Serious Player - New to TT - Need Racquet Help Please

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by gobears54, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. gobears54

    gobears54 Guest

    I am a complete racquet n00b. I always believed racquets didn't make much difference and I'm still not sure how much difference they make. I'm new to the forums and I'm a little concerned that my racquet that I love gets bashed routinely that it's a noob or granny stick. I use the Head Ti S6.

    Quick Overview of Ability (Sorry if its too much info):
    I'm 29 and been playing a long time. Played small college ball. I've been rated 3.8 to 4.0. Play with quite a bit of top-spin and my power is about average. Mostly baseline, but my net game has greatly improved in last 2 years. Average to slightly above average power on serve.

    I've never owned or even demoed the "pro racquets". I still have my second racquet I ever owned in my bag as a backup if my strings break, a old Pro-Kennex graphite heavy racquet that I always liked and played well with except the grip is too big for my hand.

    I've used the Head Ti S6 for about 2 years and I just love how it feels. I love how light it is and it may be half as light as most of my opponent's and friend's racquets, but I feel like I get so much racquet speed and power from it and my accuracy doesn't suffer.

    I'm a self-admitted racquet n00b. All I know is I pick up a racquet and it either feels good when I hit the ball or it doesn't, that's about the extent of my expertise. Now I'm second-guessing myself if I love the Ti S6 because I don't know what a good racquet is and I just don't know any better. I actually just ordered a second one to keep in my bag from Tennis Warehouse because I'll get paranoid that I won't be able to find them soon or if they don't make them anymore.

    It's kind of hard for me to try out and demo good racquets. I'm in the Chicago burbs so my choices are ********* (where they have better racquets than Sportmart) and my tennis club but they dont have a good selection.

    Do I need a better racquet? How much difference will it make in my game? Is the Head Ti S6 that crappy of a racquet that I need to get something better? If I do get something better what do I look for? Top-heavy or handle-heavy. I'd be willing to spend the money if it was worth it within reason.

    Is it just that fun to bash the Ti S6 and should I not worry about it? My ultimate goal is to get better. I like beating players with my crappy racquet. I guess I just never thought it was crappy. I don't even know what I don't know. I just go out and play. My thinking is a 4.5 or 5.0 player should beat me with the worst racquet in Sportmart so does it really matter?

    Someone please help this n00b. Sorry so long.
  2. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

    Feb 18, 2004
    Rackets are just a confidence game. There's no magic formula - you either trust your gear, or you don't. If you trust it, then it's not in your way, you're not thinking about it - you're just playing. If you don't, then your gear can definitely hold you back.

    It sounds like the Ti S6 is doing you just fine. Stepping up a level is going to require quite a few changes/improvements in your game - trying to do all that and adjust to a new racket too? Might be more trouble than it's worth.
  3. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Oct 29, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
  4. theazneyes

    theazneyes Rookie

    Nov 5, 2005
    Very true. I like how you don't make the racquet such a huge factor in your game, and that your skills seem to outweigh your equipment.

    But in the long term, a more heavier racquet will help, mostly because it's more arm friendly than your light tweener racquet.
  5. Pomeranian

    Pomeranian Semi-Pro

    Jan 6, 2006
    I agree with the posters above. If you have money to spend to get a "better" racquet, you could do that if you wanted to, but I don't think racquets should be a huge part of your game. Some people are racquet junkies that have bought multiple racquet or demoed a lot of racquets (myself included), but the money and time is better spent on improving your skills on the court. Your racquet would have to be extremely behind in technology or low quality to be considered a liability because players can still play with wood.
  6. gobears54

    gobears54 Guest

    Actually, knock on wood, over the last 18 years of playing tennis I have never had any arm, elbow or shoulder problems. Don't know if I'm just lucky or have decent mechanics or good joints or what, but I've never had any problems and my friends and playing partners come down with everything from arm to knee problems.

    I've been reading quite a bit on racquet technology on this forum and website and I've decided to upgrade to a tweener racquet, but now the hardest part is narrowing them down.

    I'm leaning towards a Head or Volkl racquet and I need to narrow down 2 racquets to demo from TW. I want something for a 4.0+ player but still has a bit of pop to it.
  7. 10nisNe1?

    10nisNe1? Rookie

    Mar 20, 2004
    yup, you should stay with the Head/Volkl brand as their grip shape is similar. the other grip shapes of the other brands might throw you off just cause they are so different from head/volkl like the squarish grips of Babolat and Prince.

    you might want to look for a headsize between 100 - 107 sq. inch for more maneuverability, which becomes a necessity when you increase your level. also, a 16 mains on the string pattern will have more pop than an 18 mains--so dont get a dense string pattern racquet. good luck!
  8. gobears54

    gobears54 Guest

    Ok I've mostly narrowed it down to Volkl and I'm heavily leaning towards the Volkl DNX 8. I'd be going from a stiffness of 75 to 69. Adding over 2 oz to my weight.

    Does this sound like a reasonable upgrade for a 3.8 to 4.0 player? I've never had much power which is probably why I've stayed with the Head Ti S6 for too long because that power is just addictive, but at the expense of control.

    Now the recommended tension is 50-60. For someone going from a Ti S6 to a Volk DNX 8, what should I do for types of strings and tension. Remember, I've never had arm or elbow problems and I've broken my strings maybe 5 times in 18 years.

    Thanks for the help guys.
  9. mark1

    mark1 Semi-Pro

    Jun 20, 2005
    string any new frame you get at mid tension. then you can adjust up or down from there to add or subtract more power. i would also recommend a head instinct, radical OS, or a volkl cat 8...
  10. 10nisNe1?

    10nisNe1? Rookie

    Mar 20, 2004
    197 can demo first. dnx 8 seems like a good choice though. put a thinner gauge string to have more pop, strung at mid as mentioned. also, since youre getting a smaller headsize, you might want to get a smaller grip size than your ti.s6--unless its already a small size for you. in this way, you only need to put overgip on it to fatten it up.

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