Tennis Warehouse Playtester Debate: Are Classic Racquets Still Relevant?

TW Staff

Administrator
➤Listen: https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/podcast/?ccode=TTEPISODE43?from=YT
➤ITUNES: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/talk-tennis/id1475845728?l
➤SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/show/7aCFGNA2VnSOJus9qM2jrx
➤STITCHER: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=453304&refid=stpr

After the launch of the Head Pro Tour 2.0, we started wondering if classic racquets are still relevant for the modern game.
And if so, who should be using these racquets? Which racquets on the market currently have that elusive classic feel? And which racquets have been inspired by classic frames of the past?

Chris, Mark and Wolfeman join in on the topic and chat about all sorts of things, including racquets to demo if you're looking for that classic feel and how we define the word "plush."

What do you think?! Are classic racquets still relevant? Let us know!

US: https://www.tennis-warehouse.com
Europe: https://www.tenniswarehouse-europe.com
Australia: https://www.tennisonly.com.au

Happy Hitting!
 
Last edited:

haqq777

Legend
Great podcast. I loved when Mark said that he believes everyone should swing a racquet they feel they can swing - and that can vary from 300g and below all the way to 330g and above. Also very much agree with point that Michelle touched on about how it isn't the power of the racquet but how efficiently one is able to use that racquet.

Thanks for a great episode. Was right on time for me I just had this discussion with friends recently. For me, I love how these traditional racquets feel but fact is my game is definitely better off with modern playing frames :)
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
Define classic. Do you mean a PT57A? It’s relevant to about 2% of tennis players.

Do you mean a certain classic spec range? Low 60s RA, 12oz strung, headlight balance, tight string pattern and a 330ish swing weight? Because that is a spec that appeals to so many of us. Despite the Pure Aeros and Pure Drives of the world.
 

McLovin

Legend
Define classic. Do you mean a PT57A? It’s relevant to about 2% of tennis players.

Do you mean a certain classic spec range? Low 60s RA, 12oz strung, headlight balance, tight string pattern and a 330ish swing weight? Because that is a spec that appeals to so many of us. Despite the Pure Aeros and Pure Drives of the world.
I listened to the first half this morning, and while they didn't actually 'define' classic, most agreed that high static weight & headlight balance are two characteristics that are required (and most likely a higher swingweight). RA is not a clear-cut as something like Sampras' ProStaffs were in the upper 60s/low 70s, and that's possibly the most 'classic' frame out there.

Additionally, the problem with adding in RA numbers is that (and this is about where I stopped listening because I pulled in to work) its only measured at a single point, and there are many different places the frame can flex, depending on how hard you swing, and the type of swing (e.g., long, loopy strokes will cause a flex 'downward' more than someone w/ flatter strokes).

Tighter string pattern doesn't really qualify (nor does headsize) as the POG was 16x18 in a 107 sq in (or 14x18 in a 95), and that's definitely a classic.

To me, beam profile should be added in as a qualifier: A straight beam <= 22mm (I put that number out there because the Pro Staff Classic is 22mm, and by definition its a classic...I mean, it has 'classic' in the name...). I could be convinced to go thinner (20mm?), but that would disqualify a few other frames considered 'classics' (e.g., Head Radical I think is 21mm?).
 
Last edited:

MisterP

Hall of Fame
I listened to the first half this morning, and while they didn't actually 'define' classic, most agreed that high static weight & headlight balance are two characteristics that are required (and most likely a higher swingweight). RA is not a clear-cut as something like Sampras' ProStaffs were in the upper 60s/low 70s, and that's possibly the most 'classic' frame out there.

Additionally, the problem with adding in RA numbers is that (and this is about where I stopped listening because I pulled in to work) its only measured at a single point, and there are many different places the frame can flex, depending on how hard you swing, and the type of swing (e.g., long, loopy strokes will cause a flex 'downward' more than someone w/ flatter strokes).

Tighter string pattern doesn't really qualify (nor does headsize) as the POG was 16x18 in a 107 sq in (or 14x18 in a 95), and that's definitely a classic.

To me, beam profile should be added in as a qualifier: A straight beam <= 22mm (I put that number out there because the Pro Staff Classic is 22mm, and by definition its a classic...I mean, it has 'classic' in the name...). I could be convinced to go thinner (20mm?), but that would disqualify a few other frames considered 'classics' (e.g., Head Radical I think is 21mm?).
I use the Gravity Pro. Here are the specs:

346g strung with overgrip
7pts HL
Swingweight 331
Beam: constant 20mm rounded beam
100sqin head
18x20 pattern
RA: 62 (feels more like 60 to me)

Most of these specs are in the “classic” range, with the exception of the head size. It has all the hallmarks of classic players frames, but it’s easy for me to swing and it’s forgiving.

I can bludgeon the ball with it, or I can shred the felt off it like a Babolat. It’s versatile, despite the specs.
 

McLovin

Legend
Most of these specs are in the “classic” range, with the exception of the head size.
I'd say that qualifies as a 'classic', specwise on all counts. Again, I don't think headsize should disqualify, as I believe Chris pointed out in the podcast, the POG is 107, and that's most definitely a 'classic' racquet.
 

Tennis sprew

Hall of Fame
I’d say the 320 and less spec range is what appeals to majority of new players. For almost my entire tennis career I had no idea people could use lead tape and change grips and strings and pretty much anything about a racquet other than weight. Most people are unaware how in depth racquets Can be and what can be done to make them perform better, majority just play in stock form, which should be enough to work with for a beginner.
 
Top