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dominikk1985
04-01-2011, 01:43 PM
Does anyone know the weight of wood rackets that guys like laver, borg... used? I guess they where quite heavy although I'm sure they got lighter as technolgy progressed (I asume borgs racket was already lighter than tildens racket).

Rysty
04-01-2011, 02:48 PM
Borg's Donnay, the black one, was 415 grams /about 14,5 oz.

It was not all wood, it had some layers of fiberglass or something, since an all wood frame couldn't take his 80 pounds string tension.

dominikk1985
04-02-2011, 05:43 AM
thanks. that's not that much more heavy than the pros today (with lead usually 330-370g).

do you know the weight of lavers or even tildens racket? where they much heavier?

borg number one
04-02-2011, 06:00 AM
Borg's racquets were extremely heavy. They had to fortify his racquets with extra wood because of the tension. The 14.5 ounces cited was without the extra fortification used (extra ply of wood used in his Donnay Borg Pros for example). He strung them at about 80-81 lbs, so his frames required the extra fortification. So, his frames were very heavy and customized. I recall reading someone mentioning that with the customization, his racquets were 16+ ounces. See this info below.

See info on Bjorn Borg's frames here:

http://www.80s-tennis.com/pages/borg-anecdote-jose.html

Bjorn Borg’s attention to details is best described in a few anecdotes. In June 1979, some rackets were shipped to a hotel where Bjorn Borg was staying in the USA. As soon as he had the rackets in his hands, Bjorn Borg realised that they were too heavy, weighing 418 grams instead of the prescribed 415gr. Panic spread to Donnay’s management and José got flying instructions for an on-site intervention. Suspecting humidity due to insufficient packaging and fully confident in the quality of his work, José recommended from his sanctuary office that the frames should go on a diet and be put on a radiator to get rid of the excess humidity. Lennart called the next day with the news that the diet had been a success.

The following year, José was called out to Wimbledon to provide his services. Bjorn was horrified by the feel of the grip in his hands. José realised that the Fairway grip had swollen, increasing the width by 1 mm and simply replaced the grips. Stricter quality requirements were later imposed on the UK grip provider.

One day, José and some of his Donnay colleagues were attending a tennis exhibition in Liège. All of a sudden, the crowd got struck by Bjorn Borg’s racket, which had exploded as a result of the combination between the power of the stroke and the heavy string tension. José’s colleagues all looked bewildered at him and they soon burst into laughter. Today, José still vividly remembers the following days and weeks of private jokes which followed.

Bjorn Borg’s ritual during the Wimbledon tournament best reflects the extreme care he took in preparing himself mentally and in ensuring his equipment was in the best condition (2). This meant that all the environmental parameters had to be reproduced exactly to obtain the ideal brain conditioning. For instance, Bjorn Borg would always set the air conditioning to 12 degrees or always go on a diet to make sure he did not weigh more than 73 kg. Two days before the tournament, Lennart would make sure Bjorn Borg received a two-hour massage sessionOn the day before the tournament, Bjorn Borg would turn into a musician and complete a two-to-three hour percussion exercise, setting his 50 rackets in front of him in very much the same way as a xylophone player would prepare for a concert. A racket in each hand, Bjorn Borg would then test the slightest variation in the strings’ notes. He would then methodically display the 50 rackets on the floor according to their notes. On every match day, he would pick up his usual six rackets. Sometimes, a highly strung gut would snap in the middle of the night as an unexpected echo to the earlier concert. However, these singing rackets could not wake such a relaxed tennis virtuoso.

José therefore started to customise Bjorn Borg’s rackets in 1975. Two series of 400 frames were produced annually according to Bjorn’s specifications of wood quality, weight (415gr), length and balance. These frames had to be reinforced by adding one additional ply of wood to cope with the extreme string tension of 28/35 kg. Out of the special issue, José would typically select the best 25 rackets which would then be stored for six months before delivery. Bjorn Borg realised that, like special Belgian beers, wood is a living material that delivers its best mechanical performance after a complete drying period.

José exercised the greatest care when he applied the English Fairway branded grip. José carefully selected the 1.7 mm leather grip width. Two grips were then applied side by side along a 4 5/8 handle up to 25 cm (1) This was a particularly painful exercise, as the leather had to be stretched tightly to provide Bjorn Borg with the ideal grip size. Over time, José’s index finger got deformed and a lump grew on the joint of one of his fingers.

Lefty78
04-02-2011, 09:31 AM
Wood racquets have a considerable amount of weight in the throat, much more than modern graphite racquets. What this means is that while the overall weight of racquets guys like Laver used was quite high, the swingweight was actually less than what most of the top pros use today.

Don't Let It Bounce
04-02-2011, 01:20 PM
thanks. that's not that much more heavy than the pros today (with lead usually 330-370g).

do you know the weight of lavers or even tildens racket? where they much heavier?I just did a search and was unable to find where I read this, but I distinctly recall seeing a list of some classic racquet weights and Laver's, at 15+ oz (almost a pound!) being the heaviest. I do not recall whether Budge was on that list, and I have read on these boards that Budge had a legendarily heavy racquet.

SFrazeur
04-02-2011, 02:49 PM
thanks. that's not that much more heavy than the pros today (with lead usually 330-370g).

do you know the weight of lavers or even tildens racket? where they much heavier?

I do not know, but I read in Tilden's book "The Art of Lawn Tennis" that he recommended a grip size between 5-1/4 and 5-3/8 with a weight of 13-1/2oz to 14-1/2oz. Oh, and no child size racquets, it "weakens the wrist and does not aid the child in learning strokes. Start a child, boy or girl, with a full-sized racquet of at lest 13 ounces."

-SF

NLBwell
04-13-2011, 09:50 PM
Just a note:
You could buy your wood rackets in Light, Medium, or Heavy weights.

suppawat
04-13-2011, 10:24 PM
My Donnay Borg Pro and All Wood never reach 400g

http://public.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pZVUwhnOsqJFYv-KLBAelG4E5aZoJ2MMSewgbnRjPwOZinHcBY-Wmcqxa2N_C3kBuCOkytB6ed_awl3v6sIAAOg/Donnay_Borg_Pro_01.JPG
http://public.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pqrNcJetWz2_SEGly4GqVbdxJBQF_E3-4-0GdmovaA8NbIJpydPBcs17g2PmwVMc99sLSokFvLAzpi6_jA-UJBQ/Donnay_All_Wood_01.JPG

corners
04-14-2011, 06:27 AM
Laver wrote that he played at 14 ounces in his autobiography. That's about the same as Sampras, which is impressive as he was a much smaller man and had dynamic and "whippy" strokes (for his day). He also wrote that Pancho Gonzales went down to 13 ounces, which was considered quite lite for that era, in his late-30s into his 40s.

I have a collection of Wilson woodies that vary between 12.5 and 14.5 ounces. All are "light" or "medium" frames. I don't have any "heavies". Even the light version of the elegant Lady Advantage weighs 12.7 ounces. Players were tough (or swung slow) in those days. But as Lefty wrote above, these heft sticks had relatively low swingweights: My 12.5 ouncers swing at 330-340, the 14 ouncers around 360-370. Almost all of them are close to even balance, or a little headlight, like 2 points. This is, as Lefty also noted, is a function of all the weight in the throat and less in the head than modern sticks. The combination of heavy static weight, even balance and relatively low swingweight makes them swing differently than modern sticks. They swing "light" to me, despite their weight. They feel comfortable and natural to me, but I have no doubt that I can swing a modern stick faster. If you took an APDC and added an ounce and half to the throat/bridge you'd have a typical woodie weight distribution.

SandV
04-14-2011, 11:19 AM
In an article on Sampras' racket a couple of years ago, Tennis Magazine reported that Jack Kramer played with 16 oz. racket with a 5 1/4 grip.

Boricua
04-14-2011, 11:25 AM
Borg's Donnay, the black one, was 415 grams /about 14,5 oz.

It was not all wood, it had some layers of fiberglass or something, since an all wood frame couldn't take his 80 pounds string tension.

In the present, is Borg using a Dunlop racket and if so, what model and what weight does it have?

ericsson
04-14-2011, 12:47 PM
In the present, is Borg using a Dunlop racket and if so, what model and what weight does it have?

Dunlop 4D 100 customised with lead.

Don't Let It Bounce
04-14-2011, 12:49 PM
In the present, is Borg using a Dunlop racket and if so, what model and what weight does it have?Someone posted this in another thread:

Dunlop Biomimetic 200 (custom)
Head size ~90
unstrung 316g, 311mm, 279 SW
RA 64, 64.5, 65 (unstrung)
lead B8 to T13 (~8 to 9:30) >> ~350g strung

Boricua
04-14-2011, 01:02 PM
My Donnay Borg Pro and All Wood never reach 400g

http://public.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pZVUwhnOsqJFYv-KLBAelG4E5aZoJ2MMSewgbnRjPwOZinHcBY-Wmcqxa2N_C3kBuCOkytB6ed_awl3v6sIAAOg/Donnay_Borg_Pro_01.JPG
http://public.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pqrNcJetWz2_SEGly4GqVbdxJBQF_E3-4-0GdmovaA8NbIJpydPBcs17g2PmwVMc99sLSokFvLAzpi6_jA-UJBQ/Donnay_All_Wood_01.JPG

Bold colors ideed. Nice for a modern racket to copy these colors, at least it appeals to me.:)

Boricua
04-14-2011, 01:05 PM
I wonder if he has tried the new Donnays?

NLBwell
04-16-2011, 09:16 PM
the 14 ouncers around 360-370.
.

Interesting.
I grew up with wood rackets - usually played with a medium. I had little idea of the weight and never heard of swingweight. I started customizing my rackets a few years ago. A year or two ago I went and measured my weight and swingweight on my rackets. They are 13.5 or more oz and run about 365 swingweight.
I unknowingly created the equivalent of the wood rackets I grew up playing with.

VEEERY Interestink. (But not funny.)