Power pads turned my 6.1 into a PT57A.

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Quikj, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    Hey everyone, been a little while since I've posted on this site, but I wanted to stop in and share my recent experience with power pads and how they have shaped the most subjective attribute of my tennis rackets...their feel.

    I'm a graduate assistant on a D-1 college team and one of our players kept losing his dampener on the court. I installed power pads in the throat of his rackets and he liked the feeling A LOT. So, I decided to try them for myself in my 6.1 95's.

    [​IMG]

    They feel great! My racket history is littered with rackets from 3 specific brands: Head, Wilson and Babolat.

    With Head rackets (PT 630, Prestige MP), I've always used a Head logo dampener on the stringbed, as I've always felt like Head rackets transmit a large amount of feedback.

    For me, Wilson rackets (Various 6.1 incarnations) usually required a rubberband tied around the center two mains. The rackets seem to be inherently more muted, so I used the rubberband just to get the "ping" sound out.

    Interestingly enough Babolat Rackets ('03 Pure Control, Pure Storm LTD) don't require the use of a dampener at all. I feel as if it's due to the woofers, but that's really just speculation on my part.

    Anyway, I feel as if in each case, I'm looking for a similar feel from the stringbed, while using various methods to achieve them.

    With my newest Wilson 6.1, the power pads act exactly as I was hoping that they would. They mute the stringbed just enough to get rid of that "ping" sound. I don't necessarily think that it adds any "power" to my shots. I supply that myself! But, it does give a relatively stiff racket quite a flexible feel. It reminds me of my PT630 Holy grail that I loved so much.

    It seems as if I have achieved what I've been looking for since I switched from that beloved PT57A and I was able to do so without having to look down at something on my stringbed. Always thought that was a bit distracting... I get the mass and stability of the 6.1, coupled with the plush feel at contact of the PT57A.

    Anyone else have a similar experience with power pads or chasing a particular feel in their rackets across different stiffness ratings or manufacturers?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
    #1
  2. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Good stuff.

    Some great reference as well. Makes me want to cut up some old leather grips and pad me some.
     
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  3. floydcouncil

    floydcouncil Semi-Pro

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    Someone's been smoking some good stuff.......
     
    #3
  4. cmendez79

    cmendez79 Semi-Pro

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    I have always wanted to try power pads, but for some reason I have never done it.

    I used pete samprasĀ“s O dampener, but I will but out the strings today and try the power pads....

    Since I do not have power pads, I will use an old leather belt I have
     
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  5. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    To those who have replied and are curious about experimenting with power pads, try it! I'm a big fan these days. I wish that I would have given them a shot sooner.
     
    #5
  6. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    I don't understand why you would think.that I would smoke...ohhh...I DO have dreadlocks!

    That's funny. You're funny.
     
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  7. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    Interesting.

    I'm in a bind currently as I love the feel of my pt57a's, but I clearly play better all around with a retail prestige pro.
     
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  8. mach2joe

    mach2joe New User

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    Just curious ... how does the string tension loss compare between using power pads and not using them? Wouldn't the little pieces of leather gets "squished" and cause significant string tension loss?
     
    #8
  9. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    So, I know these can be fashioned from random leather, but do you mind telling me where did you get those perfectly shaped leather?

    If you fashioned them yourself, what was your source and where'd you get them?

    Also, I actually play with a dampener, I hate them, I think they turn every single stringbeds into a 2x4. Would I have the same experience with these power pads? I have heard that power pads are nothing more than dampeners nowadays?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
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  10. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    I'm not sure how the tension loss compares to not using power pads, as I usually break my strings before I notice the tension loss.

    But, I do remember reading that power pads do equate to a bit more initial tension loss, during the stringing process. Apparently, this may be what some people interpret as a "boost" in power due to the pads. Even if that's the case, I would assume the tension loss to be negligible, as it's only affecting the center 6 mains.
     
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  11. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    I made them myself out of an old babolat leather grip that came off my pure storm ltd. I just cut them into strips of the shape and size that made sense.

    In my opinion, I get more feel from the stringbed with power pads than a dampener, but I still get a slightly more muted stringbed overall. They are effectively just used for that purpose these days and I think they do that job quite well!
     
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  12. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    The power pads make the mains longer, that's were the added power comes from. I'm not sure why you think there's more initial tension loss..... Did you measure that?
     
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  13. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Another Power Pad thread.....:confused:
     
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  14. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    Nope, didn't measure it, but I read it in a couple of old threads. I don't really care about tension loss. As long as my rackets feel the same every time, no sweat. I was just attempting to respond to the other as best I could given my limited knowledge.

    As he mentioned, it would make sense to me that there would be a small amount of tension loss, due to the compression of the leather. But...I could be wrong.

    Also, does the main strings being such a small fraction longer really equate to a noticeable gain in power? I was skeptical of this when I read about this and to tell you the truth, I still am after installing them in my own rackets. I understand that physically longer main strings would provide a tad more pop, but is it large enough to even worth noting?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
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  15. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    So the pads that we see right there, are they just layered/pancaked stacks of small cut-up pieces?

    Thanks.
     
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  16. rosewall4ever

    rosewall4ever Semi-Pro

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    if it does provide tension loss along the main then naturally it would create tensional difference between the mains and the cross, hence the plush feeling, provided both are strung at the same tensuon.now im gonig to try them out on my next string job.has anyine has had difficulty getting a stringer to have them installed?
     
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  17. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    typically it is a piece that is folded once.



    with regard to making the mains longer and creating more power; I don't believe it. The tension on the mains is going to compress those pads so any extra length is going to be negligible at best.
     
    #17
  18. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    Actually, the pads that you see in the picture on my racket only have a single layer.

    Rabbit is right, they are usually folded before installation, creating two layers. I used this standard method when installing our player's power pads, but the stringbed felt a bit too muted for me.

    Knowing this, I only used one layer on mine in order to get the more specific feel that I preferred.
     
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  19. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    That is funny :)
     
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  20. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Not to rain on your parade, but there is no way power pads will make the 95 feel in any way like a pt57a.

    Carry on.
     
    #20
  21. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Even if you use power pads that were once used on a pt57a? Won't the "MOJO" from the pt57a carry over to the 95?
     
    #21
  22. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    I know that the PT57a is more flexible, has 18 mains, a thinner beam, different throat design and of course a different layup. I still have mine after all. I'm sure that there are many more reasons as to how they are different, but it was simply a means for comparison.

    It's the closest thing that I have hit with that reminds me of my favorite racket. Other rackets with more similar specs never did it for me. My pure storm ltd's never quite got there. C10 Pro's, MW200Gs, various Prestiges... Never did hit with the Redondo though. Always wanted to try that one.

    Anyway, I can understand your sentiment and you're probably right. But, the level of feedback I get from my racket reminds me immediately of the special feel of my PT57a.

    Works for me!
     
    #22
  23. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    I've used power pads out of curiosity for a while, and discarded them for convenience.
    I'm quite happily playing without them now, and don't really think they make ANY practical difference outside maybe a slightly different sound at contact.
    What I mean by convenience is...I don't want to depend on variables that might be out of my control (like power pads).
    If I'm away from home playing a tournament in a different city and need a quick restring I prefer to keep things simple.
    I won't have access to my stringing machine and those strips of leather get easily lost...may get broken ...etc, and/or the stringer that's doing the stringing for me may simply forget about them by the time he gets to string my rackets.
    I don't think that the very minor difference in feel is worth the hassle, so I just play without them.
    Related to the subject of these things "transforming" a racket...well...not in my experience.
     
    #23
  24. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^
    Yeah, the only intent/use of power pads was to change the angle on some turns with racquets that had really sharp turns. Natural gut would break at the frame if the angle was too severe.

    New racquets pretty much cover that with the grommet.
     
    #24
  25. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Going to try and add me some power pads.

    Found these at my local hardware store for $0.25. Not leather, but vinyl. It can't hurt, right?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
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  26. ten11

    ten11 Rookie

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    There is a good Q&A in the March edition of tennis industry talking about power pad.
    http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/issues/201403/index.html

    Op is completely misleading reader, IMHO. You will not get a PT57A by using power pad.
     
    #26
  27. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    Didn't mean to mislead anyone. That was not my intention. The title of this thread reflects how I feel about my rackets after I installed the power pads, given my experience. I simply chose the racket that I felt was the most similar in terms of response from the stringbed. I couldn't be happier with how they turned out.

    Here is our player's racket. He's a big fan now too. I probably have him to thank.
    [​IMG]
     
    #27
  28. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
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  29. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    As suspected, they have a slight dampening effect on my racquet. Don't really care for it but they do look kind of cool. :)
     
    #29
  30. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Don't kid yourself -- it looks plain silly ;-)
     
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  31. HRB

    HRB Professional

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    Hey, just answer the important question...who's in your profile photo and where can I get a larger version!:twisted:
     
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  32. michaelscoots

    michaelscoots Rookie

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    I've been using them for years and like them. They give the string bed a very slight give when pushed hard with heavy hitting. I think they may buy me an hour or two more with my strings before they break.
     
    #32
  33. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    why don't you just put them underneath the plastic grommet wouldn't it make stringing them a lot easier.
     
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  34. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Quoted for truth.
     
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  35. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    We also have to take into account that the OP uses Polylon mains and OG Micro crosses, with the Micro strung lower. Add power pads on a medium/stiff flexing frame, along with player preference, and we can't really say that the six.one doesn't remind him of the PT57a. Anyone care to sort all of this out?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
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  36. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Leather pad user here for the past 30 years.
    Recently stopped since babolats have that effect with the curved parts at the bottom. But this thread has got me thinking of using leather pads again. Don't think i have any left, so i will make some out of scrap leather grip.

    I use a strike tour sans dampener. I love it, but it will be even nicer with some leather. Thanks.
     
    #36
  37. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    #37
  38. purple-n-gold

    purple-n-gold Professional

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    Installing PP's right now in honor of this thread..
     
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  39. Brent Pederson

    Brent Pederson Semi-Pro

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    I think that power pads essentially do the same thing that babolat woofers do, which is to add some give and springiness to the string bed. That extra give translates into a little extra dwell time and softer impact, so more ball feel, and the springiness gives a bit more power as well.
     
    #39
  40. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Power pads make no difference. you are talking about 3 power pads or 4 depending on the string pattern only in the throat. Where as Babolat's woofer is around every string hole around the whole hoop of the frame.
     
    #40

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