@@@@@----------The OFFICIAL Pro Kennex Ki5 Support and Discussion Thread--------@@@@@

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by KenC, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Lately there has been a lot of threads all over the TW forums concerning the PK Ki5 frame. I recently bought 2 Ki5 315 and used this forum to get ideas and opinions to support my decision to use this stick. I always found the PSLGT support group to be very helpful and thought it would be great to have one for the KI5, which is much more popular. And considering that many migrate to this racquet because of arm and shoulder issues, having a centralized thread would be of great use to them.

    Over time I will go through the forums and find the most relevant and interesting threads and highlight them here in the inaugural post.

    TW User Feedback (Seems to combine the295 e 315 together)
    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/feedback-KI512.html
    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/feedback-KI5N12.html

    User Reviews and General Discussions
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=355297
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=413091
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=427897
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=413091

    About the "Sand" Sound
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=412810
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=424827
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
    #1
  2. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I bought 2 frames yesterday and weighed them before they were strung. Interestingly I measured one at 308g and the other at 310g. Strung with overgrip they come in at 331g and 333g. The racquet I used as a demo weighs in at 331g strung with overgrip.

    While everywhere on the racquet I find 315, I think PK must be aiming for more like 310g +/- a few grams. Of course i am not using lab grade scales but the one in the shop and my scale at home have always agreed.

    I don't know how significant the extra 5 or so grams is, but the racquets seem to play very well and handle heavy balls just fine. But I am interested to know if anyone ever got the 315 with an actual weight of 315g. Maybe 315 just sounds better than 310?
     
    #2
  3. canadad

    canadad Semi-Pro

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    I am in, this racquet is awesome. After trying out many different frames, I have landed with this and could not be happier.
     
    #3
  4. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    I am in, 3 PK Ki5 315, so far no complain
    (only adjustement)
     
    #4
  5. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    When I switched from the APDGT to the Ki 5x it didn't take long at all for my elbow to heal up. 2 weeks later, I'm serving as if I took 10 years off my life! I thought my serve slowed down because I was getting older, but the truth was I held back physically and subconsciously because of my arm. When your arm gets a chance to heal, your game has a way of getting better in all areas beyond the mere playing aspects of the racquet (which are already good).

    Many people think that switching to an arm-friendly racquet is something they do out of necessity so they can play regularly without pain, and hopefully, the racquet will play as well as the old one. However, I think a lot of people would be surprised at the noticeable improvment in their game once the arm heals up.
     
    #5
  6. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I liked this racquet long before I developed a bit of TE. I always told people the 315 is everything the Pure Drive should be. While I was super content with my PSLGTs, once the TE crept in I am glad I demo'ed the Ki5 315 and probably will just stick with this racquet, even after the TE is gone. The more I play with it the more I am dialing in everything and playing just as well with it.

    Anyone want to buy some used PSLGTs? :shock::shock:

    Questions for all users: If not already stated, which model do you use? Have you modified your Ki5? What strings and tension work best for you?

    I am currently using the frame unmodified and seem to be able to manage fine without customizing it. I strung up both my new racquets with the new XCel Black 1.30 and strung one at 54lbs and one at 50lbs. The one at 54 plays well and I think I will later on move to this tension. The one at 50 plays fine and my elbow is appreciating the low tension, although I seem to have to be more careful not to step on the gas too much.

    Unfortunately I am a string breaker and really don't want to keep using the way overpriced XCel Black. I am thinking about trying out the Discho Microfibre next. I will probably miss the black color of XCel as it really makes the racquet look mean :twisted:
     
    #6
  7. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I have the Ki 5x, which I think is nothing more than a Ki 5 with a longer handle. Right now, my modifications include:

    Wilson Shock Shield grip
    Yonex Supergrap overgrip
    1.5" Gamma head tape over the bumper
    Tourna Sampras Dampener
    2 grams of lead at 3, 12, 9

    My measurements are:

    Weight: 361 grams
    Balance: 5 points HL
    Swingweight: 383 (measured with SwingTool)

    I basically think of this as a balanced setup to counterbalance my heavy replacement grip since I think the racquet is very head light as it is. I actually like a more polarized setup for groundstrokes where I only put lead at 12, but my volleys and slices seem to suffer with that, and I play the net a lot.

    I've tried several multis, including some very good ones, but none of them will go more than 10-12 hours without breaking or feeling lifeless at the end. I tried Klip Legend natural gut, and it played better than any multi and lasted about 30 hours with no deterioration in play, so for now my go to setup is full gut, and I'll use my leftover stash of multis and polys for bad weather backup and experimentation. Gut/poly is actually my favorite setup as far as playability, but I'll have to find a poly that doesn't die in 3 hours like Discho Iontec.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
    #7
  8. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    A kI Q5 315 seems to be a new offering just up on the site so presumably no one has tried it?
     
    #8
  9. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    The specs are very different from the Ki 5. I haven't tried it yet, so maybe I'm wrong, but the Q5 315 seems to be a closer match to the Juice Pro, while the Ki 5 is closer to a Pure Storm. It seems to me that the closest match to the Ki 5 in the Q-series is the QTour. Right now, I'm in no hurry to switch, but I'll keep those Q-series racquets in mind.

    I'm not sure if I see a benefit in going to 4 kinetic chambers versus a continuous kinetic strip around the head. It sounds "less kinetic" to me. Maybe PK did it to lessen the sound when you shake it, but I don't notice the sound at all when I play.
     
    #9
  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    FYI, the Head tape sticks better to the 7G bumper guard than the Gamma. I'm not sure if they use the same bumper guard for your racket though.
     
    #10
  11. drummerboy

    drummerboy Rookie

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    Just bought this frame. Still in the process of getting used to it but overall I feel it's a good stick. Very hefty stick, no arm issues, plays well in all departments. I have a little pain in my wrist atm but it could be my technique. Shoulder and elbow feel great.
     
    #11
  12. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    Bought mine a month or so ago. No mods other than Yonex overgrip. I'm running Lux Alu at 55 in the mains and Babolat n.vy at 57 in the crosses. While arm comfort wasn't the primary concern for me, this racquet has allowed me to run the poly/syn gut hybrid a little tighter than on other racquets with far less shock. Since I live at altitude, the tighter setup has given me more ability to keep balls short of the baseline.

    I actually just played a few days ago at the clay courts in Frick Park, Pittsburgh. That was my first time playing at somewhat close to sea level in years, and the difference is not minor. I only mention this because I felt like the ki5 had a ton of spin potential and was great at whipping around for sharp angles; yet I was also able to hit through the court when necessary. It felt almost tough to hit too long, but I didn't leave many short balls either. If I was playing here full time, I might consider dropping the string tension a pound or two.
     
    #12
  13. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

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    I'm in... I just finished playing an entire week with the TW demo, and I'm ordering 2 this week.

    Ramon... I hear you about serving! My serve has definitely improved with this racquet because of the lack of pain. In the past I was only able to serve for a couple of games until my arm turned into a rag.

    KenC... thanks for starting this club. It's great to see how everyone else is moding their frames.
     
    #13
  14. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Guess I should weigh in here. I just bought my 3rd ki 5 (used). I also still have 2 of the very 1st gen 5gs. I had several of their models between these and either sold them (thinking I was going to something else) or broke them (the white, yellow, black 5g just before the ki series was kind of brittle in my opinion). Mine are all modified. I take the butt cap off, remove the cylinder shape piece in the handle then add cotton and rubber cement. I've experimented with various amounts. I replace the butt cap (1 has a Head butt cap), then put a 1" piece of heat shrink around the butt cap to make it just a little larger. I use a ribbed grip with a soft, tacky overgrip. I use a Gamma Shockbuster I worm. I string with a gut/syn hybrid at around 62#. Of course, I experiment a lot, test many strings, etc. Overall wt of the racket I use most is 11.7oz strung. It's solid and plays great.
     
    #14
  15. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    How would you compare the Ki 5 to the 5G? I heard the 5G is softer and the Ki 5 is more crisp. Is there a difference in arm-friendliness?
     
    #15
  16. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    So build quality and spec reliability is excellent with pro kennex?
     
    #16
  17. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    For what it's worth, I preferred the feel of my 7G to the Ki5, though I don't think I've ever tried the Ki5x, which would be the proper side-by-side comparison. 7G just felt kind of 'alive' to me compared to the Ki5, which felt a little more dead to me..

    It's not perfect. My three 7Gs varied in balance, so if buying from TW, best to use the matching service for exact specs you're after.
     
    #17
  18. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Build quality seems fine and the two racquets that I have play identically. The only problem I have is that the two frames weigh in at 308 and 310g before stringing and overgrip. Seems like PK have a tolerance of +/- 7g. I prefer heavier racquets so I kinda' wish they erred on the heavier side rather than the lighter side...

    I'll live with it, but I would rather prefer stricter tolerances for if and when I decide to get a third frame. If a third one weighs in at 320g bare frame I would probably be annoyed.
     
    #18
  19. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    Ken, do you have any experience of the Ki5 295g. looking at it as a more maneuverable version of the 315 for quick net exchanges in doubles. Anyone else able to comment. TW doesn't seem to carry it except in Europe so maybe it not available in the US?
     
    #19
  20. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I know a guy who uses it here, but he strings it with Alu Rough and I am afraid to even ask to try it. The balance is a little less head light but evidently they play very similarly. I find the 315 be be just as maneuverable as my PSLGTs, which are great at the net.
     
    #20
  21. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I wish I would have weighed my racquets with a good scale when I first got them. Now that I modified them, it's too late, but based on my mods my best guess is that both of my Ki 5x racquets would come in at about 338-340 grams stock strung weight. I don't have a problem with variance between my 2 frames. They both seem heavier than spec, but at least that's consistent. Subjectively, the Ki 5x does feel heavier than the Ki 5. I suspect the difference in weight is just due to the extra length of the handle.
     
    #21
  22. athleticstennis

    athleticstennis Rookie

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    I love prokennex.I got into Prokennex a little more than a year, and still going strong. Looking forward to the updated Ki5 (Q5).
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
    #22
  23. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Ken. Think it might be worth my while waiting for the Q5 295 before I go with the Ki5.
     
    #23
  24. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    I think the ki 5 is just as easy on the arm as the 5g. The older 5g is dead in the top part of the hoop. The ki 5 seems to be a little stiffer in that area, but that was where it needed it.
     
    #24
  25. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Thank you. That helps explain why people are split between whether the Ki 5/5x was an improvement over the 5G/7G. I do hit the upper part of the stringbed a lot, and I like the response of the Ki 5x.
     
    #25
  26. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    So, It's been maybe more than a month now with the 315 and my elbow is definitely 98% recovered. Yesterday I did my usual 2 hour session with my hitting coach but without my tennis brace, and although I could feel a little bit of discomfort in the elbow area, it passed within a few minutes and this morning my elbow is ready to go with no pain at all.

    I'm pretty much dialed in with the 315 now. During the weekend I pulled out a PSLGT for about 15 minutes just to see if my honeymoon with the 315 is over or not. Let me be frank- the PSLGT is probably the best racquet out there for serious tennis today. It is so solid and precise, yet with more than enough power and spin when swung properly. It is very tempting to go back to it...

    I then pulled out a Pure Storm Tour and hit for maybe 20 minutes. OK, this racquet is for crushing the ball. Switching from the PSLGT, it was like getting out of a Rolls and into a Ferrari. It doesn't have the same magical feel as the PSLGT but it is easier to play with and be a little more lazy with and get away with it.

    Then it dawned on me that the 315 pretty much covers what I like about both my other racquets. It really is a good, all-round racquet that does everything well. Maybe I serve a little better with the PSLGT, and maybe my FH is a little more penetrating with the PST, but the differences areso slight that I think I can make it up with improved technique.

    Maybe I won't get rid of my babolats just yet, but I think I will go forward with the Ki5 315. Even after my elbow is 100%.
     
    #26
  27. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Your experience is not unique. My previous racquet was the Babolat APDGT. Last week, I hit with my friend's APD Cortex for a few minutes. I was amazed at how well I was hitting with it. I took big swings at the ball and, for the most part, my shots were going in and they were good shots. It was fun to hit with a racquet that was lighter, more maneuverable, and more powerful.

    However, I know this kind of feeling is just fleeting. For some reason it never translated to a better game for me in match play, and I know that in the long run it won't be good for my arm, so it's not an option anyway. Besides, I think my Ki 5x is one of the reasons my form is better now than it was before I got it.
     
    #27
  28. danix

    danix Semi-Pro

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    Very curious to hear what people think of the Q5 compared to the Ki5. I posted some quick impressions in another thread.
     
    #28
  29. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    Fellow Ki5 fans, what are your preferred string set-ups please? I have one on it's way and was thinking gut/poly hybrid around 56/52. Your thought please?
     
    #29
  30. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    That's a good place to start if your arm can take it. Dead poly hurts my arm even if it's just a cross string, which is why my goto setup right now is full natural gut (Klip Legend) at about 60 pounds.
     
    #30
  31. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

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    just got a ki5x. I use to play with a 7g for 3 yrs before. looking forward to play with it.
     
    #31
  32. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    Did I say no complain? Holy crap one handle broke suddenly :(
     
    #32
  33. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    I use Lux Alu at 55 lb with Babolat N.VY at 57. That's the setup that works optimally for me, and the nice thing with the Ki5 is you can run tighter setups (if that's your preference) without fear of elbow pain.
     
    #33
  34. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Out of the blue? Never heard of a handle breaking before, even on babolat racquets. :)
     
    #34
  35. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I usually use TF XR1 16g in a full bed at 24kg. Nothing exciting, just a basic multi and rather comfy. I used Bab XCel Black 16g twice and it was very comfy but too expensive for a string breaker. At the moment I am on my third string job with Prince Premiere Attack Black 16 at 24kg and am liking the string. Although it is a multi, it seems to feel and play almost like a co-poly. Not as comfy as XCel or XR1 but good enough with this frame.
     
    #35
  36. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    Seems like the Ki5 is gathering momentum! Thanks for the suggestions. Gut/ poly in The Ki5 will definitely be softer than the full poly I was playing in the PD so should be ok as my TE is not at the chronic stage as it was before but I can feel the beginnings of a problem on the horizon. Slightly concerned about the cracking comment, lets hope it's just a one off.

    Will start with gut/poly and see how my elbow reacts then go from there.
     
    #36
  37. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    I'm in. One with Tour Bite at 54/56lbs and another incoming with factory strings (which weren't that offensive in the first one actually).
     
    #37
  38. Stroke

    Stroke Rookie

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    Has anyone who likes the Ki5 or similar Kennex versions of that racquet tried the Ki15PSE? At one time i saw it marketed as a Ki5 on steroids.
     
    #38
  39. trenzterra

    trenzterra Semi-Pro

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    My impression of the Ki5 is that it isn't a durable racquet.

    Had hairline cracks on the throat after just two years of using it, and I don't play that often. Had another crack in the frame after I accidentally knocked it against the table, and it wasn't a very hard knock.

    In comparison, my BLX 95 accidentally flew out of my hand while serving once and it still works fine...
     
    #39
  40. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    After just two years is quite a long time. Hairline cracks are common and usually don't affect performance.
     
    #40
  41. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

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    I have had several Ki5's over the years without any durability issues. I have heard from others that they can snap out of the blue, but I have never experienced any durability issues what so ever.
     
    #41
  42. smirker

    smirker Hall of Fame

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    That's reassuring to hear. Sure it can happen with any racket, not just the Ki5.
     
    #42
  43. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Just a thumbs up for Prince Premier Attack 16g in the black version. I have been playing with them for a few weeks now and find that 24kg seems to be the sweetspot for me. I am getting the same control and a little more spin than my usual XR1 strings give me. I also get an hour or two more play out of them as well. And did I mention that black strings just look way cool in the Ki5?

    Most importantly, they seem to be fine for sore elbows. I was a little hesitant to try them as RSI measured them to be slightly on the stiff side for a multi, but they are comfy enough in the Ki5 so that my elbow is happy after a few hours of hard play.
     
    #43
  44. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    PPA is way better than XR1 in my opinion. For me in the 7G, PPA lasts easily 3 or 4 times longer.
     
    #44
  45. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    PPA stiffens as it dies though. Which is not great for arms.
     
    #45
  46. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    As does Prince Premiere LT.
     
    #46
  47. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I've tried a lot of different strings. Right now it seems that I play my best game with PPA. I might change my mind when I try Pacific Classic next week, but PPA just has a feel and crispness to it that I really like when I take big swings and go for topspin drive winners. The thing that bothers me now is that it broke prematurely the last 2 times I used it. Both times were shanks along the grommets (1st time along the bottom, 2nd time along the top). The 2nd time happened after only 1 hour of hitting. The local pro joked that I was hitting the ball too hard. Maybe that also goes along with having a string that you love to swing away with. I think I'll keep using it as a backup for gut, and hopefully, I'll find that my shanks were a fluke.

    I'm using Kirschbaum Touch Multifiber right now. For me it plays almost as well as PPA. It has a little less spin and a little less power, but I play with the same amount of confidence with it, and it doesn't stiffen up like PPA. It seems to be taking shanks better because I had a couple of hard off-center hits last night that almost sounded like snapping sounds, but luckily it stayed in one piece.

    It's a good thing I string my own racquets. I'd hate to be waiting for them at a pro shop when 2 strings have broken so quickly.
     
    #47
  48. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't worry about it:

    1) Even at the very end it's far more arm-friendly than any poly, and with the Ki 5 it's not a problem for most people.

    2) By the time it gets stiff enough for you to notice it, an average multi like NXT (which costs much more) would have already broken by then. Assuming you're not as bad a shanker as me, PPA normally last a long time. You can cut it if you don't like it, and you've still gotten your money's worth.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
    #48
  49. ruud5

    ruud5 Rookie

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    How armfriendly is the Ki5 295 gram?
     
    #49
  50. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    A lot of people here in Italy use it when they get arm problems and to them it seems just as arm friendly as the 315 version. Maybe the 295 is a better matchup for those coming from the Pure Drive and its clones as it is less head light than the 315.

    I only briefly hit with one but it really doesn't seem any easier to swing than the 315, which makes me think the hoop is the same and there is only extra weight in the throat and handle on the 315.
     
    #50

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