Testing for flex

On my continued quest for a spin friendly, flexy, and head light racquet, I went to racquetfinder.com (unfortunately the site is down most of the time...), looked up the Federer racket, and lowered the stiffness rating.

I chose the following 4 racquets from the results, and ordered demos from Tennis Warehouse. They ship you 4 racquets and include a return label for the box. You can keep the racquets for a week - all for $20. So if you are in the US, need a new racquet, or like trying racquets from their big selection, this is a nice offer to consider.

From Racquets

Here are my observations:

Völkl DNX 10 Mid
  • Would have liked to try the Mid+ version, however TW didn't have it. So this one is not for topspin hitter, but might be a good alternative to Pete's racket for people who prefer a more head light balance and softer frame.
Völkl DNX 9 Mid+
  • Very light and easy to handle. Doesn't feel as stiff as Tennis Warehouse indicates. Personally, I like rackets which support and accelerate a natural swing a bit more.
Pro Kennex Heritage Type C Redondo
  • I was sponsored by Pro Kennex in my teens, so have fond memories about a few sticks. Also, the specs looked almost perfect for me. My verdict: swings nicely, but can't see how this frame is as soft as everyone is saying (there's a "Redondo Club" on the Tennis Warehouse forums). Doesn't convince me in terms of feel or power. I restrung it which made it a bit better, but it still didn't feel soft.
Avery M3 Control Mid+
  • Frame is so soft it can even be tricky to pick up a ball - the frame just seems to bend back. Swings very nicely. Good serves but a little shaky on ground strokes - can't see how you would hit a winner from the baseline with this racquet.
So what did I learn? A head-light racket does need a good amount of weight in the grip area, otherwise it doesn't do anything by itself. Stiffness rating doesn't always indicate how flexy a frame feels. And frames can actually feel too soft. Overall, I think I'm getting a bit closer...