Thinking about going lighter

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I am not one to really tinker with lead. I would prefer to use a racquet in stock form. Although that might be all the PS97 needs and a bonus is it is the same exact mold that I am already familiar with.

I'm very much in agreement with the advice posted by our pal TennisCJC. And as far as the lead tape goes, I wasn't one to tinker with the stuff... until I tinkered with it. It's not the solution to every racquet issue under the sun, but I've done a little customizing with different frames needing a little help with giving me a better fit. I've seen improvements ranging from mild to miraculous, but a couple other racquets just didn't quite click for me, even with some home tuning and different string setups (I also string at home).

I have the Volkl O10 325g (this one produced the miraculous results after customizing), but this model has been replaced with the Super G 10 325g. I'd say try this one if your demo list has enough space and see if the mildly leaner package has anything to offer. You might like it as is, but if you need a little better fit, the tailoring can be quick and easy business.

I've been trying the RF 97 over the last several weeks. I'm trying to convince myself to get one as a "work racquet" where I teach because my boss carries Wilson's full line. Both models I keep in my bag are at least as heavy as the RF 97, but this racquet is definitely more cumbersome in its stock form than my regular players because it doesn't have the same head-light balance as my rigs. You may get a better fit with a lighter frame, but you may easily get improved handling with your Wilson by adding more weight to your handle. If I pick up one of these RF's for myself, I won't hesitate to drop several grams of lead under the grip to get a more familiar balance.
 

bageldog

Semi-Pro
hi shroud, I like to keep my static weight under 330, otherwise my serve starts to tire out. and swingweight preferably not much more than 330 or else I seem to be late on groundstrokes, and balance at least 5 points head light. my current racket is 324 grams, 6 points headlight, and swingweight is 327 (at least according to worksheet). based off this, the head weight is 153, which is a bit low. where can I add the LEAST amount of lead to maximally INCREASE the headweight, while not making the swingweight get too high, balance shift too much towards the head, and static weight not go up too much. I'm guessing its not possible to get there and stay within all my ideal parameters, but how much lead and where could I add it to get to a static 330g, balance 5 headlight (maybe 4 if we push it), swingweight less than 333. seems like maybe adding lead at 6 oclock on the frame gets the most increase in head weight, with least effect on the others? or technically if you add it barely towards the head side of the midpoint (so 13.6 inches for example), that would increase the headweight calculation the most and affect others the least, but would you really be getting the playing effect of plow through by adding it there?
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
hi shroud, I like to keep my static weight under 330, otherwise my serve starts to tire out. and swingweight preferably not much more than 330 or else I seem to be late on groundstrokes, and balance at least 5 points head light. my current racket is 324 grams, 6 points headlight, and swingweight is 327 (at least according to worksheet). based off this, the head weight is 153, which is a bit low. where can I add the LEAST amount of lead to maximally INCREASE the headweight, while not making the swingweight get too high, balance shift too much towards the head, and static weight not go up too much. I'm guessing its not possible to get there and stay within all my ideal parameters, but how much lead and where could I add it to get to a static 330g, balance 5 headlight (maybe 4 if we push it), swingweight less than 333. seems like maybe adding lead at 6 oclock on the frame gets the most increase in head weight, with least effect on the others? or technically if you add it barely towards the head side of the midpoint (so 13.6 inches for example), that would increase the headweight calculation the most and affect others the least, but would you really be getting the playing effect of plow through by adding it there?
Hey BD,

Those are some serious questions. I have a few answers.

My gut says that if you add 6g at 12pm and 6g in the buttcap that would be the best. Now that is outside your specs...however I think that its actually EASIER to serve with a heavier racket to a point. You dont swing as fast or hard and its easier I think. I would try that: it would be just outside your target at 336g static, 348SW and 4 pts HL.

That said I know you have targets. Its a devils puzzle really. I like 2g at 12pm and 4g in the handle. It gets you 330 static, 5pts HL and a 334 sw.

I dont have any experience with lead at 6pm. It seems to me that re: adding the LEAST amount of weight with the biggest impact, 12pm is your place. Its the biggest bang for the buck. Lead at 6 just seems to be more like dead weight, its there but not really contributing as much. Though I am a fan of polarized rackets myself. You might like 6pm best, its good to try.

10pm and 2pm could work too. 4 grams total at 10 and 2 with 2g in the handle gets you 330g static, 338SW and 4pts HL, and I think outside of my 1st option adding 12g total to the racket would get you the most solid racket out of the options I have listed.

No reason really but I never do 3 and 9 till the end and often dont put much there. Some rackets get 20g at 12 and maybe 2 total at 3 & 9
 

3fees

G.O.A.T.
I have been using heavier and lighter tennis racquets its a personal thing , what your comfortable with.


Cheers
3Fees :)
 

bageldog

Semi-Pro
Hey BD,

Those are some serious questions. I have a few answers.

My gut says that if you add 6g at 12pm and 6g in the buttcap that would be the best. Now that is outside your specs...however I think that its actually EASIER to serve with a heavier racket to a point. You dont swing as fast or hard and its easier I think. I would try that: it would be just outside your target at 336g static, 348SW and 4 pts HL.

That said I know you have targets. Its a devils puzzle really. I like 2g at 12pm and 4g in the handle. It gets you 330 static, 5pts HL and a 334 sw.

I dont have any experience with lead at 6pm. It seems to me that re: adding the LEAST amount of weight with the biggest impact, 12pm is your place. Its the biggest bang for the buck. Lead at 6 just seems to be more like dead weight, its there but not really contributing as much. Though I am a fan of polarized rackets myself. You might like 6pm best, its good to try.

10pm and 2pm could work too. 4 grams total at 10 and 2 with 2g in the handle gets you 330g static, 338SW and 4pts HL, and I think outside of my 1st option adding 12g total to the racket would get you the most solid racket out of the options I have listed.

No reason really but I never do 3 and 9 till the end and often dont put much there. Some rackets get 20g at 12 and maybe 2 total at 3 & 9

Sorry for confusion, I meant where could I add lead to increase the head weight the most (since I'm only at 153) while minimizing the effects on the other parameters since I'm already pretty close to my max weight/swingweight/balance. Seemed like adding weight at 6 o'clock (and handle to maintain balance), let's say 6 gram each, would up my head weight to around 159/160, not affect balance , not affect swing weight by more than 4 or so, and have a static weight of 336. But that begs the question...will I really get that solid plow through associated with 160+ headweight rackets when the weight is distributed like this??? I imagine it will feel very clubby, like the yonex tour G 330
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Sorry for confusion, I meant where could I add lead to increase the head weight the most (since I'm only at 153) while minimizing the effects on the other parameters since I'm already pretty close to my max weight/swingweight/balance. Seemed like adding weight at 6 o'clock (and handle to maintain balance), let's say 6 gram each, would up my head weight to around 159/160, not affect balance , not affect swing weight by more than 4 or so, and have a static weight of 336. But that begs the question...will I really get that solid plow through associated with 160+ headweight rackets when the weight is distributed like this??? I imagine it will feel very clubby, like the yonex tour G 330
Wish I had experimented with lead at 6. Just never did. Its worth a try I think and I dont know for sure. Ok, just measured.

Racket had a HW of 165. I placed 4 g at 12pm and the HW was 169. I did the same thing but with the weight at 6pm and the HW was only 167.

Based on that I think this works best on a polarized frame. Said another way, you have to add more weight at 6pm to get the same as adding at 12.

Still worth a try i suppose, but said another way I think the affects you are trying to minimize like SW are the ones that get you the plow and stability. SW are just numbers and IMHO you can play with much higher numbers than you think. Or at minimum can add a few gs over weeks/months till you adjust.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
I'm very much in agreement with the advice posted by our pal TennisCJC. And as far as the lead tape goes, I wasn't one to tinker with the stuff... until I tinkered with it. It's not the solution to every racquet issue under the sun, but I've done a little customizing with different frames needing a little help with giving me a better fit. I've seen improvements ranging from mild to miraculous, but a couple other racquets just didn't quite click for me, even with some home tuning and different string setups (I also string at home).

I have the Volkl O10 325g (this one produced the miraculous results after customizing), but this model has been replaced with the Super G 10 325g. I'd say try this one if your demo list has enough space and see if the mildly leaner package has anything to offer. You might like it as is, but if you need a little better fit, the tailoring can be quick and easy business.

I've been trying the RF 97 over the last several weeks. I'm trying to convince myself to get one as a "work racquet" where I teach because my boss carries Wilson's full line. Both models I keep in my bag are at least as heavy as the RF 97, but this racquet is definitely more cumbersome in its stock form than my regular players because it doesn't have the same head-light balance as my rigs. You may get a better fit with a lighter frame, but you may easily get improved handling with your Wilson by adding more weight to your handle. If I pick up one of these RF's for myself, I won't hesitate to drop several grams of lead under the grip to get a more familiar balance.

What is interesting is I took off the leather grip and put on a skin feel. This improved maneuverability imo. It took about 8 grams off. I won't consider switching now as I am in the middle of usta season and to be honest don't know if I can even do it. I played great last night with my new string setup 17g Pacific Classic and 1.20 Yonex Polytour Pro. This setup was a little lighter than when using Revolve 17g as a cross.
 

Jmon99

Rookie
I play with a similar style to you and I prefer a light-ish racquet. I usually aim for the 11.5oz mark, but I can go a little under or over. I've just never been able to properly adjust to any players frame I've tried, so tweeners are the way to go for me.
I personally love the Pure Drive as it just fits my game perfectly. It's extremely powerful, but also very stable, so the control is there too. Like me, you'll probably be surprised at the heavy balls you'll easily be able to hit with the Pure Drive-it's easy to forget you're not using a heavy player's stick.

But one thing I notice in your list is a lack of Yonex!
Definitely don't discount Yonex when you're demo-ing, especially the Ezone line. They're pretty much made for baseliners.
 

Jmon99

Rookie
I play with a similar style to you and I prefer a light-ish racquet. I usually aim for the 11.5oz mark, but I can go a little under or over. I've just never been able to properly adjust to any players frame I've tried, so tweeners are the way to go for me.
I personally love the Pure Drive as it just fits my game perfectly. It's extremely powerful, but also very stable, so the control is there too. Like me, you'll probably be surprised at the heavy balls you'll easily be able to hit with the Pure Drive-it's easy to forget you're not using a heavy player's stick.

But one thing I notice in your list is a lack of Yonex!
Definitely don't discount Yonex when you're demo-ing, especially the Ezone line. They're pretty much made for baseliners.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
I play with a similar style to you and I prefer a light-ish racquet. I usually aim for the 11.5oz mark, but I can go a little under or over. I've just never been able to properly adjust to any players frame I've tried, so tweeners are the way to go for me.
I personally love the Pure Drive as it just fits my game perfectly. It's extremely powerful, but also very stable, so the control is there too. Like me, you'll probably be surprised at the heavy balls you'll easily be able to hit with the Pure Drive-it's easy to forget you're not using a heavy player's stick.

But one thing I notice in your list is a lack of Yonex!
Definitely don't discount Yonex when you're demo-ing, especially the Ezone line. They're pretty much made for baseliners.

Thanks have read alot of good things about the DR98 and 100. There are just so many choices it makes it tough!
 

MarTennis

Semi-Pro
The DR100 is a boss, but you will have to experiment with a lot of strings to get it right for

Sent from my Z955A using Tapatalk
 

TennisHound

Legend
Are we diggin up old threads, lol

Even so, nothing wrong with going to a little racquet for awhile. I went from an RF97 to a Blade 16x19. Used the RF for about 8-9 months and the Blade for about 4-5 months. Now I'm using the Burn 95 (about 2 months so far). All these racquets have their strengths and weaknesses. The RF is heavier, but has way more control than either of these. The Burn is pretty fun, even if I do spray balls on tight points. The Blade is good for no practice and not playing for months at a time (you can just pick it up and play well with it).
 
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Be interesting to know how the OP is getting on; what about just buying an 'underspec' - i.e. lighter and more headlight - RF97A? (Especially now that the 'black beauty' is available.)
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
If you have been using the RF 97 I would not go as light as an Ultra and the like, too big of a drop and very different racquet. Why not go for something of similar weight or slightly less but with a slow swing weight. Take the Volkl Super G 10 mid 330g , it's swings very fast and light. The 2013 Tecnifibre T Fight 325 also plays light. I would go 320g and up, but check how manuverable they are.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
If I was you I'd first try replacing its leather grip with some light grip. Then add few grams at the butt, if needed. It will make RF97 whippier and easier to swing, less tiring also.

I must do a revision of this post.
For adding more tip speed placing some grams at 7'' is preferred to adding lead at butt. So it really depends on what one likes.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
So my experiment to go lighter did not work out. Since this thread I have ordered two demo packs and bought a racquet. Demos included Blade 16x19, Blade 18x20, Pro Staff 97, Pro Staff 97S, Ultra 100, Yonex DR 98, Pure Aero, Pure Drive Tour, Pure Drive, Angell TC 100 Tour. Also bought two 6.1 95S's. While all of these are good sticks I am missing the plow and stability of the RF97. The one that comes the closest is the Pure Drive Tour. I will say it is really tough to demo though as it is not your string setup. The Yonex DR 98 surprised me the most with how powerful it was. I was hitting some good pop but hitting long a lot due to not enough spin (but demo had a multi in it). Honestly I could probably switch to any of these and play fine but I just play better with the RF97. What I noticed the most was my balls were not as deep and heavy.

This is the difference for me, as with my RF97 it does not allow my opponents near as many short balls. That is key to my game as I am a baseline grinder. So for now I am sticking with the RF97 for as long as I can weild it comfortably. I can attest to the saying the grass is not always greener!
 

donnayblack99

Semi-Pro
I'm a 5.0 and currently playing with Graphene Radical Pros however they are getting too stiff for my over 40 elbow. Looking for something with good plow and power, under 12oz yet easy on the arm... any suggestions? I forgot to add- must have a thinner beam. I have a OHBH and need a thin beam when winding up that shot.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
I'm a 5.0 and currently playing with Graphene Radical Pros however they are getting too stiff for my over 40 elbow. Looking for something with good plow and power, under 12oz yet easy on the arm... any suggestions? I forgot to add- must have a thinner beam. I have a OHBH and need a thin beam when winding up that shot.

Pure Control Tour is a nice stick. Has a 21mm beam with a 16x20 pattern and is softer on the arm. It lacks some pop but should not be a problem if you can supply your own power or strings could help with pop.

The new verison is going to be called the Pure Strike VS (I think) but will be the same mold. You can probably score a PCT cheap now if you want to try it out.

Also the Yonex DR 98 would probably be nice with a soft poly for more spin. My demo had a crappy multi in it so tough to tell spin for me but the reviews mentions spin is fine. This has a thinner beam at the throat (19 mm) then tapers up thicker in the head. In my opinion it had some nice pop to it.
 

chikoo

Hall of Fame
I'm a 5.0 and currently playing with Graphene Radical Pros however they are getting too stiff for my over 40 elbow. Looking for something with good plow and power, under 12oz yet easy on the arm... any suggestions? I forgot to add- must have a thinner beam. I have a OHBH and need a thin beam when winding up that shot.

Yonex Ai98 / DR98
 

sma1001

Hall of Fame
I'm a 5.0 and currently playing with Graphene Radical Pros however they are getting too stiff for my over 40 elbow. Looking for something with good plow and power, under 12oz yet easy on the arm... any suggestions? I forgot to add- must have a thinner beam. I have a OHBH and need a thin beam when winding up that shot.

Quite a few options here. So let me start by summarising the parameters:

Under 12oz or 340g (i am assuming strung)
Easy on the arm - so under 65RA strung, and preferably lower
16/19, 16/18 or 16/20 (based on minor deviation only from your existing 16/19)
Thin beam - so 22mm and under
Good plow - so swingweight (SW) in excess of 320
Good power - note to be had of TW hittingweight stats.

There are quite a few possibilities here and i won't cover them all. Rather, it might help to pick a few out based on some categories:

  • Super-arm friendly - Prince Tour 100 16/18 (ported version). Possible issue: something of an acquired taste due to muted feel but meets all requirements. Possible issue 2: very flexy, and too much for some
  • Players stick - Prince Textreme Tour 95 - out of the classic mold but with a twist of the modern. Possible issue: low powered
  • Modern players stick - Wilson Blade 98 16/19 - more similar to the Graphene but better feel. New CV version takes out even more vibration. Possible issue: Blades known to be a little head heavy, and Wilson QC means you need a spec check first
  • Custom delight: Angell TC97 16/19 with weight and balance exactly to your chosen specs. For some the holy grail and a return to the Head PT280/630 days. Plush feel and good plow from foam fill and quality graphite. Possible issue: blind buying, but it's worked for many. Possible issue 2: head flex will be noticable compared to Graphene
  • Funny head shape: Yonex Duel G 310 97. For fans of YY's isometric head shape. Plush. Possible issue: weight in the throat means swings very differently from the polarised set-up of the Graphenes
  • Pro stock: Technifibre Tfight 315 Limited 16/19: the only pro stock available to the public. Based on classic head reacquets and preferences of Fernando Verdasco. Flexy and buttery smooth. Possible issue: low powered so modification required, or choosing specs from TW batch.
Hope this is at least mildly informative. I've played them all so feel free to ask other questions.
 

donnayblack99

Semi-Pro
Quite a few options here. So let me start by summarising the parameters:

Under 12oz or 340g (i am assuming strung)
Easy on the arm - so under 65RA strung, and preferably lower
16/19, 16/18 or 16/20 (based on minor deviation only from your existing 16/19)
Thin beam - so 22mm and under
Good plow - so swingweight (SW) in excess of 320
Good power - note to be had of TW hittingweight stats.

There are quite a few possibilities here and i won't cover them all. Rather, it might help to pick a few out based on some categories:

  • Super-arm friendly - Prince Tour 100 16/18 (ported version). Possible issue: something of an acquired taste due to muted feel but meets all requirements. Possible issue 2: very flexy, and too much for some
  • Players stick - Prince Textreme Tour 95 - out of the classic mold but with a twist of the modern. Possible issue: low powered
  • Modern players stick - Wilson Blade 98 16/19 - more similar to the Graphene but better feel. New CV version takes out even more vibration. Possible issue: Blades known to be a little head heavy, and Wilson QC means you need a spec check first
  • Custom delight: Angell TC97 16/19 with weight and balance exactly to your chosen specs. For some the holy grail and a return to the Head PT280/630 days. Plush feel and good plow from foam fill and quality graphite. Possible issue: blind buying, but it's worked for many. Possible issue 2: head flex will be noticable compared to Graphene
  • Funny head shape: Yonex Duel G 310 97. For fans of YY's isometric head shape. Plush. Possible issue: weight in the throat means swings very differently from the polarised set-up of the Graphenes
  • Pro stock: Technifibre Tfight 315 Limited 16/19: the only pro stock available to the public. Based on classic head reacquets and preferences of Fernando Verdasco. Flexy and buttery smooth. Possible issue: low powered so modification required, or choosing specs from TW batch.
Hope this is at least mildly informative. I've played them all so feel free to ask other questions.

Thanks so much- I've been looking at the Prince TT 95... it looks like a great fit for my game with a low tension poly or hybrid in mid 40s to boost the power. I'm thinking a gut hybrid will really make this thing pop.
 
So my experiment to go lighter did not work out. Since this thread I have ordered two demo packs and bought a racquet. Demos included Blade 16x19, Blade 18x20, Pro Staff 97, Pro Staff 97S, Ultra 100, Yonex DR 98, Pure Aero, Pure Drive Tour, Pure Drive, Angell TC 100 Tour. Also bought two 6.1 95S's. While all of these are good sticks I am missing the plow and stability of the RF97. The one that comes the closest is the Pure Drive Tour. I will say it is really tough to demo though as it is not your string setup. The Yonex DR 98 surprised me the most with how powerful it was. I was hitting some good pop but hitting long a lot due to not enough spin (but demo had a multi in it). Honestly I could probably switch to any of these and play fine but I just play better with the RF97. What I noticed the most was my balls were not as deep and heavy.

This is the difference for me, as with my RF97 it does not allow my opponents near as many short balls. That is key to my game as I am a baseline grinder. So for now I am sticking with the RF97 for as long as I can weild it comfortably. I can attest to the saying the grass is not always greener!

You may want to try the Head Extreme Pro, which is close to 12 oz strung. It feels lighter due to it being about 5 pets Head light. But it has good plowthrough, stable and lots of spin and power.

I played with the RF 97 but it was getting too hard on my shoulder for serving. Also, it does feel heavy in a long match.

Another racquet to consider is the Babolat Pure Drive Plus. I just switched to this to take advantage of the leverage for serving. It has good weight and plowthrough, but it is a bit less powerful than the extreme. On the positive, has a bit more control and similar amount of spin. Feel is about the same.

I string with a full bed of Solinco Tour Bite Soft 16L at 56 lb but transitioning to Solinco Hyper G 17 @55 lbs. the Hyper pockets better and more control. I'm a 4.5 aggressive all courter.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
You may want to try the Head Extreme Pro, which is close to 12 oz strung. It feels lighter due to it being about 5 pets Head light. But it has good plowthrough, stable and lots of spin and power.

I played with the RF 97 but it was getting too hard on my shoulder for serving. Also, it does feel heavy in a long match.

Another racquet to consider is the Babolat Pure Drive Plus. I just switched to this to take advantage of the leverage for serving. It has good weight and plowthrough, but it is a bit less powerful than the extreme. On the positive, has a bit more control and similar amount of spin. Feel is about the same.

I string with a full bed of Solinco Tour Bite Soft 16L at 56 lb but transitioning to Solinco Hyper G 17 @55 lbs. the Hyper pockets better and more control. I'm a 4.5 aggressive all courter.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks for the suggestion but I am done looking. Staying with the RF for now.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
I'm a 5.0 and currently playing with Graphene Radical Pros however they are getting too stiff for my over 40 elbow. Looking for something with good plow and power, under 12oz yet easy on the arm... any suggestions? I forgot to add- must have a thinner beam. I have a OHBH and need a thin beam when winding up that shot.

From the ones I tried so far, Wilson PS 95 16x19 313g (2014), customized.

It's graphite-kevlar braided which feels good on the arm. It's 62 RA which feels good further. It's very precise, with 95'' head and tight pattern in the upper hoop it doesn't really need any tighter than this to be pin-point. It's twist stable even at stock with decent sweet spot. It has low stock SW but very HL so it can be easily customized to decent SW. It's maneuverable and very easy to swing. It can impart a lot of spin since it's easy to swing and get really good RHS. It has narrow enough head to keep it precise and forgiving (in combo with wide sweet spot). I reallly can't find any flaws - design is great, construction is great and all you have to do is to get it to your spec range and like to swing, and it will deliver with ease and lot of comfort. Not even damper needed, really.

I just suggest to counterbalance it at 7'' at handle for the best result.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
I have a PS95 that I am selling now. Amazing frame. The flaw for me was I prefer a tighter pattern so I can direct the ball where I want it on more of a line. It was a frame I found to be meant for grinding more than power baselining, even with lead. Great feel though and incredible control.
 

TennisHound

Legend
I'm a 5.0 and currently playing with Graphene Radical Pros however they are getting too stiff for my over 40 elbow. Looking for something with good plow and power, under 12oz yet easy on the arm... any suggestions? I forgot to add- must have a thinner beam. I have a OHBH and need a thin beam when winding up that shot.
its not exactly the thin beam and all, but you might try the Graphene Speed Pro with looser, thin ga poly.
 
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