Help a lifelong 18x20 control racket player transition to a power oriented racket

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
18x20 player for the last 12 years, not a single groundstroke hit with a 16x19

i've had to admit i don't quite have the technique or experience to generate enough of my own pace to actually trouble advanced players who can take advantage of a low powered groundstroke


i understand the 16x19 pattern is good for generating spin and power but is somewhat harder to control as easy power is plentiful in such frames

that's a worthy tradeoff for me at this point, i'm willing to put control frames behind me for the time being


i've done a bit of research on the kind of power frames that might be worth it but i'm curious to find out what players on here would recommend

my potential buy list looks like this:

1). Pure Aero Tour (heard and read many good things about this one, beast of a racket, plenty of power, not much control)

2). Vcore 98 (one of the best "hybrid" mixed type racket at least according to a lot of reviewers)

3). Vcore Pro 97 (big weight, big plowthrough, 16x19, doesn't get pushed around)

4). Prostaff RF97 Autograph (similar to the Vcore, not sure if i should class this as a "power racket" but it's gotta have more pop than my old anemic 6.1 18x20)

i'm a little concerned with going to a frame that is way too powerful and then i just can't even keep the ball in play for longer than a few groundstrokes so it's also important to have a bit of control, not going completely overboard


can anyone else give more suggestions for rackets i should consider? thank you
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Demo a regular pure aero. Not the tour. And try an extreme mp. You will need higher racquet head speed to control these power frames. The heavier weight doesn’t always translate and you may end up missing a lot. Definitely go lighter at least to start.
 

Big Bagel

Professional
I'm a big 18x20 fan, but if I were to go back to a 16x19 it would almost certainly be the VCore Pro 97 330. It's not a huge leap in power of that's what you're worried about. I'd also try something significantly more powerful though, like a pure aero or pure drive (definitely the tour versions for me since I love heavy racquets, but that's up to you). If you try 2 out, one just a little more powerful and one really powerful, it'll help give you a better idea of what you really want. If you just try something like the VCore Pro and you like it, it's hard to say whether or not you'd like something even more powerful more. But if you get 2 fairly far apart on the spectrum, it'll be easier to tell what your true preference is.
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
What 18x20 are you playing with? A Prince Tour 100P is pretty open for an 18x20 and has good pop, while still having some of your typical 18x20 attributes. Might be a good middle ground.
 

el sergento

Hall of Fame
APD or whatever it’s called now, pure aero?

It’s the single greatest racket ever created, and if your joints can handle it, your level will increase guaranteed.

This is a small sample for sure, but without exception, all my tennis bros that have tried my APD (NTRP 4-5) have hit better and more powerfully than with their sticks. One outright converted, and another only uses my spare APD when we play.

But hey, if you don’t believe me just listen to PP a couple of posts above.

/thread

Ps: I predict that in 100 years, if we survive the impending apocalypse, that we’ll use “Aero” as shorthand for a racket. Just like we say Kleenex for tissue paper and Bandaid for whatever the non brand name word is for the ****ty stickers we put on paper cuts.
 
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Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
What 18x20 are you playing with? A Prince Tour 100P is pretty open for an 18x20 and has good pop, while still having some of your typical 18x20 attributes. Might be a good middle ground.
used to play with the Wilson 6.1 i'm with the Speed Pro 360 atm

PS: and i just realized the Speed Pro is not really a pure control racket, it's a hybrid between a classical player racket and a modern baseline basher
 
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Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
APD or whatever it’s called now, pure aero?

It’s the single greatest racket ever created, and if your joints can handle it, your level will increase guaranteed.

This is a small sample for sure, but without exception, all my tennis bros that have tried my APD (NTRP 4-5) have hit better and more powerfully than with their sticks. One outright converted, and another only uses my spare APD when we play.

But hey, if you don’t believe me just listen to PP a couple of posts above.

/thread

Ps: I predict that in 100 years, if we survive the impending apocalypse, that we’ll use “Aero” as shorthand for a racket. Just like we say Kleenex for tissue paper and Bandaid for whatever the non brand name word is for the ****ty stickers we put on paper cuts.
that good of a racket?

would you buy the tour version or the regular and then add some lead?
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
I'm a big 18x20 fan, but if I were to go back to a 16x19 it would almost certainly be the VCore Pro 97 330. It's not a huge leap in power of that's what you're worried about. I'd also try something significantly more powerful though, like a pure aero or pure drive (definitely the tour versions for me since I love heavy racquets, but that's up to you). If you try 2 out, one just a little more powerful and one really powerful, it'll help give you a better idea of what you really want. If you just try something like the VCore Pro and you like it, it's hard to say whether or not you'd like something even more powerful more. But if you get 2 fairly far apart on the spectrum, it'll be easier to tell what your true preference is.
i'm not the demo kind of person myself

i prefer doing research and then just taking a leap

since the Pure Aero Tour is heavily discounted atm, i'm strongly considering just buying that frame outright
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
i'm not the demo kind of person myself

i prefer doing research and then just taking a leap

since the Pure Aero Tour is heavily discounted atm, i'm strongly considering just buying that frame outright
I'm considering to demo Head Gravity, Tour and Pro versions.
If I like them, wait till they get discounted.

According to tennis warehouse lab, the plow-through and power numbers are similar or better than with Pure Aero, but it's a 18x20 control frame.
 

mikele

New User
If you find it, try the Tecnifigre T-flash 315 ATP ( Black and Yellow) , is powerful but solid, no jarring on off-center hits and control is there.
 

el sergento

Hall of Fame
that good of a racket?

would you buy the tour version or the regular and then add some lead?
It really is that good. The thing with the Aero is that it isn’t the best at anything necessarily, but it’s overall so solid that it just makes the game easier.

Personally, I would get the regular and then add weight. Currently, I have mine with 6 grams at the top of the handle and maybe 10-15g’s in the handle.

The Aero’s are pretty HH stock and already have a healthy SW, so no major mods are needed around the hoop IMO. I don’t have them now, but I can post my final specs if you’re interested.

With my setup, the racket practically swings itself and I can play any style I need. I can defend all day long because of the easy depth and spin, or I can take massive cuts and play aggressive.
 
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joohan

Hall of Fame
Angell TC100 63RA. Go big...

PM me if you’re interested in more information.
 
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Strawbewwy

Rookie
instead of changing string pattern, have you considered other elements that help with power?

tweaking tension, weight, string can all contribute to a degree to give you more power

I was going to suggest both the 6.1 and the speed pro cuz they were more powerful than I like (i generally use a mid size 18x20), but i see that you're already using those...

in reverse logic, some of the open pattern may not necessarily "kill" the control for you, the spacing between string plays a role. unlike the older frames, modern frames generally have a variation in spacing, ie) the middle of the string bed gets denser compared to the outside of the stringbed, you can see this on like the blades or the speeds
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
used to play with the Wilson 6.1 i'm with the Speed Pro 360 atm

PS: and i just realized the Speed Pro is not really a pure control racket, it's a hybrid between a classical player racket and a modern baseline basher
I used a 360 speed pro for most of the year. Like you, wanted more easy power.
Ended up with a prince speedport black, oddly enough. Identical stringjobs feel better and perform better in it.

If you want to stay traditional grommet, the technifbre 305 xtc is an 18/19 but has good power and spin.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I never agreed that 18x20 don't give you power or spin - it is more that open patterns afford you a little more power and spin. High level players have used 18x20 for deceades with no issue with power/spin, so it still falls to technigue over racquet. The 16x19 appeal is more to compensate for us rec players.
 

rafazx10

Rookie
Ive tried many different times replace my ncode 6.1 18x20 and could never do it.
If you want, give it a go, but I have stopped trying new frames.
 
I would demo the new Blade 16x19 along with Head Gravity Pro. The Gravity is a 18x20 designed for the modern game.. good pop, forgiving (100sq. in) and good access to spin with it's head shape.
 

ProRadTour

Semi-Pro
Maybe the new Pure Strike/Tour would be worth investigating, also the new Blade 16 x 19 is really nice, and will give you that Wilson feel you are used to coming from the 6.1.
 

Anton

Legend
I would recommend you first try to add weight to your current racket - more power and spin can be found for just a few cents of lead (and possibly a fraction of a second slower stroke).

Weighted up Classic 6.1 18x20 is not known to lack power in Delpotro's hands ;)

From there, 2019 Pure Aero with some lead is a good way to go.
 

1HBHfanatic

Hall of Fame
head.gravity.pro, 18/20 open pattern, power/control
head.radical.pro, 16/19 tight pattern, power/control
Wilson.ps.97 16/19 tight pattern power/control (lighter than RF97)
Wilson.blade.98 v7 18/20 or 16/19 CONTROL, power controlled with string/tension, easy to pick up and play
yonex.vcore.pro.97 16/19 tight pattern, power/control
 
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Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
i'm not the demo kind of person myself

i prefer doing research and then just taking a leap

since the Pure Aero Tour is heavily discounted atm, i'm strongly considering just buying that frame outright
Get the regular. Trust me. You can always lead it up. The Tour may be too much weight. I know it seems perfect on paper but these frames have insane power at low weights.

Id get the prior model to save money. It plays pretty close to the new one.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
APD or whatever it’s called now, pure aero?

It’s the single greatest racket ever created, and if your joints can handle it, your level will increase guaranteed.

This is a small sample for sure, but without exception, all my tennis bros that have tried my APD (NTRP 4-5) have hit better and more powerfully than with their sticks. One outright converted, and another only uses my spare APD when we play.

But hey, if you don’t believe me just listen to PP a couple of posts above.

/thread

Ps: I predict that in 100 years, if we survive the impending apocalypse, that we’ll use “Aero” as shorthand for a racket. Just like we say Kleenex for tissue paper and Bandaid for whatever the non brand name word is for the ****ty stickers we put on paper cuts.
No racquet is going to get you to the next level. I hit my hardest, most accurate FH's with my Phantom 93P. That increase in power and accuracy doesn't raise me 0.5 NTRP in match results. I just hit better FH's with it. I still have a couple APD's from years back and when I pull them out I find spin easy to attain but control and feel is less so than my Prince frames. I don't magically become a good 4.0 when I go out and play with it. Every frame does something well and you can mold a game around them. The Aero line hits topspin groundies from 4 feet behind the baseline very well. If that's your game then its a good racquet.

Bottom line is a lot of 16x19 frames need poly to get the most out of them. My arm doesn't tolerate poly well especially when i'm playing 5 days a week. An 18x20 with softer string bed suits me better.
 

el sergento

Hall of Fame
Every frame does something well and you can mold a game around them. The Aero line hits topspin groundies from 4 feet behind the baseline very well. If that's your game then its a good racquet.
Mostly agreed, but the APD is way less one dimensional than it’s reputation implies. I can flatten things out quite nicely, especially on my one handed backhand drive, and my backhand slice is absolutely deadly with it.

Also, it’s an excellent racket on serve and because of its size and generous sweetspot, it’s also excellent on return.

Bottom line is a lot of 16x19 frames need poly to get the most out of them. My arm doesn't tolerate poly well especially when i'm playing 5 days a week. An 18x20 with softer string bed suits me better.
Alas this is true. Poly is required and your joints might not like the APD (I battled through some wrist issues myself). However, the APD isn’t that string sensitive, and any low powered poly at low tensions should work and minimize discomfort.
 
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Kevo

Legend
18x20 player for the last 12 years, not a single groundstroke hit with a 16x19

i've had to admit i don't quite have the technique or experience to generate enough of my own pace to actually trouble advanced players who can take advantage of a low powered groundstroke

i understand the 16x19 pattern is good for generating spin and power but is somewhat harder to control as easy power is plentiful in such frames
If you can't generate enough pace to trouble an advanced player, then a different frame is not likely to fix that on it's own. A more powerful frame will help a little with power, but it's a marginal thing. While that can make a lot of difference if the margins in your game vs these advanced players are already slim, it sounds to me from what you've written that's not the case.

It's also not the case that you can't get really good spin from an 18x20 frame. There are a lot of factors involved. I've known a bunch of adult rec players who bought a new frame because it had more power or more spin than their current frame. I can't think of a single case where it made a noticeable difference. I'll include myself in that group. After about 3 frame switches I ended up stopping on the Pure Storm Ltd for a long time. My main reasons were 18x20 for string durability, and thin beam with good flex because it felt good to hit with. Since then I've gone thinner and more flexy with some old fiberglass composite frames and I don't ever see switching to another frame for any reason other than it feels better to hit with it. To me that's the most important parameter, and those old frames feel better than anything modern so that's what I'm sticking with. And there's plenty of power in almost any stick if you actually swing it.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
If you can't generate enough pace to trouble an advanced player, then a different frame is not likely to fix that on it's own. A more powerful frame will help a little with power, but it's a marginal thing. While that can make a lot of difference if the margins in your game vs these advanced players are already slim, it sounds to me from what you've written that's not the case.

It's also not the case that you can't get really good spin from an 18x20 frame. There are a lot of factors involved. I've known a bunch of adult rec players who bought a new frame because it had more power or more spin than their current frame. I can't think of a single case where it made a noticeable difference. I'll include myself in that group. After about 3 frame switches I ended up stopping on the Pure Storm Ltd for a long time. My main reasons were 18x20 for string durability, and thin beam with good flex because it felt good to hit with. Since then I've gone thinner and more flexy with some old fiberglass composite frames and I don't ever see switching to another frame for any reason other than it feels better to hit with it. To me that's the most important parameter, and those old frames feel better than anything modern so that's what I'm sticking with. And there's plenty of power in almost any stick if you actually swing it.
That's my feeling too. The rackets I use are largely used because they are arm friendly and feel great to play with. Too many tinny harsh frames out there in the tweener bracket.

There are just as many people out there that play "feel" sports (skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, waterskiing, surfing, kite-boarding, skateboarding) as play competitive sports. The addiction comes not from winning but from the "feel" you get from things like the perfect wave or powder line or flowing through a forest trail.

To me, tennis allows you to have those feel moments with a perfectly struck FH off a midsize racket. It just feels perfect. I'd rather have a ton of those moments than purely "play to win". That's why I'll never get pushers. They never get those great "feel" moments from bunting balls back into the middle of the court.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
If you can't generate enough pace to trouble an advanced player, then a different frame is not likely to fix that on it's own. A more powerful frame will help a little with power, but it's a marginal thing. While that can make a lot of difference if the margins in your game vs these advanced players are already slim, it sounds to me from what you've written that's not the case.

It's also not the case that you can't get really good spin from an 18x20 frame. There are a lot of factors involved. I've known a bunch of adult rec players who bought a new frame because it had more power or more spin than their current frame. I can't think of a single case where it made a noticeable difference. I'll include myself in that group. After about 3 frame switches I ended up stopping on the Pure Storm Ltd for a long time. My main reasons were 18x20 for string durability, and thin beam with good flex because it felt good to hit with. Since then I've gone thinner and more flexy with some old fiberglass composite frames and I don't ever see switching to another frame for any reason other than it feels better to hit with it. To me that's the most important parameter, and those old frames feel better than anything modern so that's what I'm sticking with. And there's plenty of power in almost any stick if you actually swing it.
now you're making me wanna try the Prince Phantom, lol

one of the best feeling rackets on the modern market
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
Get the regular. Trust me. You can always lead it up. The Tour may be too much weight. I know it seems perfect on paper but these frames have insane power at low weights.

Id get the prior model to save money. It plays pretty close to the new one.
man, i'm really sold on this racket by the way you and @el sergento describe it lol

but regular PA over the Tour? really?

i've always convinced myself the Tour version (heavier) of any racket is the superior version simply because it has more mass, stability, power, etc.

just handles way better than a light feather racket

even if I lead up the regular 300g PA, would it have the same natural stability of a heavier racket like the Tour?
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
man, i'm really sold on this racket by the way you and @el sergento describe it lol

but regular PA over the Tour? really?

i've always convinced myself the Tour version (heavier) of any racket is the superior version simply because it has more mass, stability, power, etc.

just handles way better than a light feather racket

even if I lead up the regular 300g PA, would it have the same natural stability of a heavier racket like the Tour?
Yeah, you can just lead it up. The main thing about stiff power frames is you will most likely play them at a lighter weight than you expect. So if you get the Tour you have no real wiggle room if it's too heavy.

Honestly it sounds like you could do with a lighter frame anyway, it sounds like you need to up your swing speed. As others have posted, that is where the real power increase will come from.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, you can just lead it up. The main thing about stiff power frames is you will most likely play them at a lighter weight than you expect. So if you get the Tour you have no real wiggle room if it's too heavy.

Honestly it sounds like you could do with a lighter frame anyway, it sounds like you need to up your swing speed. As others have posted, that is where the real power increase will come from.
just ordered the regular PA, should be shipping in less than a week

to heck with it, nothing to lose at this point but lots to gain

should be a fun ride
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
thanks for the suggestions folks

the racketholic itch has subsided for now but hopefully it's not gonna turn into a habit...

famous last words
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
just ordered the regular PA, should be shipping in less than a week

to heck with it, nothing to lose at this point but lots to gain

should be a fun ride
Its a great frame and if you hate it, it should be easy to sell pretty fast. I have 2 Pure Aeros still. I think they are great I just need more flex to spare my body.I also have the plus version, which is awesome but that extra torque can be a bit rough on the shoulder.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
Its a great frame and if you hate it, it should be easy to sell pretty fast. I have 2 Pure Aeros still. I think they are great I just need more flex to spare my body.I also have the plus version, which is awesome but that extra torque can be a bit rough on the shoulder.
i got the 2016 version and it was on a pretty big sale

would you say the 2019 version plays a lot different from the older PA?
 

el sergento

Hall of Fame
@Legend of Borg :

I know how you feel about the tour. I went from a lifelong 6.1 and Prestige (and their clones) user to the APD. At first it felt icky, like I was cheating, but you can’t argue with results.

The APD/PA is very solid even with its lighter stock weight because it has loads of twist weight and plow through. Personally, I just needed to add weight to the handle because I need a more HL balance for my one-hander.

Another cool thing about the Aeros’s, is that they keep their value more than other current mass produced frame. Seriously, I’m looking for more 2013’s, and people are selling them for obscene amounts. My buddy is currently looking for a PA, and used they’re still close to 200$ around here.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
@Legend of Borg :

I know how you feel about the tour. I went from a lifelong 6.1 and Prestige (and their clones) user to the APD. At first it felt icky, like I was cheating, but you can’t argue with results.

The APD/PA is very solid even with its lighter stock weight because it has loads of twist weight and plow through. Personally, I just needed to add weight to the handle because I need a more HL balance for my one-hander.

Another cool thing about the Aeros’s, is that they keep their value more than other current mass produced frame. Seriously, I’m looking for more 2013’s, and people are selling them for obscene amounts. My buddy is currently looking for a PA, and used they’re still close to 200$ around here.
wait, the PA works for the one hander as well?

as a one hander, this pleases me greatly

noob question but how does one know if they need to add weight to the handle as opposed to the head of the racket?

is it so that you can still maintain a headlight and whippy action while having more solid mass behind the racket?
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
18x20 player for the last 12 years, not a single groundstroke hit with a 16x19

i've had to admit i don't quite have the technique or experience to generate enough of my own pace to actually trouble advanced players who can take advantage of a low powered groundstroke


i understand the 16x19 pattern is good for generating spin and power but is somewhat harder to control as easy power is plentiful in such frames

that's a worthy tradeoff for me at this point, i'm willing to put control frames behind me for the time being


i've done a bit of research on the kind of power frames that might be worth it but i'm curious to find out what players on here would recommend

my potential buy list looks like this:

1). Pure Aero Tour (heard and read many good things about this one, beast of a racket, plenty of power, not much control)

2). Vcore 98 (one of the best "hybrid" mixed type racket at least according to a lot of reviewers)

3). Vcore Pro 97 (big weight, big plowthrough, 16x19, doesn't get pushed around)

4). Prostaff RF97 Autograph (similar to the Vcore, not sure if i should class this as a "power racket" but it's gotta have more pop than my old anemic 6.1 18x20)

i'm a little concerned with going to a frame that is way too powerful and then i just can't even keep the ball in play for longer than a few groundstrokes so it's also important to have a bit of control, not going completely overboard


can anyone else give more suggestions for rackets i should consider? thank you
I think the Angell K7 Red would be a great frame. It plays like a player’s racket but comes in lighter with an open 16x19 pattern.
 

el sergento

Hall of Fame
wait, the PA works for the one hander as well?

as a one hander, this pleases me greatly

noob question but how does one know if they need to add weight to the handle as opposed to the head of the racket?

is it so that you can still maintain a headlight and whippy action while having more solid mass behind the racket?
The short answer is that the closer you add weight to the very top of the racket, the more you’ll increase the swing weight. Swing Weight is the most important parameter because it really determines how heavy the racket feels when you swing it (key component of swing speed).

Weight added to the handle will change the balance and increase the static weight, but it will not drastically increase the swing weight.

Keep in mind that any weight added to the racket adds swing weight.
 
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