Need advice from Pro Kennex gurus

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by xolair, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. xolair

    xolair New User

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    I am 52 years old, 3.5 player on a good day, and I split my time between singles and doubles. I play 1-2 times per week and spend some time with my ball machine when I can't find a partner. I have a pretty strong serve and forehand, and am developing enough confidence in my 1HBH to swing all out during matches. When I allow myself to swing all out, my backhand actually produces better passing shots than the forehand but with a little less placement. I am not as comfortable at net and hit the frame a lot on volleys when I use anything under 100 square inches.

    I have played with a flock of Babolat tweeners for the past few years and finally realized that they have been the cause of my arm/shoulder discomfort. As a result, I am going to sell them off and purchase a Pro Kennex racquet. Here is where I need advice from the PK gurus on the forum.

    I am considering the PK Ki 15 260, Ki 15 PSE, Ki 20, and Ki 20 PSE. Beside the obvious weight and head size difference, what else differentiates these racquets? I will demo all of them before deciding, but would like to hear your personal experiences with each of them.

    Thank you so much in advance.
     
    #1
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I would also consider the 5G and 7G which has been my racket the last year.
     
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  3. kenyee

    kenyee Rookie

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    Which tweener did you like the most?
    What you'll probably find is PK racquets are a bit heavier than Babolats...at least the pure drive that my brother has.

    For arm/shoulder issues, try the PK5G...it's what I fall back to when I have arm/wrist issues. I've been using the Redondo MP for a while now w/o issues too, but it's harder to swing properly.
     
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  4. xolair

    xolair New User

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    5G and 7G

    I'm afraid that the 5G and 7G may be a little underpowered for me. And the small head size will mean more frame shots at the net. :(
     
    #4
  5. xolair

    xolair New User

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    Out of the Babolat tweeners, I like the Aero Strike the best as it is most flexible hence gentler on the arm, and allows me to hit my 1HBH with most control. The Pure Drive 110 is wonderful at net and for popping serves, but is so stiff that even my wrist hurts each time I play.

    Based on specs, the PK PSEs weigh no more than the Pure Drives, and are certainly much more flexible.

    I used to play with the PK Bronze Ace in the early 80s and remember it to be a great racquet. After several moves and a divorce, I can't find it anymore :(
     
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  6. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Shine the "SH" beacon on the clouds and pray that Steve Huff, known to his friends and family alike as the Prokennex Whisperer, sees it.
     
    #6
  7. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    Im the exact opposite i shank volleys more with larger headsizes.
    Anyway if you can handle the weight you can demo the PK Ki5 PSE.
    If not the ki15 and ki15 pse are also options.
    personally i have no experience with any of them but my teacher prefers the 15PSE as it allows him to rip Balls from the baseline and still stick the volley all without arm aggravation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
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  8. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    USTA 3.5, 64 years old no power, very aggressive player. I play 3-5 times a week. Developed some arm and shoulder problems serving too hard for my age. Tried all the Prokennex all the way to the 30. Even bought the KI 15. They were good but I boutht a used KI5 and I had more control, yes less power. Fixed that with proper string selection for my game.

    The KI5 classic is a precision instrument and you can dial in your power with strings as I have done. 7G was not maneuverable enough for me at my age.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
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  9. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    The 7G is your best bet if <100 really bothers you, but the new Q Tour should do everything you want and be a pleasure to play with.
     
    #9
  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I turn 40 next year and I can handle the 7G but I know eventually I'll have to go lighter or perhaps back to regular length.
     
    #10
  11. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    Both you and Levi1 should give the Q Tour a try .... PK has done this one right.
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    That is 18 x 20 right? I'm not a fan of 18 main rackets.
     
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  13. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    The Ki 5 PSE?? Seriously, that's one heavy stick! I included it in my reviews a few months ago:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=413091

    I used to use the Babolat APDGT. I think the regular Ki 5 has enough pop for someone making a similar transition, and its weight is similar. I never tried the 5G, but that's the predecessor to the Ki 5, and either racquet is probably worth trying. The Ki 5x probably has a higher swingweight than what you are used to playing. It feels heavier than spec to me.
     
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  14. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Do yourself a favor and demo the 5G. It is only slightly less powerful than stiffer tweeners that are noted for power. You can easily make up the slight power difference by stringing judiciously. Terrific all-around racquet for a wide range of players, abilities and playing styles.
     
    #14
  15. xolair

    xolair New User

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    ProKennex players racquets

    Thanks to all the recommendations for the 5G and 7G. They are probably wonderful players racquets. However, at the age of 52 and only getting older every year, I'm looking for something I can use for the next 10 years, and that would be a tweener. I will lose power, footwork, and reaction time, and will need a more forgiving racquet. I will not grow into a demanding racquet. I do not want a rocket launcher as I still have some game, but I know that I will tire out after 1 set with a heavier, more control-oriented racquet.

    I'm specifically looking at the Ionic Ki 15 PSE and 20. I would appreciate any feedback on those.

    Thanks.
     
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  16. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    That it is .... and I always favored a 16 X 19 until I used the Kneissel Black Star (18x19) .... With the Q I think anything less than 18x20 would be a negative for the racquet.

    Of course I say this with a 'flat hitter's' bias !!
     
    #16
  17. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    The 15 was the one PK racquet that I did not like. Seriously get the Q ... I've got 20 years on you and it does everything well , plus its fun to use.
     
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  18. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    I agree on both parts. I play with the Ki-5x which is too much racquet for your level. My step-father (3.0 level) uses the Q and it is more arm friendly than the stiffness rating suggests. I found it to have good pop, but controllable.
     
    #18
  19. xolair

    xolair New User

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    Q versus Ki 15 PSE

    By Q, you mean Q15 and not the Q Tour, right? Thanks, I will demo this one.

    How does it compare to the Ki 15 PSE?
     
    #19
  20. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    No, I mean the Q Tour .. the Q15 and Q30 held no interest for me ..... my order of preference for PK sticks is :

    Q Tour
    #1 Core 6
    7G
    5G
    Ki5
    and last : Ki 15
     
    #20
  21. JUAN_PRADO

    JUAN_PRADO Rookie

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    Pro Kennex have more choices like this ..

    ki 8
    ki 28
    ki 10
    Q 15

    i think its the better range for you ..
     
    #21
  22. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    spot on!
    mate!
     
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  23. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    I am not a fan of dense string patterens.:-?
     
    #23
  24. my76

    my76 New User

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    I thought I'd post on this one because I have a lot of experience with the Ki 15 and 15 PSE and I would recommend the Ki 15 over the PSE because the PSE is not an easy racket to handle, certainly no easier than Ki 5 or 5x which I have also used. The Ki 15 on the other hand is very easy to maneuver and it is very stable for it's weight and easy on the arm. You can easily customize it by adding lead tape and then as you slow down with age you can remove it to make the racket lighter.I've recently switched the Volkl V1 Classic and I prefer it to the Prokennex rackets because it very solid with a nice balance between power and control, it's light and it's also very easy on the arm.
     
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  25. xolair

    xolair New User

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    Ki 15

    Hi my76,

    I like the specs on the ki 15 as well. However, it is no longer available for sale on Tennis Warehouse.

    Michael
     
    #25
  26. my76

    my76 New User

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    #26
  27. usta2050

    usta2050 Rookie

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    1. ki15pse is easier on 1hbh. try ki 30 with multis strung way tight. it's very easy to hit 1hbh with it. don't swing ur 1hbh too much tho.
     
    #27
  28. usta2050

    usta2050 Rookie

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    agree, try the ki 30. very easy to hit 1hbh, esp in doubles. light, balanced weight, huge head, stable, fast swing..
     
    #28
  29. xolair

    xolair New User

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    Ki 20 vs 30

    Great,

    I plan to demo the 5G/7G, Ki 15-260, the Q15, and the Ki 30, based on your recommendations thus far. Has anyone hit with both the 20 and 30? Your impression/preference?

    The Ki 30 sounds promising because I prefer a light and easy swinging racquet. At my 3.5 level, there aren't too many heavy balls that I have to deal with. And, as I play more doubles and less singles, the maneuverability at the net will be more of a factor. Honestly, I would have never considered a typical 117 square inch racquet because of the unharnessable power and lack of control, especially on the 1HBH side.
     
    #29
  30. xolair

    xolair New User

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    I mean comparing the Ki 15, Ki 20, and Ki 30. Thanks.
     
    #30
  31. xolair

    xolair New User

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    ProKennex Ki 15 PSE vs Ki 20 vs Ki 30

    Has any one hit with at least 2 of these racquets? Can you tell me the difference in playability? I know that there is quite a difference in specs.

    I'm looking for a primarily doubles racquet: maneuverability at net, power for sticking volleys, pop on serve, enough weight to not get pushed around on return of serve. Also, as I have a 1HBS, I need something with low swing weight as well as static weight that I can get around on my backhand quickly. The Ki 30 sounds promising, and someone said it is good on the 1HBH, but I'm afraid I wouldn't have much control with a racquet larger than 100 square inches.

    Thanks.
     
    #31
  32. usta2050

    usta2050 Rookie

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    My preferences:

    ProKennex Ionic Ki 20 PSE is better than the non-PSE. It's great for baseline bashing. But it's not so quick at the net.

    ProKennex Ionic Ki 20 is too light. Never liked it.

    ProKennex Ionic Ki 15 PSE is nice.

    ProKennex Ionic Ki 30 needs good feel strings at high tension to give more control. if you put some 17g multifilament strings on it, u will find that it volleys really well.


    for doubles, at 3.5, ki 30 is best because it's bigger. great for volleys and if u toss right, u can serve huge bombs. Returns are also easier with the bigger sweet spot. moving up to the 4.0 and 4.5 levels, ki 15 pse is the best.

    if u are buying a new racket, why don't you try the q tour?

    the worst kinetic racket is the sq limited. no feel at all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
    #32
  33. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    Without question the Pro Kennex Q Tour !! Plus its fun to use.
     
    #33
  34. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    You really need to get somewhere near the specs you want and go from there. Once you get and idea of swing weight, overall weight and head light or head heavy then you can look for a stick around what you like. Why don't you get the demos from TW and figure it out for yourself.

    I bought a matched set of KI 15 PSE. I could not tell I had a 105 in my hand. I thought it was one of the best doubles sticks I have owned. I had also demoed the KI 5 Classic and bought a matched set also. I would up with the KI 5 but I really don't know why. They were so close. The 7 was not maneuverable enough for me. Great rackets all of them.
     
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  35. xolair

    xolair New User

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    Demo time

    Thanks for all the input, gents.
    I am ordering the 5G, 15-PSE, 30, and QTour for demo.
     
    #35
  36. danix

    danix Semi-Pro

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    I think you will like the Ki15PSE but it is a little longer, and I found that bothered my wrist.

    IMO the Q Tour is the wrong frame for an older player unless you are a 4.5 or above.
     
    #36
  37. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    Post up the demo reports. It will be interesting.
     
    #37
  38. xolair

    xolair New User

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    Will 4-5 lbs in string tension make a difference?

    I was never able to get the 4 racquets I wanted for demo at the same time, so I finally took the plunge and purchased the 15-260 strung with Babolat Hurricane at 59lbs. Here is my initial impression of the racquet:

    1. Feels good in the hand. Swing weight, static weight, and maneuverability are all very good but none outstanding. I'm glad I didn't get the Q or 15 PSE as they would both be too heavy for me.

    2. A little underpowered, especially strung at 59 pounds. Most noticeable on the serve and forehand. I no longer have the pop that I used to have with the babolat aero strike on serve. The kick serve, as well, is less spinny. Power on the forehand is noticeably less, to the point that I have to change to an eastern grip and hit more flat to get the ball deep. The 1HBH for some reason works fine, if not a bit better.

    3. Volleys are not as crisp as there is not enough inherent power in the racquet for me. Some of it may be that the grip shape is a little different and I am not able to switch to a continental grip as naturally for volleys so I miss the sweet spot more often.

    4. Cosmetics are excellent. Very nice looking racquet.

    I wonder, if I were to restring at 55 lbs, I could get a noticeable increase in power?

    The arm/shoulder discomfort has disappeared. In fact, since the first time I hit with the racquet, my arm hasn't hurt afterwards. There is absolute truth to the common belief that Pro Kennex Ionic racquets are easy on the arm!

    In retrospect, I should have demoed the 20 or 30. Could have used a little more free power. It may just take a little more time to get used to the racquet.

    Like someone else said, this Pro Kennex racquet doesn't do anything exceptionally well. Its greatest strength is its arm-friendliness, which is the most important criterion to me. It's like driving a Honda or Toyota, it doesn't give you thrills but it's easy on the wallet.
     
    #38
  39. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    I did not like the 15 as well as the KI 5 classic and I have two of each. I sold the 15s to a buddy. All 4 are strung at 52/50 gut with poly crosses. That was the best tension after trying about 20 setups.
     
    #39
  40. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    It's good to hear that the racquet is easy on the arm, but honestly, you might have picked the wrong one. I switched from the Babolat AeroPro Drive (closest thing to the Aero Strike) to the Ki 5x, and I don't miss my Babolat at all. For me, the Ki 5x does almost everything better.

    Racquet mass plays tricks on you sometimes. If you read the reviews of the Q Tour, everyone says it feels light, and they can't believe their eyes when they put it on the scale and it meets spec.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
    #40
  41. my76

    my76 New User

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    You picked a great racket, all it needs is about 2-6 inch strips of 1/4" lead tape down each side of the head and some lead tape wrapped around the handle to counter balance and you will have all the power and stability you need and still be under 11 ounces. Prokennex's North American offerings are sadly lacking something in the high 10 to low 11 ounce range and a customized K15 is the best option in my opinion because the 15 PSE is too much to handle if you like a lighter racket.
     
    #41
  42. xolair

    xolair New User

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    Getting better

    I played 3 tight sets and a tiebreak (total 3 hours) last night without arm or shoulder pain. I expected to drag my arm off the bed this morning but was surprised to find no aches or pains.

    I must have gotten more used to the racquet. My serve had more pop than before and the forehand had more zip. However, compared to other racquets, I can no longer simply block the backhand returns and must take a cut at the ball if I want it back over the net. My overheads from the back of the court were lacking in power as well--I needed to set my feet up perfectly otherwise I would hit the net with a meek shot. Volleys weren't anything to write home about, either; maneuverability at net wasn't great. So, still lacking a little power and I definitely need to up my game.

    I'm going to restring the racquet at 50-52 lbs and add lead to make it heavier yet more headlight.

    When adding lead to the handle, is there a way around having to remove the grip? It's kind of a pain, especially when you don't know exactly how much lead to add, hence the possibility of several attempts.
     
    #42
  43. xolair

    xolair New User

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    Ki 5s

    I may have to try the Ki 5 still, based on so many positive reviews. I was afraid it would be lacking in power, being ever mindful that I am 52 and getting older.
     
    #43
  44. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Boy, xolair. I read this and get depressed. I just turned 49; I'm using a frame at 98 inches and 12.5 ounces. . . been considering going down to something like the PK redondo 93 to get more control on my serve.

    Do I really physically shrink so much in the next few years?
     
    #44
  45. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    There are two easy ways to add lead in the handle for temporary use. First of all I buy the lead tape in the golf store which is twice as heavy as tennis tape. 1 gram to 1 inch in the golf store, tennis tape needs 2 inches to 1 gram. I place the tape on the grip (4 pieces so it is even) and then put on a thin over grip. I can never feel the lead and it is easy to remove. The second and the best way is to pound up the tape in a one or so inch piece, place in on the butt cap and use clear box tape in a x pattern so the tape goes about 1/8 over the grip. Again install a thin overgrip. If you know the weight you can also use a coin but it will have to be a thin one. When and if you decide you want weight in the handle then remove the butt cap and install the weight with glue and cotton.
     
    #45
  46. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I know the thinner, more flexible, racquets are supposed to have less power, but playtests are often surprising. For instance, I noticed TW has recent video reviews of the Prince Warrior (a tweener racquet like the Ki 15) and the Pro Kennex Black Ace 98 (more of a players stick than the Ki 5). The same reviewer who thought the Warrior was underpowered said the Black Ace 98 had surprising power. I think the mobility of the frame and the confidence it gives you to swing freely have a lot to do with a player's perception of power.
     
    #46
  47. xolair

    xolair New User

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    Aging

    Max, in my case, I simply do not have enough game to wield a player's racquet. Physically, I can handle the exertion it takes. I plan to enroll in a 3-day tennis camp next month to correct glaring errors that are keeping me from moving up from a 3.5. I need to improve my footwork so that I can be in the best position to hit with the most power.

    Last night, the other 3 guys on the court had 120-inch rocket launchers and it just pissed me off that some of my best line drives were easily cut off with a mere flick of the wrist.

    On the court next to ours were some 4.5s playing doubles. A couple of guys were my age and they seemed to blast every ball with all their might, all night long, with great precision. Amazing. I need some lessons! :)

    Thank you, Levy1, for the tip on the lead tape. I will go to Dick's this weekend and find some golfer's lead tape.

    Ramon, I will give some serious thoughts on buying a Ki 5 and a Q tour on this forum.

    Thank you all for your input. You gentlement have been great!
     
    #47
  48. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    Look at my signature as I am playing the K5 classic at 50 natural gut mains and 48 poly cross. I am 64 and a aggressive USTA 3.5
     
    #48
  49. my76

    my76 New User

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    I have the best results and most solid feel wrapping the lead under the grip, in fact with these rackets adding lead under the but cap is difficult if not impossible because of the kinetic system.If you want the racket to be more head light add 4- 6" strips to the head and then wrap lead tape [don't peel off the backing] around the outside of the grip until the balance suits you then remove the grip and add the lead to the handle. It should be just under 11 ounces and I think you will be very happy with this set up.
     
    #49
  50. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    Agreed, it is a pain to add weight to the but cap but I have done it many times. This keeps the balance the same. The farther up the handle you go the more you change the specs.
     
    #50

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