Best items you found at thrift stores (Goodwill)?

Sarcastic

Rookie
T-2000 that has only one slight scape on one of the wires on the hoop. Strung with natural gut and tubed. Passed on it at $5.99.



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onehandbh

Legend
Just picked up a Wilson Advantage in good condition. L5 grip. Plush, black leather grip.
Strung weight is 395 grams. That's before adding an overgrip. That's getting into @Shroud territory when it comes to static weight.
 

Plainsman83

New User
My lovely wife was at a church charity shop today and found me a really nice condition 9/10 Dunlop Maxply McEnroe (wood) for a whopping $3.99. She does not play tennis but has an eye for nice old things and after almost 30 years years of putting up with me she has an idea of what to look for. Another barely used almost flawless frame that has the original grip in my size (4-5/8L). With last week's Spalding I have two nice wood frames to try out when I play again in a few days. That is the fun of this hunt that you can go for a year (granted I don't exactly try that hard) without finding anything worth a poop and then find two interesting and nice pieces within a week. No tournaments scheduled for over a month so some wood hitting can't hurt and it may actually help.
 
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Tar Heel Tennis

Professional
I picked up a Wilson Pro Staff 4.0 Hammer System w/ 18x20 string pattern for $2.99 at a local thrift store today. I brought it to my match this evening and hit with it briefly. I was surprised that it isn't as crappy as I expected. It's head heavy, and strung with some type of poly string, but not too bad. The grip was disintegrating in my hand, so I have put an overgrip on it and will give it another swing the next time I get on court.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I was surprised that it isn't as crappy as I expected.
I've found that true with nearly all my thrift store finds whether wood, aluminum, steel or graphite. There comes a point where you can play with nearly anything but have preferences leading to particular types of sticks. Also I think it depends on what rackets you grew up with. The local college kids look at my 12.5oz rackets and even though they play pretty good they don't get 12 oz rackets at all. When I show my same age peers a new find from the thrift store they nearly always lead with something like, "I remember back in '82......"
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
I've found that true with nearly all my thrift store finds whether wood, aluminum, steel or graphite. There comes a point where you can play with nearly anything but have preferences leading to particular types of sticks. Also I think it depends on what rackets you grew up with. The local college kids look at my 12.5oz rackets and even though they play pretty good they don't get 12 oz rackets at all. When I show my same age peers a new find from the thrift store they nearly always lead with something like, "I remember back in '82......"
Very true. I’ve been playing the Prince Mono for a number of years and people constantly ask me if it’s a tennis racquet. A few ask to hit balls with them and they all love it but the weight scares them away in the end. I’m actually changing to a modern racquet. This will be the first time I’ve made my main stick a racquet from the latest generation since 1990. I’m moving to the Head Gravity S.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I’m actually changing to a modern racquet. This will be the first time I’ve made my main stick a racquet from the latest generation since 1990. I’m moving to the Head Gravity S.
Right now I am primarily playing with two "modern" rackets, a Volkl Quantum Tour 10 93" 18x20 and for warm up a Triple Threat Warrior 100. Once I get some more skinny string I am going to figure out how to get the 22x30 Micro Mid to play just a tad more crisp for me. I have sort of given up on modern rackets. My hitting buddies all let me hit with the latest greatest but I can nearly always find something from 20-35 yrs ago that plays quite similarly and generally more comfortable. I even purchased new a PP100P and DR98, but was so disappointed that I am gun shy towards new rackets. I've also purchased a couple newer demo rackets but gave those away.
 

mixtape

Rookie
Recent finds but not purchased: Gamma ball hopper, Macregor bergelin long string racquet, prince victory comp, and prince cts synergy.

I've found that true with nearly all my thrift store finds whether wood, aluminum, steel or graphite. There comes a point where you can play with nearly anything but have preferences leading to particular types of sticks. Also I think it depends on what rackets you grew up with. The local college kids look at my 12.5oz rackets and even though they play pretty good they don't get 12 oz rackets at all. When I show my same age peers a new find from the thrift store they nearly always lead with something like, "I remember back in '82......"
*LIKE* lol

I agree. I found a few good/interesting racquets just browsing around thrift stores lately and normally I would buy it just because, but I realized I really like the ones I grew up with. Funny thing is I'll find a racquet and say to myself..."I remember back in the 80's..."
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
Oh, you kids!!! I started playing in '69, working in a tennis shop in '73. The '70s was/were a marvelous time for racket development and art!!!
The next decade started all the wide-body craze; but the late '70s brought us composites that worked, oversized(for good or bad), more interesting string patterns, more interesting strings, etc etc.
Yep...I'm THAT old!!! :)
 

Plainsman83

New User
I had a chance to hit with the recently acquired Maxply McEnroe and Spalding frames I mentioned a few posts ago. The Maxply was fantastic, even strung with whatever mystery string that was in there at an indeterminate tension. I really didn't need to make any adjustments to my strokes, and my doubles partner of 20 years said he noticed no real change in my shots, with only a slight decrease in depth if mistimed. I really enjoyed serving with it, as the added heft (even as a "light") over my modern Prestige Pro really helped with the fabled "plow through". Just a great solid but cushy feel on impact, and it just has a quality feel to it as you hold it. Great fun. I think that my more traditional stroke mechanics helped make the transition easy (my doubles partner says that my mechanics are similar to Lendl, at least in form if not effect). The Spalding was as awful as the Dunlop was great. Way too light, and strokes felt like a sequence of string flex, then head flex, then shaft flex, then ball leaving racquet in unpredictable fashion. Probably the least satisfying of all my classic finds. Oh, well what do you expect for $3.99?
 

Tar Heel Tennis

Professional
I found these rackets this past weekend. I hit with all of them last night, and was pleased that they all play reasonably well. My two favs so far are the Wilson and the Spectrum Comp 110. They really don't make 'em like they used to!
TOP: SPECTRUM COMP 110 BELOW: TRICOMP 110


TOP: PRO STAFF 4.0 HAMMER SYSTEM 95 BELOW: GRAPHITE COMP (with substance akin to Shoe Goo which I'm attempting to remove)
 
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Tar Heel Tennis

Professional
I've found that true with nearly all my thrift store finds whether wood, aluminum, steel or graphite. There comes a point where you can play with nearly anything but have preferences leading to particular types of sticks. Also I think it depends on what rackets you grew up with. The local college kids look at my 12.5oz rackets and even though they play pretty good they don't get 12 oz rackets at all. When I show my same age peers a new find from the thrift store they nearly always lead with something like, "I remember back in '82......"
The Wilson is the lightest at 9.8 ounces; The Princes range from 12.1 (Spectrum) to 12.9 ounces (TriComp). As a member of the group that learned how to play with a woodie in the early 70's and transitioned into the first gen of graphites in the 80s, the 'heft' of the Prince rackets is a non-factor for me. Up until a few years ago I was playing with a KPS88 weighted to 400 g (14.1 oz).
 

taylor15

Rookie
Picked up a pro staff 6.1 Classic si today with a white buttcap for $3.99. Not sure how old, but other than light scratches and a bad grip it looks to be in descent enough shape. Adding to my bad with my N90 for tomorrow’s hitting session.
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
Picked up a pro staff 6.1 Classic si today with a white buttcap for $3.99. Not sure how old, but other than light scratches and a bad grip it looks to be in descent enough shape. Adding to my bad with my N90 for tomorrow’s hitting session.
Snap! Paid a tenner but it’s in tip top condition. It’s a size 2 grip so the beautiful fairway grip may sadly end up getting covered over. UHO buttcap code for those remotely interested, so think that makes it a Chinese 1995 model.

 

taylor15

Rookie
Snap! Paid a tenner but it’s in tip top condition. It’s a size 2 grip so the beautiful fairway grip may sadly end up getting covered over. UHO buttcap code for those remotely interested, so think that makes it a Chinese 1995 model.

That’s a win! Mine needs a new grip, and I didn’t get a case. By the time i add TW leather I’ll be in it for $12. Also it’s in good condition but not perfect.
 

taylor15

Rookie
Added TW leather today and weighed it. It’s a bit of a light weight coming in at 362g strung. That’s without OG and dampener.
 

taylor15

Rookie
Mine rocks in at a scrawny 344g, 8g less than the lightest of my other PSCs (closest bring the 1992).
Nice! I'm guessing that since mine had a deteriorated air cushion that the weight was probably close to stock without leather. The leather added weight (12g).
 

Plainsman83

New User
Today's post barber visit to the neighboring Goodwill revealed a Pro Kennex Power Ace in rough condition and several Wilson Impact frames in various color ways also in garage find condition (passed on all of them). The Wilsons all had that Wal Mart vibe to them, but I wonder why there would be 4 of them, but none matching. I am curious about the Power Ace since there does not seem to be much information about it on this forum. It did not look like a premium frame but I am still interested in any information just for personal knowledge.
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
The life of a racket forager is an opportunistic one - the odd family trip that gets steered past an eye-catching charity shop (persuading the kids to go in on the promise of a 50p toy), Eurostar trips to Belgium planned with military precision to maximise the prospects of finding something out of the Donnay or Snauwaert stables and a liberal interpretation of what constitutes a lunch hour.

However this one is by any measure an oddity. I took the kids today to play crazy golf at a place with tennis courts attached. They hire rackets out to the hackers who bowl up week after week, year after year. Out of habit, I took a look at the mongrel bunch of rackets they offer up - the usual entry level stuff and the odd decent-ish frame. However there was one Wilson racket that stood out. While its trademark colour scheme was barely visible through the scrapes and grazes from all those years as a pit pony for the temperamental juniors and seasonal specialists, I clocked it immediately as an HPS 6.1.

Or so I thought. Trying to get a better look from another angle, I spotted “6.0” on the side. There followed an exercise in shuttle diplomacy where I tried to persuade the chap behind the counter that he wanted to depart from procedure and sell me one of the hire rackets and, even more critically, justified to my wife why I felt the need to do this in the middle of a perfectly enjoyable family holiday.

Eventually £25 was shelled out and I strolled off with my dog-eared classic, feeling that I’d done a good deed by liberating this racket from its workhouse. My wife still reckons I’ve lost the plot, mind.



 
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retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Popped in one of the local charity shops that seems to take in a lot of donations from those who are getting along in years, and maybe were sporty and moneyed up back in the 1970’s or perhaps 1980’s, and now no longer in need of worldly possessions.

This week’s find there was what looks to be one of the original Weed aluminum super-oversizes! A 135 square inch tennis paddle that looks very much to my eye like a scaled-up Dayton steely, albeit without the piano wire stringing or wooden grip. Mine for $1.00 plus sales tax.

This one is painted black and bereft of decoration, apary from subtle “Taiwan” and “Weed” stickers on the inside of the throat. I gather the design competed with Howard Head’s almost concurrent Prince patent, and Weed managed to secure patent rights for the head size larger than the 110. Anyone know more?
 

Plainsman83

New User
My understanding is that the Weed was originally developed by a guy in the ******* (Ohio I think). I was a bit surprised to find that Weed is still around. One of my occasional playing partners plays with one (strong 4.5/5.0) and I am amazed that he can control the thing let alone play very effective doubles with it. He told me that his family knew the founder back in the day. I recall when the Weed originally came out. I was playing at a junior tournament and several of us somehow convinced the pro shop guy to let us try one during a lull. Keep in mind that this was in the midst of the era where extreme topspin was the rule, so we had a little challenge to see if someone could use that huge string bed to generate enough spin on a moon ball to get the ball to bounce over the rear fence after the bounce. One guy was able to do it. Don't know about the current models, but the originals were truly best used by retired guys to play what used to be called "club doubles" before all this NTRP stuff came about.
 

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
This one is painted black and bereft of decoration, apary from subtle “Taiwan” and “Weed” stickers on the inside of the throat. I gather the design competed with Howard Head’s almost concurrent Prince patent, and Weed managed to secure patent rights for the head size larger than the 110. Anyone know more?
Howard Head's patent covered head sizes between 85 and 130 SqIn, specifically those between 12" and 15" long, and between 9.5" and 11.5" wide. Other manufacturers got around the patent by making 84 SqIn heads (e.g., Spalding) and snowshoe-shaped frames (e.g., Head, BBC).

Thurlow Weed submitted his patent application in April 1976, eight months before the Prince patent was granted, but he didn't get his until 1979, so I suspect he didn't set out to make giant racquets initially, but was forced to redesign his frame and revise his claims after learning from the examiner (who also worked on the Head/Prince patent) that he was more than 1.5 years behind Howard Head in terms of priority date (1974). In the end, his patent only contained a single claim - in which he specified a head dimension between 15' and 21' long and "substantially" more than 9" wide. This means that technically, he could have made a snowshoe racquet with a sub-110 SqIn head and be fully protected IP-wise, but instead he chose to go really, really big, in order to corner the sight-impaired market perhaps? 8-B
 

Racket Crazy

New User
Purchased a heap of rackets this summer while on vacation. Visited various thrift stores, sometimes in 105F degree heat (+40C) on my bike. I guess you could say that I'm "dedicated".

Only took a few pics of some of the rackets, but some not pictured here include the Wilson NTour, Adidas Barricade Tour Light, Pro Kennex Kinetic Destiny, Prince CTS Graduate 90, Prince CTS Synergy DB Midplus (essentially a CTS Synergy DB 24 MP paintjob), Fischer Elliptic Comp Pro (Austrian made Graphite/Sic Ceramic version), 2x Dunlop Revelation 200G 90" and many more!

Pictured below is the Wilson Pro Staff 5.1 (RG) I picked up last week... endorsed/used back in the day by David Wheaton & Nicolas Kiefer. Looking back on forums and doing a search online renders little info or specs of the racket. There are two versions, the normal one and the "stretch" which is 27.5 inches long. I own both of them, though I have never hit with this standard length version. This one weighs in at about 330g unstrung. It definitely has a stiffer feel than the 6.1 classic, but also has a thinner beam (20mm). I got this one at the BARGAIN price of only 50 cents!

Next up was the Fischer Vacuum Pro One No.1- 330g version. I owned the 320g version of this racket and LOVED how it felt, even though I had to distribute quite a bit of lead around the racket to get the balance correct to suit my tastes. I hope the 330g plays even more solid :)

Lastly picked up a Babolat Pure Drive GT (2012 version). It feels MUCH more comfortable than the 2008 Pure Drive Cortex without GT. Still feel that the upper hoop is a bit too light for heavy baseline exchanges, but I paid very little for it, and I can always find someone I can make happy with it if it doesn't suit my tastes in the end ;-)

I also got some beautiful (and sometimes new) tennis bags at the thrift stores including a Wilson K factor 9 racket bag, a Wilson Tour racket bag a few years ago, a very lightweight Babolat 9 racket bag, and an old school Head Radical bag from the mid/late 90's in new condition and it fits about 12 rackets! All those bags were between €2.50, and €5! Just another excuse to keep buying more rackets ;-)


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Henry Hub

Rookie
Found a Stellar Formidable Wood (Australian manufacturer) today on which I passed. It was fairly unremarkable other than a restringing sticker that endearingly noted that its owner had stuck with the wood to the bitter end, last having it strung well after the dawn of graphite in 1991.

Instead I picked up a first edition of one of the early Harry Potter books for a couple of quid so just need to keep the kids’ grubby hands off it for the next 20 years...
 

Tar Heel Tennis

Professional
Picked up a Prince Graphtech DB90 today at the same thrift store I found the three Prince rackets last month (see post #2212). I haven't hit with it yet but look forward to experiencing what the Double Bridge Design actually does.
 
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graycrait

Hall of Fame
@Tar Heel Tennis , The Graphtech DB90 is a nice hit. Somehow I have accumulated 4 of them, along with a DB110. As long as the insert in the double bridge is still viable there is very little vibration in the double bridge Princes. The CTS Lightning is similar, although wider.
 
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coachrick

Hall of Fame
Picked up a Prince Graphtech DB90 today at the same thrift store I found the three Prince rackets last month (see post #2212). I haven't hit with it yet but look forward to experiencing what the Double Bridge Design actually does.
I think the double bridge basically held the damping device in place :)
The DB series was a bit of a sleeper at a time that I didn't care for Prince at all(remember the self-destructing handles on so many models back then?)
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
(remember the self-destructing handles on so many models back then?)
Are you talking about the honeycomb rubber handles? Between the dampener and the rubber handle hard to get a vibration to the elbow:) I was going to do "something" with one of these handles once, started in and said "Oops." Had to get some super glue out.
 

Kevo

Legend
I never did like those built in string dampener things. The few frames I hit with that had those always had a built-in vibration that the dampener couldn't dampen or caused by the dampener itself. Seems like you had to add a dampener anyway.
 

Tar Heel Tennis

Professional
I played with the DB90 for one set of doubles. I had trouble getting the racket head around which surprised me as I don't have issues with the other Prince rackets I own, nor do I have trouble with my Wilson KPS88. The frame feels rather head-heavy which I also found odd. I will play singles with this racket one day this week and see if I can improve my timing.
 

Racket Crazy

New User
I played with the DB90 for one set of doubles. I had trouble getting the racket head around which surprised me as I don't have issues with the other Prince rackets I own, nor do I have trouble with my Wilson KPS88. The frame feels rather head-heavy which I also found odd. I will play singles with this racket one day this week and see if I can improve my timing.
You aren't the only one. I have major issues with the balance/swingweight of this racket too! I added lead in different places hoping I would find a way to like the racket, but it simply isn't made for the heavy, wristy shots I hit from the baseline. I also seem to have that issue with other "wider" constant beam frames from the Prince 90 series. Maybe I can make someone else happy with that racket in the future, but it just isn't for me sadly as I had high hopes for it myself.

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coachrick

Hall of Fame
Are you talking about the honeycomb rubber handles? Between the dampener and the rubber handle hard to get a vibration to the elbow:) I was going to do "something" with one of these handles once, started in and said "Oops." Had to get some super glue out.
Yes...the "built-in" butt cap self-destructed on SO many of those!!!! I've got a couple with the corners broken off, etc. Darned near impossible to repair. I almost liked the idea of the "pallet" material; but so many top players want feedback from the handle, not 'squish' ;)
Actually might be a decent idea for Pickleball paddles...Hmmmm.
 

vndesu

Hall of Fame
I'll post pics later tonight, but one person on CG wanted to give away free rackets! Who can say no? Drove to pick it up because the owner just left the rackets on the side of the house. There it was... 2 Wilson Hypercarbon Prostaff 95 about 8/10 condition. And a Babolat Pure Drive Team Plus. Great find for me today!
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Today, the theme was grommetless graphites: I picked up a Trabert C-6, a very, very early Prince Graphite (grommetless, with a different grip pallet solution than I have ever seen on a POG), and an early Fox Bosworth WB-210 graphite .

Also added a pristine T-2000 in my grip size, and a Wilson Ceramic - the PS 85 mold with space-agey graphite-ceramic layup.
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
Picked up a very good condition Prince Longbody Thunderlite OS yesterday for $3. I’ll likely give it to one of the high school girls. It’s a great racquet for younger players.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
Today, the theme was grommetless graphites: I picked up a Trabert C-6, a very, very early Prince Graphite (grommetless, with a different grip pallet solution than I have ever seen on a POG), and an early Fox Bosworth WB-210 graphite .

Also added a pristine T-2000 in my grip size, and a Wilson Ceramic - the PS 85 mold with space-agey graphite-ceramic layup.
Which ceramic did you get, early one with thicker blue stripes or later one with thinner blue stripes?
 

Racket Crazy

New User
"Ask and ye shall receive". Well I waited almost 20 years to find one of the rackets I purchased at the thrift store this past week..., but it finally happened :)

I woke up that morning and told myself "hurry up, get dressed and go to the thrift store". Thing is that it is a 2 & 1/2 hour round trip to that particular thrift store I had in mind, but boy was it worth it!

I only had about 15 minutes to shop there and turn around to head back home, as I had to play tennis early that afternoon.

First racket I saw, I almost couldn't believe it. I had lost mine one time on a Florida tennis court about 20 years ago. Could have cried that day, and wanted to get one for years just to remember what it felt lke again. Just didnt want to pray a premium price for one. Well today was my day!

What was it??? A Yonex Super RD Tour 95! I have a bunch of the 90sq inch frames, but never could find a 95 at a thrift store, and online auctions/classifieds here are simply asking too much! It is in clean condition and has good strings in it. Hitting with it made me realize that the swingweight/balance was all wrong for my type of shot, so it will take some fine tuning to get it right. Still though, I am just happy to have one again.

The second racket was a COMPLETE surprise to me to see it at the thrift store since it really isn't all that old and is a premium player's racket: Pro Kennex Ki 5 PSE. What a BEAST of a racket! I was combing through various websites recently as it had caught my eye as a "must-have" & the reviews were truly great about this frame. I took it out for a test run this past week & it is super stable and tons of control with a very comfortable flex. I believe the original leather grip had been replaced though for a synthetic one because it weighed in about 10 grams lighter than it should have, but at 365 grams strung with overgrip and dampner it is still a hefty contender!

Third racket is the Slazenger Silhouette 95. Very heavy racket like the other 2, but very sluggish as well, unlike the other 2. Paint job was in very good shape for such an old racket.

For all three rackets together I paid a whopping €8.50!!! So next time I hear a voice in my head telling me to get up and go, I am going to listen to it ;-)


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