Many recreational players are not only playing with the wrong racquet but also customizing it.
Why would they do such a thing?
Well, it's for the same reason that the Babolat Aero VS sales are through the roof. I couldn't tell you how many rec players NTRP 4.5 and below have switched to this racquet.
Here is why they are switching. It is because Carlos Alcaraz plays with it. It is as simple as that. Rec players want to play with equipment that pro players use. And this includes racquet customization as well.
At the high-level tennis racquet customization is very important.
At the rec level, however, it is mostly unnecessary, and it can be dangerous. Tennis elbow is rampant because of the idiotic belief (spread online) that heavy tennis racquets are good for the arm. If this was the case, I would start handing out my Wilson RF 97 to 10-year-olds and 70-year-olds that I teach. Can you imagine what would happen if I did that? Their arm would fall apart in minutes of hitting.
It goes even deeper than customization and using pro racquets at the rec level. Some hobby players are going as far as purchasing stock racquets from weird websites. For you that don't know what those are, these types of racquets are made for professional-level tennis players' personal preferences.
Look, I've been in this game for a long time, and I've seen it all. One guy who was taking lessons with me in Rockford, Illinois comes to mind. He was in his 60's and around 4.5 NTRP. His racquet was the Andy Roddick Pure Drive (pro version). He put lead tape in every nook and cranny you can think of. That racquet was absolutely unplayable. It was at least 450 grams. Of course, this guy suffered from various arm issues. I tried to help him and suggested lighter racquets, but he didn't listen. What I think he enjoyed more than playing tennis is his infatuation with professional tennis. He carried pictures of Sampras, Courier, and Agassi in his bag. He wanted to be just like them.
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