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

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
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!
I think that's the important thing. It feels great to rally with my 93P but it's less forgiving than my 107G and that makes a big difference in match play

Recently played a club tournament match against two really good players who can really hit the ball and my ability to re-direct pace with the 107G was a big difference in the match. Everything kept coming back and they got frustrated and started to over hit and it was all over after that. They even commented after the match that my ability to volley everything back from the mid court was the difference in the match. I missed 2 volleys whereas they missed dozens with their 98 sq in sticks.

At my level the ability to reduce errors is more important than my ability to make shots. When you get to levels where people make fewer errors, then shot making becomes increasingly important. But the 3.5-4.0 world I inhabit, errors are still the leading cause of points won or lost.

So I still remain a proponent of OS sticks and if you still want something to encourage proper swing habits and hold up to heavier shots, a players OS is the way to go. Phantom 107G, Dunlop CX 200 OS, Blade 104, Gravity S, POG 107, etc.
 

vandre

Hall of Fame
i am a recent convert to the blade 104v7. i'm also 40+ and the last time i played usta it was in a 3.5 league.

i can tell you that i wasn't planning on switching to the blade 104. i threw it in the cart because it was an extended length racket and i picked it for my third racket. the other rackets i demoed the vcores 98, 98+, 100+ and both versions of the prince ripstick. the blade 104 was for me superior to these five other frames. i had to switch from my rqis tour 1 xls this spring because i couldn't hit with that racket for more than 15 minutes before my shoulder tightened up so some of these racquets were too heavy for me. you may be able to wield a heavy racket than i so if you can go for it.

with regard to the headsize concern (will i notice my mistakes?), i can tell you (after hitting tens of thousands of balls shot out of a ball machine with the blade104) that i have developed the habit of hitting balls in the middle of the stringbed. the stringbed of the blade 104 feels quite different in different spots (to me, it is more of a pronounced difference than other rackets i remember using). balls hit high in the head (like some like to do with yonexes) do not feel good at all (to me). balls hit low in the stringbed are comfortable but they will have extra oomf. for me, the happy medium is hitting the ball in the middle of the stringbed. the blade 104 is bigger than other rackets you've mentioned but it provides you with clear, immediate feedback as to what part of the stringbed made contact with the ball.

the biggest adjustment i had to make coming to the blade 104 was setting up a hair to a hair and a half to my left (i'm a righty) on my forehand due to the racket's extended length. i can hit my 2hbh with no noticeable adjustment. this may seem like an inconvenience but when you serve with this thing, you will gladly forgive such a minor inconvenience! ;)

there are some who malign the control of the blade 104. i'm not an open level player so the spots i'm aiming for are different than their "targets", but i can tell you that from inside the baseline i can hit an inside out forehand that lands inside the service box that lands a couple of inches inside the sideline. i'm not playing any league or competitive matches atm but when i do my "hit into position" drills with the ball machine, it is extremely easy to put the ball where i need it to go (even with the inside out 2hbh which i've had a love-hate relationship with in the past).

ymmv as always but just do what works for you! hit 'em clean!
 

Curtennis

Semi-Pro
i am a recent convert to the blade 104v7. i'm also 40+ and the last time i played usta it was in a 3.5 league.

i can tell you that i wasn't planning on switching to the blade 104. i threw it in the cart because it was an extended length racket and i picked it for my third racket. the other rackets i demoed the vcores 98, 98+, 100+ and both versions of the prince ripstick. the blade 104 was for me superior to these five other frames. i had to switch from my rqis tour 1 xls this spring because i couldn't hit with that racket for more than 15 minutes before my shoulder tightened up so some of these racquets were too heavy for me. you may be able to wield a heavy racket than i so if you can go for it.

with regard to the headsize concern (will i notice my mistakes?), i can tell you (after hitting tens of thousands of balls shot out of a ball machine with the blade104) that i have developed the habit of hitting balls in the middle of the stringbed. the stringbed of the blade 104 feels quite different in different spots (to me, it is more of a pronounced difference than other rackets i remember using). balls hit high in the head (like some like to do with yonexes) do not feel good at all (to me). balls hit low in the stringbed are comfortable but they will have extra oomf. for me, the happy medium is hitting the ball in the middle of the stringbed. the blade 104 is bigger than other rackets you've mentioned but it provides you with clear, immediate feedback as to what part of the stringbed made contact with the ball.

the biggest adjustment i had to make coming to the blade 104 was setting up a hair to a hair and a half to my left (i'm a righty) on my forehand due to the racket's extended length. i can hit my 2hbh with no noticeable adjustment. this may seem like an inconvenience but when you serve with this thing, you will gladly forgive such a minor inconvenience! ;)

there are some who malign the control of the blade 104. i'm not an open level player so the spots i'm aiming for are different than their "targets", but i can tell you that from inside the baseline i can hit an inside out forehand that lands inside the service box that lands a couple of inches inside the sideline. i'm not playing any league or competitive matches atm but when i do my "hit into position" drills with the ball machine, it is extremely easy to put the ball where i need it to go (even with the inside out 2hbh which i've had a love-hate relationship with in the past).

ymmv as always but just do what works for you! hit 'em clean!
I think people wildly overstate how much control a particular racquet spec can give on general ground strokes or at least overthink the importance of it. Volleys I can see it being more of a standout but not so much on ground strokes. You can hit a ground stroke as close to my sideline as you want. If it doesn’t go deep I’m just better positioned for a return winner. When I read here that so many people claim they need a less powerful stick I just can’t imagine that’s true. Unless you’re literally hitting the ball as hard as an ATP pro I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want at least some extra power.
I think a 104” stick is great for a rec level player. I recently took out my wife’s 110” Target racquet and it was borderline embarrassing how well I played with it compared to my $250 racquets (Plural)
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
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.
My partner in my last league match used a Head Edge. Told me he just likes the way it feels.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I think people wildly overstate how much control a particular racquet spec can give on general ground strokes or at least overthink the importance of it. Volleys I can see it being more of a standout but not so much on ground strokes. You can hit a ground stroke as close to my sideline as you want. If it doesn’t go deep I’m just better positioned for a return winner. When I read here that so many people claim they need a less powerful stick I just can’t imagine that’s true. Unless you’re literally hitting the ball as hard as an ATP pro I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want at least some extra power.
I think a 104” stick is great for a rec level player. I recently took out my wife’s 110” Target racquet and it was borderline embarrassing how well I played with it compared to my $250 racquets (Plural)
Recall using an $11 Target racquet after a TW thread. Head Ti.Something with a 660cm2/102" head. Looked just like a Ti.Radical
 

BlueB

Legend
Recall using an $11 Target racquet after a TW thread. Head Ti.Something with a 660cm2/102" head. Looked just like a Ti.Radical
Yes, some of those were the paint jobs of the Ti.Radical Team. It's one of my favorite racquets of all time (including the paint jobs)!

 
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Rosstour

Legend
I used two different 100in racquets beginning in 2008.

Switched to a 98 this year and am a much happier and better player.

I'm 40 too lol. And I jumped a .5 level easily once I made the switch.
 

BlueB

Legend
Yeah, the one in the picture is Titanium 5400. I also have a Ti-Carbon that has a more conventional paint job, but is the same thing.
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
... 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.
Are you going to put in the work to reach your maximum potential in tennis? I mean, really train, focus on nutrition, gym work, etc.? If yes, they may have a point. If no, you're really just playing for enjoyment and thus use whatever you enjoy, regardless of whether it hinders your maximum potential or not. Heck, by their logic, using an even smaller 95 or 90 (93 ala Head or Prince) would be even better for your development but I'd bet they would "caution" against "going that small" for similar reasons.

Although I currently use a Dunlop CX 200 Tour (a 95), I started with a Ti Radical 107 and loved it. I would still be using it today had I the foresight and resources to have bought twenty or so frames at the time.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Recall guys younger than me that always used an OS, Prince Pro. Still use an OS nearly 40 yrs later.
 

phanamous

New User
Great info in this thread. Didn't realize there's a player OS class of racquets and it may help to find what I'm looking for.

Being a spin player with a 1HBH, I feel my OS options are somewhat limited as the racquet needs to move easily through the air with some stability to help the backhand. That usually means thinner beam which have always sacrifice stability I've found. The more stable OS racquets have been thicker beams I find which I have trouble generating RHS with. Thin beam needs to be really stiff to offer stability but it's not going to be too good for the elbow. It's a bit of a conundrum.

The Blade101L V3 somewhat fits the bill so far early in my OS search as it's thin beam and can take a lot of lead for added stability. Only issue I have with it is control currently due to the open string pattern. Blade104 just didn't work for me mainly due to 1HBH's allergy to extended length. I've settled on the Blade100UL currently as it's a very stable thin beam, with good control but it's 72 in stiffness also. Recent bout of wrist soreness have me wondering if it's the culprit even though it feels pretty comfy after mods.

Dunlop CX 200 OS looks really interesting as a platform player OS racquet. Looking at TW's review yielded some other players OS options to consider. (https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/racquet_reviews/D200OSreview.html)

Dunlop CX 200 OS
Wilson Blade 104
Head Gravity S
Head Radical S
Wilson Clash 100
Tecnifibre TFight 295 RS
ProKennex Ki
Babolat Pure Drive 107
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Great info in this thread. Didn't realize there's a player OS class of racquets and it may help to find what I'm looking for.

Being a spin player with a 1HBH, I feel my OS options are somewhat limited as the racquet needs to move easily through the air with some stability to help the backhand. That usually means thinner beam which have always sacrifice stability I've found. The more stable OS racquets have been thicker beams I find which I have trouble generating RHS with. Thin beam needs to be really stiff to offer stability but it's not going to be too good for the elbow. It's a bit of a conundrum.

The Blade101L V3 somewhat fits the bill so far early in my OS search as it's thin beam and can take a lot of lead for added stability. Only issue I have with it is control currently due to the open string pattern. Blade104 just didn't work for me mainly due to 1HBH's allergy to extended length. I've settled on the Blade100UL currently as it's a very stable thin beam, with good control but it's 72 in stiffness also. Recent bout of wrist soreness have me wondering if it's the culprit even though it feels pretty comfy after mods.

Dunlop CX 200 OS looks really interesting as a platform player OS racquet. Looking at TW's review yielded some other players OS options to consider. (https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/racquet_reviews/D200OSreview.html)

Dunlop CX 200 OS
Wilson Blade 104
Head Gravity S
Head Radical S
Wilson Clash 100
Tecnifibre TFight 295 RS
ProKennex Ki
Babolat Pure Drive 107
No Prince racquets?
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
What is oversize? What is a granny stick?

I started out with 65" wood rackets that were low RA and "heavy" although we swung them all day long on the local park courts.

60 years later I see/hear people deride other players who want to play with a bigger headed racket so that the game is "easier." Some even call these larger headed rackets Granny Sticks.

65 to 85"=20" difference
65 to 90 = 25
65 to 95 = 30
65 to 100 = 35

Why did we allow tennis to go from 14-15oz 65" rackets to 100" 11.5oz sticks? Because it made our grannies happy to have a stick that made the game easier to play. It appears to me in this case we are comparing apples to watermelons.

98-107=9
98-110=12
98-115=17

When I see/hear some "hi speed" player make fun of someone's choice of a larger headed modern racket I just shake my head. Appears to me that in this case we are simply comparing watermelons to watermelons.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Dunlop CX 200 OS
Wilson Blade 104
Head Gravity S
Head Radical S
Wilson Clash 100
Tecnifibre TFight 295 RS
ProKennex Ki
Babolat Pure Drive 107
The PD 107 is a granny stick not a player's OS. Too light and stiff. The Wilson Clash 100 is also not a players OS. Not OS or even big MP. And too wide beam and powerful to really be a player's stick.

And you've missed two of the nicest Players OS out there: The venerable POG 107 which is still a fantastic frame and the Phantom 107G which is a modern update and really a quality racket. It's rare I use a racket this long without itching to try something else, but the 107G just hits so many right notes for me.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
@dimadima I am from a different school of thought than many here. I believe that in large part, a player's ability to improve beyond 3.5/4.0 to 4.5 and above, depends on their ability to not miss when they shouldn't miss, and to be able to get some balls back when under distress and playing defense. A larger, even OS racquet helps there. What it will teach you is how to get balls back on defense that might help you not get even further behind in the point, to even possibly getting you back to even within that point. It will teach you footwork patterns to reach tough balls, and footwork patterns to recover from making those tough shots to get ready for the next one. If you play with a demanding racquet and just plain miss whenever someone gets you on hard defense, or you cough up a ball that is an easy putaway for your opponent, you will never learn these skills. Watch a couple of 4.5 or 5.0 guys play tennis. Odds are they don't hit a lot harder than many 4.0 guys. Odds are also they miss a lot less when they shouldn't, and can sustain rallies when they are on the move. This is especially true at the older age levels, where guys really can't hit the ball as hard as when they were young.

There's nothing that says you can't make an OS racquet fairly low powered, or that you can't learn proper strokes with an OS racquet. I think a lot of the advice that you need a small racquet to learn proper strokes is self-serving. They don't want to get beat by someone who they might not feel has the tennis pedigree they do, and so they are giving you advice that makes them feel superior and keeps you playing inferior.

@phanamous I've been using the SW104 for the past three years. Much better consistency off the stringbed than the 16x19 v7 104, but also a lower launch angle and more demanding on defense. I have a OHBH and can hit spin with it just fine even though it's 28" long. I'd say kind of the same thing as above - don't believe that it is an impediment and really give it a try. The v7 104 is 1.9% longer than a 27" racquet. That's it: 1.9%. My 28" racquet is 3.7% longer than a 27" racquet. I also previously played OHBH with a 110 and a 115, both very thick beamed racquets, and had no problems there either. Sometimes, if you just don't believe it's a problem, it's not a problem.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
@dimadima I am from a different school of thought than many here. I believe that in large part, a player's ability to improve beyond 3.5/4.0 to 4.5 and above, depends on their ability to not miss when they shouldn't miss, and to be able to get some balls back when under distress and playing defense. A larger, even OS racquet helps there. What it will teach you is how to get balls back on defense that might help you not get even further behind in the point, to even possibly getting you back to even within that point. It will teach you footwork patterns to reach tough balls, and footwork patterns to recover from making those tough shots to get ready for the next one. If you play with a demanding racquet and just plain miss whenever someone gets you on hard defense, or you cough up a ball that is an easy putaway for your opponent, you will never learn these skills. Watch a couple of 4.5 or 5.0 guys play tennis. Odds are they don't hit a lot harder than many 4.0 guys. Odds are also they miss a lot less when they shouldn't, and can sustain rallies when they are on the move. This is especially true at the older age levels, where guys really can't hit the ball as hard as when they were young.

There's nothing that says you can't make an OS racquet fairly low powered, or that you can't learn proper strokes with an OS racquet. I think a lot of the advice that you need a small racquet to learn proper strokes is self-serving. They don't want to get beat by someone who they might not feel has the tennis pedigree they do, and so they are giving you advice that makes them feel superior and keeps you playing inferior.

@phanamous I've been using the SW104 for the past three years. Much better consistency off the stringbed than the 16x19 v7 104, but also a lower launch angle and more demanding on defense. I have a OHBH and can hit spin with it just fine even though it's 28" long. I'd say kind of the same thing as above - don't believe that it is an impediment and really give it a try. The v7 104 is 1.9% longer than a 27" racquet. That's it: 1.9%. My 28" racquet is 3.7% longer than a 27" racquet. I also previously played OHBH with a 110 and a 115, both very thick beamed racquets, and had no problems there either. Sometimes, if you just don't believe it's a problem, it's not a problem.
Used a Volkl 120" racquet w/onehdbh np. Racquet broke frequently
 

phanamous

New User
@Injured Again I did demo the SW104 and couldn't wield it due to the high SW. It was too powerful and hard to control which I attributed to the extended length also as it does have a tighter 18x19 pattern. I'm still looking to find a Blade 104 V6 for the same 18x19 pattern as the V7 16x19 is too open for me. Looking to cut it down to 27" and add weight where need for an extended test. That'll complete my Blade experiment from 98-104. I'm learning so far that I need a tighter string pattern in the larger frames to work for me.

100% in agreement about how a less demanding frame can help one's game with match play. I'm very surprised that a 320gm Blade 100UL is working well right now and quite a departure from from my old spec of 97/98 340gm 7HL which felt like a requirement for my 1HBH. My match plays have definitely improved as a result as it's not demanding at all providing sufficient stability and forgiveness. I'm definitely making less errors than before.

Looking to experiment with even bigger frames to make it even less demanding. My search now focuses on OS frames with tighter string pattern in the sweet spot with easy maneuverability. These 2 fits the criteria so far. Any others?
  • Dunlop CX 200 OS
  • Blade 104 V6

@dimadima I am from a different school of thought than many here. I believe that in large part, a player's ability to improve beyond 3.5/4.0 to 4.5 and above, depends on their ability to not miss when they shouldn't miss, and to be able to get some balls back when under distress and playing defense. A larger, even OS racquet helps there. What it will teach you is how to get balls back on defense that might help you not get even further behind in the point, to even possibly getting you back to even within that point. It will teach you footwork patterns to reach tough balls, and footwork patterns to recover from making those tough shots to get ready for the next one. If you play with a demanding racquet and just plain miss whenever someone gets you on hard defense, or you cough up a ball that is an easy putaway for your opponent, you will never learn these skills. Watch a couple of 4.5 or 5.0 guys play tennis. Odds are they don't hit a lot harder than many 4.0 guys. Odds are also they miss a lot less when they shouldn't, and can sustain rallies when they are on the move. This is especially true at the older age levels, where guys really can't hit the ball as hard as when they were young.

There's nothing that says you can't make an OS racquet fairly low powered, or that you can't learn proper strokes with an OS racquet. I think a lot of the advice that you need a small racquet to learn proper strokes is self-serving. They don't want to get beat by someone who they might not feel has the tennis pedigree they do, and so they are giving you advice that makes them feel superior and keeps you playing inferior.

@phanamous I've been using the SW104 for the past three years. Much better consistency off the stringbed than the 16x19 v7 104, but also a lower launch angle and more demanding on defense. I have a OHBH and can hit spin with it just fine even though it's 28" long. I'd say kind of the same thing as above - don't believe that it is an impediment and really give it a try. The v7 104 is 1.9% longer than a 27" racquet. That's it: 1.9%. My 28" racquet is 3.7% longer than a 27" racquet. I also previously played OHBH with a 110 and a 115, both very thick beamed racquets, and had no problems there either. Sometimes, if you just don't believe it's a problem, it's not a problem.
 

cdrrcd

New User
@Injured Again I did demo the SW104 and couldn't wield it due to the high SW. It was too powerful and hard to control which I attributed to the extended length also as it does have a tighter 18x19 pattern. I'm still looking to find a Blade 104 V6 for the same 18x19 pattern as the V7 16x19 is too open for me. Looking to cut it down to 27" and add weight where need for an extended test. That'll complete my Blade experiment from 98-104. I'm learning so far that I need a tighter string pattern in the larger frames to work for me.

100% in agreement about how a less demanding frame can help one's game with match play. I'm very surprised that a 320gm Blade 100UL is working well right now and quite a departure from from my old spec of 97/98 340gm 7HL which felt like a requirement for my 1HBH. My match plays have definitely improved as a result as it's not demanding at all providing sufficient stability and forgiveness. I'm definitely making less errors than before.

Looking to experiment with even bigger frames to make it even less demanding. My search now focuses on OS frames with tighter string pattern in the sweet spot with easy maneuverability. These 2 fits the criteria so far. Any others?
  • Dunlop CX 200 OS
  • Blade 104 V6
I tried Yonex Ezone 105 before and it feels pretty good, but you may need to add weight to that one.
 

phanamous

New User
Thanks. A 105 Yonex seems not necessary but will try.
I played with a Yonex Ezone AI 100 a few years back that played like an OS as the sweet spot was huge with more forgiveness than I need. Moved on from it as it felt too unwieldly and lacking in control with the thick beam and open string pattern. Going to dig it out to play around with again to see if I can tighten things up and somehow make it more maneuverable.

I tried Yonex Ezone 105 before and it feels pretty good, but you may need to add weight to that one.
 

Oval_Solid

Semi-Pro
if ur good at sports use a smaller racket head
if ur not good at sports use the larger size racket

if ur in the 1st group you will improve over time and the smaller racket will assist in this
if ur in the 2nd group ur game will not impove so use all the racket tech/help u can get to make tennis easier/funner/etc
 

BlueB

Legend
if ur good at sports use a smaller racket head
if ur not good at sports use the larger size racket

if ur in the 1st group you will improve over time and the smaller racket will assist in this
if ur in the 2nd group ur game will not impove so use all the racket tech/help u can get to make tennis easier/funner/etc
Ur, ur ur, ugh?
 

Oval_Solid

Semi-Pro
theres nothing wrong with not being a good athlete most people are in this group
people have different talents in life
but most people just arent going to improve tennis wise
 
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