Category Archives: Customization!
Customization. What it can do for you!
We want to have a discussion of “Full Custom Racquets” and this to be the best we can do at the moment!
Click on Full Custom Racquet to see the short video, and thank you for watching!
We believe this is an exciting step forward in specialized tennis racquets and preparation.
We are anxious to hear your thoughts on this move to better racquets for everyone…especially you!
Normally our racquet reviews are when a racquet is brand new; however, this is a case where the updated string, RPX, from Tecnifibre is an excellent opportunity to add another review to the site!
There are some excellent reasons to review the same racquet again with different string or tension settings.
- It allows us to evaluate new strings for comparison purposes.
- It will enable the player to demo the same Racquet with a different string.
- The string can affect the overall weight to a small degree but significantly impact swing weight.
For example, this racquet with Victrex 7718 PEEK string (15.9grams installed) has a swing weight of 318. With the new Tecnifibre RPX (18.0 grams installed), the swing weight is 325. That is not huge, but it is different.
Lead tape, commonly used to increase swing weight, weighs in at 2.8 grams for 12 inches! So, slightly over 2 grams of additional string weight in the strung area contribute to the difference between these strings.
Of course, this also means that swing weight can be reduced, somewhat, by using lighter string! We weigh all of the string we test for Power Potential, so we know which string can benefit either swing weight preference.
|Racquet Model||Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP|
|Reference Tension||55 lbs - 24.9 k|
|String||Tecnifibre RPX 16|
|Machine Used||True Tension Professional|
|Racquet Flex, RDC||59 - After stringing|
|Racquet Flex, FlexFour||54|
|Head Area, cm2||645|
|Head Area, Sq. Inch||100
|Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip||22, 22, 22|
|In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In||381.0|
|In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm||68.12|
|Number of Main Strings||16|
|Number of Cross Strings||20|
|Main String Grid||7.75
|Cross String Grid||10.37|
|Density (% of head filled with string)||.784
|Average Cross String Space||.480|
|Average Main String Space||.520|
|Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT||36|
|Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in||201.35|
|First Moment, Nm||.843|
|Swing Weight, Kg/cm2||325|
|Swing Weight, Ounces||11.46|
|Swing Weight Calculated||365.7|
|Head Points||1.89 (negative = head heavy)|
|Head Weight, %||49.1%|
|Center of Percussion||20.7|
|Dwell Time, ms, No Swing||8.74|
|Effective Stiffness - lbs||27.9|
|K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC||169.87|
|Total Weight Check||322|
|Total Weight Check||321.6|
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!
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
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
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!