Please help me to choose racket/strings

Fargo

New User
Hello guys, I been looking for past two days which racket to choose and really need help as so hard to choose from.

I been playing with Wilson Pro Staff Precision 103 Racket (286 with strugs) for some time, this year started to play more actively, especially last two months and decided to upgrade to HEAD Ti S6 Titanium Tennis Racket but it felt way too light and way too much power, my fault not doing more research and just checking video and many good reviews.

I'm still low intermediate I think, but I'm ready to play as much as I can, so I was thinking if its good idea to invest into racket for intermediate-advanced?

So far my ideas to choose from, any suggestions, please add:

Clash 100 Tennis Racket - what I see its good for any level, not necessary good for intermediate-advanced what I find out?

Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP Tennis Racket - from what I understand its good for intermediate-advanced levels.

Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour/TOUR

Blade 98 18x20
- most popular it seems, so it must be good?

I'm still figuring out my style, I'm 6'4, 198, very fit, I like to use my own power, like to swing from left to right, like to rush to the net. Any ideas, tips, help would be appreciated. Also I would want maybe a bit softer racket as I don't want to give too much pressure for my hands as, my friend told me if racket above 300grams, it will be very hard for my hand? Also I do have some pain or kinda pressure in my elbow from gaming, but I don't feel it while playing tennis, so its good idea to transition completely :)
 
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Lorenn

Professional
I'm still figuring out my style, I'm 6'4, 198, very fit, I like to use my own power, like to swing from left to right, like to rush to the net. Any ideas, tips, help would be appreciated. Also I would want maybe a bit softer racket as I don't want to give too much pressure for my hands as, my friend told me if racket above 300grams, it will be very hard for my hand? Also I do have some pain or kinda pressure in my elbow from gaming, but I don't feel it while playing tennis, so its good idea to transition completely :)
I don't think you need to limit the weight of your racquet below 300 grams if you are 6' 4" 198 and athletic.

Clash racquets are fun, but not the direction I would go.

Gravity MP is neutral and will require that you learn how to generate your own power. My concern is with your size you will try to simply use all arm and not core/legs.

Prestige Tour is likely something you should wait for...concern would be once again that you would just use your arm/upperbody to do everything.

Blade and Gravity MP of the choices you listed.

Other options
Speed MP 360+ is a good racquet that covers a wide range of players. A little easier to use then the Gravity MP or Blade.
Radical 360+ would be a great choice that comes out the end of January.
Techifibre Tflight or TF40. Weight would depend on who you are playing against.

New exceptionally atheltic players have a habit of turning everything up to max at all times. They also have a habit of being tense and using too much muscle. This can lead to injuries. Which is why having a powerful light racquet can help them as if they swing with full power it would tend to go out every time.
 

Fargo

New User
Speed MP 360+ seems really good, what tension/strings would you recommend? Is it comfortable? Gravity MP seems more comfortable? Gravity PRO maybe better choice than MP?

Would be nice to have good durability.
 
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fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Agree that given your size and athletic ability, no need to go looking for a fly swatter of a light racquet. I believe that if you're trying to build solid technique, a racquet that's especially light can work against you by letting you "arm" the ball too much and still produce half-decent shots.

No objection to any of the racquets you listed up top. I'd encourage you to try the Wilson Blade ahead of the Clash, but that's just me. There can easily be more than one right answer in terms of a new racquet that you like, so don't get too worried about finding the one best option.

Just to complicate things, one more frame you might want to check into is the ProKennex Ki Q+ Tour, probably the 315g version. I've been enjoying the Volkl C10 for several years, but if I had to get something new in a hurry, I'd try to demo these (I'd probably want to try the 325g version) and the Prince Phantoms.

Edit: Forgot to mention strings. A 16 ga. syn. gut at moderate tension is usually a smart option for starters to give you a decent reference. It's not as soft as most multifibers, but it's also not as potentially harsh as a poly. It's not exotic string, but it can still be an ideal option for many of us. I string at home and I use this string type in my own frames all the time.
 
You should be able to use up to a 13 oz. racquet though not ideal at this point. Sweet spot for you might be 11.5 - 12..6 oz racquet. The strings affect the performance of the racquet a lot so do lotsa reading on strings and racquets alike. Demo a bunch if you can. Different racquet brands have differently shaped handles though on some you can more readily swap pallets so be aware of this. You can hit spin with non-poly strings so don't think you need to play with poly, which give many arm trouble if too stiff and tight.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
Demo. Try the Blade and Gravity for sure. If you can, try the Wilson Pro Staff 97, Radical MP or the Prestige S. Getting the latest model is probably not worth it as you won't be able to feel the difference yet at your current level. The demos will have SG at mid-tension.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Head Extreme Tour
Wilson Blade 98 16x19
Wilson Clash 98
Yonex Ezone 98
Prince Textreme Tour 310

All these are arm friendly with a good blend of control and power and a decent weight for an athletic guy. Light frames are essentially fly swatters that will encourage arm and wrist swings. Don't listen to your friend. Heaviest frame you can swing full and fast for 2 hours. That's your goal. And at your size anything from 300 to 320 gm unstrung should be fine.
 

megamind

Legend
I wasn’t personally very impressed with the Gravity MP in stock form. I’d recommend giving the Gravity Tour a try instead. Also check out their Speed line
 

Lorenn

Professional
Speed MP 360+ seems really good, what tension/strings would you recommend? Is it comfortable? Gravity MP seems more comfortable? Gravity PRO maybe better choice than MP?
Normally I would recommend fifty-two pounds or twenty-three kilograms of Head Velocity to a new player. If you feel the racquet needs control go up one kilo or two pounds. If you feel it lacks pop go down one kilo or two pounds. Reason I like multi for new players is I feel it gives a good balance and does not color the racquet. It also works well with most racquets. You would likely want to start up at least one notch or two pounds. If you are in kilos start two kilos.(rounding issues)

Prince Textreme Tour 310 or Speed MP 360+ would be my first two choices.
 

Fargo

New User
I'm leaning towards Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro, can someone recommend strings/tension considering my low intermediate rank? But I'm playing more and more to get better.
 
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megamind

Legend
I'm leaning towards Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro, can someone recommend strings/tension? considering my low intermediate rank? But I'm playing more.and more to get better.
Head Velocity at 50lbs should be a good starting point, you can increase/decrease the tension in your next string job based on whether you want more power or more control
 

esm

Hall of Fame
I'm leaning towards Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro, can someone recommend strings/tension considering my low intermediate rank? But I'm playing more and more to get better.
Would suggest a decent multi at the suggested mid tension + 2lb to start with. Velocity is a popular choice.
 

Fargo

New User
Multi? What do you mean, mixed?
+2, so 52 u mean?
Also forgot to mention it would great if strings would be strong, so I don't need to replace or re tension often
 

jered

Rookie
Multi? What do you mean, mixed?
+2, so 52 u mean?
Also forgot to mention it would great if strings would be strong, so I don't need to replace or re tension often
You can get a thicker gauge string to increase durability but durability isn’t the same as longevity.

If you play frequently (3x a week or more) and as you get better, restringing is part of tennis. Every string has its issues even before breaking.

If you’re an average rec hitter and not a string breaker, then in general:
  • polys: dead (and arm dangerous) after about 10+ hours
  • multifilaments: turn to mush and become rocket launchers after 12+ hours and are not durable
  • full bed gut: expensive but can last until they break at 20+ hours
  • gut / poly or synthetic hybrids: same as above but the poly or synthetic gut usually goes dead after 12+ hours
  • synthetic gut: bags out and loses playability after 6-8 hours
That said many people keep any of the above strings in until they break (months of playing) which I wouldn’t recommend if you value feel and want to improve but it can be fine. Except for poly. As soon as poly changes how it feels, it’s done, cut it out, save your arm.

If you’re a string breaker like me, buy a stringing machine. ;)
 

Lorenn

Professional
Multi? What do you mean, mixed?
+2, so 52 u mean?
Also forgot to mention it would great if strings would be strong, so I don't need to replace or re tension often
Normally racquets have a semi suggested string tension. They normally give a range of tensions. Gravity Pro is 48-57. So about 52-53 Lbs would be in the middle. If you feel a racquet has to much power you go up 2 lbs(55), if you feel it lacks power you go down. It is hard to guess where on the range to suggest considering the complex question of new athletic player using a advanced racquet and wanting to swing fully every shot. Normally someone of your range I would suggest one or two steps down. Speed Pro or Speed MP. It gives you a little time to relax and to learn to swing well versus forcefully. Having said that I think If you are set on the Gravity Pro...Unless you demoed it and know what weight you want for sure...

Stringing is the rough part to guess. Do you start with a control oriented string at low tension or a powerful string at mid tension? DO you go down a extra step to give it a little more pop?

Head Velocity at 50 is not a bad guess.
 

Fargo

New User
You can get a thicker gauge string to increase durability but durability isn’t the same as longevity.

If you play frequently (3x a week or more) and as you get better, restringing is part of tennis. Every string has its issues even before breaking.

If you’re an average rec hitter and not a string breaker, then in general:
  • polys: dead (and arm dangerous) after about 10+ hours
  • multifilaments: turn to mush and become rocket launchers after 12+ hours and are not durable
  • full bed gut: expensive but can last until they break at 20+ hours
  • gut / poly or synthetic hybrids: same as above but the poly or synthetic gut usually goes dead after 12+ hours
  • synthetic gut: bags out and loses playability after 6-8 hours
That said many people keep any of the above strings in until they break (months of playing) which I wouldn’t recommend if you value feel and want to improve but it can be fine. Except for poly. As soon as poly changes how it feels, it’s done, cut it out, save your arm.

If you’re a string breaker like me, buy a stringing machine. ;)
Yeah, I been playing with my old racket and never restrung, never knew it suppose to be every 8-12hours, thats crazy, so you need string machine to restring also? Seems so much money for either machine or to pay someone to keep restringing every 10 hours? If so, I plan to play for a month or more at least :/

So which one you recommend if I don't plan to keep restrung every 10 hours, rather every month/months?
 

stapletonj

Hall of Fame
As an older player, but in your wheelhouse physicality wise (6'6", 230, 64, still pretty athletic; but was 198 and a lot more athletic 30 years ago).

I would suggest the following:

1. As a low intermediate, I would go for a bigger head, stick with a 100 sq. in. frame, if not even bigger (easier to find sweet spot).
2. Do you have any problem generating spin at all? the 16x19 string pattern is for you. If not, then go 18x20.
3. I personally like Yonex, hey, everybody has their own faves.
4. AS far as arm/elbow issues, the vcore line feels much crisper, but is harsher, the ezone is much plusher feeling, but the crispness is not there.
5. The Head Ti6 is TOO Powerful, if you do much more than bunt the ball, it will hit the back fence.

string and tension:

as big and athletic as you are, I think you will need to go tighter rather than looser in tension.
poly does go dead, and some are pretty hard on the arm. gut is much easier on the arm
gut is heavenly, but........ expensive. (the best gut is about $45 a set, ouch) I have been using Klip gut which is about $30 a set
full bed Klip - $30....... full bed good poly.....$15-20. labor on string same.
BUT..... full bed poly goes dead pretty quick. gut stays playable until it breaks.

NOW..... go gut in the mains and a good smooth poly or syngut in the crosses. look at the diff. (Some nobody named Federer does this)

cost of string goes from $30 to $20 or $22...... labor is still the same.
poly going dead in the crosses happens, but is not as big a deal as in the mains.
the gut mains will stay lively until they break, a good thing. (PS - the consensus is to string gut mains 10% tighter than you string poly mains)
I think you will LOVE how it plays.

I have HEARD you could put the racket in a 6 point frame, cut out the crosses and replace just them, extending performance of the expensive gut mains, while replacing dead poly crosses, I would not do that.

When you are confirmed that you can tell when strings go dead, (or snap in the case of gut) and want more control, convenience, quick turnaround, etc., a good used drop weight stringing machine can usually be had for a couple hundred dollars. This cuts the costs of restringing to just materials and the opportunity cost of your time (figure about 1 hour per string job, soup to nuts). More importantly, it frees you to experiment with different strings, tensions, hybrid combinations, etc., at a greatly reduced cost.



Just my opinion from a big guy that is you 30 some years from now...
 
Yeah, I been playing with my old racket and never restrung, never knew it suppose to be every 8-12hours, thats crazy, so you need string machine to restring also? Seems so much money for either machine or to pay someone to keep restringing every 10 hours? If so, I plan to play for a month or more at least :/

So which one you recommend if I don't plan to keep restrung every 10 hours, rather every month/months?
If you're not a string-breaker, then going with synthetic gut/multi will mean your strings will last longer than 10 hours.

The 18x20 on the GPro will also help a little to make strings last longer, but the bottom line is that there are no polys that are good after ~12 hours, no matter your style of play.
 

pronostix

New User
I would recommend a good old six one 95

To learn to play real good tennis buy a classic 'heavy' racket and deal with it

It will FORCE you to care about your placement weight transfer and to work with the big muscles the kinetic chain etc and to have a LOOSE ARM learning and NOT to ARM the ball (the reason everybody on here seems to have arm aches ... btw just ****ing stretch or massage it (myofacial trigger points guys....) instead of buying new racket everytime//)

However this approch it might be a bit extreme (although in the 90's tweeners did not exist...). Maybe play for 6 months with something "easier" like Gravity Pro (edit: or Speed MP) or Extreme Pro or whatever and then switch.
 
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I would recommend six one 95

To learn to play real good tennis buy a classic heavy racket and deal with it

It will FORCE you to care about your placement weight transfer and to work with the big muscles the kinetic chain etc and to have a LOOSE ARM learning and NOT to ARM the ball (the reason everybody on here seems to have arm aches ... btw just ****ing stretch or massage it (myofacial trigger points guys....) instead of buying new racket everytime//)

However this approch it might be a bit extreme (although in the 90's tweeners did not exist...). Maybe play for 6 months with something "easier" like Gravity Pro or Extreme Pro or whatever and then switch.
You don't seem to be very familiar with the Gravity Pro.
 

pronostix

New User
Well spotted my bad. I'm getting kind of frustrated for no reason here lol

Sadly, I have never played with the Gravity Pro lol. Speed MP and Extreme Pro on the other hand are very very playable AND I played them both.

EDIT: isn't the gravity pro 'easier' to play than the six one though??
 
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jered

Rookie
Yeah, I been playing with my old racket and never restrung, never knew it suppose to be every 8-12hours, thats crazy, so you need string machine to restring also? Seems so much money for either machine or to pay someone to keep restringing every 10 hours? If so, I plan to play for a month or more at least :/

So which one you recommend if I don't plan to keep restrung every 10 hours, rather every month/months?
I would go gut or gut/synth hybrid. If you need more spin or control do gut/poly.
 
My vote - look at Volkl and ProKennex. I’m more familiar with Volkl and recommend the V1 MP. 303 or 10.6 strung, add an overgrip and it is 11 ounces. Easy on arm - no vibration, large sweet spot , head is 102. There are other models with smaller heads with more weight, but IMO a low intermediate is not ready for them. The classic is also an option. And frankly, I have seen many 4.0 players using these racquets. As far as strings - based on advice of my orthopedist who is a 4.5, stay away from poly. Use a good synthetic - I string at 52.
 
PS - Volkl has some other racquets that may work. Try some demos. A friend who has all the shots and who played manor college tennis uses the 7. It is a little stiffer, 104 head and slightly longer. I tried it - very easy to use and arm friendly. My friend loves it.
 

jalapeno74

New User
I‘d suggest for you to take a look at the forsale market / narrow your choices to a certain range of specs of the raquets and then try to get 2 (or 3) of them and focus on ONE string solution to start with (getting a dropweight to string yourself is also a good - and moneysaving - choice.

To be more precise, try to classify the raquets you are aiming for in „similar ones“, e.g.

Gravity Pro (weight, Stringing pattern, stiffness) - 310-320g, 18x20 pattern, around 60RA
— similar to Yonex VCore Pro 97HD and others
— not so easy to use but good for your technique

Gravity MP - 295-305g, 16x20 or 16x19, 60-65RA
— lots of choices like Yonex Ezone 100/98, Clash 100, Speed MP, T-Flash 300 and others
— easier to generate power but a bit less precise

Strings - get a cheap Multi like Velocity or a SyntheticGut like Kirschbaum or Prince and string it at around 23-34kg. Use this setup consistenly when comparing. You can alway go higher/lower later

Once you settle on ONE raquet, try to get a second one on sale or also used/new (whatever you like)
 

Fargo

New User
After doing some more research I'm thinking to go full natural gut Babolat Touch VS Natural Gut or Babolat Touch VS Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L 1/2 (suggest if any other better ideas?)

If I go full Natural Gut, do I still go for around 52lbs?

If I go for Natural Gut main, Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L cross, whats the tension I use, like 55/52? Or I should switch natural GUT to cross for longer durability?

I don't mind to go full natural gut but I want it to hold durability for longer time and don't want to re string often as of yet and also I'm still not a really hard hitter yet.

Thank you so much you all for all the help you gave me !
 
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wmoore

Rookie
Hello guys, I been looking for past two days which racket to choose and really need help as so hard to choose from.

I been playing with Wilson Pro Staff Precision 103 Racket (286 with strugs) for some time, this year started to play more actively, especially last two months and decided to upgrade to HEAD Ti S6 Titanium Tennis Racket but it felt way too light and way too much power, my fault not doing more research and just checking video and many good reviews.

I'm still low intermediate I think, but I'm ready to play as much as I can, so I was thinking if its good idea to invest into racket for intermediate-advanced?

So far my ideas to choose from, any suggestions, please add:

Clash 100 Tennis Racket - what I see its good for any level, not necessary good for intermediate-advanced what I find out?

Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP Tennis Racket - from what I understand its good for intermediate-advanced levels.

Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour/TOUR

Blade 98 18x20
- most popular it seems, so it must be good?

I'm still figuring out my style, I'm 6'4, 198, very fit, I like to use my own power, like to swing from left to right, like to rush to the net. Any ideas, tips, help would be appreciated. Also I would want maybe a bit softer racket as I don't want to give too much pressure for my hands as, my friend told me if racket above 300grams, it will be very hard for my hand? Also I do have some pain or kinda pressure in my elbow from gaming, but I don't feel it while playing tennis, so its good idea to transition completely :)
No offense intended -but if you don't know any more than this... which racket you choose will not matter either. Pick one you like the color of and be happy with that. Just have fun with it.
 
No one has mentioned this yet, but I think the most important aspect of choosing a racket is getting the right grip size. If you're over 6' tall, etc. you probably need a 4 1/2 grip size (not always, but that's where I'd start). You can go to any store that carries rackets and see what grip size feels the most comfortable to you. I like stephenpinkus' suggestions of Pro Kennex or Volkl. I used the Pro Kennex 5g for many years. The updated version is the Ki Q+5. It's very easy on the arm. It's a great overall racket as some would report, not having to many strengths or weaknesses. This should help you develop a well-rounded game. If you want to save a little money, Volkl has the V Feel 9 on sale here at TW for $130. That would be a good option too. As for string, I personally would go with TNT 2 15L. It's a good synthetic gut, slightly overpriced to some, but plays well, and in this thicker gauge, should last a while too. Good luck with your search.
 

Rosstour

Legend
I don't think you need to limit the weight of your racquet below 300 grams if you are 6' 4" 198 and athletic.

Clash racquets are fun, but not the direction I would go.

Gravity MP is neutral and will require that you learn how to generate your own power. My concern is with your size you will try to simply use all arm and not core/legs.

Prestige Tour is likely something you should wait for...concern would be once again that you would just use your arm/upperbody to do everything.

Blade and Gravity MP of the choices you listed.

Other options
Speed MP 360+ is a good racquet that covers a wide range of players. A little easier to use then the Gravity MP or Blade.
Radical 360+ would be a great choice that comes out the end of January.
Techifibre Tflight or TF40. Weight would depend on who you are playing against.

New exceptionally atheltic players have a habit of turning everything up to max at all times. They also have a habit of being tense and using too much muscle. This can lead to injuries. Which is why having a powerful light racquet can help them as if they swing with full power it would tend to go out every time.
What don't you like about the Clash? I played with one recently and it changed my life.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
If you string with gut and are a beginner/low intermediate, you’ll easily get 40-60 hours out of it. Most players at that level barely move the gut, forget about breaking it early. So, it ends up being the best deal as it maintains tension, is soft and helps your arm/elbow against mishits and gives you access to easy power. Poly will go dead within 15-20 hours and is a hazard to your health if you play with it for longer. Multis lose tension twice as fast as gut and are not a better deal than the less expensive brands of gut (Klip in the US). String gut between 55-57 lbs to start with.

I echo those who say you can buy any 98-102 sq inch racquet that weighs between 10.5-11.5 ozs strung and you’ll be fine - stay away from very stiff racquets (above 68 RA) if you plan to string with gut as otherwise, it might be too powerful. Just buy a brand and a racquet aesthetic you like and if you take lessons, you might need to change racquets after a couple of years. Obsessing about equipment is probably the worst thing an early-developing player can do - obsess about getting good coaching frequently and then practicing in between the lessons.
 
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