Two racquets, how to choose?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by bkpr, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    Greetings.

    I've been testing racquets for a little while, and I'm linking my new Dunlop Bio Max 200Gs for play, but still enjoy using my BLX Blade 98s from time to time. I really want to select one and run with it, so my question to you good-looking people is:

    How would you select the stick to stick with?*
    Would you play one for a couple weeks then swap to the other, or would you alternate between the two each session?

    All racquets have lead added to the handle to bring them up to ~340–350g. One of each model is a little lighter than the other in case I get fatigued during a session. All racquets are similarly strung with multi or multi/syn gut cross @ ~52–55lbs.

    * I have a strong desire to select one, and not settle for both for some reason. OCD?
     
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  2. Kenzik

    Kenzik New User

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    When you're in that zone where you're searching for new racquets and strings while testing out lead and things like that, it's really hard to settle for one lol. We're all after our perfect racquet and string set-up but it can become an obsession and it'll distract you from your game.

    I'd probably restring em both until I find a set-up I like for each. After that, play with one racquet for about 5 sessions or so and then the same for the other one. After that, I'll play with them side-by-side for a while and decide which one I like. I know a lot of people will probably take a lot longer when trying new racquets but I would just want to find one and stick with it.
     
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  3. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    That's how I feel. I want it sorted so I can stop worrying and focus on my game. But after thinking about this overnight, the problem for me is probably more about feel than play; the 200Gs feel they have some power off the stringbed, but not too much so I'm overhitting less that with other racquets, and they feel more swingy than the Blades, but the Blades feel so great when I hold and swing with them. Beefy. And after a little time on court I feel I get the Blade dialled in and are more confident. (Although this may just be because I've had them for almost two years vs a month for the 200Gs).
     
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  4. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    If you like them both equally and enjoy playing with either equally, just go for the one you like the look of the best.
     
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  5. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

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    How about the frame that improves the weakest part of your game?
     
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  6. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    That's one way to look at it. (See what I did there ;))?

    The improving the weakest part of my game angle is interesting — it's actually tangible which should help me decide. I just need to identify the weakest out of the many weak points of my game. Thanks for the suggestion!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
    #6
  7. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    IMHO, it should "feel right" after just an hour of hitting. You can learn to like anything but go with a stick that feels right.

    We can get awfully picky when demoing.
     
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  8. Minion

    Minion Rookie

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    Lol! I was in a very similar situation. Choosing between my Prestige MP's and the Bio Max 200G.

    So, i bought the F2 Tour - my perfect racquet:) i can sleep again:-|
     
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  9. Shaochieh

    Shaochieh Rookie

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    No racket can hide your weakness. I always pick one fits my playing style. You have your favorite shots and you know within yourself which racket is best for you. Some is too powerful and you will know it or some is too heavy. Choose a racket favors your game!! How many match are you going to play in one day? I usually plays two matches in my league so anything in 310-320 static weight is my max. Control is the key.
     
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  10. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Agree with this logic. If it is really that hard of a decision between the two, just pick one on the basis of looks, price, heck even flip a coin. You have to eventually pick one and commit to it. If you buy the Dunlop, then sell your Blades so you aren't tempted to keep going back and forth.
     
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  11. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    I have 2x Blades, and recently purchased 2x used Dunlops after trying one out on court a couple of times, maybe 20mins each time. I have played with them now for about a month with my usual strings and added weight. They're good — I like the way they play quite a lot; more 'whippy' than solid, but I just love the way the Blades feel. I'm not sure it isn't simply muscle memory from playing the Blades for so long.

    I know I will eventually settle on one, I just wanted some advice as to how others have approached this situation. Thanks so far for the advice!

    As an aside, is it weird I prefer my Blade with the hybrid of Sensation/synthetic gut over my Blade with a full bed of Wilson gut?
     
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  12. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    There's really no substitute for match play. It will become very apparent, very quickly the more matches you play with these two sticks.

    Try this: play your next match with the Blade. I mean, play the entire match, no holds barred.

    Then, play the second match with the Dunlop, same thing.

    Now, for your third match, what stick will you instinctively go to? When you're staring at both choices, ask yourself: which one felt the best for the longest amount of time during the match? Which one gave you the most confidence? Which one allowed you to play your best?

    If not sure yet, then repeat. Keep playing every match with the different stick until one starts to really surpass the other. The more you play, the more obvious the choice will be.
     
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  13. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    That's great advice. I'll do that. I played a league match this afternoon with the Blade, and I have one tomorrow so will take out the 200G.
     
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  14. Kenzik

    Kenzik New User

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    Let us know how it goes. Whatever racquet you feel more confident with and allows you to swing more freely is the one you should go with.
     
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  15. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i just got a blade 98 pink.........cant wait to play with it.
     
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  16. tommyfr

    tommyfr Rookie

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    Another way is to playtest a bit more systematic, and matchplay is not systematic.... As the opponent may hit the balls so very much different from match to match, and shot selection and other factors come in and make a big difference in score, as the opponents form, concentration, etc.

    so play vs ballmachine or have someone feeding to you.

    You can for ex hit with one racket 20 fh crosscourt, 20 dtl, 20 1st serve, 20 2nd serve, serves, 20 backhand slice. Total 100 strokes.

    Keep track of errors of each stroke area of 20 balls, and add verbal description after each stroke part. Describe feel, power, spin, accuracy.

    Then do same with other racket.

    Repeat a few days

    On the other hand as both rackets have similar specs it might not be much difference even after this exercise above.
     
    #16
  17. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    I would use match play as a guide rather than a ball machine. I have several racquets that I hit really well on my ball machine but not so well when I'm playing someone slightly better than me.
     
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  18. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    Today I played a 3+ hour match against my first (club rated) 4.0 player. Medium heavy topspin, fast flat serve, occasional really high kick serve.

    I used the 200G and played fairly well with it despite feeling the Blade would've been 'better' against a heavy hitter. I must say I was pleasantly surprised with it. It played heavier than it looks (my Blades have quite a few battle scars, the Dunlops were bought used but in great shape). I felt I was hitting pretty decent serves with it too which was unexpected compared to the Blade. My Blade match yesterday was against a 3.5 serve and volley guy who played a of of slices, kind of the opposite to todays match so not the best comparison between both racquets.

    Will bust the Blade out for the next match.

    Also: I forgot I bought a used ProStaff 95 from a TWer last week which arrived today. I'll have to throw that into the mix now too :(
     
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  19. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    99% decided

    An update: I'm 99% going for the Max 200Gs. I've now played a couple matches with each, and tonight I played a match where I swapped racquets every 3 or 4 games. I can't rationally describe why, but I prefer the Dunlops. It feels a little more solid, as if the beam is not hollow (or something). This is the only "thing" I feel is different between them.

    I'm not fully 100% simply because I used my Blades for so long. I'll keep one in the bag just in case I feel like switching back for a session in the future, but if I don't pull it out in a month or two, it's coming out of the bag for good.

    The Pro Staff 95 was no good. I really feel it was low powered on groundies, and very low powered on my serve. It'll go up for sale at some point.

    That's it. Thanks for your help, friends.
     
    #19
  20. SandVolley

    SandVolley New User

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    FWIW I think you made the right decision with the Dunlop.
     
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  21. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    Hope so :) It was a close test that I probably couldn't've gone wrong with either. I've actually taken the Blade out of my bag already — didn't think it was worth being tempted. Just two Dunlops and my wife's Volkl.

    Let the tennis continue!
     
    #21
  22. tmc5005

    tmc5005 Rookie

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    Try both and definitely check the specs especially the flex rating. I would recommend the DUNLOP Biomimetic Max 200G
     
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  23. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    Crap. My mate's visiting from Australia and I took out the Blade for him. Had an extended hit with it today. I liked it. A lot :(
    Why do I do this to myself?!
     
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  24. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Yikes. There are so many variables here. At a bare minimum add or subtract the tape so that they all have the same balance point.

    Out of the 4 you listed which one is your fave? Is that the lightest or the heaviest of the 2?
     
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  25. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    Yeah I know. Too many variables, but I'm not going to bring all of them to the same specs to test — too much work.

    I suspect todays session/relapse with the Blade (after I'd already selected the Dunlops) was just a nostalgia trip. In addition, I felt I was able to be less careful with the Blade as it already has scratches and a bit of wear. It felt 'free-er'.

    To make 100% sure, I will play my league match on Wednesday with the Blade and see how it feels over a whole match. If it feels great, I will match one Dunlop to this particular Blade, play with it and see what I think. As a next step, I will restring both with my favourite setup. Then, and only then can I know which I prefer 100%.

    It's worth noting I was hungover this morning :S
     
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  26. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    I wasn't talking about bringing them to the same specs, just balance point, its low hanging fruit, but a major variable. Pretty easy to do.
     
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  27. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    I see. I misunderstood. I've balanced them out as close as I can, and had a play with each last night. Liked both for different reasons (as per my original whinge). Will string up my Blade with the same string as is currently in the Dunlop and see how they compare over the next week or so.
     
    #27
  28. BigT

    BigT Professional

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    When demoing racquets or even strings, I always like to ask my regular hitting partners for their observations. They can usually give insight that I cannot always notice.
     
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  29. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    Good idea. Thanks.
     
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  30. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    Back to the Dunlops. Blades are going in the closet. End of story. Now to hone my skillz (and try Biphase :)
     
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