Snauwaert Grinta 98 Tour: Pure Drive/Tecnfbr 305 Killer

I have tried almost every racquet in the market. I know my local tennis shop owner well, so he does not even charge me anymore for demos.

Took a flyer on a new Grinta 98 Tour on ****. Tried the Vitas 100 before but was too powerful.

About me as a player. 47 year old, athletic (?) male hits like a 5.0 but plays like a 4.4. Very hard Lendl-like (I learned tennis by watching him on TV) flat forehand with semi-western grip and a high-spin one handed backhand very similar to Henin-Hardenne. My current racquet is the Yonex Vcore 98 (Red) Plus (cut down to 27.25 inches). The main reason I like that racquet is it gives extra spin on my hard flat forehand helping the ball get down in the court and is a spin monster on the backhand side. I like the Pure Strike (White) 18x20, but the tight string pattern turns my forehand into just laser beams that hardly get down at all.

310 gm unstrung
Balance: 315mm
27 inch
strung with Snauwaert Black Beam control oriented crisp poly and a worm-like vibration dampener

Flex and Feel: I personally think the RA system for flex is a mostly garbage. For example, Babolat Pure Drive has a RA flex of 71 and it feels stiff and is the only racquet that gives me elbow problems, so much so that I can't use it for more than 90 min. However, Volkl V Sense 7 also has a flex of 71 and that is one of the most comfortable frames I have ever tried. On the other hand, the Tecnfibre XTC 305 has a flex of 65 but feels like an iron pipe with no flex. Great racquet, but not very comfortable. That being said, both the PD and 305 feel like they do not flex at all and I can't use either with a poly as if feels too stiff. THE SNAUWAERT GRINTA 98 TOUR feels pretty similar to the PD and 305, BUT with just a slight bit of flex to add just a bit of comfort. The racquet FEELS INCREDIBLY SOLID. Mishits aren't harsh but you can tell exactly right away where you mishit it. Feels very similar to the XTC 305. It also does not have the vibrations of the PD that drive my elbow nuts. That being said, if you already have arm issues, the Grinta is probably not for you

Power: Definitely less than the the PD and PD TOUR, similar to the XTC 305, maybe a tad less.

Control: Infinitely more than the PD and PD Tour, a lot more than the XTC 305. In fact, this is the best control racquet I have ever used, even more than 18x20 frames like Wilson Ultra Tour, Pure Strike (White) 18x20 and Head Speed Pros (XT and 360). The only racquet that comes close in terms of control is the Head Graphene XT Prestige MP (18-20) but that racquet gets no spin and has a very low trajectory. That's why the Grinta is so surprising. It actually has very wide spacing for a 16x19, the strings start very close to the edges of the frame, but THIS RACQUET HAS THE MOST CONSISTENT RESPONSE I have seen in a racquet. In case you have not noticed many of the nice new frames, they have pretty equal spacing in the strings between the middle of the head vs. closer to the edges. I thought this helped the racquets have more consistent responses but the Grinta killed that theory somewhat although it's not too dense in the middle.

With the consistent response of this racquet, I am so much more consistent and accurate in point-play with this racquet than anything else I have ever tried. It's actually quite shocking, maybe a bigger improvement than Federer going to a 97 inch head. I am so much more confident to swing out.

Touch: The XTC 305 is the best volleying and touch racquet I have ever used. Because it does not seem to flex, I feel like I know exactly where the head is and because it does not seem to flex I have a lot of touch control because I do not have to account for the extra power of the racquet flexing and snapping back. The Grinta 98 is very close to the Tecnfibre 305 in this respect, but not quite there, a 9.5 vs a 10.

Spin: This is a very big difference/positive for the Grinta. While the 18x20 racquets definitely offer a lot less spin than 16x19 in general, except Head Speed Pro 360 and Prince 100P, which have less dense strings in the middle, the Grinta has a wide spaced 16x19 so it offers a ton of spin, similar to the VCORE 98, giving me that extra spin on the forehand (that I frankly probably don't deserve).

SO BASICALLY, I think the Grinta gets a consistent response because of the lack of flex and torque, but the wide 16-19 gives extra spin. It's like a perfect combo. For me, who does not need extra power, that slight shortcoming in the Grinta's power is also a blessing. I can't say enough positives about this racquet, can't wait to try some hybrid string set-ups.

Thiem's 1HB

Haven't ever tried one but the specs remind me of an old school Dunlop. Almost certainly going to need some lead though to bring up that swing weight.

Grinta 98 Tour

Head size:
98 in2
Cross section: 22mm constant beam
Length: 27 in
String pattern: 16×19

Unstrung specifications
310g / 11oz
Balance: 315mm
Frame rigidity: 58 ra
Swing-weight: 290 kg cm2

Problem with a racquet like this is though is that it sits in a very competitive market segment with alot of other 98sq" racquets....