Should I be using a "tweener"

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
Should I be using a "tweener"?

This topic has been touched on in other threads, but I thought it deserved it's own discussion.

OK, so I am a 3.5 on the improve and have mostly been using "player's sticks". I am 50 yrs old and 6'1" 185 lbs. I am in pretty good shape, but sometimes get winded easily. It was suggested to me by some that I might benefit more by switching to a "tweener" and to be honest, I am not sold on the idea, but it might be an interesting experiment. My current stick is a Pacific XForce Pro and I am also testing a PB 10 MP. Prior to that: Dunlop 4D 300 Tour (leaded up), BBecker 11 MP, Wilson BLX 95. Even though my current level is 3.5, I have been told that my strokes and technique are a couple levels higher. My downfall is usually my footwork and fitness. I get tired after about 2 hours and my play gets sloppy and so does my footwork. Same thing will happen if I have several tough long rallies in a row. So would I really benefit from a lighter and more powerful "tweener"?

My current preferred specs are as follows:
320-325 swingweight
340-350 grams static weight
20-23 mm beam (no real preference here)
low to medium power
mostly closed pattern strings

My strokes are mostly long and medium speed. When I have time to set up I can hit a pretty hard ball. I have a 2HBH and hit a semi flat ball with a "traditional" follow through (over the shoulder). Personally, I don't find the XFP or PB10 MP too demanding, but it might be worth a try to use a tweener for a couple of months and see what happens. I need something that is arm friendly though, since I sometimes get minor TE pain. I know the prototype tweener is the Pure Drive, but I don't want to risk damage to my arm for this experiment. I don't really have trouble generating power, but I guess a higher powered racquet will assist me when I am not in perfect position. I am not sure how I will take to a much lighter racquet, as I don't "whip" the racquet really fast and rely on a medium paced swing and use some of the inherent power in a heavier racquet with good plowthru.

Can you suggest some racquets I should try and eventually I will pick one and use it for a good 2-3 months and see if I get better results. I am guessing specs would be static weight around 11oz., good power and generous sweet spot. Some ideas I already have are:

-Becker Delta Core London
-Dunlop 300 Tour (this time stock, with no lead)
-Volkl PB9
-Wilson BLX Pro Open
-Yonex RDIS 200
-Pure Storm
-Head Youtek Instinct
-PB 10 Light
 
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Mig1NC

Professional
Dude, your XFP is ~25mm beam (one of the things I didn't like about it).

As a general rule of thumb, you should use the heaviest stick you can manage with your strokes and fitness level. It will give you more plow through, better resistance to harmfull vibrations, and be more stable.

If you can manage the XFP, I say stick with that and just work on your fitness.
 

Outlined

Rookie
Fischer M Tour 100 (UL): arm friendly, good weight (295 gram unstrung), flat beam. Still available on some places on the internet.

You can also try an arm comfortable string. They are out there, like the Head Rip control (1.30 mm).
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
I wish I had film of the guy your age who uses a Pure Drive at my club. He just hits the lines over and over and doesn't use much spin. He beats a lot of people with real consistent balls and swears by the PD because it's light and easy on him.
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
Dude, your XFP is ~25mm beam (one of the things I didn't like about it).

As a general rule of thumb, you should use the heaviest stick you can manage with your strokes and fitness level. It will give you more plow through, better resistance to harmfull vibrations, and be more stable.

If you can manage the XFP, I say stick with that and just work on your fitness.

I know the XFP has a wide beam, but it's tapered down to 20mm at the throat. It is definitely classified as a "players" stick and is modelled after the MPro 98 or the Black Granite.

I am tempted to string it at 50 lbs. with full multi. That should give me "tweener-like" power and it's sort of light at 322 swingweight.
 
I believe that the question you have to answer before anyone can give you real advice about tweener vs. player frames is what are you trying to accomplish on the court?

Are you a recreational player who enjoys playing, working on specific strokes at times, playing matches but not trying to seriously compete in league or club play? If so, play with whatever frame, no matter if tweener or player designation, that you enjoy the most. Enjoy testing new frames as they are brought on the market and just generally have fun.

Are you a player who is working hard with a teaching pro to develop a consistent game and/or competing hard in league/club play? If this is the case, you need to find a frame that helps you play the best tennis for the duration of a singles (or doubles) match. If a players frame at around 12 oz. is too much to swing for you in a third set, form begins to truly breakdown from fatigue, then you need to consider a lighter players frame or a tweener.
 

BobFL

Hall of Fame
Jack, you absolutely do not need anything above 335 strung. Seriously, why do you insist on weighty frames? I think you would rediscover your game with something more power-friendly.

Roddick is using 345g racquet. Why do you/we need anything more than that? And yes, you should really try PD. Don't believe that myth about TE and Babolats. I use PDR with PH@49lbs and it is really soft and comfy...
 

Falloutjr

Banned
Jack, you absolutely do not need anything above 335 strung. Seriously, why do you insist on weighty frames? I think you would rediscover your game with something more power-friendly.

Roddick is using 345g racquet. Why do you/we need anything more than that? And yes, you should really try PD. Don't believe that myth about TE and Babolats. I use PDR with PH@49lbs and it is really soft and comfy...

Well personally, I'm most comfortable with heavy racquets, and that's what it boils down to. I leaded up my racquet to 365g and wouldn't change it at all. Roddick uses a 345g racquet because that's what works for him, and it really seems like you're making the assumption that the heavier the racquet, the more skill the user has, which just isn't true. Just because my racquet is heavier than most pros doesn't mean I think I'm a pro. It just means that's what I'm comfortable with.
 

atatu

Legend
Just try the Becker London, I think you'll see some benefits, it's a great frame. BTW I'm about the same age (48) and I'm a 4.5. It's a great frame, lots of control plus a little pop.
 

sruckauf

Professional
Jack,

Have you already tried some open pattern options in the 'players frame' category and decided it's a definite no?

Most of the guys at my club with your characteristics play with something more like that. The ones I see playing well with the more closed pattern racquets are the guys with big swings that are okay maintaining it for hours on end.

Examples I see there:
- Wilson Six.One 95 16x18 (blx, kfactor, whatever)
- 4D 300 (non tour, leaded to player frame weight)
- Gamma Tour 330X/320X
- Babolat Pure Storm Tour (GT or non)

Now that I think of it, one guy plays really great with the Wilson BLX Tour.. it's more even balanced so that may take quite a bit to get used to, but he does extremely well with it if strung with a low powered string.
 
You and that XForce Pro have become like Tiger and Elin. The over-under date on your tossing it is listed in Las Vegas as Sept. 5 (long weekend, US Open, people get restless...).
 

prjacobs

Hall of Fame
Personally, I love demoing frames. After an 8 year layoff, I ended up playing exceptionally well with the dunlop 4D 500 tour. Although it was counterintuitive to play with such a light powerful racquet, I get a great deal of accuracy and control with it. I get many more free points on my serve and get back shots that I couldn't catch up to with a heavier frame. I found that relaxing and letting the racquet do the work seemed to work well with the stiffer flex. But, you've got to demo. People serve really well with the PDR. I didn't. It felt like a club to me.... The other day, I had my flexpoint MP restrung with rpm blast and had a great hit with it. Following the general philosophy of using the heaviest frame that's comfortable is a good general rule, but if you find that you kill with something light, use it. By the way, I'm older than you:)
 
D

decades

Guest
I would. using the player's stick is contributing to your getting tired quicker. you really do have to work harder with them. I am headed in that direction myself.
 
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tapatio

Rookie
Jack,
I am basically in the same boat, with the exception that I am heavier and two years younger, used to play with a Fischer pro one(330gr), and later with the black granite tour (320gr), I have been lately playing with the black granite one UL(295gr) which is the same as the lighter version of the x force pro, I would give this ( pacific x force) a try since you would have almost the same feel with a little extra pop, an most importantly the dame arm friendliness you get with your current racquet.
 

pyrokid

Hall of Fame
Well I just got a PD swirly and hit with it for a few hours today, and I have to say it's much better than I remembered.

The amount of spin I could hit was a blessing, and I could smash my backhand, something I usually can't do. And the best part was that when I set up correctly and used proper form, there wasn't much vibration at all. I used a leather grip and no vibe dampener w/ full poly (forgot a rubber band + ran outta lead) and got no elbow twang like I did before.
At this point though, I'm just assuming that was a fluke because I was changing my form.Doubt the racquet caused it then anymore.

Try it for a while. You can hit deep, heavy balls effortlessly.
And then I think I didn't hit winners off of like, 2 shortballs.
Also, my usually non-existant flat serve was actually passable. I hit it pretty consistently at around 100-105, and I got one 116er in but I missed like 7 to get to that point.
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
Jack,
I am basically in the same boat, with the exception that I am heavier and two years younger, used to play with a Fischer pro one(330gr), and later with the black granite tour (320gr), I have been lately playing with the black granite one UL(295gr) which is the same as the lighter version of the x force pro, I would give this ( pacific x force) a try since you would have almost the same feel with a little extra pop, an most importantly the dame arm friendliness you get with your current racquet.

the lighter XForce model actually has LESS power than the Pro.

check it out: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/storepower2.cgi?racquetA=PXF|98|Pacific|X:Force|RCPACIFIC|x&racquetB=PXFP|98|Pacific|X:Force:pro|RCPACIFIC|x&racquetC=none&racquetD=none


The TW reviewer's also mention that in their review. Lighter is good, but I need lighter + more power, since I want to keep my smooth swing. I don't want to have to swing faster to make up for less power.
 
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JackB1

G.O.A.T.
The majority here seems to believe I would benefit more with a tweener than a player's stick like I have been using. I am willing to at least give it a shot.

Now help me find something with these specs:
-around 11 oz strung
-not low powered
-arm friendly
-98" or 100" headsize

Edit: I put these specs into TW's Racquet finder and it produced these:
-Becker London
-Youtek Instict
-RDIS 200 Lite
-Pure Storm
-Radical MP

The Becker London looks the most appealing to me, followed by the RDIS 200 L and the Pure Storm.
 
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pyrokid

Hall of Fame
The majority here seems to believe I would benefit more with a tweener than a player's stick like I have been using. I am willing to at least give it a shot.

Now help me find something with these specs:
-around 11 oz strung
-not low powered
-arm friendly
-98" or 100" headsize

Just go with an aeropro or a pure drive, they define tweeners.
Maybe the cortex gen of the aero and anything but the cortex of the pure drive, but if you have solid form I doubt either would end up hurting you with a softer string.

You don't get light and powerful and flexy, it isn't really a working combo.
 

Murray_fan1

Professional
Jack,

If you are looking for a nice comfortable tweener I would try the Boris Becker DC Pro or the PB 8 315 they have fairly stiff ratings but are very arm friendly thanks to Volkl dampening system in the handle. The London is my current stick of choice and would also be a very solid choice, thinner beam than the other two, less power and spin but more feel. The London plays well stock and even better with some weight added. I have customized mine to 11.8 ounces with a swing weight of about 325.
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
Jack,

If you are looking for a nice comfortable tweener I would try the Boris Becker DC Pro or the PB 8 315 they have fairly stiff ratings but are very arm friendly thanks to Volkl dampening system in the handle. The London is my current stick of choice and would also be a very solid choice, thinner beam than the other two, less power and spin but more feel. The London plays well stock and even better with some weight added. I have customized mine to 11.8 ounces with a swing weight of about 325.

The DC Pro is still heavy with a 325 sw.

I looked at the PB8 315, but that 70 stiffness rating scares me.
I think the PB9 would be a better choice.

I am VERY interested in the London. Seems to be a super-tweener with a bonus of comfort. Anyone know if anyone is selling them for less than MSRP?
 

atatu

Legend
The DC Pro is still heavy with a 325 sw.

I looked at the PB8 315, but that 70 stiffness rating scares me.
I think the PB9 would be a better choice.

I am VERY interested in the London. Seems to be a super-tweener with a bonus of comfort. Anyone know if anyone is selling them for less than MSRP?

The London is a little more arm friendly that either the PB8 or the DC Pro, I just demoed all three of these and I'm going with the London. I paid full price (TW Price).
 

BobFL

Hall of Fame
Jack, something is wrong with the listed specs. Both DC Pro and London have THE SAME weight?! However, we do know that London is heavier and more hl...

Furthermore, the listed swingweights here on TW are usually overinflated. DC Pro swings a lot easier than listed 325...
 

Fed Kennedy

Legend
I would hesitate to call the london a tweener. Pretty much just a lighter player's stick. You will get much more pop off 100 sq. in. It's a sweet racquet though.
 

atatu

Legend
I would hesitate to call the london a tweener. Pretty much just a lighter player's stick. You will get much more pop off 100 sq. in. It's a sweet racquet though.

Is there that much difference between 100" and 98" ? Keep in mind that the Pro has a much wider beam also.
 

KenC

Hall of Fame
I would also look into the ProKennex 5i 295g and the 315g frames. Low to medium power, a good amount of control and about as arm friendly as they come. Most teaching pros here use the PK 5i as they have to hit tennis balls 8-10 hours a day.

The Pure Storm GT ( both normal and tour versions) seem to be what you are looking for. If you spend most of your time at the baseline these are similar to the Pure Drives but offer more control. I personally recommend Pure Drives to motivated beginners and then move them toward the Pure Storm once they start to need control.
 

Fed Kennedy

Legend
Not really, but for me thin beam 98 is not that much different than thin beam 95. Player-ish feel. Thick beam 100 is what gives that easy topspin tweener feel with easy air under the ball on every swing. Not saying one is better, just one is more tween.
Another interesting choice would be an OS radical which has the power of a tweener with a denser, player-ish feel.
 

0d1n

Hall of Fame
If you are in testing mode, buy a LM Instinct and play with it for a couple of months.
It's cheap and it's the first effort and probably also the best effort in the instinct line. Also, it's actually used on the pro tour...so you KNOW it can stand up to some abuse.
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
Did a little more research and the RDS003 seems like a perfect tweener for me:

-11.1 oz strung
-315 sw
-6 pts HL
-bea-: 20-24
-medium power

might be worth a demo?
 

Mig1NC

Professional
Did a little more research and the RDS003 seems like a perfect tweener for me:

-11.1 oz strung
-315 sw
-6 pts HL
-bea-: 20-24
-medium power

might be worth a demo?

I demo'd both the RDiS300 and RDS003. Keep in mind the RDS003 is slightly extended (which I like extended sticks BTW). I just for some reason can't get used to Yonex sticks for some reason. That being said they were both very good sticks.

Since you are more used to standard length sticks (I assume?) you might want to try the RDiS300 instead, which replaced the RDS003 in the Yonex lineup.

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Yonex_RDiS_300_Midplus/descpageRCYONEX-IS3HM.html

I haven't tried the 200 Lite, but it looks like a more attractive offering than the 300s IMHO becuase the flex and sw are almost the same but the beam is thinner.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
The apdgt has a substantial amount more power then the sticks you have been using. I hit with it last night and forgot how powerful it was.

Anyway, my point is a great tweener makes relaxed swinging quite easy.
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
I demo'd both the RDiS300 and RDS003. Keep in mind the RDS003 is slightly extended (which I like extended sticks BTW). I just for some reason can't get used to Yonex sticks for some reason. That being said they were both very good sticks.

Since you are more used to standard length sticks (I assume?) you might want to try the RDiS300 instead, which replaced the RDS003 in the Yonex lineup.

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Yonex_RDiS_300_Midplus/descpageRCYONEX-IS3HM.html

I haven't tried the 200 Lite, but it looks like a more attractive offering than the 300s IMHO becuase the flex and sw are almost the same but the beam is thinner.

I already played with the RDIS 300 and thought it was just OK.
Is the extra 1/4 inch of the RDS 003 really something to think about?
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
The apdgt has a substantial amount more power then the sticks you have been using. I hit with it last night and forgot how powerful it was.

Anyway, my point is a great tweener makes relaxed swinging quite easy.

You don't give up easy, do you? :)

Is there any difference between the PDGT or the APDGT? If I can find a good deal on one, I might give it a try. I don't want to play with a demo with terrible strings at who knows what tension?
 

Mig1NC

Professional
If you are interested in the APD series you should check out the Pro Supex Dynamic Energy.

It is basically a clone of the earlier generation APD series without the hoakey cortex and with more arm friendly flex than the newer ones.

Meomix I think it was wrote some good reviews on it.
 

ejewels

New User
The Pure Storm GT ( both normal and tour versions) seem to be what you are looking for. If you spend most of your time at the baseline these are similar to the Pure Drives but offer more control. I personally recommend Pure Drives to motivated beginners and then move them toward the Pure Storm once they start to need control.

Totally agree with this. I started with the pure drive, then went aero, now to the PSGT. Love, love love it. I leaded it up a little bit to about 11.4 oz in the handle. It really plays like a toned down pure drive. Has a more connected feeling. I recommend as I too wanted more control as I advanced. On a side note, TW's PSGT they sent me was a little off according to their specs. It was 11.1 oz strung, and 3.5 pts HL (instead of 1 pt HL in their specs).
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
You don't give up easy, do you? :)

Is there any difference between the PDGT or the APDGT? If I can find a good deal on one, I might give it a try. I don't want to play with a demo with terrible strings at who knows what tension?

I would go with the APDGT because it is not as stiff. I'd also string it around the same tension you are at now or maybe 50#s. Prepare to hit long for a little bit before you get used to the power of it.

You can use real soft polys in it or whatever you want. But you won't need a real stiff string.
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
You guys think a Prince EXO White would qualify as a "tweener"? My local Pro thought I should give that a whirl. More power and big sweetspot and pretty comfortable. Just not as light swingweight as most others mentioned here.
 
D

decades

Guest
You guys think a Prince EXO White would qualify as a "tweener"? My local Pro thought I should give that a whirl. More power and big sweetspot and pretty comfortable. Just not as light swingweight as most others mentioned here.

save some money and buy the o3 white, or hybrid shark, which is essentially the same thing. Isner seems to be able to play with it.
 

10ACE

Professional
JackB1 I don't think you will like the Pure storm-- seriously demo the APDGT- don't let the stiffness effect your decision- I truly think out of these "tweener" set ups- you will find that to be a great stick. I would suggest the PDRODDICK, but it's heavier- might as well test that anyway.
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
Well, I demo'd a Prince EXO White for a bit today and really liked it. The power seemed effortless compared to the player's sticks I have gotten used to. Very smooth feeling racquet with nice pop. Even though the sw is 325, the static weight of just 11 oz. makes it feel very light and easy to swing around. I was able to produce deep groundstrokes with just a nice smooth easy swing. I can definitely see how it would take less effort over the course of a long match as compared to a heavier, less powerful player's stick. I think I am sold on this "tweener" thing :) I am willing to give it a shot and see how it works for my game.
 

pyrokid

Hall of Fame
Well, I demo'd a Prince EXO White for a bit today and really liked it. The power seemed effortless compared to the player's sticks I have gotten used to. Very smooth feeling racquet with nice pop. Even though the sw is 325, the static weight of just 11 oz. makes it feel very light and easy to swing around. I was able to produce deep groundstrokes with just a nice smooth easy swing. I can definitely see how it would take less effort over the course of a long match as compared to a heavier, less powerful player's stick. I think I am sold on this "tweener" thing :) I am willing to give it a shot and see how it works for my game.

How'd you like the serves?

That was the area where I saw the biggest improvement.
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
How'd you like the serves?

That was the area where I saw the biggest improvement.

I didn't get to serve much yet. I just did some baseline rallying for about 15 mins. I will get some more time with a demo over the next few days.
 
Make sure you do an extensive demo. I went to the tweener when I was about your age and really liked it til I started having shoulder and elbow problems after 6-8 months and went back to the heavier racquets and haven't had any problems since.
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
Make sure you do an extensive demo. I went to the tweener when I was about your age and really liked it til I started having shoulder and elbow problems after 6-8 months and went back to the heavier racquets and haven't had any problems since.

Usually heavier racquets give you shoulder problems and lighter (stiff/head heavy) racquets give you elbow issues.

But thanks for the advice and I WILL do an extensive playtest. If it doesn't work out....well, that's what the F/S section is for :)

The EXO White is light static weight (11 oz) but it still has a respectable 325 swingweight, so it's not THAT different than what I've been using. It's kind of like a arm friendly Pure Drive. On TW's power maps, it actually has identical power ratings to the Pure Drive GT. I can still use player sticks if need be and if my elbow acts up, but I will be interested to see if my game improves with the tweener for a while.
 
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