On the quest: demo rackets you've tried?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by MikeHitsHard93, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Rackets I've demoed:
    Wilson: Pro Open, blade 98. Surge, tour 95, prostaff 90,
    Head: Radical mp, prestige mp, extreme mp, instinct mp
    Babolat: pure storm, apd, pd 2012, pdr, pdr2012.
    Dunlop: bio 300T, 4D 300T.
    Pacific: XForce.
    Technifibre: tflash 300.
    Prince: EXO3 Graphite 100, EXO3 Rebel 95 Team
    Best to worst:

    Radical mp
    Prestige mp
    Apd
    Pro open
    Prostaff 90
    Blade 98
    Bio 300T
    Pdr2012
    Pdr
    Instinct mp
    Pure storm
    Pd 2012
    XForce
    EXO3 Graphite 100
    EXO3 Rebel Team 95
    Extreme mp
    4D 300T
    Tflash 300
    Tour 95
    Surge

    This is the range of rackets that I have tried. Really enjoyed most of them, however they are mostly too expensive. The radical and prestige I still wish were the pro models with the open pattern, but I liked the feel of them nonetheless. What else do you think I should demo?

    What have you demoed and what did you like? Dislike? Why?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
    #1
  2. SwissXV

    SwissXV New User

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    Prince Rebel 98, as it is similar to the Radical, Blade, and Bio 300T. Just a suggestion! :)
     
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  3. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks.

    I have liked just about all the prince sticks I've tried (some not shown because I didn't demo them, just picked em up for a bit from a friend), however ever since I started using rackets with traditional grommets, I just can't go back to ports! So I'm not really in the market for a prince frame.

    What rackets have you used/ tried?
     
    #3
  4. SwissXV

    SwissXV New User

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    Sounds fair :). Have you tried the new updated Dunlop F3.0? I found it to be better than the Bio 300T. I can only recommend the Dunlop F3.0 and Prince Rebel 98 right now because those are the only ones I have tried and liked recently and are around the type of racquets which you have tried, like the Blade, Radical, etc.

    Good luck with your search for new racquet to demo!
     
    #4
  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I'd think, after trying THAT many demo rackets, you'd have to make a decision sometime in your life.
    And you can always buy 3 more other rackets. They're around 80 bucks each.
    But you'd need softer stringing than supplied on most demos.
    Some version of 300T, strung around 50, grip bigger than what most people are using, to prevent the mishit twisting.
     
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  6. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I shall definitely add that one to the list then!
     
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  7. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I feel like my experiences with the 300Ts would have been much better if they were strung looser.

    What rackets are you talking about for $80?

    You probably find me annoying by now don't you LeeD
     
    #7
  8. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

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    One side note about "demos"...

    I just received 4 demo racquets from TW yesterday. Of course I'm excited to try them. However, I noticed by the sound of the strings that two seemed like the tension might be low (all 4 have multi syn gut not poly). So, I got out my handy iPhone with the RacquetTune app and tested their tensions and here's what I found (averaging 5 tries each):

    Babolat PD2012 = 46.0 (Recommended 55 - 62)
    Head Prestige MP = 51.3 (Recommended 48 - 57)
    Dunlop Bio Max 200G = 53.0 (Recommended 55 - 65)
    Prince Rebel 95 = 46.6 (Recommended 52 +/- 5)

    Hmmmmm... I'd say the Babolat is way out of the recommended range and the Prince and Dunlop are low. Sure, I know strings lose tension after they've been hit but someone (QC) needs to be checking tensions of demos when they're returned not just restringing them when there's a broken string. Heck, charge $5 additional beyond the cost of shipping (4 demos per box) to offset the cost of strings and labor, no big deal. I think proper tensions will ultimately sell more racquets and lead to retaining more loyal/happy customers.

    FWIW... As far as the "RacquetTune" app goes... Yes, I believe it is quite viable. I bought two Babolat PD2012 racquets earlier this year and asked for each to be strung with Babolat Nat Gut 16G at 60# each. When they arrived I pulled them out of the box and tested them with RacquetTune. One was 60.0 the other was 60.2. The reason I'm demoing another PD2012 (above) is simply to try another grip size. But, how will that racquet play given that the tension is 46.0#? Can't imagine I'm gonna like it.
     
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  9. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I would try an overgrip instead, if you're worried about the tension. Maybe that's why I didn't really like the PD...
     
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  10. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

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    What does an over grip have to do with tension?
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I assume you've looked at TW's pricing?
    I ordered a MicroGelOS two weeks ago on a Wed. at 4PM. Got it Friday 9AM. Can't beat that. Tinny sounding string actually was fine after breakin, around 52 lbs.
    No reason whatsoever to use recommended tensions, when Rafa and Fed are using right around 50 lbs.
     
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  12. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

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    Oh I see what you were commenting on. Actually, I'm trying a smaller grip size or, yes, I would try an overgrip.
     
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  13. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I mean maybe because the pure drives are being used more/strung looser then I was having too much power and didn't enjoy it.

    Over grip was a different subject haha
     
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  14. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    OH you were talking about the microgels!...

    Gotcha. Yeah TW does a nice job of being on time, however I haven't received a reply from my email two days ago.

    You really like the microgel huh? If the string is syn gut I would probably be ok with it, but I prefer multis.
     
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  15. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

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    However...

    That's only 5# below the recommended tension on Rafa's racquet (and I believe he uses poly).

    Fed's recommended string tension is 50-60 (I believe he uses gut).

    Besides... your talking about "Rafa and Fed" compared to "most average tennis players".... Rafa and Fed could beat you and me using a broken violin strung at 12# ;).
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I like the feel of MicroGelOS when I'm fresh.
    After two sets, I'm too slow to move it around, so go back to my Aero500s.
    Serves make little difference either way. Reflex volleys on a 11 oz racket is much slower than a 10 oz racket. Topspin return of serves much much quicker with the lighter racket.
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Gotta do some thinking here...
    Rafa and Fed hit much harder than us, right?
    Experience with most of us is that higher tension gives more control, while lower tensions more power and less control.
    Rafa and Fed use LESS tension than most of us!
    Think about what YOU said. Your thinking is askewed in the wrong direction.
    We need power AND control. Rafa and Fed also.
    Why would WE need higher tensions than them?
     
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  18. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I just am not a fan of rackets with flex under 60. ESPECIALLY at or below 11oz. That's why I'm so hesitant on the rad. Did you like your lmrads?
     
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  19. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I also have a question about racket integrity.

    My pro open has a lot of paint chips everywhere now. How do you know if a racket is worn out?
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    MicroGelRadOS, at their stated 56, plays remarkably similar to my 2 LMRadMids at 62 flex, with only the top of the head feeling a little softer.
    It can hit a flat first serve as fast as anything I've owned, probably faster than my Dunlop200's.
     
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  21. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

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    I see your point. But Rafa and Fed have the control aspect dialed in to perfection, so a little more power isn't a bad thing (hence my comment about the violin). However, for most average players... we need a little extra help in the control department. Higher tensions allow us to hit harder and still get the ball in. Just put a 3.0 - 4.0 player on a court with two of the same racquets... one strung at 45# the other at 55# and watch what I'm talking about.
     
    #21
  22. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    I've recently been on the hunt for a new racquet after the pro I've been taking lessons from suggested I look into something that was a little more powerful.

    BB London, PK Q5, yonex xi, volkl v1 mid plus, head extreme pro 2.0, graphene instinct mp, graphene speed mp, radical mp, radical pro, prestige S, Wilson juice, blx team, 2013 APD

    So far I've liked the graphene speed and extreme pro 2.0 the most. Next would probably be the Q5 and the xi.

    Will also be demoing the blade 16x19 and will be interested to try the 99S

    I was happy with my IG speed 18x20 until I started taking lessons ...
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Perhaps the players should adopt a long, smooth, fast swing at the ball so the control is there, rather than a jerky, low to high quickswing which is really brushing the ball, not hitting THRU the ball.
     
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  24. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah ive heard the mg rad mp is stiffer than as indicated as well.

    Reason why I'm skeptical is because the pacific XForce is identical in specs and it was fairly unstable. I also didn't like its shaft lol.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
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  25. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    You have a lot of "good" sticks to choose from! :D why are you unhappy with the speed?
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Not sure if we can just go by specs.
    Most players I've talked to say the softeness of the MG is not apparent when they hit it hard against a hard ball. It feels just fine. For sure, it feels at least the same stiffness as my 200 Dunlops, both Mfil and Aero, rated at 62 or so.
    MG feels softer than my LMRads though, mostly with the head giving some (flexing). But I think LMRads are harsh.
     
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  27. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    A long time ago, I picked up a lm rad os and played alright with it. Control was lacking for me because I felt the shaft flex a ton, but the head was solid as a rock! Maybe the mg are the opposite?..
     
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  28. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    I wanted something with a little bigger sweet spot. My coach suggested I get a racquet that did a little more for me so that I could develop a more consistent (slower, less effort) rally ball and still get it deep. Also wanted something that was a little more stable on returns (worst part of my game).
     
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  29. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like he wants you to use a radical lol.
     
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  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Mike, could your game have been evolving "a long while ago" so that you didn't have grooved strokes THEN?
    I'd think, if some pro players can use the MG's, it's got enough control for us. We need to stop bunting the ball, and take a controlled swing every single time.
     
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  31. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    Exactly right! He hits with a radical. But I just didn't hit well with it. Tried a couple versions a couple times but just didn't work for me. I know I'm an outlier -- a lot of people like that racquet. I think I like a less flexy feel. But not babolat stiff.
     
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  32. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    It definitely was. At that period in time, I was still using an OS racket and was starting to learn how to use a backhand. All I had was a monster forehand. You're definitely right and I tend to overhit a lot now partially just to put spin on the ball. Maybe I should start stringing lower, which inhibits more string movement, and creates more spin and more power that I won't have to swing away to get?
     
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  33. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Winning......

    Go with what feels right for ya :) as LeeD says here, there's a couple different versions that feel quite different from one another. If you want something in the middle of the flex spectrum I would advise the radical over all others. But that's my opinion. I would also opt for the aero storm or pure storm. Never played the AS, but it's not as stiff as tweeners because it has the flexy hoop of the PS.
     
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  34. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    I've found that shopping for racquets is kind of like shopping for cars -- lots of personal preferences built into opinions. Some people love mini vans for their utility or pick up trucks or even BMW over Audi although its hard to objectively quantify one as better than the other. Then after you've bought an Infiniti you keep looking at the bimmers and wonder if you've bought the right one ...

    Maybe I just need to stop looking and play with one of these racquets that I've bought. So far that would be the extreme pro -- just love the solidity -- but holding off until I get my hands on a graphene speed (which I really liked -- fixed what I didn't like about current gen speeds and radicals and combines what I like about them) and the blade 16x19.

    Then there's the string sub forum . . .
     
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  35. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Nice analogy.

    I don't know about you, but I'm in the market for a pair of sticks. My pro open is just a little too worn for my liking and I want to start with fresh new gear for when I start taking lessons :) which will be relatively soon! And if I can get a couple rads for $180 and a bag for $50 I would be more than happy.
     
    #35
  36. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    @ Mike

    Haha. This made me want to try and recall all the frames I've demoed since returning to tennis. Here you go:

    APDGT
    PDR2012
    Vcore100s
    BLX Blade (older version)
    Juice 100
    Formula 100
    N90
    NTour Two
    KBlade 98
    KBold
    BLX Pro Open
    BLX 90
    BLX 6.1 Team
    BLX PS 6.1 95
    PD Cortex
    PDGT
    PDGT 107
    APD OG
    APDGT Team
    APDGT+
    APD2013
    PD2012
    BB London
    BB Pro
    BB DC Pro
    BB V1 MP
    V1 Classic MP
    PB 8
    PB10 Mid
    Organix 8
    Organix V1 MP
    Rad IG MP+
    X Force
    4D 300
    4D 500
    4D 500 Tour
    Bio 400 Tour
    Bio F3.0 Tour
    Exo3 Tour 18x20
    Exo3 Ignite Team
    RDIS 200 Lite
    RDIS 300
    Xi 100
    TFlash Speedflex 300
    Slaz Pro Braided
    X Orange 99
    X Red 94
    X Dark Red 94
    Pro One 16x18
    X-Dual Gold 99
    Extreme 2.0 Pro

     
    I tried about 2/3 of those before settling on the APDGT, the rest were mostly to see if there was a better fit out there and some were friends/other players rackets and free demos. Had a PB10 Mid that I recently sold. I know there are a few missing from the list, or can't remember the names of. I didn't try many of the new players rackets as those are what I was coming from. I owned and/or demoed some of the classics like the original 6.0 85, 95, 6.1 95, Prestige, Pro No.1, C9, Ti80, RD7, SRD Tour 90, POG etc., from way back and figured the new versions are the same/not any better.

    The vast majority of frames I tried were good and I could play with, but since I was going to spend $$ on a pair of new frames I figure I might as well get one that really fits. Actually trying frames for fun or on free offers is great, as I've found a few that are a better fit than the APDGT. I'm not in any hurry to switch though, as I'm too busy working on my game and much more excited about seeing the on-court improvements.
    There were very few I didn't like:

    RDIS 200 Lite
    X Force
    4D 500
    X Orange 94
    X Dark Red 94

    Have you figured out what general direction you want to go in after trying all those frames?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
    #36
  37. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for sharing, Ray! :D

    I did not really enjoy the XForce either. And I've also not listed a few just because they were such brief hits or I just can't remember all of them lol.

    Most of the rackets that I've demoed and liked the most are right around 11.3 oz. I realize I can use lead tape to beef up an 11oz stick, however. The heavier sticks just aren't quite quick enough for me. My reaction time isn't fast enough, but my strength is enough (if that makes sense).

    I don't know if I really want a tweener. Maybe the radical is the right fit for me after all...because I really enjoyed the ig rad mp.

    I really liked the ig prestige mp, but my game had to be spot on and I really found it hard to hit with spin. The radical was a better fit. And them later on I tried the APDGT just for the hell of it to see why everyone likes it...and inward surprised by the control and power! I actually loved hitting 2hbhs with the Rafa stick more than forehands...however I really don't want to use it just because so many people already do. Idk.

    I don't really want to spend a ton of money, either. I realize that it's best to order two sticks at once and have them matched rather than going through one stick every year and having to worry about breaking strings and not being able to play (I should be getting a stringer for Xmas) :D

    So overall, I'm looking for a great but cheap racket. Something from the big three just because I don't want to take anymore chances on not liking the feel. Around 11.3 oz or maybe 11oz. Good spin potential but would rather have consistency over spin. Low -low/medium power. And not sure on string pattern lol.
     
    #37
  38. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    The Rad IG was pretty good, low powered and insanely flexible. String pattern isn't that important IMO, was hitting with way more spin with the Rad IG & Exo3 Tour 18x20 than my APDGT. Stick with what feels "right" to you. Demo & compare the older Rads from the sale section - could save a lot of $ if you end up liking them. 2 frames has its advantages but 1 frame isn't bad either, it means you have unused $ you can put towards another frame if you change your mind down the road.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
    #38
  39. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah that's true. I think i might just take a chance and order the mg rad. Can I ask tw for one with specs close to the ig?

    The radical just clicked when I hit with it. Love the way it sounds too. Or maybe I'll buy both the mg and lm.
     
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  40. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Or they could feel different enough from the IG that you don't like them.
    The PDC, PDGT, & PD2012 seem similar enough but I don't like the Cortex & wouldn't buy it, the GT had the perfect weight/balance/SW for easy mods, the PD2012 felt best but I had the hardest time trying to get the mods just right.
    I think a demo will result in the least potential hassle & more confident buy. You might have a hard time returning a new frame that's been strung.
     
    #40
  41. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Hmm...I'll demo all three of them!

    What other racket should I demo with them?...Aero storm comes to mind. Always wanted to try it
     
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  42. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    The Rad IG flexed in a way that reminded me of the PB10 Mid, just more exaggerated. Maybe the PB10 Light might feel similar? Looks close on paper, Haha, that's just a shot in the dark though.

    Maybe you can be the TT test subject for the Solinco 8.
     
    #42
  43. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    The SW of the pro 8 is just wayyy too light though! Oh, so maybe instead of testing the ig again I will put the pb 10 light. I have been looking at it anyway!
     
    #43
  44. PrincessAdam

    PrincessAdam Rookie

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    I looked at some of your racquets you've tried and sounds like me and you like about the same thing. I was recommended by my coach to try something a tad lighter than what I've been using (12+ oz) since I have been going more towards serving and volleying. I ordered some demos from TW and I think they should come in today or monday. The ones I ordered were:

    Dunlop Bio 300 Tour
    Dunlop F 3.0 Tour
    Prince rebel 95

    I want something that still has player specs just lighter. I really like the look of the bio 300 tour and specs, boxy 20 mm beam, the stiffness, balance, headsize. Also wanted to try the new iteration. I also just threw in the rebel 95 since I've used prince for a while now. I'll let you know my opinions on them once I hit with them all.
     
    #44
  45. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Sounds good!

    I have hit with the bio 300T, and I think you're really gonna like it. However, it swings really light so you probably will want to add lead
     
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  46. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I just realized that I can't demo any of these... TW doesn't offer them :/
     
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  47. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Looks like just the pb10 light isnt available. The other 3 demo links work.
     
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  48. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Ok sweet maybe my phone was just being slow
     
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  49. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Well since my sister got a car for Xmas, my parents asked me what tennis gear I would like lol. I bit the bullet and decided to ask for a stick that I know I like, the BLX Blade 98 (gold). I also said I would be ok with a pro open. I figured that I can't go wrong with either of these options.

    I also asked for a new Wilson tour bag...it will be interesting as to which one they get for me...

    Also probably coming on the way is a big pack of Wilson pro over grips, some lead tape, numerous types of string (mostly synthetics) and a klippermate :D
     
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  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The Klip might prove to be the most used investment.
    Since you're so picky on rackets, you'll find strings is another hornet's nest with the same # of choices and differences.
     
    #50

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