Author Archives: RacquetQuest

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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:

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 
Racquet ModelBolt 100, v2
Reference Tension57 lbs - 25.9 k
String: Main/Cross
Head Reflex
Machine UsedTrue Tension Pro
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 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,, 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!