Wooden Racquet Experience

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Ash Doyle, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Ash Doyle

    Ash Doyle Professional

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    I've been collecting old wooden racquets for the past year, but I've never taken any of them to the courts to hit with until yesterday.

    I was going out to the courts alone to practice my serve so I took my Donnay Allwood International with me just to see if I could hit a serve with it. It has the typical tiny head (65 sq. in., I believe) and weighs in at 13 ounces and 5 points head light. I thought it would be good for a laugh to see what kind of serve I could get out of this thing. I was surprised. I could hit a pretty good serve with it. It was a little slower than with my graphite racquet, but not much slower. I could get decent pace on a flat serve with it. Enough so, that it wouldn't be a detriment in a match. The really surprising thing was how good kick serves and slice serves with it were. The shots were slightly slower, but the effect of the spin was much more pronounced on these serves. I'm thinking the difference between groundstrokes between this wooden racquet and a modern graphite racquet would be a greater difference, but I was surprised how well it served.

    Another thing I though was odd, was how this racquet was 13 ounces and 5 points headlight and yet it felt to swing much lighter than that. All my racquets are over 12 ounces and usually around 7 points headlight, but this wooden racquet felt just as easy to swing if not even lighter.
     
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  2. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    ... Old is Gold ... as the saying goes.
     
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  3. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    Wooden rackets are completely underrated, usually by people that have never used them.

    If you have good footwork and fairly decent technique, you will have no trouble hitting groundstokes with them.

    I found great spin for all shots with them, possibly a lot of that has to do with the low power.

    I've found that they can clean up someones game fairly quickly. If you're slapping and chopping severely at a slice, you will frame them with the woodie. To hit a decent forehand you must step into it and use more than just your arm. It won't let you hit a wristy forehand.

    I think they are a lot of fun to play with and can even help with your game.

    Any of your racket still strung with the original natural gut?
     
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  4. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    My friend and I took some woodies out to the courts last summer to hit around with from time to time. They were fun to hit around with, but it was mostly just for kicks with us. I tried playing with one while he used his Pure Storm and got demolished. We had a good time though. He ended up breaking the frame on one of them just hitting a good forehand.
     
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  5. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    Donnay Allwood. One of my favorite racquets. Donnay wood racquets looked like a piece of art compared to Kramers and Maxply Fortes.

    I recently got a Prince Woodie, strung it at 48 lbs. with Babolat VS 17g. Felt pretty heavy compared to today's racquets, but the spin and control were incredible. It really forced me to step into the shots and swing through.
     
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  6. Ash Doyle

    Ash Doyle Professional

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    Actually, that racquet still has the same string in it that came in it when I bought it on e.b.a.y.. The string is most likely VERY old. It was probably put in during the eighties, but it still hits great.

    My prize wooden racquet has no strings in it. A Donnay Borg Pro in mint condition that has never even been strung before. It was bought from a guy who owned a sporting goods store. When he went out of business in the early eighties, he put his inventory in storage. In 2005, he sold some of it to make room in his storage bay. I got it for $120.
     
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  7. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I've got a Slazenger Challenge that's never been strung.
     
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  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Do you mean the Challenge No. 1? Didn't Borg use that frame before he switched to the Donnay Allwood?

    I agree that the Donnay wood racquets were works of art because they had that matte black shaft and rainbow colored hoops that were made with this protective plastic-like coating on them. And they had that neat little graphic on the side of the shaft that showed you exactly what types of wood were used for each layer or "ply" in the construction. For the life of me I don't know whatever happened to my Allwood. It's been MIA since the late '70's. :(
     
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  9. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    The very one.
     
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  10. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    These are my prized collection because they hardly have any mark on them.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. krprunitennis2

    krprunitennis2 Professional

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    Careful, you're more likely to get tennis elbow from wooden rackets.
     
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  12. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    I used to experience pain in the wrist after playing with the wood racket but not anymore. Tennis elbow is something that I have never experienced.
     
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  13. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    TE comes from improper technique, not neccessarily from using wood.

    If it is a matter of racket material, modern stiffer rackets would (and have) caused more harm.
     
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  14. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Ditto. TE has a lot to do with techniques.

    However, material do play a part too. But I've not experienced elbow problem with wood. Stiff sticks, yes. The PSTour 90 gave me some "pinch" in the elbow.
     
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  15. woodman

    woodman New User

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    wood is good

    I have been known to dust of the old woodies every once in a while. If you have never tried one you should give it a whirl, you might be suprised.
     
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  16. Indrid Cold

    Indrid Cold New User

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    I got a Jack Kramer and some old Dunlop from my grandpa a month or 2 ago. It was actually really fun to mess around with those things. I didn't hit a single ball out, but a few into the net. Couldn't serve worth a poo though :\
     
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  17. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Try them again with classical strokes, that drive-thru-the-ball thing. Use continental grip and don't whip your shots.
     
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  18. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    My favorite wood (old, small size head) to play with is a white, Rossignol Strato. I put black syn gut in it, and a white overgrip. It looks wicked. Rabbit, I also have a never strung Slaz Challenge 1, a Snauwaert Gerulitis, 2 Wilson Chris Everts, a Snauwaert La Grande, a Spalding Intimidator, a Pro Kennex Golden Ace, a Dunlop Graphite Maxply (has a graphite layer built into the wood), and several more strung models. The old Rossi is really a nice hitting frame.
     
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  19. MariaS

    MariaS Semi-Pro

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    I was amazed at how badly I still volleyed using a wooden racquet. Never could find the center either. And you have to actually hit it all yourself. ;)
     
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  20. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    Sounds like this comes directly from the keyboard of Ms. Sharapova, doesn't it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006
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