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View Full Version : "Tennis" magazine's Gear Guide is a laugher!


Colpo
03-08-2005, 11:03 AM
Why do I even look forward to this issue anymore? The guy running the equipment-review ship over there (James Martin? - it's probably an anagram to protect the innocent) writes and describes in the kind of general terms that only a future lobbyist for the tennis equipment industry could appreciate. Whatever happened to all the lousy racquets and shoes one used to see around? Now, every new piece of gear always has some positive aspects to it, and the negatives are the kind of thing I could have told you going in (really, there's vibration on shots off the upper third of the hoop?!)

There are probably a dozen TW posters who could lap this guy with real, critical commentary that you can use, rather than JM's generic blather.

What really made my head spin was his half-page sidebar on the popularity of the Babolat Pure Drive, after the racquet reviews. Read it for yourselves. While he points out correctly that Bab signing up an unknown Roddick in 1999 was huge, he attributes the PD's fine power and control combination to the Woofer's trampoline effect! Sorry, but trampoline doesn't equal good ball control, or maybe I missed that email. Maybe the PD has good ball control despite the trampoline, but it's clearly not a typo: he's just throwing it out there 'cause it sounds so nice and neatly-wrapped.

Give Tracy Leonard his job back!

Bora
03-08-2005, 11:23 AM
Considering the racquet companies are the biggest advertisers in the same mag, you can't write something negative without ******* them off. So, buyer or reader beware!

Z-Man
03-08-2005, 11:36 AM
I thought the same thing when I read about the Pure Drive's trampoline effect increasing control. I also got a chuckle reading about the flexpoint radical and how great the new technology was. This is all BS designed to please the advertisers. Sadly, without the advertisers, there would be no magazine.

Think about this the next time a stock broker tries to sell you the stock of a company that is a client of the commercial banking side of the brokerage.

Glad we can still come to this discussion board for honest feedback on tennis gear...

Jet Rink
03-08-2005, 11:50 AM
Considering the racquet companies are the biggest advertisers in the same mag, you can't write something negative without ******* them off. So, buyer or reader beware!

Indeed. This would be a most wise approach. Most folks have no idea the influence advertisers have on publishing, broadcasting, etc.

Jet

Cruzer
03-08-2005, 11:55 AM
The so-called "Gear Guide" is nothing more than a multipage advertisement for the equipment companies whom, as correctly pointed out above, spend thousands of dollars each month promoting their products in the same magazine. Tennis magazine is never going to say that a particular racquet is only good for hitting tennis balls for your dog to chase or a particular shoe has less support than a pair of thongs. The Tennis mag sales manager would likely throttle anyone deriding his customers' products.

Colpo
03-08-2005, 12:00 PM
Bora, I agree but only to an extent. Tennis and World Tennis magazines back in the 1980s and 1990s also had their bread buttered by equipment maker adverts, but you still got a steady dose of critical reviews to balance out the reviews of the stuff that actually did well. Head, Prince and Wilson have always made good frames, but they can't all be good in every substantive respect. Granted, there are fewer equipment makers now, so some might say only the fittest have survived, but gimme a break. J.M. loves everything (is he even a real person? I never heard of this guy! What are his credentials?).

Z-man makes a good point: J.M. never, ever debunks any new "technology" as junk science, and he never comments on what this year's new model says about last year's now-dated technology. Do we really need a new technology every single year?

Two old review examples come to mind: Tennis's Tracy Leonard gushing over the Kneissl White Star Lendl Pro, when that company had zero advertising budget and Tennis had little to gain by his great review, and the World Tennis panel just ripping a pair of Volkl banana-colored behemoths (13 oz.+ World Cup series) in the mid-80s, advertising be damned. You just don't see those highs and lows in the reviews anymore ... it's just so much mush.

moosryan
03-08-2005, 12:02 PM
the weights on the shoes were really strange tooo...the new accelereates were listed at like 13 oz

colababy
03-08-2005, 01:13 PM
What about the racquets that are "editor's choice"?...are those real opinions or are they the highest bidder?

USCfan
03-08-2005, 02:15 PM
When did you guys get the new Tennis mag?

Kaptain Karl
03-08-2005, 02:40 PM
The Gear Guide issue is just a catalog. Winter is "catalog season." Ho-hum....

- KK

TommyGun
03-08-2005, 02:54 PM
You know its mostly fluff because Mr. Martin still says the nCode series has "silicone oxide" in it. If it did it would squish and be about a flex of 1. The actual material is Silicon dioxide, or SiO2. I pointed that out to Wilson right after they put out the initial marketing and they almost crapped! What an incredible amount of money spent. They fixed it where they could, but Mr. Martin clearly has no real technical ability.

mido
03-08-2005, 03:55 PM
When did you guys get the new Tennis mag?
It arrived about end of Feb. It comes free by mail to USTA members (my son).

christo
03-08-2005, 04:02 PM
You know its mostly fluff because Mr. Martin still says the nCode series has "silicone oxide" in it. If it did it would squish and be about a flex of 1. The actual material is Silicon dioxide, or SiO2. I pointed that out to Wilson right after they put out the initial marketing and they almost crapped! What an incredible amount of money spent. They fixed it where they could, but Mr. Martin clearly has no real technical ability.
If a racquet weighs 10-11 ozs. how much "silicon oxide" is really in it ? Probably about as much as a pound of air, hot, preferably!

TommyGun
03-08-2005, 05:00 PM
Actually, just enough to make the "pores" smaller.

In materials engineering the game is to fill the voids, or pores, as much as possible. But you are right, there ain't a ton in there.

Nor will it really change the overall playability much.

t-gun

mongo
03-10-2005, 06:48 PM
What really gripes me is the pigeon holing that goes on. Why put an NTR rating on frames? Tour wanna bes, Betty bunts! BS! It makes no sense and probably precludes some people from trying a demo because a writer and a group of unknown play testers who might not be able to hit their way out of wet paper bag with an axe puts their spin on who should be using a particular racquet. Leave that to the teaching pros and retailers who do this everyday for a living. Let the readership decide if they want to try a stick. In fact, just publish a list of racquets with their ACTUAL specs and leave it at that.

OnyxZ28
03-10-2005, 08:38 PM
Isn't silicon dioxide ... Glass?

AndrewD
03-11-2005, 02:53 AM
Guys, its not just Tennis Magazine that puts out that 'infomerrcial' rubbish. Our Australian Tennis Magazine, an otherwise quite good read is reduced to absolute drivel the minute they publish anything like a racquet, shoe or string guide. Written by the guys who own the big tennis pro shops here in Oz they're all so afraid of offending anyone they make every product out to be as good as the next.
I have a vague memory of the old Tennis mag and Tennis World being a lot more upfront about the quality of products, even ripping into a few that they thought were sub-par. Guess those days are long gone and Tennis Magazine does only seem a shadow of its former self. About the only thing I could agree with them on, in the last few 'racquet reviews' was the all-around playability of the Dunlop 300G. Not my frame of choice but I still think its one of the best in the last five or six years.

TommyGun
03-11-2005, 04:07 AM
Onyx,

Close, Silicon dioxide is known as silica, which is one of the components in glass. The most common glass, window and bottlle is known as soda-lime-silica glass.

6-0 6-0
03-11-2005, 04:18 AM
Don't bite the hand that feeds you.