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-   -   Racquet for a big/strong 3.5 player (or "Does Size Matter?") (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=446107)

niremetal 11-18-2012 09:12 PM

Racquet for a big/strong 3.5 player (or "Does Size Matter?")
 
Hey all,

So I'm on the hunt for a new racquet this holiday season. A bit about me. I'm about 6'3 and 215, vast majority of it muscle. Odds are that I'll be able to beat the guy on the other side of the net in arm-wresting (though not tennis :|). But as a tennis player, I'm a relative newbie. I basically started playing a year and a half ago. I'd say I'm about a 3.5 in most areas of the game, though my footwork and anticipation lag behind my stroke fundamentals.

(skip through the next 3 paragraphs if you're bored)

I try to hit with a heavy topspin forehand, but frequently end up hitting the ball off-center or even off the frame. My serve used to be the weakest part of my game but now is the strongest. Ideally, I'd be a serve and volley player, but my groundstrokes are inconsistent enough that I rarely have the opportunity to move to net except on good first serves.

I started off playing with a Head LM 4, then moved a few months later to a Prince O3 Hybrid Shark OS. I also get a O3 Hornet MP and a TT Warrior OS, the latter of which was my main stick for most of the past year. I just did a switch to the NXG Graphite OS, mainly because I wanted a thinner-beamed stick. I also have an EXO3 Graphite MP and a Babolat Pure Control Team. I've figured out that on serves, the NXG is my best stick, but the EXO3 Graphite seems to be my best off the ground (but worst on serve); the PCT falls in between. With all, I sometimes wonder whether I should be playing with lighter sticks given my relative inexperience. Which leads me to...

(ok, now for the important question)

Anyway, now that I'm looking for a new stick, I want to find one that I'll use for the next year or two as my game continues to develop. For someone like me - who has excellent physical strength but not much playing experience - should I be looking at the racquet specs and conventional wisdom differently than most players? Should I be less afraid to try out a heavier racquet than most? Should I look for anything different in terms of balance or swingweight? Or should I just get a bigger grip size of the same lighter racquets that most 3.5-level players use?

In short, how much (if at all) does the "conventional wisdom" about racquets and racquet specs change for physically bigger/stronger players?

Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

pkshooter 11-18-2012 09:18 PM

Lol
You've got the wrong rackets, all oversizes... You should go sub 100 inches, larger head size isn't bigger sweet spot, so much as power. This will be perfect for you. http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Soli...CO-SPRO10.html

Hi I'm Ray 11-18-2012 10:19 PM

Most of the more muscular players tend to try and muscle the ball using mostly their arms and have short strokes. This seems to mix well with powerful frames. You already have OS frames, you can try a tweener like a Pro Open, Aeropro Drive, BLX Blade, or PD Roddick to see if thats a better fit.

Some of the bigger and or taller players who have a longer swing seem to do well with heavier, control oriented frames. Take a look at the Prestige Mid or Wilson 6.1 18x20.

LeeD 11-19-2012 02:19 PM

Head MicroGelRadOS.
It's still OS, but very soft flexy for control and feel.

sansaephanh 11-19-2012 02:45 PM

I'd say a 95in players stick is the most well balanced type of stick you can buy. Tons of options for feel. just demo a bunch and see which ones you like.

LeeD 11-19-2012 02:50 PM

Not wild about handing a 3.5 big swinger a 95 racket if he's mishitting with his current moderate stiff OS rackets.
He needs control and feel, but he needs to play more to hit more center.

MikeHitsHard93 11-19-2012 03:09 PM

I agree with LeeD. He doesn't need more power than he already can put out and he should be using a 100 sq in racket in my opinion. If you like flexy frames, try out a prince exo3 tour 16x18 or a head radical (not the pro). If you like stiffer rackets, try a wilson blx pro open or a head extreme mp.

v-verb 11-19-2012 03:34 PM

Sounds like a classic racquet like a POG or a Pro Staff might be in order

pkshooter 11-19-2012 05:34 PM

Op I'm telling you, try the solinco pro 10. It's here at tw: it's nice and hefty, which will help you to stop muscling it and will give you extra power, it has a 98 head which has a nice sweet spot, and the string pattern and beam will give you plenty of control.

prjacobs 11-19-2012 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7025065)
Head MicroGelRadOS.
It's still OS, but very soft flexy for control and feel.

This is a pretty good idea.
And... I know you didn't ask and these types of responses can be... uh... clichéd, but...
I think a legit 3.5 player should be able to find the sweet spot consistently if in position. It may be that you're trying too hard to generate tons of topspin and that stroke may not be natural for you. A good teacher would really help here.
In terms of footwork, here's something that might be worth thinking about. Every time you hit a shot, understand where the high percentage responses are going to go. For example, if you hit deep, cross court shots, you don't need to return to the middle of the court in preparation for your next shot. In fact, you shouldn't necessarily ever be in the middle of the court. Keep a yard to the crosscourt side on deep safe shots and a yard toward the down the line side if your shot is shorter, because your opponent's higher percentage shot is going there.
Anyway.... Back to your problem :) . I'd recommend trying a heavier, player's frame because you won't be able to brush up the ball as easily as a lighter frame that's designed to do that. You may find that a more traditional stroke fits your game better. Try something with an 18 X 20 pattern, as they have more control.

Irrelevant 11-19-2012 06:40 PM

My suggestions are Head LMRad MP/OS, Head Microgel MP/OS, or Prince O3 Hybrid Shark/Hornet. I started off with the LMRad MP and Shark, later on beefing them up with lead once my game got set in place.

Candide 11-19-2012 10:39 PM

I'm going to go with pkshooter above and say go for some decent weight. All this guff about a 12oz racquet tiring you out over three sets is a load of malarkey (to use a Bidenism). Airy racquets encourage poor technique as they are overpowered and you see club players all over the world with these 'tweener' racquets waving them around like fly swatters - i.e. a six inch backswing, almost no follow through and general poor form. You can get away with this and win a few games at your club but if you want to move on and not be destined for tweenerdom forever get a racquet with a bit of heft to it and concentrate on developing a nice long stroke. You'll frame a few more balls but will get great sensation when you do middle the ball. There are decently weighted racquets that aren't necessarily 95sq inches. The Solinco looks pretty good (I've never had a hit) but here's another one that may suit you.

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/ProK...PK-KI5PSN.html

I have hit with this and I'm just under 6' and about 190lbs and found it fine. See if you can arrange a demo - you won't even notice the weight but you will notice a difference in how it feels when you strike the ball. At the end of the day a twelve year old can swing these racquets with ease if they use momentum and not try to wrist everything (which is how you'll hurt yourself anyway). I use a Wilson BLX six one 95 by the way and I'm no expert - 4.5 on my best day. There are legions of players around the place with damaged arms from all of the Pure Drives and the like which are stiff as boards, light and powerful - the perfect storm for developing arm issues for people with poor technique. Sooooo here's my two cents worth - there's no such thing as a tweener - there's only players who have been gulled by clever marketing. These racquets are great for guys who can really play but are the worst choice for those building a game. Hope this helps.

PhrygianDominant 11-19-2012 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Candide (Post 7025667)
I'm going to go with pkshooter above and say go for some decent weight. All this guff about a 12oz racquet tiring you out over three sets is a load of malarkey (to use a Bidenism). Airy racquets encourage poor technique as they are overpowered and you see club players all over the world with these 'tweener' racquets waving them around like fly swatters - i.e. a six inch backswing, almost no follow through and general poor form. You can get away with this and win a few games at your club but if you want to move on and not be destined for tweenerdom forever get a racquet with a bit of heft to it and concentrate on developing a nice long stroke. You'll frame a few more balls but will get great sensation when you do middle the ball. There are decently weighted racquets that aren't necessarily 95sq inches. The Solinco looks pretty good (I've never had a hit) but here's another one that may suit you.

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/ProK...PK-KI5PSN.html

I have hit with this and I'm just under 6' and about 190lbs and found it fine. See if you can arrange a demo - you won't even notice the weight but you will notice a difference in how it feels when you strike the ball. At the end of the day a twelve year old can swing these racquets with ease if they use momentum and not try to wrist everything (which is how you'll hurt yourself anyway). I use a Wilson BLX six one 95 by the way and I'm no expert - 4.5 on my best day. There are legions of players around the place with damaged arms from all of the Pure Drives and the like which are stiff as boards, light and powerful - the perfect storm for developing arm issues for people with poor technique. Sooooo here's my two cents worth - there's no such thing as a tweener - there's only players who have been gulled by clever marketing. These racquets are great for guys who can really play but are the worst choice for those building a game. Hope this helps.

I just ordered one of those, can't wait to try it out. Thing looks freakin' sweet!!!!!

Bwahaahhahaha

Candide 11-20-2012 12:23 AM

Good stuff. Just to illustrate my point above for anyone interested. Take a look at the TW video review of the new Wilson six one 95 and check out Carol cracking the ball (it's her regular racquet by the way). To look at her I'd guess she couldn't be over 130lbs dripping wet and she's wielding it with ease. I know that she's a very good player but the point stands - anyone can use a 'heavy' (12 - 13 oz isn't) racquet and indeed most people should.

PhrygianDominant 11-20-2012 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Candide (Post 7025746)
Good stuff. Just to illustrate my point above for anyone interested. Take a look at the TW video review of the new Wilson six one 95 and check out Carol cracking the ball (it's her regular racquet by the way). To look at her I'd guess she couldn't be over 130lbs dripping wet and she's wielding it with ease. I know that she's a very good player but the point stands - anyone can use a 'heavy' (12 - 13 oz isn't) racquet and indeed most people should.

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/ProK...PK-KI5PSN.html

check out the racquet universe graph on the sweetspot/powerpotential thingee...

Ö.ö

pkshooter 11-20-2012 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Candide (Post 7025667)
I'm going to go with pkshooter above and say go for some decent weight. All this guff about a 12oz racquet tiring you out over three sets is a load of malarkey (to use a Bidenism). Airy racquets encourage poor technique as they are overpowered and you see club players all over the world with these 'tweener' racquets waving them around like fly swatters - i.e. a six inch backswing, almost no follow through and general poor form. You can get away with this and win a few games at your club but if you want to move on and not be destined for tweenerdom forever get a racquet with a bit of heft to it and concentrate on developing a nice long stroke. You'll frame a few more balls but will get great sensation when you do middle the ball. There are decently weighted racquets that aren't necessarily 95sq inches. The Solinco looks pretty good (I've never had a hit) but here's another one that may suit you.

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/ProK...PK-KI5PSN.html

.

Nice specs, a real pleener. You should definitely demo rackets in that spec range.

dode 11-20-2012 10:05 AM

I will throw this out there just because I fall into the "big guy" category, though I don't really classify you as a big guy. I am 6'4" 270 lbs. and at 3.5 working my way to 4.5. I started playing again last year and started with the BLX Pro Open and have been working my way through a few sticks and am now playing with Boris Becker 11 mids and Volkl C10 Pro MP's. I really prefer the BB11's, but at 93 in they are a little small for my game right now. That is why I am trying the C10's. I prefer an open string pattern, and these racquets are all in the neighborhood of 350 grams strung. They aren't tiring at all to swing in my view.

It is hard to say whether you would like a racquet or not without hitting it since it is a lot about feel and personal preference, but I am happy with what I am currently playing with.

John


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