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Posts Tagged ‘Volkl’

PostHeaderIcon It’s Racquet Review Wednesday with the Volkl Organix V1 Mid Plus and Organix 8 (300)


I have a long history with Volkl racquets!

Back in the day, I used the Volkl Tour 10 V-Engine. In fact, I think it was my racquet of choice for almost 8 years. It was what some call “a player’s racquet”, and was supposed to help improve my game as my technique got better. Two surgeries later, I gave up on that idea in favor of one that would better suit the changing needs of my body and game.


Though I’m pretty happy with my current racquets, I wish I would have had been able to demo either of these Volkl Organix line racquets. I’m an extremely brand loyal kind of guy, and have always enjoyed the balanced feel of Volkl racquets. After demo’ing these two Volkl sticks, I’m certain that I would have stayed in the Volkl racquet family if I’d gotten to these first!

On the suggestion of the good folks at City Racquet Shop, I took the Organix V1 Mid Plus and Organix 8 (300) out for a hit, and was pleasantly surprised. I spent a fair bit of time with them hitting baseline shots, and also played a competitive doubles set with each. The racquets were strung at mid-range, and both had a grip size was 4 3/8. Here are my impressions and purchase recommendations.

(Per usual, there are a few caveats to my racquet reviews, based on my own game. I’m a 4.0 player with a fast swing that generates more than enough power and topspin. I hit a slice backhand for tactical purposes, but generally use a two-handed backhand drive. Please gauge this racquet review accordingly to your own game and personal preferences.)

Click Here for the Volkl Organix V1 Mid Plus Racquet Review

Click Here for the Volkl Organix 8 Racquet Review

PostHeaderIcon Racquet Review: The Volkl Organix 8 (300)


The Volkl Organix 8 (300)

16 x 18 string pattern, 10.6 unstrung – 11.2 strung (55 lb. Volkl Power Fibre 16g), 100 in.2

The Basics: The Volkl Organix 8 can give your game a nice combination of balance AND power. Whereas the V1 Mid Plus is a comfortable racquet with low weight and a subsequent loss of power, the Organix 8 gives you the same comfortable feel, but with the added ability to create some heat.

volkl-8-4Forehand: My current racquet has an 18×20 string pattern that allows me to better control my natural ability to sometimes create more topspin than I can handle. 16×19 string patterns can be a challenging. The Organix 8’s 16×18 feels like a nice compromise to help control the spin.

Though this racquet provides for more pop on my forehand, it still performs best with an easy swing. Whenever I tried to “punish” the ball, my results were inconsistent shots that sometimes went long. If I gave it a strong hit with a relaxed arm, the results were solid shots with great depth and spin.

Backhand: My two-handed backhand shots were comfortable, and the racquet allowed for good spin. Again, relaxed shots were best so that the ball didn’t get away from me and go flying long. Slice shots were a little prone to pop up without a good forward motion. However, a good stroke produces a nice “knifed” effect.

Serve: The 16×18 string pattern allows for an easy ability to slice or kick the serve. The main challenge I had with this racquet was more in terms of keeping a relaxed swing so that the power wasn’t too much to handle. When I was successful at relaxing the arm, my serve was untouchable. When I wasn’t as successful, the double faults flowed freely.

Volleys: Volleys were fine, and the racquet’s dampening technology helped keep vibrations to a minimum for a nice solid feel.

volkl-8-1Overall: The Volkl Organix 8 (300) is a nice racquet that, if I had the spare cash, I’d buy to put into my bag for rotation with my HEAD sticks. One point that I played in a doubles set stands out memorably to illustrate the benefits of this racquet. While receiving a wide serve on the deuce court, I was able to get a forehand on the ball with some spin even though I was stretched way out.

The net man volleyed my return back into the deuce box for what would surely have been a winner if not for the lighter weight and substantial power of the Organix 8. I got back into the court in time to hit a solid slice. Though the ball was slightly behind me,  I was able to get the racquet on the ball and give it a good wrist flick for added “oomph”. The knifed slice stayed low, and was too tough for the net man. He missed the volley and we won the point for a break.

That type of shot wouldn’t have been possible without the maneuverability and power of this racquet! So if you’re looking for a lighter racquet that’s comfortable with good control AND power, give this baby a shot. I think you’ll be pretty happy with the results.

(As with most of my equipment testing, demo racquet was graciously provided by City Racquet Shop. Please check them out if you’re in the San Francisco Bay area.)

PostHeaderIcon Racquet Review: The Volkl Organix V1 Mid Plus Offers Great Feel & Versatility In A Low Power Racquet


Volkl Organix V1 Mid Plus

16 x 19 string pattern, 10.1 unstrung – 10.6 strung (55 lb. Volkl Synthetic), 102 in.2


The Basics: The Volkl Organix V1 is an extremely well-balanced racquet that can work for virtually any type of player since it’s equally comfortable in baseline rallies or at the net while putting away volleys. The odd brown color was a little off-putting in an age of brightly-colored racquets, but that shouldn’t put anyone off from giving this one a try.

It’s a lightweight racquet, which means that it’s also a low-power racquet. For someone like me who often swings much faster than necessary, that’s a good thing. Instead of hitting the back fence, the ball has a chance of landing deep at the baseline.

Conversely, if you chop at the ball or attempt subtleties by flicking your wrist to guide the ball, you’re going to be lucky if it makes it to the net. So it needs a good full swing to produce the best shot, and that’s a good thing for most club players to remember anyway.

Forehand: I’ve sometimes found open string pattern racquets harder to control in terms of topspin, but not this one. It’s as solid on a topspin forehand as it is on a flatter shot. Also, the amount of effort needed to generate topspin is minimized because of the low weight. The only downside was a temptation to over-hit because of the low power.

Backhand: It feels good on two-handed backhand shots, but is equally as comfortable on one-handed slice shots. The low power necessitates a full swing and follow-through for maximum depth, especially on the slice. “Chopped” slice shots will get punished by your opponent.


Serve: It’s a good racquet for various serve types. The low power ensures the ability to, more often than not, get the serve in the box without hitting long. In order to get the best pop on your serve, it needs good technique and a full delivery.

Volleys: The low weight allows for easy maneuverability at the net, and the racquet technology provides for a stable feel with good vibration dampening. Volleys will rarely “get away” from you, but solid technique will help for good volley depth.

Overall: The Volkl Organix V1 is a comfortable racquet that can work for virtually any type of player. It’s also one of the most versatile racquets I’ve ever tried. If you’re looking for a lighter stick that still gives you control and an ability to swing freely, I’d head out to your nearest tennis shop for a demo.

(As with most of my equipment testing, demo racquet was graciously provided by City Racquet Shop. Please check them out if you’re in the San Francisco Bay area.)

PostHeaderIcon Sharing My “Racquet Demo Hell”

I typically suffer in silence when going through the process of demo’ing racquets (wherein as you are trying to find your next racquet your game slowly starts to deteriorate because of all the changes until you can’t even hit a decent shot with your old racquet). But one of my hitting buddies persuaded me to share my experiences here on my blog so that it might help someone else who is also suffering through this process (thanks Patrick). 😉

I’ve used a Volkl Tour 10 V-Engine since it first came out several years ago. Back then I needed a racquet that would force me improve my stroke production and technique. It was perfect. Well-balanced and good power/control with proper stroke production. It was the racquet for becoming the better player I wanted to be. But as I have gotten older (almost 48) with shoulder/knee surgeries in the past 4 years (both on my dominant hitting side) plus other various injuries, I need a racquet that suits my current game and body. I find myself struggling with both power and control as soon as I lose even a single pound of tension in the strings. After a rough USTA season I decided to suck it up and start the process of finding my new “The One”.

First up was the Wilson Blade 98 BLX. It’s the racquet seen in the commercials with Federer, Venus, and Serena. They push a couch onto court to help counsel a struggling player, telling them this racquet will help them get more feel. It’s great advertising! I especially like the Roger commercial. Who doesn’t like a commercial with two cute guys, right? Anyway… it was a no-go for me and my game. The racquet gives a solid feel on groundstrokes, but is much more head-heavy than my current Volkl. So I felt a distinct lack of control on all shots when I was pressured, especially coming in for short balls. Serving was difficult as well. Too much vibration, and no control on serve placement. If the serve landed in it was usually a good one with lots of weight behind it, but I couldn’t tell you how I did it. Not the feeling you want in a racquet. NEXT!!!

Next demo test racquet was the Wilson BLX Pro Tour. I was told it is the racquet used by Juan Martin del Potro. A quick trip to Wikipedia showed that he switched to The Wilson K Factor 6.2 after coming back from his wrist injury. I won’t give any commentary on the reasons why he may have switched from this racquet, but after hitting with it for 5 minutes I hated it on all fronts. Bad for my backhand, forehand AND serve. NEXT!!!

I’ve never owned a Babolat racquet, but after hitting with a friend’s last week I decided to demo one. I picked up the Babolat GT Pure Storm, and I hated it. Racquet felt pretty lackluster on the backhand, and every forehand hit the back fence behind my hitting partner. I didn’t even bother attempting other strokes. NEXT!!!

After round 1 of demos, I went back to the pro shop to get some more demos based on my feedback from the first batch.

I came out with two Volkls and a Head. The Volkls were updated versions of the racquet I have been using. They were the PB9 and PB10 racquets. I had high hopes for these. The pro at the shop mentioned that most people who play Volkl don’t really find satisfaction with other brands. So I thought these two sticks would follow in the same tradition and work perfectly on first contact. Result: not so much. The PB10 felt heavy from the first ball strike…much more than my current racquet. And stiff.

My hitting partner could only focus on how bad the vibrations felt from this racquet more than any other aspect. Also, if my goal was to find a maneuverable and forgiving racquet, this was not going to cut it. Didn’t even wait to try serves before switching to the PB9. It was better than the PB10, but still didn’t feel right. Forehands were tough to control, backhands had no feel. The weight didn’t feel good in my hand. It went back into the bag. NEXT!!!

Having suffered a major Volkl letdown (my last 3 racquets have been Volkls), I tried the last of the demos: the Head Youtek IG Speed MP 315. Novak Djokovic uses Head racquets. I wouldn’t pretend to think that my game is anywhere near comparable to his game. And I have never owned a Head racquet. So my expectations were pretty low for this racquet.

However, on first strike it felt surprisingly good. Really good. I have a long but quick stroke (too quick at times). This racquet allows for that kind of wind-up and still keeps the ball on the court. It feels good off both sides, and gave me good feel and depth on both wings. Serves were a dream. I felt like I could maneuver the ball all over the box with a ton of added slice. Volleys felt solid with good control, short balls felt good too. It didn’t take long to make up my mind on this Head racquet… I pretty much had what I was looking for.

Of course rallying is a very different experience from set or match play. The weight difference between my current Volkl and the Head is significant. The light weight caused some problems. Playing a set was a challenge in slowing down a swing speed that’s been programmed over 7 years. When the adrenaline starts pumping during match play, it’s easy to swing too fast putting the contact point way far in front of you (which sends the ball straight to the bottom of the net). That’s okay though. I should be able to adapt with time, right? 😉 Bottom line: I’m still stoked by the potential of this stick!

I will demo a few more models and report on those within the week. But the Head Youtek IG Speed MP 315 is definitely the frontrunner!
(SPECIAL THANKS to Lynnette and Keri at the San Francisco Tennis Club pro shop for their help in finding a racquet that suits my game.)

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