Know the details about racquet reviews

wferdinand

New User
I was returned to tennis last year. I interesting about things which I'm doing in depth. I can't understand a lot of thing about racquet reviews because english isn't my main language, but other things I can't define for myself.

Power: I understand this. How I can to transfer my hitting energy to ball.
Control: This isn't bright. Something like how I can place the ball in the court.
Maneuverability: I don't understand this, what is the difference between this and control. Something like how I can put racquet head where I want. Making the right route at forehand and backhand and a good position in volleys.
Stability: I can't define this. I read about my racquet (read below) how this have some stability issues. What I can feel about this.
Comfort: I understand which is comfort but I can't understand how I define about a racquet.
Touch/Feel: This is the problem. I can't imagine what is the difference this and comfort.

I would like to somebody helps to me describe these things in practice. I don't want 'mathematically correct describes', I want impressions.

I'm going to the next thing. I have a pair of Head Graphene XT Instinct MP. I like this, but I can't had any practical things about choice. My first serious racquet in my childhood was Head Ti.Radical, this defined to me when I'm wanting to Head. Next, I really like blue things. My bicycle also white/blue, and I thought about 300gramms is correct to me. Nothing more. I bought these racquets and now I'm satisfied. But this is a little bit similar when I was picked up my first gf and I can't decide when she can offer this is enough to me because I feel myself comfortable because I can't have any benchmark.

So. I'm a 25 years old guy, about from the stronger type. I'm 5'10" and 220 lbs. The most important to me when I'm hitting the ball I have a good feeling. I can hit big but I not to often do this. My serves are powerful but not too accurate. I don't want too much power and extreme (marketing) spin. My balls often too long.

I was heard about different string patterns. The two mostly used is 18x20 and 16x19, and have a lot of different version, much about more spin: 16x15, 16x16, 18x16, but these are don't interesting to me. What is the advantage/disadvantage of 16x19 and 18x20?

I was heard about balance. What can do a head light and a head heavy racquet? How I can interpreting this?

I want to see more clear. In the future I want to testing some racquets, but I can't decide which is worh to testing by me. I know about some racquet:

Babolat Pure Strike 16x19:
I see TW review and this racquet had a lot of good point and rating.
Head Graphene Touch Speed Pro/MP: I want to try some another Head racquet and Speed is the most likeable to me. But I can't decide how the heavier Pro with 18x20 or lighter MP with 16x19 is better to me.
Babolat Pure Drive (2018): This is beautiful. Blue, and I like blue things, I can't have more why.
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph: Really heavy, this is a little bit joke to me. Michelle in Head Graphene Touch Speed Pro video preferring this. She is a strong girl but this is really interesting why.
Wilson Pro Staff 97: Like Fed racquet in average weight.
Wilson Ultra Tour: Another blue racquet. I'm a little bit sentimental.

This is all now. I really thanks about helping, I like to see clear.
 
One thing to keep in mind is that these specs are meant to give an APPROXIMATION of how a frame will perform. TW uses people of varying skill levels and athletic ability to close this discrepancy even further. But ultimately the best way to figure out what works is to demo. And if you can't demo because you're outside the States look at your current specs or brand and maybe bite the bullet and just buy a frame outright.
 

beltsman

Legend
I was returned to tennis last year. I interesting about things which I'm doing in depth. I can't understand a lot of thing about racquet reviews because english isn't my main language, but other things I can't define for myself.

Power: I understand this. How I can to transfer my hitting energy to ball.
Control: This isn't bright. Something like how I can place the ball in the court.
Maneuverability: I don't understand this, what is the difference between this and control. Something like how I can put racquet head where I want. Making the right route at forehand and backhand and a good position in volleys.
Stability: I can't define this. I read about my racquet (read below) how this have some stability issues. What I can feel about this.
Comfort: I understand which is comfort but I can't understand how I define about a racquet.
Touch/Feel: This is the problem. I can't imagine what is the difference this and comfort.

I would like to somebody helps to me describe these things in practice. I don't want 'mathematically correct describes', I want impressions.

I'm going to the next thing. I have a pair of Head Graphene XT Instinct MP. I like this, but I can't had any practical things about choice. My first serious racquet in my childhood was Head Ti.Radical, this defined to me when I'm wanting to Head. Next, I really like blue things. My bicycle also white/blue, and I thought about 300gramms is correct to me. Nothing more. I bought these racquets and now I'm satisfied. But this is a little bit similar when I was picked up my first gf and I can't decide when she can offer this is enough to me because I feel myself comfortable because I can't have any benchmark.

So. I'm a 25 years old guy, about from the stronger type. I'm 5'10" and 220 lbs. The most important to me when I'm hitting the ball I have a good feeling. I can hit big but I not to often do this. My serves are powerful but not too accurate. I don't want too much power and extreme (marketing) spin. My balls often too long.

I was heard about different string patterns. The two mostly used is 18x20 and 16x19, and have a lot of different version, much about more spin: 16x15, 16x16, 18x16, but these are don't interesting to me. What is the advantage/disadvantage of 16x19 and 18x20?

I was heard about balance. What can do a head light and a head heavy racquet? How I can interpreting this?

I want to see more clear. In the future I want to testing some racquets, but I can't decide which is worh to testing by me. I know about some racquet:

Babolat Pure Strike 16x19:
I see TW review and this racquet had a lot of good point and rating.
Head Graphene Touch Speed Pro/MP: I want to try some another Head racquet and Speed is the most likeable to me. But I can't decide how the heavier Pro with 18x20 or lighter MP with 16x19 is better to me.
Babolat Pure Drive (2018): This is beautiful. Blue, and I like blue things, I can't have more why.
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph: Really heavy, this is a little bit joke to me. Michelle in Head Graphene Touch Speed Pro video preferring this. She is a strong girl but this is really interesting why.
Wilson Pro Staff 97: Like Fed racquet in average weight.
Wilson Ultra Tour: Another blue racquet. I'm a little bit sentimental.

This is all now. I really thanks about helping, I like to see clear.
Power: Free power from the racquet. Usually due to stiffness and string pattern.
Control: Ability to consistently place the ball in a small spot. Consistency and precision of ball placement.
Maneuverability: Pretty straight forward. How easy it is to maneuver the racquet. Generally, headlight and low SW = higher maneuverability.
Stability: High swingweight/twistweight. Racquet not twisting on off center hits. Ability to not get pushed back by heavy balls.
Comfort: Lack of vibration, lack of arm pain. Solid feel.
Touch/Feel: Ability to feel the ball and have good feedback from shots.
 

beltsman

Legend
I was returned to tennis last year. I interesting about things which I'm doing in depth. I can't understand a lot of thing about racquet reviews because english isn't my main language, but other things I can't define for myself.

Power: I understand this. How I can to transfer my hitting energy to ball.
Control: This isn't bright. Something like how I can place the ball in the court.
Maneuverability: I don't understand this, what is the difference between this and control. Something like how I can put racquet head where I want. Making the right route at forehand and backhand and a good position in volleys.
Stability: I can't define this. I read about my racquet (read below) how this have some stability issues. What I can feel about this.
Comfort: I understand which is comfort but I can't understand how I define about a racquet.
Touch/Feel: This is the problem. I can't imagine what is the difference this and comfort.

I would like to somebody helps to me describe these things in practice. I don't want 'mathematically correct describes', I want impressions.

I'm going to the next thing. I have a pair of Head Graphene XT Instinct MP. I like this, but I can't had any practical things about choice. My first serious racquet in my childhood was Head Ti.Radical, this defined to me when I'm wanting to Head. Next, I really like blue things. My bicycle also white/blue, and I thought about 300gramms is correct to me. Nothing more. I bought these racquets and now I'm satisfied. But this is a little bit similar when I was picked up my first gf and I can't decide when she can offer this is enough to me because I feel myself comfortable because I can't have any benchmark.

So. I'm a 25 years old guy, about from the stronger type. I'm 5'10" and 220 lbs. The most important to me when I'm hitting the ball I have a good feeling. I can hit big but I not to often do this. My serves are powerful but not too accurate. I don't want too much power and extreme (marketing) spin. My balls often too long.

I was heard about different string patterns. The two mostly used is 18x20 and 16x19, and have a lot of different version, much about more spin: 16x15, 16x16, 18x16, but these are don't interesting to me. What is the advantage/disadvantage of 16x19 and 18x20?

I was heard about balance. What can do a head light and a head heavy racquet? How I can interpreting this?

I want to see more clear. In the future I want to testing some racquets, but I can't decide which is worh to testing by me. I know about some racquet:

Babolat Pure Strike 16x19:
I see TW review and this racquet had a lot of good point and rating.
Head Graphene Touch Speed Pro/MP: I want to try some another Head racquet and Speed is the most likeable to me. But I can't decide how the heavier Pro with 18x20 or lighter MP with 16x19 is better to me.
Babolat Pure Drive (2018): This is beautiful. Blue, and I like blue things, I can't have more why.
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph: Really heavy, this is a little bit joke to me. Michelle in Head Graphene Touch Speed Pro video preferring this. She is a strong girl but this is really interesting why.
Wilson Pro Staff 97: Like Fed racquet in average weight.
Wilson Ultra Tour: Another blue racquet. I'm a little bit sentimental.

This is all now. I really thanks about helping, I like to see clear.
Power: Free power from the racquet. Usually due to stiffness and string pattern.
Control: Ability to consistently place the ball in a small spot. Consistency and precision of ball placement.
Maneuverability: Pretty straight forward. How easy it is to maneuver the racquet. Generally, headlight and low SW = higher maneuverability.
Stability: High swingweight/twistweight. Racquet not twisting on off center hits. Ability to not get pushed back by heavy balls.
Comfort: Lack of vibration, lack of arm pain. Solid feel.
Touch/Feel: Ability to feel the ball and have good feedback from shots.
 

wferdinand

New User
Today I was tested my friend's racquet what he was bought but he don't like and would like to sell. This is a Wilson Steam 99S with 16x15 string pattern and really headlight, low swingweight. I don't play too much with this, just few rallies, but this was enough how I can get an impress. This is a really playable racquet, easy to handle and easy to hold ball in the court. I think it's coming from extra spin and low swingweight, but I don't hit too big with this. My Instinct is a harder playable racquet but I can hit big with correct technique.

Now I puzzled, but I want to testing some racquets, like Pure Strike 98 16x19, but may to this isn't a solution to me. If I change I want to hold some power from my racquet and easy handle from this wilson, I feel this is too light and underpowered to me.
 

ByakuFubuki

Semi-Pro
I'll try to put it simply, but I'm really bad at this:
  • Power: It generally translates as the ability to hit the fastest possible shot with the minumum amount of effort, but we should always consider that along with ball speed we're also talking about depth, which is, in my very humble opinion, one of the most important aspects of the game at every level if not the most important. If you are a Defensive Baseliner, you want to be able to hit deep balls with consistency, because otherwise you'll be attacked, if you are an "Aggressive Baseliner", you want to be able to hit deep balls with consistency because it makes your groundstrokes more incisive (much more than speed, still in my opinion), if you're a Serve-&-Volleyer, you want to be able to hit deep balls with consistency or it will be too easy to pass you. So, regardless of how you like to play, you want a combination of Racquet and Strings which allows you to hit consistently at least right between the service line and the baseline.
  • Control:Let's say you have a target. A cone in a certain spot of the court, for example. The Racquet which for you has the best control is the one which allows you to get the balls you hit as close as possible to the cone with as much consistency as possible. Generally we also say that a Racquet is "Control-Oriented" if you can go for your shots without hitting out, but I think that is more a combination of Control, Spin and (low) Power.
  • Maneuverability: How easy a Racquet is to move. At net it allows you to place the Racquet more accurately so that you don't mishit, at the baseline it allows you to complete a wider swing in less time. The wrong Maneuverability (too much or too little alike) will cause issues with timing, which is like depth one of the most important things. However, in my experience these problems need to really be extreme not to be fixed by some time spent on court, as it's mostly a matter of habit.
  • Stability: Basically, a more stable Racquet will be less likely to twist and/or be pushed back if you mis-hit and/or have to return a powerful/spinny shot from your opponent.
  • Comfort: Ok, here things get harder to define. Power, Control, Maneuverability and Stability (and Spin, by the way) are already pretty subjective concepts, as we all define them in our own way, following our own ideas and according to our own priorities. They do, however, give us practical results, while Comfort and Touch/Feel totally come from what our mind and body feel when the ball makes contact with the strings. As a consequence, not only the same opinion/rating, but even the same term (if you read review you might have come across some like "soft", "crisp", "muted" or "harsh"), if used by two different people, may assume two completely different meanings. These concept are very very vague. However, if I have to give my own definition of "comfortable" referred to a Racquet, I'll simply say that it feels pleasant on impact. Generally, people who developed health issues such as tennis elbow call "comfortable" a Racquet which doesn't cause them pain while hitting the ball.
  • Touch/Feel: Probably the most subjective characteristic of all. The problem with defining feel is that we usually tend to say a racquet is good in that department if we actually like the sensation it gives us as we hit the ball, and that not only is a combination of many things, but something which changes exponentially from person to person. To me, a Racquet with "good feel" is essentially one which gives you feedback, meaning that as soon as the ball hits the strings you realize more or less which part of the stringbed you hit and as soon as the ball leaves the strings you have a good idea of where it will land. Basically a Racquet which gives you feedback lets you understand more easily how "good" you've been during the hit and often also why you've been good or bad. Another aspect often considered when defining feel is the so-called "dwell time": how much time the ball spends on the stringbed. We're talking about very small fractions of the second, but on court you can really tell the difference. One may like or dislike a long dwell time. Personally, I think the longer a ball swells on the strings the easier it is to hit "touch shots", such as Drop-Shot, Lob and to some extent Slice and Volley. That said, I would like to point out that how a Racquet scores in Touch/Feel mainly depends on what you are used to, meaning that a Racquet may seem bad on this point of view at the beginning, but as you keep playing with it you'll get to know it and read the signals it gives you better.
In short, a Racquet scores high in
  • Power if it's easy to give pace and depth to the ball with consistency.
  • Control if it's easy to hit close to a target with consistency (as long as the target isn't out of your reach, of course).
  • Maneuverability if it's easy to move around.
  • Stability if it has resistance to being twisted and/or pushed back.
  • Comfort if it's pleasant to hit with and doesn't cause arm pain.
  • Touch/Feel if it's easy to understand what's going on in the stringbed.
That said, always remember that reviews are much more subjective than one may think. For example, even if we are at the same level and apparently have a similar game with similar priorities, you could find very powerful a racquet I find underpowered and vice-versa. That's because every characteristic is influenced by a number of factors, and for example, whereas Player A may draw power from a large headsize, Player B could make a better use of a racquet's mass.
My suggestion here is to read as many reviews as possible of the racquets you're interested in (since you listed the Wilson Ultra Tour as one of those, you may want to follow the playtest Tennis Warehouse is currently holding), so you can make the most general idea possible.

Unfortunately, Tennis Warehouse Europe doesn't provide Demo Program in Hungary, but hopefully you can ask shops in your area to allow you to test racquets.
In case you should get to test frames but be unsure on which to pick, I'd suggest you to follow this guide from @J011yroger which I mostly agree with.

As for your specific questions,

String Patterns can exist of many varieties, as you noticed. As a general rule, a lower number of strings helps with spin, power and forgiveness, while a higher number of strings helps with control and predictability. However, everything is really dependand on who wields the racquet. For example, many feel better hitting heavy topspin with an 18x20 pattern than with a 16x19. To complicate things further, what really determines these factors isn't the exact number of strings but how much space there is between them. Generally, if strings are closer with each other in the middle of the racquet, that gives said racquet more control to the expense of spin and power, while having less strings between the sweetspot and the beam generally improves forgiveness.

Balance indicates where the racquet's center of mass is situated. It can be expressed in two ways: with centimeters (or millimeters) or with "points". The first way tells you the distance of the center of mass from the bottom of the handle, so, if a racquet has standard length (slightly less than 69cm) and "even balance", the center of mass will be at approximately 34.5cm. Most racquets we play with have an unstrung balance between 31cm and 32.5cm (note that adding strings to a racquet will increase its weight and rise its balance, so, whenever you read a review, make sure to understand if the user is referring to strung or unstrung specs). I think the second way is the most used in the USA, and it's a particular system which sets the even balance at 0 points and from there adds "Head Light Points" as the balance lowers and "Head Heavy Points" as it rises. I don't know much about how the system works because where I live no one uses it, but if I recall correctly a balance of 30.5cm corresponds to approximately 12 Points Head Light.
That said, as a general rule, everything else being equal (especially weight, head size, head shape and beam width), between two racquet the most head light will be more maneuverable but less powerful.

I think that's all for now. Sorry if I wrote a long and complicated post, but I really can't do much better.
 

wferdinand

New User
Today I was brought three different Wilson racquet to test: Burn 100S, Blade 98L and previous Ultra 97. My hitting partner now more important than me, because he want to buy new racquet. He was bought Steam 99S, and he like balance/swingweight of this, but his only problem coming from 16x15 string pattern. Now he playing with a Babolat racquet about 280g. The specs are almost nothing. I can't predict anything which racquet will he like. These are different. Burn 100S also a spin effect racquet than Steam but bit restrained, about 300g. I don't like these too round racquet head, this is ugly for me. Blade 98L is a lighter one, but I feel this is coming from grip side, this is less headlight than Burn. Ultra 97 is 310g but a really headlight one and the next version is only 304g with same balance. I think I knew brought three different racquet and we tomorrow testing these and he select one.
 
Top