Author Archives: RacquetQuest

Head Extreme Tour

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

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

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

Head Extreme Tour

The other Extreme models will be:

Extreme MP – 100 square inch head size, 300 gram

Extreme S – 105 square inch head size, 275 gram

Extreme Lite – 105 square inch head, 265 gram

Extreme PWR – 115 square inch head, 230 gram

Extreme Jr – 100 square inch head, 240 gram

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

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

Take a look at the specs here:

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

 

Know Your String!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Weight is Your Friend!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Tale of the Tapes!

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

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

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

Common Weighted Tape Format

Common Weighted Tape Format

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

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

Not Easily Modified Tape Placement

Not Easily Modified Tape Placement

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

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

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

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

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

Racquets Taking Off …and Racquets Crashing!

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

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

Twitter07

Head Graphene 360+ Prestige

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

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

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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!