Let's hear it for people who play with sticks in CUSTOMIZED form!

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by slowfox, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Just added 8 grams of lead at 3&9 and 4 grams at 12 on my pro open! Swings fairly solid now instead of whippy...should be interesting!
     
    #51
  2. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    TW has length up to 29 inches there. Is there a 29 inch racquet, 95 sq in out there for me in the stock universe?
     
    #52
  3. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    On top of customizing for performance reasons, I customize for cosmetic and sound reasons (added some power pads to make my racquet sound like a rifle).
     
    #53
  4. mikeespinmusic

    mikeespinmusic Rookie

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    I can pretty much say 99% of Australia does not use any form of customising. I have to order my stuff from the states.
     
    #54
  5. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    You'll want to counter weight low on the handle so that you still have maneuverability... worth it to make it a bit more headlight than it was before all the lead, or at least the same balance.
     
    #55
  6. KMV

    KMV New User

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    I agree with this.

    I use a tour 90 that I lead up to weigh 13 ounces, 2 g on the head, rest on the handle.. I can play with stock racquets as well, but feel most comfortable with this set up, and used this for the last 6 yrs..
     
    #56
  7. ST VINCENT FAN

    ST VINCENT FAN New User

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    Where abouts in Australia are you?? There are a couple of places in Sydney that have this service, both guys that I know are doing and have done customisation for current ATP & WTA players. PM me if you want details :)
     
    #57
  8. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi movdqa -

    Not any current models, but there are some oldies. I've hit with the Wilson 6.1 Prostaff Stretch Midplus, and it's a really nice frame. The Yonex RD 70 Long, the Head Radical Tour MP XL have a lot of fans. The Extended Kneissl's have a near cult status but are pretty tough to find.

    http://www.racquetfinder.com/?name=...ains=&crosses=&current=N&max_price=&x=26&y=17

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
    #58
  9. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    The only 29 incher is the Big Bubba, headsize 137 sq in. That's just a bit big for me. They have the POG Longbody listed but not in stock.

    There are hairpin sets for sale at Stringforums and the seller(s) will build to spec so I could get a set of frames that way but I'm actually pretty happy with my Prestige XLs. I think that the XLs out there are Radical variants though I wouldn't be surprised to see Prestige variants too.
     
    #59
  10. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    The pros also wear shoes and sports clothing of the correct size.

    If you, Lilguy, wear shoes and sports clothing of the correct size then, by your simpleminded logic, you're only doing so because the pros do it.

    I take it you're not in a line of work that demands much independent thought. Toll booth agent maybe? :)
     
    #60
  11. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Oops... I see now you were asking about 29 inch frames. 29 inches just seems so incomprehensible to me that I mistakenly read 28. Don't you play with 28 inch head pro stocks?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
    #61
  12. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    You keep putting words in the mouths of others.

    Do you wear shoes precisely your size? Or are you willing to save a few bucks and pick any old shoe off the discount table that's +/- a size or two?

    As tools both tennis shoes and racquets should fit one's body.

    And any experienced tennis player knows how subtle the game is. Very small changes in racquet head angle on any axis can have a huge effect on ball flight.

    Perhaps we shouldn't be too hard on Lilguy. Based on his comments it's quite obvious that he lacks court experience. He probably has not yet experienced the difference between merely "getting the ball over the net and anywhere in the court" versus hitting with intelligent, deliberate precision based on a sound strategy. Those are very different levels of the game.

    If, in Lilguy's game experience, he's simply aiming for the entire court, then his racquet fit probably matters a lot less than even mid-level players, especially since he and his routine opponents are probably not hitting with much pace or spin.
     
    #62
  13. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

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    In addition to providing much valuable information in other posts (thank you) - Jack, you are a voice of sanity here :) .
    I just happened to be looking at another thread and found another post from Lilguy1456.

    "Rofl at this. Nicely done. I usually don't even give sticks that much time. I have a bad habit of buying, hitting once or twice, then ONTO THE FORUMS it goes. I guess it has to be 'love at first forehand' for me!"

    As I mentioned earlier, I'm very picky about my specs and I used my customized frames for twelve years. I appears that for someone who can play with any number of frames, your racquet buying history seems to tell a different story. Maybe a little customization and you won't be constantly changing frames :) .
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
    #63
  14. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Grow up man. I am 56 years old and been playing over 35 years. I know what I like and I like to IMPROVE the performance of my rackets with lead tape. I absolutely know the rackets play better for me after I tweak them. I also have a realistic picture of my current and past abilities. If you don't like to customize, than don't do it. But, to berate those that do is kind of stupid.

    I am not berating those that don't customize their rackets but I do feel that you can tweak a racket to personal preference for anyone at the 3.5 level or above. That's is my opinon and I don't really care if you think it is valid. If you don't agree, simply do what ever you want.

    I also think there are many good rackets in stock form that can be made better with a few minor tweaks.

    I know I don't have ATP level ability but the fact that the vast majority of pros do at least some tweaking does indicate that stock rackets can be improved and tuned to individual needs.
     
    #64
  15. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Prjacobs -

    Hey thanks man, and I think you raise a central point. I'd hazard a guess that those of us who modify hang onto our frames a bit longer, trying out different set ups before getting it just right or giving up on it entirely, where as those who don't modify are more likely looking for the love at first forehand thing.

    To each his own I guess, but there are many times I will pick up a used racquet from fleabay, which from the looks of the notching on the crosses and the condition of the bumper guard has been hit with only a few hours. Once I hit with it, it's often pretty clear to me why it was sold that quickly. I'll restring, re-grip, add a dash of lead or silicone in the right places for seasoning, and the thing just comes to life. Being good at customization requires a little imagination and vision, and its often more art than science. Just had that experience recently with a nearly new Donnay XP Dual 102. Those who don't dabble in the art will often miss that diamond in the rough.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
    #65
  16. Centryx

    Centryx Semi-Pro

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    is putting caps on a racquet considered customized?
     
    #66
  17. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    yes, that qualifies.
     
    #67
  18. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    Moderators are removing my posts now (I guess they suspect trolling?)...they might be right, but nevertheless...:twisted:
     
    #68
  19. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    Well, it's well know among POG mid users, that this particular racquet is just average with stock specs but after a little leadtape placement it's a pro tour level stick in terms of playability & stability.
     
    #69
  20. ST VINCENT FAN

    ST VINCENT FAN New User

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    If you find a frame that's 80% there I think it's worth the effort to tinker with it until it feels right, I've done heaps with my Wilson Pro Staff 88 to get it just right and wouldn't play with any other racket at this point.
     
    #70
  21. Slitch

    Slitch Rookie

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    I like customising. It's like tuning you're car. With a little bit of work you can make it perform better. When I'm done I get a sense of pride because of the careful planning, calculating en executing. It makes my frame personal and makes me feel more in touch with my racket. I'm not really skilled enough to notice every bit of difference, but I think I do and that's what matters to me. The minimal mods I do are often more a placebo. Let's be honest, adding a OG and 6 grams of lead in the hoop will only add about 5% in weight.
     
    #71
  22. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    Sorry I offended so many very sensitive people. It was my fault, and i'll never do it again...
     
    #72
  23. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    No, I don't believe that's the problem.

    You just need to get some on-court experience to better appreciate the value of both good-fitting shoes and a good-fitting racquet.

    For mid- and upper-level players the racquet is a precision tool used at high speeds, often when nervous or "tight". The better it fits one's physique, biomechanics, and play style the more one can focus on the game and less on fighting the tool.

    Because squeezing size 10 feet into size 8 shoes is nearly impossible while you could conceivably whack a ball over the net with a frying pan less knowledgeable players don't appreciate a well fit racquet. Getting that fit perfect can also be time consuming and includes lots of variables: static weight, swing weight, head size, string pattern, flex, grip size, grip type, string type, string tension, etc. In other words, more factors than when choosing a shoe.

    I often thought it would be neat to build a "decision tree" of frames for new players demoing. Frames would be organized into a taxonomy of branching families.

    I'd probably start with:

    - High SW, High Weight
    - High SW, Low Weight
    - Low SW, High Weight
    - Low SW, Low Weight

    These four representative frames would be of mid-size and mid-flex and the first cut would determine arm and shoulder comfort relative to skill level and swing path.

    Once you figure out a general SW and static weight you'd move up the tree to head size and string pattern: Small/Dense, Small/Open, Large/Dense, and Large/Open.

    From there it's details of flex and balance.

    We serendipitously took this approach last year with our sons and the results really made sense looking back on it. My older son clearly gravitated towards lower weight, higher SW frames with large heads (100") and open patterns. He hits full western with lots of topspin.

    My younger son gravitated towards heavier, more evenly balanced control-oriented frames with smaller heads and tends to hit flat with great precision.

    During the demo process we could clearly see families of frames emerge in their demo likes and dislikes. It about six weeks and the systematic approach was well worth it.

    Unfortunately, most frame marketing is build around "control vs power" which doesn't make sense. And retail sales processes usually consist of, "feel how light this one swings! Oooohhh!" The way the industry treats its customers it's its own worst enemy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
    #73
  24. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    I feel like I owe YOU your own apology now...since you took all that time out of your day to write that...
     
    #74
  25. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    That's actually a great post on how to pick a frame IMO.

    -Fuji
     
    #75
  26. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    That's good stuff right there. I hope to get my daughters interested in tennis as they grow up and that sounds like a great way to pick out a racquet if/when the time comes. Hope I can remember that in a few years.
     
    #76
  27. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Question about customization: if I add 4 g of lead at 11:00 and 1:00, how many grams of weight should I add to the handle to return the racquet to its original balance? 4, 6 or 8 grams?

    thanks
     
    #77
  28. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    On my 2 Delta Core Legends, I placed lead on the 12:00 and 6:00 for stability and increase the depth of my flat shots.
    I will do the same on my other 4 Legends when they arrive in the mail.
     
    #78
  29. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    You can use the tool below for a very precise answer:

    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/customizationReverse.php

    When entering the position of the lead use it's middle section roughly. For example, if you add four 4-inch segments of tape at 3/9 the center is usually around 20.5" or so. If 1/4" tape you'd enter 4g at 20.5"

    As you get towards 12 or 6 it can get a little tricky figuring out the center of that additional mass but it still works.
     
    #79
  30. mikeespinmusic

    mikeespinmusic Rookie

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    Oh cool. But technically I still consider a couple of places in Australia as 1% :p


    I'll let you know if I can get some racquets matched though :)

    Thanks.
     
    #80
  31. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I grew up with wood rackets and then played with Kennex Black Aces that weighed close to 14 oz stock for years. That's what I'm used to and that's what my strokes are grooved to.
    No one makes 14oz rackets. Only way to get a racket I like is to customize it.
    (I do have two Black Aces which are stock, though.)
     
    #81
  32. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    I never play with anything stock and I dont have any magical stat that I aim for though I do prefer Mid to Mid+ heavy spec 18x20 headlite frames. But Ive never found a racket that couldnt be improved a little. Especially since I have somewhat idiomatic strokes. Full (ie Extreme) Eastern Backhands do produce immense racket head speed when working well. I also have a big return game which requires quickfire/predictable/controlled racket response.

    One thing Ive noticed is customized sticks do tend to require more frequent stringing. In my case it is probably because my mods are designed to somewhat maximize my second serve, returns and backhand. I really notice it when my second serves start going out by a few inches (or lose movement from spin) so it then becomes a message to change strings. In stock form it is often easier to adjust with the wrist and keep the ball in on seconds. The thing is my twist seconds lose "sting" in those cases when the strings are losing snap back and I would have been better off restringing anyways. One can always add a little more spin but at a certain point it is sacrificing effectiveness for simply putting the ball in.

    Still I like hitting with different sticks for fun especially during friendly doubles matches. In some ways a racket is like a guitar... different guitars have different songs in them and the different experiences can inform how you play with your favorite modded racket.

    For example, I just received my new Becker London Tour... a little lead and it became an ultimate comfort racket for serve practice. Sure my ultra modded prestige MP beats it for second serves and backhands but it is nowhere near as comfy as the very soft London T (which is my new non poly serve practice stick). The BLT reminds me of those good old days when I could get away with huge flat serves and pinpoint placement (today you need more unpredictable spin). My IG MP Prestige is my go to for match play but the London will probably take 75% of my practice serves just to save may prestige the wear and tear of string jobs and to remind me how much fun it is to actually aim for lines on a huge flat serves.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
    #82
  33. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    OP still around? One thing I remember about the Yonex RDX500 90 is that the stock grip it came with was awful. God-awful. I don't know how you play with that thing because the first thing I did was replace that grip with something 6 millions times better.
     
    #83
  34. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    It's a little odd...the bottom of it isn't flared at all. Simply wrapped my overgrip a little more on the bottom end though. Not a huge deal. The grip itself I have on them wasn't original though, since I got them used.....so I'm not sure what it was originally like...
     
    #84
  35. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    God I love that stick though....I can't even get over the feel....
     
    #85
  36. kpktennis

    kpktennis Rookie

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    Brb bro going to go put a spoiler on my kid's tricycle and inflate the tires with helium *flex*. OP's post was pretty disgusting to read and made him seem like a proud (probably 3.0) moron that thinks he deserves a medal. For all of you bashing lilguy, I don't think he is against customizing so much as he is the uber-annoying attitude/mindset that most people (e.g. OP) approach it with, whether it's to seem 'macho' or 'different'. Oh, pshhht, your racquet is only 350 grams? Just last week I leaded my custom-painted St. Vincent's Prostaff and got that baby up to a clean 407 grams, forehand is a rocket now.

    Bottom line is, most people would be better served applying that obsessive/perfectionist attitude to tinkering with/improving their strokes.

    Nothing wrong with customizing though, I enjoy a racquet w/ a rhinoceros calf leather handle strung with manatee gut @ 65 lbs just as much as the next man. :twisted:
     
    #86
  37. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    I prefer to dip my strings in giant squid ink to promote spin/disguise and real Vermont maple syrup on the grip to improve tack... any advice on how to keep the ants from finding my racket bag?
     
    #87
  38. kpktennis

    kpktennis Rookie

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    Well if you're using real Vermont syrup instead of Québécoise syrup (experts know this offers the best tack and acts as a natural insect-repellant), dousing your bag in Apple Cider Vinegar and letting it cure underground for 48 hours ought to do the trick
     
    #88
  39. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks buddy...finally someone who agrees
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
    #89
  40. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    there is merit in playing with a certain spec/racquet and not changing it.. keeping it constant so that you can make adjustments to your technique.

    i haven't changed any specs on my main stick for a month. i use the same type of strings and don't vary the tensions by more than 3 lbs. I think i will keep it this way until mid summer (end of july) at least. Then will probably make some adjustments.

    sure, it's useful to tinker to get to a comfortable spec, but at some point you need for your stick to be consistent so you can improve your technique without having to adjust to new changes int he stick all the time.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
    #90
  41. kpktennis

    kpktennis Rookie

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    If you add rosemary to a potato soup that has a crap recipe you still have a crummy soup, except now it's just the way you like it.
     
    #91
  42. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    Oh, how I love that stick.
     
    #92
  43. KMV

    KMV New User

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    I have been using tour 90s leaded up to 395 g (strung), with weight added at 12 and handle. have used it for the last year or so.. Also use a volkl pb10 mid leaded up for practice
     
    #93

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