Explain feel and should I change my racquet?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by mrsandoo, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. mrsandoo

    mrsandoo New User

    Jul 14, 2009
    A little bit about myself. I am 4.5 player looking for a new racquet. I currently use a 6.1 95 18x20, but I feel that it lacks power and find the stiffness really taking a toll on my shoulder when matches last beyond 2 hours.

    So I looked for similar racquets and decided to demo the PB 10 Mid.

    After hitting with it for several hours, I must ask...

    How do you define the feel of a racquet?

    The PB 10 was a lot easier on my body, but I found the increased dwell time on the racquet decreasing what I think is "feel." I felt I had less control over where the shot was going to go.

    Is that what the feel of the racquet is or is it something else?
    When I think of feel, I think of it as the feedback from the racquet and the softness of the PB 10 muted the feel somewhat.

    Could this be possibly due to the strings? I use natural gut on my 6.1, and while it would be most prudent to string the demo with natural gut, I really don't want to dish out $35.
  2. 14OuncesStrung

    14OuncesStrung Semi-Pro

    Nov 6, 2010
    The Harbour City
    Feel is when you can really feel the ball sink into the stringbed.
    It's a state of comfort and that of feeling connected to the ball.
    And that you feel that you can pull off any shot...

    You haven't mentioned your string tension...
    I would suggest lowering it a tad.
  3. holytennis

    holytennis New User

    Feb 3, 2012
    Try it with Technifibre X-One Biphase. It is the closest feeling to a natural gut.
  4. blipblop

    blipblop Rookie

    Jul 9, 2010
    I'd mostly agree that "feel" is the tactile feedback from the racquet. And you're along the right logic when you reference that frame stiffness is a large contributing factor in feel.

    Personally, other than how stiff a racquet is (I prefer RA 61-65), I think one thing I look for is how hollow/solid a racquet feels. I prefer solid, club-like sticks as opposed to tinny, detached ones.

    Now what I think the topic of debate may be is when you say "oh this racquet has great feel," each person has his/her own definition of what feels good. Some are used to stiff (like yourself), and some like very flexible. In general what I have found on these forums is those who place feel as an important priority in the first place tend to be old-school and like flexy sticks. To someone used to a flexy racquet, your Wilsons feel detached and the Volkl PB feels "true."
  5. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    Defining feel is a pretty tough nut, since everyone has their own impressions of what the racquet is telling them. One player will love the tight crisp "bip" that happens at contact when swinging a stiffer frame strung with a poly hybrid while another will crave a softer combo of racquet and strings that yields a feeling that's more of a "bow-whup" sensation.

    Aside from either a stiff or softer impression at contact, the most troubling thing for me is when I can't feel the difference between good or bad hits. If I use a poly or even a syn. gut that's too tight, the sweet-spot seems to disappear. If a stringbed is too loose or soft for me though, the contact can feel like jello - vague and disconnected. Enough of my semantics.

    It's tough to say what might help with finding more power, since you're using a stiff 'n hefty frame with the liveliest string available. A number of years ago, I switched away from my old 6.1 Classics and settled in with the Volkl C10 Pro 98. While I wouldn't call this racquet a more powerful alternative to my old Wilsons (it offers much more flex), it gives me more control so that I can play with more power, especially from the baseline. Not quite the same authority with volleys and serves, but it's been good enough for me as an all-court performer to keep me happy.

    Shoulders sometimes object to stiff frames, but some don't much care for extra heft. Aside from the string setup that gives you decent feel and feedback, I'd bet that a smart option to help your shoulder would be something a little lighter, somewhat more flexible, or a combo of both. Even if the response of a racquet like this seems a bit less powerful, it's probably smart to get into something that doesn't hurt the shoulder, just to keep you in business on the courts.

    The PB10 mid has certainly earned a solid following and I have a couple of different mids in my collection that I enjoy, but I didn't much care for that Volkl, at least in its stock layout. I think the lifeless demo I sampled was strung with some dead poly, so that didn't help - sweet-spot not included! A frame with a string bed a little bigger than a mid might offer some extra inherent liveliness to help compensate for a softer flex rating. Aside from maybe the C10, you might have a go with the Yonex RD Ti-80 or maybe one of the Dunlop 200 Tour models.
  6. heninfan99

    heninfan99 G.O.A.T.

    Oct 17, 2008
    There's cushioned feel and then there the feel of knowing exactly where the ball is going to go and when it's a little off center. For feel and control the PS 85. The PS 85 reissue is very soft and gives great feedback. It's addictive to play with.

    For a cushioned feel you may wanna try Wilson Sensation string on your 6.1 95.
    However if you have the K Factor version it's a stiff frame and should be abandoned.
  7. mrsandoo

    mrsandoo New User

    Jul 14, 2009
    After going through several other posts, your last line definitely rings true. It seems less stiff = more feel for a lot of the people.

    I happened to demo the 16x18 of the BLX 95 and decided to go with that. Thanks for all your input!

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