Kneissl over and out again ?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by classic tennis, May 18, 2011.

  1. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    606
    It's a shame but tennis sales are falling and manufacturing is all too similar!
    Maybe they should go in to Cricket?


    Vienna - Austrian ski producer Kneissl declared bankruptcy Tuesday, in a development that could spell the end for the first company to mass-market carving skis.

    The Kneissl group had amassed 23.3 million euros (31.8 million dollars) of debts, according to Austrian press agency APA.

    The company had hoped for a cash injection by its Saudi co-owner Mohamed al-Jaber, but the investor did not meet a deadline set by the bankruptcy judge.

    Founded as a carriage workshop in the mid-19th century, Kneissl became the first serial producer of alpine skis in Austria in 1919.

    In the late 1990s, Kneissl was the first to market carving skis, whose curved edges made turning easier and revolutionized both amateur and competitive skiing.

    But Kneissl's strategy of expanding and buying brands such as Raichle, Dynafit and Marker was not successful, leading to bankruptcy in 2003, followed by a series of ownership changes.

    Al-Jaber announced Tuesday he is ready to inject another 1.2 million euros once a strategy for the future of the brand has been worked out with the main creditors.
     
    #1
  2. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    782
    this press release is from back in february. not that they are of the woods by any means but al-jaber did provide another infusion of cash and his daughter is ceo. kneissl has a new line of free style skiis that they continue to roll out in 2011 and the 2010 model tennis racquets are still available in europe. they had planned for a spring 2011 roll out in the USA of their new racquets (which are sweet) but that obviously has been pushed back. they are also continuing with their planned resort.
     
    #2
  3. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    606

    Al Jaber in Distress

    Published: April 23, 2011 16:23 · (FriedlNews)

    Saudi investor Mohamed Al Jaber has to fight on several fronts in Austria. Kneissl awaits restructuring, loans are due.
     
    #3
  4. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    786
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Too Bad .....

    It will be too bad if they can't make it back .... they make some sweet tennis racquets. The Black star has rescued my game.
     
    #4
  5. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    782
    the original news release is from tuesday february 8, 2011.

    april 23rd was a saturday and i suspect it is the same article posted on a different news wire.

    the situation is as i stated above. i also forgot to mention that kneissl did proceed to roll out the 2010 frames into the asian market.
     
    #5
  6. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    606
    I hope they hang around and dig themself out of it, I can't see his daughter helping though? It's being reported in European trade press and Austrian finance rags he has defaulted on payments to creditors over the last two weeks. (April-May)
     
    #6
  7. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    782
    now that is new information and something that i did not know. it would be sad if they mismanage the bankruptcy and it is certainly very bad if he is defaulting to the banks.

    i guess that i am glad i stocked up on frames and grommets but i still hope that they can pull out of this.
     
    #7
  8. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    606

    It's a shame, more so for the factory workers, as tennis is a tiny part of the company, it's the skilled guy's and girls on the factory floor that produce top of the draw ski's are going to lose out.... couldn't care less about the China factories.
    Maybe they should charge an extra twenty bucks per bat and make them in Austria?
     
    #8
  9. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    10,851
    I am for that!:)
     
    #9
  10. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,482
    Location:
    boston area
    I have not used their racquets , but I have used their race skis off & on for over 15 years and they are among the best I have ever used. It will be sad if they disappear. Solid products, year after year.
     
    #10
  11. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    606
    At least their (like Fischers) bat's had something unique when they were made there, not just going to factory in China ordering # 28 and slapping your name on it... and making it as cheaply as possible,OK maybe that's simplifying it, but it's not far off the mark...they are all boring.
     
    #11
  12. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    4,299
    Tennis racquet was $180 in 1988 and it's $180 in 2011. There is a reason why racquets are all made in China and it's everyone's fault for being cheap *******s. If you want racquets to still be made in Austria or USA or something then you should be more than happy paying $350-$400 per stick just to keep up with inflation. If you wan’t the low low then China here we come and screw the factory workers in Austria
     
    #12
  13. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    606
    Not me dude, I'm more than happy to pay for quality !
     
    #13
  14. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    4,299
    But you just said you'd pay an extra $20. $20 won't pay for that factory worker's lunch anymore. How about an extra $200?
     
    #14
  15. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,611
    I'm not convinced that racquets would be $200 more. That just doesn't make sense. I agree they'd be more than the $20 someone suggested but not $200 more. As cheaply made ( quality wise I'm speaking of) as some racquets are those are the companies that should be going out of business not Kneissl. They have some of the nicest quality racquets I've seen. I'd still prefer they'd ( and other racquets) be made in Taiwan, Europe or the USA.
     
    #15
  16. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,482
    Location:
    boston area
    I currently ski on Fischer skis and I find the quality on their boards on par with Kniessel. Fischer had some good results on the world cup circuit this year.
     
    #16
  17. max

    max Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,861
    What racquet was that much in 1988?

    I bought a couple that time, the highest around $118.
     
    #17
  18. michael valek

    michael valek Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    285
    i am working for them in the UK as a sideline and have the whole range. top quality manufacture and excellent frames and bags. can't recommend them highly enough. am using new white stars, excellent frames.
     
    #18
  19. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,085
    It is interesting how companies who make skis, which are more than one, make great rackets. Even Head is using ski tech in their new rackets.
     
    #19
  20. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,625
    The Prince CTS line, the Thunderstick in particular, which came out soon after, was around $200, IIRC. Prince Boron was even more expensive, IIRC.
     
    #20
  21. dje31

    dje31 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    853
    Prince Boron, 1985: $500
     
    #21
  22. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,611
    REALLY? In 1985 that racquet was $500? How many did they sell, actually?
     
    #22
  23. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,597
    Not too many! But some! Having said that, that raquet (and some even pricer ones) were NOT of course, reflective of the mainstream!
    They were extreme outliers in pricing.


    Having said that, racquets are not subject to the same inflation for raw material as some other products, because the material is so very cheap.

    Yes, much of the cost is profit & wages & infrastructure.....but I'm not one to advocate moving it to the US or Europe just for the sake of jobs, or alleged quality.
     
    #23
  24. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    10,851
    That CTS line was made in Taiwan and Thailand.
     
    #24
  25. Rorsach

    Rorsach Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,579
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I've got a couple of Fischer sticks from the early 90's with their price tags still on them: 400-500 DM (that's Deutschmarks), no idea how much that would be in USD, but it's no cheap.
     
    #25
  26. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    782
    well i have read some of the austrian press and it seems like june 1 is the 1st deadline and july 1st is the other for the sheik and/or kneissl to come up with 1 million euro in payments in order to continue operating under bankruptcy protection or close. with the other major partner and coo in spain it does not loook promising. the sheik is also in default on 2 other hotels so the whole thing is a big mess. it makes me very sad.
     
    #26
  27. stevewcosta

    stevewcosta Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,062
    Kind of limited to one style though right?...extended, tight string patterns...not a line that has mass appeal. Also, they are all somewhat thick...
     
    #27
  28. Zverev

    Zverev Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    853
    I wonder how much manual labor is involved in making rackets.
    The frame is surely made by machine...
    It doesn't really matter where machine is, in China or Austria.
    The machine itself is made in Europe or US.
    So what is left?
    Attaching handle? Painting?
    What impact on quality can these make?

    Just thinking loud here...
     
    #28
  29. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    782
    Actually, labor is about 90% of making a racquet. There were some videos on youtube (fragmets from How It Is Made, I believe), they showed how the entire process works. Machine is only used once for about 10 minutes to blow the air into the mold to spead and push the semi-liquid graphite under high heat. And then for another hour to dry up the racquets after painting. Everything else is manual labor.
     
    #29
  30. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    10,851
    Racquet manufacturing is very labor intensive.
    To watch this video click on racquet creation then click on Video: making a Tennis racquet http://www.usta.com/wilsonlab/index.html
     
    #30
  31. db379

    db379 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,609
    Michael,

    I am looking for some white stars. Would you be able to tell me where I could get some? Thanks.
     
    #31
  32. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,031
    Location:
    Here and There
    You're actually not that far off. Just check out the prices of Yonex badminton rackets, their top of the line stuff. Made in Japan and pricey. I think Yonex breaks even or makes very very little on their tennis racket line in order to stay competitive, but I don't think it makes a difference to them cause their badminton department is a cash cow. They are huge there. They are the only ones left making rackets that are not made in China (the higher end stuff I mean). Sad, very sad.

    A friend of mine has a tennis shop and has a bunch of old rackets, mostly woodies hanging on the wall. Dunlop Maxply, made in England. Beautiful racket. Good luck seeing that ever again.
     
    #32
  33. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    782
    i've had the opportunity to play with a number of other frames lately but i still love my red star 2010's for their balance of power and control. i have stocked up with 6 of them and a bunch of extra grommets in case the end is near for kneissl as a company. their skiis are great too and i still hope that somehow they will pull out of their financial problems.
     
    #33
  34. michael valek

    michael valek Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    285
    #34
  35. michael valek

    michael valek Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    285
    in regard to the comment about the frames being thick, ive used ps 85's, POG's, prestiges. not had any probs with swinging the kneissl frames and the attention to detail and build quality is far better than other frames i have used. pre the kneissls, i was using old max 200g frames which were nearly 400g in weight, and with the white stars (at just over 305 grammes), i was worried. but now i get more power, equal touch, more stability and i wouldnt say they are limited to one style of play at all. the red and black stars are also great. they certainly all play heavier than their stated weight (for example the weight is about the same as babolat pure drives), but i find none of the rocket-launcher tendencies or arm-destroying tinnyness of those, with much greater control.
     
    #35
  36. michael valek

    michael valek Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    285
    and rather foolishly, i forgot to add, none of these frames is extended.
     
    #36
  37. Kevin T

    Kevin T Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,534
    Location:
    Too far from the Blue Ridge
    #37
  38. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,176
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    This has been going on since the '70s. Head, Volkl, Fischer, Kneissl, Dura-fiber, Rossignol, Yamaha all were ski/tennis companies. Back then, the technology behind the construction applied to both tennis and skiing, especially the transition from laminated wood to the aluminum overlay composites(Head, Rossi and Yamaha, in particular).
    The fiberglass models from Dura-fiber and Volkl go back to the early '70s.

    It was pretty cool to be in 'the business' during that time. There were sea changes in materials and technology, not just a different paint job with the newest 'unobtanium' wonder-material. To see someone who used only wood rackets try an Aldila Cannon...WOW! To watch somebody grin from ear to ear when they put down their T2000 and tried a Fischer Superform or Yamaha YFG 50...THAT was cool! ;) Ah, the good old days! :)
     
    #38
  39. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,611
    #39
  40. Kevin T

    Kevin T Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,534
    Location:
    Too far from the Blue Ridge
    I bet it was a good time to be in the biz. I'm 36 and didn't start playing until 12 yo (family had no interest). While living in Cincinnati, I knew an ex-Rossignol rep from the late 70's- mid to late 80's. He said Rossi would just give him a ton of frames to use as demos/promos/etc. He also said when Rossi left the US market, he probably had 200 various frames left over. I used the FT 5.80 for years and unfortunately didn't meet him until 2000. :)
     
    #40
  41. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,176
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    Yeah, I've got a couple of decades on you ;) . One interesting difference 'back then' was the variety of materials being offered by most manufacturers. I repped Rossi in '79-'80 and our 'player' rackets included models made from wood, aluminum, FRP/foam/alu overlay and graphite/glass composites...something for everybody :) .
     
    #41
  42. Limeyoncourt

    Limeyoncourt New User

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    hot off the press.....New white Star pro available for Kneissl as of today..this is their pdf spec sent to me by the kneissl-uk guys..."WHITE STAR TOUR – the name speaks for itself. This racket, developped by tennis professionals, convinces with its bigger sweet spot and provides for more power with less weight. The reworked head geometry provides a perfect balance of acceleration and control. The Kevlar tendons, now inside the racket, ensure speedy compensation in the case of any vibration. White Star Tour – the power racket for professional and tournament players." Griffstärke | gripsize 2 - 4
    Länge | lenght [mm] 695
    Rahmenhöhe | frame profile [mm] 23
    Gewicht | weight [g] 280 / ±5
    Balance | balance [mm] 327 / ±5
    Schlagfläche | headsize [in´´] 100
    Steifigkeit | stiffness [RA] 66
    Bespannung | stringing [kg] 22 -30
    Bespannungsschema | string pattern 18 / 21
    Delta head shape
    if someone get one let us know how it plays......
     
    #42
  43. blackfrido

    blackfrido Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,319
    good news!! but, are they going to be selling this racquet is US?
     
    #43
  44. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    782
    this is exciting! and kneissl matches on. from the way it reads it may have been inspired by the sevastova frame which is different from the white star 2010. thanks for sharing :)

    [​IMG]
     
    #44
  45. fish

    fish Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Messages:
    163
    Anyone Using Red Star , White Star ??
    How Do They Compare To Knessiel's Tom Machine (green Color ))????
    Seek For User Sharing. Thanks
     
    #45
  46. michael valek

    michael valek Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    285
    yep, am using 2011 white stars and know where to get them from, along wih red stars etc, and they play great. anyone need kneissl info, please email me michael.valek@thomsonreuters.com
     
    #46
  47. vegasgt3

    vegasgt3 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    344
    I knew that guy, wasn't he also the Prince rep for a while? What was his name. I used to play tennis with him back in1981-1982
     
    #47
  48. Limeyoncourt

    Limeyoncourt New User

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    not sure but UK Kneissl guys will ship i am sure (info@kneissl-uk.com) is what i used or look at previous thread where "mike" says he knows how to help ...good luck
     
    #48
  49. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    786
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Haven't used the White star but am familiar with the Red and the Tom's (27.5") .... the Tom's had better 'feel' and I preferred it over the Red, but the swingweight was too much for me and I had to pass on it. For some reason the extended length bothered me on the Red (only racquet to ever do so).

    Found my salvation in the Black Star though ! The Black (2010 model) is the 'it' racquet for me.
     
    #49
  50. Overheadsmash

    Overheadsmash Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    795
    Any news on this company? Are they still in business and are they going to keep making racquets?
     
    #50

Share This Page