Tennis Prose



I love Volkl Racquets so much, here’s a free endorsement

I first started playing tennis seriously in 1997 with a warped, green Spaulding. I discovered Volkl racquets about two years later. It happened by chance, really. After a 3.5 league match win, I played with a total stranger one Saturday afternoon at Van Saun Park and Mike became a close friend, one of my best friends actually. Back then, he knew the guy at Tennis Outlet in Hackensack, who used to lend him racquets to try out. I tried one of his used Volkls – a purple C9 something and instantly liked it, and bought it a few weeks later. It lasted a year or two before it proved to be no match for a frustrated smash on concrete. For years my bag was filled with various Wilsons, Heads, Dunlops, a crazy mix of all kinds of head sizes.

I found another Volkl in the mid 2000s when one day Tennis Outlet was selling it as a former demo for $50. What the heck, I bought it on the spot without even trying it, and ended up loving it. The maroon and black Tour 8 Quantum was perfect – light, great feel, my perfect weapon. But the problem was I only had one, and Volkl stopped producing them years ago. Years later I eventually found two more from a teaching pro in Sarasota and two others on eBay.

Since abandoning all other racquets and playing tournaments with strictly the Volkl Tour 8 I have won a dozen 35s and singles tournaments and achieved a top 10 Eastern 35s ranking. I went to nationals at 4.0 in 2006. My game is mostly footspeed and baseline but I can attack, play serve and volley and best of all, the lightness of the Volkl enables my backhand passing shots to be a major weapon. The feel of the Volkl also produces some deadly drop shots and backhand knife volleys. I’m a good, solid local player, but the Volkl, in my mind, makes me a better player.

Other Volkl-using players I’ve encountered over the years in the tennis world have reinforced this opinion. Salifu Muhammad from the Bronx, is a friend of some tennis friends, and played juniors with Gael Monfils, Donald Young, attended Bollettieri and also was a frequent hitting partner with John McEnroe in New York City. Three years ago, I noticed Salif was using a Tour 10 at a New Jersey tournament and curious, I asked him how he first started to use it. He said another player suggested he try Volkl, an idea he initially shot down. Salif said to his pal that he really liked his Head or Wilson racquets (I can’t remember which) and felt no need to try anything else, thank you. But the friend was persistant and Salif ended up hitting with the Volk for a few minutes. The result: “I bought two Volkls the next day with my own money,” says Salif with a smile.

On a sidenote, I asked Salif if John McEnroe ever offered him any memorable advice. He recalled the tennis legend told him that, no matter how bad you are losing or playing, try to turn the match around one point at a time, by, in your mind, envisioning a simple strategy for one point and then executing it on that single point. Such as, for example, serve out wide to the backhand on the ad court and then hitting the first ball into the open court. By creating and winning one point like that, it can rebuild confidence and can actually turn a match around, said the great John McEnroe, who coincidentally previously used Volkl racquets but now uses Dunlop.

Another memorable example of the powers of Volkl happened three years ago at the Argonne Park courts I play at in Teaneck. I was hitting with Doug Goulding, a very strong 5.0 range player and coach. His eight-year-old son Doug Jr. was with us and hitting playfully with an older gent on the court next to us. Somehow Doug Jr. ended up playing with my second Tour 8, maybe I let him, maybe he naturally magnetically gravitated to it, I don’t remember exactly. But about 20 minutes into our hit, I popped a string and needed to take back the Tour 8 from Doug Jr.

Doug Jr. so much liked the feel of the Tour 8 that he grabbed my broken string Tour 8 and proceeded to play with it for the next 30 minutes! That’s how much little Doug Jr. loved the feel and lightness of the Volkl Tour 8.

Two weeks ago I was hitting with Andrew Golota, the 12-year-old son of the former heavyweight boxing contender and 1988 Olympic bronze medalist. Golota put down his Yonex and tried the Volkl for about five minutes, after which he commented, “I could play with this all day.”

Just this weekend, a guy named Ken was playing doubles with us at Overpeck Park in Leonia. Ken is a strong 4.0 player and uses the black/yellow Volkl Tour 10. I asked him why he started to use it, to which he replied, “I used to use all the different racquets but Volkl just feels right.”

Have you never tried a Volkl? Maybe you should. I’ll never play with anything else but Volkl, even if another racquet manufacterer sends me a box of free racquets. Hey Volkl, are you listening?!

(The author in action playing a USTA 35s tournament in Tampa, FL in February. He won this match 61 61.)


  • Dan Markowitz · July 19, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Scoop, as you know I’m also a Volkl player. Love the racket. I’ve used the old yellow Volkl, very stiff, used to teach 40 hours a week with it though and loved the feel, but it did contribute I think to my having to get a rotator cuff surgery.

    Now I play with the Power Bridge 8 and its also got great touch and racket head light. Johnny Mac was playing with a Volkl for a while, but not many pros play with them for some reason.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Kevin Kim uses Volkl now, he might be the only one. I will try to ask him about it at the US open qualies. Stepanek did but now uses Bosworth. Korda did and still does. Why do you think Volkl might have contributed to your rotator injury?

  • Dan Markowitz · July 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Well, if you remember the racket I’m talking about, it was a very stiff, heavy yellow racket and I used it to teach everything from junior lessons, where you feed balls a lot, to private lessons. And it wasn’t a teaching pro racket, it was too heavy and that had an impact on my shoulder because I went to Bikram Teacher Training, doing nine weeks of intensive yoga, and then shortly afterward, while hitting a forehand in 2002, I tore my rotator cuff and biceps with one stroke.

  • Mike T · July 19, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Have you seen the new donnays??? I think they will make you give up your volkls 😉

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Wow, that’s a tough break from tennis, maybe you needed to strengthen that area with shoulder exercises like pullups and light dumbbells. If you don’t do anything now, you should do something to strengthen those shoulder area muscles.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Never tried a Donnay Mike T, but I’m listening,

  • vinko · July 20, 2010 at 3:24 am

    From what I’ve heard the big stars in all pro sports will sign a contract to use a particular brand but then just paint the logo of the endorsed company over the brand they like and keep using that one. If you see a star using a particular racket, shoe etc. it doesn’t mean that he actually uses that brand. It may just be a good paint job. And speaking of Donnay, isn’t that what Borg used back in the wood racket era?

  • Rodge fan · July 20, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Yonex and Volkl are the best.I currently use R22,yes,the 20+ year old racket that you can buy on ebay for $30 bucks.Volkl DNX 10 was a great frame,but the R22,or R23 and some others are the best ever made,a way better than Wilson PS 85.Yonex and Volkl are very underrated,but good for the ones who understand about equipment,that we play with the best,unlike most of our opponents play with shi..t.y rackets.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 20, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Vinko, you are right, I have heard it said many times that so many players paint their racquets, some suspect Djokovic does that. Blake tried to make his Nike cages look like the Filas he is paid to wear but they clearly are the old Nike Cages in disguise. Strange that he would do that since Nike abandoned him, he must really like the shoe. Tonight at WTT at Randall’s Island Hingis was wearing the adidas feather’s from 3-4 years ago, and that was odd because adidas dumped her after the last suspension. Like you say, there is a lot of funny business going on with shoes and racquets.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 20, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Rodge Fan, Rios is my favorite player of all time and he really made that Yonex look smooth with a soft feel. I never tried that exact racquet though. I like Volkl so much it’s hard to think of even trying something else, but you have to think there is always another better suited racquet out there for your game. Donnay had Agassi and Rusedski for a while, and there was another guy hyping them on tenniswarehouse, might have to give Donnay a trial run just for the heck of it.

  • Rodge fan · July 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Scoop Malinowski,who said there is always a better frame out there for your game?There is always some to test,but I don’t know about being better for my game.I just have another R22 coming for me.I have tried the DNX 10 which was a good frame,but the R’s are unbeatable.Extreme feel and quality,no need of lead tape or anything.Just right out of the box great frames.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 23, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    You might be right Rodge fan but with the huge number of different racquets out there, as well as discontinued racquets, you have to think there may be one or two or three racquets which you might find you like even better than your current choice, if you were lucky enough to find it. I found this Volkl TOur 8 by total chance – it was a demo being sold. If I don’t find that A + racquet I might still be playing with B racquets. You never know, there are so many good racquets, I doubt you have demo’ed them all. You never know. There are guys out there (I know of two) who still play with only wood racquets which is not helping them to play their best tennis.

  • Jeff Britt · September 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve played with the Tour 8 since 2002 and cannot imagine switching to anything else. Used the Babolat Pure Drive from ’99-’02 but moved away from it because it had too much power. The Tour 8 is a perfect blend of feel and power for my game (high 4.5, late 40s). I tried the Tour 8SE, DNX8 and Power Bridge 8. All were very solid, PB8 was more powerful, but the extra half inch on the Tour 8 gives it a feel that the others cannot duplicate. I had 4 Tour 8s for years, and rotated them equally (25-30 re-strings per year) but sold two on eBay in 2009 when they became too worn. Luckily, I was able to find 3 brand new Tour 8s in the last 6 months … one at a shop in California and 2 at a soccer/tennis shop in England. So now I have 5 frames, and 3 of them are brand new with the plastic still on the handle! The only problem now will be finding replacement grommets, which are scarce. I bought the last 3 grommet sets in stock at TennisExpress a year ago and cannot find more at any of the major wholesalers. FYI … the Tour 8SE (27″) uses the identical grommet set as the Tour 8 (27.6″). Beginning in August 2010, I have seen a new frame called the Volkl Tour Scorcher that looks suspiciously like a Tour 8, but it is currenly only available in China & Europe.

    Jeff B.

  • Jeff Britt · September 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Sorry, in my previous post I meant to say that it is the newly released Volkl Tour CRUSHER (not the Scorcher) that looks suspiciously like a re-issue of the old Tour 8. The specs are identical (100, 16 x 18, 27.6″ long, etc), and the only noticeable difference is the decal that says “crusher” instead of Tour 8 on the side just above the grip. You can see several photos of this frame by Googling Volkl Tour Crusher and going to the link for

    Of course, the true test would be hitting with one and seeing if it is actually the Tour 8 in disguise! If anyone has info on whether the Crusher will be released in the U.S., please share.


  • Krizz · October 16, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Jeff, i have several Crushers at home and i can confirm that this racket is the same frame as the old tour 8.
    If anyone is interested i still have a few left (new) for sale…



  • klaudio vukelić · October 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    …the only brand I prefer ever…

  • Couch · November 7, 2010 at 7:20 pm


    Do you still have a couple Crushers available? I’d be interested in them. Are they new and what grip size? My e-mail is Thanks!

    I’ve played with the Tour 8s since they came out and haven’t found anything even close to the feel or playability of the Tour 8s.

  • Steve · February 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    I tried the Boris Becker Pro which, I believe, is made by Volkl. It felt nice if a little floppy. If people have arm issues I sometimes suggest Volkl.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Steve, I was recently told the BB models are back to being named Volkl, no more BBs. Do you use Volkl now?

  • Robert · March 1, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Been using DNX 10 MP for about 4 years. it really boosted my game in terms of serve and groundies. wished i had it already when i was in my 20s and early 30s

    4.0 / 41 y.o.

  • Steve · June 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    …Scoop, I’m a Wilson guy but the Prestige is my precocious mistress. 🙂 I should demo some Volkl’s and also give Prince a chance.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I liked some Wilsons, one of my best matches ever was with a Wilson back when I used all different shapes and sized racquets. Used to try to use the Sampras Wilson but it was not for me at all, couldn’t volley with it. Prestige seemed kind of stiff. Steve you’re welcome to hit and try my Volkls if you would like.



Find it!

Copyright 2010
To top