n6.1 90 balance HH slows down serve?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by CliffH, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. CliffH

    CliffH Rookie

    May 28, 2004
    I have been using the prostaff6.1 classic and serve adequately at the 4.5ish level. I loved the new ncode6.1 90 but could not get the feel or the pace on the serve as I expected. I serve well with the ps6.0 85, as far as I last remember and I could serve well with the tour90, so I was confused. Has anyone else noticed this?

    I hear some guys can serve bombs with this thing!

    Since serve feel, power & timing depend on racquet balance, I am told, more so than weight, I compared the classic to the ncode.

    classic wt 12.8oz balance 11pts headlight
    ncode wt 12.2oz balance 8 pts headlight =(more head heavy)

    To make the ncode as close to the classic as we could, we measured out 22in of lead tape and placed it on the lower 4 inches of the grip, evenly, on top of saran wrap, so as to not damage the leather, wrapped it with an overwrap and will see if it is my lack of skill, or some other factor that affects the serve tomorrow.

    I could not check the weight tonite (left my scale at work), but will check tomorrow, as the two racquets, with the uninstalled lead tape, weighed & balanced similiar, earlier.

    For kicks I have the n5 98 demo to compare, as well, weighing about 9.5 oz or so (I forget) and the trap door on the butt cap allowed me to put strips of lead tape hung inside, temporarily, to bring the weight & balance very similiar to the other two.

    n5 weight 9.5oz balance 13pts head heavy

    I put alot!!!! of tape inside to get it close. We'll see.

    As I remember the t5, for me, was really light, pretty wimpy, twisted a lot and was not a serious stick, compared to the
    prostaff 12oz+ racquets.

    Maybe this racquet will be an improvement. I will be surprised if it is even close to the other sticks, weight added or not.
  2. Coda

    Coda Semi-Pro

    Feb 20, 2004
    my stock originals were 8 pts headlight...
  3. brijoel

    brijoel Rookie

    Mar 9, 2004
    i had serve trouble with the ncode 90. i personally think the people hitting the "bombs" are the ones who switched over from less serve savy racquets. i was hitting VERY noticable faster serves with my totally stock 6.0 85. the ncode 90 was a slug in comparison to the 6.0 85 or just about any other midsize racquet ive tested in a while.
  4. Craig Clark

    Craig Clark New User

    Feb 19, 2004
    Serving Comparison: N Code SixOne 90 vs PS 6.0 85

    I just spent about an hour this morning practicing my serve w/ the new nCode SixOne 90. I had a freshly strung 6.0 85 alongside for comparison, b/c I've made a deal w/ Fabrice Leroy to play the 6.0 85 exclusively for one month and then compare notes. Now that my last tourney for a while is behind me I can honor that commitment! :D

    Wilson nCode SixOne 90 (stock): 12.7 oz w/ white Wilson overgrip, 10 pts HL, strung w/ 17 guage VS natural gut at 70#

    Wilson PS 6.0 85 (stock): 12.6 oz w/ white Wilson overgrip, 12 points HL, strung w/ VS natural gut at 70#.

    I weighed the frames on my own scales, and checked balance on an Alpha "Viper" beam.

    I practice the serve by setting out four targets in each service box: 1. down the 'T' 2. 'body serve' target, 3. wide or 'slice' target, 4. a target WAY up the side service line for the 'off-speed breaking slice' serve. Thus there are 8 target total, four in the deuce and four in the ad court. I hit ten to fifteen serves to each target, in 'first serve, second serve' sequence. That is if I make a first serve, I hit another first serve, but to the next target in the array. If I miss, I hit a second serve, also to the NEXT target. Really helps your serve variety in terms of placement, speed, spin, etc.

    I used an inexpensive radar device to time my serves. It's fairly accurate, but b/c it has to be placed behind the net, it typically clocks 'em about 7-10 mph slower than a 'true gun'. I've compared it to the very accurate Bushnell sold on the net, which measures speed off the racquet face, just like the ones on the ATP tour are designed to do, and established this to be the case.

    I've already commented on the 'muted'quality of the nCode in comparison to the PS original, and offered my opinion that both the nCode AND 6.0 85 are amongst the best serving frames ever made. I continue to feel this way after this mornings practice. Here are the details:

    Flat first serves were better struck (by me) with the PS 6.0 85. I use 'better' here to mean in the sense of nearly equal pace but more accurate placement. While I could get just a smidge more pace w/ the nCode (top speed about 109 mph w/ the 6.0, 114 mph w/ the nCode), my accuracy suffered a bit.

    Slice serves were more successful w/ the nCode. I didn't 'feel' them on the stringbed the way I can w/ the 6.0 85, but there is no doubt in my mind they were spinning and 'breaking' more after the bounce. I've found this to be generally true w/ 'softer' frames, and the nCode feels softer to me. Don't get me wrong, the 6.0 85 is also a champ here. The differences were small, but noticeable if you are looking for them.

    Kick serves, when equally well struck, seemed to have more 'bite' and 'action' with the 6.0 85, but were more difficult to generate. I hit MORE successful kicks with the nCode, but when I REALLY caught one, the 'jump' factor was greater with the PS 6.0 85.

    Finally, it is well known that good servers get in a 'rhythm'. It's hard to describe, but it's not cognitive at all....it's about 'feel' or 'timing'. You quit thinking about it and just start throwing the ball up and hitting it. This 'rhythm' was MUCH easier to establish and maintain w/ the 6.0 85. This MIGHT be familiarity. After all, I've had the nCodes in hand all of about 10 days, and have used the 85's off and on for twenty YEARS.

    It may boil down to how you use your serve to help you set up and win points. If you rely on the bomb, it will be the 6.0 85. If spins and variety are your bag, baby....well than it's easier to CONSISTENTLY accomplish w/ the nCode.

    As always, your thoughts are a welcome thing!!


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