Like most of you know we playtest a lot of racquets and are constantly hitting with different sticks. We have our racquets of choice that are our main racquets (that we don’t get to play with very often), and we have the racquets we playtest. Some of these we like, others not so much, and every so often one comes along that we like/love a lot more than the others and that we will sneakily play with to make ourselves feel good. For a bit of a kick, I thought I would share the CURRENT favorite racquets of some of our team.
Brittany pulled out a goodie. She said, “My go to racquet right now when I am not playtesting and not hitting with my racquet of choice (Yonex VCORE 100 S) is the Volkl Organix V1 MP.” Solid choice.
The racquet has a 102 sq. in headsize, weighs 10.5 ounces and has a swingweight of 303 (click HERE to see the rest of the racquet’s specs). How do we describe it? Maneuverable, spin-friendly, ample power, excellent comfort. In a nutshell at least. This racquet feels light and fast, adding both pace and spin to shots from all areas of the court. It’s also solid at net and powerful on the serve.
Why does she like it? “I love this racquet for a couple of reasons. It is very easy to play with, and I need zero adjustment period. I have fun playing both singles and doubles with this racquet. It is very easy to get power on my groundstrokes and serve (especially when I am tired) as well as I find I still have good touch on my volleys.” And her favorite string setup for this racquet? She said, “Because this racquet has so much power, I found I needed a poly to control it. I like playing with a lot of different polys, but a favorite of mine is the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution 17. I usually like the tension to be around mid (in this case, 55 lbs).
Chris went another route with the Slazenger Pro Braided. He said, “I like the Pro Braided because it is maneuverable yet feels solid and crisp at contact. I have customized three of them with leather grips for additional feel and to tail weight them slightly.”
If you’re looking for a classic, this is it. With a light and fast feel, this racquet’s 95 sq in. headsize is paired with an 11.5 ounce strung weight. It allows players to rip big, heavy balls from all areas of the court. It also has a crisp and powerful response – perfect for Chris. Light and mobile, this racquet encourages offensive play and aggressive hitting (Click HERE to see the rest of the racquets stats). But what did Chris like about it the most? “The Pro Braided offers excellent access to spin on groundstrokes and serves. I can whip it through contact to generate lots of pace and the directional control I get is excellent. At net I like the maneuverability and the crisp response. I can snap volleys away with it, yet find all the control needed for touch shots. It is a very, very versatile racquet, and that’s why I enjoy playing with it.”
String setup? “I have been using it a lot for string playtesting so have been hitting it with a ton of different set ups — mostly polys (his favorite go-to string of all time, in any racquet, is Volkl Cyclone 16). Right now, my favorite string in the Slazenger has been Solinco Tour Bite 17.” At a tension of 52lbs, it offers great control and spin — a perfect combination with the Pro Braided for Chris.
I got Mark in on this blog, who said, “Right now, my current favorite frame is the Donnay Pro One 16×19. I gravitate toward this particular frame more than others. Throw in the all business, no- frills paint scheme, and I could be president of the fan club.”
Playing heavier than its weight, this racquet provides easy power, stability and great control. It offers a high level of feel and pleased both baseliners and all-courters. Why does Mark like it so much? “In stock form, the new Pro One has the 11.5 ounce static weight paired with the 327 swingweight, which makes it stable and tournament ready out of the box. Along with the extra frame material in the hoop, swinging the Pro One, it feels like a solid racquet because it literally is. The Dual Core technology, along with its weight/balance, and smaller than 100 square inch headsize, makes the new Donnay Pro One my under-the-radar favorite of the year.” (For more stats click HERE).
Mark’s favorite setup with this? “Kirschbaum Pro Line X, which was just released. Softer than the Spiky Shark, but firmer when compared to the Pro Line Evolution. For a poly, tension maintenance is top notch for the Pro Line X, and at a tension of 52lbs, a full set in the Pro One got me close to calling it the trinity of frame, string material and tension. At the lower tensions, I benefit from the deep ball pocket without a powerful launch off the stingbed that the Pro Line X creates.” (Amen to this, I am also such a huge fan of this string I considered hiding our reel so no one else could use it.)
Jason was on the firing block next and he stepped right up. He said, “Right now, I am really loving the Boris Becker Delta Core NYC” (Presale starts on 5/15 and in stock sometime soon after 5/20).
Providing a lot of spin and power, this racquet was also extremely maneuverable. Look to enjoy a really crisp feel when playing with it. For Jason, there are a few things that make this racquet really stand out for him. He said, “One, the spin I’m able to get on my groundstrokes to my serve is amazing! I also found the racquet to be really easy to swing, which is great for hitting angles and has helped me on my serve. And for a 11 ounce racquet, it has a surprising amount of power! But all that power is harnessed by the spin I’m able to put on my shots; helping me hit heavier shots with depth.”
A modern, up-to-date and ‘cool’ man, Jason added, “Lastly, the paint job is what the kids call, ‘sick’! All black with a blend of matte and gloss, it’s perfect for a racquet named NYC, also known as Gotham City. It just might be the racquet I switch to in the near future.” (Sorry, Boris Becker London, his current racquet, get out of the way! Jason may be moving cities!) As for string, he was secret squirrel about it, saying, “It’s strung up at mid tension minus 2lbs (so 52lbs) with a new, super hush, hush string.” We’ll get you in the loop about that sometime in the future, until then, Jason will be dominating.
A quick review:
Brittany: Volkl Organix V1 MP, Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution @55lbs
Chris: Slazenger Pro Braided, Solinco Tour Bite 17 @52lbs
Jason: Boris Becker Delta Core NYC, “hush hush poly” @ 52lbs
Mark: Donnay Pro One, Kirschbaum Pro Line X @52lbs
Hope you enjoyed knowing what some of the playtesters are loving right now! By the way, if there’s anything you want to know more about, let me know. I can’t promise anything, but if you have any good suggestions I’m down to write more Inside TW blogs on topics or gear or playtesters.