Posts Tagged ‘Equipment’

PostHeaderIcon Ask Marla #10 – Get a Grip On Your Racquet Grips!

askmarla-grips-hdr

Whenever I post a racquet demo video, I get questions about the grips shown on the demos. After asking Marla about the grips on the last set of demos I tried, we ended up having a larger conversation on grips that was pretty enlightening, and well worth sharing.

Question: What kind of grips do you use on your demo racquets?

Answer: Some have overgrips, and some have the actual grip of the racquet.

askmarla-gripsQuestion: Which do you recommend: actual grip or overgrip?

Answer: I suggest that people try using the actual grip before going to an overgrip. Many grips nowadays are very good and have the qualities that the overgrips used to provide (tackiness and “feel”). But some people sweat so much during a match that they need to change their grip quickly during a match. Overgrips are good for those types of situations.

Question: How often should you replace your grip?

Answer: Overgrips can be replaced at any time. As for the actual grip, I’d recommend replacing it at least twice a year for maximum comfort and cushion. Otherwise, the grip loses cushion and hardens, making it tougher for your wrist and arm to handle the vibration. The loss of cushion also causes the grip to flatten, which can affect the racquet’s grip size.

Question: If someone is interested in using an overgrip, what would you recommend?

Answer: I can tell you what’s popular. The Wilson Pro overgrip does well because it’s tacky, and is also very thin. This keeps it from adding size to your grip. But generally, they’re all pretty similar. The one exception is a more cloth-like grip such as Tourna Grip. It’s not as tacky, but is more absorbent for people who sweat a lot. There are also many “old skool” recreational players who simply prefer the cloth feel to the newer types of grips.

No matter what kind of overgrip you try though, remember to give your racquet’s actual grip a try before adding on an overgrip. And change it twice a year for best results.

(SFTF Note: Beyond the issues of tackiness and absorption, brightly-colored overgrips are also a way to express your mood/personality. And remember that once you use an overgrip, you’re pretty much stuck. Removing an overgrip will strip away the top layer of your actual grip, rendering it useless.)

Got a tennis question? Send it via email or tweet for “Ask Marla”, a (hopefully) weekly (or biweekly) question-and-answer with Marla Reid of San Francisco’s City Racquet Shop.

About Marla

Marla Reid is a respected tennis pro/coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s coached nationally-ranked teams and players, and has over 15 years of experience at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels. Marla owns and operates City Racquet Shop in San Francisco CA.

About City Racquet Shop

City Racquet Shop offers, superior products/services, outstanding customer service, and a community-oriented destination for tennis players to shop, hang out and talk about tennis.

City Racquet Shop online: www.cityracquetshop.com
City Racquet Shop on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/city-racquet-shop-san-francisco
City Racquet Shop on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cityracquetshop

PostHeaderIcon Tips for the Off-Season: A 3-Pt Series to Help You and Your Game Prep for the New Year

David Ferrer working his core

I recently posted 3 separate installments featuring tips to help you and your game in the off-season as part of my Ask Marla series . Here are all  three article links in one place for easy bookmark-ing:

Tips for the Off-Season Part 1:  Take Stock/Take Time Off

Tips for the Off-Season Part 2: Off-Season Training

Tips for the Off-Season Part 3: Equipment Changes

Good luck, and hope they help your upcoming season!

PostHeaderIcon Ask Marla #9 – Tips for the Off-Season (Part 3: Equipment Changes)

equipment-change

This is the third of a three-part series (Take Stock/Take Time Off, Training Tips for Upcoming Season, and Equipment Changes) that will focus on things you can do to help your game during the off-season.

Question: Is this a good time to make equipment changes?

Answer: With regards to equipment, this is definitely time to think about making changes. Start doing some research, find out what’s new and what’s coming out (that may help your game), and talk to someone who knows about the equipment you’re interested in i.e. racquets, strings, etc.

If you’re going to demo a racquet I’d highly recommend waiting until the first of the year. That’s when the new products will be out and in the stores. It’s the best time to demo and hit with all the latest and greatest! So hold off on any new racquet purchases until then.

Question: How about changing strings. Is this the best time to make a change or is it okay to experiment throughout the season?

Answer: If you’re going to get a new racquet, I would hold off strings because it all depends on your game and the racquet. Talk to a local pro about your game and what you’re looking to achieve. Do you need more control? Do you want to develop more spin? Get advice on strings that might be able to help you achieve the goals of your game.

With respect to racquets, there are many factors that can affect your strings such as open/closed string patterns and racquet stiffness. Are you looking for durability, or are you looking for playability. Keep in mind that changing your string tension can also make a big difference in your game without changing strings. Just remember that you have to be willing to experiment to find what works best for you.

(SFTF Note: I wholeheartedly agree on talking to a trusted local pro before making any major equipment changes. Because I’d previously taken lessons with Marla, she knew my game, knew my goals, and successfully guided me to my current racquet (HEAD Speed MP 315).

Marla also convinced me to string my racquets with a hybrid combo that gives me great playability yet also helps my string jobs last for more than three weeks. Lastly, her familiarity with my shoulder issues led to a push for reduced string tension from 60 pounds to 52. Besides feeling better on my shoulder, the reduced tension helps my string jobs last even longer.

These are the type of customized suggestions you could never get from random online reviews. I love my racquet, love my strings, and feel like my game continues to evolve and improve. All thanks to the help I received from my local pro.

You want my advice? Take the time to get help from a trusted pro/coach in your area. Any type of equipment changes you want to make, and their associated mental/financial costs, will be well worth the effort when you successfully come out on the other side!)

Got a tennis question? Send it via email or tweet for “Ask Marla”, a (hopefully) weekly (or biweekly) question-and-answer with Marla Reid of San Francisco’s City Racquet Shop.

About Marla

Marla Reid is a respected tennis pro/coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s coached nationally-ranked teams and players, and has over 15 years of experience at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels. Marla owns and operates City Racquet Shop in San Francisco CA.

About City Racquet Shop

City Racquet Shop offers, superior products/services, outstanding customer service, and a community-oriented destination for tennis players to shop, hang out and talk about tennis.

City Racquet Shop online: www.cityracquetshop.com
City Racquet Shop on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/city-racquet-shop-san-francisco
City Racquet Shop on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cityracquetshop

PostHeaderIcon SF’s NEW Tennis Emporium: City Racquet Shop!

Marla and Sheila of City Racquet ShopMonths of planning and hard work have finally come to fruition for Marla Reid, tennis instructor extraordinaire, and her partner Sheila. On Saturday they will see their baby open to the world with the grand opening of their business, City Racquet Shop.

When I ran into them at the Bank of the West, they were excited about the upcoming opening. A little anxious with last minute details, but excited. They’ve put a lot into opening this shop. And rather than bemoan the loss of one of the best tennis instructors in the Bay Area (Marla, who will help me with my backhand???), I’m excited for them as well.

It’s rare when we have a chance to patronize a tennis shop run by tennis players for tennis players. There’s no other store that even comes close to meeting the needs of most tennis players. And you ALL know who I mean (cough, cough Lombardi Sports…cough, cough Sports Authority). Nice kids, but do I really want to ask them about the best racquet for my game? Or to string my racquet only to get it re-done a couple of weeks later?

So I hope you will come check it out, meet the gals, and see how City Racquet Shop can meet your tennis needs. Here is a blurb Marla sent me about the shop:

City Racquet Shop – Grand Opening, Saturday, August 27th at 10am.
Location: 1798 San Jose Ave, SF 94112
cityracquetshop.com

We want to share our love of tennis with players of all skill levels by offering a unique neighborhood retail experience that delivers high quality gear and stringing services, expert advice from knowledgeable professionals, and a place to connect with others who are passionate about the game.

We look forward to serving new, recreational and seasoned tennis players in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Though my backhand will never be the same, I wish Marla and Sheila all the best.
See you all on Saturday! And yes, I will be there with camera in hand for pics and live blogging. 😉

City Racquet Shop location graphic

 

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