Racquets/Strings

Talk about your racquets, your strings, shoes and yes, your balls.
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Deuce Canada
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Racquets/Strings

#1

Post by Deuce »

Post your thoughts, questions, comments, etc. about tennis racquets (new or old) and strings here...
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Re: Racquets/Strings

#2

Post by ponchi101 »

This is in reply you Deuce's post about tennis elbow & strings:
https://talkabouttennis2.com/viewtopic. ... p=524#p524

I tried this year one of the new Wilson Clash frames. Too soft and flexible, although the frame is very much a classic Wilson shape. Not only that, I found it slow through the air, which of course means I was not swinging fast enough. But I was not impressed.
Wilson came up with the Pro Staff 13.0, which has fairly bland cosmetics. It was one of my favorite frames (both the 6.0 and 6.1) so I may, and it is a remote may, try it. If I find a place where I can demo it (impossible here in Colombia). So I may see myself with an Ultra or a Blade, but I still need to get some work first. No money for frivolous items right now.

I ended up not with tennis elbow (epicondilitis) but with Golfer's Elbow (epitrocleitis). Although named after the other sport, it is frequent in tennis players due to our serving motion. Which was exactly was happened to me: I played two hours instead of my regular one, too early in my comeback routine. So now I will be down for at least one more month. Not because of improper mechanics but because of overdoing it :( Will see if I can come back in early January. I do need to hit some balls.
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Re: Racquets/Strings

#3

Post by Deuce »

I admit that I've tried very few new frames in the past 10 years or so. That's because from about the year 2000 to about 2010, I tried many new frames, and didn't like even one of them. I hated most of them. So I gave up on new frames. Fortunately, I was able to find old frames that I liked - Prestige Classic 600s, iPrestige Mids, Pro Tour 280s... plus the Graphite Edges I had, along with various frames from the 1970s. Those are the racquets I use today - the newest is the iPrestige Mid, which is 20 years old.
The Dunlop Muscle Weave 90 played rather similarly to the iPrestige Mid. They were on the market at the same time. I chose the iPrestige simply because I was used to the Head shape, string pattern, and feel.

Not co-incidentally, the early 2000s is when racquet companies began going completely nuts with their frames, introducing 'new improved' models every 2 years or so. Claiming that these new racquets were 'improved' versions of the earlier models was absolute BS, of course - 100% marketing gimmick. If their claims of 'more power and control' with every new generation of frames were even remotely true, we would all be able to hit the ball THROUGH the fence, and be able to hit a dime on the court any time we want!
I rapidly grew tired of the marketing BS - nano this, liquidmetal that, etc. - and gave up on new racquets, as, beginning in about the year 2000, the racquet companies had very obviously placed quantity - and financial profit - far, far ahead of quality.

In the past 10 years or so, I've tried out a handful of frames - racquets that friends have had that I've grabbed for a 5 minute hit. I didn't like any of them. Over the past 20 years or so, my complaints about new racquets are always the same: they are too light and too stiff, and they have virtually no feel. While 'feel' may be a subjective element, I know what it is TO ME - and I've not hit with any racquet made in about the past 20 years that has had enough feel for me. None were even close.

In a related story...
Somewhat interestingly, I began playing pickleball (in 2019) with a wooden paddle. This was because that's the paddle they were lending out for free to newcomers. There were 2 models of wooden paddle - I chose the heaviest of the two.
Right away, I was beating everyone else in the group with it. They had their $100+ graphite, etc. paddles, and I had the borrowed $15 wooden paddle. They were all ridiculing me for playing with the 'heavy', 'ancient' paddle... but I was beating them. I tried at least 20 different paddles that first year - many different makes and models - all recent - just asking others to try their paddles. I hated all of them. As in tennis, I know what I want from a racquet/paddle - and I know what I DON'T want. Unfortunately, the huge majority of them are the type that I don't want.

At the beginning of this year (2020), I still did not own a pickleball paddle. I was planning to play with an advanced group in another town, and so asked if I could purchase 2 or 3 of the wooden paddles I had come to love from the place I was playing in 2019. They would not sell them to me, saying they were for newcomers to borrow - even though only about 3 newcomers borrowed paddles in 2019, and they would not be lending paddles out to anyone in 2020 due to COVID-19.
As I needed a paddle quickly for my try-out with the advanced league, I grabbed one at Costco. I figured I'd hate it and would return it - then beg to purchase at least one of those wooden ones. To my utter shock, at the advanced try-out, I liked the Costco paddle. It was a Wilson something-or-other. It was the only non-wooden paddle I'd tried (out of 2 dozen or so) that actually felt right. It's considered 'very heavy' - but to me, all the others I'd tried (except the wooden one I loved) seemed like toy paddles made for children. I got into the advanced league and bought another of the Costco paddles. I would have purchased 1 or 2 more, as well, had they not disappeared from the Costco stores.

Here's a nice present-day story of a guy using a wooden paddle (the same wooden paddle I began with and love) to win tournaments today. I only saw this story after I'd played with that paddle for a year. (You might recognize one of the comments below the story. :D )

https://blog.pickleballcentral.com/2019 ... od-paddle/

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Re: Racquets/Strings

#4

Post by ponchi101 »

I am looking at the usual websites and fishing for some clearance. But nothing is showing up.
The NCodes and Kfaktors, which are, as you say, the same Pro-Staff 6.1 frame with different cosmetics, are all gone.
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Re: Racquets/Strings

#5

Post by Deuce »

I have no idea if those frames are the same 6.1s. As I've mentioned, I've found that racquets get worse (for me) with each successive generation.

To find what you're seeking, you could ask these guys (bunch of old frames with newer model paint jobs on the website, and you can also ask them to try to find what you want)...
https://www.prostocktennis.com/t/tennis-rackets

... and look here...
https://www.stringforum.net/board/showt ... hp?t=28583

...and here...
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.p ... -trade.19/

Ebay, as well...

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Re: Racquets/Strings

#6

Post by ponchi101 »

Thanks for the links. These guys are obviously catering to the pros because they are selling a Wilson NCode 6.1 for Euro-499. Plus shipping and handling. A Wilson BLX is going for Euro 299.99. That was Roger's racquet more than a decade ago.
I just don't think I can afford that kind of price, specially with the S&H all the way down to Bogota. I will stick to my beaten Ncode Tour2 for a while longer :)
You remember the Pro Staff 6.1. Wilson used that same frame (in 95 sqin) as a mold for a lot of racquets. My NCode is simply a 6.1 in new cosmetics. They came with the NANO technology marketing angle, and painted it in first light orange, then a less ugly burnt orange. But I have placed one racquet on top of the other and they are, frame-wise, identical. The same PWS system, same length of grip, same positioning of the holes and grommets.
I may be going to the USA soon, so maybe I can look a bit more into that. And anyway, I am still down because of my elbow. Perhaps somewhere in a little store, a never-used Stefan Edberg 6.1 waits for me...
Last edited by ponchi101 on Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: test for edit time
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Re: Racquets/Strings

#7

Post by Deuce »

The last Wilson frame I played with was the 6.0 85 (in about the late 1990s), so I really don't know what Wilson has done with their frames since then - other than that they've followed the same ridiculous marketing pattern as the other racquet companies in introducing new, replacement models every couple of years.

The 'prostock' website is not really for pros - as most pro players (and even some college players) get their frames either for free or at a significant discount... the racquets on the website are largely frames that were made for pro players that the players either didn't like and didn't use, or used and discarded. That's why you'll see things like a Head Pro Tour 630 (PT57A) painted like a much newer Head Graphene Prestige or whatever.
Indeed, the prices are high - that's because these are customized frames made especially for certain pro players. It doesn't justify the price, of course - but the illusion of the 'prestige' of having a pro's frame is what dictates the price, sadly.

You could try to contact Stefan Edberg and see if he has any 6.1s remaining in his basement... There were a few other pros who used that frame, as well - you could try to contact them. I say this only half jokingly, as I got 4 Prince Magnesium Pro 90s from Cedrick Pioline because I loved that discontinued frame, and couldn't find any anywhere, so I contacted Pioline's agent and ended up getting 4 of his Mag Pro 90s shipped to me. That was in 1996 - just before the internet was everywhere, though :) .
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Re: Racquets/Strings

#8

Post by ponchi101 »

Stefan and I had a major quarrel ages ago, so I don't think he will be sending me any racquets ;)
I only went on the site and saw the racquets, did not see the story behind them. No wonder the prices are so high.
You must remember that Edberg did not really play with the 6.1. He tried it, did not like it, but that was his contract with Wilson, so they made him special 6.0 (85's) with the 6.1 cosmetics. He apparently did not like the extra power on the volleys, which made some of his shots fly out.
I also have to remind myself that I am not 25 anymore (or for that matter, 45). Here I am nursing an elbow, so I cannot go back to a 1980's racquet. I will never get my elbow back if I do so.
As I said, I will stick to my Ncodes a bit longer. Perhaps drop tension a bit. It might work.
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Re: Racquets/Strings

#9

Post by Deuce »

You must be the only person on the planet who ever had a major quarrel with Edberg!

You're right - I now remember Edberg's paint job. It was the strangest looking '6.1', as the mold and cross section of the 6.0 and 6.1 are quite different. Not to mention that the 6.1 was not available to the public in the 85 size as far as I recall.
The 6.0 came in 85 and 95 sq. in. sizes (along with a 110 sq. in. and 125 sq. in). The 6.0 85 and 95 played completely differently from each other. It was like they were of two entirely different compositions. They were both nice to hit with (though I preferred the 85), but were alike in name only. This might be because the 95 was a late addition to the Pro Staff 6.0 line-up. Originally, it came in only 85, 110, and 125 sq. in. sizes.

Sampras reportedly refused to use any paint jobs on his 6.0 85s - not for ethical reasons (it would be nice to see some players refuse to use paint jobs because it's blatant dishonest deception), but because he felt that different paint jobs made the racquet play slightly differently. It no longer felt right, he said. Whether that was entirely in his mind, or was real, no-one will likely ever know.

Here's a nice thread for you - along with a list of players you can contact to see if they have any remaining in their basements... :)

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.p ... rs.570988/

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Re: Racquets/Strings

#10

Post by ponchi101 »

I remember one good commercial from Wilson. They had Sampras, Edberg and a Wilson ball, and the caption was: He played with a Wilson (below a photo of each player). And they both played with Wilson (a ball).
I did not hear about Sampras refusing the cosmetics. After all, Sampras used the regular 6.0, as did Courier, Pierce and Roger (in his very beginning), even after the frame was no longer available. And then they released it again because so many people were still playing with it.
I actually would have loved a 6.0 in the 6.1 cosmetics. It was an improvement.

And I did hit with a 6.0 110 sqin, once. No way I could keep a volley in. So it was back to my 6.0, and then moved to the 6.1 95. Both solid frames.
I will look at the link you sent. Txs
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Racquets/Strings

#11

Post by Deuce »

dryrunguy wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:00 pm Thanks, Ponchi. I had noticed that. Hopefully I'm smart enough to use the feature.

Meanwhile, how do I post a picture from my hard drive? If I click on the photo icon above the post, it looks like I can only post from a URL?
Drag and Drop... (but when you drop it into the 'Compose Box', you don't see it - you just have to trust it's there)
Attachments
Ergonom.jpeg
Ergonom.jpeg (203.55 KiB) Viewed 59 times
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Racquets/Strings

#12

Post by ponchi101 »

Deuce wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:56 pm
dryrunguy wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:00 pm ...
A wonderfully kept Ergonom. This is the same thing as keeping an Aston Martin Lagonda with $25 tires.
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Racquets/Strings

#13

Post by Deuce »

ponchi101 wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:37 am
Deuce wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:56 pm
dryrunguy wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:00 pm ...
A wonderfully kept Ergonom. This is the same thing as keeping an Aston Martin Lagonda with $25 tires.
Just to clarify - the Ergonom is not mine. I have no idea whose it is - it's a photo I've had for years.
Crazy string job - strung with some kind of rope, skipping half the holes...

When did the 'Mark post unread' thing (next to the quote, etc. buttons) appear?
And why is it not on every post?
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Racquets/Strings

#14

Post by ponchi101 »

Remember that Snauwert once produced a racket with a much wider string job? Mark Woodforde used it, when he was together with Woodbridge. It worked for him, but I was never even able to see one in person.
If that ergonon were yours, that's it buddy. You are out! ;)
(I was never a fan of that frame, but it is a classic. No way you can treat it that way).
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Racquets/Strings

#15

Post by Deuce »

I had always heard that Woodforde had his frames specially drilled exclusively; that the racquets were not available to others with that drill pattern.
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