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View Full Version : How Much Better are Todays Racquets Comapared to Racquets of the Late 80's and 90's?


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Thrasher
08-18-2007, 07:56 PM
My friend the other day was trying to tell me that there is a huge difference from frames of the late 80's and 90's, comapred to the ones of today, and that the frames of today are way better. I told him I didn't think there was that much of a difference, and that most of it was just hype. Afterall, there is only so much you can do with a racuet right? What do you guys think?

Anton
08-18-2007, 08:05 PM
I think beginner and tweener frames have gotten much better - more stable and more comfortable. The heavier frames didn't really have these issues to begin with.

vsbabolat
08-18-2007, 08:08 PM
I think the racquets of today are not any better than the racquets from the 80's or 90's. It is just hype.

soggyramen
08-18-2007, 08:09 PM
i think they are better but it's always fun to hit with an old midsize graphite racquet

alan-n
08-18-2007, 08:17 PM
The strings are better, non-gut strings are used by most professionals now. Even multis of high quality are used in placed of gut.

There is more selection to racquets now and marketing non-sense, the racquets themselves seem to be made of cheaper filler material which gives them a dead feel with the exception of a handful of racquets.

Deuce
08-18-2007, 08:57 PM
Actually, today's racquets are much worse than racquets of 15-20 years ago.
Today's racquets are more cheaply made (China, vs. USA, Austria, etc. 15-20 years ago), with lower quality materials today, as well. That's why they rely so heavily upon slick marketing to sell them.

To the uninitiated, the most obvious difference is that today's racquets are much lighter.
But to those who appreciate quality - in both workmanship, durability, and in ball-striking, the racquets of 20 years ago are head and shoulders above today's junk.

Anton
08-18-2007, 09:04 PM
Actually, today's racquets are much worse than racquets of 15-20 years ago.
Today's racquets are more cheaply made (China, vs. USA, Austria, etc. 15-20 years ago), with lower quality materials today, as well. That's why they rely so heavily upon slick marketing to sell them.

To the uninitiated, the most obvious difference is that today's racquets are much lighter.
But to those who appreciate quality - in both workmanship, durability, and in ball-striking, the racquets of 20 years ago are head and shoulders above today's junk.

Can you name a comfortable, solid feeling 10oz frame made 20 years ago?

bagung
08-18-2007, 09:14 PM
todays racquet is lighter, more powerful oriented........
choices are more too......
quality-wise.....??????????
almost everything comes from china..... except some models from yonex, head....

enwar3
08-18-2007, 09:16 PM
Interesting thought Deuce.

I was always under the impression that nowadays, most of the racquet companies are devoted to selling racquets (hence all the new tech marketing), whereas back in the day it seemed like a lot of companies experimented to try and improve the game. Not that I know anything....

Hobomagic
08-18-2007, 09:24 PM
I find there is less emphasis on control and more on power and spin generation nowadays. Raquet head sizes have gotten alot bigger and string patterns alot more open. But cheaper craftsmanship and quality overall. I love my dunlop 200g

BreakPoint
08-18-2007, 09:43 PM
I don't think players racquets have gotten any better, perhaps worse.

Lighter tweeners may have gotten better, though.

Deuce
08-18-2007, 09:58 PM
Can you name a comfortable, solid feeling 10oz frame made 20 years ago?
No...
But I thought we were discussing adult racquets in this thread.

louis netman
08-18-2007, 10:20 PM
IMO, newer frames have less of the good stuff on the inside...more fillers and cheaper materials....but oh so pretty on the outside...

bossass
08-18-2007, 10:39 PM
The china argument is flawed. We all assume that stuff made is china is of lesser quality, because all the plastic crap we have in our lives comes from china. The truth is quite often things get made better in china.

For example: Not related to tennis, but K2 skis were made for probably 30+ years on Vashon Island in Washington. Later on K2 snowboards and Ride snowboards were also made here. In the 80s and 90s, when they were all still made in the USA, all three lines had major problems with delaminating skis/snowboards. I knew people that warrentied skis so many times, they effectively got new skis every year for like five years, off the original pair. K2 moved production to China a few years ago and all those products are remarkably more durable and built to higher standards.

My point is, China is a blazingly burgeoning economy. They make many high end performance and sports related products, and they do it very well. The bottom line is cost, but companies often move production there simply because they have trouble finding domestic facilities that can produce comparable products. Europe does have a tradition of excellence still, and I'd rather see my PC600 come from Austria than China, but I think if molds were handed over to a chinese facility, they could make an excellent version.

With that said, I agree with BP that heavier players rackets are on the downhill slide. The Prestige is the best frame ever, and now you can't get it in an unpolluted version.

I do think tweener rackets are much better now, however. I tried a buttload of rackets in high school, and none of them came close to a current Pure Drive.

vsbabolat
08-18-2007, 10:41 PM
todays racquet is lighter, more powerful oriented........
choices are more too......
quality-wise.....??????????
almost everything comes from china..... except some models from yonex, head....

HEAD does not manufacture any racquets for the consumer in Austria anymore. That stopped 2 years ago.

Keifers
08-18-2007, 10:42 PM
Lots of good points made above...

I think beginner and tweener frames have gotten much better - more stable and more comfortable. The heavier frames didn't really have these issues to begin with.
In beginner and tweener frames, there's been a huge downward trend in weight and, along with that, significant increases in stiffness and head-heaviness (they had to -- to get more power after reducing the weight). And they have indeed developed some technologies and designs that have increased stability and comfort in these frames.

Some would question the merits these very lightweight, stiff racquets. Yes, they allow beginners to "get going" more easily, but perhaps at the cost of developing bad habits (such as short swings, wristiness, etc.) and, in many cases, at the cost of tennis elbow and arm and shoulder problems. It turns out that heavier, more flexible, more head-light frames are better in the long run.

Even player's racquets have gotten lighter -- strung weight of the Speedport Tour is 11.7 ozs, way down from the 12-13 oz range for player's frames from the late '80s and '90s.

The strings are better, non-gut strings are used by most professionals now. Even multis of high quality are used in placed of gut.

There is more selection to racquets now and marketing non-sense, the racquets themselves seem to be made of cheaper filler material which gives them a dead feel with the exception of a handful of racquets.

I find there is less emphasis on control and more on power and spin generation nowadays. Raquet head sizes have gotten alot bigger and string patterns alot more open. But cheaper craftsmanship and quality overall. I love my dunlop 200g
The game has changed from flatter shots to bigtime power and topspin. I think of the Bab Pure Drive as a nexus racquet in this evolution (although even Fed with a PS 85 hit some heavy-topspin passing shot winners when he beat Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001).

As for the cheaper materials mentioned by Deuce and others, I've been thinking this recently: with frames being much lighter and at the same time much bigger (wider beams, larger heads), the materials in modern frames just have to be less dense, don't they? Along with the increased stiffness, it stands to reason that they're going to feel hollow and cheap compared with the older frames, doesn't it? ...Even if the quality of the materials is the same...

Bottom line for me is I've been really enjoying hitting with racquets from the late '80s and '90s. They're solid, well-made, and they play great for me.

jetlee2k
08-19-2007, 04:19 AM
as many already said and I totally 100% agree.. The beginner and tweener rackets getting alot better but the player frames are not better at all or may be get worse.. I am currently play with the K90 with heavy customize but then I can pick up a Max 200G with dead string, no customization at all and I play awesome.. Samething can be said with Adidas GTX Pro-T, Kneissl Lendl Pro, PS85, Ultra 2.. and etc.. Those are just awesome rackets.. oops... forgot to mention Head Prestige Pro, Head Graphite Pro even the Head Comp Pro, POG Mid.. just awesome.. I can pull it out the bag anytime and start ripping the balls.. The new rackets need alot customize for balance, stability and weight... and it hurts my elbow & shoulder...

Anton
08-19-2007, 05:04 AM
No...
But I thought we were discussing adult racquets in this thread.

Strong players can play with tweeners and play well too, not sure if any pros swing them with stock weight though

I'd think the Radical line is pretty "adult", the newest iteration (10.5oz unstrung 11 strung) is a very comfortable dense pattern control stick. And how about Nadal's frame?

Thrasher
08-19-2007, 05:45 AM
Wow, excellent input! You guys really know your stuff. Especially Duece,Bosass,and Keifers. I'm glad someone agrees with me on this. I have owned racquets such as the Wilson Ultra, Prince Boron, Head Prestige Pro, Donnay Boron 25, Dunlop Muscle Weave, etc. And while not knowing all the technical details such as Bossass and Keifers, most of todays frames just don't have that solid crisp response feel at impact like the frames of the past. I've tried the Babolat Pure Drive, and did not like it at all. It had kind of a cheap, whippy feel to it. Oh well, for the most part, I guess we'll have to get use to the subpar racquets of today, and marvel at some of the frames produced in the late 80's and 90's. Great input and analysis from you guys again.

mhstennis100
08-19-2007, 05:50 AM
I was using a PS 6.0 for about a month and just switched to the Dunlop Aerogel 200. I don't buy the Aerogel/Mfil/whatever is supposedly in it, but it is a very solid frame. It does everything as well or better as the 6.0's.

carac
08-19-2007, 06:23 AM
Actually, today's racquets are much worse than racquets of 15-20 years ago.
Today's racquets are more cheaply made (China, vs. USA, Austria, etc. 15-20 years ago), with lower quality materials today, as well. That's why they rely so heavily upon slick marketing to sell them.

To the uninitiated, the most obvious difference is that today's racquets are much lighter.
But to those who appreciate quality - in both workmanship, durability, and in ball-striking, the racquets of 20 years ago are head and shoulders above today's junk.

No offense, but you have no clue on what you are talking about.

First of all - the price and quality of materials used have seen an AMAZING evolution - so today racquets can be stronger, lighter and A LOT cheaper (once you update the prices).

The racquets for real-pro players have changed somehow slower - but one of the reasons for that is that a pro will avoid at all costs changing the racquet parameters and most of them will play for many years with racquets identical or very similar with the models they started.

Also only about 1000 people in the world will be able to play with the full correct swing with a racquet of over 340g or so (and consistently hit a ball over 150km/h playing every single day) - 99.99% of those do NOT pay for their racquets (and are not on this board) - so the entire market in the world is actually one where lighter is better!

The huge reasons why marketing is so intense is precisely that:

a) racquets (even very new ones) are well-built and long-lasting - so without marketing people will rarely feel the need to upgrade;

b) given the huge price drop in production costs, the rather very high end-user price can only be kept by 'creating' a new model each year (and trying to paint old models as obsolete) - the same was used for cars and computers but I don't really expect that to last forever ...

BreakPoint
08-19-2007, 06:59 AM
Also only about 1000 people in the world will be able to play with the full correct swing with a racquet of over 340g or so.
What are you talking about? :confused: Most wood racquets were over 400g and tens of millions of people were able to play with them with full correct swings.

tennis_hand
08-19-2007, 07:18 AM
My friend the other day was trying to tell me that there is a huge difference from frames of the late 80's and 90's, comapred to the ones of today, and that the frames of today are way better. I told him I didn't think there was that much of a difference, and that most of it was just hype. Afterall, there is only so much you can do with a racuet right? What do you guys think?

they are better. you have to admit.
On the same comparison basis, e.g. the same model of racket, the newer ones are more stable, less jarring, larger sweetspot, more comfortable when hitting off center, not so damaging to the arms when hitting off center and frameshots. They dampen these bad shots much better. So they are better in terms of physics, but of course this doesn't mean they play better. So if you could always hit the sweet spot, I guess it wouldn't make a difference for you.

tennis_hand
08-19-2007, 07:21 AM
Actually, today's racquets are much worse than racquets of 15-20 years ago.
Today's racquets are more cheaply made (China, vs. USA, Austria, etc. 15-20 years ago), with lower quality materials today, as well. That's why they rely so heavily upon slick marketing to sell them.


if u say they are worse now because they are made in China, but not in USA, then check out the Made in USA product: Tourna Grip. Crap durability + so mean that they don't even give enough length.

lordmanji
08-19-2007, 07:49 AM
i hate playing with penn and wilson balls. arent they made in the usa? it feels dead after one, two weeks max. give me my dunlops!

shadowrtype
08-19-2007, 07:50 AM
Arguing this point seems to always bring out those who are most passionate about thier personal preferences. I don't think we can really say old is better than today's even though I personally think so myself. If current technologies allow more people to enjoy the game then it is better for them. Players who have classic strokes who do not benefit from the new gimmicky technologies will see the older frames better for them. I see to many posts here asking which is the best, which is better, greatest of all time, etc. There is not one answer, and that is why today's companies can offer choices for different levels of players. Online auctions and TW members also offer choices for those who favor the classic feeling tennis racquets. If it is a matter of better feel vs better performance results, there is something out there for everyone. People need to make the decision for themselves as to what is the "best" or "better" rather than relying on general popularity to decide for them. What most say is the best can be the worst choice for an individual. Hopefully those who chose today's rackets can have some opportunity to experience the joy of hitting some of the more classic 80's racquets and discover the answer themselves.

the green god
08-19-2007, 08:16 AM
why would anyone play with a can of balls more than once. for god's sake spend two dollars for fresh schwetty balls.

Keifers
08-19-2007, 08:28 AM
Wow, excellent input! You guys really know your stuff. Especially Duece,Bosass,and Keifers. I'm glad someone agrees with me on this. I have owned racquets such as the Wilson Ultra, Prince Boron, Head Prestige Pro, Donnay Boron 25, Dunlop Muscle Weave, etc. And while not knowing all the technical details such as Bossass and Keifers, most of todays frames just don't have that solid crisp response feel at impact like the frames of the past. I've tried the Babolat Pure Drive, and did not like it at all. It had kind of a cheap, whippy feel to it. Oh well, for the most part, I guess we'll have to get use to the subpar racquets of today, and marvel at some of the frames produced in the late 80's and 90's. Great input and analysis from you guys again.
I've found that the solid, crisp response of the older (heavier, more headlight) racquets gives a real assist when it comes to volleys, especially that first volley when serving. A lot of times, it feels like I just have to get the racquet into the correct position and it does the rest -- solid, crisp, whether it's a volley or half-volley. This is a very satisfying experience. The light-weight, head-heavy, whippy modern racquets just can't do this -- too bad!...

meowmix
08-19-2007, 08:51 AM
why would anyone play with a can of balls more than once. for god's sake spend two dollars for fresh schwetty balls.

If you're playing 3 times a week with 6 balls that's 312 cans which equals 624 bucks (that's IF you can get them for 2 bucks, around here, they're more like 3). A lot of people (myself included) can't possibly fork over that kind of money for new balls.

ionutzakis
08-19-2007, 09:09 AM
^^^
I don;t know where you buy your balls, but in Europe a can of US Open Wilsons is 10-11 bucks, if I were to use new balls each time I would go bankrupt pretty quick

carac
08-19-2007, 09:16 AM
What are you talking about? :confused: Most wood racquets were over 400g and tens of millions of people were able to play with them with full correct swings.


Yes, but in those days the ball was moving WELL under 100 km/h ... actually some of the really fast players could often move faster than many balls :)

carac
08-19-2007, 09:27 AM
I've found that the solid, crisp response of the older (heavier, more headlight) racquets gives a real assist when it comes to volleys, especially that first volley when serving. A lot of times, it feels like I just have to get the racquet into the correct position and it does the rest -- solid, crisp, whether it's a volley or half-volley. This is a very satisfying experience. The light-weight, head-heavy, whippy modern racquets just can't do this -- too bad!...

First of all - that is not 100% true - you can still find at least 1-2 models from each of the major racquet companies that fit that description (for instance - get a Prestige :) )

Second and more important - it is always simple/possible to later add lead tape to a racquet, but removing weight it's not something that you can do well after the original design is fixed ...

(extra note - unlike weight, the overall stiffness can be slightly 'moved' BOTH ways - one way with a very soft string, the other way with a very stiff one)

NoBadMojo
08-19-2007, 09:44 AM
The Chinese have the ability to make tennis racquets of any quality...from crappy to superb and descriptors in between. It's all about how the Companies instruct them to build the racquets. Some companies are marketing driven and put more of their costs into marketing/advertising and others are real technology and quality driven and put more of the cost into the actual product

hadoken
08-19-2007, 04:50 PM
The late 80's/90's was a very revolutionary time in tennis design when the Wilson Profile came out and you had some companies doing some very interesting things with variable widths and shock dampening. Beginner frames are very different today...the key difference being the shift to HH balance and lighter weights...everything else is not that important. Whether this is better or worse I won't comment on, but needless to say it is different.

Advanced frames have really not changed that much. For all practical purposes they are sub 100" frames with thin beams and traditional weighting. It's harder to find sub 95 frames, and they are a little lighter now, but not by much.

The tweener frame is very different today, and I would say it is here that tennis companies lack true diversity. In the 1st generation widebody era you had a lot of mid frames with traditional 12+oz weighting constructed with extra power. That's what I really miss from today's tweeners. The Profile, Prince CTS and Yamaha Secrets were really impressive frames that I would argue are better than many of today's tweeners.

SFrazeur
08-19-2007, 05:10 PM
It seems like everyone is copying one another with little variation.

They change materials but rarely form. Yonex is going with more varied width frames again, I hope they do well. Prince has their ports which is probably the biggest change in a long time. I would like to see Prince bring back their mono-shafts in new models. I would also like to see Wilson give their "Spin" series another go (Think: Hammer 5.5 "spin"). With the new stronger materials they would have a better shot.

I know many do not like the feel of new racquet compared to the feel of older racquets, even in the same model. I so wonder how much of that is truth and how much is confirmation bias.

-SF

Rafa freak
08-19-2007, 05:17 PM
i think they are better but it's always fun to hit with an old midsize graphite racquet

I like the new ones better and I use the same racket as you.

Ronaldo
08-19-2007, 05:29 PM
Can you name a comfortable, solid feeling 10oz frame?

BreakPoint
08-19-2007, 05:35 PM
why would anyone play with a can of balls more than once. for god's sake spend two dollars for fresh schwetty balls.
Yeah, but you'd have to open a new can of balls every other game if you were using Penn or Wilsons.

BTW, I believe Penns are the only balls still made in the USA. I know Dunlops are made in the Philippines and I think Wilsons are made in Thailand.

SFrazeur
08-19-2007, 05:38 PM
Can you name a comfortable, solid feeling 10oz frame?

Closest I can think of is the nFury, more comfortable than stable though.

-SF

BreakPoint
08-19-2007, 05:42 PM
Yes, but in those days the ball was moving WELL under 100 km/h ... actually some of the really fast players could often move faster than many balls :)
Have you ever hit a tennis ball with a 400g racquet? You can hit the ball pretty darn hard. It doesn't matter as much that it's wood or graphite. The sheer weight of that club with a decent swing will absolutely crush the ball. Don't you remember that experiment when Philippoussis was able to hit his serves about just as hard with a wood racquet as with his regular graphite racquet? When it comes to tennis racquets, there's just no substitute for weight. Even a Prince racquet designer admitted this to me last year. The laws of physics dictate that.

John Galt
08-19-2007, 06:05 PM
No offense, but you have no clue on what you are talking about.

First of all - the price and quality of materials used have seen an AMAZING evolution - so today racquets can be stronger, lighter and A LOT cheaper (once you update the prices).

The racquets for real-pro players have changed somehow slower - but one of the reasons for that is that a pro will avoid at all costs changing the racquet parameters and most of them will play for many years with racquets identical or very similar with the models they started.

Also only about 1000 people in the world will be able to play with the full correct swing with a racquet of over 340g or so (and consistently hit a ball over 150km/h playing every single day) - 99.99% of those do NOT pay for their racquets (and are not on this board) - so the entire market in the world is actually one where lighter is better!

The huge reasons why marketing is so intense is precisely that:

a) racquets (even very new ones) are well-built and long-lasting - so without marketing people will rarely feel the need to upgrade;

b) given the huge price drop in production costs, the rather very high end-user price can only be kept by 'creating' a new model each year (and trying to paint old models as obsolete) - the same was used for cars and computers but I don't really expect that to last forever ...

No offense, but your post is nonsense..;)

First of all "stronger, lighter, and cheaper" are irrelevant when discussing the quality of tennis frames. Quality of material, workmanship, and flexible/weight are the most important items in a good stick. Who cares how "light" a stick is. Costs have been comparatively consistent over time as well. Your position that "only 1000 people in world can correctly swing a 12 oz. frame" is one of the most ludicrous statements that I have ever seen on TT. For arm safety, hitting a heavy ball, stability, and on court success I believe that a racquet should be AT LEAST 330g and most good players are hitting with frames above that in weight. There sure is a lot more to the game than hitting "over 150km/h"....and IMO most players hitting 12oz racquets can hit a solid ball (with control, touch, and spin). There are exceptions to this, of course, but in general terms your statements are pure horsehockey.

Steve H.
08-19-2007, 06:52 PM
Interesting to watch the women's final today with Jankovic gliding around the court with her O3 Red -- of course we don't know how much heavier than stock she was playing, but the O-ports and large head were there for all to see. Justine beat her in the end, but had to work REALLY hard to do so.

That said, personally I can't stand those things. Maybe I can hit a little harder, but sure miss feeling the ball. So, agree with whoever said it's all about what you like!

Ronaldo
08-19-2007, 07:06 PM
Sounds nuts but the O3 just play like the Wilson Roller racquets, soft stringbed, vague feel, and too light. Torsional stiffness is tough on joints too.
Stable but unforgiving.

Steve H.
08-19-2007, 07:10 PM
lotta people like them though -- the White is now the best-selling racquet, recently passing the Pure Drive. Explain that....

Ronaldo
08-19-2007, 07:17 PM
lotta people like them though -- the White is now the best-selling racquet, recently passing the Pure Drive. Explain that....

Same complaint have with Bab racquets. Soft stringbed though. Have old joints, bone-on-bone in the wrist, elbow, and shoulder.

Deuce
08-19-2007, 10:27 PM
No offense, but you have no clue on what you are talking about.

Also only about 1000 people in the world will be able to play with the full correct swing with a racquet of over 340g or so (and consistently hit a ball over 150km/h playing every single day) - 99.99% of those do NOT pay for their racquets (and are not on this board) - so the entire market in the world is actually one where lighter is better!

And you say that I'm the one who doesn't know what I'm talking about?!?

And what racquet company do you work for, anyway?

they are better. you have to admit.
On the same comparison basis, e.g. the same model of racket, the newer ones are more stable, less jarring, larger sweetspot, more comfortable when hitting off center, not so damaging to the arms when hitting off center and frameshots. They dampen these bad shots much better. So they are better in terms of physics, but of course this doesn't mean they play better. So if you could always hit the sweet spot, I guess it wouldn't make a difference for you.
You sound like a kid whose only experience with a racquet from the 1980s is the 47 seconds you hit with one before concluding that it was "too heavy and too small".

carac
08-20-2007, 12:55 AM
No offense, but your post is nonsense..;)

First of all "stronger, lighter, and cheaper" are irrelevant when discussing the quality of tennis frames. Quality of material, workmanship, and flexible/weight are the most important items in a good stick. Who cares how "light" a stick is. Costs have been comparatively consistent over time as well. Your position that "only 1000 people in world can correctly swing a 12 oz. frame" is one of the most ludicrous statements that I have ever seen on TT. For arm safety, hitting a heavy ball, stability, and on court success I believe that a racquet should be AT LEAST 330g and most good players are hitting with frames above that in weight. There sure is a lot more to the game than hitting "over 150km/h"....and IMO most players hitting 12oz racquets can hit a solid ball (with control, touch, and spin). There are exceptions to this, of course, but in general terms your statements are pure horsehockey.


Probably you have delusions of adequacy about your level in tennis - even in the top 500 ATP plus top 500 WTA players there are many that do not swing correctly at certain shots, and when to that you add real ball speed and the need to repeat that effort each day you can see that things are not as simple as you believe ...

And the idea that "costs have been comparatively consistent over time as well" is pathetic if you compare the costs for carbon fibers today with those 20 years ago - since you have no clue on the actual industrial costs and you compare the cost of the end-user racquets (and you also don't seem to apply any correction for inflation - only that the costs are less than 1/2 !!!)

origmarm
08-20-2007, 01:18 AM
I agree with the posts re the tweeners and beginners racquets, also racquets used by older people. I think these have all got better.

With the players racquets, I think its a mixed bag. We have a tendency to remember all the good ones and forget the bad, everyone remembers their PS85s or their POGs but not the terrible racquets that were around then also (proof is I can't name any :)..I do however remember playing with some real lemons).
Some had got better, some worse. Personally I think the best players racquets from each company; K90, Prestige etc... are probably evens. The game has changed and some racquets (particularly PDs for example) define this new power game.

For the woodies, yeah they are great but they are very limiting on technique, they have amazing feel, touch and if you get it right power also but they are very unforgiving of bad technique, off centre hits etc..I love to hit with them, but I would never take one to a tournament for example.

For the general public, things have gotten better. For anyone of a decent competitive level its probably evens for some playing styles and an improvement for some (those toting Babolats notably). Every company makes lemons and every company makes great frames (mostly). Its just that now they don't keep producing the greats for 15yrs and cycle the line every 2-3.

Sinner
08-20-2007, 02:23 AM
A very interesting topic indeed... but regarding the POG and all the talk of the 4-stripe version being superior to the current version, was that because of adjustments made by Prince, or an issue with the manufacturing?

hrstrat57
08-20-2007, 04:06 AM
re tweeners a couple of old school frames come to my mind...yonex srq 500(my daughter has 3 of these) and volkl v1 classic....

Not quite 10 oz but big capabilities, lightweight and easy to hit for even say a 2.5 level player.

nothing in tennis feels like hitting the sweet spot on my sv ps 85 mid or dunlop max 200g.

If the new stuff was better why would there be so many paint jobs out there on the tours?

Pretty twisted stuff if you ask me.....

good thread

lakis92
08-20-2007, 04:42 AM
Technologies and materials have definitely changed a lot.

rosenstar
08-20-2007, 06:09 AM
I think that racquets are better now. I think they're more comfortable and better for the AVERAGE tennis player, who is a 2.5-3.5. tennis companies have finally learned that they can make the most money off these players by selling tweeners and "granny sticks." unfortunately for the rest of us, there is less variety in players racquets because racquet companies are going to make the frames that make the most money.

RedKat
08-20-2007, 06:45 AM
Well, a while ago there was an interview with a guy, who most probably does not understand anything in tennis rackets. His name is Pete Sampras. One of the point of the discussion was his switch to a bigger size racket. He has commented on something like "nowadays they make better rackets". So he damped his PS 6.0 85 in favor of 90 sq. inch whatever Wilson Prostuff. Poor guy indeed thinks that PLAYER rackets are better today then before. What a layman of a guy!

max
08-20-2007, 06:46 AM
I recently looked at my old frames (and strung up a Max 200 G). They really WERE made better then.

Perhaps this is a function of contemporary racquets being marketed on an annual basis, thus speeding up production to fit the marketing year.

I dislike much the tone struck by carac, but it indicates to me that he is a high schooler. I'd hope to see a bit more courtesy all around.

This particular thread seems best answered by those with substantial experience with modern and 80s/90s frames.

John Galt
08-20-2007, 08:03 AM
Probably you have delusions of adequacy about your level in tennis - even in the top 500 ATP plus top 500 WTA players there are many that do not swing correctly at certain shots, and when to that you add real ball speed and the need to repeat that effort each day you can see that things are not as simple as you believe ...

And the idea that "costs have been comparatively consistent over time as well" is pathetic if you compare the costs for carbon fibers today with those 20 years ago - since you have no clue on the actual industrial costs and you compare the cost of the end-user racquets (and you also don't seem to apply any correction for inflation - only that the costs are less than 1/2 !!!)

I'll try to be gentle and polite. Yes, I do have delusions about my game.....I wake up every day hoping that I am improving but am consistently disappointed..:-( . I do however feel that those who think that only 1000 people in the world can play with a 12oz stick are quite delusional. Sorry that we disagree....and believe me, I do not think that anything is "simple" (although some people are "simple minded). A 12 oz. frame is not heavy. IMO a 12 oz. frame is safer for the body and provides better mass to create power and possibly better flex for many people's games. Lighter is not necessarily better. Most proficient players can generate sufficient racquet head speed with a correctly balanced, mid swingweight, 12 oz. stick.

The relative cost to the end user for tennis racquets has been pretty consistent over time, yes taking into account inflation as I said in the other post. That's what the term "relative cost" means. From the manufacturer side -It does not matter what the cost of carbon fiber is currently in general terms....what matters is its availability to the tennis manufacturer marketplace. The high demand for carbon fiber in many large industries is "squeezing out" the tennis companies and creating scarcity and, thus, higher prices for the material. According to tennis industry executives, this is causing the influx of other, lower quality materials to be used in tennis frame production. I believe that the frames of yesteryear, with several exceptions were better made. This is only based on playing the game for about 30+ years (ughgh). Enjoy the day, bud.

stevewcosta
08-20-2007, 08:11 AM
Current racs. only look better. Ex: 80s Yonex frames were much better than the hollow stuff they make now (esp. < 1/2 grips...). I miss the R10s, R22s...

Steve H.
08-20-2007, 08:42 AM
Sounds nuts but the O3 just play like the Wilson Roller racquets, soft stringbed, vague feel, and too light. Torsional stiffness is tough on joints too.
Stable but unforgiving.
yeah, I remember those rollers, same idea. So much of all this is about perception -- rollers didn't make it cause they seemed dorky, but O-ports are catching on. It's all variations on a theme, marketing different approaches to striving for a goal of debatable desirability -- in the 90's it was about how do you make a material both light AND stiff, more recently how do you make a frame light and stiff AND not kill your arm. What's the next frontier?

Or maybe Deuce is right and a Graphite Edge was the ultimate. Course if I played with one of those I'd miss the ball completely half the time :)

NoBadMojo
08-20-2007, 08:44 AM
Todays frames are better than yesterdays frames....unless people think technology is bad or evil or doesnt exist, this cant even be a decent argument. Modern players frames dont fatigue as easily as pc's, ps85's and pogs which have been obsolete in the tennis world for some years now save for this forum....people have moved on and embraced the better players frames which better suit how the game is these days.
Also, where the technology has improved the most is in making lighter frames less powerful and far more comfortable. I get the idea there are people aruguing the virtues of these old frames who didnt even go through the transition from wood to composites..the early composites were shockingly expensive even in todays dollars....then came widebodies which were rocket launchers that had to be strung at 70 pounds to get some control which were also stiff harsh nasty things to hit
Todays racquets <made by the quality manufacturers> have much more consistency and tighter tolerances

Gorecki
08-20-2007, 08:51 AM
I "love" these remarks on the Chinese origin of the new frames.

St.Vincent, a Carribean island in the Grenadines is not exactly the top notch on industrial development and yet they made the holy grail of players stick. how can one base is judgment on something just because it is made here or there.

i see too many pre-judgments on this forum. keep your minds open please.

Steve H.
08-20-2007, 08:54 AM
Modern players frames dont fatigue as easily as pc's, ps85's and pogs which have been obsolete in the tennis world for some years now save for this forum....people have moved on and embraced the better players frames which better suit how the game is these days.


Ed, I don't think it's that simple. What's this about old frames fatiguing? I suppose adhesives, etc, are more durable now, but who among us has actually WORN OUT a POG or PS85? Also, gains in comfort are surely in the eye of the beholder -- in an effort to get with the times played for a while this spring with a supposedly "arm-friendly" V1 and developed a raging case of TE, my first ever. Now back with an old-school 11.7 ounce graphite frame, am hitting the ball at least as hard, don't get tired, and my arm thanks me daily.

NoBadMojo
08-20-2007, 09:02 AM
Ed, I don't think it's that simple. What's this about old frames fatiguing? I suppose adhesives, etc, are more durable now, but who among us has actually WORN OUT a POG or PS85? Also, gains in comfort are surely in the eye of the beholder -- in an effort to get with the times played for a while this spring with a supposedly "arm-friendly" V1 and developed a raging case of TE, my first ever. Now back with an old-school 11.7 ounce graphite frame, am hitting the ball at least as hard, don't get tired, and my arm thanks me daily.

I have no explanation for someone who gets TE from a frame which has been highly tauted in the industry as an arm saver since around 1994 and is still in production. there is always the occasional anomoly

people buy used POG's and such already in a fatigued state..they just arent aware of it.

i used to use c series volks and would fatigue those every couple of years rotating 6 frames or so. these days it takes much more to fatigue a Volkl <or other quality frame>. I used T10Gen1's for about 5 years and they showed no signs of fatigue (yes i was was playing more back then)

NoBadMojo
08-20-2007, 09:09 AM
A 12 oz. frame is not heavy. IMO a 12 oz. frame is safer for the body and provides better mass to create power and possibly better flex for many people's games. Lighter is not necessarily better. Most proficient players can generate sufficient racquet head speed with a correctly balanced, mid swingweight, 12 oz. stick.

The relative cost to the end user for tennis racquets has been pretty consistent over time, yes taking into account inflation as I said in the other post. That's what the term "relative cost" means. From the manufacturer side -It does not matter what the cost of carbon fiber is currently in general terms....what matters is its availability to the tennis manufacturer marketplace. The high demand for carbon fiber in many large industries is "squeezing out" the tennis companies and creating scarcity and, thus, higher prices for the material. According to tennis industry executives, this is causing the influx of other, lower quality materials to be used in tennis frame production. I believe that the frames of yesteryear, with several exceptions were better made. This is only based on playing the game for about 30+ years (ughgh). Enjoy the day, bud.

There are plenty of inaccuracies in what you post. Firstly, a 12 oz racquet IS too heavy for many players....too heavy for more players than not
Yes, there is a graphite 'shortage'. This has been addressed in a couple of different ways
-Use less graphite and more filler and give this filler material a fancy name
-Use less graphite and more desireable material like fiberglass and also throw useful technology at the problem. Things like V-Engines and DNX.

Racquets are generally much less expensive relatively spoeaking now than then. early composites like the kawasaki Graphite Ruler and Trabert C6 sold for in excess of 300 dollars. There was also an early Prince composite which was also off the hook pricewise.

John Galt
08-20-2007, 09:29 AM
There are plenty of inaccuracies in what you post. Firstly, a 12 oz racquet IS too heavy for many players....too heavy for more players than not
Yes, there is a graphite 'shortage'. This has been addressed in a couple of different ways
-Use less graphite and more filler and give this filler material a fancy name
-Use less graphite and more desireable material like fiberglass and also throw useful technology at the problem. Things like V-Engines and DNX.

Racquets are generally much less expensive relatively spoeaking now than then. early composites like the kawasaki Graphite Ruler and Trabert C6 sold for in excess of 300 dollars. There was also an early Prince composite which was also off the hook pricewise.

I stated that most "proficient" players can handle a 12 oz. frame and will stand by that. I also stated that IN MY OPINION a heavier frame is safer for the body in general terms and that lighter is not "necessarily" better. That is not inaccurate as you say, but my opinion based on an extensive tennis career. We can agree to disagree about racquet weight/flex re: arm safety and results as I have seen your many posts on this topic and respect your opinion even though I do not agree quite often.

Regarding material, I was mainly speaking about carbon fiber and some comments that I had recently read from some industry execs. My comments are not inaccurate. Also, throwing filler or fiberglass into racquets (with "technology") does not mean that the racquet is better made whatsoever. I am still looking to find a technology that makes up for lesser material. I am not sold on DNX, but did like the V-Engine....you would know better being a Volkl guy. I also do not think that in general terms that racquets are "much less expensive" nowadays. I have purchased many sticks during the past 30 years or so (but not the Kawasaki or the Traber C6...I must have missed those???) and do agree that real prices have come down a bit over time....mainly due to those "fillers" and "technologies" used in frames along with mass production of cheaper frames. I am not going down the road of "all new frames stink and only the racquets from the 80's were good"...but I do think that this topic is at least worthy of some fun debate.

martin8768
08-20-2007, 09:31 AM
Actually, today's racquets are much worse than racquets of 15-20 years ago.
Today's racquets are more cheaply made (China, vs. USA, Austria, etc. 15-20 years ago), with lower quality materials today, as well. That's why they rely so heavily upon slick marketing to sell them.

To the uninitiated, the most obvious difference is that today's racquets are much lighter.
But to those who appreciate quality - in both workmanship, durability, and in ball-striking, the racquets of 20 years ago are head and shoulders above today's junk.

get a yonex, made in japan for highest quality

Syfo-Dias
08-20-2007, 09:50 AM
The china argument is flawed. We all assume that stuff made is china is of lesser quality, because all the plastic crap we have in our lives comes from china. The truth is quite often things get made better in china.

For example: Not related to tennis, but K2 skis were made for probably 30+ years on Vashon Island in Washington. Later on K2 snowboards and Ride snowboards were also made here. In the 80s and 90s, when they were all still made in the USA, all three lines had major problems with delaminating skis/snowboards. I knew people that warrentied skis so many times, they effectively got new skis every year for like five years, off the original pair. K2 moved production to China a few years ago and all those products are remarkably more durable and built to higher standards.

My point is, China is a blazingly burgeoning economy. They make many high end performance and sports related products, and they do it very well. The bottom line is cost, but companies often move production there simply because they have trouble finding domestic facilities that can produce comparable products. Europe does have a tradition of excellence still, and I'd rather see my PC600 come from Austria than China, but I think if molds were handed over to a chinese facility, they could make an excellent version.

With that said, I agree with BP that heavier players rackets are on the downhill slide. The Prestige is the best frame ever, and now you can't get it in an unpolluted version.

I do think tweener rackets are much better now, however. I tried a buttload of rackets in high school, and none of them came close to a current Pure Drive.

And what happened to all of those American K2 workers when they moved production to China?

Wilson6-1
08-20-2007, 10:17 AM
This is just another popularity contest regarding so called "classic" racquets versus new racquets, albeit in a different question.

If it were a poll in this forum, it would be 2/3 voting classic and 1/3 voting new. In the real world it would be 90% using new and 10% using classic, but this forum is a different world.

I don't know where to start on this thread because there is so much rhetoric thrown out as fact, it is purely amazing to read some of these opinions. I laugh at those that believe China produces low quality products, it is such an overly broad generalization it is comical. Then there is this concept that racquets are not cheaper today, I am not sure how old these people are but it was not uncommon to spend $200 on a new graphite racquet in the early 1980s, I believe the Dunlop Black Max was $150 in 1983. Compare that to the $180 to $200 for similar type racquets and they are significantly cheaper in relation to inflation and buying power.

If racquets were made inferior to the racquets made in the 1980s and 1990s then there would be a company producing those similar specifications today and dominating the market. It is all rap with a capital C in front of it. Are there players that prefer racquets from that generation, sure, does it make those racquets better, absolutely not. The vast majority of professionals and players play with racquets that were made over the last 7 years, so this whole argument is just another “coolness” debate and as we know based on this forum, not to mention posts already contained within this thread, that the “classic” racquets are going to win that popularity contest.

NoBadMojo
08-20-2007, 10:19 AM
I stated that most "proficient" players can handle a 12 oz. frame and will stand by that. I also stated that IN MY OPINION a heavier frame is safer for the body in general terms and that lighter is not "necessarily" better. That is not inaccurate as you say, but my opinion based on an extensive tennis career. We can agree to disagree about racquet weight/flex re: arm safety and results as I have seen your many posts on this topic and respect your opinion even though I do not agree quite often.

.


patently untrue..there are many many older players who play a proficient game who cant handle 12 ozs. ...younger ones as well. juniors. there are guys here/and everywhere around 60 who easily play 4.5 tennis using very light frames. Besides it's about the swingweight and not static weight. there are frames like the nBlade at 10. something ounces with high swingweights ...hard to swing for more than not at under 11 ozs strung. ...so many proficient people cant even handle 11 oz frames. there are also many many females who are proficient tennis players who cant come close to handling 12oz frames. Roger federer only seems to be able to handle 320 swingweight.
also probably as many people develop physical problems by using/forcing something too heavy and demanding to work as by using something too light

If you know tennis as you say and have been playing for 30 years in your 'extensive tennis career' one would think you might have heard of those racquets I mentioned which werent very good, were very expensive, werent comfortable and were also the earliest composite frames....so much for they just dont make em' like they used to myth..we;ll add that one onto ones like demanding racquets force you to use good technique and some other wrong stuff that gets propogated on this forum

Wilson6-1
08-20-2007, 10:22 AM
And what happened to all of those American K2 workers when they moved production to China?

They should have gotten a better job, because if they didn't, the same thing is going to happen to the next manufacturing job. This isn't an outsourcing debate, it is a question on racquets, but I find it amuzing that people want to hang on to low-end jobs in the US (rather than outsource) instead of concentrating on how we develop our talent base for high-end jobs in the future.

NoBadMojo
08-20-2007, 10:28 AM
This is just another popularity contest regarding so called "classic" racquets versus new racquets, albeit in a different question.

If it were a poll in this forum, it would be 2/3 voting classic and 1/3 voting new. In the real world it would be 90% using new and 10% using classic, but this forum is a different world.

I don't know where to start on this thread because there is so much rhetoric thrown out as fact, it is purely amazing to read some of these opinions. I laugh at those that believe China produces low quality products, it is such an overly broad generalization it is comical. Then there is this concept that racquets are not cheaper today, I am not sure how old these people are but it was not uncommon to spend $200 on a new graphite racquet in the early 1980s, I believe the Dunlop Black Max was $150 in 1983. Compare that to the $180 to $200 for similar type racquets and they are significantly cheaper in relation to inflation and buying power.

If racquets were made inferior to the racquets made in the 1980s and 1990s then there would be a company producing those similar specifications today and dominating the market. It is all rap with a capital C in front of it. Are there players that prefer racquets from that generation, sure, does it make those racquets better, absolutely not. The vast majority of professionals and players play with racquets that were made over the last 7 years, so this whole argument is just another “coolness” debate and as we know based on this forum, not to mention posts already contained within this thread, that the “classic” racquets are going to win that popularity contest.

Well said I believe. This forum is not very representative of tennis how it is in the real world.

John Galt
08-20-2007, 10:30 AM
patently untrue..there are many many older players who play a proficient game who cant handle 12 ozs. ...younger ones as well. juniors. there are guys here/and everywhere around 60 who easily play 4.5 tennis using very light frames. Besides it's about the swingweight and not static weight. there are frames like the nBlade at 10. something ounces with high swingweights ...hard to swing for more than not at under 11 ozs strung. ...so many proficient people cant even handle 11 oz frames. there are also many many females who are proficient tennis players who cant come close to handling 12oz frames. Roger federer only seems to be able to handle 320 swingweight.
also probably as many people develop physical problems by using/forcing something too heavy and demanding to work as by using something too light

If you know tennis as you say and have been playing for 30 years in your 'extensive tennis career' one would think you might have heard of those racquets I mentioned which werent very good, were very expensive, werent comfortable and were also the earliest composite frames....so much for they just dont make em' like they used to myth..we;ll add that one onto ones like demanding racquets force you to use good technique and some other wrong stuff that gets propogated on this forum

I do not for the life of me understand why you get so insulting when debating these racquet issues..:confused: . Your experiences on the court and my experiences on the court create opinions and yours is no more important than anyone else's. The difference between you and me is that you call people "misinformed", "inaccurate", "propogating myths", "patently untrue." While most of the rest of us are just sharing opinions.Lighten up...its just tennis.

BounceHitBounceHit
08-20-2007, 10:36 AM
Would it be reasonable to say the 'Old School' frames of 30 years ago (whatever their specific composition) tended to have a very DIFFERENT 'feel' than today's modern offerings, and that some PREFER one type of feel over the other? ;)

I am truly not sure this discussion can be faithly or meaningfully contested around the 'better or worse' dichotomy. I've hit a bunch of modern frames I could happily use. I also still LOVE the feel of the PS 6.0 85 and (older) Prestiges. I do NOT play my best tennis with them however, and so I am on to my beloved (are they truly modern?!?) K90's.

Best,

CC

NoBadMojo
08-20-2007, 10:39 AM
I do not for the life of me understand why you get so insulting when debating these racquet issues..:confused: . Your experiences on the court and my experiences on the court create opinions and yours is no more important than anyone else's. The difference between you and me is that you call people "misinformed", "inaccurate", "propogating myths", "patently untrue." While most of the rest of us are just sharing opinions.Lighten up...its just tennis.

lol..you enter a thread with smug comments directed at others and now you are slinging crap at me. i havent insulted you...i just corrected you because you are wrong. people who say that all opinions are equal are most usually the ones having opinions which are wrong or otherwise just dont know much at all about the subject matter. believe it or not, much about tennis is quantifyable if people know what they are talking about...so i disgree with you here as well...the opinions of some ARE more valid than the opinions of others and just because a person plays tennis or maybe doesnt even play tennis but posts on a tennis forum, doesnt mean they know much about tennis at all.

John Galt
08-20-2007, 10:58 AM
lol..you enter a thread with smug comments directed at others and now you are slinging crap at me. i havent insulted you...i just corrected you because you are wrong. people who say that all opinions are equal are most usually the ones having opinions which are wrong or otherwise just dont know much at all about the subject matter. believe it or not, much about tennis is quantifyable if people know what they are talking about...so i disgree with you here as well...the opinions of some ARE more valid than the opinions of others and just because a person plays tennis or maybe doesnt even play tennis but posts on a tennis forum, doesnt mean they know much about tennis at all.

Thanks for clearing things up regarding where you are coming from. It makes it easier to understand why you post what you do. And I agree....whether someone has 30 years on the court; or is some shut in former club pro that posts on an internet board all day........it doesn't mean that they know much about tennis at all. Have a nice life.

NoBadMojo
08-20-2007, 11:01 AM
Would it be reasonable to say the 'Old School' frames of 30 years ago (whatever their specific composition) tended to have a very DIFFERENT 'feel' than today's modern offerings, and that some PREFER one type of feel over the other? ;)

I am truly not sure this discussion can be faithly or meaningfully contested around the 'better or worse' dichotomy. I've hit a bunch of modern frames I could happily use. I also still LOVE the feel of the PS 6.0 85 and (older) Prestiges. I do NOT play my best tennis with them however, and so I am on to my beloved (are they truly modern?!?) K90's.

Best,

CC

Hi Craig....you've hit they key words here..those being "you dont play your best tennis with those old frames"

This is one of the reasons causing me to say with certainty that <in general> the newer frames are more appropriate for tennis how it is played today. Plus the consistency of production element common to the better companies, and the fact they just dont fatigue as quickly.

But.... you have the element of skillset to throw into the equation and thats where things get muddled. I say this not in any sort of negative or attacking way, but until people get to a certain level of play, they can <sometimes> get away with old demanding heavy frames because stuff just isnt coming at them reliably, quickly, and spinny, and with a lot of variety.. Surely people wont dispute that people play tennis at different proficiency levels. people here are already claiming that all opinions about tennis are equal, so maybe some people think that everyone plays at the same level too.

carac
08-20-2007, 11:10 AM
...
I do however feel that those who think that only 1000 people in the world can play with a 12oz stick are quite delusional.


Well, now is clear that the problem was not reading my entire phrase - "will be able to play with the full correct swing with a racquet of over 340g or so and consistently hit a ball over 150km/h playing every single day" !


The relative cost to the end user for tennis racquets has been pretty consistent over time, yes taking into account inflation as I said in the other post. That's what the term "relative cost" means.

My feeling was that a good racquet 20 years ago was 150-200 US$, which in today money is probably over 400 US$ ... but maybe I am wrong ...

NoBadMojo
08-20-2007, 11:12 AM
Thanks for clearing things up regarding where you are coming from. It makes it easier to understand why you post what you do. And I agree....whether someone has 30 years on the court; or is some shut in former club pro that posts on an internet board all day........it doesn't mean that they know much about tennis at all. Have a nice life.

hahahahahaha! you tell me to lighten up and that i am insulting... and you post something like this..lol. what a joke....hahahahahahahahahah!

but as you say, everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter how wroing...and you are very wrong about what you say about me, and i feel no need to defend myself...but you? you should be ashamed of yourself. your post is very revealing as to your nature as is the smugness with which you entered this thread (well before i) as you call posters like carac delusional and as you accuse me of being insulting

Adrupert
08-20-2007, 11:14 AM
You know who still makes a nice quality tennis racket, with fine materials and craftsmanship??? Vantage! One of the most quality sticks I have ever played with was my vantage.

WChiang
08-20-2007, 11:15 AM
I stated that most "proficient" players can handle a 12 oz. frame and will stand by that. I also stated that IN MY OPINION a heavier frame is safer for the body in general terms and that lighter is not "necessarily" better. That is not inaccurate as you say, but my opinion based on an extensive tennis career. We can agree to disagree about racquet weight/flex re: arm safety and results as I have seen your many posts on this topic and respect your opinion even though I do not agree quite often.

Regarding material, I was mainly speaking about carbon fiber and some comments that I had recently read from some industry execs. My comments are not inaccurate. Also, throwing filler or fiberglass into racquets (with "technology") does not mean that the racquet is better made whatsoever. I am still looking to find a technology that makes up for lesser material. I am not sold on DNX, but did like the V-Engine....you would know better being a Volkl guy. I also do not think that in general terms that racquets are "much less expensive" nowadays. I have purchased many sticks during the past 30 years or so (but not the Kawasaki or the Traber C6...I must have missed those???) and do agree that real prices have come down a bit over time....mainly due to those "fillers" and "technologies" used in frames along with mass production of cheaper frames. I am not going down the road of "all new frames stink and only the racquets from the 80's were good"...but I do think that this topic is at least worthy of some fun debate.

John, I agree that most strong players can, and do, handle 12 ounce racquets very well. Some pros/teachers like the lighter stuff because they are feeding balls all day, older players sometimes go lighter and/or bigger due to health reasons, and many beginner intermediates learn the game very well using lighter/stiffer racquets - but for the most part I see frames in the 11.8-12.8 ounce range at Open and satellite tourneys....swingweights in the 320-340 range. Some companies (Fisher, Vantage, Tecnifibre, Dunlop...) have come up with some well made racquets recently that have that "old school feel" that everyone talks about. I read an article somewhere recently where the main racquet guy at HEAD was talking about how they are finding it hard to find good material at good prices recently (it may be the article that you saw) and I concur that quality level in the 80's and 90's was better than many of today's frames. But on the flip side I think you can find many good sticks made today also if you look hard enough.

John Galt
08-20-2007, 11:22 AM
Well, now is clear that the problem was not reading my entire phrase - "will be able to play with the full correct swing with a racquet of over 340g or so and consistently hit a ball over 150km/h playing every single day" !



My feeling was that a good racquet 20 years ago was 150-200 US$, which in today money is probably over 400 US$ ... but maybe I am wrong ...

carac... I think that there are more players that can do that than you think, but, but in re-reading your post you are right; it would be a group of strong players.

I guess when you add in inflation, the cost of a frame from 20 years ago would be over $300 or more versus todays sticks in the $200 range. I figured that the price drop was not so drastic so you might not be wrong. Boy, time flies..:-(

Syfo-Dias
08-20-2007, 12:10 PM
They should have gotten a better job, because if they didn't, the same thing is going to happen to the next manufacturing job. This isn't an outsourcing debate, it is a question on racquets, but I find it amuzing that people want to hang on to low-end jobs in the US (rather than outsource) instead of concentrating on how we develop our talent base for high-end jobs in the future.


Let me guess, you're a Republican? Well, not everybody in the country can have a high end, white collar job. I'm fortunate enough to have been able to get a college degree and work in IT, but not everyone is. I used to live in a small town where a large plant closed down and moved production to Mexico. The effect on the town was devastating. I guess I can't be as cold hearted about it after seeing it first hand.

enwar3
08-20-2007, 12:20 PM
I think one problem we have is a comparison between the best sticks of the 80s and 90s (the ones people remember) and the entire field of today (read: a bunch of not-so-good racquets).

I think it's perfectly valid to say you preferred a certain stick from the 80s than ANY other stick made today. But to claim that sticks from the 80s and 90s, as a generalization, are better than sticks today, is going to take more than just personal preference and experience.

Perhaps a more valid comparison would be between the top sticks from the 80s/90s and the top sticks of today.

Steve H.
08-20-2007, 02:33 PM
I have no explanation for someone who gets TE from a frame which has been highly touted in the industry as an arm saver since around 1994 and is still in production. there is always the occasional anomaly
Yeah, that surprised me too! I'd been hoping that the V1 would allow me to swing faster, get more spin, etc, and that was true to some extent. However, with any frame I miss the sweetspot a fair amount due to sketchy eyesight, and while the slotted grommets and damping technology helped, it's still a stiff, sub-300g frame, and I guess the repeating shock took its toll.

For me the more general lesson relevant to this discussion is that it's a very individual thing -- while it may be arrogant to say that heavier old-school frames are better for everyone, it also isn't right to say that no intermediate player can play his best with one, or that if you pick the right tweener you won't hurt yourself. I did, and suspect that there are others. There are a whole bunch of trade-offs: swinging on time vs. winning the collision; the precision of a small head vs. the forgiveness of a bigger one; the touch of flex vs. the power of stiffness; the comfort of damping technology vs. the feedback of feeling an off-center hit and learning from it. We all need to keep an open mind, and be respectful of the perceptions of others.

Keifers
08-20-2007, 02:38 PM
I think one problem we have is a comparison between the best sticks of the 80s and 90s (the ones people remember) and the entire field of today (read: a bunch of not-so-good racquets).

I think it's perfectly valid to say you preferred a certain stick from the 80s than ANY other stick made today. But to claim that sticks from the 80s and 90s, as a generalization, are better than sticks today, is going to take more than just personal preference and experience.

Perhaps a more valid comparison would be between the top sticks from the 80s/90s and the top sticks of today.
Well said. Many of us fall easily into sweeping generalizations, some take affront at some of them, and off we go again... (sigh!) I can see that Wilson6-1 (and I'm sure others) get very frustrated at the apparent pointlessness of these "debates."

I will say, though, that it's through reading many threads here about older racquets that I got turned onto trying (and really liking) several of them, e.g., the Prince CTS sticks. I started playing tennis decades ago, then didn't play for a long time, then got back into it in the mid '90s. So I missed out on most of these sticks when they were current.

They're very well-suited to my game, it turns out, and I'm having a lot of fun "discovering them again for the very first time"... ;) :)

Wilson6-1
08-20-2007, 02:46 PM
Let me guess, you're a Republican? Well, not everybody in the country can have a high end, white collar job. I'm fortunate enough to have been able to get a college degree and work in IT, but not everyone is. I used to live in a small town where a large plant closed down and moved production to Mexico. The effect on the town was devastating. I guess I can't be as cold hearted about it after seeing it first hand.

This thread has morphed into something else, but let me say that it doesn't matter what political affiliation one has, we should be more worried, as a country, about the ability for citizens to get an education and develop future talent because that is the only way to develop the overall productivity and success of business in America. And, I certainly understand the affect of downsizing; however, I also understand that trying to change the economic conditions that force the outsourcing will not be overcome by simply rallying around a goodwill effort.

Lastly, I have seen downsizing first hand, more than you can even imagine, but it doesn't change the reality.

drpepper4590
08-20-2007, 02:50 PM
i like the old frames better...new frames are too powerful, too light, and too stiff...and all this technology stuff i don't think is helping a whole lot. STill i'd take an old 6.1 or a PS 85 over anything...it'd be great if they still made racquets like that other than the ktour90

NoBadMojo
08-20-2007, 02:59 PM
Yeah, that surprised me too! I'd been hoping that the V1 would allow me to swing faster, get more spin, etc, and that was true to some extent. However, with any frame I miss the sweetspot a fair amount due to sketchy eyesight, and while the slotted grommets and damping technology helped, it's still a stiff, sub-300g frame, and I guess the repeating shock took its toll.

For me the more general lesson relevant to this discussion is that it's a very individual thing -- while it may be arrogant to say that heavier old-school frames are better for everyone, it also isn't right to say that no intermediate player can play his best with one, or that if you pick the right tweener you won't hurt yourself. I did, and suspect that there are others. There are a whole bunch of trade-offs: swinging on time vs. winning the collision; the precision of a small head vs. the forgiveness of a bigger one; the touch of flex vs. the power of stiffness; the comfort of damping technology vs. the feedback of feeling an off-center hit and learning from it. We all need to keep an open mind, and be respectful of the perceptions of others.

aye Steve,
Indeed..lots of dynamics at play when people change gear, especially 'veterans' who are used to certain specs. You sound like a veteran like me and muscles and tendons are no longer Gumby like anymore and after hitting a few million balls, there is more chance of a repetitive stress injury when you change...I dont think I know which V1 you switched to, what string and tension, and what racquet you switched from that you got the TE. If you switched to the DNXV1, that one isnt the best performing or most comfortable V1. You may wish to try the new BeckerV1..check out the specs if you like. It hits softer than any of the previous V1's and has got a bit more zip, and they have an oversize (i've only hit the MP version and can easily recommend that one)
as for me, 5 minutes with poly and my wrist is getting twinges. serving full pace with something too heavy and i get shoulder twinges, etc. as long as i stay with what I am used to, there is never a problem..if i would switch to poly now, my arm would fall off within a week.........the younger guys can get a way with it for a lot longer

I believe in matching the right swingweight to the person, no matter what it is. If I do that much of the other abba dabba takes care of itself

0d1n
08-20-2007, 03:15 PM
Ed, I don't think it's that simple. What's this about old frames fatiguing? I suppose adhesives, etc, are more durable now, but who among us has actually WORN OUT a POG or PS85? Also, gains in comfort are surely in the eye of the beholder -- in an effort to get with the times played for a while this spring with a supposedly "arm-friendly" V1 and developed a raging case of TE, my first ever. Now back with an old-school 11.7 ounce graphite frame, am hitting the ball at least as hard, don't get tired, and my arm thanks me daily.

What's the old school 11.7 ounce graphite frame ???

Steve H.
08-20-2007, 03:24 PM
Ed, they were V1 Classics -- before giving up on them I strung one with Yonex 850 at 55, and it was still pretty twingy. Before that was using a PK 15g PSE and now playing with a Gamma F-9.0 oversize, both around 11.7 oz, without elbow issues; also have tried a Hybrid Shark recently which didn't hurt but that much damping is too weird.

Yes, I'm a 'veteran' of 56. Prepared to observe that the different grip shape may have been an issue, and timing certainly was. But the upshot was that the experience was so unpleasant that I got the V1's out of the house as soon as possible and am not likely to venture into the tweener realm again anytime soon --
thanks for your observations!

BreakPoint
08-20-2007, 04:57 PM
A 12 oz. frame is not heavy. IMO a 12 oz. frame is safer for the body and provides better mass to create power and possibly better flex for many people's games. Lighter is not necessarily better. Most proficient players can generate sufficient racquet head speed with a correctly balanced, mid swingweight, 12 oz. stick.

I agree 100%. In fact, a 12 oz. racquet (like my Asian nCode 90) is desginated "Ultra Super Light (USL)". It says so right on the frame. Now, "USL" is lighter than "Super Light (SL)", which is lighter than "Light (L)", which is lighter than "Light-Medium (LM)", which is lighter than "Medium (M)", which is lighter than "Medium-Heavy (MH)", which is lighter than "Heavy (H)". I believe "USL" is the lightest designation racquet manufacturers give to racquets. So on this scale, if a 12 oz. racquet that's labeled "USL" is "too heavy", you can imagine what a racquet labled "Heavy (H)" must be like. :-o

BigboyDan
08-20-2007, 04:59 PM
Please.

Today's racquects are crap, and we all know it. Today's pros are only capable of hitting hard from the baseline with a 10oz toy. Gag!

The HEAD 600, the POG, both over twenty years-old...

NoBadMojo
08-20-2007, 05:02 PM
Ed, they were V1 Classics -- before giving up on them I strung one with Yonex 850 at 55, and it was still pretty twingy. Before that was using a PK 15g PSE and now playing with a Gamma F-9.0 oversize, both around 11.7 oz, without elbow issues; also have tried a Hybrid Shark recently which didn't hurt but that much damping is too weird.

Yes, I'm a 'veteran' of 56. Prepared to observe that the different grip shape may have been an issue, and timing certainly was. But the upshot was that the experience was so unpleasant that I got the V1's out of the house as soon as possible and am not likely to venture into the tweener realm again anytime soon --
thanks for your observations!

thanks Steve..and you're welcome.

good point about the grip shape. obviously the grip is your connection with the racquet hand, and a hand that sits on the racquet differently than accustomed causes muscles and tendons to be used differently which can cause problems for some. i've thrown leather grips on certain frames and got twinges where i didnt get them with the OEM cushioned grip.

tlm
08-20-2007, 06:58 PM
quote:
This is just another popularity contest regarding so called "classic" racquets versus new racquets, albeit in a different question.

If it were a poll in this forum, it would be 2/3 voting classic and 1/3 voting new. In the real world it would be 90% using new and 10% using classic, but this forum is a different world.

I don't know where to start on this thread because there is so much rhetoric thrown out as fact, it is purely amazing to read some of these opinions. I laugh at those that believe China produces low quality products, it is such an overly broad generalization it is comical. Then there is this concept that racquets are not cheaper today, I am not sure how old these people are but it was not uncommon to spend $200 on a new graphite racquet in the early 1980s, I believe the Dunlop Black Max was $150 in 1983. Compare that to the $180 to $200 for similar type racquets and they are significantly cheaper in relation to inflation and buying power.

If racquets were made inferior to the racquets made in the 1980s and 1990s then there would be a company producing those similar specifications today and dominating the market. It is all rap with a capital C in front of it. Are there players that prefer racquets from that generation, sure, does it make those racquets better, absolutely not. The vast majority of professionals and players play with racquets that were made over the last 7 years, so this whole argument is just another “coolness” debate and as we know based on this forum, not to mention posts already contained within this thread, that the “classic” racquets are going to win that popularity contest.

This is by far the best post+ most honest in this debate, very well put wilson 6-1!!!

Anton
08-20-2007, 07:07 PM
Can you name a comfortable, solid feeling 10oz frame?

Sure, MG Radical, RQ7 plenty more

Hedges
08-20-2007, 07:38 PM
The following quote from an old TW thread was written by someone here who knows quite a bit about tennis rackets as well as racket history:

I'm glad to see the racket manufacture going back to some of the old composite materials that made the graphite tennis era. Fiberglass really makes the rackets flexible and gives them more heft. Boron, Carbon, Kevlar and ceramics were a few of the other materials that were used in some of the famous old frames. These materials make the manufacturing more difficult and expensive and also help make the frames last very long. These were factors that did not lead to big repurchase profits.


Makes good sense to me...

It will be interesting to see how long some of today's popular "modern" frames last. Will the kids here still be talking about their old APD's like we talk about our old POGs, F200s and PS85s 25 years later? Or will those APD's be cracked, dead or just forgotten?

Only time will tell.

Deuce
08-20-2007, 09:22 PM
If it were a poll in this forum, it would be 2/3 voting classic and 1/3 voting new. In the real world it would be 90% using new and 10% using classic, but this forum is a different world.
Well... yes, of course more people are using new frames than are using 20 year old frames.
The same goes for cars, refrigerators, toasters, shoes, etc.
Does this mean that all those items are better made today? Of course not. It means only that things wear out over time, or are lost, etc., and are replaced by newer versions, because the old versions are more and more difficult to find with each passing year.
Isn't this obvious?

If racquets were made inferior to the racquets made in the 1980s and 1990s then there would be a company producing those similar specifications today and dominating the market.
No way in hell. Firstly, because the frames from 20 years ago were better constructed, and so lasted longer. Racquet companies don't like that.
Secondly, 'planned obsolescence' has infiltrated the tennis racquet industry, as it has all industries. Part of the planned obsolescence is the lower quality of the product, resulting in it not lasting as long as the same product of the past.
Another part of the planned obsolescence is the marketing. Every two years or so, the racquet companies all tell us that the previous generation of their frames is no good, and that the new ones are much better. And this is repeated every two years or so. There is a bunch of psychology used in this approach - all of which can simply be summed up by saying that racquet companies know how stupid and gullible the majority of people are.

The vast majority of professionals and players play with racquets that were made over the last 7 years...
Well, of course they are - because A) they were brought up using those frames, and are used to them.
And B) with very few exceptions, racquet companies are not going to continue making 20 year old designs for a few older players who just happened to use them growing up.
This, too, should be extremely obvious, and that is why pro players of today use frames from the past 10 years or so. If you're trying to use this as 'proof' that this means today's racquets are better, you'll have to present the argument to one who is more dumb than I.

I think it's perfectly valid to say you preferred a certain stick from the 80s than ANY other stick made today. But to claim that sticks from the 80s and 90s, as a generalization, are better than sticks today, is going to take more than just personal preference and experience.
But 'better' in this context is generally intertwined with personal preference, is it not?
Were the question more specific - i.e. 'Are today's racquets better constructed than racquets of 20 years ago?', then things would be more clear, as personal preference would be taken out of the equation.
Personally, I define 'better' in this context as both better constructed and better hitting.
And, as one who began playing tennis in 1980, I firmly believe that the racquets of 20 years ago were better than today's junk.

keithchircop
08-21-2007, 12:16 AM
racquets made today aren't better. they're stiffer and lighter. if you like your racquets light and stiff, today's racquets are better for you.

BreakPoint
08-21-2007, 01:05 AM
Besides it's about the swingweight and not static weight.
So would a 14 oz. racquet with a 280 swingweight be a good racquet to use? How about an 8 oz. racquet with a 360 swingweight?
...so many proficient people cant even handle 11 oz frames.
In my opinion, if you can't handle an 11 oz. frame then you are not "proficient".

there are also many many females who are proficient tennis players who cant come close to handling 12oz frames.
I think most female pros use racquets that are customized to at least 12 oz. strung.

Roger federer only seems to be able to handle 320 swingweight.
Huh? Where is that info from? I haven't seen any proof that Federer's racquet's swingweight is only 320. As hard as he hits the ball (and is able to defend against hard hit balls), I'm pretty sure his swingweight is much higher than that. Even a stock K90 is rated at 336 and I'm pretty sure he has his customized to swing even heavier, as most pros do.

Steve H.
08-21-2007, 06:38 AM
Buzz, of course none of it's necessary, it's just gratuitous personal attacks on people who know a lot and are expressing an opinion that I find particularly unnecessary.

This thread is skating dangerously close to falling into the pointless heavy vs. light debate that sometimes erupts here, but here's my view on the original post:

(1) Over the past 20 years the game has evolved toward more speed and topspin. This requires more racquet speed, and it's easier to swing a light racquet fast than a heavy one.

(2) In response, most new technology has been toward making a frame lighter and stiffer, and then dampening in various ways the shock that normally comes from playing with a lighter and stiffer racquet. All of it works to some extent, but at a price -- if you DON'T swing fast, you get less control than with a heavier frame because a fast incoming ball will "win the collision" to a greater extent.

(3) People's perceptions of racquet quality will vary according to the kind of game they play. At the risk of over-simplifying, at amateur levels a traditional continental-eastern player will find a 10 ounce frame with low swingweight and a bunch of technology added to be insubstantial and tinny, while a big-swinging western topspin player will find a traditional 12-13 ounce frame too unwieldy and a 90-95 head to be too small.

(4) So the "quality" debate is unanswerable -- while a 14-ounce high-swingweight hand-made graphite Dunlop from the 80's may feel more solid than a lighter modern Chinese one, and may be more durable due to its mass, it's really like apples and oranges -- what do you want out of a racquet? Your answer says more about you -- your size and fitness level, how fast you swing, and where your game fits on the flat-topspin continuum -- than it does about the quality of the frames themselves.

autumn_leaf
08-21-2007, 07:34 AM
i think people are missing the point. the question and answers all generalize what better is. better is not quality, weight, or material,...well maybe quality x_X. but better in tennis is what's best for the individual player. try old and new ones to find something that suits your game.

mucat
08-21-2007, 08:37 AM
I say it is better. I can't hit with the same pace and spin consistently with wood racket than with my modern radicals.

frankyue50
08-21-2007, 08:58 AM
This is just BS. Made in China is not equal to Sold in Walmart!

Check your stickers next time. A lot of so called "high end" stuff are made in china too. And if you have to blaim somebody, blaim the designer of the racquets and NOT the workers. OK? Do I need to say more?

Actually, today's racquets are much worse than racquets of 15-20 years ago.
Today's racquets are more cheaply made (China, vs. USA, Austria, etc. 15-20 years ago), with lower quality materials today, as well. That's why they rely so heavily upon slick marketing to sell them.

To the uninitiated, the most obvious difference is that today's racquets are much lighter.
But to those who appreciate quality - in both workmanship, durability, and in ball-striking, the racquets of 20 years ago are head and shoulders above today's junk.

BounceHitBounceHit
08-21-2007, 05:12 PM
Hi Craig....you've hit they key words here..those being "you dont play your best tennis with those old frames"

This is one of the reasons causing me to say with certainty that <in general> the newer frames are more appropriate for tennis how it is played today. Plus the consistency of production element common to the better companies, and the fact they just dont fatigue as quickly.

But.... you have the element of skillset to throw into the equation and thats where things get muddled. I say this not in any sort of negative or attacking way, but until people get to a certain level of play, they can <sometimes> get away with old demanding heavy frames because stuff just isnt coming at them reliably, quickly, and spinny, and with a lot of variety.. Surely people wont dispute that people play tennis at different proficiency levels. people here are already claiming that all opinions about tennis are equal, so maybe some people think that everyone plays at the same level too.

I've really struggled with this issue over the years, as you know. ;) Currently I am a happy camper with the K90 and have 'adapted to it' in a way that has simply not been possible for me up until the time I gave up the demo trail and settled down with a single frame. I play pretty good T with high level hitting partners (as I think Bolt and Samster will confirm). If I am completely honest with myself I would say more than anything else it has ultimately come down to what 'felt right'. What felt right was a frame that was CLOSER to the old ones I learned to play the game with in the first place. This having been said, there is also no doubt in my mind that the K90 is easier to hit and more forgiving than the 6.0 85, and it is a mere 5si larger and 1mm thicker in beam width.

Best,

CC

Wilson6-1
08-21-2007, 05:19 PM
Well... yes, of course more people are using new frames than are using 20 year old frames.
The same goes for cars, refrigerators, toasters, shoes, etc.
Does this mean that all those items are better made today? Of course not. It means only that things wear out over time, or are lost, etc., and are replaced by newer versions, because the old versions are more and more difficult to find with each passing year.
Isn't this obvious?


No way in hell. Firstly, because the frames from 20 years ago were better constructed, and so lasted longer. Racquet companies don't like that.
Secondly, 'planned obsolescence' has infiltrated the tennis racquet industry, as it has all industries. Part of the planned obsolescence is the lower quality of the product, resulting in it not lasting as long as the same product of the past.
Another part of the planned obsolescence is the marketing. Every two years or so, the racquet companies all tell us that the previous generation of their frames is no good, and that the new ones are much better. And this is repeated every two years or so. There is a bunch of psychology used in this approach - all of which can simply be summed up by saying that racquet companies know how stupid and gullible the majority of people are.


Well, of course they are - because A) they were brought up using those frames, and are used to them.
And B) with very few exceptions, racquet companies are not going to continue making 20 year old designs for a few older players who just happened to use them growing up.
This, too, should be extremely obvious, and that is why pro players of today use frames from the past 10 years or so. If you're trying to use this as 'proof' that this means today's racquets are better, you'll have to present the argument to one who is more dumb than I.

Why do you post pure speculation and act as if it were proven fact? You either like to stir up things or are truly that naïve about the world. It's sad to think that people are this paranoid. In all seriousness… companies are not out to get you. There isn't a great plot against the consumer, but in the end, I doubt you are going to comprehend.

vsbabolat
08-21-2007, 06:25 PM
Why do you post pure speculation and act as if it were proven fact? You either like to stir up things or are truly that naïve about the world. It's sad to think that people are this paranoid. In all seriousness… companies are not out to get you. There isn't a great plot against the consumer, but in the end, I doubt you are going to comprehend.

If there is no plot by the companies than how do you explain this.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/FlorianMayerracquet4.jpg
Photo by Federmann
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/FlorianMayerracquet2.jpg
Photo by Federmann
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/10a1_3.jpg

These are photos of the Pro Tour 630 in Flexpoint Prestige disguise. The Pro Tour 630 is a racquet that has not been sold to the consumer in almost 10 years now. But HEAD keeps right on producing them, just not for the buying public. Also these racquets are still produced in Austria. While the consumer gets the real Flexpiont Prestige made cheaper in China which are nothing more than a poor imitation of the Pro Tour 630.

Deuce
08-21-2007, 06:58 PM
Why do you post pure speculation and act as if it were proven fact?You either like to stir up things or are truly that naïve about the world.
I see facts - like the racquet companies telling us every two years or so that their last generation of frames was no good, and that the new ones are much better.
If you don't see this, then the naiveté is in your possession.
It's sad to think that people are this paranoid. In all seriousness… companies are not out to get you. There isn't a great plot against the consumer, but in the end, I doubt you are going to comprehend.
You don't seem to know much about business.
If you think that business is about providing the consumer with quality items that they can enjoy, you're in a time warp. That hasn't been the case since the 70s, at the latest.
Business today is all about deception, manipulation, and taking advantage of gullible consumers.
Open your eyes, and you might actually see something.

retrowagen
08-21-2007, 07:19 PM
One of the telltale signs that today's rackets are not what they were twenty years ago is the dearth of high modulus graphite in today's layups. There is no modern substitute for the crisp but forgiving feel.

20 years ago, prime marketing of tennis gear had to do with the themes of how easy a racket was on the arm, or how crisp the feel was. Nowadays, it's POWER POWER POWER, spin, and How Amazingly Light This Racket Is!, really, the polar antithesis of the attributes of those quality frames of the 1980's.

The PC600 is a much hallowed more modern frame, but in its day, it felt a little tinny (as did the other Head thinbeams of 1986-1989), compared to the box-section Graphite Edge, Director, and Pro frames available through 1988. Those were plush, beyond (modern) belief.

Of course, every major manufacturer had some stinkers - cheap-o department store graphite composites that were abysmal. The pseudo-St. Vincent Wilson Advantage mid, for instance, looked like it belonged to the original Pro Staff lineage - almost the same mold! - but it was a cheap beginner's frame with lousy feel and if it didn't break quickly at the hands of an advanced player, he'd want it to.

The best analogy I can think of at this second is that of playing baseball with an aluminum bat. Modern rackets are the aluminum baseball bat. Easy to swing and connect with, sure, but at the expense of feel, maximum power (proportionate with mass; you can't cheat physics inasmuch as collision dynamics are concerned), technique, and (thus) harmony with the fragile nature of the average human body.

For anyone who thinks a Head Liquidmetal racket hits beautifully, go string up a 1984 Head TXE or concurrent Graphite Edge with a nice multifilament, play three sets, and report back to us.

JW10S
08-21-2007, 07:25 PM
The modern game is different thus the racquets are different. The modern racquets are better for the modern game. There is a reason there are few if any pro players playing with POG's or PS 85's anymore.

BreakPoint
08-21-2007, 07:26 PM
I see facts - like the racquet companies telling us every two years or so that their last generation of frames was no good, and that the new ones are much better.
If you don't see this, then the naiveté is in your possession.

I've never seen a company tell us that their last generation of racquets was "no good". Please provide evidence of this.

What they do tell us is that their last generation of racquets were good for their time, but now they have a racquet that's "more powerful" or "has more control" or more whatever. So if you want a racquet that's "more powerful", then you should try the new racquet. But that does not in any way mean that the older racquet was "no good". Not everyone wants more power in their racquet. Not everyone wants more control at the expense of power in their racquet. If you like the level of power and control in their last generation of racquets, then you should just stay with it. If a consumer buys the new racquet even though he loved his old racquet, then that's the consumer's own darn fault. Don't blame the companies. They are in the racquet selling business, after all.

You don't seem to know much about business.
If you think that business is about providing the consumer with quality items that they can enjoy, you're in a time warp. That hasn't been the case since the 70s, at the latest.
Business today is all about deception, manipulation, and taking advantage of gullible consumers.
Open your eyes, and you might actually see something.
Business is about making money, as it should be. Nobody starts a business NOT to make money or to lose money. No investors would fund your business which means it wouldn't exist.

BreakPoint
08-21-2007, 07:33 PM
The PC600 is a much hallowed more modern frame, but in its day, it felt a little tinny (as did the other Head thinbeams of 1986-1989), compared to the box-section Graphite Edge, Director, and Pro frames available through 1988. Those were plush, beyond (modern) belief.

I totally agree. When I tried the Head Pro Tour 280 when it came out in the mid-90's, I couldn't believe what a light, tinny feeling piece of crap that racquet was compared to the Dunlop Max 200G I was used to using. Nowadays, the Pro Tour 280 is considered one of the most solid feeling, plushest, heaviest classic old school racquets you can find. Go figure. :-(

tlm
08-21-2007, 07:42 PM
There are still plenty of heavy players racquets to choose from.Sure there are more light powerful racquets out there but that is what more people use. I think there are way to many people on this site that are living in the past.

I agree with wilson-6, if these older racquets were so much better someone would produce them + make a lot of money.Like you boys say the racquet companys are all about making money, so they sure as hell would start making theses magical sticks from years gone by.

I cant believe that players cant find as good or better racquets produced today than were produced in the 80's. I really think that there is way to much dreaming of the good old days!!!

Deuce
08-21-2007, 09:29 PM
I've never seen a company tell us that their last generation of racquets was "no good". Please provide evidence of this.

What they do tell us is that their last generation of racquets were good for their time, but now they have a racquet that's "more powerful" or "has more control" or more whatever. So if you want a racquet that's "more powerful", then you should try the new racquet. But that does not in any way mean that the older racquet was "no good". Not everyone wants more power in their racquet. Not everyone wants more control at the expense of power in their racquet. If you like the level of power and control in their last generation of racquets, then you should just stay with it.
Well... when a company discontinues a racquet - often after only a couple of years on the market - the message that I'm getting is that the company who made the racquet and told us all how wonderful it is is now telling us that it's no good, and not worthy of being produced. If what you were saying were true, they would continue to make racquet models for more than a couple of years, even as they introduce newer models, so that people could have a choice, as you say.
With the questionable quality and workmanship of today's frames, they break quickly, and so are in need of replacement after a few years. Of course, then it's usually too late to find the same model as a replacement, because it has already been discontinued.
This is, quite simply, all part of planned obsolescence. And planned obsolescence is all about giving the message that the previous generation of product was no good in comparison to the new generation of product.

As for your "more power" and "more control" with each successive generation of frames... yes, that is indeed what the racquet companies are telling us.
If it were actually true, however, after "more power and control" in each successive generation of racquets from all manufacturers over the past 15 years or so, we'd all be hitting the ball through the fence, and be able to hit any spot on the court the size of a dime by now...

If a consumer buys the new racquet even though he loved his old racquet, then that's the consumer's own darn fault. Don't blame the companies. They are in the racquet selling business, after all.
I'll blame the companies if I want to, thanks. Surely, gullible consumers must share in the blame. But exploiting the stupidity of people is not exactly a virtue in my book - although I'm sure that it is in yours.

Business is about making money, as it should be. Nobody starts a business NOT to make money or to lose money. No investors would fund your business which means it wouldn't exist.
Businesses made money back in the day. But they also respected their customers.
Not so today.

Deuce
08-21-2007, 09:36 PM
I agree with wilson-6, if these older racquets were so much better someone would produce them + make a lot of money.Like you boys say the racquet companys are all about making money, so they sure as hell would start making theses magical sticks from years gone by.
After spending more than a decade brainwashing people into believing that lighter, bigger, stiffer racquets are wonderful, it would take far more effort, energy, and money than the racquet companies are willing to spend to convince people of the opposite.
The great majority of people don't know the truth in a given situation - they merely believe the slickest marketing, and take it for truth.

I cant believe that players cant find as good or better racquets produced today than were produced in the 80's. I really think that there is way to much dreaming of the good old days!!!
The racquet companies are not at all interested in making 'magical' or high quality racquets. That should be obvious to all.
All they are interested in doing is convincing people that they are making great, high quality racquets.
Unfortunately, due to the gullibility of the general populace, this is most easily done not through producing a quality product, but merely through manipulative marketing.

BreakPoint
08-21-2007, 10:16 PM
Well... when a company discontinues a racquet - often after only a couple of years on the market - the message that I'm getting is that the company who made the racquet and told us all how wonderful it is is now telling us that it's no good, and not worthy of being produced. If what you were saying were true, they would continue to make racquet models for more than a couple of years, even as they introduce newer models, so that people could have a choice, as you say.
With the questionable quality and workmanship of today's frames, they break quickly, and so are in need of replacement after a few years. Of course, then it's usually too late to find the same model as a replacement, because it has already been discontinued.
This is, quite simply, all part of planned obsolescence. And planned obsolescence is all about giving the message that the previous generation of product was no good in comparison to the new generation of product.

Not true. Racquet companies only have so much manufacturing capacity so they cannot keep making every model they've introduced over the past 25 years. If they did that, they'd have to make 300 different models of racquets. There's probably somebody out there that loves each one of those 300 models. And how many pro shops want to stock and display 300 models of racquets from 10 different brands?

Like any business, racquet companies have to keep introducing new models every two years or so so that they don't go out of business. If they didn't, people who bought a racquet 6 years ago would find no need to buy a new one so what reason would the racquet company have for staying in business? Nobody is forcing people to buy the new racquets. If you find a racquet you like, buy a bunch of them so that they will last you 10 years or more. Why do people buy new clothes all the time when their old clothes haven't worn out and are perfectly fine? Are the old clothes "no good" any longer? Nobody is forcing anyone to buy anything.

I'll blame the companies if I want to, thanks. Surely, gullible consumers must share in the blame. But exploiting the stupidity of people is not exactly a virtue in my book - although I'm sure that it is in yours.
How about blaming stupid people for being so stupid?

BTW, do you also blame apparel companies for coming out with new fashions, car companies for coming out with new cars, TV companies for coming out with new TV's, computer companies for coming out with new computers, etc.?

OrangeOne
08-21-2007, 10:42 PM
How about blaming stupid people for being so stupid?

Just because someone can be exploited does not mean that they should be exploited. I agree with Deuce, exploiting stupid people is not in any way admirable.

Let's remember too, that much of the exploitation is targeted at children. It may just be me, but I personally wouldn't sleep too well at night if I knew I was involved in a company that specifically targeted exploitation-marketing at juniors (and there I include coke, mcdonalds, most of the tennis / sporting firms, etc etc).

Deuce
08-21-2007, 10:53 PM
Not true. Racquet companies only have so much manufacturing capacity so they cannot keep making every model they've introduced over the past 25 years. If they did that, they'd have to make 300 different models of racquets. There's probably somebody out there that loves each one of those 300 models. And how many pro shops want to stock and display 300 models of racquets from 10 different brands?
Ummmm.... I was merely pointing out the flaw in your point that:
"What they do tell us is that their last generation of racquets were good for their time, but now they have a racquet that's "more powerful" or "has more control" or more whatever. So if you want a racquet that's "more powerful", then you should try the new racquet. But that does not in any way mean that the older racquet was "no good". Not everyone wants more power in their racquet. Not everyone wants more control at the expense of power in their racquet. If you like the level of power and control in their last generation of racquets, then you should just stay with it."

You're the one who is saying that people have a choice between the current generation of racquets and past generations. I am merely pointing out that no such choice exists, due to the factor of planned obsolescence, which results in the discontinuation of racquets after 2 years on the market. For such a choice to exist, the companies would have to continue producing 'older' generations of racquets for a few years longer (not 25 years, as you very typically exaggerate), as the newer ones are being introduced. But that isn't happening - ergo, no choice exists - ergo, your claim is a false one.

Like any business, racquet companies have to keep introducing new models every two years or so so that they don't go out of business. If they didn't, people who bought a racquet 6 years ago would find no need to buy a new one so what reason would the racquet company have for staying in business?
It seems to me that racquet companies stayed in business years ago without introducing 'new, improved' models every two years. Given models of wood racquets lasted decades on the market.
Business has unfortunately changed since then, and is far more greedy today. Business has discovered the inherent stupidity of the majority, and is exploiting that element to convince people that there is a need where no need truly exists.
I find this to be highly unethical. You find it to be smart.
That's why you and I are very different people.

Nobody is forcing people to buy the new racquets. If you find a racquet you like, buy a bunch of them so that they will last you 10 years or more.
This is just another ridiculous exaggeration on your part - assuming that everyone - or most people - have the financial means to spend $2000 on tennis racquets in one shot.
The fact is that most people can't just drop that kind of money on tennis racquets. So most people buy 1 or 2 - maybe 3. Then, by the time those racquets are finished, they have no opportunity to buy the same model, because they are so quickly discontinued.

Why do people buy new clothes all the time when their old clothes haven't worn out and are perfectly fine? I have no idea. This has puzzled me for decades.
Just between you and me, though... I think that insecurity is a factor...

How about blaming stupid people for being so stupid? I've already done that several times, as you know.

BTW, do you also blame apparel companies for coming out with new fashions, car companies for coming out with new cars, TV companies for coming out with new TV's, computer companies for coming out with new computers, etc.?Of course I do.
Anyone who engages in the manipulative and greedy game of planned obsolescence is guilty.
Filling the planet with unneeded things is the crux of capitalism - of which I know you are a huge fan.
Taking advantage of and exploiting people is another inherent ingredient of capitalism.
I just don't happen to like it.

origmarm
08-21-2007, 11:59 PM
Would it be reasonable to say the 'Old School' frames of 30 years ago (whatever their specific composition) tended to have a very DIFFERENT 'feel' than today's modern offerings, and that some PREFER one type of feel over the other?

I think this is spot on really. In terms of the players frames I feel its really a difference in feel that is the big change. I reckon with these frames its about evens depending on your personal preference

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 12:03 AM
Just because someone can be exploited does not mean that they should be exploited. I agree with Deuce, exploiting stupid people is not in any way admirable.

Who says anyone is "exploiting" anyone? Who's forcing anyone to buy new racquets? If you want to buy a new racquet isn't that your own personal decision regardless of your level of intelligence?

And who's going to say, "It's the companies' fault because I'm too stupid."?

I mean if you're that stupid, getting suckered into buying a new tennis racquet is probably the least you have to worry about in life.

OrangeOne
08-22-2007, 12:13 AM
Who says anyone is "exploiting" anyone? Who's forcing anyone to buy new racquets? If you want to buy a new racquet isn't that your own personal decision regardless of your level of intelligence?

Exploiting and forcing are two very different things, and I've said that companies exploit people, and so has Deuce. That makes at least 2 people saying it.

And who's going to say, "It's the companies' fault because I'm too stupid."?

No-one, but I don't see the relevance / where that sentence came from.

I mean if you're that stupid, getting suckered into buying a new tennis racquet is probably the least you have to worry about in life.

a. Your point is? That it's ok to exploit those people?

-and-

b. A large part of my post focused on the marketing to, and exploitation of, juniors. I was only talking with my restringer the other day about the fact that now we have 4 seasons of clothing a year, something that wasn't the case 20 or 30 years ago. Where will be in 10 year's time? Monthly seasons? All of this is designed by marketing-types to exploit people into handing over cash, especially kids. Just like the big fast food guys exploit kids, etc etc.

Gorecki
08-22-2007, 12:18 AM
If there is no plot by the companies than how do you explain this.
....
These are photos of the Pro Tour 630 in Flexpoint Prestige disguise. The Pro Tour 630 is a racquet that has not been sold to the consumer in almost 10 years now. But HEAD keeps right on producing them, just not for the buying public. Also these racquets are still produced in Austria. While the consumer gets the real Flexpiont Prestige made cheaper in China which are nothing more than a poor imitation of the Pro Tour 630.

vsbabolat: seems that you got mugged at the Auction Site...

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 12:21 AM
You're the one who is saying that people have a choice between the current generation of racquets and past generations. I am merely pointing out that no such choice exists, due to the factor of planned obsolescence, which results in the discontinuation of racquets after 2 years on the market. For such a choice to exist, the companies would have to continue producing 'older' generations of racquets for a few years longer (not 25 years, as you very typically exaggerate), as the newer ones are being introduced. But that isn't happening - ergo, no choice exists - ergo, your claim is a false one.

Huh? Just keep using the racquet you have now. Why even buy new ones? I have a Dunlop Max200G I bought 15 years ago that still plays great. Graphite racquets last a long, long time. Most people get sick of them and want to move on to something else long before the racquets become unusable.

It seems to me that racquet companies stayed in business years ago without introducing 'new, improved' models avery two years. Given models of wood racquets lasted decades on the market.
Wood racquets also broke like toothpicks. They cracked all the time. You'd be lucky if a wood racquet lasted you 2 months. You had to constantly be buying new ones to replace all the cracked ones. You may not know that since you only started playing tennis in 1980. Companies could stay in business just selling you a few new wood racquets every two months (you needed to buy more of them because they cracked so easily just like breaking strings today). They can't do that with graphite racquets because they can last 10 years or longer. They need to give people a reason to replace their perfectly fine graphite racquets every couple of years or else they'd be out of business.

This is just another ridiculous exaggeration on your part - assuming that everyone - or most people - have the financial means to spend $2000 on tennis racquets in one shot.
The fact is that most people can't just drop 2 grand on tennis racquets. So they buy 1, or 2, or 3. Then, by the time those racquets are finished, they have no opportunity to buy the same model, because they are so quickly discontinued.
Nobody said tennis is cheap. And if you can't afford it then maybe you should go work for one of these companies and make enough money to buy more of your favorite racquets. And as I said, graphite racquets last a long time so there's really no need to have to get more that often.

Anyone who engages in the manipulative and greedy game of planned obsolescence is guilty.
Filling the planet with unneeded things is the crux of capitalism - of which I know you are a huge fan.
Taking advantage of and exploiting people is another inherent ingredient in capitalism.
I just don't happen to like it.
It's also how people stay employed and have jobs. There wouldn't be an economy otherwise. We'd all still be living in caves, farming or hunting for our own food. You really ought to move to a communist country and see what it's really like since you keep telling us how you hate capitalism. There are very good reasons why communism didn't work for the Russians and also didn't work in China and both have turned back to capitalism.

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 12:26 AM
Exploiting and forcing are two very different things, and I've said that companies exploit people, and so has Deuce. That makes at least 2 people saying it.

No-one, but I don't see the relevance / where that sentence came from.

a. Your point is? That it's ok to exploit those people?

Go back to my original comment. I said "How about blaming stupid people for being so stupid?" Who's talking about "exploitation"? You are.

Just because you blame someone for being stupid does not mean you're exploiting them, does it?

OrangeOne
08-22-2007, 12:30 AM
There are very good reasons why communism didn't work for the Russians and also didn't work in China and both have turned back to capitalism.

Communism was one extreme, and as it happens, capitalism is become more and more extreme with every day that passes at the other end of the spectrum.

Just because someone dislikes capitalism, does not, by definition, mean that communism is the only other option. I find capitalism horrid, but if I'm capable of thinking of a variety of other models, i'm sure people smarter than I* could think of better models that might even work. I know som socially responsible companies are on the rise in the UK under the guidance of an ex-australian politician and a uni, I must do more research into them, even those companies are 10 or 20% away from the capitalist extreme.

*perhaps those intellectual individuals who work out the best combination of sugar, cheese, protein and toy to hook a 4 year old kid onto junk food
- maybe they're up for it. Or the genius at Nike that releases a new colorway every second day....

OrangeOne
08-22-2007, 12:35 AM
Go back to my original comment. I said "How about blaming stupid people for being so stupid?" Who's talking about "exploitation"? You are.

Just because you blame someone for being stupid does not mean you're exploiting them, does it?

It's been way too long since I've wasted time discussing anything at all with you. I'd forgotten your ability to twist and turn and spin is quite exceptional.

That sentence in bold is somewhat ludicrous in light of the discussion we've been having. My point is that exploitation of anyone is wrong, and it's even more wrong when we're talking about younger people, and people of lower intellect too. Who said anything about blaming someone for being stupid actually being exploitation?

I note you continue to ignore my points in relation to juniors and exploitation, too. Maybe we'll just blame them for being young and be done with it?

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 12:46 AM
Who said anything about blaming someone for being stupid actually being exploitation?

Are you for real or do you just have an incredibly short memory? :confused: Why don't you go back and reread your own post #114?

This one in which you quoted my comment about blaming stupid people for being stupid and turned it into being exploitation?


How about blaming stupid people for being so stupid?

Just because someone can be exploited does not mean that they should be exploited. I agree with Deuce, exploiting stupid people is not in any way admirable.

Deuce
08-22-2007, 01:08 AM
Huh? Just keep using the racquet you have now. Why even buy new ones? I have a Dunlop Max200G I bought 15 years ago that still plays great. Graphite racquets last a long, long time. Most people get sick of them and want to move on to something else long before the racquets become unusable.
Are you honestly comparing a Max 200G to today's racquets? Aren't you the one who wrote (in this thread) something to the effect of "The title of this thread should be 'How much WORSE are today's racquets compared to the racquets from the 80s and 90s?" - but then changed that post because you saw that I had already posted essentially the same thing?
Yup - that's just like you to twist things all around.
Got to cover every angle - that way you can't be wrong, huh?

Old graphite racquets lasted a long time. The newer they are, the less time they last before cracking/breaking. See 'Planned Obsolescence'...
sigh...

Wood racquets also broke like toothpicks. They cracked all the time. You'd be lucky if a wood racquet lasted you 2 months. You had to constantly be buying new ones to replace all the cracked ones. You may not know that since you only started playing tennis in 1980. Companies could stay in business just selling you a few new wood racquets every two months (you needed to buy more of them because they cracked so easily just like breaking strings today).
Another typical and ridiculous exaggeration by you, just to make it appear that you're 'right'. Mr. manipulation strikes again.
Lucky if a wood racquet lasted two months? You need help.

They can't do that with graphite racquets because they can last 10 years or longer. They need to give people a reason to replace their perfectly fine graphite racquets every couple of years or else they'd be out of business.
The 'reasons' racquet companies give to buy a new frame are entirely false and full of bull. Nothing but lies and manipulations - two elements that warm your heart. Such marketing works only with the unintelligent and gullible. As such, what the racquet companies do is absolute exploitation of these elements.

Nobody said tennis is cheap. And if you can't afford it then maybe you should go work for one of these companies and make enough money to buy more of your favorite racquets. And as I said, graphite racquets last a long time so there's really no need to have to get more that often.
Wait... you just stated in a previous post that if people like a particular racquet, they should "buy a bunch of them" before they are discontinued. Now you're saying that there's "no need to have to get more that often".
Nice to see you trying to cover all the angles, as usual, rather than anchoring down to one position.

It's also how people stay employed and have jobs. There wouldn't be an economy otherwise. We'd all still be living in caves, farming or hunting for our own food.
More elaborate fantasy. As stated earlier, you need help.

You really ought to move to a communist country and see what it's really like since you keep telling us how you hate capitalism. There are very good reasons why communism didn't work for the Russians and also didn't work in China and both have turned back to capitalism.
Yes - the reason is that it was abused to hell by corrupt governments, and ruined.
Just as capitalism is being abused to hell by corrupt governments - with help from big business - but people like you are either too blind to see it, or too ashamed to admit it.
Yes, the word 'communism' is a terrible word in the USA - because the populace of that country has been brainwashed through the years to believe the U.S. government's inherently corrupt definition of communism, or socialism...

lakis92
08-22-2007, 01:20 AM
For God's sake guys! I love talking about politics but it's a tennis forum. Relax....

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 01:36 AM
Another typical and ridiculous exaggeration by you, just to make it appear that you're 'right'. Mr. manipulation strikes again.
Lucky if a wood racquet lasted two months? You need help.
As if someone who only started playing tennis in the graphite era knows how long wood racquets lasted. Don't you remember those pics of pros like Laver coming onto the court with an armful of like 10-15 racquets? Why did they need so many for one match, especially when those wood racquets had super dense 18x20 string patterns in a tiny 65 sq. in. head and they didn't hit the ball nearly as hard nor as with as much spin as they do today? It was as much for the wood racquets cracking as for the strings breaking because they both happened about as often. Wood racquets cost $25 in the '70's and people bought them by the dozen because they broke so easily.

Wait... you just stated in a previous post that if people like a particular racquet, they should "buy a bunch of them" before they are discontinued. Now you're saying that there's "no need to have to get more that often".
Nice to see you trying to cover all the angles, as usual, rather than anchoring down to one position.

Yeah, buy a bunch if you can afford it, especially if you like to have different string set-ups like I do. But you said most people can't afford it. Well, if you can't afford it what is your only option? Oh yeah, buy less as they last a long time anyway so you don't need to replace them very often. I didn't think that was such a hard concept to comprehend.

Yes - the reason is that it was abused to hell by corrupt governments, and ruined.
Just as capitalism is being abused to hell by corrupt governments - with help from big business - but people like you are either too blind to see it, or too ashamed to admit it.
Yes, the word 'communism' is a terrible word in the USA - because the populace of that country has been brainwashed through the years to believe the U.S. government's inherently corrupt definition of communism, or socialism...
The failure of communism has nothing to do with "corrupt governments". It's a faulty concept to begin with. It doesn't account for human nature and those things that motivate people to work. Given a choice of living in poverty or being rich, most people choose rich.

RedKat
08-22-2007, 01:57 AM
The failure of communism has nothing to do with "corrupt governments". It's a faulty concept to begin with. It doesn't account for human nature and those things that motivate people to work. Given a choice of living in poverty or being rich, most people choose rich.

Very true. I was born there and lived there for so many years and I know it so well!

origmarm
08-22-2007, 02:27 AM
The failure of communism has nothing to do with "corrupt governments". It's a faulty concept to begin with. It doesn't account for human nature and those things that motivate people to work. Given a choice of living in poverty or being rich, most people choose rich.

Agree entirely. The concept of communism in its purest form is fundamentally flawed. Having spent 3yrs working on a thesis regarding this that was more of less the conclusion I came to. Russia and China indeed suffer from implementation problems and as such there has never been a test case for a proper communist state. This is possibly the greatest flaw in communist ideology, the implementation is impossible. That said it does suffer from theoretical problems as mentioned above by BP, this probably contributes greatly to the implementation issues.

Socialist aspects combined with a fundamentally capitalist economy have been shown to work. The degree to which these contribute positively/negatively is of course up for debate but generally they are compatible and can be implemented. Interestingly from a social policy perspective they seem to increase the collective endeavour sense in the general public. There are lots of very interesting social policy books on this. Its thought that the social effects might largely outweigh the economic ones.

Anyhow back to Tennis. I just bought a Head Radical LE and I'm interested to see if a modern production of a classic design plays different to the Trisys or Twin Tube of old

Gorecki
08-22-2007, 02:35 AM
The revolution will not be televised. it will be discussed to death in a Tennis Forum...:D :D

origmarm
08-22-2007, 02:38 AM
The revolution will not be televised. it will be discussed to death in a Tennis Forum...:D :D
:-D Like it

vsbabolat
08-22-2007, 05:40 AM
vsbabolat: seems that you got mugged at the Auction Site...

No I just know what HEAD is doing to sell racquets. I can count on one hand the number of Pro's that actually use Flexpoint technology. The Pro Tour 630 is still the most widely used HEAD racquet on the ATP Tour almost 10 years after it has not been sold to the consumer. The Pro Tour 630 composition is just High Modulus Graphite and Twaron. The Big racquet companies can't market a racquet like that. It is just to simple a racquet. The racquets have to have some pseudo technology that is of questionable benefit.

OrangeOne
08-22-2007, 06:18 AM
Are you for real or do you just have an incredibly short memory? :confused: Why don't you go back and reread your own post #114?

This one in which you quoted my comment about blaming stupid people for being stupid and turned it into being exploitation?

I was specifically talking about the 'stupid people', I wasn't talking about blaming people....at all. Your art for twisting stuff around until either you get a 'win' in your eyes, or until it no longer makes sense, is somewhat remarkable. Twist away, you can have the floor....

Bengt
08-22-2007, 07:42 AM
Agree entirely. The concept of communism in its purest form is fundamentally flawed. Having spent 3yrs working on a thesis regarding this that was more of less the conclusion I came to. Russia and China indeed suffer from implementation problems and as such there has never been a test case for a proper communist state.

Actually, communism in it's purest form has not occurred. Listen to John Lennon's "Imagine" for a description of it. There will never be a "proper communist state" because the nation-state is contradictory to communism as it breeds the same type of bigotry as division by race, religion and gender. Stalinism or the doctrine of "socialism in one country" showed the doomed fate of this backwards doctrine. Stalin's rival Trotsky knew how it would end ("The Revolution Betrayed" book) and that's why Stalin knocked him off in Mexico City in the 30's and then proceded to falsify the next 20 years of history.

Even though Marx maintained that the contradictions of the capitalist economic system, such as socialized production/privatized profit, will set the stage for world socialism, he maintained that these contradictions can also breed fascist reaction. This occurs as the wedges - national, racial, religious and gender-based - used by the ruling class to divide workers become more more acute. And as the US loses it's perch atop the capitalist pecking order, expect the fascist reaction to become much more acute going forward especially now that this nation is engaged in a global war without a defined enemy and thus no end.

Anyway, Breakpoint is right that these new rackets, which may or may not be better than the old ones, provide jobs so think of the $250 you pay for them above cost as a jobs program. Now the non-value added marketers can eat and breed new non-value added marketers.

whatsgood4u
08-22-2007, 07:51 AM
I used to live in a communist country, not that much fun

origmarm
08-22-2007, 08:01 AM
Actually, communism in it's purest form has not occurred.

Agreed, but that is entirely the point I was trying to make, it CAN never occur. The problems reaching that state (or implementing it) are far too great. The concept of trying to implement it on a limited scale (i.e. one country) is even more flawed as you point out.

as the US loses it's perch atop the capitalist pecking order, expect the fascist reaction to become much more acute going forward especially now that this nation is engaged in a global war without a defined enemy and thus no end.

This is a very interesting interpretation, I quite like it actually. That said I'm not sure this is going to end up the way Marx envisioned it.

I find Marx's own personal history very interesting. Particularly the sources of his income and his penchant for living hand to mouth while spending money on relatively bourgeois items. I find it interesting given his views on human nature

Rabbit
08-22-2007, 08:31 AM
Wood
I've often wondered about how long a wood racket lasted a pro. According to Bill Scanlon, in his book "Bad News for McEnroe", a wood frame lasted a world class pro about 2 months (I'll double check that when I get home). Scanlon played with every variation of the Jack Kramer from the Auto to the ProStaff and said they were all the same. Wood rackets had string patterns that were denser than 18X20, they were more like 20X22.

Early Graphite
If you swing an early graphite frame, the first thing you notice, of course is the weight. When you play with it, you notice the balance. Manufacturers made them to be like wood rackets. The weight was pretty much spread evenly through the frame. They were no where near as headlight as today's frames.

If you look at a Wilson, Head, or Prince frame from the 70s or 80s and compare it to today's frame, you won't see much difference. They all have the same basic head shape and lenght. The main difference is weight and balance. Back in the early days of graphite, the manufacturers made rackets like wood. They didn't realize they could tailor the frame to a skill level.

The biggest difference between those frames and today's is the layup of the frame and how the graphite is used. Today's frames use much less resin than those of yesteryear. IMO, as with all things, they have found a better way to inject the graphite and build the frame.


Construction
Construction-wise, I don't think early frames were built as well as today's. I can remember returning 3 or 4 Yamaha YFG-50s as well as some Wilson sticks due to breakage. Now, it might be possible that as a youngster, I was a bit rougher on my frames, but I didn't have nearly the return rate with wood that I did with fibreglass (especially) and graphite.

Playbility
I played, in the last few years, a whole year + with a bunch of Head Vilas frames. I took lessons with them, I played league with them, and I basically didn't play with anything else. I even went so retro as to string all 5 of them with Pacific Natural Gut at 58 pounds. Now, for those who don't know, a Vilas was one of the last wood frames manufactured, around 1977 - 1980 (Deuce longevity? Head only made the Vilas a couple of years...?)

The Vilas has graphite overlays and a graphite wedge in the upper hoop (somewhat akin to the PF Flyer wedge which made you run faster and jump higher). The Vilas frames that I own actually felt stiffer than my C10s.

As I said, I played 4.5 Spring, summer mixed, and combo with the Vilas. I won more than I lost and was able to serve as hard as I could with the C10. What I couldn't do was volley as well, hit second serves as well, and if I was a little off that day, it showed up more with the Vilas. So much for only the top 1000 in the world being able to play with wood. Off the ground, the Vilas was just as good as anything else I had played with. At net, when I was on, the Vilas volleyed as well as anything else.

It all boiled down to tactics. I had to play smarter with the Vilas. By smarter, I mean I couldn't hit my first serves as hard all the time because I knew that second serve was going to be harder to hit due to the smaller head size. I knew that on my returns, I had to play a little safer. Is that a bad thing? No, it's a different thing.

I played a couple of weeks ago with a YFG50 I purchased from TW. It's strung with PSG 17 Original at 55 (by TW). It weighs around 13 ounces and has a 16X19 string pattern. I had the same experience with this frame that I did with the Vilas. I could clock the ball off the ground (I hit the netman with a backhand service return), and could hit 1st serves really well. All in all, it played better than the Vilas. BUT, it was not the extension of my arm that the C10 is.

Today's vs Yesterday's
Today's frames are geared more at level. I think it all boils down to what you really like, and what you get used to. I could still play with the Vilas and still be having as much fun. But, when I got into a really competitive match, I didn't have the confidence in my strokes or game that I do with the C10. That's pretty much why I switched back.

I think the pros today get about 3 months or less out of a frame. If that's any indication, they do last longer than wood, but not by much.

Again, I don't think yesterday's frames are any better than today's. Likewise, I think today's frames of the same category aren't any better either. They're different. They are balanced differently which enables a player to hit out more. In other words I can swing more on a vertical plane with the C10 than the Vilas. I have more margin for error with the C10.

Today's frames are hands down better for beginners though. A new player can find a frame that matches their skill level. They can grow their game and find a frame to match that growth.

Marketing
IMO, the manufacturers aren't telling us the old frame were bad. Hell, the frames that sold then and continued to sell are still being sold, i.e. Wilson ProStaff, Head Prestige, Volkl C10, Prince Graphite, etc. But, the frames that didn't sell, no matter how much you may have loved them, are discontinued (ProKennex Silver Ace).

Today, there are more models than ever. The sales are in the game improvement frames. We can't expect manufacturers to keep the same number of "players" frames like they did when wood was king or when graphite was built like wood. It wouldn't make business sense to keep 10 players models in a line up when only one sold.

Because there are more manufacturers and smaller slices of the pie, they are more marketing geared than they used to be. In the old day, Dunlop pretty much hit the gold standard with the Maxply Fort. They couldn't improve it and it sold really well. The same could be said of the Kramer Auto. Today, because everything is so homogenous, manufacturers have to rely on marketing. Right or wrong, that's how it is.


All in all, it ain't frames, it's string. String is where the real progress is. :)

Gorecki
08-22-2007, 08:56 AM
No I just know what HEAD is doing to sell racquets. I can count on one hand the number of Pro's that actually use Flexpoint technology. The Pro Tour 630 is still the most widely used HEAD racquet on the ATP Tour almost 10 years after it has not been sold to the consumer. The Pro Tour 630 composition is just High Modulus Graphite and Twaron. The Big racquet companies can't market a racquet like that. It is just to simple a racquet. The racquets have to have some pseudo technology that is of questionable benefit.

Ok man. lighten up. take a look at my posts and you will see how much of a troll i am. i was just joking.

Regarding this i have only one thing to say. im just fine with my ultra light ti.elite with a bunch of mumbo jumbo hi-tech shock stop and comfort zone "shenenigans"... and my 20 year old graphite Bjorn Borg sig Donnay.

ohplease
08-22-2007, 09:27 AM
All in all, it ain't frames, it's string. String is where the real progress is. :)

My next stringing experiment will explore that very concern.

I had read recently that Henman switched over to lower tensions and poly to expand his sweetspot and reign in his old all gut string job. On my Flexpoint Radical Tours, I knew a full gut job wouldn't have worked, and even a gut hybrid with PSG needed to be strung pretty tightly, and snapped pretty quickly. I'm now running full poly below the low end of the recommended tension range, and frankly, I think there's some validity to the approach. The sweetspot seems a bit bigger, but there's a nice evenness in the stringbed response across the face that wasn't there before.

I'm currently trying to snap a VERY tightly strung gut job in a pure-drive-esque tweener to see if a poly/PSG job at low tensions would make that frame a more viable option for me.

Honestly? They're just rackets. Out of all my league matches this past season, I remember playing styles and faces, not what racket they used. You could hand me a wal-mart racket or the latest greatest granny frame. So long's the tennis is decent and the beers are cold, I'm doing all right.

vsbabolat
08-22-2007, 10:00 AM
Wood
I've often wondered about how long a wood racket lasted a pro. According to Bill Scanlon, in his book "Bad News for McEnroe", a wood frame lasted a world class pro about 2 months (I'll double check that when I get home). Scanlon played with every variation of the Jack Kramer from the Auto to the ProStaff and said they were all the same. Wood rackets had string patterns that were denser than 18X20, they were more like 20X22.

I don't understand why you say wood racquets were denser string pattern than 18X20 more like 20x22. All of my wood racquets have a string pattern 18x20. Wood racquets that I still own are Dunlop Maxply Fort, Dunlop Maxply McEnroe, Wilson Jack Kramer Autograph, Wilson Jack Kramer Pro Staff, Snauwaet Vitas Gerulaitas Autograph, Brian Gottfried Autograph, and the Wilson Advantage all are 18x20 string pattern. Do mean that with the small head size of the wood racquets that the 18x20 string pattern played much denser like a 20x22 string pattern?

Rabbit
08-22-2007, 10:48 AM
^Hmmm...I'll check when I get home, but I have an Advantage as well and I could have sworn that it has a 22X24 string pattern. I'll post what I see after I have a chance to look at some of my fames.

Rabbit
08-22-2007, 10:53 AM
My next stringing experiment will explore that very concern.

To tell you the truth, I'm thinking about dropping my tension from 54 down to around 48 on my next string job as well. I think you're right on that one. Poly's, at least since their latest incarnation, are kind of like graphite when it first came out and rackets were weighted like wood. We can't string like we used to, there's been a shift in the paradigm. The tensions with polys may really go low.

NoBadMojo
08-22-2007, 11:16 AM
Poly strings were around in the 90's and maybe even for a while in the 80's...they certainly arent any sort of new development. back then they were the cheapest strings you could buy <by far> and nobody would use them...think about putting poly in a wood frame. .
It was the change in racquets that allowed the poly strings to be reasonable to use...that's when the big change in gear occured I believe...the coupling of the pure drive with poly for the pros which obviously trickled down to the club level...one doesnt work well without the other at advanced levels. prior to that the game was about heavy frames strung tightly with gut...

There have been large changes since the early graphite frames in the racquets however. prices are much lower considering the timeframes, consistency from frame to frame is better, they dont fatigue as easily, they can be made both lighter and stronger than the 80's and even 90's, and some of the better manufacturers have found ways to make lightweight stiff frames to hit comfortably and not with the mind numbing rocket launching power of the old widebodies

As far as the wood frames go, the ones i still have all have 18 mains. these would be a Maxply Fort, a Snauwaert Kodes, Snauwaert Fibre Comps, etc

Rabbit
08-22-2007, 11:34 AM
Poly's, at least since their latest incarnation

This, at least in the version of English I use, would indicate that polys have been around a while. Right?

However, polys as in co-polys, like graphite frames are being made better than their original counterparts. IMO, the mating of today's rackets with the latest greatest in poly strings has pretty much revolutionized the game. All the commentary I've heard agrees with that as well, PMac, JMac, Roddick, Mary Carillo, etc.

NoBadMojo
08-22-2007, 11:49 AM
This, at least in the version of English I use, would indicate that polys have been around a while. Right?

However, polys as in co-polys, like graphite frames are being made better than their original counterparts. IMO, the mating of today's rackets with the latest greatest in poly strings has pretty much revolutionized the game. All the commentary I've heard agrees with that as well, PMac, JMac, Roddick, Mary Carillo, etc.

Rabbit,
I didnt read your post. I was responding to the posts of ohPlease and vsBabolat which included stuff you said. Lots of people seems to think that poly is pretty new...I was simply passing along what I knew about those strings.

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 11:54 AM
I was specifically talking about the 'stupid people', I wasn't talking about blaming people....at all. Your art for twisting stuff around until either you get a 'win' in your eyes, or until it no longer makes sense, is somewhat remarkable. Twist away, you can have the floor....
Then why the heck did you quote my comment about "blaming stupid people" and then retort with your feelings about "exploitation"? :confused: What does my comment on who to blame have anything at all to do with exploitation? :confused: Why didn't you quote Deuce's comment about "exploiting the stupidity of people" instead? :confused:

I know, know, you're just looking for any opportunity to disagree and slam me. How sad and lame. :-(

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 12:01 PM
Wood rackets had string patterns that were denser than 18X20, they were more like 20X22.
Not true. I have a Jack Kramer Pro Staff and I've counted the strings and it's 18x20. Same with the Maxply McEnroe (original wood version).

Rabbit
08-22-2007, 12:16 PM
^Hmmm...I'll check when I get home, but I have an Advantage as well and I could have sworn that it has a 22X24 string pattern. I'll post what I see after I have a chance to look at some of my fames.

Not true. I have a Jack Kramer Pro Staff and I've counted the strings and it's 18x20. Same with the Maxply McEnroe (original wood version).



I was referring to the Wilson Advantage that I have.

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 12:20 PM
I was referring to the Wilson Advantage that I have.
I also have an Advantage but not here. It's in storage at my parent's house in another state so I can't count the strings. :-(

ohplease
08-22-2007, 12:21 PM
This, at least in the version of English I use, would indicate that polys have been around a while. Right?

However, polys as in co-polys, like graphite frames are being made better than their original counterparts. IMO, the mating of today's rackets with the latest greatest in poly strings has pretty much revolutionized the game. All the commentary I've heard agrees with that as well, PMac, JMac, Roddick, Mary Carillo, etc.

Agreed.

Polys have been around for a long time. Take a poly from the 90's and play it side by side with 2nd and 3rd generation CO-polys like WeissCannon or CyberFlash and I don't care who you are - you'll see a difference. Even against a 1st generation co-poly like Luxilon.

The take home here is that people consistently confuse old line polys with co-polys with polyamides like Isospeed or Head Rip. It'd be like someone confusing synthetic gut with natural gut because they both are tennis strings and both have the word "gut."

I've been busy, but I'm still sitting on a post that distills the pro racket specs jura's posted on this board that breaks out strings vs. racket balance vs. racket mass. Whether your make your judgment with statistical evidence or anecdotally like JMac or the other commentators, the influence of co-poly strings on the current state of the game simply can't be ignored.

vsbabolat
08-22-2007, 12:22 PM
I also have an Advantage but not here. It's in storage at my parent's house in another state so I can't count the strings. :-(

I do have a Wilson Advantage and I did count the strings. The string pattern is 18x20.

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 12:26 PM
I do have a Wilson Advantage and I did count the strings. The string pattern is 18x20.
I would have been shocked if it wasn't. I think 18x20 was just the standard for all wood racquets back then, since they all had about the same head size anyway.

Rabbit
08-22-2007, 12:27 PM
Agreed.

Whether your make your judgment with statistical evidence or anecdotally like JMac or the other commentators, the influence of co-poly strings on the current state of the game simply can't be ignored.

Yep, Sampras & Courier has recently commented on string technology and Agassi "saw the light" late in his career and switched from his long time kevlar/gut set up to an all Luxilon string job. While he did experiment with BB Original, he was pretty much stuck on ALU.

Roddick made a comment in a Tennis magazine interview that "it isn't the rackets as much as it is the Luxilon strings". I say Lux, because he named them specifically. The players are all pointing to the change in string technology as the biggest change in the last 15 years.

OrangeOne
08-22-2007, 02:07 PM
Then why the heck did you quote my comment about "blaming stupid people" and then retort with your feelings about "exploitation"? :confused:

Because it seemed your 'solution' was simply to blame stupid people, and I feel this is no solution, it's merely a justification for exploitative behaviour. My comment was indeed relevant to your reply.

What does my comment on who to blame have anything at all to do with exploitation? :confused: See above. It seems you've asked the same question twice. (Note: I've been considerate and polite enough to reply to all of your questions, my comments about sporting companies exploiting children to you are still hanging out there in mid-air).

Why didn't you quote Deuce's comment about "exploiting the stupidity of people" instead? :confused:Because I would have simply been 'piling on' by saying 'I agree'.

I know, know, you're just looking for any opportunity to disagree and slam me. How sad and lame. :-(If my goal was simply to disagree with you, I could do that to any post you make, I suppose. But that would be pathetic, and that's absolutely not my goal. I simply disagreed with your justification for what I see as exploitation, and so I commented. Don't make it seem like I'm targeting you, you're not that special, and in reality, I have a history of joining in such 'social responsibility' style discussions.

Actually TwistPoint, given that I'm one of those who actually see how you 'discuss' things, to be honest, I'm less likely to comment on something of yours than something of many, many other posters.

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 02:32 PM
Because it seemed your 'solution' was simply to blame stupid people, and I feel this is no solution, it's merely a justification for exploitative behaviour. My comment was indeed relevant to your reply.

No, it was NOT relevant. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with my comment. I was NOT offering a "solution". Deuce said that the companies ought to take the blame for stupid people buying racquets that aren't any better. I replied that maybe the stupid people should be the ones to blame.

If you want to talk with Deuce about "exploitation", don't quote my comment that had nothing to do with that subject and don't pull me into your distorted discussion. While you're at it, go back and reread Deuce's and my posts and please, please work on improving your reading comprehension.

See above. It seems you've asked the same question twice. (Note: I've been considerate and polite enough to reply to all of your questions, my comments about sporting companies exploiting children to you are still hanging out there in mid-air).
Um...did I ask you to reply or comment on my original post about putting the blame on stupid people? :confused:

Because I would have simply been 'piling on' by saying 'I agree'.

Um...isn't that what you're doing here anyway:
I agree with Deuce, exploiting stupid people is not in any way admirable.
:roll:

OrangeOne
08-22-2007, 03:27 PM
No, it was NOT relevant. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with my comment. I was NOT offering a "solution". Deuce said that the companies ought to take the blame for stupid people buying racquets that aren't any better. I replied that maybe the stupid people should be the ones to blame.

...and then, I replied saying that I disagreed with such a line of thinking, that the exploitation should not be ignored simply on the basis that some people are stupid. I disagreed with your line of thinking that the simply blaming stupid people for being stupid was enough.

If you want to talk with Deuce about "exploitation", don't quote my comment that had nothing to do with that subject and don't pull me into your distorted discussion. While you're at it, go back and reread Deuce's and my posts and please, please work on improving your reading comprehension.

I've explained myself 3 or 4 times now, and I feel that I have no need to work on my reading comprehension. You're the one that took a few posts to even understand my point (and I'm not sure that you even do now).

Um...did I ask you to reply or comment on my original post about putting the blame on stupid people? :confused:


No (in fact, the vast majority of posts on any message board are impromptu, replies written without specific, pointed requests for response by certain people. I did reply, and then we engaged in discussion. Sometimes discussion moves around a point, a fact that you, TwistPoint, should be more aware of than many....

Um...isn't that what you're doing here anyway::roll:

Now who is that should go back to the learnin an them darn bookz and stuf? I don't *believe* i'm being dragged down to this level of specifics in a meta-discussion, but here goes:

Originally Posted by OrangeOne http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=1685510#post1685510)
Because I would have simply been 'piling on' by saying 'I agree'.


By replying to something of yours, and adding that I agreed with deuce, I wasn't "simply" piling on. See the difference? Instead of saying "I agree with deuce full-stop, I replied to something of yours that I didn't agree with, and noted that I agreed with Deuce. It's not a SIMPLE piling on, it's a reply, with comment and acknowledgment of agreement with another poster. Has that stopped your eyes from rolling now?

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 03:42 PM
...and then, I replied saying that I disagreed with such a line of thinking, that the exploitation should not be ignored simply on the basis that some people are stupid. I disagreed with your line of thinking that the simply blaming stupid people for being stupid was enough.

I've explained myself 3 or 4 times now, and I feel that I have no need to work on my reading comprehension. You're the one that took a few posts to even understand my point (and I'm not sure that you even do now).

No (in fact, the vast majority of posts on any message board are impromptu, replies written without specific, pointed requests for response by certain people. I did reply, and then we engaged in discussion. Sometimes discussion moves around a point, a fact that you, TwistPoint, should be more aware of than many....

Now who is that should go back to the learnin an them darn bookz and stuf? I don't *believe* i'm being dragged down to this level of specifics in a meta-discussion, but here goes:

By replying to something of yours, and adding that I agreed with deuce, I wasn't "simply" piling on. See the difference? Instead of saying "I agree with deuce full-stop, I replied to something of yours that I didn't agree with, and noted that I agreed with Deuce. It's not a SIMPLE piling on, it's a reply, with comment and acknowledgment of agreement with another poster. Has that stopped your eyes from rolling now?
Again, who's talking about "exploitation"? Not me. YOU ARE!! I never addressed the issue. I simply said how about blaming stupid people for being so stupid? Full stop. If a stupid person fails an easy test, do you blame the company that wrote the test or do you blame the stupid person for being so stupid? Is the company exploiting the stupid person? No, and that was my point. I was NOT discussing exploitation. I was redirecting the blame. I was saying perhaps the blame shouldn't be fully on the companies but maybe should also be on the stupid people. Nobody is exploiting anyone. It's not the companies' fault that some people are stupid. The companies cannot be held accountable for the stupidity of its customers. If a customer gets sick from trying to eat his tennis racquet, is the company to blame?

Now get off of my back and go kiss up to Deuce again.

OrangeOne
08-22-2007, 04:00 PM
Is the company exploiting the stupid person? No, and that was my point. I was NOT discussing exploitation.

So let me get this straight, your point was that the company was not exploiting the stupid person, but you were not discussing exploitation. Priceless.

Now get off of my back and go kiss up to Deuce again.

Ouch, the nasty side of TwistPoint comes to the surface. For the record, and I know this may not be something you fathom too well, but sometimes people actually agree with one another. As it happens, on this issue, I agree with Deuce. If that's a problem for you (that people seem to agree, and not necessarily with you), well there's plenty of people with comfortable couches and tissues who can take chunks of your lovel capitalist money to help you deal with it.

drfredc
08-22-2007, 04:55 PM
Today's racquets AND strings have evolved beyond those in the 80s and 90s, at least if you're on the leading edge of lighter swing weight racquets.

However, the evolution for the mid wieghts has been moderate... If you're in the middle of the road niche of racquet swing weights, evolution has been moderate at best. You can probably take a top 80s racquet and get it strung with one of today's top strings and get a very decent result. As far as that goes, you can take a Walmart $20 special and restring it with some top string and get a decent racquet result for most beginning to adv intermediate players.

Most anyone who's played around with various strings will note that string evolution recently has been huge. Some new 17 and 18 gauge polys (like Big Banger Ace and TopSpin Flash) provide spin, control, power and durability that is hard to believe possible or would last more than a game or two. Unbelievably, a set of strings might last a month or more with reasonably heavy hard banging use.

superstition
08-22-2007, 05:01 PM
Roddick made a comment in a Tennis magazine interview that "it isn't the rackets as much as it is the Luxilon strings". I say Lux, because he named them specifically. The players are all pointing to the change in string technology as the biggest change in the last 15 years.
As usual, Roddick is wrong. As someone else said, the change in racquets is what made poly attractive to use.

As far as the stiff, large-headed, light racquets with poly "revolutionizing" the game, keep in mind the consequences of revolutions. They're not always good.

J011yroger
08-22-2007, 05:07 PM
who among us has actually WORN OUT a POG or PS85?

**Raises Hand**

J

OrangeOne
08-22-2007, 05:27 PM
**Raises Hand**

J

Sheesh, thank god the question wasn't who has / is in the process of wearing out an nCode, you simply wouldn't have had enough hands! :)

My 2c on topic (instead of on-social-commentary): I think modern racquets are indeed better to play the game with*, however I agree with many when I think they may not, indeed, be of similar quality. That said, it should be recognised that lighter componentry, of almost any ilk, given similar materials, is likely to be less durable. So the move towards lighter frames (and thus, the more frequent construction of hollow tubes for frames) may indeed intrinsically explain some of the lack of durability.

*Why? Modern racquets make fun tennis easier to play. It's that simple. I like the game, I want it to prosper, I feel modern racquets will make it easier for younger and new people to pick up the game, as opposed to the lumps of the 1980s and 1990s (and yes, I know those lumps were lighter than the wooden lumps).

superstition
08-22-2007, 06:35 PM
Modern racquets make fun tennis easier to play. It's that simple. I like the game, I want it to prosper, I feel modern racquets will make it easier for younger and new people to pick up the game, as opposed to the lumps of the 1980s and 1990s (and yes, I know those lumps were lighter than the wooden lumps).
"Modern" is a word that falsely suggests improvement, when in fact such racquets have negative consequences (in conjunction with other changes like the higher bouncing balls and shrinking grass court season), like the death of serve and volley and the elimination of strokes like the slice forehand and the overuse of topspin. Then, there are the left wrist injuries that are a big problem now, as well as other injuries due to extreme small grips, low mass high stiffness racquets, high stiffness strings, etc.

Older racquets were not more difficult to use. They were just used differently. Tilden said he was surprised when he missed a shot, and that was with a wood racquet. For one thing, ball speed wasn't as extreme as it is today. And, the excessive power of light weight super oversize thick beamed stiff racquets turns off a lot of beginners. Today's tennis is probably more intimidating than tennis of the past. When beginners see how hard pros hit the ball and how fast the balls are, it's likely more intimidating than it used to be and more disappointing on the practice court.

As a badminton player, I am used to playing with a much smaller head size and hitting a smaller object traveling at high speeds. An 85 sq in or 90 sq in tennis racquet isn't tough to play with. I've played matches with a wooden Wilson Advantage and while it's not as easy to do certain things, like return serve, it's easier to keep the ball in the court with a full swing.

Laver and others have lamented the lack of finesse in "modern" tennis. I think many matches of today are rather dull, no matter how fast and hard the ball comes. Others are not. In the past it was the same, although there was more variety because topspin from the baseline wasn't so favored by the equipment and courts as it is now. I was watching a boys tournament on the Tennis Channel, and I also saw a girls tournament. How excruciatingly dull. Topspin topspin topspin topspin dropshot topspin topspin topspin topspin topspin topspin topspin.

More than the homogenization, though, is the fact that the human body hasn't "evolved" to a synthetic state to match the synthetic courts, strings, and racquets. Like it or not, stiff/harsh synthetic materials increase injury. I don't consider that an improvement at all.

BreakPoint
08-22-2007, 07:21 PM
So let me get this straight, your point was that the company was not exploiting the stupid person, but you were not discussing exploitation. Priceless.

No, my point was I was NOT discussing exploitation. Get it now? I was also not discussing dancing, lettuce, computers, chairs, airplanes, etc. Whether or not there's exploitation was NOT the subject of my comment. The subject of my comment was stupid people - a subject which I'm sure you're very conversant in.

Anton
08-22-2007, 07:39 PM
I've tried the Babolat Pure Drive, and did not like it at all. It had kind of a cheap, whippy feel to it. Oh well, for the most part, I guess we'll have to get use to the subpar racquets of today, and marvel at some of the frames produced in the late 80's and 90's. Great input and analysis from you guys again.

I don't think you should judge all of todays frames by a single (and crappy IMO) frame.

Wilson6-1
08-22-2007, 07:51 PM
I see facts - like the racquet companies telling us every two years or so that their last generation of frames was no good, and that the new ones are much better.
If you don't see this, then the naiveté is in your possession.

You don't seem to know much about business.
If you think that business is about providing the consumer with quality items that they can enjoy, you're in a time warp. That hasn't been the case since the 70s, at the latest.
Business today is all about deception, manipulation, and taking advantage of gullible consumers.
Open your eyes, and you might actually see something.

Again, speculation.

Fact? what a joke. Point me to one statement by any tennis company where they said their racquets were no good. Unfortunately for you, you can't and won't. You are really naive about the world and have such a negative connotation about business that you will never agree anyway. It is easier simply to curse the "mean", "greedy" corporations that "rule the world" and stick it to the “gullible consumer”. This debate is endless because despite the millions of happy consumers, you are going to interpret their happiness for gullibility.

And, I do know a lot about business, and I never said that the companies are in business to provide quality items. The fact that you think companies operated this way in the 70s just proves your ignorance. Business is about making money, and it was like that in the 70s as well. And for that matter, why post such broad generalizations that you know are not true? It just proves my point about your naiveté.

Lastly, “open my eyes”? This coming from a person that hates all corporate businesses? It is easy to be cynical and hate things that you don’t understand, I just don’t know why you feel the need to post spiteful, overly generalized speculation and innuendo as fact. Glad I don’t work with you.

Wilson6-1
08-22-2007, 08:03 PM
If there is no plot by the companies than how do you explain this.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/FlorianMayerracquet4.jpg
Photo by Federmann
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/FlorianMayerracquet2.jpg
Photo by Federmann
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/10a1_3.jpg

These are photos of the Pro Tour 630 in Flexpoint Prestige disguise. The Pro Tour 630 is a racquet that has not been sold to the consumer in almost 10 years now. But HEAD keeps right on producing them, just not for the buying public. Also these racquets are still produced in Austria. While the consumer gets the real Flexpiont Prestige made cheaper in China which are nothing more than a poor imitation of the Pro Tour 630.

And this racquet painted as a Flexpoint was sold to whom? What consumer purchased this racquet in which store was it purchase from?

If you are referring to racquet companies that paint pro racquets to match their current offerings, I don't believe this really constitutes a conspiracy to defraud the consumer.

NLBwell
08-22-2007, 08:37 PM
I've worn out a PS-85 and an Austrian Pro Tour 280 (fatigue cracks in the throat).
As far a quality, the old rackets had better finishes, paint jobs, grips, etc. Also, they were not thin hollow tubes like most of the rackets today are (so were more expensive to make).
Technologically, the thin hollow rackets can be lighter and stiffer with bigger head sizes, but do not damp vibration as well. Lighter and stiffer rackets make the game easier to play up to a certain level for almost everyone and make the topspin game easier to play at all levels.
There are only so many of us old hard-hitting flat-ball hitters that need heavy rackets anymore.
My Kennex Black Aces are 14 oz, soft, and damp vibration well to keep my arm functioning. Made with very high quality.

JW10S
08-22-2007, 09:01 PM
And this racquet painted as a Flexpoint was sold to whom? What consumer purchased this racquet in which store was it purchase from?

If you are referring to racquet companies that paint pro racquets to match their current offerings, I don't believe this really constitutes a conspiracy to defraud the consumer.I feel the same. The bottom line is that the PT 280 was not a big selling racquet. HEAD was not making money on it or they would have continued with it--it's simple economics. That they continue to make 280's for the pros who like it is as far as I'm concerned a credit to them. I've had a contract with HEAD for more than 12 years--personally, I never liked the PT 280. I'd much rather use a Flexpoint Prestige than a PT 280. I think HEAD has made huge advances with their new racquets. Their new racquets are better than their old ones as far as I'm concerned. I've spoken to several HEAD pros as well as pros who use other brands who use PJ's and many have never even tried the latest version of the racquet they are endorsing. They could tell you nothing of how the new models play--nothing. They simply do not want to change--sometimes because they are so used to what they've been using for years and sometimes it is due to to simple superstition. That pros use PJ's does in no way 'prove' that the older models are better.

As far as defrauding the consumer goes, is NASCAR defrauding the consumer by saying that the cars being raced are 'Chargers', 'Fusions', 'Camrys' or 'Impalas', or is NHRA defrauding the consumer by saying that John Force drag races a 'Mustang'? If I went into any of those company's dealerships I can buy nothing close to the cars the 'pros' drive.

I find it amusing that tennis racquets are the only thing in the world that supposedly were better 20 years ago than they are now. Are the people making that claim driving 20 year old cars, typing on a 20 year old computer, watching a 20 year old TV, or wearing 20 year old clothes? I wonder....

Deuce
08-22-2007, 11:31 PM
Ouch, the nasty side of TwistPoint comes to the surface. For the record, and I know this may not be something you fathom too well, but sometimes people actually agree with one another. As it happens, on this issue, I agree with Deuce. If that's a problem for you (that people seem to agree, and not necessarily with you), well there's plenty of people with comfortable couches and tissues who can take chunks of your lovel capitalist money to help you deal with it.
^That was good.^

Again, speculation.

Fact? what a joke. Point me to one statement by any tennis company where they said their racquets were no good. Unfortunately for you, you can't and won't. You are really naive about the world and have such a negative connotation about business that you will never agree anyway. It is easier simply to curse the "mean", "greedy" corporations that "rule the world" and stick it to the “gullible consumer”. This debate is endless because despite the millions of happy consumers, you are going to interpret their happiness for gullibility.
Well, as but one example, racquet companies a few years ago went into the titanium craze. This, typically, lasted only a few years - by design. Then when they came out with their respective new gimmicks, their marketing was telling us all how much 'better' their new gimmick is than titanium. Hell - Head even went so far as to pass out to stores a little device made of tubes and small balls that showed how much 'better' LiquidMetal responds than titanium.
I take this as them saying that the old 'technology' is no good. It seems very obvious to me.

And, I do know a lot about business, and I never said that the companies are in business to provide quality items. The fact that you think companies operated this way in the 70s just proves your ignorance. Business is about making money, and it was like that in the 70s as well.
You seem to enjoy twisting things around almost as much as BreakPoint.
Where did I say that businesses weren't in it to make money in the 70s? Please show me where I wrote that, as I can't seem to find where.
What I DID say - if you are at all interested in what I ACTUALLY wrote - is that back 30, 40, 50 years ago, businesses had pride and produced quality items. They also respected the consumer - which does not exist today. Businesses today have absolutely no respect for the consumer. They respect only the consumer's money. There is a huge difference between respecting the consumer and respecting the consumer's money.
So 30, 40, 50 years ago, businesses wanted to make money. But they also wanted to produce quality products and to respect the customer. Today's businesses want to make money - period - in any way possible.

And for that matter, why post such broad generalizations that you know are not true? It just proves my point about your naiveté.
Are you simply too immature to say that you disagree with me, and to state why?

Lastly, “open my eyes”? This coming from a person that hates all corporate businesses? It is easy to be cynical and hate things that you don’t understand, I just don’t know why you feel the need to post spiteful, overly generalized speculation and innuendo as fact. Glad I don’t work with you.
More hollow comments void of substance, designed simply to insult.

"When the judgment is weak, the prejudice is strong." ~ Kane O'Hara.

Gorecki
08-22-2007, 11:43 PM
I find it amusing that tennis racquets are the only thing in the world that supposedly were better 20 years ago than they are now. Are the people making that claim driving 20 year old cars, typing on a 20 year old computer, watching a 20 year old TV, or wearing 20 year old clothes? I wonder....

I absolutely agree with this...

BreakPoint
08-23-2007, 12:12 AM
Well, as but one example, racquet companies a few years ago went into the titanium craze. This, typically, lasted only a few years - by design. Then when they came out with their respective new gimmicks, their marketing was telling us all how much 'better' their new gimmick is than titanium. Hell - Head even went so far as to pass out to stores a little device made of tubes and small balls that showed how much 'better' LiquidMetal responds than titanium.
I take this as them saying that the old 'technology' is no good. It seems very obvious to me.

That's a good one because Head's LiquidMetal line of racquets contain just as much titanium as their Titanium line of racquets. Don't believe me? Look it up. And how much actual titanium does either line of racquets contain? Next to none.

Today's businesses want to make money - period - in any way possible.

And yesterday's businesses also wanted to make money - period - in any way possible. If they did it differently back then, it was because that was the best way for them to make as money as possible back then. Don't forget that companies can't make a dime unless the customers buy their products. The customer has total control over thier own destiny. It's like you can do all you want to impress that hot babe, but if she still blows you off, you've got nothing.

Deuce
08-23-2007, 12:30 AM
As far as defrauding the consumer goes, is NASCAR defrauding the consumer by saying that the cars being raced are 'Chargers', 'Fusions', 'Camrys' or 'Impalas', or is NHRA defrauding the consumer by saying that John Force drag races a 'Mustang'? If I went into any of those company's dealerships I can buy nothing close to the cars the 'pros' drive.
This is a ridiculous argument, as NASCAR and NHRA cars are very visibly different than the cars that are available to consumers.
Not so with tennis racquets, quite obviously.

I find it amusing that tennis racquets are the only thing in the world that supposedly were better 20 years ago than they are now. Are the people making that claim driving 20 year old cars, typing on a 20 year old computer, watching a 20 year old TV, or wearing 20 year old clothes? I wonder....
Perhaps you should try to understand that we're discussing 20 year old racquets (or other products) when they were new, not after they're 20 years old.

Are baseball bats better today than they were 20 years ago? Seems to me wooden bats are about the same - and that's what the pros are using.
To state that every product today is inherently better than the same product of 20 years ago just because today's products are newer is far too overly simplistic.

Are guitars better today than they were 20 years ago? Many musicians would argue that the older a guitar is, the better it is. Many of them even choose to use older models.
The same can be said about many, many things.
Just sticking with tennis... Are today's tennis balls better than the balls of 20 years ago? In my view, they're worse today.
Is the hard court surface better today than it was 20 years ago? Seems about the same to me.
Are tennis nets better today than they were 20 years ago? No.

The problem with people is that far too many believe the marketing gimmicks that tell us that things are improving.
Have some products improved? Yes, certainly. And others have remained the same. Still others are worse now than they were 20 years ago - many deliberately so.
Time does not inherently improve all things - for various reasons.

MaximRecoil
08-23-2007, 01:28 AM
Regarding the cost of today's rackets vs. the cost of rackets 20 years ago, which has been mentioned in a few posts, not all quality rackets of 20 years ago were particularly expensive.

A few examples that I remember specifically:

In 1986/1987 a Puma Becker Winner was $40 and a Becker Super was $60 through mail order companies. I also remember that a Wilson Sting was $60 retail, and probably cheaper through the mail order companies.

The prices dropped a lot on graphite and composite rackets from the late 70's / early 80's to the mid-to-late 80's. And keep in mind that "20 years ago" was 1987. Does anyone have any old tennis magazines from the mid-to-late 80's? Someone should scan in and post the racket section of a mail order company ad from that time frame.

S&V
08-23-2007, 02:29 AM
ofcourse 20 year old racquets are better, thats why so many pros use them. wood is even better, i think federer actually uses wood

Gorecki
08-23-2007, 03:54 AM
The problem with people is that far too many believe the marketing gimmicks that tell us that things are improving.

I know almost nothing about racquets so i will not comment your opinion on that matter, but i do know a lot of Marketing (i guess a PHD is enough), and this is where i feel insulted . You know nothing about marketing. BUt let me clear out...
MARKETING IS ABOUT MEETING THE DEMANDS OF CUSTOMERS, not decieving them. Its ABOUT DEVELOPING PRODUCTS TO SATISFY CLIENTS EXPECTATIONS; ITS ABOUT DELIVERING THEM IN THE MOST APROPRIATE WAY at THE MOST REASONABLE MARKET PRICE

Should i interpret from your words that people like me, who have top Marketing executive jobs at big enterprises are a bunch of liars and decievers. i certainly am not, and neither is any of my colleagues.

and do you know what is the ultimate truth about enterprises. if you do not sell quality products you will not survive at long term. the examples on tennis are there for you to see as well as in any other field of interest.

Have your opinion, but just dont blame it on Marketing in that simplistic way.

OrangeOne
08-23-2007, 04:04 AM
BUt let me clear out...
MARKETING IS ABOUT MEETING THE DEMANDS OF CUSTOMERS, not decieving them. Its ABOUT DEVELOPING PRODUCTS TO SATISFY CLIENTS EXPECTATIONS; ITS ABOUT DELIVERING THEM IN THE MOST APROPRIATE WAY at THE MOST REASONABLE MARKET PRICE

It seems marketing is about using an awful lot of caps?

But seriously folks, and with due respect to your PHD and your top marketing gig and the rest, I think your viewpoint, as expressed above, sounds quite altruistic.

I think many of the big sporting goods firms (and many of the big firms in general), are keen to shape the customer's expectations and then satisfy them. If you can tell me that a large portion of marketing is not trying to tell (convince) people what they need (want), and explain the thinking behind it, I'll be interested to say the least.

As for reasonable market prices... tell me how that correlates with the corporation profit motive - that companies should maximise the return on investment, full-stop? Most companies that are not market-leaders are keen to obtain such a status, as along with being market leader often comes the ability to charge a higher price for an equivalent product. If daewoo could get away with charging lexus prices for it's vehicles, it very much would and could, although perhaps that example is a little extreme to be relevant.

Steve H.
08-23-2007, 04:19 AM
Well said, Gorecki, but not the whole story. Would it be insulting to your profession to say that marketing is at least as much about selling the possibility of achieving an experience as it is about the product itself, and that a large part of your job lies in creating expectations so that your product can satisfy them?

In the case of tennis racquets, I want the experience of playing better, hitting harder, of beating the guy who beat me yesterday. I may have a closetful of 20 perfectly good racquets but if only -- IF ONLY-- I had a better tool maybe that happiness could be mine. So I go out and happily spend another $200, and the industry is very happy to take my money, that's how they stay in business. There are infinite combinations of materials and attributes that go into a racquet, and new ones are being dreamed up all the time, so my new frame is probably different from all the ones I have -- will that difference make me a better player? I don't know, possibly, but probably not, but what I have really purchased from the industry is the opportunity to find out.

Maybe calling the marketers a bunch of liars and deceivers is a bit harsh, but in cases like this (and cars, and clothing, and electronics, and ED remedies) it's as much about creating demand out of a vague desire for an improved life and the possibility, however remote, of having a more satisfying experience as it is about satisfying an actual need for a product, IMO. Would you agree?

superstition
08-23-2007, 04:28 AM
ofcourse 20 year old racquets are better, thats why so many pros use them. wood is even better, i think federer actually uses wood
This is flawed logic. Racquets of today are more powerful than racquets of the past, not "better". In order to "keep up with the Joneses", players had to move away from wood and then away from racquets like the Dunlop 200g. A Hummer is more powerful than a Prius, but which is better? That depends on what you value.

Power is not the only thing in tennis. Ball speed and spin production are not the only things that matter. While those two things have increased, other things have declined. The idea of "evolution toward perfection" is illusory. Every change has benefits and drawbacks. One of the main drawbacks of current racquets is the injury rate. The racquets, strings, balls, and courts all work together to create the tennis environment. Right now, topspin from the baseline is too good, making other parts of tennis suffer. The game should be rebalanced so that no shot and no style dominates this much.

S&V
08-23-2007, 04:34 AM
as much as i would love that to happen i dont see it anywhere in the near future. for todays tennis, new racquets are better. period.

S&V
08-23-2007, 04:34 AM
and just let me say, i hate todays tennis

Rabbit
08-23-2007, 05:27 AM
As usual, Roddick is wrong. As someone else said, the change in racquets is what made poly attractive to use.

Well then Roddick is in good company along with Sampras, Agassi, PMac, JMac, Mary Carillo and a host of other people. I guess that you're more in the "know" than them?

From my experience, the right poly does make a significant difference in the amount of control and spin even at my level.


As far as the stiff, large-headed, light racquets with poly "revolutionizing" the game, keep in mind the consequences of revolutions. They're not always good.

Please don't attempt to hijack a thread which has nothing to do with "good" or "bad" state of the game. The origins of this thread were if rackets were made better now or then.



My 2c on topic (instead of on-social-commentary): I think modern racquets are indeed better to play the game with*, however I agree with many when I think they may not, indeed, be of similar quality. That said, it should be recognised that lighter componentry, of almost any ilk, given similar materials, is likely to be less durable. So the move towards lighter frames (and thus, the more frequent construction of hollow tubes for frames) may indeed intrinsically explain some of the lack of durability.

*Why? Modern racquets make fun tennis easier to play. It's that simple. I like the game, I want it to prosper, I feel modern racquets will make it easier for younger and new people to pick up the game, as opposed to the lumps of the 1980s and 1990s (and yes, I know those lumps were lighter than the wooden lumps).

"Modern" is a word that falsely suggests improvement...

You've got a bad habit of interpreting posts. "Modern" also implies current era.

Orange's post is spot on, as is. Modern rackets do make it easier for lower levels to enjoy the game. The consequences of long term usage of modern rackets was not addressed. Modern rackets do make it easier for beginners to learn the game. They make the game easier to play. In that sense, they aren an improvement.

All that aside, I don't enjoy the modern professional game as much as I did when wood was used.

Gorecki
08-23-2007, 05:50 AM
Well said, Gorecki, but not the whole story. Would it be insulting to your profession to say that marketing is at least as much about selling an experience as it is about the product itself, and that a large part of your job lies in creating expectations so that your product can satisfy them?

In the case of tennis racquets, I want the experience of playing better, hitting harder, of beating the guy who beat me yesterday. I may have a closetful of 20 perfectly good racquets but if only -- IF ONLY-- I had a better tool maybe that happiness could be mine. So I go out and happily spend another $200, and the industry is very happy to take my money, that's how they stay in business. There are infinite materials and attributes that go into a racquet, so my new one is probably different from all the ones I have -- will that difference make me a better player? I don't know, possibly, but probably not.

Maybe calling the marketers a bunch of liars and deceivers is a bit harsh, but in cases like this (and cars, and clothing, and electronics) it's as much about creating demand out of desire for novelty and the possibility, however remote, of having a more satisfying experience as it is about satisfying an actual need for a product, IMO. Would you agree?

Again, i disclaim that my posts here are merely technical in matters of Marketing Science (yes... it is a social science) and in no way about stating wherther i believe or not in todays frames being better or worse

See where most of these opinions are wrong, including yours? if your need is of locomotion, marketing will satisfy you with a pair of wheels. on the other hand, you will not get satisfied on locomotion when you buy a Lexus. you satify your needs regarding social status, luxury, or whatever is on your mind.

In your case, when you buy a new racquet because of what you stated (, you are satisfying yourself in a diferent need other than power or playability of the frame. i could not tell what it is (would have to make you go thru a survey).
What i mean is that needs are already there. we just satisfy them (or as you said, we try to meet the expectations of consumers). if they are shallow or not, it is not up to us to decide. Marketeers do not create expactations or need. we Investigate populations, create Products to deliver to their demands (whatever they are), and campaigns to let them know we are selling what they need.

And to answer to Orange, i would love to explain you where you are mislead by comon sense, but since im not a native english speaker i will have to challenge you to read a bit more on Technical Marketing books such as . Im not really trying to avoid the argument, i just think you would be better served that way.
Yes, it may sound altruistic, but that is just the way we see our jobs and i would risk to say it is like that worldwide.
Reasonable market prices is self-explanatory Orange! it is what we call Positioning of products.and there is a lot more on Bussiness management and profit margins than sales.

That is as far as i will go for now since i dont want to be draged into another discussion. i just clain for a litlle more respect on my profissional status

Steve H.
08-23-2007, 06:47 AM
Gorecki, thanks for the insights, you are being honest about how marketers operate. But please forgive those of us who think that yours is a cynical profession --

I guess what it boils down to is that modern marketing is about selling hope: the industry packaging a racquet so that I think it will make me play better is no different from packaging a car to make me think that driving it will thrill me and give me status, or packaging clothing to make me think I will be sexier and more socially accepted, or packaging a loan to make me think I can afford a better house than I really can. Yes, the desires are real -- I only have a problem at the point consumers are misled into acting against their own best interests. You would probably say that it isn't the job of marketers to decide what will truly make people happy, only to analyze their motivating desires and get them to act on them. I suppose this is capitalism at work....

fortunately, being more suspicious of being "marketed to" than many, I drive a cheap car, am debt-free, and only (!) have three racquets at the moment, all of them bought used and more than five years old. Sorry, Babolat.

Gorecki
08-23-2007, 07:07 AM
fortunately, being more suspicious of being "marketed to" than many, I drive a cheap car, am debt-free, and only (!) have three racquets at the moment, all of them bought used and more than five years old. Sorry, Babolat.

See! after all we are more similar than we could imagine.
i drive a cheap car too, because it delivers me home-office-home just like my need demands.

i have 3 frames, the one i use (on my sig) with all the so called mumbo jumbo technology, a crappy Head Mg 700 and a 20 year old Donnay Graphite Bjorn Borg that i got at a clearance sale. One for match use, one for my girl and the other one for emotional purposes. three diferent needs satisfied with 3 different objects.

I too am debt-free (i can say i am very well payed for my country average so i dont need it).

I would much rather spend my money on visiting museums, or traveling, or improving my tennis bt travelling to diferent surfaces nearby (in my town we only have hardcourt...
but those are needs to... the need of knowledge or blending or achieving personal goals. See where is marketing in this formula?

NoBadMojo
08-23-2007, 07:14 AM
caveat emptor

expression has applied for centuries.

vsbabolat
08-23-2007, 07:40 AM
I feel the same. The bottom line is that the PT 280 was not a big selling racquet. HEAD was not making money on it or they would have continued with it--it's simple economics. That they continue to make 280's for the pros who like it is as far as I'm concerned a credit to them. I've had a contract with HEAD for more than 12 years--personally, I never liked the PT 280. I'd much rather use a Flexpoint Prestige than a PT 280. I think HEAD has made huge advances with their new racquets. Their new racquets are better than their old ones as far as I'm concerned. I've spoken to several HEAD pros as well as pros who use other brands who use PJ's and many have never even tried the latest version of the racquet they are endorsing. They could tell you nothing of how the new models play--nothing. They simply do not want to change--sometimes because they are so used to what they've been using for years and sometimes it is due to to simple superstition. That pros use PJ's does in no way 'prove' that the older models are better.

I disagree with you. I think the Pro Tour 630/280 is one of the best racquets HEAD has ever produced. I did not like HEAD's Liquidmetal and Flexpoint line of racquets. I did like the feel of the Microgel Radical. It has more of a feel I like. So I guess we have vastly different tastes in racquets. I had noticed in the 90's that the Pro Tour 280 was a big seller. I saw lots of people using the Pro Tour 280 maybe because I am in different part of the country than you. I saw more people use the Pro Tour 280 more than the Prestige Tour 300 at that time. I have talked to Pros sponsored by HEAD that use paint jobs and they have tried the new racquets. I remember this one player's response I thought was very honest that I had talked when the the Liquidmetal Prestige first came out what he thought of the new Liquidmetal Prestige. He said, "That racquet is a joke".

Wilson6-1
08-23-2007, 09:15 AM
Well, as but one example, racquet companies a few years ago went into the titanium craze. This, typically, lasted only a few years - by design. Then when they came out with their respective new gimmicks, their marketing was telling us all how much 'better' their new gimmick is than titanium. Hell - Head even went so far as to pass out to stores a little device made of tubes and small balls that showed how much 'better' LiquidMetal responds than titanium.
I take this as them saying that the old 'technology' is no good. It seems very obvious to me.

You seem to enjoy twisting things around almost as much as BreakPoint.
Where did I say that businesses weren't in it to make money in the 70s? Please show me where I wrote that, as I can't seem to find where.
What I DID say - if you are at all interested in what I ACTUALLY wrote - is that back 30, 40, 50 years ago, businesses had pride and produced quality items. They also respected the consumer - which does not exist today. Businesses today have absolutely no respect for the consumer. They respect only the consumer's money. There is a huge difference between respecting the consumer and respecting the consumer's money.
So 30, 40, 50 years ago, businesses wanted to make money. But they also wanted to produce quality products and to respect the customer. Today's businesses want to make money - period - in any way possible.

Are you simply too immature to say that you disagree with me, and to state why?


More hollow comments void of substance, designed simply to insult.

"When the judgment is weak, the prejudice is strong." ~ Kane O'Hara.

Quote from your post:

"You don't seem to know much about business.
If you think that business is about providing the consumer with quality items that they can enjoy, you're in a time warp. That hasn't been the case since the 70s, at the latest.
Business today is all about deception, manipulation, and taking advantage of gullible consumers.
Open your eyes, and you might actually see something."

I think this quote demonstrates why I disagree with your entire premise. If you honestly believe that business today is as mentioned above, then you are entitled to your opinion, even if it is wrong.

superstition
08-23-2007, 09:30 AM
Well then Roddick is in good company along with
Doesn't make him correct.
From my experience, the right poly does make a significant difference in the amount of control and spin even at my level.
If you're playing the current topspin style. Other players have enjoyed gut for control and for spin.
Please don't attempt to hijack a thread...
Please don't be rude.

....which has nothing to do with "good" or "bad" state of the game. The origins of this thread were if rackets were made better now or then.
I don't enjoy the modern professional game as much as I did when wood was used.
I'm sensing a contradiction.

You've got a bad habit of interpreting posts.
You have a bad habit of being rude.
"Modern" also implies current era.
The key word is also.

Modern rackets do make it easier for lower levels to enjoy the game. Modern rackets do make it easier for beginners to learn the game. They make the game easier to play. In that sense, they aren an improvement.
Not from what I've seen. I've seen them have problems with feather light giant headed thick beamed wrist destroying racquets strung with hard string. They have trouble keeping the ball in the court, trouble getting the ball over the net. They all choke up high on grips to try to keep the power down and end up hurting their wrists. They can't get any stability because the racquets have so little mass. They don't learn how to hit the sweetspot well because the head size is so massive.

The racquets don't make the game easier to play. They make hitting topspin easier, if you can do that. They make other things more difficult. Increasing the ability for beginners to hit the ball hard increases the difficulty beginners have to get the ball back. Etc.

The consequences of long term usage of modern rackets was not addressed.
I addressed it.

All that aside, I don't enjoy the modern professional game as much as I did when wood was used.
I suppose that addresses the long term effects.

Rabbit
08-23-2007, 10:11 AM
Doesn't make him correct.

There are more people than just Roddick saying it which probably makes you incorrect. Try and deal with that possibility. You know, if it was one person, maybe two...you might have a point. But when it's everybody, you have to arrive at the conclusion, the possibility that maybe you're wrong. Deal with it.


If you're playing the current topspin style. Other players have enjoyed gut for control and for spin.

Yeah well, I play with a Continental grip off both sides. I'm not what you'd call a topspinner by any stretch.



Please don't be rude.

I said please, I wasn't rude. Your record of hijacking threads is easily seen in any of your posts. Your interjection of the word "rude" is yet another example of how you, when faced with an undefensible premise, try and turn yourself into the hapless victim.



I'm sensing a contradiction.

No contradiction whatsoever. It's really not that difficult to look at two eras in time and determine which product was made better. The only contradiction here was introduced by you trying to evaluate the quality of tennis played now versus then. That's a completely different conversation. And one which wasn't introduced in this thread until you hijacked it.


You have a bad habit of being rude.

Thanks for proving that no one, not even the false dilemma queen himself is above an ad hominem.


The key word is also.

No, and this is the most salient point I can make to you, the key word here is context. In the context "modern" was used in, it was to denote time period, not quality. You introduced the "better" comment to open a door for a premise that had nothing to do with the thread at hand.


Not from what I've seen. I've seen them have problems with feather light giant headed thick beamed wrist destroying racquets strung with hard string. They have trouble keeping the ball in the court, trouble getting the ball over the net. They all choke up high on grips to try to keep the power down and end up hurting their wrists. They can't get any stability because the racquets have so little mass. They don't learn how to hit the sweetspot well because the head size is so massive.

It's clear that your perspective differs from the vast majority, if not all, of the humans on the planet.


The racquets don't make the game easier to play. They make hitting topspin easier, if you can do that. They make other things more difficult. Increasing the ability for beginners to hit the ball hard increases the difficulty beginners have to get the ball back. Etc.

This is patently false.


I addressed it.

And it was a complete tangent.

bad_call
08-23-2007, 10:27 AM
don't know how much better racquets are today but i'm hitting better with the T10V than with the PS85. so for me it's definitely better. life is good...just need a 5.0+ hitting partner.

vsbabolat
08-23-2007, 10:45 AM
don't know how much better racquets are today but i'm hitting better with the T10V than with the PS85. so for me it's definitely better. life is good...just need a 5.0+ hitting partner.

That T10V was a throwback design for Volkl. That is how all Volkl were designed back in the 70's and 80's. It even has a nice layup of graphite and fiberglass.
Doesn't the racquet in the photo look familiar.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/1228652.jpg

bad_call
08-23-2007, 10:53 AM
That T10V was a through back design for Volkl. That is how all Volkl were designed back in the 70's and 80's. It even has a nice layup of graphite and fiberglass.
Doesn't the racquet in the photo look familiar.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/1228652.jpg

so why didn't u tell me that back then? i can't believe i've been suffering for this long. :( well maybe i can...since 1) the PS85 was a gift, 2) don't think this forum was around then to inform me and 3) designs that work stick around for a while (thank u mr. volkl). ok i feel better now. :grin:

LES
08-23-2007, 11:58 AM
Just look at the senior tour. How many are using the old racquets and how many have updated to newer racquets.

Are racquets from 2007 better than racquets from 1997? Some are and some aren't. Are they better than racquets from 1987? Yes!

BreakPoint
08-23-2007, 12:11 PM
wood is even better, i think federer actually uses wood
I think Federer's K90 is about as close to a wood racquet as you can find today without pulling out the old Jack Kramer Autograph. ;) The K90 feels very "wood-lke" to me.

BreakPoint
08-23-2007, 12:26 PM
Just look at the senior tour. How many are using the old racquets and how many have updated to newer racquets.

Are racquets from 2007 better than racquets from 1997? Some are and some aren't. Are they better than racquets from 1987? Yes!
Isn't Aaron Krickstein using a PS 6.0 85 on the senior's tour? And the PS 6.0 85 is even older as it came out in 1983.

bluetrain4
08-23-2007, 01:09 PM
It's funny how standards change so fast.

I grew up playing and hitting with rackets like the Wilson Stong, POG, Black Ace, Wilson Ultra 2, Dunlop Max 400i, Prostaff 6.0, which ranged in wieght from 12.4 oz to upwards of 13.5 oz.

I never really thought of these frames as "heavy." They were all user-friendly in my opinion, and I was just a child.

But, times have really changed. 12+ ounces is considered "heavy" today across the board.

Bhagi Katbamna
08-23-2007, 01:12 PM
I started playing in the wood racket era. There was a significant improvement when rackets went from wood to graphite. There has not been as much improvement when they've gone from graphite to adding other materials(boron, ceramic, titanium, magnesium etc...). For the average player though, a modern racket will allow them to hit the ball harder(not necessarily play better). But, for people getting older(like me) it is awful hard on the shoulder to keep headspeed on serves up when using something like the PS 6.0 for 2-3 sets of singles. That's why I switched recently to a Fischer with some lead to make it around 11.2 ounces.

OrangeOne
08-23-2007, 03:04 PM
See where most of these opinions are wrong, including yours? if your need is of locomotion, marketing will satisfy you with a pair of wheels. on the other hand, you will not get satisfied on locomotion when you buy a Lexus. you satify your needs regarding social status, luxury, or whatever is on your mind.

I find it odd, very odd, that you make this distinction the way you have. Many people (most, even) buy a Lexus to drive it, because they actually need locomotion, as you put it. Had you have said Ferrari, I'd have perhaps ceded your point, but Lexus's are bought to be driven as transport.

So... these people need locomotion. A good Camry would no doubt get these people from A to B, the higher-end Camrys actually share a large amount of their drivetrain with Lexus anyways. So someone has told them they want a Lexus. Marketing has been structured so that people perceive Lexus to be a higher quality good, it's how they've been marketed from minute 1. I'd bet that some Lexus's are made in the same factory as Toyotas, but the perceived brand-image is much higher. Sure, some of this is due to a different product, but some of it is simply due to the 'badge'. Toyota could have simply developed an uber-luxury version of the Camry, but no, they realised more money was to be made with significant differentiation. Such differentiation is not all product-based, and should certainly represent higher revenues, higher ROI. Thank-you marketing.

In your case, when you buy a new racquet because of what you stated (, you are satisfying yourself in a diferent need other than power or playability of the frame. i could not tell what it is (would have to make you go thru a survey).

No, you are satisfying a perceived need.

What i mean is that needs are already there.

I disagree, often marketing tells us the need is there. "This new frame is 12% torsionally stronger"... who wanders around thinking "if only my frame was 12% torsionally stronger?". No-one. More so, the constant release of new models, often with negligible improvement, is simply targeted at getting people - otherwise happy with their frames - to update simply because newer must be better. How else do you explain ever-shortening product lifecycles?

Marketeers do not create expactations or need. we Investigate populations, create Products to deliver to their demands (whatever they are), and campaigns to let them know we are selling what they need.


It seriously sounds like you're quoting idealistic-marketing 101. What kid needs a new, fatty burger at McDonalds? What person demands a super-dooper-size cola until it's offered to them? What person doesn't ask for fries when they order a meal, if they didn't actually want fries at the time?

And to answer to Orange, i would love to explain you where you are mislead by comon sense, but since im not a native english speaker i will have to challenge you to read a bit more on Technical Marketing books such as .

???

Yes, it may sound altruistic, but that is just the way we see our jobs and i would risk to say it is like that worldwide.

I'm guessing you're not in the US or Australia or England, right?

Just look at the senior tour. How many are using the old racquets and how many have updated to newer racquets.

Isn't Aaron Krickstein using a PS 6.0 85 on the senior's tour? And the PS 6.0 85 is even older as it came out in 1983.

Cool, a player who wasn't ludicrously successful in his heyday is still using a 24 year old frame on the senior's tour. One player. Great reference there.

Haven't Courier and Sampras, both, errr, slightly more successful than Krickstein, both updated to modern frames as they compete on the senior's tour?

Alafter
08-23-2007, 03:07 PM
It doesn't even have to mean that they thought of something better. As someone stated early on, the racquet companies are for-profit businesses and if they can get you to replace your 2-year-old racquet, whether the "new" racket is actually an improvment or not, they are doing well as a business.

Fair enough. Then the second sentence "they thought is better" should be changed to "when introducing something new it is possibly either for the reason of improvement or the reason of better marketability".

But I still stand by my first sentence.

drfredc
08-23-2007, 03:18 PM
As far as the stiff, large-headed, light racquets with poly "revolutionizing" the game, keep in mind the consequences of revolutions. They're not always good.

Concurance -- Large headed is wrong headed for most any power player (light headed or not). Off center hits on hot shots rarely go in. However, they may work fine for seniors and the ocassional rec player.

In my experience, today's top end lighter racquets have allowed me to be playing my best tennis ever. If me playing my best tennis ever is a bad thing for tennis, well, that's tough nookies... Deal with it...

Yesterday's heavier racquets basically blew out my shoulder bursa while serving about 20 years ago. I figured I never be able to return to form until I picked up some new lighter power sticks.

BreakPoint
08-23-2007, 03:40 PM
Cool, a player who wasn't ludicrously successful in his heyday is still using a 24 year old frame on the senior's tour. One player. Great reference there.

Haven't Courier and Sampras, both, errr, slightly more successful than Krickstein, both updated to modern frames as they compete on the senior's tour?
Krickstein was ranked #6 in the world. I'd say he was indeed "ludicrously successful" as a tennis player. How many of the hundreds of millions of people that have ever played tennis have ever become the 6th best tennis player in the world? If you were the 6th best lawyer, doctor, engineer, basketball player, carpenter, teacher, etc. in the world, wouldn't you be called "ludicrously successful"?

And if Courier and Sampras are so much better than Krickstein then why did they feel the need to upgrade their racquets in order to compete with Krickstein on the same level on the seniors tour? :confused: You would think that since both Courier and Sampras were so much more talented and so much more "ludicrously successful" than Krickstein that they should be able to use a wood racquet and destroy Krickstein. Yet, they felt they needed something bigger and more powerful to compete with him. Hmmm.... And they're also both much younger than Krickstein is.

OrangeOne
08-23-2007, 04:09 PM
Krickstein was ranked #6 in the world. I'd say he was indeed "ludicrously successful" as a tennis player.

You'd honestly pick apart anything I say, wouldn't you? You could say something completely wrong, 1 + 1 = 3, I could comment, and you'd still argue it from first principles.

For the record, I threw the ludicrously in there as an extreme adjective, to differentiate from those who are indeed successful (lets say those who make a living), very successful (top 100), etc etc. I'm not saying these are in any way concrete, but I specifically threw that in for that reason, and yet you still pick away.

How many of the hundreds of millions of people that have ever played tennis have ever become the 6th best tennis player in the world? If you were the 6th best lawyer, doctor, engineer, basketball player, carpenter, teacher, etc. in the world, wouldn't you be called "ludicrously successful"?Yeah, sure. In global terms, any pro is ludicrously successful. But let's get some context shall we TwistPoint? Ohhh - and what was our context - the Pro Tour. As the pro tour goes, he was very successful, but he probably wouldn't feature in a top-50 list of the last 30 years, let alone be referred to by anyone as extremely / ludicrously / amazingly successful. The dude spent 1 less-than-a-year stint in the lower-half of the top-10, he's not going to be immortalised as an Agassi-Sampras-Borg-McEnroe-Connors-Laver-Lendl level player, is he?

OR: Should we now include him in GOAT discussions?

And if Courier and Sampras are so much better than Krickstein then why did they feel the need to upgrade their racquets in order to compete with Krickstein on the same level on the seniors tour? :confused: You're honestly running with this aren't you? You're implying there that Courier and Sampras aren't so much better than Krickstein. You'd go to any length to try and disagree with me.

You would think that since both Courier and Sampras were so much more talented and so much more "ludicrously successful" than Krickstein that they should be able to use a wood racquet and destroy Krickstein. Yet, they felt they needed something bigger and more powerful to compete with him. Hmmm.... Yeah, that was their thoughts. Sure. "I need to compete with Krickstein, quick, grab me something with loads of power, bring on a Pure Drive Roddick". Yeah. Except maybe, just maybe (like the rest of the tennis world outside of certain people on these boards), they tried a few racquets, and picked the racquet that allowed them to play their best tennis, and it happened to be a new, more modern frame. Just like most pros on the main tour, they're using frames that aren't 20+ years old.

And they're also both much younger than Krickstein is.Much? Much younger? 3 and 4 years younger, almost to the day, to Courier and Sampras respectively. Given that tennis players tend to peak for a 5-ish year period somewhere in their 20s (give or take), 3-4 years isn't much in tennis terms, nor is it even 'much' in life terms. Gee - that 31 year old woman is dating a younger man, he's 28. Gee that 31 year old woman is dating a much younger man, he's 21!.

Originally Posted by LES http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=1687775#post1687775)
Just look at the senior tour. How many are using the old racquets and how many have updated to newer racquets.
Anyways - you quoted one guy. ONE guy, who is still using a classic frame on the senior's tour. Sampras isn't, Courier isn't, Becker isn't, etc etc... The question was asked as above, is the answer 1? :)

BreakPoint
08-23-2007, 05:12 PM
Yeah, sure. In global terms, any pro is ludicrously successful. But let's get some context shall we TwistPoint? Ohhh - and what was our context - the Pro Tour. As the pro tour goes, he was very successful, but he probably wouldn't feature in a top-50 list of the last 30 years, let alone be referred to by anyone as extremely / ludicrously / amazingly successful. The dude spent 1 less-than-a-year stint in the lower-half of the top-10, he's not going to be immortalised as an Agassi-Sampras-Borg-McEnroe-Connors-Laver-Lendl level player, is he?

There are thousands of touring pros. Ask any of them if getting to #6 in the world in one's pro career is "ludicrously successful"? James Blake got to #4 last year and all we've been hearing recently is how "ludicrously successful" he's been. And who said your definition of "ludicrous" is the same as everyone else's? Gee...I'd bet you weren't even playing tennis when Krickstein was at his prime, so what do you know?

OR: Should we now include him in GOAT discussions?

So who's the one that's "twisting"? :roll:

OrangeOne
08-23-2007, 05:37 PM
Gee...I'd bet you weren't even playing tennis when Krickstein was at his prime, so what do you know?

As usual, you're wrong.

Being completely wrong in the process of trying to be pathetically patronising - sad, really.

BreakPoint
08-23-2007, 05:45 PM
As usual, you're wrong.

Being completely wrong in the process of trying to be pathetically patronising - sad, really.
Oh yeah? Krickstein turned pro in 1983. When did you start playing tennis? And what was Krickstein's biggest claim to fame? And what racquet was he using when he had this distinction?

Alafter
08-23-2007, 06:08 PM
.....


I like topspin monkeys.


.....


That is all.

OrangeOne
08-23-2007, 06:12 PM
Oh yeah? Krickstein turned pro in 1983. When did you start playing tennis? And what was Krickstein's biggest claim to fame? And what racquet was he using when he had this distinction?

Now you're getting desperate / slightly strange / AND, for the record, you're twisting again.

Originally Posted by BreakPoint http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=1688384#post1688384)
Gee...I'd bet you weren't even playing tennis when Krickstein was at his prime, so what do you know?

Can you not help yourself? Worried you might have been wrong, so you decided to eek out the best part of a decade, given he was 'at his prime' around 7+ years after he started playing pro.

Either way, whichever way you twist, I was playing tennis. BreakPoint is wrong, yet again.

Arafel
08-23-2007, 06:12 PM
Oh yeah? Krickstein turned pro in 1983. When did you start playing tennis? And what was Krickstein's biggest claim to fame? And what racquet was he using when he had this distinction?

Oh, I know, I know :) er, at least what his biggest claim to fame is and what racquet he was using at the time.

But then I always had a crush on Aaron, and I remember seeing him at the 83 US Open. I've even got his autograph on the program I saved from that tournament.

Now back to your regularly scheduled argument ;)

J011yroger
08-23-2007, 06:15 PM
Oh yeah? Krickstein turned pro in 1983. When did you start playing tennis? And what was Krickstein's biggest claim to fame? And what racquet was he using when he had this distinction?

I am a 25 year old punk kid. Born in 82, started playing in 86 (Horray for two hands on both sides), gives me 4 years of tennis playing before AK's prime. Biggest claim to fame was being the youngest to win an ATP singles match. Played the Wilson Ultra.

I am pretty sure OO is older than me.

I am not at all sure what on earth this has to do with the topic at hand.

J

BreakPoint
08-23-2007, 06:17 PM
Can you not help yourself? Worried you might have been wrong, so you decided to eek out the best part of a decade, given he was 'at his prime' around 7+ years after he started playing pro.

Wrong! He made the Top 10 in 1984 so he was in his prime just one year after he turned pro.

OrangeOne
08-23-2007, 06:18 PM
I am a 25 year old punk kid. Born in 82, started playing in 86 (Horray for two hands on both sides), gives me 4 years of tennis playing before AK's prime. Biggest claim to fame was being the youngest to win an ATP singles match. Played the Wilson Ultra.

I am pretty sure OO is older than me.

I am not at all sure what on earth this has to do with the topic at hand.

:grin:.

Oh - and you're right, I am older than you. In fact, my age has been in my profile since the day I joined TTW, which makes this discussion even more bizarre....

OrangeOne
Age:
31

OrangeOne
08-23-2007, 06:24 PM
Wrong! He made the Top 20 in 1984 so he was in his prime just one year after he turned pro.

This is getting seriously funny, in a sad, warped kinda way. You're soooo desperate to score any point at all, you're even shifting goals.

I chose to pick his "main prime", the period in which he spend over 6 months in the top 10, reaching the peak of number 6.

Either way, your pathetic, patronising assumption on which you were trying to claim some kind of tennis-ascendency over me was that I wasn't playing when Krickstein was in his prime. I was playing in 83. I was playing in 84. I was also playing in 90. TwistPoint want to TwistTheGoals out of this one any further?

BreakPoint
08-23-2007, 06:25 PM
Biggest claim to fame was being the youngest to win an ATP singles match. Played the Wilson Ultra.

He was also the youngest to win a Grand Prix tournament, the youngest to rank in the Top 20, and the youngest to reach the 4th round at the US Open. Any of those answers would have sufficed.

BTW, you're right about the Ultra.

BreakPoint
08-23-2007, 06:30 PM
I chose to pick his "main prime", the period in which he spend over 6 months in the top 10, reaching the peak of number 6.

What do you mean his "main prime"? He spent a year in the Top 20 between '84-'85, with almost half that time in the Top 10. I would consider that "prime".

mucat
08-23-2007, 06:44 PM
I think Sampras said he hit better with modern racket? Is this the OP's question? The bottom line, today's rackets allow more pace, more spin, has bigger sweetspot, wide range of flexibility and balance to choose from. And cheaper to manufacture and more affordable price.

OrangeOne
08-23-2007, 06:48 PM
What do you mean his "main prime"? He spent a year in the Top 20 between '84-'85, with almost half that time in the Top 10. I would consider that "prime".

And on it goes, and on it goes....until someone says "This is ridiculous", or perhaps until BreakPoint says "gee, sorry OrangeOne, I was wrong, you have been indeed playing tennis across the career of Krickstein, and it was also wrong of me to have patronised you like that".

Given the lack of likelihood of the latter, I'm choosing to be someone. This is ridiculous.

OrangeOne
08-23-2007, 06:51 PM
I think Sampras said he hit better with modern racket? Is this the OP's question? The bottom line, today's rackets allow more pace, more spin, has bigger sweetspot, wide range of flexibility and balance to choose from. And cheaper to manufacture and more affordable price.

Weehee, some on topic. I couldn't agree more mucat, I couldn't agree more. I just wish they didn't feel the need to have such short product-cycle times, that we could buy the same frame for 4-5 years, I think that'd be optimal.

Steve H.
08-23-2007, 07:09 PM
And on it goes, and on it goes....until someone says "This is ridiculous"Yah, 220 posts -- and we've covered communism, marketing, and Aaron Krickstein, not to mention topspin monkeys. What CAN happen next? Bedtime.

Gorecki
08-24-2007, 12:33 AM
I find it odd, very odd, that you make this distinction the way you have. Many people (most, even) buy a Lexus to drive it, because they actually need locomotion, as you put it. Had you have said Ferrari, I'd have perhaps ceded your point, but Lexus's are bought to be driven as transport.?

So is a Ferrari. but just not that. See the point why i didnt want to go and explain you. you are messing up completly diferent concepts and i just lack the english to put it into clear sentences. (yes, you guessed... i'm not american or Australian ou English but i dont see that as a diference apart from the language). No one buys a lexus to transport Period. they buy it for other needs. ask any marketing professional that you might know in the future. or read anything about it for that matter. for locomotion you buy the cheapest of transport means. always. it is a law of bussiness science. iseven as a name of it's own "least expensive product to satisfy the most needs" (this is a free translation of portuguese. i dont know what it is named by americans or Aussies)

So...(text) ...Thank-you marketing.

Called segmentation and is a matter of fact. it matches what i just said previously. i dont see where you and i disagree. a camry satisfies your need of locomotion. it is a segment. you pay for it a price. a lexus satisfies a need of comfort or luxury. it is a different segment. you pay another price.
i dont have the need of luxury. that is why i have a cheap car. i doesnt mean anything else

I disagree, often marketing tells us the need is thee. "This new frame is 12% torsionally stronger"... who wanders around thinking "if only my frame was 12% torsionally stronger?".

That is the mistake that common sense makes. of course you dont think that. but you do think: "if only my frame was a tidy bit stronger or twist a little less? we say: "here it is: 12% more of what you wanted?"
see my point. we survey what you need. you said i need a litle more strenght against torsion. we develop that and we present you with that. do you think that any big company launches a new product without the competent market survey? no way... not in a million years.

B]How else do you explain ever-shortening product lifecycles?[/B]

Technical development could be one. consummer behavior, higher life standards, .... a dozen of facts aside from your idea of "greedy enterprises taking on your money with deviant marketing mischieves"

It seriously sounds like you're quoting idealistic-marketing 101. What kid needs a new, fatty burger at McDonalds? What person demands a super-dooper-size cola until it's offered to them? What person doesn't ask for fries when they order a meal, if they didn't actually want fries at the time?
I would have to be more aware of marketing surveys and thesis on food industry to explain that.

I'm guessing you're not in the US or Australia or England, right?
Your a Absolutely right, I am proudly Portuguese, Eurocentric to the bone...
Is this an issue?

But to sumarize, it all boils down to ask you: please read a litle more on marketing and a litlle less on conspyracy theory. we at marketing dept's do not spend our days thinkig in malevolent ways to ripp off your money. have in mind that we are people just like you, with the same expectations, values, hopes and fears.

Ps: The book could be
Basic Marketing Management, 2E
Autor: Douglas J. Darymple (Indiana Univ.) ; Leonard J. P
Editora: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0471353922

Adjani Jacildo
08-24-2007, 04:32 AM
Today's rackets really are better man. You can hit with more speed and spin with less time. As for the marketing, well, that's a good thing. It means we know what's out there and what options we have. Just because some people are weak and impulsive doesn't make the marketing a bad thing. All these companies can do is influence people, but they can't really "make" you do or buy anything. Take responsibility for your own actions!

____
08-24-2007, 04:35 AM
20 years ago,no one would belive now most of the racquets are made in China

keithchircop
08-24-2007, 05:27 AM
Read all 225+ posts. Here's what I have to say to no-one in particular:

1) Stating "this kind of racquet is better than that" is idiotic. It depends on what you like. First use both a light racquet and a heavy racquet then decide which you like best. The racquet you'll choose is the one you like best not the best one in the world for everyone.

2) Stop listening blindly to other people who tell you which racquets to like. Agreeing with someone just because he has "twenty years of experience" playing or coaching or whatever means that you don't have brains of your own. You can listen, yes, but not agree simply because he's older so automatically knows everything. If you're so insecure that you have to follow whatever an elder says, how about you take some lessons instead of listening to people on TW you never met and will never meet, who claim to have all this experience? Take some lessons, if you think the coach sucks, get another one. In real life you can discover if a coach sucks or not, regardless of his reputation. Everybody can be somebody on a message board.

3) Believing that a company will produce a new line of racquets only when they discover better technology is stupid. The CEOs of these companies aren't Gandhi. Consumers won't be enticed to change racquets often if you don't provide them with new models, new technology. Players changing racquets means more income. Not manufacturing new (possibly worse) models every so often means less income. Does this look like a hard decision for a profit-based firm?

superstition
08-24-2007, 05:47 AM
Stating "this kind of racquet is better than that" is idiotic. It depends on what you like. First use both a light racquet and a heavy racquet then decide which you like best. The racquet you'll choose is the one you like best not the best one in the world for everyone.
This is an oversimplification. Clearly, a Pure Drive is more appropriate for a pro to use today than a standard wood. So, one could say a Pure Drive is a "better" racquet for competitive pro-level use. This is because other players are using such racquets, making a standard wood unviable. If the situation were to change with racquet reform (such as: minimum wood percentage, maximum stiffness, smaller maximum head size), then the standard wood would be "better", or more appropriate, because the Pure Drive wouldn't be legal and no one would be using them.

There's also the vital issue of injury, something that recreational players here often blithely ignore because they're not the ones whose bodies are being beaten up by synthetics (courts, racquets, strings) day in and day out, and they're not the ones who have to make a living at tennis. Injury due to the stiffness and increased ball speed of current equipment/courts is a very big drawback.

There's also the issue of balance. Right now, tennis is unbalanced. It favors topspin from the baseline too much. Even tennis video games have reflected that for years ("Topspin"). Topspin lovers and people who are young and haven't experienced anything else myopically argue that today's unbalanced game is superior. It's not. Balance is superior. Balance makes tennis more exciting because of contrasting styles. People loved watching serve and volley players like McEnroe and Navratilova go against baseliners like Borg and Evert. Now, we have male two serve and volley players, both of whom are like 7 feet tall (Isner, Karlovic), which shows you have to be a genetic anomaly to play that style today. There are no female players any more. Lisa Raymond's singles days are basically over. Players like Hingis' ex can do some impressive volleying, but they aren't going to win slams. Tennis, where all styles of play are equally viable, is better tennis. It's better for players, because there's more opportunity for people who aren't naturally inclined to play topspin from the baseline and it's better for fans because it makes the sport more interesting and exciting. I've proposed the following reforms to address the balance and injury issues:

1. 80 sq in max head size for male pro racquets. Max 55 stiffness.
2. 90 sq in max head size for female pro racquets. Max 50 stiffness.
3. No more hard courts for pro tournaments.
4. At least 50% of tennis season to be on grass and indoor carpet.
5. US Open would return to grass. Australian Open would move to fast clay. 50/50 grass/clay slam split.

The racquet reforms would reduce shock, reduce ball speed, and make passing shots less easy to hit (balancing them when compared to volleys). As women's bodies are more sensitive to shock and produce less power than men, the stiffness is lower and the frame size is larger. The larger size also makes them more viable in mixed doubles. Say goodbye to wrist injuries with 50 stiffness racquets. As men can produce too much power with a 90 sq in racquet, the racquet head has shrunk to 80.

The court surface reforms would make it so that a clay courter would be able to win 50% of the slams, and a grass courter would be able to win 50%. This would be more fair to a player like Nadal. Currently, Federer has an advantage because only one slam is on clay. This would make players who prefer fast surfaces equal to players who prefer slow surfaces. The removal of hard court would greatly reduce back and other joint injuries related to them.

mucat
08-24-2007, 08:47 AM
Weehee, some on topic. I couldn't agree more mucat, I couldn't agree more. I just wish they didn't feel the need to have such short product-cycle times, that we could buy the same frame for 4-5 years, I think that'd be optimal.

Ha, it is not a bad thing. Previous generation model sell for much much lower price. I just cannot see myself buying the newest model anymore. Moreover, 9 out of 10 times the new technology are market hypes, so different generations of the same model usually hit the same eventhough it might feel a little different and you might have to adjust the tension.

LES
08-24-2007, 12:01 PM
Another reasons why racquets are better now than 20 years ago is that there are a lot of choices. Many weight variations, stiffness, swingweight, etc... As well as choices in strings

But this can get confusing to new players.

Alafter
08-24-2007, 02:50 PM
This is an oversimplification. Clearly, a Pure Drive is more appropriate for a pro to use today than a standard wood. So, one could say a Pure Drive is a "better" racquet for competitive pro-level use. This is because other players are using such racquets, making a standard wood unviable. If the situation were to change with racquet reform (such as: minimum wood percentage, maximum stiffness, smaller maximum head size), then the standard wood would be "better", or more appropriate, because the Pure Drive wouldn't be legal and no one would be using them.

There's also the vital issue of injury, something that recreational players here often blithely ignore because they're not the ones whose bodies are being beaten up by synthetics (courts, racquets, strings) day in and day out, and they're not the ones who have to make a living at tennis. Injury due to the stiffness and increased ball speed of current equipment/courts is a very big drawback.

There's also the issue of balance. Right now, tennis is unbalanced. It favors topspin from the baseline too much. Even tennis video games have reflected that for years ("Topspin"). Topspin lovers and people who are young and haven't experienced anything else myopically argue that today's unbalanced game is superior. It's not. Balance is superior. Balance makes tennis more exciting because of contrasting styles. People loved watching serve and volley players like McEnroe and Navratilova go against baseliners like Borg and Evert. Now, we have male two serve and volley players, both of whom are like 7 feet tall (Isner, Karlovic), which shows you have to be a genetic anomaly to play that style today. There are no female players any more. Lisa Raymond's singles days are basically over. Players like Hingis' ex can do some impressive volleying, but they aren't going to win slams. Tennis, where all styles of play are equally viable, is better tennis. It's better for players, because there's more opportunity for people who aren't naturally inclined to play topspin from the baseline and it's better for fans because it makes the sport more interesting and exciting. I've proposed the following reforms to address the balance and injury issues:

1. 80 sq in max head size for male pro racquets. Max 55 stiffness.
2. 90 sq in max head size for female pro racquets. Max 50 stiffness.
3. No more hard courts for pro tournaments.
4. At least 50% of tennis season to be on grass and indoor carpet.
5. US Open would return to grass. Australian Open would move to fast clay. 50/50 grass/clay slam split.

The racquet reforms would reduce shock, reduce ball speed, and make passing shots less easy to hit (balancing them when compared to volleys). As women's bodies are more sensitive to shock and produce less power than men, the stiffness is lower and the frame size is larger. The larger size also makes them more viable in mixed doubles. Say goodbye to wrist injuries with 50 stiffness racquets. As men can produce too much power with a 90 sq in racquet, the racquet head has shrunk to 80.

The court surface reforms would make it so that a clay courter would be able to win 50% of the slams, and a grass courter would be able to win 50%. This would be more fair to a player like Nadal. Currently, Federer has an advantage because only one slam is on clay. This would make players who prefer fast surfaces equal to players who prefer slow surfaces. The removal of hard court would greatly reduce back and other joint injuries related to them.

If this is your preference, no question asked. Definitely I can respect someone's opinion.

But, you wouldnt be trying to post your opinion as "the way it should be" or "the right way it should be", right?

I think wouldnt it be better to take today's game as an evolution-as just a period in time of this great game? I am sure when tennis first became a game, serve and volley wasnt really what it was meant to be-maybe just like what we have now, S&V was an evolution, a period in time that has past.

We just have to watch where the game is going. How, when the rules stay the same, people take the game to a different dimension. Who knows what the next stage of tennis game would be, right?

We should just go with the flow....

LES
08-24-2007, 04:27 PM
If this is your preference, no question asked. Definitely I can respect someone's opinion.

But, you wouldnt be trying to post your opinion as "the way it should be" or "the right way it should be", right?

I think wouldnt it be better to take today's game as an evolution-as just a period in time of this great game? I am sure when tennis first became a game, serve and volley wasnt really what it was meant to be-maybe just like what we have now, S&V was an evolution, a period in time that has past.

We just have to watch where the game is going. How, when the rules stay the same, people take the game to a different dimension. Who knows what the next stage of tennis game would be, right?

We should just go with the flow....

Nice post. I totally agree and I'm 38, started playing when I was 15

superstition
08-25-2007, 01:10 PM
If this is your preference, no question asked....But, you wouldnt be trying to post your opinion as "the way it should be" or "the right way it should be", right?
It's my opinion that food poisoned with arsenic is not a good idea to eat. Similarly, it's my opinion that concrete courts are less safe than grass and that stiff racquets are less safe than soft racquets. It's my opinion that the human body is organic and hasn't "evolved", because of changes in tennis equipment, to be stiff and synthetic and thus immune to things like racquet shock and joint stress from concrete. It's also my opinion that a sport where more players have the chance to succeed, where diversity is maximized, is going to be more popular than a sport that's monotonous/homogenized because one style of shot and one style of play is too dominant. It's my opinion that a sport is better off when its competitors aren't injured frequently.

Whether or not these are opinions isn't particularly important. Whether or not they're good opinions, based on logic and evidence, is.
I think wouldnt it be better to take today's game as an evolution-as just a period in time of this great game?
This is "neither here nor there". If people suddenly start eating arsenic laced food and mass depopulation occurs, should we just smile and note that it's an "evolution", a "period of time in this great human history"?

We just have to watch where the game is going. How, when the rules stay the same, people take the game to a different dimension. Who knows what the next stage of tennis game would be, right?
Why should the court dimensions and rules be static but the equipment and court surfaces change? Is it because of the myopic belief that profits for racquet companies is the only thing that matters? Is it because of the misguided belief that tournaments are too poor to afford grass courts?

bizzle
08-25-2007, 01:34 PM
the michael chang longbody is still amazing.

Alafter
08-25-2007, 06:09 PM
It's my opinion that food poisoned with arsenic is not a good idea to eat. Similarly, it's my opinion that concrete courts are less safe than grass and that stiff racquets are less safe than soft racquets. It's my opinion that the human body is organic and hasn't "evolved", because of changes in tennis equipment, to be stiff and synthetic and thus immune to things like racquet shock and joint stress from concrete. It's also my opinion that a sport where more players have the chance to succeed, where diversity is maximized, is going to be more popular than a sport that's monotonous/homogenized because one style of shot and one style of play is too dominant. It's my opinion that a sport is better off when its competitors aren't injured frequently.

Whether or not these are opinions isn't particularly important. Whether or not they're good opinions, based on logic and evidence, is.

This is "neither here nor there". If people suddenly start eating arsenic laced food and mass depopulation occurs, should we just smile and note that it's an "evolution", a "period of time in this great human history"?


Why should the court dimensions and rules be static but the equipment and court surfaces change? Is it because of the myopic belief that profits for racquet companies is the only thing that matters? Is it because of the misguided belief that tournaments are too poor to afford grass courts?

I'd rather not respond to this one. It's just..too much. But...taking current tennis and drawing a comparison with eating arsenic lead and mass depopulation...whoa.

superstition
08-25-2007, 06:32 PM
I'd rather not respond to this one.
But...taking current tennis and drawing a comparison with eating arsenic lead and mass depopulation...whoa.
I could have used any number of examples. The point is that whether or not this is opinion isn't as important as the value of the opinion. Not all opinions are equal. For instance:

It's Sam's opinion that the moon is made of green cheese. It's Rita's opinion that the moon is made of rock.

It's my opinion that hard courts are not necessary for professional tennis and it's my opinion that they are not as safe to play on as grass, indoor carpet, and clay. Therefore, it's my opinion that hard courts should be phased out and replaced with softer surfaces that are more compatible with the human body.

The safety angle of this correlates with my arsenic example. It's unsafe to eat contaminated food, and yet some people argue that ingesting toxic substances is a good idea. Smoking and other drug use is an example. The pleasent feeling of alcohol intoxication is the brain suffocating. It's my opinion that suffocation, no matter how pleasant, isn't a good idea. It's also my opinion that forcing pro tennis players to play on concrete, no matter how seemingly cheap and convenient it is, isn't a good idea.

alcap26
08-25-2007, 06:49 PM
I have been using a Head Flexpoint Rad Tour for the past year and a half. I demoed the POG mid this week versus the head o3 white, Speedport Black, and Speed port Tour and not one of them can come close to the stability, feel, and comfort of the POG in an unaltered state. The pog is a heavy racquet and is a bit stressing on my shoulder but the feel of the groundstrokes is amazing. It just has amuch more solid feel.

bossass
08-25-2007, 08:03 PM
And what happened to all of those American K2 workers when they moved production to China?

I'm not saying I agree with taking production overseas, I'm saying that the assumption that chinese made product are somehow inferior to products produced here or Europe is false. Obviously there's varying degrees of quality, but there best is better than our best in alot of cases.

I'm all for USA made products, as long as they are produced as well or better than foreign made ones. Based on that logic, I won't be buying a ford or chevy anytime soon.

vsbabolat
08-25-2007, 08:22 PM
And what happened to all of those American K2 workers when they moved production to China?

Here is a article about K2 shutting down the U.S. factory.


K2 closes Vashon ski plant
Sporting-goods maker will fire 190, ship jobs to China

Friday, July 20, 2001



By MARNI LEFF AND GORDY HOLT
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTERS

After more than three decades as Vashon Island's biggest source of manufacturing jobs, K2 Corp. will end ski production there, fire 190 employees and ship its production work to China.

"We fought the move out of the U.S. for years," Wayne Merck, executive vice president of K2 Inc., said yesterday. "What triggered the move was competitive pressure."

The sporting-goods manufacturer is an institution on the island. But with a worldwide reputation for its sleek, high-performance skis, the K2 brand is also a Northwest icon, remembered for its connections to celebrity skiers such as Jean-Claude Killy and Yakima's Mahre twins.

After the job cuts are complete in September, the company will have 250 employees left on Vashon Island, a dramatic decline from the 750 who worked at the facility when employment at the plant peaked in 1999.

By outsourcing production, Merck said, the company will be able to compete more effectively in the fast-growing European ski market.

But hearing that another piece of K2 is leaving the island -- the company laid off about 200 workers in late 1999 when it moved half of its ski manufacturing operation to China and outsourced snowboard production -- was a disappointment for some who live on the island.




Phil Spencer, 38, a lifetime Vashon resident, recalled the late 1960s and early 1970s when K2 skis first hit the European ski racing circuit, the World Cup and the Winter Olympic Games.

"We'd watch for K2 skis on TV," Spencer said. "We knew who glued the top and who put on the edges. We knew who sanded the bottoms. We knew who did what for which racer."

But the cost of producing skis on Vashon Island, and in the United States as a whole, is much higher than making them in other countries.

"While K2 skis represent the heritage of the brand, over time the group has reported low operating results," Richard Rodstein, president and chief executive of K2 Inc., the Los Angeles-based parent company of Vashon's K2 Corp., told investors during a conference call yesterday. "The root cause has been high production costs relative to the competition."

The company hopes to save as much as $7 million a year with the move.

Rodstein also said that the company will shut down additional smaller production facilities in Minnesota and Alabama that make products for other subsidiary companies in the K2 Inc. group.

K2 Inc., which changed its name from Anthony Industries, acquired the Vashon operation in 1985 for $7 million and over time invested millions in growing the local company's production capacity.

The growth led to more jobs on Vashon Island over the years. But even though the work force will shrink considerably with the latest round of cuts, K2 will likely retain its distinction as the largest private employer on Vashon Island, which has 10,123 residents.


"Every time something like this happens it takes a little bit of the heart out of this rock," says Bettie Edwards about the downsizing and removal of K2 Skis from Vashon Island. Edwards has owned and operated the The Little Store in Vashon for nine years. Renee C. Byer / Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Click for larger photo
Over lunch at the Stray Dog, two downtown businesswomen who asked not to be named, said they doubted a K2 cutbacks would register more than a jiggle on anyone's bottom line.

"There could be an effect for some depending on who leaves," said one. "But it won't put anyone out of business."

Ron Turner, president of the Vashon-Maury Island Chamber of Commerce, disagreed.

"Certainly the grocery stores and all retail will feel it," he said, adding that he thought in time the businesses would recover. "It gets tougher and tougher all the time to have employment on this island."

Most of the business conducted on Vashon Island, Turner said, happens at tiny companies.

When the Chamber of Commerce compiled data last summer for a directory of businesses on the Island, he said, they cataloged about 500 companies.

"The vast majority of our businesses are cottage type industries," Turner said. "We don't have a lot of big, big employers."

Turner and other island residents said that what's most important is that a significant piece of K2 won't move.

K2's marketing, sales, engineering and research and development teams that work on the company's skis, snowboards, bikes and inline skates will still be based on Vashon Island. The company will consolidate its operations into the 200,000 square foot plant that it owns on Vashon and will not renew the lease that is set to expire on its 17,000-square-foot office building.

And a few thousand skis, a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands that roll off K2 production lines each year, will still be made in Vashon, including racing skis and test models.

"Our company is committed to the Puget Sound business community and we have every intent to remain in this area," said K2's Merck.

The fact that K2 was able to remain in the United States as long as it did, one industry expert said, was a sign of loyalty to the community.

Ski companies have been exporting production for years, said David Ingemie, president of the SnowSports Industries America, a McLean, Va., trade association.

"Skis are made by hand," he said. "The average ski might be 30 pieces and each piece has to be put together one piece at a time. It's very labor intensive and so the cost of labor has a big impact on the cost of making skis."

In the 1950s and 1960s as many as half of the skis sold in the United States were made here, Ingemie estimated. Now, he said, it could be as low as 2 or 3 percent.

Ingemie said that as far as he knows just two U.S. ski and snowboard makers continue to make all of their products here: Evolution Ski and Snowboard Co. and Volant Sports.

Stephan Hienzsch, vice president of sales and marketing for Volant, which is based in the Denver suburbs, said that it's tough for his 100-person company to compete.

"I think the reality it that we're finding it a challenge to keep up," Hienzsch said. "We are recognized as a premium brand and that is one of the reasons that we can afford to manufacture here. We cater to the premium end of the market and are not competing at the really low package price points."

As rumors of the company's cutbacks circulated around the island yesterday, many residents took the news in stride.

Rose Cecchini, a partner in a downtown sports-apparel shop, said that the island is less dependent on K2 today than it was when the Kirschner brothers first set the ski world on fire with their innovative idea: plastic skis.

"Thirty years ago this would have hurt," she said. "Vashon Island is not so dependent any more."

She noted the arrival of independently wealthy dot-com entrepreneurs and K2's habit of hiring its workers who live off the island. She recalled the big white school bus K2 uses to carry these imports back and forth to the Southworth ferry dock.

Still, the chamber's Turner said that K2 has given Vashon Island a lot more than jobs over the years.

"There's a real sense of pride that Vashon had in K2 and their products," he said. "I think for a lot of people, just like me, it kind of hurts their feelings that the work is going someplace else, but, at the same time, we understand the economics: if you can get the work done cheaper, then you go someplace else."




K2 in 2004 bought Volkl Ski. Volkl has a very good reputation for it's skis made in Straubing, Germany. I wonder if K2 will shut down the Volkl factory in Straubing and outscorce to China in the future.

K2 BUYS VOLKL/MARKER GROUP 19 June 2004


K2 set to become biggest ski manufacturer
In what could be a massive development for the snowsports industry, K2, the biggest ski maker in the United States, has announced it is buying the Volkl/Marker Group, as well as purchasing Marmot, which makes outdoor/ski clothing, for a total of just over $300 million.

K2 is growing as the number of companies making ski-equipment is decreasing. After the purchases, K2 will get 20 percent of its sales in Europe, up from 15 percent, and its annual ski production will almost triple to 720,000 pairs from 250,000, the company said.

It will become the biggest ski manufacturer in the world, ahead of Adidas Salomon.

"We will start shoving ourselves around instead of being shoved around," Chief Executive Richard Heckmann said during a conference call with analysts and investors. "Once consolidation starts, you can't put the genie back in the bottle."

Buying Volkl and Marker will help K2 compete with European rivals Rossignol and Adidas-Salomon, Heckmann said.

Background information
Volkl, established in Germany in 1889, is a leading global manufacturer of premium skis with an average retail price point above $500, and is the number 1 ski in the US in dollar terms, while K2 is the number 1 ski in the US in units. Volkl has a highly automated manufacturing facility in Straubing, Germany, which K2 intends to maintain.

Marker, founded in 1952, is a worldwide market leader in ski bindings, with an estimated market share in excess of 40% in the US Marker has leveraged the strength of the Marker brand and technology to partner with ski manufacturers, including Volkl and K2, to sell integrated ski and binding systems. This partnership has enabled Volkl to establish itself as the leader in the US in ski system sales, growing from an estimated 3% of the US market in the 2000-2001 season to 43% in the 2003-2004 season.

vsbabolat
08-25-2007, 09:15 PM
K2 Jarden Corporation also owns a many of other sporting good companies including Rawlings.
http://www.k2inc.net/brands/default.asp

superstition
08-26-2007, 05:49 PM
I'm not saying I agree with taking production overseas, I'm saying that the assumption that chinese made product are somehow inferior to products produced here.
China has poor regulation which has led to things like:

1. Melamine plastic in pet food. Mass recalls and pet sickness.
2. Lead in children's toys. Mass recalls.
3. Extreme pollution of air and water.
4. Poor worker conditions.
5. Artificially low manufacturing costs, costs that can't be environmentally sustained over the long-term.
6. Toxic chemicals in human food exported from China.
7. Prostaff 85s that feel hollow and unstable.

Obviously there's varying degrees of quality, but there best is better than our best in alot of cases.
Such as?

I'm all for USA made products, as long as they are produced as well or better than foreign made ones. Based on that logic, I won't be buying a ford or chevy anytime soon.
Japanese products and Chinese products have different reputations.

vakhas
08-30-2007, 08:54 AM
I don't think the racquets today are any better then the ones older ones. I still use the Pro Staff 6.0 95. I started using it in high school back in '95. Since then I've played with plenty of other racquets, but to me...it's still the best. Nothing else has come close. Speaking of which, I'm looking for a new one. Does anyone know where I can find a new one or if Wilson plans on producing more?

hyrulemaster
08-30-2007, 02:11 PM
jyi. yo t-w be orderin dat SMU frum Wilson n dey expect dat shnaz to arrive in october. i b waitin on line for that stick 2. yo i be on dat isssh all day.

BreakPoint
08-30-2007, 02:27 PM
jyi. yo t-w be orderin dat SMU frum Wilson n dey expect dat shnaz to arrive in october. i b waitin on line for that stick 2. yo i be on dat isssh all day.
So which obscure Eastern European language is that? :confused:

hyrulemaster
08-30-2007, 03:53 PM
yo u tryna antagonize me brake? but jyi dis be belarusian :D

dante
09-11-2007, 12:05 AM
Not necessarily China. It is got to do with trade globalisation. Some countries that have cheaper labor rates are now slowly beginning to take away China's manufacturing market shares. Perhaps in future some African countries would be manufacturing those tennis rackets we would be using.

Earlier rackets are manufactured in countries that have long tennis/tennis equipments manufacturing tradition, such as Belgium, France, England, Austria, Japan, etc. I believe that tradition makes great difference in the production of tennis rackets. When it comes to table tennis, China knows the game and the manufacturing of its equipments well. If I want to purchase a table tennis bat, China's products are fine with me. But when it comes to tennis, what does China knows about tennis the game and its equipments?

One other thing that bothers me much is, why do not those racket manufacturers figure out ways to make better quality grommets? It is not like they can make lots of money out of selling replacement grommet sets.

BreakPoint
09-11-2007, 12:17 AM
But when it comes to tennis, what does China knows about tennis the game and its equipments?

But why does China need to know about playing tennis to manufacture the racquets? They don't design the racquets (not yet anyway) they just manufacture them based upon the designs and specs given to them by the racquet companies.

Alafter
09-11-2007, 12:55 AM
It's all about Qiang Li racquets.

dante
09-12-2007, 01:01 AM
But why does China need to know about playing tennis to manufacture the racquets? They don't design the racquets (not yet anyway) they just manufacture them based upon the designs and specs given to them by the racquet companies.

The fact that you mentioned, I know. It goes back to the tradition that I mentioned, let me try to explain even though I am not good with words.

1. Take a tennis shop as example. Does it matter whether the shop owner and its operators know tennis well? Yes, it does make a difference. Not only would their hands on knowledge gives them critical judgment in choosing quality products, but they also learn, and willing to learn how to really take good care of them. A sense of taste is what follows their hands-on knowledge. Then, these tennis shops, such as TW, owing to their respective power over the entire market, along with the community they cultivate, set trends. Good taste not necessarily will prevail though. Suppose most tennis shops value profit way over the love of the game, the major trend will move toward decadence. Of course the major trend setters are the manufacturers and their marketing teams. But our topic here is the relation between knowledge of the game and the quality of the game products.

2. Take the table tennis bat's example that I previously used. China is strong in that game and many people play it in that country. It is something that they are familiar with and take pride in. I guess, if a prestigious table tennis bat name brand introduced a new flag ship table tennis bat that sucks, most probably they would get instant waves of negative reviews from country wide. There is a sense of sensitivity there. But when it comes to tennis rackets, to them most probably they are no difference than paper plates or toy cars that they produce for Walmart.

3. What is the difference between the making of a violin and a tennis racket? They both are just the process of mixing up of materials and turning into usable instruments, right? Certain violins made by great master long ago can produce unsurpassed sound quality, and they last, though very expensive and mostly used by expert musicians. There is something called art. The same goes to tennis players who are very much into various kind of customization of their sticks, even though many others will find them fanatic. Again the same goes to food, some people are satisfied with McDonald Burger, but some others would be very choosy about materials, cooking process, decoration, and stuff. It is all a matter of taste. What lies behind taste is accumulated knowledge and a fervent pursuit. Supposedly, a tennis racket is the extension of our arm. Say if i lost one of my arm and need to get an artificial one. How can I expect to get one that would allow me to get the feel like the real from a company that solely utilize machine to design and manufacture the product? Certainly quality control is another key here. If China produced foods and toys that screwed up, we can scientifically test and figure them out. But when it comes to tennis rackets, we can only rely on our taste, abstract as it may sound. In tennis, skill matters too in evaluating a tennis racket. I think Babolat rackets are mere toys. But then the Pros use them? Because they are really skillful. They are willing to sacrifice a little for extra income, since their skills can easily make up for it anyway. This is an example of decadence. One previous poster mentioned about something like we should let nature takes its course, progress will come naturally blah blah. I can only disagree. Long ago human lacks advanced technology, but at least they live in a less polluted earth and were in no fear of various threats such as nuclear bombs that could destroy everything just like that. What kind of progress is that? The same goes to tennis rackets. We are all going down. Sorry I kind of off topic because I get sleepy since it is late now. Please ignore those that are irrelevant to your question.

Mick
09-15-2007, 05:40 PM
Today I played with an Adidas Lendl GTX Mid racquet, a racquet from the mid 80s. Surprisingly, it didn't feel that much different than a K95.

woodmo
09-16-2007, 05:43 AM
As if someone who only started playing tennis in the graphite era knows how long wood racquets lasted. Don't you remember those pics of pros like Laver coming onto the court with an armful of like 10-15 racquets? Why did they need so many for one match, especially when those wood racquets had super dense 18x20 string patterns in a tiny 65 sq. in. head and they didn't hit the ball nearly as hard nor as with as much spin as they do today? It was as much for the wood racquets cracking as for the strings breaking because they both happened about as often. Wood racquets cost $25 in the '70's and people bought them by the dozen because they broke so easily.


Were you actually playing tennis in the 70's? My guess is that you were not. I was, and several of your assertions are untrue. First of all, people didn't buy wood racquets by the dozens because generally because they couldn't afford to. They also cost more than $25. The other reason they didn't buy dozens of racquets is because they didn't need to. They didn't break unless you slammed them on the ground. These were solid wood racquets. Sure there were occasional cracked racquets, but not nearly like you are making them out to be. To state that they only lasted 2 months is ridiculous. You make it sound like people changed racquets then like they change strings now, and that is just false.

BreakPoint
09-16-2007, 11:46 AM
Were you actually playing tennis in the 70's? My guess is that you were not. I was, and several of your assertions are untrue. First of all, people didn't buy wood racquets by the dozens because generally because they couldn't afford to. They also cost more than $25. The other reason they didn't buy dozens of racquets is because they didn't need to. They didn't break unless you slammed them on the ground. These were solid wood racquets. Sure there were occasional cracked racquets, but not nearly like you are making them out to be. To state that they only lasted 2 months is ridiculous. You make it sound like people changed racquets then like they change strings now, and that is just false.
Yes, I was playing tennis in the '70's. And how often you cracked a racquet depended on how good of a player you are and how hard you hit the ball. Don't you remember seeing pros like Laver walk onto the court with an armful of like a dozen wood racquets for a single match? That wasn't just for string breakage. It was also for frame breakage. The frames also went soft very fast because you are causing microscopic cracks in the wood every time you hit the ball hard. That's why you needed to replace your frames regularly. It's the same with graphite racquets but graphite racquets last much longer before they need to be replaced.

And, yes, I bought plenty of Dunlop Maxply Forts and Wilson Jack Kramer Autographs for about $25 on sale in the '70's. And wouldn't how many racquets you can afford to buy depend on how much money you have? How can you make a statement like people couldn't afford to buy a dozen wood racquets? There are people on this board that own several hundred $200 graphite racquets.

BounceHitBounceHit
09-16-2007, 12:36 PM
I used to love the Dunlop Maxply Forts, but they did flex out pretty quickly, and were prone to crack. ;) CC

BreakPoint
09-16-2007, 12:40 PM
I used to love the Dunlop Maxply Forts, but they did flex out pretty quickly, and were prone to crack. ;) CC
Yes, the Maxply Fort was my main racquet from the mid-70's to 1987 and I went through lots and lots of them over those years.