Category Archives: PEEK
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!
Having one celebrity in the shop is quite rare but two…that is amazing!
The World Headquarters was visited by Bill and Aleks (aka GBS)! What is also amazing is that they came in separate cars so they did have a choice! If you are in the area stop by. You may see a celabrity! Probably not but you will see the latest racquets!
Congratulations to Jack for his Finalist finish in the Junkanoo Bowl in Nassau!
Jack has been playing ITF events and was a qualifier for this tournament. Not only did he qualify, Jack went on the finals where he put in a great three (3) set effort against Harrison Gold, 6-7,6-2,5-7!
Well done, Jack! Congratulations
Briefly, Pointy is a program that allows shoppers to enter a barcode, or Google product search online, to see if that product is available locally.
As a long time user of Square as the POS in the shop, we engaged with Pointy as a service through Square so our clients can quickly see what we have in stock. A link to our Pointy shop is below so you can take a look around and let me know what it needs to be a valuable resource for you.
Every product you see on the page was input by Racquet Quest so it is in stock at the time the shop was opened, however, the images are supplied by the software so some may not be exactly updated packaging.
If you have any questions or would like to hear about any “special offers” please call or text!
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.
Has this ever happened to you? The string just breaks! For no reason, it just breaks!
Well, a closer look will tell a different story. The failure is referred to as a “mis-hit”, or “shank”, and is caused by hitting the ball at the junction of the string bed and racquet frame.
If look closely you will see a little yellow ball fuzz on the first broken string. So, if you are going to try to “sell” your story that it “just broke” be sure to clean off the ball fuzz before taking it back to the racquet technician. Keep in mind, however, that most racquet technicians have seen this failure before. Don’t try to fool them! 😉
All string materials are subject to this failure but some stand out as potential easy breakers. Thin gauge natural gut, probably the best racquet string ever, will fail at a load like this. Thin gauge PEEK string is likely to fail, as is some thin polyester based string. The point is almost any string will give up when encountered with massive head speed and a “mis-hit”.
As always be certain the grommets are in good condition especially around this area of the racquet.
I don’t normally post about string failure in a positive way but today is special!
This is the date the racquet was strung…
Today is 3/24/2016! The string is broken! 229 days!
In the interest of full disclosure this player has three (3) racquets and plays about 2-4 days a week (yes, I think he does have a job)! So, even if you divide this number of days by 3 it is still 76 days. Pretty good, I would say!
The string is Ashaway Monogut ZX Pro, Black, 17 gauge (1.22mm) strung at 55 pounds (24.95kg)
Well, I made it to see 2016 arrive! I am not sure why I stayed up but it does commit me to pay attention to what may happen in the coming year.
I think the big story for 2016 is going to be more string related than racquet related. Why? Because manufacturers can “turn around” a string model much quicker than a racquet model, and, there are significant areas for improvement in selecting the correct string material for each player physicality and style.
String characteristics, materials, tensions, and applications are confusing to many and rightly so. This year I want to continue the “educational” effort and invite anyone with something to contribute to speak up.
My motto for 2016 is “Speak Up…Then String Up”
The “Eddie Herr” is the largest Junior international tennis tournament in the world, and Jack Anthrop is ready for the Eddie!
Jack is using a Head Graphene XT MPA (16×19 format) fitted with Ashaway Monogut ZX. Jack has been using this string for several years and is having really good results as evidenced by his main draw selection into this tournament!
Good luck to Jack, and Maya, (don’t have a picture) and all the participants from all over the world, in this very important tournament!
The Eddie Herr International Tournament is held at the IMG facility in Bradenton, FL beginning November 26 and continuing through December 6th. This tournament has been the “springboard” for players like Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova and many other professional players over the years.
I have a bunch of customers using Ashaway Monogut ZX and ZX Pro and it is time to give them credit for their performances!
Brittany Taglierini is the latest conversion and she likes the extra energy she gets especially on her serve. This can be contributed to the high elongation which is power potential.
Samantha had been using a custom hybrid with a fluorocarbon main string and Monogut ZX as the cross string. Recently she converted to 100% Monogut ZX Black and has continued to win, with the latest being a Super Series in Florida.
Plus, she has over thirty (30) hours of play on one of her racquet! Incredible! And good news, of course.
Ashaway, a US company, makes Monogut ZX and ZX Pro which are monofilament strings using 100% PEEK material, no polyester!