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Old 04-01-2011, 10:10 AM   #1
sstchur
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sammamish, WA
Posts: 1,594
Default Gamma Tour 320X initial review

Normal setup:
Fischer Pro One 98
M:54,X:51 (lock-out) with any soft multi

Typical playing style:
3.5 - 4.0 baseline basher who loves to go for too much and hit the amazing sharp angle winner. Hard flat first serve. Descent kick-serve.

Reason for demoing Tour 320X:
1. Had success in the past with Gamma frames (especially T-7, as it was on the lighter side but has plenty of flex and a fairly thin beam)
2. Wanting to try something a little lighter than the Fischer to see if it might take some stress of my shoulder.

Never had elbow problems, but been having fairly sharp shoulder pain for about a year, which I've kept manageable by simply spacing out how often I play.

The Gamma Tour 320X looks pretty sweet in specs:
98 sq in (check)
Pure graphite (check)
16x19 (check)
Flex: TW says 67, Gamma's website says "firm" (nervous about this aspect)
~11.4oz strung (normally I'd call this light, but that's one of things I wanted to test out, so check)

I was hopeful that a slightly lighter frame might have less stress on my shoulder, but at the same time I was worried about the stiffness rating (if it is accurate, which I'm not sure it is).

I strung up the Gamma Tour 320X with Mantis Comfort 16 at M: 54, X: 51. It definitely did feel soft and even in the "stiff" 320X offered the nice muted feel that I liked.

The first thing I did when I got on court w/ the racquet was hit a serve. I must have hit the sweet spot dead on on my first swing because it sure felt SOLID. But one swing is no way to judge a racquet, obviously.

Spent the rest of the time mostly doing drills involving volleys and overheads with 3 other guys. Also a bit of an offense/defense drill where I spent some time at the baseline trying to hit passes.

I was impressed over an over again with the solid feel of the 320X. I felt like I was able to find the sweetspot more often than with my Fischer. I also felt that balls that came at me with heavy topspin I was able to answer with equal power and topspin (something I often struggled to do with the Fischer).

The maneuverability of the 320X was also nice. It's almost a full ounce lighter than my Fischers and I noticed.

As for my shoulder, well it hurt last night after I was done playing, perhaps more than it ever has, which is sad.

However, this was mostly a drills session and it did involve a lot of overheads. And overheads/serve are generally the biggest contributors to my shoulder discomfort, so there is a reasonably good chance that I'd have had equal pain had I used the Fischer (but I'm not certain about that).

It's too early to know if I'll make the switch, but the Gamma has a lot of things going for it.

1. A bit lighter makes it a little easier to swing.
2. Sweetspot was easier to find
3. Access to spin was a bit better than w/ the Fischer
4. Really like the 20mm straight beam
5. These racquets (all the Gamma tour racquets actually) can be gotten pretty cheaply, which is nice, b/c a switch doesn't mean breaking the bank.

All that said, if, after several more outings my shoulder pain seems worse, I may have to reconsider.

Comments, questions welcome.
-Stchur
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