How many people still play with rackets that are over 20 years old?

El_Yotamo

Professional
I very recently got a first generation Babolat Soft Control, I'm finally gonna hit it for the first time on Sunday! I've heard great things so I'm very excited!
 
I find the conversation interesting, since one could argue that really NOTHING has been introduced technology/design-wise in the past two decades that would render a benchmark 20-25 year-old frame obsolete. I don't believe that was true before the 20-teens, certainly not at the turn of the century(although there were plenty of "classics" around 1980).

I've got a few NOS frames that are 20 years old and could easily pass muster against the designs of the 2000s. My NOS frames from the '70s/'80s wouldn't fare as well, I'm afraid(still fun to hit, of course!).
Agreed. A lot of people around here, including me, still play with the Rafter racket, the Prince Precision Response Ti.

 

frinton

Professional
We're organizing a "Golden 70s doubles" tourney at my club, were we provide woddies to the stronger players and old (80s or early 90s) graphite or metall rackets to the lesser ones (from my collection). Adding a few metal and sandwich rackets along maybe with a few unique sticks for good measure. The objective is to have good fun with some (g)old sticks and dress up as vintage as possible for it! I might come back with a few pics after the tourney which is end of September - hopefully we'll have good luck with the weather... then it should be fun!


...fail better!
 

GOATn10s

New User
Still taking a 2nd generation Head PPPro red head (600 or US Model) to the dance. To much fun - varying pace and just total control... The new multis really fit these softer, heavier beauties, IMHO...
Sorry for the late reply. I just picked one of these up and was wondering what multis and tension you would recommend for a 4.0-4.5 player. Thanks in advance.
 

Antónis

Professional
Ok, just run out of Photobucket and went to Flickr, still learning my way around, lets see if I don't mess up embedding some pics

I'm a big fan of classic graphite rackets, and a modest but proud collector, my collection is growing slowly but I already have some good classics to brag about

I play with 20+ years rackets, most of the time with Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 95, and regularly with the 85 version, I believe mine is a late China, similar to Fed's early days on tour - I also have a St. Vincents Pro Staff mid, and a grandson, a KPS 88, but those I keep as a collector item only

Over the years I stashed 95's as I was finding racquet's available (and spare parts), meanwhile I cracked two of them playing, and now I have six left, some almost new, some with lots of war scars

I'm not a maniac about how my rackets looks, but I take good care of them, always with protection tape on the bumper. I try to avoid hitting the ground with my rackets, but there's always those low volleys to dig up, or defensive game, and with those paint-chips are inevitable

And some racket porn next, with the 6.0's I play regularly, hope you like them

DSC_0050 by António Duarte, no Flickr

DSC_0051 by António Duarte, no Flickr

DSC_0052 by António Duarte, no Flickr
 

thor's hammer

Semi-Pro
Nice pics! Another big PS 95 fan here. I don't have any hosted pics I can link to, but here's a nice vid on the 95...


When I got back into playing in the mid 90's it was the middle of the Sampras era, and although I experimented with a variety of rackets I settled on the PS 85 and used that for several years. Around 2000 I made what I figured was a reasonably small concession to getting older, and moved to the PS 6.0 95, and it's been my main stick ever since. I think it's just a great, very capable yet neutral racket. I'm down to my final 3, and string em myself on a Klipper with plain old (cheap) Prince synthetic gut. Play one till the string breaks, and then pop out a "freshly" strung backup from my bag. Of course that "new" string job could be months old at that point, depending on how much I'm playing (and with whom).

I also have a couple wooden Jack Kramer Autograph's - beautiful, pieces of art from a bygone era. I can't play as effectively with them as with the PS 95, but it is amazing how the ball comes off that racket when you hit a really good, solid slice or volley. For a while I used to carry one of the Kramer's around and use it to warm up - hit short, volleys, maybe a little from the baseline - then switch over to the PS 95. Didn't seem to hurt, actually seemed to help - everything seemed easier and quicker when I made the switch to the "newer" racket - but I just drifted away from doing that over time. Maybe I'll crank that up again.



Damn that is one purty stick!
 
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Antónis

Professional
That's the thinner beam, 85 like, PS 6.0 95. I've heard and read some stuff about it, I'd love to try it.

For me, the PS 6.0 95 is the perfect 95 sq.i. players racquet. Enough weight in stock form (my 95's weight 345 grams without extra weight), square shaped beam, allowing the racquet to be fast; open string pattern; the Wilson's braided graphite/kevlar formula that gives that unique feeling; nice head-light balance, good flex feeling, but not noodle-like. The nicest combo of feeling/power/control I ever experienced on a racquet. And the looks

My first 95 was bought in 98, and it's my go stick since, with a couple of racquet changes in between (mostly with PS 6.1's).

I'm still hoping that Wilson or TW reissues this wonderful stick
 

Sixpointone

Professional
I have one of these! Rocket launcher yet it still has tremendous feel.
Great to hear that you have one as well! I really enjoy the feel that the racquet provides as well. I'm more of a pusher when I play, so it really helps me get the ball back in play, and pick my spots when hitting. Thanks for the post and I hope you enjoy your tennis!
 

frinton

Professional
We're organizing a "Golden 70s doubles" tourney at my club, were we provide woddies to the stronger players and old (80s or early 90s) graphite or metall rackets to the lesser ones (from my collection). Adding a few metal and sandwich rackets along maybe with a few unique sticks for good measure. The objective is to have good fun with some (g)old sticks and dress up as vintage as possible for it! I might come back with a few pics after the tourney which is end of September - hopefully we'll have good luck with the weather... then it should be fun!


...fail better!
Over 40 players, old and young came together for our fun vintage doubles last Saturday! I’ve never seen so many smiles on tennis courts, everybody seemed to have fun and enjoy a unique tennis experience... I had brought over 50 vintage rackets along for the occasion!



...fail better!
 
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You may be the only person I've ever heard of who actually played with the TX-6000 :) I've got one that I don't think ever found its way to the court.
I played a little with a TX-6000. It had a slightly bigger head than the Y-2000. It was stiffer I believe, because the steel extrusion was not like the T-2000. It had the proportions of a modern wide beam. The beam was not wide, but the beam thickness was narrow. It moved through the air well so it volleyed well and served well. I could not hit good groundstrokes with it. I did better with the flexible T-2000.
Strangely, I hit better serves and groundstrokes with the steel Slazenger Plus which I assume was stiffer or as stiff as the TX-6000. I remember really liking that Slazenger.
I ,also owned a blue aluminum Slazenger that was endorsed by Manuel Orantes. It had a very small head. I can't remember how I played with that. I think it was good on volleys. And I can't even remember how or why I gave it away?
If I had a racket wish list, I would like to play with a 100 sq inch Ken Rosewall, or a T-2000 largehead or a steel Slazenger Plus largehead. That would be a real trip!
 

v-verb

Hall of Fame
ThundersStick Mid Plus. One of my buddies said I should sell all my other sticks and use this. I won't but for some reason this heavy thick beam small head monster is doing the trick
 

BorgCash

Legend
Over 40 players, old and young came together for our fun vintage doubles last Saturday! I’ve never seen so many smiles on tennis courts, everybody seemed to have fun and enjoy a unique tennis experience... I had brought over 50 vintage rackets along for the occasion!



...fail better!
Great! That's what i like! Old racquets and vintage clothing. But the shoes were modern:)! What was the racquet of your choice then?
 

frinton

Professional
Great! That's what i like! Old racquets and vintage clothing. But the shoes were modern:)! What was the racquet of your choice then?
Yeah, it was fun :) unfortunately I did not have any old-school shoes and honestly, not sure I'd want to do that to my feet anyway. I actually do not recall all the rackets I played that day, probably about 3 or for. in the first pic you see me trying to halfvolley back with a Head Arthur Ashe comp (or just below at serve):


After checking pics, I also played a Borg Allwood

which I quite liked. Very different from the Ashe of course.
The rest I do not remember. I probably did not use a 200g, as this is a racket I frequently use for doubles and it would have felt like cheating. Also I did not use my Equijet LT 301, as I use it every once in a while... and anyway, there was a lady who would not want to let it go anymore once she had started to use it :). Good times!
 
Hi, I wonder if your TX-6000 is (or was) 26 inch in length..
Might have been. I was not enamored of it. So, like a lot of rackets, it passed through my hands. It was definitely not marketed as a junior racket. They could have tried to sneak a 26 in racket toward adult players. I can't , however, see any logic for doing that ?
 

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
Hi, I wonder if your TX-6000 is (or was) 26 inch in length..
You didn't ask me, but the unit I have is 26.1", so it was most likely made that way. This model is significantly shorter than the other Lacoste-licensed Wilsons, which are all around 680 mm (26.8") in length, if you exclude the vibration dampeners.
 

BorgCash

Legend
Yeah, it was fun :) unfortunately I did not have any old-school shoes and honestly, not sure I'd want to do that to my feet anyway. I actually do not recall all the rackets I played that day, probably about 3 or for. in the first pic you see me trying to halfvolley back with a Head Arthur Ashe comp (or just below at serve):


After checking pics, I also played a Borg Allwood

which I quite liked. Very different from the Ashe of course.
The rest I do not remember. I probably did not use a 200g, as this is a racket I frequently use for doubles and it would have felt like cheating. Also I did not use my Equijet LT 301, as I use it every once in a while... and anyway, there was a lady who would not want to let it go anymore once she had started to use it :). Good times!
Great! Like your story ver much. It will be nice to take part in this tournament. I regulary played with Max 200G, have Head Arthur Ashe, but never trie it.I even got the same polo as yours! And some remakes of vintage tennis shoes that now becoming casual not athletic stuff.
 

onehandbh

Legend
@frinton Wow! Great job with the retro racquet tournament! Where was the tournament? In Europe?

Some friends and I would like to plan something similar.
Playing some doubles with old racquets later today.
 

jxs653

Semi-Pro
Might have been. I was not enamored of it. So, like a lot of rackets, it passed through my hands. It was definitely not marketed as a junior racket. They could have tried to sneak a 26 in racket toward adult players. I can't , however, see any logic for doing that ?
You didn't ask me, but the unit I have is 26.1", so it was most likely made that way. This model is significantly shorter than the other Lacoste-licensed Wilsons, which are all around 680 mm (26.8") in length, if you exclude the vibration dampeners.
Thanks for the response. I asked because mine is substantially shorter than normal adult racquet. (I didn't measure it though.) My initial thought was they perhaps made smaller grip shorter (mine is 1/4) just like they used to make smaller grip lighter. But it dosen’t look so.
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
Thanks for the response. I asked because mine is substantially shorter than normal adult racquet. (I didn't measure it though.) My initial thought was they perhaps made smaller grip shorter (mine is 1/4) just like they used to make smaller grip lighter. But it dosen’t look so.
Mine is just a hair over 26". Maybe it was because of the weight at 13.6oz(4 1/2 Medium)...they were reducing the lever arm length so folks could actually swing it!!!
 

frinton

Professional
Very cool vintage doubles action & nice court! Where did you play that game...looks a bit warmer than Switzerland these days!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

onehandbh

Legend
I really love old shorts (planning toget me something vintage) and old shoes. Playing with old frames most of the time.
I have a few retro shorts and shirts.

I also have a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths I bought about 15 yrs ago. Modern shoes are SO much better at locking down your feet.

One of my favorite shoes of all time was the old Wilson Prostaff mesh shoes. So comfortable and an incredible, removable insole cushion.
 

NickJ

Professional
I would use my Pro Staff 6.0 95 but after owning about 7 - 10 of them over the years, I'm now down to one left, and I don't want to damage it through play. So its stored away all comfy next to my 85 St Vincent.
I recently bought a POG midplus which is just beautiful to play with. And only arrived last week, which I've now strung up a Head Pro Tour 630 (the original mold to the PT57a). 23yr old racket and it might just become my 'go-to' frame, first pick out of the bag, it's wonderful!
 

BorgCash

Legend
I have a few retro shorts and shirts.

I also have a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths I bought about 15 yrs ago. Modern shoes are SO much better at locking down your feet.

One of my favorite shoes of all time was the old Wilson Prostaff mesh shoes. So comfortable and an incredible, removable insole cushion.
Great, same with me. Modern shoes are much more functional, but old just looking very stylish. I've heard about PS shoes, first time in 1987, Wilson also had PS clothing line. Never saw these shoes alive. Know that Sampras used them, even under different pj.
 

onehandbh

Legend
Yes! Those are the ones. I think I still have an old pair of the Prostaff mesh shoes sitting around in my parents garage somewhere.
The prostaff mesh shoes were amazingly breathable. On windy days I could actually feel the wind cooling my feet.

The closest I can find to this is the Prince T22. Prince T22's fit and Prostaff mesh breathability combined together would be the perfect shoe for me.

Lol, retro everything I suppose. Still have a pair. The air trainers were my favorite but you can blow through them in a week playing tennis.

 

onehandbh

Legend
Great, same with me. Modern shoes are much more functional, but old just looking very stylish. I've heard about PS shoes, first time in 1987, Wilson also had PS clothing line. Never saw these shoes alive. Know that Sampras used them, even under different pj.
I liked the Nike Air Oscillates that Sampras wore also. Nike was still making them up until a few years back. Very comfortable, but not the most durable.
Air Oscillate with mesh cutouts would be great!
 

BorgCash

Legend
I liked the Nike Air Oscillates that Sampras wore also. Nike was still making them up until a few years back. Very comfortable, but not the most durable.
Air Oscillate with mesh cutouts would be great!
Sorry, not my cup of tea. Like older classic Diadora Borg Elite, Puma Vilas, Nike Tennis Classic, etc. By today standarts they are suitable only for walking, but i remember that played in similar back in the 80's, even in canvas top shoes. Really need to wear thick socks with them. We thought more about racquets then.
 

BorgCash

Legend
I was so enthusiastic back then! Remember one hot day in 1986. It was a holiday my grandparents and parents went to a party but i came to stadium, it was empty, holiday, and i hit against the wall for four hours. Wood racquet with old grip, old sneakers, ragged socks. I end up totally exhausted, with dehydration and many blisters on hand and feet. But i wanted to improve my game so much!
 

Ultra 2

Professional
Yes! Those are the ones. I think I still have an old pair of the Prostaff mesh shoes sitting around in my parents garage somewhere.
The prostaff mesh shoes were amazingly breathable. On windy days I could actually feel the wind cooling my feet.

The closest I can find to this is the Prince T22. Prince T22's fit and Prostaff mesh breathability combined together would be the perfect shoe for me.
Yeah, it gets hot overs here in SoCal during the summer.. I alternate the Head Nitro Pros (called something else now) and the vapors. The Heads are extremely breathable.. even more so than the PS mesh.
 
Thanks for the pleasant walk down memory Ln. I miss the old diadora borg elites, le coq ashe shoes, and the puma vilas topspin.
That wilson pro staff shoe was standard issue on my college team! 1986-87, before our coach sold out to adidas, then nike.
I did not appreciate the wilson ps shoe enough. We had choice of those mesh ones and also the leathers.
I used the leathers for cold days or for squeegeeing. Mesh ones for actual tennis.

Honorable mention.... Pro Kennex made a truly great But unheralded shoe back then -- The PK mesh. Gum rubber sole (felt awesome, did not last long on hard courts, awesome on clay and indoor carpet), suede upper, great-feeling lacing system, and a ton of mesh in the right places. Also, everyone dug the subtle gray suede Kennex logo.

Btw, kswiss is making great retro shoes right now. I just got a pair in white with red and navy. No stripes. Looks good with anything. All leather. Like a stan smith, only lighter, and it comes with a good insole. I went with some elastic blue laces, so it's a perfect fit as a slip-on.

Also got a pair of their answer to the yeezy street shoes. Knit uppers, with twenty leather stripes, and a great snug lacing system. Not the best support if you're doing anything other than walking around, but man are they comfortable as a fairweather hangout shoe.
 

Ultra 2

Professional
Mesh/All Leather kinda reminds me of Lendl shoes.. Comp/supremes. Btw what Adidas tennis shoes did u guys use then? Only ones that come to mind are the Lendls and Edbergs.

Ah, the K-Swiss leathers, those slippery/sweaty insoles.. more of a fashion statement than a performance tennis shoe. Weighed a ton. I recall other kids taking razor blades to those and making sandals/huaraches out of them.

For me, i remember using the 2 above, Head radial 500 (Goodyear Indy 500 rubbers on these), Nike Meadow Supremes, MAC Attack, Air Aces. Massive toe dragger here and used a lot of eternal toe and shoe goo.
 
I had some of those supreme adidas shoes, white with navy.
Also the atp adidas shoe....before lendls and edbergs, iirc.

Lots of cool smaller brands made good shoes back then.
Saw some good looking shoes on European kids in juniors, by Romik and Superga. Superga made a great cream and navy shoe. I think that was an Italian brand. Lendl wore them before adidas....when he wore Australian apparel from italy.
I had a pair of Soma shoes, white with green like an updated rod laver. Got them at a store in Manhattan.
Pony made some roscoe tanner shes in white with royal blue. Also the pony all white leather forest hills was a higher end shoe.

All these looked great with the satin adidas warm ups we all wore back then.

If i were designing shoes right now, i have no idea what would sell to the streetwear crowd. But for tennis, i would want a shoe like the current high end NB or babolat sfx shoes....in gray...Maybe a light gray sole, white tongue (to tie in with shorts) and a navy or black babolat double line striped logo in the back. Or tan with navy and blood red stripes, with navy laces.
 
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Haha, I avoided the jimmy connors cons. My dad had a pair in white with navy. Our neighbor assumed it was a Dallas Cowboys shoe. He was from Pittsburgh.

Looking at thise asahi shoes... all the companies really just did the same thing. Slap some rubber, leather, glue, stitching...decide on the herringbone tread, or the nubs.....call it a tennis shoe.
I do recall some kangaroo leather and nubuck on some fine diadoras.
And the aforementioned mesh uppers.

Anyone remember asahi bones from the early nineties?
 
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Ultra 2

Professional
Yep, remember those bone soles on the soles.. not sure if it really helped.

You brought up an interesting point, if climate wasn’t the issue, kangaroo leather with the proper lining to prevent from over stretching would be the ideal upper for me.

Cage that onto a modern sole and it would be the perfect shoe.
 
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