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Jack & Coke
03-26-2008, 09:47 AM
Anyone here ever hit with this old racquet?

http://thumbnail.image.rakuten.co.jp/@0_mall/tennis-c/cabinet/six/c07110034c.jpg



A Racquet With Precision in Mind

By BARBARA LLOYD
Published: June 20, 1992

PRO KENNEX INC. of San Diego has designed an asymmetrical tennis racquet whose lopsided shape is designed to make it easier to hit a ball precisely.

The opposite sides of the racquet's head frame vary in thickness. Although the differences are small -- measured in millimeters -- Pro Kennex said that the racquet, the Asymmetric, makes a big difference in play.

The racquet, which became available in sporting goods stores this spring, is in the wide-body, thick-frame style that was introduced in 1987 and became popular among recreational players because of the power it can add to a tennis swing.

But wide-body technology is not without its faults. Racquets made in that style tend to sacrifice precision for power, while conventional racquets, made with narrower frames, tend to result in a higher level of accuracy. The Asymmetric is designed to bridge the gap between the two styles.

"With the same effort, the average player could hit the ball deeper into the court," Kevin L. Gilbert, the vice president of sales and marketing for Pro Kennex, said recently about wide-body technology. "But more power was not necessarily better for more accomplished players. For them, precision is more important."

Two years ago, Pro Kennex, which is a subsidiary of Kunnan Inc. of Taiwan, decided to develop a wide-body racquet that better tennis players -- touring and teaching professionals -- would consider using.
Most professional players shun wide-body racquets, which tend to send a ball off their strings as if bounced off a trampoline. Top players prefer to use updated versions of the more traditional narrow racquet, referred to in the industry as the flat-beam racquet.

Much of the loss in precision and accuracy that occurs with a wide-body racquet is caused by vibrations in the frame and string area when a ball is hit. Most top racquet makers claim to have designed some sort of vibration-reduction system in their wide-body racquets.

The thickness of the Pro Kennex racquet head varies from 22 millimeters on one side to 30 millimeters on the other. The thick and thin sections are tapered and alternate along the head in quadrants.

The company said that, when a ball hits the racquet's surface, the quadrants respond with opposing frequencies that cancel out the resonance in the strings. The hitting surface is more stable than with other racquets, Mr. Gilbert said.

The Asymmetric is designed with a rounded shaft and is made in one piece, mostly of graphite.

Mr. Gilbert recommended the Asymmetric for competition-level players. The same technology is planned for a Pro Kennex racquet designed for intermediate to advanced players, expected to be available next spring. The suggested retail price for the Asymmetric is $250.

source: nytimes.com (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CEEDB153BF933A15755C0A9649582 60)



Did this actually work?

Or is this another one of those goofy bs "technologies"?

anirut
03-26-2008, 10:30 AM
I see current PK's of this shape in stores here. Not of the PJ, but the shape. There are so many models and some are pretty cheap too. I was thinking about getting one just for the heck of it.

They are all light-weight and most of them (if not all) are HH, may be around 2-4 pts unstrung.

The head shape is actually more of a circular elipse, not so much an elipse as seen in the pic (as due to camera angle).

Goofy tech or not I don't know ... have never tried them.

NLBwell
03-26-2008, 11:11 AM
My son had one I bought him at a second-hand store. Different version of asymmetric, pretty much all dark red if I remember. However, I hit with it and thought it was an excellent racket.

Ethan04
03-26-2008, 12:09 PM
Played with them several years back, extensively. Play similar to Babolat Pure Drive. Stiff and powerful. But, lack of touch. Great for powerful baseline game, but no good for volley or double specialists. If your technique is bad, you may feel some elbow pain after play.

Jack & Coke
03-26-2008, 12:18 PM
Is it really lopsided? (asymmetrical)

Can you describe the unique feature in more detail?

007
03-26-2008, 12:21 PM
when holding it the widest (thickest) sections of the beam are at 10:00 and 4:00.....or @ 2:00 and 8:00 if you spin frame 180 degrees in-hand

Soundog
03-26-2008, 09:21 PM
I still have a few of them - red and black in colour. They're great - but like all rackets, are good for specific things. The early models were meticulously engineered with sponge strip inlays in the pallet between the bevels. They were a bit more flexy and heavier while the later models were lighter and stiffer without the sponge strips. They are highly polarised and are weighted similarly to the current K90 with weight concentrations in the head and a lead wedge in the butt cap. The head size is reportedly 100 inches and are very similar in shape to the Babolat PD family. Since they pre-date babolats, it's hard not to think that Babolat copied the design, but they feel nothing like Babolats.

Pros :

They are a baseline basher's dream. Extremely stiff, solid, and powerful with good spin. Precision is very good when hitting hard, but they are not known for their finesse. Angles are good because of spin capability. They are fantastic volleying rackets - probably equal best mid or mid plus I have tried along with the RD7. (The best volleying rackets are conventionals - try them sometime ). Flat bombs are incredible. If I practised against a wall with them, I could break a ball or two within the 1/2 hour.

Cons :

The solidity is a two edged sword. Like the early Babolat Aero's there is not a lot of feel. They isolate you from the shock of the ball so although precision is good, soft finesse shots and drop shots are difficult to feel and I was never confident hitting them. The level of polarisation is not comfortable to me and the lack of weight in the throat felt a bit funny until I removed the lead in the butt. The racket plays differently according to which way you hold it. More spin is gained when the thin beam side is up.

I ended up lengthening mine to 27.75 inches which was an improvement in power and spin, but ultimately abandoned them because of the lack of feel. I occasionally take them out for a hit and am always amazed at the effortless power and spin. Mine are strung in full matchpro ( stiff poly ) because anything else causes balls to rocket off into orbit.

Steve Huff
03-28-2008, 05:45 PM
They have a couple of models. The red one is the cheaper version. It is also stiffer, yet less stable. I have one. I have a couple of the blue with gold graphics models too. It's the easiest on the arm racket ever made in my opinion (also, in the opinion of the PK customer service rep I called once), and that includes the 5g. It's extremely flexible. You can get a lot of spin (probably due to the flex in the frame), but it's not very powerful. If you have tennis elbow, it's the one to try. It would say Asymmetric 265 on it. What that means, I have no idea.

Soundog
03-29-2008, 03:10 AM
Actually, the green and yellow version was the cheapest here. It had a fibreglass component in the material mix whereas the red was supposedly full graphite. I've never seen a blue one. The green one was definitely softer, more comfortable and lower powered.

The bit about asymmetry cancelling out resonance in the strings couldn't have worked too well because one of my frames used to buzz a bit without a dampener.

FuzzyDunlop
10-06-2008, 11:18 AM
I have the red/black one and it served me extremely well. Got it on sale, but it was still the most expensive racquet I had ever bought - worth every penny and was perfect for me (love to volley).

Back when I was in my late 20s, I strung it at 67 lbs and was probably a 4.5-5.0 player.

After a 12-year hiatus from the game, I got it restrung at 67, but the love definitely isn't there anymore, for now :( Will probably try some different tension/strings (taking suggestions), but would also like to see where technology is after 15 years.

Ironically, when I played a lot, I didn't really get into the technical/equipment aspect of things (no money and no Internet back then).

Was wondering if anybody loves what they moved to after the Asymmetric? The racquet still does not seem heavy to me, even at 12.3 oz, 8 points HL. I think I would miss that solid feeling, but alas I'm not twenty anymore.

TIA

*Gooch*
10-07-2008, 03:32 AM
Here in Oz I bought a ProKennex Assymetric. It is white and black and weighs 265 grams.
I thought it was a solid racket when I was developing as a player, but now that I am that much better it was too light.
I have always thought about leading it up quite heavily to about 310 gs and seeing how it hits.

ADar601278
10-28-2008, 12:42 AM
I have the red/black one and it served me extremely well. Got it on sale, but it was still the most expensive racquet I had ever bought - worth every penny and was perfect for me (love to volley).

Back when I was in my late 20s, I strung it at 67 lbs and was probably a 4.5-5.0 player.

After a 12-year hiatus from the game, I got it restrung at 67, but the love definitely isn't there anymore, for now :( Will probably try some different tension/strings (taking suggestions), but would also like to see where technology is after 15 years.

Ironically, when I played a lot, I didn't really get into the technical/equipment aspect of things (no money and no Internet back then).

Was wondering if anybody loves what they moved to after the Asymmetric? The racquet still does not seem heavy to me, even at 12.3 oz, 8 points HL. I think I would miss that solid feeling, but alas I'm not twenty anymore.

TIA

Hey Mate, You got any pics of them ??

FuzzyDunlop
10-29-2008, 09:41 AM
I don't (at the moment), and I haven't been granted attachment privileges. What are you interested in seeing?