How Many Racquets Do You Need.

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by J011yroger, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Ok, I have been pondering starting this thread for a while. And here is my opinion.

    The J011yroger Guide to how many racquets you need.

    When reading, please bear in mind that this is MY OPINION, read with an open mind, agree or disagree, but please keep it respectful.

    Also, I am talking about number of IDENTICAL racquets. Different models are for experimentation and fooling around and having fun only.

    It should go without saying that this assumes that you can afford the racquets, feeding your children, and paying rent take priority over what some 25 year old punk on the tennis board says.

    Firstly, there are several factors that go into this choice, and I will list them here.

    1. How serious are you about tennis?

    Do you care about equipment? Do you work to become a better player? Do just go out and fool around and hit and giggle with your friends?

    If you answered that you are in the least amount serious about tennis, then you should have at least two racquets. If you consider yourself a tennis player, of any level, even if you play once a month, even if you have never broken a string in your life, you should have two racquets. It is foolish to ever not have a backup. If you are willing to shrug and go home if you break a racquet/string, and leave your hitting partner standing there, then hey, have fun with your one racquet.

    2. How important is winning to you?

    Are you competitive? Do you play in a league? Are you a tournament playing junior, playing to win a D1 Scholarship? Do you just hit around with the ladies on Sunday afternoon.

    Depending on how important winning is to you, you will figure out how many racquets you want above and beyond what the maximum you would use in a worst case scenario. If you are a casual player, this number may be zero, if you are a tournament player, playing for your future, it may be four or more.

    3. How long do strings last you.

    How many hours/matches do you get out of a string job?

    Bames Jlake who crushes the ball on the pro tour needs more racquets than Professer "limp arms" Kuerten who has never broken a string in his miserable existance.

    4. How much do you play?

    How many hours/week do you play?

    Combine this with item 3 to see how many racquets you go through in a week, or how many weeks a racquet lasts you.

    5. What is your access to stringing?

    How often do you visit the stringer? What is the turnaround time? Do you string for yourself? Can you do without while your racquets are being strung?

    Figure out how many racquets you will be down/dropping off to be strung, and if it is a big deal not to be able to play in the down time.

    6. How sensitive are you to string tension loss/aging.

    Do you notice when strings get some wear on them? Do you think they play better when new? Do you play them till the break and not really notice much of a difference?

    If you are sensitive, and you care a lot about winning (Item #2) you are going to want to play your matches with your racquets in the ideal zone, then use them up the rest of the way in practice or restring if money is not an issue, or you are that serious (Item #1). This is especially an issue if you use polyester strings.

    7. Do you change string tensions depending on weather, surface, opponent?

    If you do, then there will be that many more racquets that you will need, especially if your access to stringing is limited, and you cannot restring for each event.

    8. Are you a tournament player, a league player, or a social player?

    Tournament players generally need more racquets to be prepared because they have the possibility of playing many important matches in a very short amount of time, with minimal time to restring. League and social play is more spaced out and leisurely.

    9. If you are a tournament player, do you travel?

    If you are a travel tournament player, you need more than a normal one, because you want to be self sufficient, and not at the mercy of a stringing service at the tournament, or local stringers who you are not familiar with.

    Here are some examples.

    Grady does not consider himself a tennis player, he bats the ball around for fun once or twice a month, he considers this excersise, he does not play games, and if he is unable to play or his racquet/string breaks he is more than happy to go home and watch the baseball game on TV. Grady needs one racquet

    Lisa just started playing tennis last year. She loves the game, and wants to get better. She plays in a 2.5/3.0 league on Thurday nights, takes a lesson when she can, and practices when she can recruit some of her friends. All in all Lisa is on court 2-3 times per week. Lisa has never broken a string in her life, and restrings her racquet 2-3 times per year because her pro says it is a good idea. Lisa needs two racquets

    Merv is a middle aged, in decent shape guy. He loves playing tennis, he plays competitively in his 3.5-4.0 league. Merv wants to win, and get to sectionals. He goes out and practices two days a week after work, takes the odd lesson, and hits with his wife or son on the weekends. Merv breaks his strings every month or so, and likes to keep a spare racquet two pounds looser for days when he needs a little more zip on his ball. Merv needs three racquets.

    Hank used to play in college, now he is a 40 year old teaching pro. He doesn't break many strings anymore, but he can still get after it when he needs to. Hank mostly teaches, and hits around with his fellow instructors for fun. 3 or 4 times a year Hank enters a tournament, and is ranked pretty well in the 40s. Hank needs 4 Racquets.

    Josh is a 14 year old. He plays USTA tournaments, and for his school team. Josh breaks strings weekly, and makes weekly trips to the stringer. He plays every day after school, and on the weekends. Josh takes weekly lessons, and really wants to improve, his goal is to play in college. Josh should have 4-6 racquets

    Sarah is a 17 year old. She has been playing since the age of four, was scouted by colleges at the age of 12, played the next higher age group for as long as she could remember. She flys around the country playing USTA Nationals, and uses fresh strings for every match. Sarah needs 10-12 Racquets.

    Carl is an animal, his friends call him Carl the Cannon. Carl is the kind of guy that draws a crowd wherever he goes. He is 18 years old, and going to play for Pepperdine next year. Carl uses full poly because it is the only thing that will last him more than an hour. When Carl gets done with practice there is a stack of racquets waiting to be restrung. When Carl goes deep into a national tournament it is not unusual for him to go through 16 stringjobs. Carl needs 16+ Racquets.

    J
     
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  2. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    How many racquets do I need? All of them.
     
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  3. Mr. Sean

    Mr. Sean Rookie

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    I'd say at least 2 of them. I use one to practice and the other for matches. 3 would be even better. Id say 2 at least two because strings sometimes go out during play so its good to have a backup.
     
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  4. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I try and have at least two strung at the same tension.
     
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  5. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    J011yroger - Sounds reasonable......

    Based on your examples......call me Merv. (but younger, and a touch more advanced)

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Ok Merv.

    J
     
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  7. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    I am Josh, only I can string my own racquets in 20 minutes, and can bring the stringer to any important tournament where I might need it. I should get more racquets though, maybe 4 more or so.
     
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  8. theRadical

    theRadical Rookie

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    If you can afford ten racquets and are actually a good, then you might as well have one for every tension in the range, and a few for the tension you like most.
     
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  9. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    I have quite a few more racquets than I need, that's for sure.
     
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  10. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Not dumping on Guga, Professer Kuerton is a guy that Raftermania made up...pretty funny stuff.

    Edit: You will never, ever, ever, ever, hear me talk down about or bust on any tennis player, not if they are 1.0 level, and certainly not one who is or was good enough to make a living playing the game I love, while I have to work a normal job. Read some of my other posts if you want an idea of what kind of person I am.

    J
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
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  11. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    You need at least three, so in case one is being restrung you have two to play the match.
     
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  12. dylo

    dylo Semi-Pro

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    i would like to hav 2+ racquets but the PS 6.0 95 wont be available for some time
     
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  13. Duzza

    Duzza Legend

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    I would be Josh, but 4-6 of the same? No way.
     
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  14. Ronny

    Ronny Hall of Fame

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    i would need about 2 or 3 of the exact same
     
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  15. Fossika

    Fossika Rookie

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    Well, I am 16, have played for 10 years, train 2-3 times a week + comp on weekend and I'm trying to get into tournies-Like a lot of people IMO, I can't afford identical racquets. My main stick (PD Cortex) cost $300 in the shops, and by your system I would need 3-4 of them, $900-$1200 + cost of restringing all of them....I think not ; )

    I hath 1 X Babolat PD Cortex, 1 X Babolat Soft Drive and 1 X old Head Triad

    I havent much experience with premium strings but once i get something decent I expect I'll be needing backups.
     
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  16. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    Where do you live, that a PD Cortex costs $300, and exactly what currency are you talking about?
     
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  17. Fossika

    Fossika Rookie

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    I live in Australia so thats in Aussie $'s
     
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  18. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    See what I am driving at? If you have ever run out, or worried about running out of racquets, then you don't have enough. The way I see it, going to a tournament with 1 racquet is like going into the bathroom when there is only one square of paper left, and bringing dissimilar racquets with you is like bringing a tissue, a paper towel, and the sports section along too incase you use up the single square.

    J
     
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  19. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    Yep, im "merv" too, i just have two sticks though, next month i will be buying the third one.

    Fossika has a god point too, availability and price should be in the equation. for instance where i live is very hard to find Yonex, which is what i currently use, so i only buy them when i travel, other than that i think is a good guide.
     
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  20. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Like I said, this assumes you can afford them. If money wasn't an issue, wouldn't you feel more comforatble if you had 3-4? And could use your dissimilar racquets for loaners, or leave them at home. As far as stringing costs go, in the long run it doesn't cost any more, I mean you don't break strings faster just because you have a lot of racquets, once you get past the initial stringing cost is the same.

    Even so, it doesn't make sense to me to show up with a fruit salad of racquets if you are a serious player. It makes more sense to sell off your non primary racquets, and get more of your primary racquet, even secondhand if you want to save money. If you are a recreational, or non serious player, then whatever.

    J
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
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  21. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Just because you can't get them, or can't afford them, doesn't change the ideal number. You would still be best off with the ideal number, but sometimes that real life thing gets in the way.

    J
     
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  22. flash9

    flash9 Semi-Pro

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    I have three!

    I am Merv!

    In my case I have three POG's. In two I keep KLIP Natural Gut, and one I keep some kind of synthetic gut in case it begins to rain or the tennis balls get damp, and I do not want to ruin the natural gut.

    Well Flash Merv just does not sound right! :rolleyes:

    PS: I think you have the numbers right, but most playes I would say are one step behind where you suggest.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
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  23. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    ^^ Yea, I am amazed at how many people even 5.5 tournament players who have been doing this for 20+ years are under racqueted.

    I figure out the absolute worst case scenario, and like to have at least 2 more racquets than I would possibly ever need.

    Bring two freshly strung bats to a tournament, and you are a grommet shear and a cracked frame on a half volley away from defaulting.

    J
     
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  24. Fossika

    Fossika Rookie

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    I guess 3-4 is just going to be the "ideal" number then. As much as I would like to have them, I can't.

    Damn real life stuff :p
     
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  25. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    No joke Bro! If it wasn't for this job thing, I would be on tour!

    (If you can't tell, I am delusional aswell!)

    J
     
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  26. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    I guess you are right :?
     
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  27. shojun25

    shojun25 Professional

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    I'm guessing that I am Merv, except I am not middle aged. ;)
     
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  28. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    What the hell is this......job...thing? I don't understand........;)
     
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  29. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    I think this was a great guide for most people.

    Personally, I don't burn through strings like I did in high school (not practicing 3 hours a day, 6 days a week), but I still feel best when I have at least 2 feshly strung racquets for a match, and a couple for practice/warmups/spares.

    It doesn't hurt that I get my racquets used and they don't cost me an arm and a leg.
     
    #29
  30. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Rassum Frassum punk kids! Hey, on the bright side, I don't have homework!

    J
     
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  31. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    i'm in this camp. btw - not a quick string breaker and got my own stringer now. hard for me to justify spending $$ too much on racquets since i have other hobbies. however did splurge and got a 2nd T10V Mid since they were being discontinued. probably won't play tourneys anytime soon but still look forward to hitting with competitive players (current or former college types included).
     
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  32. Duzza

    Duzza Legend

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    Hmm props for finding that old post, I'll shut up.
     
    #32
  33. Duzza

    Duzza Legend

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    Fossika, you can find PD's used for about 120 easily. My friend uses the PD and gets them for 150 AUD.
     
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  34. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Based on your analogy, I don't need any rackets!

    HA!
     
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  35. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    The problem many must have based upon what you read here at the forum, isnt one of not having enough frames..it's about having frames that are the same brand and model, and are matched.

    People <often> don't stick with their frames thinking they can buy a better game, rather than just finding something appropriate for their skillset and learning how to make it work well. so they may have plenty of frames, but they're all different. Racquets exceed our ability to make them work.
     
    #35
  36. Pleepers

    Pleepers Professional

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    The way I see it, unless you are on the pro tour, you would be wasting your money if you had more than 5. 2-3 to rotate for practice and the other 1-2 if you are playing a tournament.

    I really don't know any serious/5.5+ players who have more than 5.
     
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  37. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    Yep yep yep. Well said.

    I have had that habit over the past few years - it's the "grass is greener" mentality.

    I've finally decided that I'm going to stick with what works, and build my style around those sticks, rather than try and find the stick that suits my mojo that week.
     
    #37
  38. Pleepers

    Pleepers Professional

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    Oh and I just wanted to say that there was someone who won the State Open a few years ago who borrowed a racquet from someone for the tournament. I think it goes to show that the # of racquets you have is irrelevant of how good someone is. And if you are serious about being "good" the equipment is really a small aspect.
     
    #38
  39. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Yup yup, I know you have seen me preach "Pick something close, buy a bunch of them, stick with it, and learn how to play/get better."

    Same thing for string.

    I see people that come to the court with six totally different racquets, and I just don't get it. It is like, what are you trying to accomplish here? Are you just fooling around and trying different stuff and seeing what it is like? Or do you want to get better?

    J
     
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  40. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree with NBMJ! Well said.
     
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  41. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    The OP forgot one thing....

    If you are an avid collector who's obsession is tennis, you need:

    As many racquets as your fuzzy heart desires!
     
    #41
  42. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I have dropped off 6-10 racquets to be strung at one time. That is the entire point of my post. Maybe YOU would be wasting your money if you had more than 5, some other people would be wasting thier money if they had more than three.

    Ability has very little to do with it. Yea, I referenced ability in my examples, but nowhere mentioned it in the contributing factors. A 14 year old clay court tournament player with heavy topspin strokes may break strings in hours, where a 30 year old 5.5 S&V player may have his strings last months.

    J
     
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  43. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    aye....people change and use racquets for the most unusual reasons at times...things like one racquet looking nicer to them, even if they dont play as well with it. the key is to get your mojo being the same from hit to hit, and for that, best to not keep screwing around with the gear

    Kevin Kim did that not so long ago on the pro tour. He was using some racquet and struggling and suddenly switched to the Volkl T10MP Gen1 from a different brand (i dont think he was even sponsored) and suddenly started performing lots better..sometimes a racquet can give you a psychological boost as well as a performence boost..the key is to determine if the boost will only last for the day or a week, or if it will be something long lived

    sorry man, havent seen you post that, but you're a TP who knows his stuff, so not surprising..it's just basic info. i've had people switch frames in the middle of lessons, or even want to finish the lesson with one of my frames. most of my lessons are using something reasonable framewise these days, but i've observed that many of them are strung too tightly or using poily when they dont need it, and struggle unecessarily with that. thankfully, i dont ever get ps85 or pc600 lessons anymore..those were usually the worst <even worse than a pantyhose lesson>
     
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  44. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Firstly, no one, well at least not me, is talking about how good you, or anyone else is.

    Secondly does the fact that someone won the state open with a borrowed racquet make it a good idea? What is the point of posting that? If someone decided to play a tournament, and borrowed a racquet from a friend, would you think that he really cared about winning or losing?

    People have defaulted matches on the pro tour because they didn't have enough racquets. That is just stupid.

    I dunno about serious about being "good" but if you are serious about winning you don't neglect to prepare.

    I have spare shoes and laces in my bag, does that make me a little obsessive? Maybe. Will I ever have to default a match because I broke a shoelace, or tore a shoe? No.

    J
     
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  45. jakshemash

    jakshemash Rookie

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    I'm a younger Carl based on what my coaches have said about my ability and possible future career, but for me tops is 12 racquets because being in europe, although i play on different surfaces and customise differently, even in a big match the most racquets i'd use is maybe between 7 and 9, and i use strings that aren't that durable with a modern spin/power all court game.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
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  46. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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    Exactly, this is why I stock up 4 I Radical for only for about $250. Nowaday one new racquet can cost that much beside the gimmick technology . Save money for strings, balls, courts, tournaments and lessons.
     
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  47. snoopy

    snoopy Professional

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    Ok you've convinced of the need for multiple identical racquets. Now how do I mangae them?

    With 2 racquets it's easy, same string and tension and just rotate them.

    But how do I manage three or more? Do I keep one as a last resort stick (eg string with poly) while using the other two as my main frames? If I break a string on one of my main sticks should I restring them both after I leave the courts? Do I rotate all three frames or just my two primary frames?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
    #47
  48. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    nobody ever told me not to wear hose....btw - got any pictures?
     
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  49. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    no..the strategy and technique is to try NOT to look when they bend over to pick up balls....extend your left foot <or right>, do a 180 pivot, and have your back to the panty hose ;O
     
    #49
  50. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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    For my 4 I. Radical, I leave one unstrung - this is the backup if one of the others cracked - I had bad experience with Head racquets that they don't last but I like how they swing and feel.

    For the rest of the three, I string two at 56 and one at 58 (mark them). I don't rotate them. I restring if I break it, if I don't break it after 15 hours or so I will switch to another one for another 15 hours or so. Then cut and restring two of them. And play with the third one.
     
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