Racquet shopping -- Analysis Paralysis

MiPeGr

Rookie
Hi All--

Been lurking here for a while. First post.

I'm looking around at some new racquets, but I find I'm suffering from a bit of "analysis paralysis". Too many choices, too much data...I'm looking for a little guidance.

First off, about me: NTRP 3.5, 38 M, 6'2" 275#, lefty. Working on a weaponized serve. Solid strokes, 1HBH. Play mostly doubles now, looking to improve my singles game (mostly strategy & movement).

Current racquet is a Volkl Super G 9 (18x20). Built up grip ( 4 7/8 ) and some weight just above 10/2. Current specs: 345g, 6.5p HL, 330 SW.

I have a bias towards Volkls due to the removable / replaceable pallet making it easy to size up the grip. I guess Heads would be in that category as well...

I'm thinking about a 16x19 for a little more power & spin. But more importantly, I can't decide where I want to go in terms of racquet specs:

-- Less / Same / More static weight?
-- Same / More swingweight?
-- Move the balance point?

I've brainstormed some options in terms of specs...what in this list seems like a good idea, or a bad idea?

Weight: 360 / SW: 345
Weight: 345 / SW: 345
Weight: 345 / SW: 330 (* What I currently have)
Weight: 330 / SW: 345
Weight: 330 / SW: 330

(The 15g and 15 SW points is somewhat arbitrary...it's about the change in my SG9 from stock to where it is now, so I just kept that increment...)

Thanks for any help/insight...
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
Id go lighter or stay the same. Reason being is you need more consistent racket head speed to tame the power of 16x19. A 345 SW is rather high.

Also you have not factored in balance, which is a key part as well.
 

Captain Ron

Professional
My suggestion, order a TW demo box. Here are my thoughts for you:
1 Babolat pure Control 95+
2 Yonex vcore tour or g 97 330
3 Yonex ai 98 (I haven't played it but lots if good reviews)
4 Head prestige S
I think this will give you a range of string patterns and racket weights to see what suits your game. My$0.02. Good luck!
 

thatguymattin

Semi-Pro
My suggestion, order a TW demo box. Here are my thoughts for you:
1 Babolat pure Control 95+
2 Yonex vcore tour or g 97 330
3 Yonex ai 98 (I haven't played it but lots if good reviews)
4 Head prestige S
I think this will give you a range of string patterns and racket weights to see what suits your game. My$0.02. Good luck!

This is a good idea. Then you can expand your horizon on similar racquets to the racquets listed above.
 

MiPeGr

Rookie
What did you not like about your current setup that you are looking for change?

^ why did it take 6 comments before this was even asked?!

I hinted at this in my OP, but perhaps I wasn't explicit.

I feel like the 18x20 pattern on my current racquet is limiting power and spin. I don't feel like I'm hitting the same kind of "heavy ball" that I'm seeing from some of my opponents, despite having reasonably well-developed strokes. I expect that opening up to a 16x19 would help that, but I'm also wondering whether changes in static or dynamic weight could also contribute.

Additionally, I feel like the 70 stiffness on the Volkl is a bit high. I feel like I'm close to the edge of some elbow injury. So I'm thinking something around 66 or 67. About halfway between the SG9 and my older Tour 9 V (63).
 

MiPeGr

Rookie
My suggestion, order a TW demo box. Here are my thoughts for you:
1 Babolat pure Control 95+
2 Yonex vcore tour or g 97 330
3 Yonex ai 98 (I haven't played it but lots if good reviews)
4 Head prestige S
I think this will give you a range of string patterns and racket weights to see what suits your game. My$0.02. Good luck!

Wow...none of those racquets were ones I had looked at...Gonna have to do some research...
 

KYHacker

Professional
First of all, do you have developed topspin technique as opposed to developed strokes? If not, the 16X19 pattern will just hurt your game as you need spin to control the more open string patterns. You also have to hit with both pace and topspin to have a "heavy" ball. Otherwise, it's just a "quick" ball.

Second, try a spin pattern frame like the Speed MPA, it is both a 16X16 and a 16X19 pattern and you can try both for the price of a string job.

I would also try the Head Radical MP as it is a very nice frame and has a dense 16X19 pattern which I find to be an excellent compromise for both spin and control. It also has the option to use the CAP grommet which will easily bump up SW to your desired range.

I would also try a true tweener. Try the Head Graphene Instinct. It's on sale at the moment and has a VERY open 16x19 pattern.

I would suggest other brands, but I stuck with Head since they are the easiest for you to swap pallets to get to a large grip size. These frames will cover the spectrum from tweener to player-tweener to light players frame. If you want to hit with more topspin, I would also suggest going down at least one grip size for more ease of wrist rotation on the finish.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
6'2" 275lbs and 4-7/8" Grip playing singles!!! Dang man... did you play tight end? I really doubt any racquet will be too heavy for you.

I sort of understand where you are going with this... I play with different racquets for singles vs doubles with weight/balance adjusted close as possible. Open pattern for singles and dense pattern for doubles. Logic is... I want to keep the ball flatter in doubles to get it past the net man whereas in singles I'm looking for higher net clearance be more spin for error margin... all off the same stroke. Works for me but YMMV.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
Get a volkl 010 or sg10. You can get the 325g or the 295g model and tweak with a little lead tape. They are 16x19 patterns. The 325 is about 12 oz with 318 SW stock so it would be lighter than your current if you go stock. The 295 is 11.1 oz with 318 SW so you could customize to 330SW and your desired balance and still end up less than 12 oz total weight.

Feel is good.

By the way, why are you changing. I have not hit the sg9 but it looks good on paper if it isn't too stiff. If you want more spin, maybe you could tweak strings - try 17G for more pop and spin. I would think 17G gut mains with a 17G smooth poly cross at 50/45 lbs would produce a load of spin. Or, 17G multi with 17G smooth poly would be good too.

Anyhow, the 010 or SG10 line seem like a good fit since you like volkl. I have 3 o10 295 rackets customized for more SW and HL. I also have 3 v1 pros so I am biased toward volkls.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Get a volkl 010 or sg10. You can get the 325g or the 295g model and tweak with a little lead tape. They are 16x19 patterns. The 325 is about 12 oz with 318 SW stock so it would be lighter than your current if you go stock. The 295 is 11.1 oz with 318 SW so you could customize to 330SW and your desired balance and still end up less than 12 oz total weight.

Feel is good.

Agree - my first though as well considering that you're coming from the Super G 9.

I wasn't too wild about my O10 325g's until I customized them a bit, but they became crazy-good for me once I did. Lots of control, boatloads of spin, much better feel after tuning, and very good power. My Volkl C10's are more powerful only because they're heavier, but my O10's are probably at least as good in any other performance aspect.

The C10 is a little old-school in its design, but it's a honey for me when I'm hitting hard in a singles setting. Supremely arm-friendly for me, too. Since the O10 or Super G 10 would give you the same grip shape as you have now, that should be another plus. If you're gathering some demos, I think you'd be smart to put one of these on your list.
 

MiPeGr

Rookie
Get a volkl 010 or sg10. You can get the 325g or the 295g model and tweak with a little lead tape. They are 16x19 patterns. The 325 is about 12 oz with 318 SW stock so it would be lighter than your current if you go stock. The 295 is 11.1 oz with 318 SW so you could customize to 330SW and your desired balance and still end up less than 12 oz total weight.
...
If you want more spin, maybe you could tweak strings - try 17G for more pop and spin. I would think 17G gut mains with a 17G smooth poly cross at 50/45 lbs would produce a load of spin. Or, 17G multi with 17G smooth poly would be good too.

O10/SG10 is definitely on my list, an obvious choice given what I'm using now. I'm already using 17g on my SG9, but at a higher tension (56). I was using a 17L, but as my game improved, it was breaking way too easily...loved that string, though (Gamma TNT2 Pro Plus 17L). I've never used a hybrid string setup before...
 

MiPeGr

Rookie
I really doubt any racquet will be too heavy for you.

That gets to the root of one of my questions: I already feel like I'm a little late on returns against servers with good-excellent pace. Is a heavier (or higher SW) racquet going to hurt me here? Or is that more of a training/timing/experience thing?

My league season is over, so now seems like the right time to break things in order to have them fixed before fall mixed league.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
That gets to the root of one of my questions: I already feel like I'm a little late on returns against servers with good-excellent pace. Is a heavier (or higher SW) racquet going to hurt me here? Or is that more of a training/timing/experience thing?

My league season is over, so now seems like the right time to break things in order to have them fixed before fall mixed league.

I'm assuming given your physique that you are a pretty strong dude... Your racquet is 4 pts head light to start and you've added weight to the handle (built up grip), it should come around fast enough.

If it's just a problem on service returns, I suspect that you're taking the racquet back for a full stroke vs a short back swing and followthrough (block the ball), against guys that serve with good pace, taking the racquet back all the way for me always results on hitting late.
 

mctennis

Legend
Try an Organix 10. It is a 16X19 string pattern and the specs are pretty close to what you have now. It will give you a glimpse of what a 16X19 pattern can do PLUS they are on sale.
 

MiPeGr

Rookie
Well...I decided to hold off on getting a bunch of demos. Instead, I ordered what may very well have been the last O10 325 that TW has. The specs are similar enough to what I currently have that I think I'll be able to get a good feel for the effect of the more open string pattern.

From there I'll decide if I want to try further customization or other manufacturers. Slow steps...

Thanks to everyone for your input...
 

dimkin

Hall of Fame
My suggestion, order a TW demo box. Here are my thoughts for you:
1 Babolat pure Control 95+
2 Yonex vcore tour or g 97 330
3 Yonex ai 98 (I haven't played it but lots if good reviews)
4 Head prestige S
I think this will give you a range of string patterns and racket weights to see what suits your game. My$0.02. Good luck!

GREAT list - ended up being my final 4 ... with
Prestige S and GT310 being Final 2.

And Final Winner - Yonex Tour G 310 though it was close with the Prestige.
Yonex was just a little better on Volleys
 
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