How do you pick a racquet when different demos feel better on different days?

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
It's confusing, when you demo a racquet 3 times and prefer it every time. Then you demo one more time *just in case*, and suddenly you prefer the other racquet.

In this situation I go with the racquet that highlights my strengths more, even if it's worse for other areas. How do you go about it?
 

lim

Semi-Pro
ymmv but 3 times is not enough play test to commit to. Even the one week you get from most online shops is a hit or miss but personally I wouldn’t make a decision before having a combination of solid hitting sessions + match play. At the end of the day you want the one that’s performing for you when you’re under pressure e.g. serving for the set, down BP, in a TB so the best choice may not be the one that has the bells& whistles but actually the one that helps you play more consistent
 

Crocodile

Legend
I understand the situation. My thoughts are to come up with a solution are as follows:

1. know what specs you are after including mass, balance, SW, flex, beam-type and head size. Also develop an understanding of the various brands. Some brands have stiffer feels while others are softer.

2.Pick out 4 demo racquets and make sure they have the same strings and tension and grip
Size. Test them all at once for a week and then make your decision.

3.Acknowledge that many brands have variable spec consistency within a product line and therefore could feel different to your demo. It’s just something that is hard to escape. Even changing a replacement grip can alter the feel of a racquet.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
Hell, I have two Clashes that feel different. One has got to be close to 60RA. The other feels plush by comparison.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
It's confusing, when you demo a racquet 3 times and prefer it every time. Then you demo one more time *just in case*, and suddenly you prefer the other racquet.

In this situation I go with the racquet that highlights my strengths more, even if it's worse for other areas. How do you go about it?
The secret is not to believe that any one frame is the Goldilocks frame and then you won't worry about it so much. Does it feel good to strike the ball with? Does the ball do what I want it to? Does it look nice?

There you go. If you feel good and look good, you'll play with more confidence.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
Are you using the exact same demo or same frame with different strings/tension? If exact same frame, could it be that the 4th time the string tension has dropped a lot? If it's a Wilson don't even bother unless you buy the EXACT actual racquet you demo'd since their QC is so bad it's likely you'll get a completely different feeling frame if you buy a new one.
 
You don’t pick, you buy all the racquets precious...muahahahaha

But really, I ended up buying several in a spec range (all used) and it became clear over time which to use.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I actually agree with post #8. If two demos feel really good on one day or another, you have the option of getting one of each.

As long as the weights and balances of the two models don't differ my too much, they'll behave somewhat the same when you swing them around. Bonus points if they have rather similar grip shapes. I've benefitted from having two different models in my bag more times than I can count.

Having different frames in the bag can be fun - fun is good - and it can also be helpful when having an off day. Switching to the other racquet can be a nice jolt to the tennis senses and help to wake things up. You can also try different strings with the different frames.

The argument for consistency and sticking with one racquet model is reasonable enough, but many recreational players - mere mortals who aren't on the courts 3-6 hrs. a day trying to earn our lunch money by winning tournaments - aren't all too consistent from one day to another as it is. It's okay to experiment and have fun along the way. That helps us to look forward to getting out there more often.
 

JW89

New User
I actually agree with post #8. If two demos feel really good on one day or another, you have the option of getting one of each.

As long as the weights and balances of the two models don't differ my too much, they'll behave somewhat the same when you swing them around. Bonus points if they have rather similar grip shapes. I've benefitted from having two different models in my bag more times than I can count.

Having different frames in the bag can be fun - fun is good - and it can also be helpful when having an off day. Switching to the other racquet can be a nice jolt to the tennis senses and help to wake things up. You can also try different strings with the different frames.

The argument for consistency and sticking with one racquet model is reasonable enough, but many recreational players - mere mortals who aren't on the courts 3-6 hrs. a day trying to earn our lunch money by winning tournaments - aren't all too consistent from one day to another as it is. It's okay to experiment and have fun along the way. That helps us to look forward to getting out there more often.
If playing strictly recreationally, maybe?

But at any high or competitive level that is certainly not true. A lot of people could benefit from picking one frame and sticking to it. Myself included.

My competition days are behind me now but I will say majority of the best guys I played with frankly didn’t care much about their equipment, but they did care about not changing anything from what they were used to.

Switching things up regularly might be more fun, but if you’re looking strictly to perform your best, pick a platform and stick with it

Edit- apparently I can’t read, missed your last paragraph, my mistake!
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
I actually agree with post #8. If two demos feel really good on one day or another, you have the option of getting one of each.

As long as the weights and balances of the two models don't differ my too much, they'll behave somewhat the same when you swing them around. Bonus points if they have rather similar grip shapes. I've benefitted from having two different models in my bag more times than I can count.

Having different frames in the bag can be fun - fun is good - and it can also be helpful when having an off day. Switching to the other racquet can be a nice jolt to the tennis senses and help to wake things up. You can also try different strings with the different frames.

The argument for consistency and sticking with one racquet model is reasonable enough, but many recreational players - mere mortals who aren't on the courts 3-6 hrs. a day trying to earn our lunch money by winning tournaments - aren't all too consistent from one day to another as it is. It's okay to experiment and have fun along the way. That helps us to look forward to getting out there more often.
i agree and i'm not actually anti-multi-model. actually i was demoing at the same time as my hitting partner, and was telling him I was almost considering getting one racquet for more serious play and one racquet that's more comfortable for recreational play to save my body. he thought i was stupid/crazy...but by the end of our demo season he was like, "hm maybe that's not a bad idea" lol

my main reluctance from buying multiple models is to control spending habits, not necessarily cause I'm reluctant to own multiple models :) I would probably have a garage full of used racquets if I let myself go
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
ymmv but 3 times is not enough play test to commit to. Even the one week you get from most online shops is a hit or miss but personally I wouldn’t make a decision before having a combination of solid hitting sessions + match play. At the end of the day you want the one that’s performing for you when you’re under pressure e.g. serving for the set, down BP, in a TB so the best choice may not be the one that has the bells& whistles but actually the one that helps you play more consistent
agreed, actually I bought new racquets last year and demoed much more extensively. the longer I played, the more it affirmed my first impressions. the 3 times i'm referring to is a new model I tried for fun, but it happened to feel great. so i was surprised that my impression suddenly changed on the 4th try, since normally i can trust my first impressions will generally last.
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
Are you using the exact same demo or same frame with different strings/tension? If exact same frame, could it be that the 4th time the string tension has dropped a lot? If it's a Wilson don't even bother unless you buy the EXACT actual racquet you demo'd since their QC is so bad it's likely you'll get a completely different feeling frame if you buy a new one.
I am playing with the exact same demo racquet and strings. i was thinking it could be that the strings took a plummet on the 4th time randomly...the shots felt very erratic, like i couldn't aim. the nice thing is my shop has stickers on the demo racquet indicating the date strung and string type, and it is quite old (end of last year). honestly i was surprised i got a decent demo on the first 3 times when i saw that. my main racquet is an 18x20 and I was demoing a 16x19, but I never experienced that degree of wild stringbed purely because of string pattern....so yeah maybe i'll ask if the shop can restring the demo. does that make me a bad customer, esp. if i end up not buying anything? :X3:
 
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GummiiBear

Rookie
This may sound bizarre. But I ultimately make my decision based on how I envision myself as a player in the future with the racquet, what my style looks like and/or what I want it to look like, what I’d like to adopt, foster in my play.

Which racquet best supported this is the one I chose/choose.
 

socallefty

Legend
Racquets can play very differently with different strings and different tensions - so, the time that the stringjob has been on the demo racquet matters a lot to how it plays especially if it is poly which has a short life and bad tension retention. If I like a demoracquet and it has specs in my ideal range, I will buy it and see how it plays when I string it with my favorite string combination. I might try to tweak the string and tension and see if still like it. If I do, I will change to that racquet model and buy 3-4 of them. If not, I will sell it on Craigs or TTW and stick with my old racquet. I go through this process only about once every five years.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
I am playing with the exact same demo racquet and strings. i was thinking it could be that the strings took a plummet on the 4th time randomly...the shots felt very erratic, like i couldn't aim. the nice thing is my shop has stickers on the demo racquet indicating the date strung and string type, and it is quite old (end of last year). honestly i was surprised i got a decent demo on the first 3 times when i saw that. my main racquet is an 18x20 and I was demoing a 16x19, but I never experienced that degree of wild stringbed purely because of string pattern....so yeah maybe i'll ask if the shop can restring the demo. does that make me a bad customer, esp. if i end up not buying anything? :X3:
If it was strung that long ago it’s probably just you having an off day on the 4th demo
 
You don’t choose a racquet, the racquet chooses you.

Unless the racquet is completely out of my spec range, I can play with pretty much any 98 frame. I just need to give it time to get used to it.
 

Lorenn

Professional
It's confusing, when you demo a racquet 3 times and prefer it every time. Then you demo one more time *just in case*, and suddenly you prefer the other racquet.

In this situation I go with the racquet that highlights my strengths more, even if it's worse for other areas. How do you go about it?
3x>1x

I would've measure all the racquets. Pondered if the string/racquet/other factors affected the test. Asked why I liked the other racquet on the fourth try...If I was torn between the two and could not decide I might buy both and string them up to test long term. Sell the one I didn't like or keep it as a backup or give it to a friend etc.
 
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