When do you know...?
When does one know that it's time to switch frames?
I've been playing with YT Rad Pros for ~6 months now. Like most people on this forum, I've played with a number of frames over the years, but the primary three that I've stuck with over the past three years has been (ignoring all short-term frames):
BLX 6.1 95 --> customized LM Radical MP --> customized YT Radical Pro
The BLX 6.1s were fairly heavy stock, so I didn't customize them much at all. I left that frame, because I couldn't get over how drastically different each of my three frames felt (Wilson QC). I stumbled on LM Rads... Used them stock briefly, then added weight because they felt too light. Liked the plow through and precision of those, but I'm pretty certain that I ended up with too much silicone in the handle and it essentially became a hammer - awesome plow and all, but not exactly a spin frame.
The plan was for the YT Rad pro to come and and clear all of that up. Provide enough mass for stability and plow, while having an open pattern for spin access, and being a little lighter (after customization). For a while, I was diggin it, but after (an extensive honeymoon phase), It just doesn't feel right. I don't have an issue with heavy frames normally, but this one is just too sluggish it seems. Spin access is great, however it doesn't seem like this frame flattens out well. 16x19 may be too open for a 100 sqi frame.
There are other minor issues with it that I've noticed, but I'm at a cross road. I've used this frame for ~6 months, and I'm neither completely satisfied nor completely dissatisfied with the stick. It's conceivable that I could pick out a better frame on a whim on TW. However, I don't know at what point I should decide to cut my losses. Given the number of frames in general that I've been through over the years, I'm not looking to get into demo'ing all over again. It's a hassle, and doesn't promote growth of ones game. I'm ready to settle down with a frame for a few years, just not sure if its this one... To an extent, I could build my game around this frame and probably have good enough success with it as a 4.0-5.0 player.
In general though, when do you all call it quits on a frame?
I think it's reasonable to start looking for new gear when the confidence bubble around the old racquets has truly burst. Even if the frames are fine, there's no arguing with the reality of our noggins believing that these racquets are somehow wrong for us. That's a serious distraction that needs to be overcome, often by moving on. Then again...
I went through a similar progression when I replaced my old 6.1 Classics some years ago. I also tried a pair of LM Radicals, but they were also light and unstable for me. Making decent spin with those was more of a challenge, too. I've settled in with the Volkl C10 for a few years now, but it took a while for me to get dialed in with the new racquets - it may also take a while for you with that YT Radical Pro.
I've always liked racquets with 9-10 pts. HL balance and my Volkls have lead on their handles to give me the familiar handling that comes with that familiar balance. You mentioned that your Radical Pro is sluggish for you, so my advice is to tune your frame along the same lines (lead tape under your grip or overgrip) so that you get better handling. It may not work, but it just might be the simple solution that helps you to turn that racquet loose.
We don't discuss racquet balance around here as much as other spec's, but I've found that it's the key to my best fit with any frame I use. Even if the flex or static weight isn't exactly what I prefer, the right balance can help me to feel much more at home with any racquet I try.
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