30+ yrs of wood or why my game is sort of lame:)

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I started swinging wood rackets around 1960. In those early years it was mostly those 2 dollar ones that you used to get in gas stations, drug or dime stores. These 5 rackets more or less in chrono order from L-R carried me from around 1966 - 1988. In '88 I got a Prince CTS Precision 110 and frittered around with tennis for 15-18 yrs using that same racket. Then I got back into it around age 50.

 
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swizzy

Hall of Fame
i was born in 1968... and i found in the garage around the age of 8 a couple of wooden rackets. i hit balls against the wall of my elementary school. it was an old brick building with irregular mortar joints and deterioration. sometimes bounced true..others you had to scramble.. i credit my movement on the court to this early training. i have a fondness for wooden rackets and keep one in my bag at all times. i have a few of the ones in your photo.
 

Kevo

Legend
Only thing that comes close to the feel of those old wood frames are some old fiberglass composite frames. Since I acquired some of those I no longer feel the need to worry with keeping an old wood frame around. My favorite wood feel frames so far are the Rossignol F200 and the Pro Kennex Copper Ace standard size. The old PK kind of looks like a wood frame with that small round hoop. Plays great like a lighter wood frame too. The F200 plays like a heavy wood frame. The flex and feel of that thing off the ground is just phenomenal.
 

max

Legend
I began tennis with a garage-sale old Victor wood racquet. Wish I had it, really do. I then had a birthday present department store aluminum, which didn't last long. Went to the Wilson T-200, and then a Bancroft Super Winner.

I tried a few Jack Kramers of course, but the first few I tried were dogs. I was pretty underway with the red Head Professional when I first ran into a Jack Kramer I really liked.
 

joe sch

Legend
I started swinging wood rackets around 1960. In those early years it was mostly those 2 dollar ones that you used to get in gas stations, drug or dime stores. These 5 rackets more or less in chrono order from L-R carried me from around 1966 - 1988. In '88 I got a Prince CTS Precision 110 and frittered around with tennis for 15-18 yrs using that same racket. Then I got back into it around age 50.

So you have been playing since 1960 guess your around 70 and playing the last 20 years with wood again.
Sorry to hear your game is lame, it can be hard competing wood vs graphite if its a handicap.
Maybe you can do some strength and cardio training to get the edge using wood, given you have the strokes.
Otherwise old school graphite can be a nice power boost, like a CTS or POG.
HTH ?
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
Doesn’t anyone here find it strange they used to sell tennis racquets at gas stations.
Western Auto used to sell everything. I remember when I was a tad pole in the back of our station wagon in line for the grand opening. They sold fishing rods and reels there also.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
@joe sch , I started playing tennis when I was about 5. I just got my Medicare card. Just before I started kindergarten we had moved to a little house that was about 60 feet from 3 asphalt tennis courts where I spent the next 13 yrs before enlisting in the Army. Currently, I have about 60 graphite rackets, 6 POG OS and 7 POG Mids are in that "pile," nearly every straight beam Prince "90" from the '80s as well. Even a couple of Volkl Tour 10 Mids and Wilson ROK 93s. I was swinging a Chang 95" titanium Longbody last nite hitting indoors at the local college against a young gal who is UTR 10+ and young guy who is UTR 12+. It takes nearly every bit of smack talk guile I can muster to get a point off those two. We have some laughs. I'm still working at my game. "I coulda been a contender!" But then again, maybe not:)
Current crop of some of the rackets:
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Only thing that comes close to the feel of those old wood frames are some old fiberglass composite frames. Since I acquired some of those I no longer feel the need to worry with keeping an old wood frame around. My favorite wood feel frames so far are the Rossignol F200 and the Pro Kennex Copper Ace standard size. The old PK kind of looks like a wood frame with that small round hoop. Plays great like a lighter wood frame too. The F200 plays like a heavy wood frame. The flex and feel of that thing off the ground is just phenomenal.
Copper Ace is very flexy. For my money Silver or Black Ace is better suited to the modern game while still retaining a lot of the characteristics of wood. I'd suggest the OP consider those if he wants to get some better performance without going losing the experience he currently enjoys. Also all of these can be had for about $30 (or less) on the auction site.
 

Kevo

Legend
Copper Ace is very flexy. For my money Silver or Black Ace is better suited to the modern game while still retaining a lot of the characteristics of wood. I'd suggest the OP consider those if he wants to get some better performance without going losing the experience he currently enjoys. Also all of these can be had for about $30 (or less) on the auction site.
I haven't tried the silver or black ace. I was under the impression they were stiffer frames being graphite mainly with less or no fiberglass. There are also several versions of these frames so that confuses the issue. If they do have a decent proportion of fiberglass then I would imagine they should hit somewhat similar to the others and I'd definitely give them a shot. So far my favorite frames have a medium swing weight and something in the 40s or lower flex.

I do have a Rossi F250 which is a graphite frame with higher stiffness I think near 60. Compared to the F220 or F230 that frame is not even close for that old school feel. It feels much more modern even though it does have a better sweet spot than might be expected given it's head size. It doesn't remind me of wood at all though.

I kind of crave that old school flex when I hit. I did 2 hours the other day with my F230 hitting with the ball machine and serving. The only thing that I felt the next day was a little soreness in my leg and foot. I attribute that to the ball machine work. I haven't worn myself out like that running for balls in over 2 years probably. My arm, shoulder and wrist all felt great the next day. Maybe even better than it was before the practice. That was easily the longest on court work I've done since my back injury.

Anyway, it's going to take a very special frame to get me away from these old fiberglass sticks at this point.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
I haven't tried the silver or black ace. I was under the impression they were stiffer frames being graphite mainly with less or no fiberglass. There are also several versions of these frames so that confuses the issue. If they do have a decent proportion of fiberglass then I would imagine they should hit somewhat similar to the others and I'd definitely give them a shot. So far my favorite frames have a medium swing weight and something in the 40s or lower flex.

I do have a Rossi F250 which is a graphite frame with higher stiffness I think near 60. Compared to the F220 or F230 that frame is not even close for that old school feel. It feels much more modern even though it does have a better sweet spot than might be expected given it's head size. It doesn't remind me of wood at all though.

I kind of crave that old school flex when I hit. I did 2 hours the other day with my F230 hitting with the ball machine and serving. The only thing that I felt the next day was a little soreness in my leg and foot. I attribute that to the ball machine work. I haven't worn myself out like that running for balls in over 2 years probably. My arm, shoulder and wrist all felt great the next day. Maybe even better than it was before the practice. That was easily the longest on court work I've done since my back injury.

Anyway, it's going to take a very special frame to get me away from these old fiberglass sticks at this point.
The basic progression from most to least flex is copper silver and black.
Silver Ace has less fiberglass in it and Black Ace is all graphite.
However by modern standards these are still very soft frames and they are all built around a foam core.
In another thread people were speculating the flex on the Copper Ace might be mid 40s. Silver Ace is probably around 50 and Black Ace maybe 55? These are just guesses.

I do love the feel of the flexible frames but I find they also demand excellent timing and contact or your shot just doesn’t do anything. Like I said. Try one. They are cheap and easily found. I think the Copper Ace might give you a little more power and forgiveness without losing the feel you desire.
 

Kevo

Legend
I do love the feel of the flexible frames but I find they also demand excellent timing and contact or your shot just doesn’t do anything. Like I said. Try one. They are cheap and easily found. I think the Copper Ace might give you a little more power and forgiveness without losing the feel you desire.
Nah, there isn't any power issue with them. I've have the standard and mid size Copper Ace, four different Rossignols and I haven't had a power issue with any of them. The F200, the most flexy of all my frames, hits like a beast. It's probably the most accurate as well. It has one problem for me. It's a bit heavy on the serve. Even my old bancroft wood frame has plenty of power. Only real problem with it is the small head and thick frame. It's hard to avoid mishits with a 1HBH with that frame.

Power is probably the last thing I worry about. I'd probably move it up the list a bit if I was playing for prize money or ATP points, but for rec and local tournament play it's not an issue. I'd much rather have the feel and control. If you have a good fluid stroke with reasonable technique the power is there.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Nah, there isn't any power issue with them. I've have the standard and mid size Copper Ace, four different Rossignols and I haven't had a power issue with any of them. The F200, the most flexy of all my frames, hits like a beast. It's probably the most accurate as well. It has one problem for me. It's a bit heavy on the serve. Even my old bancroft wood frame has plenty of power. Only real problem with it is the small head and thick frame. It's hard to avoid mishits with a 1HBH with that frame.

Power is probably the last thing I worry about. I'd probably move it up the list a bit if I was playing for prize money or ATP points, but for rec and local tournament play it's not an issue. I'd much rather have the feel and control. If you have a good fluid stroke with reasonable technique the power is there.
I agree. I also mistakenly thought I was responding to the OP.
But the OP said his game was lame which made me think perhaps he was bemoaning playing with wood against modern frames. A 3 speed dad in a 10 speed world.

I agree power is totally overrated. But I would never bring a wooden racquet to a league match. I’ve even used my Black Ace in matches but only when my current frame is unavailable or whatever. It’s sort of like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
 

Kevo

Legend
I agree power is totally overrated. But I would never bring a wooden racquet to a league match.
Yeah, I wouldn't do it either if it was someone I didn't know. Some people would take it the wrong way. Tennis players can be a sensitive bunch. I quit calling foot faults in league matches because some people just go nuts when you call it on them. I tried mentioning it to a few people after matches if they were foot faulting on a regular basis. One guy said oh, I didn't realize that. The others it was like trying to convince them that bigfoot was real or something. So I don't mention it any more. It mostly just causes trouble.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Yeah, I wouldn't do it either if it was someone I didn't know. Some people would take it the wrong way. Tennis players can be a sensitive bunch. I quit calling foot faults in league matches because some people just go nuts when you call it on them. I tried mentioning it to a few people after matches if they were foot faulting on a regular basis. One guy said oh, I didn't realize that. The others it was like trying to convince them that bigfoot was real or something. So I don't mention it any more. It mostly just causes trouble.
Yeah I can see some people getting salty. I also think if you show up With a wood frame it’s like showing up at the soccer pitch with the Brazil jersey on. You gotta be good to do that and I’m not that good. And if the competition is close (as it should be) why handicap myself?
Regarding foot faults I would call egregious ones. I remember watching a guy once who consistently took 2 1/2 steps into the court before hitting every time. That’s just not in the spirit of the game.
 

Kevo

Legend
Regarding foot faults I would call egregious ones. I remember watching a guy once who consistently took 2 1/2 steps into the court before hitting every time. That’s just not in the spirit of the game.
Yeah there are limits to what I'd put up with. I've not seen anyone with foot faults that bad in league play so usually it's just a foot or an extra step but nothing that big.
 

1HBHfanatic

Hall of Fame
i started with my grandfathers Dunlop maxply and/or Dunlop fort
once a year or so I bring them out to hit with people, we make a event out of it
if you haven't already, promote this event at your local club, its a good time
over the years ive collected a few more
http://instagr.am/p/BuHXCVXgzxo/
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
How in the heck can you remember that?
I had never set foot on a tennis court; but I thought I should....that was probably within a dollar of all the money I had at that time!!
Second Pancho Gonzales racket was from the Ft. Jackson PX....NINE dollars!!!! What a step up!!!
Third racket was a Spalding Smasher aluminum...from K-Mart $36 plus tax...ALL the money I made that week in my summer job!!!
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
@coachrick , @WestboroChe , I am pretty sure the first two Spaldings were hand me downs. I vaguely remember that the Davis Imperial went for somewhere around 26 bucks? Unfortunately I got a crack in the frame of that Davis and "fixed" it with whatever glue of the day and braided fishing line.

One good thing about "coming back" to tennis after 30 yrs of nibbling its edges is that I have 30 yrs of old rackets to go through for pennies on the dollar compared to the original prices. I find new "treasures" quite often now. A pair of Volkl Tour 10 Mids, ROK 93s, Babolat Pure Storm LTD GT, and in giant rackets I picked up a Triple Threat Grande OS 115 for 11.99, 7.80 shipping.

18 yr old on the local college team asked me the other day if I had any longbodies he could try out. I laughed - longbodies? "What lengths and head sizes do you want to try" I say. Then he says what about control rackets? I tell him about the Tour 10s, ROKs and PS LTD GT and then say how about a 22x30 93" Micro Mid.

I've tried some late model Yonex, Prince, Wilson, Head, ProKennex and Babolats but feel comfortable using my older thrift rackets.
 
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coachrick

Hall of Fame
@coachrick , @WestboroChe , I am pretty sure the first two Spaldings were hand me downs. I vaguely remember that the Davis Imperial went for somewhere around 26 bucks? Unfortunately I got a crack in the frame of that Davis and "fixed" it with whatever glue of the day and braided fishing line.

One good thing about "coming back" to tennis after 30 yrs of nibbling its edges is that I have 30 yrs of old rackets to go through for pennies on the dollar compared to the original prices. I find new "treasures" quite often now. A pair of Volkl Tour 10 Mids, ROK 93s, Babolat Pure Storm LTD GT, and in giant rackets I picked up a Triple Threat Grande OS 115 for 11.99, 7.80 shipping.

18 yr old on the local college team asked me the other day if I had any longbodies he could try out. I laughed - longbodies? "What lengths and head sizes do you want to try" I say. Then he says what about control rackets. I tell him about the Tour 10s, ROKs and PS LTD GT and then say how about a 22x30 93" Micro Mid.
Tour 10 mid is a phenomenal stick! Certainly one I will keep even as I get rid of the others.
Yonex 8500 Red Head Pro Head TXMaster Volkl Tour 10 mid and M+ ...all bring back fond memories :)
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
@coachrick , @WestboroChe , I am pretty sure the first two Spaldings were hand me downs. I vaguely remember that the Davis Imperial went for somewhere around 26 bucks? Unfortunately I got a crack in the frame of that Davis and "fixed" it with whatever glue of the day and braided fishing line.

One good thing about "coming back" to tennis after 30 yrs of nibbling its edges is that I have 30 yrs of old rackets to go through for pennies on the dollar compared to the original prices. I find new "treasures" quite often now. A pair of Volkl Tour 10 Mids, ROK 93s, Babolat Pure Storm LTD GT, and in giant rackets I picked up a Triple Threat Grande OS 115 for 11.99, 7.80 shipping.

18 yr old on the local college team asked me the other day if I had any longbodies he could try out. I laughed - longbodies? "What lengths and head sizes do you want to try" I say. Then he says what about control rackets? I tell him about the Tour 10s, ROKs and PS LTD GT and then say how about a 22x30 93" Micro Mid.

I've tried some late model Yonex, Prince, Wilson, Head, ProKennex and Babolats but feel comfortable using my older thrift rackets.
I heard that Davis racquets had a tendency to break.
 
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