New to racquets. Any opinions on these sticks? (Pure Aero Plus, Grapheme Radical Pro, Ezone 98+, Phantom 100)

firepanda

Professional
For the first time, I'm properly researching a racquet purchase. I always just used to ask for something 'good for spin at the baseline'.

I've played with the Prince EXO3 Graphite 93 and the Dunlop M-Fil 200. I'm looking for something with a similar SW, but a touch more power and a larger, more forgiving head.

The Racquet Finder tool suggested the following:
  • Babolat Pure Aero (Tour/VS Tour/Plus)
  • Head Graphene Radical Pro
  • Head Graphene 360 Extreme Pro
  • Prince Phantom (100/Pro100P)
  • Prince Textreme Tour 100
  • Yonex Ezone 98+
That is... a lot of options. And apart from differences in beam width and static weight, they all look very similar to me.

New list, with a bit more reading and your suggestions:
  • Babolat Pure Strike 16x19
  • Yonex EZONE DR 98
  • Yonex VCORE Pro 97 (310)
  • Prince Phantom Pro 100P
  • Head Graphene Radical Pro

So I need some opinions here. What are the practical difference between these racquets? Which ones are worth demoing? Have you guys had any experience with them before?
 
Last edited:

Jakesteroni

Semi-Pro
I can only chime in on the Ezone plus, I have it and recently switched. It’s not overly powerful and swings quite easy for extended, you get a bit more power cause if you’re hitting the top of the string bed with a std length, this will have you hit the center. It’s very unique in that it’s a thick beam but doesn’t play stiff, more of a solid low torsional feeling, still has some flex and is comfortable. To save some money maybe lower your tension with your current frames. It’ll open up the bed and give more power and comfort.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

firepanda

Professional
Thanks! I've actually had a chance to play with the Ezone 98+ already and liked it. Not quite as 'clean' as my old Prince, but definitely more forgiving and still plenty of heft.

Out of curiosity, when you say it 'swings quite easy for extended', have you had a chance to play with any other extended racquets? I'm quite interested in the extended options (Babolat PAP, Yonex Ezone 98+) to help my serve.
 
The most natural transition should be to the Dunlop m-fil 300. Somewhat larger head, from a more powerful line of racquets, and with a more open string pattern. They’re pretty cheap used. Considering picking one up myself.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Most Natural transition would be to the Phantom 93P. You may think you need a larger head, but the sweet spot on the 93P feels more like a 95-97 frame and its blend of feel and controllable power is superb. String it with a low tension thin gauge poly. I have 100 and 107 inch frames in my bag and the 93P is no more an issue with framing than the others. You pay for that forgiveness with less control.
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
Out of the ones you listed I like the Prince and Yonex frames due to their better comfort. Babolat, although improving are still a little harsh for my liking, hence why take the risk.
 

teekaywhy

Professional
I would suggest the two Head sticks first and maybe the Prince next. Coming from what you're using now, a step towards the Ezone will be jarring is my guess. The Bab Pure Aero is probably as far away from where you are as you can get. Sometimes you have to look at the racquet finder results with a skeptical eye and apply the smell test.
I'd suggest the Bab Pure Strike Project AO7 or the Yonex VCore 95 or the Head Speeds.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Thanks! I've actually had a chance to play with the Ezone 98+ already and liked it. Not quite as 'clean' as my old Prince, but definitely more forgiving and still plenty of heft.

Out of curiosity, when you say it 'swings quite easy for extended', have you had a chance to play with any other extended racquets? I'm quite interested in the extended options (Babolat PAP, Yonex Ezone 98+) to help my serve.

I think of that impression of a "clean" hitting racquet along the lines of your old Prince as that sort of "connected" feel that I've always liked with a smaller hoop. A little bit of an old-school flavor I guess. I have a couple of different mids (90"-92") that I still like to noodle with here and there, but I also think that I get a little more inherent pop from my go-to players that have a similar weight and balance as those mids, along with larger 98" hoops.

I've also tried different 100" racquets here and there, but they've just seemed to be a bit too much for me. A 98" can give me nice feel and pop without seeming clunky, unwieldy, or generally like a trampoline on a stick. I've also sampled several different Yonex models and a few of our pals here seem to agree with me in that their square-ish heads can play bigger than a more traditional design having an oval-shaped hoop (and similar weight and balance). So if a 98" Yonex doesn't hit as clean as you might want, you may want to get a 95" on your list of demos - our pal teekaywhy suggested the VCore 95.

I haven't tried the newer Dunlop Srixon frames, but they seem to have a little old-school personality in their blueprints. I'm a happy Volkl nerd and keep two of their models in my bag all the time. Their C10 is somewhat of a hefty, flexible throwback that is both very cozy and very powerful for me, but I generally prefer that frame for heavy slugging when I'm working out with a stronger kid in my coaching pursuits.

I also have their Organix 10 325g, which I've tuned into a heavy, head-light layout that I prefer. The more current generation of that frame is the V-Sense 10 325g - I have a pair of these and I'm in the process of tuning them into a similar layout as my O10's. These frames are great for pretty much everything for me, including soft feeding/coaching, heavy doubles, all-court singles, etc. Nicely comfortable strung with syn. gut, solid and powerful with the weight I've added, and these also give me boatloads of spin on demand that I always missed with my less spin-happy C10's. Aside from the V-Sense 10 325g (on sale at TW!), you may also want to check out their V-Sense 10 Tour (this one might also be a great candidate for tuning with a little lead tape).
 
Instead of a VCore 95, try a slightly larger head like the VCore Pro 97. I would have said a Duel G but Yonex discontinued that specific line. I know the Pro 97 gives me more spin than the EZone 98+ but is a bit heavier at 310g stock.
I actually get complaints on how much spin my balls have during rank matches. LOL

Sent from my LM-Q610(FGN) using Tapatalk
 

firepanda

Professional
Thanks very much for all the responses! I did a bit more reading and updated my demo list with your suggestions. Removed the 'trampolines' and added Babolat Pure Strike, Yonex VCORE Pro 97, Yonex DR98.

Most Natural transition would be to the Phantom 93P. You may think you need a larger head, but the sweet spot on the 93P feels more like a 95-97 frame and its blend of feel and controllable power is superb. String it with a low tension thin gauge poly. I have 100 and 107 inch frames in my bag and the 93P is no more an issue with framing than the others. You pay for that forgiveness with less control.

That's basically how I've been playing with the EXO3 Graphite 93. Honestly, the extra precision is wasted on me. That's why I like the look of the 100P — it seems to be a bit more generous and keeps the 16x18 pattern.

I would suggest the two Head sticks first and maybe the Prince next. Coming from what you're using now, a step towards the Ezone will be jarring is my guess. The Bab Pure Aero is probably as far away from where you are as you can get. Sometimes you have to look at the racquet finder results with a skeptical eye and apply the smell test.
I'd suggest the Bab Pure Strike Project AO7 or the Yonex VCore 95 or the Head Speeds.

Yeah, with a bit more reading I came to realise the Pure Aero would be ridiculous. I'm really excited to demo the Pure Strike though. Will check out the Head Speed Pro.

A 98" can give me nice feel and pop without seeming clunky, unwieldy, or generally like a trampoline on a stick. I've also sampled several different Yonex models and a few of our pals here seem to agree with me in that their square-ish heads can play bigger than a more traditional design having an oval-shaped hoop (and similar weight and balance). So if a 98" Yonex doesn't hit as clean as you might want, you may want to get a 95" on your list of demos - our pal teekaywhy suggested the VCore 95.

I haven't tried the newer Dunlop Srixon frames, but they seem to have a little old-school personality in their blueprints. I'm a happy Volkl nerd and keep two of their models in my bag all the time. Their C10 is somewhat of a hefty, flexible throwback that is both very cozy and very powerful for me, but I generally prefer that frame for heavy slugging when I'm working out with a stronger kid in my coaching pursuits.

*snip*

Thanks for the advice. I came to the same conclusion regarding headsize and have mostly been looking in the 96-98 range.

There are very few Volkl racquets in Australia unfortunately (or forunately? I don't feel limited for choice...) Even Tennis Warehouse doesn't have recent V-Sense models to demo.

Instead of a VCore 95, try a slightly larger head like the VCore Pro 97. I would have said a Duel G but Yonex discontinued that specific line. I know the Pro 97 gives me more spin than the EZone 98+ but is a bit heavier at 310g stock.
I actually get complaints on how much spin my balls have during rank matches.

The 97 looks ideal actually. The swing weight seems very low, but that can be fixed with a bit of a tape. Keen to try it out.
 
Last edited:
Agreed, It was nice to snatch up one of the last Duel G 97's last year with the stock 330g weight. It makes it an easy set up to tune it in for me. I am probably sitting at around 345 grams now with not a massive amount of added tape weight. I still think Yonex did wrong discontinuing that line.
 
Top