Review the craziest racquets you own
I have tried every strange racquet on the market to improve my game and just to have fun. Now Ive become sort of a collector of strange racquets.
Do you guys own any strange racquets? Post your pics and give a review....here's my first one:
The Natural racquet:
Intro: this stick had some cool attributes. It will ruin your game but it was fun to try out.
Thebstick is used by the battistone brothers on thebpro tour and they hitbsome of the most insane serves I have ever seen in my life.
Serves were ridiculously GREAT with this racquet. In fact I have never in my life hit serves like
It took some getting used to though. The angle of the racquet faces sharply down. So basically you have to swing for the fences.... Literally ! I tried to hot the ball over the fence and the result was an incredibly fast serve that landed in the box. I have never hit serves like this before in my life.
As great as the serve was that's how bad the groundstrokes were. I just couldn't hit two handed off both sides . And after I tried it for a week it ruined my groundstrokes with a regular racquet.
The handles were great though. They are just shaped in such a way that it's really easy to change grips and it's very powerful. I wish all racquets used this grip system . Most comfortable grip that I have ever felt
Feel was great . Heavy plow through and a nice "thud" feeling.
return of serve
Horrible....for the same reason and groundstrokes . Just couldn't get used to it.
Horrible. It's so complicated . I kelt getting caught holding the racquet with one hand or two. There's just too much to think about .
Great conversation piece. The color is wild. You cannot fit it into some stringing machines. Serves are fun but that's about it. I would not buy this stick but it was a nice addition to my collection.
More to racquets to follow soon.....I have some wild ones!
The Mad Raq:
This is racquet actually works! One of the best racquets I have ever played with in my life.
This racquet came out before the spaghetti string ban and was used on the tour but Im not sure it's legal today.
I've read the rules and it says something like "you can have only one " SET" of strings". The Mad raq requires more strings and therefore is not one set.
The Mad raq is named after it's owner Madeline. Stringers did not want to deal with the nightmare of stringing it. So it never took off because of that.
At one point Donnay came out with a Mad raq as well and even used Mcenroes name. It's was called the Dunlop Mcenroe Mad raq.
Moving forward Madeline decided to take the third set of string out and created the "power angle" racquet sold right here on TW.
The power angle is a great stick but the Mad raq is much better. Madeline a mathematician got the idea from looking at an American Indian snow show. The design was very stable.
She made the most stable string bed I have ever played with in my life.....so stable that the strings never break. I have a set in there that's 15 years old.
I showed the racquet to Roman Prokes and he LOVED it. He said it just made sense.
out of all the models I thought that the "Bermuda" was their best stick.
Powerful and accuracy great. The spin was incredible especially on slice out wide.
The amount of spin was awesome and the stability of the stick was insane
Again very stable with no shock to the arm ; however the frame was a bit thick for maneuverability. There are however thinner models than the Bermuda mode,.
This is the best feeling racquet I have ever played with period. The string design is just so stable. It's hard to explain but the feel is different than any other racquet you have ever played with. It's just rock solid.
So why don't I play with this stick if I love it so much
- I don't know if it's legal
- causes to many problems and people always question me
- no one wants to string this beast
If you have any sort of arm problems I think you will LOVE this stick. If you can deal with all the grief people will give you about the racquet and getting it strung then it may be for you.
You basically have to string only once because the strings never seem to break.
That's it for tonight....wait till I show you the rest of my collection. It's a trip . :-)
The back of my chair has the same pattern as the Mad Raq's strings.
The Mad Raq stringing pattern is at the top of my list of "I wish someone would make that again". I'm reasonably certain it's legal: I believe the "one set of strings" referred to in the rules was aimed at the spaghetti stringing, which had three separate (in the sense of not being woven together) "sets" of string. It doesn't mean "set" in the sense of "coil".
I suspect the USRSA hated Mad Raqs not so much because they were difficult to string but because they so rarely needed it.
I guess someone would have to sub,it it to The ITF or USTA or whatever for a decision. Bit yup are right the rule wAs meant for spaghetti strings. Rules and laws must be applied uniformly .
I think Your are right about the usrsa.....these strings just never break.
Ergonom vs X-45
I bought the ergonom at TW and the X-45 at at flea market for $ 20 bucks.
The theory behind the racquets is that tennis is meant to be played with the racquet angle always at 45 degrees and this racquet does it for you.
The ergonom is an 80's racquet while the x-45 is the modern version.
I found this to be a gimmick that doesn't really work and gave no advantage whatsoever ......but the ergonom was the far better stick.
Hard to get used to butbafter a while I just ignored the shape of the head and was able to hit groundstrokes.
The ergonom had an 80's thin beamed feel to it. Whipped around nicely and played well. Control and power were not bad.
X-45 was horrible. Was a thick beamed racquet and played poorly.
I just could not get used to the shape. The only serves I could hit were slice serves. Flat serves were just impossible.
Of the two the ergonom cut through the air quicker and was the better of the two
The shape actually did help a little here. It did help save time to prepare my racquet head .
The x-45 was just to bulky however while the ergo played like an old school stick.
The ergo felt awesome . It hadbthat old school feel because it was old school.
The ergo was just way to hollow.
The shape really does nothing except on volleys where it really does help and save time. Serves were difficult to hit.
Of the two sticks the ergo is far better. Sometime newer is not better!
ive always wanted to try the natural, just never seen any cheap enough for me. i think itd be interesting
The first video is him hitting the most incredible serve .
The second is of him at a BNP Paribas event . He also used it at the us open but the video quality was poor so I didn't post it .
Check this out:
HERE's FEDERER ACTUALLY TRYING TO IMITATE THE BATTISTONE NATURAL RACQUET SERVE
i think fed was just jackin around
But Battistone the owner of te natural racquet did play in the Us Open.
I'm sure Federer watched him and imitated him??
Kind of like how Jim Abbott (ex-MLB pitcher born without right hand) would probably need to serve (but he would obviously do it lefty).
How much does the natural weigh? For some reason, when I look at it I imagine it weighing about 5 lbs and being impossible for a normal person to swing.
Interesting specs . They have a 27" version and a 29 inch version. These are the specs for the 27 inch version.
27" Racquet Specs:
Headsize: 110 in
Length: 27 in
Weight: 11.8 oz
Balance: 12 points head light
Pattern: 18 x 19
Here's a much better review than my review . The guy gives a day by day analysis of his experiences :
"Always on the prowl for arm-friendly racquets we came across a double handled racquet called “The Natural” tennis racquet. The specs were interesting to us so we began researching the racquet. After some initial reading we learned there was not much information posted about this unusal racquet. They do have a web site and there are a couple of threads on discussion boards, but that is all the information available. (Some interesting videos on YouTube also exist.)
We decided to see for ourselves if the racquet might be an alternative for some people. It arrived two days ago. Our first order of business was to “pimp it out.” In other words we added a stringbed of red mains and black crosses of the new MSV Hepta-Twist (soon to be available and soon to be a blog topic). Next we wrapped the grips with purple and lime overwrap and used some red and yellow finishing tape. Our goal was “gawdy as possible.” Afterall, we want to attract attention when using this puppy.
Because of the scarcity of information we decided to make an online blog diary of our experience with this racquet. Our first official hitting session will be this evening where we will form some initial opinions and report back in diary form, however yesterday, January 13, curiosity got the better of us and we took it to the courts at lunch. Impressions below.
JANUARY 13, 2010 Today we share some preliminary observations after a brief hitting session against a wall and some serving practice. Note: Live action will be tomorrow, 1/14/10.
1. It will take some time to adjust to the angle of the handles. It is unrealistic to expect to be able to hit at 100% efficiency with this frame out of the box. It will require some adjustments and muscle memory will have to be relearned. I suspect it will take several hours of hitting sessions before I am comfortable using this racquet in match play.
2. Some will use the racquet with the goal of hitting one hand off of each side. In my case I am learning to hit two handed off of both sides. I already hit a two-handed backhand and hitting that side with this racquet took just minor adjustments. Felt really good. Can’t wait to see how it performs in live action later today. The two-handed forehand was very akward. Probably because it was not as natural for me. Will have to work on it. Hitting with one hand was more comfortable for me, and I could rally against the wall with control using one hand, but that is not my goal.
3. I now understand why it comes in 27″, 28″ and 29″ options. After just a short wall session, I believe if hitting with two hands, the longer options may be better, although I am not sure what the extra length may mean for arm health. The model I am testing is the 27″ model with the 4 1/4″ grip. Typically I use 4 1/2, but with two hands the smaller size does not bother me…so far.
4. Used some different muscle groups in shoulders and upper back. I expected to be sore today, but surprisingly I am not. Must be due to the post workout chocolate milk chaser kicking in!
5. The angled handles are intriguing. I can see some distinct possibilites of additional leverage on groundstrokes, but it will require some grip work. This is an area that definitely needs additional exploration.
6. Serves. The first dozen or so found the bottom of the net or the fence. I tried serving with both the front and back handles. I ultimately chose to focus on using the front handle. The contact point has to be higher with this racquet when using the front handle in order to clear the net. Ultimately that is GOOD for power. By hitting at a higher point of contact, more power is generated. The angle actually helps here. I was impressed with the zip I found on serve…that caught me by surprise. Control and placement will require additional practice due to the new contact point. Also pronating with this racquet was not as easy for me. Again, this was a short hitting session consisting of only 5 dozen or so serves. There is reason to be very optimistic about the serving potential for this racquet.
I came away from the session realizing that one has to be committed to learning how to use the racquet. It’s not like demoing a typical racquet off the store shelf. Thus we will keep updating this diary to share our experience with those who may be considering trying this racquet for themselves.
2 thoughts on “The Natural Tennis Racquet – A Diary”
fsilber on May 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm said:
On the one-handed forehand you have to take the ball further out in front. The advantage for serving is that you don’t have to pronate, and maybe you shouldn’t. And maybe you should use a grip a bit more towards the eastern forehand grip. When I look at videos of the Battistone brothers, the string bed on the serve seems to face straight ahead before contact, during contact, and for a bit after contact. In other words, you get the height, power and spin of a proper serve, but with the easy timing of a pop-it-up beginner’s serve.
ggtennis on May 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm said:
Well stated. I continue to experiment with pronation and am getting better at incorporating some spin action into the serves."
The serve is reminiscent of a volleyball jump serve- but there's no reason I can see that Battistone couldn't toss with his left.
My nine year daughter is in love with my PK Redondo mid. So I took of the leather grip, overgrip, 7 grams lead tape on the handle and the 16 polyester string at 23 kg. Put on a synthetic grip, and strung it with 17 syn gut at 18 kg, and brought it from 355g to 330g. Now I am a bit envious at her. But haven't tried it.
the legendary Spaghetti racquet
I picked this racquet up on the bay. I paid $300 bucks for it.
This is not a picture of my racquet because I cannot figure out how to upload. But my racquet is the old Lendl Adidas racquet.
This racquet was made illegal after Nastase broke Vilas' world record clay court run. That record was not broken until Nadal. Who knows how long Vilas' record would have lasted if not for this stick.
Nastase decided to use the racquet because a week before he was beaten by someone before who used it against Nasatase.
The racquet first caught the attention of the world when lowly ranked Mike Fishbach ( something like 200 in the world ) beat Hall of Famer Stan Smith.
I personally don't think the racquet changed the game as much as graphite, oversize and poly strings have. If you noticed tennis is slowing down the surfaces to deal with that technology.
Although I did find that the spaghetti string gave you incredible spin and control, it was greatly lacking in power. If people used it today it would not give them an unfair advantage and I also think it would help tennis. We would see more variety .....feel and serve and volley players would be on the tour again.
The graphite and polyester strings helped baseliners gain an advantage on ground strokes and return of serves. The serve and volleyers had virtually no help from technology in my opinion . It's not fair.
I believe that the spaghetti was outlawed more for political reasons than anything else.
In the Nasatse Vilas match there was a lot of emotion involved . People think that Nastase just won but the truth is that Vilas just gave up as he was completely frustrated.
After losing the first set and on his way to lose the second set Vilas just stormed off the court in an angry rage. Vilas yelled and complained to his coach the legendary Tiriac .
Tiriac went on to coach Becker and became an owner of many tournaments . He is the richest man in Rumania and he is one of the most powerful men in tennis if not the most powerful .
Tiriac made just one phone call an the next day the spaghetti string was suspended from play and after a court battle made illegal. It ruined the guy who was promoting them in the USA. I actually spoke with his son because I wanted to buy more. But this was years ago.
The racquet i think would help players like Federer who have slice and junk I'm their game and it would be an answer to big top spinners like Nadal. I think tennis would be way more exciting as well.
With polyester string oversized graphite racquets baseliners like Nadal have been given an unfair advantage . People cry its the slowness of the courts but I submit it's because of technology.
If baseliners were helped so much then why can't serve and volley players or all courters like Federer be given some technology ?
I am not going to give a scaled rating because the spaghetti doesn't compare to any other racquet. I will rather just describe it.
Definitely favors a player with touch like Federer. A topspin grinder like Nadal will have no use for this stick. The power is just not there.
Although Nadal would get higher bouncing topspin he wouldn't have the same power. Plus Federers one handed slice would be able to deal with it better. The slice would come back far more effectively and accurately . It would make the playing field against Nadals powerful Babolat fair and even more exciting .
The best stroke I found with this racquet was the slice. The ball just freaking dies. There's not much you can do with it.
A slice on grass even slow grass with this racquet is devastating and you could easily come in for a volley .
The junk you can put on the ball is amazing. But be forewarned its not powerful. It's more about control strategy and placement. Djokovic would have no benefit from this stick either.
Topspin is not a big deal at all. Sure you can get higher bouncing balls but the power is just not there. This racquet is not for a base line top spinner .
Amazing volleys. Perfect placement and lethal slices. Drop volleys are a dream . The ultimate Volley weapon.
drop shots & feel
WOW !!!! You can basically hit a drop shot from anywhere at any time with deadly accuracy. The feel is beyond describable.
Strung with gut and very plush. It's like a dream come true. Tennis the way I always dreamed of playing. Just so much fun.
I loved using it against juniors with their baseline bash games . They had no idea what to do with a real slice when they saw one.
Power was very poor but placement and accuracy was off the charts. A serve and volleyers dream racquet.
Your not going to get to many aces but you will be able to put away a LOT of volleys. I felt like John McEnroe on the court . So much fun!!
Spaghetti strings I feel were outlawed due to political reasons. It didn't change the game anymore than polyester or graphite oversized racquets. This technology only helps the baseline badgers . Players like Federer or serve and volleyers should be given some technology as well to level the playing field.
We would also have variety back in tennis. Technology has changed our sport and we are trying to go back to the way tennis was by slowing the courts and the balls. I propose either going back to wood or give the guys an answer to deal with all this power like the spaghetti string.
For hundreds of years there were no rules regarding a tennis racquet. Why all of a sudden did they out law the spaghetti string.
The answer in one word : TIRIAC.
Why are polyester strings legal but spaghetti strings not? It's just not fair.
If you look at history Nastase and all courter was able to beat Vilas a clay court top spinner on red clay. An analogy can be draw between Federer and Nadal.
I wonder what would have happened in that match if Nastase was allowed to use his spaghetti and Vilas had an APD ?? I think it would have been a fair match but far more importantly it would have been exciting as all hell and brough variety back!!!
Now that polyester is played with I think it's only fair to allow spaghetti strings to be used
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