Help me make a choice -- Heavy frame, or more modern mold?

Nexus

Rookie
Howdy folks, thanks for taking a peep at this thread. I'm a computer rated 4.5 player. Never played college (biggest regret in life) and admit to having a racket addiction. I've gotten better over the years, but because of the amount of rackets I string & people I teach, I get discounts on stuff (yay me!). I feel like I'm fairly knowledgeable when it comes to rackets, strings, customization, etc. (there's literally nothing I haven't done to a racket at this point), but I come to you all, hat in hand, for some advice and insight.

Basically I need some help deciding on what racket(s) to choose/stick with so I can just get on with getting dialed in and stop wondering "what if?". (Scroll to the bottom if you want to just see what I'm trying to choose between). So I'd like to hear if any of you have had similar experiences and what you decided to do.

Racket History (omitting frames I bought/demo'd, hit with briefly and unloaded):
Wilson Ncode Pro Staff 90 2006-2011 (longest racket I ever played with)
Babolat Pure Storm LTD (both the 09 and 11 versions)
Head Youtek Prestige Pro
Babolat Pure Drive Standard (2012 PJ)
Wilson Pro Staff 90 (2014 version) -- cracked 3 of them before I said enough, and had to switch
Boris Becker Melbourne (reiminscent of prestige pro)
Wilson Pro Stock H22 (pre customized at almost 13 oz, too heavy and the butt cap kept coming loose
Yonex Duel G 97 330
Wilson Pro Staff 97 CV (tuxedo) -- did well with it, just no frills/nothing special
Tec TF40 305
Yonex VCore HD (didn't like the launch angle, and felt cumbersome)
Babolat Pure Strike (16x19) Gen 3

Honorable mentions that I've demo'd or held for brief periods of time: Pure Aero, Pure Drive VS, Strike Gen 3 18x20 & Tour, most Prince Frames, Head Radicals (anything after IG has just felt hollow and cheap), 310g versions of the vcores, DR 98, Every Ezone thereafter (should have kept dem DR 98's!), Wilson Blade 93, 98 (BLX), and the CV (not the latest one), Prestige mid (version before the newest one came out) and last year's Speed MP & Speed Pro.

The Big Question
Right now I am having trouble deciding whether or not to go back to the Yonex Duel G 97 330 (with a leather grip), stick with the Babolat Pure Strike Gen 3 (16x19) also with a leather grip, or use the Smurf Pure Drive in stock form. So have any of you found yourself in a similar situation, trying to decide between a tweener-ish racket and a player's frame? What did you ultimately decide?

Hear me out & help me choose (or suggest something else?):

> I'm nearing 30, but am probably in the best shape of my life and strongest I've ever been, so I feel that's important to point out.
> The Yonex DG 330 feels pretty darned good. I feel like I can hit the snot out of the ball, and at the level I'm playing at I don't need to grind for 10+ ball rallies (plus I don't play a lot of singles). I may get to hit 3-4 shots in a given point at most, so I -think- I need a tool that can do the most damage per shot. I hit flatter and serve bigger with the Yonex. Straight up fewer balls come back. Folks comment that my ball is more penetrating. I also perceive more stability (hit with a 16 year junior that's top 100 in the country on a regular basis and when I hit with her with the Yonex, the racket doesn't get pushed around. I may end up late on some shots, but that's a different story). Really the only downside I can see is just not being able to play defense as well when I have to run down a ball, am physically there, and just can't get the racket from A to B in time to make good contact.
> The Strike is almost like playing with a toy. It feels hollow-ish at times, but my hands are faster at net and I don't miss as much from the baseline. Folks comment that I definitely have more spin and that the ball comes 'up' off the court higher/faster. It doesn't feel as stable against bigger hitters. I'm not as big of a fan of my backhand with the Strike, regardless of if I use 1 or 2.
> The Pure Drive is a bit of a mix between the two. It is also super light and maneuverable. I serve bigger than with the Strike, but notice it's not as penetrating as the Duel G. I know that I'll spray balls if I don't work every single ball, and that I'll break strings every 3 outings if I keep using it. Strings also seem to die faster on the Pure Drive than any other racket I use.


For an idea of how I hit the ball, there are some clips on insta under Wicked_Awesome_Tennis
 
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emhtennis

Semi-Pro
Based on your racket history I would recommend an Angell TC95 V3 16x19 at 63RA. You can customize all your specs and you will hit heavy balls and serve bigger.

I personally play with the TC97 18x20 because I like the launch angle and the box beam flex.

For you, the 95 would likely be an easier transition. Plus all Angell frames are foam filled so they are super comfortable.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

Nexus

Rookie
Based on your racket history I would recommend an Angell TC95 V3 16x19 at 63RA. You can customize all your specs and you will hit heavy balls and serve bigger.

I personally play with the TC97 18x20 because I like the launch angle and the box beam flex.

For you, the 95 would likely be an easier transition. Plus all Angell frames are foam filled so they are super comfortable.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
Thanks for the feedback -- it is a logical choice for sure.
I have actually tried Angell too -- I haven't liked them. Not the 95, 97, nor the 100... which is probably why I've never gel'd with Dunlop frames either.
 

emhtennis

Semi-Pro
How much have you messed around with lead tape with the 3 you're deciding between?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

chic

Professional
Whichever you decide, I'd commit to it and lock away the other two for a minimum amount of time so you're not tempted to blame off days on the stick rather than yourself.

Imo if you're not gonna do the "ATP" forehand and use a more "traditional" or "modern" take back them there's not as much reason to move to in a lighter tweener/modern frame.

Are you whipping through the stone skipping motion that's popular on tour now? doing something more djokovic/fed style? Setting up a flat eastern/conti like they learned in the 70s?
 

Nexus

Rookie
How much have you messed around with lead tape with the 3 you're deciding between?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
Pure drive: A lot. To the point where I even injected foam into the handle in addition to lead tape (I prefer a polarized setup). The one I have now is stock because - knowing me - I'll get over it quick and end up selling it.
Strike: initially yes because it kept twisting in my hand I had 2x 3.5" at 3 & 9 to help with. That was more or less to due adjusting to a different sweet spot. Ultimately I removed it, but kept the leather grip.
Duel G 330: I've tried various setups and found the best suited for me was just a leather and no lead tape. It made it more head light/whippy. I've never had an issue with plow/stability with the Yonex, and given its 12+ oz weight, there's not a lot of room for customization without turning it into Excalibur... but I'm open to suggestions if you've had success customizing the Duel G 330.
 

Nexus

Rookie
Whichever you decide, I'd commit to it and lock away the other two for a minimum amount of time so you're not tempted to blame off days on the stick rather than yourself.

Imo if you're not gonna do the "ATP" forehand and use a more "traditional" or "modern" take back them there's not as much reason to move to in a lighter tweener/modern frame.

Are you whipping through the stone skipping motion that's popular on tour now? doing something more djokovic/fed style? Setting up a flat eastern/conti like they learned in the 70s?
I have an eastern forehand. Takeback is pretty simple/efficient most of the time. Take back below the height of the ball, and accelerate towards/wrist snap towards/through contact.

I do see myself hitting more spin with the newer/lighter frames because I get more racket head speed, but I naturally hit pretty linear shots, especially with 12+ oz frames. They have spin, but it's different than with the newer ones. With the newer frames it's almost like if I don't exert on every shot they tend to just sit up, especially as the balls start to deteriorate over the course of a match.
 
I'd wait for the Pro Kennex Black Ace 100, in whichever weight you like. Solid, arm friendly, what else do you need. I'd at least give it a try.
 

Nexus

Rookie
I'd wait for the Pro Kennex Black Ace 100, in whichever weight you like. Solid, arm friendly, what else do you need. I'd at least give it a try.
ETA on release date? Definitely worth a demo. Haven't been a fan of any Pro Kennex since the Redondo.
 

Return_Ace

Hall of Fame
Can't you find something like the 310 version of the Duel G and then you can have something that's more like what you want, but a little faster through the air?

Can always add a little lead to it if it's not quite there in terms of stability to somewhere in between.
 

Nexus

Rookie
Can't you find something like the 310 version of the Duel G and then you can have something that's more like what you want, but a little faster through the air?

Can always add a little lead to it if it's not quite there in terms of stability to somewhere in between.
I actually bought the duel g 310’s and found them too low powered even after modifying them with lead tape (and a leather grip). I also tried the blue vcore 310’s and found a similar fail.

So far I’m leaning towards just making the 330’s work. I’ve had some solid results with them and some practice match wins vs 5.0’s so I may just need to buck up and accept that I am what I am.
 

Nexus

Rookie
Based on those options: Pure Strike

I think you might like the Gravity Tour by Head
I actually haven’t tried the gravities. I’ve strung several of them (pros , tours, and MP’s) but am sooo reluctant to add another frame into the mix. I also have not had much success with their head shape, or rackets with a low flex. — why do you think I’ll like them? (Not trying to shoot you down. I’ll legitimately demo them and string them with my own setup depending on what you say next).

also why do you suggest the Strike?
 

chic

Professional
Yeah if you have a more traditional stroke, seems like you'd want a more traditional players racquet with a bit more heft. So imo the Yonex or another 325+g racquet
 

esm

Hall of Fame
I actually bought the duel g 310’s and found them too low powered even after modifying them with lead tape (and a leather grip). I also tried the blue vcore 310’s and found a similar fail.

So far I’m leaning towards just making the 330’s work. I’ve had some solid results with them and some practice match wins vs 5.0’s so I may just need to buck up and accept that I am what I am.
I agree with the 330 approach.

I was going to suggest the 310 and mod it to your spec. But if it didn’t work, I will not work.

Am going through the box beam phase right now. I have actually picked up my DG97 310 from the storage bag last week and mod it to higher SW, less HL and abit lighter than what I am used (ie. Blade 98 spec-ish). Had a first session with it last week and I enjoyed the swing and play, but I think I need new string. The current string is about 18month old multi and has lost quite a few lbs since....
 

flanker2000fr

Professional
Have you thought about the Prince Phantom 100X line of racquets? I was thinking about the 100X 305 with a leather grip and a bit of lead in the hoop (like 2g at 3&9 + 1g at 12), bringing the static weight at 320g unstrung would pack a pretty decent plow through, while the headlight balance would help whip the ball up in defence. It's apparently one of the better frames Prince offers.
 

megamind

Hall of Fame
I actually haven’t tried the gravities. I’ve strung several of them (pros , tours, and MP’s) but am sooo reluctant to add another frame into the mix. I also have not had much success with their head shape, or rackets with a low flex. — why do you think I’ll like them? (Not trying to shoot you down. I’ll legitimately demo them and string them with my own setup depending on what you say next).

also why do you suggest the Strike?
You said defence is hard with yonex due to maneuverability issues, and pure drive is hard to control at times. Strike seemed like a good middle option

Gravity Tour because I see it as more control oriented pure drive. It’s maneuverable, go good power (great power for its low flex, but not close to Pure Drive, but still enough imo), and pretty good control. I don’t see it as a typical low flex racquet.
 
Yonex or Strike based on your forehand, it is more traditional in my opinion, not whip-whippy. I think the Yonex 330 would give you advantages based on the forehand stroke, but you might like the Strike for serving or maneuverability. The pure drive is not really the right stick especially if you already notice control issues (nothing bad about your game or anything, nothing negative meant by this opinion).

Oh, and the strike and Yonex should play very similarly at your skill level, the difference wouldn't change an outcome of a match or anything so I would choose and force yourself to stick with one for a year. I should also take this advice, but I often don't :).
 

Nexus

Rookie
Have you thought about the Prince Phantom 100X line of racquets? I was thinking about the 100X 305 with a leather grip and a bit of lead in the hoop (like 2g at 3&9 + 1g at 12), bringing the static weight at 320g unstrung would pack a pretty decent plow through, while the headlight balance would help whip the ball up in defence. It's apparently one of the better frames Prince offers.
I actually have one of these, and the new 97P as well. Stock form it is very plush and easy to use. I just worry about blowing through strings since it’s 100 16x18. Two of my hitting partners have switched to it (one from a PDT, the other from the RF 97).

I very well may slap a leather on and add some lead tape to it. good suggestion!
 

Nexus

Rookie
You said defence is hard with yonex due to maneuverability issues, and pure drive is hard to control at times. Strike seemed like a good middle option

Gravity Tour because I see it as more control oriented pure drive. It’s maneuverable, go good power (great power for its low flex, but not close to Pure Drive, but still enough imo), and pretty good control. I don’t see it as a typical low flex racquet.
Thanks for the insight. I’ll definitely demo one in the coming weeks. :)
 

Nexus

Rookie
Yonex or Strike based on your forehand, it is more traditional in my opinion, not whip-whippy. I think the Yonex 330 would give you advantages based on the forehand stroke, but you might like the Strike for serving or maneuverability. The pure drive is not really the right stick especially if you already notice control issues (nothing bad about your game or anything, nothing negative meant by this opinion).

Oh, and the strike and Yonex should play very similarly at your skill level, the difference wouldn't change an outcome of a match or anything so I would choose and force yourself to stick with one for a year. I should also take this advice, but I often don't :).
The Strike is pretty awesome, but I actually feel like I l don’t serve as big. IMO the Yonex serves bigger w/less effort, and is still accurate.

You’re totally right regarding outcome. If I lose a match it comes down to decision making/shot selection/thinking (or lack thereof).

Thinking out loud — The Duel G is already older, so it is going to get harder and harder to find them in good condition and get grommets for them (I usually don’t wear them out so that might not be a valid concern, but there is the potential of buying a used one that needs a replacement.) The Strike is newer, and would be easier to stock up on if I don’t expect to switch for a couple of years.

I think if I stayed with the Strike long term I would have to foam fill the handle and add lead tape... and once I foam fill it, it’ll be hard to resell.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
My opponent today let me hit with his pure drive tour after our match. (315 unstrung)

It was pretty darn sweet! Seemed to be a great balance of old and new.
 

esm

Hall of Fame
The Strike is pretty awesome, but I actually feel like I l don’t serve as big. IMO the Yonex serves bigger w/less effort, and is still accurate.

You’re totally right regarding outcome. If I lose a match it comes down to decision making/shot selection/thinking (or lack thereof).

Thinking out loud — The Duel G is already older, so it is going to get harder and harder to find them in good condition and get grommets for them (I usually don’t wear them out so that might not be a valid concern, but there is the potential of buying a used one that needs a replacement.) The Strike is newer, and would be easier to stock up on if I don’t expect to switch for a couple of years.

I think if I stayed with the Strike long term I would have to foam fill the handle and add lead tape... and once I foam fill it, it’ll be hard to resell.
I played with the DG 97 310 again today and after half an hour I switched back to my Gen 1 Pure Strike 98 16x19. Everything just felt better with the PS 98. Both are pretty similar in spec. I think I will change the string on the DG 97 to the same setup as the PS 98 and see.
One thing I have now noticed is that that Yonex butt cap isn’t as flared as the Babolat and Wilson... maybe I should change that too on the DG 97.
Not played with the Gen 3 PS, but from what I have read, it should be a better one then the Gen 2

quick q - have you tried a Blade?
 
A "heads up" so to speak for Yonex choosers, I think the result of the handles are they run about half a size big, I order mine one size smaller than say a pure strike, then I add an overgrip. Seems to work better for me. I think you can just use the new Vcore 330, they aren't that different than the dual g.
 
How often do you break strings in the DG97?.. if not too often, have you tried stringing with thin gut — you may get a bit more speed on the swing and on the ball, no loss of spin, just a tad faster through the air, and more comfort. (Ask me how I know!..)

That said, G-Pro was a very pleasant surprise when I demoed it — go figure.

Oh, and with the YY, I run some lead tape on the very bottom of the buttcap — counterbalances the heavy swingweight and builds up the buttcap enough that it’s a better match for the Wilson shape that I have preferred.
 

flanker2000fr

Professional
I actually have one of these, and the new 97P as well. Stock form it is very plush and easy to use. I just worry about blowing through strings since it’s 100 16x18. Two of my hitting partners have switched to it (one from a PDT, the other from the RF 97).

I very well may slap a leather on and add some lead tape to it. good suggestion!
As a point of reference: I would break a Hyper G 17 in 12-14 hours in a 93P 18x20, 6-7 hours for a Hyper G 16 in the 93P 14x18 and about 10 hours for Hyper G 16L in both the PP100P and PCG 100 (16x18). So the 16x18 pattern is not too bad in this respect
 

TennisHound

Legend
Howdy folks, thanks for taking a peep at this thread. I'm a computer rated 4.5 player. Never played college (biggest regret in life) and admit to having a racket addiction. I've gotten better over the years, but because of the amount of rackets I string & people I teach, I get discounts on stuff (yay me!). I feel like I'm fairly knowledgeable when it comes to rackets, strings, customization, etc. (there's literally nothing I haven't done to a racket at this point), but I come to you all, hat in hand, for some advice and insight.

Basically I need some help deciding on what racket(s) to choose/stick with so I can just get on with getting dialed in and stop wondering "what if?". (Scroll to the bottom if you want to just see what I'm trying to choose between). So I'd like to hear if any of you have had similar experiences and what you decided to do.

Racket History (omitting frames I bought/demo'd, hit with briefly and unloaded):
Wilson Ncode Pro Staff 90 2006-2011 (longest racket I ever played with)
Babolat Pure Storm LTD (both the 09 and 11 versions)
Head Youtek Prestige Pro
Babolat Pure Drive Standard (2012 PJ)
Wilson Pro Staff 90 (2014 version) -- cracked 3 of them before I said enough, and had to switch
Boris Becker Melbourne (reiminscent of prestige pro)
Wilson Pro Stock H22 (pre customized at almost 13 oz, too heavy and the butt cap kept coming loose
Yonex Duel G 97 330
Wilson Pro Staff 97 CV (tuxedo) -- did well with it, just no frills/nothing special
Tec TF40 305
Yonex VCore HD (didn't like the launch angle, and felt cumbersome)
Babolat Pure Strike (16x19) Gen 3

Honorable mentions that I've demo'd or held for brief periods of time: Pure Aero, Pure Drive VS, Strike Gen 3 18x20 & Tour, most Prince Frames, Head Radicals (anything after IG has just felt hollow and cheap), 310g versions of the vcores, DR 98, Every Ezone thereafter (should have kept dem DR 98's!), Wilson Blade 93, 98 (BLX), and the CV (not the latest one), Prestige mid (version before the newest one came out) and last year's Speed MP & Speed Pro.

The Big Question
Right now I am having trouble deciding whether or not to go back to the Yonex Duel G 97 330 (with a leather grip), stick with the Babolat Pure Strike Gen 3 (16x19) also with a leather grip, or use the Smurf Pure Drive in stock form. So have any of you found yourself in a similar situation, trying to decide between a tweener-ish racket and a player's frame? What did you ultimately decide?

Hear me out & help me choose (or suggest something else?):

> I'm nearing 30, but am probably in the best shape of my life and strongest I've ever been, so I feel that's important to point out.
> The Yonex DG 330 feels pretty darned good. I feel like I can hit the snot out of the ball, and at the level I'm playing at I don't need to grind for 10+ ball rallies (plus I don't play a lot of singles). I may get to hit 3-4 shots in a given point at most, so I -think- I need a tool that can do the most damage per shot. I hit flatter and serve bigger with the Yonex. Straight up fewer balls come back. Folks comment that my ball is more penetrating. I also perceive more stability (hit with a 16 year junior that's top 100 in the country on a regular basis and when I hit with her with the Yonex, the racket doesn't get pushed around. I may end up late on some shots, but that's a different story). Really the only downside I can see is just not being able to play defense as well when I have to run down a ball, am physically there, and just can't get the racket from A to B in time to make good contact.
> The Strike is almost like playing with a toy. It feels hollow-ish at times, but my hands are faster at net and I don't miss as much from the baseline. Folks comment that I definitely have more spin and that the ball comes 'up' off the court higher/faster. It doesn't feel as stable against bigger hitters. I'm not as big of a fan of my backhand with the Strike, regardless of if I use 1 or 2.
> The Pure Drive is a bit of a mix between the two. It is also super light and maneuverable. I serve bigger than with the Strike, but notice it's not as penetrating as the Duel G. I know that I'll spray balls if I don't work every single ball, and that I'll break strings every 3 outings if I keep using it. Strings also seem to die faster on the Pure Drive than any other racket I use.


For an idea of how I hit the ball, there are some clips on insta under Wicked_Awesome_Tennis
Sounds like you need to stick with the Yonex. Have you tried the VCore Pro 330?
 
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