TENNIS.com gear editor Justin diFeliciantonio and his technical advisers answer your equipment questions each day. Click here to send in a question of your own.
I've been playing with the Prince Morph Beam ThunderStick MP for about 12 years if memory serves. The sticks have obviously lost a little bit of punch over the years. But there are two aspects of the setup that make it hard to replace. It's 28.5 inches, and I really like the extra reach. I have also had trouble finding anything that duplicates the feel during my demo process. I am looking for something more maneuverable with a similar feel, which will obviously be less than 28.5 inches long. Do you have any suggestions?—mrn10sdave
They sure don’t make ‘em that long anymore, Dave, at least not in specifications that are palatable to advanced players. As far as I know, most players’ frames don’t exceed 27.5 inches—a length that, in terms of performance and feel, is a far cry from the 28.5 in. you’ve grown accustomed to. I’d say, if you’re serious about changing out your sticks—and you want the additional maneuverability that comes with a shorter racquet—you’re most likely going to have to accept a few changes in how your racquet plays and feels.
That’s not to say, however, that you’ll have to completely reconfigure your tastes. The Prince ThunderStick, according to the USRSA, is 293 grams (10.34 ounces), 3 pts. HL, with a 351 swingweight, unstrung. (From what I can gather, the beam width is ~26mm, no?)
Notwithstanding their 27.5 in. lengths, these specs. aren’t too far off from the Babolat AeroPro Drive GT Plus and Pure Drive GT Plus. True, the sticks are a bit more headlight (~6 pts. HL, strung), but their weights and beamwidths are comparable to your old ThunderStick. And their swingweights (~330s) are such that they should afford you both heft and the added maneuverability you’re looking for.
So what do you think, readers? Are there any other sticks you think Dave should try?