QUOTE:"In 1980, Pro Kennex made the world’s first mid-size Graphite tennis rackets"

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by Baxter, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    That's from the PK website so it has to be true, right?


    1. Is this accurate? If not, who did make the world's first mid size graphite?
    2. Which model are they referring to?


    My guess as to the model is the one labeled "Graphite Comp" as opposed to Graphite Comp 88 or Graphite Comp 90. The graphics look older on the plain comp model, and it makes sense that the very first model would be the one without headsize numbers. Any thoughts? I am just guessing here.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    1.) Not quite accurate, though difficult to pin down to prima facie. The Kneissl White Star Pro, for instance, was introduced in 1977, a graphite composite frame, and was considered a 10% midsize.

    2.) I believe the first PK graphite mid was the original Black Ace.
    Your Graphite Comps there date from 1986, give or take a year. Those are a fun frame.

    One easy way to date tennis racquets was the advent of the replaceable plastic bumper guard: these were first seen on a handful of models in the year 1984, but by 1986, were much more widespread, and by 1990, used on all but the cheapest tennis racquets.
     
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  3. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    Graphite Comp is bumperless. It seems older than 86. Did the Black Ace come out in 80?
     
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  4. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, I don't know for certain, but I seem to remember seeing some pros with it in hand in 1981. Steve Denton, Eliot Teltscher ???

    As for your Graphite Comp: it was one of the "lesser" models from Pro Kennex, who at the time was churning out millions of frames at all price points. Those Graphite Comps were probably bought at a discount "box" store in the USA, in the mid-80's. In Europe, at the same time, they sold a racquet which looks stunningly similar, called Fiber Ace (which sounds more like a dietary supplement than a piece of tennis equipment: "My groundstrokes were pretty irregular. But then I got FIBER ACE! ... [announcer voice] Pro Kennex Fiber Ace. Pro Kennex recommends a natural gut for freer ball movement.")

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
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  5. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    That has to be the same racket, except that "fiber" is substituted for "graphite". Strange.

    So PK is claiming the Black Ace was the first mid size graphite.
     
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  6. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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  7. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Probably true. The Black Ace was certainly one of the first coming out in about 1980 and may have been the first depending upon what you call midsize, but ProKennex also manufactured rackets for other companies, so even if there was an earlier one, they might have actually manufactured it.
     
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  8. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Half a chance that Kunnan made the early Black Max, also available in 79/80...or are we looking for more % graphite?
     
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  9. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    That makes sense, and would be a good reason to not name the model when making the claim.
     
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