Category Archives: News!

World Headquarters Update

The World Headquarters of Racquet Quest is very happy to present the latest addition to our headquarters!

My daughter and her family that live in Columbus presented me with the iconic Columbus, Indiana “C” bike rack recently!  This bike rack is something I have wanted for a while!

In case you don’t know, Columbus, Indiana is well known for the many architectural buildings and pieces by many very famous people!

Click on this link if you would like to know more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus,_Indiana

World Headquarters

The bike was donated by Davids Cycle World and painted by me!  A very close inspection of the paint job should be avoided!

Anyway, we are very happy to have this addition to the World Headquarters!

Thank you!

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!

Correct Size Does Matter!

Grip size, in this case, does matter!  However, for several years the largest grip size available has been a 4 ⅝, or just 5 for short.

This is simply the circumference of the finished grip forward of the butt cap.  Of course the butt cap is of a size that will capture the butt of your hand for comfort and control.

But what happens if you need a grip size larger than 4 ⅝?  In years gone by a shrink tube was applied to the current grip pallet and the size was increased accordingly.  Typically only two (2) shrink tubes could be used and even then the grip facets became “rounded”.

Lucky for us, and you of course, we can now print grip pallets in any size required!  The largest one so far is a 5 1/4 for a player in New York using a Babolat Pure Aero.

Each printed pallet is made specifically for a racquet, not just a “one size fits all” approach due to very subtle variations in size, especially the inner shaft.

Inner Shaft

In this case the pallets were longer to accommodate large hands so the length of the racquet was increased through the use of these pallets and a printed extender.

The printed pallet must fit securely and the best way to assure the fit is to have the racquet.

Any time the butt cap comes off the shaft must be filled with material to keep objects from falling into the racquet!

Pallet with Butt Cap

 

What Can String Failure Tell Us – Part Deux

In Part Un we discussed the difference between shanking (mis-hit) and friction failure.  It was obvious that the string was broken.  But what happens when it is not so obvious?

Part Deux, this part, will examine the frictional notching failure of monofilament string and how we can be prepared for it!  To further refine this discussion we will be comparing PET polyester has PEEK monofilament string.  The reason is that each material while both will notch one requires more time to reach the critical dimensional decrease that is a failure!

In almost every Racquet Quest Podcast we talk about tension v string diameter and agree that once 50% of the string diameter is notched away the string is vulnerable!  So a .050 (1.27mm) diameter string that has a tensile strength of 120 pounds at 50% notching will have 60 pounds of tensile strength remaining.

Notched v un notched string

This graph is a string that was broken during use.  The string was removed from the racquet.  The top line is the tensile strength in the area of no notching so you can see that it is pretty strong still and has stabilized due to use.  That stabilization is indicated by the very tight stress/strain grouping.

However, things go sideways when the notched area of the string is put under stress.  The string failed at a force of 63.8 pounds, or about 59% of the used tensile strength.  Not bad!

So, notching is failure-inducing but how long it takes to create the fatal notch differs with string material.  This particular set of strings had about six (6) hours of play.

In Part Trois, we will look at PEEK material under the same conditions!

 

What Can String Failure Tell Us?

Well, in the simplest terms, failure tells us it is time to have the request strung! However, there may be subtleties in string failure that can help us in our quest for tennis racquet performance.

Such as?

Is the failure shear related or tensile strength related? Was friction the major contributor to the failure? Where did the failure occur (on the racquet, not the court)? Was the failure during play or in the bag?

Shear-related failure is when the string breaks very near the racquet frame. This failure is called a mis-hit or shank! It is like cutting the string with a pair of scissors!

Shear Failure

Friction Failure

Friction failure is caused by just that, friction!  Friction is caused by the string moving on each other. That rubbing creates friction and notches the string where it will fail.

If the racquet failed during play and it is not shear-related, the tensile strength of the string was exceeded. If a string has a tensile strength of 120 pounds and the tension is 60 pounds leaving 60 pounds to be used to hit the ball. Some big hitters can generate at least that much force on a solid forehand!

The graphs show the tensile strength and relative elongation of different material.

This graph shows the tensile strength of the string to be about 115 pounds.  Given the movement of this string-on-string, the frictional notching can contribute to relatively early failure based on the hitters force.

This graph shows the tensile strength of the string to be about 155 pounds but it has to travel (stretches) further to reach that force.

So, you can see, with this information we can make better decisions when asked to suggest a string, or strings, for a client!