anyone got a LANGE BR7 or other LANGE racquet

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by rodracquet, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Saw a pic of a LANGE racquet today from the 1970's see Australian Tennis History on FACEBOOK for the pic. Was a ski company and is today owned by Rossignol. Maybe that was how a LANGE racquet came to being then again many ski manufacturers got the "jump" on the old school racquet makers. Volkl, Fischer, Head, Kniessl....any more.
     
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  2. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    I would like to see the Lange racket.
    Is it a transitional composite or metal ?
    That era produced so many interesting rackets like the rossignol Johan Kriek model which was similar to the Head AA composities as an aluminum sandwich. Wonder if Kastle produced any rackets ?
    Take a look at the Kriek model:

    http://www.woodtennis.com/rossi/rossi_johankriek1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
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  3. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    It was a graphite wood composite. Date December 1976 World Tennis Magazine. Had a white black LANGE logo design style recognizable by skiers....Price $70 unstrung

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Certainly those four are the bigger ski manufacturers who diversified into tennis.

    We mustn't forget Rossignol, of course.

    I believe Yamaha also leveraged its sandwich ski architecture (similar to the Head ski which led to the Arthur Ashe series of aluminum skin/foam composite core/aluminum skin frames) to its YCR frames of the 70's, or perhaps it was vice-versa.

    I have heard rumors of Elan frames; I haven't seen them, though. I haven't heard of Kaestle or Dynastar tennis gear.

    In the early 80's, a coach of mine here in Northern California had a prototype Hexcel composite frame - I hit with it - but I don't believe those made series production.

    It made sense for the ski manufacturers to branch out into tennis. The earliest skis were also a quality laminated wood product. Later, aluminum skins and composite structures (fiberglass, then carbon fiber and aramide fibers) were pioneered by the ski manufacturers. Translating them to tennis was not too hard. And the clientele for tennis was demographically more likely to buy and use skis in the winter season! :)
     
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  5. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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  6. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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  7. Hall of Fame Racquets

    Hall of Fame Racquets Rookie

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    Hart Ski Corporation

    This company was founded by Hart & Harry Holmberg in 1955 in St Paul, Minnesota. This company became well known for its skis which were sold worldwide and in the mid 1960's Hart Skis dominated the ski market according to their advertising.

    The Hart AR-1 is an extruded aluminum racket with a rigid fiberglass open throat The head strip on the AR-1 is 25% thicker than comparable rackets. As a result result the strings are better cushioned for less shock and longer string life.

    I do have a Lange BR7 in my collection but did not realize the ski company connection. This racquet was also first listed in Tennis Magazine, Jan, 1977, Thanks for the information.

    I really appreciate your racquet origin "stimulation" along with that provided regularly by retrowagen, joe sch, and others.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
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  8. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Having just done more quick research about the Lange ski company (who were more noteworthy as the most revolutionary company in the manufacture of downhill ski boots), there are some other interesting details to note:

    Lange pioneered ski boot production with thermoplastic shells and aluminum buckles, with the now-ubiquitous front entry. However, after some mis-steps with one new critical product, Lange was sold in 1973 to Garcia. Garcia, as we know, had a line of quality tennis racquets, made in Maine. I would suppose this was the genesis of the Lange-branded racquet, through the Garcia connection. And Garcia was sold to Rossignol in 1978. Rossignol took the existing Garcia frames and rebranded them, and continued to make graphite composites in the USA on and off through the F250 of 1986. However, they quickly sold off the other Garcia holdings, including Lange. Since then, Lange has been owned by various owners or holding companies, and still makes excellent ski boots - I have a pair myself.
     
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  9. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Great responses all round. It is quite interesting to reflect on the SKI connection being the primary innovative industry which transgressed into the tennis making business. They seemed to have the R&D smarts.

    Certainly there entry into tennis killed the old school woodie companies who really got left behind, save for a few great items like Dunlops 200G.

    As another odd ball maker Donnay joined forces with a billiard ball making company to create the very early CALDON fibreglass models.

    In the USA there seems to have been many boutique makers trying things.

    The centurion/ pro Am one moulded aluminium frame circa 1969, Durbin, Maynard etc etc not sure if they were just dedicated racquet makers or other skill sets (like Tremont) led them into the market.

    Certainly more competition back then than now.......do you think???
     
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  10. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Definitely. Everyone had that "better mousetrap." And there were more companies looking to diversify into new markets with new materials and technology - some whimsical, some questionable, some legitimate, but all interesting from our vantage point here thrity or forty years later.

    I just had a flashback memory that Tensor (who made some rather mediocre aluminum frames) made their money first on desk and drafting table lamps. Perhaps the owner of the company was a closet tennis fan?
     
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  11. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    The Lange racquet in question looks a lot like the Rossignol RT, externally. Rossignol is the parent company of Dynastar ( Skis ), Lange ( ski boots ), and Look ( ski bindings...also cycling pedals ).

    Texalium, one of the key ingredients in Technifibre racquets, comes from Hexcel, who used to make skis, and touted honeycomb structures.

    Wilson's parent company ( Amer Sports ) also owns the Atomic ski company.

    Incestuous little industries, tennis and skiing.

    And while we're on the subject, I'll bring up the same subject every two years or so: I'm still waiting for one of these clever ski MFRs---who also does tennis---to add wood cores to a line of tennis racquets.

    Yeah, I know about the old Pro-Kennex Core series, which were a bit of a dud. Volkl kind of does it with the Organix material, which is basically cellulose.

    I'm talking about a small, damping core of light ash or even balsa ( to make it light, which seems like the all-encompassing mantra of modern racquet design ( along with stiffness )).

    Wood cores are still common, and sought after, in modern composite ski design. Why not bring it back to tennis? And do it right this time.

    Next generation Head: YouTek Graphene-o-wood.

    Heck, they still use piezoelectric Intellifibers in their current lineup, and I'm pretty sure many use wood cores...though it's probably not politically correct or environmentally friendly to tout the use of wood, which, I'm told, is a renewable resource.
     
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  12. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    It's not a new idea. The entire line of Snauwaert graphite composites made in Belgium circa 1983-1988 featured an ashwood core within the layup of graphite, fiberglass, kevlar, and/or boron fibers. And yes, they hit incredibly plush.
     
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  13. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Yup...just waiting for the idea / usage to come back around. "Nothing new under the sun."

    I think Snauwaert's implementation was better than Pro-Kennex's attempt.
     
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  14. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    --Solomon. (NOT Salomon, another French ski company...) :lol:
     
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  15. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    I figured you'd pick up on that.

    As an aside, Salomon: also owned by Amer Sports!
     
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