modern racquet manufacturers are clueless.

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by stanley-w, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. stanley-w

    stanley-w New User

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    the modern racquets have more stiffness ,less plowthrough,lighter and therefore more prone to tennis elbow.the stiffness ratings are getting higher that you cannot get a 12 oz stick with a ra of under 55 or 60.when are they going to learn players need comfort and safety for their arms.
     
    #1
  2. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,110
    I have been thinking along the same lines lately. Hence, I've gone back to oldies. The heck with new frames.
     
    #2
  3. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,505
    Location:
    The crappest town in Britain
    Actually, I think the manufacturers are geniuses. Unfortunately, they're evil geniuses.

    What they have done over the last 20 years is tell people that a lighter racket will give them more power. When people use a lighter frame, it feels like they are swinging faster and they feel more shock at impact, and that fools them into thinking they really are hitting the ball harder (even if they're actually hitting weaker shots than before).

    The lower and lower swingweights have lead people to arm the ball more and more in an attempt to create enough swing speed to get the power and spin they're looking for (which they never quite get). And, the more people arm the ball, the more they crave a lower swingweight. It's a vicious cycle.

    20 years ago, the Wilson Profile 2.7 OS was considered a granny stick despite being well over 13 oz and having a 350+ swingweight. Now, a 12-oz stick with 330 swingweight is considered far too heavy for anyone below 4.0 to play with. Genius.
     
    #3
  4. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,690
    Not in my books; I think I'm around 3.5 and I love the 6.1. 95 BLX Amplifeel and I couldn't go lighter then this:

    Head Size:
    95 sq. in. / 612.9 sq. cm.
    Length: 27in / 68.58cm
    Strung Weight: 12.2oz / 345.86g
    Balance: 10 pts HL
    Swingweight: 324
    Stiffness: 66

    There seem to be a good amount of engineering gone into these latest models; not limited to the shock absorbing technologies (basalt), but overall feel, maneuverability, power and so forth...
    One can feel the progress moving from the older KFactor 95, to the BLX version and finally to the Amplifeel one.

    I was also impressed with the model Djokovic is using HEAD IG Speed MP 310 and although it's a tad light, it's superior to raquets with similar weight (such as the Babolat APD Cortex).
     
    #4
  5. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,153
    Location:
    UK
    I think youre right.

    I fell into the trap of using lighter rackets and it did me no good at all. In fact the only positive was that I realised I couldnt actually play with lighter rackets.

    I have my Dunlop Bio 300 at about 320g static weight and that is the lightest I will go. My Prince is 350g.

    The extra weight just means I can swing a lot gentler and get easy access to power and depth, which in turn makes it easier to place the ball with some degree of accuracy as I am not taking wild, thrashing swings. Plus, playing against hard hitters, the heavier sticks are great for blocking returns and volleys.

    I am a very average sized, average strength intermediate, but using a heavier stick is not a problem.
     
    #5
  6. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    it would be nice if every brand had at least one high swing weight, low stiffness, headlight stick in their model range.

    give us some choice please.
     
    #6
  7. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,425
    Remember the era of "ultra light" racquets? The sub 8oz campaign. I wonder how many people had to quit playing tennis because of the arm/shoulder/wrist issues they encountered during that time?
     
    #7
  8. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    Windsor, England
    I would suggest everyone tries Angell rackets.

    I've always played with "classic" rackets until I discovered Angell (formerly Vantage). Especially the 63RA racket in the range, plays better than any "modern" racket I've ever tried, honestly it is a joy to use!
     
    #8
  9. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,909
    Please also let it be borne in mind that the "modern" game (2HBH, extreme topspin accomplished by extreme grips and arm-disloating swing trajectories) that is being driven down the throats of enthusiasts (directly, by tennis instructors, who insist it is essential to play this way to be competitive; and indirectly, by the pros we love, who are playing in this idiom to earn their living) is probably not compatible with more classic equipment. Try taking a Nadal-style cut at a forehand with a Max 200g and you'll see what I mean. :(
     
    #9
  10. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    I agree that today's tools are better adapted to today's game. However, after a few days of practice, I think I got as good as generating topspin with the Max 200g as with a Pure Drive borrowed from a tennis instructor who challenged me to try it. The ball from the Pure Drive may have had a bit more spin, but not enough to justify the unpleasant feel coming through the frame. Max 200g's flexibility allows for serious spin if you use the proper technique and low 50s tension. Its weight though may challenge your timing as the match progresses.
     
    #10
  11. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    It was likely already too late; but the world ignored me when I said the Pure Control was a better racket than the Pure Drive over a decade ago ;) . If only 'they' had listened. :)
     
    #11
  12. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,069
    Location:
    Toronto
    Same here except for Donnay X and X-Dual series - I think they play like the old racquets, but I LOVE the old Prince frames as well
     
    #12
  13. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,909
    I'm with you on all counts, and for the sake of full disclosure, as a former college player and ITF juniors player now creeping into his mid-40's, I use old late 80's/early 90's Fischer frames mostly nowadays. I can grab a Max 200g, and achieve lots of topspin too, but it's much harder work than with a 'tweener frame - that's my point. It seems as though "crutch"-type frames once intended as an equalizing tool for the oldest, youngest, and worst players are now the norm, but really aren't the best for intermediate to advanced players, who would ultimately benefit from frames that don't filter out faulty form and technique.

    When I get a bit rusty and/or sloppy with my midplus Fischers, I'll take out an old Kneissl White Star Pro Masters or Snauwaert Golden Mid for a diagnostic hit... "Oh, right: that's how I'm supposed to hit through the ball! Sheesh." :)
     
    #13
  14. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,110
    Yeah, totally agree.

    Nice. :)
     
    #14
  15. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,505
    Location:
    The crappest town in Britain
    Yeah, the "modern game" isn't really all that modern. 20 years ago, Jim Courier was the #1 player in the world hitting heavy topspin and 2HBH with a PS6.0 85. There were plenty of people who were playing heavy topspin games back then, but they had to use their legs to do it. Those who armed the ball ran out of steam after a set.

    Nowadays, rather than equipment being designed so that such players can play better (getting the same spin and power with smoother, more reliable swings), it's instead designed so that more people can arm the ball for longer. They still have unreliable swings prone to major timing issues, but now they can arm the ball for three full sets rather than one. Hoorah!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
    #15
  16. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,110
    ^^ Interesting indeed. I wonder if coaches these days emphasize more arm technique instead of legs..?
     
    #16
  17. vwfye

    vwfye Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    SW Oregon
    When my form goes off, out comes my t2000! With a sweet spot slight smaller than the ball, you have to get it right. Then my 80s PKs are fantastic...
     
    #17
  18. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Basalt is just glass with a higher content of Al2O3 CaO and MgO. Neither of these confer any "absorbing" properties. Therefore, glass is the technology relevant here. Since glass+epoxy resin= (you guessed) fiberglass, the new "basalt technology" is nothing else than ... fiberglass technology. How do you feel about the novelty of your racket now?


    I've got news for the racket technology fans: there is a SiO2 technology coming up. It will be followed by a silica technology within a couple of years. Bright future.

    Another famous technology with excellent vibration dampening properties was the Lignin technology. It was concomitant with the cellulose technology for a good number of years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
    #18
  19. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,973
    Location:
    S. FL/Maine
    Dunlop has kept using the same molds for a while.... Look at the grommet compatibility. I love some old frames though.... But I have to play with the latest PJ... A happy medium in the Bio Max 200G.
     
    #19
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,271
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    New stiffer rackets are geared for the young and still strong.
    All you old farts are complaining, but their new rackets are NOT for you.
    They are for a 20 year old with good tendons, ligaments, body, eyesight, and short term tennis shelf life.
     
    #20
  21. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Singapore
    You'll probably have to keep on wondering.... cos their arms and wrists are so badly hurt that they are not even able to type on a keyboard to post in this forum... :lol:

    I almost became one of them yearning for the sub 9oz Head TiS5/6/7 when it was introduced.

    On the other hand, isn't tennis elbow caused by repeated off-sweetspot contacts? So pros may enjoy extra light sticks whereas mere mortals like us need heavy ones to absorb the evil vibrations? :confused:
     
    #21
  22. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    687
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL U.S.A.
    They were hitting the ball hard in the late 80's/early 90's but you really can't compare what they were doing then versus what they're doing to the ball now. The combination of technique and poly strings fundamentally changed the geometry of the court due to the spin and pace that can be applied.

    From a 2011 ESPN article: "The players tell us they can swing with everything they have and, in the last 25 percent of the flight, the ball disappears onto the court," said Ron Rocchi, Wilson's global tour equipment manager. "[Roger] Federer and Nadal can create angles from the baseline that didn't exist four, five years ago. They can hit a ball three feet off the service line and see it bounce into the stands."
     
    #22
  23. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    Windsor, England
    Yes the Biomax200G isn't a bad modern racket. It has some weight, and is well balanced. A bit too stiff for me, but I have used one successfully for doubles.

    The custom Angell 63RA rackets are much better though, in fact the only modern rackets I really like to play with!
     
    #23
  24. stanley-w

    stanley-w New User

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    I have never heard of so many cases of tennis elbow in my 30 yrs of playing as recently.the stiffnes ratings just keep rising while the wgt keeps falling.tennis should be a lifelong sport.It should not be restricted to those fortunate enough to have the elbow makeup to tolerate these new bats and tough luck for others.
     
    #24
  25. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,505
    Location:
    The crappest town in Britain
    One thing you're ignoring is court speed. Slower courts don't just slow the ball down; they also make it bounce higher (the ball kicks up rather than skipping). That combination of having more time to set up and striking the ball at a higher point makes it easier to hit heavy topspin and sharp angles regardless of the racket and strings you use.

    But that's not new. You could see the difference years ago between the type of points in the French Open compared to the US Open or Wimbledon. You can even see it for yourself today if you go from a slow outdoor court to a very fast indoor court.

    I noticed it myself when all the public courts in my home town were relaid with a much slower surface shortly after I started playing the game (all complete by the summer of '91). With the grippier surface, groundstrokes and serves bounced much higher and slower than before, and that made it easier to set up and hit heavy topspin and angles (and less effective to hit flat through the court and rush the net). Because of that, most of the people I grew up playing against played with high swing speeds, open-stance forehands, heavy topspin, etc.

    I've played several tournament and league matches over the last few years against older juniors and young adults who play the "modern" game with lighter rackets and poly strings, and it doesn't feel any different to the game I played 20 years ago.
     
    #25
  26. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,110
    Plus poly strings to boot.
     
    #26
  27. ChrisABC

    ChrisABC New User

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    I'd like to see manufacturers have racquets with very open string patterns, like the Snauwaert's Hi Ten 12 x 13.

    The closest I've got are some Spalding's with 14 x 18
     
    #27
  28. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,843
    #28
  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,271
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I'm an injured (torn foot tendons), old (64) and almost blind (-.75 glasses) player who just grabbed one of my old Mfil200's (12.4 oz, 18x20, 340SW, 15 gauge nylon at 54lbs.) racket, hit snot out of the ball, playing almost at 4.5 hard hitting levels, and I was shocked.
    Ain't the racket, it's the dummy wielding it.
     
    #29
  30. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    687
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL U.S.A.
    It's not the courts. Many ATP guys who played in the 1990's and saw the poly strings become prominent late in that decade pretty much say the same thing (ie. something fundamentally changed with these strings in how the game was played). I'm not sure that comparing what you see playing juniors or amateurs is a good proxy for the action/pace of a professional's shot
     
    #30
  31. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,614
    If he's a Wilson or Pacific shareholder, I bet he feels great – the real innovation is in raw materials cost!
    At last, environmentally-friendly beach tennis.
    That was back when they were doing real R&D. These modern marketing departments talk as though new racket technology just grows on trees...


    Like a couple of previous posters, I have a preference for the feel of older frames in general and a tendency to roll my eyes at some interpretations of the phrase "modern tennis", but the current Donnay frames, the one Angell frame I have demo'd, and several others feel great to me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
    #31
  32. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4,040
    I have yet to find one single racquet made in the last 5 years that I like. Racquet evolution seems to have stopped at the V-Engine mid. Anything that came afterwards is useless.

    How difficult could it be to produce a 12 oz. frame with a stiffness rating under 60 and a healthy swingweight? I think it is time to stock up on old school racquets and I am not even that old!
     
    #32
  33. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Try the Boris Becker London Tour. It fits your requirements and is dirt cheap these days. A really nice stick. The PK Redondo C also fits the description.
     
    #33
  34. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,110
    I've been shopping on the bay for the last two weeks, getting old racquets. Played with an old Donnay PC1, plus a Head Edge today. They feel so good. Some say it's the graphite itself that is different.
     
    #34
  35. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,505
    Location:
    The crappest town in Britain
    I don't agree that the change was fundamental. Spaghetti strings caused a fundamental change because they interacted with the ball differently than normal strings, which is why they were outlawed. Polys, on the other hand, react in the same way but to a greater extent (like a better version of kevlar).

    There were already guys on tour who could put plenty of spin on the ball, and poly strings helped them put even more on it (or put the same spin with a flatter stroke, allowing them to hit harder and still get the ball to drop like Agassi). But, there were still plenty of guys having success rushing the net after 2000. It wasn't until the courts were slowed down that the grinders rose to dominate the tour. That higher, slower bounce combined with even more spin from the strings tipped the balance in their favor.

    As for the comparing the juniors, I think it's more pertinent given that we're discussing modern gear. Quite a lot of pros are using old molds (like the Pro Tour/Radical mold that came out 20 years ago) and beefing them up to fairly high swing weights. Juniors and young adults, on the other hand, use modern stock frames for the most part.
     
    #35
  36. stanley-w

    stanley-w New User

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    dude...sounds like your bragging.

    sorry our genetic gene pool is not as good as yours.congrats on your genetically superior arm.
     
    #36

Share This Page