Author Archives: RacquetQuest

My chat with Oscar!

It is a rare opportunity to chat with one of the greatest basketball players of all time!  I am happy to share our conversation with all of you on our Racquet Quest Podcast!

Oscar Robertson!

Our podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, YouTube, and Twitter, or you can simply click the episode on the left side of the home page and listen without going anywhere!

This is a really fun conversation, and I hope you will listen and comment if you want.

Thank you, Oscar, for sharing, and thank you, Tia, for bringing us together!

Failure by Fruit!

Tennis strings fail for several reasons… but fruit!

I have been doing tennis racquet work for many years. However, this is a first for me!

Failure by Fruit!

Failure by Fruit

So what actually happened here?  This player carries everything she needs to compete at tournaments, including fruit.  In this case, it was bananas!

Well, bananas don’t last long, and these decided to go and take some very good sting with them!

The racquets were placed in the bag and remained there while the bananas did what bananas do…go bad!

Apparently, where the bananas contacted the string, the chemicals in the decomposing banana were enough to eat the string in not one but two racquets!

So, if you are considering sharing your bag with bananas, be sure they are separated from the racquets!

We are preparing to work on these racquets, and I can say they do smell good!

Solinco Black Out 300XTD

Solinco is not new to the tennis racquet business but the new offerings have some excellent features that I don’t remember on the previous ones we saw.

The two (2) racquets being reviewed are the Black Out 300XTD and White Out 305 XTD

Solinco Black Out

Cleverly, one is all black and one is all white!   I mention this because the graphics are minimal which I think is a very good design platform.

We will start the review with the Black Out.  As you might have guessed the 300XTD is a 300-gram, 27.5-inch-long racquet having a 100-square-inch hitting area.

This racquet comes with three (3) butt caps for adding much-needed weight!  Pop out the 0-gram standard and pop in a 5 or 10-gram replacement!  When you pop out the butt cap you will see this is a non-filled (hollow) racquet, and, there is nothing wrong with that.  You will also see that the grip pallet is a molded foam pallet, allowing for minor size and shape changes.

That is enough narrative.  Take a look at the specifications below:

ManufacturerSolinco
Racquet ModelSolinco Black Out 300XTD
Reference Tension42
String
Volkl V-Star 18
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
String Bed Stiffness - RDC42.0 Units
String Bed Stiffness -FlexFour39.0 pounds
String Bed Stiffness - SBS41.3 pounds
String Bed Stiffness - ERT28 Kg/Cm
Racquet Flex, RDC70 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour49.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness377.4 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams330
Weight, Ounces11.64
Balance, mm323
Balance, Inch12.72
Length, Cm69.9
Length, Inch27.52
Head Width9.81
Head Length12.98
Head Area, cm2645.3
Head Area, Sq. Inch100.0
Beam Height @ Grip, mm23.3
Beam Height @ Mid, mm24.5
Beam Height @ Tip23.7
Beam Width @ Grip, mm16.0
Beam Width @ Throat, mm15.7
Beam Width @ Mid, mm11.0
Beam Width @ Tip, mm12.8
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.637
Main String Grid7.70
Cross String Grid10.68
Density (% of head filled with string).822
Average Cross String Space.562
Average Main String Space.481
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT30
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in167.79
First Moment, Nm.819
Polar Moment332
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2317
Swing Weight, Ounces11.18
Swing Weight Calculated344.3
Power, RDC60
Control, RDC36
Manueverability, RDC75
Power, Calculated 2330.5
Head Points8.35
Head Weight, %46.2%
Center of Percussion20.9
Dwell Time, ms10.19
Efective Stiffness - lbs25.0
K, Lb/In125.00
Recoil Weight155.24
Twist Weight237.60
End Weight 136.4
Tip Weight 192.7
9 O'Clock100.4
3 O'Clock101.3
Butt Cap127.5
COF, Main.370
COF, Cross.332

 

Solinco White Out 305XTD

Solinco is not new to the tennis racquet space but this model is a much better effort than the ones we have seen previously.

Solinco White Out

This White Out 305XTD  is a 305-gram, 27 ½ long, 98-square-inch hitting area, thin beam racquet, that happens to be foam filled.  The White Out is basically white…which is very good!  The grip pallet is a molded foam format that will allow minor size and shape modifications.

The standard butt cap can be replaced with a 5 or 10-gram unit for needed weight.

We have added the beam height and beam width to the specification sheet.  Beam height is the thickness of the racquet when looking a the side and beam width is the thickness of the racquet when looking at the face.

Take a look at all the specifications:

ManufacturerSolinco
Racquet ModelSolinco White Out 305XTD
Reference Tension42
String
Volkl V-Star 18
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC39.0
ASPS, FlexFour50.5
Racquet Flex, RDC67 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour50.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness350.9 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams330
Weight, Ounces11.64
Balance, mm323
Balance, Inch12.72
Length, Cm69.9
Length, Inch27.52
Head Width9.62
Head Length12.95
Head Area, cm2631.5
Head Area, Sq. Inch97.9
Beam Height @ Grip, mm22.0
Beam Height @ Mid, mm22.0
Beam Height @ Tip22.3
Beam Width @ Grip, mm11.6
Beam Width @ Throat, mm13.0
Beam Width @ Mid, mm10.8
Beam Width @ Tip, mm12.5
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.626
Main String Grid7.70
Cross String Grid10.56
Density (% of head filled with string).831
Average Cross String Space.556
Average Main String Space.481
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT30
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in167.79
First Moment, Nm.819
Polar Moment334
Torsional Stability14
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2320
Swing Weight, Ounces11.29
Swing Weight Calculated344.3
Power, RDC57
Control, RDC40
Manueverability, RDC73
Power, Calculated 2203.6
Head Points8.35
Head Weight, %46.2%
Center of Percussion21.1
Dwell Time, ms10.19
Efective Stiffness - lbs24.7
K, Lb/In125.00
Recoil Weight158.24
Twist Weight229.13
End Weight 100.1
Tip Weight 191.2
9 O'Clock100.1
3 O'Clock100.6
Butt Cap128.4
COF, Main.362
COF, Cross.300

Comparing Racquets (for real)

The Racquet Quest podcast recently aired a session on comparing racquets, so, to be fair I wanted to post that same data here. If you listened to the podcast this will sound familiar.

These racquets are not random. These racquets are owned by a client that is seeking an upgrade without going overboard!

Here is the data.  Take a look then read what the client has to say about them.

3 racquetcompare

Here is what Jess has to say:

“Hey, John –
Jess definitely likes the VS more than the Rafa. She said that she gets more easy power and stability with the Rafa but she’s able to accelerate faster on the forehand side with the VS.

She also felt like the VS was more maneuverable at the net. She said that if she’s in control of the point that she can really whip her forehand for a winner. She definitely noticed the lighter swing weight and liked that.

However, she also said that sometimes it feels a little unstable – like the VS is getting pushed around a bit. For example, she noticed that the head of the racquet can twist sometimes if her opponent nails a hard ball at her.

She has more control for sure with the VS – felt like she blasted more balls out with the Rafa. Overall, she likes the racquet- just would like a little more stability.”

By the way, Jess had not seen the racquet data prior to her hitting.  So, there you have it.  I believe you can see how much numbers help us find the right performance characteristics for a racquet.