Analysis Paralysis - Pick a Racquet for Me

century2201

New User
This is a "chose my adventure" post. After 3 months of demoing I've got imy racquet choices narrowed down, but I'll never be able to make a final pick without thinking "what if." Fortunately, if someone tells me what to pick I'll probably buy it and never look back. So, I submit to the collective tennis wisdom of this board.

I am a 3.5 serve and volley player currently playing with a Babolat Aero Storm Tour GT. I play a lot of doubles, and I rely heavily on my backhand slice. I alternate THBH and OHBH based on the situation. I hit a flat forehand that sucks. Fortunately I counteract that with an above-average flat serve and solid net game.

I decided to get a racquet that is a little lighter (either in swingweight or mass). While I love my current racquet, it's a little demanding and has a little less control and maneuverability than i'd like. I've found that towards the end of a match if i'm even a little tired my consistency on all shots really drops off and i'll hit off-center frequently in fast exchanges. For now, i switch to my older Radical at the end of matches, but i'd like to get a racquet I can play a whole match with. Working out to get stronger is off the table. I'm lazy.

After more demoing than I care to admit I have it narrowed down to three:

Head Graphene XT Speed Pro
Pros: great maneuverability, good pop on serve
Cons: a little brassy outside the sweetspot, a little too much pop at net


2015 Wilson Blade (16x19)
Pros: pinpoint accuracy, good spin and pop. really consistent on serves.
Cons: may have to add a little weight, shots not as deep as with current racquet


Babolat Pure Control Tour
Pros: nice response on all areas of the court, great accuracy and control on serves, static weight allows for good plowthrough even w/ lower swingweight
Cons: doesn't generate great spin on backhand slice, heaviest of the three

Please cast your vote below. Comments / ridicule are appreciated. The only prize I can offer is this cool little emoji wearing sunglasses (inside, I presume. To increase cool factor) :cool:



Other demos:

Babolat Pure Drive
Babolat Pure Strike Tour
Head Graphene Radical Pro and MP
Head Graphene Prestige S
Wilson Blade 98 (18x20) and 98s (2015)
Wilson RF 97
Yonex Ezone Xi 98
 

century2201

New User
Thanks, that seems like a good way to get the weight a little higher. I'm going to look into how to do that. I know there are plenty of threads on the subject.
 

jaxadam

Rookie
Speed or Blade.

I have the XT Speed Pro and really like it. If I went out right now to buy another racquet, I'd be the Blade 98 18x20.
 

century2201

New User
What about stringing looser on the Blade? Increased launch angle --> deeper shots for free.


Only problem with string tension is I cant experiment before I buy the Blade. Although I have to say I prefer the feel of the Blade over any other racquet I've demoed, so If I can make it work somehow...
 

century2201

New User
Speed or Blade.

I have the XT Speed Pro and really like it. If I went out right now to buy another racquet, I'd be the Blade 98 18x20.

I'm curious what differences you picked up between the two. From my perspective the XT had better power and maneuverability while the blade had better ball pocketing and control. With the 18x20 blade though I really felt like I lost a few mph on almost every stroke in my fame.
 

jaxadam

Rookie
I'm curious what differences you picked up between the two. From my perspective the XT had better power and maneuverability while the blade had better ball pocketing and control. With the 18x20 blade though I really felt like I lost a few mph on almost every stroke in my fame.

Of the three XT's I played with, all three felt and played different. The first demo was absolutely fantastic. The second one felt awkward and underpowered for some reason. The grip was significantly larger than the last 5/8, almost in 1/2 territory, and felt it had a different weight distribution. The one I have now feels like the first demo, but maybe slightly lighter.

I actually haven't played with the Blade 18x20, but it would be the very next one I would demo/try/get, but I'm happy with the XT.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Seriously, at 3.5, your strokes are not grooved, your swing is not grooved, and you can play well with ANY racket of average specs, so pick the color your like.
You really cannot volley yet, nor serve decently, and all your strokes are going to change radically within the next few months, or you just drop out of tennis..
Your power level goes from strongest to weakest, so pick your poison...or the color you like.
 

corners

Legend
Of the three you've listed, I would look at the Pure Control, non-tour. This would give you the option of playing stock, which would have you lower in both swingweight and static weight than your current frame. You may like that, but you also may, as a S&V player with a strong slice, find that you're missing handle mass (which really is only useful on slower strokes like OHBH, volleys and blocked returns), in which case you could add a leather grip and be just about up to the specs of the Pure Control, Tour version.
 

Anton

Legend
Of the three you've listed, I would look at the Pure Control, non-tour. This would give you the option of playing stock, which would have you lower in both swingweight and static weight than your current frame. You may like that, but you also may, as a S&V player with a strong slice, find that you're missing handle mass (which really is only useful on slower strokes like OHBH, volleys and blocked returns), in which case you could add a leather grip and be just about up to the specs of the Pure Control, Tour version.


I second this motion.

If you don't mind doing just some basic stuff like adding a leather grip and a few grams of lead, go for Pure Control. It will be anything you want it to be as your strokes improve.

If you do mind, then just go for Tour
 
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HRB

Hall of Fame
Seriously, at 3.5, your strokes are not grooved, your swing is not grooved, and you can play well with ANY racket of average specs, so pick the color your like.
You really cannot volley yet, nor serve decently, and all your strokes are going to change radically within the next few months, or you just drop out of tennis..
Your power level goes from strongest to weakest, so pick your poison...or the color you like.

BINGO! If the stick is even to headlight, moderate stiffness, over 11oz's and 95-100 sq inches you can grow as a player and then hone your preferences. so at this point pick a cool color....Like the badass black Blades! :twisted:(jealous...Blades always look so cool, but too light for my taste).
 

Jonboy

Rookie
I'm curious what differences you picked up between the two. From my perspective the XT had better power and maneuverability while the blade had better ball pocketing and control. With the 18x20 blade though I really felt like I lost a few mph on almost every stroke in my fame.

Im currently using both. I serve with the XT and receive with the Blade.

XT serves some up serious heat. It is stiffer than the Blade and has more weight. The 7 points HL allows for more wrist snap. Blade is a better rallying stick, plusher, with more mass and is superior in return off serve. At the net, Blade has more control for finesse shots but XT is quicker. Also has an extra 2 inch not than u can tell. I find my Blade generates more depth but that may be a timing issue as its still early days.
 

robbo1970

Hall of Fame
Go for the Blade. A heavier grip, whether heavier leather or synthetic will add that bit of weight you want, but in my opinion, it looks the best.
 

Alien

Hall of Fame
I am a Blade 98s lover, I see it mentioned in your demo list, not sure if you have already tried them or want to.

That being said, changing to a leather grip will increase weight but will NOT affect power of the frame because it has no impact on swingweight. You will have to add lead on the head and then use the leather plus lead at the butt to balance it back.
 

AHJS

Professional
Pure Strike Tour or Radical Pro. Loved both frames. I would add lead to the Radical Pro and try to tailweight the Strike.
 
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