Need new racket recommendations! Help please!

Mosesdas

New User
Hello!

I am a 5.0 ex college player potentially looking for a new stick.

A little back history, I used to play with the Fischer M Pro 1 (Baghdatis' old racket) if anyone remembers it and it was my all time favorite racket. Then played with Babolat Pure Strike and Head Prestige and Wilson Blades but never could like them fully.

I am currently playing with the Yonex Ezone Tour 98 with a leather grip and strung with Yonex Polytour Pro and I like it but seeing if theres something that fits my game better.

Looking for: I primarily play doubles now so looking for something that is whippy and a racket I can slap the ball with, maneuverable at the net, and great with serves. I play with a semi-western forehand and a two hand backhand and can hit the ball flat and also with topspin. It might be a lot to ask for but open to ideas!

Thanks!
 

Trip

Hall of Fame
@Mosedas - Welcome to TT. Let's do this.

So, that Fisher M Pro One 98 SL that you were so fond of happens to be a full 1cm (~3 points) more head-light than the Ezone Tour, I'd wager most of the Pure Strikes you tried (other than the Tour and VS), half of the Prestiges and almost all of the Blades, which is why, if I had to guess, you never got along with most of them -- they're noticeably head-heavier, with swing dynamics to match -- ie. they require earlier preparation, different timing and more pulling of the racquet through the strike zone versus pushing (ie. more Zverev, less Federer). And yes, for any of the aforementioned sticks, you could simply add handle weight to make them more head-light, but you still can't remove any mass from the hoop (not without grinding/cutting anyways) so most are still going to feel clunky in comparison. Instead, simply moving back to something with a more head-light mass distribution, ala the M1 Pro 98 SL, will likely solve your mechanical issues and be more appropriate for doubles, all in one go.

That said, let's revisit the M Pro One 98 SL specs for a moment: 320g, 98", 16x20 with 8 throat mains, 7pt HL strung balance, 20-25mm constant-taper beam, 58RA flex, 317 swing weight, 13.1 twist weight. So, it's a soft-flexing medium-heavy control stick with a tapered beam that is whippy (7ps HL and <320 swing weight) and easy to twist (<14 twist weight). Frames with that mix of specs are on the endangered species list these days, but there are still a few mainstream options to look at. In the 97-99" category, they are as follows (at least 6pts HL and no stiffer than 64RA):

- Babolat Pure Strike VS - 310g, 97", 16x20 w/ 8 throat mains, 7pts HL strung, 21-22-21mm beam, 63RA, 315SW, 13.8TW
- Dunlop CX 200 - 305g, 98", 16x19 w/ 8TM, 6pts, 21.5mm, 64RA, 317SW, 14.3TW
- Prince Phantom 97P - 320g, 97", 16x18 semi-dense, 8pts, 16.5-19.5-20.5mm, 58RA, 320SW, 14.1TW
- Tecnifibre TF40 315 16x19 - 315g, 98", 16x19 w/ 8TM, 8pts, 22mm, 64RA, 313SW, 13.9TW
- Yonex VCore Pro 97 310 - 310g, 97", 16x19 w/ 8TM, 7pts, 21.5mm, 60RA, 318SW, 13.8TW

If you're willing to looking at a 100" head size, I'd also include:

- Prince Phantom Pro 100 - 305g, 100", 16x18 semi-dense, 7pts, 16.5-19.5-20.5mm, 54RA (!), 320SW, 15.1TW
- Prince Phantom 100G - 310g, 100", 16x18 semi-dense, 7pts, 16.5-18.5-20.5mm, 59RA, 318SW, 14.5TW
- Prince ATS Tour 100P - 305g, 100", open 18x20, 7pts, 20-23-22mm, 61RA, 322SW, 13.7TW

Overall, the frames that would be the most playable without customization would be the CX 200, 97P, TF40, 100G and ATS 100P. Hopefully you can demo the Dunlop or Tecnifibre locally, and some or all of the Princes from TW if possible.

Hope that helps. Any questions, feel free.
 
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Soundbyte

Hall of Fame
I agree with most of the above.

Dunlop Cx200, Blade Pro or Ultra Pro, Artengo.
If you can demo the new Diadem elevate v3, try that too.

Also add the Solinco Whiteout to the list
 

Mosesdas

New User
Honestly just get the normal ezone 98 and throw a leather grip on it

It’s stable enough at 305 and the leather is nice for doubles maneuverability

Or new Vcore 98!
I'm afraid the regular ezone won't be stable enough when i play big hitters but could be able to work around it
 

Mosesdas

New User
@Mosedas - Welcome to TT. Let's do this.

So, that Fisher M Pro One 98 SL that you were so fond of happens to be a full 1cm (~3 points) more head-light than the Ezone Tour, I'd wager most of the Pure Strikes you tried (other than the Tour and VS), half of the Prestiges and almost all of the Blades, which is why, if I had to guess, you never got along with most of them -- they're noticeably head-heavier, with swing dynamics to match -- ie. they require earlier preparation, different swing timing and dynamics and more pulling of the racquet through the strike zone versus pushing of the racquet (ie. more Zverev, less Federer). Yes, for any of the aforementioned sticks, you could simply add handle weight to make them more head-light by overall balance, but a good portion of them are still going to feel clunky in comparison. Instead, simply moving back to something with a more head-light mass distribution, ala the M1 Pro 98 SL, will likely solve the mechanical issues and be more appropriate for doubles, all in one go.

That said, let's revisit the M Pro One 98 SL specs for a moment: 320g, 98", 16x20 with 8 throat mains, 7pt HL strung balance, 20-25mm constant-taper beam, 58RA flex, 317 swing weight, 13.1 twist weight. So, it's a soft-flexing medium-heavy control stick with a tapered beam that is whippy (7ps HL and <320 swing weight) and easy to twist (<14 twist weight). Frames with that mix of specs are on the endangered species list these days, but there are still a few mainstream options to look at. In the 97-99" category, they are as follows (at least 6pts HL and no stiffer than 64RA):

- Babolat Pure Strike VS - 310g, 97", 16x20 w/ 8 throat mains, 7pts HL strung, 21-22-21mm beam, 63RA, 315SW, 13.8TW
- Dunlop CX 200 - 305g, 98", 16x19 w/ 8TM, 6pts, 21.5mm, 64RA, 317SW, 14.3TW
- Prince Phantom 97P - 320g, 97", 16x18 semi-dense, 8pts, 16.5-19.5-20.5mm, 58RA, 320SW, 14.1TW
- Tecnifibre TF40 315 16x19 - 315g, 98", 16x19 w/ 8TM, 8pts, 22mm, 64RA, 313SW, 13.9TW
- Yonex VCore Pro 97 310 - 310g, 97", 16x19 w/ 8TM, 7pts, 21.5mm, 60RA, 318SW, 13.8TW

If you're willing to looking at a 100" head size, I'd also include:

- Prince Phantom Pro 100 - 305g, 100", 16x18 semi-dense, 7pts, 16.5-19.5-20.5mm, 54RA (!), 320SW, 15.1TW
- Prince Phantom 100G - 310g, 100", 16x18 semi-dense, 7pts, 16.5-18.5-20.5mm, 59RA, 318SW, 14.5TW
- Prince ATS Tour 100P - 305g, 100", open 18x20, 7pts, 20-23-22mm, 61RA, 322SW, 13.7TW

Overall, the frames that would be the most playable without customization would be the CX 200, 97P, TF40, 100G and ATS 100P. Hopefully you can demo the Dunlop or Tecnifibre locally, and some or all of the Princes from TW if possible.

Hope that helps. Any questions, feel free.
Wow! Thank you for that thorough education! Yeah it seems like my preferred type of racket is hard to fine. But going through your list, Babolats are usually too stiff for me now and hollow feeling so will have to skip that one and i demo'd the vcore pro when i demo'd the ezone tour and the vcore felt disconnected and the handle didn't feel complete to the body.

BUT i haven't tried the Prince, TF40, or Dunlop and I may need to!

I am also open to non mainstream rackets such as Angell and any others you recommend! Although money is tight i'm open to investing in the best racket for me no matter the cost!
 

Mosesdas

New User
Artengo TR960 for doubles or even Blade Pro V8 (especially for singles), both 16x19
Never heard of Artengo but looked it up and looks cool! Unfortunately can't demo it around here since i'm in the states but hopefully can try one out one day. Thanks!
 

Mosesdas

New User
I agree with most of the above.

Dunlop Cx200, Blade Pro or Ultra Pro, Artengo.
If you can demo the new Diadem elevate v3, try that too.

Also add the Solinco Whiteout to the list
Thanks will check those out! Haven't played with the blade pro so wondering how different it is from the blade v7 that i used for a while. The Diadem is on my list since I know some of those guys that work for them. Solinco would be fun to try as well. Thanks!
 

Hulger

Semi-Pro
Just buy Wilson Blade 18x20 and bring balance more HL by gripping it with leather.
AFAIK V5 might be the best iteration, but some love has also been shown for V8.
 
@Mosedas - Welcome to TT. Let's do this.

So, that Fisher M Pro One 98 SL that you were so fond of happens to be a full 1cm (~3 points) more head-light than the Ezone Tour, I'd wager most of the Pure Strikes you tried (other than the Tour and VS), half of the Prestiges and almost all of the Blades, which is why, if I had to guess, you never got along with most of them -- they're noticeably head-heavier, with swing dynamics to match -- ie. they require earlier preparation, different swing timing and dynamics and more pulling of the racquet through the strike zone versus pushing of the racquet (ie. more Zverev, less Federer). Yes, for any of the aforementioned sticks, you could simply add handle weight to make them more head-light by overall balance, but a good portion of them are still going to feel clunky in comparison. Instead, simply moving back to something with a more head-light mass distribution, ala the M1 Pro 98 SL, will likely solve the mechanical issues and be more appropriate for doubles, all in one go.

That said, let's revisit the M Pro One 98 SL specs for a moment: 320g, 98", 16x20 with 8 throat mains, 7pt HL strung balance, 20-25mm constant-taper beam, 58RA flex, 317 swing weight, 13.1 twist weight. So, it's a soft-flexing medium-heavy control stick with a tapered beam that is whippy (7ps HL and <320 swing weight) and easy to twist (<14 twist weight). Frames with that mix of specs are on the endangered species list these days, but there are still a few mainstream options to look at. In the 97-99" category, they are as follows (at least 6pts HL and no stiffer than 64RA):

- Babolat Pure Strike VS - 310g, 97", 16x20 w/ 8 throat mains, 7pts HL strung, 21-22-21mm beam, 63RA, 315SW, 13.8TW
- Dunlop CX 200 - 305g, 98", 16x19 w/ 8TM, 6pts, 21.5mm, 64RA, 317SW, 14.3TW
- Prince Phantom 97P - 320g, 97", 16x18 semi-dense, 8pts, 16.5-19.5-20.5mm, 58RA, 320SW, 14.1TW
- Tecnifibre TF40 315 16x19 - 315g, 98", 16x19 w/ 8TM, 8pts, 22mm, 64RA, 313SW, 13.9TW
- Yonex VCore Pro 97 310 - 310g, 97", 16x19 w/ 8TM, 7pts, 21.5mm, 60RA, 318SW, 13.8TW

If you're willing to looking at a 100" head size, I'd also include:

- Prince Phantom Pro 100 - 305g, 100", 16x18 semi-dense, 7pts, 16.5-19.5-20.5mm, 54RA (!), 320SW, 15.1TW
- Prince Phantom 100G - 310g, 100", 16x18 semi-dense, 7pts, 16.5-18.5-20.5mm, 59RA, 318SW, 14.5TW
- Prince ATS Tour 100P - 305g, 100", open 18x20, 7pts, 20-23-22mm, 61RA, 322SW, 13.7TW

Overall, the frames that would be the most playable without customization would be the CX 200, 97P, TF40, 100G and ATS 100P. Hopefully you can demo the Dunlop or Tecnifibre locally, and some or all of the Princes from TW if possible.

Hope that helps. Any questions, feel free.

A lot of great info but my favorite part: “welcome to TT. Let’s do this” haha
 

Trip

Hall of Fame
@Mosesdas - Very welcome. However, you'd be making a mistake by viewing the Pure Strike VS in the same light as any of the other Strikes, or any other Babolat for that matter; it has a way softer flex and better feel than most any of them -- more like a reincarnated Pure Control -- and is by far Babolat's most arm-friendly frame by a good margin -- on par with a CX 200 or ATS Tour in terms of arm comfort. However, the PSVS is priced pretty high, so if money is tight, that would be the primary reason for looking elsewhere.

As for the big picture, you'll continue to receive replies telling you to just buy some <=4-pt HL stick and just handle-weight it, ala Blade, Radical MP, etc. but as you've acknowledged multiple times now, they're not a fit for your game (because they have too much mass in the hoop), so stick to your guns, go with a stick that is 6pts or more HL strung in stock form, like any of the ones in my list, and you'll probably be much better off.
 
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Mosesdas

New User
@Mosesdas - Very welcome. However, you'd be making a mistake by viewing the Pure Strike VS in the same light as any of the other Strikes, or any other Babolat for that matter; it has a way softer flex and better feel than most any of them -- more like a reincarnated Pure Control -- and is by far Babolat's most arm-friendly frame by a good margin -- on par with a CX 200 or ATS Tour in terms of arm comfort. However, the PSVS is priced pretty high, so if money is tight, that would be the primary reason for looking elsewhere.

As for the big picture, you'll continue to receive replies telling you to just buy some <=4-pt HL stick and just handle-weight it, ala Blade, Radical MP, etc. but as you've acknowledged multiple times now, they're not a fit for your game (because they have too much mass in the hoop), so stick to your guns, go with a stick that is in 6pts or more HL strung in stock form, like any of the ones in my list, and you'll probably be much better off.
I’ll have to try it then! Have you tried any of the Angell rackets?
 
Try the Volkl C10 EVO. Close in specs to your current racquet - main variances are stiffness 63 vs 62, weight 11.4 vs 11.7. Super easy on arm, and great visuals.
 

Trip

Hall of Fame
@Mosesdas - I haven't hit Angell frames yet but if you like that foam-filled, thumpy feel on contact, the TC custom series is supposed to be quite nice, as is evidenced by the very long Angell thread here. I would think a custom spec of 315g/310mm in either a TC97 16x19 or 63RA-flex TC100 would be a good fit for you. Another nice option from them is the K7 series, which are hollow-core and provide more of that fiberglass-y Pro Staff type of feel; the K7 Lime would have more of the balance you're looking for at 31cm unstrung, but it is an 18x20 so possibly a tighter string pattern than you want, although that could be good for doubles. Regardless, you can't go wrong with Angell and their spec tolerance in on the better end as well.
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
Ha i can't afford to buy rackets and not like it so i def need to demo one but ill look at it even more!
Good resale value, especially to Canadians, since we can't get the 16X18 here (and that is the prefered version, dubbed "LeGads") and low MRSP price (S150?).
 

kdbing

New User
You said you don't like the blade. What racquet have you used in the past that you like? Are you a one hander or two for BH? what level do you play at? Are you a bigger guy or a a smaller guy? (some might not admit this)
Are you an attacker or a counter puncher? Are you injury prone or ailment inhibited? Are aesthetics a big concern? ( it matters to many)
if you answer a few of these, it might narrow down the type of racquets that are suitable.
 

kdbing

New User
just read to the top..... foolish me. From the looks of it, the balance of the frames youve played with vary from 4pts to 8-9 points HL.
I would recommend you get a CX200 dunlop, wilson ultra tour (older better price) wilson ultra pro 16x19 (newer more $$) or a wilson Blade pro, and customize your balance point to your liking. Youve also noted 21mm all the way up to a 23.5. I would also throw the cx400 tour in the mix of frames you can try and customize.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
Head Speed is very whippy. I think you would like this racket. Speed Pro if you don't mind 18x20. Speed MP if you like 16x19. You will probably need to add some weight. Good luck!

diagree they are not very head light, the pro I had was like 3 points head light strung, similar to blades
 

jimmy8

Legend
diagree they are not very head light, the pro I had was like 3 points head light strung, similar to blades
TW says 6 pts head light and they average a bunch of strung rackets. And I demoed it and it was very whippy. You got one that wasn't whippy, but that's because of quality control.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
Could potentially work for a true 5.0+ and/or anyone who can dime the sweet spot 95+% of the time. That said, for doubles in particular, a bit larger head may be more helpful.

vc95 doesn’t require hitting the sweet spot 95% of the time it’s pretty forgiving on off center hits. It’s not a 89 sw inch 90s pro staff
 

jimmy8

Legend
6HL strung isn’t exactly whippy anyway. 7-8 strung starts to be.
I know, I didn't expect the racket to be whippy, but it was the whippiest racket that I've ever played with. The specs don't say it's whippy, but it is. That's why the racket is called Speed.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
Is that 95 pretty whippy when strung? I would also prob put on a leather grip but some reviews says it needs lead

Yes pretty whippy. If you want to add weight to the handle I’d add a little to the head as well but I didn’t feel the need to do either.
 

Trip

Hall of Fame
vc95 doesn’t require hitting the sweet spot 95% of the time it’s pretty forgiving on off center hits. It’s not a 89 sw inch 90s pro staff
The VC95 has a good amount of hallmark qualities, but overall off-center forgiveness is not really one of them. The upper part of the hoop is less effected, but mid-level and below, the forgiveness drop-off is precipitous. Here's an ITF-level pro explaining it (starting at about 4:30). He hits a super clean ball, and it's even an issue for him:


So, not to push a narrative, but it's a real issue, plain and simple. The VC95 can still be a good choice for other reasons, of course, but if fullest-coverage string bed consistency is what you're after, there are simply better choices. It just is what it is.
 
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SupahMan5000

Hall of Fame
the CX200 Tour 18x20 comes stock with leather and the Ultra Pro / Blade Pro have a lot of room to make whippy if you'd like. all are solid player's frames and can be tuned to how you want it

but I do also recommend the VC95 it just personally didn't feel quite optimized for flatter hitting. I felt shorthanded on my forehand
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
The VC95 has a good amount of hallmark qualities, but overall off-center forgiveness is not really one of them. The upper part of the hoop is less effected, but mid-level and below, the forgiveness drop-off is precipitous. Here's an ITF-level pro explaining it (starting at about 4:30). He hits a super clean ball, and it's even an issue for him:


So, not to push a narrative, but it's a real issue, plain and simple. The VC95 can still be a good choice for other reasons, of course, but if fullest-coverage string bed consistency is what you're after, there are simply better choices. It just is what it is.

It depends on what you are comparing it to. For it's class it's pretty forgiving.
 

Mosesdas

New User
Fairly true. Compared to the M1 Pro SL, one nice similarity is the fairly low flex (61, vs 58), and twist weight, although higher, isn't that much more (14, vs 13.1). I'd be interested to see how @Mosesdas likes it.
I hit a pretty clean ball as I’m a 5.0 but I understand the concern. My ezone tour is just too beefy going through the air. I need something lighter and whippy and quick for volleys as I mainly play doubles now.
 
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