Author Archives: RacquetQuest

It is Never too Early to Start!

My Great Grand Daughter, Emma, has decided to take up tennis at the age of 18 months and it looks like she knows what do do with the racquet and ball, but the real deal is she knows how to dress!

Emma, Miss Racquet Quest 2019!

Thankfully her mother sent a bunch of really great pictures so you will be seeing more of Emma!

Storm Coming!

Orlando is expecting a storm of another kind!

Click here to find out more…

Wilson Clash Tour

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

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

Wilson Clash Tour

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

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

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

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

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


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

Racquet v Racquet!

If tennis racquets could play each other without the help, or hindrance, of a human, I wonder how they would do?

When we finish a series of racquets for a client, we have data that detail the properties, so, why not use this process to see how two (2) different racquets compare and, what, if anything, would contribute to one racquet “beating” another. We have this data for each client, so, we could play one client racquet against another! Of course to the player this is subjective but let’s look at a quick comparison and discuss what could make a difference and what that difference may be.

PropertyHead Prestige MidYonex VCore Pro 97DifferenceWhat it Means
Main String
MonoGut ZX
MonoGut ZX
Cross StringMonoGut ZXMonoGut ZX
End Weight146.4147.2-.8 gramsNothing
Tip Weight206.0205.4.6 gramsNothing
Overall Weight352.4352.6-.2 gramsNothing
Swing Weight343.0340.03 Kg/cm2Very Little
Polar Moment358.0358.00.0Nothing
In Plane Stiffness411.0352.958.1 Lbs/InchResistance to "Squeezing"
Static Balance321.8321.1.7mmNothing
Stability1518-3 unitsLess Stable
Position 1 - Butt Cap137.6141.3-3.7 gramsLess weight in the grip
Position 2 - 9 O'Clock108.1105.13 gramsMore weight on the left
Position 3 - 3 O'Clock106.5104.61.9 gramsMore weight on the right
CheckSum352.23511.2 gramsConfirmation
RDC Stiffness5960-1Nothing
FlexFour Stiffness4145-4Less stiff in the shaft
SBS - RDC66588Different testing methods
SBS - FlexFour70.566.04.5Different testing methods
SBS - Lbs/Inch225.9211.514.5 Lbs/InchTighter String Bed
COF= Main.387.392-.005Nothing
COF = Cross.397.342.055More Ball Grip
Peak Load218.0231.0-15.1Softer String Bed @ big hits
Head Weight %47.05%46.94%.11%More weight toward head
Dwell Time5.4 ms4.9 ms.5 msLonger ball contact
Length - Unstrung68.5 cm68.5 cmo.o cmNothing
Head Size - Calculated92.4 Square Inch95.8 Square Inch-3.4 Square inchHigher String Bed Stiffness
Head Width9.2 Inch9.6 Inch-.4 inchMore Twisting

As you can see, there is little difference in these racquets so it could be concluded that they will play the same. However, let’s start at the top and look at the properties that could make a difference.

MonoGut ZX String is quite “soft,” and both racquets were strung at the same reference tension so not much there.

The End, Tip, and Overall Weight are virtually the same as is Swing Weight and Polar Moment.

In Plane Stiffness is the racquets resistance to becoming more narrow when cross strings are tensioned, or wider when main strings are installed. In Plane Stiffness can contribute to a more “firm” or more “flexible” string bed.

Static Balance is the same, but Stability is higher for the Yonex, and I contribute this to the slightly “wider” head. The farther the sides are from the neutral axis, the more stable. However, the Head has a higher 9 and 3 O’Clock weight which should contribute to stability.

Position 1, 2, and 3 are weights taken at three locations on the racquet. Places 2, and three on the Yonex could be increased slightly to increase swing weight.

The checksum is there for me to confirm entries.

RDC and FlexFour stiffnesses indicate that the Yonex should be a little more “powerful” (≈13%) which is confirmed in another piece of data not included here.

SBS RDC and FlexFour are different tests of the string bed. The FlexFour data is used to calculate SBS Lbs/Inch. This data would suggest the Yonex racquet would generate a little more “grunt.”

COF=Main: is the resistance of a ball sliding up the main strings.

COF=Cross: is the resistance of a ball sliding across the cross strings. So, if the ball can catch the string (higher number) the more quickly the ball will begin to rotate. At this moment the coefficient of friction of “string on string” will take over.

String on String” coefficient of friction is recorded in another data base and can be used to choose complimentary strings for any occasion.

Unravellin​g Athena

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

Here is the latest trailer for the film…

Wilson Clash 100

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

Wilson Clash 100

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is Elongation?

In dictionary terms it is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does String Color Matter?

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

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

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

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

Carbon Mapping…GPS for Your Ball!

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

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

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

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

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

The Clash racquet comes in two (2) models:

Wilson Clash

Clash 100 & Clash 100 Tour

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

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

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

Instinct…get it!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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