Old guy tries small headed, heavy racket

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by barney, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. barney

    barney Rookie

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    This is an attempt to revive my original thread, "Old guy gives the KPS88 a try", which I started about a month ago and which is now buried in this now mangled, 3500+ replies thread: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=227312 My original thread has now lost any semblance of continuity and focus, thus I'm attempting to revive it, with some clarified purpose.

    Although the small headed, heavy racket I reported about is the KPS88, this thread is not exclusive to any one specific racket, so as to not violate the rule regarding the number of threads per racket. The purpose of my original thread, and this one as well, is to chronicle an older player's experience with a small headed, heavy racket, which is a type of racket I had not used since my wood racket days. I'm hoping other older players can contribute and share their experiences with this type of racket. And maybe other older players who have never used this type of racket will possibly gain from this thread.

    When I have more time, I'll dig up some of my original postings on this subject and provide them here in chronological order. That's it for now.
     
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  2. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    barney - if u decide on getting one of those midsize, heavy racquets and need this dinosaur's opinion, i'll be more than happy to give it a swing. haven't seen any on the courts around here.
     
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  3. joehight

    joehight New User

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    heavy small head Spalding Gonzalez racquet

    A few years ago I bought (on ****) a heavy, small head wooden Pancho Gonzalez Autograph Spalding, circa 1950s is my guess. I bought it just to hang up on my wall. But I am curious on how it might feel to play with this racquet. The strings look to be the original strings (as far as I can tell). You can see a photo of the racquet along side one of my Wilson Pro Staff Surge racquets at my examiner.com web page on tennis at the following link:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-4458-DC-T...Spring-is-here-How-to-choose-a-tennis-racquet

    I've been wondering if I were to hit with this racquet whether the strings would break. And could I figure out how to restring this rackquet (I string my own racquets on a Gamma drop weight)? It has no grommets, and where would I get the string pattern? And while the racquet only cost me $5, and is probably only worth that on the market, I would hate to destroy its original character.

    This racquet has a very large grip handle much bigger than the largest sizes around today. It really feels like a neandethal club in your hands.

    I started playing with wood racquets (got a late start, when I was in my 20s). The last wood racquet I remember playing with (don't have it any more and I regret that) was a Jack Kramer.

    Question: Did Pancho Gonzalez really play with a racquet like this in his early years? I think late in his career, he switched to a steel racquet similar to the one Jimmy Conners used later.
     
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  4. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Here is my first post back on 2/13:
    Old guy gives the KPS88 a try

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This old guy is 59. My main racket is the n61 95. I'm a solid 4.5 all court player with good mobility who mostly plays singles against younger 4.5 guys. I never owned the PS85, so I thought I'd give the KPS88 a buy and try. I got mine from TW strung at 58lbs with Klip natural gut.

    I've only hit with it once now, in a drill session, so this is really just a first impression kind of thing. The balance and weight are noticeable compared to the n61, but not as extreme as I thought they might be. While the ball strike feels very solid, it felt more muted than I expected which was probably the most surprising aspect of it. As expected, I think it is a more demanding racket requiring more focus, but again, nothing too extreme.

    I had no problems with groundstrokes, though I had a number of flyers when I went for it and didn't strike it just right. Initially volleys were problematic. I was mostly hitting them long and when I softened things up, they just sat up. I finally got a feel for the volley later in the session. Overheads were nice and solid. I didn't hit serves during this session.

    Going forward, I'll play some matches with it and see how it goes. I think it'll have a better pocketing feel once the gut breaks in a bit. Would I switch to the KPS88? My guess is probably not, mainly because I think the weight will be a factor in demanding matches. But, it's sure a fun racket to hit with !
     
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  5. buffalobill3

    buffalobill3 Rookie

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    davis graphite

    I strung up a new Davis Esprit midsize I had laying around with some cheap strings and gave it a try today. The racquet swings well for a 13 oz. frame and off the ground the racquet felt really solid. What surprised me was how well I served with it. Next up will be a new Spalding GC 20 I have.
     
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  6. barney

    barney Rookie

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    I did actually buy a KPS88 back in mid-Feb...don't think I'll be giving it up anytime soon though. sorry. thanks for the offer though. :)

    I haven't seen anyone else using the KPS88 yet. There is a 50+ year old friend of mine who still use the PS85. I've seen younger guys with n90's and k90's and also what I think is one of the mid Volkl's. Clearly the mid's are in the minority by a long shot, especially with over 50 players.
     
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  7. barney

    barney Rookie

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    I'm not familiar with either of those rackets. What is your current main racket ?
     
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  8. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

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    he used the spalding smasher an aluminum racket which really went hand in glove for his style of play eg. his big serve. he won the Howard Hughes Open in Las Vegas in 1969 with it and went deep at wimbeldon that year also.
     
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  9. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    I'm 52 and play 4.0-4.5 (level depends on which coast we're talking about). I used to use a k90 but found it challenging in dubs, so I switched to BB11 mid (93). My observations are consistent with yours. Not many older players using sub 95 sq inch frames. In fact, this appears to be true for the youngin's as well in my area....
     
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  10. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey jrod. I haven't played much doubles with the KPS88. The little bit I have was with 4.5 older guys, like me, who can hit the ball fairly hard, but also play with finesse rather than outright power all the time. The KPS88 was fine in this group. However, I really don't know if I could use the KPS88 in a younger group of 4.5's where bigger serves and crushing the ball is more the norm. The manueverability has been much better than I expected, but I'm guessing I would likely have problems with the KPS88 against the young stud doubles guys. In the past against the hard hitters, I've used the Fischer MPro#1 98 over my n61 because of the lighter swingweight and increased manueverability.
     
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  11. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Here's my 2nd post from original thread, which I posted on 2/17.

    This old guy had his second session with the KPS88. This time I played 2 sets of singles against a 4.0 who hits with a lot of consistency but is not really a threat to beat me. He was a perfect opponent for me to try some match play with the KPS88.

    It took me about half the first set to adjust to the weight/balance/feel/power of the racket. A couple of things stood out for me.

    1) This racket produces "heavy" power. Hitting the ball with a relaxed stroke produces a heavier ball that comes off the racket with more pace than any racket that I've hit with. There were times I didn't feel like I was hitting the ball all that hard, yet my opponent would either be late or at least have difficulty handling it.

    2) The serve. This was my first session hitting serves. This was the one stroke I thought might be a problem for me. It turned out it wasn't a problem at all. I don't hit big flat serves. Both my 1st and 2nd serves have some spin (the second has more) and there's not a big difference between them in terms of how hard I hit them. I usually have a good 1st serve percentage. That said, I don't usually get a lot of free points off my serve. Today, my serve gave my opponent a lot of problems. I was able to use my same service motion, but the serves had more action and pace than usual. I didn't double fault and I never felt the racket was too heavy for me to serve effectively (that was one worry I had).

    While I did play fairly well overall, I did get sloppy at times, which is not unusual for me against this opponent. There were times I really felt in the groove with this racket and other times I didn't. While this session wasn't a great test, it did give me some hope that I might actually be able to use this racket as my main singles racket. (Or at least I learned that I could use this racket against an opponent other than my Aunt Matilda )

    My next opponent is a player on my level, who I usually have very close matches with. It will be very interesting to see how I do with this guy. I'll definitely have to do a lot more running, which could make the weight of the KPS88 a major negative for me. We'll see. Bring it on !
     
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  12. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Interesting...before I settled on the BB11 mid as my single weapon of choice, I used the k90 for singles and.....you guessed it! The Fischer Mpro #1 98 for dubs (weighted up to 12 oz, retained original balance).

    My reasoning was identical to yours. The BB11 mid seemed to be a perfect fit. I cannot imagine being quick enough with the kps88 in dubs due to it's swingweight.
     
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  13. buffalobill3

    buffalobill3 Rookie

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    Both of these racquets were out about the same time as the Kennex Black Ace.(have one of those too). Right now I play with a Radical Team and Prestige Team.
     
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  14. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Here's my 3rd and 4th entries from my old thread.

    2/18
    3rd session with the KPS88. I split sets with a younger 4.5. I was tired going in which is not usual for me if I play singles on consecutive days. Before the match, I was sure the weight of the KPS88 would be a problem, but once I started, the weight was a non-factor. My overall conditioning was the biggest factor. I just didn't have the energy or wind to play as well as I can. If anything, I think the KPS88 allowed me to get decent pace on groundstrokes and I served pretty well, but my shots didn't have the action or pace that I had the day before when I was fresher. That said, I don't think a lighter racket would have made any positive difference in my play.

    One positive was that despite being tired, I felt more adjusted to the the KPS88 than in previous sessions. It felt like I had been using this racket for a long time. I have a couple more sessions scheduled for this week and I'm already tired. So, it'll be interesting to see if I hang in there with the KPS88 or will I be tempted to switch to the n61 95, which now feels downright granny-stick light when I swing it around.


    2/22
    I've hit a couple of more sessions with the K88. The breakdown is 3 singles sessions, 1 doubles and 1 drills. Some random observations:

    1) It took zero time for me to adjust to the smaller headsize, which was surprising, being that I've been mainly a user of 95's, with the occasional 98 and 100. I don't normally misshit or shank much, and my experience with the K88 was about normal for me in that regard. Edit: I forgot to add that the smaller head size wasn't that noticable to me from the first time I saw it. I expected it to appear smaller.

    2) The weight/balance took a few sessions to adjust to. After those couple of sessions, the racket now feels comfortable and normal. Just picking it up now, it does feel substantial, but in a good way and not in a "heavy club" sort of way, which was kind of my initial pickup impression.

    3) The results I had playing with it was about the same as I would have expected with my usual n61 95. I hit more balls just long with the K88 than normal, and flyers too, but I think the K88 made up for things with stronger forcing shots and serves. My next string job will be a bit tighter to see if I can gain a bit more control.

    4) Serves are the biggest surprise to me. I thought the weight would be problematic, but it hasn't been so far. I hit my serves with spin and placement. I've had great consistency so far and my opponents seem to have more difficulty with my serves than usual. I think this would be a great racket for a strong server.

    5) I think the n95 is an overall easier racket to play with, but I think my results will likely be better with the K88, if I can gain a bit more control, maybe thru a combo of technique and tighter strings. I remember that I had a similar initial control problem when I went from the HPS95 to the n95 and I was able to work thru that to the point the n95 was the better racket for me.

    6) I had my initial doubts, but I now think that an old guy can actually effectively play with a K88. Prior to this brief experience, I would not have thought that.

    7) Maybe most importantly, it's been really fun playing with this racket. It's unlike any other racket I've owned. (I've never owned a PS85, or any of the subsequent Wilson 90's)
     
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  15. RobFL

    RobFL Rookie

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    Hey Barney, your posts are interesting because I'm a similar player with similar equipment: 51, 4.5-5.0, and currently using the n 6.1 95 16x18. I recently got humbled in a 50s singles tournament by a guy playing the KPS88. Of course he was a 6'5" former D1 player with a big serving game, but looking back, equipment sure seemed to be a factor in that match. I'll certainly be looking out for future opponents using this frame and it will be interesting if they handle me just as easily. My problem is that I can win about 75% of my competitive matches against similar opponents using just about any flexible, 11.5-12 oz frame like Volkls or Fishers. But when I lose it is usually to a guy with a K90 or KPS88 or a powerful/spinny Babolat and that result makes me question my overall choice of frame.
     
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  16. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey Rob, I can certainly relate to being humbled on the courts! For me, it's by different types of players using different types of rackets!

    I actually don't face many players using the smaller headed rackets, but I will say, the ones I do are generally very good players who are under 50. I can think of two matches against younger guys with mids - one used a k90, I don't know what the other was, maybe a Head. Anyway, they both just blew me off the court with powerful groundstrokes that exploded when they hit the ground. Against these guys, it really wouldn't have mattered what racket I was using. I have had some success against topspinning hardhitters by just trying to block the ball on the rise back deep to their weaker side (easier said than done !) This is where I prefer a 12+ oz racket in that it doesn't get pushed around as much. I haven't played against any real standout hardhitters since I've had the KPS88.
     
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  17. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Rob. If you give the KPS88 a try, give yourself a few sessions to adjust to the weight and balance. It will definitely feel different than the n61 95.

    I hit with the k90 once for about a 2 hours doubles sessions when it first came out. My recollection was that it was very solid like the KPS88, but the weight/balance didn't feel so different like the KPS88. I kinda wonder why I didn't give the k90 more of a shot back then.
     
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  18. barney

    barney Rookie

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    So I've played with the KPS88 exclusively since I got it back around Feb 12. About 10 days ago, I was thinking about going back to my n61 95 for a few sessions, mainly just to compare it to the KPS88. But, I haven't wanted to stop using the KPS88. Until today.....

    This morning I felt sluggish going into a match with a very crafty player who makes very few errors. I played horribly the first set and all kinds of bad thoughts were coming into my mind, mainly "this racket is just too heavy." I had never felt that during the time I've used the KPS88 until that set.

    During the brief sitdown after the first set, I really thought about changing rackets, but then I tried to make an honest assessment about that set. I recalled that I've sucked just as bad at times with every racket I've ever used. So, instead of thinking that a lighter would have made any difference, I decided to focus my attention on how I could play better. It made a big difference. I stuck with the KPS88 and my game surprisingly came back together. I won the next 2 sets; the 3rd I won easily.

    The KPS88 did feel heavier to me today than it has in the past, but I really don't think the weight was an overall factor in my play. I served well with it the whole match. I greatly reduced unforced errors in the 2nd and 3rd sets. And in those two sets, I was able to hit many forcing shots into the corners.

    So, for now, I'm sticking with the KPS88.
     
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  19. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    barney - good you pushed thru and didn't blame the racquet. been thinking that i need to bring some oxygen to the courts next time that happens to me...good idea? or would that freak out the opponent.
     
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  20. rooski

    rooski Professional

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    Here's my .02 on this topic. I am a late 40's 5.0 all court player (former D1 a LONG time ago) and while I still also prefer a little heavier swinging racket, I think you get to a point where a club like the new KPS88 is just not that effective against better players. However, if you are mainly hitting with people below or at your level who don't crush the ball (read..good pusher) then you could get away with it. In tournaments you will run in to all sorts of good players that can make you quickly question your choice of rackets.

    The game has changed so much since I first started playing in the 60's. As a 7 year old I used a 14oz Jack Kramer and didn't think anything of it. Of course kids didn't hit the ball that hard back then. With the pace of the game today with so many powerful frames out there, I think it's a liability to play matches with a racket that heavy once you get to 45's and beyond. When I have a tournament match and I see my opponent pull out an old PS6085 (or the like) I feel I have the edge from the start.

    Whenever I feel nostalgic I may pull out one of my many PS6085's to mess around with but when it comes to match time...no way. Not anymore.
     
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  21. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey rooski. Thanks for chiming in. I hear what you're saying about tournament play and racket selection. The better age-based tournaments around here are generally played on clay in the summer when conditions can be hot and humid. Endurance is an extremely major factor, at least for me. Especially when there's two matches in a day. I wouldn't even think of using the KPS88 in such a tournament.

    Most of the better players who play in the 50's, 55's and 60's in this area use 11oz+ rackets with 95 to 100+sq in heads. I know one high ranked older guy, who's probably 60 now, who used a n90 that last time I saw him play a couple of years ago, but he's a clear exception. One of the top 1 or 2 guys in the 50's uses a PK5g (95sq in, 11.8ish oz). One of the top 60's guys, who I believe is top 10 nationally, uses a very lightweight 110+sq in granny stick. It's amazing how he can play with that racket. Serve and volley; extended, well-struck and crafted baseline rallies, unbelievable drop shots, lobs, etc. He can do it all. His racket is an exception in the other extreme. Although, there's another top 60's guy who also uses a lightweight granny stick. His game plan is to outlast his opponent, so he mainly hits medium to soft pace deep all day long. One has to be extremely patient to beat him with well timed forcing shots and consistent overheads.

    Which leads me to add that my experience so far with the KPS88 has been strictly indoors in cool conditions. I should have noted that in my earlier posts, since I do think these conditions have positively contributed to my experience so far with the KPS88. I serve better indoors than out, so I expect that my serve experience outdoors will not be as good as its been so far indoors. I generally like a 12+ oz racket outdoors on clay in rec play, so it'll be interesting to see if I can handle the KPS88 outside in the energy-sapping, heat.

    It's interesting what you say about feeling an edge when you see an opponent pull out a PS85 or such. I almost feel the opposite. I figure if a guy is using such a racket, he must be good. And when I see an opponent pull out a light-weight granny stick, I instinctively think I've got a edge (wrong, see above :)). However, what I've really come to learn is that any initial impression I have of an opponent based on their racket before playing them usually means very little.
     
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  22. barney

    barney Rookie

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    So, I've continued to hack away with the KPS88, until today. I've been playing more than usual lately, and my last two opponents play long, smart points. You have to be very patient and be able to hit consistent forcing shots to beat them. I wasn't able to do it against my opponent the other day using the KPS88. I was pretty exhausted fairly quickly into the match and just made too many unforced errors --- forcing groundstrokes were consistently just long or into the net, and I either mishit or hit my volleys long. Kudos to my opponent though. He played extremely well.

    Today, I started out with the KPS88, felt tired and again made too many unforced errors in the first set, which I lost. For the second set, I pulled out my APD, which I used quite a bit in the past, including tournament and league play. Prior to the second set, my opponent (a friend who I play with fairly regularly), graciously agreed to hit a few groundstrokes and allowed me to hit a few practice serves. The APD actually felt much better than I expected. I felt I played much better the second set--good control and less unforced errors, though I lost that set as well. Again, my opponent played very well.

    Right now, I think I can use the KPS88 against most opponents, but not against long point, grinders--unless I'm very fresh, which realistically, I rarely am.

    One down side to using the APD is that my shoulder now aches a bit---not tired so much, as achy. This concerns me. My experience has been less shoulder/arm problems with heavier rackets.

    I'll likely go back to the KPS88 against my next opponent (a non-grinder). Later this week I'll be playing the grinder I lost to last week with the KPS88. I'm now thinking of using the APD against this guy.
     
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  23. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Barney, thanks for the update. I always enjoy reading your adventures with this frame.

    what are you stringing your frames with???
     
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  24. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    knowing which tool to use can make the task at hand a bit easier. :)
     
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  25. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey thanks Drak. The KPS88 is a VS nat gut/syn gut hybrid at 60lbs. The APD is also a VS nat gut/syn gut hybrid, probably at between 60-62lbs (I don't remember what I strung it at off-hand).

    The KPS88 is strung for control, which it definitely has. I just wasn't striking the ball well during the last two matches, where the points were long and my energy level was low. I had a 2 hour drill session the day before I played the first of those grinders. The drills went really well, but it sapped my energy.
     
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  26. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Yep, though in this case, I wish I could use the same tool against all opponents. :-( I think it would make things a lot easier.
     
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  27. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    right. however even those all in one swiss army knives have their limits. :)
     
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  28. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    barney,
    I've also had days when the 88 was just too much racquet for me -- yesterday, for instance. So I switched to my AG100, which I keep in my bag for such occasions.

    The drop in strung/playing weight (370 -> 340 grams) is pretty precipitous, however. I would love it if Dunlop were to come out with a 4D AG100 that is 10-15 grams heavier than the current AG100 -- WITH the 4D AG200 16X19 pj, and WITHOUT any other changes (especially, leave the 16X19 string pattern alone). It's already in the works, right, DUNLOP?! :)
     
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  29. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey Keifers. I wasn't really aware of the AG100, so I just checked its specs. Very interesting. I didn't know there was a 90sq in frame with such a light SW (according to the spec, anyway). How does it play ?

    I also just read the review of the new Dunlop 300 Tour. I was surprised how high on it Granville was, considering how light it specs out.
     
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  30. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    Yes, I was surprised by Granville's reaction also. The 4D 300 Tour is even lighter than the AG100. It could be worth a demo, though, because I think the Tour uses the same mold as the AG300 16X18, which is also highly regarded. However, I'm just not a big fan of 18X20s...

    The AG100, imo, is one of the 2 most remarkable frames on the market today. (The other is the KPS88.)

    Here's what I wrote last November:
    I might add that the AG100's spin potential is very high.

    Check out the "Dunlop Aerogel 1hundred (AG100) club" thread for lots of user comments (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=211949).

    I would love to read Granville's comments on the AG100! :)
     
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  31. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    AND it's incredibly fun to play with.
     
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  32. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey thanks Keifers. I think I'm up to around page 9 of that thread. Wow, there's a whole lotta love goin' on for the AG100. Very enlightening. I would not have imaged that a racket with such light specs could get the raves it's getting.

    A couple of questions, if you don't mind. What's the adjustment like going from the KPS88 to the AG100 and back again ? Also, what's the serve like with the AG100 compared to the KPS88 ? Also, do you know if Dunlop has any plans to come out with the 4D version of the AG100 ? TIA.
     
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  33. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    Glad you're having an interesting read. I'd using frames weighing 350-360 grams for many, many years and would never have imagined being so impressed with a racquet as light as the AG100.

    Going from the KPS88 to the AG100, the reduction in weight is immediately noticeable. The 100 is much quicker to get into position and to swing.

    Both are serving machines, but the 88's mass enables me to set it in motion and then let the weight of the racquet do the work using a fairly loose grip. With the 100, I find I have to use more arm and wrist throughout the service motion, gripping the handle more tightly. By the same token, the 100's lower mass allows better targeting -- and better micro-adjustments of racquet-face angle, etc., up to and during contact with the ball.

    The 100 is flexier, which gives more dwell time than the 88. I have a co-poly/multi hybrid in one of my 100s and have been thinking about putting a similar setup in an 88 -- but I'm hesitating because the 88 is a much stiffer frame.

    The weight of the 88 means it hits nastier slice shots than the 100. Overall, the 88 hits heavier balls and nastier spins. But it does take effort to play with it.

    Unfortunately, the rumor mill has it that Dunlop will not be be making a 4D version of the AG100. I really hope that turns out to be incorrect because it's such a uniquely capable racquet and enormously satisfying to play with. The 200s are excellent players racquets, but the 100 should be kept in Dunlop's lineup as a shining example of the company's racquet design prowess.
     
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  34. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Thanks for all the info. I've finally gone thru all the posts in the main AG100 thread. I'm giving this one some thought.

    I played one of the grinders again, this time using the n61 95, which I had no problem handling at all. I split sets, losing the first 4-6 and taking the second 6-2. I basically played his game, though I moved him around the court more than he did to me. I basically had him totally exhausted, which I've never seen from him before. The first set took over an hour. I was tired as well, but I think I had the clear edge if we had time for a third set. I was originally thinking of using the lighter APD, but my shoulder really didn't feel good after using it for just one set a few days ago. I actually really liked how the APD played, but I must have used more shoulder in my serves (more racket head speed) than I do with a heavier racket. I think my body would have to undergo some adjustment if I ever wanted to use the APD on a regular basis.

    I think I'm going to try to continue to use the KPS88 in most situations and switch to the n61 if the KPS88 becomes to much. Now, if only I didn't have this voice in the back of my head whispering to me "AG100" :)
     
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  35. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    good read all. i'm 54 4.0-4.5 former teaching pro norcal hacker. after 10 years away from tennis, switched from wilson profile 110 to wilson k 61 95 three months ago. can totally relate to racket travails discussed here. i was in one word, shocked, at the pace 50 somethings were getting on their balls when i played 4.0 league doubles matches last year. for example, i'd do my usual serve and volley deep into returners doubles alley corner thing to set up ensuing put away volley for partner or me, and, lordy, new racket technology in just 10 years, enabled frail looking opponents to blast 'em by me like a nolan ryan fastball. only have had 4 rackets my whole life. wood kramer, ashe competition, black aluminum prince pro, and wilson profile. don't take to changing rackets easily. end of story, k 61 leaded up to 12.5 oz and i are getting better all the time.
     
    #35
  36. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    I don't play much singles anyway, barney, but the thought of playing a grinder with a KPS88 is exhausting! Good on you for having the physical fitness (and mental toughness) to take the starch out of your opponent with your n61. :cool:

    Re using the APD, I've found there is definitely an adjustment to be made when switching to a much lighter racquet. The AG100 may have an advantage over the APD in at least one respect: the 100 is a great serving racquet, so your shoulder may not have to work as hard as with the APD.

    Any chance of you demoing the AG100? TW's demo program is very easy to use, in my experience.
     
    #36
  37. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    Interesting how things have evolved, isn't it? (I don't know whether to laugh or cry...) Recently, I caught up with a mixed doubles partner from years ago. She used to use a Profile and played very well with it. At some point she was talked into a head-heavy, light weight racquet and her game just isn't the same. As an example, low volleys she used to make with no problem at all just dribble into the net now because her stick doesn't have the mass that the Profile had.

    When I noted this to her, she said she'd been interpreting it as her fault. Don't know if she's checked out getting a heavier racquet, though. :-|
     
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  38. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    i feel for her. doubles net play with either the 110 or 120 sq inch profiles was flat out cheating. barely a touch would propel that fuzzy little ball... before i'd enter tournaments in those days, i would always ask if my racket was outlawed. i only switched 3 months ago to a different racket because i got tired of all the questions and comments about my antiques from people i'd play for the first time. and, all the good players around were saying i got to get with the new technology. tell her it's taken me a long time to go back to punching the volleys like we were taught in the wood racket days and then dismissed when the prince oversizes changed everything around 1980 or so.
     
    #38
  39. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ahhhh, we think alike. I have also settled on a string like yours:

    vs Gut in the mains, with a poly in the crosses. Tension>>> 63 lbs. :)


    Keep hitting em, and keep us updated!!!
     
    #39
  40. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    Is the extra ball pace coming from the racket or poly strings or both?
     
    #40
  41. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    I just bought a KPS88, but it hasn't come yet. I string considerably lower than you, Barney. I don't have shoulder, wrist, or elbow problems, never have, and never want them! I'm a wee skosh older than you though.

    I'll post my review here when I've had a chance to play with it. But, I play with heavier racquets and always have. If it isn't at least 12 oz, I generally can't play as well as I'd like. (I can play with almost anything, however. It ain't the racquet.)

    Interesting thread! And thanks for starting it.

    -Robert
     
    #41
  42. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey muddlehead. I also was a Kramer user, which I used for many years. You really went from one extreme to another with your switch from the Wilson Profile to the k61. I also have a k61, which I was hoping would be a replacement for my n61, but it hasn't clicked with me, mainly because of control problems and also the feel isn't quite right for me for some reason. I should probably string it a bit tighter and give it an extended try, which I really haven't done. Keep us posted on how it plays for you.
     
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  43. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Barney,

    Excellent thread! You are surely in the minority of the senior players who I've seen. Most are using os or even tweener frames.

    The fact that you are even attempting to use a KPS88 which I would balk at really says something, I'm not even sure I want to use the K95.

    I really prefered the N95 anyday over the K95.

    I can only hope that I will be able to use most of my frames when I reach your age.

    mawashi
     
    #43
  44. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey Keifers. There are definitely days when I really wonder what I'm doing out there on the court killing myself playing singles! And unfortunately, those questioning days seem to occur much more frequently than they used to. :-( You're definitely correct to point out the mental toughness aspect of it. When you're pushed physically, it's really all about your mental attitude in dealing with it.

    If I give the AG100 a try, which I'm thinking about, I'll likely just buy one. I've done numerous demos in the past, including using TW's great demo program, and while I think there's benefit doing short demos, I now kind of like to take my time and also string it with my preferred string setup. The downside to my approach besides any monetary loss, is that I don't get to try out as many rackets as I might like to. Now that I think about it, I'd like to try out the K90 and the new Yonex mid, so maybe I'll reconsider and make use of the TW demo program afterall. Thanks for bringing it up !
     
    #44
  45. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    this thread has struck a nerve.. are rackets a personal obsession with all of us or what? with the profile 110 i imagined i was mcenroe with slight arm swing and exaggerated hip rotation. for a chip return and then volley in doubles, match made in heaven. question from a poster on power from these profiles. i strung at 40 with your basic run of the mill strings - never been a string type fanatic. rackets are close to 20 yrs old. in 1990 would i use a 1970 racket?
    once i decided to go modern, settled on the k 61 95 sq in because of the weight, looks (i like simple. babolats a little wild for my taste), and on this site's discussion of rackets, seemed to have the highest rating. i string 'em at 44 stamina 16 gauge syn gut. cheap and long lasting.
     
    #45
  46. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Hey Barney....should you purchase an AG100.....could you buy a 3/8? :) On the very small change you don't like it, I'd like first dibs....

    I'm also a senior now...as of last year
     
    #46
  47. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey Drak. I think if I strung up at 63lbs, I probably couldn't get the ball over the net ! My last string job of VS gut/syn gut was strung at 60lbs, which provided good control but not enough pop for me. That string job actually just broke this morning. A cross string in the middle of the string bed went, which is unusual for me, in that I usually break a main. The gut was actually in great shape. :-( I'll probably go down to 58lbs or so in my next string job.

    I've never tried poly as a cross string, only in a full-poly string job. Unfortunately for me, my shoulder/arm just can't take poly, which is actually my favorite string for playability. It's funny about poly. For me, during the first couple of weeks using it, the string is very comfortable and I'm loving it. Great control, spin, power with maybe only a bit of touch lost. Then I guess some sort of cumulative effect comes into play or something and the poly starts feeling not so good on the shoulder/arm. I've actually been at the point where just looking at one of my poly-strung rackets makes me cringe and brings pain to my shoulder/arm. Which really sucks since I like its playability so much.

    Anyway, I'm glad to hear the gut/poly hybrid is working for you. I'm jealous !
     
    #47
  48. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ I tried an AG100. I experimented with strings, hybrids, weighting it, etc. I sold it. It played way to harsh for me. Not what I thought it would be. Didn't want to expose the elbow to that.

    Regarding strings, I've managed to work my way into using a hybrid of gut mains and Weiscannon SS crosses, strung in the low 50's. Granted my Becker 11 mid has decent flex, but this combo is still pretty soft. You might want to give it a try. Also, the WC SS lasts long compared with most polys, and it has excellent tension retention as well.
     
    #48
  49. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey Robert. Welcome. I'm really looking forward to your review. I'm also real curious about your string setup. I've tried to string in the lower range with rackets in the past, and unfortunately, have generally had control problems. :-(

    I actually just broke a string this morning on my KPS88. I was thinking of stringing it at 58lbs for my next go around (for most rackets that recommend 50-60lbs, I'm right around 60lbs), but you've got me thinking about maybe trying something like 50lbs, which would be extreme on the low-end for me. If I did that, I would likely just use an all syn. gut setup, just to see how it played.

    Good to hear that you've avoided the usual tennis ailments. For me, the KPS88 has been very shoulder/arm/wrist friendly.
     
    #49
  50. barney

    barney Rookie

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    Hey jrod. What strings and tensions did you try in the AG100 ? Did all of your setups play harshly ?
     
    #50

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