PDA

View Full Version : Old School Wooden Racquet


Ten.Is
09-12-2006, 03:41 PM
I saw this older guy, probably in his 40's, playing with this wooden racquet. The head size must have been like 70 sq. in. It was the smallest head I ever saw, but he pretty consistant with it. Not only that he had this trapezoid wood figure thing he took off before he played. Anyone know what kind of racquet it could have been? And what is that wooden piece he had on the head of the racquet?

With a little research I think this is what he may have used...http://www.woodtennis.com/McEnroe/prostaffpair.jpg


What is that trapezoid figure on the head of the racquet?

Ash Doyle
09-12-2006, 03:43 PM
That "wooden piece" was a racquet press. Wooden racquets were stored with those on to keep the racquet from warping. Also, I think most wooden racquets had a standard headsize of 65 sq. in.

newnuse
09-12-2006, 04:57 PM
I saw this older guy, probably in his 40's, playing with this wooden racquet. The head size must have been like 70 sq. in. It was the smallest head I ever saw, but he pretty consistant with it. Not only that he had this trapezoid wood figure thing he took off before he played. Anyone know what kind of racquet it could have been? And what is that wooden piece he had on the head of the racquet?

With a little research I think this is what he may have used...http://www.woodtennis.com/McEnroe/prostaffpair.jpg


What is that trapezoid figure on the head of the racquet?

It could be any wooden racket... you need to narrow it down a bit... all the makers made wooden rackets back then

max
09-12-2006, 06:23 PM
"trapezoid figure". . . that's a hoot! Son, that's a racquet press, helps keep the racquet head from warping. And most had a headsize around 65 sq. inches, with a sweet spot about the size of a dime.

FastAtoms
09-12-2006, 08:20 PM
That's a Wilson "Jack Kramer" autograph. Not a bad stick in its day, but I preferred the Dunlop Maxply Forte. Still keep one strung in the bag for nostalgia and kids who don't believe Laver would have taken Federer in straight sets. The sweetspot was bigger than a dime, maybe a silver dollar. These relics taught you to keep your eye on the ball and as a training aid are still useful.

VGP
09-12-2006, 08:56 PM
Could it be similar to any one of these?

http://i4.tinypic.com/25sooq8.jpg

Some of the ones I use and have collected.

Ten.Is - you're making me feel old.

I suggest you go get a copy of Borg vs. McEnroe, Wimbledon 1980 and study that match......

VGP
09-12-2006, 09:29 PM
Ten.Is - if he was using the Wilson Jack Kramer Pro Staff, that was a good and popular frame for a time. Sampras used it too.

Again, check out the Borg vs. Mac Wimbledon '80 final. McEnroe used the Pro Staff at that time. He switched back to Dunlop (Maxply Fort) the following year to beat Borg in the finals of Wimbledon.

Deuce
09-12-2006, 10:59 PM
I saw this older guy, probably in his 40's, playing with this wooden racquet. The head size must have been like 70 sq. in. It was the smallest head I ever saw, but he pretty consistant with it. Not only that he had this trapezoid wood figure thing he took off before he played. Anyone know what kind of racquet it could have been? And what is that wooden piece he had on the head of the racquet?

With a little research I think this is what he may have used...http://www.woodtennis.com/McEnroe/prostaffpair.jpg


What is that trapezoid figure on the head of the racquet?

Kind of like discovering how babies are made, huh?

Alafter
09-12-2006, 11:16 PM
I wonder if in the day of wood racquets people were going around talking to each other for grea tthe racquet is spin friendly and so low powered and what great flex and shall i polarize it and is the racquet head heavy or head lgiht...

chess9
09-12-2006, 11:20 PM
Could it be similar to any one of these?

http://i4.tinypic.com/25sooq8.jpg

Some of the ones I use and have collected.

Ten.Is - you're making me feel old.

I suggest you go get a copy of Borg vs. McEnroe, Wimbledon 1980 and study that match......

And I thought I had racquet envy before.... :)

-Robert

Deuce
09-12-2006, 11:24 PM
And I thought I had racquet envy before.... :)

-Robert
You should have seen a guy called Torgerson. He had more racquets than there are on the planet.

He hasn't been around here for a while. I think maybe his wife locked him in the bathroom a couple of years ago, and just feeds him & stuff now.

spaceman_spiff
09-13-2006, 12:24 AM
Wow, I'm only 28 and this guy is making me feel old.

I'm still waiting for my Maxply Tournament to get strung; it's going to be my new practice racket, forcing me to concentrate on the ball and all that good stuff. I look forward to hitting some western forehands with it.

arnz
09-13-2006, 02:45 AM
I briefly played with the Jack Kramer Autograph when this older guy was having his racquet restrung and brought the woodie out to the courts. It was heavy but not unmanageable, it seems the balance on these heavy but small head racquets is better than the large head racquets. I didnt have trouble with the sweetspot like I thought I would. Of course this was normal rallying, not match situation, but my regular racquet is a light OS so it kinda surprised me

Serving was also good. I lost some swing speed, but the heft of the racquet did a lot of the work for me. I think I'll get an old one from the 'bay just to test it out more. :cool:

netman
09-13-2006, 04:14 AM
With a little patience you can consistently find nice wood racquets at thirft stores for $2-4 each. I have over 70 wood frames that I have collected in this manner. The really nice ones are on display, the rest are strung and used in wood only tournaments and for practice hitting. I've found MaxPly Forts, Kramers, Borg Pros, even Head Vilas frames this way. I would have paid big bucks for them on the auction sites and half the time gotten lousy condition items. This way there is minimal outlay, you know the condition and you don't worry about taking them out on the courts or loaning them to friends.

So for the price of one modern frame, you can easily equipment an entire wood-only tournament, which BTW is a whole lot of fun.

-k-

andrew_b
09-13-2006, 07:25 AM
I wonder if in the day of wood racquets people were going around talking to each other for grea tthe racquet is spin friendly and so low powered and what great flex and shall i polarize it and is the racquet head heavy or head lgiht...

I played with wood frames as a junior , and we definitely discussed flexibility, weight, balance, and string tension for frames...

"Stiff" rackets would not be considered stiff by today's standards, I don't think. I played mostly with a Wilson Jack Kramer Pro Staff, strung at 63 lbs with 15L Victor gut....I liked the Maxply, but they cracked too easily. There was a company called TAD Davis that made beautiful frames (the "Classic", I think - it looked like fine furniture), but they were extremely flexible. To me, it felt like the head was still in the starting position when my swing was at the contact point of the ball....

play well,
Andrew

VGP
09-13-2006, 09:37 AM
I love periodically checking thrift stores and garage sales for old wood rackets. Most of what I have were found that way. I love scoring a Wilson Jack Kramer Autograph or Dunlop Maxply fort that way....

I admit that most of the older ones (pre '40s) I found at antique shops and online....

I agree about the Davis frames. They did use beautiful woods and showed the laminate construction (I like the Imperial), but the necks are so thin that they are too flexible for me.

sureshs
09-13-2006, 10:30 AM
Can anyone suggest the tension range for a classic wood racquet (with 66 square inch head) and what type of string (other than gut) to use?

netman
09-13-2006, 10:51 AM
The tension range on my Head Vilas is 50-62 lbs. I'm guessing most wood frames are in that range, but I'm sure other's can elaborate.

I typically string it with a good high quality syn gut like Gosen Sheep Micro, either 16 or 17 guage.

-k-

andrew_b
09-13-2006, 11:43 AM
Can anyone suggest the tension range for a classic wood racquet (with 66 square inch head) and what type of string (other than gut) to use?

I used to string my rackets fairly tight (for the day), somewhere between 60-65 pounds. So for a range, I'd say from 55 - 65 pounds. Some of the frames I used at that tension:

Jack Kramer Pro Staff
Jack Kramer Autogragh
Wilson Advantage
Dunlop Maxpli
Yonex something-or-other (was black and white, had somekind of fiber overlay on top of the wood. If you find one of these, be careful - they break easily)
TAD Davis classic (if you use one of these, be truly old skool and say "Tad or Davis?" for the spin. One side of the frame has a "TAD" logo decal, the other the "Davis" crest :D ).

A good multi would work well as far as strings. I'd stick with 16 or 17 guage.

play well,
Andrew

Steve Huff
09-14-2006, 06:11 PM
Alafter--actually, people did talk about stiffness, control, etc (maybe not so much about spin). As Andrew b pointed out, some rackets were stiff and some were flexible. Some were heavy (rackets even came in "L", "M" and "H"). I have a Slazenger Manual Orantes that weighs about 11.5 oz. I have some other woods that weigh over 15. Some rackets (Borg models) had really long leather grips that seemed to go up half the racket. Most had reinforced "shoulders", but some more than others. Some of the old Bancroft woods, with "bamboo" shafts were really thin. Davis rackets had shafts that were wide, but thin from front to back with exagerated shoulders where the head met the shaft. Some had graphite plies, whereas some had graphite (or boron) overlays. So you see, wood rackets weren't just a chunk of wood carved down to the shape of a racket. They had technology too. Companies tried to produce what they perceived the market wanting--just like today.