A Necessary Change. It’s Not You, It’s Me.

Take me to Divorce Court, I’m done.

My body could no longer take the punishment; I had to get out before I really got hurt. It’s not because I didn’t love my old racquet, I did, and still do, but my body just couldn’t take the physical abuse. Who can I blame but myself? Like how women seemingly always fall for the wrong guy, I fell for the wrong racquet, the wrong strings. I like stiff racquets strung with polyester strings at 2 pounds above mid tension. I’m no Wolfgang Puck, but I think I found the perfect recipe for Tendinitis Soup. It was time for a change.

Among the many perks of working at Tennis Warehouse is receiving early samples of upcoming racquets. In this case, I got to try out the new Volkl Power Bridge 9 before its official release. I’ve never been much of a Volkl guy, but I knew they are known for making arm-friendly racquets. A little comfort was exactly what I needed. Looking at the vitals, I liked what I saw: a bigger head size (98 sq inch), about 11.5 oz strung and 5 points head light. Not to mention the awesome paint job. This racquet was a looker!

The real test would be the all-important first hit. I strung it up with a soft co-polyester string and headed down to our indoor court. It took some getting used to, but I was very impressed. It was nice having a larger, more forgiving headsize (coming off a 93 sq. in). My groundstrokes felt great, and there was definitely more pace and spin on my shots. For the most part, the control I was used to with a more head light racquet was still there. Although with my old stick, I felt more accurate hitting down the line shots. This certainly seemed like a suitable replacement for my K Blade Tour.

In the following weeks, I tested it out on serves, volleys, etc. And I can definitively say it was impressive from all areas of the court. What really sold me, though, was the lack of pain in my shoulder and elbow. That’s what I was really worried about, but my worries were put to rest.

A miracle racquet? Not quite. It was a combination of many factors: a larger headsize, a thicker beam, drop in stiffness, and to top it off, Volkl has their Sensor Handle System in every racquet. A perfect racquet? Close. Adding half an ounce and making it a bit more head light would’ve taken this racquet from a 9 to a 9.5 for me.

After weeks and weeks of searching, I think I can finally settle down. I’m making room in my bag and the Volkl Power Bridge 9 is moving in. Much like Kana’s newfound love of the Yonex RQiS 1 Tour Light, I hope this relationship lasts. As much I love them, I’m done with the stiff, thin-beamed racquets………………..for now.

Have any of you given your abusive racquets the cold, frosty shoulder? I would love to hear them.

Jason, TW

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11 thoughts on “A Necessary Change. It’s Not You, It’s Me.

  1. I hope to soon give the frosty shoulder to my K-Six One 95 and make way for the Youtek Radical MP. The Wilson has a pretty small sweet spot for me and it is pretty heavy, and is really hurting my elbow. I am still not that amazing at the sport and the racket I bought off my coach was definitely the right decision. If i hit a bit outside of the sweet spot I really feel the pain and I’m tired of it. I have demo’d the Radical it was really nice, I could even play without my elbow brace! Im gonna buy it soon once I save up enough money!

  2. Nice blog. I am in a similar situation. After 30 years of tennis without TE now I paying the fee for stiff stringbeds on small head/heavy racquet. Time for a break-up also for me? I think so…

  3. I loved the K6.1 95 until my arm fell off. 1 month of rehab and I am back and looking for a different stick. How is the power of the 9?

  4. Thanks for all the comments. It’s been over a year since I started my battle with arm pain. I tried everything but actually switching out racquets. I’ve put on braces, used China Gel (topical pain relief gel), ice packs, heat packs, kinesio taping, but all were just temporary solutions.

    HappyLefty, so you have had a chance to try out the PB 9 as well? I’ll have to try out that PB V1 based on your recommendation. If you’re right, my shoulder and elbow thank you in advance.

    I feel your pain Levy1. Isn’t the time away the worse part about the whole thing? I had to take a couple weeks off and I was dying to get back on the court. To answer your question, the PB 9 has plenty of pop. Even with a polyester string, I was able to get lots of pace on my shots. The sweetspot is generous, so that helps. Hope you’re days of playing with pain are behind you.

    Jason, TW

  5. I’ve happened upon one of these through work and I’m also on the verge of ‘Dear John’ing my MicroGel Prestige mid. After playing with the PB9, the HEAD feels like a Pro Staff Original in comparison. Really was one of those ‘where have you been all my life’ moments!

  6. Jason,
    You mentioned adding a half ounce and making it more head light. I am curious as to why you chose the PB 9 vs the PB 10 midplus which fits your specs almost exactly. I am currently playing the PS 6.1 95 and demoing the PB 10 and wondering if I should look at the PB 9. Are there advantages of the PB 9 vs the PB10?

  7. Hi Dave. Good question. Whether it’s the PB 10 Mid+ or the PB 9, I don’t think you can go wrong. I love both racquets. I eventually chose the PB 9 because of two reasons. One, although I’m used to a 18×20 string pattern, I’ve been hitting with open string patterns lately and like the added spin. Second, the PB 9 is a little bit stiffer, I like those stiff racquets! But, I can easily switch back and forth from the PB 9 and the PB 10 Mid+. I think if you want to hit with more spin, definitely give the PB 9 a try.

    Jason, TW

  8. Hi Jason, i have a question about the PB9 .I’am so sorry for my english because i am from Paris.
    so i want to know if i want to have more power, is it a good choice ?, knowing that in this moment i play with K six one team and i find que this racquet is n’t very powerfull.(or maybe Power bridge 8 it is solution )my level is around 4,0.
    bye Milan

  9. Hi Milanparis. If you are looking for more power, then the Powerbridge 9 won’t necessarily be a good choice for you. If you’re wanting more control, then give the PB 9 a demo. I would recommend you try out both the Powerbridge 8 and Powerbridge 9 at the same time. See which one you feel more comfortable with.

    Jason, TW

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