Author Archives: RacquetQuest

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!