The Extreme MP is Back!

The very popular Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP is back in stock! This racquet is one of the best all-around racquets that we have seen in a while!  They are hard to keep in stock!

Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP

In addition to the stock models, we also have Extreme MP for full custom racquet set up, so whatever you want! Stock or custom!

But hurry…

This racquet does not stick around long!

Looking at the Differences

 

For the past fifteen (15) years or so, most string discussion centered on polyester. By now, you know our position on polyester, so we won’t go through that again right now. What we will go through right now is the difference(s) in a polyester string!

PET, polyethylene terephthalate, is the standard “material” in the better quality polyester string, so how can there be so many different versions of the same material?

Can you say “additives”? Luxilon has made it part of their brand to use acronyms for materials in each string’s description. ALU, for example, is aluminum, Timo is titanium/molybdenum, and I don’t know what 4G is.

So let’s take a look at the differences in a couple of polyester stings. Shown here are two (2) polyester strings, Luxilon ALU Power and Volkl V-Star. You can see the difference in stiffness between them, the V-Star being “softer,” but what you can’t see is the V-Star package does not say “co-polyester” but instead Co-Polymer!

Polyester? Co-Polyester? Co-Polymer?

We know “co” is two or more and “poly” is many, so how many of anything does any material have in it? We may never know and probably shouldn’t care as long as we have the presented data.

What can we see from this graph?

  • ALU Power reaches 50 lbs quicker (stiffer)
  • ALU Power exhibits good elasticity
  • V-Star is more linear (consistency)
  • V-Star has a greater tensile strength
  • V-Star is softer (takes longer to reach 50 lbs)

How would a player know this by just looking a the package? I am not sure! Adding the word “soft” or “comfort” or “feel” may persuade a player to try the string, but what if a better decision could be made before spending the time and money? 

No graph or chart will take the place of proper racquet stringing and setup, but it may help provide some needed information!

Head Graphene 360+ Radical S v21

From our perspective the Radical S should be one of the most used of the Radical Series!

Head Graphene 360+ Radical S

Why?  The 102 square inch head size is optimum for players looking for additional power,( and who isn’t) in a legitimate players racquet.  We say “legitimate” because this racquet can be turned into any thing you want, now or in the future!

As you will see in the specifications this is not a really stiff racquet so it will be easy for many players to customize the string bed to suit current playing style with an eye toward becoming a more aggressive player, or not!

The Radical S continues with the “control pattern” and “sound grommets”.  We are not totally certain what the “sound grommets” do but sound is frequency and frequency can be felt so maybe the grommets are damping out some of the higher frequencies?

Anyway, this Radical S model is a great step into the “performance” racquet arena with plenty of room to grow!

 

Head Graphene 360+ Radical S v21
ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Radical S v21
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 k
String: Main/Cross
Victrex 7718
Machine UsedTT Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC55
ASPS, FlexFour61.5
Racquet Flex, RDC61 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour50
Weight, Grams296
Weight, Ounces10.44
Balance, mm333
Balance, Inch13.11
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.968
Head Width9.860
Head Length13.09
Head Area, cm2653.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch101.3
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip22, 25, 23
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In370.4 Lbs/In
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm66.2 Kg/cm





Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.634
Main String Grid7.30
Cross String Grid9.75
Density (% of head filled with string).703
Average Cross String Space.513
Average Main String Space.449
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.8
First Moment, Nm.764
Polar Moment320
Torsional Stability17
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2303
Swing Weight, Ounces10.69
Swing Weight Calculated328
Power, RDC42
Control, RDC60
Manueverability, RDC85
Power, Calculated 1873.1
Head Points2.99 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %48.6%
Center of Percussion21.2
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.58
Effective Stiffness - lbs28.9
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC176.28
Recoil Weight144.50
Twist Weight214.65
End Weight113.1
Tip Weight183.4
Total Weight296.5
9 O'Clock92.1
3 O'Clock91.8
Butt Cap112.2
Total Weight296.1

Head Graphene 360+ Radical Series Comparative Data

For 2021 there are Three (3) Radical Models!

Click Here to See Radical Series Comparison Data

Radical MP v21

A Close Look at Orange

The new, for 2021, Head Graphene 360+ Radical series is a radical step into colors that have always been the “mark” of the Radical Series but now it has gone even further into radicalism!

We think that is a good thing!  Why mess around with just a little orange when you can go all out!

It is impossible to see the vibrancy of this orange without holding it in your hand!  We invite to to hold one in your hand and even hit with it!

The Radical MP has been the most popular model over the years.  This model has all the attributes of the Pro without the added weight, (which can be added later if needed)!

The thin beam carries over to the MP and Pro while the S has a slightly wider beam.

The S model fits the very necessary range of 102 square inch racquets because Head has, correctly, reduced the number of head sizes per model.  The Speed series has the 100 square inch head size very well covered.

You will see all the specifications on each individual review that will be posted shortly.

 

 

 

Head Graphene 360+ Radical Pro

Head Graphene 360+ Radical S

Head Graphene 360+ Radical Pro v21

As you would expect the Radical Pro is the heaviest of the Radical Series, but only by a few grams!  What!  When we talk about grams to some players it might as well be angstroms or something like that.  What the heck is a gram?  For many in the US market is still “Talk to me in ounces, please!”

OK, there are 454 grams in a pound and 16 ounces in a pound.  If I said a racquet weighs 285 grams what would you think?  Or, if I said the racquet weighs 10 ounces which sounds better if you are weight averse?

A cup of coffee weighs over 500 grams!

OK, the Radical Pro weighs 13 grams more than the Radical MP so how many ounces is that?

Enough of this stuff!  However, it is important to know what weight is and how it can be a significant factor in your playing.  Weight is your friend!

As you will see in the following specifications a lot depends on how the weight is distributed throughout the racquet.

Head Graphene 360+ Radical Pro

Here is a little hint; take a look at the swing weight of the MP and the Pro and tell me what you see.

The Radical Pro has the “sound grommets’ and the “control pattern” for those concerned with string spacing, and that should be many of you.  String spacing can have a profound affect on durability and playability.

The enlarged circle was intended to show the elongated grommets which allow the string to move and effectively be a little longer meaning more energy return.

Head Graphene 360+ Radical Pro v21
ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Radical Pro v21
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 k
String: Main/Cross
Victrex 7718
Machine UsedTT Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC54
ASPS, FlexFour63.5
Racquet Flex, RDC63 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour53
Weight, Grams328
Weight, Ounces11.57
Balance, mm321
Balance, Inch12.64
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.968
Head Width9.627
Head Length12.80
Head Area, cm2624.3
Head Area, Sq. Inch96.8
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip20, 23, 21
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In400.0 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm71.5 Kg/cm

Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.633
Main String Grid7.25
Cross String Grid9.40
Density (% of head filled with string).688
Average Cross String Space.490
Average Main String Space.445
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.8
First Moment, Nm.808
Polar Moment324
Torsional Stability14
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2310
Swing Weight, Ounces10.93
Swing Weight Calculated338
Power, RDC47
Control, RDC54
Manueverability, RDC80
Power, Calculated 1889.7
Head Points6.77 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %46.9%
Center of Percussion20.8
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.66
Effective Stiffness - lbs29.1
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC173.06
Recoil Weight152.11
Twist Weight227.78
End Weight136.1
Tip Weight191.5
Total Weight327.6
9 O'Clock98.8
3 O'Clock97.5
Butt Cap131.3
Total Weight327.6

Head Graphene 360+ Radical MP v21

Well, this is one way to get 2021 of to a great start!  This eye popping Radical will certainly add excitement to your life!

This is truly orange with capitol O!  You simply need to see this racquet to really appreciate the color.

Radical MP v21

But, color aside, this racquet continues the Radical silo of aggressive racquets for the aggressive player, or those that want to be!

This review is the MP which has been one of the most popular models over the years and I am happy to say they have not messed it up as is so often the case when introducing new products!  This is a real Radical racquet!

A couple of things really stand out.  First the string pattern is more dense in the center of the racquet by a small amount which allows for a more open pattern at the periphery for more comfort.

The top eight (8) grommets are on a separate insert and they are “straight” instead of radial.

The addition of “sound grommets” is intended to enhance power via greater string movement. and optimize sound and vibrations.

And the “in plane” stiffness is a little lower meaning the string bed stiffness may be slightly less at the same reference tension, also contributing to comfort.

If you are looking for a high performance tennis racquet that has room for some weight as you require it, this is the one.  If you already need more weight that will be the Radical Pro that will be reviewed next.

 

Head Graphene 360+ Radical MP V21
ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Radical MP V21
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 k
String: Main/Cross
Victrex 7718
Machine UsedTT Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC55
ASPS, FlexFour67
Racquet Flex, RDC63 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour50
Weight, Grams315
Weight, Ounces11.11
Balance, mm330
Balance, Inch12.99
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.968
Head Width9.625
Head Length12.81
Head Area, cm2624.7
Head Area, Sq. Inch96.8
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip20, 23, 21
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In382.2 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm68.3 Kg/cm

Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.633
Main String Grid7.13
Cross String Grid9.31
Density (% of head filled with string).677
Average Cross String Space.484
Average Main String Space.445
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.8
First Moment, Nm.803
Polar Moment330
Torsional Stability17
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2313
Swing Weight, Ounces11.04
Swing Weight Calculated343
Power, RDC46
Control, RDC55
Manueverability, RDC78
Power, Calculated 1909.3
Head Points3.94 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %48.2%
Center of Percussion20.9
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.58
Effective Stiffness - lbs29.4
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC176.28
Recoil Weight148.6
Twist Weight218.8
End Weight125.1
Tip Weight190.7
Total Weight329.2
9 O'Clock96.8
3 O'Clock96.7
Butt Cap120.0
Total Weight313.5

 

Questron Update!

Questron has been operational at the World Headquarters of Racquet Quest for a few weeks and it is time to acknowledge the benefit of having Questron and the ones that made it possible!

Dr, Rich Zarda and Shenghong Zhang are responsible for actually getting it done!  Dr. Zarda was instrumental in determining what need to be tested and Shane actually did the assembly and programming of the UI!  An extraordinary effort by both!

Our good friend JC Carpentier at Tennis machines in St. Louis pitched in with the perfect string connection points which make Questron function in a way that does not stress the string at the connection points.  We want the string to fail (break) in the middle.  Thank you, JC!

So, all I have to do is insert the test string and watch!  The image below is a graph recorded for each string that is tested, and two (2) strings can be overlayed to see the difference between them.

This graph was just pulled at random so you can see the output.

This information is incredibly helpful and will become even more helpful as the database grows.

My sincere thank you to everyone that got this done!

 

Connector

A Rarity …Continued

It is fun to have these fairly rare racquets to work on and get back into playing condition!  We will report on each of them as we go through the setup procedure, and note any differences that we find.

We will try to compare some of the specifications to current or “recently current” racquets to see how far we have come…or not!

A few things stand out right away:

  • The racquet is nearly 28 inches long (71.1cm)
  • The racquet is very flexible in (RDC48) and out (285.7) of plane
  • The racquet has a straight thin (21mm) beam
  • The racquet is (was) made in Austria

Head Radical Tour OS - Austria 
ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Radical Tour OS - Austria
Reference Tension58 lbs - 26.3 k
String: Main/Cross
Polyester
Machine UsedTT Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC64
ASPS, FlexFour63
Racquet Flex, RDC48 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour44
Weight, Grams352
Weight, Ounces12.42
Balance, mm329
Balance, Inch12.95
Length, Cm71.1
Length, Inch27.992
Head Width10.23
Head Length13.43
Head Area, cm2695.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch107.9
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip21, 21, 21
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In285.7 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm51.1 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.721
Main String Grid7.81
Cross String Grid10.12
Density (% of head filled with string).733
Average Cross String Space.533
Average Main String Space.434
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.94
First Moment, Nm.894
Polar Moment389
Torsional Stability20
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2369
Swing Weight, Ounces13.03
Swing Weight Calculated381
Power, RDC36
Control, RDC66
Manueverability, RDC41
Power, Calculated 2063.3
Head Points8.35 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %46.3%
Center of Percussion22.0
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing7.96
Effective Stiffness - lbs27.4
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC205.13
Recoil Weight186.9
Twist Weight273.6
End Weight139.3
Tip Weight213.3
Total Weight352.6
9 O'Clock106.3
3 O'Clock106.0
Butt Cap140.7
Total Weight353

 

 

Consistency. What Does It Look Like?

Consistency!

Consistency is a component of almost every successful thing we do each day!

But, what does it look like? Well since this is a tennis centric post it will look like this:

What you are looking at is identical racquets, identical string, identical failure location!

If you find the very end of each string you will see how consistent this failure location is.

This string is a high elongation material so will notice that the ends of the broken strings are very far apart.

This is a good thing since it (elongation) contributes to comfort and power when hitting the ball.

This consistency may be why this player has a UTR of 13.3!

This failure location indicates the player is striking the ball with consistency!  That many explain the UTR of 13.3!

What else does this failure location show us?

  • Most impacts are not in the center of the racquet.
  • The string spacing in this area is a little more “open” which may “catch” the ball and contribute to rotation.
  • There are more strings for the ball to “roll” over before leaving the racquet which may contribute to rotation.

Consistency is important in everything we do.  Visualize it like the string bed of this racquet and try to hit the same spot each time you do something…anything!

 

See What We are Talking About?

If you have been listening to the Racquet Quest Podcast you know we have talked about what to NOT accept when you pick up your newly strung racquet.

We know it is hard to visualize sometimes so these pictures are posted to give you a visual aid!  This is the very same string!  One could conclude from these images that the person responsible for these knots has not had any training at all.  It makes you wonder how good the rest of the string job is!

Bad Knot

In the interest of improving all stringing, please do not accept this kind of work.  

The image below shows the “dreaded” crossover!  This is not only a potential string damaging error it indicates a lack of skill, or understanding, of doing a good job!

Of course, mistakes do happen but it is the responsibility of the stringer, in this case, to correct the mistake before the client comes to collect their racquet!

Be Prepared!

Be Prepared!

It sure sounds simple but is it?  Not really!  When talking about tennis preparedness that means having enough racquets ready for the tournament,  organizing training sessions, plenty of shirts, shoes, and socks, of course!

But, what’s missing?

Your string is missing!  Sure, you have done a great job of getting your racquets ready but I don’t see several sets of the string you use in the bag!  Why not?  You may believe they will have it at the tournament site, and, if you are using a commodity string, you may be right!

But what if you’re using a high performance string that is set up for your playing style?

  1. Take a few sets of your preferred string with you.  I prefer sets over reels but that is up to you.
  2. Tell the stringer exactly what you want.  That means knowing what you want so be prepared!
  3. Request that your racquet be strung using two (2) pieces of string and the cross strings be started at the top of the racquet.  No exceptions!  No ATW’s, No natural one-piece, simply two pieces top to bottom!

Know how to identify the correct stringing procedure!

Know how to identify the correct stringing procedure and don’t accept anything that is not up to your standards!

Most qualified stingers will appreciate your input and do the proper job for you!

Today a racquet came in that was strung at a tournament that missed the mark!  One-piece ATW, sloppy knots, distorted head shape, and a string that is not used by the player!

That is why we are posting this… “Be Prepared”

 

What’s in a Name!

In this particular case, it is the name “Roger Federer” and the racquet that carries his name, or just about!

When you hear about the Wilson Pro Staff 97 his name comes to mind as well as the thought “I can’t possibly play with his racquet”.  Well, maybe not but there is really good news!

You don’t have to play with “his” racquet to get the benefits of the Pro Staff concept!

The Wilson Pro Staff 97, V13, is that racquet you have been looking for if you want:

  1. The really good overall weight of 339 grams (11.9 ounces)
  2. The very easy to handle swing weight of 314 (11.1 ounces)
  3. A reasonable stiffness of 64 RDC

Only the sharpest of eyes will notice the subtle differences between this racquet and that RF97 Autograph.

This Pro Staff returns to the classic Pro Staff accent colors of red and yellow.  The red butt cap is a small concession to the lighter racquet with it’s more hand-friendly smooth edges.

We are certain you know a lot about the Pro Staff series so look at the specifications then try the demo!

Wilson Pro Staff 97, V13 
ManufacturerWilson
Racquet ModelWilson Pro Staff 97, V13
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 k
String: Main/Cross
MonoGut ZX Pro
Machine UsedTT Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC51
ASPS, FlexFour61
Racquet Flex, RDC64 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour49
Weight, Grams339
Weight, Ounces11.96
Balance, mm317
Balance, Inch12.48
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.968
Head Width9.625
Head Length12.77
Head Area, cm2622.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch96.5
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip22, 22, 22
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In468 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm212 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.635
Main String Grid7.40
Cross String Grid10.51
Density (% of head filled with string).779
Average Cross String Space.546
Average Main String Space.453
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.8
First Moment, Nm.821
Polar Moment330
Torsional Stability16
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2314
Swing Weight, Ounces11.08
Swing Weight Calculated340.7
Power, RDC51
Control, RDC49
Manueverability, RDC77
Power, Calculated 1940.2
Head Points8.03 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %46.3%
Center of Percussion20.7
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.91
Effective Stiffness - lbs28.4
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC163.46
Recoil Weight157.6
Twist Weight235.6
End Weight144.5
Tip Weight194.3
Total Weight338.8
9 O'Clock97.6
3 O'Clock98.4
Butt Cap141.6
Total Weight337.6

Let’s Get Serious!

If you listen to the Racquet Quest podcasts you will recognize this statement!

So, why are we posting it on the website if it is already a podcast?  Because it is serious! A racquet came in today that reminded me of why we started GASP!  The stringing is so awful that I can’t keep myself from writing this!

The owner of the racquet does not remember at which tournament it was strung otherwise we could contact them and offer some suggestions!

Why is this racquet so bad?

  • Inconsistent tension across the string bed
    • The accuracy index is 65!
  • Virtually no tension in the top cross string…because
    • The racquet was strung from the bottom up plus the poor knot
  • Stringing of the crosses started at the bottom (starting X at the top is highly recommended)
  • Tie offs on the wrong holes
    • 8M is better
  • Cross over at the lower side
    • Probably due to the wrong tie off
  • One-piece format
    • Inconsistent string tension
  • Bad tie off knots

Take a look at these images and promise me that you will never pay for a stringing that has these errors!

Why is it so hard to do a better job when stringing a tennis racquet?  In this case, it appears the stringer has no training.  There are errors no competent stringer would make!  But, until players refuse to accept this shoddy work it will continue!

Why “demo” a Racquet?

We have had this discussion before, but it needs repeating periodically!

Why? Because players are not, in some cases, getting what they want but thought they were. And whose fault, or oversight, is that? The racquet dealer, the player, advertising, or just bad luck?

The first order of business is defining what you are looking for in a new racquet!

I say it is the “demo” process in general!  As we have discussed before the demo racquet your receive from online or even a local store is probably not set up for you!  So you are “demoing” something that may not be even close to what you want or need!  This can be costly!

Probably more costly than demoing a racquet that is set up for you!  It will cost at least one stringing of the string of your choice…your choice, not anyone else’s choice!  The tension will be what you want, not anyone else.  The weight and swing weight will be set up for you, not anyone else…so you see where this is going!  Spending $50.00 may save you $100’s if a “poor” selection is made!

Hit with your demo racquet at least three (3 sessions!

After you have had the demo racquet set up for you it is important that you try it as many times as possible, but at least three (3) sessions.

The objective of a demo program is to get the correct racquet for you so take advantage of the “set up” opportunity!

 

 

Bolt 98L

The Bolt Racquet Series is back and in a very good way!

In case you don’t remember the Bolt racquets incorporate a patented Zip Strip that sits between the racquet and the string that mitigates the stiffness of the string bed somewhat.

I mention this because the In-Plane stiffness number you will see in the review shows a single number, and in fact for testing devices that number will be nearly the same with and without the Zip Strip interaction.

The Zip Strip will produce an “effective” hitting area larger than the measured racquet head size.

https://www.boltadvance.com

Bolt 98L, V2 
ManufacturerBolt
Racquet ModelBolt 98L, V2
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 k
String: Main/Cross
Head Lynx/Head Reflex
Machine UsedBabolat Racket Station
Static
ASPS, RDC60
ASPS, FlexFour67.5
Racquet Flex, RDC61 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour36
Weight, Grams318.2
Weight, Ounces11.22
Balance, mm333
Balance, Inch13.11
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.581
Head Length12.75
Head Area, cm2618.7
Head Area, Sq. Inch95.94
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip23.5, 22.7, 22.2
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In454 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm178.7 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.654
Main String Grid7.312
Cross String Grid9.562
Density (% of head filled with string).644
Average Cross String Space.481
Average Main String Space.446
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT38
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in212.54
First Moment, Nm.823
Polar Moment355
Torsional Stability18
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2337
Swing Weight, Ounces11.89
Swing Weight Calculated353.7
Power, RDC48
Control, RDC52
Manueverability, RDC62
Power, Calculated 2024.7
Head Points3.15 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %48.5%
Center of Percussion21.8
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.21
Effective Stiffness - lbs24.4
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC192.31
Recoil Weight166.19
Twist Weight237.83
End Weight124.1
Tip Weight195.9
Total Weight332.3
9 O'Clock96.0
3 O'Clock99.8
Butt Cap117.9
Total Weight318.2

 

What’s New?

We have had a “sneak peek” at some new tennis racquet models that will be arriving early in 2021!  Typically, we can’t divulge a lot of the details yet but suffice it to say these are exciting models!

But let’s back up a minute and talk about new racquets that are here, or should be here, or will be here soon!  The new Wilson Pro Staff series had a delivery date of September 28, 2020.  They are way behind!  If you are waiting for a new Pro Staff…we are sorry!  Who knows what happened, but it is not good when the expected deliveries are not met!

Do you think that Wilson going “direct” has anything to do with this shipping delay?

The new Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph will change only to the Pro Staff colors of red and yellow stripes; the Pro Staff RF 97 will get a new grip pallet and butt cap setup that is intended to be easier on the hand.

The new Tecnifibre RS Series offers some interesting geometric concepts that continue their push for more player traction.

The new Head Graphene 360+ Radical Series retains the classic Radical Orange, but this one is “in your face orange”!  Awesome!  A cool gray shaft and grip temper this orange!

The Radical MP that we have seen has a few changes in shape and dimensions, and in fact, it is a different racquet than the past years.  The head shape is more “round” by a slight amount, and the beam cross-section is different.  The beam height is slightly less than the previous version, but the stiffness remains nearly the same.  The shape of the “yoke” section is a little deeper and slightly wider at the junction of the head.

The new Radical has a “slicker” aerodynamic grommet system, for, no doubt, greater head speed to go with the “spin” friendly grommets!

And, the Radical Series has been scaled back to three (3) models!  The Radical Pro, the Radical MP, and the Radical S.  The Radical S is 102 square inches and the Pro and MP are 98 square inches.

The Head Graphene 360+Gravity has been a top seller and therefore is only getting a “cosmetic” make-over!  The Hot Lava and Teal are being replaced by very interesting blue and yellow graphics!  They look really good!

The Head Graphene 360+ Speed is staying the same but will add a black edition to the mix!  It seems Novak likes black better than black and white so there will be a “black”  in early 2021!

Don’t forget the Head Instinct “Effortless Power” series!  It continues in a new color scheme, still blue and blue but in a more Head consistent pattern.

This week we will be getting the new demo racquets setup for your evaluation…if all goes well!

It is reassuring to know even in this time of uncertainty that racquet companies continue to produce great products that can, and will, help many players stay in the game!

 

The “Questron” has Arrived!

If you have been following Racquet Quest online and with the podcast, you know we are very fond of data!  In keeping with that “fondness,” we have received our newest testing device, which I have named “Questron.”

During the last week, we have spent time getting Questron set up to do the kinds of testing we think is important for the tennis player, the racquet technician, and anyone else that cares about numbers!

It will be about another week before posting any data because we are “tweaking” some connection points, cycle settings, and refining the data’s graphing.

We have over 400 strings to test; however, we will eliminate many of those strings not relevant to today’s tennis player.

Let us know if there is a string you are particularly interested in. If we have it, we will test it!

Even in the “testing” phase, we are discovering interesting facts about strings that will help us put together the best setup for you!

This is the “base” Questron.  Future versions of this device will incorporate the “Power Potential,” “In-Plane Stiffness,” and “Dynamic Stiffness” testing that is currently done on other equipment.

New Direction = New Opportunities!

This changes everything!


Our new direction has created some extraordinary opportunities! You will not only get great prices you will also receive our dedicated high performance racquet setup!

We see players that get a “great” price, which is good, but too many times the racquet and setup are not contributing to the “value”.

If you are in the market for a racquet upgrade, or even “maybe”, these are too good to pass up!

“It is about time we get something this good!”

More racquets will be added soon so check back often!

Buy Direct?

As any business knows by now, there is a new way to do business regardless of what they are selling, and tennis racquets are no exception!

For several years players have been able to buy “special” racquets from some manufacturers. These racquets were typically unique graphics. The price of these racquets was, also, usually a bit more than “retail’ products.

Now, however, Wilson is making their “Pro” series racquets available through wilson.com, only. These racquets are what the cognoscenti refer to as “pro stock” racquets.

I think it is a good idea!

Why? Because so many players wanted “special” racquets and were paying exorbitant prices for racquets that may or may not be what they thought they were buying! We know because we see them!

Buying direct is one reason we have modified our model slightly by offering to a greater extent “custom” racquets. This way, you know what you are getting, exactly! I believe this will be the case with the Wilson Pro Series as well.

I believe it will not be far that more tennis racquet companies do the “direct” thing; however, “scale” is the issue and stringing and racquet setup. Some companies don’t have the resources for that, yet, so online sellers will still have some action, I think.

If you have a racquet technician you trust, purchase the racquet “direct” but have it set up locally. I think that is a winning combination!

Let us know what you think about buying directly from the racquet brand instead of online or locally.

 

 

 

Jack is Headed to France!

Many of our readers know Jack Anthrop, but I will tell you a little about him just in case you don’t.

Jack Anthrop

We started working for Jack about six (6) years ago, at which time he switched to Ashaway MonoGut ZX. Since that time, Jack has progressed at a stunning rate, now with a UTR of 13.26!

Jack is using the Head PT113B Speed custom racquet and now a new fiber made by Victrex, a UK company that specializes in PEEK materials for high-performance applications which is the Ashaway MonoGut ZX and ZX Pro material.

 

 

But, the big news is Jack is headed to Paris, the one in France, to play in the French Open Juniors! Jack and his partner, Max McKennon from California, are in the main draw doubles!

Jack has a great chance to be in the main draw singles as well.

Max McKennon

 

Congratulations to Jack and Max on this great accomplishment!

Why is My Butt Cap Loose?

Butt caps are the things at the end of your racquet that creates a flared area that fits your hand to add control to your shots.

The butt cap is usually a tight fit to the grip pallet, but manufacturers drive heavy duty staples through the butt cap into the foam grip pallet to make sure it is secure.

Over time, especially with players who hold the racquet at the very end, the butt cap may become loose.

Why is my butt cap loose?

But, why is my butt cap loose?  This picture shows why it is loose!

The pallet has broken due to the stress of the staples and player gripping way, way low on the pallet.

Loose butt caps are not uncommon and can be repaired with success if given the time! Time is required because the repair will involve the use of two-part epoxy. This mixture needs to cure for several hours to be sure it will last.

The alternative, and one we use when we can, is to replace the entire grip pallet.

When we do this, we use only epoxy to secure the butt cap—no staples in most cases.

So the next time your butt cap feels loose, don’t panic. A repair can be made in most cases.

House Cleaning!

Every once in a while Racquet Quest decides to do a little house cleaning and that means opening boxes that have not been open for a long time!

And surprise!  We find a lot of really interesting and exciting tennis racquets!  Most of these have been on the Racquet Museum site but now it is time for them to find a new place to hang out!

Most of these racquets are new!  Many have been strung for evaluation purposes but have not been played with!  All of the racquets will be fitted with a new grip.  All the racquets will come with the string that is now in the racquet, unless new stringing is requested.  All racquets are sold “as is”.  Most of them are new, but the string may be several years old.  There will not be any “junk” offered, just good racquets!

Racquet BrandModelHead SizeGrip SizeStringConditionPrice
Wilson nCode n11155NXT16New200.00
Weed125 Tour EXT1253Weed Synthetic GutNew50.00
Weed135 Open Tour1353ALU Power RoughNew50.00
Weed125 X-One 251253Weed Synthetic GutNew50.00
PrinceTour 100 18x201003NoneNew150.00
PrinceEXO Warrior 1001002Prince Premier AttackNew
150.00
PrinceEXO Red 1051053Prince Premier LTNew125.00
Prince EXO Blue1103Prince Premier LTNew125.00
PrinceEXO Rebel Team 98983Prince Premier/Beast HybridNew150.00
PrinceEXO Rebel 98983Prince Premier/Beast HybridNew200.00
PrinceEXO Rebel 95953Prince BeastNew200.00
HeadSpeed LTD Edition XT1004NoneNew100.00
HeadInstinct MP XT1002NoneNew100.00
HeadGraphene Instinct PWR1153PPS 17New 150.00
HeadGraphene Touch Radical PWR1103FXP 16New 150.00
DunlopAeroGel Smoke1005Silk 17New 100.00
DunlopM-Fil 3 Hundred985NoneNew150.00

Full Custom Racquets in Video

We want to have a discussion of “Full Custom Racquets” and this to be the best we can do at the moment!

Full custom components

Click on  Full Custom Racquet to see the short video, and thank you for watching!

We believe this is an exciting step forward in specialized tennis racquets and preparation.

We are anxious to hear your thoughts on this move to better racquets for everyone…especially you!

 

Full Custom Racquets!

Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP/Tecnifibre RPX

Normally our racquet reviews are when a racquet is brand new; however, this is a case where the updated string, RPX, from Tecnifibre is an excellent opportunity to add another review to the site!

There are some excellent reasons to review the same racquet again with different string or tension settings.

  •  It allows us to evaluate new strings for comparison purposes.
  •  It will enable the player to demo the same Racquet with a different string.
  • The string can affect the overall weight to a small degree but significantly impact swing weight.

For example, this racquet with Victrex 7718 PEEK string (15.9grams installed) has a swing weight of 318. With the new Tecnifibre RPX (18.0 grams installed), the swing weight is 325. That is not huge, but it is different.

Lead tape, commonly used to increase swing weight, weighs in at 2.8 grams for 12 inches! So, slightly over 2 grams of additional string weight in the strung area contribute to the difference between these strings.

Of course, this also means that swing weight can be reduced, somewhat, by using lighter string! We weigh all of the string we test for Power Potential, so we know which string can benefit either swing weight preference.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Gravity MP
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 k
String
Tecnifibre RPX 16
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC53
ASPS, FlexFour62
Racquet Flex, RDC59 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour54
Weight, Grams322
Weight, Ounces11.36
Balance, mm337
Balance, Inch13.27
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.92
Head Length12.85
Head Area, cm2645
Head Area, Sq. Inch100

Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip22, 22, 22
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In381.0
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm68.12
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.617
Main String Grid7.75
Cross String Grid10.37
Density (% of head filled with string).784
Average Cross String Space.480
Average Main String Space.520
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT36
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in201.35
First Moment, Nm.843
Polar Moment339
Torsional Stability14
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2325
Swing Weight, Ounces11.46
Swing Weight Calculated365.7
Power, RDC46
Control, RDC56
Manueverability, RDC70
Power, Calculated 1938.8
Head Points1.89 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %49.1%
Center of Percussion20.7
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.74
Effective Stiffness - lbs27.9
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC169.87
Recoil Weight146.57
Twist Weight236.38
End Weight 119.8
Tip Weight 202.2
Total Weight Check
322
9 O'Clock102.3
3 O'Clock101.4
Butt Cap117.9
Total Weight Check321.6

What is UTR?

UTR is “Universal Tennis Rating” and it is the new standard in terms of player ratings based on match play. The range is 0 to 16.6.  UTR has taken the place of the NTRP system that was sort of self-rating system.  UTR is powered by the algorithmic genii at Oracle.

Guess who has the highest UTR right now at 16.14?

I mention the UTR because it is asked on our “Easy Order” system as a way to help determine what we can do for you.  This is important for racquet and string selection but it is OK if you don’t know your UTR.  We will figure it out!

Click here to learn more about the UTR system.

Tecnifibre Makes a Move!

Does Tecnifibre have the “answer”…again?

We all know Tecnifibre for its terrific multi-filament strings that set the bar for strings of the material and construction.  Several years ago Tecnifibre introduced a string that was intended to be arm friendly to counter the increased use of very stiff string.

Since that time Tecnifibre has gotten into the polyester string arena in a big way but they have not forgotten the player that needs a more comfortable string.

Not long ago Tecnifibre introduced Duramix 16 and 17 gauge string.  As the name implies there were a couple of fibers used to create a stiffer but still comfortable string.  We have used, very successfully, the Duramix 16 and 17.  This is a great option for juniors that need some durability without sacrificing their arms.

Now Tecnifibre has introduced Triax!  Is Triax the new “answer?”

Triax will replace the Duramix name but deliver the same or better performance and comfort.

Take a look at the String Characteristic Data to see how these new Tecnifibre strings stack up!

 

 

BYOS?

Bring Your Own String!

This post is a brief explanation of why we do not, normally, string a tennis racquet with string supplied by the customer.

  1. The string may not be suitable for the player or racquet.
  2. The string is not in good condition.
  3. The string package is damaged so the condition of the string is unknown.
  4. The string reel is tangled which requires a great deal of time to untangle.
  5.  There is normally no cost savings.

We do, however, keep client supplied string at the World Headquarters for those clients that buy it.  The string is owned by the client and can be taken for off site tournament use.

The number of different strings and brands that make it impossible to keep an adequate supply of all of them without knowing they are going to be used!

Of course there are cases that are not categorized above.  The client can go to the “Easy Order” tab on this site and add information to the form which clarifies the string, racquet, and condition.

We can take a look and make a decision based on that information.

The BYOS stringing cost is $30.00.  This cost is subject to actual review of the string and racquet.

Racquet Quest keeps a very broad and deep selection of the best possible strings from many brands.

 

Head Extreme Tour

Head is, I believe, going to expose and promote the Extreme Series to a greater extent than before.

Why do I think that?  Because I am holding in my very own hands a Head Extreme Tour!  This 98 square inch racquet continues the Graphene 360+ technology which has become popular in the last several releases of Head Racquets!

The new Extreme series will be shipping in July so we can’t show many pictures except the all-black version I am holding.

Head Extreme Tour

The other Extreme models will be:

Extreme MP – 100 square inch head size, 300 gram

Extreme S – 105 square inch head size, 275 gram

Extreme Lite – 105 square inch head, 265 gram

Extreme PWR – 115 square inch head, 230 gram

Extreme Jr – 100 square inch head, 240 gram

All of this series continues the “extreme” optic yellow colorway but it is now complemented by a really nice grey upper shaft and hoop!  The optic yellow grip may be over the top but that is easily changed.

The Extreme Tour is fitted with a TK82S grip pallet for a comfortable rounder feeling.

Take a look at the specs here:

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Extreme Tour
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC52
ASPS, FlexFour63.5
Racquet Flex, RDC62 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour40
Weight, Grams320
Weight, Ounces11.29
Balance, mm323
Balance, Inch12.72
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.59
Head Length12.87
Head Area, cm2625.1
Head Area, Sq. Inch96.9
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip22, 23, 21
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In359.5 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm 163.0 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.627
Main String Grid7.12
Cross String Grid9.63
Density (% of head filled with string).708
Average Cross String Space.507
Average Main String Space.445
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.76
First Moment, Nm.794
Polar Moment322
Torsional Stability16
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2306
Swing Weight, Ounces10.79
Swing Weight Calculated333.9
Power, RDC47
Control, RDC55
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 1856.5
Head Points6.30 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %47.1%
Center of Percussion20.8
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.62
Effective Stiffness - lbs28.3
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC166.67
Recoil Weight149.14
Twist Weight220.52
End Weight 132.8
Tip Weight 190.4
9 O'Clock Position96.6
3 O'Clock Position98.3
Butt Cap Position126.3

 

Know Your String!

Several years ago, when we were beginning to increase the use of Ashaway MonoGut ZX and ZX Pro, it was not unusual to get a call from a client saying, “my coach says I should not be using polyester!” We could not agree more, and you are not using polyester!

You are using PEEK polymer! This string material was, and still is, referred to as Zyex with polymer production capabilities of Victrex in England.

Given the appearance of MonoGut ZX, Babolat Origin, and a few other non-polyester monofilament strings, it is not easy to distinguish these from stiffer polyester material strings. So know your string!

Single strand (monofilament) strings will have a gleaming surface unless they have been through a “roughing” process. So will monofilament strings of different materials. It is hard to tell just by looking, and that is what can create some confusion on behalf of the coach and subsequently, the player. So know your string!

If your racquet technician does not put a label on the racquet that identifies the material (or string), then be sure to ask what material you are using. The material choices may be natural gut, Zyex (PEEK), Nylon, and Polyester. The string construction may be referred to as a monofilament, multi-filament, single wrap, etc. however, the material will probably be one of these four.

Know your string! If you are unsure, contact your racquet technician or “Ask John” on this site, and we will try to help.

 

Weight is Your Friend!

If you have been following the Racquet Quest Podcast you know how much we rely on weight to mitigate some poor shot execution or physical issues!

So, don’t be surprised if that position continues for a while!  It is majorly important now that we are beginning to play (openly) again!

It is not clear to me why some players object to even discussing weight let alone add it to their racquet!

The latest podcast episode, The String Holder – Part Two, focuses on three (3) players of about the same age and skill and looks at the differences in racquet setup including weight.

If weight is so scary why do most racquets have a bunch of it hidden away from us?

This is a Tecnifibre racquet however most performance racquets will have a similar setup.  Game Improvement (ultralight) racquets, typically, will not!

What you see in that groove is lead!  If you flip the racquet over you will find the same thing on the other side!  Lot’s of lead means lots of weight, relatively speaking!

If we wanted to reduce the weight of this racquet we could remove some or all of the weight without affecting the swing weight very much.  The static balance, however, would be very different.  That is why we don’t rely on “balance” as a performance metric.

In the case of this racquet, we are printing a grip pallet that will replace the original pallet but be heavier so we can remove some of the lead weight to make the new version the same weight if we wanted to.  We don’t want to!

 

 

Tale of the Tapes!

Probably the most common “customization” on tennis racquets is the addition of weight! In most cases, that is a good thing. Weight is your friend!

Weight, in this case, is confined to swing weight and of course, overall weight and the placement of that weight and the format being used. We will see two (2) options and try to decide which is the best format.

Option number one below is the most common format for adding weighted tape. You can see that the tape is narrow strips that are placed on either side of the string bed. Even though the length of the tape is different on each racquet, the swing weight is the same on all of them.

Common Weighted Tape Format

Common Weighted Tape Format

The advantage of this format is that the weighted tape can easily be removed or more added if desired without affecting the formatting.

Option number two is rarely requested, but it represents the best-looking result.

Not Easily Modified Tape Placement

Not Easily Modified Tape Placement

However, this format requires much more time and is not easily removed or modified.

This format requires the grommet set to be removed, which, in most cases, is not a problem. In some cases, it will be a big problem! So be sure this is what you want!

The tape must be carefully trimmed between strings and removed without damaging the strings if modification is required to reduce weight. Doing this is not hard but does require a little more time. Adding weight requires removing the string and grommet set if the format is to remain the same, i.e., no narrow strips laid on top of the current tape.

Whichever option you choose will provide the performance boost you want!

Let us know which option you would choose in the comments below!

Racquets Taking Off …and Racquets Crashing!

Sometimes I am surprised at how a tennis racquet will find a new life after a few years of dormancy! And of course, I am astonished at how some racquets are “finished” way before their time!

The new Head Graphene 360+ Prestige is an excellent example of a racquet taking off, and the Head Adaptive Speed is an excellent example of a racquet that was laid to rest prematurely, in my opinion!

Twitter07

Head Graphene 360+ Prestige

Let’s start with the Prestige. One look says this is a racquet you want!
You may not care that this series has been a mainstay on the pro tour for over 25 years! You may not care that this racquet has a unique feel or a magnificent “cap” system.

You may not care that this racquet comes in a model to suit almost any playing style! NO…you care about the way it looks! The rest of the good stuff is just icing on the cake or racquet in this case!
Other racquets that would fit this category are the Wilson Pro Staff and Yonex VCore series.
On the other hand, a racquet that met its demise way too soon is the Head Adaptive Series! If you don’t know much about this series, it is not your fault! It was pulled way before it’s time.

dsc04105

Head Speed Adaptive Tuning Model

The Adaptive series was just that, adaptive! The string pattern could be either 16×16 or 16×19. The length could be increased in increments of .20 inch up to a total length of 27.6 inches (701mm).

Plus, the swing weight can be increased by using the optional heavy side grommet set, and the overall weight can be increase by inserting the “heavy” butt cap!
So, what happened? I think it was just too hard to sell for those places that don’t have hands-on expertise or didn’t want to take the time to explain the benefits of this concept!

Because the grip pallet was designed to be removed, it is likely that, if not done correctly, there would be some squeaking. That is not good, but it is not a problem that should keep a great idea from being a great racquet!

We still believe this is a good idea and if you do too, and want to take a look at this great idea, we have some in stock!

Easy Order is Back!

During this period of social distancing, it is hard to have a comprehensive discussion about your tennis racquet!

So, we have brought back our Easy Order form for your convenience!  Simply go to the form and give us as much information as possible.  Let us know when you can come by and we will reach out and grab your racquet!

In addition to the link in this post, there is a tab on the home page for Easy Order.  Of course, you can use Easy Order even after this virus situation is resolved!

It is as simple as that!

We want everyone to stay safe, please!

 

The Coronavirus, You, and Tennis.

To our most valued and precious clients and friends, at this critical and ever-changing time in our country, we want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

The coronavirus has caused a statewide shutdown.  Our hours will be changing to reflect this very important step toward taking control of this virus!

Effective immediately our hours will be Monday through Friday by appointment only.  You can be assured that we will maintain the social distancing required to beat this terrible virus.

If you prefer we can deliver your order to your car or ship directly to your home or office.

Please call or text to 407.491.4755.

All of us are going through a very trying time and eliminating as much exposure as possible right now will bring a quicker end to this virus!

Please be safe!

Racquet & Tournament Management

Management is not just for adults!  Juniors that play tournaments need to have some management skills!  During this coronavirus slow down it is a good time to learn some of these management skills.

We see many different management slip-ups such as no racquets for the tournament tomorrow!  All racquets have broken string and are at the bottom of a bag nobody wants to stick their hand into!

Juniors Management Tip #1:

Every Monday takes every racquet out of the bag.  If one or more are broken leave them out of the bag.

Juniors Management Tip #2

To get some idea of how much longer the string may last simply try to move the 5th or 6th cross string by pulling up toward the top of the racquet. If you can not pull the cross string up it is time for stringing.  If you are able to pull a cross string up pay attention to the “snap” it makes as you push it back into location.  A serious “snap” indicates a deep notch.

Monofilament strings typically fail by notching which makes it difficult to move the cross strings.  If your string is a multi-filament and looks like the picture on the left it is time to string!

Abrasion Fail Visual Test









Notching Visual Fail Test









What if neither of these conditions exists?

Every racquet in your bag should have a tag indicating when the racquet was last strung and if it has been more than one month it is time to string, period!

Just for fun you can go to our SFC function and get a good ideas as to how many times per year yu need to have your racquet strung.

Head Graphene 360+ Speed PWR

I suppose you have a pretty good idea what PWR means, right?  Well, you would be correct!  The Head Graphene 360+ Speed PWR is just that at a calculated power value of 2297.5!  Compare that to the calculated power value for the Head Graphene 360+ Speed Lite of 1838.3!  Twenty percent (20%) more powerful than the Lite!

This is what a 115 square inch head size can do for a racquet!  The strings are quite a bit longer and more widely spaced which contributes to power, and comfort.

This head size is normally referred to as a “game improvement” racquet and relegated to those players that were not too athletic and/or didn’t want to exert too much energy on each stroke.  In other words slow and short swings.

I am not sure that is the case with this racquet!  Sure it has a big head and a thick beam but it sure does feel good when picked up (first moment)!

If we were going to recommend this racquet I would suggest some weight added to the rear end.  The head does not need any additional weight.

Head Graphene 360+ Speed PWR

As I am working on this post I realize how much trouble it is to switch between racquet reviews for comparison so I am including a link to the Head Graphene 360+ Speed Series Comparison.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Speed PWR
Reference Tension56 lbs - 25.4 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC48
ASPS, FlexFour59
Racquet Flex, RDC64 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour59
Weight, Grams276
Weight, Ounces9.74
Balance, mm352
Balance, Inch13.86
Length, Cm69.4
Length, Inch27.32
Head Width10.50
Head Length13.81
Head Area, cm2734.8
Head Area, Sq. Inch113.9
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip26, 26, 28
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In550.5 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm 249.7 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.640
Main String Grid8.56
Cross String Grid11.15
Density (% of head filled with string).759
Average Cross String Space.532
Average Main String Space.535
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT33
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in184.57
First Moment, Nm.764
Polar Moment324
Torsional Stability18
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2306
Swing Weight, Ounces10.79
Swing Weight Calculated342.0
Power, RDC49
Control, RDC52
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 2297.5
Head Points-1.57 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %50.7%
Center of Percussion21.3
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing9.18
Efective Stiffness - lbs27.4
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC153.85
Recoil Weight132.95
Twist Weight225.40
End Weight 92.6
Tip Weight 184.4
9 O'Clock91.1
3 O'Clock90.6
Butt Cap94.2

 

Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP Lite

The Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP Lite may be the perfect racquet for a player looking for a thin(er) beam, 100 square inch head size, slightly lighter than most MP racquets!

As you will see in the specifications this racquet is about 28 grams (1 ounce) lighter than the MP model, and, just a little more flexible, or better said, less stiff!

Forty-nine point nine percent (49.9%) of the total weight resides toward the head of this racquet, so if you think in terms of “points” it is 0.16 points head light.

Some customization will make this a racquet that you can stay with for a long time. As your skills advance, so can the racquet!

Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP Lite

As I am working on this post I realize how much trouble it is to switch between racquet reviews for comparison so I am including a link to the Head Graphene 360+ Speed Series Comparison.

 

 

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Speed MP Lite
Reference Tension56 lbs - 25.4 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC51
ASPS, FlexFour62
Racquet Flex, RDC60 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour49
Weight, Grams293
Weight, Ounces10.34
Balance, mm342
Balance, Inch13.46
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.97
Head Width9.68
Head Length13.06
Head Area, cm2640.8
Head Area, Sq. Inch99.3
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip23, 23, 23
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In307.3 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm 139.4 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.624
Main String Grid7.30
Cross String Grid10.62
Density (% of head filled with string).780
Average Cross String Space.559
Average Main String Space.456
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.76
First Moment, Nm.782
Polar Moment323
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2308
Swing Weight, Ounces10.86
Swing Weight Calculated342.7
Power, RDC46
Control, RDC57
Manueverability, RDC81
Power, Calculated 1835.6
Head Points0.16 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %49.9%
Center of Percussion21.0
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.91
Efective Stiffness - lbs27.6
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC163.46
Recoil Weight138.67
Twist Weight205.8
End Weight 105.8
Tip Weight 186.5
9 O'Clock95.1
3 O'Clock94.5
Butt Cap103.0

Head Graphene 360+ Speed Series Comparison

Head has included six (6) racquets in the new Graphene 360+ Speeds series!  It is important, I think, to know what the difference is, and, it is not always easy to compare racquets.

So, here is a comparison spreadsheet and graph that will give you an overview of the entire lineup.  I have included “string bed stiffness (green)” because it shows just how influential “inplane stiffness” and string spacing is.

This is real data based on racquets that are now our “demo” racquets.  No modifications have been made and no advertising was considered in these specifications.

Head Graphene 360+ Speed Series Comparison

Head Graphene 360+ Speed S

I think we all know what “Pro and MP” mean but what about “S”?  I am not sure, so we are going to call it “Special”!

The Speed S is indeed special and probably one of the best all-around racquets for 2020!  You will see by the specs why this may be the case but a couple of things stand out.  A 100 square inch head size.  A uniform 16×19 string pattern and 25mm beam producing the stiffness of RDC 64!

The overall weight and swing weight are just right for most advancing players and can be modified when the need arises!  This is really a “players” racquet in disguise!

Head Graphene 360+ Speed S

While I was doing this post I realized how difficult it is to switch between racquet reviews to see a comparison so here is a link to the Head Graphene 360+ Speed Series Comparison.

 

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Speed S
Reference Tension56 lbs - 25.4 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC54
ASPS, FlexFour67.5
Racquet Flex, RDC64 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour40
Weight, Grams302
Weight, Ounces10.44
Balance, mm328
Balance, Inch12.91
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.97
Head Width9.68
Head Length13.06
Head Area, cm2641.2
Head Area, Sq. Inch99.3
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip25, 25, 25
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In425.2 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm 192.8 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.624
Main String Grid7.35
Cross String Grid9.40
Density (% of head filled with string).749
Average Cross String Space.539
Average Main String Space.453
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.94
First Moment, Nm.764
Polar Moment312
Torsional Stability16
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2296
Swing Weight, Ounces10.44
Swing Weight Calculated324.9
Power, RDC45
Control, RDC57
Manueverability, RDC89
Power, Calculated 1880.4
Head Points4.57 (negative = head heavy
Head Weight, %47.9%
Center of Percussion20.9
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.66
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.3
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC173.08
Recoil Weight141.20
Twist Weight211.83
End Weight 119.7
Tip Weight 182.9
9 O'Clock94.2
3 O'Clock94.2
Butt Cap113.0

Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro

This is the “PRO est” of the new Speed series because it says so right on the tip of the racquet and it carries an 18×20 string pattern, so there!

However, do not be intimidated by the “Pro” label!  You will see by the specifications that this is a racquet that can be used by any player wanting to maximize their current skillset.

A couple of good reasons for this assessment is the wonderful flex of RDC 60!  The overall weight and swing weight are there as a good beginning but can be adjusted to suit any player.

Typically 18×20 string patterns are not considered spin-friendly but the dense pattern can be used to your advantage by reducing string bed stiffness, thus dwell time and therefore spin potential.  In other words, this pattern is highly customizable!

Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro

If you value string life the 18×20 pattern can reward you with some increased durability.

As we mentioned in the Graphene 360+ Speed MP review there didn’t need to be many changes from the previous version and probably the most noticeable change is going to be the color “flipping” and a little increase in swing weight.

The numbers will tell the story.  Click here to see the Graphene 360 Speed Pro data from last year.

 

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Speed Pro
Reference Tension56 lbs - 25.4 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC55
ASPS, FlexFour66.5
Racquet Flex, RDC60 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour43
Weight, Grams327
Weight, Ounces11.53
Balance, mm323
Balance, Inch12.72
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.97
Head Width9.69
Head Length13.06
Head Area, cm2641.2
Head Area, Sq. Inch99.4
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip23, 23, 23
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In335.2 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm 152.0 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.668
Main String Grid7.62
Cross String Grid10.37
Density (% of head filled with string).768
Average Cross String Space.513
Average Main String Space.414
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.94
First Moment, Nm.812
Polar Moment336
Torsional Stability16
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2320
Swing Weight, Ounces11.29
Swing Weight Calculated341.2
Power, RDC45
Control, RDC57
Manueverability, RDC73
Power, Calculated 1908.2
Head Points6.14 (negative = head heavy
Head Weight, %47.2%
Center of Percussion21.2
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.58
Efective Stiffness - lbs28.7
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC176.28
Recoil Weight159.71
Twist Weight229.85
End Weight 133.4
Tip Weight 192.8
9 O'Clock97.1
3 O'Clock97.5
Butt Cap131.0

 

Head Graphene 360+ Speed Mid Plus

The new(est) model of the very popular Graphene 360+ Speed series racquet is available NOW, so get up to “speed” by taking a look at the specifications for a strung racquet and the series comparison data.

The major difference between this and the previous version is the “flipping” of the colors! What was black is now white and what was white is now black! I believe not very much else was changed and for good reason! The racquet is a very, very good racquet so why make a bunch of changes?

Here is an overview of all the new Speed models. This is unstrung data, however, you can add 16 to the overall weight for string and 30 to the swing weight number to approximate the strung data.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Speed Mid Plus
Reference Tension56 lbs - 25.4 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC52
ASPS, FlexFour63.5
Racquet Flex, RDC61 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour51
Weight, Grams322
Weight, Ounces11.36
Balance, mm332
Balance, Inch13.07
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.97
Head Width9.67
Head Length13.06
Head Area, cm2639.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch99.2
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip20, 20, 20
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In329.6 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm 149.5 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.623
Main String Grid7.44
Cross String Grid10.62
Density (% of head filled with string).797
Average Cross String Space.559
Average Main String Space.465
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT34
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in190.16
First Moment, Nm.828
Polar Moment345
Torsional Stability21
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2324
Swing Weight, Ounces11.43
Swing Weight Calculated354.9
Power, RDC48
Control, RDC53
Manueverability, RDC71
Power, Calculated 1960.1
Head Points3.31 (negative = head heavy
Head Weight, %48.5%
Center of Percussion21.0
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.82
Efective Stiffness - lbs28.1
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC166.67
Recoil Weight153.07
Twist Weight225.5
End Weight 125.1
Tip Weight 197.1
9 O'Clock97.4
3 O'Clock96.9
Butt Cap126.7

By The Numbers

Here we go with this numbers thing, again! 

Our Racquet reviews are a bunch of numbers, but what do these numbers mean to you?

We have put together this table with a brief explanation of how each number can be used by you to understand how that property can be helpful.

If you see terms such as typical or normal, ignore them! With tennis players, there is no such thing as “typical and normal”!

If you need to be convinced, take a look at a previous post!

Please let us know if there is a number that needs more clarification or a number we are missing!

ManufacturerYonexWhat it Means
Racquet ModelYonex VCore Pro 97 HDRacquet being reviewed.
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kgStringing machine tension setting. Not, necessarily, the string bed stiffness.
String
Ashaway MonoGut ZX ProString brand name and gauge (Pro being 17Gauge)
Machine UsedTrue Tension ProfessionalStringing machine used.
Static
ASPS, RDC56The stiffness of all the strings as a unit. Normally between 30 and 65.
ASPS, FlexFour64.5The stiffness of the string bed as tested on this device.
Racquet Flex, RDC57 - After stringing50 is low (flexible) and 70 is high (very stiff). Clash 100 is 52 on this device. As is a Head Speed model.
Racquet Flex, FlexFour5035 is low (flexible) 70 is high (very stiff). Clash 100 is 26 on this device.
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness353.8 lbs/InchThis is how stiff the racquet head is across the middle. 300 is soft and 500 is very stiff. This affects the string bed stiffness.
Weight, Grams336285 is light and 360 is heavy.
315 is minimum target weight for performance.
Weight, Ounces11.85

The racquet weight in ounces, typically used in US.
Balance, mm322This is the center of gravity from the butt cap. If you put the racquet on a round rod this would be how much is hanging toward the butt cap.
Balance, Inch12.68This is the CG in ounces for US. Points head heavy or head light is part of this.
Length, Cm68.5This is the total length of the racquet and is the typical standard adult length.
Length, Inch26.968This is length in inches for the US.
Head Width, Inches9.57The inside width of the hitting area.
Head Length, Inches 12.54The inside length of the hitting area.
Head Area, cm2625.8The advertised hitting area in centimeters squared.
Head Area, Sq. Inch97.0The advertised hitting area in inches squared.
Number of Main Strings18The main strings are the vertical strings when looking at a standing racquet. Typically the longest strings.
Number of Cross Strings20The cross strings are the horizontal strings when looking at a standing
racquet. Typically shorter.
Ratio Cross/Mains.687The natural ratio of the string pattern (calculated).
Main String Grid7.25The total distance between right and left main string.
Cross String Grid10.18
The total distance between the first cross string and the last cross string.
Density (% of head filled with string).783
Average Cross String Space.509The higher this number the more the string will move. This number is used to help select the best string setup.
Average Main String Space.403The higher this number the more the string will move. This number is used to help select the best string setup.
Dynamic
Properties of a moving racquet.
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37This is the stiffness of a string bed in kilograms per centimeter based on a frequency.
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.94This is the above converted to pounds per inch.
First Moment, Nm.831This is how heavy the racquet feels in the hand. The higher the number the heavier the racquet will feel.
Polar Moment340This is the resistance to rotating about the center of the racquet on, say a mimes-hit. The higher the better.
Torsional Stability16This is the derived stability number. The higher the better within reason. Anything below 14 would need some help.
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2324This is the "inertia" of the racquet and probably the most important number in the review! The higher the number the more momentum through the ball but less manueverability.
Swing Weight, Ounces11.43
Swing Weight Calculated348.4This number will be larger than the previous swing weight because it is calculated from the very end of the racquet as if there is no one holding it. A very important number.
Power, RDC42
Control, RDC59
Manueverability, RDC71
Power, Calculated 1740.5This number is calculated based on racquet properties.
Head Points6.46 (negative = head heavy)This number is how positive or negative the balance is. A "point" is ⅛ of an inch so this racquet is a little over ¾ of an inch head light.
Head Weight, %47.0%
Center of Percussion21.0This is the spot on the string bed that returns a solid hit.
Dwell Time, ms8.50This is how long the ball and string are in contact with no swing. A big swing will reduce this number by about half.
Efective Stiffness - lbs28.2This number is calculated from the string bed stiffness and the racquet stiffness. Anything under 30 will be "soft" feeling and over 35 will be "harsh".
K, Lb/In179.5
Recoil Weight160.8This number is the racquets resistance to rotating backward. The higher the number the better for volleys.
Twist Weight230.8This is the racquets resistance to twisting in your hand. The higher the better.
End Weight 139.8This weight is used to calculate the precise balance of the racquet.
Tip Weight 196.2This weight is used to calculate the precise balance of the racquet.
9 O'Clock100.4
This is the weight of that position on the racquet head and is used for precise customization.
3 O'Clock99.6This is the weight of that position on the racquet head and is used for precise customization.
Butt Cap135.6This is the weight of that position on the racquet and is used for precise customization.

 

 

Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Mid

The Head Prestige Mid is, in my view, the quintessential Prestige! This Prestige is the tennis racquet you would buy even if you don’t play tennis! It would sit right next to your Porsche 550 that you don’t drive much, but both make you feel really good!

The latest edition of the Prestige Mid is the Graphene 360+ Prestige Mid, and it carries on the iconic tradition of all previous models and looks better doing it, in my opinion.

In left image, you can see the overall color scheme of all of the new Prestige series, but you can’t see the detail of the “cap system” that is different than the other three (3) Prestige models.

The lower image shows the transition location.  But why?

Mid Cap System Transition

 

 

 

I think it is just a matter of weight. The cap system on the Mid stops halfway down the head instead of all around as on other models.

This slight reduction in weight allows for more customization options and this is a very customizable racquet.
So, if you are interested in an “iconic” racquet to place next to your 550, this is the one!

What could be better than arriving at the courts in your 550 and pull out your Prestige Mid racquet!

Game, Set, Match!

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Prestige Mid
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC57
ASPS, FlexFour72.0
Racquet Flex, RDC63 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour36
Weight, Grams344
Weight, Ounces12.13
Balance, mm317
Balance, Inch12.48
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.97
Head Width9.25
Head Length12.67
Head Area, cm2593.4
Head Area, Sq. Inch92.0
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip20, 20, 20
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In428.6 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm 194.4 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.615
Main String Grid6.87
Cross String Grid8.88
Density (% of head filled with string).663
Average Cross String Space.467
Average Main String Space.429
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.9
First Moment, Nm.834
Polar Moment341
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2326
Swing Weight, Ounces11.50
Swing Weight Calculated345.7
Power, RDC47
Control, RDC53
Manueverability, RDC69
Power, Calculated 1888.9
Head Points8.03 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %46.3%
Center of Percussion21.1
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.43
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.9
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC182.69
Recoil Weight166.4
Twist Weight221.8
End Weight 146.7
Tip Weight 197.3
9 O'Clock104.6
3 O'Clock102.8
Butt Cap134.6

Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Pro

So, what’s in a name?  In the case of the name “Pro” it is weight!  Right out of the box this racquet is ready to go with a wonderful weight and swing weight that you will see in the specifications.

The Prestige Pro is the “different” Prestige in the series with a more sculpted geometry.  This is most noticeable in the shaft right above the grip with tapers and contours all the way to the throat.  The head geometry is more elliptical in cross section than the flat section used in other Prestige racquets.

As you look at other Prestige racquets the difference in the cross section is noticable.  The Tour for example has a “flat” beam cross section and the shaft right above the grip is also a “flat” cross section with little very little “sculpting

The Prestige Pro is a racquet anyone can use with a nice 16 x 19 string pattern and reasonable stiffness.

This is a legitimate 95 square inch racquet with a 16 x 19 string pattern that suits most players.  The full Prestige “cap system” adds a nice measure of stability along with swing weight that gets this racquet into the “power and control” category.

 

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Prestige Pro
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC52
ASPS, FlexFour65.2
Racquet Flex, RDC62 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour44
Weight, Grams338
Weight, Ounces11.92
Balance, mm327
Balance, Inch12.87
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.39
Head Length12.85
Head Area, cm2611.0
Head Area, Sq. Inch94.7
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip22, 22, 22
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In329.7 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm 149.5 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.615
Main String Grid7.06
Cross String Grid9.12
Density (% of head filled with string).699
Average Cross String Space.494
Average Main String Space.441
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.7
First Moment, Nm.852
Polar Moment350
Torsional Stability17
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2333
Swing Weight, Ounces11.75
Swing Weight Calculated361.4
Power, RDC51
Control, RDC50
Manueverability, RDC65
Power, Calculated 1955.2
Head Points4.88 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %47.7%
Center of Percussion21.0
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.82
Efective Stiffness - lbs28.3
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC166.7
Recoil Weight161.3
Twist Weight224.1
End Weight 136.9
Tip Weight 202.1
9 O'Clock104.4
3 O'Clock104.3
Butt Cap129.0

Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour

When we do the testing and “number taking” for our demo racquets, we try to think as the consumer may think and include comments that may help the consumer make the best decision.

We do not want to make these posts so dull that you go to sleep, but data is essential, so we are going to include it…so stay awake!

Data is particularly relevant to the Prestige Series from Head.

This review is for the Prestige Tour, and it points to the differences between Prestige racquets that may go unnoticed or misunderstood.

The Prestige Tour is a 99 (645 cm²)square inch racquet with an 18 x 19 string pattern. If you have read the post on the Prestige MP, you may wonder, what’s the difference?

You may notice that the Prestige Tour has one (1) fewer cross string. Not a big deal. You may see that the Prestige Tour has one (1) square inch larger head size. Also, not a big deal. What you may not notice is the Prestige Tour has an in-plane stiffness of 400, and the Prestige MP has an in-plane stiffness of 359. That is a big deal! Even with a bigger head and fewer strings, the Prestige Tour has a higher string bed stiffness than the Prestige MP. The higher the in-plane stiffness, the less the racquet will “bend” during impact.

The Prestige Tour is more stiff overall (62 v 58) than the Prestige MP, and the 21.5mm beam contributes to that stiffness.

So, take a look at the numbers for this racquet to see if you can find other exciting differences!

 

 

 

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC55
ASPS, FlexFour71
Racquet Flex, RDC62 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour49
Weight, Grams325
Weight, Ounces11.46

Balance, mm327
Balance, Inch12.87
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.56
Head Length13.12
Head Area, cm2635.3
Head Area, Sq. Inch98.5
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip21.5, 21.5, 21.5
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In400.0 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm181.4 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.690
Main String Grid7.81
Cross String Grid10.00
Density (% of head filled with string).724
Average Cross String Space.526
Average Main String Space.396
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.7
First Moment, Nm.819
Polar Moment334
Torsional Stability18
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2316
Swing Weight, Ounces11.15
Swing Weight Calculated347.5
Power, RDC46
Control, RDC55
Manueverability, RDC76
Power, Calculated 1929.2
Head Points4.88 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %47.7%
Center of Percussion20.8
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.58
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.1
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC176.3
Recoil Weight150.9
Twist Weight222.7
End Weight 131.7
Tip Weight 195.3
9 O'Clock100.7
3 O'Clock101.4
Butt Cap124.0

Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP

We are finally getting the time to work on these marvelous new racquets from Head! In this case, it is the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP.

The Prestige is a fascinating series for Head, but I think it is often overlooked when considering a new racquet purchase. I believe the “performance” category excludes a lot of players that could very well use this racquet if it is appropriately set up. Secondly, I think players have the mistaken feeling that the Prestige series is too stiff!

I believe you will see by the following specifications that neither are necessarily true!

The Prestige series is, in my opinion, the best looking new racquet in a long time. However, in a performance racquet, what does “looks” have to do with it? In my opinion, a lot!

This racquet is the “true” 98 square inch (630 cm²) head size with an 18 x 20 string pattern and, of course, the excellent “cap system” that contributes to the performance of this racquet. You will see in the specifications that the swing weight is on the “light” side, allowing for customization to suit any player.

Head is now including a CPI, “Control Power Index,” and this racquet ranks as a CPI 200 compared to the Prestige Pro at CPI 300. The difference is a function of the tight string pattern and flex. The thin 20mm beam throughout contributes to the nice flex of RDC 58 after stringing.

A lower CPI indicates to us that the racquet will do no more than you ask of it! If you want the ball to go fast you swing harder! The racquet will not force to to “fear” your stroke!

If you are considering an 18 x 20 string pattern this racquet should be right at the top of the list.

Our COF numbers are quite good which indicate a positive contribution to “spin” considering the tight string pattern.

 

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Prestige MP
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC58
ASPS, FlexFour67
Racquet Flex, RDC58 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour39
Weight, Grams337
Weight, Ounces11.89

Balance, mm313
Balance, Inch12.32
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.47
Head Length13.05
Head Area, cm2625.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch97
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip20, 20, 20
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In359 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm162 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.653
Main String Grid7.50
Cross String Grid10.25
Density (% of head filled with string).792
Average Cross String Space.513
Average Main String Space.417
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.9
First Moment, Nm.803
Polar Moment326
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2311
Swing Weight, Ounces10.97
Swing Weight Calculated330.2
Power, RDC39
Control, RDC62
Manueverability, RDC79
Power, Calculated 1749.9
Head Points9.29 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %45.7%
Center of Percussion21.0
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.35
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.0
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC185.9
Recoil Weight160.4
Twist Weight226.8
End Weight 149.2
Tip Weight 189.9
9 O'Clock98.2
3 O'Clock98.8
Butt Cap140.3

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!

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 http://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

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Racquet Quest - John Gugel

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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.

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