Author Archives: RacquetQuest

String Tension Testers…Friend or Foe?

The StringMeter is a device used to check the tension of an individual string. There are other versions of similar functionality, but this is what we use, and I will start with that.

Interestingly, this device traces its design to a tool that is used to check mainstay tension on a sailing vessel.

It is clear that our devices are well used, so they must be a “friend,” not a “foe”! And to that, I would say yes! The two (2) units shown here are “calibrated” units. One device is “free string,” and the other is “strung string.” These are different scales and very important for accurate information.

String Tension Tester

When we evaluate string or stringing machines, one of the most important values is the string tension with only the main strings installed. Using the “free string” scale, we check every main string and record the number.

Once the racquet is fully strung, we can check some center main strings and center cross strings with the “strung string” scale and see the variation. The difference between the two is the “natural ratio” of the racquet.

In addition to the stringing machine review use of the StringMeter, we also use it to calculate our “accuracy index.”

For this, we use the “strung string” scale and check each main string tension from left to right and every cross string tension from top to bottom and compare the actual numbers to the calculated numbers based on a non-distorted racquet. This spreadsheet shows how accurately the ball will come off of the racquet face.

The “efficiency index” tells us how much the racquet needs to change shape to reach that “index.”  

These are all essential functions of the StringMeter and String Tension Tester from Gamma Sports.

But, what if the StringMeter or other device is used without knowing what it is telling the user?

This is the “foe” part!

This would be the case if a customer with such a device has a racquet strung at say a reference tension of 55 pounds. The customer then uses the method to check the tension and finds that it is not 55 pounds or even close! The customer is not going to be happy!

If the customer knows what to do, they can check the main string tension as soon as they can after stringing, then, later on, to see how much the string has stretched without regard to the reference tension.

It is what it is!

When the racquet is no longer performing it would tell the customer how much the tension can deteriorate before stringing is required.

So, these devices are very useful for individual string tension but no so much for “string bed stiffness,” which is the total string bed as a ball impacts it.

We will look at some of the “string bed stiffness” devices in a future post.

 

 

The Coronavirus, You, and Tennis.

To our most valued and precious clients and friends, at this critical and ever-changing time in our country, we want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

The coronavirus has caused a statewide shutdown.  Our hours will be changing to reflect this very important step toward taking control of this virus!

Effective immediately our hours will be Monday through Friday by appointment only.  You can be assured that we will maintain the social distancing required to beat this terrible virus.

If you prefer we can deliver your order to your car or ship directly to your home or office.

Please call or text to 407.491.4755.

All of us are going through a very trying time and eliminating as much exposure as possible right now will bring a quicker end to this virus!

Please be safe!

Racquet & Tournament Management

Management is not just for adults!  Juniors that play tournaments need to have some management skills!  During this coronavirus slow down it is a good time to learn some of these management skills.

We see many different management slip-ups such as no racquets for the tournament tomorrow!  All racquets have broken string and are at the bottom of a bag nobody wants to stick their hand into!

Juniors Management Tip #1:

Every Monday takes every racquet out of the bag.  If one or more are broken leave them out of the bag.

Juniors Management Tip #2

To get some idea of how much longer the string may last simply try to move the 5th or 6th cross string by pulling up toward the top of the racquet. If you can not pull the cross string up it is time for stringing.  If you are able to pull a cross string up pay attention to the “snap” it makes as you push it back into location.  A serious “snap” indicates a deep notch.

Monofilament strings typically fail by notching which makes it difficult to move the cross strings.  If your string is a multi-filament and looks like the picture on the left it is time to string!

Abrasion Fail Visual Test

Notching Visual Fail Test

What if neither of these conditions exists?

Every racquet in your bag should have a tag indicating when the racquet was last strung and if it has been more than one month it is time to string, period!

Just for fun you can go to our SFC function and get a good ideas as to how many times per year yu need to have your racquet strung.

I Get It! Maybe… or Maybe Not!

When we do a racquet review we try to deal with numbers!  Static and dynamic numbers to be precise.  We do this so each racquet can be referred to by properties and not just by subjective comments.  Make no mistake, subjective comments are good and can be used in fact to generate numbers!

Here is an explanation of the numbers and what they can mean to you.

It is well known that 5 players will have 5, or more, different “comments”, so having numbers provide a database, or history, of what works for what player style.  With that information, a new client can be playing with their “perfect” racquet is a very short time instead of trying a zillion different models.

This is important because players may not be using the best racquet for them because they rely on assumptions instead of numbers!  The very worst assumption is “I need a light racquet because I am just getting back in the game”.  The second worst assumption is “I need a big head with a big sweet spot because I am not very good”.  The third worst assumption is “I don’t need very good string because I am not very good”.

Bogus assumptions, every one of them!

As we look over our client data some things are clear and should become performance metrics;

  1. Total weight should be not less than 10.5 ounces (300 grams).
  2. Swing weight should not be less than 10.5 ounces (300 grams).
  3. Torsional stability should not be less than 15 units (typically grams).

With these metrics, you are off to a great start with a new racquet, or if you are beginning a new racquet search these numbers will be helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

Head Graphene 360+ Speed PWR

I suppose you have a pretty good idea what PWR means, right?  Well, you would be correct!  The Head Graphene 360+ Speed PWR is just that at a calculated power value of 2297.5!  Compare that to the calculated power value for the Head Graphene 360+ Speed Lite of 1838.3!  Twenty percent (20%) more powerful than the Lite!

This is what a 115 square inch head size can do for a racquet!  The strings are quite a bit longer and more widely spaced which contributes to power, and comfort.

This head size is normally referred to as a “game improvement” racquet and relegated to those players that were not too athletic and/or didn’t want to exert too much energy on each stroke.  In other words slow and short swings.

I am not sure that is the case with this racquet!  Sure it has a big head and a thick beam but it sure does feel good when picked up (first moment)!

If we were going to recommend this racquet I would suggest some weight added to the rear end.  The head does not need any additional weight.

Head Graphene 360+ Speed PWR

As I am working on this post I realize how much trouble it is to switch between racquet reviews for comparison so I am including a link to the Head Graphene 360+ Speed Series Comparison.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Speed PWR
Reference Tension56 lbs - 25.4 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC48
ASPS, FlexFour59
Racquet Flex, RDC64 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour59
Weight, Grams276
Weight, Ounces9.74
Balance, mm352
Balance, Inch13.86
Length, Cm69.4
Length, Inch27.32
Head Width10.50
Head Length13.81
Head Area, cm2734.8
Head Area, Sq. Inch113.9
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip26, 26, 28
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In550.5 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm 249.7 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.640
Main String Grid8.56
Cross String Grid11.15
Density (% of head filled with string).759
Average Cross String Space.532
Average Main String Space.535
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT33
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in184.57
First Moment, Nm.764
Polar Moment324
Torsional Stability18
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2306
Swing Weight, Ounces10.79
Swing Weight Calculated342.0
Power, RDC49
Control, RDC52
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 2297.5
Head Points-1.57 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %50.7%
Center of Percussion21.3
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing9.18
Efective Stiffness - lbs27.4
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC153.85
Recoil Weight132.95
Twist Weight225.40
End Weight 92.6
Tip Weight 184.4
9 O'Clock91.1
3 O'Clock90.6
Butt Cap94.2