Category Archives: Learning

Comparing Racquets (for real)

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 the data.  Take a look then read what the client has to say about them.

3 racquetcompare

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

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! 

Probably the typical reaction would be an increase in string bed stiffness but that is not the case, plus the string bed stiffness is ever-changing anyway.

SBS…what is it and why should we care?

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.

SBS is the most effective data for comparing tennis racquet stringing!

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!

A call to action!
So here is where you come in,

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!

 

Head Lynx Touch! Two for One?

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.

Head Lynx Touch

Visually the string components are obvious.

The inner filament is black and the outer covering is translucent.

 

Let’s start with the 17 gauge version:

  Lynx Touch 17

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:

Lynx Touch 16

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 ./

What is an Over-Grip for?

Well, it seems pretty clear that an overgrip is intended to keep the under-grip in good condition for a longer period.

Consider an under-grip of synthetic material that will cost about $15.00 installed and an overgrip is about $1.00 (we put one on for free with every racquet we string). Is it because we are so nice or because we don’t want to spend a lot of time handling your old overgrip! It could be both!

New Over-Grip!

If you listened to the latest Racquet Quest Podcast you heard about our upgrade from Yonex Super Grap to Head Prime Tour overgrips! Why?

There are several reasons but a major one is the packaging of the Head overgrip helps with our efficiency of handling and installing an overgrip. It sounds like a small detail but it is important to us. Plus, the material of the Head Prime Tour is very effective in what it is intended to do!

So, why don’t some players ever change their overgrip? We don’t know! Do you? If so please tell us.

Old Over-Grip!

If you need help installing your overgrip you are welcome to come by the World Headquarters and we will do it for you.

Over-grips are cost-effective enhancements to your racquet grip and your game!  So, get a good clean grip on your racquet!

Head Prime Tour Over-Grip