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Please include any relevant information such as string type and tension, skill level and style of play.
Comments: I'm 40 years old and a former college player. I currently play 5.0 and 100 percent doubles these days,
no singles. My style: I (attempt to) serve big with accuracy, 2-handed backhand, eastern-semiwestern forehand. I switched to the
Bubba 137 about a year ago. I've never been seriously tempted to switch back to a standard-sized frame. However, there are
advantages and disadvantages to the Bubba.
1. Doubles serve returns against tough servers is easier with the Bubba. Getting older, not as quick to make small adjustments
with the feet, maybe the eyes aren't tracking the ball quite as well, all contribute to a lower percentage of returns made. With the
Bubba, without a doubt, I make a higher percentage of returns. That was the #1 advantage that drew me to the Bubba.
(Surprisingly, I do not find that returns fly on me. No problem dipping returns to approaching server's feet).
2. Feel. You might not expect it, but the Bubba has great feel -- arguably better than a regular racquet. The ball stays on the
strings a long time. You can feel the frame flex when you hit the ball. I use a lot of drop shots and short angle volleys. I forced to
hit many half-volleys because I serve volley on first and second serves. This frame works very well for me with those kinds of
3. Length -- the extra 2 inches of length sometimes comes in handy when stretching for shots you can barely reach.
4. Fun -- I like playing with this frame.
(Before discussing the more challenging aspects of the Bubba, I'll make the point that for me the overall Pros outweigh the cons.)
Swingweight/maneuverability: I put one of my frames on our customization machine. Strung with 2 overgrips, I measured total
weight 300 g, swingweight 396 g. Yeah, not a typo, 396 g swingweight. That's just shy of 14 ounces measured swingweight. So,
the Bubba plays heavy, even though it's total weight is relatively low. This has affected me in a few ways. First, it's taken quite a
while to get my serve working with the Bubba due to difficulty generating racquet speed during the 'snap'. A heaving, penetrating
serve is fairly easy to hit, but getting action on kick serves and snapping heavy spin on 2nd serves is harder. I've been working on
it, and the rhythm/tempo of my motion has adapted so that I'm satisfied with the racquet speed I'm getting. It took a few months
of work, though. Second, I've found that after a couple sets or a practice session my shoulders and arms would get fatigued. No
doubt this is due to the high swingweight. I think I've actually gotten stronger from using this frame and I'm no longer
experiencing the shoulder and arm breakdowns in 3rd sets. Third, it's taken a while to figure out how to snap forehand put-
aways. Simply put, it's harder to generate racquet speed, leading to some errors, most notably on second shots after making a
serve return. Without a doubt, I'm improving at this with the Bubba over time. I've been forced to shorten my backswing and fully
commit to snapping through. Also, with a lot of practice and a little bit of off-court shoulder strengthening, I've gained strength
to help accelerate the head through groundstrokes.
On a final note: while getting acclimated to the Bubba, I tried choking up on the grip to perhaps lessen the experience of the high
swingweight. I've learned that despite the 29 inch length, I play best when holding the racquet as I normally would -- at the
bottom of the grip, with the pinky near the bottom of the buttcap.
I've played around with different stringing configurations. I'm currently using a 16g poly in the mains at 55 lbs and a 16g nylon in
crosses at 59 lbs.
From: Noah, 3/15
Comments: I checked reviews on other sites and saw the positive feedback. As a user of the Pro Staff 85 for 16
years and the Gamma Cyclone (no longer in production) I decided to give the Bubba a shot. I am a 4.0 player and have had mixed
results so far with the Bubba. I had the racquet strung with the recommended factory strings at 54 lbs. i crushed my serves,
almost acing at will. But my groundstrokes were hit and miss. It provided crazy pop that I really diddn't need and left me missing
the "feel" that my old reliable pro staff gave me. Short balls were an adventure as I usually load up and crush them but I felt this
racquet was not capable of providing enough spin to keep the ball in. The bottom line is this -- if you are looking for raw power
this is your racquet. The caveat being you will sacrifice control.
From: James, 12/14
Comments: Love the racquet. Power off the charts. I string at 45 lbs, if you were to string at a much lower tension,
the ball will just sail. String at 40 lbs or more and you get good control. The racquet feels great. With Volkl V-Torque 17 guage, I
get fantastic spin and feel. I've tried many other large racquets and pretty much didn't like them at all. Somehow, this racquet
plays like a much smaller racquet, but with the benefits of a large racquet. Only con for me is that it is not quite as maneuverable
at the net as a smaller racquet. But only a smidgen off. So it's just a terrific racquet. Dramatically more powerful then anything
else. Terrific feel, spin and control. Very easy on the arm. Maybe we should keep it a secret?
From: Anon, 2/14
Comments: This is an outstanding racquet. Very powerful but the thin beam also makes control for a decent player
very possible. It takes a little while to get used to the longer length, but despite the extra 2 inches (versus standard) it is
surprisingly maneuverable. The swingweight is very high so this may not ideal for some but the flex rating of 64 makes its "feel"
really nice. Comfort levels on my sensitive elbow also seem fine which I suspect is due to the huge sweetspot. Overall, it's a great
racquet for those with good technique who can control the power. If your a senior moving towards larger heads and looking for
easy power then this racquet is certainly worth looking at.
From: John, 12/13
Comments: You have to build up your bicep strength to avoid tennis elbow with this racquet. The first few months
were tough, but I got through it, love it, but I need to have mine restrung.
From: Paul, 6/13
Comments: Terrific racquet! Control, power and comfort. Do not let the size put you off. Great for older players
with good stokes and timing.
From: Bill, 5/13
Comments: I do not write reviews but this racquet is too good not to share. I demoed this racquet along with 3 of
the top racquets on the market. I only demoed it because I could not think of a 4th I wanted to demo. After hitting all of the
demos this racquet was the clear winner. I have now played with it for a few months and I can say that I keep getting
better with it. My serves are easier to get in and more powerful. My two handed backhand is more powerful and I almost never
hit frame shots anymore. This racquet is not just for slow swingers. I am a long swinging aggressive net player and it works well.
Do not let the size of this racquet scare you off. It is easy to handle and your partners will quit making fun of you as soon as they
realize you just went up a half level.
From: Thad, 4/13
Comments: This racquet has all the control of smaller OS rackets with more movement on the ball. I strung the
racquet with a good hex poly string and I found the sweet spot covers the bottom of the racquet. The racquet was strung at
From: George, 4/13
Comments: This racquet is like the city of Los Angeles. It seems defectively big, but it has a heart for those who
it. This latest version of the Bubba proves that you don't have to sacrifice control when shopping for comfort and power. Thanks
keeping the king alive Gamma.
From: Brian, 11/12
String type: Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 16g
Comments: This racquet is the freakin' bomb! I smack forehands so hard with this, it's like a Roddick racquet on
10 gallons of steroids. 10/10, and I would use it again.
From: John, 9/12
String type and tension: Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power @ 54 lbs