Discussion in 'Racquets' started by thejuice, Feb 13, 2008.
Welcome to the KBT. Be sure to shoot some pics when you get it in.
What makes our Karophite Blade Tours so Special.
Carbon Black technology is not new to tennis. In fact, the process has been around since the 1970's and is claimed to be the primary technology of several tennis companies.
According to Peter Morgan's 2005 work entitled Carbon Fibers and their Composites, in a chapter entitled "The Uses of Carbon Fibers" (Chapter 23),
Dunlop Sports were early leaders in the use of carbon fiber in tennis racquets, using athermoplastic molding compound , but this was replaced by carbon fiber prepreg. Latest racquets have advanced considerably in their design and performance and the so called Muscle Weave racquets are made with twisted braided carbon fiber to give a stronger, morepowerful frame and are available in versions for the power hitter with a fast swing speed, theplayer with a slower swing speed and oversize. CAD/CAM programs are now used to designthe products in the UK but the racquets are made in the Far East. A cfrp racquet willmaintain its high performance beyond the endurance life of conventional racquets.Prince, now part of the Benetton Group, has been involved with mass production oftennis racquets in the USA from the early 1970s and has expanded production into Mexico.Prince introduced the oversize racquet in 1976, followed by the longbody version, acquiring Grafalloy and Grafamex in 1983, and expanding into squash racquets in 1987. Versions ofracquets have been introduced utilizing carbon fiber and Ti in their construction.Wilson, in its design of tennis racquet, has introduced models with a Center of Percussion(i.e. a no shock point or, as termed by some manufacturers, the sweet spot) at differentpositions on the racquet head to accommodate the requirements of players.Wilson and Head favour a mixed construction of Ti and carbon fiber for their racquetballracquets.Unfortunately, racquets using carbon fiber in their manufacture have been universallytermed graphite, which is technically incorrect and it is interesting to note that Prince hasintroduced Graphite ExtremeTM branding in 1998 to differentiate between the use of apremium grade of graphite (carbon) fiber, which could well be an intermediate modulusversion.Pro Kennex states that it uses a mix of 70% ultrahigh modulus graphite and 30% fiber-glass in one of their tennis racquets. Badminton racquets are made from 100% carbon fiber.
Additionally, a Carbon Black/ Graphite composite has more of a dampening effect. According to MacGraw Hill's "Handbook of Plastics, Elastomers, and Composites," "Tennis players also experience
less fatigue and pain, because a carbon/graphite composite tennis racquet is lighter and has some inherent vibration damping (p.231). We can immediately see how Wilson's claim to this technology is simply repeating what is known of this type of composite.
Pics of Black Ice
Here is my Black Ice KBT as promised:
As you can see the specs on this racquet are:
Strung weight: 336.5 grams
Strung Balance: 12.4 inches
Swingweight: 328 kg/cm2
sorry, what´s mean BLACK ICE?
Nice shots Arthuro. That Prince PTC is beyond awesome, would love to have a play around on one!
Nextman916, I have hit with the Prestige Pro very briefly and I felt it was softer than the KBT and more powerful. Not for me.
I engraved my racquets into two different series: One of them is called Black Ice, the other is the the professor.
i have play with kbt for three years.now i play for a month with blx pro open but my mind is always back to them.i can't let them go.any advice?
Yeah, stick with you KBT. I have played with the prince exo3 rebel 95, the X-Series Platinum by Donnay, the YT Prestige...and the KBT is just better for me.
Arthuro, does the KBT play like the classic Pro Staff 85 ?
I personally like the KBT better than the old Pro Staff. The old prostaff had a heavy-ness to it (probably from the Kevlar) that I did not like, and it was extremely low powered. The KBT gives you more power, but does not have that classic feel. It is very crisp with a moderate (67-68) stiffness. The weight of the KBT and its feel is probably best described as a mix between the old triple threat line by prince, and the old school prestiges by head. The KBT has a unique feel to it...unlike the older graphites, but damn close.
I think what you would like about the KBT is its graphite/carbon black braiding. This was used in the old Pro Staff's but then removed in the later models. I think this makes the KBT a stiffer feeling racquet while the Pro Staff has a little more flex to it despite its solid feeling.
I would additionally like to point out that since there has not been a patent submitted by wilson since 2004. The technology we are using is not that different than hyper-carbon. Its just refined with different composites, so while it is a generation removed from the classic pro staff, it is not that far from the next generation HyperCarbons...at least in my view. Also, if you are going for the S&V style I think the PS is superior because of its head lightness and maneuverability at net in a 85 sq. in head. The KBT is more of an all-around stick.
String experimentation with the KBT
Over the last two years, I have done lots of experimenting with multi's and some softer poly's for the KBT.
Let me first explain my reasoning. I used to string for college tennis teams back in the mid-2000's, so I saw the rise of poly's away from the old school kevlar or 15L synthetics. I also saw the injuries associated with them. This is of course anecdotal, but I truly believe poly's will allowing a player to "wail" on the ball does increase the risk of tendinitis and joint issues (shoulder, wrist, elbow.) With that said, I have experimented with Tecnifibre poly's both red code and black code and other multi's Alpha Gut 2000, Technifibre NRG2, X-1 Biphase, Wilson's NXT, Hollowcore, and Sensation as well as some of Prince's cheaper synthetics.
Over the years, I have found Tecnifibre to be the best multifilament string out there. I know people have complained about the "fraying" of the string, but I find its playability/durability to be well worth the 16.00 mark. It truly feels the most like natural gut to me. Very different but extremely comfortable. I generally break the 18g in 5-6 hitting sessions, but because of the spin production and the fact that I string for myself, I am content with this tradeoff. Unlike the other multis described above, I find the X-1 to have a crisp and powerful feel off the bed. With other multi's like Alpha gut or Wilson's Sensation I find they have a more dampened trampoline effect with the x-1 I feel more of a frame and string bed pocket that increases my feel. I can feel the impact vibrations through the frame which in my view allows much more controlled power next to the others. Additionally, as I said above, for its crispness, it is incredibly soft. The only softer string in my view would be the NRG2 with the NXT tour a distant third.
Mathieu, still waiting for pictures.
Thanks for all the information on string selection. I probably be switching back to a multi as my shoulder cannot handle even a 1.12mm poly it seems. Pictures of more blades to come!
Poly's really don't work with this stick. Even when Djokovic was with Wilson, his setups were multi's according to the USRSA guide and other reports in forums.
I agree, tried a my normal poly/nylon set up and the string bed felt very dead. Yeah i got a little more spin no much less depth.
Wondering if anyone plays 16g full gut or multi with their kbt's? I usually play with a full bed nrg 17g but recently acquired 2 sets of vstouch 16g at a very cheap price, and im wondering if I should use that on my kbt's or stick with the 17g. since the string pattern is so tight im afraid i might lose some spin
I play with a full multi-set up in my KBT. I hit with a lot of spin and break strings pretty often but I still play with a 18g because I like the bite I get on the ball. My shots jump about 5 feet on forehands and backhands. Do you string your own racquets?
I would stick with the 17g, unless you are breaking every session (w/18 gauges I can play maybe 3 sessions of 1.5-3 hours before they fray and break).
P.S: I thought you were selling your KBT.
I hit with them this morning and I forgot how much i loved these frames and ive decided to keep them. transitioning from the prestige to the kbt is pretty easy. yeah, im probably going to take your advice and stick with the 17g. i dont string my own frames but 2 strung kbt's usually last me a little over more than a month
Glad to hear it...my struggle has always been between the KBT and the Prince Rebel 95. I like the plowthrough of the rebel, but can't seem to shake the feel and feel of the Wilson. I want to love prince since I started out with them, but I don't know if I can completely. I know for a fact though, that the KBT delivers...I just need to figure out the lead configuration for more plowthrough on the serve.
Strung my last stick at 57 and 59lbs on a CP machine, worst mistake! Literally ripped my arm off! So I will be stringing one up tomorrow at 52, 54 which is 10% less than my normal tension on my old machine as I have switched from a crank machine to a CP.
I find this setup does work with the K Blade as the poly is quite soft and thin, so really benefits spin, which is an area than I rely on poly for. The only kind of multi I liked was Rip Control in 1.20mm. Thinnest gauge possible for strings with this stick, even though I break my current setup in about 5-8 hours.
Hmm I recently changed wilson leather to volkl leather (wilson became too thin after many years of playing) and there was so much difference in slice shot after changing. The weight of the grips is the same isn't it? Volkl leather could not weight so much more than wilson...Some lead at 12 may help?
One of my 4 blades broke today. poor guy caved in at 12o clock.
Sorry to hear that frunk. I still have my KBT's just don't use them anymore.
I first bought the kbt in 08, took some years off and as of this year, it feels better than ever. Still that scalpel I remember! Ps looking for lead placement, although possibly unnecessary..
Where did everybody else land? Blx? Head? Babolat ? I like the storm line, but the aero storm cortex I picked up for backup duty isn't near the kbt for me. Pure storm tryout for 2nd string maybe or 11blx90
Count me in, it's official. Biphase 17g @ 58 lbs. Boom.
Question for you guys that use the KBT. I'm a 3.5 looking to move up to 4.0. I currently use a BLX Blade 98 that I really like, but I feel like I could benefit from a more head light balance than the BLX. I've experimented with the 6.1 95, which I really liked but felt like it was a little heavy. I recently tried the PS 6.1 95 but I don't think I'm crazy about the low swing weight. Would the KBT possibly be what I'm looking for. I don't know about the 93 in head, but I don't necessarily have problems hitting the ball cleanly.
Maybe your not a Wilson guy^. The kbt is around or above six one 95 weight I think. Keep demoing?
The kfactor technology is leaps better than blx imo, why ruin a good thing. I'm interested in a kbt comparison to the new prestige mid. May be demoing the mid or mp shortly
i think blade line is the best thing jokovic made to wilson,and kbtour is by far the best blade.imo
According to TW, the KBT is lighter than the 6.1 95 and heavier than the PS 6.1 95.
hey did anybody play with k six one tour 90 after the blades? how did it feel?
Would be very interested to hear anyone who has experience with this.
This has something I've been considering as well for a while now. I will try champion's choice in this racquet and report back with a play test to see if the KBT can be pushed beyond its limits. Otherwise, the only other option is moving to another racquet like the K90. I love the plowthru I get with the KPS88 but its way too heavy to be practical for a match, the KBT is far more feasible for long matches and you can't beat the control you get on shots.
Anyone tried the new blade 93, how is it stacking up to the K Blade?
Still playing with my K Blades years on and still great.
Yeah, tried it. Nothing special. If wasn't sponsored...I would still be with the KBT.
You guys are awful...I've been trying to buy a Kblade tour for nearly a month ...just go parading about it in my face why don't you...
Hi, can you eloborate more on the 2013 Blade 93? Is it more damp feel compared to the KBT?
Bad quality control
I have 3 K-blade tours, all bought at different times and they all feel very different when swinging.
1st, serial number Txxxxxxx, Very head light. Swings very easy, not much head weight when blocking servers or volleying. (338g strung)
2nd, serial number Wxxxxxx, Very head heavy. Swings quite a bit heavier and slower, a fair bit of head weight. (345g strung).
3rd, serial number Vxxxxxx, noticable more head heavy than Txxxxxxx. Swings less wippy than Txxxxxx. But has good head weight for serving and volleying. The strange thing about this one is it's 334g strung.
Txxx - least swing weight
Wxxx - heavier swing weight
Vxxx - mid swight weight (but racquet is lighter than Txxx)
I had the same problem with wilson. You can get them matched if you would like. That is really the only way to solve the problem.
9 grams range between these frames?!
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