Originally Posted by marosmith
This really is a great thread. I think the key to finding a perfect racket is:
- find the right head size
- find the right swing weight (which is usually done with customization)
- tune the power with string bed tension/ stiffness (which is done with a mix of spacing/ string pattern) and type of string
- unless you want to risk injury, get a relatively soft racket
What is shocking to me is how Babolat has become so popular. Is this defiance against science, perhaps a post-modern thing and a rejection of objectivity (just joking. Sort of....).
Babolats are popular as a fair number of users are not restricted to notions of "players racquets" nor are they resigned to the use of racquets that they have been using for the past 10/15/20+ years. They are free to select what works best for them, while unencumbered by past practice or seemingly the perception on this board.
Babolats are also popular for the additional reason that they are used by some of today's most popular (and successful) players - all the while, using sticks that are effectively retail. Not saying that they are not customized post-production, but they start as being largely the same as their retail brethren. As such, there is confidence that they could be used at the highest level, if done so properly. This is drastically different than getting the seal of approval from some middle-aged suburbanite or a 3.0-3.5 weekend warrior....
Finally, they also lend themselves to easy customization, against which many of the most common complaints can be mitigated if not eliminated entirely. After all, it's this customization that renders Head/Wilson pro stocks so popular is it not? Or is it the endeavor to use what the pros use? Either way...
Why are Babolats not popular here, well, there is the lemming effect but also the fact that despite their perception of being easy to use, they are actually very demanding (hence the many, many comments of those unable to control the stick). The APD is more difficult to use than a Pro Tour 630 for instance, with the former being more restrictive in terms of how the racquet is used. Despite this, I have no hesitation which one has a higher ceiling if "feel" wasn't the end all be all.