Most helpful positive review
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Tried and Liked others costing up to $200., but when strung right, my opponents fear this one the most.... *@*
on April 23, 2014
Basically, I'm a 58 year old recreational 4.5 NTSC player in the states and 30/2 player in France -- which is better than most, worse than many.
What I use and why: After MUCH experimentation using my own racquet stringing machine and lots of different strings and racquets, I found what works best for me and for many of my friends is this liquid metal 8 racquet restrung with Luxilon Original Rough string -16 gauge (1.30mm diameter) and strung at a shockingly low 33 pounds of tension (instead of the usual 55 lbs recommended). Even 35 pounds was a bit too high as it sent balls sailing too far for me. After a couple hours of use, the strings are broken in and stable and work well for me for about 60 hours playing time or 3 months at 5 hours a week on the courts. When the strings stop recentering themselves after each shot, it's time to restring again at this low tension. Never broke a string yet this way and even though it's a poly string, at 33 lbs it's very easy on the elbow and shoulder. NOTE on stringing tension and how it works: Most tennis guys know stringing at higher tension generally reduces power, but improves accuracy, touch, feel and control. Sampras used about 75 lbs but broke strings alot. Federer strings at about 48 - 52 lbs. Both had best accuracy of shots in their eras. However, it has been discovered that once you go roughly below 35 lbs (say 30 to 33 lbs) stringing tension, power again diminishes to what is useful (not too much) and touch and accuracy come back. In addition, to those who are older or concerned about tennis elbow or wrist issues, low tension is really great. I also got rid of the built-in vibration damper on the racquet (didn't like it) and instead use a Wilson Vibrafun damper which looks nice and works great and stays in place.
No racquet will turn a newbie into a pro, but a decent racquet definitely helps improve your game. Had one match against the best player in my state, knowing I'd get wholloped, but glad to try. Basically, this racquet gave me a fighting chance once in a rally (we split long rally points about equally), because with it I could react very quickly due to the light weight and the power this racquet has (due to the 112 sq. inch head) allowed me to make quick and powerful defensive shots I simply have no hope to make with my other racquets. Also, everyone comments that my serves are more powerful with this racquet as are my forehand power shots (when my game is on). I had NO aces against this awesome player and didn't even win one game in two sets, but had one game on my serve go to deuce 5 times and even had a game point, but choked on an easy put away shot. Still, it was a fun time and I felt strangely competitive against a much better player.
Anyway, I realize this is now priced in the budget category at $85., but do yourself a favor and buy this for the same price but where they throw-in free restringing and you just pay for the string (saves you about $15. stringing charge). Pay the $15. - $20. extra for the Luxilon Original Rough and give it a try at my recommended "sweet spot" of 33 lbs tension. Tennis Warehouse and Tennis Express both offer free stringing, if I recall correctly. I've seen this racquet on sale for as low as $75. with free re-stringing (great deal!).
Grip size recommendations: grip size is very important, too. Basic rule of thumb: use the smallest grip which feels comfortable in your hand. Basically, a man who wears a medium to large leather glove will be a 4 3/8, extra-large workglove, a 4 1/2 and mitts like a bear might need a 4 5/8. Men who fit a medium to small work glove will want a 4 1/4 and ladies wearing a small ladies glove will want a 4 1/8. When in doubt, order 1/8 size smaller than you think and buy a $2.00 "grip size increaser", but don't have them put it on -- just have it handy if you find you need to step up a size. If you find you need to step down a size, it's not so much fun, but remove the thick, padded (nice) grip covering and replace it with thin competition (blue) tape. That will drop it about 1/8" for you, give you even better feel of the handle and shots, but not be as comfortable to hold.
This racquet is best for those who really don't prefer to set-up and take huge swings at the ball, but prefer to use more compact swings while retaining power and good accuracy. It has the power due to the large head and being head heavy, to hit serves and forehands with lots of power, make great, quick and deep defensive shots, light enough to feel agile at the net and when strung as I recommend, gives nice feel for drop shots, strings which don't break and last a LONG time and easy on the elbow and wrist and shoulder. So, what's not to like?
Thought I'd be searching forever for a better racquet, but all my opponents agree, this one, strung with Luxilon Original Rough at 33 lbs, it the best one for me. I have no desire to search further. Tennis anyone? *@*