A racquet in between Wilson clash 108 and pure drive team?

yitian78

New User
I’m a beginner player, probably a 2.5, and I’m looking for a racquet I can grow with. I recently demoed the two racquets, both are 285g.

Wilson clash 108 with a multifilament string, while its very nice feel, very comfortable, and a big sweet spot, the swing feels somewhat slow (feels quite bulky) and a bit too heavy for me.

The Pure Drive team (100sq) has hybrid strings on with poly and multifilament I believe. The swing is much faster and I like the grip a lot. But it’s on the stiffer side, and I can feel the impact of the ball in my arms after hitting. It’s also smaller which is less forgiving.

TLDR: in short, I’m looking for a racquet that is faster/less bulky than Clash 108 but softer (more plush? Less stiff) than Pure Drive team. I could demo a few more racquets, any suggestions?

Perhaps changing strings or trying a even lighter Clash? Clash UL is 275G. Or going a bigger size in Pure Drive?
 

atatu

Legend
Take a look at the new Dunlop CX 200 OS maybe. Although the swingweight is almost the same as the Clash 108 the smaller head and thinner beam might feel less bulky. Not sure if the 11oz static weight will feel too heavy for you though.
 

jaydawg

New User
You might want to take a look at the Head Microgel Radical OS. It has a thinner beam than the Clash OS so it might feel more maneuverable and should feel softer than the Pure Drive Team.
 

HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
Sounds like you like racquets with comfy flex. Your elbow will thank you in a few years! :D

Give the HEAD Gravity S a demo. RA 61 with plush feel; head size 104 ie: falls somewhere between the Clash 108 and PD Team in headsize and flex. Similar weight and swingweight to both the Clash 108 and PD Team. 24mm beam.

Also consider the HEAD 360+ Speed MP Lite. RA 64, good feel and moderate flex. Similar weight and swingweight to both the Clash 108 and PD Team. 23mm beam. With its 100sq in. headsize, you will be able to grow for longer with it than an oversized racquet which you’ll likely look to let go once you develop reasonable strokes.
It’s also got the specs that make for a really good “platform stick”. With just a few lead strips in the head and some BluTac in the buttend via the trapdoor, it’s easy to mod upwards, adding weight as you progress. If you try this one and it works reasonably now, I’d recommend this route. This racquet can be modded into the specs suitable for even intermediate-advanced players. This is not difficult to do and if you’re going to play tennis long term, you’ll learn to love lead and BluTac eventually!

I’ve pasted the specs from TW below. Good luck and enjoy this wonderful sport!

Specifications - HEAD Gravity S
Head Size:104 in² / 671 cm²
Length:27in / 68,5cm
Strung Weight:301g / 10,6oz
Unstrung Weight:285g/10,1oz
Balance:33,48cm / 3 pts HL
Unstrung Balance:32,5cm/6 pts HL
Swingweight:307
Stiffness:61
Beam Width:24mm / 24mm / 24mm

Specifications - HEAD 360+ Speed MP Lite
Head Size:100 in² / 645 cm²
Length:27in / 68,5cm
Strung Weight:292g / 10,3oz
Unstrung Weight:275g / 9,7oz
Balance:33,99cm / 1 pts HL
Unstrung Balance:33cm/4 pt HL
Swingweight:313
Stiffness:64
Beam Width:23mm / 23mm / 23mm
 

BumElbow

Rookie
Try the Prince Phantom 107G. To make the Clash 108 a bit head light, remove the synthetic grip and put on a leather grip which is heavier. If you don't like the feel of the leather grip then also add an overgrip that's to your liking. Another option is the Head Graphene 360+ Instinct Lite - it's 107 square inches and .2 inches longer but the added length is barely noticeable.
 

yitian78

New User
Sounds like you like racquets with comfy flex. Your elbow will thank you in a few years! :D

Give the HEAD Gravity S a demo. RA 61 with plush feel; head size 104 ie: falls somewhere between the Clash 108 and PD Team in headsize and flex. Similar weight and swingweight to both the Clash 108 and PD Team. 24mm beam.

Also consider the HEAD 360+ Speed MP Lite. RA 64, good feel and moderate flex. Similar weight and swingweight to both the Clash 108 and PD Team. 23mm beam. With its 100sq in. headsize, you will be able to grow for longer with it than an oversized racquet which you’ll likely look to let go once you develop reasonable strokes.
It’s also got the specs that make for a really good “platform stick”. With just a few lead strips in the head and some BluTac in the buttend via the trapdoor, it’s easy to mod upwards, adding weight as you progress. If you try this one and it works reasonably now, I’d recommend this route. This racquet can be modded into the specs suitable for even intermediate-advanced players. This is not difficult to do and if you’re going to play tennis long term, you’ll learn to love lead and BluTac eventually!

I’ve pasted the specs from TW below. Good luck and enjoy this wonderful sport!

Specifications - HEAD Gravity S
Head Size:104 in² / 671 cm²
Length:27in / 68,5cm
Strung Weight:301g / 10,6oz
Unstrung Weight:285g/10,1oz
Balance:33,48cm / 3 pts HL
Unstrung Balance:32,5cm/6 pts HL
Swingweight:307
Stiffness:61
Beam Width:24mm / 24mm / 24mm

Specifications - HEAD 360+ Speed MP Lite
Head Size:100 in² / 645 cm²
Length:27in / 68,5cm
Strung Weight:292g / 10,3oz
Unstrung Weight:275g / 9,7oz
Balance:33,99cm / 1 pts HL
Unstrung Balance:33cm/4 pt HL
Swingweight:313
Stiffness:64
Beam Width:23mm / 23mm / 23mm
Thank you so much for your detailed reply! unfortunately the speed MP lite isn't sold at my local tennis store, do you think opting for demoing the Speed S which is 285g but with a 69 stiffness, will feel too stiff?
 

stapletonj

Hall of Fame
I would recc. sticking with the Wilson. It has sig. more power (IMHO) than the Babolat. (I have a 100 and my friend has the babolat and I have hit with both)
Yonex makes some pretty sweet over size and 100 sq. in. rackets that come in pretty light weights.
The vcore line is a bit harder on the arm than the ezone line, but has the more open string pattern to help with producing spin more easily.
 

HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
Thank you so much for your detailed reply! unfortunately the speed MP lite isn't sold at my local tennis store, do you think opting for demoing the Speed S which is 285g but with a 69 stiffness, will feel too stiff?
I'm afraid that's a difficult question to answer since feel is a very individual thing, so the only way to know is to try the racquet yourself. If you can try the Speed S and it feels fine, then don't let the RA of 69 put you off. Two racquets with similar RA can feel very different in flex since RA is largely a measure of throat flexibility. Hoop flex is just as important in how stiff a racquet feels, but this is a smaller component of the RA measurement due to the way in which the RDC makes the measurement.

In all honesty, the best way to improve is to find a decent coach who will give you advice on a suitable racquet. After that, stop worrying about the stick and work with him/her on your strokes, footwork and fitness. Unless you're using a racquet completely unsuitable for your current level, it really is not about the racquet. You can develop a good game with just about any half-way decent racquet.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I’m a beginner player, probably a 2.5, and I’m looking for a racquet I can grow with. I recently demoed the two racquets, both are 285g.

Wilson clash 108 with a multifilament string, while its very nice feel, very comfortable, and a big sweet spot, the swing feels somewhat slow (feels quite bulky) and a bit too heavy for me.

The Pure Drive team (100sq) has hybrid strings on with poly and multifilament I believe. The swing is much faster and I like the grip a lot. But it’s on the stiffer side, and I can feel the impact of the ball in my arms after hitting. It’s also smaller which is less forgiving.

TLDR: in short, I’m looking for a racquet that is faster/less bulky than Clash 108 but softer (more plush? Less stiff) than Pure Drive team. I could demo a few more racquets, any suggestions?

Perhaps changing strings or trying a even lighter Clash? Clash UL is 275G. Or going a bigger size in Pure Drive?
Another vote for a look at the Wilson Blade 104.
 

nochuola

Rookie
This may not be what you want to hear, but unless you are a tiny weak person, you really should move away from light powerful oversized racquets as soon as possible if you are at all serious about developing proper strikes. For an average person, a light powerful oversized racquet basically guarantees you not develop a full swing, because any properly executed stroke with such a racquet will send the ball to the fences. It's very difficult to "grow with" a racquet like that because you would either outgrow it within months, or it will be what holds back your growth.

Personally, I would suggest you get a "middle of the road" racquet. That is basically any racqeut that is about 300g unstrung, 100 sq.in., 16x19 pattern, with a slightly head light balance (maybe 3 ~ 5 pts HL). There's a plethora of racquets that fits the bill, and pretty much any will work. Maybe go 290g if you are really not strong enough to swing 300g. If you really want to go oversized, I second the above recommendations of Blade 104, Phantom 107, and Microgel Radical OS. You can easily make up for lack of power by stringing a soft string at a low-ish tension.

I'm speaking from personal experience when I say, as a 2.5, you really haven't developed any part of your skillset enough to know your preference in racquets. My friend and I both made this mistake. At this point, you usually gravitate towards large light powerful racquets simply because of the forgivingness. If a racquet feels "easy to swing", or "easy to play with" for you now, it is probably too light and too powerful.
 

ericykchan

New User
Gravity S or Prince Phantom 107G
.... or... customize an Angell TC105 or TC101 to your liking. Angell are solid and comfortable even with the higher RA.
 

Lorenn

Semi-Pro
Thank you so much for your detailed reply! unfortunately the speed MP lite isn't sold at my local tennis store, do you think opting for demoing the Speed S which is 285g but with a 69 stiffness, will feel too stiff?
Hard to gauge what weight you should really be at... If we recommend a racquet which is too light you might feel pushed around when you reach 3.5-4.0. If we recommend a racquet too heavy you might not enjoy the game.

I would suggest trying the Speed 360+ MP, Prince Textreme Tour 290/310. Both are well behaved(and forgiving) well rounded racquets. They should allow your game to develop in any direction.

Interesting option Clash 100. You might have trouble for a few weeks but after that you should have it dialed in.

As mentioned above you might have to string for a little extra power in the beginning. You like the game enough you reached 2.5. A little difficultly now should not be problematic.
 
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beltsman

Legend
I’m a beginner player, probably a 2.5, and I’m looking for a racquet I can grow with. I recently demoed the two racquets, both are 285g.

Wilson clash 108 with a multifilament string, while its very nice feel, very comfortable, and a big sweet spot, the swing feels somewhat slow (feels quite bulky) and a bit too heavy for me.

The Pure Drive team (100sq) has hybrid strings on with poly and multifilament I believe. The swing is much faster and I like the grip a lot. But it’s on the stiffer side, and I can feel the impact of the ball in my arms after hitting. It’s also smaller which is less forgiving.

TLDR: in short, I’m looking for a racquet that is faster/less bulky than Clash 108 but softer (more plush? Less stiff) than Pure Drive team. I could demo a few more racquets, any suggestions?

Perhaps changing strings or trying a even lighter Clash? Clash UL is 275G. Or going a bigger size in Pure Drive?
Have you tried a 300g racquet? Is there a reason why you are looking at the lighter racquets?
 
Another vote for the Gravity S. I got back into tennis in the summer after 20 years away (now in my mid-40s) and found my old Head Ventoris (350g?) a bit too much as my real (lack of) muscle no longer maps on to my muscle memory, so I was consistently slightly late to the ball. Bought a Gravity S and really enjoyed it: 104 head size, comfortable flex, 300g strung. I was much more effective with it. I added a bit of weight to the handle to make it more head light, but it played OK before that too. I also have a Head Instinct 360 Lite, which is indeed very light (385g strung), but again, 15g fishing putty in the handle took it to 300g strung and a nice balance. That was also pretty comfortable and surprisingly nice to swing. Gravity S would be easier to add further weight to though, should you wish in future, and the extra flex is very noticeable and very welcome for me.
 

yitian78

New User
This may not be what you want to hear, but unless you are a tiny weak person, you really should move away from light powerful oversized racquets as soon as possible if you are at all serious about developing proper strikes. For an average person, a light powerful oversized racquet basically guarantees you not develop a full swing, because any properly executed stroke with such a racquet will send the ball to the fences. It's very difficult to "grow with" a racquet like that because you would either outgrow it within months, or it will be what holds back your growth.

Personally, I would suggest you get a "middle of the road" racquet. That is basically any racqeut that is about 300g unstrung, 100 sq.in., 16x19 pattern, with a slightly head light balance (maybe 3 ~ 5 pts HL). There's a plethora of racquets that fits the bill, and pretty much any will work. Maybe go 290g if you are really not strong enough to swing 300g. If you really want to go oversized, I second the above recommendations of Blade 104, Phantom 107, and Microgel Radical OS. You can easily make up for lack of power by stringing a soft string at a low-ish tension.

I'm speaking from personal experience when I say, as a 2.5, you really haven't developed any part of your skillset enough to know your preference in racquets. My friend and I both made this mistake. At this point, you usually gravitate towards large light powerful racquets simply because of the forgivingness. If a racquet feels "easy to swing", or "easy to play with" for you now, it is probably too light and too powerful.
I heard the blade 104 is not a beginner-friendly racket?
 

nochuola

Rookie
I heard the blade 104 is not a beginner-friendly racket?
You said it yourself that you want a racquet to grow with. Large powerful light oversized racquets make things easy for you, but you don't truly learn how to play tennis that way. It's like you can shoot a volleyball at a basketball hoop, and it would be a whole lot easier than shooting an actual basketball, but do you truly learn how to shoot a basketball that way?

The racquets that are generally considered "beginner friendly" will keep you a beginner forever. What most people here are suggesting is to get what would be considered an "intermediate" racquet that isn't so difficult to use that you, a beginner, would be unable to play with, while also not so easy that you don't actually learn proper strokes.

Also, it is natural to feel a head heavy racquet to be sluggish despite the light weight. This is where the concept of swingweight comes in. You can research more on the concept if interested. Just for a reference: I can't do a single pull up, and can barely do 10 consecutive push ups, yet I can easily swing racquets of 320 grams unstrung weight. This is why I say any normal person should be able to play with 300 grams. Unless you are tiny, you are probably just finding the racquets sluggish because you don't know how to swing them properly yet.
 

beltsman

Legend
I actually have not, but I did try a 285g headheavy racket, and it did feel too heavy for me. and 285g headlight/even balance feels okay for me
Gotcha. Are you young, older, athletic, non athletic, etc? 300g isn't too much for most people but for some yes.
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
-wilson clash 100L very stable for its weight
-yonex vcore 100L, light and similar to babolats, but with better dampening
-head.instinct and head.extreme lines are also lite/good options for beginners
 

Lorenn

Semi-Pro
Another vote for the Gravity S. I got back into tennis in the summer after 20 years away (now in my mid-40s) and found my old Head Ventoris (350g?) a bit too much as my real (lack of) muscle no longer maps on to my muscle memory, so I was consistently slightly late to the ball. Bought a Gravity S and really enjoyed it: 104 head size, comfortable flex, 300g strung. I was much more effective with it. I added a bit of weight to the handle to make it more head light, but it played OK before that too. I also have a Head Instinct 360 Lite, which is indeed very light (385g strung), but again, 15g fishing putty in the handle took it to 300g strung and a nice balance. That was also pretty comfortable and surprisingly nice to swing. Gravity S would be easier to add further weight to though, should you wish in future, and the extra flex is very noticeable and very welcome for me.
Gravity S is a good option if you need a lighter racquet, that has better maneuverability then the Clash 108. Normally I would push to up the weight. My concern with lighter racquets is long term viability, increase injury risk and it sometimes hinders progression. (by allowing poor technique) I also expect you would likely want to upgrade again in about one to two years. Assuming progression in competitive play. If you are just playing friends then it might never be an issue.
 
Gravity S is a good option if you need a lighter racquet, that has better maneuverability then the Clash 108. Normally I would push to up the weight. My concern with lighter racquets is long term viability, increase injury risk and it sometimes hinders progression. (by allowing poor technique) I also expect you would likely want to upgrade again in about one to two years. Assuming progression in competitive play. If you are just playing friends then it might never be an issue.
Agreed, I bought mine with the idea of using it as a building racquet while I build my game back up. Once I started hitting with a coach and encountering some much heavier balls I did up the weight, particularly to help on the volley, and as you suggest, it also helped my technique. It's easy to unconsciously arm the ball with a very light racquet. Weight in the handle worked well for me, but I do have an old-fashioned swing. I do really like the flex though, and the 104 headsize gives additional comfort too, which was my main aim in buying it (they were also going cheap at the time).

I have found that at the stock weight I am able to play a wider range of strokes, I can get the ball to dip to the feet of people at the net for example, which I find harder with more weight / different balance (presumably I am struggling to generate the same level of spin). But I've found that overall I am more consistent and accurate with the smoother swing I get from a heavier racquet. No doubt all of those things are more me than the racquet, but I've found it good to learn with and easy to adapt.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I’m a beginner player, probably a 2.5, and I’m looking for a racquet I can grow with. I recently demoed the two racquets, both are 285g.

Wilson clash 108 with a multifilament string, while its very nice feel, very comfortable, and a big sweet spot, the swing feels somewhat slow (feels quite bulky) and a bit too heavy for me.

The Pure Drive team (100sq) has hybrid strings on with poly and multifilament I believe. The swing is much faster and I like the grip a lot. But it’s on the stiffer side, and I can feel the impact of the ball in my arms after hitting. It’s also smaller which is less forgiving.

TLDR: in short, I’m looking for a racquet that is faster/less bulky than Clash 108 but softer (more plush? Less stiff) than Pure Drive team. I could demo a few more racquets, any suggestions?

Perhaps changing strings or trying a even lighter Clash? Clash UL is 275G. Or going a bigger size in Pure Drive?
Are you male or female (or one of the 80 other genders I am too old to learn about)?

How old are you?

Have you had any neck or arm issues in the past?

One of the biggest mistakes I see beginner players make is to start with a racket that is feather weight and too easy to swing fast with merely arm strokes. A racket should have some substance so that you have to use your large muscles to generate the stroke. If you can get the ball deep with your chest always facing the net, you need a heavier frame.

Or you can ingrain the bad habits and spend the rest of your rec tennis career slapping balls over the net at 3.5 level.

My suggestion is that for women, go no lower than 285 gm unstrung weight and for men, no lower than 300 unstrung weight.

Take some lessons so you are taught how to unit turn and incorporate your torso and legs into creating the swing. Then shadow swing those lessons religiously so they become the natural motion. After a while, that "heavy" racket won't seem so heavy if your large muscles are generating the swing and not your small muscles around the elbow and wrist.
 
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