Will i ever found my Holy Grail?

Rafa Nadal

Semi-Pro
Hey,
I tried so much racquets:
Babolat Pure Drive Team +
Babolat Pure Control
Babolat Aeropro Drive
HEAD LM Radical TOUR
HEAD FXP TOUR
HEAD LM Prestige mid
Prince O3 Tour
Wilson NCode 6.1 Tour

Every racquet was nice but no racquet was perfecht for me.
So i search a new racquet for the next season.
I will test the FXP Tour next week again, atm i play the LM Prestige mid.

Any ideas?
 

tarkowski

Professional
Yep,

No racquet is going to be perfect. Some philosophies you could adopt:

- Pick the one that capitalizes on your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses
- Pick the one that makes your devastating shot even more devastating
- Pick the one that takes your game to where you want it to be, even though you aren't there yet
- Pick the one with the best paint

:p

Good luck!
 
There will never be for you a job, a wife, a place to live, and, oh yes, a racquet that is in all respects perfect. You need to come to a more reasonable understanding of how life works. Stop complaining; there is so much misfortune in the world; nobody wants to hear someone whine that he can't find a perfect tennis racquet. And start to consider that the imperfection may reside in you -- or do you think of yourself as perfect, like that racquet you believe is out there?
 
find something that you like and tweak the strings until the depth repsonse seems predictable and learn to accept the bad days . . .
 

Rafa Nadal

Semi-Pro
Ok thanks, my problem is, when i play bad one day, i buy a new racquet the next day.

But i think the LM Prestige Mid or the FXP Radical Tour is my next racquet fot the (i hope) next year.
 

LafayetteHitter

Hall of Fame
Instead of focusing on buying a new racquet the next day, work on putting serious effort into playing better the next day. Sometimes it's not the racquet, often it's the racqueteer!
 

arnz

Professional
Rafa Nadal said:
Ok thanks, my problem is, when i play bad one day, i buy a new racquet the next day.

But i think the LM Prestige Mid or the FXP Radical Tour is my next racquet fot the (i hope) next year.

I wish I could have that problem. My budget is so limited right now:(
 
S

SageOfDeath

Guest
Seriously, people have some sort of equipment fetish. If only people would invest that much wasted time to improving their games. I saw find a racquet you like, get a few of them, and stick with it. Doing this will save you money as well as help you game because switching racquets all the time can't possibly help it.
 

DXS

Rookie
I must admit that I went through this same phase. Everytime I played bad with a racquet, I could find fault with a different aspect of the racquet that I have not experienced yet.

I agree that there are times when you should settle down on one stick, but until you have confidence, I say keep looking. I have finally found a great stick that does everything that I need (Volkl BB10). My main hang up was finding a feel that I liked. I love the way the BB10 feels.

Here is a list of the sticks I went through and the reasons that I ruled them out.

Head I.Rad MP - hurt my elbow
Slazenger X-1 - Hurt my elbow, but might have been lingering results from the I.Rad
Babolat APD+ - not enough feel, length seemed to hurt me.
Babolat PD+ - Too powerful, not enough control
Wilson N6.1 95 - same as above
Wilson N6.1 tour - Very nice, but serve suffered a little
Bab Pure Control - to boardy feeling
Prince O3 Tour - nice, I could have kept this stick but I wanted more feel
Prince Shark MP - to boardy, powerful

I would sugget that you also experiment with the stings, lead and tension before changing. Good Luck.

David
 

Sixpointone

Professional
Rafa,

Here is ones man's viewpoint.

I have been playing with one Racquet since 1996. To me it is like an extension of my arm when I walk on the Court. I am that comfortable with it. And believe it or not, when I am on my game I am on my game. And when I am off I am off. But the good thing is the one thing that is consistent is my Racquet.

The best analogy I can give would be that of a relationship. Based on a first date you might be able to tell if you like a girl. Or in this case a Racquet. But odds are after only going on a date or two you will not know for certain if you have found your soul mate.

Based on that I suggest you find a Frame, or two at most, that you currently feel most comfortable with. Stay with it for about 6 months. And at that time make a list of your likes and dislikes. Perhaps you will find it is perfact as is. Perhaps you might customize it some. Or perhaps you will look for something else altogether. But at least you can get some solid info and feedback to pull from.

In short, a quick band-aid effect of changing rarely works for the long haul. But if you are committed to putting some time in you just might find your holy grail, or at least a Racquet you are both familiar and comfortable with.

I liked my Racquet back in 1996 and would not part with it today, in 2005. I wish that same enjoyment and luck to you.

Hope that helps,
John
 
S

snoflewis

Guest
lol...you still have dunlops, technifibres, and yonex to demo!!

What do you like? do you like muted rackets or rackets that provide the classic "feel" because that will cut down your choices by like 50%....
 
From my experience, choose your racquet based on its flex, head size, and string pattern that you like, as those are fixed variables that you cannot change. A static weight and balance not too far from your comfortable range wouldn't hurt either. However, balance and swingweight are pretty customizable (eg, adding lead tape to increase, trimming bumper guard ends to reduce). Power and control can be modified to personal preference through various selection of different string type, gauge, and tension. Ball feel/feedback is one variable that is subjective and can be elusive. It is usually the result of a combination of frame material composition and string type/tension/gauge.

And last but NOT least, racquet cosmetics/color may be an issue, depending on your personality. Hope that helps :)
 

Tenny

Professional
My current battle axe is POG oversize. I have 4 of them. I hate the cosmetics (cheap looking paintjob, silly lettering...) and its big head (small head racquets look cool!) but I know I play my best tennis with this (or Prostaff6.0 95 or Estusa PBP). I get curious about new sticks now and then (RDX500, McEnroe, X-1...) but I think I've found my racquet to play tennis. :p I don't feel thirst anymore.
 

AndrewD

Legend
Try to make things easier for you. Try a few racquets and decide on the ones you like the most. Take those racquets and, on another day, try them again. See if one or two really appeal to you/seem best suited to you/help you play well. Book yourself in for a 1 hour lesson and tell the pro that you're just wanting his/her input on which racquet might be best for you. They'll be good enough to hit all of the shots you might face during a match and be able to vary the spin and pace for you.

Just don't rush in and buy a racquet. Take some time, weigh up the pros and cons of the ones you like (and the way they play), then ask for a qualified second opinion. When you've made your decision don't give say 'if Im not playing well with this racquet in X time then Im trying another one'. Instead, say that you'll stick with the racquet until you've tried every sensible string and weight option. If you don't do that you might find you've already played with your 'Holy Grail' but with an incorrect set-up.

There's a lot of fun to be had in trying out different frames but it's a darn site cheaper if you stick to just the one.

Do you have any ideas as to what didn't work, for you, with the racquets you mentioned or what you felt was missing from them?
 

jonolau

Legend
It's 50% brand, 50% psychological. At the end of the day, what everyone sas above holds true. You need to find one that is suitable to your style. But then comes the next part ... which brand are you going to feel proud brandishing on the court? All the brands make good rackets, and have out in a lot into R&D. The next thing is to convince yourself that the one you settle on is truly your match made in heaven ... I found my match in Volkl.
 

bluegrasser

Hall of Fame
The problem with using a demo for 1/2 to 1 hr, is the time factor, it really takes longer to adjust to a new stick. I'd just find one that feels pretty good and go with it, then just tinker with string/ tension.
 
Nadal baby,

You obviously have almost exhausted all the choices in the world. Now is time to try a Vantage. It can't hurt, and just might work out for you. I know it did for me.

I can't imagine how much court time you had to have to try out all those frames....
 

PollACk

New User
Instead of always buying new racquets you could demo them. I do this all the time at my local tennis place and it's helping me greatly in finding the best stick.
 

goober

Legend
After going through a bunch of racquets- from 93-105 sq inch with all types of different specs and having my game go down hill. I pretty decided to get a racquet based on my specs and stick with it for 6 months. Well I got one on close out cheap without demoing. Now I am still using the same frame 10 months later and I never blame my racquet for the way I play.
 

johncauthen

Semi-Pro
I have had experience with this and I know this will work. The LM Prestige is a better racquet than the FXP Radical Tour. It's better, unless you string the Radical Tour in a certain way; then, the Radical Tour becomes a nearly perfect racquet: the racquet you are looking for.

I heard a player say about two Radical Tours, one strung this new way and one strung the normal way: he said, “I have never liked a racquet as much as I like this one. I have never hated a racquet as much as I hate that one, and they are the same racquet!” The difference was, the one he liked was strung this new way. The one he didn't like was strung the normal way.

When the stringer mounts the Radical Tour in the machine, tell him to pre-stretch the head as much as he dares to. When you measure it, the pre-stretched racquet in the machine should be 4mm longer, 67.0cm overall.

String the mains at 43 lbs. String the top 8 crosses at 63 lbs, string the rest of the crosses at 66 lbs.

That will work to change the Radical Tour into the racquet you are looking for.

When the racquet is strung this way, don't use a vibration dampener, you won't need it. The frame will not be stressed, but like me you can afford to experiment, so whether or not it breaks won't matter. It won't even be stressed much.
 

jonolau

Legend
Hi Rafa,

I went through what you are going through quite a few years back. I demoing so many rackets, always in the hope of improving my game. The awful truth came to light when someone told me this: a good workman never blames his tools. A good workman will seek to improve his skills first, then buy only one expensive set of tools to last him for the rest of career.

Even when I stick to one racket (previously only my C10 Pro), I can be playing like Federer on one day, and on another day all my shots could be going haywire flying all over the court.

The bottom line? Psychology. All our life is a battle of us against ourselves. When we have a high level of confidence, we can conquer almost anything and are in a positive frame of mind to seek improvements, implement and reinforce it. However, if you're in a negative frame of mind, you will ultimately fall into a vicious downward spiral because your mind will only focus and remember the lousy shots/returns, and reinforce in your head that you are having a lousy day. This even happens outside the court in our everyday lives at work or at home.

So, find a racket that is most suited to your regular playing style, stick with it faithfully and work hard on the physical and psychological aspects of the game.
 

johncauthen

Semi-Pro
A mediocre racquet has a delay between when you start to swing forward and when the racquet reacts. If you are playing a weak opponent, or you have confidence, you have time to wait for the delay.

Playing a good player you don't have time for the delay. Even though it feels like you are doing the same thing: you start your swing forward, there was a delay, and then the racquet goes forward; against a good player that sequence doesn't work. You're late, but you didn't do anything different, so you say you had a bad day, or you lacked confidence. When there was actually a reason you had a bad day, and the reason can be fixed.

The weight of the throat of the racquet is one of the causes for the delay. If you stretch the head of a Radical Tour, stringing it like I suggested, the head reacts immediately and you have good days.

Getting "used to" a racquet means you have learned to deal with the delay when it swings forward. But if you are forced, the delay will get you. Our arms don't have that delay, so if we play naturally rather than "getting used to the racquet", we always feel the racquet is hindering us, and it is. Try the stringing I suggested with a Head Radical Tour. The results will amaze you.

The same is true for the Babolat Aero Drive. Stretch the head a lot and string the crosses 20 lbs tighter, and the racquet works.
 

pinky42

New User
No, you will never find your holy grail. Oddly enough, you will stumbe across the holy grails of every other player on earth in you search. Sorry.

P.S. The suggestion about picking the racquet you liked best and sticking with it is a good one.
 

johncauthen

Semi-Pro
There is a universally perfect racquet. It's called your forearm and hand. Apply the balance principles in our forearm to a tennis racquet and we have the perfect tennis racquet. I've done that, with some amazing results: 14 Grand Slam Titles. It's so good, they won't sell it to you, but I am figuring out how to make it from what is available to me, and I will sell it.

Sampras let Krickstein try some of his racquets before the 1993 US Open. In less than a week, Krickstein decided to use some of Sampras' racquets to play the Open. He got the Round of 16. Obviously Krickstein went to Wilson wanting to use those racquets, but Krickstein ever got any of them. No one could get Sampras' racquets.

I was playing at a public park in 1990 after developing the weighting for 8 years. After she saw Sampras for the first time at the US Open, a girl came up to me and said, "He plays like you do."

I told her, "It's the racquet." Don't wonder why I'm not playing on the pro tour if I can be compared to Sampras by a casual observer, but I did develop the racquet. Like I said, it's so good, they won't sell it to you, but I am figuring out how to make it from what is available to me. One step is to make the head of a Radical Tour about 6mm longer, by pre-stretching it and stringing the crosses a lot tighter.
 

tedmeister

Rookie
johncauthen said:
but I did develop the racquet. Like I said, it's so good, they won't sell it to you, but I am figuring out how to make it from what is available to me. One step is to make the head of a Radical Tour about 6mm longer, by pre-stretching it and stringing the crosses a lot tighter.
John, what method do you use to "pre-stretch" your radical tour? I have seen the hoop stretching effects of having the crosses much tighter and it does lengthen the hoop considerably in the really flexible frames. Are you just trying to make it more head light? Is the gain in "playability" worth compromising the integrity of the graphite fibers in the hoop?
 

Ljubicic for number1

Hall of Fame
johncauthen said:
I have had experience with this and I know this will work. The LM Prestige is a better racquet than the FXP Radical Tour. It's better, unless you string the Radical Tour in a certain way; then, the Radical Tour becomes a nearly perfect racquet: the racquet you are looking for.

I heard a player say about two Radical Tours, one strung this new way and one strung the normal way: he said, “I have never liked a racquet as much as I like this one. I have never hated a racquet as much as I hate that one, and they are the same racquet!” The difference was, the one he liked was strung this new way. The one he didn't like was strung the normal way.

When the stringer mounts the Radical Tour in the machine, tell him to pre-stretch the head as much as he dares to. When you measure it, the pre-stretched racquet in the machine should be 4mm longer, 67.0cm overall.

String the mains at 43 lbs. String the top 8 crosses at 63 lbs, string the rest of the crosses at 66 lbs.

That will work to change the Radical Tour into the racquet you are looking for.

When the racquet is strung this way, don't use a vibration dampener, you won't need it. The frame will not be stressed, but like me you can afford to experiment, so whether or not it breaks won't matter. It won't even be stressed much.



John, Sorry for the ignorance but what sort of total tension would this system end up being?
I string all my racquets very loose, around the 53pound mark, so would your instructions work out for me or would you reccommend something different?

This is on a FXP Tour.


Thanks John.
 
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