Is it a Fling, or is it Love?

I was inspired to write this blog by the Talk Tennis thread “Yonex 110% Loyalty Tour.”

Since college, I’ve been honeymooning and breaking up with a plethora of racquets, but have had the strongest relationship with the Yonex RQ iS 1 Tour Light to date.

My timeline of racquets:

Racquet / Weight (strung) / Balance / TW Stiffness Rating / Time Used

Wilson Classic 6.1 / 12.8 oz / 11 pts HL / 72 / HS-College

Wilson KBlade Tour / 11.9 oz / 8 pts HL / 65 / Jan-Feb ’09

Head YOUTEK Speed 16×19 / 11.8 oz / 7.8 pts HL / 63 / April-May ’09

Volkl Power Bridge 10 Light / 11 oz / 5 pts HL / 62 / June-July ’09

Head YOUTEK Speed 18×20 / 11.8 oz / 7 pts HL / 65 / Aug-Sept ’09

Yonex RQ iS 1 Tour Light / 11 oz / 6 pts HL / 61 / Sept-current

After a month of heavy hitting in August, it took a toll on my right shoulder. Every time I hit, it felt what I could only describe as someone jabbing an ice pick into my front shoulder tendon and a ripping of muscles from my scapula. Icing and China Gel would only numb this agony for less than an hour, but I realized this was the worst my shoulder had felt since college.

Tennis hadn’t been fun with the pain, so I decided to recharge my mind and body. I took a full week off and finally started to recover. I started to lightly hit twice a week, but could still feel some pain. I began to test other racquets to see if I could find a light enough racquet that still felt like a player’s stick with just enough stiffness to have the control that I liked.

Standing in our racquet room, I scanned the brands trying to determine what I should hit with that day. My fellow co-worker stepped in saying that the Yonex RQ iS Tour Light felt forgiving when he hit it, so I tried it out. From the first hit I fell hard for this racquet. My groundstrokes were consistently deep with more topspin than I usually produced, the thwack of my shots sounded amazing, and my angle forehand seemed untouchable! After the love at first hit, I strung it up with an extremely soft-multi I was testing at 57 lbs and knew in that session that this could be it. This might be a racquet that I could see myself having a future with. My shoulder pain has dwindled, not all the way, but to a point where I’m comfortable, and my confidence has boosted back up again.

As in every relationship, racquet or life, one must compliment the other and bring a positive energy. So far, the positive energy along with the compliments I have been receiving about my game has been because of this racquet. Of course, I have gone through my doubts that this could only be a fling, but so far it’s a fling I’ve been looking forward to every time I play.

Peace Sign,


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4 thoughts on “Is it a Fling, or is it Love?

  1. well i can see that there is a trend in stiffness and win weight slowly going down i figure that you got tennis elbow on one racquet so you switched?

  2. Jason, it’s not so much as tennis elbow, but tendonitis in the shoulder. It’s been an on going problem since college. I took about 2 years off afterward, and was feeling great when I stepped back onto the court. But because we review so many different racquets with varying stiffness, weight, and balances, testing multiple racquets in the same time frame has been contributing more to the pain in my shoulder. I needed a neutral racquet that felt comfortable going back to and comparing what we playtest. I have noticed that since it’s a lighter racquet I have a harder time swinging heavier racquets now.

    Mark, the Yonex is still love for me! I’ve decided to play with it in my next tournament which is a few weeks from now. My next blog will be about the experience! Maybe this tourney will solidify the relationship or break it! ;)

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