A YAMAHA YFG 50 Fiberglass Racquet

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by Long Face, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    344
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Bought this one some time ago. It is of a nice dark chocolate color with "modern" glossy finish. Tiny head size. A classy and tasty design with yellow highlights.

    It didn't come with the head cover when I bought it. I found the yellow head cover in the $1.99 bin of another store.

    A nice addition to my humble vintage racquet collection. 8)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #1
  2. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    344
    Location:
    British Columbia
    A couple more pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #2
  3. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    344
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Last two pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #3
  4. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,896
    I remember those racquets...they were a little stiffer than the black and red ones that preceded them. They were fun to hit with.
     
    #4
  5. Overheadsmash

    Overheadsmash Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    773
    What year is that from?
     
    #5
  6. Hannah19

    Hannah19 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    999
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    Back in 1980 the tennis pro at our club was sponsored by Yamaha and sold these from the trunk of his car.
    By that time the Yamaha Fiber Glass series had already been around for about 5 years.
    The YFG 50 came in several colour schemes and was partially made with graphite.
    Production ceased in 1981, followed by the larger sized YFG 45 and 75.
     
    #6
  7. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,774
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    I really enjoyed playing the yamaha rackets during that transitional period of going from wood rackets to trying all the new composite rackets hitting the market. It was really a big psych boost to yield one of these type of rackets against an opponent still playing a woody. I mostly played the yfg 20 and 30s back in those days, as they were the most reasonable in price. Below are a few more pics of these models:

    http://woodtennis.com/yamaha/yamahas4.jpg
     
    #7
  8. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    Nice collection. We sold quite a few of the 30 series and of course I had to have the 50 to be different. Looked pretty cool with Victor Superb gold. I played the much stiffer 70(YGR, I believe) around '79-'80, but it was an arm-killer for me. They all had a distinctive whistle-swoosh as they moved through the air...some folks were put off by it, others thought it was something special.

    This series was another I believe that would benefit from a more open string pattern, leaving out one main on either side, eliminating at least one shared hole and leaving out one top cross, IIRC. Like the 200G, the 'official' string pattern mirrored that of a wood racket.

    Long Face, that is an excellent addition to your stable...well done!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
    #8
  9. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,575
    Location:
    Florida
    I used that racquet early in high school. I can't believe I actually won a few matches with it. It was way too flexible and trampoline-like. It was advertised as a graphite/fiberglass composite, but the only graphite in it was in the handle. Graphite was so expensive back then. Putting little bits of graphite in the frame was a sneaky marketing ploy in those days.
     
    #9
  10. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    Yeah, thank goodness no one does THAT nowadays! :)
     
    #10
  11. tacoben

    tacoben Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    504
    Location:
    Foggy Town USA
    I remember saving money for one of those YFG racquets back in high school. I also remember watching World Team Tennis in the late 70's early 80's and recall Dr. Rene Richards using one of those sticks. Here is a picture of her with the stick from Wikepedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renée_Richards
     
    #11
  12. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    212
    I hope I am not hijacking this thread with my questions below, but I don't want to start a new Yamaha thread when there are already two running side by side.

    I just picked up this interesting racquet, which was unknown to me previously.

    [​IMG]


    According to the small print on the side of the shaft, it is a member of the YFG series. Yet this racquet has obviously nothing in common with the earlier (mostly) fiberglass models. It is extremely light for its vintage (10.25 ounces strung), and alarmingly svelte (see comparison with a YFG-30 and a Secret); the beam is only 14 mm wide and 9 mm thick. It is by far the most delicate-looking full length (27 in) composite frame I've ever held. Add to that a perfectly "round" grip (even more so than those on the other Yamahas, and curiously labeled as both a "3" and a "4 1/2"; unless the "3" has something to do with the frame weight), and it almost feels like this thing was made for something other than tennis.

    Can one of the vintage mavens here tell me what's the story behind this frame? Did the YFG series keep going past this point? Or does this represent a dead end? And what's with the escutcheon above the grip?

    TIA for any input!
     
    #12
  13. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    Looks like a squash bat to me...along the lines of the Dunlop 200G. What's the head size?
     
    #13
  14. Love50

    Love50 Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Messages:
    281
    Location:
    NorCal
    Is it possible it is a "soft tennis" racquet?

    I see a Yamaha TZ850 on the big Japanese auction site with a similar wedge-shaped hoop, though the shaft is longer than your specimen. Classified under Tennis>Rackets>Soft Type. It has a similar "badge" at the top of the grip.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
    #14
  15. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,912
    Yeah, it's a soft tennis racquet.
     
    #15
  16. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    212
    I had absolutely no idea!! Thanks for solving the mystery for me so quickly! Actually two mysteries have been solved in one go, because I am pretty sure now (after reading the Wikipedia entry on soft tennis) that the second racquet from the right (the flimsiness of which has puzzled me for ages) was used for this purpose as well.

    [​IMG]

    Coachrick: Yes, I have seen one of those 200G-looking squash bats at a GW this past summer. Was very very tempted to get it just to sit it next to its bigger cousin, but it wasn't in the best of shape, and I had a little more than my usual ration of self-control with me that time...

    Thanks again, y'all!
     
    #16
  17. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,222
    The 50 was just below the 70 in the YFG line up . It was released in 1977 John Sardi lost to in the NCAA using an YFG 30 in 1978
     
    #17
  18. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    Seemed like most of the NC State team had the red YFG 30 when they came to Columbia to play USC(the original...South Carolina). BTW, the Gamecocks' Chris Mayotte(older brother to Tim) beat John Sadri for his only regular season loss that year.

    Having Sadri using the YFG 30 certainly didn't hurt the Yamaha's image as a power racket. They even started a 'Fast Serve Contest' tour to help demonstrate the power of the YFG. The regional sales rep wasn't too happy when I tied for first place using a Fischer Superform!:)
     
    #18
  19. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,774
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    Coach, your very correct that those rackets would have been improved with a more open string pattern. It is interesting that most of the modern woods had 18x20's and many of the antique and vintage woods had even denser patterns. The larger head graphites and more open string patterns really changed the classic tennis game into the baseline blasting era. Ofcourse, the selection of modern poly strings has also improved the control for the modern power game. I took an action to create a thread on this topic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
    #19
  20. chollyred

    chollyred Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Loganville, Ga.
    Just think how fast your serve would've been if you'd been using the YFG! :D

    I went from a Kramer Autograph to the red YFG 30. What a game changer! Then suddenly people starting showing up with the huge old ugly green throated aluminum Prince monstrosity.
     
    #20
  21. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,476
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Ran across one of these today for $1.99. Albeit not quite in as good of condition.

    -SF
     
    #21
  22. Hannah19

    Hannah19 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    999
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    Heavy stick...:)
    I've got a few n.o.s. YFG 10 & 50's.
    Tiniest sweetspot ever and known to warp when left anywhere over 85 F :)
     
    #22
  23. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    212
    Can someone tell me when the YFG-15 was released?

    [​IMG]


    It has the exact same head size and shape as the YFG-30, but is marginally skinnier and lighter than the latter, with a different throat piece and individual grommets instead of a grommet strip.

    It is not mentioned in my '95 German edition of Kuebler, nor have I been able to find reference for it in the forum archives.

    There is a little sticker in the throat area with Japanese writings on it. Perhaps this model was only sold in Japan?
     
    #23
  24. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    Windsor, England
    ^^^I've never seen the 15 before!
     
    #24
  25. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    As cheesy as the 20 was, I can only imagine how 'rough' the 15 would be. We had to trim some of the flashing off the sides of the 20s from time to time.

    Those individual grommets look 'interesting' in the 15.
     
    #25
  26. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    212
    I am a little surprised that this model appears to have flown under the radar somehow. My '95 edition Kuebler gives the impression that Yamaha's YFG model numbering system was at least partially based on head sizes (e.g., YFG-20= 20% more face area than a standard head), and that in addition to all the model numbers that ended in "0", they also produced a few frames with model numbers that ended in "5" (i.e., YFG-45, YFG-65, YFG-75). As my YFG-15 has the exact same head size as the YFG-30, I am having some serious reservation that size was a major factor in Yamaha's numbering system.

    The example shown above (serial number 789389) is actually one of two such frames I've come across in as many weeks; the other one is numbered 811837. Assuming that Yamaha racquets were consecutively numbered for a given model, that would mean that 10's of thousands of YFG-15 were produced. If so, surely there must be more than a handful of these still floating around? The basic specs as measured are quite close between the two long lost siblings that I have now reunited (only 4 grams apart in weight, 2 mm difference in balance point), so Yamaha QC did a reasonable job on these, which may have been better than that of the YFG-20 that Coachrick had experienced.
     
    #26
  27. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Yeah, that runs contrary to my memory, too. My first "real" tennis racket came down to a choice of which of those insanely cool-looking Yamahas I could afford*, and the YFG-20, YFG-30, YFG-50, and YGR-70 were all the same head size as every other racket was – except for a granny stick that no one took seriously, called the "Prince" or something.

    The 45, 65, and 75 I remember as coming later, in the early 80's, when every racket company was getting into the bigger head market at around 85 sq in, just under the bottom end of the Prince patent's head size range.

    I never heard of the YFG-15 before today, though. I can't see it coming later when larger head sizes were taking over; seems like it must be a precursor or a non-U.S. market contemporary of the 20, 30, etc.


    * It was the black & white YFG-30. God, I treasured that thing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
    #27
  28. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    212
    Here is another YFG model that I have never seen before, and isn't mentioned in my '95 German edition of Kuebler - the YFG-30XL:

    [​IMG]


    Unlike the regular YFG-30, which was made in Japan, the XL model was evidently manufactured by the Yamaha plant in Singapore. Its beam is the same width as that of the regular model, but the external groove is much shallower, and the racquet is somewhat lighter overall. The frame itself is essentially the same length as the standard model and is dark brown, not black. As far as I can tell, the only meaningful difference between these two sibling models is the grip length. Consequently, I think the "XL" refers strictly to the "extra-long" grip and nothing else. This would then beg the question - Were there other XL models in this product line that came with the longer grip, or were the two-handed backhanders back then given only this one single special treat by Yamaha?
     
    #28

Share This Page