Too many nice rackets to choose from...

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by mhkeuns, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    I have been playing with the following sticks as of late:

    1. Yonex Ezone Ai 98
    2. Tecnifibre TFight 325 TP ATP
    3. Yonex Vcore Tour G 330
    4. Babolat Pure Strike Tour

    They are all great sticks. They all offer plenty of controllable power.

    I think the AI 98 and the TFight 325 are the easier sticks to pick up and play well. The other two will take some time to get used to the rackets' playing characteristics but will reward the player in a big way.

    Any of you have played with all four and settled on one of the above? I'm currently leaning towards the Tour G 330. The sound it generates is just out of this world. I'm still getting used to it, but unlike the TW review of the racket, I didn't find it sluggish at all. They are all great sticks, but the Tour G 330 makes playing tennis more fun... for some reason.

    I want to give myself a full month of playing heavily with the Tour G. It seems like the racket will grow on you... more and more.
     
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  2. Silent

    Silent Semi-Pro

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    So it wasn't just in my mind, the Tour G 330 really does sound great. Can't wait to receive mine next week. I rented it 3 times and just had to buy it.

    I still want to try the AI 98 too. I tried the Pure Strike 18x20 and although I loved serving with it, it wasn't a racquet for me. The Tecnifibre I'd try is the 320 but my local store doesn't have that one unfortunately.

    I'm hoping for the AI 98 to be awful, but let's face it, it'll be wonderful :(
     
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  3. DukeLit

    DukeLit New User

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    Hey there, I rarely post here but I've spent part of the summer demoing some racquets and thought I would share my experiences with a few of these. For reference, I'm a 5.0 player and I spent much of the past 12 months playing with an Aeropro Drive Plus and the Yonex Vcore Tour 330. Never liked the Babolat, and while I could win matches with the Yonex, all the weight at the tip never sat well with my strokes during singles.

    1. Ezone Ai 98: I thought this was a solid racquet. I served really well and consistently with it--easy to whip up on kick serves, and good pace despite the light weight. I found it too light for me in match play, though, and found myself overswinging too much on groundies. If you're a lead tape person (like many TTers, but unlike me) and like a little weight, this one could be a good option.

    2. Tecnifibre 325: I liked this one very much, actually. I could drive through my backhand very well, which is my best shot and always a barometer for how I'm getting on with a racquet. I felt like there was a little too much weight in the throat of the racquet, though, and it felt slightly awkward on serves. Further, despite the tighter string pattern I felt the racquet wanted me to have "brushier," spinnier strokes than I actually do. I prefer to hit through the ball more. Racquets like this equal doom for me in matches, so I opted against it.

    3. Yonex Tour G 330: I thought this was a great racquet on groundstrokes and lovely at the net. With so much weight in the throat of the racquet, however, I couldn't make it work for my service motion. I played a league doubles match with it, and although I won all my service games (and the serves weren't coming back), I also averaged 1-2 double-faults per game because I just couldn't groove the thing.

    4. Sorry, didn't try the Babolat.

    I ended up going with the Six.One 95 18x20, for what it's worth. Confidence-inspiring control, heavy enough to prevent me overswinging, and with the weight distribution I like.

    But keep demoing and find what suits your strokes best. Over the past year, demoing has helped me realize I can't stand racquets with weight at 12 so now I know better what to look for.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  4. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    Yeah..., my hitting partner was saying that the racket makes the thudding sounds like how the pros sound when they strike the balls. The Tour G 330 is made for the ones who like to initiate the first strike. It's very hard to put the racket down, very addicting. I'm not quite dialed in, but I could see the huge potential in this racket.

    The AI 98 is a plush racket that has it all from the power, spin and maneuverability. It's tad lighter than what I like, but it is so comfortable and easy to use. It reminds me of the APD but with way more comfort. I love it, too.

    I believe that the Pure Strike Tour version has the most plow through and the best stability of the Pure Strike line up. The racket is a beast. I don't think I've hit harder consistently with any other racket, like the Pure Strike. The only thing this racket lacks somewhat is the touch shots of the rackets like the IG Prestige line up. I think the racket really makes up for it with more than enough pop.

    You should give the TFight 325 a demo... This racket seems to have everything the the IG Prestige MP had but with way more pop. It feels,very comfortable. I was,going to go with the more popular 315's but chose the 325 based on the weight preference. Happy with the racket.
     
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  5. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    The Six.One 95 is a sweet racket, too. I chose the 95S over the regular one thinking that I wanted more spin in my game. Though so many people love the spin effect technology, I didn't find the string pattern beneficial to my game. Wished I stuck with the Six.One 95 18x20 because it felt much more stable and still provided loads of controllable power.

    I think the Six.One 95 and the Pure Strike Tour has a lot in common. To me, though, the Pure Strike Tour was a better racket over all because I really loved its ability to plow through ball. You can really crush the balls like Andy said in the review. Slightly heavy, but I like it like that.

    The Tour G 330 is very addicting. The sound it makes is intoxicating. It almost seems like Yonex purposefully made the racket to create such pleasing sounds when striking the balls. I wish the AI 98 has that sound, but that racket has more muted feel and sound...

    Thanks for the great review.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  6. Silent

    Silent Semi-Pro

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    Looks like I'll be trying the AI 98 in the next couple of days.

    Just for the fun of it, I decided to try the AI 100, and I have to say, it opened up my eyes. It's so easy to generate racquet head speed and it's much more comfortable than the specs would suggest. When I had time to setup on my forehand, I could easily generate the short angle which gave me instant advantage in the point. Serves were great too since I could hit the box more easily instead of hitting long. My backhand slice was pretty good too, i.e. better than usual. I also had better timing on my topspin backhand.

    I do like heavy racquets, but the AI 100 is the first light racquet that I really, really enjoyed, and it made me realize what "too heavy" means. I'll try the AI 98 and compare between the two, but I already called the store to change my order, and they accepted.

    I do love the Tour G 330, but unfortunately, I can't own 8 different racquets and I do play better with the AI 100. The sound isn't the same though. When you hit the sweetspot dead center, it sounds very good, but outside of it, you hear that buzzing hollow sound which isn't so nice.

    I'm glad I finally took the plunge and tried Yonex.
     
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  7. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    I really like the Tour G 330. Something about it makes me want to play with it over other sticks. The AI 98 is a sweet stick, too. I play really well with it and is just as easy to pick up and play as..., the APD.

    I never really committed myself to play with the Yonex sticks. I always went for the Wilson, Prince or Head for some reason. My love for Yonex all started with the Vcore Tour 89. Now, I have the Tour G, Tour 89 , and the AI 98. They are all lovely sticks for sure.
     
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  8. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Too bad for Dunlop fans: I wish Dunlop would go back to making thin beam, not so stiff racquets (and drop the Bab-wannabe racquets).
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
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  9. Silent

    Silent Semi-Pro

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    I picked up the Ai 98 demo last night, and I'm still not sure why that is, but the second I picked it up in my hand, it instantly felt heavier than the Ai 100, even though they turned out to be less than 5 grams apart. With a Tourna overgrip, the Ai 98 weighed 329g and was 7.5 pts hl. It was strung with what I think was yonex Poly Tour HS 16L in the mains and Yonex Tournament 50 in the crosses.

    I played a match with it and lost, but the result isn't that important. I couldn't find a groove with it and was tentative during the whole match. When I tried to loosen up, I would hit long, as if it was too much racquet for me, and that's probably the case too. I did love the solid feel of it though. It's one of those racquets I'd like to own just so I can experience the feeling of striking a ball with it, but the Ai 100 is definitely better suited for me, so I took the plunge and ordered that one. Hey, maybe I'm in the honeymoon phase, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts !
     
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  10. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    I think the play-tester Jason also preferred the AI 100 over the AI 98. I'm sure I would like the AI 100, also. I pulled out the Tour 89 to compare it directly to the Tour G. I'm really impressed with the Yonex rackets lately. The Babolat rackets make playing tennis easier..., and the Yonex makes playing fun..., to me...
     
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  11. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    I've heard good things about the F 3.0 Tour, or something like that. Honestly, there are so many different ones in the Dunlop line up, I don't know which one I'm supposed to try out. They should simplify the line up a tad bit. My kids used the Aerogel 500 and the Biomimetic 300 to learn to play tennis. Those were nice rackets, but even they moved onto using the Pure Drive.
     
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  12. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    Demoing similar line of frames right now, trying to see if i can replace/upgrade my 7 year old Prestige MP.

    I've tried TFight 325 and Pure strike Tour. Pure strike was clubby and great on
    groundies but not so optimal for serving and volleying. I actually purchased
    TFight 325 which is very stable and has great plow-through, all-aroundness
    like the Prestige.

    I rules out Yonex's but your comments make me curious about it. How do you
    like the power level of Ai 98 and Tour G ?
     
    #12
  13. Silent

    Silent Semi-Pro

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    From memory I think you're right about Jason.

    It's funny you should say that about Babolat. The guy I played with has an AeroPro Drive, he wanted to try the Ai 98 so we switched. I instantly started playing better, though I didn't like the grip shape even though they're not that extreme.

    I rented the Ai 100 again, just because I wanted to play with it, and again, I like it just as much as I did the first time. I'm not perfect with it, far from it, my backhand's been awful lately, but that has nothing to do with equipment.

    I could have hit with the Tour 89 earlier this summer, but I didn't want to ask the guy who owned them as I didn't know him well. Turns out afterwards, when I told him I had never tried Yonex before, that he would have let me:"You should have asked" I believe were the exact words.

    I agree about Yonex frames, they're pretty nice and also uncommon around here, which is a plus.
     
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  14. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    TFiht 325 is an awesome stick. I love it, too. To me, it was the IG Prestige MP on steroids...

    As far as the power potential goes, I think they both have substantial power. I lean toward AI 98 in power because it is more easily accessible. Its maneuverability and weight makes the difference. However, the Tour G is more rewarding when struck correctly.

    Yeah... I never thought I would be playing with a Yonex stick and love it so much! I have been a Faithful user of Wilson rackets, and the only time I ventured out was when I purchased the POG 95 series and the IG Prestige. After those, I was pretty hot for the Babolat rackets, but I wish I had tried the Yonex's sooner.
     
    #14

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