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Dunlop - Dunlop Ice Elite

Published: 01 Nov 2007 - 11:12 by nickhitter

Updated: 29 Dec 2007 - 22:30

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Ok then, so I decided to try a newer dunlop model (I own three older dunlop designs) and didn't want to gamble on the new aerogel series as they are all head light and I hate head light rackets....


I have to say that there has been a lot of mixed reviews of this racket floating around the web. I strung the racket straight away in tecnifibre 305 at 28lbs and inital impressions having only played 4 matches with it are good. the racket is rated 'even' balance but is quite head heavy with only one overgrip over the original grip which I like, but it is a very light feeling and quick swinging racket overall which surprised me. It's rated at 145grams frame weight, but actually weighs 161g strung. this is interesting because it actually weighs less than my grays powerflow elite  (163g strung) even though the powerflow is only meant to be 135g frame weight...


anyway I digress, The ice elite racket is very much a 'players' racket and not nearly as stable feeling as older dunlop designs (muscleweave etc), hit off centre, and the racket feels like it's gonna turn in your hand. It has a lot of power when you hit the ball in middle and I found touch play and applying spin on drop shots to be effortless and accurate with it (possible due to the more open string pattern). I play more touch than power and only tend to hit the ball really hard to change pace, if that's your game too then I think this racket would suit. it's definitely not for beginners or out and out power players. Stiffness is about average, not as floppy as the hot melt pro, not as stiff as say a prince o3 tour, but fine for me nonetheless.


Dunlop rackets don't seem to be made as solidly as they once were. It does feel like it wouldn't take much abuse, and the bumper guard doesn't look like it's made of a very strong plastic, and seems quite brittle. this is a disappointment, because when you find a racket that plays nice it's frustrating if you keep having to buy replacements. I hope it proves me wrong over the course of my using it.


A lot of people have commented that the ice series vibrates a lot, and I tried an ice tour once that did also, however this particular racket feels very solid on striking ( when hitting the middle) and doesn't have any vibration problems at all. Also having borrowed someones prince o3 tour last month ( which I used to own one of, but had problems with vibration with) this also felt fine even though he was using the same string I used in it at a similar tension. So I am convinced now that vibration problems are an issue with a particular racket i.e the racket is faulty, and swapping it for another one would perhaps solve the problem.


So overall I would recommend this racket for touch players who play power shots cleanly, and not for power mad racket wafting maniacs.


Sparty

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From Adz - 29 Dec 2007 - 22:30

Sparty,


It makes me wish I was on commission! On a plus note.... Snowy Green sent out my racquets yesterday (friday) afternoon and they arrived first thing this morning. I think in total I've used them about 5 times and every time has been great service and great value. As long as they are the cheapest company (or close to it) then they have my business.


Interesting what you said about the Ultimate and the Elite, as the Tour and the GT Pro are both head light racquets. I guess it comes from the slightly larger head sizes on the Elites and Ultimate? The Tour and the GT are both the same head size as the old Hot Melt Pros / Muscle Weaves / Inferno Pros etc etc etc!


Now all I have to do is sneak another ebay purchase past the mrs to get myself some more Powernick 18 strings. Then come the end of the month I can buy a reel of the stuff from the states (MUCH cheaper than the UK for Ashaway!). I'm torn between buying some now or holding on (as I rarely break strings at the moment). To spend or not to spend..... that is the question!


 


Oh and reading your original post about the vibration in the ICE series..... I had really bad vibration problems with EVERY ICE racquet I owned (6 tours, 6 Pros) until I changed the strings. Once the strings got changed the racquet stop vibrating and felt wonderful to play with. Same thing goes for the Aerogel Tour. With factory m-fil stringing it felt stiff, vibrating and had very poor touch. A change to Ashaway Supernick XL Pro and if felt lovely, a change again to Powernick 18 and it feels fantastic! Roll on that reel at the end of the month!


 


Adz


 

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From stevo - 29 Dec 2007 - 08:56

I've had an Ice Elite for over two years now and it is still going strong. However I bought a second and I bit the dust when it clashed with another racket!! I think we have a pattern here! Either the original Ice Elite I have was from a better batch or they are succeptable to breakage on racket clashes.

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From nickhitter - 29 Dec 2007 - 07:10   -   Updated: 29 Dec 2007 - 07:18

Adz


Having chatted to a mate of mine, who plays with the aerogel ultimate and tried the aerogel elite, he says both are actually slightly head heavy (which I like) when strung so I've taken the plunge and bought an aerogel elite from snowy green sports. I chose the elite because it's a great price on the surface and I like open string patterns that allow for lots of spin on drop shots. I hope the racket plays as nice as the ice elite. I will post a full review once I have given it a few outings.


I trust your opinion so Snowy Green have YOU to thank for the sale!


Sparty

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From Adz - 29 Dec 2007 - 04:17

Sparty,



Afraid not with the Aerogels....... mine folded on the side when it got hit by someone else's racquet in a doubles match. the "Mine" shout must have been too quiet given he was only standing a metre from me!!



So did it stop me buying another one? Hell No!! I've bought another 2! Love these racquets and found somewhere in the UK selling the Aerogel Tour for only £55!!! Can't go wrong with a price like that. Mine will hopefully be here tomorrow (or Monday at the latest - assuming the lazy post office aren't on another strike or day off!).

By the way, I have to add that one of them strung with Powernick 18 at about 24lbs (remember that thin string needs to be strung at 2lbs less than normal so same as Supernick @ 26lbs) is absolutely awesome to play with! I'm really impressed.

Well for anyone that needs to know the company...... www.snowygreensports.co.uk

Great company and awesome customer service.



Ciao 4 now!



Adz

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From nickhitter - 29 Dec 2007 - 03:59

So to update, I played a match against my old man today and he managed to snap one side of my ice elite in two by hitting it with his hot melt pro. I wouldn't mind but it was only a soft clash of rackets. Not suprisingly the hot melt came off unscathed!


So I was definitely NOT proved wrong by the suspect durability!


mmm....what next? aerogels ? I would fear the same.

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From drop-shot - 07 Nov 2007 - 02:39   -   Updated: 07 Nov 2007 - 02:51

Yes, Borja switched to Dunlop and it was easy-peasy step for him. The ONLY difference between Heavy Hitter (148g unstrung) and Dunlop is the weight :-) and I really have to emphesize that Feather HH is a great racket and I'd recommend it to anyone who's considering good quality for less money than $150. I did check the other models from that company and I found it really cool.







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From nickhitter - 05 Nov 2007 - 10:00   -   Updated: 05 Nov 2007 - 10:01

Well I'm sure that the terms they use are all gimmicks. I mean come on, power ridges? O-ports? power channells/holes? carbon loc? molecular/nano carbon? and my personal favorite "quadragon framework technolgy" (from Oliver rackets!)


it's all bull. But there is no denying the rackets are getting lighter ( hence faster racket head speed) stiffer ( better power and control) and easier to play with. It's probably just better qualtiy graphite and years of racket building experience that is making the difference.


I had a go with an old racket last month actually. must have been one of the first graphite designs by prince. It had a really small head, and was quite heavy. I'm guessing about 180 grams. It felt awful! I couldn't get any feel of the ball with it. but the guy whose racket it is still plays with it in club matches. he's getting into his 60's now, but he's still a decent player. He's either too tight to buy a new one, or just can't get used to these new fangled things!


It would be nice if a representative of one of the manufacturers could post here detailing how they include some if their said 'technologies' and how they are implemeted in the manufacturing process. Maybe i'd be proved me wrong!


;-)


sparty

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From jimbob1965 - 05 Nov 2007 - 06:58   -   Updated: 05 Nov 2007 - 08:54

Hi Adz


That's interesting re the Dunlop, as I notice that Borja Golan is now also playing with Dunlop!  Not sure which Dunlop he uses but perhaps the transition was easy for him due to the similar racket specs?  I have seen the Black Max's you are on about at Sports World, but I do think this Feather racket feels more durable.  They may have used the same mould, but I think they may have done some form of enhancement, but not sure what.  In any case, I do like having something a bit different as there are loads of these Black Max's around due to the cheapness.  My local racket sports specialist retailer now refuses to stock Dunlop due to Sports World's pricing and tie up with Dunlop!


Let's face it, we are mugs for all this racket technology stuff, wanting the latest models, new enhancements etc, but I do wonder how much of it is just marketing gimmicks.  I owned quite a few Head rackets - started with a Ti Pro 120 with the power holes, then bought an Intelligence 120 followed by a Flexpoint.  All bit the dust far too quickly (no racket lasted longer than 6 months), which seems to be a trait of Head rackets it seems, but if I am truly honest, the Ti Pro was the best racket, even though it was supposed to be technically inferior!  I was going to buy a Metallix, until I saw a Ti Pro for sale so went for that instead and saved myself around £40!  Still, this stays in my racket bag for now, whilst I enjoy continuing to use the Feather Heavy Hitter.


I also own a Dunlop M-fil Tour Lee Beachill (yet another EBay bargain!) but found the factory strings a bit naff on this.  I leant this to my son to use, who promptly broke the strings after a couple of games, so I have sent it in to be restrung with a set of Tecnifibre X-One strings which I was lucky enough to win via Squashsite.  I am looking forward to seeing if this enhances the racket's performance noticeably.  I'll report back on that later next week.


Cheers


Jimbob

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From drop-shot - 04 Nov 2007 - 19:14

From Adz - 03 Nov 2007 - 18:53

Jimbob,


 


The feather sports heavy hitter uses the same moulding as the Dunlop Black Max range of racquets (notice the throat design?).


It may be that you can find a dunlop racquet that has a very similar balance and weight at quite a bargain price. I suggets you get yourself down to your local sportsoccer or sportdirect store as they currently have a very similar racquet (model unknown but yellow in colour) for £15! If the balance and weight turned out to be similar to what you're used to then it could be worth splashing out £45 now to be left with 4 racquets! These things tend to last for ages unless you really give them a clout against the wall, so 4 racquets could last you years and you'd have spent less than ONE racquet cost me!! Jammy git!! I wish I got on with those models.


 


Adz


 

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From jimbob1965 - 03 Nov 2007 - 10:50

I have acquired a brand of racket rarely seen over here in the UK.  It is a Feather Sports Heavy Hitter, which I managed to find on EBay from someone in the UK who had imported it from the USA.  Got it for the bargain price of only £12 delivered, probably because no-one has really heard of Feather over here so there weren't many bidders.  I watched Borja Golan win the 2006 Wolverhampton Open with it, which drew my attention to the brand so was pleased to discover the same model for sale on EBay some months later.


Anyway, I have been playing with it now for several months and have to say I am delighted with it.  It seems a very durable racket, more durable than most of the main brands I have tried (especially Head!), both in terms of frame and strings.  It also lives up to its name but at the same time you know it can offer touch and control (messed up shots are usually down to the racket owner rather than the racket!).


It's also great to own a racket no-one else has in my squash league and it has prompted several curious looks.  I only hope it carries on being durable as I don't know of any stockists in the UK (unless someone else can enlighten me?).  I may have to also resort to importing when the time comes!


Cheers


Jimbob

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From Adz - 03 Nov 2007 - 07:50

    Well I have to say that I'm in agreement that Dunlop racquets aren't made as tough as they once were. I think I only ever broke one muscleweave racquet ever, but I've broke FIVE I.C.E. Pro's in FOUR weeks! I've now changed to the Aerogel Tour racquet and I have to say that I'm extremely impressed. The racquet is 145g so it is heavier than most of the other Dunlop racquets that I've used in the past few years. It did take a very long time (about 4 hours) to get used to the racquet balance and the head-light nature. What I've now found is that the racquet perfectly suits my game and the stiff nature and head-light feel balances touch and control, while the overall heavier weight adds to the power swing and thus makes it a very controlled and powerful racquet.



Now the downside! The Aerogel racquet range costs a fortune!! They are the most expensive racquets I have bought in a very long time! So the question is..... are they worth it? For a player who doesn't know if they can get on with a head-light racquet, then I wouldn't risk it until you've tried someone else's, however if you know that you prefer a head light feel or have loads of money then if could be worth having a go!



Adz


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From nickhitter - 03 Nov 2007 - 05:45

"I have bought a lot of rackets in the last few years ( I always have to try the new models! ) "


It's people like you and I, that are the reason why Head bring out 3 new ranges a year! the metallix series is only 3 months old and they are already going to launch the microgel soon!


sparty

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From fatness - 02 Nov 2007 - 07:33   -   Updated: 02 Nov 2007 - 17:07

Hello There,


I had the dunlop ice elite before. They lasted for over a year until I got bored of them, even the bump strips were worn off, just could not get the end of them! However, I found them very "board" like and the lacked power. The had a great feel when swinging though and were very accurate.


I have bought a lot of rackets in the last few years ( I always have to try the new models! ) But my favourite by far has been the dunlop c max carbon 525. Easily the most powerful racket i ever had with great feel also, gives the best of both worlds. In my opinion nothing comes near these rackets. I know rackets are a very personal choice and everyones opinion differs, but I just thought I would let you know my own personal experience with squash rackets.


Anyone else got any opinions on their favourite weapon of choice?

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