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View Full Version : when did the very first composite or graphite racket come out???


jimanuel12
02-16-2010, 11:17 AM
and who was the manufacturer?
it has been too long and i cannot remember.
i think the first aluminum rackets came out around 1974.
the wilson T2000 came out around 1970 or maybe 1969.
but the first composite or graphite, i don't know.
some help please????

Tennis Man
02-16-2010, 11:23 AM
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=289903

Bud
02-16-2010, 12:10 PM
Wasn't the C6 the first to use braided Carbon technology? I loved that racquet so therefore "Greatest"

Cheers
Warren

I think that distinction is shared by the C-6 and the Aldila Cannon.

Welcome to the T-W classic racquet forum by the way.

The C-6 and Aldila Cannon were the first true graphite racquets, IIRC. I think the Aldila was out before the C-6 but may be mistaken.


Aldila Cannon

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RLIYzXhfZQ0/S3Jwg4ynrDI/AAAAAAAANxI/cI9e5JlP9sg/s800/P1070229.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RLIYzXhfZQ0/S3JwhCeEz-I/AAAAAAAANxM/LgefKWK0rJY/s800/P1070230.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RLIYzXhfZQ0/S3JwhjCMfrI/AAAAAAAANxQ/_UTizywJQkg/s800/P1070232.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RLIYzXhfZQ0/S3JwksceHQI/AAAAAAAANyI/vmgS5_EY2Ro/s800/P1070241.JPG

Bud
02-16-2010, 12:11 PM
Aldila Cannon

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RLIYzXhfZQ0/S3Jwo6Vyk6I/AAAAAAAANyk/lcCObasTDhA/s800/P1070248.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RLIYzXhfZQ0/S3JwnC0YVXI/AAAAAAAANyY/UR-x4Z-zR10/s800/P1070245.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RLIYzXhfZQ0/S3JwiYOeitI/AAAAAAAANxY/jxbH_meEB_w/s800/P1070234.JPG

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RLIYzXhfZQ0/S3JwiKnJk_I/AAAAAAAANxU/u8nqExZDEWQ/s800/P1070233.JPG

vsbabolat
02-16-2010, 01:03 PM
and who was the manufacturer?
it has been too long and i cannot remember.
i think the first aluminum rackets came out around 1974.
the wilson T2000 came out around 1970 or maybe 1969.
but the first composite or graphite, i don't know.
some help please????

The T2000 came out in 1963.

As far as the composites go or the first full Synthetics racquets were the HEAD Arther Ashe Competition and the Voelkl Zebra.
http://80s-tennis.com/pages/voelkl-zebra.html
http://80s-tennis.com/pages/voelkl-zebra-2.html
http://80s-tennis.com/pages/voelkl-zebra-3.html

jimanuel12
02-17-2010, 04:29 AM
The T2000 came out in 1963.

As far as the composites go or the first full Synthetics racquets were the HEAD Arther Ashe Competition and the Voelkl Zebra.
http://80s-tennis.com/pages/voelkl-zebra.html
http://80s-tennis.com/pages/voelkl-zebra-2.html
http://80s-tennis.com/pages/voelkl-zebra-3.html

i did not know that the T2000 came out that early, i thought that it came out in the late 60's or early 70's.
i first one i saw was in 1970 and it cost $40.00 and man, that was allot of money back in the day.

Rabbit
02-17-2010, 04:52 AM
I think the Fansteel Graphite predated the Adila Canon

joe sch
02-17-2010, 06:15 AM
The T2000 came out in 1963.

As far as the composites go or the first full Synthetics racquets were the HEAD Arther Ashe Competition and the Voelkl Zebra.
http://80s-tennis.com/pages/voelkl-zebra.html
http://80s-tennis.com/pages/voelkl-zebra-2.html
http://80s-tennis.com/pages/voelkl-zebra-3.html

Not clear which graphite racket was the first produced but Head was obviously part of this transition as the AA Comp transitioned the metal racket to a composite with the boron filler in between the aluminum plates. A metal sandwich :) I need to consult the Keubler and Cherry books to see what racket(s) they claimed were the first composite(s) ...

joe sch
02-17-2010, 06:19 AM
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=289903

This racket timeline could use some additions. Would be nice to see more of the initial composite rackets.

vsbabolat
02-17-2010, 06:52 AM
Not clear which graphite racket was the first produced but Head was obviously part of this transition as the AA Comp transitioned the metal racket to a composite with the boron filler in between the aluminum plates. A metal sandwich :) I need to consult the Keubler and Cherry books to see what racket(s) they claimed were the first composite(s) ...

The original Arthur Ashe Competition of about 1971 was a fiberglass core sandwiched between two aluminum sheets. The design was taken from the HEAD Ski of the time.:)

Rabbit
02-17-2010, 07:11 AM
OH yeah...the Kawasaki Graphite Ruler was a real early one as well....Cliff Drysdale was the endorser for that frame

schu47
02-18-2010, 07:36 PM
Here's the Trabert C-6 -- according to Kuebler's book, one of the first all-graphite racquets. He has it listed as 1974; the Aldila Cannon is listed as 1976. I haven't heard of any all-graphites earlier than that, but they're probably out there.

The C-6 was made by a company called ProGroup, Inc. in the USA. There doesn't seem to be much information on the company. This may be the only racquet they ever manufactured. Maybe some other folks on the forum can shed some light on them.

I have two C-6s, and so have been able to take them out a couple of times to hit with my 18-year-old son. It was a lot of fun. They're great racquets, heavy, solid and well-balanced, and I was amazed at how well we could rally with them -- but we really had to concentrate on our form to hit that little sweet spot. My son was raised on the Babolat Pure Drive, and I think it was good for him to get out and give an old classic a try, gain an appreciation for the level of skill and consistency needed to play with a frame with a 70-in. head.


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_R75QH658YRs/SkP2S96vusI/AAAAAAAAao8/vy9DMNbrijI/s800/P1020830.JPG

schu47
02-18-2010, 07:41 PM
The Fansteel Graphite and the Kawasaki Ruler both are listed as coming out in 1977.

retrowagen
02-18-2010, 08:21 PM
The beforementioned Völkl "Zebra" was the first fully composite (epoxy matrix) racquet, as I recall.

jimbo333
03-05-2010, 10:50 AM
The beforementioned Völkl "Zebra" was the first fully composite (epoxy matrix) racquet, as I recall.

Yes, the Volkl Zebra is regarded as the first fully composite racquet, it was released in 1973!

jimbo333
03-05-2010, 10:53 AM
The original Arthur Ashe Competition of about 1971 was a fiberglass core sandwiched between two aluminum sheets. The design was taken from the HEAD Ski of the time.:)

Well it may have been released to the public in 1971!

But Arthur Ashe won the Australian Open in 1970 with this racquet amazingly, so it was probably around in 1969, at least for the PRO's:)

Bud
03-06-2010, 04:33 PM
Yes, the Volkl Zebra is regarded as the first fully composite racquet, it was released in 1973!

Jimbo, is the Zebra 100% graphite (not including the matrix)?

joe sch
03-06-2010, 05:15 PM
One of the first non wood/metal rackets, was the PDP Fiberstaff racket, which played really soft and flexible, maybe more like a woody than any other composite rackets ever produced.

The Fiberstaff was all fiberglass and US made. Pdp is an abbreviation for Professionally Designed Products.

Take a look:

http://woodtennis.com/pdp/pdp_fiberstaff1.jpg
http://woodtennis.com/pdp/pdp_fiberstaff2.jpg
http://woodtennis.com/pdp/pdp_fiberstaff3.jpg

vsbabolat
03-06-2010, 07:44 PM
Jimbo, is the Zebra 100% graphite (not including the matrix)?

I think this will answer your question.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/voelkl-zebra-3.jpg

vsbabolat
03-06-2010, 07:50 PM
Well it may have been released to the public in 1971!

But Arthur Ashe won the Australian Open in 1970 with this racquet amazingly, so it was probably around in 1969, at least for the PRO's:)

You are right the Arther Ashe Competition came out in 1970. I was off by a year.:oops:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/Ashe_1970_Wimbledon.jpg

coachrick
03-07-2010, 09:07 AM
I demo'd and broke(in about 5 minutes--one overhead) a Leach graphite racket VERY early on. The handle was some other composition and snapped just at the junction of the handle and the graphite throat. Guess that helped them decide to stick with racquetball. That MAY have been the first 'mostly' graphite model I remember.

I agree that the AA Comp would qualify as the first 'composite'(as opposed to all metal or wood-based frame), with Voelkl being the first 'all' fiberglass model. Anybody remember that Lorne Greene played with the Zebra? May have been the 'first' celebrity 'must have' racket. Head was very popular with celebs a couple of years later.

retrowagen
03-07-2010, 10:05 AM
I demo'd and broke(in about 5 minutes--one overhead) a Leach graphite racket VERY early on. The handle was some other composition and snapped just at the junction of the handle and the graphite throat. Guess that helped them decide to stick with racquetball. That MAY have been the first 'mostly' graphite model I remember.

One of my first coaches had one of those Leach frames; it looked like an adaptation of their successful (and virtually ubiquitous at the time) racquetball frame. I was hitting with the Kneissl White Star Pro Masters at the time and hit his frame and mine back to back one session. I think that Leach still qualifies as the most flexible tennis racquet I've ever experienced - with every impact with the ball, it deflected so severely that it felt like it was hinged in the middle and about to fold up!

Bud
03-08-2010, 07:12 AM
I think this will answer your question.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/voelkl-zebra-3.jpg

So, the Zebra wasn't graphite (or composite)... it was 100% fiberglass.

So, back to one of the original question posed in the OP... what was the first 100% graphite racquet.

Was it the C-6 or the Cannon?

jimbo333
03-08-2010, 10:27 AM
Jimbo, is the Zebra 100% graphite (not including the matrix)?

Sorry, I was way too slow there:???:

jimbo333
03-08-2010, 10:31 AM
You are right the Arther Ashe Competition came out in 1970. I was off by a year.:oops:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/Ashe_1970_Wimbledon.jpg

Believe me, I'm embarassed being right about it:oops:

Would you or anyone else know what racquet Ashe used to win the US Open in 1968?

It was a wood Wilson, but would be interested to know which one?

coachrick
03-08-2010, 01:56 PM
Believe me, I'm embarassed being right about it:oops:

Would you or anyone else know what racquet Ashe used to win the US Open in 1968?

It was a wood Wilson, but would be interested to know which one?

Over the years, it reminded me of the Stan Smith Autograph...could it have been a Tony Trabert Auto?

Bud
03-08-2010, 08:21 PM
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/[IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/23h0ev5.jpghttp://i48.tinypic.com/23h0ev5.jpg

jimbo333
03-09-2010, 04:02 AM
Over the years, it reminded me of the Stan Smith Autograph...could it have been a Tony Trabert Auto?

Thanks:)

If I remember from a photo it did look a bit like a SS Autograph!

It could be a TT Auto, but I've never seen one so I don't know, anyone else?

jimbo333
03-09-2010, 04:03 AM
http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/82286302.jpg?v=1&c=NewsMaker&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF8789215ABF3343C02EA548630B770FD429886A 4842C98FADFFB865D380E07D14F8BCEE

That photo isn't showing for me:(

ericsson
03-09-2010, 04:18 AM
That photo isn't showing for me:(

Let's help Bud a little ;-)

http://i48.tinypic.com/23h0ev5.jpg

vsbabolat
03-09-2010, 04:53 AM
Here is another photo of Ashe.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/Arthur_Ashe_US_Open_1968.jpg

ericsson
03-09-2010, 05:14 AM
And another one:

http://i49.tinypic.com/ixc9r5.jpg

jimbo333
03-09-2010, 08:34 AM
Thanks as usual to Vsbabolat, Ericsson and Bud:)

Not much doubt then, definitely a TT Autograph!

Just wondered what it was, as it looked like a SS Autograph, but was different in a photo I saw!

Does anyone know when the Stan Smith Autograph was first issued please? Stan Smith won the US Open in 1971, was he using the first version of the Stan Smith Autograph by then?

Bud
03-09-2010, 10:03 AM
Thanks as usual to Vsbabolat, Ericsson and Bud:)

Not much doubt then, definitely a TT Autograph!

Just wondered what it was, as it looked like a SS Autograph, but was different in a photo I saw!

Does anyone know when the Stan Smith Autograph was first issued please? Stan Smith won the US Open in 1971, was he using the first version of the Stan Smith Autograph by then?

Jimbo... the racquet in post #32 (TT Auto) is different from the racquet he's using at the USO in posts #30 and 31 :)

Check out the graphics on the hoop

ericsson
03-09-2010, 11:18 PM
Jimbo... the racquet in post #32 (TT Auto) is different from the racquet he's using at the USO in posts #30 and 31 :)

Check out the graphics on the hoop

Yes it is but take a look at the signature...

jimbo333
03-10-2010, 04:02 AM
Jimbo... the racquet in post #32 (TT Auto) is different from the racquet he's using at the USO in posts #30 and 31 :)

Check out the graphics on the hoop

LOL:)

Yes I can see that now!

Must be 2 different version:)

jimbo333
03-10-2010, 04:05 AM
Over the years, it reminded me of the Stan Smith Autograph...could it have been a Tony Trabert Auto?

Thanks again for spotting the TT Auto:)

Would you know when the Stan Smith Autograph first was released?

Stan Smith won the US Open in 1971, and just wondered if he was using the SS Auto by then?

Bud
03-10-2010, 09:00 PM
Yes it is but take a look at the signature...

LOL

Yes I can see that now!

Must be 2 different version:)

Does anyone have a good pic of this racquet with the signature?

I can't read Trabert's signature on any of these frames.

BTW, I was 6 months old when this pic was taken (b. March 68 ) :shock:

http://i48.tinypic.com/23h0ev5.jpg

coachrick
03-11-2010, 07:38 AM
Does anyone have a good pic of this racquet with the signature?

I can't read Trabert's signature on any of these frames.

BTW, I was 6 months old when this pic was taken (b. March 68 ) :shock:

http://i48.tinypic.com/23h0ev5.jpg

The Trabert suggestion was a bit of a wild guess. I wasn't playing in '69...started working in the tennis shop in '72. I don't recall ever selling a Tony Trabert model but we had the Stan Smith then...I'm guessing I actually bought my first Stan Smith in '71 but not sure. I didn't know nuthin' 'bout nuthin' back then! :)

retrowagen
03-11-2010, 08:03 AM
And another one:

http://i49.tinypic.com/ixc9r5.jpg

The "Trabert" sig is just barely visible in this pic.

jimbo333
03-12-2010, 12:23 PM
Does anyone have a good pic of this racquet with the signature?

I can't read Trabert's signature on any of these frames.

BTW, I was 6 months old when this pic was taken (b. March 68 ) :shock:

http://i48.tinypic.com/23h0ev5.jpg

Here is one:)

http://i41.tinypic.com/24pfl8g.jpg

And I was yet to be born (just)!

jimbo333
03-22-2010, 01:37 PM
And here is one I've just acquired:)

http://i41.tinypic.com/11kcoxf.jpg

coachrick
03-22-2010, 03:38 PM
And here is one I've just acquired:)

http://i41.tinypic.com/11kcoxf.jpg

Good job! It's interesting, I think, that I started working in a tennis shop in '72, sold many Stan Smith Autos and even a Cliff Richey or two but never even laid eyes on a Trabert. I guess he became old news in a hurry with the tennis boom years! I wonder if he and Wilson had a falling out?

jimbo333
03-22-2010, 04:13 PM
Good job! It's interesting, I think, that I started working in a tennis shop in '72, sold many Stan Smith Autos and even a Cliff Richey or two but never even laid eyes on a Trabert. I guess he became old news in a hurry with the tennis boom years! I wonder if he and Wilson had a falling out?

Yeah that makes sense, I've been doing some research and the Stan Smith Auto basically took over from the Tony Trabert Auto in 71/72, production of the TT Auto seemed to end in 71!

I'm still trying to find out which racquet Stan Smith played when winning the US Open in 71, if anyone knows, please let me know:)

WORLDWITHINAWORLD
03-25-2010, 06:32 PM
Here's the Trabert C-6 -- according to Kuebler's book, one of the first all-graphite racquets. He has it listed as 1974; the Aldila Cannon is listed as 1976. I haven't heard of any all-graphites earlier than that, but they're probably out there.

The C-6 was made by a company called ProGroup, Inc. in the USA. There doesn't seem to be much information on the company. This may be the only racquet they ever manufactured. Maybe some other folks on the forum can shed some light on them.

I have two C-6s, and so have been able to take them out a couple of times to hit with my 18-year-old son. It was a lot of fun. They're great racquets, heavy, solid and well-balanced, and I was amazed at how well we could rally with them -- but we really had to concentrate on our form to hit that little sweet spot. My son was raised on the Babolat Pure Drive, and I think it was good for him to get out and give an old classic a try, gain an appreciation for the level of skill and consistency needed to play with a frame with a 70-in. head.


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_R75QH658YRs/SkP2S96vusI/AAAAAAAAao8/vy9DMNbrijI/s800/P1020830.JPG
I had a Tony Trabert c-6 in about 1975.It was the first graphite racket to sell in large quantities in the U.S. The Yamaha 30 and 50 fiberglass had been around for a few years earlier.I thought that the Yamaha 30 played very stiff and the TT c-6 seemed even stiffer. My prior rackets were a t-2000 and a Seamco Ken Rosewell,so maybe I was too used to them.I had been playing only about 3 years and my ground-strokes were weak . I concentrated on serve and volley. I was very satisfied with the way the Ken Rosewell suited me,but it cracked and I had to change frames. The TT c-6 cost $300 retail when it first came out.Thats something like $ 1000 today.I payed $150 for mine. All the good players that tested other c-6 s did not like them - too stiff they said. So ,for an experiment I strung mine with leather power pads on every string-main and cross.These same people liked my c-6.I wanted to like the c-6 ,it was unique and I felt avante -garde playing with it. But it did not like me .Probably because I was not the player that I wanted to be and it demanded.Also, the carbon fibers started to burst out of the top of the frame-like a cancer.It was still playable and I gave it to a friend that was taking up tennis.About this time Prince came out with its first oversized aluminum racket.I started playing with the green aluminum yonex, which suited my game pretty well. Things came full circle this January when I bought 2 unstrung TT c-6 s. I have yet to string them,but I will.Himmmm should I do power pads ?????

coachrick
03-25-2010, 07:59 PM
I would say the majority of the C-6 rackets I worked on were strung with nat gut...the frame was still popular in Atlanta in 1980. Greenie grips and VS gut...I installed a BUNCH of that! The nat gut probably mitigated the high tensions popular at that time. If the Trabert had employed grommets or string strips, it may have stayed around even longer.

I'd go with a soft multi around 50# or so(unless you want to try nat gut--be sure to tube the throat and first two mains outside the throat.

IIRC, the MatchMate graphite racket was also sold through ProGroup(who also had a golf division).

WORLDWITHINAWORLD
03-29-2010, 08:09 PM
Thank you Coachrick. I will,surely,take that advice when I string my TT c-6 's. Not sure who sold MatchMates. I know I liked them. I had a titanium and much later, a graphite. Looking back, I think they would have sold more graphites if they were standard length- 27 inches. I have 2 now, maybe I should cut one down to 27 ? They are not valuable, not being collected. I guess they would be if Michael Chang had used them.