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