New Lacoste Racquets - Made with WOOD!

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by gavna, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    In Paris for the holidays but last week I got to see the new for 2012 Lacoste frame, the RL12 (Coolest thing is that it's like 75% wood. The frame is white up to the middle of the hoop where then u can see the wood laminates. Has a white bumper guard as well. Awesome looking and feels just as good, pricing will be over 200euro.

    weight 320 grams
    headsize 630 sq cm
    balance 33.00 cm
    stiffness 70RA
    string pattern 16 x 20
     
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  2. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    This is how it looks:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. brownbearfalling

    brownbearfalling Hall of Fame

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    I was looking at pictures of the racquet and the string pattern says that it's 20x16. but it makes more sense as 16x20.

    I can't imagine anyone playing with this racquet nor this racquet being very playable. Looks like an expensive novelty item to me.
     
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  4. Fredrik

    Fredrik Rookie

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    Expect more wood in the future

    I don´t know if I would dismiss this blankly. I think we can expect to see an increase in the use of wood in combination with graphite and other man made and exotic materials.

    Many of the exotic materials are becoming rarer; prices are going up.
    The manufacture/refinement of exotic materials is often energy intensive, this also drives cost and makes for a hefty carbon footprint.

    A couple of examples:
    Peugeot has made a prototype car with a wooden frame. They have (allegedly) managed to make it stiff enough and combined it with exotic materials in an innovative fashion. They expect to make production models based on the same technology.
    The benefits: Reduced weight (compared to steel) at a much lower cost than by using expensive exotic materials. And a reduced carbon footprint.

    In ski and snowboard construction there was a trending away from wood cores towards foam and honeycomb constructions when these became available (read affordable). Boards made with these technologies couldn´t match the feel of boards with wood cores and the trend reversed throughout the nineties.
    Today wood is predominant in the core construction of snowboards and skis; used to great effect in combination with other materials.

    As a snowboarder I can say that nothing matches the feel of wood.

    I think that, if done right, a combination of wood and other materials could work realy well in tennis racquets. I am not sure if Lacoste is the company to do so, however.

    It would be an interesting type of "full circle" if we did start to see graphite racquets with wood. After all, at the end of the wood era we did have wood racquets with graphite/fiberglass reinforcement.

    What are the possible pitfalls for this type of construction? I´m thinking:
    - Expensive to make (more manual labour involved), more manufacturing steps.
    - Difficult to get right (design wise).
    - Difficult to keep the weight down due to the stiffness/weight ratio of wood.
    - In order to make a racquet with sufficient power and stability, the graphite content might have to be high. If so; the graphite would probably drown the wood feel and the wood might not add anything useful. (using well constructed wood laminates could be an answer to this).

    Would I like to try the Lacoste racquet? You bet!
     
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  5. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    I love my PK Core 1 #6 racquets. Still play with them off and on. They are a hard wood core surrounded by graphite and kevlar. I love the feel. I would be very interested in trying these Lacoste although they are a little light for me.
     
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  6. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Wow! Hardwood, alright...
     
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  7. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Right on !

    This is a beautiful event and thanks to Lacoste for making new wood available again.

    Have some senior events and put these more classic wood based sticks in their hands, and we may see some fantastic old school tennis again. How about Mac vs Borg ?

    I cant wait to get one on the court ...

    Gavna, thanks for the early holiday gift
    Best holiday wishes !
     
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  8. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Tennis has historically followed ski tech since the '70's, so this has been a long time coming. I would have expected it to have come from a ski/tennis company, such as Fischer, Volkl, or Head, years ago, when they started making graphite/wood composite skis/snowboards, and when the first two companies were connected and viable.
     
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  9. Lendl

    Lendl Semi-Pro

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    Yes, not sure how they can get a predominantly wood frame to a 70 stiffness? Carbonwood?

     
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  10. Fredrik

    Fredrik Rookie

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    RA not RDC

    The stiffness is 70RA. AFAIK one RA unit is smaller than an RDC unit. Hence, RA 70<RDC 70. Not sure exactly how much, but I think RA 70 would correspond to RDC 63 or so.

    Maybe someone with more exact knowledge can chime in.
     
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  11. Lendl

    Lendl Semi-Pro

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    OK, that would make sense. I've never seen the two, assumed only one stiffness rating existed for rackets.

     
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  12. el sergento

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    I thought the RA units were measured on an RDC machine??
     
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  13. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    wow. beautiful... stick? :)
     
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  14. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    OK, where's my piggy bank? Gotta save some money for this beauty.

    BTW, Clintspin, I too love the Core 1 #6.
     
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  15. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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  16. martin

    martin Banned

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    It won't play like wood with a 70 stiffness.
     
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  17. ae695

    ae695 Rookie

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  18. Lendl

    Lendl Semi-Pro

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    Yes, I use the X8 315 now which is rated at 70 and cannot fathom wood feeling as rock solid as that. The beauty of the wood used to be the extreme flex and the ball on the strings for what seemed like 5 seconds :)

     
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  19. Fredrik

    Fredrik Rookie

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    I´ve Googled a little and can´t find anything to prove you wrong;-)

    It´s probably me who´s confused a little. You see; a couple of months ago I was looking into the various Donnay racquets. The Donnay website listed stiffness numbers with (RA) next to them. The strange thing is that the listed numbers were higher than those listed on TW.

    I´ve just checked Donnay´s site and the stiffness numbers now have (RDC) next to them. My memory is not good enough for me to see if the numbers have changed;-)

    If RA=RDC could the differences I noted be the difference between unstrung and strung specs?
     
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  20. gramdacious

    gramdacious Rookie

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    it's got a cool stencil
     
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  21. GoSurfBoy

    GoSurfBoy Semi-Pro

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    The old Prince Woody was one of the best playing sticks I'd ever hit. Too bad it wasn't made sub-100, as the others that I tried from other manufacturers of that genre never had the same pop, dwell, and feel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
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  22. lim

    lim Rookie

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    Awesome layup. Hope my shop gets some in to demo.
     
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  23. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Is this intended to be a 'real' retail tennis racquet, or something that's just produced to promote the Lacoste brand?

    Weird that they should stencil the crocadile so that it points upwards.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
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  24. nalvarado

    nalvarado Semi-Pro

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  25. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Cool. Way cool.

    Some people mentioned the superior feel of wood. Another thing that wood has going for it is it's superior vibration dampening qualities. It seems this release by Lacoste might combine the stiffness of the graphite with the weight and vibration dampening (and coolness) of the wood.

    Another underrated material that's seemed to have gone out of favor is fiberglass. My favorite frames are the graphite/fiberglass mix. Awesome feel and vibration dampening.
     
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  26. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Prince, Wilson, Babolat, Yonex, Dunlop and every other racquet manufacturer don't agree with you.
     
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  27. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Really?
    ......
     
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  28. PBODY99

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    French style, it doesn't matter what others think. In action it is correct.
     
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  29. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    lol, just lol...
     
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  30. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    My bad. The Japanese are a bit quirky by nature anyway.... Besides its not strictly a 'Y' anyway - just weird shapes so it probably doesn't matter what way round the racquet face is. Unless you knew what the Yonex logo looked like already, you would hardly say this is two 'Ys' - just looks like a couple of circles balanced on some triangles.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
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  31. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Maybe Lacoste should offer Todd Martin an endorsement deal.

    He could have taken this baby out of the bag and finish off Chang instead of the wooden Pro Staff.
     
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  32. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Meh, I always thought they were 'Y's..

    anyway, I would love to have one of the Lacostes. I probably wouldn't use it, but it would be a lovely thing to have and to bring out occasionally.

    I do think they would be quite playable, though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
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  33. Fredrik

    Fredrik Rookie

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    ^ This.

    Imagine how cool it would be if the powers that be rewrote the rule book to say that racquets used in professional competition had to have X% of wood in the layup.

    As much as I enjoy internet forums and stuff ;-), I would love to see the tennis world go a little bit old school.
     
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  34. evanjj

    evanjj Rookie

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    I would love to hit with this!
     
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  35. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Over time the their name and logo have become more abstract and streamlined.
    The original name for Yonex was "Yoneyama," after it's founder Minoru Yoneyama.

    Previous Yonex logo
    [​IMG]
     
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  36. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Ah, I see. I always wondered there were two Ys in the logo when the name was Yonex.
     
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  37. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    I suspect it will be the best of both worlds, old and new, as far as being powerful stiff like most modern rackets and having the damping and feel of a woody. This will allow the racket to still be a weapon on the modern tour. I really enjoy the flex of the old school rackets so I would like to see Lacoste offer different models, sorta like the PK cores, that have different flexes.
     
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  38. zhangweilei

    zhangweilei New User

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    how much??????
     
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  39. Fedchamp

    Fedchamp Semi-Pro

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    Are you gonna have to put it in a racquet frame every night to stop it from warping? Loox sweet-as though. One for show rather than play methinks.
     
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  40. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    No it will be released for full retail, Lacoste for years had a variety of frames and in the mid 80s I recall at least 5 or 6 different models. The marketing will be limited as it will be sold as a classic racquet for a classic game. The RL12 name is in fact reference to Rene Lacoste (RL) and the 12 is the model of the classic polo shirt.
    As for the Crocodile stencil it was always put on as you see in the pic - look up some old Christophe Roger-Vasselin or Guy Forget pics and see for your self.

    Also the release date in France at least wil be March or April and a second Graphite (no wood) frame will be released as well. Lacoste also being secret for now as what wood and laminates are being used.
     
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  41. robbo1970

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    That is lovely!
     
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  42. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

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    It's funny how the majority of folks on the 'does cosmetics affect your racket decisions' thread insist that aesthetics have nothing to do with their choice of rackets, yet everyone here is raving about how beautiful this stick is.

    It is gorgeous. But I'd be afraid to use it cause it's too pretty and probably mucho $$$.
     
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  43. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Not me. It's an interesting concept, especially since it has been done so successfully with skis, but the cosmetics on this thing look like a '60's station wagon with faux plastic wood on the doors.
     
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  44. ValCrew

    ValCrew Rookie

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    where I can buy it?
    Awesome///////////////..............
     
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  45. sansaephanh

    sansaephanh Professional

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    a well deserved lol.
     
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  46. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    I wonder if it needs to be kept in a clamp/brace/press (whatever it is called) to keep from warping.
     
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  47. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    NO the 25% graphite makeup and modern laminate technology will stabilize the frame from warping. Same as the older Head Edgewood and Prince Woodies you didn't need a PRESS as they were called.
     
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  48. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    March or April 2012 I'm sure at all the large major Lacoste Boutiques (NYC, LA, Mia, LA, Paris - Champs Élysées......etc) also online at Lacoste. but with 2 frames coming out and Lacoste getting back into the racquet game I would be shocked if large Tennis sellers like TW, TE, *******, Roussev in France....etc don't have it as well.
     
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  49. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Good to know. Thanks.
     
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  50. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    It will be interesting to hit with it. I tried the PK wooden composite ones when they first came out. I didn't like the feedback I received with them. Maybe these will feel and play differently.
     
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