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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Weiss Cannon Scorpion - soft poly for happy tennis elbow

Looking for a soft arm friendly poly? Check out Weiss Cannon Scorpion. I've been playing with this string for the past few months. On my second reel now and still loving it. It has good power and it is a SOFT poly. Personally, it feels even softer than SPPP.
Right out of the package you can tell it's more flexible than a string like Tecnifibre Pro Red Code. I've been using it in a stiff frame POG Mid and haven't experienced any pain yet. Also, this string gets pretty good reviews for tension maintenance and it has decent spin. It's no ALU Rough, but you can still generate plenty of spin.
If you seek comfort, this string is definitely worth a try.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Congratulations to Rafael Nadal!

You are truly a beast on the tennis court, and completely deserving of the 2010 US Open Championship. I am in awe.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Just published my first eBook! Free to download

I've been dabbling with the idea of an eBook....and I finally got around to writing the first issue. Writing and tips by me. Illustrations by friend and artist, Amanda Potter. Free to download. If you like it, please give this blog a shout-out. Thanks!

Behold....Vol 1, Attacking the Net

File Size: 488 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

Friday, May 21, 2010

NTRP Progression

For those of you that play leagues....

There is a really interesting thread right now over at the forums on Here's the direct link

This got me thinking about tracking my performance over the last 7 years that I've played USTA. When you see your long term performance mapped it out, it's really gives you a whole difference perspective on why you are winning or losing. And you can point to the peaks and valleys and reflect on why you were so successful (or miserable) that year.

For example, 2006 was a great year for me - I won a national championship in the peak of my prime. Yay! That was followed by repeat ratings bump into higher levels and my performance dropped. Admittedly, competition was tougher - But then....I hooked up with a fun group of guys who play morning tennis in the park but then spend the rest of the day drinking many beers and eating lots of fried chicken (which I totally love).

I call this time period "the downward spiral." That's also right around the time I became a 30-something....correlation? Nah...I'm sure it's the fried chicken. For kicks, here's my chart below.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Now this is some beautiful tennis weather....

Looking forward to a great weekend...check out this forecast

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wear 2 socks for happy feet

Here's a tip to make sure you can play tennis for an extended period of time. This is especially useful for people that play multiple days in a row.

Wear 2 pairs of socks to make your feet more comfortable. The extra padding helps to secure the foot inside the shoe, and it minimizes jammed toes and jammed nails that occur from hard stops.

Why does this work?
  1. The outer layer of socks helps to wick moisture away from your skin. Your feet will be drier and less likely to develop blisters.
  2. The inner layer of socks can slide independent of the outer layer - reducing overall friction on your feet. Less friction = less soreness
  3. More socks = more padding. It's the difference between walking on a plush carpet vs. the thin carpet in most office buildings.
I've been doing this for months...and I love it. Can play multiple days in a row. No blisters and the feet still feel great the next day. When my feet are comfortable, I tend to have better footwork, and that makes me play better.

If you haven't tried the 2 socks approach, I highly recommend it. Try it and see what your feet have been missing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Product Review: Wilson BLX Six.One Tour vs K Factor Tour 90

I just play tested the new Wilson BLX Six.One Tour. It's part of the new family of Wilson racquets that use "basalt" to reduce vibration. I'm not sure if the basalt actually has anything to do with it, but this racquet did have a more dampened feel, and I could play without using a shock maybe it's not all marketing b.s. after all.

That said, the Wilson BLX Six.One Tour plays very very similar to the K Factor Tour 90. It's basically the same thin beam racquet with a different paint job. The only real difference is a slight shifting of weight. The BLX has more mass around the throat area, and the Tour 90 has more weight in the head (and a slightly higher swing weight).

Serves: Serve placement was quite good. I was able to create really sharp angles on the serves. This racquet is spin friendly, and that spin helps to pull your kick-serve back down into the court. Kick was good, but not amazing. Serve had good pace, but felt slightly slower than the Tour 90. I was able to get about the same movement on the slice serve.

Ground strokes: The BLX Six.One Tour felt great during sustained rallies. It was really comfortable to hit with, and though I don't have it, I think it would be good for people experiencing elbow or arm pain. Compared to the Tour 90, shots were falling about 1-2 feet shorter than usual. There just wasn't the same level of plow through. I had to work harder to hit the same type of aggressive shots. I think this would be great for someone that was hitting too deep with the Tour 90. It just shortens your shot a little bit.

Volleys: Awesome! Just like the Tour 90, the BLX has plenty of punch and is super maneuverable at the net. I felt like I could move very quickly to get to the ball. At times, I did wish the frame was slightly bigger than 90 inches. If I missed a shot, it was because of my bad footwork and not because the racquet made me "late." Great stick for volleying.

Overheads: Very solid. The ball goes where I send it.

Overall: I think this is a great stick for people that like the Tour90, but wanted something a little softer. I think adding 2 grams of lead at 12 o'clock would basically turn this into a Tour 90. Other than comfort, I don't think the BLX Six.One Tour was an improvement over the Tour 90. In fact, I prefer the Tour 90 and plan to stick with it.

If you already own the Tour 90, this is worth demoing...but not worth investing the extra $$ to switch to basically the same racquet. If you own neither, this is a great racquet to consider - especially since the Tour 90s are discontinued.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Top Rated Tennis Strings in 2009

The 2009 Stringforum survey results are out. Here's what other tennis players are using and what they consider to be the best. To see more survey results and additional categories, go here

The best Poly strings
Poly of the Year 2009 Poly
Rank StringScore
1 Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 161
2 Tecnifibre Black Code 140
3 Signum Pro Poly Plasma 123
4 MSV Focus - HEX® 121
5 Signum Pro Tornado 79
6 Topspin Cyber Flash 76
7 Kirschbaum Pro Line No. II 66
8 WeissCANNON Silverstring 65
9 Topspin Cyber Blue 64
10 Luxilon Big Banger Original 48
11 Polystar Energy 23
12 Luxilon Big Banger Ace 22
13 MSV Co-Focus 17
14 Pro's Pro Plus Power 13
15 Unique Tourna Poly Big Hitter 7

The best Non-Poly strings
Non-Poly of the Year 2009 Non-Poly
Rank StringScore
1 Babolat VS Team 214
2 Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 199
3 Babolat VS Touch 128
4 Wilson NXT Tour 68
5 Gamma Live Wire Professional 46
6 Head Rip Control 39
7 Babolat VS Tonic+ Ball Feel 34
8 Pacific Classic Gut 33
9 Tecnifibre Multifeel 30
10 WeissCANNON Explosiv! 27
11 Signum Pro Fiber High Tec EXP 22
12 Isospeed Professional 19

Head IntelliTour 19
14 Isospeed Professional+ 14
15 Isospeed Control 13

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I lost 1-6, 1-6, 1-6 in doubles. In fact, it was going so badly, I didn't even know the second set was over and we had already played a few games of the 3rd set. Today...totally...sucked.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Calculate your swing weight?

One of the best ways to customize your racquet is to use lead tape to modify the swingweight of your racquet. If you're into this, then you'll love this swing weight calculator. It does all the math for you and gives you a scientific way to evaluate how that lead is going to impact your swing. Generally, most pros are around swing weights of 360 or more. Plug in your specs and see how you compare!