Modifying the PK Ki 5 315 to be more like PD 2012?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by GrandSlam45, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

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    I just demo'd the ProKennex Ionic Ki 5 315, and wow, what a comfy racquet! I've been playing with a Pure Drive 2012 the last couple of months, but suffering tennis elbow problems because of the frame stiffness.

    The Ki 5 315 is almost a perfect replacement, but I find it lacks the power and pop of the PD 2012. However, the Ki 5 315 demo shipped with a crappy set of strings and I have no idea what tension, so perhaps that's part of the problem?

    I'm wondering... if I add some lead tape and use low string tension on the Ki 5 315, would that give me the power I desire?

    I've never used lead tape before... do I add it the 3 and 9 positions?
     
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  2. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    If the Prokennex Q5 racquets due out shortly are indeed stiffer (RA about 67 for the two weights), they would more closely approximate the Bab in terms of pop yet should still be fairly comfortable.
     
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  3. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    What I did to compensate that was going lower and lower with string's tension, around 40 was the lowest, now back to 45 (2 Ki5s) and 50 (1 Ki5s), you know because of those days.

    Going slower creates another issue, let's say some UFOs flying around, but after 3 weeks I found the proper balance.
     
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  4. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

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    Wow, 45 lbs seems pretty loose!

    I don't mind the low stiffness of the Ki 5 315, it just needs more power. I'm hoping maybe some lead and good strings will solve the problem.

    I also haven't tried the Donnay Formula 100 yet... that's next on the demo agenda. But so far the Ki 5 315 is looking pretty good.
     
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  5. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I play with the Ki 5x, which is just a Ki 5 with a longer handle, and I've demoed the Ki 5. I used to play with lead at 3 and 9 o'clock, and it worked fine, but then I tried it at 12 o'clock and the difference was dramatic. It plays much more like a Pure Drive that way. The sweet spot is higher and I seem to get more bite on the ball. It lets me hook that cross court topspin forehand the way I did with my APDGT.

    Try it first with about 6 grams at 12 o'clock. Don't add any lead to 3 and 9 until you've tried it at 12, and then tweak it if you like.
     
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  6. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    From another perspective, maybe you don't really want the PK to play like a Pure Drive. Pop isn't everything. Control is just as important as pop, as is arm comfort.

    <begin rant> The Pure Drive is a missile launcher, but often you don't want a missile launcher. Unless your missile is very well placed, it just serves as good pace for the opponent to send back a missile. Hitting hard is not as great as it seems when your opponent can handle hard shots and sometimes use them to punish you. Now I am a low level 5.0 playing against higher level players in the 5.0 and above tournaments, I see that my power shots aren't that effective and had to stop driving shots with good pace right into my opponents preferred strike zone. Now I have to first move them around with deep shots that bounce close the shoulder or close to the knee so that my opponents can't easily attack my shots. In this case precise placement with a precise trajectory are more important than outright power. There lies the fault with the Pure Drive. That level of precision is really difficult to obtain with the PD.

    That brings up another point. A lot of pop actually comes from your opponent's ball. If you are playing against 3.0 players who have little or no pace, you will need a racquet that has considerable pop to generate pace. But when you play against some 5.5 monster whose typical rally shots have excellent pace, you don't need a missile launcher to return with good pace. My severely underpowered PSLGTs generate a seriously heavy ball when I have good pace to work with.

    So, pop is just a small part of the overall game. Yes, you may need it if you want to play at the 3.0-4.0 level and want to generate pace, but beyond that you start to see how important being able to control everything else really is. </end rant>

    Your question should actually be inverted. How can we modify the PDGT to play more like the PK Ki5 315? Now that's a real challenge.
     
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  7. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

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    Ramon: thanks for the tip! I will try adding some lead to the 12 o'clock position and see if that works for me.

    KenC: Your rant is duly noted. In my case, power and pop is more of a personal perference. I guess I've always enjoyed striking fear into my opponents with a big forehand or serve, letting them know who's boss. Plus, at the 4.0 level, there's a lot of guys who can't handle pace, so it can be an effective weapon.

    However, I played with the PK Ki5 again last night and kicked someone's ass, not with power and pace, but with consistency and placement. On the flip side, I too have had my ass kicked numerous times by guys using this same method.

    So your point is well taken. However, with the Ki5 I would still like to be able to hit big winners occasionally.

    Most importantly though is that the Ki5 is going to save my arm, whereas the PD 2012 was going to ruin it.
     
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  8. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Hey Grandslam, today I hit with the Ki5 for two hours and toward the end I was interested in seeing how much power I could generate while still keeping the ball in. My opponent was amazed at just how hard I cracked a few DTL shots with a good amount of topspin so that it dived down right before the line. That racquet is capable of generating a serious amount of pace and a seriously heavy ball. Coming from the PSLGT, the Ki5 is a rocket launcher to me.

    If you want a lot of power out of the Ki5, just string it with a good multi like Tecnifibre NRG2 at perhaps 54lbs, maybe even 52 lbs. If you have serious arm problems I would string it up with VS Touch at 54lbs or less. Natty gut at lower tension in a 100in. frame will definitely give you a big power boost without having to add lead to the hoop.
     
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  9. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    I think you guys are going a bit far with how much power it has. If anything I think it helps more with spin production, in my experience. Maybe it's what we're comparing it to?

    Anyway, it's low on weight and I've found significant improvements in controllable power with extra weight.
     
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  10. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    As far as strings go, I tried playtesting several multifilaments. I have a few favorites that I like, but ultimately, I settled on natural gut. Right now I have my Ki 5x strung with Klip Legend 16 at 60 lbs. It has more spin, feel, and controlled power than any multi, and surprisingly, the durability justifies its cost. The most durable multis last me about 10-12 hours before they either break or lose playability. With Klip Legend I've logged in over 24 hours of play so far, and it still plays like a fresh set. Unfortunately, it doesn't have much longer to go, but it already justified the price. I'm going to try Pacific Classic next and compare them.
     
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  11. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    How much tension loss do you have in 24+ hours of playtime with those strings?
     
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  12. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I have about an 18% total tension loss. Most of it occurred in the first 4 hours of play, and it was fairly level after that. This was during the hot, humid Florida summer, and I think the weather had something to do with it. Honestly, if I didn't measure the tension with RacquetTune, I would have no idea of the tension loss. The strings move less than an average multi, and they still bite into the ball like fresh gut.
     
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  13. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    How much are you adding?
     
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  14. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    6 grams at the 12 o'clock with nothing else is the configuration which brought out a noticeable difference towards a tweener racquet. I'm still trying to tweak it at this point. For some reason, that configuration was great for hard driving topspin and sharp angled topspin, but the tradeoff came with less power on slices and volleys. When I go with 2-6-2 (at 3, 12, 9 o'clock), it starts to feel too heavy. When I go with 2-4-2 it's more like the stock version with added stability and some benefit to topspin shots. I also tried putting 3 grams in the butt cap with 2-4-2, but it felt like it removed the original benefit of weight at the top. I'm going to keep trying.

    I've been keeping a log on a spreadsheet for every configuration, along with measurements and swingweight calculations. Yes, I'm way too compulsive about it! :)
     
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  15. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Ramón, :roll: I assume you'll share with us some part of that spreadsheet :mrgreen:

    I'm a little shy :oops: and I'll go with 1,2,1 and later 2,4,2 probably with 0,4,0 In a week or so I'll let you know my perception
     
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  16. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    If TW strung it it is 2 lbs over the middle for mono and 2 lbs under the middle for poly. First look up the specs and add lead to the PD 2012 up to match the KI. See how you like it and then play with tension and strings. How do you know the strings are crappy?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
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  17. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    That's really not possible. The PD weighs 11.1 oz and is 4 pts HL. The Ki 5 weighs 11.8 oz and is 7 HL. The closest thing you can do is add lead at 12 o'clock because that will alter the balance with the least amount of weight.
     
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  18. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    It is absolutely possible. 11.1 is 314 grams and 11.8 is 334 grams which means you can add a whopping 20 grams to play with modifying the PD. You add weight to the head and offset the weight by adding lead in the but cap. In this case more weight in the but cap to make it more HL. Mail the racket to me and I will fix it!
     
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  19. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    He's trying to modify the Ki 5 to play more like the PD, not the other way around.
     
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  20. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    What I am saying is he should modify the PD to the KI specs and then see how he likes the PD. He may not want to change after the mod.
     
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  21. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    The whole point of switching from the PD is tennis elbow. If you know of a way to make the PD arm-friendly with lead weights, you need to patent the idea. You'd be rich! :)
     
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  22. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    Adding lead to a racket sometimes helps with arm problems, especially with the PD due to a high RA, low swing weight.

    Poster still has not responded with what string and tension they are using which might be part of the problem. At the stock TW swing weight of 308 and a 72RA some players are going to have arm problems. To what degree depends on tension and strings. For some poly is going to be a arm killer. Still you can work with the racket, I have several customers playing natural gut/poly crosses at 50/46. I have others playing full gut at 45. There are many answers to this but more info from the poster is needed. I play with the PD 2012 rackets at 324 SW, full gut at 60/59lbs with no problems.
     
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  23. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

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    I'm currently playing with Technifibre NRG2 @ 53lbs. As I mentioned, this is quite comfy as long as I hit the sweet spot. But the mis-hits is what kills me.

    I've also experienced pain from serving with this racquet.

    I don't think strings and tension would help this.. it seems to be a frame problem.
     
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  24. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I had an APDGT, and tennis elbow is also the reason I switched to a Pro Kennex. I hit my share of off-center shots as well. I even notice on my Pro Kennex that when I hit a ball on the frame it doesn't even bother me that much.

    Soft multifilaments definitely help, but I'm glad I switched frames also. My elbow would have never healed this fully with my APDGT.
     
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  25. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    I agree. This is a soft setup.
     
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  26. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

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    I have used the KI5 off an on for over 3 years now and my impression is that this frame generates good power, a heavy ball and good comfort with a variety of strings. My favorites set up is to add 4/10 of an ounce to the handle, string it with BHB poly mains at 56#/Tourna multi crosses at 56# 17G on both gives me plenty of everything. Gut mains with a poly cross provides a bit more power, but scales down the control a bit. the technology takes away feel and often leads me to believe that I am not hitting with pace, when in reality I am. I like my melbournes as my go to stick right now, but the KI5 is an extremely easy to use players frame that I can just pick up and use regardless of how long it's been since the last time out I used it.
     
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  27. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

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    I agree with you about the subtlety of this racquet's power. The more I hit with it, the more I love it. I've been playing with a demo thus far, so I can't wait to buy one and modify it to suit my needs.

    So you recommend adding lead to the handle, but not the hoop? Does this give the frame more power or better balance?
     
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  28. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Once you get your racquet, there's nothing wrong with trying different configurations, like putting lead on the handle or the butt cap. I've tried putting lead in the butt cap before to counterbalance my lead in the hoop, but I didn't particularly like the results. That doesn't mean it won't work for everyone. Go ahead and try it, as long as it's reversible. I did put a heavier grip on my racquet (Wilson Shock Shield). I don't think it improved the way it played, but do like the feel of the new grip, so I'm keeping it.

    When you look at the specs, the Ki 5 is 7 pts headlight, which means the balance point is 7/8" below the middle of the frame. This makes it more headlight than the vast majority of racquets they sell at TW. Contrast that to the Pure Drive, which is 4 pts headlight. It seems to me that the stock Ki 5 is plenty head light as it is.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
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  29. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

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    For me it, it puts the frame at about 12.1-12.2 oz, nice HL balance and makes it feel more solid. I tried lead tape on the hoop several different ways and ultimately liked it better on the handle.
     
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  30. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    The hoop of the Ki5 is surprisingly stable even against heavy hitting 5.5s. So there is really no need to add lead at 3 and 9 to help torsional stability. If you want more power you can add a little lead at 12 to increase swingweight, but for TE I would think keeping a lower swingweight will be better for the elbow. More swingweight means the muscles (and thus tendons) have to deal with more moment of inertia, acceleration, and then deceleration. If you want to add lead, I would suggest putting some right in the throat area to increase plow thru, most likely right around the balance point as the racquet already has a nice balance. This will also help soften the impact the most. I would only put lead on the handle if the racquet is too light and head light for you. Lead in the handle really just increases the static weight, but the static weight of the 315 is fine as is. Only if you find yourself hitting regularly with heavy hitting ballcrushers would you need the extra mass in the handle.

    I see you are still interested in getting more power out of the Ki5. Drop the tension a few pounds and prepare early to take a good fast smooth swing at the ball and transfer your weight into the shot and you will be amazed at just how hard the stock Ki5 can hit a tennis ball. The real challenge becomes how to hit the ball with enough spin and low enough trajectory to keep the ball in.
     
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  31. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

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    "I see you are still interested in getting more power out of the Ki5. "

    I think this is mainly because I've been playing with Pure Drives since 2003, and recently then PD 2012 for the past 6 months.

    I've grown accustomed to the "free power" and my playing style has evolved with this stick, so it's pretty much all I know.

    So I will have to make adjustments and adapt to the Ki 5.

    What a great stick though... I played 2 days in a row the last 2 days and experience ZERO arm pain. I've never been able to do that for the past 10 years.
     
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  32. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I think you'll be just fine. Actually, I did something similar 3 or so years ago. I came back to tennis after a very long pause and didn't know what "modern" racquet to use, so I just bought the Pure Drive GT. In the beginning it was great to have all that pop but after 5-6 months of bi-weekly lessons and lots of practice my strokes adopted decent form and I found I had great power but very bad control. Demoing racquets I fell in love with the Pure Storm Limited GT for all its control but it was very low powered coming from the Pure Drive. It really is the polar opposite of the Pure Drive. But over time I found the right string tension and kept improving my strokes to where I was able to actually hit the ball even harder than I could with the Pure Drive and with much more spin.

    That's probably why I am optimistic that the stock Ki5 315 will be just fine for you, since the power loss that you are experiencing isn't nearly as drastic as what I had to overcome.
     
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  33. jonahnaturals

    jonahnaturals Rookie

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    I'm looking for a like button on this post to say "Amen." Nicely said.
     
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