Looks like I will finally retire my Speedport Tour's after a few good years and have started the demo process. I plan on tracking my progress in this thread.
Picked out 4 from TW that I can't necessarily find locally here in Denver and they'll be here sometime tomorrow.
1. Donnay P1 16*19
2. Technifibre TFlash 315 Speedflex
3. Babolat Pure Drive Roddick GT (2011?)
4. Donnay Formula 100
Interested to see how the P1 and TFlash play as they are closest in spec although it looks like nothing will be as head light as the Speedport was (7pts) which I liked.
The PDR/Formula are strictly guilty pleasures as I expect them to be pretty easy to generate power off the forehand.
Already demo'd the Warrior 100/Rebel 98 and Tour from Prince - the Tour is a touch thin for me in the beam and the Rebel is whippy, same reason I never liked the MG Radical. I'm not much of a customizer or I'd mess around a little more with the Warrior, just too light.
I played with the Speedport Tours as well for years. I demoed several racquet's. The Donnay's were the best. I settled on the Platinum 99. It's 7 points head light as well. I added Wilson leather grips which made it 10 points head light. It's the best stick I have ever used! More control and power then the Speedport and way more control!
Thanks for the feedback, I tried the original version of the Donnay's, however I couldn't get used to the thinner beam.
Try a Dunlop 400/500 series frame...
Yesterday was a wash as there was a bit of a ball machine fiasco at the club so today it was outdoors in balmy 40 degree weather with one at the public courts.
Current Racquet: Prince Speedport Tour w/string hole inserts, BeastXP string at 60# - 3.5 player - baseliner who hits flat - 1hbh and allergic to volleying
Warmed up with my racquet for 5-10 minutes and then started the rotation.
Donnay Pro One 16*19 -
On paper this should be the winner since it has very similar specs.
Likes Played well, similar in strengths/weaknesses to my current set up and really felt comfortable with the slice which I use quite a bit. Forehand was consistent. Easy on the arm which is nice as I recently hyperextended my elbow. I could really get around the outside of the ball and angle hit a short angle well.
Dislikes Each time I hit with a Donnay it just feels odd on contact, I probably have to give it more time adapting to the Xenecore.
Result Extended playtest coming up on Sunday that will include some serves and returns
Technifibre TFlash 315 Speedflex
Likes Oh My! This racquet became the early leader in the clubhouse after a couple minutes of hitting. A bit thicker beam and stiffness but I liked that it felt like my Prince but had a bit more depth/pop on the forehand.
Dislikes Slice - I'll have to put some time in to get used to the thicker beam and not floating it. If I recall the TW playtest had similar comments
Result Moving on to another ball machine session - if I had to buy today, it would be the choice.
Donnay Formula 100
Recap: This was just too light for me when I hit, reminded me of the Prince Warrior 100 in that it is great if you like to customize. I felt like I had to take big cuts to really generate pace, although had more access to spin and good depth on my shots. If I had excess $ and could do things like put a leather grip on it, et.al it'd be fun to play with and I could see me using it for doubles - but even then my best shot is my forehand.
Result: Don't call me, I'll call you
Babolat PDR GT
Recap: Hits a good ball, but just felt hollow when connecting. Good shot or bad it all felt the same. I was surprised that I noticed the swingweight being a little higher than the Prince. Some of my shots just had odd spin, I really had to hit it correct or it became a well paced junker (maybe not a bad thing). Also floated the slice and would need some time to transition although the thicker beam allowed me to have more confidence in hitting a traditional one-hander.
Result: Probably give it another 10-15 min on the ball machine to see if I make any progress.
So not a bad first go around, some quick decisions and current standings.
2. Donnay P1
3. PDR GT
4. Formula 100
The pdrgt hits the best slice I've ever seen, so give that a little time. Thanks for the reviews.
I think I may have just been getting some more action and spin on the PDRGT than I'm used to at the moment. After watching the Steam 99S review and seeing the movement that is what I was experiencing.
Will put it back into the rotation on Sunday...
Played some points
Finally got back on the court today after a lost weekend. Played 3 sets of doubles and had a chance to use each for about 8 games.
Donnay Pro One - If I had to play a season right now, this would be the choice. Getting used to the Xenecore and how the ball feels on the stringbed. I still have a tendency to swing too fast at times with this, however it feels the most natural out of the 3 remaining options.
Serving - No change from my current set up, stepped right out and was hitting at about 85% without issue and had good control. I normally don't knock people off the court with my serve, I rely on getting it deep in the box and being consistent and varying placement.
Groundstrokes - Getting used to the backhand and drove a couple of them, but mostly stuck with the slice with varying degrees of success.
Volleys - I couldn't volley with anything tonight....
Returns - Good returns, had decent depth and I like to be aggressive with it and they were staying in the court. Always a good sign.
Result - On the championship!
Technifibre T-Flash 315 - I really liked this the other day, however when I changed to it in the match it didn't work out. I was framing serves and just couldn't find the sweetspot most times.
Groundstrokes Ok - but nothing like I was hoping. I'm not sure if it was just the change from the Donnay, however today we just didn't mesh.
Serves No bueno. Basically hit quite a few DF's in my 2 service games with the 315 and just never found my rhythm. Mostly I was catching the frame, understandable since it's wider.
ReturnsNot much better for me, and this was a set we won..
Result Confused - might have to start off with it and see if there's any change with how it plays.
Babolat PDRGT Night and day this time around, maybe I was used to the wider beam having used the Speedflex prior or could be this is just a good option. The PD was one of my final choices last time I shopped 4-5 years ago.
Groundstrokes Didn't get to rip many forehands but it was nice to have the wider beam in a couple of rallies, the stiffness helps when you mishit or hit a bit late. A couple down the line return winners on the backhand was a nice plus, even if I wasn't aiming there. Still a little hollow feeling to me.
Serves We were going to get killed in the 3rd set so I just mostly let loose a bit. Serves had some extra pop and stayed deep. When I framed it, they were ugly. Hit a couple quasi-kickers while messing around as well. I think this could be a fun one.
Returns Took some cuts (see the groundstrokes part) and mostly was able to return with direction and pace. When I overswing or am too aggressive however, the ball is hitting the back wall. It's a launching pad for sure.
Result I need to give this a longer look for sure. Final two once again, this time with the Pro One.
Hoping to do a drill tomorrow so should get some additional feedback and hopefully make a decision by the time I have to send them back on Wednesday.
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