Iâ€™ve been playing tennis almost as long as Iâ€™ve been into flying and longer than into ham radioâ€¦ about 10 or so years ago I was starting to get serious about it and spend around $40 dollars on a new tennis racquet at Wal-Mart. I had been using my motherâ€™s old tennis racquet which was still in great shape minus a few paint chips, it was a great racquet. Graphite, strung a bit looser for more control than speed but I could still blow them by my opponents with it. So I decided to set the $250 dollar racquet down and pick up the 40 dollar Wal-Mart special. A Wilson avenger caught my eye with itâ€™s black and metallic orange paintjob. At the time when I lived in New Orleans I would average around 3 or 4 hours of tennis per day, seven days a week, rain or shine. Rain or shine? Yesâ€¦ rain or shine. I can remember numerous occasions when Marc Driggers and I would go play tennis in a warm evening rain. You learn a lot about tennis playing in the rain and Iâ€™m not talking about a drizzle or a sprinkle. Iâ€™m talking about set in widespread downpour like is common in New Orleans. Typically I went to play basketball at the Gym when it was storming, but a little wind and a lot of rain couldnâ€™t keep me off the courts. And hey, when itâ€™s raining in New Orleans the humidity drops below 99% and the temperature drops below 99 too!
That Wilson Avenger that I played with then, is still my favorite tennis racquet. At one point I balanced it with a bit of lead tape but traded that for a change of vibration dampener location. Iâ€™ve got a couple other racquets now, including one by HEAD that Iâ€™m really fond ofâ€¦ however I still love to pick up that Avenger and nail a serverâ€¦ itâ€™s just a fun to play with. In fact, if I found one new Iâ€™d probably play with it, instead of anything else, itâ€™s perfect for me. Iâ€™ve often considered emailing Wilson to see if they have any lying around somewhere. Iâ€™m just worried that after so long and playing in the rain (and snow â€“not in N.O. though.) itâ€™s going to break and then I wonâ€™t be able to pick it up and make a perfect ace on the first shot.
Its 102 today, think Iâ€™ll skip tennis today. Donâ€™t give me grief; Iâ€™ve played the last 7 days straight in over 100 degree air tempsâ€¦. No telling what the court temp is. Plus I have a Voice of Idaho Amateur Radio Club meeting tonight.