Worst rackets of all time

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by Autodidactic player, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    The Garcia X-15 was quite a bit worse, IMO...just not anywhere near as popular.(Danged metal-grommet string eater!!!)
     
    #51
  2. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I had two VERY highly ranked juniors playing with the Equipe...as long as the lead weights in the handle stayed secure, it wasn't a bad stick(Problem was over 50% of their rackets had the horrible handle problem...sounded like the world was coming to an end :) ).
    Certainly could contribute to arm trouble.!
     
    #52
  3. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I'm another vote for the T-2000. Just bad in SO many ways!

    And I used the damn thing for about 3 years!
     
    #53
  4. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    I cannot believe I am actually defending the T-2000. My older brother and I were both junior tournament (and later college) players in the 70s-80s. I played with standard wood (despite brief affairs with the aluminum Head Master and Head Pro) and he swore by the T-2s. At the time, I told him they were terrible and would eventually kill his arm. Alas, he played fine with them--played a big power game--and never had an arm problem. Anyway, my parents had kept virtually all of our old racquets and tennis stuff, including a bunch of T-2s. About a year ago, I restrung one with some NXT at 50 lbs and played with it a bit over the course of several days--I was surprised how well it hit--really flexible compared to today's sticks (probably thought it was too stiff then) and very nice in the sweet spot. I was also impressed with the engineering and the quality of the racquet. So, 40 years later, I am a convert.

    As for my nominees for worst racquets:

    Wilson Profile (all versions)
    Head Arthur Ashe Competition (honestly, I felt it was completely unhittable and I so wanted to like it as I was a big Ashe fan)
     
    #54
  5. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    As I've mentioned before, USC(the original--South Carolina) had four of its top six players using some iteration of the T-series during one season. All 1/2 grips...we ordered pallets by the dozen since the two-handed backhand could snap a handle right zippy;) . The guys used mostly Victor Imperial blue spiral...one guy used straight 15 gauge!(Can you say 'ROPE' :) ) Also, the founder of the shop used the X-15 and T3000 for a while. He was a former NC State player, highly ranked in South Carolina. The number one woman in the state used the T-series l-o-n-g after most others had switched.

    Goes to show...hit the middle and you can play darned near ANYthing! ;)

    Sort of in agreement on the Head Comp...the original was sad-durabilitywise, but the Comp II was not too bad for the day. The LC was an embarrassment and fortunately came out too late to matter. I actually learned about the Competition Edge on this board--never knew it existed 'back then'. That racket may have had a chance--just came out a little late in the box-sandwich era.

    What can you say about the Profile??? Changed the game forever, IMO.:(
     
    #55
  6. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    yes they were - tiny tiny sweet spot, would vibrate your arm off on a miss hit.
    i hated those things - the bad part is - i had 2 of them!!!!!
    glad:) i sold them years ago.
     
    #56
  7. WORLDWITHINAWORLD

    WORLDWITHINAWORLD New User

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    My worst racket was also my best. As the racket gods dealt me a bad card.In about 1982 my club got a new pro that liked Wilson. He and his wife used a t-2000. She was at the top of the Senior national rankings.He would easily beat local teaching pros that were 20 years younger.
    So, he switched rackets to an oversized Wilson Extra. I believe that was the model name. It was high tensile aluminum and was Wilson's attempt to play catch-up with the enormously popular Prince Pro 110.
    I tried a loaner and I loved it. I bought one and put in blue star strings at their max of 60 lbs. This Wilson racket suited me perfectly. I was better at doubles than singles because I had taken up the game late in life-35. So, i never really developed good muscle memory for groundstrokes from the baseline.
    I would push with underspin and try to get to the net too often. I had a good serve and net play and would fake groundies. The racket was perfect for my game ( or lack of game ). It served hard on 1st serves and great kick on 2nd serves. It improved my baseline play. For a week I played extremely well, beating difficult opponents easily.
    Then, reality struck. after a week, I woke up at night with a burning pain in my elbow. Much worse than ever before. so, I sat the Wilson extra down for a week and played with a wood racket. after my elbow improved I went back to the Wilson hoping that the pain was just a fluke.
    Well, no luck the pain returned, it was the Wilson. I regretfully sold it and tearfully moved on.
    Thats why my worst racket was also my best. ----- so sad
     
    #57
  8. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    In my experience, Wilsons always take a toll on the body.

    I used the T-2000 about 3 years and wrecked my shoulder. Sure, I loved the weird springiness of it, and it hit flat balls like mad, but all told, really hindered good technique development.

    The man above mentioning the Wilson Profiles is right: these were just too much; I owned one for about a year, the softer make, and still sprayed volleys out all the time!

    The T-2000 was weird and endearing: the shiny chromey bling there, the round head, the odd stringing and so forth. Of course the mystique of Grand Slam winners. But at the time there was much to be said for finding a good Jack Kramer, and in my book, I probably should've opted for the Chris Evert model---except my teen ego blocked me from using a frame with a chick's name on it!
     
    #58
  9. michaelscoots

    michaelscoots Rookie

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    I remember liking the Head Competition, but it's durability was pretty poor! I probably had the racquet for a little over a year. I never abused it. When I was about 13 I was playing a set, went to hit a forehand and the frame snapped at the throat! I was pretty bummed, but then I picked up a MAX200G :)

    The tinniness of the Wilson T-2000 can be annoying but remedied. I hit with one a couple of weeks ago for the first time in 30 years and it was nice. Good control, power, etc (leaving a wood racquet, there was noticeably a bit more power). However, on a 1hbh release the metal collar at the top of the grip brushed up against my non-dominant hand and ripped my skin open...ouch! I inspected the racquet and it had a little metal burr that needed to be filed down.
     
    #59
  10. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    This isn't the "Leach" you guys were talking about, is it? It is my first encounter with one. The frame is quite svelte, but doesn't feel all that fragile to me (yet). Interestingly, it is clad in an unusual chatoyant paint job like the kind that you would find on an accordion:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    I had a chance encounter with a fellow forum member last week who happened to be downsizing his vast collection of odds and ends. As a result, this Leach and 16 other oldies came home with me over the course of two trips.

    I feel as though I've just pigged out to the max at a buffet, twice, and will now need some time to digest...


    ---
     
    #60
  11. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    Loved that stick, at least when I was in my twenties, so solid from the baseline, now at 13 + oz it would be tough.
     
    #61
  12. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    No, the one I was referring to was older and far less orthodox-looking.
    I believe it was an adaptation of the original Leach Swinger racquetball racquet, with a fiberglass shaft to bring it to 27" length.
     
    #62
  13. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Much of the Wilson stuff in the early 80s was garbage - legacy, Javelin, Profile.....chemold metal sticks in the early 70s.

    And just about the whole Donnay line in 82-84 was bad. And even the Iconic Borg Pro honestly not a very good stick. I love the look of it and we all had one (or 10!) but really it was log like in its playability.
     
    #63
  14. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    I still refuse to believe that the T-2000 was terrible back in the day. It's awesome for launching flat shots. How it has so much power, I will never know.

    My nomination would probably go to the Head Microgel Extreme. *Arm shivers*

    Or the RQ-180. At least with the strings in it right now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
    #64
  15. daved

    daved Rookie

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    Actually liked this racquet a lot -- pretty close to my POG OS but stiffer. Too stiff for me but OK with a very soft stringbed.

    Aside from the stiffness, this may be the most recent stock racquet to closely approximate the specs of the typical ATP pro.
     
    #65
  16. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    You have to remember that during the T-2000's heyday (late 60s - late 70s) winning tennis strategy revolved around consistency and shot placement. The characteristics that made the T-2000 great "for launching flat shots" also made it less accurate for most other shots when compared to the best wood rackets of the time.
     
    #66
  17. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I think our brand new demo lasted all of five minutes before it snapped above the handle. Then, it DID look like the racquetball racket! ;)
     
    #67
  18. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    ...and the natural order of the universe was restored! :)

    My coach, circa 1982, had one. Didn't use it much, probably for the reason inferred to above, opting insted for the classic JK Pro Staff standard woody. I just recall hitting with it once, and was really suspicious it had an integral, very well hidden hinge somewhere between the bridge and top of the grip.
     
    #68
  19. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I played with the steel Sheffield X-15/Garcia X-15 for a good while. Much better racket than the T-2000.
    I believe the Chemolds were the worst aluminum rackets, though.
    Yoneyama (Yonex) 7500 and 8500 were the best aluminum rackets, Head Master was most popular, I think.
     
    #69
  20. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    I've no idea what this racquet plays like, but the Dunlop Marty Riessen gets my vote for UGLIEST racquet ever. ever. ever.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ... And the Wlison Legacy gets my vote for runner up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
    #70
  21. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    The Marty Riessen looks like a baseball card. The Legacy was my first real racket and is a thing of beauty to these eyes.
     
    #71
  22. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

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    That thing looks hideous.....lol
     
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  23. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, the Dunlop looks like the loser from a grade-school graphics contest :)

    Legacy is just sad...usually elicits a "What the ..." response from those first seeing it. Pretty wood in the hairpin, but that's about it, IMO. Oh,yeah, cover was nice for those days, a la the Advantage series.

    No offense, Bax :)
     
    #73
  24. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    One of my local thirft store haunts had one of those Marty Riessen mugshot Dunlops, and a Evopnne Goolagong model with the same graphics package and bad photo! :shock:

    After I stopped laughing :lol: I just couldn't bring myself to buy them. Riessen's beady little eyes kept following me around; it was kinda creepy.
     
    #74
  25. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    When did this turn into the world's ugliest racket thread? Worst racket to me means one that fails miserably areas besides looks, like playability. Anyway, here's my contender for worlds ugliest racket: [​IMG]
     
    #75
  26. getagrip

    getagrip New User

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    I got one to share

    [​IMG]
     
    #76
  27. SCRAP IRON

    SCRAP IRON Professional

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    One of the worst rackets was the Boron Ace. I am not sure if it was a Head racket, but I am sure that it should never have been made available to the public.
     
    #77
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, Wilson's t-200 and the Prince Mono.
     
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  29. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    If you're remembering the name correctly, that would have been a Pro Kennex, likely of the '80s .
     
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  30. raging

    raging Professional

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    yes sounds like the Pro Kennex.

    Another company that tried to launch on the back of squash sales was Stellar.

    They eventually folded but they were without doubt the worst racket brand I ever used...they also had a Boron copy of the Pro Kennex, a few companies were copying their frames/molds in the 80s, early 90s.
    Unfortunately without great success.
     
    #80
  31. SCRAP IRON

    SCRAP IRON Professional

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    This is a great thread. It really does outline how many bad frames were produced over the years. It is astounding!
     
    #81
  32. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    It's really not too surprising, if you ask me: many of the weirder designs (which were not successful) were the idea of some person who thought they had the proverbial "Better Mousetrap." While other awful racquets were simply indifferent, price-point engineered models which were designed to be cheap models for beginners to use for a season or two, then either skip to the next (better) model, or quit tennis and instead try golf, skiing, or underwater basket weaving...
     
    #82
  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I know some of you love the T-2000, so ...sorry.
    Another of my faves was the Head ArthurAsheBoron, both gray and rust brown edges. I couldn't hit a thing with that stick, and I was playing pretty well at the A/Open level.
     
    #83
  34. jhick

    jhick Semi-Pro

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    My dad used to play with the Silver Ace. I don't remember it being good or bad, just an average racquet.


    [​IMG]
     
    #84
  35. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    Several frames had that name in the Prokennex line.
    Chemold metal were worse than the Tensor, I didn't expect much from a lamp company.
     
    #85
  36. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    The original Silver Ace likely deserves fairly unrecognized classic status as a solid, if not outstanding, example of what a composite graphite stick should be. We sold scores of those in Atlanta in the early '80s, many strung with black Prince 16ga nylon or Leoina UFO in PINK!
     
    #86
  37. CaptainCool309

    CaptainCool309 Rookie

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    I'm not a big fan of this Rod Laver Championship Series 300 Wooden Racquet I own.

    [​IMG]
     
    #87
  38. Sarcastic

    Sarcastic New User

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    That has shoulders like "Ahhhhrnold"!
     
    #88
  39. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    i used these for awhile before moving to the wilson aggressor.

    they were very nice frames. just a notch softer than the black ace of the time (mid 80's)
     
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