Can an intermediate player use an "advanced player's racquet"?

Robert_in_LA

New User
I'm a 3.0-3.5 player who's taken some time off from the game, but I'm starting to play more again...

I'm looking for a new racquet, and I've always liked racquets on the smaller end (98 sq. in. or less), with good weight, that are head light, and have lots of flex. A racquet that fits this description is the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP. I've demoed the racquet and I like the feel. Low powered, but feels like the older racquets I used to play with. Very controlled racquet.

However, everywhere I look, reviews always say it's for "advanced players" who can "get the most from this demanding racquet," or other such stuff.

Can a racquet be "too good" for a player? Am I fooling myself in thinking I can use this racquet regularly? Thanks...
 

emhtennis

Semi-Pro
Short answer is no. If it feels good to you that is all that matters.

It may have a smaller sweet spot and you should string with lower tension, but other than that you should be good to go.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk
 

ryushen21

Legend
Can you use it? Yes. Will you be able to get the most out of it? Probably not.

But, if using it gives you the confidence to develop more and improve your game, then it could be worth exploring. You can always sell it if you end up not liking as much as you thought you would.
 

Yamin

Professional
Is anything considered decent these days that's not labeled intermediate to advanced? For some reason no one accounts personal strength and fitness into responses here.

No reason you can't use something labeled advanced as long as it's not inhibiting you.

Anything mid 11oz and sub 325 swing weight is completely fine.
 
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PD1978

Semi-Pro
I’m a 3.5 player and use a VCore Pro HD. It’s “labeled” for more advanced players but I play my best tennis with it. I have 6 other racquets that are lighter.
 

Vicious49

Hall of Fame
I was in your exact same spot 4 years ago, same rating and everything. I demod a bunch of tweener racquets but settled on the RF97. Everyone (including the new tennis nerd review) says it’s much too advanced a frame But it’s the one I liked the most after hitting with it for a bit.

it was difficult the first few years as my form was not good so I would make a lot of mistakes. I am a stubborn SOB though so I stuck with, improved my forehand and backhand strokes and am now in the high 3.5-4.0 range. I have improved while the guys who used to beat me are still playing with the same lighter oversized racquets and are stuck in the same range they were 4 years ago.

can I use that racquet to its full capabilities? Definitely not. I still need to improve my serve and my volleys. But I do think it forced me to improve my game. The key is that you need to be able to stick with and not get frustrated and give up.
 

ryushen21

Legend
I was in your exact same spot 4 years ago, same rating and everything. I demod a bunch of tweener racquets but settled on the RF97. Everyone (including the new tennis nerd review) says it’s much too advanced a frame But it’s the one I liked the most after hitting with it for a bit.

it was difficult the first few years as my form was not good so I would make a lot of mistakes. I am a stubborn SOB though so I stuck with, improved my forehand and backhand strokes and am now in the high 3.5-4.0 range. I have improved while the guys who used to beat me are still playing with the same lighter oversized racquets and are stuck in the same range they were 4 years ago.

can I use that racquet to its full capabilities? Definitely not. I still need to improve my serve and my volleys. But I do think it forced me to improve my game. The key is that you need to be able to stick with and not get frustrated and give up.
And your current racquet is what???:-D
 

Robert_in_LA

New User
Is anything considered decent these days that's not labeled intermediate to advanced? For some reason no one accounts personal strength and fitness into responses here.
Good point. Seems like those labels are just marketing jargon now...
 

Vicious49

Hall of Fame
And your current racquet is what???:-D
I recently switched to the Ultra Tour which is considered another advanced and demanding racquet. Not because I didn’t like the RF97 but as I’m playing 3 hours almost every other night now, I wanted something lighter as I can’t play that much tennis with the RF97 without getting fatigued. I can play 2 hours ever other night with it, but not 3.
 

Robert_in_LA

New User
I was in your exact same spot 4 years ago, same rating and everything. I demod a bunch of tweener racquets but settled on the RF97. Everyone (including the new tennis nerd review) says it’s much too advanced a frame But it’s the one I liked the most after hitting with it for a bit.

it was difficult the first few years as my form was not good so I would make a lot of mistakes. I am a stubborn SOB though so I stuck with, improved my forehand and backhand strokes and am now in the high 3.5-4.0 range. I have improved while the guys who used to beat me are still playing with the same lighter oversized racquets and are stuck in the same range they were 4 years ago.

can I use that racquet to its full capabilities? Definitely not. I still need to improve my serve and my volleys. But I do think it forced me to improve my game. The key is that you need to be able to stick with and not get frustrated and give up.
Thanks for sharing...
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
I used to use heavy player frames with 18/20 and no more. I much prefer the help of an pure aero or pure drive.
 

spencers

New User
If you like it, then go for it.

Just know that at that skill level you may wanna play with racquets like Wilson Clash or Babolat Aero, and if you still prefer the Prestige Pro go for it

tennis warehouse has a nice demo system that you should try


Spencer
 

shadow01

Semi-Pro
For me, it’s an indication of how much free power you are going to get vs having to generate on your own. After play testing I try to come up with my own conclusions on if I like the racquet for my game. I try to be honest with my level and recognize that a racquet may be good against similar level players but not higher level without access to free power. A low powered racquet is harder to return a ball with pace without better foot work, mechanics and fitness against a stringer player. So all personal on what you want from the racquet and the sport imo.
 

Caly

New User
I wouldnt rule any racquet out, after a long break also I played a few "intermediate-advanced" tweener racquets before settling in on the c10 pro which is labeled as advanced on TW. I'm thinking I would need to improve my game to be more effective with the intermediate racquets
 

PD1978

Semi-Pro
Personally I feel that having to generate some of my own pace makes me work on my foot work and technique. Doesn’t let me get lazy and makes me improve my tennis.
 

Khoiifish

New User
Most of my 5.0 buddies use 98-100 head size, 305-315g rackets so I'm gonna say yeah maybe but you're no fool don't worry! Play with what you feel comfortable with but if it's inhibiting you weight-wise or forgiveness wise over long sets I would consider other rackets. If you're serious about getting the best performance now then I might also reconsider.

My recommendation is to play a set against someone definitely BETTER than you. To me, that starts to expose the flaws of every racket (no perfect racket), and you can assess if that racket was too heavy, or was it not stable enough, was it not forgiving enough, or of course, you can feel like the racket was perfectly fine but you just need to improve on footwork, technique or fitness. Don't be fooled by tweener rackets though, even high-level players can really show you just how much they can get out of them.
 

Robert_in_LA

New User
Yes...but can you win a set with one?
That's a very interesting question. Typically, when I'm playing tennis, it's in a non-competitive situation. Either I'm hitting against a wall trying to improve my stroke, or I'm just rallying with people to be active.

I guess this influences how I feel about racquets. I just want a stick that's easy to swing for me, gets me to hit the ball comfortably the way I want to, and keeps the ball in the court. I don't know if that's weird or not, but that's where I'm coming from...
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
Can a racquet be "too good" for a player? Am I fooling myself in thinking I can use this racquet regularly? Thanks...
The polite answer is yes you can use any racquet you want. The truth is, no some racquets are not suitable for certain levels of tennis players. Using the wrong racquet can cause injury and develop bad technique. With that being said the best way to find your racquet is to demo. My personal experience as a 3.5 player 7 months ago was to use a 100 square inch racquet. I wasn’t quite ready for a 98 I even demoed a variety of Yonex racquets 97-100. I’m now a 4.0 and just a month ago I switched to the Ezone 98 tour. I think all players should choose racquets that will help their game, but that’s also within their skill set. Regardless of what any of us suggest, it’s ultimately it’s up to you.
 

Brian11785

Hall of Fame
Play with what you want.

I played with a Yonex RDIS 100 MP (>11.5 oz, 98 sq in) when I was still a 3.0. Not a lot of easy power in that racquet but some good mass/stability. Would I have probably won more matches playing with a powerful, stiff oversize racquet? Probably. But I enjoyed the feel of the racquet and could handle the weight. Not really a poly user back then, so I picked up some power from the syn guts/multis I played with.

Even today, my racquet (Yonex Vcore Tour G 310) is quite flexy/low-powered and might be considered ”too good” for a 4.0. But I really hate the hollow feeling of most modern racquets. (I should say that I also have the 330g Duel G racquet. It is amazing to rally with, but definitely not the ideal serving racquet for me....can’t really get much speed going with it, especially for a long match. So there iiiiiiiis a point at which a racquet might be too demanding.....if you can’t swing it.)

Have you demoed the Blade 98 16x19? It’s, to me, the perfect compromise racquet. Moderately flexible, moderately heavy and with great feel. It is the racquet I always recommend to people who don‘t like the tinny/hollow feel of the Babolats. It‘s a racquet you can grow with. Not too demanding that you’re sacrificing much in the short-term, but has nice feel/control for when you inevitably get better and can get more out of it.
 
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weelie

Semi-Pro
I don't know if RF97 is considered an advanced player's racket, but I have some friends who have very much a home-grown 3.0-3.5 game with fryingpan serves and have used that racket for years. It is very stable, some people like to hit with weight.

I am short and light weight, but as a kid in the late-80s, I started on a graphite Antelop frame (same model line that my then tennis coach played with). It was a 93, weighed 13.30z, grip size 4 and two overgrips. Sadly, I gave it away 5 years ago when I got back to tennis (I did play with for a bit even now, worked ok, but would love to try it again now!). My current frame is a 100" TT100p that weighs only 12oz, grip size 3 with an overgrip or two.
 
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socallefty

Legend
That's a very interesting question. Typically, when I'm playing tennis, it's in a non-competitive situation. Either I'm hitting against a wall trying to improve my stroke, or I'm just rallying with people to be active.

I guess this influences how I feel about racquets. I just want a stick that's easy to swing for me, gets me to hit the ball comfortably the way I want to, and keeps the ball in the court. I don't know if that's weird or not, but that's where I'm coming from...
If a racquet is too heavy for a player's level, it affects their serve the most as they might struggle to generate enough racquet-head speed (RHS) with it to serve well. Since the serve is the most important shot in tennis (although less so at lower levels), it might cause them to lose matches they might otherwise win. In your case, you primarily rally with people and so, it is not an issue. I think you should be fine with a heavy racquet that is head-light for rallying.

The reality is that if you take lessons regularly from a good coach, you will improve fast whatever racquet you play with and the coach will likely guide you to buy an appropriate racquet. If you don't take lessons, you are never going to develop good technique and will not improve fast - it doesn't matter what you play with in this case and you might as well play with the racquet you enjoy playing with. I think it is a myth to think that if you play with a heavy, player's racquet, it will magically make a beginner's strokes better over time than if they played with a lighter racquet - the opposite is not true either. In either case, they are going to have improper technique unless they are the type to videotape themselves and use online videos to improve. It doesn't have to be a professional coach who teaches you - if you have a friend who has been coached a lot, they can help you too with stroke technique and replicating some of the drills that were taught to them.
 

topspin2000

New User
Play with what you want.

I played with a Yonex RDIS 100 MP (>11.5 oz, 98 sq in) when I was still a 3.0. Not a lot of easy power in that racquet but some good mass/stability. Would I have probably won more matches playing with a powerful, stiff oversize racquet? Probably. But I enjoyed the feel of the racquet and could handle the weight. Not really a poly user back then, so I picked up some power from the syn guts/multis I played with.

Even today, my racquet (Yonex Vcore Tour G 310) is quite flexy/low-powered and might be considered ”too good” for a 4.0. But I really hate the hollow feeling of most modern racquets. (I should say that I also have the 330g Duel G racquet. It is amazing to rally with, but definitely not the ideal serving racquet for me....can’t really get much speed going with it, especially for a long match. So there iiiiiiiis a point at which a racquet might be too demanding.....if you can’t swing it.)

Have you demoed the Blade 98 16x19? It’s, to me, the perfect compromise racquet. Moderately flexible, moderately heavy and with great feel. It is the racquet I always recommend to people who don‘t like the tinny/hollow feel of the Babolats. It‘s a racquet you can grow with. Not too demanding that you’re sacrificing much in the short-term, but has nice feel/control for when you inevitably get better and can get more out of it.
Wow I thought I was the only one who felt that the Pure Aero and Pure Drive have the hollow and cheap feel. They sound so tinny when striking a ball, especially without a dampener.
 

topspin2000

New User
That's a very interesting question. Typically, when I'm playing tennis, it's in a non-competitive situation. Either I'm hitting against a wall trying to improve my stroke, or I'm just rallying with people to be active.

I guess this influences how I feel about racquets. I just want a stick that's easy to swing for me, gets me to hit the ball comfortably the way I want to, and keeps the ball in the court. I don't know if that's weird or not, but that's where I'm coming from...
I say go for it. The better racquets may not allow you to win, but it might force you to get better, i.e. better footwork, better focus on hitting the sweetspot, take full swings, etc. Get a racquet you can grow with as your game progresses, instead of a stiff and powerful tweener that you may outgrow if you get there.
 

Rosstour

Legend
Wow I thought I was the only one who felt that the Pure Aero and Pure Drive have the hollow and cheap feel. They sound so tinny when striking a ball, especially without a dampener.
Nope not just you. I hit with one for a few mins and just didn't connect with it. I had a Blade demo alongside it that I liked a lot better and found harder to put down.
 

topspin2000

New User
Nope not just you. I hit with one for a few mins and just didn't connect with it. I had a Blade demo alongside it that I liked a lot better and found harder to put down.
I see many guys, and girls, using these Babolats so I guess they must like them. I went through so many demos of all the major brands and models, including all the Babolats (include Pure Strike). When I hit with a Blade or Pro Staff, it is night and day difference in feel from the Babolats which are either hollow (Aero and Drive), or numb (Strike). The Blade 98 and PS97 feel much more solid when striking the ball to me.
 

Rosstour

Legend
I see many guys, and girls, using these Babolats so I guess they must like them. I went through so many demos of all the major brands and models, including all the Babolats (include Pure Strike). When I hit with a Blade or Pro Staff, it is night and day difference in feel from the Babolats which are either hollow (Aero and Drive), or numb (Strike). The Blade 98 and PS97 feel much more solid when striking the ball to me.
Stop it, you are making me want to switch lol.

I was a Wilson guy my whole life but have been swayed by two hitting partners to use the PK 7G and now the Warrior. But you never forget your first love...two Hammers as a kid, then PS 6.1 and 4.2 in HS.
 

blablavla

G.O.A.T.
I'm a 3.0-3.5 player who's taken some time off from the game, but I'm starting to play more again...

I'm looking for a new racquet, and I've always liked racquets on the smaller end (98 sq. in. or less), with good weight, that are head light, and have lots of flex. A racquet that fits this description is the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP. I've demoed the racquet and I like the feel. Low powered, but feels like the older racquets I used to play with. Very controlled racquet.

However, everywhere I look, reviews always say it's for "advanced players" who can "get the most from this demanding racquet," or other such stuff.

Can a racquet be "too good" for a player? Am I fooling myself in thinking I can use this racquet regularly? Thanks...
yes and no at the same time.
you can use any racket you like.
what you need to understand is there are some fundamental differences between frames, and you need to choose a frame that suits what you can do and what you want to do.

the small head, probably thin beam, lots of flex -> low powered, control oriented racket. It demands good technique and solid footwork.
the thing is, it rewards solid shot preparation and punishes bad preparation. If you can go through the frustrations of hitting weak balls -> in the long term theoretically it might help you to play better.

on the other side, as we talk about tweeners, like Babolat Pure Aero or Pure Drive.
just remember that Nadal plays one, and Roddick played one.
I guess nobody will argue that they are beginners.
while these frames will give you more power and spin, they in fact as well demand solid shot preparation and solid footwork.
it's just that their punishment for being lazy will be different.
you might get away on one shot, or even multiple shots, and that might develop into bad habits that will hurt your game in the long term.

but then, this is all relative.
do you want to keep advancing? or do you want to enjoy the game right here & right now?
are you ready to spend hours and hours in improving your footwork, technique, strategy? or do you want to enjoy the game right here & right now?
at the end of the day, the answer is much more about you than the racket.

the racket choice is more to fit your style of play and capabilities.
 

topspin2000

New User
Stop it, you are making me want to switch lol.

I was a Wilson guy my whole life but have been swayed by two hitting partners to use the PK 7G and now the Warrior. But you never forget your first love...two Hammers as a kid, then PS 6.1 and 4.2 in HS.
Lol i'm somewhat of a racquet nerd, so I like trying out different racquets and string setup, and keeping an open mind. I also found that my own preference changes over time, as my game changes. So I'm not necessarily married for life to one brand or anything, but currently in a committed relationship with an RF97A :)
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
Plenty of ex pros use lighter and bigger frames once they stoped playing, its just easier to play with .
But if you can play with it with no problems and like it there is no reason not to use it.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
If it feels good, then use it. I used a K90 as a 12-year-old competitive player, and I would've benefitted from something easier to use, but I liked it and it worked out ok.
 
I'm a 3.5 on a good day and I gravitate toward racquets that are "too advanced" for my ability. I use the Phantom 100P, which can definitely punish you on a bad day.

My problem is that I've grown so used to hitting out on each shot because I've always used flexible, lower powered racquets. I have friends who play with PDs/PAs/Head TiS6 or whatever it is, and what I've noticed is that they end up with these short, bunt-like strokes. The frames are too powerful for a full stroke so they accommodate by totally screwing up their technique. The other issue is that I almost never use poly because my elbow and shoulder notice it in a frame, no matter how flexible it is. If I strung up one of the tweeners with a multi or syn gut I'd be launching balls over the fence.

I'm waiting for a Yonex VCore Pro 97 HD demo because I'm interested in sticking with a flexible, lower-powered frame. I'm also demoing the Blade 16x19 which is probably more user friendly than the VCore. The Ezone 98 also looks interesting but, for me, arm comfort is the #1 priority so I'm hesitant to go with a stiffer tweener-esque frame.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
I'm a 3.5 on a good day and I gravitate toward racquets that are "too advanced" for my ability. I use the Phantom 100P, which can definitely punish you on a bad day.

My problem is that I've grown so used to hitting out on each shot because I've always used flexible, lower powered racquets. I have friends who play with PDs/PAs/Head TiS6 or whatever it is, and what I've noticed is that they end up with these short, bunt-like strokes.
I do think that hitting with an advanced frame can maybe make it harder to perform really well depending on how developed your game is, but I think that it can also challenge you to develop better form, since you can't rely on the racquet doing a bunch of work for you. I think you're seeing this with some of your friends, who are using much less demanding frames, and they're falling into bad habits that they can get away with because of the frames they're using. If you've been forced to develop your form more because of using more difficult frames, it's possible that if you wanted to switch to something slightly easier to use, with your better form you would probably end up benefitting more from the racquet than your friends.
Also if you're looking for something arm-friendly and tweener-esque, I would check out the Clash - either the 100 or the 98. It's surprisingly fun to use, and super easy on the arm.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I see no reason not to try a racquet simply because it is labeled by someone as intermediate-advanced. I would look more at how the racquet characteristics align with your game and preference. It is more likely they won't but that is not necessarily the case for all racquets. Note: I think it also holds that a racquet labeled as a beginners racquet is not necessarily appropriate for all beginners.

Finally, there is more than just one's swing/technique that dictate ones level. I have seen some older players with great strokes but they don't move like they used to. Should they not use an intermediate-advanced racquet simply because they no longer play at that level?
 
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golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Here's how it goes in my mind:

"Beginner" rackets are for someone who lacks the strength or technique to have a full swing. The rackets have so much power built in that barely a touch will get the ball back over the net. Beginner rackets can punish a player who is trying to develop fuller strokes but lacks racket face angle control or racket head speed to generate spin. I remember my friend hilariously and uncontrollably launching balls over or into the back fence with his 28" 110si racket.

"Advanced" or control-oriented rackets are for someone looking to control or rein in the power they can generate for themselves. Opposite of beginner rackets, they punish players for NOT having full swings, but can protect them if they swing hard and/or fast. The ball may still land in the court, even if you've swung with all your might. Control-oriented rackets will suffer when you are stretched, on the run, being defensive and cannot take a full swing.

Tweener rackets are a mix of both. They have some power built in so you can poke the ball back if you are not able to take a full swing but that same power will punish you if you go for too much and don't temper your power with spin.
 

Vicious49

Hall of Fame
Here's how it goes in my mind:

Tweener rackets are a mix of both. They have some power built in so you can poke the ball back if you are not able to take a full swing but that same power will punish you if you go for too much and don't temper your power with spin.
This last part is why I think I gravitated towards an 'advanced' and heavy frame like the RF97 at the beginning. When demo'ing I was launching balls with most other racquets because I wasn't doing a full swing and not getting much top spin. I could muscle a ball over even without a full swing with the RF97 but wasn't hitting them out as much. I eventually learned to do a full swing, get top spin, and hit a better shot overall. I have an Eastern FH grip so still hit a relatively flat shot at time but at least now it has better control and pace.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
That's a very interesting question. Typically, when I'm playing tennis, it's in a non-competitive situation. Either I'm hitting against a wall trying to improve my stroke, or I'm just rallying with people to be active.

I guess this influences how I feel about racquets. I just want a stick that's easy to swing for me, gets me to hit the ball comfortably the way I want to, and keeps the ball in the court. I don't know if that's weird or not, but that's where I'm coming from...
Then it doesn't matter....you can play with anything have fun, heck play with different racquet every time I promise you it will be more fun that way. Trying different racquets...
 

Vicious49

Hall of Fame
Then it doesn't matter....you can play with anything have fun, heck play with different racquet every time I promise you it will be more fun that way. Trying different racquets...
More expensive too. My advice would be to take a few weeks to demo racquets and then settle on one.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
This last part is why I think I gravitated towards an 'advanced' and heavy frame like the RF97 at the beginning. When demo'ing I was launching balls with most other racquets because I wasn't doing a full swing and not getting much top spin. I could muscle a ball over even without a full swing with the RF97 but wasn't hitting them out as much. I eventually learned to do a full swing, get top spin, and hit a better shot overall. I have an Eastern FH grip so still hit a relatively flat shot at time but at least now it has better control and pace.
That's also why I play with a Tour 90. If I blast a ball and miss it only goes out by a foot or two. I rarely ever hit the fence on the fly.

That said, I've been rallying more with my wife as opposed to playing competitively with equal players so I will be trying a few tweeners soon. I enjoy the easy power my wife's Burn 100 gives me on serve and I know I can adapt my strokes to hit however the racket requires.

Pro Staff 97 and Pure Strike 98 are on the short list.
 

cortado

Professional
The Prestige MP doesn't even sound like it would be that hard to play with (relatively speaking). Not super heavy, not super high swing weight.
I only started playing 18months ago. Started with a 290g Yonex 97 that I progressively weighted up eventually to 330g strung. 6 months ago I got a Pro-Staff 90 just for a laugh. It weighs 340g strung. Really low powered. It has taught me to go for really high racquet head speed on every ground-stroke. I would say it has improved my game.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I recently switched to the Ultra Tour which is considered another advanced and demanding racquet. Not because I didn’t like the RF97 but as I’m playing 3 hours almost every other night now, I wanted something lighter as I can’t play that much tennis with the RF97 without getting fatigued. I can play 2 hours ever other night with it, but not 3.
I got news for you on the UT- great frame but you need to have serious energy and fitness as well.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Most of my 5.0 buddies use 98-100 head size, 305-315g rackets
Are you talking unstrung weight? That seems awful light for a strung frame.

As for the OP's question, I think an intermediate can play with any frame from a granny stick to a Prestige Mid. It depends on how you want to play, what you enjoy most about tennis and what your arm health priority is.

I play with advanced frames because I like their feel compared to brassy tweeners. I play mostly doubles and precision flat strokes and touch volleys are far more valuable than loopy topspin groundies. So give me flexy thin beam 12 oz 18x20 98-100 sq inch frame any day for doubles play.

For singles play I like a more open stringbed but still like a little beef to the frame so I still like the 12 oz range but a 16x19 or 16x18 stringbed. Beam can be a bit thicker but I still prefer a sub 65 RDC for arm health reasons.
 

fundrazer

Legend
The Prestige MP doesn't even sound like it would be that hard to play with (relatively speaking). Not super heavy, not super high swing weight.
I only started playing 18months ago. Started with a 290g Yonex 97 that I progressively weighted up eventually to 330g strung. 6 months ago I got a Pro-Staff 90 just for a laugh. It weighs 340g strung. Really low powered. It has taught me to go for really high racquet head speed on every ground-stroke. I would say it has improved my game.
Honestly, I think this is a bit of a misconception. Although it may also be that players don't adjust their stroke depending on the time of ball coming to them.

There's a guy I play with at around my skill level, maybe slightly lower. He's probably low 4.0 or high 3.5, dunno. He plays with RF97 though, and the biggest mistake that I constantly see him making is that he's going for full fast strokes, even when he's not necessarily in the right position to do so. He often tries to return my serve on the baseline while taking full strokes, and it doesn't usually work out for him. Also doesn't really adjust to deep balls very well. One benefit of heavy racquets like his is that they're so stable you can often block back or redirect pace with a shorter swing.

Ideally, yeah, you do need to be swinging out with most players racquets. And nothing really beats that feeling when you're in the groove, swinging fast, and just blasting the ball. But I also think it's very important to learn to adjust both your stroke and swing speed depending on the ball coming at you. Court positioning and movement is a critical factor here too.
 

cortado

Professional
Yeah definitely I agree with this. I think what I meant is, with the 90 I have achieved a racquet head speed that I had never previously achieved with the 97. Up to that point I had never needed to with the 97, it has more power, and is more comfortable even with a slower or 'worse' stroke/swing. The 90 feels more comfortable to hit with the faster you swing (unless you block the ball back by hitting perfectly in the sweet spot completely flat).
With the 90 some of my best serve returns have been without a full swing, and with a relatively slow relaxed swing.
 

ryushen21

Legend
This thread has gone all over the place now.

Use a racquet that you like, that you enjoy playing with, and that you play well with. It's that simple. It can be whatever kind of frame works for you.

Now I'm off to go make this n6.1 weigh about 450g with a swingweight somewhere between shovel and frying pan.
 

DHClark76

New User
Short Version:
I'm resurrecting this thread because the OP's description of self is nearly identical to mine and he asked the exact question I'm grappling with... and he was even asking about the same exact racquet I'm interested in. This week I demo'd the 360+PMP along with a Yonex VCore Pro 330 and an Ezone 98+. I liked all of them but I was fairly surprised to discover just how much I liked and responded to the 360+PMP. But my real concern, and one I've seen talked around in lots of posts but that never seems to be answered any really strongly objective and/or empirically based responses, is this... In the long-run, for a player that continues to make a consistent effort to play and develop over years, does prematurely attempting to advance to more skill/technique dependent racquets introduce any potential threats to one's long-term development that are very difficult to undo or overcome? Conversely, are there any specific and significant advantages to be gained by a developing player by staying with a tweener level racquet, at least to a certain point in their development... and, if so, what point is the best point to make the change? I know there are a lot of theories or thoughts on this topic and many of them make sense, sound reasonable and even match my own assumptions and speculations on the topic... but are there some pros and/or coaches on here with real data or simply more extensive and protracted experience that can share more confident and/or objective perspectives on the topic of matching certain racquet attributes to certain skill levels?


Extra Context (provided especially or those who are bored on the weekends and enjoy filling that time by reading TT posts):
When I re-entered the sport after long absence earlier this year, I started with an Graphene XT Instinct MP. I feel like it was a good choice to get started with and gain some confidence in the first few months. It was easy to get started with and feel like I could pick up where I left off 20 years ago. But it didn't take long before I found it to be a bit lighter than I prefered, particularly against heavy hitters, and also it felt weak for my OHBH and my slice, which is my most instinctively strong shot. (my non-slice backhand is ok but flat...I'm still not getting any topspin backhand worth a darn). Since then I've test a LOT of racquets, including most versions of the Radical MP (and OS) from the last 2 decades, as well as my old Yonex R-271 from my youth. Most recently I have been playing a lot with a Yonex Tour G 310, which I like, but am thinking needs to be weighted up a bit and properly re-balanced before I would commit to it. Like I said, though, these last three demos were all really nice and I'm leaning strongly towards the 360+PMP. But here's been my hang-up with going towards "advanced" racquets...

With these last three demo racquets, running drills with my ball machine, I was definitely not as consistent returning balls all the way back to the baseline with the demos. And each racquet shined in a different area. That said, the 360+PMP felt like the best all-around on my forehand, backhand, and serve. And my ability to direct the general direction of the ball, even if I couldn't always reach the back corners, was surprisingly consistent. So I know my swings are still a little slow, underpowered and inconsistent... but my technique and consistent needs a lot of work. But it's getting there. So, while I can definitely rally longer and more consistently with racquets like the Instinct MP, or an MG Radical OS, I also feel like it's compensating and not requiring the refinement I need.
 
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