Category Archives: Players

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.

 

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!

These tennis racquets will be reduced in price but not to some of the prices popping up online!

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.

Racquet Quest can help you decide on a tennis racquet that may be purchased online.  That is OK!

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!

Thank you!

 

 

 

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!

ManufacturerHead
Racquet ModelHead Boom Team 2022
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Head Reflex MLT 17
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC48.0
ASPS, FlexFour64
Racquet Flex, RDC61 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour45.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness389.6 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams300
Weight, Ounces10.58
Balance, mm337
Balance, Inch13.27
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.97
Head Length13.065
Head Area, cm2659.7
Head Area, Sq. Inch102.3
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.642
Main String Grid7.80
Cross String Grid10.80
Density (% of head filled with string).845
Average Cross String Space.568
Average Main String Space.500
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT33
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in184.57
First Moment, Nm.786
Polar Moment320
Torsional Stability15
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2305
Swing Weight, Ounces10.76
Swing Weight Calculated340.7
Power, RDC46
Control, RDC54
Manueverability, RDC83
Power, Calculated 1921.4
Head Points1.89
Head Weight, %49.1%
Center of Percussion20.8
Dwell Time, ms9.18
Efective Stiffness - lbs26.9
K, Lb/In153.85
Recoil Weight138.76
Twist Weight222.21
End Weight 114.3
Tip Weight 187.8
9 O'Clock91.5
3 O'Clock93.6
Butt Cap114.8

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!

 

Tecnifibre TF40 305/16M

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.

Tecnifibre TF40 305 16×19

Tecnifibre makes some of the very best multi-filament strings using PU as a binder and performance component and the string packages all say “PU Inside” so I guess that is where “Foam Inside” comes from!

Foam Inside

Tecnifibre TF40 305

 

 

 

 

 

ManufacturerTecnifibre
Racquet ModelTecnifibre TF40 305/16M
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
String
Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
Static
ASPS, RDC55.0
ASPS, FlexFour65.0
Racquet Flex, RDC64 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour54.0
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness378.2 lbs/Inch
Weight, Grams328
Weight, Ounces11.57
Balance, mm330
Balance, Inch12.99
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.59
Head Length12.82
Head Area, cm2622.9
Head Area, Sq. Inch96.5
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.630
Main String Grid7.125
Cross String Grid9.75
Density (% of head filled with string).669
Average Cross String Space.496
Average Main String Space.429
Dynamic
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.76
First Moment, Nm.837
Polar Moment334
Torsional Stability14
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2320
Swing Weight, Ounces11.29
Swing Weight Calculated357.2
Power, RDC48
Control, RDC53
Manueverability, RDC73
Power, Calculated 1997.1
Head Points4.09
Head Weight, %48.1%
Center of Percussion20.6
Dwell Time, ms8.58
Efective Stiffness - lbs29.6
K, Lb/In195.76
Recoil Weight146.89
Twist Weight228.20
End Weight 128.8
Tip Weight 199.2
9 O'Clock99.1
3 O'Clock99.2
Butt Cap128.9