I gave away my secret, need your input on this!

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by phrito, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. phrito

    phrito New User

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    I am a 4.0 player and use a Babolat Pure Drive w/ gut strings. I'm pretty consistent on most shots and have decent power. My weakness though is my forehand is inconsistent and lately my volleys have been off. I bought my 12 yr old daughter a Wilson BLX Pro Staff Junior and when showing her a few things I noticed that I could really hit it well.

    The other night I used that racquet in practice and everybody on the court noticed that I all of a sudden had a forehand and great volleys. When they noticed I was using a different racquet, I gave up my secret. My question is this, why can I hit this 26" racquet strung at 48# so much more consistently?

    I definitely have to swing harder so I got kinda tired, and my backhand (my fav shot) lost a little power, but everything else was better. Honestly, I think I hit better with this racquet. Is it the light frame, low tension strings, shorter frame or what? I'd rather not, but I'm considering getting me one! W

    What are your thoughts?
     
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  2. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    Try lower powered strings in your PD first.
     
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  3. corners

    corners Legend

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    I'm a big fan of shortened racquets, myself. I usually play with 26 1/2" midsizes. Shorter frames are easier to handle and I find I'm more accurate on both serves and groundstrokes. Also, a shorter frame with a swingweight of, say, 310, packs the same punch as one with a swingweight of 326, so I get greater headspeed on most shots with greater plow. On volleys, this greater effective swingweight is really nice in terms of plow, and shorter frames are easy to maneuver. One does give up some reach on volleys, though, and a little speed and spin on serves.

    But as far as a 26" frame that is super light, I've never played for more than a couple minutes with one, and that was a Volkl PB10 Junior. But if I were you I'd either pick up another of those PS Juniors or some other junior model and see if your improved performance sticks around, or whether it was just a honeymoon with a little lady.

    If 26" frames really do improve your game dramatically, you could also take an inch off the handle of your favorite frame, or if that's too much for you, some other frame that you like. That would also tell you if it's the length of the very light weight that is grooving with your game.
     
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  4. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    Weight, power level (strings, tension, not sure about jr racket, maybe lower power)
     
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  5. phrito

    phrito New User

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    It's pretty crazy. I think I'm going to keep playing with it for a week or so. I also got a PS Six.One 95 to see if there's just something about the Wilson frame...even though the Jr is much different build than the 95. I'm dang tempted to demo a Jr Pure Drive and see what it's like and go up just a tad on the tension. I know it's not "cool" but it sure felt good whipping that light, small racquet around and smashing balls! What racquet is 26 1/2" ? That would be an interesting play as well.
     
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  6. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

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    Maybe the key is that you can swing harder, meaning the less power gives you more control. But people do have success cutting down frames. I keep my pinky off the frame when I serve, so when I use a standard length frame it's like a 27.5 :).
     
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  7. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    If you measure most of the old Fischer control sticks, they were really about 26.5" long, as were some other European frames. Some of the Junior frames are pretty high quality these days, so they should be pretty solid. Just be careful of the small grips. That could hurt your arm.
     
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  8. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Babolat Pure Drive with Gut? If the tension is less than 75 lbs, I'm surprised you hit any balls in the court.
     
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  9. brownbearfalling

    brownbearfalling Hall of Fame

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    It's physics.

    With the shorter frame, you get more maneuverability. Hence your volleys are better. And you can play better since it is easier to swing the racquet around. Racquet head speed is something a lot of people don't have enough of.

    With a longer, bigger frame (wider, more head size), you get more power because the racquet has more leverage.

    The conclusion, if you truly like the "more maneuverable" feel, find a standard length racquet that is more maneuverable. Yes the PS blx 95 is a good candidate, not because it is Wilson brand but because the frame is thinner and smaller head size.

    If you want to stick to trying racquets in the wilson line, I would suggest the Blx six one team or the Blx blade 98. But every brand has a racquet that might be suitable for you. You guidelines for picking out some would be headsize 100-90, weight relatively similar to your pure drive, and beam width that is thinner than the pure drive.

    Regarding the strings, dropping the tension on your strings might give you the feel that you're looking for.

    On a side note, the reason you shouldn't play with a junior racquet is because:
    1. it does take more effort to hit the ball. This will end up being a disadvantage to you in matches etc.
    2. The shorter racquet has more shock. Junior racquets aren't made to handle the fast pace and heavy spinning balls that you might run into. Of course if that's not a problem for you, then a junior racquet might be ok. Just watch out for wrist and elbow injury.
     
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  10. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    BLX Pro Staff Junior? I find it too lightweight even for 12 year old girl, but it is fine for hitting with "green" balls. See to it that you don't switch to even shorter racquet and celluloid balls :)
     
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  11. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Why, you can gently push the ball, Roddick style.
     
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  12. jom

    jom New User

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    #12
  13. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    #13
  14. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I agree a 100%.
     
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  15. phrito

    phrito New User

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    ?? Tell me more about that. The recommended tension is up to 62 lbs and mine are at 61. Is it the gut that makes you say it needs to be so tight or the frame? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
     
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  16. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    OK, here's my secret ...

    I shortened my Redondo mid down to 26-15/16", including the bumper. And it feels a hell lot better to me.
     
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  17. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    75 pounds is an exaggeration.

    If you play OK with your tension at 61 (that's what I would string it at) then don't think about it too much.

    Have you thought about using a hybrid with NG and poly to get more control?
     
    #17
  18. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The combination of springy powerful gut and a powerful large head sized racket results in a racket that will launch the ball like a rocket.
    A Pure Drive (and really all modern 100 or more sq in rackets) are meant to be played with a stiff string such as polyester (or hybrid) which will limit the string deflection that occurs with a hard-hit ball.
    If you use full-bed gut you have to string it very high to have a controllable stringbed. 75 lbs would not be out of the ballpark. (vs. much lower tension for polys)
     
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  19. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    Babolat PD with a lively poly is still uncontrollable. Even more for a 4.0
     
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  20. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    honeymoon period?

    i often play better for a little while with someone elses racquet, then everything goes back to normal..
     
    #20
  21. phrito

    phrito New User

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    Thanks for all the input. There is definitely a size, weight distribution difference with the PS 26" and I can most certainly take my full swing and rarely hit it long. Obviously, I lose a lot of power, but heck it may be worth it.

    With my PD, I can serve great and my more consistent backhand is great. It's the forehand that flies long (bad mechanics I'm sure).

    Maybe a less powerful string would get my PD in the court (sure hate to cut off $65 strings!), so I'll give that a shot. That'll be cheaper than new racquets!
     
    #21
  22. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    +1

    I agree here.

    OP: You're using a hugely powerful frame with the most powerful strings you can buy and you're wondering why you can't keep control of the ball? Nothing in your current setup even remotely comes close to a "control" situation. You have a rocket launcher, that explains your trouble.

    I don't recommend changing *everything* though. Its best to change a little at a time.

    #1 if you have lead on it, remove it

    #2 stop using gut. String it up with a premium syn gut, try Babolat Nv. Y. STring it @ 62 lbs.

    Take long, full swings. let us know where the balls land. If they're still landing long, then try 64 lbs.

    If they still land long, then the racquet is adding too much power. Try a more flexible, 18x20 stringbed.
     
    #22
  23. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Have you tried choking up on your PD by 1" while hitting forehands?
     
    #23
  24. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

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    Have you thought about the fact that the Jr only comes with a grip size of 4" or 4 1/8"? Maybe it's the grip size that is affording you more control. Have you tried a regular (27") PD with a 4 1/8" grip?

    Personally I LOVE the power and control with my PD strung with full gut at 60#. Tension drops about 10% within 4-6 weeks regardless of play but then maintains well. Noticeable difference between 55# and 60# nat gut. I'm gonna try 62 and 64 next time.
     
    #24

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