Thoughts About Playing First Generation Frames Now Every Workout?

lstewart

Semi-Pro
I am 59 years old and started tennis in the early 1970's playing with a standard size wood racket. My first premium racket was the Head Professional "Red Head" aluminum racket. My last couple of years in high school I played the Head Arthur Ashe Competition. Played college tennis from 1976 to 1980 and used the Head Professional, Dunlop Maxply wood, Yamaha YFG 30 fiberglass, and other frames for short term.

Now I still play at a high 4.5 level, and hit just about every day. I'm burned out, not playing well, and need a break from competition. Don't really want to stop hitting, as I like staying in shape. Have a state team tennis 4.5/5.0 tourney this weekend. Afterwards I am thinking about pulling out some old school 1970's rackets and just allowing myself to be bad and get thumped for a while. Still get the exercise, but know I won't really be competitive at the level I play, but have some fun with the old frames from 40 years ago. I have a bunch of old wood rackets, and standard size aluminum, fiberglass, or composite frames. I've pulled one or two out to hit for 10 minutes, but have not tried to play real tennis for multiple workouts with them.

Anyone actually playing with these old model frames as their regular rackets? I assume if I use it enough, I'll get used to it again, and be able to play respectable. Just won't have the power and spin. Just seems like it would be fun to take on the challenge, and see how well I could play with them against the modern power game......
 

onehandbh

Legend
I believe @BreakPoint played with a wood racquet in competition for a little while.

I play with one a couple times a year. (Jack Kramer Pro Staff) I don't play very often and mostly for fun. I just got a early 1900s Wright & Ditson racquet. Looking forward to trying it out as well. It is only 26 inches long for some reason. Wonder if it will make a big difference.
 

lstewart

Semi-Pro
A few months ago I fell into a lot of tennis gear, including a great many old rackets. Many appeared to be 100 years old or so. I have 5 or 6 of them displayed on shelves, but I would be afraid to try and hit with any of them. I have a nice collection of playable wood frames, and various standard size rackets from the 60's and 70's, so I have plenty to choose from to actually use in regular workouts.
 

PBODY99

Legend
Two players on local USTA team use wood frames. Given the flat style of play both employ, the are competitive @ 4.0.
I have found that my Yamaha YFG 50 is still a fun hit.
 

DrumWizOHBD

Semi-Pro
We have a Woody Tourney once a year here in Tulsa////more of a Mixer really//// but I played pretty competitively at the 4.0 level (My first racquet was aluminum Prince Jr., so I didn't grow up with wood). I strung up a Wilson Advantage with Poly at low tension, and I play competitive for about the first hour, then my arm gets tired. I like to use the back board often and just hit a few buckets of serves, and I almost always start with Woody. Occasionally I show up to to drills with this


I VERY rarely play matches with a wood racquet, but I work out with them on a regular basis. I feel it helps hone my strokes and my timing.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
Every once in a while I break out my Graphite Edge, Edgewood, or Jack Kramer Pro Staff and hit with one of them for fun.
 

lstewart

Semi-Pro
I just returned from our 40 and over 9.0 state men's team tennis tourney. It is basically 4.5, but teams can play two 5.0 players in their line-up of 8. Went 4-0 playing #1 dubs, but our team only won 1 match overall. I don't have any more competitive tennis scheduled anytime soon, and have been struggling lately, so thought I would go old school and break out the frames from the high school and college days. Hitting today with a very tough mid 30's buddy who played college tennis in Florida, and taught for Nick Bollettieri. I pulled my Yonex 98 inch frames from my bag and threw in a Yamaha YFG30 fiberglass (played with a couple of years in college), and a Head Arthur Ashe Competition (played with in high school). I have a bunch of classic standard size wood rackets, but their lower power level would probably make it tough to give a respectable workout against a 5.0 type player. Have 3 or 4 Wilson T-2000's, but don't want to risk breaking a string in them, as I don't have the directions or adapter to restring them. I've been playing lower power player type frames, so am looking for a more drastic move than pulling out the old Wilson 85 inch Kramer Pro Staffs, etc. Not planning a permanent change, but am struggling with some parts of my game, so doing this to take a break from worrying about results, as opposed to taking a month off. I've got one 4.0 buddy I played against in college that I think I might be able to still hang with using the old technology, as he seldom wins games off me normally. My other workout buddies are tough, so I expect I'll take my lumps. Last week I ordered a Yamaha YFG 20, YFG 50, and a PDP Fiberstaff. All my frames have really old string in them, so I figure I need a few with me at first, as I'll probably break strings quickly. Will restring them as needed. If all goes well, I might pull out a 40 year old Wilson Advantage wood racket I have owned all along and string it with some gut.
 

muddlehead

Semi-Pro
About your age and ability. I play w/Wilson Profile 95's circa 1987. For those seeing me for the first time, always provides a topic to chat about. Starts with "Haven't seen one of those in ..." Like you , also played w/ Ashe Competition I (all silver, no red like the II) 40 years ago. Loved the look as I imagined I was Arthur out there. A 65 inch head would be a little difficult to back to.
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
I am 59 years old and started tennis in the early 1970's playing with a standard size wood racket. My first premium racket was the Head Professional "Red Head" aluminum racket. My last couple of years in high school I played the Head Arthur Ashe Competition. Played college tennis from 1976 to 1980 and used the Head Professional, Dunlop Maxply wood, Yamaha YFG 30 fiberglass, and other frames for short term.

Now I still play at a high 4.5 level, and hit just about every day. I'm burned out, not playing well, and need a break from competition. Don't really want to stop hitting, as I like staying in shape. Have a state team tennis 4.5/5.0 tourney this weekend. Afterwards I am thinking about pulling out some old school 1970's rackets and just allowing myself to be bad and get thumped for a while. Still get the exercise, but know I won't really be competitive at the level I play, but have some fun with the old frames from 40 years ago. I have a bunch of old wood rackets, and standard size aluminum, fiberglass, or composite frames. I've pulled one or two out to hit for 10 minutes, but have not tried to play real tennis for multiple workouts with them.

Anyone actually playing with these old model frames as their regular rackets? I assume if I use it enough, I'll get used to it again, and be able to play respectable. Just won't have the power and spin. Just seems like it would be fun to take on the challenge, and see how well I could play with them against the modern power game......
I am 74, also played college tennis with Spalding Gonzales rackets. Moved to Dunlop maxplys to Prince pogs to yamaha secret 4 to Spalding assaults, toPrince, to Wilson to Heads and now with Yonex DR 100s. Play occasionally with the spalding wood, and get killed for about 30 minutes til I make the swing adjustments. Then I can compete at 4.0 level. Play with POGs or Secrets and have no trouble competing 4.5s. String them hybrid format poly mains and syn gut crosses at about 45. Wood just takes away too much power
 

lstewart

Semi-Pro
Okay guys, went to the courts yesterday with a 65 inch Yamaha YFG 30 fiberglass from the mid 70's, and a Head Arthur Ashe Comp., also 65 inches, also mid 70's technology. Was hitting with a buddy 25 years my junior, 5.0 ball striking talent, but not in great shape. I pulled out the Yamaha... heavy as crap, and a lot of vibration. Was making good contact, but it felt very strange with all the vibration / feedback. Switched over to the Head Ashe Comp. It felt better, less power, but closer to what I am used to now. Problem with it is the grip is extremely odd compared to modern rackets... extremely rectangular. Once we started serving, it was just too weird. I could not find my serving grip. My buddy said it felt like holding a yard stick and trying to serve. So I went back to the Yamaha, and put a dampener in it for some muting. We play games to 7 points, win by 2... like a tiebreaker, but you serve the entire time. Struggled the first few points to make good contact with his big serve, but found my range and broke serve. Got some confidence, and started wailing away. Felt like I was swinging a sledgehammer! I played with this model frame in the late 70's in college, and this racket has been laying around the house for over 35 years. Has 35 year old synthetic gut in it. My buddy was flabbergasted, as I was outhitting him with a 1970's racket I had just picked up. Of course the sweet spot is tiny, but when I could set up and swing away, I was hitting bombs. It was so pure when I caught it in the center. Of course my buddy is hitting deep spinny modern shots, so I was scrambling around a good bit. Biggest surprise was that I had no trouble swinging hard and keeping the ball in play with topspin. I assumed I would not get much spin with the small head and old synthetic gut. My buddy said I was hitting a heavier ball, and very deep. I guess my strokes have evolved over the years to naturally hit with more spin. What a blast... most fun I've had on the tennis court in a long time. A couple of buddies hitting across the way stopped as they were leaving and watched some... Played really well, and was up 7-1 in our modified practice scoring method. Got home and weighed the Yamaha.... 14.0 ounces. Probably hitting such a heavy ball due to the weight. Was all fired up to play these for a while.. but my 59 year old arm feels pretty balky now. Elbow feels pretty achy, and wrist is a little tender. Gonna try it again today, but suspect the arm is not going to tolerate it every workout. Had ordered a few more old frames that arrived last night... Yamaha YFG 20, YFG 50, and PDP Fiberstaff. Anyway... what fun finding out I could play so well with my old college racket! If the arm is too sensitive, probably will give the Head Ashe Comp another try and see if I can adjust to the strange grip shape.
 

max

Legend
My first racquet was wood; my first "serious" frame was a T-2000 and then the Red Head by the end of my HS playing days. So I relate for sure.

I think once my timing was down, I'd be good on about 80% of the stuff coming my way (using, say, a conventional sized frame), but those extreme angled shots out wide. . . would be hard to set up for, and hard to get much frame on.
 

lstewart

Semi-Pro
My first racquet was wood; my first "serious" frame was a T-2000 and then the Red Head by the end of my HS playing days. So I relate for sure.

I think once my timing was down, I'd be good on about 80% of the stuff coming my way (using, say, a conventional sized frame), but those extreme angled shots out wide. . . would be hard to set up for, and hard to get much frame on.
Yes, I was really surprised I handled competitive shots as well as I did yesterday. I'm sure it would tough to be competitive with wood, since there is such a loss of power. But the Yamaha fiberglass actually has a lot of power with that much weight. Just a very small head and sweetspot. I actually was hitting as hard or harder than normal, probably due to the weight. You can't whip it around, but if you can get set up, you can bang it. A T-2000 is the same. I have several of them, but am afraid to use them since I can't restring them once I break a string.
 

lstewart

Semi-Pro
Went through two workouts with the small headed 1970's Yamaha YFG 30. First day I played much better than expected, one on one workout in which I pretty much camped out at the baseline. Next day was more of a struggle in our weekly 2.5 hour group workout that is more doubles oriented, and in which I run into some mid 20's recent D-1 players. Yesterday I broke out a Head Arthur Ashe Comp 2, which is what I played in high school back in 1975 and 1976. Was hitting against a very athletic player who is a strong 4.5, hits all the modern topspin, and who is 15 plus years younger than me. The Ashe Comp is low power, but pretty soft and arm friendly. The feel is closer to what I am used to, as opposed to the power and vibration from the Yamaha. I could not generate a lot of free power with the Ashe Comp, but I was pretty steady with it. Basically had to play a defensive counter-punch game, and try to run everything down. I held my own, and gave my buddy a tough workout. He was talking about how it looked like I was swinging hard, but there was no sound, and then the ball would come back dead, with my slices not bouncing at all. Only complaint I have at the moment is a very sore hand with three tender blisters developing under my callouses. I guess these old rackets with larger grips than I have been hitting are rubbing my hand in new spots and creating the issue. Just ordered another Ashe Comp 2 online for $25, so I can play them for a while if I so choose. The issue is going to be if I can adjust well enough to play respectable doubles when needing to serve and volley. Actually scheduled for some grass court dubs tomorrow, so we'll see. I'm having fun giving the rackets from my youth a try......
 

lstewart

Semi-Pro
Played last night with wood frames. Took 5 to the courts with me. Had a Wilson Advantage and Spaulding World Open that I have owned for 40ish years. The Wilson was strung a little too tight, and the grip was huge. The Spaulding was strung very loose, but I played decent with it. Hit a little with a Wilson Kramer that felt pretty good. A couple of shots with a Dunlop Maxply. Spent most of the time hitting with a Wilson Chris Evert autograph. Strings were about right, and it was only 12.85 ounces. It was ugly early, but I ended up outplaying my buddy by just playing defensive and keeping the ball in play. I've been hitting over a week with standard size frames, so the adjustment was not as tough as it would have been otherwise.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
About your age and ability. I play w/Wilson Profile 95's circa 1987. For those seeing me for the first time, always provides a topic to chat about. Starts with "Haven't seen one of those in ..." Like you , also played w/ Ashe Competition I (all silver, no red like the II) 40 years ago. Loved the look as I imagined I was Arthur out there. A 65 inch head would be a little difficult to back to.
Just ordered some profiles off the bay. Been playing with them and am switching over to them full time. Sweet ride
 

muddlehead

Semi-Pro
*** Just ordered some profiles off the bay. Been playing with them and am switching over to them full time. Sweet ride ***

Enjoy. Stocked up with a closet full. Didn't want to risk not being able to find replacements like we heard about Connors and his T2000. Keep this in mind. Can't be too many who know this. I play with the 95 aq in. Guessing you are too. We all know about the 2 styles - 2.7 & 3.6. The 95's I play with are not marked 2.7 or 3.6 and they are about a 1/4 inch longer than the 2.7 or 3.6. So, there are three styles in the 95 size ... Anyway, string 'em at 33, lead tape 'em up, and you can be me.
 

tennisjunky

Rookie
My experience has been that the thinner and lighter the rackets got the game picked quality picked up.
I have a T2000 (aluminum) that I hit with recently, and while I could hit with it at a decent level, the weight was the big draw back.
I could not comfortably generate decent racket head speed to hit a good shot, except on my two handed back hand. Old wooden rackets (Jack Krammer/Chris Everett) the same. But I did put fresh strings on them all at 45lbs.

Now I did hit with a Prince Pro (aluminum) and because it was probably one of the last best aluminum rackets and thin, I could hit with it well, as it was lighter.
 

topspn

Legend
I have a couple of Dunlop maxply forts strung up with syn gut and a tournament addition in mint condition that I won't dig up a low ball with. That one is sting with gut and they all play very nicely. I hit with them once in a while but once you're grooved with them, you'll enjoy. They hit some very short angles that I'd be hard pressed to pull off with my normal playing stick
 
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