Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Classic Racquet Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=41)
-   -   Can someone identify this old racket? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=147336)

MaximRecoil 07-28-2007 06:32 PM

Can someone identify this old racket?
 
It is an old Spalding racket with a frame made from a solid aluminum beam (not hollow aluminum like some later rackets). The head is standard sized which I guess is about 65 in.^2. The head measures (from the outside of the hoop) about 9 3/4" width x 10 1/2" height (nearly round). It has 64 string holes in total. The overall length of the racket is 26 1/2". I can't find any text on it that identifies the model, only the manufacturer.

I would also like to know if anyone knows the string pattern and recommended string tension for this racket.

Here are some [poor webcam quality] pictures of the racket.

JW10S 07-28-2007 06:35 PM

It's a Spalding Smasher--great racquet. It was made famous by Pancho Gonzalez when he used it to play on tour into his 40's.

MaximRecoil 07-28-2007 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JW10S (Post 1623120)
It's a Spalding Smasher--great racquet. It was made famous by Pancho Gonzalez when he used it to play on tour into his 40's.

Thanks for the reply. After reading it I did a search on the Spalding Smasher, and it looks like it was the first aluminum racket, introduced in 1968, is that right? I found an ad on eBeigh from 1969 for one, and it looks the same except the throat bridge doesn't have the "S" integrated into it, but I guess that's something they put in later. I also saw one with a plastic bridge on another site, so they must have made this model for a while, with various changes along the way.

I may be able to copy the stringing pattern from that 1969 ad, but it is kind of hard to see in some spots. Any idea what the tension should be? 50 lbs. or so?

Bud 07-28-2007 07:04 PM

Nice!
 
Cool Racquet. I love the old metal racquets. :D

JW10S 07-28-2007 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MaximRecoil (Post 1623171)
Thanks for the reply. After reading it I did a search on the Spalding Smasher, and it looks like it was the first aluminum racket, introduced in 1968, is that right? I found an ad on eBeigh from 1969 for one, and it looks the same except the throat bridge doesn't have the "S" integrated into it, but I guess that's something they put in later. I also saw one with a plastic bridge on another site, so they must have made this model for a while, with various changes along the way.

I may be able to copy the stringing pattern from that 1969 ad, but it is kind of hard to see in some spots. Any idea what the tension should be? 50 lbs. or so?

You're right, the 'S' was added to the throat piece in later models--it was only a cosmetic thing. If I'm not mistaken the ones you saw with plastic throat pieces were mid-size models that were the last ones manufactured. I can't help you with regard to the recommended string tension though.

superstition 07-28-2007 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JW10S (Post 1623120)
It's a Spalding Smasher--great racquet. It was made famous by Pancho Gonzalez when he used it to play on tour into his 40's.

How times have changed. Now, people are starting threads like "what players should just pack it in" and picking people in their 30s because they're "too old", and tennis commentators have dubbed women in their 20s "aging divas" who will have to make way for up and coming 17 and 18 year olds.

See my signature for my response.

Rafa freak 07-28-2007 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bud (Post 1623179)
Cool Racquet. I love the old metal racquets. :D

Do you wan't a t-2000 or a t-3000?:D

Capt. Willie 07-28-2007 09:02 PM

Wow a Spalding Smasher :) Where did you find this?

Bud 07-28-2007 09:41 PM

It depends on the condition and price :)

MaximRecoil 07-28-2007 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Capt. Willie (Post 1623339)
Wow a Spalding Smasher :) Where did you find this?

I got it about 12 years ago. My aunt was helping her neighbor clean out her attic and she found two rackets up there, a wooden TAD Davis Professional in nice shape and no warpage, and this Spalding Smasher. My aunt's neighbor didn't care about them, and my aunt knew I played tennis so she asked if I wanted them. I restrung the Davis racket and tried it out because I'd never hit with a wooden racket (aside from the first couple of times I tried tennis when I was 7). It was quite fun to hit with.

I cut the old blue and white striped (and loose and dead) strings out of the Spalding, taking a mental note of the pattern, but I never got around to stringing it, and eventually I forgot the pattern and wasn't playing tennis at all for quite a while, so I've never hit with it.

I just finished stringing it tonight. I went with a one piece stringing, 18x18, skipping hole 9 on the mains, 50 lbs. It looks about right to me -- Link.

I'll probably try it out tomorrow. The grip size is right for me at 4 5/8" (a boxier shape than I'm used to though) and the leather is still in good condition.

Capt. Willie 07-29-2007 11:56 AM

Your 18x18 looks right to me...8 and 10 shared, skip 9. I think I would have tried finding pictures of Gonzalez with this racquet and attempted to count the patteren. But I'm pretty sure you have it right.

Let us know how it plays.

MaximRecoil 07-29-2007 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Capt. Willie (Post 1624261)
Your 18x18 looks right to me...8 and 10 shared, skip 9. I think I would have tried finding pictures of Gonzalez with this racquet and attempted to count the patteren. But I'm pretty sure you have it right.

Let us know how it plays.

I did find some Gonzales pictures where I was able to count the pattern, as well as that 1969 advertisement for the Spalding Smasher. However, they both had a 16 mains x 18 crosses pattern. Looking at my racket, 16 x 18 didn't look right for it, so I wondered why. So, using the 1969 ad, I counted the total number of string holes. It had 54. Well, like I said earlier, my racket has 64 string holes. So I wondered if my racket had a larger head to account for the extra string holes, but it looked like a standard size head to me. But just to make sure, I did the math on it, along with the math on the Davis wood racket (which I know for a fact is a standard size head), and they were the same -- and I don't mean "the same" in a rough sense, I mean exactly the same, out to the 5th decimal place. That surprised me. Here is the math for both of them, measuring just the string bed area on both of them (inside of the hoop):

TAD Davis Professional:

8 3/16" Width x 10 5/8" Length = 8.1875" x 10.625" = 9.40625" average diameter = 69.49 in.^2 area

Spalding Smasher:

9" Width x 9 13/16" Length = 9" x 9.8125" = 9.40625" average diameter = 69.49 in.^2 area

So apparently, Spalding went with a tighter pattern while leaving the head size the same, by the time they made the models like mine with the "S" in the throat piece.

The closest thing I could find for a picture to go by was this Chemold Rod Laver model, which has a similar shape to the Spalding Smasher, and 60 total string holes. It has an 18x18 pattern. And just for the hell of it, I checked out a Wilson T2000, which also has a similar shape to the Spalding Smasher, and it was 18x18 as well. So that's what I went with.

I'll probably hit with it tonight, assuming it doesn't rain.

MaximRecoil 07-29-2007 05:17 PM

It looks like calculating the area of an oval (ellipse) may be more complicated than that. So, the two rackets are not exact, but very close:

Davis = 68.32 in.^2
Spalding = 69.36 in.^2

MaximRecoil 07-29-2007 08:57 PM

I hit with the Spalding tonight and I loved it. I didn't expect to like it at all, given the small head size and aluminum construction. I expected a lot of mishits and twangy vibration.

In reality, this racket is built like a tank. It felt extremely solid when hitting. This isn't the thin, light aluminum from the 80's department store rackets, this stuff is thick, solid, and heavy.

This racket also has a lot of control. I could literally crank on it as hard as I could and the ball would go where I wanted it to. I came up with a lot of nice angles and low, hard, and deep shots to the corners. Shots that I'd attempt with my regular racket that were low percentage shots, suddenly became high percentage shots. I could easily attack weak serves for example, and put the ball where I wanted, with a full swing and plenty of pace, without fear of it going wide or long.

I didn't mishit any more than usual either, despite the ~70 in.^2 head size.

Here's the thing though -- like I said, this is a heavy racket. It seems a little heavier than the Davis wood racket even, so I'm guessing it is 14+ oz. I was hitting around with my nephew who is a beginner. Given his slow shots, I had plenty of chances to tee-off. So I don't know how well I'd do against a better player, where I need to be able to maneuver the racket and get into position faster in order to return harder shots (the small head size may become more of a liability against harder shots too).

I might be playing someone tomorrow who is older than me, and I've been playing since I was 12 years old, and have never beaten (though I've come close plenty of times). I'll give the Spalding a try and see what happens.

Steve Huff 07-30-2007 08:59 PM

As much as it looks "solid", I'm fairly certain that it is an extruded aluminum like most others. Pulling off the butt cap would tell you for sure. I dont recall ANY rackets made from solid metal in that day.

MaximRecoil 07-31-2007 01:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Huff (Post 1627681)
As much as it looks "solid", I'm fairly certain that it is an extruded aluminum like most others. Pulling off the butt cap would tell you for sure. I dont recall ANY rackets made from solid metal in that day.

You're probably right. The beam the frame was made from looks, feels, and has a heft to it that indicates a solid beam. But, if it is hollow (don't really want to take the butt cap off -- if I'd have thought of it I could have pulled out a grommet [they are all individual] before stringing and looked in there), then it is pretty thick-walled stuff compared to other aluminum rackets I've used. Either way, the racket has quite a heft to it, and a very solid feel when hitting the ball.

I had a cheap Wilson Rally when I was a kid, which was light, thin aluminum and that thing was like a tuning fork when you hit the ball.

Capt. Willie 07-31-2007 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MaximRecoil (Post 1625194)
I hit with the Spalding tonight and I loved it. I didn't expect to like it at all, given the small head size and aluminum construction. I expected a lot of mishits and twangy vibration.

~snip~

Here's the thing though -- like I said, this is a heavy racket. It seems a little heavier than the Davis wood racket even, so I'm guessing it is 14+ oz. I was hitting around with my nephew who is a beginner. Given his slow shots, I had plenty of chances to tee-off. So I don't know how well I'd do against a better player, where I need to be able to maneuver the racket and get into position faster in order to return harder shots (the small head size may become more of a liability against harder shots too).

Nice review. :) Sounds like it was fun to play with. If you have access to a scale, could you weigh it? I'm curious as to the weight.

Fedfan4life 07-31-2007 11:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MaximRecoil (Post 1623115)
It is an old Spalding racket with a frame made from a solid aluminum beam (not hollow aluminum like some later rackets). The head is standard sized which I guess is about 65 in.^2. The head measures (from the outside of the hoop) about 9 3/4" width x 10 1/2" height (nearly round). It has 64 string holes in total. The overall length of the racket is 26 1/2". I can't find any text on it that identifies the model, only the manufacturer.

I would also like to know if anyone knows the string pattern and recommended string tension for this racket.

Here are some [poor webcam quality] pictures of the racket.

I bought one of those for 2 bucks in a thrift store. Very heavy.

toddsullivan 01-28-2013 08:22 AM

Spaulding Smasher Inventor
 
Maximrecoil,
Would you be interested in selling your Spaulding smasher? I am the son of the inventor, paul sullivan, and I am putting a display case together to hold his rackets for his 72 b-day. I can't seem to find a first generation of this racket until I saw it here. Please let me know. Much appreciated, Todd

toddsullivan 01-28-2013 08:23 AM

Maximrecoil,
Would you be interested in selling your Spaulding smasher? I am the son of the inventor, paul sullivan, and I am putting a display case together to hold his rackets for his 72 b-day. I can't seem to find a first generation of this racket until I saw it here. Please let me know. Much appreciated, Todd


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:17 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse