Category Archives: Players
Yesterday a good friend was in the World Headquarters, and as usual, our discussion turned to player training, the necessity, and the over-training of players, mainly juniors!
This training may include the wrong equipment setup, unnecessarily stiff strings, and sometimes stiff, light racquets. This may cause injuries at every level of player from recreational to professional!
My friend, by the way, is a Collegiate All-American, a professional player, and a coach!
After we discussed how to change this behavior, she said something quite interesting;
“John, you are on a different planet!”
So two things can happen;
- Abandon my planet
- Invite you to join our planet!
We have chosen number 2!
- to invite you to our planet!
There will be no need for interplanetary travel right now, but we do need to pick a name for our planet, so, the person presenting the best name will be the Mayor of our planet (your name here)…for a while.
We hope you will join us and make our planet a place we can all go to discover, learn, share, and understand as much as we can about tennis equipment, customization, stringing, and “best practices”.
Please use the “Leave Comment” tab below to submit your name for our new planet!
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 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.
Are Last Years Racquets Worth…Less?
It happens every year.
You know, introducing “new and Improved” tennis racquet(s)! Not one, but many!
How much better can they be? Make no mistake, new materials are always available, and those can be beneficial to the properties of a tennis racquet; however, in my opinion, and history, most of those properties will not be a significant “positive” to the player, and in some cases may be less than “desirable”.
So are last year’s racquets worthless? Absolutely not!
To make room at retail for the new racquets, last year’s models are substantially reduced. Sometimes to an unreasonably low price for the product! This is “good news” for manufacturers and online giants but not necessarily for your local tennis specialty shop. So what, you say!
This is “what”
From what we see at the World Headquarters of Racquet Quest, the online and other non-tennis specific outlets’ preparation of the racquet(s) may be sub-standard, and in fact, sometimes the racquets are not the desired model (another story for another time). We don’t believe this is intentional, but it does create issues for the purchaser and maybe the seller.
The business model of Racquet Quest has always been to provide the very best preparation for every tennis racquet! We recognize that players want the best possible deal on everything purchased. However, we keep a supply of outstanding tennis racquets that are best sellers of last year, and maybe two years ago! These racquets will not be relegated to the scrap heap, nor will they be “given away”! They are valuable!
Of course, our “full custom” racquets are always available for those demanding the very best and are willing to invest what it takes to get there! It may be less than you think, and it may be a racquet that is not a “current” model.
All we ask is that you take the time to confirm what you intend to get and that you consider using your local tennis specialty shop for preparation!
Head Boom Team 2022…BOOM!
It is here, and I bet you heard another big BOOM recently!
The Head Boom Team 2022 has arrived and is ready for you to try! The Boom Team is a valuable addition to the Head lineup.
For years players have been asking for a 102 square inch racquet that has the “player” characteristics they wanted.
Player characteristics can mean different things to different players, but here is what the Head Boom Team 2022 has:
A fairly thin beam
A thin head cross-section
A modified box beam shaft cross-section
This racquet continues with Graphene and fresh Auxetic material that has been popular in the Boom Pro and Boom MP!
All specifications are in the chart below but suffice to say; this is a significant step in the right direction!
Looking at the inside of the shaft, you will notice the transitional shape from a thin box beam into a slightly thicker trapezoidal beam.
The head shape also continues with the broader upper section like the Boom Pro and Boom MP. Most “aggressive” shots are hitting the string bed in this area, so giving it more energy makes sense!
The density of the string in that area should contribute to good string life.
The first thing you notice upon pickup (first moment) is the weight distribution. While this is still a “headlight” model (see the specs below), the weight is toward the tip of the racquet.
We have had great results with the Boom Pro and Boom MP in both “retail” and full custom racquets, so, If you are considering a racquet upgrade, this one should be on your list!
|Racquet Model||Head Boom Team 2022|
|Reference Tension||55 lbs - 24.9 kg|
|String||Head Reflex MLT 17|
|Machine Used||True Tension Professional|
|Racquet Flex, RDC||61 - After stringing|
|Racquet Flex, FlexFour||45.0|
|Racquet - In Plane Stiffness||389.6 lbs/Inch|
|Head Area, cm2||659.7|
|Head Area, Sq. Inch||102.3|
|Number of Main Strings||16|
|Number of Cross Strings||19|
|Main String Grid||7.80|
|Cross String Grid||10.80|
|Density (% of head filled with string)||.845|
|Average Cross String Space||.568|
|Average Main String Space||.500
|Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT||33|
|Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in||184.57|
|First Moment, Nm||.786|
|Swing Weight, Kg/cm2||305|
|Swing Weight, Ounces||10.76|
|Swing Weight Calculated||340.7|
|Head Weight, %||49.1%|
|Center of Percussion||20.8|
|Dwell Time, ms||9.18|
|Efective Stiffness - lbs||26.9|
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.
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!