What's wrong with Yonex?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by BigT, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. BigT

    BigT Professional

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    They have been around for decades.

    They have had numerous top-ranked players throughout the years- M/W world #1's, Grand Slam Champions, and current highly ranked players.

    They make quality racquets, strings, and shoes.

    Yet here in SoCal, it seems they have absolutely no following. I have a circle of about 20-30 guys I hit with thoughout the year, many of them Open players and teaching pros. Not one uses a Yonex. I hardly see any by recreational players at the courts.

    I have been stringing for close to 20 years, and I can count the number of Yonex's on one hand.

    One would think they should be right up there with the top three (Head, Wilson, and Babolat).

    Is it only here in SoCal? What seems to be their problem?
     
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  2. StanW

    StanW Rookie

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    Truth be told, they're a badminton company.
     
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  3. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Square head size. Chick frame. There's two negatives there.
     
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  4. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    In South Central Florida they don't seem to have much of a following either. When a company has good products but can't really gain market share, it's usually chalked up to either marketing or bad luck. Babolat came out of nowhere about a decade ago, but I think the successes of Roddick and Nadal really gave them momentum. Yonex just didn't have that kind of luck. My guess is that if Ivanovic, Hewitt, and Wozniacki would have stayed at the top for a longer time, it could have been a different story.
     
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  5. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Move from Socal to virtually any high level tennis playing Asian country (aka, Japan, Korea, etc...). Yonex is marketed far more heavily in those areas, and as such, used far more.
     
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  6. CrispyFritters

    CrispyFritters Rookie

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    I'm in Norcal. Last year, I knew 1 out of 30 players using yonex. This year, it's more like 8/30.

    I think they are up and coming.
     
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  7. Hidious

    Hidious Professional

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    I'll never touch a Yonex just because of the head shape. Psychological blockage for me.
     
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  8. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

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    I love their racquets :)....but I don't use them anymore lol. I'm pretty brutal with my racquets and do try to get the most out of them before they are completely trashed. Just from experience over a decade ago I had the RD-7, which I loved, but even if I just dropped the racquet I had to check for cracks. A lot of friends at the time said it was due to the head shape and it just can't take the abuse from hard play or even the occasional racquet flinging lol, and they were avid Yonex users at the time. I don't really know if that was true but I had 4 RD-7's and they barely made it through 1.5 years of high school tennis, tournaments, and lessons. Head's on the other hand lasted a while for me. I still have 5 frames that I used in the 90's and they're still very playable. For me it was a durability issue with Yonex is why I hesitate to buy them again.

    -Jon
     
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  9. jnd28

    jnd28 Rookie

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    Great Frames and Terrible Marketing with no sales support. Its hard to buy a Yonex you really want to do it. I looked on their web site and found a local dealer. (TW didnt have the 97 demo available). Showed up at the shop and the owner said that yes he was a dealer but he has never seen a yonex rep and he didnt know about the new frames - let alone have one to demo.

    it is no wonder why yo dont see them in players hands.
     
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  10. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    It also may or may not be true that they build a particularly good product. Going back to the early days of this forum there were always threads about how the old 1500 and 1700 series frames from Yonex were prone to crack, moreso at the time than competing brands. Later the V-Con frames attained notoriety because the side pieces attached to the shaft tended to crack, prompting a re-engineering and re-release of the frames with a different material. More recently, people tend to complain about their grommets, and paper thin head guards. I recently had a new Yonex for a short time and noticed the grip shredding almost immediately.
     
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  11. Seth

    Seth Hall of Fame

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    Not a damn thing.
     
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  12. Korso

    Korso Semi-Pro

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    Marketing. I rarely have seen them in stores or small pro shops. There is still a lot of people that are not shopping on the internet.
     
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  13. CLL

    CLL New User

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    I have the Yonex RDS 001 myself, and that is a man's racket ;)

    Personally I have only seen two other people that I know use Yonex. Its unique frame shape is pretty spiffy too. It reminds me of that one tennis anime.
     
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  14. filphil

    filphil Rookie

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    A few people here use Yonex. It's mostly due to the stringer here though as he's sponsored by Yonex.
     
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  15. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I find the yonex sticks to be rather high quality. The grip it comes with is super thin, but I don't care because all of my racquets weigh the exact same down to the gram and I find that more important. All the pros at my club but one use yonex, so they are out there and being used. I like that a lot of people don't use the sticks in a way.
     
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  16. Holy Grail

    Holy Grail Banned

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    if the head was not shaped like it is I would def be interred in the vcore 95
     
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  17. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    I have a different definition of the word "problem".
    Using revenue for product quality instead of marketing campaigns is a "problem" that I am all too happy to oblige.

    Not to begin a debate about the deficiencies of limiting your principles to consumerism/materialism, but I think it may be worthwhile to question the axiom "Perception is reality."
     
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  18. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    The Yonex problem is probably a North American one, and its probably one they can't address without major changes that would threaten the big Asian markets they are dominant in.

    Babolat basically invented a large frame version of stiff Wilsons that were suited to the North American market in terms of engineering and marketing.

    And Babolat work on European clay and slow courts in general.
     
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  19. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Best racquets Ive used.
     
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  20. edwincen

    edwincen Rookie

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    Same as me.
    Have to throw away our subconscious mind blockage to realize something good:twisted:
     
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  21. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    In the case of Yonex, I think it would be hard to make that call (investing in marketing vs quality) without knowing more inside information. Would it be a good strategy in the long run to focus more on sales and then invest in quality and research? It's hard to improve your product without revenue.
     
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  22. acura9927

    acura9927 Semi-Pro

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    I just couldnt get around that square head on groundstrokes, threw off my timing and sold my XI98 on ****.
     
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  23. ClairHarmony

    ClairHarmony Rookie

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    Teaching pros frequently use whatever giddy-up deal their orgie has secured for them. Be that Prince, Wilson, and Head, what have you. The major benefit of this is that it shows orgie solidarity from top to bottom, and cuts out the middle man when it comes to hawking the latest and greatest rackets onto your clients. Because your orgie has secured a deal, you can pass on the savings from teaching-pro direct to you, son. But this racket from me, and you'll grow up to be a champ someday like me son. And of course, they just know it better. Seeing as how they get a better deal, a nice bag, and spiffy clothes, sometimes even shoes, to go with it...it all begins to make a lot of sense. There's a lot of great rackets to be played with, adjusted to, all relatively close enough to one another...in particular, when you're living is not dependent on a sneeze-in, or out. If you don't have to bank on feeding it on a dime, under the immensest of pressure *right now*...then it makes sense. It becomes in essence, the "practical" choice, a no-brainer. And since many teaching pros grew up playing with oval heads, they say, why refrain now? Lilipops are good, and I don't want to be hitting with a high-definition televsion now (a Yonex), do I?

    If you were a male slice of heaven teaching pro, would you want to be seen using a chic stick?

    Yeah, I think not.

    The RD-7s are immensely durable, if I still had them; I'd verify that for you. I wish I did. They're the bomb in terms of feel, nothing quite like, when you crush-sink your teeth into them, brother.

    Never had durability issues with them, but one time a new Made in China Yonex RD-Power 6 literally snapped in half after warming up, during warm-up, what the he?ck? Couldn't believe it. Was brand new, 1st time strung for a ride...but that was a made in China model, where anything's possible when Oprah's on.

    Was repalced under warranty, but in a different color which kind of made it a moot point; sold it on R****, pocketed the change, and bought some ice cream, thinking of...distant places through the rain, and things.

    I think the Yonex head shape was more conducive to inside point mounting like on my Zingray of Nether-wicky-Dutch origins. Mount from the side, who knows? But never had any problems with. They were bullet-proof malleable rackets as far as I'm concerned, they've neved made any that felt soo right when connecting just right. The ball felt like it literally sunk into your palm, and became an extension of.

    If they made a really cool Japanese style, a little bit...craaazzzy, yeahhh; then' it'd! sell, yeah!!!

    But their approach to US marketing, is too bland and uninspired. I fear their leaders come from the old school, that never learned how to dance disco on the slip n' slide...just studied. Had they, then they would see the possibilies, I have neon hearts all aglow...

    If Yonex made a racket named Neo, w. snazzy music and dancing cars to back it up, I would buy it, and Carlos Moya would too, and maybe even a teaching pro with an emerging bald spot, who is NOT happy about the way that hairline is going these days. Yonex, do something! You're rackets are too good, everyone knows they're good, but no one thinks their cool...only metro-inspired, zealots, like me. Once you use Yonex, you feel confident in your ability to swat flies...just like Andre Agassi would have.

    Had Yonex decided to pay Agassi anything he wanted, history would have changed forever. Yonex's problem is that they've always been too in love with their own brand, and unique philosophies. Won't bring the classics back, not even once; refuse to cater or bend to the nobody man's of the world. Perhaps, they think they're better than us? That's been their problem, to think their philosophies dope, but Agassi's whack, would take away from. Agassi had the name and the game, that would have been worth catering to. Babolat has vision. Their rackets stunk (to me), but they made you feel like you could surf. And because the chics dug that, and wanted to feel like Gidget, then so too did the guys.

    The problem with Yonex is that they make it seem like the brand is above the player. Wheras, the other companies breed *player* loyalty. I can't tell you how many RafaSamprasGoranChangFed ****'s I've seen through the years. All trying to look like their hero. The difference is they BREED and indeed EMBRACE this spirt of *continued* fellowship. Even if they replace a "signature" racket, they KEEP THE MEMORY and *good feelings* alive, by keeping the NAME in the line...this *means* everything.

    Prestige, Pro Staff, memories swirl to mine. The gladiators runneth through your head, make you want to STICK with a brand. With Yonex, they brush you under the rug, once they're done with you, and pretend you never existed, or were a part of. So, thus there is no signature "look" & feel, to the brand, just the brand. Other companies want to TRICK you into believing that this player's *certain* stylish appeal, is *unmistakbly* linked and tied to them. Yonex feels like scientists behind to me, not family, not tradition; merely, "forward-moving." And, where's the enthusiasm in that? Answer, it's been curved. When ti could have been so much more, if they made you feel like when you play Yoenx, you feel like you're playing a part of history all over again. *Relive* that Rios "magic moment," if you will. Know what I mean? You could have, but they *did not emphasize* it enough, and that's always been their problem that they don't feel worthy of acknowledging. Just because Head and everyone else brings back old favorites as a good will gesture to "loyal" fans...why should I? Their answer? Always the same, they cannot be bothered; when you are Yonex, you do not cater, when your brand is *better than,* or at least, that's the impression that I get. Never given any other choice to belive otherwise, nope, not even once. As a fan, how would that make you feel? Ever wonder why, Yonex pros in their hey day, *never* seem to stay that way? It's not that they did not like or even love their "signature" sticks...it's just that Yonex didn't think they were important enough to make them feel that way anymore. Again, Yonex believes they are bigger than the brand and the player, and so they stay where they are. Content with being the boutique brand, not the newly reinvinted Babolat on the block, smashing sales records with little spoiled kids, into (that two, or is three finger rock salute, with my hand, out baby, I'm out...yeah!!!).
     
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  24. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    If you could indulge me for a moment, what exactly do you mean by "improve your product"?
     
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  25. naldop

    naldop New User

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    What wrong with them?

    1. Their history start with badminton which in US and Europe not that popular. Tennis is considered sports in US and European region, while badminton is more in Asia.
    Fortunately (or unfortunately) for them, having experience in badminton actually giving them different strategy/technology that it may or may not able to win market in other region.

    2. I believe that most people is using racquet that they are familiar in the area, or when they start learning to play tennis. Or using racquet that being promoted by their favorite players. At this time Yonex do not have particular athletes that can really stands out.
    Believe it or not, Yonex tennis is not famous even in my country (Indonesia) although you can find Yonex badminton anywhere. Young players in here prefer to buy racquet that being used by Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, etc. Feels like they are brainwashed and only buy base on what advertisement/endorsement offers.
    Demo product also unavailable in most of Asian country, again makes it difficult for them to sell.

    Overall, promotion and history is important, I believe that in the future history maybe something that people are willing to give up to try different products, hopefully when that happened Yonex can have better market.

    I do afraid though, that Yonex will stop their tennis products if they it not profitable considering the market size, I just hope that is not gonna happened.
    Cheers. :)
     
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  26. ASH1485

    ASH1485 Semi-Pro

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    some brands just dont have this marketing appeal ... something you cant really explain
     
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  27. Magic of tennis

    Magic of tennis Rookie

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    Many people are blinded by top notch players's racquet. Just because Federer is using Wilson racquet, it doesn't mean Wilson racquets are better than Yonex. However, many people think Wilson racquet is better.
    Don't we call it marketing strategy? Unfortunately, Yonex is not good at marketing as someone mentioned earlier. I think Volkl is not good at marketing as well. Both are great racquets IMHO.
     
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  28. edwincen

    edwincen Rookie

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    I wish yonex staffs read these posts and considering to contact marketing consultant
     
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  29. Shasha

    Shasha Rookie

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    I use 2 Yonex and 1 Völkl, 2 of the brands with less marketing, and trust me, they've better rackets than brands worldwide known like Babolat, Head, Prince...

    I think that Yonex and Völkl make quality rackets, but they should try to sell 'em better, they've really great sticks.
     
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  30. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Manufacturers improve their products through quality control and research. Quality control makes the products more consistent from one unit to the next with less defects. Research results in new products with improved characteristics. Either way you slice it, improvements take money and you get money through sales.
     
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  31. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I really was not into the head shape until I started using it and realized it's advantages for how I hit. It's a great concept and the proof is that they have kept doing it for years, it's not some gimmick that came out and was over with in one release schedule.

    Also, Clair Harmony has delivered once again..very good points made in a rather unique and hilarious way.
     
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  32. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Three guys on my team play Yonex (including me). We have a roster of about 15 guys who show up regularly, so here its about 20%. Wilson is by far the most common.
     
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  33. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    To say that it's a marketing issue may beg the question. When a brand has been around for decades dealers will know enough to seek it out if they think it will add to their business. This seldom happens with Yonex. Their paltry tennis sales figures may not be the result of marketing problems but also the cause of inadequate marketing.
     
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  34. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    anyone from thailand here? seems to me that yonex tennis rackets are quite well marketed there. of course, it has to be because of paradorn srichaphan.
     
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  35. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    I do agree that it takes more money for better quality control, but the question is not answered by who's selling more but who's using more revenue for it. Quality control don't get better than Yonex or worse for the big sellers. There are many examples to be found.

    As for research into new technologies: There's been no marked improvements in racquet performance in decades.

    So what's wrong with Yonex? Uh, their CEO's are taking home less money?
     
    #35
  36. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Yonex has lost much their signature plush, touchy-feely quality over the years. Still very good quality racquets -- the best squash and soft-tennis sticks on the planet (Japanese and Taiwanese guys will understand this last reference).
     
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  37. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    That's certainly debatable and opens up a whole new can of worms. If you look back in recent tennis racquet history, you can point to the Prince Original Graphite, Wilson Pro Staff 6.1, and Babolat Pure Drive as being game changers. There are probably a few others I've missed. The Pure Drive is the most recent one I can think of, and it's over a decade old I think.

    Right now, most of the new technologies seem minor and are mostly used as marketing hype to boost sales. In that respect, Research and Marketing keep racquet companies going while they all cross their fingers to get the next technology breakthrough or that one of their sponsored pros will be the next Roger Federer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
    #37
  38. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    There are a few negatives that keep me away...

    -horrible thin grips that must be replaced and which are a major pain to replace (residual glue mess)

    -terrible butt cap (no flare), which also must be moded if you don't want the racquet to fly out of your hand

    -weird square headshape

    -ugly paint jobs (for the most part...not all)

    -reputation as "chick sticks" or "old man sticks".

    bottom line is there are just too many other choices that are just as good or better, that don't have these negatives attached to them.
     
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  39. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    yonex's quality is awesome compared to say prince or wilson.
     
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  40. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Its funny how some people brought up that yys are "chic sticks" because when I played as a junior we would say that. But some of my friends did not care and really wanted them regardless, so that is what they played with.

    I don't think its applicable anymore as long as you have a little self confidence and let your game speak for you instead of your gear.

    Of course, I also played with the Donnay Pro One Agassi version for a bit, so I guess my level of not giving a s--- is pretty high.
     
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  41. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    Their reputation a s chic sticks only seems to come from the US, I've never heard it said over here......

    Their butt caps need sorting, although the tours do feel better. Other than that they are as good as you get.
     
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  42. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    All you have to do to the buttcap is wrap it with 1/2 athletic cloth tape. It is such a simple mod that I never even thought of it as a negative.

    The gripshape itself is rather nice.
     
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  43. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    I used to believe the chick stick thing but the Manislas and prime Navratilova sorted that for me. Plus fat Dave. All man.
     
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  44. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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    I live in San Diego area and I know 2 shops (one in North County and one in Hillcrest) that really promote Yonex as at least one of their staff members are Yonex reps.

    I used the PB10mid for over a year before switching to my perfect fit and first yonex racquet (97tour). Both are awesome companies but don't have the following they deserve.
     
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  45. KFwinds

    KFwinds Professional

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    ^^^Best answer to this question in the thread so far
     
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  46. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    You know what's even simpler? Getting a racquet with a grip that doesn't need any moding. My biggest problem is getting that horrible stock grip removed from the pallet. Anyone who has tried it knows what I mean. The stock Yonex grip has got to be the worst of all. It's paper thin and doesn't last at all. It's weird for such a high quality racquet to have such a low quality grip.
     
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  47. Justin-JP

    Justin-JP Rookie

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    I agree with some of what you've said here.

    - The thin grip: It's not really that hard to get off but my gripe with it is for another reason. Yonex use a very thin stock grip as you noted, and while the majority of their player frames come in around 8pts HL with that grip, the problem then is, when replacing that very thin grip with anything else, it significantly increases the HL balance towards 10pts+ - which is quite annoying and messes up the playing characteristics. Even worse with an OG.

    - Terrible butt cap (no flare): I don't think it's as bad you make out and can be replaced easily enough with a Wilson butt cap. That being said, it's definitely too small for the masses and should be increased to a happy medium.

    - Weird square headshape: I don't think this is that much of an issue, although again, I'd like to see rounder heads and it seems they've gone more that way with the recent Vcore Tour line.

    - Ugly paint jobs: Not really fussed and some are even pretty decent. No worse than any other brand.

    - Reputation as "chick sticks" or "old man sticks": I don't think this reputation exists outside of the US. I've certainly never heard the old man comment before. My view is more of a younger brand.


    Anyways, I play in a fairly large club here in Japan just south of Tokyo. To give some rough estimates of what I see at the local club in terms of brand numbers:

    1) Wilson. Definitely the most popular brand. I would say over 50% of players are using Wilson.

    2) Babolat. Predominately ADGT's and common among all ages. I don't think it's a Nadal thing just simply the ADGT's and PD's are easy to use and provide significant power.

    3) Yonex. Mostly younger players using their frames and a few older lot. With the older players, there is some brand loyalty coming across.

    4) Head / Prince. A few of each kicking around but not much.

    5) Everything else. Few Dunlop's, Srixon (Japanese Dunlop) and even a Volkl that I noticed.


    Personally, I don't have any brand loyalty and will happily use any frame if it's good. I want to like Yonex and I've been trying quite a few of their sticks from the last generations but all their rackets that I've tried come across as being stiff and hollow feeling. The very thin stock grip is also quite annoying and put me off the Vcore Tour line, as counter balancing a change of grip brought the racket well over 13oz with still a relatively low SW.
     
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  48. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,668
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Babolat has brainwashed almost everyone into thinking they make decent racquets.
     
    #48
  49. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,200
    If strung incorrectly, the early frames had a tendency to crack. strung properly { 2 pc with crosses 3-5 lbs less than mains} even my young abuse players had little problems.
     
    #49
  50. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,773
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    It simpler to get a new racquet instead of simply fixing the one you have with a 30 second mod? Yeah, I disagree. Keep trying though.

    I agree that the grips are thin and papery, but I dont really mind it as I use an overgrip and like the thin grip feel.
     
    #50

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