Category Archives: String – New
New string information
We are finally getting the time to work on these marvelous new racquets from Head! In this case, it is the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP.
The Prestige is a fascinating series for Head, but I think it is often overlooked when considering a new racquet purchase. I believe the “performance” category excludes a lot of players that could very well use this racquet if it is appropriately set up. Secondly, I think players have the mistaken feeling that the Prestige series is too stiff!
I believe you will see by the following specifications that neither are necessarily true!
The Prestige series is, in my opinion, the best looking new racquet in a long time. However, in a performance racquet, what does “looks” have to do with it? In my opinion, a lot!
This racquet is the “true” 98 square inch (630 cm²) head size with an 18 x 20 string pattern and, of course, the excellent “cap system” that contributes to the performance of this racquet. You will see in the specifications that the swing weight is on the “light” side, allowing for customization to suit any player.
Head is now including a CPI, “Control Power Index,” and this racquet ranks as a CPI 200 compared to the Prestige Pro at CPI 300. The difference is a function of the tight string pattern and flex. The thin 20mm beam throughout contributes to the nice flex of RDC 58 after stringing.
A lower CPI indicates to us that the racquet will do no more than you ask of it! If you want the ball to go fast you swing harder! The racquet will not force to to “fear” your stroke!
If you are considering an 18 x 20 string pattern this racquet should be right at the top of the list.
Our COF numbers are quite good which indicate a positive contribution to “spin” considering the tight string pattern.
|Racquet Model||Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP|
|Reference Tension||55 lbs - 24.9 kg|
|String||Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718|
|Machine Used||True Tension Professional|
|Racquet Flex, RDC||58 - After stringing|
|Racquet Flex, FlexFour||39|
|Head Area, cm2||625.9|
|Head Area, Sq. Inch||97|
|Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip||20, 20, 20|
|In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In||359 Lbs/In.|
|In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm||162 Kg/cm|
|Number of Main Strings||18|
|Number of Cross Strings||20|
|Main String Grid||7.50|
|Cross String Grid||10.25
|Density (% of head filled with string)||.792|
|Average Cross String Space||.513|
|Average Main String Space||.417|
|Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT||37|
|Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in||206.9|
|First Moment, Nm||.803|
|Swing Weight, Kg/cm2||311|
|Swing Weight, Ounces||10.97|
|Swing Weight Calculated||330.2|
|Head Points||9.29 (negative = head heavy)|
|Head Weight, %||45.7%|
|Center of Percussion||21.0|
|Dwell Time, ms, No Swing||8.35|
|Efective Stiffness - lbs||29.0|
|K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC||185.9|
2019 came and went in a blur! In a few days it will 2020 and with it will come some exciting new tennis stuff, for sure!
I am not so good at predicting things but I do it anyway! Here are a few predictions I will make for 2020:
- Tennis racquets will become more expensive, but only slightly.
- On-line sales of tennis racquets will increase. See this previous post.
- Customer satisfaction with on-line sales will decrease.
- Small specialty tennis shops will be the source of information, then #2, and then #3.
- Players will stick with a racquet longer, making customizations as needed.
- String and stringing will become a more important component of a racquet purchase. See below!
- Tennis related injuries will continue to be a problem for the sport going forward.
Thank you for thinking about the “long term” for all tennis players!
There are no bad strings just bad applications!
The right equipment is crucial to the long term enjoyment, and winning, of tennis!
The local representatives I deal with are committed to our “well being” even though some may feel like they are facing “extinction”!
An excellent example of what we are talking about just walked in! Two (2) new racquets so poorly strung it is shocking!
The customer is having serious arm issues with an excellent racquet, with a terrible string setup! But the string setup is probably considered by many to be the ultimate combination, that is RPM Blast in the main and VS Touch in the cross! That combination is coming out in a few minutes! No more polyester!
The quality of the stringing is what is so wrong! Had you or I received this racquet, we would have returned it at once! Why? Because it exemplifies the attitude of so many stringers that is “who cares”!
Happy New Year!
Congratulations to Jack Anthrop for winning the Boy’s 16 Singles at the Eddie Herr International Tournament!
Those who know Jack know that he has made steady progress on his quest to become a really great player!
However, here are some things you may not know:
Racquet: Head Graphene Touch Prestige Mid (93) 16×19 string pattern.
String: Pre-production Zyex monofilament, 16L gauge. Prior to this was Ashaway MonoGut ZX. Jack has been using Zyex (PEEK) material for well over six (6) years!
Tension: 56 (25.4kg)
In addition to Jack’s tennis skills he is also highly proficient at cutting and removing string from racquets!
The essential function of string in your tennis racquet is to return energy to the ball as it collides with the racquet. It is evident that if there is no string or a broken one, the racquet can not do what it is intended to do, and your shot is going nowhere or worse, everywhere!
There are about thirty (30) string brands, and each brand has about ten (10) different models, and maybe three (3) different colors, so there are nine hundred (900) possible selections! Nine hundred is way too many strings!
You and we need to consolidate string data so we can make the right decision for you, your playing style, and your physical capabilities.
We test every string for elongation, creep, (stability), with a little bit of elasticity data observed. This testing returns our exclusive Power Potential© for each string, and that is the basis of our decision-making process. Naturally, the higher the elongation, the more power the string will return to the ball, and conversely, the lower the power potential, the less power that “can” be generated. You can observe this fundamental by dropping a tennis ball on a concrete floor and then on a strung tennis racquet from the same drop height and see which one bounces the highest.
I use “can” because power, to a great extent, comes from how hard you swing the racquet, which, of course, brings the prospect of overdoing it and subsequent injury! A low power string demands a more powerful swing that involves the entire arm, hips, and legs.
Low power, in the form of a stiff string, has been associated with control, therefore, the increased use of stiff strings. However, with stiffness comes another downside, and that is stability. Stiff strings typically lose tension quickly and need to be changed frequently. So here is the real problem; the string may not be broken, but it is not playing well at all. There is a difference between durability and performance! If your goal is long term performance, a stiff string is not the answer.
What, then, is the answer?
Choose a string with an elongation of 10% or higher! Oh, great! You say. How am I going to know that!
Well, beginning January 1, 2020, I will be posting the power potential of every string we have tested over the years! There are over 500 items on the current list sorted by brand. The color coding is RED if 5% or less, GREEN if 10% or higher, and BLUE for everything else. Note, however, that natural gut is included in this data and will probably not reach the 10% Power Potential© threshold, but is still the best performance string available. This is due to the dynamic properties of the natural fibers, so, until there is a separate classification gut will be included as is.
A previous post, “What is Soft?” goes into graphical detail.
As new strings are added, some older ones may be deleted because they are no longer manufactured. However, some very old ones may remain due to their “legacy” status. This chart is a preliminary format but will get us map toward the right decision!
The new Head Graphene 360 Radical has arrived and I have already chosen the one for me!
The four (4) racquets in this series cover every possible player style and the new graphics package will appeal to most players. This is a win-win Radical Series!
Just in case you are wondering which one I have chosen it is the Radical S! Why? I handle a lot of racquets each day and this racquet just “feels” good when I pick it up! Plus the 102 square inch head size fits me fine.
This series is the most impressive Radical Series I have seen in a few years.
You can read the reviews of each of these racquets on this site but you really should come by and take a look and “feel” for yourself.
My setup is going to be this racquet strung with PEEK at 52 pounds. I am going to increase the weight to 315 grams and the swing weight to 315 kg/cm² as well.
I am anxious to start playing again and this is just the racquet to motivate me! Motivate yourself, too! Get one!
This is a comparison sheet of the four (4) models so you can get some idea as to which racquet may suit you!
The Rebel Backpack and Radical 6 Racquet Combi add to the excitment of the new Radical racquets! Complete the package with these bags!