Grip Shape and Size Customization!

Racquet Quest, LLC is really happy to announce an addition to our Grip Shape and Customization capabilities!  After several years of design and experimentation we have 3D printed grip pallets!  Our grip pallets are printed locally so your racquet stays at the World Headquarters!

Custom Printed Grip Pallets

Due to the racquet manufacturing variations it is not feasible to print a “bunch” of size 3 pallets, for example, so we design and print a grip pallet for your racquet exclusively!

So, if you want your racquet to have a “rounder” grip shape, or a “flatter” grip shape it is possible!  In fact if a grip of an unusual shape is required, and the racquet shaft is compatible, that can be produced!

Extending a racquet is now more efficient due to the length of the printed components.

If a full blown extension is not part of the plan right now a “finishing plug” with the desired length is designed and printed to fit your exact shaft dimensions.

Please contact us if you have questions about the process, and what dynamic changes will occur, and what additional customization might be desired.

Due to the “customization” that may be required on the racquet the manufacturers warranty, if any, will, most likely, be “voided!”

 

Yonex VCore Pro 97 HD

Have you ever wanted to play with a Yonex Pro racquet but really want a 18 x 20 string pattern?  Well your want’s have come true!  The new Yonex VCore Pro 97 HD is that racquet and it is here!

The great new green and gold cosmetic creates a “menacing” tool for your game.  This is a “thin” beam racquet measuring 20.0mm through out the length which results in a flexible racquet.  That flex combined with the “mesh” material in the grip area should make this a comfortable hit with just enough feed-back to be helpful.

The 18 x 20 string pattern, thus the “HD” designation, makes this a control oriented racquet allowing for massive strokes for increased ball rotation.  The “HD” should contribute to extended string durability but if this raacquet suits your playing style string durability is not top on list of considerations!

Yonex says “For advanced players looking to play aggressively with added precision, feel, and stability”.

Other VCore Pro 97 racquets wil be here soon but in the meantime take a look at the specifications of the VCore Pro 97 HD.

ManufacturerYonex
Racquet ModelYonex VCore Pro 97 HD
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC56
ASPS, FlexFour64.5
Racquet Flex, RDC57 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour50
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness353.8 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams336
Weight, Ounces11.85

Balance, mm322
Balance, Inch12.68
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.968
Head Width9.57
Head Length12.54
Head Area, cm2625.8
Head Area, Sq. Inch97.0
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.687
Main String Grid7.25
Cross String Grid10.18
Density (% of head filled with string).783
Average Cross String Space.509
Average Main String Space.403
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.94
First Moment, Nm.831
Polar Moment340
Torsional Stability16
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2324
Swing Weight, Ounces11.43
Swing Weight Calculated348.4
Power, RDC42
Control, RDC59
Manueverability, RDC71
Power, Calculated 1740.5
Head Points6.46 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %47.0%
Center of Percussion21.0
Dwell Time, ms8.50
Efective Stiffness - lbs28.2
K, Lb/In179.5
Recoil Weight160.8
Twist Weight230.8
End Weight 139.8
Tip Weight 196.2
9 O'Clock100.4
3 O'Clock99.6
Butt Cap135.6

Brittany Tagliareni: Person…Tennis Player…Friend

We hope you will enjoy this video that was aired recently on The Tennis Channel!

We have been working with Brittany and her Mother, Cathy for several years and they have been the most wonderfuly enlighting years!

What Brittany allowed us to do was try to configure the racquet, grip and string setup that would provide the best tactile feedback and consistency.  Brittany is currently using a Yonex SV100 and Ashaway MonoGut ZX string.

If you don’t already know Brittany the following video will get you accquainted.

Head Speed 10th Anniversary Edition

The new Head Speed 10th Anniversary Edition is here and whether you are a collector or serious player, or both, you need to see this model!

The all black, with some gold splashes, racquet is here in the MP and S versions, and both the same specs as the non anniversary edition which, by the way, has put a Head racquet in the top five best sellers in the US!

Typical of all Head Special Editions and Anniversary Models this racquet comes pre-strung with another set of string attached for those that don’t like the current string setup.  A good move, in my opnion.

These racquets are here now so  stop by and take a look at this beaitiful Anniversary Edition.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

In this particular instance, a few words are required to make the picture make more sense.

Thanks to Australian stringer Ashley Nugent, for asking, is the picture in the post “Is Your Racquet Healthy” accurate in terms of failure?

It is highly unlikely that a main and cross string will break at the same time in the same location.

The image was taken a couple of years ago and had to do with “elongation” not the failure and, I grabbed it to show what I mean by “obvious” in the subject post.

I am pretty sure the cross string in the picture was “cut” to illustrate the difference in elongation not string failure.

Thank you, Ashley!

Is Your Racquet Healthy?

I started thinking about this as I made my way to a routine doctor’s appointment last week. Here is the scenario I formed while waiting:

The doctor has been seeing all sorts of patients already today and I suspect the first glance at each one elicited some sort of reaction, quielty probably, like this; “Good Greif, that guy is fat! Bad trousers, terrible shoes, nice shirt, whats with the hair, dude?” etc, etc.

So what do you think happens when a racquet shows up for a checkup?

“Good grief, that is an old racquet, who would ever buy one of those, this person is too good for that racquet,” etc, etc.

As humans we can communicate how we feel to the doctor but your racquet can not, so it has other ways to tell you if it is healthy or not. Here are a few signs of an unhealthy racquet:

  1. Grommet set, and specifically the protective head bumper is worn out. If this is not fixed quicky the racquet will die!

    Worn Out Bumper Guard

  2.  Grommet set individual barrels are broken or missing. If this is not fixed the strings will die!
  3.  Overgrip is disgustingly dirty requiring exam gloves to remove it! Doctors use exam gloves too and you know what that means!
  4. Under grip is essentially rendered to powder, requiring exam gloves to remove it.
That is a real image!  It is obvious that a new overgrip is needed.

Obvious!

What is not so obvious sometimes is that strings need to be replaced.  Even before they break!  What!

Yes, strings loose tension over time and in some case rather quickly!  By knowing what the original string bed stiffness was we can determine how much “stiffness” has been lost.  For most players a degradation of 20% is maximum.

Depending on the string material a loss of 8 to 9% overnight is not uncommon…so that leaves 11 to 12% for playing.

Take a look at our String Frequency Calculator to get a better idea of stringing frequency required to keep your racquet really working for you.

To keep you playing at your best you need to keep your racquet at it’s best!

 

 

 

How to Demo a Racquet

We have what seems to be a zillion demo racquets, and there is a player for each of them, I suppose.

One of the biggest complaints against “demoing” is precisely that…too many to choose from!

This is what we recommend;

  • Start the convesation with yourself before you need to make a decision.  Allow a month before the “season” starts if you can,and start the conversation with us early on.
  • What do you want that your current racquet is not providing.
  • What is your budget.  If you are a junior what is your “sponsors” budget.
    • With these three questions you are well on the way to a painless “demoing” expreience!

Here is what we would like to have to speed up the process:

  • Bring your current racquet in “play ready condition” with you to the primary discussion.
  • Tell us what has changed physically since you selected the current racquet.
    • Injuries, including tennis elbow, shoulder and wrist issues, or a long layoff, etc.
  • What do you want the new racquet to do that the current racquet is not?
    • Power, or “POP”, Control, Comfort, Grip Size, String Issues, etc.
  • Do you have a brand preference?
  • If we can make your current racquet better will you not demo other racquets?
    • It is possible that the current racquet can be better than it is so demo it as well after some customization.
    • Tell us if this is of interest or “I want a new racquet…period!

With this information we can make the demoing process much more fun,consise, and ultimatley rewarding, and in a much shorter time period.

Our demo process is free however we believe the racquet should be “setup” just as it will be used which may require stringing and a litttle customization and there will be a charge for that if you agree.

Our huge database of racquet specifications allow a quick look at the characteristics you prefer.

We think you wil be surprised at how much fun the demo process can be!

 

 

 

Head Graphene 360 + Gravity Lite

If you guessed the Lite is the lightest model in the Gravity series you are correct, but did you guess  it is also a 104 square inch head?  Two 104 models in the series!  I say “way to go”!

Model Comparison

Head Graphene 360 + Gravity Lite

The 16 x 20 string pattern remains but the spacing is slightly more “open” than the “S”.  The “Lite” is slightly stiffer than the “S” therefore a slightly higher power calculation you will see in the specifications.

The “Lite” can be the perfect racquet for those looking for a 10 ounce racquet, and whose game is “settled in” and are not looking to make a bunch of stroke/technique changes!

The “Lite” will come in the smallest grip size of any Gravity model which is important when fitting a smallish person with a performance racquet!

 

 

 

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360 + Gravity Lite
Reference Tension53 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Head Velocity MLT Black
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC53
ASPS, FlexFour63.5
Racquet Flex, RDC59 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour48
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness301.3 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams284
Weight, Ounces10.02

Balance, mm346
Balance, Inch13.62
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width10.15
Head Length13.13
Head Area, cm2675.2
Head Area, Sq. Inch104.7
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.618
Main String Grid7.75
Cross String Grid10.50
Density (% of head filled with string).778
Average Cross String Space.525
Average Main String Space.484
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.76
First Moment, Nm.769
Polar Moment315
Torsional Stability14
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2301
Swing Weight, Ounces10.62
Swing Weight Calculated340.0
Power, RDC42
Control, RDC61
Manueverability, RDC86
Power, Calculated 1877.2
Head Points-.94 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %50.4%
Center of Percussion20.9
Dwell Time, ms8.74
Efective Stiffness - lbs27.9
K, Lb/In169.8
Recoil Weight131.6
Twist Weight217.6
End Weight 100.0
Tip Weight 186.5
9 O'Clock91.4
3 O'Clock92.4
Butt Cap101.6

Head Graphene 360 + Gravity Pro

The Gravity Pro is the racquet all 18×20 players have been waiting for!

Why? Great weight, and excellent swing weight right out of the box!  For players that think the Prestige models are too stiff, (they are not), this model will provide feed-back that the Prestige damps out through the cap system.

Big hitters will benefit from the 18 x 20 string pattern when going for the “flat, down the line” shot.

You will see all the specifications later on but now let’s talk about the reaction to the binary graphics package that is used on all the Gravity models. One side is Lava, and the other side is Miami Green ( my description) which makes for an exciting pickup reaction!

Head Graphene 360 + Gravity Pro

Model Comparison

The excellent stiffness of RDC 60 combines with the dense string pattern to yield an effective stiffness of 30.7.

Now for some fun!

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360 + Gravity Pro
Reference Tension57 lbs - 25.9 kg
String
Head Velocity MLT 17 Black
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC63
ASPS, FlexFour68.5
Racquet Flex, RDC60 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour46
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness428.6 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams328
Weight, Ounces11.57


Balance, mm326
Balance, Inch12.83
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.91
Head Length12.85
Head Area, cm2645.2
Head Area, Sq. Inch100.0
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.694
Main String Grid7.75
Cross String Grid10.25
Density (% of head filled with string).794
Average Cross String Space.513
Average Main String Space.431
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT40
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in233.7
First Moment, Nm.824
Polar Moment348
Torsional Stability17
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2331
Swing Weight, Ounces11.68
Swing Weight Calculated348.6
Power, RDC39
Control, RDC62
Manueverability, RDC66
Power, Calculated 2006.0
Head Points5.35
Head Weight, %47.5
Center of Percussion21.5
Dwell Time, ms8.02
Efective Stiffness - lbs30.7
K, Lb/In201.9
Recoil Weight165.8
Twist Weight240.4
End Weight 132.7
Tip Weight 197.4
9 O'Clock98.6
3 O'Clock99.5
Butt Cap131.1

Head Graphene 360 + Gravity MP

The new Head Gravity MP seemed like the perfect place to start with this new series of racquets so that is what we did!

We believe this racquet falls between the Prestige and Radical series and will appeal to more players than either of those.  Plus, there are two (2) 104 square inch models, the Lite, and S.  These are relativley “thin” beam, (Lite and S = 24.4mm) racquets that Head has been missing, in my opinion, for a while.

It has a “flip” color scheme…one side is lava and the other is Miami Green (my word).

IMG_0396

Head Graphene 360 + Gravity MP Lava Side

The head shape is a little more round.  The weight is 312 grams (11.01 oz) which I think is a little light.  The swing weight is 324 kg/cm² ( a good starting point).

The unique fiber layup is designed to “uncoil” at impact contributing to a new kind of power, and hopefully comfort.

The unique fiber layup is designed to “uncoil” at impact contributing to a new kind of power, and hopefully comfort.

The Series consists of a “Pro”, “MP”. “MP Lite”, “S”,  and”Lite”.  There is a Model Comparison post where you can see all of the racquets in one place.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360 + Gravity MP
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
MonoGut ZX Pro
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC52
ASPS, FlexFour60.5
Racquet Flex, RDC59 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour43
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness380.1 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams312
Weight, Ounces11.01


Balance, mm342
Balance, Inch13.46
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.92
Head Length12.85
Head Area, cm2645.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch100.1
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.617
Main String Grid7.62
Cross String Grid10.30
Density (% of head filled with string).798
Average Cross String Space.515
Average Main String Space.476
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.7
First Moment, Nm.833
Polar Moment340
Torsional Stability16
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2324
Swing Weight, Ounces11.43
Swing Weight Calculated364.9
Power, RDC46
Control, RDC56
Manueverability, RDC71
Power, Calculated 1932.8
Head Points.31
Head Weight, %49.9%
Center of Percussion20.8
Dwell Time, ms8.82
Efective Stiffness - lbs27.6
K, Lb/In166,7
Recoil Weight143.69
Twist Weight229.04
End Weight 114.6
Tip Weight 200.3
9 O'Clock99.2
3 O'Clock99.4
Butt Cap114.9

Head Graphene 360 + Gravity Series Lineup

In addition to individual model specifications we like to do a consolidated series comparison so we can glance at the differences between racquets.  Following is that comparison.  All the data is taken with strung racquets with a vibration damper but no overgrip.

See the Five Models Compared Here

See Larger Images of Each Model Here

So, what is important in this data?  Well, to us, everything or we wouldn’t include it but we like to explain some of the not so obvious numbers.

End Weight:  the weight of the butt end of the racquet when using two (2) electronic scales

Tip Weight:  the weight of the top end of the racquet when usisng two (2) electronic scales

Why important:  this accurately calculates static balance and allows easy maching of multiple racquets

Swing Weight:  the higher the swing weight the higher the energy colliding with the ball.

Why important: this is the most meaningful number in terms of momentum into the ball.

InPlane Stiffness:  this tell us how stiff the racquet is when a load is apllied to the 3 and 9 o’clock positions.

Why important:  a higher number means the racquet is stiff in that direction affecting string bed stiffness.

Stability:      this tell us how the racquet reacts to ball impact.

Why important:  the higher the number the more power and control that can be contributed to the racquet.

Position 1, 2, and 3: three (3) electronic scales are used to weigh the racquet.

Why important: we can match the rotational inertia of each racquet.

Peak Load:   this tells us the peak force of the ball impact on your body.  Higher loads contribute to injury.

Why important:  we can make adjustments to the string bed stiffness to keep the peak loads safe.

Everything else should be clear but if you have questions please “Ask John”

 

Robo Calls are Double Faults!

No one likes double faults and no on likes “Robo Calls” but with the incredible number of these calls it is important for us to answer the “real” calls while ingoring, as much as possible, the other stuff.

By ignoring (technologically) some calls we may be missing your very important call to Racquet Quest and for that we appologize!

If you are trying to reach Racquet Quest and are rejected please send a text message to the number for Racquet Quest, or send a message to “Ask John” on the Racquet Quest web site www.racquetquest.com.

Once you are added as a “contact” your calls should go through quickly.

Please try again if you have tried to reach Racquet Quest and have not been able to get through!

Just like double faults no one likes robo calls…so lets eliminate them!

New Head Graphene 360 Radical! Here Now!

The new Head Graphene 360 Radical has arrived and I have already chosen the one for me!

The four (4) racquets in this series cover every possible player style and the new graphics package will appeal to most players.  This is a win-win Radical Series!

Head Graphene 360 Radical Series

Just in case you are wondering which one I have chosen it is the Radical S!   Why?  I handle a lot of racquets each day and this racquet just “feels” good when I pick it up!  Plus the 102 square inch head size fits me fine.

This series is the most impressive Radical Series I have seen in a few years.

You can read the reviews of each of these racquets on this site but you really should come by and take a look and “feel” for yourself.

My setup is going to be this racquet strung with PEEK at 52 pounds.  I am going to increase the weight to 315 grams and the swing weight to 315 kg/cm² as well.

I am anxious to start playing again and this is just the racquet to motivate me!   Motivate yourself, too!  Get one!

This is a comparison sheet of the four (4) models so you can get some idea as to which racquet may suit you!

Image 4-11-19 at 11.02 AM

Head Graphene 360 Radical Series Strung

VRq%AkQCTl2ImFc+WVCdHg_mini_f029

The Rebel Backpack and Radical 6 Racquet Combi add to the excitment of the new Radical racquets!  Complete the package with these bags!

Head Radical for 2019!

The new Head Graphene 360 Radical series continues the “less is more” graphic package that is so popular on the Head Speed series. While I really like the occasional “Limited Edition” racquets I am favoring the new “look” now.

Head Graphene 360 Radical Series

As you can see there are four (4) models in the series starting on the left with the “Pro”, “MidPlus”, “S”, and “Power” versions. The obvious concept here is the minimization of graphics, however, not so obvious is the subtle color changes inside the head of the racquet.

I have compiled unstrung specifications which are important but not as much fun as racquet to racquet comparison which I will do between this series and the series of last year.

Unstrung Specifications

If you are interested in “approximate” strung specifications add 17 grams to the “overall weight” and 30 grams to “swing weight”.

So, until then enjoy the new Radical look!

I will be posting full reviews of each model by the end of the week so check back…and you can stop by the World Headquarters to examine these racquets yourself!

Now You Think of it!

So, it has been a while since you had your racquet strung and you are standing on the court about to receive and you ask yourself; “I wonder when I should get my racquet strung”.

Now is probably not the best time to think of it but if you do simply take a look at the short video for a quick answer;

Accuracy Index…what is it?

For a few years, Racquet Quest has been using an “accuracy index” to clarify and understand how the string bed stiffness at a given location can affect where the ball goes. You may say that is the players skill working…or not!

However, players take heart, we know how the string bed accuracy can and will put the ball where you didn’t intend for it to go!

Our Accuracy Index is predicated on racquet support effectiveness and main and cross string junctions matching the “target tensions”. The natural ratio of the racquet is the basis for the target tensions. The “natural ratio” of a racquet is the difference in main string tension and cross string tension in a freshly strung racquet. For example; the main string tension is 50 and the cross string tension is 38 the “natural ratio” is 76%.

The Efficiency Index is the measure of the stringing machines support capabilities. The lower the number the worse the machine support is, therefore the racquet is under a lot of stress and we know what stress does to everything! It is bad!

https://racquetquest.tennis/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Vega_16x19_accuracy_.pdf

What Took You so Long?

A lot of players don’t really know how long it takes to string a tennis racquet. Do you?

This is not a quiz but a way to begin the discussion of why it may take us longer to do your tennis racquet and why we may not be able to accommodate certain time requirements. Speed does not take the place of “doing it right”.

What Took You so Long? Doing it Right, that’s what! The entire process!

Putting string in your racquet is part science, part art, part craft, and part habit. What Racquet Quest tries do do is minimize the “habit” part because some habits are awful! I have been presenting at various seminars for over twenty (20) years and I have seen most of the bad habits but they change with the introduction of new tennis racquets and/or tennis string.

I have been testing potential stringers for the USRSA CRT and MRT certification for many years so I get to see every stage of stringer development. But this post is not about that…

What Took You so Long?

Let’s start with the string. Every string we install is first pre-stretched in it’s entire length, about 40 feet. This procedure increases the stability of the string so tension loss is mitigated somewhat. In some materials this will also increase elongation and elasticity. Every string gets this!

Total Time: 3 minutes

Our proprietary software, Racquet Record, keeps data of every racquet we do so we can pull up the last stringing and activate it for the new stringing that is about to take place. If the string is not broken we take current SBS readings to determine stiffness loss over time based on the previous SBS data.

If the racquet is used, and currently strung, a careful examination is performed before the string is removed. The string is removed in a specific pattern to minimize stress on the racquet. The racquet is then cleaned with an effective but harmless chemical and blown “dry” with also removes any grit that may be in a grommet barrel.

Total Time: 5 minutes

Now the racquet can be mounted on the stringing machine, which you will see in the video. By design our machines require additional setup time to assure the supports are properly adjusted. To the casual observer it looks like this will take “forever”… it does not, and it is critical to the stringing result.

True Tension Professional Machine

Friction is the enemy of a good stringing result so the string holes are aligned with the tension head and with the guide post every string is pulled almost friction free. You will see this in action in the video.

When installing the cross strings a series of string spreaders are used to provide a friction free weaving of the cross string. Does this add a minute or two to the process? Sure, but it is worth it and every racquet we do gets it!

Total Time: 25 minutes Watch the video here

About 25 minutes after the beginning of this process the racquet is ready to come off the machine. Because the racquet did not distort the removal is easy and without stress on the racquet.

After the racquet is strung (the next video) the data acquisition phase begins. This is absolutely essential to player and racquet performance! Almost every property of the racquet is reduced to a “number” so if something needs attention we can associate a number to that property and make the necessary adjustment(s).

Total Time: 15 minutes Watch the video here

Thank you for taking the time to view this post. We hope you enjoyed it and now have a better understanding of what we do!

Our Standard Stringing Process

After seeing “After the String is Strung” some of you wanted to see a “While the String is Being Strung” video.  I have several videos of the stringing process but I use them for my own review and to see if there is anything that can be done better.

So, the video(s) will not be “professional” videos and are intended for fun and maybe some understanding of what we do.

Grab a coffee, or something, and enjoy 24 minutes of stringing fun!

Wilson Clash Tour

If you read the Wilson Clash 100 review there is not much to say about the Wilson Clash Tour in terms of graphics because it is exactly the same!

So we can go directly to the differences between the two models. The Tour does have the “word” tour on the racquet but little else in terms of racquet specifications and that is by design.

Wilson Clash Tour

Typically a racquet will have some little tiny descriptions such as weight, head size, string pattern, etc. but these racquets have none of that. Wilson, with this racquet, wants the player to make all the decisions based on “feel, control, and power” and not be influenced by descriptors. As you might expect this model is a little heavier overall and in swing weight thus the “Tour” designation.

Our Wilson Clash and Clash Tour demo racquets are strung with Luxilon Natural Gut as the main string and Wilson Sensation Plus as the cross string. This combination should maximize the performance of the racquet.

Before we get to the specifications of the Tour model there is another slightly unusual design feature. The grip pallet is not molded onto the frame but is formed by the carbon fiber. This manufacturing technique does not allow for easy (seriously not easy) grip size and shape customization so be certain you get the grip size you need.

Take a look at the following data to see if you think this new concept is worth a try. Based on the feedback we are getting I would say yes, definatley!

ManufacturerWilson
Racquet ModelClash Tour
Reference Tension58 lbs - 26.3 kg
String
Luxilon 125 Gut =M
Wilson Sensation Plus =X
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC51
ASPS, FlexFour63
Racquet Flex, RDC47 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour25
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness317 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams328
Weight, Ounces11.57


Balance, mm318
Balance, Inch12.52
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch27.0
Head Width9.91
Head Length12.89
Head Area, cm2647.3
Head Area, Sq. Inch100.3
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.647
Main String Grid7.68
Cross String Grid10.44
Density (% of head filled with string).799
Average Cross String Space.549
Average Main String Space.480
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.76
First Moment, Nm.822
Polar Moment348
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2329
Swing Weight, Ounces11.6
Swing Weight Calculated341.8
Power, RDC39
Control, RDC64
Manueverability, RDC65
Power, Calculated 1586.1
Head Points7.87
Head Weight, %46.4
Center of Percussion21.7
Dwell Time, ms8.91
Efective Stiffness - lbs24.5
K, Lb/In163.46
Recoil Weight174.7
Twist Weight247.8
End Weight 141.6
Tip Weight 195.0
9 O'Clock99.1
3 O'Clock96.9
Butt Cap140.2

Unravellin​g Athena

Brittany Tagliareni brought this film to my attention a couple of years ago and I have tried to follow the progress since then.

Here is the latest trailer for the film…

Wilson Clash 100

Once in a while words “fit”! Clash fits this new Wilson racquet because it disrupts the trend of “everything stiff”. Luckily this trend is dying and Wilson has, in my view, done a masterful job of expediting that demise with this concept.

Wilson Clash 100

Not only does this racquet look good it just feels good in the hand. It is light, maybe too light, but the brain detects something different about this racquet. We all know racquets are all about “the brain”!

In this review you may notice the addition of a couple of specifications. One is “Racquet – In Plane Stiffness”. This is the racquets resistance to”squeezing the sides together. The higher the number the more resistant (stiffer) the racquet is. Another addition to the review is the three (3) weights taken at the sides of the head and at the very bottom (butt cap) of the racquet. This very helpful when matching or customizing a racquet. so I thought we would include it.

Before this racquet is strung it has a noticeable “softness” which is expected given the 52 stiffness (Wilson is not using the defacto device, RDC, for their stiffness rating). However, after stringing, the racquet takes on a different “feel”. It is like the string is pulling all the material components together! I intend to hit with this racquet tomorrow so as right now I have no idea how it will feel.

To get the maximum from this racquet our demo is strung with Luxilon Natural Gut, 125 and the new Wilson Sensation Plus multi-filament with a “wear” wrap. This should be a great setup, so if you want to hit with the latest technology this is it!

For each racquet we do an “Accuracy Index”. This tells us how accurately the ball will come off the string bed when hit at different locations on the string bed. This racquet has an index of 97, which is very good, in the areas of the string bed that show the most failure (breakage). The overall string bed index of 94 is quite good and tells us that the string bed should produce as much accuracy as the players skill allows!

Take look at the following specifications to see if you agree with the player evaluations you may have read.

ManufacturerWilson
Racquet ModelClash 100
Reference Tension58 lbs - 26.3 kg
String
Luxilon 125 Gut =M
Wilson Sensation Plus =X
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC56
ASPS, FlexFour61.5
Racquet Flex, RDC51 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour27
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness317 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams309
Weight, Ounces10.90
Balance, mm322
Balance, Inch12.68
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch27.0
Head Width9.92
Head Length12.85
Head Area, cm2646.0
Head Area, Sq. Inch100.1
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.650
Main String Grid7.50
Cross String Grid10.37
Density (% of head filled with string).779
Average Cross String Space.547
Average Main String Space.469
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.94
First Moment, Nm.764
Polar Moment321
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2306
Swing Weight, Ounces10.79
Swing Weight Calculated320.4
Power, RDC34
Control, RDC70
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 1562.7
Head Points6.46
Head Weight, %47.0%
Center of Percussion21.5
Dwell Time, ms8.50
Efective Stiffness - lbs26.7
K, Lb/In179.49
Recoil Weight155.9
Twist Weight227.1
End Weight 126.8
Tip Weight 181.9
9 O'Clock94.0
3 O'Clock93.9
Butt Cap119.9

What is Elongation?

In dictionary terms it is:

“the amount of extension of an object under stress.”

In tennis terms, it means the same thing when talking about tennis racquet strings.

How much does a string stretch under the reference tension load or otherwise stretched (impact)?  The proliferation of wrist, arm and shoulder injury has brought attention to the property of “stiffness.”  The problem is that your stiffness may be different than my stiffness, so there needs to be an “index” associated with each string, in my opinion.  I have that data on over 500 tennis strings, but that is just me.

The images show the results of high elongation (left) and low elongation (right) string upon breaking.

Several years ago a player asked me “where is the string that is missing?”  Well, it is not missing.  The ends you see should be connected!

If the string has little elongation when it breaks there is nothing “pulling” it apart like the high elongation string. So each time you hit the ball, the string either elongates a bunch or it doesn’t.

In the case of the high elongation string, on the left, it absorbs a good portion of the “shock” associated with a hard hit, whereas the low elongation string, on the right, lets your body do the absorbing to a great extent.

So, it is reasonable to use very low reference tensions for low elongation string (35 to 45 pounds; 16 to 20.5 Kg) and higher tensions (45 to 60 pounds; 20.5 to 27.2 Kg) for high elongation strings.

You may ask, “how do I know how stiff a string is?”  If you see the word “polyester or co-polyester” it is likely that string wil be stiff compared to natural gut, most nylon based multi-filament construction, and PEEK (Zyex) material.  In my opinion, there is no “bad” string just “bad” applications.  If in doubt…ask!

Does String Color Matter?

Recently a friend asked “would the same string but different color play differently”?

Of course the only way to confirm anything in terms of “playabilty” is to prepare a racquet with both strings, lab test them then hit with them. We will try to do this soon.

That is the next step but what about the strings themselves?

Our typical testing provides the following information. You may click on the first slide to see this in a “slide” presentation format…

Carbon Mapping…GPS for Your Ball!

Wilson has introduced a new generation of tennis racquets that do not include GPS but maybe something just as good!

The new Clash tennis racquet is what I am talking about! This new racquet will be in the shop on February 15 and wants to say “hello”!

What makes this such a different racquet is the ability to “adjust” stiffness to the players swing. I have not done a complete evaluation of the racquets so it is premature to go into detail, however, I have felt, and measured the stiffness in the lab. There is a considerable softness!

But where does the GPS thing come in? So, the material layup has been designed to combat the lack of control of very soft racquets, therefore, when you smack the ball the racquet will become stiffer, ergo, control is enhanced and the ball should land at your desired destination! Just like GPS, right?

From the beginning, It has been the mission of Racquet Quest to minimize the “injury” potential of stiff racquets combined with stiff string. We believe this racquet is a step in the right direction!

The Clash racquet comes in two (2) models:

Wilson Clash

Clash 100 & Clash 100 Tour

The only difference is the weight. The string pattern is 16×19 and slightly “open” for better ball capture.

These racquets are available for pre-order now. We have a limited number arriving on or about February 15 so place your order soon.

I will post more specification details when the racquets arrive so the data is lab “tested” so check back in mid February, or stop by and see the racquets and say “hello”!

Instinct…get it!

The new Head Graphene 360 Instincts are in the shop waiting for your evaluation!


As you can see this new Instinct Series carries forward the “minimalist” graphics concept and a stunning blue color!  

If you have been shopping for a new Porsche lately you may have seen a similiar color they describe as “Miami Blue”!

The Instinct Series offers a MP, S, Lite, and PWR (Power) models. And, thankfully, and amazingly, these performance racquets are realistically priced!

I will be adding racquet specifications soon so come back or sign up for notifications so you won’t miss anything!

All Instinct models are at the Racquet Quest World Headquarters so stop by and take a look.

Here is a look the specifications of the Head Graphene 360 Instinct MP…

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360 Instinct MP
Reference Tension55.0
String
Head FXP Tour Blue
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC53.0
ASPS, FlexFour60.0
Racquet Flex, RDC62.0
Racquet Flex, FlexFour46.0
Weight, Grams315.1
Weight, Ounces11.08
Balance, mm326.9
Balance, Inch12.84
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.968
Head Width9.88
Head Length13.13
Head Area, Sq. Cm656.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch101.8
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.633
Main String Grid7.25
Cross String Grid9.50
Density (% of head filled with string).676
Average Cross String Space.500
Average Main String Space.453
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.76
First Moment, Nm.789
Polar Moment, Kg/cm2325
Torsional Stability19
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2306
Swing Weight, Ounces10.79
Swing Weight Calculated333.7
Power, RDC46
Control, RDC56
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 1938.1
Head Points (negative = head heavy)5.20
Head Weight, %47.6%
Center of Percussion20.9
Dwell Time, ms (no swing speed)8.74ms
Efective Stiffness28.6
K, Lb/In169.87
Recoil Weight147.88
Twist Weight228.69
End Weight, grams (Play Ready)126.7
Top Weight, grams (Play Ready)188.4

Challenges!

Everyone has challenges in life…

playing with bad strings should not be one of them!

Happy New Year!

2019 here we come! It is going to be hard to top 2018 but we will do it…together!

Together includes Racquet Quest, LLC, You, Racquet makers, string makers, and everyone interested in the growth of tennis.

The mission of Racquet Quest is to provide the best possible playing experience based on data. Data assures you are getting the proper combination of all equipment.

Tennis cannot grow if players can’t play due to injury or discomfort!

Most of our regular customers know this and take advantage of us…you can too!

Happy New Year!

Year End

As this day nears the end and the year sprints to it’s conclusion it is worth the time to reflect on 2018!

This year was the busiest in the history of Racquet Quest, LLC and one of the most rewarding in terms of helping players.  Helping players is the “mission” of Racquet Quest so we appreciate the communication with clients that contribute to understanding the goal.

If you have been around Racquet Quest much you know the importance of discussions, some of which may be boring, redundant, or incredibly exciting.  It is the boring ones we want to eliminate.  We want every discussion to be exciting and helpful so beginning in 2019 we will be requesting comments, suggestions, and participation from you the readers of this and other posts.  Be assured that every comment will be treated with “care” and responses will be as meaningful as we can make them.

Racquet Quest, LLC World Headquarters

All of our clients are special and we thank each of them for letting us help their game.  Of course there are “Very Special” clients!

Brittany

Brittany Tagliareni is one very special player.  Brittany is Autistic and plays at a very high level in tournaments around the world.  I know you have read about Brittany on this site so we will not go into detail except to say Brittany has been an inspiration for me to become better in what I do each day.  Period!

We want everyone to be inspired and we hope it can lead to a healthier life and a better tennis game.  Please contrbute your inspirational story to our readers.  Here are just a few of the people that made 2018 so terrific…

Racquet Quest is looking forward to 2019 and we ask that you join us is making 2019 an incredible year for you and your tennis.

Thank you to everyone that made this year, 2018, a very special year!  I can’t wait to see what we can do in 2019!

A Little Down Time!

To the thousands of you that tried to view the Racquet Quest site in the last 65 hours I apologize for the down time!  To the 2 or 3 of you ( I know who you are) that did not try to view the site I also apologize!

The site is up and running normally so now is a good time to make a comment and suggestions for new content.

Thank you to all the new subscribers!

Weight is Your Friend!

Is this instance we are talking about racquet weight. Not the few pounds we put on yesterday, Thanksgiving Day!

In the early 1990’s we made a tennis racquet which weighed slightly over 7 ounces.  Awesome, some said!  This racquet traveled along with the standard weight racquets in the line and was available for anyone to hit with.

“Hit” in this case is a misnomer because the mass of the racquet was not enough to get the ball over the net in most cases!  Instead of a “hit” it was like a light “shove”!

With out a doubt the weight of a racquet must be “usable”.  Take a look at these brief warm-up videos to see weight in action then we will find out how much these racquets weigh and the swing weight…

Sophie Hitting

This is a Wilson Blade 98 18×20 pattern.  Racquet weight is  329 grams (11.61 Oz.) with a swing weight of 332 kg/cm^2.

Next let’s take a look at a different player…

Aleks (aka GBS) Hitting

This is a Head Radical with the Pro Cap System creating a racquet that weighs 340 grams (11.99 ounces) with a swing weight of 349 kg/cm^2.

It is obvious that both payers are swinging the racquet with gusto and it should be obvious that the racquets are stable on impact and this stability is necessary for power and control.

So the next time your oppponent asks if you have “gained weight” it will because the ball is coming at them with more “heaviness”!  And you can repsond “yes!” with a smile on your face!  Just like Robert, Sophie, and Aleks!

IMG_5348

 

Head Graphene 360 Extreme

If you can’t get by Racquet Quest to take a look at this exciting new racquet just take a look at this video!

The specifications will be posted here as soon as possible, but in the meantime…

You Have Been Waiting for These!

You may not know it but you have been waiting for these!

Head continues with thier anniversary edition parade!  It seems twenty-five years is a good time to re-introduce the racquet(s) that made history then!

Head Radical 107

Head Radical 98 Limited Edition

The Head Radical 107 OS is a remake of the Andre Agassi racquet that is true to the characteristics of the era!   Great weight, perfect flex, workable swingweight, a 18×19 string pattern, a 107 square inch head, and minimal graphics!  This may be the purest example of a remake I have ever seen.  It even comes with the rubber band vibration dampers Andre used!

The Head Radical 98 MP is the newer racquet geometry and 98 head size.   The graphics reach back twenty-five years for the colors but the design is definately contemporary.  Plus, this racquet accepts the  Head Pro Player Cap System grommet set.  Yes, that means you can turn this Radical into a “beast” just like the previous versions!

I will be posting all the specifications of both of these as soon as possible but they are in the shop so please come by and take a look, and feel, for yourself.  These are limited edition racquets.

A New Logo!

After all these years of the old “RQ” it is time for a new look!

Please ket us know if you like the new look!

Head Graphene 360 Speed Pro

Head has introduced their new Speed Series, and it is here, yes, I men here, with some significant changes!

The most obvious and dramatic is the move toward a minimalist “look.”  The graphics consist of black and white!  Gone are the days of multi-colored Speed racquets.

As with many Head racquets, the graphics mimic the “SkiTip” angle as seen with the logo and white paint headed in the same angle.

Less obvious but no less important is the “360” designation that has replaced the “Touch” designation that was on the last series.

Players of the Speed series don’t want muted, as suggested by “Touch” they want feedback!

And, “360” suggests the use of Graphene in more areas of the racquet.

This image is the Graphene 360 Speed Pro, a highly maneuverable, flexible, (57RDC) racquet with an 18×20 string pattern.  This may be the ticket for juniors that can’t handle a heavier, stiffer racquet but need the dense string pattern to mitigate string breakage. I would not recommend any stiff string in this racquet, however.

I am a little surprised by the low swing weight (306kg/cm2) but this can be increased as necessary.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelGraphene 360 Speed Pro
Reference Tension55
String
Head Velocity MLT 16
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
APPS, RDC56
ASPS, FlexFour59.5
Racquet Flex, RDC57
Racquet Flex, FlexFour46
Weight, Grams323
Weight, Ounces11.39
Balance, mm323
Balance, Inch12.72
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch27.0
Head Width9.75
Head Length13.12
Head Area, cm2648.4
Head Area, Sq. Inch100.5
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.669
Main String Grid7.70
Cross String Grid10.25
Density (% of head filled with string).784
Average Cross String Space.525
Average Main String Space.417
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.94
First Moment, Nm.802
Polar Moment321
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2306
Swing Weight, Ounces10.79
Swing Weight Calculated337
Power, RDC39
Control, RDC63
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 1753.0
Head Points6.14
Head Weight, %47.2
Center of Percussion20.7
Dwell Time, ms8.50
Efective Stiffness28.2
K, Lb/In179.49
Recoil Weight147.6
Twist Weight229.75

Jack Anthrop Scores Big in Nassau!

Congratulations to Jack for his Finalist finish in the Junkanoo Bowl in Nassau!

Jack has been playing ITF events and was a qualifier for this tournament.  Not only did he qualify, Jack went on the finals where he put in a great three (3) set effort against Harrison Gold, 6-7,6-2,5-7!

Jack Anthrop & Harrison Gold
Junkanoo Bowl

Well done, Jack!  Congratulations

Meet Jennifer

Jennifer walked into the World Headquarters of Racquet Quest the other day and asked to have her racquets strung.  Nothing unusual about that, of course.

I looked a the racquets in her hand and thought to myself…” Well, where are they?”

In her hands were two (2) Head You Tek IG Prestige Mid racquets!  If you don’t remember these, they are the pinnacle of the Head Performace series racquets.  The head size is 93 square inches; the weight is 350 grams (12.35 ounces), with a swing weight of 309 kg/cm2 (10.9 ounces), and a racquet flex of 64 RDC units.

This is a great racquet for sure, but I don’t see many anymore in the good condition as these are.  One needed a grommet set, but that was all.

The reason I mention this is to reassure tennis players that they are capable of using racquets they normally scoff at including a comment “I am not good enough to use that!”   A lot depends on what you want to do with the racquet.  In Jennifer’s case, she wants to get to the net as quickly as possible, and the nice recoil weight of 146.1 makes this a good racquet at the net!  The low swing weight enhances the “mobility” of the racquet which also means this is not a particularly “powerful” racquet.

The new Head Graphene Touch Prestige Mid is still 93 square inches but now has a 16×19 string pattern.

If you are interested in hitting with a Head Graphene Touch Prestige Mid, our demo is strung with Babolat VS Touch natural gut which represents the purest combination I can think of!

Thank you, Jennifer, for giving me an example of what tennis players are capable of!

 

Big Bag Blowout…Again!

This seems to be a semi-annual event but that’s OK!

This event is a little different though!

Every bag regardless of size is only $60.00!  This is extraordinary but we need the room.

Most bags are Head or Wilson, some are 6 racquet bags some are 12 racquet bags.  It makes no difference!

Walk in with three (3) 20’s and walk out with a bag worth twice that much!

Hurry because this event is for in-stock bags only and the supply while taking up a lot of room, is limited!

This picture is not representative of all the bags.  Call for a quick update on available bags!

What is “Best Overall Performance”?

In our “Recommended Stringing Frequency” calculator we state that this frequency is to get the best possible performance from your racquet.   But, what exactly is “best performance”?

To establish this we need to take you, the player, out of the picture for a moment and concentrate on the racquet and string setup.  the reason is simple:  no two players strike the ball the same way.

We start with “Swing Weight” which is the most important dynamic property of a racquet.  So a higher swing weight will contribute to power and stability, thus performance.

Overall weight is important because you need to be able to get the racquet to the court and out of your bag!  Heavier racquets contribute to energy, stability, and comfort.

Effective Stiffness is important because it represents the stiffness of the string bed (SBS) and the racquet stiffness (xxRA, or something like that).  This number represents the impact each time you strike the ball.  The higher the number, the stiffer, of course.

Of the four (4) things mentioned above we can control the string bed stiffness with ease.  One of the easiest methods is to string your racquet regularly to maintain the effectiveness of the elongation of the string being used.  Elongation relates to energy return in a string and while strings will stay resilient for a long time a well-worn string takes a while to return energy to the ball.

You, the player, of course, determine performance so when using the SFR you can enter a high UTR or Style rating or a low UTR or style rating if maximum performance is not required.

New Head MXG 1

Head is introducing two (2) new racquets to the MXG Series, and this is an excellent thing in my opinion!  It is not that we need a bunch of new racquets, but this signals a commitment to the MXG concept.

In case you don’t know, the MXG Series racquets incorporate a “string suspension system” (my words) into the throat of the racquet.  The most notable of this system is the bright silver paint. However, the most important function(s) is the increase in main string length across the entire throat area and torsional stiffness for control.  We now have ten (10) main strings that are the same length in the throat, and this does contribute to “power.”

The Head MXG 1 is a 98 square inch head with a thin beam (22mm) that puts it in the “player” category, but it may need additional weight for big hitters.  You will see all the specifications below.  If you are a player and have shied away from the MXG for head size reasons, this is for you!

Head MXG 1

The MXG 1 demo is available now.  Call to reserve it!

The new MXG 1 is available for pre-order and will available May 11, 2018.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead MXG 1
Reference Tension53
String
Head Velocity MLT 17
Machine UsedTrue Tension Pro
Static
APPS, RDC50.0
ASPS, FlexFour59.0
Racquet Flex, RDC65
Racquet Flex, FlexFour48
Weight, Grams312
Weight, Ounces11.01
Balance, mm319.0
Balance, Inch12.56
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.986
Head Width9.51
Head Length13.50
Head Area, cm2649.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch100.7
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.593
Main String Grid7.20
Cross String Grid9.37
Density (% of head filled with string).658
Average Cross String Space.490
Average Main String Space.445
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT34
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in190.16
First Moment, Nm.762
Polar Moment320.0
Torsional Stability15 (the difference between polar moment and swing weight. Higher is better)
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2305
Swing Weight, Ounces10.76
Swing Weight Calculated317.5
Power, RDC51
Control, RDC51
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 1996.9
Head Points7.40
Head Weight, %46.6%
Center of Percussion21.5
Dwell Time, ms9.00
Effective Stiffness28.3
K, Lb/In160.26
Recoil Weight157.54
Twist Weight211.48

After the String is Strung!

I have often wondered what players know about the “stringing” process and in particular what goes on after the “string is strung”.  So, while Madelyn was here she decided to video me doing what we do after each racquet is strung and just coming off the machine.

Had I known we were going to do this I might have dressed up a little, emptied the trash and fixed the crack in the wall behind the RDC!  But I didn’t.

This video is offered as a “real-time” view of what we do with every racquet and is intended for information and fun only.  If you have any questions please let us know…now enjoy the movie!

Congratulations Sophie!

A huge congratulations go out to Sophie Williams for her terrific run at the recent Easter Bowl in Indian Wells, Ca.!

Sophie played the finals against the number 3 seed Elena Yu…

Having the experience of making the Girls’ 12s final last year, Eleana Yu of Mason, Ohio, said she only had to fight a moderate case of nerves as the No. 3 seed won the Girls’ 14s USTA gold ball and her first Adidas Easter Bowl national title with a 6-1, 6-0 win over No. 7-seeded Sophia Williams of Charleston, S.C.

“Having been in the final before really did help,” said the 13-year-old Yu. “I did feel a little nervous at the start, but once I found my rhythm it was fine and I just felt really confident. I think my opponent was more nervous, but the match was definitely closer than the score indicated.”

Sophie’s great result at the Easter Bowl continues her recent extraordinary results at tournaments around the country.  Below is Sophie holding the first place trophy of a previous tournament.

Sophie, the Winner!

Sophie, the Winner, again!

 

If you have been to Racquet Quest in the past several years, you have probably seen some of Sophie’s forty-five (45) racquets either in “process” or being prepared to ship to her.  Sophie is left-handed, so all the leather grips and overgrip is wrapped left-handed, and each racquet is “sequenced”.  All of the racquets are “matched.” so the only thing that is different is the string bed stiffness (SBS).

Even racquets that are done on the same day may have slightly different string bed stiffness numbers due to the time between racquet number one and racquet number eight.  Sequencing indicates in what order the racquets can be used.

That may seem like a lot of racquets, but if you play as many tournaments as Sophie you need a few!

When Sophie is in town, she is either at the USTA Center or training with Robert Kendrick at the Winter Park Racquet Club.

Congratulations, Sophie!

 

 

Mr. Dailey Makes a Visit!

The Racquet Quest World Headquarters had the pleasure of having Curt Dailey, CEO of LaserFibre Strings, visit today!

Racquet Quest, LLC will be doing a little evaluation work on LaserFibre string made in the United States!  LaserFibre is the only string supplier committed to making all of their string products in the United States.  Right now this is not the case, but they are headed in that direction.

Curt has been in the tennis business for many years and is trying hard to bring updated string products to the market.

Welcome to Racquet Quest, Curt!

 

What Keeps Us Going?

Have you ever wondered what keeps the Racquet Quest World Headquarters going? I can’t imagine why you would, but here it is anyway!

IMG_4065

Power!

These are made in France, of course, so they are good for you, and after work, they pair up nicely with a good Bordeaux!

 

And Now This…

In the words of Lord Kelvin (May 1883) “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science.”

That is why every racquet we do has over fifty (50) numbers attached to the finished data. Most of these numbers will remain unknown to the client, but for us, it is imperative that we know them.

Numbers Matter!

Which leads me, again, to this very important discussion.

Every day we see a statement from tennis string manufactures claiming, or suggesting, their string is the “softest ever tested” and other claims.  What the heck is “soft” anyway?  There is a lot more to it than meets the eye so we have done significant analysis on bunches of string and can now quantify “soft” as it relates to tennis string.

What is “soft”?
In 1994 I did a presentation for the USRSA in Atlanta. What was the topic?

“Understanding String.”

It is now 2016, and we are still trying to understand string! Especially “soft” polyester based string.

In 1994 PolyStar was the only polyester based string I was familiar with. Since then there are dozens of offerings from anyone that can afford to purchase from manufacturers and market the string. If you have a desire to do it, I applaud you!

In 1989 I started testing string and calculating “power potential.” Why “power potential”? Because “modulus,” “elongation” and “elasticity” didn’t get to the bottom line of string performance quickly enough! The steps to arrive at power potential are many.

For the testing, several calculations take place including “stretching” the string as in a ball impact. The difference between the first calculation and the “stretched” calculation is the power potential!

I have calculated hundreds of power potentials but have not until now quantified “soft.”

I think now is the time!

Under the direction of Dr. Rich Zarda, we have done a tremendous amount of work on this issue so we can now distill this work into the following explanation.

So, what is a “soft” tennis string?

Strings in a tennis racquet carry the ball impact load in two ways:
1) Via the pre-load string tension placed in the strings caused by a stringing machine (and the racquet frame “holding” those tensions in place) and
2) Via additional tensions that develop in the same string caused by the elongation of the strings as they deflect with ball impact.

Both of these conditions occur simultaneously and contribute to the string bed stiffness (SBS, units of lbs./in). Racquet technicians measure SBS by applying a load to the center of a supported string bed and measuring the resulting deflection. Dividing the load by the deflection provides the SBS (lbs./in). The lower the SBS, the more power you have (power here is the ability of the ball to easily rebound from the string bed), but the less control (presumably); the higher the SBS, the less power you have but, the more control you have (presumably).

One more point about SBS: the lower the SBS, the less the load your body will feel for a given swing. But for an SBS too low (less than 50-80 lbs./in), balls will be flying off your racquet going over the fence; and for an SBS too high (greater than 200-240 lbs./in), the racquet will hit like a board with significantly less ball rebound. So the most common SBSs are between 100-200 lbs./in: a balance between control and power.

As already expressed, SBS is a function of the pulled string tension and the string elongation. Here is what is interesting: For large string elongations (for example, greater than 15%) and reasonably pulled string tensions (greater than 30-40 lbs.), SBS only depends on the pulled string tension, and it does not depend on string elongation. Additionally, for this condition, SBS, for these high elongation strings, does not change as a ball is hit with more impact.

linearity_noname

But for a string bed with low elongation strings (less than 5%) under low pulled tensions (less than 20 lbs., or tensions that have been reduced due to racquet deformation and/or string tension relaxing with time), the SBS additionally depends on the string elongation and will significantly increase, in a nonlinear ever-increasing way, for harder ball impacts.

In order to achieve a repetitive feel for a player when hitting with a racquet, it is best to have an SBS that is independent of an increasing ball impact force. This will lead to a more consistent playability of the racquet, which includes a more repetitive feel. This desired “feel” implies using high elongation strings (greater than 10%). If low elongation strings are used (less than 4%), the SBS will significantly increase as the ball impact force increases, resulting in a racquet feeling “boardy” for higher impact loads. And low elongation strings will cause un-proportionally increasing load into the body.

deflections

As you can see by the graph, elongation contributes to SBS in a big way. The red line indicates a stiff string, about 4%, and the blue line indicates a “soft” string, about 15% elongation. You can see the loads increase dramatically as the impact increases. So the harder the hit the higher the loads on the body.

So to the question asked at the start “What is a soft tennis string?” In the context of the SBS discussed above, I would suggest that a soft tennis string is one whose elongation is 10-15%, and a stiff tennis string is 4-6%. And any string under 4% should be categorized as ultra-stiff.

String elongation (soft, stiff, ultra-stiff),  stringing machine strung tension, and string pattern(s) all contribute to SBS and SBS is an important measure of how a racquet plays and should be adjusted for an individual player, stiff and ultra-stiff strings can lead to less-repeatable racquet performance and player injury.

Soft = 10 -15% Elongation                Power Potential Range = 10.0 – 16.0
Stiff = 4 – 6% Elongation                   Power Potential Range = 4.0 – 7.0
Ultra Stiff =  Less than 4%               Power Potential Range = .65 – 3.96

 

Why Offer Racquets?

My answer is simple! To give you the very best performance you can get from your racquet dollar!

You are probably thinking “aren’t I getting that now from my online purchase?”

Probably not! I see a lot of racquets from online sources and what I see convinced me that you need to have another option!  The issues I see are typically poor string selection and really poor string installation.  String and stringing are very important, and you deserve better! We  offer racquets, in a limited sort of way, so you are getting what you expect!

How do I select what brands I will offer? Well, I review almost every racquet made either before or right after they are introduced and this review yields a great deal of information that is not normally known to the online consumer.

The Head Selection!

The Head Selection!

Wilson!

Some New Wilson’s

That is why you will see Head and Wilson racquets when you visit the World Headquarters of Racquet Quest. This selection does not mean other brands are not worthy of your consideration, and we are pleased to discuss all brands and offer them when appropriate.

Our racquet prices are attractive and the special service we offer adds to the value of your purchase.

Even if you just have a racquet question, we will be very pleased to help!

 

Monogut ZX = Zero Polyester

Ashaway MonoGut ZX Family

Image 7-18-16 at 2.20 PM

Ashaway, RI – “While it is certainly premature to proclaim the demise of polyester and co-polyester monofilament strings,” said Ashaway Vice President Steve Crandall in a newly published column, “I think it is certainly fair to say that the tide is against them, and that a counter trend towards “Zero Poly” monofilament strings is gaining momentum among tournament and other high-end players.”

In addition to growing complaints of arm pain and wrist pain and even injury, Crandall claims players are simply not reaping the benefits touted by the makers of these ultra-stiff high tech strings. “More and more high-end players are coming to realize they can get equal, if not better performance from newer zero poly monofilament alternatives, along with better feel, better playability, and reduced risk of injury,” he said.

In terms of spin generation, polyester’s main claim to fame, Crandall cited technical reports by Australian physicist Rod Cross and Tennis Warehouse University’s Lindsay Crawford, which demonstrate that topspin is generated not by the stiffness of a string material, but its ability to move laterally and snap back when striking the ball, characteristics shared by non-poly alternatives.

This is the case with Ashaway’s own MonoGut® ZX strings, Crandall claimed. “Here is a material that, 1) is nearly as slippery as polyester, and 2) has much better dynamic stiffness,” he said. “This means it can generate almost as much spin as poly, but with more power. Not to mention that it plays softer and offers much better feel. This is a combination people are beginning to notice.”

Crandall also cited comments by leading stringer John Gugel, who he quotes as saying, “To get the benefit of poly you have to hit the ball really hard. That’s when the string bed becomes non-linear and much stiffer. You can see it with professional players. They hit the ball just about as hard as they can every single time. And there are unintended consequences to that.”

Gugel said he, too, finds that players are increasingly looking for alternatives, and that they are very pleased with the performance of MonoGut ZX. “Most of the players that I introduce MZX to are a little bit skeptical of what it can do. However, after hitting with it, it is the consistency of string bed stiffness that they like. They find the spin as good as polyester and some find it better.”

Gugel said he actively discourages junior players from using polyester and that he has “a lot of juniors using 100% MZX and playing at a very high level.” Hybrid stringing is also a popular alternative, he added, with one of the best combinations being natural gut in the mains and MZX Pro in the cross strings.

Ashaway Racket Strings are made by Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co., the only U.S. manufacturer of string for squash, tennis, racquetball, and badminton. Operated by the Crandall family since 1824, Ashaway has been making racquet strings since 1949, and is responsible for several important technical innovations. Ashaway has been the Official String of USA Racquetball for more than ten years, and is also the Official String of Professional Tennis Registry. Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co. also makes braided products for medical and industrial applications. For more information visit www.ashawayusa.com. Zyex is a registered trademark of Zyex Ltd.

For additional product information, contact:
Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co.
PO Box 549
Ashaway, RI 02804 USA
Tel: (800) 556-7260 (U.S. only) or +1 (401) 377-2221
Fax: +1 (401) 377-9091
Website: http://www.ashawayusa.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ashaway/
Twitter: @Ashaway1824
Email: sales@ashawayusa.com

Welcome to Racquet Quest!

Racquet Quest - John Gugel

 Racquet Preparation Specialists as close as 407.491.4755 or 407.494.4702!

Appointments are accepted and encouraged.

We are glad you are visiting our site.  We encourage you to ask any tennis, racquet, and string questions, post ideas, share tennis and racquet related stories with other tennis and racquet enthusiasts.

While visiting our website check the periodic specials page where our racquet analysis and stringing services specials are posted.

Join our Facebook page to stay up to date as new posts are published.

There must be hundreds of web sites and forums that discuss tennis and tennis racquets specifically.

Racquet Quest is different…

I have spent over forty (40) years working with racquets; from designing to manufacturing to stringing to customization, plus retail and anything in between!  I know that each racquet and player combination is unique.  So, the racquet specifications must be exclusive to the player.

Even if you go no further into this site I want you to know that you, the player, is what this is all about.  Some fun, some ideas, some questions, some suggestions, and most importantly, your involvement.

I hope you will enjoy your visit!

Tecnifibre T-Fight 315 XTC

Tecnifibre has been making racquets for some time and it has taken some time for the racquets to gain traction!   For years the racquets played off of the success of Tecnifibre strings!  “If the strings are that good the racquets must be good as well”…was the thinking, I believe.

The racquets are able to stand on thier own and the relationship with the Lacoste brand certainly has helped from a “brand” perspective.  Did Lacoste change the logo from the triangle to the stylized TF!  I wonder?

The racquet continues the red, white and blue (French colors and the home country of Tecnifibre) graphics package and they look good!  The white basic color makes the shaft look a little bulbous, in my opinion, but that has no bearing on performance!

The T-Fight XTC series offers racquet weights of 280, 295, 300, 305, and 315 grams so there is one for every level!

Even Danil Medvedev!  If you watched the US Open you saw, in my opinion, one of the best of the year!

Take a look at the specifications then come in and try this racquet!

ManufacturerTecnifibre
Racquet ModelTecnifibre T-Fight 315 XTC
Reference Tension53 lbs - 24.0 kg
String
Tecnifibre Duramix HD 16
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC51
ASPS, FlexFour64.5
Racquet Flex, RDC63 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour55
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness384.8 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams338
Weight, Ounces11.92

Balance, mm312
Balance, Inch12.28
Length, Cm68.85
Length, Inch27.106
Head Width9.63
Head Length12.93
Head Area, cm2631.1
Head Area, Sq. Inch97.8
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.627
Main String Grid7.62
Cross String Grid10.25
Density (% of head filled with string).798
Average Cross String Space.539
Average Main String Space.476
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.7
First Moment, Nm.802
Polar Moment333
Torsional Stability16
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2317
Swing Weight, Ounces11.18
Swing Weight Calculated329
Power, RDC50
Control, RDC50
Manueverability, RDC75
Power, Calculated 1973.2
Head Points10.16 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %45.3%
Center of Percussion21.4
Dwell Time, ms8.91
Efective Stiffness - lbs28.2
K, Lb/In163.4
Recoil Weight167.4
Twist Weight235.1
End Weight 148.6
Tip Weight 192/0
9 O'Clock99.5
3 O'Clock97.2
Butt Cap143.5

Tecnifibre T-Flash 285

As I was working on this racquet I am thinking about the category in which this will be placed by me, and others probably, and I need to put it in the “game improvement” category!

Typically “game improvement” racquets are very large, ultra light, head heavy, and stiff!  The T-Flash falls into this category because it is stiff!  None of the other characteristics apply!

This racquet has a stiffness of RDC 70!  This compares to the Wilson Ultra, and the Babolat Pure Drive, except it is not as heavy as either of those racquets.

To me the weight is an issue that can be remedied, and the very open string pattern mitigates the stiffness and keeps the effective stiffness below 30.

If you are considering a “power” oriented racquet this one should be on the list!

Adding Ashaway MonoGut ZX string to the mix assures the player of comfortable hitting!

Take a look at the specifications… then hit with it!

ManufacturerTecnifibre
Racquet ModelTecnifibre T-Flash 285
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Ashaway MonoGut ZX
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC51
ASPS, FlexFour68
Racquet Flex, RDC70 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour56
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness413.8 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams315
Weight, Ounces11.11

Balance, mm336
Balance, Inch13.23
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.968
Head Width9.57
Head Length12.92
Head Area, cm2626.4
Head Area, Sq. Inch97.1
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.624
Main String Grid7.75
Cross String Grid10.31
Density (% of head filled with string).823
Average Cross String Space.543
Average Main String Space.484
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.7
First Moment, Nm.822
Polar Moment330
Torsional Stability14
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2316
Swing Weight, Ounces11.15
Swing Weight Calculated355
Power, RDC56
Control, RDC45
Manueverability, RDC76
Power, Calculated 2147.6
Head Points2.05 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %49.1%
Center of Percussion20.7
Dwell Time, ms8.91
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.5
K, Lb/In163.4
Recoil Weight142.9
Twist Weight216.4
End Weight 113.0
Tip Weight 197.1
9 O'Clock95.7
3 O'Clock99.1
Butt Cap115.2

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