String Frequency Calculator on your Phone!

We are happy to announce our popular SFC application can now be carried around on your phone and tablet!

String Frequency Calculator

Scan this QR code, and the application will be on your phone whenever you need to know when to string your racquet!

This calculation is based on the peak performance of your tennis racquet!

If you are not demanding peak performance for your game right now, you can eliminate your “player style,” which will increase the time between suggested stringing.

The current “player styles” are beg, rec, club, and tour.

A “tour” player would want peak performance, but it is also essential that we, at any level, should expect our string to help us!

The “Value/Playability ratio is subjective (a little) but it places a value on the enjoyment, and comfort, and we know that playing with Natural Gut is more enjoyable than polyester, therefore the favorable ratio.

Our String Frequency Calculator application will help us enjoy tennis more, knowing that we maximize the racquet!

Congratulations, Mustangs!

The New Washington Mustangs tennis has grown from five (5) to twelve (12) players in just one year!  Fantastic!

New Washington Mustangs

The team is playing Jeffersonville in the Sectionals which will be a tough match! The Mustangs #! Doubles won their conference so don’t be surprised at how well they do against anyone!

The only name I know in the picture is Rafael, the coach on the left.  Rafael moved from Florida to Indiana and took his love of tennis with him!  It looks like his team is poised to do great things!

Maybe we will see them at the USTA Campus sometime!

Way to go team!

 

SBS Update

We have gone through our string bed stiffness device (SBS) and are nearly settled on the final design! We have been using this device for several months, and we are very excited!

As discussed before, Racquet Quest, LLC believes string bed stiffness is the most efficient and accurate way to communicate how we want our racquet to feel…not reference tension!

We are on this mission for that reason!

There have been, and still are, several devices that are used for that, but what is needed is a player, coach, technician, and supplier consortium to make it happen!

The device will be 100% mechanical, light and fit in a tennis bag, easy and fun to use, and accurate! That is a lot to ask from a single device, but I think we have achieved it!

Oh, yes, it must be financially acceptable to every tennis player, which it will be!
The first pre-production units may be available for testing before general release.

We Need You!
Please take a minute to submit the following form. Your participation is important!

Congratulations, Redbug Topspinners!

Congratulations, team, on a great finish…like #1 I believe!

Redbug Topspinners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big Thank You to your Captain, Reggie, for sharing this news with us!  

We are anxious to hear how you do in the new season so please keep us informed!

Good luck!

 

The Elephant in the Room!

I suspect we all have heard that expression!

It means there is something that everyone tries to ignore, but it is too large to do so!

I recently read an article in Racquet Sports Industries authored by Georgetta L. Morque. The title is “Tackling Tennis Elbow.” Tennis elbow is an important topic and deserves much attention. Georgetta is writing about ways to mitigate tennis elbow after the fact.

So, here is the elephant in the room; STIFF string!

 

Let’s try to prevent tennis elbow, so it does not need to be treated!

When we say stiff, it means a string with less than 4% elongation at 60 pounds which is our testing parameter. Most strings, and for this discussion, strings exhibiting that property will be monofilament PET-based (polyester).

Fully understanding this required a lot of testing, both lab and play, for many playing styles and racquets. To make a long story short, as a racquet technologies business, we decided not to promote polyester strings for most players. That sounds silly, but why take a chance when you don’t have to!

Our success is based on helping you, the player, perform the best you can, so it does not make sense to promote something contrary to that philosophy. Probably 75% of our clients have come to us for something different, so we have a “head start.” 

So why do so many players use it or want to use it? 

We believe it is because they have not been exposed to alternative string materials. Some outstanding players at the pro level use it, so it must be good, and it is for about 10-11 games. Of coursemanufacturers and marketers of polyester string stand to make a nice profit! It is in their best interest to promote products by adding some terminology and material to make the string less stiff.

A polyester string is deficient in power and needs to be walloped, and the harder it is hit, the stiffer it becomes, which is the problem. Developing bodies can’t tolerate that level of impact for long.

Please let us know your experience with strings of any type!

 

Head Boom Team L 2022

Like the Head Boom Team 2022, the Head Team L 2022 has been much anticipated!

Finally, a 107 square inch head without the ridiculous thick beam and ultra-lightweight, a legitimate “tweener”!

The Boom Team L has the highest power level assigned to recent Head racquets coming in at “900”, compared to the Boom Team at 800 and the Boom Pro at 400. If a power racquet is what you are looking for, this may be a good choice!

The Boom Team L is a slightly longer racquet at 27.35 inches. This increase in length increases the swing weight without adding weight. You can think of swing weight as “leverage.”

The Boom Team L incorporates all the newest materials and design chops of the viral Boom Pro and Boom MP.

The specifications will give you a better idea of where this racquet may fit your game.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Boom Team L 2022
Reference Tension56 lbs - 25.4 kg
String
Head Reflex MLT 17
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC45.0
ASPS, FlexFour55.0
Racquet Flex, RDC63 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour46.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness339.8 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams290
Weight, Ounces10.23
Balance, mm353
Balance, Inch13.90
Length, Cm69.5
Length, Inch27.362
Head Width10.15
Head Length13.25
Head Area, cm2679.5
Head Area, Sq. Inch105.6
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.643
Main String Grid7.90
Cross String Grid10.56
Density (% of head filled with string).792
Average Cross String Space.556
Average Main String Space.494
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT31
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in173.39
First Moment, Nm.805
Polar Moment331
Torsional Stability18
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2313
Swing Weight, Ounces11.04
Swing Weight Calculated361.4
Power, RDC53
Control, RDC48
Manueverability, RDC78
Power, Calculated 2139.2
Head Points-1.73
Head Weight, %50.8%
Center of Percussion20.7
Dwell Time, ms9.48
Efective Stiffness - lbs26.3
K, Lb/In144.23
Recoil Weight129.71
Twist Weight221.11
End Weight 97.7
Tip Weight 192.3
9 O'Clock93.0
3 O'Clock92.8
Butt Cap103.8

Head Boom Team 2022…BOOM!

It is here, and I bet you heard another big BOOM recently!

The Head Boom Team 2022 has arrived and is ready for you to try! The Boom Team is a valuable addition to the Head lineup.

For years players have been asking for a 102 square inch racquet that has the “player” characteristics they wanted.

Player characteristics can mean different things to different players, but here is what the Head Boom Team 2022 has:
A fairly thin beam
A thin head cross-section
A modified box beam shaft cross-section

This racquet continues with Graphene and fresh Auxetic material that has been popular in the Boom Pro and Boom MP!

All specifications are in the chart below but suffice to say; this is a significant step in the right direction!

Looking at the inside of the shaft, you will notice the transitional shape from a thin box beam into a slightly thicker trapezoidal beam.

The head shape also continues with the broader upper section like the Boom Pro and Boom MP. Most “aggressive” shots are hitting the string bed in this area, so giving it more energy makes sense!

The density of the string in that area should contribute to good string life.

The first thing you notice upon pickup (first moment) is the weight distribution. While this is still a “headlight” model (see the specs below), the weight is toward the tip of the racquet.

We have had great results with the Boom Pro and Boom MP in both “retail” and full custom racquets, so, If you are considering a racquet upgrade, this one should be on your list!

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Boom Team 2022
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Head Reflex MLT 17
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC48.0
ASPS, FlexFour64
Racquet Flex, RDC61 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour45.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness389.6 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams300
Weight, Ounces10.58
Balance, mm337
Balance, Inch13.27
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.97
Head Length13.065
Head Area, cm2659.7
Head Area, Sq. Inch102.3
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.642
Main String Grid7.80
Cross String Grid10.80
Density (% of head filled with string).845
Average Cross String Space.568
Average Main String Space.500
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT33
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in184.57
First Moment, Nm.786
Polar Moment320
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2305
Swing Weight, Ounces10.76
Swing Weight Calculated340.7
Power, RDC46
Control, RDC54
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 1921.4
Head Points1.89
Head Weight, %49.1%
Center of Percussion20.8
Dwell Time, ms9.18
Efective Stiffness - lbs26.9
K, Lb/In153.85
Recoil Weight138.76
Twist Weight222.21
End Weight 114.3
Tip Weight 187.8
9 O'Clock91.5
3 O'Clock93.6
Butt Cap114.8

Sign Up For Good Communication!

Over the past few years, telephone communication has become more frustrating due to robocalls!

I know how frustrating this can be for you because it also happens to us…so we are trying to do something about it.

We are activating a new SMS service that will allow us to communicate more quickly and efficiently. SMS is simply a text message sent to your phone instead of e-mail.

“Short Message Service is a text messaging service component of most telephone, World Wide Web, and mobile telephony systems. It uses standardized communication protocols to enable mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages.”

To get this to work, we need you to “opt In”! On the home page of this site are two “sigh-up” buttons, one on the right and one on the left! That is how important we believe this communication is! Two buttons!

OPT-In

Please join us in this new communication service to keep you informed about the “Spring Cleaning” going on now, plus other exciting things planned for the future!

We will not send you too much stuff or share your information!

Goodbye, Russell

Our Friend Russell Williams succumbed to his three (3) year battle with ALS on the 29th of March.

I include an obituary for Russell because it includes a link to support the University of Florida ALS research program.

Russell was an avid tennis player, as he was by all accounts quite good. We have forty (40) of his sixty (60) or so Babolat Pure Control racquets that he loved so much. Russell kept the racquets in top shape, so he would never consider switching!

Sophie, Russells’ daughter, is quite an accomplished tennis player and will be going to UF, where she has signed to play tennis!

Russell Willams Obituary

Goodbye, our friend!

Barbara planted a Reed Begonia for Russell.  If you are near The Leu Botanical Garden in Orlando you can find Russell’s begonia in the White Garden.

“I planted a white reed begonia in the White Garden.  We will watch it grow and flower and think of all of you.” 

SBS…what is it and why should we care?

We have made several posts regarding SBS, which is “String Bed Stiffness” and this is another one!

If you read this post we really need your comment(s), really!

String bed stiffness is the “feeling” when the ball hits the string on a tennis racquet.  Due to the various string materials there will be “soft” and “hard” feelings.  But wait, there’s more!

The string bed is made up of several strings, some longer called the Main string (M)and some shorter called the Cross string(X).  Using “reference” tension each of the sets of string will be pulled at the same machine setting!  It the machine is set at 50 pounds the tension head will stop pulling when it feels 50 pounds of resistance, regardless of what he tension inside the racquet head may be.

SBS is the most effective data for comparing tennis racquet stringing!

Let’s say you come into the world headquarters and we ask you what SBS you would like to have?  Would you know?  Probably not and not many would!  We have grown up using the term “reference tension”, not SBS.

Reference tension is “number” you would ask your racquet technician to set the stringing machine tension system on.  That number will probably be between 30 and 60 pounds (≈13 to 26 Kilo).

So, depending on many other variables, such as string material, string pattern, stringing machine, stringer technique, etc., you can end up with may different versions of the same “reference tension”.

A better way, and one we have been using for over thirty (30) years, is SBS but not everyone has bought into the concept, even though a qualified racquet technician will have a way to measure SBS!  Maybe because it is too much trouble to figure out what your desired SBS from machine X would be from machine A!  It is not!

There have been several really good SBS data collection devices but they have been difficult to use, and pricy!  Not to mention gigantic!

A call to action!
So here is where you come in,

Would you purchase a SBS data collection device?

How much would you pay for such a device?

Would you prefer a mechanical device or an electronic device?

The device must be portable, that is easily carried in a racquet bag or backpack

    Yes or It doesn’t matter

It must be easy to use.

If you use an SBS device would you use a racquet technician that did not know what SBS is or how to measure it?

Thank you for adding your comments to this discussion!  It is important stuff!

 

New Head Racquet Names

There is a need for clear descriptions of tennis racquets so you, and we can make good buying decisions.

Head has applied this to the Prestige 2021 Series and it is a little confusing, maybe. So here is the information as we know it right now and according to the racquets in stock is correct:

New Head Prestige Names

You can see the entire Prestige 2021 Line-Up including additional data here

 

…then there was this big BOOM!

Boom Pro

The big BOOM you heard was the arrival of the new Head Boom MP and Boom Pro racquets at the World Headquarters!

Head Boom MP

This is very exciting news for those that have been waiting!

The wait is over!

For those that pre-ordered, your racquet will be prepared for you quickly.  For those that have not yet tried the new Boom series…what are you waiting for?

We also offer Full Custom Boom MP and Boom Pro racquets that are built for you including longer length if desired.  

Either way, we think you will be hearing more big Booms very soon!

The new Boom Series promises to be one of the best new racquets! MP or Pro!

 

Head Lynx Touch! Two for One?

Several weeks ago we received the first sets of Head Lynx Touch 17 gauge strings.  Yesterday we received the Lynx Touch 16 gauge version and want to share the differences…numerically!

Quickly, this string is composed of two (2) separate but “combined” filaments.  So, is this a monofilament or a multifilament?  The numbers indicate it reacts like a monofilament as we have become familiar with it.

Head Lynx Touch

Visually the string components are obvious.

The inner filament is black and the outer covering is translucent.

 

Let’s start with the 17 gauge version:

  Lynx Touch 17

The area under the heavy red lines is the “stress/strain” curve and we see that this string takes 23.5mm to reach the 50-pound mark.  This is just a number unless it is compared to other strings so it is neither good nor bad, right now!

You can see that the string will hold up to 149.8 pounds before it breaks.  This is tensile strength and may be important when considering the amount of “notching” that can occur.  The “knot” strength of this version is 132.4 pounds.

Now let’s look at the 16 gauge version:

Lynx Touch 16

The difference is subtle.  The 16 gauge version is a little stiffer (expected) and a little stronger in tension  (also expected).  The “knot” strength of this version is 133.6 pounds.

What is interesting is the “grouping” of the stress/strain cycles on both strings.  They indicate a good elasticity.  The closer to the “zero” point on unloading the better!

In our opinion, both versions of the string would be considered “stiff” and suitable for the player looking for a stiff but stable string as our creep test confirmed.

If you currently use stiff strings and would like better consistency this would definitely be a candidate ./

We Believe!

In addition to our commitment to full custom racquets, we also believe in racquets that have been pushed aside by newer models just because it is the thing to do each year!

Of course, there can be material and design changes to racquets that make them desirable and that is always a good thing but maybe not every year!  Our experience has been that a typical consumer will use a racquet for about three (3) years.  But we also know that there are those players that want the very latest of everything!

This post is to let you know that there is life before the latest racquets!

We know the Head Speed Graphene Touch is an extraordinary tennis racquet!  The shared hole string pattern was around for a short time but it is a good pattern…so we have some of those!

The Head Prestige Tour Graphene 360+ is another incredible tennis racquet that should not be overlooked even though the Auxetic Prestige series is here.  The Prestige Tour features a 99 square inch head size with an 18×19 string pattern.  This is a real “players” racquet, to use the common descriptive, although anyone can play with this racquet.  We have these!

The Yonex V-Core without the VDM is another example of a good racquet being replaced before its time, and the same goes for the V-Core Pro 97 and 100!  Some players prefer the feedback of the non-VDM racquets.  We have those.

The previous version of the Wilson Ultra 100 is preferred by some due to the grip pallet configuration and construction.

So what is the point, here?

Very simply it is to let everyone know that there is life after new models by opting for an older model, and, letting those that prefer previous models know that some are available.  These racquets will not be “dumped”, they are too good for that!

Of course, there are not many of the “special” racquets so use the “Easy Order” tab to let us know you are thinking about one or more!

 

 

Do You Need Something Special – Update

Happy New Year! 

If starting the new year with full custom racquets sounds exciting take a look at what is new!

We have begun to receive additional full custom racquets and components so this update will let you know what is available now.

Full Custom Racquet Components

For 2022 we have added:

Head Prestige Pro (Auxetic)  98, Thin beam: 21, 20, 20mm, String Pattern: 18×20

Head Boom Pro (Auxetic)  98, Thin beam: 22mm, String Pattern: 16×19

Head Boom MP (Auxetic)  100, Thinish beam: 21, 24, 23.5mm, String Pattern: 16×19

Head Extreme Tour (big picture above) 98, Thin beam: 21, 23, 22mm, String Pattern: 16×19

Head Extreme MP (360+)  100, Thinish beam: 23, 26, 21mm, String Pattern: 16×19

Head Gravity Pro (hot lava/teal)(360+) 100, Thin beam: 20mm, String Pattern: 18×20

*Head Prestige Mid (Graphene Touch), 93, Thin beam: 20mm, String Pattern: 16×19

Head Calfskin Leather Grip

These are limited in quantity and require complete customization and assembly to create a full custom racquet for you.  If you are interested please let us know so we can begin the specification conversation.  We have designed an “order” format however it does not allow for the conversation necessary to create your racquet, so…

Use the “Easy Order” tab to get started.

*One Remaining

 

 

 

 

Do You Need Something Special?

Full Custom Racquet Components

We have a few “full custom” racquets remaining and when these are gone there will not be any more until later in 2022!

So, if you are interested in a “special” racquet for yourself or a tennis player you like, now is the time!

We have Head Extreme Tour, Head Extreme MP, Gravity Pro, and Head Speed MP in very limited numbers. These racquets can be configured in lengths up to 27.75 inches, in any grip size from 1/4 to 5/8 ( 2 to 5), and any weight and swing weight.  Either leather or synthetic grips are available.  

Of course, custom stringing can be added.  All orders must be received by December 13th if you need your full custom racquet for a gift.

Please use the Easy Order tab on this site if you have any questions or want to place your order.  You may text us at 407.491.4755

What’s The Difference?

As tennis players, you must constantly ask “what’s the difference” when it comes to tennis racquets and string! Well, as racquet technicians we ask the same questions!

This post is intended to showcase the differences of string in testing, not playing, however, some of the data may be noticeable to the player in certain situations.

What this graph shows us, in addition to our trying to save a tree by printing on the back of previously used paper, is that each of these stings will provide almost the same performance. This is indicated by the curve and how closely related the strings are.

Tensile Strength Comparison

The differences you do see here can be attributed to the gauge, or diameter, of the string, with the largest diameter (Tour Bite) having the highest tensile strength.  Down in the “hitting” displacement range (way below the 39.9mm!), there is very little difference.

The tensile strength can be a factor as the string begins to “notch” or otherwise come apart.  Each of the strings in this graph is monofilament so notching would be the failure mode in a racquet.

 

Head Prestige Pro 2021

This years Head Prestige Pro is last years Prestige MP.  This name change was made to synchronize all the 18×20 string patterns as the “Pro” model…I think!

So, what’s in a name?  A thin beam, heavy (sort of), 18×20 pattern, players racquet, that’s what!  The Prestige Pro also includes the new Auxetic material and construction for a refined feel.

For some reason Head Prestige racquets have been called “stiff” by some and this is certainly not the case and never has been.   This racquet is not stiff! As with any racquet the string selection can have a huge effect on “stiffness” so take a look at the effective stiffness!

I believe this is going to be a “control freaks” racquet!  This racquet could also be a baseliners dream come true.  The weight will drive through the ball and the swing weight will allow for some last nano-second stroke adjustments.

Take at look at the data below then go to the Prestige 2021 Comparative Data post to see all the models in one place.

A baseliners dream!

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Prestige Pro 2021
Reference Tension52 lbs - 23.6 kg
String
Head Reflex MLT 17
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC53.0
ASPS, FlexFour62.5
Racquet Flex, RDC58 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour36.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness326.1 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams342
Weight, Ounces12.06

Balance, mm318
Balance, Inch12.52
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.48
Head Length13.06
Head Area, cm2627.4
Head Area, Sq. Inch97.2
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.653
Main String Grid7.56
Cross String Grid10.24
Density (% of head filled with string).791
Average Cross String Space.513
Average Main String Space.417
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.76
First Moment, Nm.832
Polar Moment333
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2318
Swing Weight, Ounces11.22
Swing Weight Calculated345.8
Power, RDC45
Control, RDC56
Manueverability, RDC75
Power, Calculated 1811.5
Head Points7.87
Head Weight, %46.4%
Center of Percussion20.7
Dwell Time, ms8.74
Efective Stiffness - lbs27.7
K, Lb/In169.87
Recoil Weight157.84
Twist Weight230.87
End Weight 143.2
Tip Weight 198.9
9 O'Clock102.8
3 O'Clock100.3
Butt Cap140.3

Head Prestige 2021 Series Comparative Data

Jumping back and forth between reviews and data is not fun nor is it efficient so we have been posting comparative data. Now all the important stuff is in one place.

All of the data is based on a “play ready” racquet.  That means an overgrip and vibration damper, and unless otherwise noted…string!

As you are looking at the data try to determine which numbers mean the most to you and how you could use them.  For example, the Pro has an overall weight of 342 with a swing weight 318.  How does that compare to the MP?

Keep in mind that weight and swing weight can increased but not easily decreased.  No, making the racquet more “head light” statically does not reduce the swing weight as recorded on testing devices that grab the racquet 10cm from the end!  That is why static balance (CG) should not be used as a performance metric.

Click here to see the data!

 

 

Head Prestige Tour 2021

This racquet has the potential to be the hottest new Prestige in a long time. The “Tour” series is not new to the Prestige line but this one has some differences that are meaningful, we think!

This new Tour is a 16×19 string pattern inserted into a 95 square inch hitting area! Compare that to the previous Tour with a 18×19 string pattern in a 99 square inch head(now the new Prestige MP)…so you can see where this one is headed!

All of the new Prestige 2021 racquets will come with the full cap system that has become the “iconic” Prestige accoutrement.  

Also included in the Prestige Tour is the Auxetic material and construction that is intended to provide a better feeling impact and maybe a little more “energy”.  The shaft has a slightly different geometry and is a little shorter than some other models, however, the graphics indicate the shaft is “elongated”.

The “box” beam is a relatively constant 22mm from start to finish and is beautifully done in matt black transitioning into the Prestige maroon.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Prestige Tour 2021
Reference Tension53 lbs - 24.0 kg
String
Victrex 7718 (PEEK)
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC50.0
ASPS, FlexFour63.5
Racquet Flex, RDC63 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour42.5
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness384.6 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams336
Weight, Ounces11.85

Balance, mm326
Balance, Inch12.83
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.968
Head Width9.406
Head Length12.78
Head Area, cm2608.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch94.4
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.620
Main String Grid7.20
Cross String Grid9.125
Density (% of head filled with string).695
Average Cross String Space.464
Average Main String Space.445
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT34
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in190.16
First Moment, Nm.844
Polar Moment347
Torsional Stability16
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2331
Swing Weight, Ounces11.68
Swing Weight Calculated357.1
Power, RDC53
Control, RDC47
Manueverability, RDC66
Power, Calculated 1968.0
Head Points5.20
Head Weight, %47.6%
Center of Percussion21.1
Dwell Time, ms9.00
Efective Stiffness - lbs27.9
K, Lb/In160.26
Recoil Weight161.61
Twist Weight223.59
End Weight 136.8
Tip Weight 200.6
9 O'Clock99.5
3 O'Clock101.4
Butt Cap134.9

 

Head Boom MP 2022

Head has introduced a brand new racquet! So, you say, what’s new about that they do it every year! Yes, but this is a different racquet!

This is the Boom!
In all the years we have been dealing with Head it has become clear that they are not averse to making new things…instead of drastically changing old things.

The Boom is available in a Pro version and a MP version, with the Pro version being a little heavier.

So the Boom, which will be available in January of 2022, (pre order now!) is a new racquet and it is not shy about it!

The head shape is a little different, the shaft is a little different, and the Auxetic material and construction is a little different and all these “littles” add up to a totally different hitting experience!

The shaft transitions from a common box to a trapezoid as it junctions with the yoke (which is the Auxetic area, don’t forget)

The 24mm beam (actually 22, 24.4, 23.3) is a solid choice for advancing players offering just the right amount of stiffness for a little extra “punch”.

We believe the recoil weight could be higher and that is easily accomplished when wanted.  

 

The MP and Pro demo’s are ready for your evaluation! These are very popular demo’s!
ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Boom MP 2022
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Tecnifibre BiPhase 124
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC55.0
ASPS, FlexFour64.0
Racquet Flex, RDC62 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour42.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness344.8 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams320
Weight, Ounces11.29

Balance, mm327
Balance, Inch12.87
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.83
Head Length12.84
Head Area, cm2639.4
Head Area, Sq. Inch99.1
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.645
Main String Grid7.61
Cross String Grid10.68
Density (% of head filled with string).774
Average Cross String Space.475
Average Main String Space.562
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.7
First Moment, Nm.807
Polar Moment325
Torsional Stability13
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2312
Swing Weight, Ounces11.01
Swing Weight Calculated342.2
Power, RDC45
Control, RDC56
Manueverability, RDC79
Power, Calculated 1936.2
Head Points5.04
Head Weight, %47.7%
Center of Percussion20.80
Dwell Time, ms8.58
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.1
K, Lb/In176.26
Recoil Weight149.42
Twist Weight231.14
End Weight 127.9
Tip Weight 191.8
9 O'Clock96.5
3 O'Clock96.1
Butt Cap126.8

 

Head Prestige MP 2021 Series

OK, here comes another racquet review!

You know our reviews are “numbers” based, not hitter based because we just like numbers!  Hitters are Important but to get the most meaningful data from a racquet requires numbers.  These numbers can then be applied to the feedback of the hitter.

The new Head Prestige MP 2021 is a 99 square inch head with the 18×19 string pattern so common in player style racquets.  This combination may “scare off” some users but that would be a mistake in our opinion.

As you would expect this racquet is a thin box beam box design which creates an in plane stiffness of 384.6 pounds, which can be used to create a very friendly string bed stiffness.  Take a look at the “effective stiffness” and you will see what we mean!

In addition to the nice in plane stiffness this racquet uses Head’s new Auxetic construction in the throat which is designed for comfort and control from each hit by allowing the throat to “expand and contract” a little.

The bright red color of last years Prestige series has been replaced with a “matt” graphite transitioning into the classic Prestige maroon around the head of the racquet making this a classic in its own right!

 

 

The Prestige series just keeps getting better!

 

You can demo this racquet now!

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Prestige MP 2021
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Victrex 7718 (PEEK)
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC54
ASPS, FlexFour66.0
Racquet Flex, RDC63 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour41.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness384.6 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams332
Weight, Ounces11.71

Balance, mm327
Balance, Inch12.87
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.551
Head Length13.13
Head Area, cm2635.4
Head Area, Sq. Inch98.5
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.689
Main String Grid8.00
Cross String Grid10.10
Density (% of head filled with string).727
Average Cross String Space.529
Average Main String Space.396
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.7
First Moment, Nm.837
Polar Moment343
Torsional Stability17
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2326
Swing Weight, Ounces11.50
Swing Weight Calculated355.0
Power, RDC49
Control, RDC52
Manueverability, RDC69
Power, Calculated 2042.9
Head Points5.04
Head Weight, %47.7%
Center of Percussion21.016
Dwell Time, ms8.66
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.1
K, Lb/In173.08
Recoil Weight157.3
Twist Weight227.24
End Weight 133.1
Tip Weight 200.8
9 O'Clock101.3
3 O'Clock98.9
Butt Cap131.3

 

What Can Pictures Tell Us About String?

It is said that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” which may be true as long as the picture tells a story.

This story is about natural gut string, and the pictures will show what we can achieve, informationally, with our testing equipment. The two (2) strings are Babolat VS Touch 17 and Luxilon Natural Gut 125.

Both are awesome products, and we use a lot of both of them, but for different reasons, we may be able to understand by the pictures!

Our Questron software scales the images to suit the data so the graphs will not be the same size.

Babolat VS Touch 17

Our testing loads the string from 0 pounds force to 50 pounds and back to zero then up to 50 pounds three (3) times.  This is the “stress/strain” curve.  Fifty (50) pounds is arbitrary and because we are using the same methodology for all string materials it is a good number.  The closer these lines are together the better.

The farther it takes to reach 50 pounds the “higher elongation” the string is.  In this case it is about 44mm.

The important property of this string is the linearity!  That is the “straightness” of the line from beginning to end.  This indicates predictability, stability, and consistency.

This picture tells us the tensile strength and the knot strength.  In this case the knot strength is 52.3 pounds and takes a stretch to very close to 60mm before failure.

Luxilon Natural Gut 125

What is, probably, the first thing you notice about this “picture”? Could it be the squiggly lines? What could be causing this?

We believe it is the “break-in period” players associate with Luxilon gut! We have heard it from the players but have not been able to “see” it! It could be the bonding agents realigning as the load is applied.

You will notice a couple of things: the similarity of the “stress/strain” curve and the displacement to “knot strength” of the two strings. This string will feel a little less “soft” than the Babolat VS Touch 17. The linearity is quite good up to failure.

So, based on these pictures, could you make a recommendation? If so, let us hear them!

And The Winner Is…

If you know anything about Tecnifibre yo know they make some of the best multifilament strings in the business!

 

The winner is Tecnifibre MultiFeel 17!

This string, MultiFeel, is a very “soft” polyurethane bonded construction that offers playability and a good value!

Tecnifibre MultiFeel !7 Gauge

This graph shows the high elongation and nice elasticity of this string.  The fairly linear slope up to failure would indicate some consistency of shot all the way up to breakage!

The knot strength is pretty good for a thin multifilament and we can say from experience that the know is going to be fine when property “tightened” and large enough to not slip bak into the grommet barrel.

If you are considering a multifilament this would be a good one to try!

Celebrity Visitors!

The World Headquarters of Racquet Quest, LLC was happy to welcome Randy St. Pierre and Henry Hamels for a visit!

Randy is a member of the Dunlop Stringing Team and is from the UK and Henry is the principal of String MD in Florida!  Randy has been stringing racquets for quite a while and is always a source of good information…and he bought lunch!

Randy & Henry

Randy lives in a beautiful part of England so we are all invited to his house when the weather is better…is that right Randy?

Randy remembers stringing for a young player named Emma at a tournament in Nottingham when young Emma was in the 300’s  world wide!  Look at her now!  Was it Randy or something else?  I wonder!

Anyway it was great fun having these guys here and they are welcome anytime as are all of you reading this!

 

And the winner is…Head FXP 17

 

Head FXP is a string that seems to be largely overlooked and I am surprised after seeing the results of the installation and testing!

String NameCategoryGaugeUltimate Tensile Strength/LbsKnot Strength/LbsCountry of Origin
Head FXPMultifilament - Nylon17165.993.4Japan

Both the tensile strength and knot strength are exceptional and the graph shows that this string is very “elastic” which is a good thing for tennis racquet string but sometimes just not considered.

Head FXP 17

The area under the solid red lines is considered a stress-strain curve and indicates the “elasticity” of string by how close the lines fit from 0 to 50 three (3) times.  A perfectly elastic material would be one line even though it went through three (3) cycles.  What you see here is quite good and one of the reasons it is the winner!

And the winner is…overview

Racquet Quest is going to add a “winner” of the week to our website as a way to develop a fun way to look at string!

Each week we will select a string that has exhibited outstanding properties from one of five (5) major categories:

    • Synthetic Gut
    • Mulit-filamanet
           Nylon
           PEEK
    • Natural gut
    • PEEK Monofilament
    • Polyester Monofilament

The winning string must have been installed in the most recent week either in a client or demo racquet.

We will include as much information as possible including graphs and the country of origin.

We will try to post “And the Winner is…” on Friday so take look!

Our Favorite String

A frequently asked question by our clients at the World Headquarters of Racquet Quest, LLC is “what is your favorite string?”

I am going to tell you what it is, and tell you why it is, and why, I believe, it should be your favorite string as well!

VS Team v VS Team

It should come as no surprise that natural gut is our favorite string!  Well, of course, you say!  It is probably everyones favorite but it is way too expensive for most recreational players!  You are correct that natural gut is everyones “favorite” string, however, you may not be correct about it being too “expensive” for recreational players!

What follows is predicated on the belief that “performance” is the primary factor in selecting a string.

On the positive side:

  • Natural gut plays better longer than any other material.
  • Natural gut is more stable than most string materials.
  • Natural gut is more forgiving (comfort) than most other materials.
  • Natural gut is more eco-friendly than other materials.
  • Natural gut is a good hybrid component.

On the not so positive side:

  • Natural gut is expensive @ $70.00 to $75.00 (installed).
  • Natural gut is more expensive than other materials.
    • Making natural gut string is very labor intensive.
    • Making high quality natural gut is limited to a “few” major manufacturers.
  • Natural gut can be affected by moisture.

And, how do you quantify “plays better”, anyway?  Some players are fine with string that has long since offered any performance!  Some strings have a “play”life of a couple of hours!  So, the player must decide on what is important.

But, if you ask us, natural gut is our favorite string!

 

 

String Evaluation Program

Racquet Quest, LLC has for years been doing the extensive evaluation of racquets and string for the benefit of our client’s customization requirements.

Now we are making this evaluation “program” available to anyone that wants to dig deeper into the workings of the string in the racquet!

This is serious stuff and requires significant resources but it is worth it!

Please contact us of you would like to take advantage of our evaluation program!

Take a look at the String Evaluation Program!

 

 

Prince Vortex 300

The new Prince Vortex design is a new offering of an older string pattern with 14 main strings and 21 cross strings in a variable taper beam…whew!  You can see by the throat design that the main strings are longer that a conventional throat design.  The longer the main strings the more energy they can return…sort of, and in some cases!

Vortex 300

The beam starts at the grip with a strong 25mm then tapers into a 23mm at the throat and then back to 25mm at the tip.  Do not let the beam dimensions fool you!  The RDC flex of 59 after stringing is quite acceptable for most every player style.

We have been taking coefficient of friction (COF) data for years  but have not included it this review format, until now.  The 14×21 string pattern is unique enough that it is worth including.  You will see the numbers on the review specs so we won’t go into them now, however the numbers are interesting.

The 14 main strings contribute to a very “open” area right about where most extreme “spin” shots are hit according to our data of string failure positions.

The frame geometry is sort of “Aero” like.  The shaft is trapezoidal that transitions into a “reverse” trapezoid around the head.  It makes the racquet look stiffer than it is!

Take a look at the specs then pick up a demo to see what the numbers mean to you!

ManufacturerPrince
Racquet ModelPrince Vortex 300
Reference Tension56 lbs - 25.4kg
String
Victrex 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC45
ASPS, FlexFour58.5
Racquet Flex, RDC59 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour40.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness526.3 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams322
Weight, Ounces11.36
Balance, mm320
Balance, Inch12.60
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.94
Head Length12.94
Head Area, cm2652
Head Area, Sq. Inch101.1
Number of Main Strings14
Number of Cross Strings21
Ratio Cross/Mains.512
Main String Grid7.30
Cross String Grid9.50
Density (% of head filled with string).686
Average Cross String Space.452
Average Main String Space.521
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT32
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in176.98
First Moment, Nm.790
Polar Moment336
Torsional Stability17
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2319
Swing Weight, Ounces11.25
Swing Weight Calculated329.7
Power, RDC47
Control, RDC52
Manueverability, RDC74
Power, Calculated 1921.1
Head Points7.24
Head Weight, %46.6
Center of Percussion21.7
Dwell Time, ms9.48
Efective Stiffness - lbs30.2
K, Lb/In144.23
Recoil Weight165.41
Twist Weight237.56
End Weight 134.5
Tip Weight 189.0
9 O'Clock96.2
3 O'Clock96.1
Butt Cap131.4
Coefficient of Friction: M.400
Coefficient of Friction: X.262

 

 

Prince RipStick 300

I am not saying the is not a serious tennis racquet but the first descriptor that come to mind is “fun”! And who does not want to have a little fun while playing tennis, huh?

RipStick 300


This is one of the remaining racquets with the “O” Port technology which is very large string openings instead of small grommet holes. The design allows for much more string movement and the 16×18 string bed helps!  The “O” Ports create an effective head size of 105 in a racquet that measures 100 square inches.

But, just look at those colors!  I think they are awesome!

This is a constant taper beam starting at 22.5mm going up to 27mm so if you are “thin beam” person you may hesitate to hit with this racquet, but we think you may be missing out!

If you just look at the racquet you may think it to be quite stiff.  That is not the case!  With an RDC stiffness of 62 after stringing we arrive at an effective stiffness of 30.2 with this string setup.  Not bad!

Take a look at the specs then come get the demo and see what all these numbers mean to you!

ManufacturerPrince
Racquet ModelPrince RipStick 300
Reference Tension60 lbs - 27.2kg
String
Prince Premier 16
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC59
ASPS, FlexFour64.5
Racquet Flex, RDC62 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour46.6
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness504.2 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams328
Weight, Ounces11.57
Balance, mm323
Balance, Inch12.72
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width10.00
Head Length12.87
Head Area, cm2645
Head Area, Sq. Inch100.1
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings18
Ratio Cross/Mains.694
Main String Grid7.56
Cross String Grid9.12
Density (% of head filled with string).679
Average Cross String Space.531
Average Main String Space.469
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT36
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in201.35
First Moment, Nm.814
Polar Moment337
Torsional Stability17
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2320
Swing Weight, Ounces11.29
Swing Weight Calculated342.2
Power, RDC43
Control, RDC58
Manueverability, RDC73
Power, Calculated 2095.5
Head Points6.14
Head Weight, %47.2
Center of Percussion21.2
Dwell Time, ms8.28
Efective Stiffness - lbs30.2
K, Lb/In189.10
Recoil Weight159.2
Twist Weight256.05
End Weight 134.9
Tip Weight 194.5
9 O'Clock100.8
3 O'Clock97.3
Butt Cap130.2

 

 

 

New KT Tape Products!

KT Tape is probably the most recognized gear any athlete can wear! You see it on many world-class athletes typically placed where they may be experiencing discomfort or want to reduce the possibility of such!

Racquet Quest has added three (3) new KT Tape products we believe are essential to better performance.

The new Wave:

  • Clinically proven and FDA cleared device for relief of chronic musculoskeletal pain
  • 250 hours of battery life for consecutive or intermittent use
  • Sensation-free electromagnetic pulses that are safe and effective
  • Flexible loop is easy to place
  • Water resistant, safe to wear during regular physical activity and during sweating

 

 

 

 

The new Chafe Safe:

 

  • Protects friction-prone areas from blisters & hot spots for up to 24 hours
  • Sweat & water resistant
  • Mess-free, non-sticky, & smooth application
  • No clogging of pores

 

 

 

 


The new Anti Blister tape:

  • Designed to help prevent athlete blister, chafing, and hot spot formation*
  • Ultra-durable, flexible, and breathable synthetic fabric
  • Easily conforms to skin and extremely thin to minimize friction
  • Precut 3.5” strips for convenient use in most common treatment areas
  • KT Tape is proud to provide the KT PERFORMANCE + and KT RECOVERY + product lines, supporting athletes of all levels and helping them to perform at their best. Train longer, finish stronger

 

These important products contribute to Racquet Quest’s commitment to keeping our clients playing comfortably forever!

If you are new to KT Tape just click here and you will go to the very comprehensive “how to” page!

 

World Headquarters Update

The World Headquarters of Racquet Quest is very happy to present the latest addition to our headquarters!

My daughter and her family that live in Columbus presented me with the iconic Columbus, Indiana “C” bike rack recently!  This bike rack is something I have wanted for a while!

In case you don’t know, Columbus, Indiana is well known for the many architectural buildings and pieces by many very famous people!

Click on this link if you would like to know more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus,_Indiana

World Headquarters

The bike was donated by Davids Cycle World and painted by me!  A very close inspection of the paint job should be avoided!

Anyway, we are very happy to have this addition to the World Headquarters!

Thank you!

And now for something completely different!

It is not often we get to do something completely different but this is that time!

Everyone loves to see what the very latest racquets are going to look like and how they will play but what about taking a look back, not forward!

This racquet review is going way back!  I am not sure when this racquet was made but suffice it to say it was a while ago.  I will guess that it is over sixty (60) years old.

Well, OK!  What is it?

It is a Wright & Ditson Olympic!

Wright & Ditson Olympic

This is a beautiful 68 square inch wooden racquet.  The wooden grip pallet is wrapped with a very wide piece of perforated leather, not the slender leather used today.

The racquet has no butt cap.  Or didn’t have a butt cap but now it does.

Pay particular attention to the weight of this racquet, and the stiffness!

Many of the current racquets will be in the 315-gram range with an RDC flex of 55+.

When we received it the condition was not great but it was straight and worth renovating.  We all know how beautiful some wooden racquets can be so let’s get to the specifications.

ManufacturerWright & Ditson
Racquet ModelWright & Ditson Olympic
Reference Tension45lbs/20.4kg
String
Head Synthethic 17
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC36
ASPS, FlexFour50
Racquet Flex, RDC12 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour27.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness500.0 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams401.0
Weight, Ounces14.14
Balance, mm307
Balance, Inch12.09
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width8.13
Head Length10.8
Head Area, cm2444.6
Head Area, Sq. Inch68.9
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.677
Main String Grid7.00
Cross String Grid8.30
Density (% of head filled with string).843
Average Cross String Space.415
Average Main String Space.389
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT30
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in167.8
First Moment, Nm.932
Polar Moment368
Torsional Stability9
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2359
Swing Weight, Ounces12.66
Swing Weight Calculated377.9
Power, RDC0
Control, RDC100
Manueverability, RDC47
Power, Calculated 296.9
Head Points11.02
Head Weight, %44.9%
Center of Percussion21.0
Dwell Time, ms10.6
Efective Stiffness - lbs9.0
K, Lb/In115.4
Recoil Weight189.8
Twist Weight203.8
End Weight 174.9
Tip Weight 225.0
9 O'Clock115.9
3 O'Clock115.0
Butt Cap168.9

 

In a string does color matter?

Of course color matters!  Brands have made history on color!  Prince Green, Head Orange, Babolat Blue, for racquets but what about string?

Sure, again!  Luxilon Silver, Babolat Black,  Solinco Green, Victrex Putty…what?  Which of these monofilament strings do not have any color pigment?

If you guessed the Victrex you would be correct.  But why not?  The natural color of the polymer is probably the very strongest a string can be, however, without color they would not be at all interesting or recognizable!  The natural Victrex color is typically what we use when evaluating the string because it is visually different.

Victrex does make strings with black-pigment, but this post is about the difference pigmentation can make in a string.  In a previous post some years go we determined that color had very little affect on string properties and this evaluation shows pretty much the same result in a different format.

You can see by this graph there is very little difference between the two Volkl V-Star strings.  In fact it would be safe to say the strings are identical.

We will continue to evaluate strings with pigmentation to determine if any color does exhibit an affect on the properties.

Head Speed Pro Black

As you probably know by now Novak Djokovic plays with a version of the Head Speed but in black, not black and white! So it was only a matter of time until the all-black Speed Pro became available.

Until now we only had the black and white Speed Pro demo but now we have the black one!

This review will include the white and black version of the Speed and we will include a comparison to the Wilson Blade Pro!

These are each extraordinary racquets!  You will discover subtle differences in the specifications, especially the Wilson Blade Pro being a 16×19 pattern and the Head Speed Pro, in this case, is 18×20.  The geometry and frame of the 16×19 and 18×20 are the same so the numbers are meaningful!

 

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360 + Speed Pro Black
Reference Tension54 lbs - 24.5 kg
String
Head Reflex MLT
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC56
ASPS, FlexFour66.5
Racquet Flex, RDC57 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour50.5
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness325.2 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams334
Weight, Ounces11.78

Balance, mm325
Balance, Inch12.80
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.618
Head Length13.10
Head Area, cm2636.1
Head Area, Sq. Inch98.6
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.662
Main String Grid7.565
Cross String Grid10.30
Density (% of head filled with string).7735
Average Cross String Space.513
Average Main String Space.413
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.7
First Moment, Nm.836
Polar Moment341
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2326
Swing Weight, Ounces11.50
Swing Weight Calculated352.8
Power, RDC42
Control, RDC59
Manueverability, RDC69
Power, Calculated 1832.1
Head Points5.51
Head Weight, %47.0%
Center of Percussion21.016
Dwell Time, ms8.502
Efective Stiffness - lbs28.25
K, Lb/In179.49
Recoil Weight159.3
Twist Weight231.4
End Weight 134.5
Tip Weight 198.0
9 O'Clock99.0
3 O'Clock99.6
Butt Cap134.0

 

And now for the white and black version:

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
This Wilson Blade Pro was not strung by Racquet Quest. The specifications are included as a comparison only…not a string recommendation.

And now for the Wilson Blade Pro:

ManufacturerWilson
Racquet ModelWilson Blade Pro
Reference Tension54 lbs - 23.6 k2
String
ALU Power Rough
Machine UsedUnknown
Static
ASPS, RDC35
ASPS, FlexFour53
Racquet Flex, RDC62 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour48
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness387.1 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams337
Weight, Ounces11.89
Balance, mm327
Balance, Inch12.87
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.6
Head Length12.80
Head Area, cm2623.3
Head Area, Sq. Inch96.6
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.634
Main String Grid7.37
Cross String Grid10.40
Density (% of head filled with string).7934
Average Cross String Space.547
Average Main String Space.461
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT27
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in151.0
First Moment, Nm.850
Polar Moment358
Torsional Stability16
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2342
Swing Weight, Ounces12.06
Swing Weight Calculated360.35
Power, RDC55
Control, RDC42
Manueverability, RDC59
Power, Calculated 2069.0
Head Points5.04
Head Weight, %47.07
Center of Percussion21.535
Dwell Time, ms10.755
Efective Stiffness - lbs22.37
K, Lb/In112.18
Recoil Weight170.8
Twist Weight234.0
End Weight 135.0
Tip Weight 202.9
9 O'Clock100.8
3 O'Clock103.7
Butt Cap132.2

Pick Your Prestige!

Racquet Quest specializes in high performance tennis racquets and they don’t get more high performance than the Head Prestige models!

We recognize the attachment players have to racquets so we keep a good supply of Head Prestige racquets of all models and even a year or two of prior models.

Here is what is currently available:

 

NameMaterialModelHead SizeGrip SizeString PatternQuantity
PrestigeGraphene XTRev Pro93416x191
PrestigeGraphene XTRev Pro93316x192
PrestigeGraphene XTMP98418x201
PrestigeGraphene XTMP98318x201
PrestigeGraphene XTPro98416x191
PrestigeGraphene XTPro983
16x192
PrestigeGraphene TouchPro95216x191
PrestigeGraphene TouchTour99318x192
Prestige Graphene TouchTour99218x191
PrestigeGraphene TouchMP95318x201

 

 

 

Still Committed to Your Racquet!

For the past few years and certainly the past year Racquet Quest has been committed to tennis racquets and yours is included!

Hopefully the days of the “mask”are over and we can resume actually talking to each other and be understood! Of course if you prefer to wear a mask that is OK, too!

Here is what is not OK!

Not caring about your tennis racquet is not OK, and by that I mean keeping it in the best possible condition. That includes string, grip, grommet sets, overgrips and general reactions of beating it against the ground or net!

We have seen five year old racquets that look brand new and five day old racquets that are in really poor shape! One of the most damaging “strokes” in tennis is the ball pickup stroke! This is not a stroke at all but a way to keep from bending over to pick up balls!

Using the racquet head to scoop up the balls is easy and cool! It is also the quick way to ruin the bumper guard which is there to protect the Racquet from normal stroke, not pick-ups!

So, what do you do about it? The next time you consider scooping up balls with the racquet consider tapping the ball to start it bouncing or simplpy use the fingers on your hand to pick up the ball…that would be good!

Looking at the Numbers and What They Mean

The following table will shed some light on the numbers we use and hopefully shed some light on what they can mean in terms of your racquet.

By using these numbers you can describe what you think needs to be different to enhance your performance!

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, RDC42Calculated by the RDC. High is 100
Control, RDC59Calculated by the RDC. High is 100
Manueverability, RDC71Calculated by the RDC. High is 100
Power, Calculated 1740.5This number is calculated based on a bunch racquet properties, Including length.
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%Calculated based on weight distribution and length.
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/In179.5This is how many pounds it takes to deflect the string bed one (1) inch.
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.

Correct Size Does Matter!

Grip size, in this case, does matter!  However, for several years the largest grip size available has been a 4 ⅝, or just 5 for short.

This is simply the circumference of the finished grip forward of the butt cap.  Of course the butt cap is of a size that will capture the butt of your hand for comfort and control.

But what happens if you need a grip size larger than 4 ⅝?  In years gone by a shrink tube was applied to the current grip pallet and the size was increased accordingly.  Typically only two (2) shrink tubes could be used and even then the grip facets became “rounded”.

Lucky for us, and you of course, we can now print grip pallets in any size required!  The largest one so far is a 5 1/4 for a player in New York using a Babolat Pure Aero.

Each printed pallet is made specifically for a racquet, not just a “one size fits all” approach due to very subtle variations in size, especially the inner shaft.

Inner Shaft

In this case the pallets were longer to accommodate large hands so the length of the racquet was increased through the use of these pallets and a printed extender.

The printed pallet must fit securely and the best way to assure the fit is to have the racquet.

Any time the butt cap comes off the shaft must be filled with material to keep objects from falling into the racquet!

Pallet with Butt Cap

 

What Can String Failure Tell Us – Part Deux

In Part Un we discussed the difference between shanking (mis-hit) and friction failure.  It was obvious that the string was broken.  But what happens when it is not so obvious?

Part Deux, this part, will examine the frictional notching failure of monofilament string and how we can be prepared for it!  To further refine this discussion we will be comparing PET polyester has PEEK monofilament string.  The reason is that each material while both will notch one requires more time to reach the critical dimensional decrease that is a failure!

In almost every Racquet Quest Podcast we talk about tension v string diameter and agree that once 50% of the string diameter is notched away the string is vulnerable!  So a .050 (1.27mm) diameter string that has a tensile strength of 120 pounds at 50% notching will have 60 pounds of tensile strength remaining.

Notched v un notched string

This graph is a string that was broken during use.  The string was removed from the racquet.  The top line is the tensile strength in the area of no notching so you can see that it is pretty strong still and has stabilized due to use.  That stabilization is indicated by the very tight stress/strain grouping.

However, things go sideways when the notched area of the string is put under stress.  The string failed at a force of 63.8 pounds, or about 59% of the used tensile strength.  Not bad!

So, notching is failure-inducing but how long it takes to create the fatal notch differs with string material.  This particular set of strings had about six (6) hours of play.

In Part Trois, we will look at PEEK material under the same conditions!

 

What Can String Failure Tell Us?

Well, in the simplest terms, failure tells us it is time to have the request strung! However, there may be subtleties in string failure that can help us in our quest for tennis racquet performance.

Such as?

Is the failure shear related or tensile strength related? Was friction the major contributor to the failure? Where did the failure occur (on the racquet, not the court)? Was the failure during play or in the bag?

Shear-related failure is when the string breaks very near the racquet frame. This failure is called a mis-hit or shank! It is like cutting the string with a pair of scissors!

Shear Failure

Friction Failure

Friction failure is caused by just that, friction!  Friction is caused by the string moving on each other. That rubbing creates friction and notches the string where it will fail.

If the racquet failed during play and it is not shear-related, the tensile strength of the string was exceeded. If a string has a tensile strength of 120 pounds and the tension is 60 pounds leaving 60 pounds to be used to hit the ball. Some big hitters can generate at least that much force on a solid forehand!

The graphs show the tensile strength and relative elongation of different material.

This graph shows the tensile strength of the string to be about 115 pounds.  Given the movement of this string-on-string, the frictional notching can contribute to relatively early failure based on the hitters force.

This graph shows the tensile strength of the string to be about 155 pounds but it has to travel (stretches) further to reach that force.

So, you can see, with this information we can make better decisions when asked to suggest a string, or strings, for a client!

Players String Evaluation

For years we have requested player evaluation input to help us provide a comprehensive selection of quality tennis racquet string.

Our new Player String Evaluation form below makes it really quick and easy to give us your evaluation input.  If Racquet Quest prepared your racquet there will be two (2) labels on the inside of the racquet shaft.  One label will be your name with date, string, tension, and racquet number. The other label will be a bar code that includes the racquet number.

You can use this information when filling out the Player String Evaluation form.  Thank you for your input!

Our Mission

Which Comes First!

We all have heard the question “which comes first the chicken or the egg”?  However, my question is “Which comes first the game or the string”?

I believe they happen simultaneously.  But first a quick story.

In 2005 I was attending a Head product introduction on the island of Mallorca, Spain,  Yes, that one!

The product introduction was exciting but what I am going to tell you about now was even more meaningful.

The Director of one of the top US Tennis Training organizations, at that time, was there and we were discussing teaching techniques and what he said after being in this part of Europe was “we need to start teaching our players how to hit this way!”  Well, “this way” was the way of low-powered strings that were popular in Europe but not so much in the US, yet.

So, it began!  The players could not hit harder, like the Europeans, unless they used the same string material as the Europeans and that was very stiff and mostly PET polyester.

So, the idea was the “egg” and the string was the “chicken”, sort of!  I guess the feeling was that “if Americans are going to compete we must use the same equipment”.

Our history confirms that almost no one plays better with stiff string and durability is suffering!

Now, I believe the professional game can go on about its way but otherwise, we need to consider changing the game by returning to a combination of comfort and playability.

Our history shows us that the “high performance” life span of many polyester strings is about 2-3 hours, or less, maybe about 10-12 games.  We don’t believe this is quite long enough for most players.  But, how do you quantify “performance”?  It may be different things for different players.

There are many components to performance but what if it was associated with UTR data?  Racquet Quest can track UTR numbers and make some determinations based on that data.  If a UTR is stable or increasing it is a good bet that the performance of the player and equipment is OK.  However, if the UTR is slipping it is a good indication that something is not working as it should…but what?

We have found that, in some cases, it is injury or discomfort, that is causing the slippage!  Stop it!  The following data is for a 12 month period and acquired from the UTR website.  Even small positive changes are tough!  But negative changes seem to have an enormous impact more quickly than positive changes!

For example:

PlayerRacquetStringUTR1UTR2Delta
AHead Speed PEEK12.8412.86+ .02
BBabolat Pure AeroPolyester10.919.56-1.35
CHead Radical MPAPEEK4.505.61+1.11
DWilson Pro Staff 97PEEK5.07.03+2.03
EBabolat Pure AeroPEEK3.85.64+1.84
FWilson Blade 98 Polyester10.09.41-.59
GHead Radical ProNatural Gut3.75.15+1.45

This information is provided as a small sample comparison instrument and is not intended to pry anyone away from their favorite setup!  Even if it hurts!

 

 

 

 

Bolt 100 v2

Bolt tennis racquets have been around for a few years and we have reported on them in the past, however, the new V2 of the Bolt racquet lineup is very impressive!

If you are not at all familiar with the Bolt technology it is the “Zip Strip” that makes them unique.  The “Zip Strip” is a carbon fiber component that looks like a miniature tennis racquet cross-section that fits into the sides and top that actually do the “bending” during string and racquet impact!

This “bending” can mitigate harshness associated with very stiff strings or a very stiff racquet!

Arm problems are no match for the ZipStrips!

Before we look at the specifications you can visit the Bolt site for more information.

Bolt 98L, V2 
ManufacturerBolt
Racquet ModelBolt 100, v2
Reference Tension57 lbs - 25.9 k
String: Main/Cross
Head Reflex
Machine UsedTrue Tension Pro
Static
ASPS, RDC56
ASPS, FlexFour64.5
Racquet Flex, RDC64 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour46
Weight, Grams313
Weight, Ounces11.06
Balance, mm337
Balance, Inch13.27
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.98
Head Width9.589
Head Length13.13
Head Area, cm2665.1
Head Area, Sq. Inch103.1
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip24.5, 24.5, 23.8
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.642
Main String Grid7.37
Cross String Grid9.62
Density (% of head filled with string).688
Average Cross String Space.506
Average Main String Space.461
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT36
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in201.35
First Moment, Nm.822
Polar Moment350
Torsional Stability19
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2331
Swing Weight, Ounces11.68
Swing Weight Calculated356.6
Power, RDC48
Control, RDC53
Manueverability, RDC66
Power, Calculated 2183.7
Head Points1.42 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %49.3%
Center of Percussion21.4
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.50
Effective Stiffness - lbs29.9
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC179.49
Recoil Weight157.0
Twist Weight234.11
End Weight118.7
Tip Weight196.1
Total Weight314.8
9 O'Clock103.0
3 O'Clock98.9
Butt Cap110.3
Total Weight312.2

 

 

 

Friction v Tension…what wins?

We all know what friction is.  It keeps our cars from sliding around, it keeps us from slipping and in general makes movement possible!

Friction also plays an important part in the string bed of your tennis racquet.  Friction between the strings and the ball create friction which in turn creates rotation.

What are, however, some of the downsides of friction in the string bed during, and after, the stringing process?

Friction v Tension

For more detailed information and a graph showing the forces involved go to our membership site, GASP.network, but in the meantime this image will show the frictional forces at work!

This machine tension head will pull the string (blue) in the direction of the center of the racquet support structure instead of directly out the middle of the grommet.

It is obvious that this will create considerable friction and result in lower tension inside the grommet than outside the grommet.

Our equipment and technique eliminates this friction resulting in a uniform string bed.

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!

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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.

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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, RDC42Calculated by the RDC. High is 100
Control, RDC59Calculated by the RDC. High is 100
Manueverability, RDC71Calculated by the RDC. High is 100
Power, Calculated 1740.5This number is calculated based on a bunch racquet properties, Including length.
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%Calculated based on weight distribution and length.
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/In179.5This is how many pounds it takes to deflect the string bed one (1) inch.
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.