Is technology really making a better racquet?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by hihihi8402, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. hihihi8402

    hihihi8402 New User

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    40
    Does all this supposed technology liquidmetal, developed for the military, or intellifibers or nCode or whatever technology is marketed as the new best thing really make for better racquets? It seems like we are just making lighter more powerful racquets for beginners who don't really need to develop proper technique just to have fun. Does all this technology really make a better players racquet? Is the LM radical or the wilson Ncode better than the POG or the wilson prostaff 6.0?
     
    #1
  2. GrahamIsSuper

    GrahamIsSuper Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    504
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I play with a racket made of fiberglass that's been around for 12-15 years and whip people who use the latest.

    If i pick up one of those rackets, they feel like toys to me since they're so light, and also, you can't control a thing.

    Try an Estusa, no bells n whistles.
     
    #2
  3. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,304
    I think you've hit the nail in the head about technology and racquets. It really is for making racquets more powerful with larger sweet spots... but for intermediate and advanced players. Graphite/Kevlar will be around forever, just as natural gut strings will be also. Its just the right combination of heft, weight, feel that demanding players who want to and have the ability to hit the ball where they aim them to be successful.
     
    #3
  4. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,389
    Generally the technology makes the racquets more desirable and usable by a greater percentage of contemporary society.
    The older heavier, smaller headed racquets needed greater fitness, strength and technical ability to use effectively.
     
    #4
  5. 007

    007 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    918
    Location:
    Take Off Eh!
    IMHO, for strong players, the best playing/feeling racquets are those with a correct mix of weight, balance and flex pattern.....not super high-tech Area 51 science which is more for marketing hype than anything. Go hit an MP1 Tour and a 7 year old SRD Tour back-to-back and tell me which feels better. Go hit a 10 year old Fischer Vacuum Pro and a current Pro #1 FT....it's a joke really.
     
    #5
  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,741
    In one word: NO!

    I still use a PS 6.0 and think the POG and Max 200G are good alternatives. Most of the new stuff feel like tin cans to me.

    Just remember that you can't change the laws of physics with new technology.
     
    #6
  7. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    i think the technology is a mixed bag. i think it can make for better frames. fischers vacuum technic is good technology as is volkl's pure fibre, and i am sure i can think of other useful technology. intellifibres? naah... nano technology? naaah..just might be a way to put more filler and crap in the layups and just market it as something better to charge more and lower the cost. woofers and catapults? B_O_I_N_G! think the lighter/stronger space age materials are good for weight/strength/flex distribution, but also think the basic racquet hasnt really changed much since graphite and oversize. it is good for creating something light and powerful enough that an 80 year old or someoine w. physical impairments can produce some results. ed
     
    #7
  8. Cruzer

    Cruzer Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,273
    Location:
    Leafs Nation
    This topic was touched on a few weeks ago and I think the answer is no. Obviously the tennis masses are not anywhere near as enlightened as we who frequent these boards are about all the hype new racquet models receive becasue they keep buying all the new technology discarding the latest technology from 16-24 months previously. Racquet makers have been able to make any variation of light/heavy, stiff/flexible, head light/head heavy racquet for years long before liquidmetal, nano stuff, intellifibers, woofers, catapults, power holes, rollers, air handles, v-engines, ultimate titanium, braided copper/tunsten/titanium, hyper carbon..... Tennis racquets are always going to be 27-28" in length, weigh 9-12 ounces, have head sizes 90-115" and the object you are trying to hit with the racquet, a tennis ball has remained unchanged in size and weight.
    The average tennis hack will always be looking for the holy grail of tennis racquets that will allow them to serve like Roddick, hit returns like Agassi, volley like Edberg, be the easiest to swing racquet imaginable and cause no arm or shoulder pains. Equipment can help you to a point but you still have to learn to hit the strokes.
    Sporting goods stores like Big 5 sell tennis racquets that were the lastest technology 4-5 years ago at significantly lower prices than the latest Wilson/Prince/Head stick and lots of good players buy them. Kudos to the marketeers at Wilson, Head, Prince et al. becasue they can continue to sell the latest "technology" at hefty prices with new models being introduced every 10 to 12 months.
     
    #8
  9. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,203
    While it's nice that so many here are 5.0+ players and have the consistency to use small, heavy headed racquets, you are in the minority on the tennis court, by a long shot.

    2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 are far and away the most numerous players out there. They don't have the game to play effectively with PS 6.0 or POG MP, especially the women. 99% of the ladies don't have the upper body strength to handle the weight nor do they have the skills.

    Any technology that helps them or anyone is good. If it allows a player to play up another notch, then that's great!

    I have several 4.5/5.0 guys that play with racquets like the 300G, Wilson HH 6.3, H6 MP, QV1 mp and so on. I have one guy that's at least a 5.5 that plays with the H Tour mp. He's just plain excellent, but he prefers lighter.

    This ongoing hoohaa about "players aren't players unless they're swinging at least a 12.5 ounce racquet" is baloney. You play with what feels best, not what the conventional wisdom dictates...even if it's the new stuff.

    No different than new cars. The 55 Chevy is a neat car (I owned one), but Chevy kept making better cars with new technology and the customers bought the new stuff. It's what the buying public wants, or should I say demands. Racquets are no different.

    David
     
    #9
  10. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    well clearly there is something wrong w. the game..if the technology were so good, more people would be playing this great game IMO and the game wouldnt be dying this slow death..... there really is no reason to make an 8or 9oz ultra stiff frame. as far as the htour mp frame for a 5.5..well..thats actually a pretty low powered small sweetspotted frame more suited for an advanced player and swings heavier than its static weight because of the even balance.. i think we've all killed this topic to death over and over again.....everyone is surely entitled to their opinions <including me> ;0 ed
     
    #10
  11. brijoel

    brijoel Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    277
    i think there is a big difference in tech of cars and tech of racquets, and it's a very skewed argument.

    when looking at offering a racquet and claiming it makes 30% more power vs a car that does 30% better in crash tests......wanna bet which is the more factual statement?

    in all reality, racquets come down to a few factors......
    weight/distribution, length, stiffness, balance, and properties of materials used. in all the variety of racquets i hit with, that had this that or the other technology, NONE ever helped me be a better player.
    the only factors that ive ever found to have a profound change of feeling of a racquet, were the above except for composition, and the only composition change i can ever seem to feel is the difference between layered or braided graphite. materials dont seem to make really any diffence at all, i mean can anyone really vouch for liquid metal's contribution to the prestige? lol, it doesnt feel any different than any other racquet in terms of still being a damn racquet..... anything that says a material is 15% stiffer or whatever is a crock, because all of the materials can be manipulated to produce a certain firmness or stiffness......
     
    #11
  12. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    agree..it's the archer not the arrows. the only real advancements since wood have been graphite (lighter) and oversize (bigger)..i think this lightweight and high powered thing is way out of control, and 2.5's can surely swing something with some mass to it unless they are very old or are physically handicapped...and often they swing something heavier much better than something lighter. ed
     
    #12
  13. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,270
    Location:
    A not so parallel universe...
    David wrote:
    "2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 are far and away the most numerous players out there. They don't have the game to play effectively with PS 6.0 or POG MP, especially the women. 99% of the ladies don't have the upper body strength to handle the weight nor do they have the skills."

    If this argument were factual, then there would have been only approximately 716 tennis players in the entire USA at any given moment in the wood racquet era.

    The composition of today's racquets - if you want to call them racquets - is 5% Research & Development, and 95% Marketing.
     
    #13
  14. brijoel

    brijoel Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    277
    totally agree, and completely forgot to mention this earlier.

    what i find so ironic, is that all of the older people who tend to qualify for the "power" racquets that ive talked to, wont have had tennis elbow their whole life and all of a sudden hafta look for "arm friendly racquets" because their latest and greatest, super light, tech shmeck racquets have f***d their wrist/elbow/shoulder/etc up. not to mention the younger folks who have problems much earlier in their life due to the tweener racquets...
     
    #14
  15. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,741
    I guess my opinion is that if you don't have the strength or the skills to play tennis, then hey, try golf or bowling. The fewer people crowding the public courts, the less I have to wait for an open court. :lol: Also, the fewer lets we have to play during our matches due to the people on the courts next to us constantly spraying balls into our court. :lol:

    What really gets to me is seeing people with obviously no tennis skills using an ultra-powerful racquet with a huge head able to get the ball across the net over and over when that ball had no business coming close to crossing the net. I guess I'm just one of those people that thinks tennis is supposed to be hard. It just wouldn't be fair to have any shortcuts. But, hey, that's just me. :shock:

    I also drive a manual transmission car because I think an automatic makes driving too easy and I find little satisfaction in doing things that are easy. Life, like tennis, is suppose to be hard. That gives one the motivation to improve, whether it's their life or their tennis skills. But then again, if there were no automatic transmissions, 90% of the people in the U.S. would be riding bicycles to work. :wink:
     
    #15
  16. Steve H.

    Steve H. Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    758
    Hmmm. I'd love to agree with Deuce, brijoel, etc because old flexy racquets feel better without a doubt, but the sad and annoying fact is, the newer ones make you more competitive.

    Case in point -- I play every week or so with a 60ish guy who has been playing for a long time; he now uses a sub 9 ounce Head S5, doesn't hit terribly hard but runs me all over the place with deep placement mixed with drop shots. Last week his wife took the S5 to her lesson, and he played with his old racquet, a classic 12 ounce plus Head graphite; his strokes looked flowing and beautiful but I beat the c**p out of him, all I had to do was hit a deep drive to his backhand and I would get an easy short ball back that I could put away. The next time we played he had his S5 back and we were back to parity.

    Technology may feel cheap and nasty, or as BreakPoint observes kind of unfair, but in a lot of cases it helps you win, which is on the whole more enjoyable than getting clobbered. Guess we all choose our own balance points, so to speak....
     
    #16
  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,741
    I see where Steve H. is coming from and I agree. I love the feel of my PS 6.0 but I don't always win with it. I could probably win more with the Head Ti Fire Tour I picked up a few years ago when I was looking for a bit more power and maneuverability. Still, I never use the Ti Fire Tour but always use the PS 6.0 because nothing feels better than hitting that sweetspot with the PS 6.0. It is very addictive and makes me look forward to playing tennis as much as possible just to experience that great feel for the ball. I also got tennis elbow from using the lighter and stiffer Ti Fire Tour. I guess I'm choosing great feel over winning matches.

    I guess it comes down to this: Would you rather have great sex twice a week or really bad, lousy sex every day of the week?
     
    #17
  18. Skinny Dip

    Skinny Dip New User

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    99
    Hmm, define really bad, lousy sex.
     
    #18
  19. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,741

    Use your imagination or as Mick Jagger sang: Can't get NO.... Satisfaction....... :wink:
     
    #19
  20. brijoel

    brijoel Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    277
    see the opposite goes for me, i play horribly with anything bigger than about 93 sq/in, really 90 is pushin it. in the past year, i dont get out to the courts anywhere near as much because i have severe back issues, but i just cant stop playing, lol. i mean im lucky if i can get out once a week.
    due to this, all of the stereotypes suggest i should have to "step it up" with a "better" racquet....while its true i can play with the other racquets, i dont ever hit the ball as hard or as well with them as i do my prostaff. even when im having a really bad day i can slow things down and finesse a win from time to time. when i used to play with my prescision response ti, there was plenty of pop but i couldnt do much else with the racquet, and thats not even really a high powered racquet.

    "Case in point -- I play every week or so with a 60ish guy who has been playing for a long time; he now uses a sub 9 ounce Head S5, doesn't hit terribly hard but runs me all over the place with deep placement mixed with drop shots. Last week his wife took the S5 to her lesson, and he played with his old racquet, a classic 12 ounce plus Head graphite; his strokes looked flowing and beautiful but I beat the c**p out of him, all I had to do was hit a deep drive to his backhand and I would get an easy short ball back that I could put away. The next time we played he had his S5 back and we were back to parity. "


    the problem with this......
    he went BACK to a racquet he hadnt used everytime.
    this would be a much more useful example if he had been using the 12 ouncer all along and suddenly he picked this other racquet up and wiped the floor with you.....THAT would be an argument for it
    to me, all this says, is that he adjusted to swinging a light racquet, and more than likely was swinging late due to difference in timing and stroke. there is no denying that one can simply adjust their game in one sitting no matter what racquet they are using. as far as im concerned he could have used another sub 11 ounce racquet and still played like crap because he wasnt used to it.
     
    #20
  21. Steve H.

    Steve H. Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    758
    brijoel, you've got a point -- some of it may have been due to not being used to his old racquet. OK, here's another less extreme example (me) -- last year I was using a C10 Pro and loving the feel, but found that in a fast game I would mis-hit and hit short too often. So I started using a PK Heritage S, a little lighter, stiffer, and bigger head, and right away started winning more games from the same people. Annoying, as I say -- nowhere near as pleasurable, but it's taken me to the "next level"! I think you'll hear a lot of similar tales. Note that this is not about technology (it's just graphite and kevlar, like your PS85) just a frame with more forgiving and powerful specs.
     
    #21
  22. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    2,277
    I don't have much to say about new technology vs. better frames, but I just want to say something about if a racket can make a person play better. I played the number one singles player on my team (I played four doubles) a couple weeks ago with an NXG and got creamed 1-6. I played him 2 weeks later with a LM Instinct and served for the set against him at 5-4 before losing in a tiebreak (I always lose tiebreaks). One could say I was having a good day or whatever, but I know the racket definitly made a difference in my game.
     
    #22
  23. brijoel

    brijoel Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    277
    ^^^no tech, lol. i went a little extreme with the whole wood to now example as well, but what david pavilich (sp.?) said i find to be a total crock....saying that technology in a racquet is going to give you a better game is just rediculous. the physical factors have been the same since even the wood area. the only thing technology has really done has nothing to do with the racquets, but more so in the production process being able to make each racquet more similiar to the next and be able to make racquets under cheaper circumstances (not that it gets passed along to us).
    anyone who believes an ncode racquet is going to make them a better player is only kidding themselves or just knows nothing about racquet and play physical dynamics.
     
    #23
  24. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,270
    Location:
    A not so parallel universe...
    TennsDog: Man, this doesn't mean that the Instinct is a better racquet than the NXG - it only means that it is a different racquet than the NXG. The Instinct likely suits you better - it's no more complicated than that. This is far more likely due to the weight and balance of the frame than due to any 'new technology'.

    Steve - perhaps when I'm '60ish', I may consider playing with a light, big, snowshoe monster frame. But, until then, I'll stick with the little, heavy frames - because they're more about what tennis has always been - and ought to be.

    BreakPoint, your post of August 13th, 6:15am was absolutely perfect. The stuff about the balls having no business crossing the net was priceless - and so very accurate - as was the mention about fewer players meaning fewer lets due to fewer balls being sprayed onto our courts.

    I could not agree more with your perspective that tennis should not be easy, and that the big, light racquets are a shortcut (which is similar to cheating, if one's standards for that sort of thing are high). The more difficult a task is, the more reward and fulfillment we feel in accomplishing that task. If something is made easy, there is little if any fulfillment in it. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to bother the majority, who live by the very convenient philosophy that the ends justify the means.
     
    #24
  25. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,203
    I would say that I am correct in my assessment of the most prolific number of players in certain groups even when the woodies were the norm.

    However, when woodies were the norm, the ball went back and forth like slow motion replays and why would that be? Because the racquets were too heavy and too small to produce any power for the mere mortals that don't have the strength to whip around a club.

    If that's how you would like to see the 2.5 ladies play, then maybe the USTA should eliminate any frame under 12 ounces that is any more space age than a Hudson Hornet.

    What I don't get is this mindset that if a player can play better tennis with the help of the new equipment, the person isn't playing tennis. Contrary to popular belief, at least here on this board, there are players out there that enjoy the game without conforming to what some 4.5+ players think the game should be.

    If everyone that played tennis had this mindset, the game would already be dead. Imagine the dissapointment of a 35 year old first time player that takes lessons for a year, plays a couple matches a week and is only rated a 3.0 at the end of the year...and she's hitting with a Triad 4. I can hear her sitting on the bench asking herself why she wasted all of her money and time to go from a 1.0 to a 3.0 in a year. Better stick to playing chess.

    And I love the posters that complain that they lost to a player with less technically sound strokes than he has. That's it...blame it on the opponent because the opponent gets the ball back. Imagine that! A player has the gaul to return one of my technically beautiful forehands. Blame it on the opponent that's using a 10 ounce showshoe. How dare he return one of my blistering backhands that I just hit with my POG MP classic frame.

    Technology, marketing...all the stuff that seems to be loathed here are going to continue on its merry way. You can choose to ignore it and do what everyone does...play with the equipment that suits you, whether thats a brand new n-code liquid metal hot melts 6000X with laser rangefinder or a T2000.

    But this garbage of savaging players that enjoy the game of tennis because now he or she can actually swing a racquet without having the ability to do a 200 lb military press is absurd.

    David
     
    #25
  26. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    <snip>However, when woodies were the norm, the ball went back and forth like slow motion replays and why would that be? Because the racquets were too heavy and too small to produce any power for the mere mortals that don't have the strength to whip around a club. <end snip>
    This simply isnt close to true, except for maybe some of the women.
    Back then you actualy did have a little time to setup for shots though and there was so much more variety in tennis... points were so much more fun and the play much more creative. tennis is so one dimensional IMO opinion because of the equipment it almost doesnt even resemble tennis anymore. ed
     
    #26
  27. Aoya

    Aoya Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    210
    Yes, a racquet will make you play better.

    If you believe for a second about the hype, it'll give you confidence, and that in turn will let you play at your best.

    Mentality is 90% of the game.
     
    #27
  28. Eug

    Eug Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    241
    I'm currently debating whether I should go for the new Ncode tour 90. Currently I have a prostaff 6.1 classic. Im debating over whether the "improved" technology will be like a better version of my prostaff. I guess a demo is will decide it all. I personally have a bias against racquet technology. I stand with Breakpoint in saying that Tennis should be challenging. Some say that it will drive people away but look at golf! I dont know one person who doesnt constantly complain about how hard and how much they suck in golf. And golf is bigger than ever. Look at the technology in golf and still people suck and love the game.
     
    #28
  29. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,741
    Do they allow aluminum bats in major league baseball? NO!! There's a reason for this. It's because it would make the game too easy and everybody would be hitting homeruns. Can you imagine if every player who stepped up to the plate hit a homerun? Baseball would be even more boring to watch than it already is. Almost as boring as watching Roddick hit ace after ace after unreturnable serve.

    BTW, I'd bet you won't be seeing laser guided rifles in the rifle competition in the Olympics this week. It would just make hitting the target way too easy. There would be much less rifling skills needed. People should win gold medals because of their athletic skills NOT because they have the best equipment.
     
    #29
  30. kninetik

    kninetik Rookie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    162
    I know of one technology that works. Dunlop's Grafil Injection process makes tennis so plush and soft I love it even more when I return to it after demoing or using stiff players frames of today.
     
    #30
  31. brijoel

    brijoel Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    277
    david you still dont get it, and as an MRT im kinda disappointed in a lot of your views really. for one, you of ALL people should understand that racquets have had the same factors since the wood era....why is that? BECAUSE YOU CANT BEAT PHYSICS WITH TECHNOLOGY!!!
    personally i think this has all gotten off subject.....a 115 sq/in racquet is no more freakin advanced than a 90 sq/in racquet these days.
    you keep posting all this BS, but never really state any facts of anything. just explain one technology that has some relevance to make you play better that doesnt have anything to do with stiffness, weight, balance, shape or length. cause whatever the material is, it effects every one of those things, and all of which are the same damn factors that have been around since the begining of racquets.
     
    #31
  32. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    5,154
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I own a shop and I love selling those $250 + sticks to ignorant folks when they really can play with a $99 players stick just as well if not better. :roll:
     
    #32
  33. kooyah

    kooyah Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    230
    Honestly, don't you people ever get tired of this topic? It reappears every few weeks.

    If some people want to play with 27 oz. sticks with a headsize of 45 square inches, then good for them. If others want to play with snowshoe-sized racquets loaded with space-age technology, then good for them.

    If some people want to play with 20-year-old racquets that they think are better than anything else in existence, then good for them. If others want to play with racquets that just hit the market and have hype and new technology surrounding the release, then good for them.

    So long the racquet works for the player who is using it and that person is fine with what they are using, it really shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks.
     
    #33
  34. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    374
    I have been using a fairly old racquet - Yonex RD Power 10 Long (MP) - and got the urge to demo a newer racquet. So I tried the Babolats - PD+ and PC+. The Babolats were amazing for ground strokes and serves - even better than my RD-10! I could not believe it. I got a tad more power and spin, but that little amount made a big difference to my consistency. My partner was stupefied by the change in my game! I was hitting equally well with the PC and PD.

    But in the end, I decided to stay with my trusty RD-10, for two main reasons. The RD felt better with volleys and overheads, in spite of having a much higher static weight and swingweight. Also, after a week of hard hitting with the Babolats, my arm was a mess - my wrist was hurting, and my forearm was beginning to feel a little dead. But I have had a history of arm problems, and this was clearly not a safe racquet for me.

    So it's all a fine balance. Far from condemning new technology, I have come to the conclusion that technology does make a difference. Even a small difference at the highest levels - where skills are not in question - could mean the difference between winning and losing. Lord - and David Pavlich :) - forgive me, but I can't believe the 2.5's and 3.0's can really use the benefits of new technology to advantage - except perhaps for the lightness of some racquets which makes them easier to swing!
     
    #34
  35. cakewalk

    cakewalk Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    157
    Is technology really making a better racquet?

    What do you mean by 'better'? Better than what?
     
    #35
  36. cristian p

    cristian p New User

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    I have to agree with David here and I honestly think the personal attacks on him are uncalled for. All I believe David was trying to say is that each of us should use a racquet that suits him or her best, for whatever reason it may be, whether it’s a wood racquet or a racquet constructed through nanotechnology.

    I also agree with David that the snobbery exhibited by many on these boards, and by many tennis players in general, is disheartening. I’ve been a teaching pro now for almost 10 years now and the number 1 reason I hear from many recreational players on why they don’t pick it up regularly is because they feel embarrassed about playing. We always wonder why more people don’t pick up the sport, but then you get comments like “they have no business on the tennis courts with these ultralight, stiff racquets with Catapults, n-codes, and Liquidmetals” and you understand where the source of the embarrassment comes from. If a racquet, whatever specs or new or old technology it may have, helps someone enjoy the game more, then I see that as a good thing.

    I don’t know whether these new techonologies really “work” or not, but there is a trend now towards lighter and stiffer racquets, just as there was 20 years ago. For those claiming they want to make tennis as difficult as possible, sell all your PS 85s and Prince Graphites – which would’ve been consider racquets for pansies 20 years ago – and go all wood, and just let other people play with what they want to play with.
     
    #36
  37. cakewalk

    cakewalk Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    157
    heck yea! all wood :mrgreen:

    By the way, if the newer racquets are making the game easier to play, then those of us sticking with older equipment should work that much harder to keep up.

    But I do agree that at least some of the marketing exploits unwary buyers into purchasing racquets potentially harmful to their long term game (and elbow, too!). razzle dazzle!
     
    #37
  38. GrahamIsSuper

    GrahamIsSuper Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    504
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Breakpoint, the USTA has rules regulatating headsize, length, etc. The regulations are enforced around where I live. Tennis is a game of finding yor opponent's weakness and exploiting it. 5 extra square inches or power isnt going to give them an invincible game.

    Regardless of how they do it, if they beat you, they're "technically" better than you. Period. Doesn't matter how you win, if you win. Same thing with lobbing or "moon balls", they are the same as groundstrokes, and if you lose to them, the other player is better than you are, as they found your weakness. If you have to use tech to do it, so be it. Learn to play your game, and don't worry about what they are doing.
     
    #38
  39. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    firt of all christian those racquets were NOT considered racquets for panzies back then, maybe other than the super oversized frames that were made possible w. the technology. maybe you werent playing T back then. when graphite first came out guess what? the frames were pretty heavy anyway, especially by todays standards. i know..i come from the woodie era. and i dont buy into that kids dont want to play because they are embarrassed (thats just kids making an excuse)....its mostly the kids find out that tennis 'aint' easy and they dont have what it takes to stick with it because they want some sort of quicker gratification and maybe are too lazy to do the work...people arent slamin david, they are just disagreeing with him and his logic which i happen to find pretty flawed myself. that sure doesnt make david a bad person, most of us simply dont agree with him. as far as snobbery...i really dont see it that way..i see people w a passion for tennis here and the ones that know tennis and like all court ball and being able to hit all of the shots rather than some of the shots, arent big fans of some of the technology because it truly has changed the game and not for the better and it makes it more difficult for the cream to rise to the top. we've seen the same thing happen in golf w. the technology and the poster making the analogy of technology to pro baseball and no aluminum/graphite bats makes a very relative observation. anyone w. any size or physical skills at all has the capacity to swing a frame weighing at least 10 to 10.5 ozs..if they cant, they really probably wont enjoy or stick w. T anyway and would be best served by taking up some other sort of activity. it's sad to see tennis made more difficult to learn for many new players because the frames are so powerful that beginners have no control whatsoever of the ball since they have no clue about spin and stuff. which is another reason why they quit. so that makes technology good for the game somehow?and as a footnote i am a very long time teaching pro. my .02. ed
     
    #39
  40. Eug

    Eug Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    241
    Guys, lets not forget what this post is all about. "Is technology really making a better racquet?" Thats the question. And the simple answer to that is yes. Racquet's are stronger and made more precisely. They are also more comfortable. We all went off into different tangents and started talking about different things. If you want to get into theoretical discussions, well, just post another topic.
     
    #40
  41. cristian p

    cristian p New User

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    Ed:

    1) The “racquets for pansies” comment was tongue in cheek, since so many people on this board seem to get some derived macho-superior attitude for using them. The fact of the matter is, those graphite racquets were substantially lighter, stiffer, and bigger than the racquets that were available at the time of their introduction… and guess what, they appealed to the younger juniors who wanted to, god forbid, hit the ball harder. Courier, Sampras, Agassi… It’s funny how people rave about the “flex” of racquets, because they were considered to be board-stiff 20 years ago. Just for the record, I am a pansy myself, since I play with -- and have for virtually all of my playing career through the national junior ranks, at college, on the futures and satellites tour, and now as a teaching pro -- a Prince Graphite. Sorry if I don’t buy into the whole “racquet technology is ruining the tennis game,” because it’s not new. The complaints about too much power, etc. has been beating to death over the past few decades, and it’s going to continue indefinitely into the future. People here lament about Roddick’s power being boring to watch, which I admit I’m not a big fan of watching myself, but why isn’t there similar criticism of Sampras, Ivanisevic, Becker, Stich or other players when a similar percentage of the points that they win are based on unreturnable serves… or Lendl or Courier who bashed opponents from the baseline with brute power?

    2) I don’t know what you consider just a simple disagreement with David’s views, but comments directed towards his MRT certification or qualifications just because he has a different viewpoint is going too far in my opinion. We may agree and disagree on different topics, but it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re not a good teaching pro. Maybe David may have read it differently, but if someone makes some negative comment regarding my aptitude for the job that I do, I take that personally.

    3) While I’m not going to delve into detail, re: the lack of people (not only kids but also adults, playing tennis) because it’s gotten off topic, I’d like to note that the embarrassment of playing (what I mentioned) and the difficulty of picking up the sport (as you pointed out) is one in the same. Despite supposedly being a so-called gentlemen’s sport, I find tennis players to be among the most arrogant and inhospitable group of people to deal with. People realize tennis is a skill-intensive sport which is extremely difficult to pick up, but imagine you, as a 2.0 or 2.5 trying to improve, while people like Deuce or Breakpoint roll their eyes or curse at you under their breath when your balls accidentally roll onto their court… or laugh at your racquets… or make fun of you when you can’t make proper contact with the ball… or complain that lesser players like you shouldn’t take up their precious court time… for most recreational players, they have no aspirations to be a 5.0 or a club champion, they just want to have fun – why deal with all the snobby crap? It’s not worth it. Again, it’s off topic.
     
    #41
  42. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,203
    I would say that you don't get it. I deal with players that are tying to improve their games. All of the items you list such as weight, stiffness etc. are the major factors in what makes a racquet do what it does. The new technologies have allowed the manufacturers to enhance the performance of the racquets, especially the light, stiff ones that are so loathed here.

    However, 15 years ago, the technology didn't allow for the lightweight frames that are so pervasive today. Perhaps my customers are weaklings from eating crawfish, but the vast majority are looking for racquets that weigh LESS than 11 ounces, including most of the men. I have found after selling 5 or 600 frames, that weight is THE most influential point that makes the final decision.

    Sure, some players are more sensitive to flex and the other influences, but weight is the overwhelming point for a final choice. Most, not all, but most of the teaching pros here use light racquets to feed balls. Why? So they aren't worn out at the end of a day of feeding balls.

    Me being a MRT has nothing to do with what my customers find the most comfortable for them. It seems to me that as I've said before, many posters here would much rather see tennis played in slow motion and force everyone to hit with racquets that do nothing to enhance the ability of the average 2.5/3.0/3.5 that isn't strong enough to bench press 50 lbs.

    And to get back to your post, and it fits within my analogy, you would rather see a 3.0 that hits the frame as much as he or she hits the strings play with a Tour 90 and get totally frustrated than hit with a TT Scream that maybe he or she can generate enough head speed and hit the strings a little more often. Maybe after playing a while and gaining a little confidence, this player might be ready to graduate to a more challenging racquet.

    And I don't post BS. How many people have you had demo frames and come back to you with their impression? I've had hundreds. I've had players demo 10 or 12 racquets before making a choice. I, along with the customer, explore all the avenues that will make the customer's final decision to be the best informed as possible. I start them with what I think will fit their game best. I send them out with 2 diverse racquets, which allows me to determine a direction to go when he or she comes back. I listen to their comments and go from there. I'm not stuck on one type of racquet or what I think the person should be using. I let the customer decide. Listiening to you, it wouldn't matter what the customer wanted...since technology can't overcome physics.

    If you walked into my shop and told me what type of game you played and I TOLD you what you should be using, would you buy a racquet from me? I doubt it. You'd want to demo to see what frame worked best for YOU, not Joe Schmuck because he thinks you should use a 13 ounce wooden racquet.

    And speaking of wood, you state that technology can't overcome physics. You must be inhaling tennis ball felt. If you're convinced of that statement, I trust you use a T2000 when you're in a serious match with an evenly matched player. Is that so? C'mon! Do you? If not, then you're argument is a straw dog.

    The technology that allows the manufacturer to make light, easy to handle frames isn't going away. It has enhanced the recreational game. The best selling frame in the country weighs barely over 11 ounces strung. Get over it.

    Oh, and just in case you don't know it, little technology items like Woofer grommets and Catapult grommets have nothing to do with stiffness, or length or shape or any of the other items you list. However, these two items DO have and effect on the way the ball leaves the stringbed. I've given you 2 examples of technology that is relevant to the flight of a tennis ball that has nothing to do with your parameters. I've just returned your serve down the line. How's your defense?

    David
     
    #42
  43. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,203
    Ed, you ole' timer:

    I certainly can't argue with you about the game from a teaching or playing standpoint. I took up tennis late in life and I'm a 52 year old 3.0 hacker on a good day.

    However, I know what people are looking for in racquets. I've had enough of them come through my store to know that there aren't near as many players interested in playing with a 12 ounce racquet as there are that are interested in sub-11 ounce racquets.

    The most prolific frame in my store has been the H-Tour (mp and os)...10.6 ounces strung and 90% of them purchased by men. It outsells the Pure Drive and the LM Radical.

    The frames that move the slowest? I don't think I need to tell you.

    Take the men out of the equation and now we're talking 10 ounces or less. And even with that said, I still don't see these ladies that are using these blunderbusses cracking winners from 5 feet behind the baseline. BUT, they are actually hitting some very nice groundies because they now have a racquet that matches their strength and ability.

    I read your post about the days when the game was slower and more fun. When I see local tournaments having to cut off the entries, it sure tells me that these people are having fun. Afterall, they're playing for a tropy or plaque or some other token, not a $50,000 prize.

    All I'm saying is that the technology that has evolved has enhanced the recreational game. What is so bad about that?

    Wait 'til you see the new Head Preventor frame! I figure when it becomes widely known, this board is going to lose a lot of its posters due to random leaps from the local bridges or skyscrapers!

    David
     
    #43
  44. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    yea man..gotta love head..they come up w. the head preventor after slamming the consumers w. light and stiff stuff that has caused injuries, so now they can sell all these very same injured people the head preventor frame to help them get better :)...are they launching this around us open time?oh..gotta have those head precentor strings too. ,,and might as well spring for that special Head Protector elixer drink too w. nano carbons in them.... i really dont think the technology has enhanced the recreational game at all....the biggest prob i face teaching people new to the game is control not power (other than the old, very young, and infirmed of course). i am not arguing w. you..you gotta sell the folks what they think they need..that doesnt necessarily mean it is a good match to what they 'actually' do need right? and w. americans being so lazy and fat and so wanting instant gratification....its the gimme the light..gimme the powerful. only my opinion...i am sure you are very diligent in trying to hook these people up and making happy customers. i find it odd that people are now bigger and stronger and faster that play serious tennis than before and they are using lighter and lighter..i think it is ruining the game at many levels of play. personally, i wouldnt even stock the hTour....i think it's junk, but it seems to be working for your customers. you sure there isnt too much mercury or kryptonite down there in the brackish water turning your customers into weenies?? :) anywho....it's just banter and speculation, but i gotta tell you that tennis is more fun when you have variety..variety is the spice..and there aint much variety in the 'modern' tennis game IMO. ed
     
    #44
  45. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,203
    Hey Ed, isn't a little late for you to be up? I know my eyelids are starting to droop.

    I understand what you're saying about control, but I see a lot of people out there playing with very light frames that are very accomplished players. And it's all done under control. If the stroke is correct, chances are very good that the ball will land in the court.

    FYI, 40-45% of my racquet sales are Wilson depending on when I check the sales numbers. I don't know what it is in your area, but if you didn't stock racquets like the H Tour or the TT Scream or the LM8 or the H4, you wouldn't be in business long.

    Like it or not, this is the sales trend. I do my best to put a player into the heaviest racquet he or she is comfortable with. Can't do much more than that.

    Good Night!

    David
     
    #45
  46. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,270
    Location:
    A not so parallel universe...
    Eug wrote: “Racquet's are stronger and made more precisely. They are also more comfortable.”
    Have you ever hit with a wood racquet, Eug? Or even a Head XRC, or Dunlop Max 200G? Today’s frames are by and large light and stiff – two elements which very much counter comfort. Comfort comes in large part from weight and flexibility. Wood and early graphite/fiberglass frames are the most comfortable frames by far – but one has to hit the sweet spot to feel it. And so the discussion reverts again back to skill and challenge. If you really think that today’s racquets – generally – are more comfortable than wood racquets, then you’ve obviously never played with wood – or, at least, never hit the sweet spot with wood.

    Ed (Mojo) – great stuff. Everything you wrote is spot on.

    David Pavelich wrote: “However, when woodies were the norm, the ball went back and forth like slow motion replays and why would that be? Because the racquets were too heavy and too small to produce any power for the mere mortals that don't have the strength to whip around a club.”
    Again, David, you make it sound as if POWER is the only element – or at least the main element – that makes tennis good or enjoyable. You seem to be entirely unaware of the value of other elements in the game – like touch, angles, shot selection – or, as Ed says, VARIETY. Hell, you’re 15 years older than I am – you certainly should be well acquainted with the more artful game of the past – you’ve obviously witnessed it first hand. I guess you just didn’t like that type of game, for one reason or another.
    Reading what you write, David, one would get the distinct impression that tennis has never been more popular than it is today. This, of course, is not the case. In fact, tennis was most popular (in terms of people playing) back in the late 60s, 70s, and early 80s – when people were using those wood racquets that you claim are far too small and heavy for any mere mortal to use. Not only were they using wood racquets, but they must have derived an enormous degree of enjoyment from playing with those terrible, small, heavy racquets, because they were coming out to the courts with their ancient, low-tech racquets, in greater numbers than they come today, with their modern, high-tech, high marketing frames. Interesting, isn’t it?

    The unfortunate fact is that the great majority of the racquet marketplace is dictated by people who go into a store and find either the racquet whose color scheme most appeals to their eye, or the racquet that their favorite pro is supposedly using, take the unstrung frame off the shelf, swing it four or five times through the air, pronounce that it feels really good, and buy it. These are the people to whom the racquet companies cater. These are the people who are responsible for what the racquet companies offer us. And people like myself – and I am far from alone in this – are justifiably upset because the racquet companies are virtually ignoring people who A) Are knowledgeable about the game and the equipment; B) Enjoy heavier, smaller, more flexible frames; and C) Don’t buy into any of the marketing lies and BS.
     
    #46
  47. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,741
    BTW, when I mentioned in Page 1 of this thread that: "technology can't change the laws of physics", what I am specifically saying is that no matter how light, how stiff, or how large your racquet is, the weight, size, and incoming velocity of the ball doesn't change. Thus, the force at impact of the ball on your racquet is the same and must be countered by either the racquet or your poor arm.

    Imagine trying to hit a baseball coming at you at 80mph with a wiffle ball bat. It just doesn't work. You need weight to counter the weight of the ball. Until they reduce the official weight of tennis balls, light racquets will never work. You just can't cheat the laws of physics!!
     
    #47
  48. Swan Song

    Swan Song Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,156
    You know what?! This technology makes a racquet better happens because all these companies hear comments like "Oh, this new racquet improved my game and so and such..." The reason why some people say this new racquet(in terms of technology) improved my game, is because this techie whatever stuff makes SOME player confidednt. If the racquet company did not witness or heard this comment, this whole argument about technology would not exist in the first place. Lastly, I hope this argument will not become a Hatfield and McCoy feud.


    P.S. Some statements might sound like I am offending some people, but CLEARLY, I do not mean to cause any offense. About oh is this new racquet better than mine questions. There is NO SUCH THING as a better racuqet. It is all PERSONAL PREFERENCE.
     
    #48
  49. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,173
    A gauntlet: I dare each and every poster on this thread taking the "purist" position to get together time, effort, and most importantly - $$$ - and start their own racket company. Obviously, the evil racket company cabal (hence: ERCC) doesn't care about us at all! We'll show them how it's done! DIY! DIY! DIY! There's got to be a market out there for the stuff we want! And it'll be so big that we'll be able to avoid boutique pricing and compete on price, too! Unlike every other gear related sector!

    G-Starr, MegaAge, and Topspin have gotten off their couches and are taking on the ERCC. Why aren't you? I mean, look at those three companies! They're just *raking* it in. Oh, wait - money is evil. Make it a non-profit, dedicated to the interests of the game. That way we can avoid any ugly accusations of profit motives. People are already playing in wood-only tournaments. We can DO this! Leaders LEAD! Come on!

    No? Too hard? Easier to sit around on your couch and be an internet genius? Brow beating the rest of the tennis population into seeing it your way so that the resulting infinitesimal group preference shift will be noticed by the ERCC and everything will be ok, again? And then they'll produce nouveau retro frames like the Rok and we can dump all over it and not buy it, anyway? Boy howdy- that's a MUCH more effective and direct way of going out and getting what you want. Forget that crazy start your own company stuff!

    ...

    In other words, put up or shut up. Otherwise you just sound like a bunch of old ladies at a quilting bee.

    You're perfectly free to play with wood and touch and angle, if you like. However, the second you start whining about how OTHER people should play that way, too - then you're not at all different than the punk high schooler complaining about how he lost to a pusher. How he would have won if only his opponent would have played more to his liking. Playing style fascists on either end of the spectrum. Both losers in every sense.

    ...

    Moral of the story: anti-pusher whiners and player's frame whiners - same difference - maybe separated by 20 years, 20 pounds, and a receding hair line.
     
    #49
  50. kooyah

    kooyah Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    230
    ::applause::
     
    #50

Share This Page