That's really cool
well I live in the french Caribbean but my father/mother are from Dominica that's why I can speak/write etc. english in case you were wondering.
My older sister lives in Trinidad and Tobago, I've been there unfortunately only once when I was like 13 or 14 I think.
It's really a nice place but I should plan a trip around the isles with my mother one of these days.
Ah, so that explains your French flag! Well, your English is better than mine, so kudos to you--you learned well!
I left Trinidiad with my family when I was only six months old, but was able to go back to visit when I was eleven. That's the last time I returned there, and that was many years ago. I imagine it was changed a great deal since.
Acrylic courts are very expensive and for a local club so I guess that's why they have you pay -- in the US I guess it's something common but as you know here it's not so well...
Yes, that would explain it. What is the rate, if I may ask?
Wind is also a big factor in NZ- surely more so than in Florida. I had heard that Florida had perfect weather for tennis, like Spain? I guess nothing is perfect. Well, I know you get a lot of sun.
I haven't been to NZ, so I am not able to draw a comparison, but it's rare that we have a day that isn't "breezy" around here (I live right on the coast), and in the winter/spring, when a front comes through, we often get really high winds. As an example, this weekend, I was out hitting on Saturday before a cold front passed through when the temps were near 90F and the winds were probably gusting up to 30-35 mph, then on Sunday, it was 65F and the winds had changed direction but were still blowing at 25-35mph. It was almost impossible conditions. I hit a flat, hard ball but I was chasing shots coming back off the wall with sometimes several feet of "break" from the wind. I ended up smacking myself in the knee on an inside out forehand and that was the end of my day.
You do need to practice the toss a lot. I recommend practising it with a racquet in your hand. It's ideal to do it on court but you can do it outside at home, or inside if you have very high ceilings. Make sure you are also making your usual racquet movements when you practice the toss. Have something visual and tall in front of you like a tree or a building so you can see more clearly how accurate you are with the toss. Even if you don't have space to really hit the serve, still try to make yourself think that you are really going to hit the ball until after you finish the toss- shape as if you will hit the ball and then just pull out at the final second. Then, when you are accurate with that, you have to practice it on court. You may find that when you really intend to hit the ball you make a slightly different movement, so ultimately you do need to do it on court, but home practice definitely helps too.
The most commonly recommended drill for tossing is to place a racquet in front of your feet and then attempt to toss the ball up and land it on the strings. However, I find that this makes students focus downwards instead of up, and they also tend to make the toss too small in an effort to get the ball to land on the strings. That's why I prefer having visual cues that are above people, so that they focus on the placement of the ball in the air. If the sky is totally clear and a student is working with me, I will tell them as they toss the ball whether a ball is going too far right, left, or back- or if it's perfect. Also, I will stand toe to toe with them and toss the ball a few times into the spot where is should be, so that they learn to memorise it.
That's really excellent advice, Howard. And I agree with you--I've heard the bit about trying to land the ball on the racquet strings before but I agree, I think trying to do that distracts from getting the mechanics of the toss consistently right. You're just focusing on the end result of getting the ball on the stringbed, like a lab animal trying to get a treat, and not doing the real work.
I think my mechanics are OK, but I struggle a lot with the wind, and getting consistency from toss to toss on a windy day. I will catch my toss a lot, especially after putting a few into the net and getting frustrated with that. Then I feel guilty about it and start chasing bad tosses.
I've tried this string setup. Federer uses it. It's nice, but not really that different from having the poly on the mains. Just a wee bit softer- you can get a similar feel by just dropping tension a couple of pounds. I've considered switching to it, but some people say it makes the gut break faster.
My feeling is that the tension is not too high, although you might consider dropping into the mid or low 50s. I think try a different poly. Pro hurricane tour is seriously hard stuff. Hard when you play with it, hard when you try to string it. That's probably what's making it feel stiff or tight. It works for quite a lot of pros but I wouldn't recommend playing with that stuff unless you had serious power and didn't care about shock absorption. I'm using Kirschbaum poly, recently trying Kirschbaum spiky which gives more spin. Ashaway makes a cheaper version of this kind of poly- monofire. It's almost as nice. Looking online it seems that they might have replaced the monofire with monogut, which seems to be a similar thing- a softer feeling poly. Looks a bit strange to me though, I'm used to seeing the translucent orange colour of either the Kirschbaum polys or Ashaway monofire.
I know of but have not tried the big banger string. I hear it's a hard string, similar to pro hurricane tour. These tough strings are more or less designed to not break for pros playing claycourt tournaments in Europe. I think they are a bit too stiff for most amateurs, especially playing on hardcourts where durability is less of an issue. The others I am not really familiar with. It looks like Solinco tour bit is a softer poly, possibly similar to what I play with, and fairly arm friendly. Babolat revenge also claims to be a softer poly. The N Vy is a kind of synthetic gut with all purpose qualities. But without playing with these I can't be sure.
In general, I recommend a softer poly (of some description) and some kind of soft gut, either synthetic or natural (if you can afford it and the weather is good enough) in a hybrid.
Kind of as I suspected--Fed does it, so let's all do it, lol. As you said, with the gut breaking more easily I'm not sure there's really much of a benefit to putting it in the mains.
I'll let you know what I think of the Big Banger and Solinco Tour Bite after I've played with them awhile. I've adjusted fairly well to the PHT now, as the VS gut crosses softens it enough to where you get the durability of the poly but have the power and comfort of the gut as well. I like it pretty well. I just wanted to try a few different setups for comparison, to see if there was anything out there I might like even better. Thanks for the suggestion on the Kirschbaum--will give that one a try as well.
In NZ asphalt courts are generally black, just like the road, with no paint except for the lines. Hot to play on, indeed. Bounce is usually consistent- the texture is a bit harder than tar-sealed road, so it doesn't break up, but it looks similar. Good for serving aces and kick serves, they also take spin well, but very hard on the body and the shoes, and if you accidentally let your racquet touch the ground it scratches it quite a bit. Do not fall on the stuff if you value your skin. Actually the same goes for astroturf- artificial grass with sand. Try not to fall. It's a bit like sandpaper.
Yes, I can imagine. I would hate to fall on either. The asphalt here, when it fades, looks like tar with pebbles and/or shells in it. That can't feel too good.
Has anyone played on wood courts? I did, in college. I took a semester of tennis and whenever it rained we played in the gym, on the basketball court. Talk about an unsual surface! That was more akin to racquetball or jai-alai, the ball was moving so fast. My serve was great then--when I could get it in the box....