hitman99 was kind enough to let me try out his vortex es 133 for about 20 minutes this weekend. i'm a 4.0 singles/dubs player. full long strokes and my regular racquet is an exo3 tour 18x20 leaded up to 12 ounces even.
in person the spacing between the strings is absolutely huge. i could probably fit a quarter sideways through these holes. balance felt and played about even balance or slightly head heavy. power level was humongous. but the spin is equally humongous. taking full swings from the baseline required changing where i aim. with my regular racquet i'd aim about 5 feet above the net for a regular rally topspin forehand. that same swing with the es 133 launched off my racquet about 15 feet above the net and about 20 feet beyond the baseline. after adjusting my swing accordingly and aiming (in my mind anyway) at the netcord -- yielded a very fast and very spinny forehand that jumps off the court after the bounce. my slice backhands required no adjustment. just instantly more slice and effortless depth.
at net the es 133 was very capable. the even balance definitely showed up here where the size of the racquet and thickness made it feel very slightly cumbersome. fast exchanges at net would not be this racquet's strong point. but effortless power made this racquet as simple as just meeting the ball out front for volleys and it takes care of the rest.
to me control with this racquet was average. i could place it to the corners or down the line but it was always sort of the general vicinity - give or take 5 feet. it's clear this racquet favors much shorter strokes and it takes care of the rest. definitely not designed for pinpoint control.
lastly for such a stiff racquet - this was a super comfy ride. i have wrist and elbow issues and i'm pretty sure i could play with this racquet day in, day out and i'd be fine.
thanks hitman for the fun. i saw you hitting with this racquet and i think it's a good match. with your preferred strings - it'll be ever better.