Do newer model racquets have true superior breakthroughs in materials/technology?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Raul_SJ, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

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    Indeed, Aerogel is legit. As its name implies it is a gel in which liquid vesicles were replaced with air bubbles. Hence its foam like properties; very voluminous yet very light.

    Now let's proceed to read the gobbledygook at the link you provided.

    Aerogel < It has strength up to 4,000 times its own weight> What does this mean? Strength is defined in terms of force per unit of length or per surface. Weight is a measure of the force with which the earth attracts an object. Can you say that an iron bar has x times the strength of its own weight? Not if you attended eighth grade science classes. Or that a pencil has x times the strength of its own weight?

    <Aerogel's nanometer-sized molecular network> duh... Molecular networks are at nanometer scale. Saying nanometer-sized molecular network is as saying molecular sized molecular networks, or mice sized mice, or golf ball size golf balls.

    <Aerogel racquets offer incredible power with touch and feel without compromising weight> Non-quantifiable nor verifiable statements. How many watts is incredible power? Without compromising weight? As opposed to the kind of touchy-feely stuff that tends to be weight compromising?

    Pretty much all the descriptions provided are laughable and make for good entertainment. They would make good material to lighten up the mood in high school science class. Grammar and syntax are also lacking, as written by someone with only introductory level English.

    Therefore I am asking; does this make you confident that the technologies are what they are purported to be?
     
    #51
  2. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Would you like for me to hit the tennis ball for you too? You can sit on the bench and take credit for the win.

    There are more players today serving 130's than in the 1990's. 110lb girls are now hitting as hard as boys. Scrawny guys are now ripping heaters. Maybe there are some game-improving technologies behind that. It's up to the player, not the racquet manufacturers, to perform on the court.
     
    #52
  3. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    I was laughing the entire time...

    And for aerogel strength watch the videos on this page http://www.buyaerogel.com/
     
    #53
  4. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

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    "For what it's worth, my rackets are old-school 100% graphite, with no "technologies" to speak of, and I think they're amazing."

    Not to be pedantic, but I don't think there is a 100% graphite racket. If the racket is manufactured using a thermoset process, you have to account for the amount of epoxy which binds the layers of graphite sheets. Even the graphite (carbon) sheets are not 100% graphite. Overall, you may have less than 50% graphite in a racket. This is a conservative guess. I wouldn't be surprised if it's even less than 40%. If the racket used a thermoplastic process, you are looking at less than 35% graphite fiber, no matter what it says on the racket. The remainder is nylon.



    "Out of curiosity, have you used any "technologies" that you felt made a difference?"

    I think one has to differentiate between technologies (wood, metal, "graphite", composite, etc) and designs (large ports, box frame, large head, rocker system, rollers, "kinetic", etc).

    For my use, the "graphite" technology works well. I prefer thermoplastic frames (dunlop max 200g, prince vortex), but there are a few regular frames I also like.

    In therms of industrial design, the large ports seem to do what Prince claims, with the foreseeable drawbacks; some loss of control and accuracy. Replace the ports and you regain some control but lose some comfort and spin. I bought the Prince EXO3 Graphite because of reviews on TW, because it simply looked good, and because it was on liquidation. Didn't live up to my expectation.

    The kinetic approach (I own PK redondo and kinetic) also seem to work. I think the rationale behind it is plausible. The kinetic rackets are comfortable. How much is it due to the sand inside the frame and how much to a more flexible material is hard to assess without draining the sand out of a racket. The PK Redondo is a comfortable racket, which makes me think that the kinetic might be comfortable even without the sand inside it. The Redondo is definitely one of my favorites (also says 100% graphite on it, though I know that's not true).

    The power pads work for me. They definitely change the feel of the racket. I don't think they affect the power or reduce arm strain. Leather grips work for me. No other innovations I can think of. My daily rackets are Dunlop Max 200g Pro. Once I started playing with them I couldn't really enjoy any other racket. The Redondo is relegated to backup with the Head Liquidmetal Radical (nice, weighted at 12.5 ozs though I don't think there any technology there)
     
    #54
  5. -Kap-

    -Kap- Rookie

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    Love these! :mrgreen:
     
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  6. DevilDog

    DevilDog Rookie

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    You must have skipped eight grade. You should look up the definition of force and tensile strength (physics).
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
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  7. -Kap-

    -Kap- Rookie

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    I haven't used many racquet technologies, myself, but my coach back in college raved about his PK Kinetic, and swore that it cured his aging, aching elbow. I gave it a few swings, and I remember it being pretty comfortable (and shaking it like a maraca). I'd actually love to try one again.

    I thought Wilson's PWS (perimeter weighting system) was a sound idea. That extra bit of material in the hoop mimicked having a little lead at the 3 & 9 positions. I thought their Aire Shell handle system, which was supposed to reduce shock, may have worked a little too well, because the Pro Staff that I had that used it had a distinct lack of feel.

    I had a lot of fun playing with a Prince Extender RipStick for a while, but it didn't necessarily improve my game. Serves and slices felt effortless (and wicked) with a 29" racquet, but depth and directional control on groundstrokes was more challenging due to the length and sub-10oz weight. Switching back to 27" 12oz racquets felt immensely better.
     
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  8. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Another former RipStick user! I loved my pair but had to stop using them last summer when my wrist got injured (old age sucks) due to the huge swingweight (2 extra inches will do that).

    I had been using them on and off since the 90s and they killed on serves!

    Since switching back to POGs and Borons my wrist has had a chance to recover.
     
    #58
  9. Zolar

    Zolar New User

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    I agree 100 percent. Myself and several friends have been cured of tennis elbow with this racquet. I then moved on to the Babolat Pure Control and have avoided arm problems since. I hear it's the head light, overall heavy racquet that helps, but the PK 5G,( with 5 grams of whatever sloshing around in the head ) maybe has something to do with it?
     
    #59
  10. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

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    I don't need to. I know what I am talking about. If you ever get to 8th grade, you might learn that too. Tensile strength is measured in Pa, which is Newtons (unit of force) per square meter. Nice try
     
    #60
  11. sabala

    sabala Semi-Pro

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    Prince Vortex had the same thing TWENTY years ago. I worked in a tennis club and the Prince rep dropped off a little Vortex tech display stand thingy.

    Basically there was a little ball of the "Vortex space goo" with a mini mallet attached to display stand. You whack the ball with the mallet and it's still a perfect ball but if you slowly press into it, the ball easily deforms ....LIKE MAGIC!! :shock:

    Also had staggered string pattern "technology" which was supposed to move the ball towards the frame on off centered hits.



    Not to mention Dunlop Max200G well before the Vortex ...

     
    #61
  12. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Today, racquets have big heads which give you more power and margin for error. They're stiff, which helps in directional control. Strings are stiff, which give you improved consistency, placement, and super spin.

    How much more help does one need on their tennis game? Racquet manufacturers can only do so much. There comes a certain point when you - the player - have to put in the court time and improve your game. The only missing technology is the Federer Technology, whereby Federer comes on the court and hits the winner for you. (That, actually, would be awesome.)

    Maybe these technologies aren't BS. Maybe your tennis game is BS. Ever thought of that? Ha.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
    #62
  13. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    A good racket from 20+ years ago could easily be used on pro tour today. The prince graphite from 30 years ago was a great racket, the head prestige and radicals from 10+ years ago can easily compete with today's models. The Jim Courier flat beam 95 wilson pro staff from 10+ years ago is a great racket.

    The main advance since graphite composite rackets has been polyester strings which have changed the game almost as much as the change from wood to graphite.

    I really don't see "basalt" or amplifeel having an advantage over a good graphite racket from 20 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
    #63
  14. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Basalt and amplifeel are comfort technologies, not game improvement technologies. Ultra stiff graphite today take its toll on your body (while it has game improvement benefits), so BLX and Amplifeel are designed to allow a player to use ultra stiff graphite without pain.

    Traditional graphite loses flex quickly and cave in in due time. The POG can't handle poly's without losing extreme power. A POG with poly is how a man turns into a 12 year old girl.
     
    #64
  15. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    This is a ridiculous statment, sorry. The graphite is the "strongest" component in any racquet composite, after the boron.
    Even if there was some change in properties, it wouldnt be the loss but increase in flex.
    More different fibre materials you put into a composite, less you can custom tailor the matrix (epoxy) for maximum bond, resulting in decreased longevity of the product...
     
    #65
  16. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Tonight I was hitting hard with a POG mid and a Boron OS both strung with RPM Team.

    No I'm not a 12 year old girl.

    So...I disagree with your statement
     
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  17. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Then I disagree that you were hitting hard.
     
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  18. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    It's like you've never hit with a tennis racket and over time have the frame die on you. It's like you've never strung a racket, and have the graphite cave in as the machine is pulling on the string. There's a difference between traditional graphite and ultra high modulus graphite. My claims are "ridiculous" to you, because you've never made the observations many of us have. You theorize without observation.

    This isn't about graphite in rackets. Modern rackets are still made of graphite. It's about traditional graphite versus ultra high modulus graphite. They're both graphite, but they have different properties. Ultra high modulus doesn't seem to fatigue as quickly (unless you add basalt to them, in which case it may die faster.)

    EDIT: I misspoke when I said "loses flex." I meant to say that it gets more flexible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
    #68
  19. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Professional

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    Most of the break throughs are marketing generated. But if you believe in them; that what counts. There is definitely better graphics(not the fibers) in the newest rackets that make a big difference in how you view your racket - sort of like color and looks of a sport car user image. LOL!

    But in general; a new racket gives you a hyped up fondness for the game and desire to do better stroking.

    So go and buy yourself a new racket!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
    #69
  20. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    "But in general; a new racket gives you a hyped up fondness for the game and desire to do better stroking. "
    It might be the converse as newer racquets promote lazy strokes.
     
    #70
  21. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Come to Toronto and find out.
     
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  22. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Professional

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    Might not too! Go buy a Prestige Mid!
     
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  23. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    What do I know, anyways... Only worked on a team that designed about $50,000,000.00 worth of composite products...

    A product built to the same stifness spec out of higher modulus fiber, will fail quicker then the counterpart built in lower modulus fiber, for a simple reason - less material used in the high modulus product.
    A produst built to the same stifness spec using higher beam, will fail before the the counterpart with lower beam - again, more material in lower beam.
    A beam built with a core will outlast the hollow beam, for better load distribution.
    All of above is especially true for point loading and impact related failures. Those are the major rasons for failure of the racquets, which is sometimes perceived as fatigue...
     
    #73
  24. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

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    Thank you for pointing this out! It's painful to listen to arguments such as "Ultra Xestra Super Graphite" is much stronger than "Ultra Limp Graphite".
     
    #74
  25. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I agree 100% with your post.

    New racquets keep getting worse and worse. The newer racquets use less graphite, worse quality graphite, and are hollow and tinny, all to increase profit margins. That's why racquet companies can continue to sell graphite racquets for about the same price as 35 years ago despite all the inflation over all those years. The older racquets feel so much more solid because they used much more and higher quality graphite and so didn't feel hollow and tinny like today's new racquets do.
     
    #75
  26. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    You're using a players frame and im sure your strokes are grooved into a 13 oz stick, the newer head heavier frames are much stiff and require full poly to maximize control. If you aren't ready to change your strokes, stick with your setup.
     
    #76
  27. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I was wondering about the low prices today compared to the 70's and 80's when "good" racquets were frequently over $200 and up way back then - thanks for clearing that up for me! To me it seems like am amazing deal to get top shelf racquets for $150-$200.

    That said Ive been playing POGs and Borons made in the 80s since my wrist injury as I can't play the light, hollow racquets that proliferate these days.

    Looking forward to my Donnay X-Platinums which seem to be very old school in that they are relatively heavy and not hollow.
     
    #77
  28. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Then tell me why my hyper pro staff from 1999 is still stiff as a rock and why my PS85 is limp with the grommets caved in? My nCode 90's are in their original condition while the BLX90 is a bit softer after 6 months.

    PS - you didn't quite flash knowledge we didn't know. To rephrase, Babolat uses ultra stiff/strong graphite, but they use less of it in order to reduce mass. Thus, they crack.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
    #78
  29. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    The big difference now with past racquets is the manufacturers make them cheap so profits can be increased. As a result they feel like crap. Old racquets were way higher quality than the junk they market now. Most of the technology is just recycled. Take foam core for instance. They used to foam inject a lot of racquets back in the 80s.

    The most modern racquet I play is the Fischer Vacume Pro Classic 90. Everyone who hits with it loves it (even the Babalot croud).

    I have old aluminum frames that play better than the junk they put out now.
     
    #79
  30. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I would... You need to send me the exact layup of both frames, including the resin specs, radial sections every 1/2", size and number of grommet holes, number of stringing jobs, tension and string type, total number of hours played, average swing speed, number of hits to the ground, number of shanked balls, how many times thrown in anger, hours in the trunk of car parked in the sun... ;)
    _________

    At few other posters,
    Easy now, the racquets are not made now out of "worse" graphite. Just less of it, allowed by higher beams and lighter weights, and in some cases higher modulus.
    Prices are relatively cheaper then 3 decades ago mostly due to more massive volume and outsourcing to the far east. However, less material plays some rolle, but not to the extent you'd imagine...
     
    #80
  31. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Your posts are more concerned about sounding smart than conveying useful information or answering the question. But no matter, we already know about the differences between traditional and modern graphites. It was more a rhetorical question.
     
    #81
  32. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Why? Men have big egos. We all know that. If you use the POG, you do not hit hard. You can, however, potentially cut bigger angles due to the increased time the ball floats. I have the 4 stripe POG, and I noticed a huge drop in power from the recent racquets.
     
    #82
  33. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    Of course, just like about 50% of people posting in online forums. Other 50% are too busy being jerks, to even sound smart...

    Really? I gave you a very practical answer - listed what it takes to make any sort of scientific conclusion. And that's actually not even enough - it would be just the data concerning your 2 particular racquets. Much larger sample would actually be required and testing in controlled environment, like building a machine that would load the racquets over and over, 1000s of times, measurning the flex index at the start and end, or recording the number of cycles that would cause the frame failure. Pretty sure that manufacturers do this, but that data wouldn't be available for your or my use, for sure.

    Do we? All you have are assumptions and your personal observations, from few frames you've got. No scientific data...

    On the other hand, what useful information have you given us? Your frame A is better then frame B... Wilson is better then Babolat (your sig)... Poster V can not hit hard, as he uses POG... All opinions - and that's all we've got, unfortunately.
     
    #83
  34. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Hey BlueB

    I'm inclined to agree with you.

    In addition, if this forum has an "ignore posts" feature, UCSF2012 will be on top of my list.

    I've got a Bab Pure Drive and it is more powerful than my POGs although I hit as hard with my POGs, but I'm not about to waste any more time debating UCSF2012. Or read any of his/her posts.
     
    #84
  35. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Technologies/materials do not matter for the simple fact that they must adhere to the laws of physics.
    Troll verified.
     
    #85
  36. pshulam

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    Could you elaborate?
     
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  37. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    That's all you had to say to suggest you're truely clueless.
     
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  38. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Racquet performance is dependant on specifications. Mass, size, weight distribution, pattern, stiffness etc.
    Materials only matter as much as personal preference for feel is concerned but even that is limited because feel can be manipulated much more with the layup, altering stiffness in certain areas etc., which can allow for more of the desired frequencies to pass through to the player's hands.
    They're all of the carbon family with sprinkles of marketing magic beans tossed in.
    No one is surprised that these matters are beyond your comprehension. Even basic spelling escapes you.
     
    #88
  39. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    I don't have to say a thing. No one will agree with you that material doesn't matter at all.

    PS - I purposely mispell "racquet" as "racket," because I like the way "racket" looks. I just don't like the way "truly" looks on the screen. Reminds me of "10is," "u there," "wat?,"...etc.
     
    #89
  40. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the clarification. Materials/technology, however, do matter if one cares about the feel and comfort.
     
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