Category Archives: News!
The Racquet Quest podcast recently aired a session on comparing racquets, so, to be fair I wanted to post that same data here. If you listened to the podcast this will sound familiar.
These racquets are not random. These racquets are owned by a client that is seeking an upgrade without going overboard!
Here is what Jess has to say:
“Hey, John –
Jess definitely likes the VS more than the Rafa. She said that she gets more easy power and stability with the Rafa but she’s able to accelerate faster on the forehand side with the VS.
She also felt like the VS was more maneuverable at the net. She said that if she’s in control of the point that she can really whip her forehand for a winner. She definitely noticed the lighter swing weight and liked that.
However, she also said that sometimes it feels a little unstable – like the VS is getting pushed around a bit. For example, she noticed that the head of the racquet can twist sometimes if her opponent nails a hard ball at her.
She has more control for sure with the VS – felt like she blasted more balls out with the Rafa. Overall, she likes the racquet- just would like a little more stability.”
By the way, Jess had not seen the racquet data prior to her hitting. So, there you have it. I believe you can see how much numbers help us find the right performance characteristics for a racquet.
String savers are on my mind today for several reasons so I thought I would post something about them that may be of interest. Let’s see!
String Savers are tiny little pieces of material that are “grooved” to cradle the string and provide a tiny barrier between rubbing strings, therefore creating a longer, happier life!
String Savers are normally used when stringing your tennis racquet with natural gut string to help the $75.00 job last longer.
But what else do string savers do?
Well, in the case we see here it increases the swing weight from 332 to 341! So 286 of these tiny things have an impact on swing weight!
We have made several posts regarding SBS, which is “String Bed Stiffness” and this is another one!
If you read this post we really need your comment(s), really!
String bed stiffness is the “feeling” when the ball hits the string on a tennis racquet. Due to the various string materials there will be “soft” and “hard” feelings. But wait, there’s more!
The string bed is made up of several strings, some longer called the Main string (M)and some shorter called the Cross string(X). Using “reference” tension each of the sets of string will be pulled at the same machine setting! It the machine is set at 50 pounds the tension head will stop pulling when it feels 50 pounds of resistance, regardless of what he tension inside the racquet head may be.
Let’s say you come into the world headquarters and we ask you what SBS you would like to have? Would you know? Probably not and not many would! We have grown up using the term “reference tension”, not SBS.
Reference tension is “number” you would ask your racquet technician to set the stringing machine tension system on. That number will probably be between 30 and 60 pounds (≈13 to 26 Kilo).
So, depending on many other variables, such as string material, string pattern, stringing machine, stringer technique, etc., you can end up with may different versions of the same “reference tension”.
A better way, and one we have been using for over thirty (30) years, is SBS but not everyone has bought into the concept, even though a qualified racquet technician will have a way to measure SBS! Maybe because it is too much trouble to figure out what your desired SBS from machine X would be from machine A! It is not!
There have been several really good SBS data collection devices but they have been difficult to use, and pricy! Not to mention gigantic!
Would you purchase a SBS data collection device?
How much would you pay for such a device?
Would you prefer a mechanical device or an electronic device?
The device must be portable, that is easily carried in a racquet bag or backpack
Yes or It doesn’t matter
It must be easy to use.
If you use an SBS device would you use a racquet technician that did not know what SBS is or how to measure it?
Thank you for adding your comments to this discussion! It is important stuff!
Tecnifibre has introduced the new TF40 series in a very much appreciated 16 x 19 string pattern! The 18 x 20 pattern is a good one but we think it may intimidate some potential buyers.
This initial review is for the 305 series, with 305 being the gram weight of the unstrung racquet, in case you didn’t know!
As with all the Tecnifibre racquets we have been in contact with this new one looks to be very well done with some subtle details that are interesting.
One is the textured decal on the “Tecnifibre” side of the shaft. It is obvious to the touch and we think it adds to the overall aesthetic of the racquet. Another one is the slightly asymmetrical terminus of the shaft at the grip top. It is barely noticeable but I like it!
One of the additions to the series is the “Foam Inside” component. Some players really like the “feel” of foam-filled racquets and this one is filled to the brim! Since it is filled with foam Tecnifibre does not see the need for a “trap door” on the butt cap, so if any work needs to be done back there the butt cap needs to come off. I don’t think there will be much needed so the solid butt cap eliminates the potential for “buzzing” which has plagued some racquet models.
The TF40 305 is a thin beam, 22mm all the way from the grip top to the very tip of the racquet. with a box shaft and an elliptical head cross-section.
|Racquet Model||Tecnifibre TF40 305/16M|
|Reference Tension||55 lbs - 24.9 kg|
|String||Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro|
|Machine Used||True Tension Professional|
|Racquet Flex, RDC||64 - After stringing|
|Racquet Flex, FlexFour||54.0|
|Racquet - In Plane Stiffness||378.2 lbs/Inch|
|Head Area, cm2||622.9|
|Head Area, Sq. Inch||96.5|
|Number of Main Strings||16|
|Number of Cross Strings||19|
|Main String Grid||7.125|
|Cross String Grid||9.75|
|Density (% of head filled with string)||.669|
|Average Cross String Space||.496|
|Average Main String Space||.429
|Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT||35|
|Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in||195.76|
|First Moment, Nm||.837|
|Swing Weight, Kg/cm2||320|
|Swing Weight, Ounces||11.29|
|Swing Weight Calculated||357.2|
|Head Weight, %||48.1%|
|Center of Percussion||20.6|
|Dwell Time, ms||8.58|
|Efective Stiffness - lbs||29.6|
Several weeks ago we received the first sets of Head Lynx Touch 17 gauge strings. Yesterday we received the Lynx Touch 16 gauge version and want to share the differences…numerically!
Quickly, this string is composed of two (2) separate but “combined” filaments. So, is this a monofilament or a multifilament? The numbers indicate it reacts like a monofilament as we have become familiar with it.
Let’s start with the 17 gauge version:
The area under the heavy red lines is the “stress/strain” curve and we see that this string takes 23.5mm to reach the 50-pound mark. This is just a number unless it is compared to other strings so it is neither good nor bad, right now!
You can see that the string will hold up to 149.8 pounds before it breaks. This is tensile strength and may be important when considering the amount of “notching” that can occur. The “knot” strength of this version is 132.4 pounds.
Now let’s look at the 16 gauge version:
The difference is subtle. The 16 gauge version is a little stiffer (expected) and a little stronger in tension (also expected). The “knot” strength of this version is 133.6 pounds.
What is interesting is the “grouping” of the stress/strain cycles on both strings. They indicate a good elasticity. The closer to the “zero” point on unloading the better!
In our opinion, both versions of the string would be considered “stiff” and suitable for the player looking for a stiff but stable string as our creep test confirmed.
If you currently use stiff strings and would like better consistency this would definitely be a candidate ./