Category Archives: True Tension
We all have heard the question “which comes first the chicken or the egg”? However, my question is “Which comes first the game or the string”?
I believe they happen simultaneously. But first a quick story.
In 2005 I was attending a Head product introduction on the island of Mallorca, Spain, Yes, that one!
The product introduction was exciting but what I am going to tell you about now was even more meaningful.
The Director of one of the top US Tennis Training organizations, at that time, was there and we were discussing teaching techniques and what he said after being in this part of Europe was “we need to start teaching our players how to hit this way!” Well, “this way” was the way of low-powered strings that were popular in Europe but not so much in the US, yet.
So, it began! The players could not hit harder, like the Europeans, unless they used the same string material as the Europeans and that was very stiff and mostly PET polyester.
So, the idea was the “egg” and the string was the “chicken”, sort of! I guess the feeling was that “if Americans are going to compete we must use the same equipment”.
Now, I believe the professional game can go on about its way but otherwise, we need to consider changing the game by returning to a combination of comfort and playability.
Our history shows us that the “high performance” life span of many polyester strings is about 2-3 hours, or less, maybe about 10-12 games. We don’t believe this is quite long enough for most players. But, how do you quantify “performance”? It may be different things for different players.
There are many components to performance but what if it was associated with UTR data? Racquet Quest can track UTR numbers and make some determinations based on that data. If a UTR is stable or increasing it is a good bet that the performance of the player and equipment is OK. However, if the UTR is slipping it is a good indication that something is not working as it should…but what?
We have found that, in some cases, it is injury or discomfort, that is causing the slippage! Stop it! The following data is for a 12 month period and acquired from the UTR website. Even small positive changes are tough! But negative changes seem to have an enormous impact more quickly than positive changes!
|A||Head Speed||PEEK||12.84||12.86||+ .02|
|B||Babolat Pure Aero||Polyester||10.91||9.56||-1.35|
|C||Head Radical MPA||PEEK||4.50||5.61||+1.11|
|D||Wilson Pro Staff 97||PEEK||5.0||7.03||+2.03|
|E||Babolat Pure Aero||PEEK||3.8||5.64||+1.84|
|F||Wilson Blade 98||Polyester||10.0||9.41||-.59|
|G||Head Radical Pro||Natural Gut||3.7||5.15||+1.45|
We all know what friction is. It keeps our cars from sliding around, it keeps us from slipping and in general makes movement possible!
Friction also plays an important part in the string bed of your tennis racquet. Friction between the strings and the ball create friction which in turn creates rotation.
What are, however, some of the downsides of friction in the string bed during, and after, the stringing process?
For more detailed information and a graph showing the forces involved go to our membership site, GASP.network, but in the meantime this image will show the frictional forces at work!
This machine tension head will pull the string (blue) in the direction of the center of the racquet support structure instead of directly out the middle of the grommet.
It is obvious that this will create considerable friction and result in lower tension inside the grommet than outside the grommet.
The new, for 2021, Head Graphene 360+ Radical series is a radical step into colors that have always been the “mark” of the Radical Series but now it has gone even further into radicalism!
We think that is a good thing! Why mess around with just a little orange when you can go all out!
It is impossible to see the vibrancy of this orange without holding it in your hand! We invite to to hold one in your hand and even hit with it!
The Radical MP has been the most popular model over the years. This model has all the attributes of the Pro without the added weight, (which can be added later if needed)!
The thin beam carries over to the MP and Pro while the S has a slightly wider beam.
The S model fits the very necessary range of 102 square inch racquets because Head has, correctly, reduced the number of head sizes per model. The Speed series has the 100 square inch head size very well covered.
You will see all the specifications on each individual review that will be posted shortly.
Well, this is one way to get 2021 of to a great start! This eye popping Radical will certainly add excitement to your life!
This is truly orange with capitol O! You simply need to see this racquet to really appreciate the color.
But, color aside, this racquet continues the Radical silo of aggressive racquets for the aggressive player, or those that want to be!
This review is the MP which has been one of the most popular models over the years and I am happy to say they have not messed it up as is so often the case when introducing new products! This is a real Radical racquet!
A couple of things really stand out. First the string pattern is more dense in the center of the racquet by a small amount which allows for a more open pattern at the periphery for more comfort.
The top eight (8) grommets are on a separate insert and they are “straight” instead of radial.
The addition of “sound grommets” is intended to enhance power via greater string movement. and optimize sound and vibrations.
And the “in plane” stiffness is a little lower meaning the string bed stiffness may be slightly less at the same reference tension, also contributing to comfort.
If you are looking for a high performance tennis racquet that has room for some weight as you require it, this is the one. If you already need more weight that will be the Radical Pro that will be reviewed next.
|Racquet Model||Head Graphene 360+ Radical MP V21|
|Reference Tension||55 lbs - 24.9 k|
|String: Main/Cross||Victrex 7718|
|Machine Used||TT Professional|
|Racquet Flex, RDC||63 - After stringing|
|Racquet Flex, FlexFour||50|
|Head Area, cm2||624.7|
|Head Area, Sq. Inch||96.8|
|Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip||20, 23, 21|
|In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In||382.2 Lbs/In.|
|In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm||68.3 Kg/cm
|Number of Main Strings||16|
|Number of Cross Strings||19|
|Main String Grid||7.13|
|Cross String Grid||9.31|
|Density (% of head filled with string)||.677|
|Average Cross String Space||.484|
|Average Main String Space||.445|
|Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT||35|
|Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in||195.8|
|First Moment, Nm||.803|
|Swing Weight, Kg/cm2||313|
|Swing Weight, Ounces||11.04|
|Swing Weight Calculated||343|
|Head Points||3.94 (negative = head heavy)|
|Head Weight, %||48.2%|
|Center of Percussion||20.9|
|Dwell Time, ms, No Swing||8.58|
|Effective Stiffness - lbs||29.4|
|K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC||176.28|