104in racquets - are they Ok for 40+- years old amateur/intermediate players ?

dimadima

New User
Hello guys.

I've read dozens of pages on this wonderful forum and learned much. Thank you all for posting tons of priceless information. However, I would like to ask specificly on my case.

I am 40 years old, fit, no health issues. I am about 3.5-4.0 level, play once a week and love to train with a ball machine.

Right now I play with Wilson Blade 98 2015 18x20, strung with a soft poly at a low 44lbs tension. Last weekend I tried an old HEAD Agassi Radical 107 and was very impressed by how easier life can be with a larger racquet.

Unfortunately, all of my tennis friends are either former ATP players or high level coaches, all of them are 35 years old and younger. When I ask them for advice all of them state that everything larger than 100in is not for my age/fit and if I want to make progress in tennis I should play with 98/100in racquets. Otherwise I will not see/feel my mistakes with an OS racquet. They offer me either Blade 98, or Yonex Vcore 98 or Head Gravity 98 at +-300 grams. This is what they play with.

QUESTION 1: how much playing with 104 vs 98/100 will degrade my learning process (because I will see less of my mistakes)?
QUESTION 2: how much racquet (for example - Vcore as for Pro's and Ezone for Intermediate) can influence my learning process? I know that it is better to try and feel it yourself, but I am just not experienced enought to feel it and I can make wrong conclusions. Should I just play with my existing racquet or look for something that will suit me better? When I buy comfortable tennis shoes I instantly see the difference, same as new balls. But it is just so complicated with a racquet...

Thank you all very much in advance.
 

esm

Hall of Fame
you should play with whichever suits you and lets you perform at your best... even if it is an OS.

if you want to stick with 100 - VC100 is a good option. with the isometric head, it will play bigger than 100, and most of your mates wont know.. lol
 

dimadima

New User
you should play with whichever suits you and lets you perform at your best... even if it is an OS.

if you want to stick with 100 - VC100 is a good option. with the isometric head, it will play bigger than 100, and most of your mates wont know.. lol
Esm, thank you for reply and help. It is easier for me to play with with 104, because it is more forgiving. What my friends are saying is that because it is so forgiving that I will not work hard enough on my technique and my learning will suffer from that. They state that I should learn how to play with 98/100 first and only then I can start playing with OS.
 

speedysteve

Legend
Esm, thank you for reply and help. It is easier for me to play with with 104, because it is more forgiving. What my friends are saying is that because it is so forgiving that I will not work hard enough on my technique and my learning will suffer from that. They state that I should learn how to play with 98/100 first and only then I can start playing with OS.
Serena did okay with a 104 in her prime;)
Reckon she would have given any of your pals a good game.

Test lots of frames and find what works for you..

Could be the other way around..
As you get better and grow in confidence and technique try smaller heads and test what's works best.
Do have coaching etc to help you get the right technique grooved.
 

dimadima

New User
Serena did okay with a 104 in her prime;)
Reckon she would have given any of your pals a good game.

Test lots of frames and find what works for you..

Could be the other way around..
As you get better and grow in confidence and technique try smaller heads and test what's works best.
Do have coaching etc to help you get the right technique grooved.
Thank you for reply. What my friends say is that I should learn first and only then play with a forgiving racquet. And I partially agree - because if I play with a forgiving racquet I don't have to try hard to hit not late and hit in the center.

Furthermore, I rarely see good playing guys with 104 racquets...
 

KYHacker

Professional
Well, the Prince Original Graphite has been around 40 years or so and it's one of the best frames for advanced level players ever produced. I'm a big fan of player oversized IF you can serve with them. Some folks have a little difficulty. I would highly recommend you check out the ProKennex Q20 which is designed as a player's oversize. It has the kinetic technology that will protect your arm and a very forgiving 110 head size. Good power but not too powerful. Just stay away from frames with a beam that is too thick or ones that are too stiff-- especially if you are playing with poly. Also, a gut/poly hybrid will dramatically improve feel and last twice as long or longer than full poly with more spin.
 

Yamin

Professional
Blade 104v7 . Has everything you need in one package, and will absolutely help you further your game. Plus you'll be able to keep up with these ATP players/coaches better if you can at least return the ball...

All it really comes down to is, does it have enough control for you? Do you need more power? Is it easier for you to use? If yes to all no reason not to use a larger head.
 

stapletonj

Hall of Fame
and the classic POG was a 110!

I am 65 and play with a vcore 100. the 98 is nice, but a little extra oomph when I am a little tired/off balance/late helps.
trust me, you know when you are late, off balance, etc.
If you are really a 3.5-4.0 and age 40, consider that some nobody named Federer went up in head size and it kinda helped his game form what I heard.
 

Arak

Hall of Fame
104 isn’t that large of a size. I don’t think the difference is dramatic with the slightly smaller 98 or 100. As recommended earlier, the blade 104 is an awesome racket. If you like this head size I strongly recommend it. It also has a nice swing weight that would allow you to hit through the ball with less effort.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Use a Prince 105" ESP racquet now. Easy spin and power. Borrowed a Wilson Blade 104", awesome racquet. Used Head 660cm2/102" racquets for over 20 yrs. Whatever makes tennis a bit easier with fewer errors. Especially playing once-a-week.
 

dimadima

New User
Thank you all for help and replies! Had anyone of you switched 98/100 to 104 or something like this and what did you experience?
 

gold325

Rookie
I tried really hard to switch from 100 MPs to many Prince 107s and a couple of 105s with little success (albeit most were players OS frames.. I still have all of them for a future switch possibly). I my experience most OS racquets feel heavier than the actual swing weight and weight seem to indicate and also swing slower for the same reason (more twist weight is probably the reason and my low to high w/ windshield wiper motion).

I did not see less mistakes with the OS switch AND I felt that that wasted time trying to switch actually hampered my progress

My opinion is - If in doubt stay with your MP. If you absolutely want to change to OS it can be acheived with some serious effort. So make sure to demo whichever racquet you want for an extended period of time with the string of your choice before you make any changes. My best guess is if going OS then go 10-15g lighter than same racquet in 100MP... I think most manufacturers already do this though. It is hard to play with MP and OS at the same time to compare and contrast because they feel very different [unless you have an old school swing with little to no spin].
 

BlueB

Legend
Esm, thank you for reply and help. It is easier for me to play with with 104, because it is more forgiving. What my friends are saying is that because it is so forgiving that I will not work hard enough on my technique and my learning will suffer from that. They state that I should learn how to play with 98/100 first and only then I can start playing with OS.
So why not learn with a 90, then? Imagine how bad-ass that would be and how much better you'd become.

It's all BS. Just play with whatever feels the best to you.
 

Lorenn

Professional
I tried really hard to switch from 100 MPs to many Prince 107s and a couple of 105s with little success (albeit most were players OS frames.. I still have all of them for a future switch possibly). I my experience most OS racquets feel heavier than the actual swing weight and weight seem to indicate and also swing slower for the same reason (more twist weight is probably the reason and my low to high w/ windshield wiper motion).

I did not see less mistakes with the OS switch AND I felt that that wasted time trying to switch actually hampered my progress

My opinion is - If in doubt stay with your MP. If you absolutely want to change to OS it can be acheived with some serious effort. So make sure to demo whichever racquet you want for an extended period of time with the string of your choice before you make any changes. My best guess is if going OS then go 10-15g lighter than same racquet in 100MP... I think most manufacturers already do this though. It is hard to play with MP and OS at the same time to compare and contrast because they feel very different [unless you have an old school swing with little to no spin].
Like always F-ma

The larger the frame size the more you will potentially notice wind resistance.(depends on swing) The larger the racquet the less one can force their swing. Larger player racquets were designed to catch the ball on the up bounce early. So the swing portion of generated power was less important. It was mainly about being at the right place at the right time. You wanted the extra margin incase the ball bounced slightly differently then expected. Simply less time to adjust, but less likely to need to adjust. Likely a slightly slower swing focused on proper body position versus racquet head speed.

Top players were hitting ~2000 rpm versus 3000-3200 rpm. Courts/ball/racquets are kinda different so more power is focused on adding topspin then the SV days. I would say that modern racquets string patterns give them naturally large sweet spots so OS might no longer be necessary(for most players). You can use a easy to swing racquet(100/98) and still have a generous forgiving sweet spot. I don't consider 2000 rpm no spin. Basically modern game players have tons of extra power due to court design, ball design, size, conditioning etc...so they just turn it into extra spin versus forward power.
 

BlueB

Legend
The larger the frame size the more you will potentially notice wind resistance.(depends on swing)
It's mostly a myth. The circumference of a 104 frame's hoop is ~72", the 98 is ~70". That gives you the frontal area increase of only ~1in², or 3%.
I'd speculate that most of people actually notice the twist weight increase, rather than the wind resistance. Of course, the TW is less intuitive and harder to "see" or measure, so the wind resistance gets the blame.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
To me, it's like the difference between driving an older sports car vs driving a new one.

The older one often gives you more feedback, but it also doesn't have any electronics to help you. Learning to drive fast in an older sports car is more difficult but also more rewarding. Once you become fast in an old sports car, you can drive any car fast.

You can learn to drive fast in a modern sports car as well, but you may rely on the electronics to help cover up your mistakes. You become faster sooner, but you might not develop the finesse to drive an older car as fast.

Which experience would you rather have?
 

BlueB

Legend
To me, it's like the difference between driving an older sports car vs driving a new one.

The older one often gives you more feedback, but it also doesn't have any electronics to help you. Learning to drive fast in an older sports car is more difficult but also more rewarding. Once you become fast in an old sports car, you can drive any car fast.

You can learn to drive fast in a modern sports car as well, but you may rely on the electronics to help cover up your mistakes. You become faster sooner, but you might not develop the finesse to drive an older car as fast.

Which experience would you rather have?
Or, you can learn on a bicycle. It would also make you fitter for tennis.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I am mostly playing with a Phantom 107G these days. The forgiveness is noticeable in doubles for volleys and overheads. Also very good for redirecting pace on ROS. Little loss of control on ground strokes but I make up for that with more heavy topspin into bigger targets.

I also use a good old POG 107 from time to time but it's more fatiguing than the Phantom so it's relegated to backup stick.

I'm 56 and appreciate the added forgiveness giving my declining vision and reflexes.

QUESTION 1: how much playing with 104 vs 98/100 will degrade my learning process (because I will see less of my mistakes)?
QUESTION 2: how much racquet (for example - Vcore as for Pro's and Ezone for Intermediate) can influence my learning process? I know that it is better to try and feel it yourself, but I am just not experienced enought to feel it and I can make wrong conclusions. Should I just play with my existing racquet or look for something that will suit me better? When I buy comfortable tennis shoes I instantly see the difference, same as new balls. But it is just so complicated with a racquet...
There will be no difference in your learning process if you use a player's OS that requires a full swing motion. A lighter granny stick can be a problems as they are so light they can provide power from flicking the racket and that will lead to some bad habits.

The big thing that influences learning with a frame is the weight and swing weight. Once your body gets used to a set of specs, it will often struggle to move away from those specs. But frame size is not one of the things that will make a big difference in learning.

I have 93, 100, and 107 sq in frames in my bag. Most are quite similar in weight and swing weight due to the judicious application of lead tape. I get more precision from the 93 and more forgiveness from the 107. But my swing stays the same.
 

Lorenn

Professional
It's mostly a myth. The circumference of a 104 frame's hoop is ~72", the 98 is ~70". That gives you the frontal area increase of only ~1in², or 3%.
I'd speculate that most of people actually notice the twist weight increase, rather than the wind resistance. Of course, the TW is less intuitive and harder to "see" or measure, so the wind resistance gets the blame.
I'd say it is a cumulative effect throwing off a players "natural timing". They either hit late or hurt themselves by forcing a racquet to make up for the 3% here 3% there difference. Long and short versions of every discussion...Anyways people easily complain about 10 grams of swing weight...some players complain about the Gravity Pro at 332 but are ok with the Gravity Tour at 325. Difference is less than 3%. Yet it is enough of a difference for some players.
 
I switch between a 104 Gravity S and a 98 Pro Kennex Q+Tour (both 300 and 325) regularly. I like to have both available. It takes a good few minutes to dial in with each though, but then they are radically different racquets, even modded.

In some ways the 104 is more forgiving, but in others it's harder because it is easier to make errors in directional control. The 104 might be easier to play OK with, but I need to be on my game to play well with it. If I start with that and am having a scatter-gun day I go for the 98 to help me out and regain control, so I wouldn't say it's as straight forward as one being easier to play with than the other. Probably depends on the kind of errors you make the most.

Sometimes I think just the act of switching makes me re-focus and concentrate instead of getting annoyed with myself, but other times I think it might stop me facing and correcting the original problem.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I'd say it is a cumulative effect throwing off a players "natural timing". They either hit late or hurt themselves by forcing a racquet to make up for the 3% here 3% there difference. Long and short versions of every discussion...Anyways people easily complain about 10 grams of swing weight...some players complain about the Gravity Pro at 332 but are ok with the Gravity Tour at 325. Difference is less than 3%. Yet it is enough of a difference for some players.
Or it could just be imagination. I mean how hard is it to swing with 3% more force?
 

Antónis

Professional
If you're still in an early stage with your game and playing with former ATP pro's, you will have trouble, specially if they go full speed. It's not your level, accept it, and find people who play your level and take your time learning the game. some teaching will improve your game too.

Now, the racquet: you should try something with your Blade 98 before you take the changing route

98 sq.i. is a forgiving size, not that smaller compared to a 104 sq.i., maybe (just maybe...) the 18x20 isn't the best pattern for your game, or your string isn't the best choice.

Try to string it at lower tensions, or get a more forgiving string combo, like multi or thinner gauge poly with whatever you play with.

If you like the Blade feel, you can always try the 16x19 version, and see how it goes
If not, play test all you can

Good luck with your quest
 
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dimadima

New User
If you're still in an early stage with your game and playing with former ATP pro's, you will have trouble, specially if they go full speed. It's not your level, accept it, and find people who play your level and take your time learning the game. some teaching will improve your game too.

Now, the racquet: you should try something with your Blade 98 before you take the changing route

98 sq.i. is a forgiving size, not that smaller compared to a 104 sq.i., maybe (just maybe...) the 18x20 isn't the best pattern for your game, or your string isn't the best choice.

Try to string it at lower tensions, or get a more forgiving string combo, like multi or thinner gauge poly with whatever you play with.

If you like the Blade feel, you can always try the 16x19 version, and see how it goes
If not, play test all you can

Good luck with your quest
Guys, I am very grateful for you thorough and in-depth comments. It helped very much. I don't play at all with my ATP friends, I would not be able to play a point or a game against them. I just ask them for advice. But they are judging from their point of view, they have never been a rookie like me and they never felt what I feel with my arm and body. They also say that Blade98 is not a forgiving racquet and it is for high level players and that I should get something 98/100 for amateur players.
 

danbrenner

Hall of Fame
Guys, I am very grateful for you thorough and in-depth comments. It helped very much. I don't play at all with my ATP friends, I would not be able to play a point or a game against them. I just ask them for advice. But they are judging from their point of view, they have never been a rookie like me and they never felt what I feel with my arm and body. They also say that Blade98 is not a forgiving racquet and it is for high level players and that I should get something 98/100 for amateur players.
Only you can decide what inspires confidence. So when you’re behind the baseline and you are holding the 104 does it inspire more confidence then when you are holding the 98? That’s a rhetorical question
 

dimadima

New User
Only you can decide what inspires confidence. So when you’re behind the baseline and you are holding the 104 does it inspire more confidence then when you are holding the 98? That’s a rhetorical question
Dan, thank you for answering. If I were a 5.0-5.5 player I would not ask. I am a complete novice 3.5. Actually, I consider even a 4.5 a novice that might not be correct with what is better for his own game. Yes, life seems easier with OS in short term, but how will it go in a long time? I am not looking for an instant relief. Thank you!
 

esm

Hall of Fame
Well, I don't trust novices. That's why I ask coaches and advanced players. :)
ah so, as per the above, why bothered to post here and why didn't you get whatever your coaches/advanced player mates told you to get already? (genuine question, as others were trying to help here...)
 

ericykchan

New User
ah so, as per the above, why bothered to post here and why didn't you get whatever your coaches/advanced player mates told you to get already? (genuine question, as others were trying to help here...)
agree, if 4.5 is still considered novices, then maybe message patrick mouratoglou for his advice. (was going to give my $0.02 but now no need as I am not a 4.5, just someone is using OS racquet and able to improve gradually. I am able to place the ball close to where i want it with an OS racquet, isn't that what we aim to?)
 

weelie

Semi-Pro
I played 102 for a couple of year. Then went back to a 98, then bought a 100. The 102 needed to be strung tighter, but it was a tight 16x19, so control was sufficient for me, though launch angle was higher. It was not stiff, but had to string it tighter.

Anyway, the difference is overblown, I feel. I do mishit with my 100, as I did with the 98 and 102, no difference really (I have played with a 93 and a 95 long time ago too). A bigger racket might feel more clunky, many of them are too stiff or too open in the string pattern, and I assume a HEAD Agassi Radical 107 will be an OS control racket instead. There are good OS rackets out there, if you like one, why not play with it. You can change later no problem.
 

Lorenn

Professional
Or it could just be imagination. I mean how hard is it to swing with 3% more force?
I have never been one against a heavier/slower swinging racquet. To me they are just tools the goal is to get the job done,but since you asked.

It is likely higher than 3% because of other factors, but depends how one plays tennis. Some players like to run at max the entire game.(normally fit beginners) Others are playing with tons of extra power in reserve. The good thing about a larger racquet is a player might learn they don't have to redline during the entire game. It might improve how they read the ball due to a potential reduction in maneuverability. Even if they have to shorten their swing that can be a good learning experience. It could help improve their overall game. I am a believer that tennis often ends up as an endurance contest, so learning how to be efficient is always a good thing.

I would likely have a 98/100 in my bag as well as a good OS in this case. Explore and learn what you can from the OS stick when you are in the mood to play with it. The Goal is to enjoy playing. There are always going to be the players who think you must pick one racquet and any change is bad. I tend to see change as part of the game. I do hold on to my main stick for awhile. Last Racquet I switched from was a Liquid Metal Radical to the Gravity Pro. Picked the Speed MP as my secondary racquet to switch to when I want to take things a little easy. I see the 107 as the same. Worse case it is something one could switch to when they want to relax and have fun.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Consider too, the effect strings have on the performance of your racket. If you generate your own power and you use a powerful frame, you may turn to strings to control that power. I think a lot of players turn to poly and injure themselves trying to tame a stiff racket with stiff strings. A lower powered racket allows you to use softer, more powerful strings. The trick, of course, is to find the right balance for you.
 

tennis347

Hall of Fame
As I have gotten into my 50's, I have leaned towards racquets that have a larger sweet spot for more forgiveness and to get easier depth on my strokes. My main racquet currently is the Prince Phantom 100P which I use against players who hit with more pace and spin. I also have the Dunlop CX 200 OS which I use for players that hit with less pace so I don't have to work as hard to get easier depth. There are alot of positives playing with an OS frame. It just makes the game easier IMO.
 

dimadima

New User
ah so, as per the above, why bothered to post here and why didn't you get whatever your coaches/advanced player mates told you to get already? (genuine question, as others were trying to help here...)
Esm, sorry for misunderstanding. I was calling myself a novice. I don't trust my own feelings yet and that's why I am asking for help. That was my reply to a LeastExhaustingPlayer who told me to trust myself and my "love" for 104 OS racquet.
 
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BretH

Semi-Pro
One of my first "real" racquets when I was getting back into tennis in my 50s was the K-Blade Team 104. I loved it and would definitely consider using it again - although when I get to that point it would more likely be a Clash 108 I move to.

One of the things I suspect you will have to work with is trusting yourself and your research and direct experiences. Advice from others (especially here!) is to be taken with a big grain of salt once you get outside some basics. Good luck!

Ha! Just noticed they are still in my avatar photo :)
 
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graycrait

Hall of Fame
@dimadima , 1st of all nothing wrong with a Blade 98 18x20. I just gave away a Blade 98 16x19 to a buddy and have given away quite a few rackets to people around your skill level.

I do wonder why you are using poly in that racket at your level with your frequency of play? Even at 44lbs I would want to know what poly, what gauge and how often do you restring? At your stage with that string pattern in that racket with your frequency of play I would string it with Gosen OG Sheep Micro (synthetic gut) at 50-53lbs.

More power to you if you can keep up with younger former ATP players & younger college coaches in rallies, etc. With your compadres at the level they are at that means they had darn good lessons starting early in life with a gazzillion reps, corrections, repeats, competitive play and playing hours nearly every day. I am going to assume you are or were a high level athlete in some other sport(s) and your high level tennis friends see a bright future for you.

Back to your original query about using an OS racket. Whatever keeps you having fun on the court and coming back is what you need with your current frequency of play. If you lay a 104" racket over your Blade you will see a very small actual difference in head size. What you don't see is the likely bigger sweet spot in the larger headed racket.

If you were my hitting buddy I would want you to try this racket for a while, strung with syn gut at the aforementioned tension: https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Head_MicroGEL_Radical_Oversize/descpageRCHEAD-MGRADO.html It is not a "hip" racket but I know several who use it to good effect. If your hi-speed playing buddies kid you about your racket just refer them to the head size and pattern Agassi used to use. And if they still scoff at that racket then ask why aren't they using a 13.5oz 65" wooden Jack Kramer strung with full bed gut at 60lbs rather than an oversize 98-100" light weight comparative "granny stick" strung with "plastic wire":) Its all relative and at this stage it is about having fun.
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Well, I don't trust novices. That's why I ask coaches and advanced players. :)
Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Michael Chang and Andre Agassi were all very advanced players that used player's frames >100 sq in. There is nothing about any player's frame that will hold you back. Even the OS while more forgiving will still require good technique to get precision and power.

OS just add a little added oomph and forgiveness making things like volleys and mid court shots a little easier as well as blocking back ROS.
 

BlueB

Legend
Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Michael Chang and Andre Agassi were all very advanced players that used player's frames >100 sq in. There is nothing about any player's frame that will hold you back. Even the OS while more forgiving will still require good technique to get precision and power.

OS just add a little added oomph and forgiveness making things like volleys and mid court shots a little easier as well as blocking back ROS.
Not to forget Gabriela Sabatini or Monika Seles...
 
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danbrenner

Hall of Fame
Dan, thank you for answering. If I were a 5.0-5.5 player I would not ask. I am a complete novice 3.5. Actually, I consider even a 4.5 a novice that might not be correct with what is better for his own game. Yes, life seems easier with OS in short term, but how will it go in a long time? I am not looking for an instant relief. Thank you!
Don’t worry about the long term. Just worry about today. No one has a crystal ball. So again. Today. When you’re behind the baseline if it’s the OS that is inspiring more confidence than the 9& then you stick with the os. Amd you should always have a 98 or 100 in the bag for reference
 

phanamous

New User
So many variables. Would be helpful to know more info about your game. 1 or 2 handed backhand? SE or SW FH grip? Baseline only?
  • Current racquet
    • String crosses with a softer string like multi or syngut.
      • This should open up the sweet spot a bit making it more forgiving given it's an 18x20.
    • Nat gut / soft poly
      • Most forgiving for 18x20 though tricky to get the tension right
  • Platform racquets for modding trials. 1HBH with SW grip. My experiment moving from 97/98 340gm before to these at 320-325gm, swing weight unknown on purpose to eliminate any of my own biases. Very good extended exercise to figure out what's easier for my game. Order of preference for me:
    • Blade 100UL (16x19)
      • Tighter mains pattern near sweet spot
      • Good balance between forgiveness and control, baseline and net
      • Surprisingly stable even at 320gm, likely due to stiff frame but with good comfort with the right string.
    • Blade 101L (16x20)
      • Open mains pattern
      • Very forgiving while sacrificing accuracy
      • Tad too powerful for me so good on lazy days
    • Blade 98L 16x19
      • Playable but a bit more demanding.
    • Blade 104
      • Ok for pure baseline bashing but not much else
      • Too clunky to handle
      • Doesn't work well for my 1HBH
 

dimadima

New User
So many variables. Would be helpful to know more info about your game. 1 or 2 handed backhand? SE or SW FH grip? Baseline only?
  • Current racquet
    • String crosses with a softer string like multi or syngut.
      • This should open up the sweet spot a bit making it more forgiving given it's an 18x20.
    • Nat gut / soft poly
      • Most forgiving for 18x20 though tricky to get the tension right
  • Platform racquets for modding trials. 1HBH with SW grip. My experiment moving from 97/98 340gm before to these at 320-325gm, swing weight unknown on purpose to eliminate any of my own biases. Very good extended exercise to figure out what's easier for my game. Order of preference for me:
    • Blade 100UL (16x19)
      • Tighter mains pattern near sweet spot
      • Good balance between forgiveness and control, baseline and net
      • Surprisingly stable even at 320gm, likely due to stiff frame but with good comfort with the right string.
    • Blade 101L (16x20)
      • Open mains pattern
      • Very forgiving while sacrificing accuracy
      • Tad too powerful for me so good on lazy days
    • Blade 98L 16x19
      • Playable but a bit more demanding.
    • Blade 104
      • Ok for pure baseline bashing but not much else
      • Too clunky to handle
      • Doesn't work well for my 1HBH
Super! Thank you!
 

Simplicius

Semi-Pro
.
Depending on the racket, don't expect the 104 sqi (or 105 sqi in my case) to has such a big head difference from 100 sqi.
As GravitysElbow says, I also use to switch between a 98 sqi (Fischer VT Pro 98 320g) and an 105 sqi (Fischer M Speed Pro 105 SL) racket. The 98 gives me more control (when I feel that I can play my best) but 105 gives me more "secure" (when I'm tired, in darker conditions etc).
In any case, your learning process is going up when you can keep the ball into the game! And a racket with a little bigger head can do that easier.
 

Juggernauts

New User
I have switched from Pure Drilve Lite 100 to Fischer 105 UL for 3 months. I did not notice any difference of head size. As a mid 40 player with arm issue, the first racket specs I look at is low stiffness (< 64 RA). About Blade 104 v7 or v8, I like its specs on paper -- quite similar to Fischer 105 UL, but for now I plan to stick with Fischer.
 
Apologies if it’s been brought up, haven’t read the whole thread.

I’m 38, 3.5-4.0. Maybe higher, competitive against some higher anyway.

I played a 100” PDrive for a year, switched to a 98 PStrike 18x20 for a year, but then decided I needed to find something arm friendlier and easier to swing. Turns out the Dunlop Cx OS was the ticket. I also tried the CX LS that has the same swingweight but I couldn’t get as much depth. So, it would appear the OS nature helps just a little in the power department when the overall mass is less. AND I now have a racquet that I can control so that I can control the ball better.

Not to say I couldn’t hit your average groundstroke or volley with either previous racquet (I love the PStrike 18x20, still do), just that match tennis is much different than rally tennis and when you’re on the run or in a tight spot, a maneuverable racquet is very handy!

Find a racquet that lets you play your best tennis now. And if you out grow it, cool beans!

PS Blade 104 is good too!
 
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Curtennis

Semi-Pro
To me, it's like the difference between driving an older sports car vs driving a new one.

The older one often gives you more feedback, but it also doesn't have any electronics to help you. Learning to drive fast in an older sports car is more difficult but also more rewarding. Once you become fast in an old sports car, you can drive any car fast.

You can learn to drive fast in a modern sports car as well, but you may rely on the electronics to help cover up your mistakes. You become faster sooner, but you might not develop the finesse to drive an older car as fast.

Which experience would you rather have?
Taking out my buddies 1980 911 feels like death is around every corner. I’ll take a new one please =]
 
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