Roger’s BLX90

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Fabfed, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. DownTheLineWith90

    DownTheLineWith90 Rookie

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    I don't think there will be a new PJ in 2014.
    I thought Wilson changes the PJ every three years?

    Also, those vapors are just the current Indian Wells, Orange-White colorway.
    No biggie there.

    The new bag looks more simplistic... Interesting.
     
  2. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The previous BLX 90 (red and black) paintjob only lasted 2 years (Jan. 2010 to Jan. 2012) before Wilson switched to the current white PS BLX 90 paintjob.
     
  3. trilix

    trilix Rookie

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    Maybe it depends on his success with the frame ;)
     
  4. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Actually, it depends on how much money Wilson decides it wants to make as they know fan boys will buy the latest paintjob no matter what just to look like their idol Federer. :shock:
     
  5. frinton

    frinton Semi-Pro

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    Maybe they were just taking general pictures and then they fotoshop the shirt design in as needed. ...basically this would be a PJ of shirts and shorts then ;-) ...wouldn't surprise me.
     
  6. DownTheLineWith90

    DownTheLineWith90 Rookie

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    Thanks for the correction, BP. Always spot on.
    Yeah, I guess the "no biggie" i said previously was a no brainer itself_
    This indeed looks like a photoshoot that wilson will end up photoshopping.
     
  7. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    I like the black+red paint scheme much more than the current one.
     
  8. augustobt

    augustobt Hall of Fame

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    The bag is different, so the racket in 2014 will have a new paintjob.
     
  9. DownTheLineWith90

    DownTheLineWith90 Rookie

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    Maybe all red?
     
  10. darklore009

    darklore009 Professional

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    black/red/ white? i like the ncode and k factor pj
     
  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    That doesn't mean Brotman hasn't done customizing for him. I've witnessed it first hand. Also, Gabriel is hardly the only person in the world who places lead on frames in that fashion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  12. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    This is my friend's 2009 Federer K90 (racket number 56) mentioned on page 8 of this thread (photos etc below). Finally got around to measuring the specs:-

    Weight: 367g (including everything and has 3g lead under the bumper at 12 o'clock)
    Balance: 32.2cm
    Swingweight: 350

    [​IMG]

    And are these yours knots RJYU? LOL:)

    [​IMG]


    The specs are very similar to those of a Federer K90 as measured by Art Art at Roland Garros which are below. He checked that racket, which had no lead under the bumper by the way.
    RDC: 68
    Weight: 367gr
    Balance point: 31.8cm from the but cap
    Wilson Gut 1.25mm/AluPower 1.25mm
    Wilson overgrip.

    If you can imagine some lead was moved from somewhere under the grip in Art Art's, to under the bumper in my friend's racket, that would explain the difference in the balance. I also think there must be a way to do this without changing the swingweight, but it depends where the lead was under the grip in Art Art's racket, and we will never know that unfortunately.

    Also the above is the only time I've seen one of Federer's racket tested for RDC, interesting to see it is 68. It is really a pity Art Art wasn't able to get the swingweight checked for that racket, but at least both of these have been checked for lead under the bumper. Fabfed has been brilliant showing all his rackets, but understandably doesn't want to check under the bumper for lead. I looked under the bumper on my friends racket, and it was not easy to do without damaging the bumper!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
  13. corners

    corners Legend

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    Jimbo, THANK YOU for the swingweight!!!!!
     
  14. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Cheers, just to let you know I did use the manual method though, but with many repetitions so I think 350 is quite accurate, I would suggest to +/-5.

    By the way, can you see a way for it to be possible that even with the different balances, that both rackets above could have the same swingweight?
     
  15. corners

    corners Legend

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    Have you used the manual method before? Have you ever checked the numbers you get against an RDC machine? Any chance you could put it on an RDC for swingweight and flex?

    Sorry to suggest more work for you, but this is for the historical record after all. :)

    Yeah, I think, given that P1 puts custom handles on Fed's frames and probably adds moss inside the handle as well, that swingweight and static weight could remain constant and the balance could be changed from 31.8 cm to 32.2 cm. It would simply requiring removing about 10 grams from the buttcap area to the top of the grip.

    I have the impression that pros might be inclined to add mass to the head for clay, rather than remove it, so I wouldn't think the shorter balance that ArtArt measured represents a movement of mass from the tip to the tail. But I could be wrong! Given that FabFed's fedsticks all weighed around 364 grams, the most obvious explanation for ArtArt's 367g, 31.8cm measurements is that Fed just added three grams to the butt to make it more headlight. But then your stick, having the same mass but longer balance, makes it all a bit mysterious. :) (Are you certain that your balance measurement is correct?)

    Nevertheless, yours is the first publicly reported swingweight for the GOAT. In the annals of tennis legend equipment, knowing Mr. Federer's swingweight ranks right up there with knowing that Don Budge used 16 ounce racquets. Some people still say he had the best one-handed backhand, and backhand return of serve, of all time. Equipment sure isn't everything, but it is important.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  16. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I've done lots of manual swingweight measurements before, and they are accurate compared to an RDC machine, always to within like I said +-5. You might not consider that accurate, but actually quite good for manual measurements I think. It's taken 3 years to get this done, so I can't see it going on an RDC machine any time soon frankly, but if it does, will report back here.

    As for the balance, I've done it off a table, so that is to within +-3mm. Again it needs a proper balance board measurement really, to be exact.

    Thanks for all your info/calculations. Art Art also measured a Wimbledon racket at 362g I believe, so I think Federer's racket weight does change for different tournaments. I still think the likelihood is that the swingweight is about the same though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  17. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    @jimbo333: The curious part here, is to know the specs of your old Federer black prostaff.

    When I took the specs of Federer racket, I was told by an "old guy" (Tony) that Federer plays with the old black ProStaff 85 but with a bigger headsize: 90.
    So I wonder what's the numbers in those black rackets you have.

    Agains't Portugal in the Davis Cup, I saw in the court Federer playing with the 90" version, and then change to the new 93" version, the one that Dimitrov is playing.
    Some inside guy at that time, told me that Fed was testing in competition, the new larger headsize of his ProStaff...
    Later, we have found that it was truth, and Dimitrov is now using it.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  18. corners

    corners Legend

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    Sorry Jimbo. I didn't mean to give the impression that I doubted your measurements. I assumed you knew what you were doing, but just wanted to make sure.

    I think you can get pretty darn close off a table. Better than +-3mm.

    I would be inclined to agree that swingweight would be the last thing that Fed would change if he's tweaking specs during the season. But we could be totally wrong about that too. :)

    Thanks again for filling in the swingweight gap. It's been a long time coming!
     
  19. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Honestly I don't mind you checking things with me. Thinking about it balance point off the table could be +-2mm, but i really don't think more accurate than that.

    I've said this before, but Ron, Nate etc must be having a good laugh at us trying to work all of this out. I really hope once Roger retires, they will tell us the exact details!
     
  20. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it is interesting that Federer seemed to stick to his 90. I'm guessing at the end of the day the 93 just felt too different (in a bad way).

    Now the problem with my Federer PSTour90 from May 2003 is that it isn't a typical Federer 90 racket, he only used this version for a month. Also it isn't fully set-up. Although if i put the lead back in the throat, restring with correct string/power pads, and add overgrip; then it will at least be as he used it. I will measure the specs then, I can't see any point in doing it before then.
     
  21. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    And don't forget we do have some of the specs from Federer's PSTour90 racket from September 2003, thanks to RFRF, see below. This September 2003 racket is the same mold he uses now, but it actually has like mine from May 2003 about 4g of lead in the throat.

    Brilliant info, but I really hope he posts the balance point of this racket, that would be superb to see.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  22. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Also, I've been going through some more old threads and finding more specs of Federer's rackets that you've done; so far I've found:-

    Paris 2006: 374g 31.3cm
    Madrid 2006: 368g 31.2cm
    Paris 2008: 367g 31.8cm

    Are these correct, and can you list all the Federer specs please that you've actually found out yourself?
    (Will save me going through any more old threads)
    And I promise to calculate and post the specs of my May2003 racket as soon as I've added lead back in the throat etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  23. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    In 2006 it wasn't me "in the flesh ;)" who took the specs, it was an "some other guy... ;)", so I can't confirm it 100%.

    But in 2008 I recall that those ware the specs that I could measure in a "rush situation" ;) ...
    So ~367g with BP: ~31.8cm, it seems to be the actual specs of his rackets.

    But like Tony said, this is the "old prostaff 85" with bigger head, so the layup would be very different from the retail rackets. That is the cause that P1 receives the rackets from Wilson pro room, the line production of his rackets must be the same they have used for the rackets that Sampras used in the past.
     
  24. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    The difference in layup between PS85 and for instance K90 is overrated by some people here, imo, that is..
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  25. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    Are you saying that K90 and the original(not made in china) PS85, have both the same layup ?
    They are very very different in terms of "feeling" ...
     
  26. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    I say that the difference in layup/composition/whatever even between the Pro Staff 85 and the subsequent 6.0's are tremendously understated.
     
  27. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    If you take a PS85 and a K90 (and BLX90 for that matter), hold it with two fingers about the top of the grip (the node) and tap the head, you will get more or less the exact same sound and timbre (in both directions) . It says a lot about that they are very close in composition and lay up (all different rackets sound different). Ofcourse they play differently, due to difference in size, design and weight distribution.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  28. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Actually, I have done this exact test on those three frame before and while I agree with you about the PS85 and K90, I felt the BLX90 was notably different in this regards. It felt more 'pingy' (metallic, less dead - however you explain it).... Nothing compared to a tweener frame but moreso than the other two.
     
  29. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I just did it again with my 85, K and BLX. The frequenzies are the exact same for all three. To me the BLX is a tad "muted" which could be because of the alleged "basalt". Perhaps the 85 is a tad more "crisp" sounding than the K, but that could be because the K is bigger... It is very close.
     
  30. rpsbel

    rpsbel New User

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    Zoom the Picture at 400%. It looks like a new paintjob for 2014. White, black and red. (In my opinion)
     
  31. DownTheLineWith90

    DownTheLineWith90 Rookie

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    I held my PS90 in the same way and it looks exactly the same in a mirror..
     
  32. AREYOUOUTOFYOURVULCANMIND

    AREYOUOUTOFYOURVULCANMIND Rookie

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    There's no gold on the edges like the PS90. This has red coming down the frame whereas the PS90 has black/gold. This is probably the 2014 paint job.
     
  33. rpsbel

    rpsbel New User

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    I agree with You.
     
  34. Fedest

    Fedest New User

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    Wish Wilson makes another exactly same K90 Specs but the head size is 95 in 2014.

    Love the K90 design too, BLX90 is great too but BLX PROSTAFF 90? simply doesn't satify my tastes at all
     
  35. MrPaul

    MrPaul New User

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    I've got a question about roger's elasto cross placement.

    It makes sense for me to place the elasto crosses in the sweetspot in order to protect the moving mains at the impact. But why are the elasto crosses placed at the 4th and 6th cross string?

    Let's say that in this case the string savers are about two crosses above the sweet spot. So do the string savers really save the strings?
    Because of the elasto crosses the tension above the sweetspot should be a bit higher. A miss hit get's more difficult to control, doesn't it?

    Of course those string savers aren't the secret of federer's grand slam titles (although I am not quite sure about it… :))… but what's the background about this placement?
     
  36. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    "Of course those string savers aren't the secret of federer's grand slam titles (although I am not quite sure about it… )… but what's the background about this placement?"

    As a long time stringer I have found that string saver placement is personal, based on where the player actually cuts into the gut the most. The shear forces are higher towards the tip of the frame.
     
  37. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I doubt he's using them to save his strings. I imagine it's more to do with the serve and perhaps spin on the serve. That area of the string bed is where contact is made on serves mostly. For ground-strokes it's usually lower towards the centre.
     
  38. MrPaul

    MrPaul New User

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    Thank you for your quick replies!

    I remembered the "user manual" of babolat's elasto cross. They advised to fill the whole sweetspot with string savers. Interesting that the zigzagging positions on 4th and 6th cross seem to be enough to protect mains.
     
  39. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    I think he placed them there to increase string tension around that area.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  40. MrPaul

    MrPaul New User

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    There was an interview ten minutes ago with Roger Federer in german television broadcasting the Gerry Weber Open live. Eurosport Germany has got a daily category called "Roger's Rasentennis". Today they talked about his rackets.

    On the one hand it was quite interesting because he described his different racket specifications playing on different grounds. Playing on lawn means for him using a lighter head to be faster with his racket. In contrast to that he uses a more head heavy racket on clay in order to generate more powerful strokes. That means he switches the balance of his rackets regarding to the grounds?

    He says that he is not as sensitive as other players with customizations of his rackets but he prefers much his identical grips.

    The funny thing was that he was asked about his elasto crosses which I asked here just two days ago. Federer says that he has got the opinion to generate a better topspin with it. He always has got 10 to 12 rackets on court and changes them so often so that there is no real use for him to save the strings.

    Then he was talking about all the different possibilities of setting up a racket with different string combinations. Regarding to his power pads Roger said that he used them in the past in order to save his gut strings. In my opinion his explanations seemed that his power pads and the elasto crosses are survivors of the past which he likes to use also today.

    His reason why he (and many others) switched to hybrid stringing was that you can swing strokes much faster. The stringing is more forgiving so that you can push to the limit easier.

    Perhaps nothing really new but it was quite cool seeing Roger talking about those details really easy going without any crowd around him and the journalist.
     
  41. MK2411

    MK2411 New User

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    I also saw it and thought it was really interesting. He also emphasised that it's really important to him that people can buy the same racket he uses. He said that apart from matching his 12 rackets and balancing depending on the surface his racket is the same as the ones that go over the counter.

     
  42. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

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    I have reported that a long time ago... different specs according to the surfasse.
    But, I'm glad that now it was the MAN himself to light it...
     
  43. corners

    corners Legend

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    Mr. Paul,

    Thanks for relating what you heard on german television. Do you think that there might be a transcript of the conversation available somewhere?

    Yes, it definitely means that he changes the balance of his frames depending on what surface he plays on. Now, the question is, does he change the balance by adding and subtracting mass from the butt of the racquet, and/or does he add or subtract mass from the head of the racquet?

    Adding or removing mass from the butt is very simple, and one gram will change the balance point by 1mm. So he could remove 10 grams for Roland Garros and his balance might be 32.7 cm, and he could add 10 grams for Wimbledon, where his balance might be 31.7 cm. Of course, this means his frames are 10 grams heavier at Wimbledon.

    However, he also said that he uses a more head-heavy racquet for more powerful strokes on clay. This statement makes the above explanation a bit problematic, because a more head-heavy racquet is not inherently more powerful than a more head-light racquet, if the swingweight remains unchanged, as it would be if the only change is mass added or removed from the butt.

    In my opinion, there could be two explanations:

    1. He really does mean that he makes his racquet more head-heavy for clay for more powerful strokes. Removing mass from the butt of a racquet can result in faster racquet-head speeds - more powerful strokes - for some people. The inherent power of the racquet does not change, but if swingspeeds are faster as a result of removing mass from the butt, this could result in more powerful strokes.

    2. He makes his racquet more head-heavy for clay by removing some lead from the butt AND adding some mass to the racquet head. Both would lengthen the balance (make more head-heavy), but adding mass to the racquet head also increases the swing weight, and thereby increases the intrinsic power of the racquet. However, increasing swingweight also makes the frame more difficult to swing, so this explanation is kind of the opposite of #1.


    #1 might make his frame swing more quickly, and generate more powerful shots through higher racquet-head speed. #2 would make his frame more inherently powerful, with greater plow through, so even if his swingspeeds slowed down slightly, the racquet would make up the difference, so to speak.


    On this forum, there are four or five racquets described by people who claim that they are Roger's actual match-day racquets. These racquets range in mass slightly, and I've seen balance points measured between 31.7cm and 32.2 cm. If each person who owns such a frame posted the exact specs, including swingweight, we could figure out exactly what he does to prepare his frames for play on various surfaces. My guess is that mass is added and removed only from the butt, but I really don't know.
     
  44. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    So I guess the debate is finally over?
     
  45. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    PriorityOne has shown pics of Federer's racquets with lots of lead added on the top of hoop under the bumper guard. So I'm pretty sure Federer adjusts the balance at least by adding or removing weight from the hoop. Not sure if he also add or removes weight from the handle.
     
  46. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    I've got to say, I always thought that his swing speed at Wimbeldon (I noticed last year) was slower and more relaxed but that he still managed to hit with incedible spin and pace, I've always thought on clay he is putting more effort into his strokes (obviously having to deal with a slower court and higher spinnier bounce is also a problem) and perhaps his different specs account for this.

    Now Fabfed's frames are all 364grams with 32.0cm balance more or less, are we to assume these were hardocurt frames? What info do we have?

    I believe he adds a bit to the top of the hoop for clay and leaves the rest untouched, But what do I know!?
     
  47. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    No it was more like 2-5 inches of 1/4" lead tape, so that is not so much. But that might be his fast court setup.
     
  48. Team10

    Team10 Hall of Fame

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    Wow, cool thread, Fabfed. Wonder what happened to him..?
     
  49. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    BUMP! This thread should never end!

    FabFed is amazing.. seeing him and Ron posting such useful information is so great for everyone. I have seen countless posts with people simply speculating.

    I find it funny that so many people talk about playing with his racquet to "see the difference" with the stock.

    Take a stock BLX and then customize it as much as possible to be close to Fed's stick. Who can properly use this? You need to be at least a solid 4.0 or above to start having a clue as to how this stick PLAYS. The weight alone is rough enough for most players. The low tension throws control out of the window. You already need to be a very serious player with a deep understanding of timing, spin, slicing and making proper use of the gut/lux combo. I have put that racquet into many 4.0+ players hands and they completely fail with it..and understandably so!

    IMO it would take a serious level 7.0 player that already have significant experience on a custom BLX to then use Fed's stick and notice a difference (if one exists). Try swinging a 360g BLX for a few hours at a very high level.. unless you are a seriously high level, your arm is toast.

    Having played with this setup for years I do not believe Fed's stick plays much different in regards to the mold. The various releases are clearly PJ's as people have done everything possible aside from scraping paint off.

    My setup is as close to Fed's as I can get it. My shots are very similar to his and when watching him practice (in person) I do not see his racquet playing differently than mine. Meaning that based on my abilities with this modified stick I have little doubt that his stick is any different. The one MASSIVE factor here is that HE is Roger Federer and even if I can emulate his shots like a mirror.. I am absolutely nothing compared to him. I hope you guys understand that I am saying I can execute his shots (not all of them.. god himself could not do that).

    My level is high enough that I could do practices with Fed and if we play matches I could win some points. Games..improbable haha. The point here is that any high level player that has used a custom BLX or K90 would be able to know if there is any different between that stick and Fed's.

    I spoke to Oliver Rochus about this once and he told me he did not see any difference. Rochus has hit with Fed's racquet in practice (for fun) and said he did not notice anything "off" about the stick.

    Unless I am confused I see a lot of people talking about hitting with Fed's racquet and comparing it with a stock BLX. A stock BLX is head light.

    What is different about Fed's stick compared to retail? Here is what we already know

    Gut/Lux string setup (tension varies)
    10 string savers near top
    3 leather power pads by P1
    tie off's in specific pattern (specific to that size frame as well)
    lead tape in head
    custom buttcap
    personally molded grip by P1
    leather wrap by P1
    wilson overgrip
    black tape at top of overgrip


    Here is what we do not know..

    Weight removed from handle? P1 knows this as they made the custom mold. They have no reason to share this information with anyone.

    BLX Basalt fiber quality. Mined in Colorado, USA it is rumored that the best Basalt is going into Fed's sticks and that makes more sense. There is a discussion about this in another thread.

    One of the K90 Fed sticks that FabFed has was clearly used on European clay..possibly Rome. This means (at least for the sticks that FabFed has) that Fed MIGHT have the same SW across the board for all sticks and only changes the tension..

    In general you would not want to play a match with different weights..that will throw off timing. You would only want to adjust tension.. it seems very likely that the SW of all frames is identical. Ron Yu CLEARLY would be able to confirm this if anyone cares to bribe him with a paypal "donation" HAHA.
     
  50. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2010
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    144
    Also someone had asked about the cross tension on the BLX that FabFed posted. The sticker indicates the tension is 22.5 (49.6lbs) so the cross tension is 21.1 (46.6lbs). There is always a three pound tension differential between his mains and crosses. That would range from 3-3.5lbs. Ron Yu can confirm this. This information came from Nate himself in 2009 and was discussed in previous posts.

    Anytime you see Fed's main tension simply drop 3lbs for cross.

    Federer has been dropping his tension for years now as have most players due to the improvements in string technology.

    Federer would string lower on clay to give himself more power on the slow courts. This is where we would see a setup like 46/43.

    Fast hard courts would be closer to 49/47 depending on the weather and who he is playing that day. Etc etc

    It is safe to say that Federer strings mains as high as 50 (probably on hot fast outdoor hard courts) and as low as 45 (colder conditions on slow outdoor clay).

    Knowing exactly what tension Federer uses is impossible. Attempting to use his tensions to replicate what he is doing is also impossible and pointless.


    I was reading a FabFed thread from 2009 and people were having a huge debate about the weight differential in Fed stick compared to the retail. Arguing about lead tape in hoop or handle and internally shaving the handle to make it lighter. They never settled the debate on that thread.

    In case anyone is curious, the debate is absolutely stupid! When Federer signs a contract to use a new stick (regardless if it is PJ or not) he has to order 1,000 units (Ron Yu can confirm this) in order for Wilson to come to terms. We are talking about serious business. Wilson would not just put a custom order to their factory and say "ok guys, go make idk..6 of these". It would be a bulk order under contract terms even if Fed only actually used 6 they would produce quite a lot and Fed would have paid for them all. We also know that his sticks were basically the stock version which were modded afterward. As I said before you would not change weights during matches and his frames were 9pt HL so it becomes obvious that he would be putting lead into the hoop.. and that was confirmed by the P1 photos.

    The handle is the part that makes me laugh. People were talking about Fed putting lead tape into the handle. What they failed to take into account is that Fed is a P1 client and they have zero tolerance for error. Being a P1 client his handles are custom molded to fit his hand and then a custom P1 leather grip is installed (he would have been given choices of various grips). The point here is that if Fed wanted the handle to be heavier then P1 would have simply created a heavier mold for him in the first place. Their bronze package is for 30 racquets and includes custom molds. If Federer is having 500+ custom mold handles created by P1 it is absurd to think that P1 would simply need to "slip in" some lead tape AFTERWARD.

    Some of you guys seem to ignore logic and blatant facts that are put in front of you. There is no lead tape in Federer's handle. IF there is more weight it would be from the custom mold. Given the specs of the racquet he would want lead @ 12 to adjust the balance, SW and RHS. This is all pretty obvious but apparently there have been huge debates over these stupid topics for nearly 10 years.
     

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