Category Archives: Health

What is Elongation?

In dictionary terms it is:

“the amount of extension of an object under stress.”

In tennis terms, it means the same thing when talking about tennis racquet strings.

How much does a string stretch under the reference tension load or otherwise stretched (impact)?  The proliferation of wrist, arm and shoulder injury has brought attention to the property of “stiffness.”  The problem is that your stiffness may be different than my stiffness, so there needs to be an “index” associated with each string, in my opinion.  I have that data on over 500 tennis strings, but that is just me.

The images show the results of high elongation (left) and low elongation (right) string upon breaking.

Several years ago a player asked me “where is the string that is missing?”  Well, it is not missing.  The ends you see should be connected!

If the string has little elongation when it breaks there is nothing “pulling” it apart like the high elongation string. So each time you hit the ball, the string either elongates a bunch or it doesn’t.

In the case of the high elongation string, on the left, it absorbs a good portion of the “shock” associated with a hard hit, whereas the low elongation string, on the right, lets your body do the absorbing to a great extent.

So, it is reasonable to use very low reference tensions for low elongation string (35 to 45 pounds; 16 to 20.5 Kg) and higher tensions (45 to 60 pounds; 20.5 to 27.2 Kg) for high elongation strings.

You may ask, “how do I know how stiff a string is?”  If you see the word “polyester or co-polyester” it is likely that string wil be stiff compared to natural gut, most nylon based multi-filament construction, and PEEK (Zyex) material.  In my opinion, there is no “bad” string just “bad” applications.  If in doubt…ask!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year & All Other Happiness!

To all of our friends wherever you are and whatever you celebrate we send our wishes for all kinds of happiness for this season and the year to come!

Racquet Quest, LLC World Headquarters

2018 has been filled with great people and friends which add up to the best year ever!

Thank You!

John

Weight is Your Friend!

Is this instance we are talking about racquet weight. Not the few pounds we put on yesterday, Thanksgiving Day!

In the early 1990’s we made a tennis racquet which weighed slightly over 7 ounces.  Awesome, some said!  This racquet traveled along with the standard weight racquets in the line and was available for anyone to hit with.

“Hit” in this case is a misnomer because the mass of the racquet was not enough to get the ball over the net in most cases!  Instead of a “hit” it was like a light “shove”!

With out a doubt the weight of a racquet must be “usable”.  Take a look at these brief warm-up videos to see weight in action then we will find out how much these racquets weigh and the swing weight…

Sophie Hitting

This is a Wilson Blade 98 18×20 pattern.  Racquet weight is  329 grams (11.61 Oz.) with a swing weight of 332 kg/cm^2.

Next let’s take a look at a different player…

Aleks (aka GBS) Hitting

This is a Head Radical with the Pro Cap System creating a racquet that weighs 340 grams (11.99 ounces) with a swing weight of 349 kg/cm^2.

It is obvious that both payers are swinging the racquet with gusto and it should be obvious that the racquets are stable on impact and this stability is necessary for power and control.

So the next time your oppponent asks if you have “gained weight” it will because the ball is coming at them with more “heaviness”!  And you can repsond “yes!” with a smile on your face!  Just like Robert, Sophie, and Aleks!

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This is Important!

I was just going through some older posts and came across this “E” Book post and believe it is more relevant now that when I originally posted it!

Take a look because this is important!

What is Soft…er?

What is “Best Overall Performance”?

In our “Recommended Stringing Frequency” calculator we state that this frequency is to get the best possible performance from your racquet.   But, what exactly is “best performance”?

To establish this we need to take you, the player, out of the picture for a moment and concentrate on the racquet and string setup.  the reason is simple:  no two players strike the ball the same way.

We start with “Swing Weight” which is the most important dynamic property of a racquet.  So a higher swing weight will contribute to power and stability, thus performance.

Overall weight is important because you need to be able to get the racquet to the court and out of your bag!  Heavier racquets contribute to energy, stability, and comfort.

Effective Stiffness is important because it represents the stiffness of the string bed (SBS) and the racquet stiffness (xxRA, or something like that).  This number represents the impact each time you strike the ball.  The higher the number, the stiffer, of course.

Of the four (4) things mentioned above we can control the string bed stiffness with ease.  One of the easiest methods is to string your racquet regularly to maintain the effectiveness of the elongation of the string being used.  Elongation relates to energy return in a string and while strings will stay resilient for a long time a well-worn string takes a while to return energy to the ball.

You, the player, of course, determine performance so when using the SFR you can enter a high UTR or Style rating or a low UTR or style rating if maximum performance is not required.

Change It!

It doesn’t matter if this is two games or two months, it needs to be changed!

Overgrips are not expensive, in fact, we install a new overgrip when we do a racquet for a couple of reasons;  we don’t want to touch the old one, and it is part of doing a proper job!  I recently posted “overgrip overload” which showed a big pile of overgrips taken off of one racquet!

Overgrip Overload

This many overgrips is not necessary and can contribute to ugly shot placement!

Don’t be either of these players!

Change it!

New Head MXG 1

Head is introducing two (2) new racquets to the MXG Series, and this is an excellent thing in my opinion!  It is not that we need a bunch of new racquets, but this signals a commitment to the MXG concept.

In case you don’t know, the MXG Series racquets incorporate a “string suspension system” (my words) into the throat of the racquet.  The most notable of this system is the bright silver paint. However, the most important function(s) is the increase in main string length across the entire throat area and torsional stiffness for control.  We now have ten (10) main strings that are the same length in the throat, and this does contribute to “power.”

The Head MXG 1 is a 98 square inch head with a thin beam (22mm) that puts it in the “player” category, but it may need additional weight for big hitters.  You will see all the specifications below.  If you are a player and have shied away from the MXG for head size reasons, this is for you!

Head MXG 1

The MXG 1 demo is available now.  Call to reserve it!

The new MXG 1 is available for pre-order and will available May 11, 2018.

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead MXG 1
Reference Tension53
String
Head Velocity MLT 17
Machine UsedTrue Tension Pro
Static
APPS, RDC50.0
ASPS, FlexFour59.0
Racquet Flex, RDC65
Racquet Flex, FlexFour48
Weight, Grams312
Weight, Ounces11.01
Balance, mm319.0
Balance, Inch12.56
Length, Cm68.5
Length, Inch26.986
Head Width9.51
Head Length13.50
Head Area, cm2649.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch100.7
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.593
Main String Grid7.20
Cross String Grid9.37
Density (% of head filled with string).658
Average Cross String Space.490
Average Main String Space.445
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT34
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in190.16
First Moment, Nm.762
Polar Moment320.0
Torsional Stability15 (the difference between polar moment and swing weight. Higher is better)
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2305
Swing Weight, Ounces10.76
Swing Weight Calculated317.5
Power, RDC51
Control, RDC51
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 1996.9
Head Points7.40
Head Weight, %46.6%
Center of Percussion21.5
Dwell Time, ms9.00
Effective Stiffness28.3
K, Lb/In160.26
Recoil Weight157.54
Twist Weight211.48

MonoGut ZX +ZX Pro…let’s talk about it.

If you have been around Racquet Quest for a while, you know we talk a lot about Ashaway MonoGut ZX and ZX Pro, with ZX Pro being the 17 gauge version. During this post when I use MonoGut ZX it will include the ZX Pro Version, to save pixels!

A few questions need to be answered before we begin:

1. Do you get paid to talk about Ashaway MonoGut ZX?………. No
2. Do you get Ashaway MonoGut ZX free?………. No
3. Do get to spend the summer at a lavish resort in Ashaway R.I. ………. No
4. Why do you do it, then?

The short answer is MonoGut ZX works in so many applications that it is impossible not to talk about it whenever talking about tennis racquet string, arm issues, durability, and performance!

The first thing we need to know about MonoGut ZX is that is not polyester. It is Polyetheretherketone, or PEEK, for short. MonoGut ZX can look exactly like many common polyester strings due to the monofilament format. Monofilament means it is one strand of material and is typically very smooth and shiny.

The appearance is where the similarities end. Without going into a lot of detail, the stiffness of the base material dictates the stiffness of the string, especially in monofilament formats. Every string we get is tested for “stiffness” and entered into our database. This stiffness is converted to Power Potential using proprietary software. Power Potential is easy to understand…the higher the number, the more powerful the string is.

To get to the meat of this topic, we need to know the relative values of these materials.

MonoGut ZX has a power potential of 14.62
Babolat RPM Blast has a power potential of 4.29
LaserFibre Silverline 2 has a power potential of 4.59
Luxilon ALU Power has a power potential of 4.42
Luxilon ALU Power Soft has a power potential of 5.72

There are hundreds of polyester based string, but this gives you some idea as to where they stack up vis-a-vis MonoGut ZX.

Why does this matter? Strings with very low elongation (power potential) get stiffer the harder the ball is hit! So what? So, if you have low power potential, you need to swing harder to get the ball to go as far as it needs to go especially if you are trying to hit with huge topspin.

MonoGut ZX is suited to many playing styles, racquets, and string patterns. That is why so many really good players are currently using it and winning with it.  That is why it is important that we continue to talk about MonoGut ZX!

Maybe it is time to try MonoGut ZX yourself.

Ashaway MonoGut ZX Black

Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro Natural

Is Racquet Stringing Dangerous?

You probably don’t think about it when you drop your racquet off for service but look what can happen!

That is a very “pointy” awl that has fallen onto my foot!  The shoes are a “meshy” fabric that does not offer any protection from falling objects!

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Then there is this…

Time for a New Over Grip?

 

 

 

What is Important?

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.

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