Category Archives: Tecnifibre
We have had a “sneak peek” at some new tennis racquet models that will be arriving early in 2021! Typically, we can’t divulge a lot of the details yet but suffice it to say these are exciting models!
But let’s back up a minute and talk about new racquets that are here, or should be here, or will be here soon! The new Wilson Pro Staff series had a delivery date of September 28, 2020. They are way behind! If you are waiting for a new Pro Staff…we are sorry! Who knows what happened, but it is not good when the expected deliveries are not met!
The new Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph will change only to the Pro Staff colors of red and yellow stripes; the Pro Staff RF 97 will get a new grip pallet and butt cap setup that is intended to be easier on the hand.
The new Tecnifibre RS Series offers some interesting geometric concepts that continue their push for more player traction.
The new Head Graphene 360+ Radical Series retains the classic Radical Orange, but this one is “in your face orange”! Awesome! A cool gray shaft and grip temper this orange!
The Radical MP that we have seen has a few changes in shape and dimensions, and in fact, it is a different racquet than the past years. The head shape is more “round” by a slight amount, and the beam cross-section is different. The beam height is slightly less than the previous version, but the stiffness remains nearly the same. The shape of the “yoke” section is a little deeper and slightly wider at the junction of the head.
The new Radical has a “slicker” aerodynamic grommet system, for, no doubt, greater head speed to go with the “spin” friendly grommets!
And, the Radical Series has been scaled back to three (3) models! The Radical Pro, the Radical MP, and the Radical S. The Radical S is 102 square inches and the Pro and MP are 98 square inches.
The Head Graphene 360+Gravity has been a top seller and therefore is only getting a “cosmetic” make-over! The Hot Lava and Teal are being replaced by very interesting blue and yellow graphics! They look really good!
The Head Graphene 360+ Speed is staying the same but will add a black edition to the mix! It seems Novak likes black better than black and white so there will be a “black” in early 2021!
Don’t forget the Head Instinct “Effortless Power” series! It continues in a new color scheme, still blue and blue but in a more Head consistent pattern.
This week we will be getting the new demo racquets setup for your evaluation…if all goes well!
It is reassuring to know even in this time of uncertainty that racquet companies continue to produce great products that can, and will, help many players stay in the game!
Normally our racquet reviews are when a racquet is brand new; however, this is a case where the updated string, RPX, from Tecnifibre is an excellent opportunity to add another review to the site!
There are some excellent reasons to review the same racquet again with different string or tension settings.
- It allows us to evaluate new strings for comparison purposes.
- It will enable the player to demo the same Racquet with a different string.
- The string can affect the overall weight to a small degree but significantly impact swing weight.
For example, this racquet with Victrex 7718 PEEK string (15.9grams installed) has a swing weight of 318. With the new Tecnifibre RPX (18.0 grams installed), the swing weight is 325. That is not huge, but it is different.
Lead tape, commonly used to increase swing weight, weighs in at 2.8 grams for 12 inches! So, slightly over 2 grams of additional string weight in the strung area contribute to the difference between these strings.
Of course, this also means that swing weight can be reduced, somewhat, by using lighter string! We weigh all of the string we test for Power Potential, so we know which string can benefit either swing weight preference.
|Racquet Model||Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP|
|Reference Tension||55 lbs - 24.9 k|
|String||Tecnifibre RPX 16|
|Machine Used||True Tension Professional|
|Racquet Flex, RDC||59 - After stringing|
|Racquet Flex, FlexFour||54|
|Head Area, cm2||645|
|Head Area, Sq. Inch||100
|Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip||22, 22, 22|
|In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In||381.0|
|In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm||68.12|
|Number of Main Strings||16|
|Number of Cross Strings||20|
|Main String Grid||7.75
|Cross String Grid||10.37|
|Density (% of head filled with string)||.784
|Average Cross String Space||.480|
|Average Main String Space||.520|
|Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT||36|
|Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in||201.35|
|First Moment, Nm||.843|
|Swing Weight, Kg/cm2||325|
|Swing Weight, Ounces||11.46|
|Swing Weight Calculated||365.7|
|Head Points||1.89 (negative = head heavy)|
|Head Weight, %||49.1%|
|Center of Percussion||20.7|
|Dwell Time, ms, No Swing||8.74|
|Effective Stiffness - lbs||27.9|
|K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC||169.87|
|Total Weight Check||322|
|Total Weight Check||321.6|
Does Tecnifibre have the “answer”…again?
We all know Tecnifibre for its terrific multi-filament strings that set the bar for strings of the material and construction. Several years ago Tecnifibre introduced a string that was intended to be arm friendly to counter the increased use of very stiff string.
Since that time Tecnifibre has gotten into the polyester string arena in a big way but they have not forgotten the player that needs a more comfortable string.
Not long ago Tecnifibre introduced Duramix 16 and 17 gauge string. As the name implies there were a couple of fibers used to create a stiffer but still comfortable string. We have used, very successfully, the Duramix 16 and 17. This is a great option for juniors that need some durability without sacrificing their arms.
Now Tecnifibre has introduced Triax! Is Triax the new “answer?”
Triax will replace the Duramix name but deliver the same or better performance and comfort.
Take a look at the String Characteristic Data to see how these new Tecnifibre strings stack up!
If you have been following the Racquet Quest Podcast you know how much we rely on weight to mitigate some poor shot execution or physical issues!
So, don’t be surprised if that position continues for a while! It is majorly important now that we are beginning to play (openly) again!
It is not clear to me why some players object to even discussing weight let alone add it to their racquet!
The latest podcast episode, The String Holder – Part Two, focuses on three (3) players of about the same age and skill and looks at the differences in racquet setup including weight.
If weight is so scary why do most racquets have a bunch of it hidden away from us?
This is a Tecnifibre racquet however most performance racquets will have a similar setup. Game Improvement (ultralight) racquets, typically, will not!
What you see in that groove is lead! If you flip the racquet over you will find the same thing on the other side! Lot’s of lead means lots of weight, relatively speaking!
If we wanted to reduce the weight of this racquet we could remove some or all of the weight without affecting the swing weight very much. The static balance, however, would be very different. That is why we don’t rely on “balance” as a performance metric.
In the case of this racquet, we are printing a grip pallet that will replace the original pallet but be heavier so we can remove some of the lead weight to make the new version the same weight if we wanted to. We don’t want to!
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!