Category Archives: Grips
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!
I started thinking about this as I made my way to a routine doctor’s appointment last week. Here is the scenario I formed while waiting:
The doctor has been seeing all sorts of patients already today and I suspect the first glance at each one elicited some sort of reaction, quielty probably, like this; “Good Greif, that guy is fat! Bad trousers, terrible shoes, nice shirt, whats with the hair, dude?” etc, etc.
So what do you think happens when a racquet shows up for a checkup?
“Good grief, that is an old racquet, who would ever buy one of those, this person is too good for that racquet,” etc, etc.
As humans we can communicate how we feel to the doctor but your racquet can not, so it has other ways to tell you if it is healthy or not. Here are a few signs of an unhealthy racquet:
- Grommet set, and specifically the protective head bumper is worn out. If this is not fixed quicky the racquet will die!
- Grommet set individual barrels are broken or missing. If this is not fixed the strings will die!
- Overgrip is disgustingly dirty requiring exam gloves to remove it! Doctors use exam gloves too and you know what that means!
- Under grip is essentially rendered to powder, requiring exam gloves to remove it.
What is not so obvious sometimes is that strings need to be replaced. Even before they break! What!
Yes, strings loose tension over time and in some case rather quickly! By knowing what the original string bed stiffness was we can determine how much “stiffness” has been lost. For most players a degradation of 20% is maximum.
Depending on the string material a loss of 8 to 9% overnight is not uncommon…so that leaves 11 to 12% for playing.
Take a look at our String Frequency Calculator to get a better idea of stringing frequency required to keep your racquet really working for you.
To keep you playing at your best you need to keep your racquet at it’s best!
The Gravity MP Lite as you would expect is lighter than the MP by about a ½ ounce with a corresponding reduction in swing weight. This can be easily remedied by increasing the swing weight while not effecting the ovefrall weight very much.
The MP LIte is a great example of a “customizable” racquet and deserves great consideration by any player seeking a performance racquet that will stay with them for a long time.
The head size of 100 square inches is consistent with the Pro and MP models.
These are not the same racquet but the entire series uses the two color graphics package with Lava on one side and Miami Green (my words) on the other. Sort of a fun point!
Take a look at the specifications that follow.
|Racquet Model||Head Graphene 360 + Gravity MP Lite|
|Reference Tension||55 lbs - 24.9 kg|
|String||Head Velocity MLT Black|
|Machine Used||True Tension Professional|
|Racquet Flex, RDC||59 - After stringing|
|Racquet Flex, FlexFour||45|
|Racquet - In Plane Stiffness||331.5 lbs/Inch|
|Head Area, cm2||647.1|
|Head Area, Sq. Inch||100.3|
|Number of Main Strings||16|
|Number of Cross Strings||20|
|Main String Grid||7.70|
|Cross String Grid||10.30|
|Density (% of head filled with string)||.791|
|Average Cross String Space||.515|
|Average Main String Space||.481|
|Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT||35|
|Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in||195.7|
|First Moment, Nm||.753|
|Swing Weight, Kg/cm2||294|
|Swing Weight, Ounces||10.37|
|Swing Weight Calculated||323.8|
|Head Weight, %||48.5%|
|Center of Percussion||20.9|
|Dwell Time, ms||8.74|
|Efective Stiffness - lbs||27.9|
Yes, I mean it!
Keep reading to see why I suggest you “play like a girl.”
About a year ago, a little girl, Meera, about 12 years old, came into the World Headquarters to demo a few racquets. She was committed to getting better and wanted a racquet that would help her.
After a few demos, she selected the Head Graphene Touch Radical Pro. During the discussion of how we were going to set up these new racquets, I mentioned the Head Pro Cap System that is compatible with this model.
If you are not familiar with the “cap” system, it is the plastic parts that fit over the head of the racquet to protect the string. All racquets have a grommet set, but the “cap” system encloses the string as it is installed therefore is more substantial than the standard grommet set. The racquet on the left has the “cap” system.
She purchased two (2) Head Graphene Touch Radical Pro, one with and one without the cap system.
So, other than doing a great job of protecting string it also provides additional inertia, or momentum, that blasts the racquet through the incoming tennis ball!
This momentum creates stability, and a stable racquet will be more powerful and controllable!
But wait, what about all that additional weight? That is the question we hear anytime we suggest adding weight to a racquet.
Weight is your friend! Every player is different so matching the racquet to the physical capabilities is critical!
It was so much of a friend to Meera that she quickly came in to have the second Head Graphene Touch Radical Pro fitted with the “cap” system and both racquets fitted with a Head Leather grip! The leather grip adds about 10 grams to the rear end of the racquet.
So, what are the specifications of this racquet that is being used successfully by a 12-year-old girl?
Take a look at these then tell me you can’t use a “heavier” racquet:
Weight: 360 grams (12.7 ounces)
SwingWeight: 344 Kg/cm² (12.1 ounces)
Points Head Light: 8.03…yes, still very much headlight!
Torsional Stability: 22…very good!
Recoil Weight: 176.9
Twist Weight: 246.9
*Ereca End Weight: 153.0
*Ereca Tip Weight: 207.0
*Ereca is a French company that designs and manufactures racquet diagnostic equipment.
Do yourself a favor and Play Lkie a Girl!
There is more to this story so keep checking back, and, if you have questions please click on “Ask John” above or respond to this post and I will try to answer them.
As you would expect “PWR” means power! With a calculated power factor of 2294.7 that is true! You can see by the picture above that the PWR has a slightly larger head size (109.9 square inch) and a reasonable beam of 26/25/23 which contributes to a racquet stiffness of 65.
Unique to the PWR series of Head racquets this racquet can be either a 16 x 19 or 14 x 19 string pattern by replacing the top grommets with the included grommet set.
This format creates a “fan pattern” that makes the upper portion of the string bed very “open”.
This is a picture of last yesrs model. Whichever pattern you choose you will be presented with plenty of power…PWR!
|Racquet Model||Graphene 360 Radical PWR|
|Reference Tension||60 lbs - 30.6 kg|
|String||Head Velocity MLT 17 Pink|
|Machine Used||True Tension Professional|
|Racquet Flex, RDC||65 - After stringing|
|Racquet Flex, FlexFour||42|
|Racquet - In Plane Stiffness||310.9 lbs/Inch|
|Head Area, cm2||708.8|
|Head Area, Sq. Inch||109.9|
|Number of Main Strings||16|
|Number of Cross Strings||19|
|Main String Grid||8.20|
|Cross String Grid||10.90
|Density (% of head filled with string)||.814|
|Average Cross String Space||.574|
|Average Main String Space||.513|
|Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT||34|
|Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in||190.16|
|First Moment, Nm||.780|
|Swing Weight, Kg/cm2||312|
|Swing Weight, Ounces||11.01|
|Swing Weight Calculated||347.9|
|Head Points||-0.79 (negative is head heavy)
|Head Weight, %||50.4%|
|Center of Percussion||21.2|
|Dwell Time, ms||8.82 Ms - No Swing|
|Efective Stiffness - lbs||28.9|