Category Archives: elbow

The Elephant in the Room!

I suspect we all have heard that expression!

It means there is something that everyone tries to ignore, but it is too large to do so!

I recently read an article in Racquet Sports Industries authored by Georgetta L. Morque. The title is “Tackling Tennis Elbow.” Tennis elbow is an important topic and deserves much attention. Georgetta is writing about ways to mitigate tennis elbow after the fact.

So, here is the elephant in the room; STIFF string!

 

Let’s try to prevent tennis elbow, so it does not need to be treated!

When we say stiff, it means a string with less than 4% elongation at 60 pounds which is our testing parameter. Most strings, and for this discussion, strings exhibiting that property will be monofilament PET-based (polyester).

Fully understanding this required a lot of testing, both lab and play, for many playing styles and racquets. To make a long story short, as a racquet technologies business, we decided not to promote polyester strings for most players. That sounds silly, but why take a chance when you don’t have to!

Our success is based on helping you, the player, perform the best you can, so it does not make sense to promote something contrary to that philosophy. Probably 75% of our clients have come to us for something different, so we have a “head start.” 

So why do so many players use it or want to use it? 

We believe it is because they have not been exposed to alternative string materials. Some outstanding players at the pro level use it, so it must be good, and it is for about 10-11 games. Of coursemanufacturers and marketers of polyester string stand to make a nice profit! It is in their best interest to promote products by adding some terminology and material to make the string less stiff.

A polyester string is deficient in power and needs to be walloped, and the harder it is hit, the stiffer it becomes, which is the problem. Developing bodies can’t tolerate that level of impact for long.

Please let us know your experience with strings of any type!

 

Head Boom Team 2022…BOOM!

It is here, and I bet you heard another big BOOM recently!

The Head Boom Team 2022 has arrived and is ready for you to try! The Boom Team is a valuable addition to the Head lineup.

For years players have been asking for a 102 square inch racquet that has the “player” characteristics they wanted.

Player characteristics can mean different things to different players, but here is what the Head Boom Team 2022 has:
A fairly thin beam
A thin head cross-section
A modified box beam shaft cross-section

This racquet continues with Graphene and fresh Auxetic material that has been popular in the Boom Pro and Boom MP!

All specifications are in the chart below but suffice to say; this is a significant step in the right direction!

Looking at the inside of the shaft, you will notice the transitional shape from a thin box beam into a slightly thicker trapezoidal beam.

The head shape also continues with the broader upper section like the Boom Pro and Boom MP. Most “aggressive” shots are hitting the string bed in this area, so giving it more energy makes sense!

The density of the string in that area should contribute to good string life.

The first thing you notice upon pickup (first moment) is the weight distribution. While this is still a “headlight” model (see the specs below), the weight is toward the tip of the racquet.

We have had great results with the Boom Pro and Boom MP in both “retail” and full custom racquets, so, If you are considering a racquet upgrade, this one should be on your list!

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Boom Team 2022
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Head Reflex MLT 17
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC48.0
ASPS, FlexFour64
Racquet Flex, RDC61 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour45.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness389.6 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams300
Weight, Ounces10.58
Balance, mm337
Balance, Inch13.27
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.97
Head Length13.065
Head Area, cm2659.7
Head Area, Sq. Inch102.3
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.642
Main String Grid7.80
Cross String Grid10.80
Density (% of head filled with string).845
Average Cross String Space.568
Average Main String Space.500
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT33
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in184.57
First Moment, Nm.786
Polar Moment320
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2305
Swing Weight, Ounces10.76
Swing Weight Calculated340.7
Power, RDC46
Control, RDC54
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 1921.4
Head Points1.89
Head Weight, %49.1%
Center of Percussion20.8
Dwell Time, ms9.18
Efective Stiffness - lbs26.9
K, Lb/In153.85
Recoil Weight138.76
Twist Weight222.21
End Weight 114.3
Tip Weight 187.8
9 O'Clock91.5
3 O'Clock93.6
Butt Cap114.8

What’s The Difference?

As tennis players, you must constantly ask “what’s the difference” when it comes to tennis racquets and string! Well, as racquet technicians we ask the same questions!

This post is intended to showcase the differences of string in testing, not playing, however, some of the data may be noticeable to the player in certain situations.

What this graph shows us, in addition to our trying to save a tree by printing on the back of previously used paper, is that each of these stings will provide almost the same performance. This is indicated by the curve and how closely related the strings are.

Tensile Strength Comparison

The differences you do see here can be attributed to the gauge, or diameter, of the string, with the largest diameter (Tour Bite) having the highest tensile strength.  Down in the “hitting” displacement range (way below the 39.9mm!), there is very little difference.

The tensile strength can be a factor as the string begins to “notch” or otherwise come apart.  Each of the strings in this graph is monofilament so notching would be the failure mode in a racquet.

 

Head Prestige Tour 2021

This racquet has the potential to be the hottest new Prestige in a long time. The “Tour” series is not new to the Prestige line but this one has some differences that are meaningful, we think!

This new Tour is a 16×19 string pattern inserted into a 95 square inch hitting area! Compare that to the previous Tour with a 18×19 string pattern in a 99 square inch head(now the new Prestige MP)…so you can see where this one is headed!

All of the new Prestige 2021 racquets will come with the full cap system that has become the “iconic” Prestige accoutrement.  

Also included in the Prestige Tour is the Auxetic material and construction that is intended to provide a better feeling impact and maybe a little more “energy”.  The shaft has a slightly different geometry and is a little shorter than some other models, however, the graphics indicate the shaft is “elongated”.

The “box” beam is a relatively constant 22mm from start to finish and is beautifully done in matt black transitioning into the Prestige maroon.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Prestige Tour 2021
Reference Tension53 lbs - 24.0 kg
String
Victrex 7718 (PEEK)
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC50.0
ASPS, FlexFour63.5
Racquet Flex, RDC63 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour42.5
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness384.6 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams336
Weight, Ounces11.85

Balance, mm326
Balance, Inch12.83
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.968
Head Width9.406
Head Length12.78
Head Area, cm2608.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch94.4
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.620
Main String Grid7.20
Cross String Grid9.125
Density (% of head filled with string).695
Average Cross String Space.464
Average Main String Space.445
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT34
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in190.16
First Moment, Nm.844
Polar Moment347
Torsional Stability16
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2331
Swing Weight, Ounces11.68
Swing Weight Calculated357.1
Power, RDC53
Control, RDC47
Manueverability, RDC66
Power, Calculated 1968.0
Head Points5.20
Head Weight, %47.6%
Center of Percussion21.1
Dwell Time, ms9.00
Efective Stiffness - lbs27.9
K, Lb/In160.26
Recoil Weight161.61
Twist Weight223.59
End Weight 136.8
Tip Weight 200.6
9 O'Clock99.5
3 O'Clock101.4
Butt Cap134.9

 

Our Favorite String

A frequently asked question by our clients at the World Headquarters of Racquet Quest, LLC is “what is your favorite string?”

I am going to tell you what it is, and tell you why it is, and why, I believe, it should be your favorite string as well!

VS Team v VS Team

It should come as no surprise that natural gut is our favorite string!  Well, of course, you say!  It is probably everyones favorite but it is way too expensive for most recreational players!  You are correct that natural gut is everyones “favorite” string, however, you may not be correct about it being too “expensive” for recreational players!

What follows is predicated on the belief that “performance” is the primary factor in selecting a string.

On the positive side:

  • Natural gut plays better longer than any other material.
  • Natural gut is more stable than most string materials.
  • Natural gut is more forgiving (comfort) than most other materials.
  • Natural gut is more eco-friendly than other materials.
  • Natural gut is a good hybrid component.

On the not so positive side:

  • Natural gut is expensive @ $70.00 to $75.00 (installed).
  • Natural gut is more expensive than other materials.
    • Making natural gut string is very labor intensive.
    • Making high quality natural gut is limited to a “few” major manufacturers.
  • Natural gut can be affected by moisture.

And, how do you quantify “plays better”, anyway?  Some players are fine with string that has long since offered any performance!  Some strings have a “play”life of a couple of hours!  So, the player must decide on what is important.

But, if you ask us, natural gut is our favorite string!