Should my "Man Card" be revoked?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by BC1, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    I put my ego aside yesterday and demoed the TEAM version of the new Prince Warrior. I demoed the regular Warrior a while back and liked it a lot, thought about demoing it again, but decided a the last minute to grab the Team version since it had a higher SW and very good twistweight. I thought what the heck. Well, I LOVED IT! It actually felt more stable and like it had more mass then the non-team. Here are the specs (I added an overgrip and two rubber grip thingys at the top of the grip, and dampner):

    PRINCE EXO3 WARRIOR TEAM 100
    Head Size: 100 sq. in.
    Length: 27in
    Strung Weight: 10.8 oz (with overgrip, rubber things and dampner)
    Balance: 2pt HH / Even (with overgrip, rubber things and dampner)
    Swingweight: 322-324
    Stiffness: 65
    Beam Width: 24mm / 26mm / 22.5mm /

    The racquet seemed as solid as any players tweener I've played with. The comfort and forgiveness was unmatched and I was able to hit powerful shots with control and ease. It felt like the cliche "extension of my arm". And my arm NEVER tired. The only part of my game that suffered was my one-handed backhand (which is typically my weakness anyway).

    You always see on here how SW is everything, and the swingweight of the team is 322. That is higher the the new PD2012, the regular Warrior, or the Pro Open - all racquets I have been considering. And the sw is about the same as the rebel 98.

    Anyway (even though I'm very aware of the Honeymoon), I'm loving this lighter racquet and I'm very tempted to buy one. I NEVER thought I would even consider such a lightweight (10.4 oz stock), even balance, or HH racquet - but my perception as changed. Now I just got to convince myself and my ego that it is all ok to go this route!!

    Are there any others out there (specifically upper 3.5 or 4.0 players) who have gone to a "lighter" weight racquet and had good results? or bad? Feedback? Comments? Confirmation that I can still keep my "man card" (just kidding - sort of)?
     
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  2. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

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    I believe the International Organization of Men has declared that if your racket is under 14oz, you must turn in your man card, wear skirts in public, and do all of the cooking, cleaning, and laundry in your household.
     
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  3. blipblop

    blipblop Rookie

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    Gender stereotypes are largely outdated these days. Play with what you like. Be happy you have found something that fulfills your tennis experience.

    I even look at it as a potential advantage. "Machismo" opponent scopes out your gear. "Ha what a girly racket." Getting beaten by a girly-man sends him into an emotional/mental breakdown. Proceed to win. I've considered getting a pink BLX Blade just for this reason.

    That said, I am going to contradict myself by saying I'm a guy and I prefer heavier rackets because I play hard hitters and lighter rackets get twisted like a pretzel against them.
     
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  4. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    I figured as much - oh well. Under those conditions (14oz min) I guess I was never worth of the card.
     
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  5. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Im a 4.0 player who had been tinkering with 12.0 oz weights and have realized that they are just a little too much for me.

    I have come to realize that racquet head speed is everything for my game and keeping a racquet <11.8 oz and at least 6pt HL is crucial.

    So yes I get better results in a "lighter" frame but that term is relative. My "lighter" is sub 12 oz where yours is sub 11 oz.

    Personally I find anything < 11oz is to unstable and if I get something that is head heavy to try and compensate for the stability then the thing becomes to unmanageable and I loose racquet head speed which results in less spin on groundstrokes and serves and terrible volleys.

    Get whatever works best for your game. As long as you keep shades of pink, teal, and puce off your paintjob well let you keep your man card.
     
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  6. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    That was my fear as well - playing against hard hitters - well it got a very good test last night, and to my surprise it handled the fast and hard balls as well as the PD (standard), or Rebel 98, I guess due to the slight HH balance and highish SW. Return of some very hard serves was weak at times, but once i got the timing down I had no problem. However, I can see how playing at an over 4.0 level with this racquet may not be advisable.
     
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  7. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Well, I guess all that I need is a mailing address.

    My frames are right at 11 ounces.



    I think the operative question here is....if you beat a similarly rated player, in my case 4.5, and he's playing with a Wilson 6.1 18X20 Manstick, do you really feel bad about beating him because your frame weighed less?

    I gotta tell y'all, there are a couple of guys who've remarked to me that they heard I was playing with my wife's racquet now. I knew it was a joke, but I replied to both of them...yeah, wanna play? Neither of them took me up on it.

    I've been to Senior 4.5/9.0 sectionals a bunch in the last few years. You really don't see many mansticks at these venues. Players by and large play with what they can play best with and don't really care about labels.

    Now, men carrying backpacks is a whole different topic ;)
     
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  8. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    The reason people mention using a higher swingweight is because a higher SW will give you a bigger sweet spot and more power, all things being equal. That allows you to get more power from a slower swing, decreasing the chances of bad timing or bad technique (snatching at the ball rather than swinging smoothly) that lead to framers and other mistakes. It also gives you more margin for error, so you can still get decent power when you hit off center.

    It has nothing to do with being a man or trying to impress others. It's about accepting the fact that you don't have the skill to produce extremely high swing speeds with perfect timing and dead-center contact, and you'd rather have a frame you can swing smoothly and still generate good pace even when you miss the middle of the string bed.
     
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  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    A real man should only worry about his serve. When he fails on his groundies, he needs to look at the frame with disgust as if it is it's fault. But on the serve - no compromise. Use the frame which gives you a hard serve which makes your opponent gasp, and win or lose, you will swagger out of the court giving the impression that you couldn't care less.
     
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  10. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    To be totally honest, as much of a weight junky and racketaholic as I am, I can play my game with any racket regardless of head size/weight/balance. Not optimally of course, but as long as it doesn't hurt my arm, I'm all for it.

    Use whatever makes you happy! (I played doubles with my lady and I was demoing a pink BLX Blade, the opponents laughed, I made them eat my 100MPH+ serve in retaliation! ;) )

    -Fuji
     
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  11. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    Spaceman - agreed, and it was actually some of your threads about SW and power that prompted me to look and consider the team. And I also agree with your other comments. Btw, my "manliness" is not my real concern at all, however (as you stated) accepting the fact that I can't get the most out of a 12oz players racquet due to lack of skills is a little blow to the old ego. Sometimes the truth hurts! But on the otherside, I had more fun and better results on the court last night then I've had in a long time. So It's all good!
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
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  12. chollyred

    chollyred Rookie

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    I prefer to call them "kilts"!

    What's that mailing address again? :oops:
     
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  13. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    Rabbit - Thanks for the comments. I've been reading your posts on the Tour Team from day one, and have enjoyed hearing about your success with that racquet. It's very reassuring and a nice change of pace as most of the posts on these boards are praises for the 12oz+ racquets (not that there is anything wrong with those - I'm just not good enough or young enough for them -There I said it! Still hurts a little).
     
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  14. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    And don't forget, let your wife or so wear your pants.

    Use what you like or what gives you best results.
     
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  15. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    Fuji, you're the best haha.

    keep your eyes peeled, I'm going to measure some swing weights this weekend (hopefully) and post about travlerajm's MR^2 / MgR/I affects. I'm having a hard time getting everything synched, but I think after I get my actual SW it will be easier to figure out
     
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  16. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Hahaha thanks! :)

    I was experimenting with the Travlerjm's stats, but I couldn't wrap my head around it fully. I was "near" optimal weight with a few rackets, and not with others. It was a very mentally taxing experiment to say the least LOL! I look forward to seeing your results though!

    -Fuji
     
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  17. redbirdone

    redbirdone New User

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    Hit what helps you play best...I switched to Yonex, which seems to have the "for girls only" rep amongst some people, and I'm playing a lot better.
     
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  18. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    The BLX blade is not a stick to laugh at, regardless of the color, it's obvious your opponents didn't know a thing about racquets - bet they won't laugh again :)

    And I agree I can play with anything too, it's just after a while my faults start to show a little more with some sticks then others. To me a 6.1 95 is the best racquet in the world for maybe 30-45 min, but after that it goes downhill rapidly.
     
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  19. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    ^^^^ This is exactly how I feel with some of the heavier frames.

    6.1 95
    Dunlop 200 Tour
    Head Prestige

    I play beautifully(probably some of absolute best tennis) with these racquets for ~1 set but after that my arm gets tired and it all goes downhill from there. Can no longer generate enough head speed to play effectively.

    Brings back memories of last year. I picked up a Dunlop Tour 200 of TW boards cheap and went to a practice or two and liked it so I decided to enter a tournament and play with it (never had played a real match with it prior).
    First match of the tournament first set I smoked the guy 6-0, felt like I could not miss with the racquet. Lost the 2nd and 3rd set 0-6,0-6. Arm got tired and started laying in "lollipop" serves the opponent would crush, opponent figured out I was tired real fast and hit low slices and short balls and I couldnt generate enough racquet speed to hit any effective shots so I was either hitting them long or sending "sitters" back across the net.
     
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  20. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    This should be engraved above the doors of the mens' locker room at every decent tennis club. It's the same in golf, oddly enough. Crush a few monster drives and no one cares what you shot. You Da Man.
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The fastest server in our club shows up with one racket in his hand, plays in a full sleeved shirt and trousers, is often barefoot or wearing sandals, never brings a can of balls to share, and does not move to any shot. But he is the most sought after guy because of his huge lefty serves. He has something no one else has - that is the secret of supply and demand.
     
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  22. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Your man card? I don't recall ever issuing you one.

    Carry on.
     
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  23. Hitman99

    Hitman99 Rookie

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    Real men don't give a crap about what posers think, what the "conventional wisdom" is, or what a racket's playability "should be" based on specifications and measurements. You've been watching too many Miller Lite commercials. Now if there EVER was a beer for prepubescent cheerleaders, that's it.

    Enjoy your racket. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
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  24. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Actually, yes! I just switched from a ~340-345g, ~8pts HL APDC+ (and MG Rads with similar specs) to the Prince Rebel Team 95, which is 10.2 unstrung and about even balance and am loving it! I have it weighted a little but not that much, coming in at 323g all told, even balance, which is still ~20g lighter and much more head heavy than what I've used for years! I also tried the regular Rebel 95 which is close to my usual specs and didn't like it nearly as much as the Team.

    Like you, I'm finding it super solid for volleys (more weight in the head?), crushing flat returns (also head weight?), slice approaches, just great all around. I'm a 4.5 and at first was wondering if 323g would hold up against heavy hitters and so far it has not been a problem. In fact, I just played a guy I was about even with the babolat (me ALWAYS playing defense, hitting deep loopy topsin, him always dictating) and beat him 6-0, 6-2 with the Team with me being almost entirely on offense, attacking every return, hitting flat to the corners. It was bizarre, actually, how much it changed the style of play due to being able to hit flat with so much pop with a shorter backswing. Attacking hard hit balls was no problem. Also played some heavy hitting doubles and felt I could return the heavy serves better with a shorter backswing and flatter racket face.

    So, yes, I had similar skepticism about going lighter but so far the results have been great! Oh, and my shoulder likes it too.:)
     
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  25. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

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    To quote Bob Kelso, "What has two thumbs and doesn't give a crap?" (points to self).

    Use what makes playing tennis the most fun for you. If you get more satisfaction out of a "manstick" than a tweener, then use it. If it's the other way around, use it.

    Same thing goes for excessively matching outfits, Fed/Nadal-style headbands, matching racket/bag kits, etc. Tennis is a game, and as long as you play by the rules, there's no reason to give a rip about how the people you're beating feel about the manner in which you do it...
     
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  26. subz

    subz Rookie

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    its not the racquet but the BALLS that make the man !
     
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  27. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Now that I think about it, I play in 4.5 leagues with mostly ex-college guys who hit big and heavy with topspin, guys who have had the same old frames as long as I've know them, and I never see any lead tape on their frames. These are guys you'd assume play with 12oz+ sticks, but they are mostly Pure Storms, various Radicals or APD's all of which are more like 11oz or so strung. Unless they all have neatly hidden the lead tape under the bumpers they are mostly playing with 11 ouncers and bashing away.
     
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  28. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    An open level player in my neck of the woods (Northern California) just dumped his leaded thin-beamed sticks he's used for years for a stock 2012 Pure Drive, and he is playing just as well and feels it has made his tennis easier and more enjoyable. No guilt or inferiority feelings, either:wink:
     
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  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Makes me cringe when I hear about other players dumping their 12 oz sticks in favor of lighter ones. Makes me lose more matches, too.
    Why would anyone want to make tennis easier and more fun? I wish everyone would stick to their 13 oz 65sq in wooden rackets.
     
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  30. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

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    Do whatever feels best for you. I know many very good players who use very light rackets. I remember kast year when Sam Querrey was still with Prince, he used the EXO3 Lite, which was under 10oz
     
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  31. Passion4Tennis

    Passion4Tennis Rookie

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    I don't think there are any male pros that use 9 or 10oz. racquets.
     
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  32. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    Keep in mind though that a very light weight frame can also be equally difficult to use effectively as something like a Prestige mid or BLX90. It's a difficult thing to recognize, because it seems counter-intuitive.

    For example, take the BLX Surge. Although it's 100" with an open string pattern and high stiffness, the ~300 swing weight leads to a very small sweet spot and low power potential. On the other hand, a frame like the Juice Pro has a bigger sweet spot and more power despite the fact that it's smaller and more flexible with a tighter string pattern. That's all because of the mass in the head.

    Going by the TWU data, you'd have to swing the Surge ~6% faster just to get the same power on a ball hit dead center and 4-5% faster if you catch it off-center compared to the Juice Pro. That doesn't sound like much, but 4-6% faster swing speeds are much, much harder to produce than you might think, because the biggest factor limiting your swing speed is your body, not your racket. (If you ever play tennis somewhere with a radar gun, try measuring your fastest swing speed with a high SW and compare it to a frame with a low SW; it won't be that much different.)

    Many people say that high swing speeds give you more control. But the truth is that high swing speeds are difficult to produce without causing timing issues and/or mis-hits, both of which lead to missed shots. Smooth swings are easier to control. That's why pushers and counter-punchers win so many matches at the lower levels. It's not until you reach the higher levels that you see guys who can get high swing speeds with a smooth technique.

    The ideal frame is one that you can swing in a smooth, controlled manner and still hit solid shots. For most people, that's not a frame with a low SW.
     
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  33. Hitman99

    Hitman99 Rookie

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    How many male pros are on this forum?
     
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  34. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    That is exactly the same experience I have had. There was an adjustment on the serve, but after that it's been smooth sailing.

    And do you know why you are "almost entirely on offense"? It's because you're using a racquet that fits your skill set! It is amazing.

    I really think your arm will be fine. I've been playing with my EXO3 Tour Teams for a year now and my arm is perfect.

    And, Davydekno's frame is 300 grams.
     
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  35. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    I just hit with a 5.0 today, who switched from the old NCODE 6.1 (12.5 ounces) 95 to...the Pure Drive LITE (less than 10.5)...and he is hitting better with the Pure Drive LITE.
     
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  36. corners

    corners Legend

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    The only one who can take your man card is your wife. I doubt she cares about your racquet weight.
     
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  37. Hitman99

    Hitman99 Rookie

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    Agreed. It's the grip size that counts.
     
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  38. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    i saw this message on a t-shirt :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  39. Passion4Tennis

    Passion4Tennis Rookie

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    You missed my point. The issue isn't about what people on this forum use. The other poster suggested the Querrey was actually using a Prince Exo Lite racquet, which weighs under 10oz. Do you think think there are any male touring pros that use a sub 10oz. racquet with a low swingweight?
     
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  40. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Well, you're on the money. The only shot that has been tricky is the serve which I can place well but lost some mph. Any specific things you noticed that helped adjusting the serve to a lighter, less HL frame?

    That may be true but I think I also actually had to improve certain things like footwork and stroke consistency/confidence/focus to able to use a frame like this and hit so flat and not lose control. It certainly feels higher risk than just hitting hyper topspin with the bab and everything stays in, but as long as I make sure to move my feet, get set and watch the ball every time it seems go in just as consistently. But yeah, now that I'm at this level I seem to be able to do things with this kind of frame that I couldn't with my old ones. I've hit more early winners in the last 2 weeks than I did in the last year and my god, my volleys are no longer a joke!!

    My shoulder/neck feels much much much better with the lighter frame but I do feel just a little soreness in my elbow after 3 or 4 sets, which I didn't in the past. I'm going to keep an eye on it and maybe try a softer string.

    Surely a 5.0 with a Prestige would kill that guy then!
     
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  41. Hitman99

    Hitman99 Rookie

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    Point taken --- my bad. :oops:
     
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  42. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, for me it was a case of relearning good technique. I had gotten too complacent with my C10s, using the weight of the frame and hitting a heavier spun ball.

    With the EXO3, I had to concentrate on a separation of my arms; that is to say that when my tossing arm went up, the racquet arm needs to be loaded. I had lost racquet head speed on my swing. The fix was to basically concentrate more on shoulder turn and to make sure I had my left arm 'loaded' in the swing and ready to explode more through the ball.

    Since the fixes have gone in, my serve is really moving well. Placement and pace are great too. I did go from poly mains and multi crosses to natural gut mains and poly crosses. I think that helped as well.
     
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  43. Passion4Tennis

    Passion4Tennis Rookie

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    No problem, lol. Rabbit said that Davydenko's racquet weighs in at 300 grams, which is 10.6oz. That's mind blowing to me. If the static weight is that low, the swingweight must be fairly high. Anyway, I'd have to think that's got to be about the lightest stick on the men's tour.

    I'm surprised at how many people on this board claim to use racquets well over 12oz, several over 13. The people that I've played against over the last 20 years (3.5-4.5) always seem to use racquets between 10.5 to 11.5, not many over that. I was one of the exceptions, with my 12-12.2oz frames.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
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  44. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    ^^^ Most of the peoople i see play at the leaque courts use a variety of weights. You will see the older (55 plus) group who mainly play USTA doubles using everything from an oversize 10.5 oz volkl or prince to a 10 year old 12 oz prostaff or dunlop 200. Im actually amazed at how many older guys have hung on to their old players racquets/heavy frames, but they hit pretty good, lots of pace. So i cant fault them. Its actually the 15-30 age group that i see with the babolats, pro opens, radicalls, all around the 11.2 weight. With the 30-50 age group it is all over the place lots of pds and aeros, some player sticks, but mostly tweenees of some type. I've also found most people at the courts dont know or care about racquets, or have any idea about specs or weights all that much, or even notice what you play with. I know that sounds, but i've found it to be true. I cant imagine not being aware as that is always the first thing i check out, as silly as that may be. I think we who frequent these boards are an exception!

    Thanks for all the great posts. This as been a fun thread. Keep them coming.
     
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  45. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Funny, the first time I tried serving with this I just instinctively thought, "hmm, this seems to need a little more shoulder turn" then after a day or two I just went back to tossing the ball up and smacking like I do with my other frames. I have yet to just go out and hit some serves with it so I need to do that. BTW, is your Exo3 Team 18x20 or 16x19? This is 18x20 and it seems pretty hard to slice wide in the deuce court.

    Thanks.
     
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  46. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^^^^^^
    As far as I know, the EXO3 Tour Team only comes in a 16X18
     
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  47. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    Well that's a big relief!! Your right, her focus is on my other equipment, and according to her my man card is not in jeopardy whatsoever! :) However, if i dont stop obsesssing over this site and giving her as much tme as i allocate to tennis. She may make it impossible for me to ever have a man card - OUCH!:shock::

    She does seem to notice my racquets more now though, amd their colors (not weights). New racquet acquisitions could be an issue. Its a good thing most of my tennis gear is stored securely in my car trunk!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
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  48. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Sep 7, 2007
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    6,237
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    My wife cares more about head size. :):twisted::shock:
     
    #48
  49. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    No way. Use whatever you can play well and win with. The guy I mentioned in another thread who consistently hits his forehands around 70-80mph and hits them very low/flat so they get across the court really fast, was swinging a 9.4oz racket SW under 300. While we were waiting for a court before playing for the first time I was thinking wtf, how is this guy gonna play? He hits them at sharp angles to the duece side and gets about 10-15 winners off me every time we hit, which is about 2 hours. He went and bought a blx 6.1 90sq in and wasn't hitting at the same speed and shots were too bouncy. He went back to the lighter frame after about 2 months and is hitting better again. People will look more at how you play than at your racket. I tried that frame and it worked surprising better than I thought. It was a bit unstable for blocking/punching fast passing shots on volleys though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
    #49
  50. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    on a tennis court
    Do you have any proof that he was using a heavier version of that racquet? Maybe he likes lighter frames, even though Querrey has switched to the Aero Pro Drive recently.
     
    #50

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