yonex Vcore line (98d,Xi98,Si98) all solid sticks that a lot of the Yonex sponsored players use. I currently have the 98d and it is a very solid, all round frame. Have mine weighted up a bit with 6g in the head and a leather grip. Played some tie-breakers with it last night and it performed very well.
     
    #46
  47. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    Oh and before I forget, Yonex is bringing out new versions of the current VCore Tours in January.
     
    #47
  48. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Would that be the 310 gram version? The 330 seems too hefty for me. What might be some differences between the VCore Tour 97 and the GSP?
     
    #48
  49. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    The VCore Tour is easier on the arm and has better feel IMO. I would say it offers less power and more control, with a similar, if not better, access to spin. It may need some lead to get the swingweight up to your preferences and the stability it needs, but it should be rather easy to do for this frame.
     
    #49
  50. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Yeah. You nailed my number one concern with the VCore Tour and its the low swing weight. I remember playing with a racquet with a similar swing weight, the Pure Control Tour and found it to be extremely underpowered, even with a gut main setup. Do you know if the Yonex is higher or lower powered than the Babolat?
    I'm always hesitant to look at frames that need customization right out of the gate. Just gives me an additional trial period along with the new frame.

    Do you think the AI 98 is stepping a little too far out of my comfort zone? The flex is definitely new and I'm not used to it. However I wouldn't say just quite yet that the flex has resulted in a drop in my level of play. Maybe it's because I haven't played at length with it.
     
    #50

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