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View Full Version : Volkl --Most overlooked racket company?


Jess
04-10-2006, 04:23 PM
Before joining this board, I didn't even know about the existence of this company, but after being introduced to it (even though seeing a player with one in real life is still rare for me) the overall feedback is that they're great rackets to play with. I've never seen any kind of ad or promotion from Volkl, and I was wondering if I'm just missing them or whether or not they are just quiet about promoting the company. Especially since such few players seem to know about it (provided that they're not TT regulars :) ).

They're not sold in a variety of common sporting goods stores like Big 5 and Sports Chalet, and while I know that they're not exactly good places to get rackets, isn't the company missing out on a lot of exposure from not even having rackets to retail at those places?

What's the deal here?

NoBadMojo
04-10-2006, 04:27 PM
Try and think globally

tennis_nerd22
04-10-2006, 04:29 PM
they lack advertisement. plus, not many pro's use it. but you know, you could always be cool just to use one :D someone see's you using some random brand of racket, but its a sweet stick... *thinks*...

snoflewis
04-10-2006, 04:34 PM
Try and think globally

^^ haha...definitely...

those large retail stores only carry rackets that everyone knows, mainly prince, head, and wilson. secondly, volkl is a smaller company, and like many smaller companies, they don't advertise as much. honestly, i don't get the point of this thread. you're just telling us that you've never heard of a company called Volkl and im sure if you didnt know volkl, there are other brands that you've never heard of.

Jess
04-10-2006, 04:59 PM
^^ haha...definitely...

those large retail stores only carry rackets that everyone knows, mainly prince, head, and wilson. secondly, volkl is a smaller company, and like many smaller companies, they don't advertise as much. honestly, i don't get the point of this thread. you're just telling us that you've never heard of a company called Volkl and im sure if you didnt know volkl, there are other brands that you've never heard of.
When I posted this thread, I wasn't trying to tell the whole world that I didn't know about Volkl and that it was a fact; I wanted to prod at the reasons behind the decision to not promote the company. I didn't know Volkl was a small company, I thought it was a fair contender along the lines with Wilson and Head, just that not very many pros use it which is why it didn't garner fame like the other companies. "The point" of the thread is to look at why Volkl doesn't enjoy as much success as the other companies go as far as exposure and familiarity goes with consumers, and whether or not this effects the company (since I stated in my opening post that the feedback is generally positive towards their racket engineering).

And NoBadMojo, do you mean that they advertise in other places outside the US, and that's why the company is fairly unknown here?

slice bh compliment
04-10-2006, 05:14 PM
No question they make great sticks (and skis and snowboards). And no question that their market share is on the modest side. It is surprising, but who cares, as long as they keep coming up with great stuff, sort of like a low production winery that you love.

I think they intentionally do not try to play the volume pricing game at the bigger, "low-end" stores. They probably figure it will take a knowledgeable salesperson or a teaching pro to effectively sell the features and benefits of a product like theirs. For this reason, they must feel they are better off at clubs, specialty shops and public facilities with a nice pro shop.

Re: their lack of exposure on the main tours: Yeah, I've wondered about that. Radek Stepanek, Cyril Suk, Shenay Perry (cool kid w/a nice game) and Martin Damm do not quite cut it.

They clearly have a lot of eggs in the senior tour / Tour of Champions basket. Mac for like 6 years, Boris (who is a co-owner), Charly Steeb, Cashy, Wilander, the Great Yannick Noah, Petr Korda (who's been w/ them for decades), Henri Leconte among others, I'm sure.

They have always needed a Pat Rafter or a James Blake. Maybe a Martina (either one...I saw an early photo of Hingis using a Volkl).

NoBadMojo
04-10-2006, 05:27 PM
And NoBadMojo, do you mean that they advertise in other places outside the US, and that's why the company is fairly unknown here?

Jess, Volkl is doing well as a Company from what I understand. Boris Becker owns 1/2 the compnay and believes that pros are paid too much in endorsements and he isnt about to open his wallet and spend the money it would take to buy a couple big names to use their prods. Lots of pros use Volkl...you just dont have many/any big names using Volkl. Volkl launched the BB line and are using that as the department store/mass merchant brand in Asia. They're a German company and seem to be more quality/innovation driven rather than marketing driven. Volkl is a well known name by people who know tennis gear I think.

Ronaldo
04-10-2006, 05:30 PM
1st saw Volkl in a local pro shop 10 yrs ago for those poor elbows abused by wide-bodys and longbodys. Kind of a really specialized product then, comfort, what a concept. Jess, back in the day, K-Swiss had no pros endorsing their shoes and seemed to thrive in pro shops everywhere.

Cruzer
04-10-2006, 05:39 PM
They're not sold in a variety of common sporting goods stores like Big 5 and Sports Chalet, and while I know that they're not exactly good places to get rackets, isn't the company missing out on a lot of exposure from not even having rackets to retail at those places?

You don't see Volkl frames in stores like Big 5, Oshmans, Sport Chalet et al for the same reason you will never see a set of Ping golf clubs in those stores. They don't market their product to the same demographics that Wilson, Head, and Prince do.
Many of the racquets you see at Big 5 for example are models that are a couple of years old and have been replaced by new models. A retailer like Big 5 is either selling out a manufacturer's stock or gets a production run made exclusiviely for them.

vkartikv
04-10-2006, 06:06 PM
I think Prokennex is more underrated than volkl. Using the # of pros who use volkl or PK on the tour is no means of evaluating popularity but PK has only one andreas seppi on its team now.

Also, the volkl tour 10 series is very popular and better known than the PK Pro 5 series, which seems to find a home only in people with elbow problems. I gave it a try and its one of the best advanced racquets I've used in a while. Tecnifibre is pretty overlooked as well but they don't have a big lineup of racquets like PK or volkl do.

Court_Jester
04-10-2006, 06:15 PM
but you know, you could always be cool just to use one :D someone see's you using some random brand of racket, but its a sweet stick... *thinks*...
Well, personally when see other people's sticks I go "ho-hum", seen them before, etc. Wilsons, Babolats, every other guy's got them. But when I see people with Volkls, Pro Kennex and even Slazenger, they get my attention and I say to myself "now this guy's in the know." I remember that reaction when I saw a player from another school during a local high school match carrying a C10.

To me, it's not a question of being cool when choosing Volkl but rather a matter of being thoughtful in choosing the equipment to use.

Indy Tennis
04-10-2006, 06:15 PM
I get your point. I'm a good example of just how overlooked Volkl is.

I've played tennis for over 30 years and hit with dozens of racquets during that time. Only once in the late 1990s did I ever even try a Volkl. A friend got a V1 and I thought it was too light for me, but a pretty good racquet.

It wasn't until I talked with Cyril Suk at Delray Beach that I even considered reading up on which Volkls I should try. Cyril uses a C10 Pro and that's what I was going to try, but when I went to my local shop they had the Tour 10 V-Engine Midplus on closeout.

I bought one tried it and liked it a lot. He then offered to let me hit with a prototype T10 V-E Mid and that sealed the deal for me.

Bottom line is that I never considered Volkl, I hate to say it, but maybe because you rarely see pros or college players using the brand. Thank goodness I met Cyril. I think the T10 VE Mid is a fantastic racquet.

Jeet
04-10-2006, 06:27 PM
until recently, i'd have to say that Ficher was even more overlooked
in my high school conference ive seen 4 people use Volkl
im still the only one that uses a Fischer

lacoster
04-10-2006, 06:27 PM
Volkl is trying desperately to find the "it" player on either tour. They actually have more pros on tour than Yonex, but just not as many marquee names or players that consistently play deep in the majors.
________
TOYOTA WILL SPECIFICATIONS (http://www.toyota-wiki.com/wiki/Toyota_WiLL)

javier sergio
04-10-2006, 06:35 PM
Fischer, Volkl, Pro Kennex great sticks !!!

DRtenniS1112
04-10-2006, 06:40 PM
It's weird because there are a lot of teaching pros in Maine who use them. I wouldn't expect a less visible company like Volkl to appear in Maine but they do a lot.

ollinger
04-10-2006, 07:05 PM
Volkl makes a good product but has also made some good blunders. They were more than ten years late (compared with the major players) in producing an oversize racquet and have inexplicably not promoted accessories (clothing, shoes, etc.) as the other competitors have, so consequently they've not been very profitable in tennis, which prompted a splitting off of the ski division financially from the tennis division about two years ago.
________
PAXIL SETTLEMENTS (http://www.classactionsettlements.org/lawsuit/paxil/)

Indy Tennis
04-10-2006, 07:59 PM
I think a lot of it depends on what region of the country you live in. Here in Indianapolis you can find Volkl easily, but I don't think any pro shop here sells Pro Kennex for example.

Also an area’s pros are hugely influential on what racquets people use. People listen to their pro’s recommendation and if the pro is using Prince then that’s likely what most of the students will use.

In Indy it seems Prince is the overwhelming choice followed by Wilson. Head is a distant third, probably followed by Dunlop. Babolat is not real popular in this area for some reason until you get to the college level.

I don’t know of many, if any teaching pros here who use Volkl.

Court_Jester
04-10-2006, 08:08 PM
Here in Indianapolis you can find Volkl easily, but I don't think any pro shop here sells Pro Kennex for example.
I had the same problem with Pro Kennex. Being a longtime PK user, I wanted to replace my old stick with another PK but none of the stores in my area carried them. The people at the shop where I go to regularly confirmed that they had not stocked PK because of their difficulty in contacting them (the distributors).

In Indy it seems Prince is the overwhelming choice followed by Wilson. Head is a distant third, probably followed by Dunlop. Babolat is not real popular in this area for some reason until you get to the college level.
Around here in the southeast, Wilson and Babolat are the popular ones.

bossass
04-10-2006, 11:06 PM
Volkl makes sick skis. The Gotama is one of my favorites for shredding pow.

slice bh compliment
04-11-2006, 03:50 AM
It's weird because there are a lot of teaching pros in Maine who use them. I wouldn't expect a less visible company like Volkl to appear in Maine but they do a lot.

Love Maine. Very cool that Volkl has presence there. Right next to New Hampshire, where Volkl's office is.

YK
04-11-2006, 07:03 AM
I don't know how many of you remember this/were here, but sometime in years 2000-2001 this website was an arena of "Great Volkl Wars".

The opponents bashed Volkl for high prices, self-imposed elitism and inability to increase market share.

The proponents stated that the prices weren't that much higher and were reflective of Volkl's quality, the market was saturated, and Volkl's policies are Volkl's business, as long as they sell enough product.

Looking back, I don't think a lot of things changed. Volkl has it's followers and it's own market share (subjectively, I see more Volkl game-improvement racquets around). I don't think Volkl's presence shrunk; if anything, it probably increased.
I am glad that Volkl Wars are gone, though.

slice bh compliment
04-11-2006, 07:12 AM
The Empire Struck back...then there was the return of the Jedi as the prices became more and more competitive...and who could forget the rise and fall of Anakin McEnroe switching over to the Dunlop side? Volkl started to appeal more to the masses. Good thing The Force enabled them to do so without totally betraying their Rebel roots.

YK
04-11-2006, 07:18 AM
I thought Anakin Korda switched over to the dark side?...

Ripper
04-11-2006, 07:32 AM
...but rather a matter of being thoughtful in choosing the equipment to use.

I think all of us posters here are way too thoughtful about this already, lol.

Court_Jester
04-11-2006, 07:58 AM
I think all of us posters here are way too thoughtful about this already, lol.
Those who regularly post here, yeah I think that sometimes we're too thoughtful about our gears. :D But of course I'm referring to those who simply choose the coolest looking racquet on the display rack or those who choose because Pro #1 uses this racquet or Pro #2 uses that racquet.

eagle
04-11-2006, 08:11 AM
I too have never heard of Volkl until Tennis mag listed it the Cat 4 as one of their choices a couple of years ago. I was looking to replace my old Prince stick and was demoing a number of racquets. I added the Cat 4 to the list and ended up getting it.

It met my requirements for being headlight, having a low swingweight, good spin friendliness ... all matching my full motion strokes on both wings.

It's just a shame that they've followed the trend of the bigger names for discontinuing a good product by replacing it with an "upgraded" version in just a matter of a couple of years ... and I can't find anymore of these anywhere even online. Oh well....

r,
eagle

NoBadMojo
04-11-2006, 08:21 AM
I too have never heard of Volkl until Tennis mag listed it the Cat 4 as one of their choices a couple of years ago. I was looking to replace my old Prince stick and was demoing a number of racquets. I added the Cat 4 to the list and ended up getting it.

It met my requirements for being headlight, having a low swingweight, good spin friendliness ... all matching my full motion strokes on both wings.

It's just a shame that they've followed the trend of the bigger names for discontinuing a good product by replacing it with an "upgraded" version in just a matter of a couple of years ... and I can't find anymore of these anywhere even online. Oh well....

r,
eagle

Tennis Warehouse has these..they're currently in production AFAIK

cabernetjunkie
04-11-2006, 09:32 AM
No question they make great sticks (and skis and snowboards). And no question that their market share is on the modest side. It is surprising, but who cares, as long as they keep coming up with great stuff, sort of like a low production winery that you love.

I think they intentionally do not try to play the volume pricing game at the bigger, "low-end" stores. They probably figure it will take a knowledgeable salesperson or a teaching pro to effectively sell the features and benefits of a product like theirs. For this reason, they must feel they are better off at clubs, specialty shops and public facilities with a nice pro shop.

Re: their lack of exposure on the main tours: Yeah, I've wondered about that. Radek Stepanek, Cyril Suk, Shenay Perry (cool kid w/a nice game) and Martin Damm do not quite cut it.

They clearly have a lot of eggs in the senior tour / Tour of Champions basket. Mac for like 6 years, Boris (who is a co-owner), Charly Steeb, Cashy, Wilander, the Great Yannick Noah, Petr Korda (who's been w/ them for decades), Henri Leconte among others, I'm sure.

They have always needed a Pat Rafter or a James Blake. Maybe a Martina (either one...I saw an early photo of Hingis using a Volkl).

----------------------------

slice bh compliment
04-11-2006, 12:01 PM
Hey you are talking about me, "low production winery".:D

Cabernet junkie. Cool. Yeah, I think I am talkin' to you.
I don't drink much, but when I do , it is either a good beer or a big cab.

cabernetjunkie
04-11-2006, 12:12 PM
Yea, cant beat a good cab. Sorry for messing up the thread but you just dont hear alot about the winery business on talk tennis.;) I had to do it. lol

slice bh compliment
04-11-2006, 12:13 PM
Glad you did. Are you in the business?

I think there is a lot of crossover between tennis and wine people.
Wine drinkers like tennis. Tennis players whine a lot.

cabernetjunkie
04-11-2006, 12:17 PM
---------------------------

slice bh compliment
04-11-2006, 12:28 PM
Go ahead and say the name, cabjunkie. Maybe we will see a bottle somewhere and pick up a couple in your honor. There I asked, so if you namecheck it is officially not cheesy self-promotion.

If we are lucky, it is the Volkl C10 Pro of cabs!!!

cabernetjunkie
04-11-2006, 12:35 PM
----------------

coachrick
04-11-2006, 07:24 PM
cj, headed to Highlands this weekend...might have to detour!

cabernetjunkie
04-12-2006, 05:43 AM
coachrick- I'll be out of the office this weekend but if you decide to come up be sure to tell the person at the tasting bar you are from talk tennis and you will get the "friends" discount.(30% off)

wyutani
04-12-2006, 05:47 AM
i dun see many pros using Volkl. so i assume that its no good....

Ronaldo
04-12-2006, 06:46 AM
i dun see many pros using Volkl. so i assume that its no good....
Or don't pay for pros to play, even club pros

Aeropro joe
04-12-2006, 06:51 AM
No question they make great sticks (and skis and snowboards). And no question that their market share is on the modest side. It is surprising, but who cares, as long as they keep coming up with great stuff, sort of like a low production winery that you love.

I think they intentionally do not try to play the volume pricing game at the bigger, "low-end" stores. They probably figure it will take a knowledgeable salesperson or a teaching pro to effectively sell the features and benefits of a product like theirs. For this reason, they must feel they are better off at clubs, specialty shops and public facilities with a nice pro shop.

Re: their lack of exposure on the main tours: Yeah, I've wondered about that. Radek Stepanek, Cyril Suk, Shenay Perry (cool kid w/a nice game) and Martin Damm do not quite cut it.

They clearly have a lot of eggs in the senior tour / Tour of Champions basket. Mac for like 6 years, Boris (who is a co-owner), Charly Steeb, Cashy, Wilander, the Great Yannick Noah, Petr Korda (who's been w/ them for decades), Henri Leconte among others, I'm sure.

They have always needed a Pat Rafter or a James Blake. Maybe a Martina (either one...I saw an early photo of Hingis using a Volkl).
does Jiri Novak still play with Volkl? he used to use the t10mpgen2

slice bh compliment
04-12-2006, 09:31 AM
does Jiri Novak still play with Volkl? he used to use the t10mpgen2

Yes, I think he does. Good catch.

coachrick
04-12-2006, 09:33 AM
cj, Thanks! DW and SIL are headed up Thursday, I'll go Sat. after the world famous North Fulton Mixed Round Robin on Friday night. We may stay through Monday and head back to the brand new city of Sandy Springs. Cheers!

eagle
04-12-2006, 09:45 AM
Hi nobadmojo,

TW just like other vendors carry the Gen 2 Cat 4 and not the orig.

Thanks,
eagle

NoBadMojo
04-12-2006, 10:54 AM
Hi nobadmojo,

TW just like other vendors carry the Gen 2 Cat 4 and not the orig.

Thanks,
eagle

Ok.i understand that..your comments didnt specify. The Gen2 is an improvement over the original one. You are saying that you've tried the Cat4Gen2 and dont like it?

eagle
04-12-2006, 12:38 PM
Hi nobadmojo,

I haven't tried it. What I'm saying is that it is a shame that I find one a racquet I like and Volkl decides to replace it in just two years. They've got models that have been around for years and years. I guess they felt that there is not a big following behind the Cat 4 to keep it as is.

I'm not the type who buys an item just because there is a newer model. I tend to stick with what works.

r,
eagle