TENNIS TIP #1 - THE RIGHT STUFF
brought to you by Paul Luke Restrings
You’re only as good as your equipment. Depends on who you are, I guess. I don’t think we’ll ever see Federer and Nadal going mano-a-mano with old wooden racquets or with factory nylon strings. So why should you?
The two most important things (as important as paying this season’s fees) are racquets and string. The court, the balls, the weather are largely out of our control.
If you haven’t already ditched that old Wilson Prostaff or the Prince Graphite, then do so. You can always save it for hitting balls for the dog. (If you don’t have a dog, buy one). Stiff racquets provide lots of control but very little power and they are heavy. While I don’t recommend any particular brand (virtually all are made in China) find one that is evenly balanced, the correct grip size (most of us would need 43/8), not too heavy (about 270-280g unstrung – you can always add lead tape to it later), and take it out for a demo. Not just once or twice, either. It’s amazing how the new toy syndrome can wear off very quickly. When it comes to the shape of the head, stick to conventional shapes and frames, I’m not a fan of Yonex for this reason. If it works for you, then that’s okay.
And now for string. There are only 3 types I stock and recommend. They are all a polyester string that provide more spin and power than factory nylon or synthetic gut. And generally they last longer. I’ve been using Kirschbaum SuperSmash for over five years now and I personally wouldn’t use anything less. It gives at least 10% more spin and power than typical strings. While that is just a number, it’s a number that sits well for me. Kirschbaum SuperSpikey is a little softer and easier on the arm and provides a little more spin, and perhaps a little less power. Lastly, Big Banger ALU Power is used by many ATP players and gives you more of everything. Currently I have one racquet strung in Supersmash and one in Big Banger ALU Power. While I feel I get more touch with Supersmash (maybe because I am more used to it), I certainly find the Big Banger a livelier string. If you’re still using strings that came with the racquet (ie factory strings), it’s a bit like buying a new driver for golf and playing with the Hot Dot. You’re only making life difficult for yourself.
Both types of string can take a little getting used to. If you’re used to doing all the hard work, you’ll find them both quite lively depending on the tension. One thing it will do, it will change your game. You can take a better swing at the ball, knowing that you have more control. Unless you have a Tuesday Night war injury, I generally recommend the middle of the range string tension.
PAUL LUKE RESTRINGS
0412 206 177
• Kirschbaum SuperSmash $30
• Kirschbaum Superspikey $35
• Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power $40