Category Archives: Health

Still Committed to Your Racquet!

For the past few years and certainly the past year Racquet Quest has been committed to tennis racquets and yours is included!

Hopefully the days of the “mask”are over and we can resume actually talking to each other and be understood! Of course if you prefer to wear a mask that is OK, too!

Here is what is not OK!

Not caring about your tennis racquet is not OK, and by that I mean keeping it in the best possible condition. That includes string, grip, grommet sets, overgrips and general reactions of beating it against the ground or net!

We have seen five year old racquets that look brand new and five day old racquets that are in really poor shape! One of the most damaging “strokes” in tennis is the ball pickup stroke! This is not a stroke at all but a way to keep from bending over to pick up balls!

Using the racquet head to scoop up the balls is easy and cool! It is also the quick way to ruin the bumper guard which is there to protect the Racquet from normal stroke, not pick-ups!

So, what do you do about it? The next time you consider scooping up balls with the racquet consider tapping the ball to start it bouncing or simplpy use the fingers on your hand to pick up the ball…that would be good!

Dealing with Options, and What are the Options?

The little video you see above is just a reminder that we do not promote polyester based string for underage players!  So, what is underage?  Oh, under 100 would be a good number, I think!

OK, smart alec what are the options?

  • No Polyester

PEEK/Zyex

Well, there are many, however, if the option is only relative to “no polyester” the best option is PEEK material.  This material is usually referred to by the brand name Zyex which is the fiber division of Victrex of England and known by the Ashaway name as well.  This material is normally found as a monofilament construction as is most polyester materials.

PEEK/Zyex offers exceptional durability and energy!

Multifilament

  • Premium Playability

Natural gut still is the number one playing string available.  We use Babolat and Luxilon natural gut but there are other options like Pacific, Klip, and others.

  • Excellent Playability

Multifilament construction can act as a spring and return both performance, power, and comfort.  Typically the more individual fibers the better.  These fibers are usually bonded with a soft adhesive and show signs of “fraying” during use.

Strings in this category include Tecnifibre, Ashaway, Babolat, Head, Yonex, and Gosen and others.  Expect to pay $42.00 + for these strings installed.

  • Playability

These multifilament strings are typically constructed using fewer larger diameter fibers to enhance durability.  The same “fraying” occurs with this grade of string as well however the larger diameter will last a bit longer usually.

Strings in the category include Tecnifibre, Babolat, Head, Yonex, IsoSpeed, Gamma, and others.  Expect to pay between $35.00 and $40.00 for these strings installed.

Synthetic Gut

  • Value

There are probably 10000 strings that fall under this umbrella!  9999 of these strings will be a nylon core with one or two overwraps bonded to the outer surface.  This material and construction has been around for many, many years and has offered great service to millions of tennis players…and is still in major use today!

Strings in this category include at least one, and probably many more, set from every major brand!  If you are really cost-conscious do not overlook this material. Expect to pay $27.00 to $35.00 for these strings installed.

And lastly,  what is our gripe with polyester?  Click on the link below to find out!

Click here to go to a comprehensive post that will explain our position.

As always, our position is “there are no bad strings just bad applications!”

 

Which Comes First!

We all have heard the question “which comes first the chicken or the egg”?  However, my question is “Which comes first the game or the string”?

I believe they happen simultaneously.  But first a quick story.

In 2005 I was attending a Head product introduction on the island of Mallorca, Spain,  Yes, that one!

The product introduction was exciting but what I am going to tell you about now was even more meaningful.

The Director of one of the top US Tennis Training organizations, at that time, was there and we were discussing teaching techniques and what he said after being in this part of Europe was “we need to start teaching our players how to hit this way!”  Well, “this way” was the way of low-powered strings that were popular in Europe but not so much in the US, yet.

So, it began!  The players could not hit harder, like the Europeans, unless they used the same string material as the Europeans and that was very stiff and mostly PET polyester.

So, the idea was the “egg” and the string was the “chicken”, sort of!  I guess the feeling was that “if Americans are going to compete we must use the same equipment”.

Our history confirms that almost no one plays better with stiff string and durability is suffering!

Now, I believe the professional game can go on about its way but otherwise, we need to consider changing the game by returning to a combination of comfort and playability.

Our history shows us that the “high performance” life span of many polyester strings is about 2-3 hours, or less, maybe about 10-12 games.  We don’t believe this is quite long enough for most players.  But, how do you quantify “performance”?  It may be different things for different players.

There are many components to performance but what if it was associated with UTR data?  Racquet Quest can track UTR numbers and make some determinations based on that data.  If a UTR is stable or increasing it is a good bet that the performance of the player and equipment is OK.  However, if the UTR is slipping it is a good indication that something is not working as it should…but what?

We have found that, in some cases, it is injury or discomfort, that is causing the slippage!  Stop it!  The following data is for a 12 month period and acquired from the UTR website.  Even small positive changes are tough!  But negative changes seem to have an enormous impact more quickly than positive changes!

For example:

PlayerRacquetStringUTR1UTR2Delta
AHead Speed PEEK12.8412.86+ .02
BBabolat Pure AeroPolyester10.919.56-1.35
CHead Radical MPAPEEK4.505.61+1.11
DWilson Pro Staff 97PEEK5.07.03+2.03
EBabolat Pure AeroPEEK3.85.64+1.84
FWilson Blade 98 Polyester10.09.41-.59
GHead Radical ProNatural Gut3.75.15+1.45
This information is provided as a small sample comparison instrument and is not intended to pry anyone away from their favorite setup!  Even if it hurts!

 

 

 

 

Bolt 100 v2

Bolt tennis racquets have been around for a few years and we have reported on them in the past, however, the new V2 of the Bolt racquet lineup is very impressive!

If you are not at all familiar with the Bolt technology it is the “Zip Strip” that makes them unique.  The “Zip Strip” is a carbon fiber component that looks like a miniature tennis racquet cross-section that fits into the sides and top that actually do the “bending” during string and racquet impact!

This “bending” can mitigate harshness associated with very stiff strings or a very stiff racquet!

Arm problems are no match for the ZipStrips!

Before we look at the specifications you can visit the Bolt site for more information.

Bolt 98L, V2 
ManufacturerBolt
Racquet ModelBolt 100, v2
Reference Tension57 lbs - 25.9 k
String: Main/Cross
Head Reflex
Machine UsedTrue Tension Pro
Static
ASPS, RDC56
ASPS, FlexFour64.5
Racquet Flex, RDC64 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour46
Weight, Grams313
Weight, Ounces11.06
Balance, mm337
Balance, Inch13.27
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.98
Head Width9.589
Head Length13.13
Head Area, cm2665.1
Head Area, Sq. Inch103.1
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip24.5, 24.5, 23.8
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In454 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm178.7 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.642
Main String Grid7.37
Cross String Grid9.62
Density (% of head filled with string).688
Average Cross String Space.506
Average Main String Space.461
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT36
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in201.35
First Moment, Nm.822
Polar Moment350
Torsional Stability19
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2331
Swing Weight, Ounces11.68
Swing Weight Calculated356.6
Power, RDC48
Control, RDC53
Manueverability, RDC66
Power, Calculated 2183.7
Head Points1.42 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %49.3%
Center of Percussion21.4
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.50
Effective Stiffness - lbs29.9
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC179.49
Recoil Weight157.0
Twist Weight234.11
End Weight118.7
Tip Weight196.1
Total Weight314.8
9 O'Clock103.0
3 O'Clock98.9
Butt Cap110.3
Total Weight312.2

 

 

 

Happy You Year!

Of course, we are all anxious for the new year to get here and erase 2020 from our memory!

We are designating 2021 as the You Year!  So, Happy You Year!

For the last few years Racquet Quest, LLC has put more emphasis on “custom racquets” and 2021 will see this emphasis extended to “you racquets”!

What exactly does “you racquets” mean?  It simply means that every racquet that leaves Racquet Quest, LLC is set up for your style of play and personal specifications.  Yes, even if the racquet is Off-the-Shelf and not a full custom!

This is the year of “you”! Happy You Year!

Many really good things are happening next year and we are glad you are going to be with us!