Category Archives: Fake Racquets
As any business knows by now, there is a new way to do business regardless of what they are selling, and tennis racquets are no exception!
For several years players have been able to buy “special” racquets from some manufacturers. These racquets were typically unique graphics. The price of these racquets was, also, usually a bit more than “retail’ products.
Now, however, Wilson is making their “Pro” series racquets available through wilson.com, only. These racquets are what the cognoscenti refer to as “pro stock” racquets.
I think it is a good idea!
Why? Because so many players wanted “special” racquets and were paying exorbitant prices for racquets that may or may not be what they thought they were buying! We know because we see them!
Buying direct is one reason we have modified our model slightly by offering to a greater extent “custom” racquets. This way, you know what you are getting, exactly! I believe this will be the case with the Wilson Pro Series as well.
I believe it will not be far that more tennis racquet companies do the “direct” thing; however, “scale” is the issue and stringing and racquet setup. Some companies don’t have the resources for that, yet, so online sellers will still have some action, I think.
If you have a racquet technician you trust, purchase the racquet “direct” but have it set up locally. I think that is a winning combination!
Let us know what you think about buying directly from the racquet brand instead of online or locally.
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:
- Tennis racquets will become more expensive, but only slightly.
- On-line sales of tennis racquets will increase. See this previous post.
- Customer satisfaction with on-line sales will decrease.
- Small specialty tennis shops will be the source of information, then #2, and then #3.
- Players will stick with a racquet longer, making customizations as needed.
- String and stringing will become a more important component of a racquet purchase. See below!
- Tennis related injuries will continue to be a problem for the sport going forward.
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!
A lot of players are anxious for new tennis racquets this time of year and have, maybe, asked for one as a gift. A great idea, of course.
However, be sure the gift giver, or yourself, gets real! There are some real bargains out there, but the bargains may not get you what you expect. This can happen to any brand and the more popular the racquet, the more likely there are to be fakes!
This is an image of a fake Wilson Blade 98 compared to a real Wilson Blade 98.
I am showing this image because without seeing this detail the fake racquet graphics will look nearly identical to the real Wilson racquet.
One of the best ways to confirm a fake or real racquet is to “bend” it, that is to check the stiffness of the racquet. In almost every case the fake will be quite a bit more flexible. For example, this fake racquet has a stiffness of RDC 41 whereas the real racquet has a stiffness of RDC 63. If your racquet technician does not have a device for checking stiffness the next best thing is to look at the “insides.” A qualified racquet technician will know what the insides of the real racquet look like.
Another sign of fakery is the grip pallet. Most performance racquets will have a foam pallet molded over the graphite shaft or a two-piece pallet that is attached to the racquet shaft.
Fake racquets may very likely have a continuous graphite pallet. You can quickly look under the first couple of inches of the grip and see if it is foam or graphite.
Clamshell grip pallet
If you are requesting a new tennis racquet be sure you get it from a local business, if possible, or an otherwise reputable source.
If you have any questions at all, please call your local dealer or us (407.491.4755) to be sure you “GET REAL.”
I spend hours each day dealing with tennis racquets, strings, machines and questions of all sorts!
By doing this I am learning what is important to tennis players but it should not require a one-on-one discussion to learn this, in my opinion.
So, what is important to you? Here is what I am discovering.
Comfort. It goes without saying that you don’t want to play tennis if you are hurting! Players are requesting racquets that are more arm friendly. But wait, the racquet really holds the string which has a huge impact on comfort. So should we begin with string? I think so!
String. Every string I have has undergone a comprehensive testing procedure to determine elongation which in turn is converted to Power Potential. The higher the elongation the higher the power potential and the less stiff the string bed will feel when the ball is hit hard, all other settings being equal. If you have a stiff racquet it is important to select a string and tension that will mitigate the racquet stiffness to some extent. Every racquet we do has the “effective stiffness” calculated which is the combined stiffness of the racquet and string bed. Once we have the preferred effective stiffness for a customer we can achieve that even if a new racquet is added to the mix.
Durability. We try to associate the cost of racquet stringing to “cost per hour” of play time. What is your threshold? $1.00 per hour or $10.00 per hour? When considering durability do not confuse “performance” with “durability”! There are several strings that may not fail for several months however the performance is gone in a few hours. This is typical of polyester based strings. So, even if the string is still intact the performance is way gone!
Cost. The cost of tennis racquets is increasing, sometimes justified, sometimes not but are rising none the less. If cost is your “driver” some navigation around the market is important, however, we do not suggest you buy the “cheapest” thing you can find without a thorough understanding of what you are getting. We can assist you in evaluating racquets from any source.