Upgrading racquet... advice needed...

mightyrick

Legend
Hi all,

I sincerely apologize if this is in the wrong forum.

I am upgrading my racquet because I can't control it anymore. Currently, I have a Prince O3 Speedzone Silver 118. Here are the specs:

  • Head size: 118 sq in
  • Racquet length: 27.5"
  • Cross section: 27-30-27
  • Weight (unstrung): 8.9 oz
  • Power Level: 1500
  • Swing Weight: 290
  • String Pattern: 16x19
  • Stringing Tension: 62 +/- 5 lbs

I'm a solid NTRP 3.5 now. Only playing tennis for 1.5 years. However, my strokes are much stronger and fluid now. I'm sending lots of balls long now. Sending lots of serves long. Far more than I ever used to.

Since I can generate a lot of my own pace now and have more solid strokes, I am wanting to upgrade my racquet to something with a smaller head for more control. Not a players racquet, but something intermediate.

I intend to demo a racquet, but I am looking for suggestions. I have a full eastern grip. I'm not sure if the shape of the racquet matters for the grip used by the player. So I was thinking about demo'ing the Wilson BLX Pro Open. Here are the specs:

  • Head Size:100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.
  • Length: 27 inches / 68.58 cm
  • Strung Weight: 11.1oz / 314.68g
  • Balance: 4 pts HL
  • Swingweight: 318
  • Beam Width: 24mm/26mm/24mm/
  • Composition: Karophite Black / Basalt
  • Power Level: Medium
  • Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
  • Grip Type: Pro Hybrid
  • String Pattern: 16 x 19
  • String Tension: 53-63 pounds

Even if I demo a racquet, I know that I will shank balls and have to "get used to it". Does this seem like a good racquet to grow into? Does anyone have any other suggestions? Many thanks.
 

salsainglesa

Semi-Pro
Demo several raquets... weight and balance affect how you feel the raquet, how easy it is to bring it up to speed and ease of handling.

stringbed size relates to how much power you must provide yourself or how much the racquet helps you providing the power.
Stringbed size mixed with beam width affects your margin of error.

The more mass the raquet has the less impact on your articulations because the ball wont push it so hard at contact point.

The less flexibility more power, and visceversa

Denser string pattern, more feel and more lasting stringjobs

I have a rule of thumb, use the heavier raquet you can swing for three sets for whatever days you play.

I'd say, a 100sq inches, 16x19, 300 grms balanced would be a nice starting point to try out demos. Then you can change one spec or so at a time.
 
salsainglesa said:
I'd say, a 100sq inches, 16x19, 300 grms balanced would be a nice starting point to try out demos. Then you can change one spec or so at a time.
Yeah the first thing that came to my mind was the babolats - pure drive or aeropro drive. The BLX your looking at has about the same specs, i'd say its worth a try.

Offsubject, MightyRick, I see you are in Austin, I was thinking of moving that way from Michigan and I was wondering if it is warm enough for outdoor tennis all year there? What do you guys do december thru february? Still play outside?
 

GetBetterer

Hall of Fame
mightyrick:
Hi all,

I sincerely apologize if this is in the wrong forum.

I am upgrading my racquet because I can't control it anymore. Currently, I have a Prince O3 Speedzone Silver 118. Here are the specs:
This certainly could go into the Rackets section for people who know more about Rackets than us, but Tennis Tips & Instruction is like a family and it is Tennis Tips, so I think it's okay here (although the moderators and administrators may disagree).

You're using an oversized racket, and it's going to let the ball bounce really easily. If you want to be able to swing harder for more topspin and power without the ball flying out, you should go for a smaller frame (or tighter strings but that's very difficult).

* Head size: 118 sq in
* Racquet length: 27.5"
* Cross section: 27-30-27
* Weight (unstrung): 8.9 oz
* Power Level: 1500
* Swing Weight: 290
* String Pattern: 16x19
* Stringing Tension: 62 +/- 5 lbs
Try and lower it down to 16 x 18 if you can. This will give less strings into it, and more power.

Obviously you would want to lower the head size too. Weight doesn't matter too much, but if your racket is heavier, it will be a new feeling and make it slightly difficult to swing the first few shots.

Also, on prince rackets the "power level" sounds impressive but really it's just a measure (I'm not sure what of, it's subjective really for Prince rackets that they make) of how much bounce you'll get off, and clearly you do not want this.

* Head Size:100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.
* Length: 27 inches / 68.58 cm
* Strung Weight: 11.1oz / 314.68g
* Balance: 4 pts HL
* Swingweight: 318
* Beam Width: 24mm/26mm/24mm/
* Composition: Karophite Black / Basalt
* Power Level: Medium
* Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
* Grip Type: Pro Hybrid
* String Pattern: 16 x 19
* String Tension: 53-63 pounds


Even if I demo a racquet, I know that I will shank balls and have to "get used to it". Does this seem like a good racquet to grow into? Does anyone have any other suggestions? Many thanks.
If you're swinging with a lot of pace and spin, I don't recommend getting any 3-digit rackets (my personal opinion), but still stick with something close like say a 98 in. or 95 in.

But if you are getting the 100 in., string it at 59 or 57 (57 if you feel you'll need more bounce, 59 if you can provide the power yourself).

If you are going to stick with the BLX (I'm using a BLX Pro Tour myself), then I recommend you get a new grip. That Pro Overgrip will work for awhile but when the sweat and grit gets into it, the glue is horrible and begins to melt away so you're going to want a new grip. Not even an overgrip, a new grip in general (unless you're going to use an overgrip as the primary grip). Even then, glue it with Elmer's glue. Elmer's glue is safe on wood and is really adherent.

WARNING: If you do use an overgrip and glue it with Elmer's glue, Elmer's glue is so good the impact won't go into undoing the grip, but instead go into your hand and give you more blisters than you would normally get.
 
You've got to try some out and see. I've demo'd a bunch of racquets that should have been perfect for me on paper, but they felt like garbage once I actually hit with them.
 
Hi all,

I sincerely apologize if this is in the wrong forum.

I am upgrading my racquet because I can't control it anymore. Currently, I have a Prince O3 Speedzone Silver 118. Here are the specs:

  • Head size: 118 sq in
  • Racquet length: 27.5"
  • Cross section: 27-30-27
  • Weight (unstrung): 8.9 oz
  • Power Level: 1500
  • Swing Weight: 290
  • String Pattern: 16x19
  • Stringing Tension: 62 +/- 5 lbs

I'm a solid NTRP 3.5 now. Only playing tennis for 1.5 years. However, my strokes are much stronger and fluid now. I'm sending lots of balls long now. Sending lots of serves long. Far more than I ever used to.

Since I can generate a lot of my own pace now and have more solid strokes, I am wanting to upgrade my racquet to something with a smaller head for more control. Not a players racquet, but something intermediate.

I intend to demo a racquet, but I am looking for suggestions. I have a full eastern grip. I'm not sure if the shape of the racquet matters for the grip used by the player. So I was thinking about demo'ing the Wilson BLX Pro Open. Here are the specs:

  • Head Size:100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.
  • Length: 27 inches / 68.58 cm
  • Strung Weight: 11.1oz / 314.68g
  • Balance: 4 pts HL
  • Swingweight: 318
  • Beam Width: 24mm/26mm/24mm/
  • Composition: Karophite Black / Basalt
  • Power Level: Medium
  • Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
  • Grip Type: Pro Hybrid
  • String Pattern: 16 x 19
  • String Tension: 53-63 pounds

Even if I demo a racquet, I know that I will shank balls and have to "get used to it". Does this seem like a good racquet to grow into? Does anyone have any other suggestions? Many thanks.
First of all, do yourself a favor and read The J011yroger Guide to Racquet Selection.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=160692

Second, if you enjoy taking a full cut at the ball, definitely include in your playtesting something that is a little more of a "player's racquet" like the Head MicroGel Radical Midplus (on sale at TW and seemingly everywhere else.)
Strung Weight: 11oz / 312g
Balance: 2pts Head Light
Swingweight: 315
Stiffness: 57
Beam Width: 21 mm Straight Beam
Composition: Microgel / Graphite
Power Level: Low
Swing Speed: Fast
Grip Type: HydroSorb
String Pattern:
18 Mains / 20 Crosses
Mains skip: 9T,8H,10H
Two Piece
No shared holes
String Tension: 52-62 pounds

Don't be put off by the "low power level". You sound like someone that really enjoys tennis.

You may enjoy it more by taking a full swing and keeping the ball in by generating more topspin on your shots.

Third, check out the health and fitness forum here at Talk Tennis. Notice that there seems to be an epidemic of tennis elbow and shoulder problems.
The less stiff the frame, the lower the string tension you can use, and also be more likely to use a softer, but more powerful string like a multifilament or gut, and still keep the ball in. If you really enjoy your tennis, you don't want to be sidelined by one of the all-to-common overuse injuries.
(Along health lines, are you doing your thrower's ten? http://www.asmi.org/SportsMed/throwing/thrower10.html)
 
Last edited:

Djokolate

Professional
Hi all,

I sincerely apologize if this is in the wrong forum.

I am upgrading my racquet because I can't control it anymore. Currently, I have a Prince O3 Speedzone Silver 118. Here are the specs:

  • Head size: 118 sq in
  • Racquet length: 27.5"
  • Cross section: 27-30-27
  • Weight (unstrung): 8.9 oz
  • Power Level: 1500
  • Swing Weight: 290
  • String Pattern: 16x19
  • Stringing Tension: 62 +/- 5 lbs

I'm a solid NTRP 3.5 now. Only playing tennis for 1.5 years. However, my strokes are much stronger and fluid now. I'm sending lots of balls long now. Sending lots of serves long. Far more than I ever used to.

Since I can generate a lot of my own pace now and have more solid strokes, I am wanting to upgrade my racquet to something with a smaller head for more control. Not a players racquet, but something intermediate.

I intend to demo a racquet, but I am looking for suggestions. I have a full eastern grip. I'm not sure if the shape of the racquet matters for the grip used by the player. So I was thinking about demo'ing the Wilson BLX Pro Open. Here are the specs:

  • Head Size:100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.
  • Length: 27 inches / 68.58 cm
  • Strung Weight: 11.1oz / 314.68g
  • Balance: 4 pts HL
  • Swingweight: 318
  • Beam Width: 24mm/26mm/24mm/
  • Composition: Karophite Black / Basalt
  • Power Level: Medium
  • Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
  • Grip Type: Pro Hybrid
  • String Pattern: 16 x 19
  • String Tension: 53-63 pounds

Even if I demo a racquet, I know that I will shank balls and have to "get used to it". Does this seem like a good racquet to grow into? Does anyone have any other suggestions? Many thanks.
I'm like you.
I also use the Pro Open BLX.
Definitely have a go.
 

Xizel

Professional
Yeah the first thing that came to my mind was the babolats - pure drive or aeropro drive. The BLX your looking at has about the same specs, i'd say its worth a try.

Offsubject, MightyRick, I see you are in Austin, I was thinking of moving that way from Michigan and I was wondering if it is warm enough for outdoor tennis all year there? What do you guys do december thru february? Still play outside?
Since no answer came yet, I'll tell you that in previous years, perhaps, but this year felt as if I moved 10 degrees N magically. You might find it playable in December, but January and especially February are death months.
 
grab a more normal players racket if you're trying to upgrade.

100sq inch blx is a no-go.

pickup something more efficient try out a pure drive, try out an aero pro, try out a blx 95, blx 6.1

you have many options

try and stay away from those performance frames that are massive
 

dozu

Banned
actually will need to see how you play.

11.1 sounds light to me... you need something that forces you to improve... although this can always be adjusted with lead tapes.

I look so wimpy in my video... my stick is 12.5 oz... I believe heavier the better.

heavy racket heavy ball... simple physics.
 
Since no answer came yet, I'll tell you that in previous years, perhaps, but this year felt as if I moved 10 degrees N magically. You might find it playable in December, but January and especially February are death months.
That's not the answer I was hoping for. You don't go indoors at all? They don't put up tennis bubbles? I couldn't take 2-3 months off every year.
 

mightyrick

Legend
Yeah the first thing that came to my mind was the babolats - pure drive or aeropro drive. The BLX your looking at has about the same specs, i'd say its worth a try.

Offsubject, MightyRick, I see you are in Austin, I was thinking of moving that way from Michigan and I was wondering if it is warm enough for outdoor tennis all year there? What do you guys do december thru february? Still play outside?
I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio... so I know the cold you speak of. ;-)

It does get chilly in the winter. There are "polar bear" leagues for those months. But still, the weather is good enough to play. Usually in the winter, the playing temperature will be anywhere from 35 to 50 degrees. I've been playing year round and enjoyed it greatly. You just have to bundle up a little bit.
 
Last edited:

mightyrick

Legend
grab a more normal players racket if you're trying to upgrade.

100sq inch blx is a no-go.

pickup something more efficient try out a pure drive, try out an aero pro, try out a blx 95, blx 6.1

you have many options

try and stay away from those performance frames that are massive
I'll try out the BLX 95. I'm worried about going from a 118 to a 95. It seems like a severe change.

Has anyone on here made a huge change from a super-plus size racquet to a mid size? With good results?
 

SlapChop

Semi-Pro
I went from a 110 to a 98. I really didn't have too much issue with the change in head size. I like being able to take full swings at the ball and there are alot of new opportunities available with my YT Radical MP t hat I didn't have available with my OS rackets.
 
heavy racket heavy ball... simple physics.
And slow racquet speed = slow, unheavy ball. Also simple physics.

Your racquet should be the weight that allows you to swing full speed while still plowing through the ball. Heavy for the sake of heavy is bloody useless.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I'll side with DJ on this one. No use wielding a heavy bat if you can't swing it fast enough to make the ball move.
Consider.....you are a sword fighter. What sword to pick? We KNOW Conan's barbarian 14lbs chunk of steel can wield the most power, but you would get nicked to death by someone with a rapier! Your ONE huge swing would be so slow and telegraphed that a sick cow could sidestep it. Consider....wield the weapon that you CAN.
 
I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio... so I know the cold you speak of. ;-)

It does get chilly in the winter. There are "polar bear" leagues for those months. But still, the weather is good enough to play. Usually in the winter, the playing temperature will be anywhere from 35 to 50 degrees. I've been playing year round and enjoyed it greatly. You just have to bundle up a little bit.
Thanks, but that just sounds miserable. 35 deg? Bundle up? Bundle up???

I think I better find somewhere else to move.
 
Thanks, but that just sounds miserable. 35 deg? Bundle up? Bundle up???

I think I better find somewhere else to move.
35 degrees with some sun is fine--- I'm down to a T shirt in no time in those conditions. Just be prepared to dig out a lot of low balls, or bring a microwave to the court.
 
I played today at 35 degrees, it was a little numbing to my fingers at first, but once I got warmed up it was fine.

There was still snow on the ground, but not on the courts. :-|
 
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