Decision Paralysis, Help Me Out

rembonjaski

New User
I've gone down the racquet rabbit hole and can't find my way out! Ultimately, I know the answer is "demo and whatever feels best". Unfortunately, my local shops have limited to no demos and I just hate spending $30 a pop for online demos. So, hoping for some recommendations.

I just started playing again after about a 15 year break. I was a 3.5-4.0 player and currently use a ti.radical MP with about 10g in the handle and 5g at 10/2. When I started playing again, I strung it with Velocity MFT at 52lbs hoping to get a little more power and shock absorption. It feels good, but I am looking for a little more easy power. I'm a pretty flat hitter but am trying to develop a more modern stroke while keeping stability at the net and the control I get from my ti.

I was able to demo a Wilson Clash 100v2, Yonex Ezone 100 (2022), and Head Instinct. The Clash felt good against a slow paced ball machine but I think would get pushed around too much in a match. The Head felt horrible, definitely not what I'm used to from Head. And the Yonex felt OK, but thought I might be better off with a 98 vs the 100. I also have an Intelligence I.radical OS that I never liked.

I'm not getting younger, and I'm definitely more out of shape and less strong than I used to be. So I guess I'm just looking for something that feels similar to my old Head with a little more power and a little more access to spin. I was thinking a modern 98 would be OK since it will technically be larger than the Head 98, but see that 100's seem to be the way of the future.

Any help is appreciated.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
You strung the Ti Radical way too tight , try 46-48#. The Instinct line is for Radical users wanting more pop:power. It may be too light compared to Radical. The current Radicals are lighter and more powerful than your old one. If you want more power look at the Radical S or Instinct S.
 

socallefty

Legend
Get back into playing shape before you think of changing racquets. Rust is your problem.
Experiment with strings and tensions first before you change racquets. I suggest trying HyperG soft at 42 lbs - cut it out after 15 hours though.
 

rembonjaski

New User
Get back into playing shape before you think of changing racquets. Rust is your problem.
Experiment with strings and tensions first before you change racquets. I suggest trying HyperG soft at 42 lbs - cut it out after 15 hours though.
I don't think I've ever tried anything that low. Any negatives to going so far outside the mfg recommended range?
 

socallefty

Legend
I don't think I've ever tried anything that low. Any negatives to going so far outside the mfg recommended range?
Mfg recommended range is not for polys. Pretty much everyone plays with poly in the low-mid forties or even lower. Poly performance is stable between 40-50 lbs, but lower tensions are more comfortable and you can get a few more hours before you have to cut them out.
 

dkmura

Semi-Pro
Stick with the EZ100 rather than going to the 98 at this point. I think you'll find it fits your needs better over time.
 

DontQuixote

New User
Head Boom is really good easy to use and it is like the perfect rec racquet. Also it's only $15 for 3 racquets for a demo at tennis Warehouse.
 

Anton

Legend
I've gone down the racquet rabbit hole and can't find my way out! Ultimately, I know the answer is "demo and whatever feels best". Unfortunately, my local shops have limited to no demos and I just hate spending $30 a pop for online demos. So, hoping for some recommendations.

I just started playing again after about a 15 year break. I was a 3.5-4.0 player and currently use a ti.radical MP with about 10g in the handle and 5g at 10/2. When I started playing again, I strung it with Velocity MFT at 52lbs hoping to get a little more power and shock absorption. It feels good, but I am looking for a little more easy power. I'm a pretty flat hitter but am trying to develop a more modern stroke while keeping stability at the net and the control I get from my ti.

I was able to demo a Wilson Clash 100v2, Yonex Ezone 100 (2022), and Head Instinct. The Clash felt good against a slow paced ball machine but I think would get pushed around too much in a match. The Head felt horrible, definitely not what I'm used to from Head. And the Yonex felt OK, but thought I might be better off with a 98 vs the 100. I also have an Intelligence I.radical OS that I never liked.

I'm not getting younger, and I'm definitely more out of shape and less strong than I used to be. So I guess I'm just looking for something that feels similar to my old Head with a little more power and a little more access to spin. I was thinking a modern 98 would be OK since it will technically be larger than the Head 98, but see that 100's seem to be the way of the future.

Any help is appreciated.
Demo is $15 from TW

Grab

HEAD Extreme Tour
Yonex SV95
Wilson RF97

These all have some of that extra pop you are looking for and can be played drive or spin.
 

Trip

Professional
@rembonjaski - Welcome back. As others have suggested, you might look to reestablish your strength and performance ceilings before switching frames right away. To compensate in the meantime, a lot can be done with string material and tension. That said, I can understand the desire to start off on easier footing, so I'll suggest the best few models for where you're at currently.

To cut right to it, I would focus on 98's, or even 100+'s that play more compact, with similar weight and balance as your customized i.Rad MP (~305g unstrung, 320-325 swing weight, 4-6pts head-light strung), but with a slightly wider beam (perhaps 22-23mm) for easier power, optionally foam-filled for similar impact feel, and a slightly more open string pattern for easier access to spin (a 100" 18x20, 98/99" 18x19, or tighter 16x20/16x19 98"). I'd also keep RA stiffness in the mid-60's or lower and handle vibration <=150Hz for adequate arm and wrist protection.

Easier/larger head size:
- Dunlop CX 400 Tour (100", controlled 16x19 with tighter crosses)
- Prince ATS Textreme Tour 100P (6 throat mains, open 18x20)
- Head G360+ Gravity Tour (100", open 18x20 with long mains)

More control/precision:
- Prince ATS Textreme Tour 98 (16x19 w/ 8 throat mains)
- Tecnifibre TFight RS 300 (98", medium-tight 16x19)

TL;DR - Do your own due-diligence. Be wary of replies throwing random model(s) at you with little or no substantiation. Example: the RF97. In no way should this be a suggestion, now or later. For the average mortal, entirely too heavy and too cumbersome to swing past maybe a few games. The Pure Strike Tour or equivalents, I could maybe see once you've recuperated strength, conditioning and skill set. But hey, I could be mistaken, too. Maybe you'd actually prefer something beefier to push you. Who knows. That said, any of the frames I suggested above will help make tennis easier right now (the 100's more so than the 98's), while also being good growth platforms that you won't just eclipse in half-a-season.

I hope some of that helps. Welcome back to tennis and have fun!
 
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Hansen

Professional
agree
especially the prince 100 p
and the head gravity tour are the best options based on the criteria on the original post
 

rembonjaski

New User
@rembonjaski - Welcome back. As others have suggested, you might look to reestablish your strength and performance ceilings before switching frames right away. To compensate in the meantime, a lot can be done with string material and tension. That said, I can understand the desire to start off on easier footing, so I'll suggest the best few models for where you're at currently.

To cut right to it, I would focus on 98's, or even 100+'s that play more compact, with similar weight and balance as your customized i.Rad MP (~305g unstrung, 320-325 swing weight, 4-6pts head-light strung), but with a slightly wider beam (perhaps 22-23mm) for easier power, optionally foam-filled for similar impact feel, and a slightly more open string pattern for easier access to spin (a 100" 18x20, 98/99" 18x19, or tighter 16x20/16x19 98"). I'd also keep RA stiffness in the mid-60's or lower and handle vibration <=150Hz for adequate arm and wrist protection.

Easier/larger head size:
- Dunlop CX 400 Tour (100", controlled 16x19 with tighter crosses)
- Prince ATS Textreme Tour 100P (6 throat mains, open 18x20)
- Head G360+ Gravity Tour (100", open 18x20 with long mains)

More control/precision:
- Prince ATS Textreme Tour 98 (16x19 w/ 8 throat mains)
- Tecnifibre TFight RS 300 (98", medium-tight 16x19)

TL;DR - Do your own due-diligence. Be wary of replies throwing random model(s) at you with little or no substantiation. Example: the RF97. In no way should this be a suggestion, now or later. For the average mortal, entirely too heavy and too cumbersome to swing past maybe a few games. The Pure Strike Tour or equivalents, I could maybe see once you've recuperated strength, conditioning and skill set. But hey, I could be mistaken, too. Maybe you'd actually prefer something beefier to push you. Who knows. That said, any of the frames I suggested above will help make tennis easier right now (the 100's more so than the 98's), while also being good growth platforms that you won't just eclipse in half-a-season.

I hope some of that helps. Welcome back to tennis and have fun!
Thank you! The Prince looks interesting. How much of a difference is there in the TT100p and the TT100-310? Does the string pattern play a lot differently?
 

Hansen

Professional
since you said you are a flat hitter and want power and comfort , the tt100p is the better stick cause it has a pretty wide 18x20 pattern. that means you can use a multi without control problems, but the pattern is open enough to allow enough spin.
 

Trip

Professional
@rembonjaski - Very welcome! I've played both 100-310 and 100P. The 100-310 will have noticeable higher launch angle (roughly 2-5 feet higher) and more access to spin (20-30%) from identical baseline groundstrokes (all other variables held equal). The 100P will have probably 20-30% better control, as well as being less randomly launchy (ie. lower "spray factor") if you're more of a flat hitter (which you are). Both deliver very consistent behavior overall, though, as the drill pattern creates very square and equal-sized string intersections across the majority of the string bed -- a hallmark of the Tours. Compared to your i.Rad MP, the 100P will still offer noticeably more access to spin, while still give you a large amount of control. I'm pretty confident the 100P would be better choice for you.
 

slipgrip93

Professional
..
The Head felt horrible, definitely not what I'm used to from Head.
..
For an older Head about midway between the time of your ti.radical.MP and today, you could try a youtek IG prestige MP (18x20), plenty around secondhand. Comfortable and light enough.
(tw review link), (tw video review).

So I guess I'm just looking for something that feels similar to my old Head with a little more power and a little more access to spin.
Alternately youtek IG prestige Pro (16x19) & 98sqin. (tw review link), (tw video review)
 
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ohplease

Professional
If you're looking for more easy power coming from a ti.radical, the first thing I'd try is a more lively string at lower tension. In degrees from there in order of power increase:
  1. opened patterned player's 98s (current radical 98, pure strike, blade 16x19, etc.)
  2. tweener 98s (ezone/vcore/aero vs/pure drive vs/etc.) or player's 100s (strike 100, speed, boom, etc.)
  3. tweener 100s (pure aero/pure drive and competitors)
In my sphere of older 4.0s/4.5s, the heart of the bell curve is in that tweener 98/player's 100 space, with the tails split between tweener 100s and diehards still rocking stuff in the 98/18x20 prestige space, with the rare classic 93 or granny 135 sighting here and there. Those open patterned 98s really don't show up much with my crowd, but we do see them a lot among big hitting juniors. If stringing looser/using a more poppy string doesn't do it for you, I'd pick a player's 100 or tweener 100 (to cover getting older or off days) and call it a day
 

puppybutts

Professional
OP what country are you in? in the USA i think most online demo programs reimburse the cost toward the purchase of your new racquet, as long as you buy from where you demo

Unfortunately, my local shops have limited to no demos and I just hate spending $30 a pop for online demos.

I was able to demo a Head Instinct.
it is HILARIOUS to me that one of the few demos your local shop carries is the head instinct.
 

rembonjaski

New User
OP what country are you in? in the USA i think most online demo programs reimburse the cost toward the purchase of your new racquet, as long as you buy from where you demo



it is HILARIOUS to me that one of the few demos your local shop carries is the head instinct.
I'm in the US. I realize ************** and TW will let you apply the demo cost - I just meant I'd end up demo-ing too many racquets because of my own indecisiveness. That Instinct was from an online demo - I didn't really think I'd like it, but hoped I would because they were so cheap :)
 

BillKid

Hall of Fame
The Clash felt good against a slow paced ball machine but I think would get pushed around too much in a match.
It should not be an issue at your level, honestly. The incoming pace is not that high. That said you may still prefer a heavier racquet.
Before picking a specific model try to delineate what you prefer in terms of head size, string pattern, weight balance.
Many players will end up with a 98 or 100 tweener, stiffness between medium and high, 16x19, 300 or 305g. Even within these specs, there are so many models, each having its own feel and identity, that it’s almost impossible to give you a specific recommendation.
String choice will change a lot how the racquet feels, of course.
 

nvr2old

Hall of Fame
How about using TW racquet finder tool using specs Trip suggested or your own specs?

I’ve found TW used racquet section to be a goldmine once I’ve decided BTW. Their quality is outstanding with great savings in general.

Also I’d recommend trying different strings and tensions in whatever racquet you decide on as this has huge effect on feel, power, and playability.

Good luck
 

rembonjaski

New User
How about using TW racquet finder tool using specs Trip suggested or your own specs?

I’ve found TW used racquet section to be a goldmine once I’ve decided BTW. Their quality is outstanding with great savings in general.

Also I’d recommend trying different strings and tensions in whatever racquet you decide on as this has huge effect on feel, power, and playability.

Good luck
That’s what kind of motivated my thread. I went down that route first and started getting overloaded with choices. I just need you fine folks to tell me what I need :)

I did end up ordering three of the demos Trip recommended.
 

Tranqville

Semi-Pro
The market recently produced a wave of modern racquets around 300-310g that combine power, control, feel, and comfort. Some sticks to consider:

Technifiblre TF40 16x19 305g (perfect modern frame) - this one I would recommend the most
Technifbre RS 300
Head Extreme Tour
Babolat Pure Aero VS
Babolat Pure Strike VS
 

om panda

Rookie
I would suggest Yonex Vcore 100 2021 and Speed MP 2022.

They are more control oriented than Yonex Ezone 100, feels more plush (both have low RA), and have low launch angle (easy to hit flat ball and still have good spin).

And, both doesn't have any noticeable metallic / harsh feel.
 

FiddlerDog

Hall of Fame
You're a 3.5
Racket doesn't make any difference.
When I play a 3.5, I literally used a wooden racket that is 50 years old.
Learn to play actual tennis by paying for lessons.
 

rembonjaski

New User
You're a 3.5
Racket doesn't make any difference.
When I play a 3.5, I literally used a wooden racket that is 50 years old.
Learn to play actual tennis by paying for lessons.
I have some wooden racquets too, but if I can have a tool that’s more comfortable to use why not? And sometime people just like to try something different.
 

Trip

Professional
Nice! For the 100P, I presume you're demoing the newly-released white-colored one? (link) Early feedback is that the new Tours combine the comfort/flex of the first gen (2015) with the power/stability of the second, outgoing gen (2019), for a best-of-both-worlds type of feel. I'm excited to demo the 98 and 100P myself!

PS - Hopefully the string jobs are as close to identical between all the demos as possible, to keep that from influencing how they compare too much.
 
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rembonjaski

New User
Nice! For the 100P, I presume you're demoing the newly-released white-colored one? (link) Early feedback is that the new Tours combine the comfort/flex of the first gen (2015) with the power/stability of the second, outgoing gen (2019), for a best-of-both-worlds type of feel. I'm excited to demo the 98 and 100P myself!
I got the black one. I’m not sure how I feel about the new colors. But it’s beginning to grow on me the more I see it.
 

Trip

Professional
Fair enough. If you come away feeling the 2019 100P is a bit too stiff, especially in the throat, I would definitely demo the new 100P. It's supposed to have more of classic gradual flex from throat to hoop, and more stability/plow in the upper hoop as well. Paint job may be better in real life as well.
 

nvr2old

Hall of Fame
That’s what kind of motivated my thread. I went down that route first and started getting overloaded with choices. I just need you fine folks to tell me what I need :)

I did end up ordering three of the demos Trip recommended.
Yup gotcha.

Well lots of good sticks out there. My 0.02 after owning many many racquets and demoing many more since I returned to playing several years ago are a little free power is ok but feel is more important. While my playing is very limited now I’ve settled into the Prince line mostly although not a hugely popular brand by contemporary players. From that line I’d suggest:

Warrior 100 (black and white one).
Textreme Tour 100 or 100P (outgoing line green and black).

I personally stay away from new Babolat line although I’ve owned a few (Pure Drive, AeroPro Drive, Pure Storm). Very crisp (except Storm) and a lot of power but have a rep for causing arm problems.
Pro Kennex 5G very classic, comfortable and inexpensive but less power.
Yonex great QC. I really like the vcore pro line but not a lot of free power generally IMO.

Warrior, Pro Kennex about $130 each - can't beat those prices
I suspect older Prince Textreme Tour will go on deep discount soon since new AXS line introduced

Racquets I’d demo if I was in market Prince Twistpower tour, new Prince AXS 100 line, Yonex VCore pro 100, maybe Head Speed tour, Head radical mp (if I could get over the color).

Good luck.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I think I may be leaning to trying out a low tension poly setup and spending the money on some new shoes until I can get my legs back under me, i.e., lose some d**m weight :)
If you're just getting back into tennis and your level is 3.5-4.0, you should really stay away from poly strings... really!! Those strings are useful for some players who are approaching or already at the level of the college killers who really smoke the ball. Since you're getting back to the courts and both your game and gear are far from dialed in, you'll be racking up more mis-hits than usual. That will be hard on your arm even if you're using softer string like multifiber or syn. gut. Poly will transmit more impact shock into your arm and leave you much more susceptible to irritation or injury.

If you're looking for some easy power from a softer, heavier racquet, I'd say read up on the Volkl C10 and maybe demo one of them if you can.
 

rembonjaski

New User
If you're just getting back into tennis and your level is 3.5-4.0, you should really stay away from poly strings... really!! Those strings are useful for some players who are approaching or already at the level of the college killers who really smoke the ball. Since you're getting back to the courts and both your game and gear are far from dialed in, you'll be racking up more mis-hits than usual. That will be hard on your arm even if you're using softer string like multifiber or syn. gut. Poly will transmit more impact shock into your arm and leave you much more susceptible to irritation or injury.

If you're looking for some easy power from a softer, heavier racquet, I'd say read up on the Volkl C10 and maybe demo one of them if you can.
The HyperG Softs feel OK, but I definitely feel more shock on the arm compared to the multis. Do you happen to have a multi/syn or hybrid recommendation? I used to always use TNT2 and recently tried the Head Velocity. They are fine - 16 strung at 52. Maybe 17's at 50 will give a little more pop and bite??
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I'd say keep it simple and try a couple of different syn. guts (SG) in a full bed - they're not all the same.

Forten Sweet 16 can play about as soft as a multifiber (Sweet 17 isn't terribly durable), others including Gosen OG Sheep Micro and Prince SG w/Duraflex are relatively stiff (too stiff and clunky for me), but several are in that middle ground of moderate softness.

In recent history I've enjoyed Prince Original SG, Babolat SG, and Volkl Classic, but there are a few others out there, too. I also like the pop and bite that I get sometimes with using 17 ga. syn. gut (I have an all-court game), but I'll usually stick with a 16 ga. option when it gets hot in the middle of the summer. Thinner syn. gut can turn too soft for me when it gets too warm out there.

When I swap in a 17 ga. syn. gut, I'll typically tension it at 1 or 2 lbs. higher than where I tension a similar string in a 16 ga. version. Thinner string at lower tension can be too much of a trampoline for my taste, but it really depends on the personality of a particular string.
 

nvr2old

Hall of Fame
I’ve found Velocity to play very much like a poly and very comfortable at 48-50.

Have also strung it with Cream in a hybrid with really pleasant results.
 

Lack

Rookie
I suggest keeping the head ti mp. It is a great racquet. If you are looking for litte more power, spin, and shock absorbtion, try stringing main with nxt duramax and cross with solinco tour bite 20g at 45 lbs. No need to waste money :)
 
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