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View Full Version : Whats your favourite racket technology?


mTm28
08-23-2009, 12:44 PM
I know alot of them are "gimmiky" but whats your favourite? i quite like the aero technolgy from babolat.

iscottius
08-23-2009, 12:46 PM
woofer.....

stevewcosta
08-23-2009, 12:49 PM
I know alot of them are "gimmiky" but whats your favourite? i quite like the aero technolgy from babolat.

Graphite. Wish racquets were still made w/it rather than plastic.

Superspin_AT
08-23-2009, 12:55 PM
d30 from Head!

mTm28
08-23-2009, 01:02 PM
d30 from Head!

Can you actually feel it working? Or is it just the same on all shots?

THESEXPISTOL
08-23-2009, 01:05 PM
Microgel and nCode.

mTm28
08-23-2009, 01:07 PM
Also what's the most stupid and pointless technology?

iscottius
08-23-2009, 01:09 PM
Also what's the most stupid and pointless technology?

everything other than woofer.

mTm28
08-23-2009, 01:11 PM
everything other than woofer.

You sure do love your WOOFER! lol :)

iscottius
08-23-2009, 01:33 PM
You sure do love your WOOFER! lol :)

yeah, there are very few "technologies" that actually work see below:

woofer
cortex
kinetic
volkl sensor handle
o holes/speedports
poly strings

all actually work

99% of all materials added to frames intellifibers/liquid metal/d30/ncode/kfactor etc are all marketing--doesn't mean they are bad racquets, they tech is just bs

El Diablo
08-23-2009, 01:55 PM
The woofer has stood the test of time, I think. Babolat had a real concept, taking much of the flex out of the shaft and putting it in the stringbed, and much of what came after (O-ports, rollers, teflon grommets, power holes) has been an attempt by other manufacturers to circumvent the patent and do the same thing.

iscottius
08-23-2009, 01:57 PM
The woofer has stood the test of time, I think. Babolat had a real concept, taking much of the flex out of the shaft and putting it in the stringbed, and much of what came after (O-ports, rollers, teflon grommets, power holes) has been an attempt by other manufacturers to circumvent the patent and do the same thing.

agreed......

ckledzepplin
08-23-2009, 01:58 PM
Wilson PWS

Bigtime
08-23-2009, 02:04 PM
In general, marketing is quite often just a glitzy way of being lied to.

Just look at some of the buzz words/phrases we are bombarded with every day:
"May help support better tennis shots up to 75% or more.":?

dincuss
08-23-2009, 02:15 PM
CAPs
10char

Rysty
08-23-2009, 02:42 PM
Yonex: isometric head and ips weighting system at 3 & 9.

Wilson: PWS.

Head: CAP grommets, they protect the frame.

All other "technologies" are for marketing purposes only.

a-naik.1
08-23-2009, 02:43 PM
Can you actually feel it working? Or is it just the same on all shots?

Surprisingly, you can tell when the Youtek technology is working it a lot stiffer when going for your forehands and what not and it flexes a bit when hitting finesse shots. I enjoy it.

Xtreme
08-23-2009, 02:54 PM
the idea of d30 sounds cool but i like the aerogel stuff

Steve Huff
08-23-2009, 03:21 PM
Pro Kennex kinetic system works.
Prince O ports works.
Babolat's woofer system is kind of a throw back to power pads in my opinion, but the way they drill their holes seems to work better than the traditional method of drilling at a 90 degree angle from the frame.

T1000
08-23-2009, 04:42 PM
microgel..

droliver
08-23-2009, 04:49 PM
PWS/lead tape (the undisputed heavyweight champion of raquet tech)
Braided graphite
Tournagrip
VS Gut
Polyurethane strings

Hidious
08-23-2009, 05:11 PM
Polyurethane strings
Are those common? Where can i find a pack?

Fed Kennedy
08-23-2009, 05:18 PM
natural gut

Steve Huff
08-23-2009, 09:00 PM
Yes, I forgot about the synthetic grip. The 1st ones I remember that came out in the late 70's were called Qoro grips. The felt like velvet. Not to tacky by today's standards, but felt good back then.

PurelyPwnedDrive
08-23-2009, 09:32 PM
Woofer is probably my favorite.
Speedports also help the speed of a racquet a lot. You can even feel like you swing faster with speedports. Everything else is pretty much bs...

whereisz
08-23-2009, 09:56 PM
pog's cross bar!!!!

Deuce
08-23-2009, 10:02 PM
The woofer has stood the test of time, I think. Babolat had a real concept, taking much of the flex out of the shaft and putting it in the stringbed, and much of what came after (O-ports, rollers, teflon grommets, power holes) has been an attempt by other manufacturers to circumvent the patent and do the same thing.
^ Teflon tubing was around long before the 'Woofer' thing...

LPShanet
08-23-2009, 10:06 PM
High modulus graphite. It's what every racquet on the market is made with. Fantastic stuff, which is why it's the only material used structurally in tennis racquets for the last 20-25 years.

Deuce
08-23-2009, 10:10 PM
High modulus graphite. It's what every racquet on the market is made with. Fantastic stuff, which is why it's the only material used structurally in tennis racquets for the last 20-25 years.
Nah...
Graphite ain't what it used to be.
In spite of the fancy marketing names they have for graphite today, today's graphite is of lower quality than that of 20, 25 years ago.

anirut
08-24-2009, 12:18 AM
For me: graphite + wood -- the combination -- like PK Golden Ace, PK Core series, Head Vilas, and others of similar graphite+wood construction.

LPShanet
08-24-2009, 12:20 AM
Nah...
Graphite ain't what it used to be.
In spite of the fancy marketing names they have for graphite today, today's graphite is of lower quality than that of 20, 25 years ago.

That's not the point. It's still graphite. And graphite as a category is the best technology ever to hit the tennis market. It's also the ONLY significant technology to hit the tennis market, at least in the Open Era, aside from changes in size.

(NB: The graphite of today is essentially the same stuff of 20-25 years ago. What has changed is the tolerances in production of the racquets it's used in, and cost/weight savings in the designs.)

Deuce
08-24-2009, 12:52 AM
That's not the point. It's still graphite. And graphite as a category is the best technology ever to hit the tennis market. It's also the ONLY significant technology to hit the tennis market, at least in the Open Era, aside from changes in size.
^ I think it very much is the point - because the sub-standard graphite in today's racquets results in the crappy, no feel frames of today.
And that, to me, cancels out most - if not all - of the benefits that early graphite had on racquets.

(NB: The graphite of today is essentially the same stuff of 20-25 years ago. What has changed is the tolerances in production of the racquets it's used in, and cost/weight savings in the designs.)
^ Based on what I've heard and read, that's not true.
And what I've heard and read is that the aerospace industry (essentially NASA and airplane manufacturers) are getting today's high quality graphite, while other industries (like the racquet industry) have to settle for the leftovers... resulting in today's crappy, no feel frames, etc...

BreakPoint
08-24-2009, 01:04 AM
PWS/lead tape (the undisputed heavyweight
Agreed. PWS is about the only "technology" that actually makes a difference.

LPShanet
08-24-2009, 01:33 AM
^ I think it very much is the point - because the sub-standard graphite in today's racquets results in the crappy, no feel frames of today.
And that, to me, cancels out most - if not all - of the benefits that early graphite had on racquets.



Well, the thread is about what our favorite racquet technology is, not whether graphite has gotten worse. Since graphite is the only racquet technology, it has to be both the best and worst:) Unless you're suggesting we go back to wood due to the subpar graphite, then graphite is still the fave racquet technology. If you prefer, we can specify "good" graphite or "old" graphite.

LPShanet
08-24-2009, 02:02 AM
^
^ Based on what I've heard and read, that's not true.
And what I've heard and read is that the aerospace industry (essentially NASA and airplane manufacturers) are getting today's high quality graphite, while other industries (like the racquet industry) have to settle for the leftovers... resulting in today's crappy, no feel frames, etc...

That's not quite right. Or at least a major oversimplification. There are two errors made in your interpretation. The first is about how the graphite market works. Aerospace companies are indeed among the primary users of (and highest payers for) graphite ...as well as various other materials such as titanium. But the materials companies make whatever grades companies want and are willing to pay for. So there's no such thing as a shortage in the outright sense. They make as much as there is demand for. There is a HUGE variety of types, formats and brands available to today's racquet manufacturers, and most of the factors that affect quality are determined not in the raw graphite material (which is just carbon), but in how it's used in the tubes and rods that are eventually used. Depending on which stage of manufacture the racquet company becomes involved with the materials (it varies by company to some small extent), the greater factors in frame quality are construction and design, rather than carbon itself.

What the article(s) you're referring to may have been referencing is the fact that most frames are now made by a few OEMs in China, and in order to maximize profits, they (NOT the racquet companies, per se) often cut many corners. This can happen at the graphite sourcing stage, and it is possible that some OEMs buy surplus graphite to save additional money, but more often happens with respect to the already formed materials, and in terms of production standards. When most people refer to "quality" or to something being "crappy", they are talking about quality control. This affects consistency, breakage and related factors. And the single greatest factor in tennis racquet quality control today is money. Manufacturers are given a choice of tolerance levels by the OEMs, and the choice made is based on what cost per piece the racquet company is willing to pay. The choice of how "crappy" to be is one of cost, and is an elective decision, not one forced on anyone by the aerospace industry or the availability of graphite. Unlike USDA Prime beef, there isn't a finite amount of graphite that can be created. And any use of surplus materials is a choice made by the OEM as a cost saving measure. If the specs the manufacturer gives the OEM are specific in terms of material, then those are the materials used.

The second apparent misunderstanding you've taken on is that the "quality" of the graphite is what is causing frames to feel the way they do today.
However, rather than being quality-driven, I have the sense that your definition of "crappy" refers more to the "feel" of the frames, which has almost nothing to do with actual quality, in the way the term is used in manufacturing. Quality in manufacturing is purely a matter of consistency. Frames that "play poorly" and have "poor feel" are the product of changes in design, not changes in the quality of graphite. You could use the "best" graphite on the planet, but if you're putting it in the same exact layup, and processing it using the same mold, you're going to get a racquet that feels almost exactly like any other using that layup and mold. It's kind of like gasoline octane in consumer cars: there may be a difference in theory, but you can't feel it in practical use...and other factors affect performance in a MUCH more notable way that's often confused with what you think you're feeling. Your standard consumer family sedan won't go any faster with a two point jump in octane, and your tennis racquet won't feel any different with a tighter tolerance grade of carbon.

It sounds to me like your real issue is with the direction in which racquet design and its effects on manufacturing have gone. In the quest to make frames lighter over the last decade or more, the way they are engineered has changed. With the advent of the power game, and the desire to imitate the pro game they see on TV, many players don't care as much about feel as they used to, so the market doesn't really demand that characteristic as much as it did previously. The market has essentially demanded lightness and power over (or at the expense of) feel. Further, the tennis consumer market has been very resistant to price increases. That's why frames cost about the same today as they did 20 years ago, even though they would be way more expensive if they had kept up with the standard price increases in most consumer goods. And to keep the prices so low, manufacturers went exclusively to offshore OEMs and allowed their manufacturing tolerances to broaden. Those factors are what is changing the way racquets feel, not the notion that you can't get good graphite any more. There may be less physical graphite in the average frame, in an effort to make it lighter or cheaper, but the quality isn't a significant factor.

Superspin_AT
08-24-2009, 04:03 AM
d30 is cool but 100% Graphite is much better!

Lefty78
08-24-2009, 04:30 AM
Yonex: isometric head and ips weighting system at 3 & 9.

Wilson: PWS.

Head: CAP grommets, they protect the frame.

All other "technologies" are for marketing purposes only.

As several others have said, ProKennex Kinetic system is no gimmick. It really works.

Gorecki
08-24-2009, 04:38 AM
you guys are making a big mess with confusing concepts here... but that is just me...

Lefty78
08-24-2009, 04:41 AM
Nah...
Graphite ain't what it used to be.
In spite of the fancy marketing names they have for graphite today, today's graphite is of lower quality than that of 20, 25 years ago.

High-end graphite's are better than ever, noticeably improved from 20-25 years ago. That said, pretty much all modern tennis frames are made with the cheap stuff... unless you want to shell out some dough for Bosworth racquets. They are using the very highest quality Japanese graphite money can buy. This stuff is not commercially available to just anyone either, but Mr. Bosworth has great connections. Back to the point though, most modern graphite is barely fit for pencils.

fantom
08-24-2009, 04:58 AM
Graphite for racquets

Poly for strings

NicoMK
08-24-2009, 05:30 AM
Hi,

Slightly of-topic, but thanks LPShanet for posting great explanations about graphite and other stuff. :) Highly interesting to me.

As for me, I really like the Fischer Vacuum technic, in addition to the graphite-ceramics construction they use in their (older, I have to say) frames. They make the racquets so coool to play with...

Cheers !

tennismonster
08-24-2009, 06:05 AM
^ Teflon tubing was around long before the 'Woofer' thing...

He's talking about the teflon coated grommets on all the new YT racquets

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/ractechpage.html?PCODE=HYTSP

dman72
08-24-2009, 06:21 AM
The Dunlop ISIS and Head Noshox handle systems do what they claim to do..reduce shock to the arm.

morten
08-24-2009, 06:33 AM
braided graphite

Kemitak
08-24-2009, 10:10 AM
Laminated wood.

Fedace
08-24-2009, 10:14 AM
AGREE that Ncode and Microgel were the REAL stuff and it worked especially for the Amateur players.
but i think we should give some time to YOUTEK material. i really think this material is the best out of all of them. It feels a little in the beginning so it is taking longer to catch on.......

pham4313
08-24-2009, 01:57 PM
k factor = kevlar + graphite = karophite. Cant get any better than that. Pro Tour series are great too.

NoNameZ
08-24-2009, 02:03 PM
IDS on the PT and Trisys 260's.

Zielmann
08-24-2009, 02:22 PM
Any technology that strictly alters weight distribution/placement in the frame. Like Prince's Triple-Threat weighting (the weight positioning aspect, maybe not the material aspect), and Wilson's PWS. Included in this would be varied head shapes, such as Yonex's distinct shape. These are all good, fully legit techs. To the point that I don't even think they deserve to be called 'technologies' rather than just 'frame design'.

IMO, all 'new' and 'revolutionary' materials being used in racquets now days are bogus. Some might even make sense in theory (like Aerogel), but seriously, do you really think there's enough of that stuff in the frame to make a difference? NO. The switch to graphite is just about the only legit change in frame materials to ever occur.

tennislvr135
08-24-2009, 03:22 PM
Alot of the racket technology is complete BS... But i think GRAPHITE is the best thing that happened to tennis rackets...

tennisdad65
08-24-2009, 04:19 PM
Graphite + 25-75% Fiberglass

Deuce
08-24-2009, 08:36 PM
It sounds to me like your real issue is with the direction in which racquet design and its effects on manufacturing have gone. In the quest to make frames lighter over the last decade or more, the way they are engineered has changed. With the advent of the power game, and the desire to imitate the pro game they see on TV, many players don't care as much about feel as they used to, so the market doesn't really demand that characteristic as much as it did previously. The market has essentially demanded lightness and power over (or at the expense of) feel. Further, the tennis consumer market has been very resistant to price increases. That's why frames cost about the same today as they did 20 years ago, even though they would be way more expensive if they had kept up with the standard price increases in most consumer goods. And to keep the prices so low, manufacturers went exclusively to offshore OEMs and allowed their manufacturing tolerances to broaden. Those factors are what is changing the way racquets feel, not the notion that you can't get good graphite any more. There may be less physical graphite in the average frame, in an effort to make it lighter or cheaper, but the quality isn't a significant factor.
^ I certainly don't need lessons in how financial profit (and greed) plays a huge role here.
Nor do I need a lesson in racquets being of lower quality today because of factors like keeping the cost of manufacture down, and the profit margins up.

And I certainly don't need a lesson about marketing, or about racquet companies having little or no pride in producing quality products today, and that they could not care less that they are producing racquets with a terrible feel, as long as they keep making lots of money.

You wrote a large amount about the quality of the graphite being a non-factor - but, curiously, you neglect to anywhere mention how you came about this supposed knowledge.
I'd like to know.

I am not claiming to know much about the material known as graphite - but what I have heard and read seems to make sense to me - that being that there is less good quality graphite available for tennis racquets today than there was 20 years ago - and that this is part of the reason that today's frames feel like crap compared to those of 20 years ago.
The other reason - quite naturally - is that the racquet manufacturers today simply don't care about producing quality racquets - because they know that they can more than compensate for that with their manipulative and deceptive marketing.

Deuce
08-24-2009, 08:42 PM
High-end graphite's are better than ever, noticeably improved from 20-25 years ago. That said, pretty much all modern tennis frames are made with the cheap stuff... unless you want to shell out some dough for Bosworth racquets. They are using the very highest quality Japanese graphite money can buy. This stuff is not commercially available to just anyone either, but Mr. Bosworth has great connections. Back to the point though, most modern graphite is barely fit for pencils.
^ "High-end graphite's are better than ever, noticeably improved from 20-25 years ago."
High end graphite WHAT is better than 20 - 25 years ago?
If you mean racquets, I hope you're joking.


He's talking about the teflon coated grommets on all the new YT racquets

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/ractechpage.html?PCODE=HYTSP
^ Yes - I am quite aware of that.

I was making the point that the "Teflon coated" grommets on the new Head frames are not in any way a "new technology", as Head of course manipulatively claims - because Teflon tubing has been around for many years.

Tubing does the same job as grommets by the way...

LanEvo
08-24-2009, 09:25 PM
Cortex and Woofer on the Aerostorms, u guys think a new Gt Aerostorm will come out?

LPShanet
08-24-2009, 09:47 PM
k factor = kevlar + graphite = karophite. Cant get any better than that. Pro Tour series are great too.

There are plenty of k factor frames without any kevlar. Karophite is simply one of Wilson's proprietary names for the high modulus graphite they buy and use, not for a hybrid kevlar/graphite material.

LPShanet
08-24-2009, 09:47 PM
Hi,

Slightly of-topic, but thanks LPShanet for posting great explanations about graphite and other stuff. :) Highly interesting to me.

As for me, I really like the Fischer Vacuum technic, in addition to the graphite-ceramics construction they use in their (older, I have to say) frames. They make the racquets so coool to play with...

Cheers !

Glad to help. And apologies to those not interested in the esoterics for my long-windedness.

LPShanet
08-24-2009, 09:50 PM
You wrote a large amount about the quality of the graphite being a non-factor - but, curiously, you neglect to anywhere mention how you came about this supposed knowledge.
I'd like to know.


I came across the info when I was a consultant and worked with two of the major racquet companies over a roughly ten year period. I also was involved with a third such company when I played/coached more seriously.

Birke
08-24-2009, 10:25 PM
Powerbridge technology. It integrates the DNX to the yoke which is already a great add-on to the racket (DNX).

OliverSimon
08-24-2009, 10:39 PM
Also what's the most stupid and pointless technology?

Probably flexpoint

mooimabear
08-25-2009, 07:22 AM
Probably flexpoint

I SECOND THAT!
i didn't really see the point of the flexpoint. the racquets had no feel and it was just an overall bad experience.

morten
08-25-2009, 09:26 AM
the flexpoint tecnology may not have worked, but my prestige fxp mid still played like a dream...

dadozen
08-25-2009, 09:37 AM
Aerogel 4D:twisted:

FuriousYellow
08-25-2009, 09:48 AM
Wilson PWS

2nd.

Also, Prince's Double-Bridge. Great at dampening vibration without taking away the feel.

The_Question
08-25-2009, 10:15 AM
I have used the Prince DB since 1990. Honestly, I can't really tell the difference with or without it (ex. Syngergy 26 & Syngergy DB26).

My vote goes to PK Kinetic, it really does work like wonder...

Lefty78
08-25-2009, 03:56 PM
^ "High-end graphite's are better than ever, noticeably improved from 20-25 years ago."
High end graphite WHAT is better than 20 - 25 years ago?
If you mean racquets, I hope you're joking.


Easy there, smarty pants.

I mean graphite, as in the substance itself, not racquets in particular.

Graphite is generally sold in sheets of woven material, which is then bonded with resin, etc..... The higher end graphite today, to which I was referring, is essentially much finer and denser braiding/weaving, almost down to the molecular level, than was available in the 80's. :twisted:

domhas1
08-27-2009, 06:17 AM
I like the new youtek's d3o tech...

pmerk34
08-27-2009, 06:28 AM
microgel (http://www.wilsonracquet.net/head-microgel-radical-racquets-mid-plus/)and crossbow (http://www.wilsonracquet.net/head-crossbow-6-racquets/).

Don't know about Crossbow but I love the Microgel.

anirut
08-27-2009, 06:36 AM
LPShanet,

Thanks for the info on graphite. I just came back to read this thread after it kinda got "derailed" and then came across you post. Very insightful.

jsomrak
08-27-2009, 08:00 AM
Graphite! Hands down

ilikephobo
08-28-2009, 05:37 AM
Cortex because Nadal and Roddick use them in their racquets!....( jk ;) )

From when i played with a PS 85: PWS
Now with PDR: Woofer, i cant really tell with the cortex because i use a dampner.

LPShanet
08-30-2009, 10:38 PM
LPShanet,

Thanks for the info on graphite. I just came back to read this thread after it kinda got "derailed" and then came across you post. Very insightful.

Glad to help :)