Category Archives: Customization!

Customization. What it can do for you!

Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour

When we do the testing and “number taking” for our demo racquets, we try to think as the consumer may think and include comments that may help the consumer make the best decision.

We do not want to make these posts so dull that you go to sleep, but data is essential, so we are going to include it…so stay awake!

Data is particularly relevant to the Prestige Series from Head.

This review is for the Prestige Tour, and it points to the differences between Prestige racquets that may go unnoticed or misunderstood.

The Prestige Tour is a 99 (645 cm²)square inch racquet with an 18 x 19 string pattern. If you have read the post on the Prestige MP, you may wonder, what’s the difference?

You may notice that the Prestige Tour has one (1) fewer cross string. Not a big deal. You may see that the Prestige Tour has one (1) square inch larger head size. Also, not a big deal. What you may not notice is the Prestige Tour has an in-plane stiffness of 400, and the Prestige MP has an in-plane stiffness of 359. That is a big deal! Even with a bigger head and fewer strings, the Prestige Tour has a higher string bed stiffness than the Prestige MP. The higher the in-plane stiffness, the less the racquet will “bend” during impact.

The Prestige Tour is more stiff overall (62 v 58) than the Prestige MP, and the 21.5mm beam contributes to that stiffness.

So, take a look at the numbers for this racquet to see if you can find other exciting differences!

 

 

 

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC55
ASPS, FlexFour71
Racquet Flex, RDC62 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour49
Weight, Grams325
Weight, Ounces11.46

Balance, mm327
Balance, Inch12.87
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.56
Head Length13.12
Head Area, cm2635.3
Head Area, Sq. Inch98.5
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip21.5, 21.5, 21.5
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In400.0 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm181.4 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.690
Main String Grid7.81
Cross String Grid10.00
Density (% of head filled with string).724
Average Cross String Space.526
Average Main String Space.396
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.7
First Moment, Nm.819
Polar Moment334
Torsional Stability18
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2316
Swing Weight, Ounces11.15
Swing Weight Calculated347.5
Power, RDC46
Control, RDC55
Manueverability, RDC76
Power, Calculated 1929.2
Head Points4.88 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %47.7%
Center of Percussion20.8
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.58
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.1
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC176.3
Recoil Weight150.9
Twist Weight222.7
End Weight 131.7
Tip Weight 195.3
9 O'Clock100.7
3 O'Clock101.4
Butt Cap124.0

Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP

We are finally getting the time to work on these marvelous new racquets from Head! In this case, it is the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP.

The Prestige is a fascinating series for Head, but I think it is often overlooked when considering a new racquet purchase. I believe the “performance” category excludes a lot of players that could very well use this racquet if it is appropriately set up. Secondly, I think players have the mistaken feeling that the Prestige series is too stiff!

I believe you will see by the following specifications that neither are necessarily true!

The Prestige series is, in my opinion, the best looking new racquet in a long time. However, in a performance racquet, what does “looks” have to do with it? In my opinion, a lot!

This racquet is the “true” 98 square inch (630 cm²) head size with an 18 x 20 string pattern and, of course, the excellent “cap system” that contributes to the performance of this racquet. You will see in the specifications that the swing weight is on the “light” side, allowing for customization to suit any player.

Head is now including a CPI, “Control Power Index,” and this racquet ranks as a CPI 200 compared to the Prestige Pro at CPI 300. The difference is a function of the tight string pattern and flex. The thin 20mm beam throughout contributes to the nice flex of RDC 58 after stringing.

A lower CPI indicates to us that the racquet will do no more than you ask of it! If you want the ball to go fast you swing harder! The racquet will not force to to “fear” your stroke!

If you are considering an 18 x 20 string pattern this racquet should be right at the top of the list.

Our COF numbers are quite good which indicate a positive contribution to “spin” considering the tight string pattern.

 

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Prestige MP
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC58
ASPS, FlexFour67
Racquet Flex, RDC58 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour39
Weight, Grams337
Weight, Ounces11.89

Balance, mm313
Balance, Inch12.32
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.47
Head Length13.05
Head Area, cm2625.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch97
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip20, 20, 20
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In359 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm162 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings18
Number of Cross Strings20
Ratio Cross/Mains.653
Main String Grid7.50
Cross String Grid10.25
Density (% of head filled with string).792
Average Cross String Space.513
Average Main String Space.417
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.9
First Moment, Nm.803
Polar Moment326
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2311
Swing Weight, Ounces10.97
Swing Weight Calculated330.2
Power, RDC39
Control, RDC62
Manueverability, RDC79
Power, Calculated 1749.9
Head Points9.29 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %45.7%
Center of Percussion21.0
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.35
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.0
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC185.9
Recoil Weight160.4
Twist Weight226.8
End Weight 149.2
Tip Weight 189.9
9 O'Clock98.2
3 O'Clock98.8
Butt Cap140.3

2020 is Coming Into Focus!

2019 came and went in a blur!  In a few days it will 2020 and with it will come some exciting new tennis stuff, for sure!

I am not so good at predicting things but I do it anyway!  Here are a few predictions I will make for 2020:

  1. Tennis racquets will become more expensive, but only slightly.
  2. On-line sales of tennis racquets will increase.  See this previous post.
  3. Customer satisfaction with on-line sales will decrease.
  4. Small specialty tennis shops will be the source of information, then #2, and then #3.
  5. Players will stick with a racquet longer, making customizations as needed.
  6. String and stringing will become a more important component of a racquet purchase.  See below!
  7. Tennis related injuries will continue to be a problem for the sport going forward.

    No Underage Polyester, Please!

    Thank you for thinking about the “long term” for all tennis players!

    There are no bad strings just bad applications!

    The right equipment is crucial to the long term enjoyment, and winning, of tennis!

    The local representatives I deal with are committed to our “well being” even though some may feel like they are facing “extinction”!

    An excellent example of what we are talking about just walked in! Two (2) new racquets so poorly strung it is shocking!

    The customer is having serious arm issues with an excellent racquet, with a terrible string setup! But the string setup is probably considered by many to be the ultimate combination, that is RPM Blast in the main and VS Touch in the cross! That combination is coming out in a few minutes!  No more polyester!

    The quality of the stringing is what is so wrong! Had you or I received this racquet, we would have returned it at once! Why? Because it exemplifies the attitude of so many stringers that is “who cares”!

Happy New Year!

The Racquet Quest Podcast…update!

Thank you for listening to the Racquet Quest Podcast!

I am posting here to make an addition and a correction to a previous podcast, and this is quicker than waiting for a week or so for a new episode.

The “Stringing and Racquet Data” podcast was cut short, so I will finish it here. 

We were talking about the three (3) scale system we use to determine the torsional balance. The racquet is weighed at the midpoint of the head at the “top” and “down,” and the butt cap is resting on the third scale, and that is called the “butt.”

I don’t recall the podcast numbers right off, so I will use numbers from another racquet to explain. The racquet is a Wilson Ultra 100. The “top” weight is 95.3 grams, the “down” weight is 96.0 grams, and the “butt” is 119.9 grams for a total of 311.2 grams (10.97 oz.). So you can see the difference between the “top” and “down” number is only .7 grams, which is about a quarter of the weight of a vibration damper!

However, if this number was over 5 grams, we may want to “match” the numbers a little more closely! But, what if we wanted to increase the “top” weight by a lot to have the head heavier on one side than the other side? Why? Maybe a “training” aid to remind the player to keep the head lower, for example. Our experience shows that a difference between the “top” and “down” of 6 grams is noticeable.

 

On the Yonex VCore Pro 97 – Racquet Review, I noticed after the fact that I had indicated the Ereca System calculated the balance (CG) to within one-tenth of a centimeter! That would be pretty good, but in fact, the Ereca System calculates to within a tenth of a millimeter! Very precise! As of now, the Ereca System does not calculate swing weight as I tried to correct on the podcast but wanted to confirm that point.

Thank you for visiting the Racquet Quest website and listening to the Racquet Quest Podcast! Please let me know if you have any questions and suggestions for exciting topics!

 

 

How to Demo a Racquet

We have what seems to be a zillion demo racquets, and there is a player for each of them, I suppose.

One of the biggest complaints against “demoing” is precisely that…too many to choose from!

This is what we recommend;

  • Start the convesation with yourself before you need to make a decision.  Allow a month before the “season” starts if you can,and start the conversation with us early on.
  • What do you want that your current racquet is not providing.
  • What is your budget.  If you are a junior what is your “sponsors” budget.
    • With these three questions you are well on the way to a painless “demoing” expreience!

Here is what we would like to have to speed up the process:

  • Bring your current racquet in “play ready condition” with you to the primary discussion.
  • Tell us what has changed physically since you selected the current racquet.
    • Injuries, including tennis elbow, shoulder and wrist issues, or a long layoff, etc.
  • What do you want the new racquet to do that the current racquet is not?
    • Power, or “POP”, Control, Comfort, Grip Size, String Issues, etc.
  • Do you have a brand preference?
  • If we can make your current racquet better will you not demo other racquets?
    • It is possible that the current racquet can be better than it is so demo it as well after some customization.
    • Tell us if this is of interest or “I want a new racquet…period!

With this information we can make the demoing process much more fun,consise, and ultimatley rewarding, and in a much shorter time period.

Our demo process is free however we believe the racquet should be “setup” just as it will be used which may require stringing and a litttle customization and there will be a charge for that if you agree.

Our huge database of racquet specifications allow a quick look at the characteristics you prefer.

We think you wil be surprised at how much fun the demo process can be!

 

 

 

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