By Chris Edwards
What has had more makeovers than Madonna, yet can still out perform the youngest of rivals?
No, I'm not talking about David Hasselhoff. I'm talking about something that's just as popular in Germany and more popular everywhere else.
Yep, it's Volkl's C10 Pro.
The C10 Pro is a classic that may never go out of style. Part of the reason is Volkl has continued to update the cosmetic of the C10 Pro without making any changes to its performance. While it looks like a new racquet with every makeover, in classic Volkl tradition the C10 Pro is still loaded with feel. The racquet comes through the ball with a response as smooth as butter.
I simply love hitting touch shots with this racquet. There's enough stability to allow me to grip the racquet very lightly so I can caress the ball for a short angle or deft drop shot.
But the C10 Pro isn't just all about old-school feel. This racquet also packs quite a lot of pop. So much so that I have always found it best to string this one up tighter than most. I find the ball really jumps off the stringbed of this racquet. While that power comes in handy when looking to put the ball away, I like to deaden the stringbed to better fit my game.
My favorite string setup in this racquet is a fairly dead poly around 57lbs. I like to go with at least a 16 gauge, too, just to deaden things a little further. With this string set up I find I can control the lively feel and plow through of this racquet better. It helps me keep my approach shots from going long and allows me to confidently stay on the gas. Importantly, the C10 Pro is a racquet that remains comfortable even when strung relatively tightly with a stiff string.
I also really like the spin potential in this racquet -- especially when strung with a poly. This racquet offers that feel of deep ball pocketing on the strings, and I like the feel of the flex from the frame. It all adds up to a lot of bite on the ball and some solid spin. For me, a stiff poly just helps flatten the ball on the stringbed and ups the spin generation.
Along with the spin, the feel from this racquet helps me dial in my targeting. Whether I'm rolling a topspin lob or driving a deep slice backhand, the feel from this racquet gives me that instant connection to what's going on.
At net this racquet feels like perfection. It remains rock solid at impact, yet feels fast and easy to maneuver. I find plenty of power to help punch volleys and overheads away. Access to depth is easy. When it comes to dropping the ball short or hitting a sharp angle, all that Volkl feel comes into play. Touch volleys feel exquisite with this racquet. I feel absolutely 100 percent connected to my drop volleys and angles with the C10 Pro.
While the racquet has remained fashionable, I still like to get to the net with it using the unfashionable serve and volley. I find I can get good pace on both first and second serves. This is a racquet that really pushes through the ball, and I like the way it adds pace to my serves. As from the baseline, spin is easy to hit, and that helps me find my targets and control the power. I've found I serve well with this racquet and that makes me much more tempted to serve and volley -- especially since I know how great this racquet is going to feel once I get to the net.
As I hope I've made clear, I think this racquet offers a very solid level of performance from all areas of the court. The C10 Pro has a plush feel to please those who like to hit with touch, and there's easy access to pace and depth for those who like to rip the ball with power. Every couple of years it gets a new cosmetic so you can stay up with the latest trends, but best of all, you can revel in its classic performance.