are my rackets too old to play with ?

bdawg

Semi-Pro
To get back into shape, I found more local hitting partners.

I brought my ncode 95 and ncode 90 to play with. They worked fine and hit the ball well. However, my hitting partner called my rackets "relics" , Technology has made better rackets in the past two decades.
I'm very confused. Are these rackets that old? I thought Nadal was still playing with his Babalot rackets from 20 years ago.

Should I invest in more gear?
 

coolbh6

New User
To get back into shape, I found more local hitting partners.

I brought my ncode 95 and ncode 90 to play with. They worked fine and hit the ball well. However, my hitting partner called my rackets "relics" , Technology has made better rackets in the past two decades.
I'm very confused. Are these rackets that old? I thought Nadal was still playing with his Babalot rackets from 20 years ago.

Should I invest in more gear?

Stick with them till you feel the racket us what is holding you back, which may not happen. Who cares what some random hitting partner thinks
 

bdawg

Semi-Pro
I understand these rackets aren't the newest but has technologically advanced this much? Are they considered obselete like the old wooden rackets?
 
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coolbh6

New User
I understand these rackets aren't the newest has technologically advanced this much? Are they considered obselete like the old wooden rackets?

Not very much technology improvement, just some small "gains" over time... head size primarily but also most rackets are not box beams and most D and Aero dynamic beams, typically stiffer and stabler at lower weights and slightly more polarized although there are exceptions.
 

Automatix

Legend
Since introduction of carbon (sometimes referred to as graphite) there has been no significant technological advancement in tennis racquet construction. Only marketing BS.
You are correct. Nadal is still using his Aeropro Drive.
Your racquets are demanding but in no way technologically obsolete or outdated. Don't listen to BS and just play.
 

socallefty

G.O.A.T.
You have 97/98 sq. inch heads now that are pretty precise and have much bigger sweet spots than the older racquets of similar and smaller sizes. Dampening technology has also improved and so you can make stiffer racquets have more comfort than in the past where racquets had to be made more flexible. You can also play with stiffer racquets and poly strings for a mix of power/control while in the olden days, you needed more flexible low-powered racquets to control the extra power of gut or Multis.

You can keep playing with your racquets as long as you are playing well with them. After a few months, you might want to try a few new ones, but racquets play very differently depending on the stringjob as polys vary so much these days and also the age of the strings matters more with poly as they degrade and die so fast.
 

kevin qmto

Hall of Fame
Nah don’t listen to them. I hit with a huge variety of frames and technology for rackets hit a brick wall over a decade ago. Find specs that work for you then seek out rackets in that range, regardless of when they came out. I think some of the best hitting frames ever made are decades old.
 

ey039524

Professional
I'm currently hitting w Prince frames from the 80s, that I found as new old stock. They're so fun to play w. I took a hiatus and came back using my old ncode npro. Only gave it up bc of tennis elbow.
 

5sets

Hall of Fame
To get back into shape, I found more local hitting partners.

I brought my ncode 95 and ncode 90 to play with. They worked fine and hit the ball well. However, my hitting partner called my rackets "relics" , Technology has made better rackets in the past two decades.
I'm very confused. Are these rackets that old? I thought Nadal was still playing with his Babalot rackets from 20 years ago.

Should I invest in more gear?
Absolutely not. The ncode line is only 20 or so years old anyway. I have a few. I love playing with the ncode 6.1, the orange and white one that’s 27.25” long. That racquet is actually highly sough after as nothing these days quite plays like it. 95 square inch head size and 65 RA. Footwear and strings are really the only things that need to replaced every few months if you’re playing a lot and don’t want to harm your body.
 

hadoken

Semi-Pro
The only reason I switched from my Prince CTS 90 is because at 50+, i could no longer swing it effectively since it was so heavy with a small head. If you don't feel the weight or head size is holding you back, no need to switch
 
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Kevo

Legend
To get back into shape, I found more local hitting partners.

I brought my ncode 95 and ncode 90 to play with. They worked fine and hit the ball well. However, my hitting partner called my rackets "relics" , Technology has made better rackets in the past two decades.
I'm very confused. Are these rackets that old? I thought Nadal was still playing with his Babalot rackets from 20 years ago.

Should I invest in more gear?
Those are what, about 20 years old. I play with a racquet that's about 40 years old. It's great. I wouldn't trade it for any new frame on the market.

There are a lot of options out there if you want something different, but nothing is objectively better than what you already have, just different. Besides, relics are cool, right?

That's my 2¢. :)
 

kevin qmto

Hall of Fame
To get back into shape, I found more local hitting partners.

I brought my ncode 95 and ncode 90 to play with. They worked fine and hit the ball well. However, my hitting partner called my rackets "relics" , Technology has made better rackets in the past two decades.
I'm very confused. Are these rackets that old? I thought Nadal was still playing with his Babalot rackets from 20 years ago.

Should I invest in more gear?
the player always matters more than the stick. And I’m no professional but here’s me playing with a stick from the 1970s and later one from the early 80s, I don’t think I did half bad eh? And it was against an opponent with a modern racket. Original 50 year old strings too.

 
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tele

Professional
To get back into shape, I found more local hitting partners.

I brought my ncode 95 and ncode 90 to play with. They worked fine and hit the ball well. However, my hitting partner called my rackets "relics" , Technology has made better rackets in the past two decades.
I'm very confused. Are these rackets that old? I thought Nadal was still playing with his Babalot rackets from 20 years ago.

Should I invest in more gear?
just in case you are searching for validation:
 

Grafil Injection

Hall of Fame
As others have said, there have been no meaningful technology improvements in rackets since around the mid 1990s, by which time graphite layups and internal dampening materials were well understood. The beam width and head-size options were also well established by then. The only real change since has been the shift to poly strings, which certainly provide a bit more spin if you have modern style strokes. The caveat is your Wilson 90 and 95 were both 'classic' style rackets in their day, so are designed for flatter hitting, and at 12oz unstrung are less manoeuvrable than lighter modern sticks may be. So something newer might be appropriate if you are looking to play mostly loopy, deep, heavy topspin shots.
 

NicoMK

Hall of Fame
As others wrote above, not much improvement since the 80s. Current rackets are just lighter and stiffer (=more powerful / easy power but less control). As long as you can swing your current rackets comfortably, there's no hurry to change (I use rackets which have been made in the early 90s...).
 

Frankc

Professional
Agreed, on the mark - just finished a fine practice session today with two Head Premier Tours ( c. 2000 or so) - superb blend of control and pop...
(And the Austrian metal flake paint shouts quality...)

(Now those new multis are perfect for earlier frames ... reminds me of the softness and pop of earlier gut before recent stiffening process...)
 

graycrait

Legend
@bdawg , I had to laugh when I saw this. Unless you had an 80+ MPH forehand and 120mph serve when you hung up those two sticks they will be fine. There has been little improvement, tech advances or designs that have occurred in these "plastic" rackets and strings, except the development of "cheap" mono polyester strings that often don't sell "cheap." Most folks have moved to true granny sticks weighing way less than 12oz with "huge" heads and stiff as h..l so they can live on the baseline hitting huge ground strokes and forgetting the rest of the game that us dinosaurs knew as tennis.

I do have a plastic racket that makes tennis interesting:

iLmH32j.jpg
 
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ey039524

Professional
@bdawg , I had to laugh when I saw this. Unless you had an 80+ MPH forehand and 120mph serve when you hung up those two sticks they will be fine. There has been little improvement, tech advances or designs that have occurred in these "plastic" rackets and strings, except the development of "cheap" mono polyester strings that often don't sell "cheap." Most folks have moved to true granny sticks weighing way less than 12oz with "huge" heads and stiff as h..l so they can live on the baseline hitting huge ground strokes and forgetting the rest of the game that us dinosaurs knew as tennis.

I do have a plastic racket that makes tennis interesting:

iLmH32j.jpg
I have the same toalson racquet. I cut a bit off the end to simulate the sweet spot on a 27" racquet.
 

OdinLoki

New User
To get back into shape, I found more local hitting partners.

I brought my ncode 95 and ncode 90 to play with. They worked fine and hit the ball well. However, my hitting partner called my rackets "relics" , Technology has made better rackets in the past two decades.
I'm very confused. Are these rackets that old? I thought Nadal was still playing with his Babalot rackets from 20 years ago.

Should I invest in more gear?

Heavens no, that's not old at all. I played with Prostaff Classics from the early 90's to about 2014 when the RF97A was launched. The RF97A is a good stick, but I went back time-wise to the Prostaff 6.0 95, which date back to the mid-90s.
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
The question isn’t “is this racquet too old for me to use,” but rather, “am I too old to use this racquet?” Truly, if you’re able to hit decently with it, continue! The quality of racquets and the materials they’re made from has declined over the last 30 years, and no actual advancements have been made—just marketing fluff intended to make people think they are missing out on (fake) new technology. So keep using your classic, with a big smile on your face!
 

NicoMK

Hall of Fame
The question isn’t “is this racquet too old for me to use,” but rather, “am I too old to use this racquet?” Truly, if you’re able to hit decently with it, continue! The quality of racquets and the materials they’re made from has declined over the last 30 years, and no actual advancements have been made—just marketing fluff intended to make people think they are missing out on (fake) new technology. So keep using your classic, with a big smile on your face!
It's exactly my thoughts too. Just worried when comes the day when I won't be able to swing them anymore... I'll probably have to quit tennis lol. By the way @retrowagen , I was revisiting (very) old threads the other day, do you still use your Elliptics?
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
It's exactly my thoughts too. Just worried when comes the day when I won't be able to swing them anymore... I'll probably have to quit tennis lol. By the way @retrowagen , I was revisiting (very) old threads the other day, do you still use your Elliptics?
I do.

Unfortunately this year, I am dealing with a painful problem in my important side shoulder - maybe rotator, but I hope not - and after two years of being very happy with my old Head Elite Pros and playing mostly with them, I have had to dust off the Fischer Elliptics once again. They make it a little easier to play.

It’s a little difficult to explain, but an analogy from the world of sports cars would be that the 1988 Elite Pro is like the 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS, and the 1991 Fischer Vacuum Elliptic is like the 2008 911 Carrera: in both cases, both do the same job and feel great doing it, but one definitely requires (and rewards) the additional skill by its operator necessary to do the job. I can hit sharper angles and have a softer touch on volleys and half volleys with the Head, but the Fischer is generally easier to do everything else with. And playing well with the Elite Pro makes one feel like he’s really accomplished something special, whereas playing well with the Elliptic is just satisfying. But lately, I just wish I could raise my right arm above shoulder height without pain…
 

Frankc

Professional
Retro,
Always good to hear your thoughts ... always appreciated...

The analogy is an accurate one... My Fischer Vacuum 90s MIA are so rewarding - the feel and deft touch make the game so truly interesting. Yet the demands are great...
My Head Premier Tours are lighter (and have a percentage of Babolat pop within the touch of the Twin Tube construction) and have good feel and touch - and easy power is at tap... a compromise that plays well as the years have passed.

Retro, as you already know, guard and heal that shoulder. Many years ago, after Gardnar Mulloy won a 65s National Championship here on clay, I was lucky enough that he had a moment. I asked him ,"What injury do I really need to watch out for in the long run?" I expected knees, back or arm - Nope... He replied, "Easy, shoulder injury. When you cannot serve, you will get eaten alive." He added - and for that reason always use natural gut. BTW, he won that Championship with a Prince Woodie, well into the graphite era. On his eightieth Birthday Card, he was posed with his Prince Woodie.

Take care and get through that ailing shoulder....
 
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retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Retro,
Always good to hear your thoughts ... always appreciated...

The analogy is an accurate one... My Fischer Vacuum 90s MIA are so rewarding - the feel and deft touch make the game so truly interesting. Yet the demands are great...
My Head Premier Tours are lighter (and have a percentage of Babolat pop within the touch of the Twin Tube construction) and have good feel and touch - and easy power is at tap... a compromise that plays well as the years have passed.

Retro, as you already know, guard and heal that shoulder. Many years ago, after Gardnar Mulloy won a 65s National Championship here on clay, I was lucky enough that he had a moment. I asked him ,"What injury do I really need to watch out for in the long run?" I expected knees, back or arm - Nope... He replied, "Easy, shoulder injury. When you cannot serve, you will get eaten alive." He added - and for that reason always use natural gut. BTW, he won that Championship with a Prince Woodie, well into the graphite era. On his eightieth Birthday Card, he was posed with his Prince Woodie.

Take care and get through that ailing shoulder....
Thanks for caring, and sharing this sage advice, @Frankc ! Gardner Mulloy would know what he is talking about.

At age 54, and a former college and tournament player, I sense I am entering the “Dylan Thomas Phase” of life, where I “do not go gentle into that good night.” My one-handed groundstrokes haven’t been impacted by my current shoulder woes, nor my footwork. However, my dependable 110-mph flat first serve and very active kick second serve are simply not available (“please check the number and dial again…”). I can barely patty-cake something in play, and overheads are equally grim. I have an MRI coming up in a week or so, and life is full of other wonderful things, so I will take it in stride.
 

Frankc

Professional
All the best... I cannot even remember 54... Yet, the "Dylan Thomas Phase" is the only way to fly as the years pass. You'll get through this just be careful as "the body does not forget."
Be sure and find a real good massage therapist - one found the damaged area and worked it over as she reduced me to tears. Healed a shoulder injury that I could not move an inch behind my back. Doctors had no clue - yet she was skilled. And to the very bright side, a good friend of mine who is way up there as a regional volleyball player had a procedure on his shoulder. He could not even raise that arm - after good therapy and rest, he tells me that shoulder is just fine and he is full speed ahead - and, as you know, those volleyball players are always stressing those shoulders.

Ah, the beauty of the control mid frames and the flat serve - Yes, it is just a kick to flatten out a good one. You'll get there... enjoy and take care...
 
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Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I do.

Unfortunately this year, I am dealing with a painful problem in my important side shoulder - maybe rotator, but I hope not - and after two years of being very happy with my old Head Elite Pros and playing mostly with them, I have had to dust off the Fischer Elliptics once again. They make it a little easier to play.

It’s a little difficult to explain, but an analogy from the world of sports cars would be that the 1988 Elite Pro is like the 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS, and the 1991 Fischer Vacuum Elliptic is like the 2008 911 Carrera: in both cases, both do the same job and feel great doing it, but one definitely requires (and rewards) the additional skill by its operator necessary to do the job. I can hit sharper angles and have a softer touch on volleys and half volleys with the Head, but the Fischer is generally easier to do everything else with. And playing well with the Elite Pro makes one feel like he’s really accomplished something special, whereas playing well with the Elliptic is just satisfying. But lately, I just wish I could raise my right arm above shoulder height without pain…
Yes, surgeon mentioned to come see him when I want this shoulder replaced after tearing the rotator cuff for the third time.
 

NicoMK

Hall of Fame
I do.

Unfortunately this year, I am dealing with a painful problem in my important side shoulder - maybe rotator, but I hope not - and after two years of being very happy with my old Head Elite Pros and playing mostly with them, I have had to dust off the Fischer Elliptics once again. They make it a little easier to play.

It’s a little difficult to explain, but an analogy from the world of sports cars would be that the 1988 Elite Pro is like the 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS, and the 1991 Fischer Vacuum Elliptic is like the 2008 911 Carrera: in both cases, both do the same job and feel great doing it, but one definitely requires (and rewards) the additional skill by its operator necessary to do the job. I can hit sharper angles and have a softer touch on volleys and half volleys with the Head, but the Fischer is generally easier to do everything else with. And playing well with the Elite Pro makes one feel like he’s really accomplished something special, whereas playing well with the Elliptic is just satisfying. But lately, I just wish I could raise my right arm above shoulder height without pain…
Always a pleasure to read you @retrowagen . Hope that the shoulder will get better. Had that type of issue 25 years ago ; then I met my first Fischer racket which "healed" my shoulder. I once tried to switch to another brand years after and had a pretty long elbow injury. After a mandatory break, I came back on court with my usual Fischer and had 0 pain since then.

The Elliptics may help the healing, fingers crossed.

Liked the Dylan reference too.

Cheers all!
 

NicoMK

Hall of Fame
Retro,
Always good to hear your thoughts ... always appreciated...

The analogy is an accurate one... My Fischer Vacuum 90s MIA are so rewarding - the feel and deft touch make the game so truly interesting. Yet the demands are great...
It's why I've always used the 98, same feel but a tad less demanding.

Would you post pics of your frames? MIA Fischers are always welcomed - see The Fischer Faction or The Ski Club threads.
 

Grafil Injection

Hall of Fame
Although I love my wooden sticks and early graphites from the 1970s, and there's no doubt many 1990s sticks are ready to go, for me the playability cut-off is somewhere in the 1980s. Just considering a few from my collection, I'd say many of the late 80s Princes, and certain others like the Yonex RQ-180 could be brought back unchanged. I'm sure some of the later 80s sticks with modern polys and hybrid string set-ups could be really impressive, but I tend to hang on to the syngut.

1980s-rackets.jpg
 

wallymann

Rookie
Although I love my wooden sticks and early graphites from the 1970s, and there's no doubt many 1990s sticks are ready to go, for me the playability cut-off is somewhere in the 1980s. Just considering a few from my collection, I'd say many of the late 80s Princes, and certain others like the Yonex RQ-180 could be brought back unchanged. I'm sure some of the later 80s sticks with modern polys and hybrid string set-ups could be really impressive, but I tend to hang on to the syngut.

1980s-rackets.jpg

lovely arsenal you have there!!!
 

Frankc

Professional
Not in agreement that "modern polys would be impressive," necessarily. Those frames were designed by top engineers when the gold standards where more dynamic natural guts, superb TF multis and softer syn guts. Perhaps those engineers knew what they were doing. And remember, tennis was a more varied, all court skill set then. (In my mind, all to the good.)

Modern polys are different, no doubt, and fine for the baseline, topspin game. But different, not necessarily better, especially if one enjoys the varied skill set of the varied all court game.
 

Grafil Injection

Hall of Fame
Not in agreement that "modern polys would be impressive," necessarily. Those frames were designed by top engineers when the gold standards where more dynamic natural guts, superb TF multis and softer syn guts. Perhaps those engineers knew what they were doing. And remember, tennis was a more varied, all court skill set then. (In my mind, all to the good.)

Modern polys are different, no doubt, and fine for the baseline, topspin game. But different, not necessarily better, especially if one enjoys the varied skill set of the varied all court game.

I do agree from experience with the mid-sizes from the beginning of the 80s, but can't help wondering if some of the late 80s sticks might work with a poly (even though it wasn't invented then). In fact, my RQ-180 above has a full bed of Revolve and it works really well, so that was kind-of the inspiration. Not that any are particularly lacking with their synguts.
 
I do agree from experience with the mid-sizes from the beginning of the 80s, but can't help wondering if some of the late 80s sticks might work with a poly (even though it wasn't invented then). In fact, my RQ-180 above has a full bed of Revolve and it works really well, so that was kind-of the inspiration. Not that any are particularly lacking with their synguts.
Syn-Poly hybrid at 50# works great in the Kneissl White Star Pro Masters.
 

NicoMK

Hall of Fame
I do agree from experience with the mid-sizes from the beginning of the 80s, but can't help wondering if some of the late 80s sticks might work with a poly (even though it wasn't invented then). In fact, my RQ-180 above has a full bed of Revolve and it works really well, so that was kind-of the inspiration. Not that any are particularly lacking with their synguts.
Tired once or twice on my frames. Didn't like it or at least felt it brought nothing really good. A combo of Luxilon and Velocity was a tad better that full poly but nothing compared to full bed natural gut or multi.
 

Kevo

Legend
I do agree from experience with the mid-sizes from the beginning of the 80s, but can't help wondering if some of the late 80s sticks might work with a poly (even though it wasn't invented then). In fact, my RQ-180 above has a full bed of Revolve and it works really well, so that was kind-of the inspiration. Not that any are particularly lacking with their synguts.
I think it just depends on the players needs. My Bancroft wood frame has had poly in it since the original strings broke after a couple hours of play. Those original strings were great, but like most basic nylon type strings they break quickly, which is the main reason I use poly in the first place. So I put poly in pretty much everything unless I am wanting to fiddle around with something for fun or testing. The poly while not as good as a nylon is close enough for me to enjoy hitting with while not having to string all the time. If I didn't have poly I'd be playing a kevlar hybrid.
 

10s4ever-2

New User
To get back into shape, I found more local hitting partners.

I brought my ncode 95 and ncode 90 to play with. They worked fine and hit the ball well. However, my hitting partner called my rackets "relics" , Technology has made better rackets in the past two decades.
I'm very confused. Are these rackets that old? I thought Nadal was still playing with his Babalot rackets from 20 years ago.

Should I invest in more gear?
If you hit well with it who cares what your partner says? Some players think they have to change rackets every couple of years because they think they will play better. They should save the money they spend on the new rackets and take some lessons. I have played with Prince Graphite Mid Plus 90's since the mid 90's. Dunlop 200G's before that and Jack Kramer Pro-Staffs since the beginning. Even at 66 I can still play at a 5.0 level with the graphites. I even have an old Jack Kramer Pro-Staff in its brace still in my bag. I love hitting with it, it brings back great memories.
 
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