Why do I just prefer aluminium rackets?

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by robbo1970, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Ok, let's go with the premise that the 'Racquets' section is for those who are very serious about their playing and perhaps play competitively to a fairly high standard.

    Which makes me think that my views on rackets is probably more suited to this section. Although I do play in a competitive league and some of my opponents perhaps take it a bit too seriously, I on the other hand do not.

    I love playing tennis and I have my moments when I play well and other times when I play down right awful. I have tried various rackets over the past year, but I keep returning to pretty basic aluminium rackets that I've either had for 15/20 years (Prince Titanium Integra) and a recently acquired Prince Pro 110. I even have a new cheap Prince racket that looks like its graphite but its basically a coated titanium alloy as well.

    I keep reading that aluminium rackets are rubbish, are bad for your arm because of vibrations, etc, but I think theyre really nice to play with.

    Maybe I am of a standard that means I do not have the ability to know the difference between good and bad or that I just have decent aluminium rackets.....I don't know.

    Or maybe it stems back from being 12 years old and watching the rich people with their fancy aluminium rackets and wishing I had the same.
     
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  2. Specialjustin

    Specialjustin New User

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    Have you tried the Mag pro? Posh metal imo.
     
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  3. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    The original Prince Pro aluminium oversize was remarkable among aluminium or metal frames in that it had such a great ball feel, weight, and balance. I remember playing a few matches with that frame back in the 80's (usually as a loaner while my various racquets were being restrung), and it was surprisingly crisp and capable. Not as quick through the air as most graphite composites, due to that nylon yoke in the throat, but still a good instrument.

    There were ATP professionals using that frame, too.

    It seems as though Prince hit upon the right grade of tubular aluminium alloy, and the right tubular extrusion shape, to tune the frame to just the right vibration pattern and stiffness for good play. The Classic was too flexible. Only problem I noticed about the Pro was that it was often abused, and didn't deal with heavy court rash or racquet throwing well. In fact, it's now somewhat rare to encounter one that hasn't been a bit deformed in its head shape.

    Right you are, Robbo - it's a good racquet. Keep on hitting with them, if it is your favourite tool - there's absolutely no disgrace in being content!:) Mind you, there are MANY aluminium or other alloy racquets made through the years that would motivate one to QUIT tennis, so unsatisfying they are for hitting tennis balls...
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
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  4. Harl Goodman

    Harl Goodman New User

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    Could it be that you prefer the specs?
    Most of the metal and early graphite rackets were much closer in weight and balance to what everyone was accustomed to ... wood rackets.

    See if you can weigh and get the balance points on the rackets you like, then compare the specs to various products on TW. That could be very telling.
     
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  5. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Great to hear some agreeing opinions. I certainly am lucky with the Pro I have, it's nearly mint, next to no rash at all.

    I like the head size and the weight, I don't seem to see many new rackets with the same weight with that head size, and I do like the feel of aluminium. The Integra is also about 12oz and has a 107 head.

    The newer racket I have is also a Prince. It's just a cheap Titan Ti Control, looks like graphite but is actually titanium alloy so it has that same feel but is a bit lighter on the arm. But it's very well made.

    I know it's very easy to go out and get an expensive game improving racket but I really don't need to. To me it's a state of mind and if I have fun and enjoy using my metal monsters then that's all I want.
     
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  6. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I still enjoy my Red Head Pro and Yonex 8500, so not only am I using that much maligned aluminum, but an itty-bitty one/two at that! ;)

    It's been a few years, but I was determined to use my YY8500 during an evening round robin. Against all but the very best players(against whom I was plenty challenged anyway), I saw many a jaw drop as I executed buggy-whip passing shots, booming serves, touch volleys and one fun slashing volley that hopped back across the net for a winner!

    I was 'in the zone' and as long as the ball wasn't going TOO fast, I could hit all the shots I wanted AND enjoy the experience all the while! I was never too crazy about the oversize alu frames, but some of the mids were not too shabby...Power Ace, Vector, Prince 90 series and a few others.

    I had one talented client who played a cheap Wilson alu that cost about the same as I charged him to restring it !(with NYLON! :) ). That guy got a lot of mileage out of that cheap racket that he said 'felt just right'. Different strokes...
     
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  7. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Aluminum racquets can be perfectly good racquets. They were once the height of technology after-all. In general, compared to modern raquets the heads are not as stable as they twist easily.

    The racquets they have at big box stores nowadays are even fine for the average player. Wilson Tour Slam is about 11.0+ ounces. It's stable enough and has some power and good control. Not worth restringing however.
     
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  8. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    That is the benefit of racquets like the Wilson Tour Slam and the Prince titanium range; if a string goes or they get a bit beaten up, its easy enough to just go and get a complete new racquet.
     
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  9. GS

    GS Professional

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    Years ago, I loved hitting with the Prince Pro 90, but for some reason, I chose the Prince Original Graphite 90 instead. Both of em felt powerful, and somewhat easy on the arm.
    Back in the late '80s, Jay Berger got up to #7 on the men's tour using the Prince Pro 110. When it got discontinued, he used to search in Florida stores like K-Mart, where they usually sold these "cheap" racquets, to buy some more.
     
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  10. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Yes I heard about that and I think Pioline did the same.

    I suppose even Pat Cash was using the Mag well into the graphite era in 1987 and he did ok.

    I guess the benefits that go with graphite and other composites are not always a priority with some people, like me for example. Having used both, I just like the response and feel I get with metal.
     
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  11. GS

    GS Professional

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    Yep, Cash won Wimbledon in 1987 with the Prince Mag Pro 90. Pioline got to the 1993 US Open final with the same racquet, but painted white. When he played Sampras in the 1997 Wimbledon final, he used a Head graphite racquet.
     
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  12. Hannah19

    Hannah19 Professional

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    Talking about the Mag....I have 2 different models; a Magnesium 110 and a Magnesium Pro (also OS).
    Are there any differences?
     
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  13. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Are any of these classic aluminium racquets comfortable or at least tolerable?

    I have used a few cheap Walmart head aluminum racquets before and my word, they shake my bones even though I use full bed polyester with my normal stiff modern graphite racquets and have zero problems there.
     
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  14. Harl Goodman

    Harl Goodman New User

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    I played for about a year with full poly in aluminium.
    Started with the Red Head, switched to the PDP Open and was discovering how much I liked the Wilson World Class ... then went another direction.
     
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  15. Specialjustin

    Specialjustin New User

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    I haven't had a chance to give the 90 a whirl yet, but for me the 110 is far to much of a trampoline(for me), like swinging a frying pan. Not that dissimilar from the silver/green alu prince but more solid. Having said that i this is mostly going from distant memory..
     
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  16. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    I played today alternating between the Prince Pro 110 and my 'cheaper' Prince titanium and both were great. The Prince Pro was great for chipping deep into the corners and following in with strong volleys, whilst the lighter racquet was so manouvrable at the net. All in all, great fun.

    I just think that when you enjoy the game youve just played and you know youve played well, the result irrelevant. And who needs Roger Federer's or Rafa Nadal's racquet, when you can have Peter Doohan's!!:)
     
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  17. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Tis true about enjoying the game.

    Although I think Peter Doohan himself has sold out and is using the nadal racquet hahhaa.

    [​IMG]

     
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  18. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    What a traitor lol
     
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  19. omewan

    omewan New User

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    I know this is old, but I just had to add that I love the feel of aluminum/metal rackets. I have used just about everything in my day, but when I stopped playing about 15 years ago, I was alternating between a Volkl C-10 Pro and a PS6.0/85. As I am rebuilding my game..slowly...(the body doesn't want to cooperate! haha) I have noticed how much I enjoy the cheap titanium frames from Walmart. They are much lighter than the Prince Pro 110, Rossignol SVR, etc., but just feel good to me. And ... my arm thanks me after I have been trying to swing the Volkl for a while! I may check out some of the Wilson frames that are both light and flexible, like the Bold, until I get my swing/strenth back, along with the Titanium Whatevers. :)
     
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  20. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Great to hear many of us are still playing the metals.
    I was never crazy about the t2000 but my friend had his with him at our latest dubs outing so I could not resist. It had some old soft nylon strings but still hit really well. Just take a big swing and hit that sweet spot and its wonderful.
     
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  21. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    It's too bad Yonex couldn't replicate the feel of the 7500/8500 in their mid-sized sticks. I never found one of their mids that felt as solid as the itty-bitty Greenie and Goldie.

    I packed away a dozen or more of the mid-1980s Yonex metals when we moved...perhaps they will resurface soon ;)

    Still the itty-bitty Yonex for me along with the Red Head, maybe a Vector or Edge to get just a smidge more hitting/missing area :)
     
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  22. omewan

    omewan New User

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    I used "Greenie" for a while back in the day. So solid, with such feel too! Loved slicing with it.
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, GreenOPS was the bomb.
    Too bad they would crack in the welds at the junction between the head and the two throats. Golds were much worse, would crack in a month.
    GreenOPS was used by both LowellBarnhardt and me, first and second place fast serve at GoldenGateway SF in 1978.
     
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  24. omewan

    omewan New User

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    I was able to serve, volley, and hit forehands with it very well, but at that point I wasn't strong enough to hit my one-handed topspin backhand with it, only my slice, which became a problem against better players. So I ended up moving to a PK Silver Ace, which felt like a feather! haha Years later though, I really enjoyed slugging from the baseline with the greenies! They felt like cannons, so solid! :)
     
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  25. Frankc

    Frankc Semi-Pro

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    Another vote for the Gold Yonex - amazing feel... Ditto for the Head Master ( a 4 5/8ths, Medium beast)...

    Read once that many thought that metal was he best all around material for most players, but the manufacturers hated it as people would not spend the big $s for a metal frame... So on to graphite...
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I don't get it.
    I went thru at least 6 green Yonex in 1.5 years.
    My practice bud..No.2 for CCSF at the time, did a bit worse, maybe 8.
    We couldn't keep a Gold working for more than 2 weeks without weld cracks and fractures.
     
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  27. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I'm guessing we were the biggest Yonex dealer in South Carolina for the first couple of years. Really didn't send many back...those that did crack were also bent out of round from contact with the court...not the fault of the welds ;)

    I never broke one and have the original Greenie used by my brother whose forearm looked like a tree trunk(pro bowler type) in the mid to later '70s. His even has the wood handle. Of course, it hasn't been used much since the early '80s, but we did some big hitting back then.
     
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I wonder if it's got something to do with temps and humidity.
    We normally used BlueStar synthetic at around 58 lbs., my bud around 50.
    We play mostly in temps sub 62, oftentimes in sub 55, but not lower than the high 40's. Hot days would be in the 70's, as this is western SanFrancisco.
    We played a few hot temp tourneys, WalnutCreek and Pleasanton, oh, and Sacto Opens. Racket felt very different, but I never went more than one round when temps reached the 90's or lower 100's.
    Also, out in the fog belt, we played in foggy conditions a lot of the times, mostly late mornings, as fog was around till around 11 most summer days.
     
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  29. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    I seriously doubt that relatively minor weather variations could have any effect on a metallurgy of an aluminum racket.
     
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  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As usual, the Yonex rep said he never heard of OPS frames cracking at the welds, totally disconnnecting the throat from the oval head after 2 months of part time play.
    Both DexterLee and I could start a crack in a couple of weeks.
    Lowell only used the Yonex for the fast serve contest, choosing ProStaff M's for point play. His serve was huge with PS, making mine look like a WTA serve compared to his. His 129.6 came with HUGE amount of topspin, as did Dexter's 124's.
     
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  31. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I never clocked a serve with the YY. Yamaha sponsored a fast serve contest at our place and the three rackets tied at the top with 126 were T3000 !, Kramer Auto wood DEMO ! and MY Fischer Superform. The Yamaha rep was none too happy!
     
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  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I didn't know the Fischer, but I had a pair of their downhill C-4 skis, 225cm's.
    I couldn't get the ball IN with T-2's or 3's. Maybe it went fast, but it went all over the map.
    I was timed at 126 ...only 2 out of 7 went in, with KramerProStaffLights, 4 5/8th grip size and blue start at 62 lbs.
    KramerAutographs's were too heavy for me to serve fast. I was 5'11" and maybe 132 lbs until I hit 35 years of age.
    Head Pros, the Redhead, was excellent, but didn't serve hard. Possibly that plastic throat air drag.
    Master's just felt too underpowered.
     
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  33. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Sooner or later all the aluminum frames would crack at the welds or the nylon throat piece (depending upon design). All my 8500's cracked, but it took several years for that to happen.
     
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  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Gotta be the cold weather we play in.
    As you all know, MarkTwain wrote..."the coldest winter I've ever spent was a summer in SanFrancisco".....
    And I lived 3 blocks from the Pacific Ocean, the deepest part of the fog belt. Average temps during the summer months was 58 at 3PM, colder in the mornings and evenings. Average temps around 4AM, when I finished my taxi driving shift, was 47 degrees in the summer months.
    Winters would generally be slightly cooler, but not more than 3 degrees on average.
     
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