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-   -   Found this on the net: Federer racket theories? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=164796)

AlpineCadet 11-02-2007 03:36 AM

Found this on the net: Federer racket theories?
 
(This is just to be shared and discussed, without any flaming, trolling, or harassment--AT ALL. You can debate this topic all you want, but please do not cause fights or on-going arguments/problems here. (As many of the informative Federer threads have been deleted due to user politics.) Take that stuff outside of this thread, please.


"Tennis Rackets Of The Pros -- What Sticks Are They Really Using?

The Racket Controversy And What Is A Paint Job?


There are a lot of reasons for the controversy about the exact rackets that the pros use. The main reason for the controversy, as usual, is money.

It’s common knowledge on the inside of the tennis world that many pros are using rackets painted to look like the retail version of a new racket that the manufacturer is marketing.

Here’s a typical scenario. A pro has been using a racket for a long time and, the manufacturer with whom he or she has a deal, wants to introduce a new racket line into the marketplace. The pro may not really want to change rackets but may agree to have the old rackets painted to look just like the new racket. In tennis vernacular this is called a paint job.

Of course, this is usually good business for the racket manufacturer as sales of the new and probably expensive rackets will increase. And, the player pockets the fee from the manufacturer and still gets to play with the rackets with which he or she is most comfortable. Whether or not this is good for the recreational tennis player is debatable.


Most recreational players could never play well with the exact rackets that top pros use anyway.


Often top pros use rackets that are not that powerful and are very heavy (even if the retail racket frames that you and I can buy are not heavy, many pros either add lead tape to make their rackets much heavier, or have them customized to be heavier).

The pros can play with these types of rackets because they can generate tremendous racket head speed and power, and wouldn’t be able to control the ball if the rackets were too powerful.


The average recreational player will feel that they can barely get the ball over the net with many actual pro rackets.


So, even if a recreational player thinks he or she is playing with the same racket as their favorite pro, it’s actually a racket that is usually substantially different than the actual racket the pro is using. It may look the same and have the same name, but it usually isn’t the exact same racket.

Of course, some recreational players customize their rackets with lead tape. And, they’ll try and find out how much tape certain pros use and where on the racket the players place the lead tape.

You see, where the lead tape is placed on the racket dramatically changes the weight and balance of the racket and how it plays.

In the final analysis, the smart recreational player goes to his tennis pro shop and demos a whole bunch of rackets before buying. And, the smart player will buy the racket that he or she plays with best as opposed to the racket he or she thinks Federer or Sharapova is playing with.


The Controversy Over Roger Federer’s Actual Racket



Among tennis fans today there is debate about the actual racket that Roger Federer plays with. There are as many conspiracy theories about Federer’s racket as there are about the Kennedy assassination.

What is known is that when Federer was in the juniors he played with the classic Pro Staff 6.0 85. This is the same frame that Pete Sampras used.

Next, Federer apparently played with a newer Wilson model called the Pro Staff Tour 90.

And now, he’s apparently playing with a newer model again - the N 6-1 Tour 90.

But, not everyone is convinced that Federer is actually using the new N 6-1 Tour 90!


Here are two of the top conspiracy theories:

• He’s still using the Pro Staff Tour 90 painted to look like the N 6-1 Tour 90.

• He’s using a custom frame based on the original mold of the original Pro Staff 6-0 85.


Obviously, there are small differences between the proposed rackets that Federer is using. Tennis fanatics actually take pictures of Federer’s racket in match play and magnify the images trying to look for little clues.

They analyze everything from the grommets, the string pattern, and the number of cross strings in the PWS.

According to one report from an unidentified source at Wilson, all of Roger Federer’s racquets are made from a modified ProStaff 6.0 85 mold. Apparently, Roger wanted to increase the head size from 85 sq. in., while trying to maintain the original features of the Pro Staff 6-0 85.

In order to meet Federer’s requirements, plus successfully market the Pro Staff Tour 90, Wilson modified a Pro Staff 6.0 85 mold to include the tapered flanges on the throat, increased the head size to 90 sq.in., and made slight modifications to the PWS shape in order to make it look like a Tour 90 to the untrained eye.

Now, conspiracy theorists think that Fed is playing with this customized racket that has been painted to look like the N 6-1 Tour 90."


For a direct source (2006): http://tennis-tips-tactics.blogspot....ticks-are.html

sapient007 11-02-2007 10:55 AM

i thought it's pretty much closed that he's using a custom k factor mold

BreakPoint 11-02-2007 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlpineCadet (Post 1849730)
In order to meet Federerís requirements, plus successfully market the Pro Staff Tour 90, Wilson modified a Pro Staff 6.0 85 mold to include the tapered flanges on the throat, increased the head size to 90 sq.in., and made slight modifications to the PWS shape in order to make it look like a Tour 90 to the untrained eye.

Huh? If you "modify" the PS 6.0 85 mold to increase the headsize to 90 sq. in., change the shape of the throat, and modify the PWS shape, then it's no longer a PS 6.0 85 mold at all. It becomes a PS Tour 90 mold since everything else about it, from the beam width to the box beam shape, are the same. BTW, we know Federer's racquet also has the 16x19 string pattern of the K90, so they obviously drilled it differently from the PS 6.0 85's 16x18 pattern.

http://web.archive.org/web/200304020...LSON-WT90.html

drakulie 11-02-2007 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlpineCadet (Post 1849730)
In the final analysis, the smart recreational player goes to his tennis pro shop and demos a whole bunch of rackets before buying. And, the smart player will buy the racket that he or she plays with best

Thank you.

Fee 11-02-2007 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sapient007 (Post 1850483)
i thought it's pretty much closed that he's using a custom k factor mold

He's using a custom mold, and the K Factor may be based on that mold. I was told 'no one is playing with Federer's racquet' and I choose to believe that comment was authentic. Would a racquet built to Federer's specs and desires really be that desirable/usable by the mass market?

Mike Cottrill 11-02-2007 03:19 PM

You guys miss the biggest point all together. Fed got Wilson to put a top secret group together in St. Vincent to make his sticks when Sampras crushed his confidence early this year with sticks he took out of his trophy cases with ten year old gut. Only sticks Pete had on hand since Fed called him at the last minute. He broke the second set of strings in the second set after taking the first 6-4. Then he barrowed one of Fed’s sticks and said put this string in a St. Vincent and then you have a great setup. Once Fed got his new sticks, he got back on track. Now Fed is complaining because Pete is also getting his top secret St. Vincent sticks. Now what is Wilson going to do..

Racketdesign 11-02-2007 06:43 PM

In reality, the mold that creates Feds racquet will be unique. It may be the same profile / cross section and size as the K90(I dont believe it is) but his racquets certainly don't roll out of the same molds that the retail racquets come from. All racquet molds have a limited production life and for any decent player, the brand will open a dedicated mold to ensure its consistancy. Somwhere in China there is a Mold with the name Federer stamped accross it. So its a Custom mold for sure, and the racquets construction will also differ from the retail versions in weight, balance and stiffness. Doesnt that make it a Custom Racquet?

AlpineCadet 11-02-2007 10:32 PM

I did not write this blog--I found it while surfing the internet as I have already stated in the Subject line/title of this thread. :wink:

There are many valid points in this article, and IMHO it is more insightful/informative than all the argument-ridden/pretentious threads that end up becoming deleted.

Venetian 11-02-2007 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlpineCadet (Post 1851779)
I did not write this blog--I found it while surfing the internet as I have already stated in the Subject line/title of this thread. ;)

There are many valid points in this article, and IMHO it is more insightful/informative than all the argument-ridden/pretentious threads that end up becoming deleted.

Yeah I just thought you MAY have written it. It just seems like a compilation of multiple years of TW posts slapped together by some unknown person. I just thought after reading the thread title that the article was going to be from Sports Illustrated or something.

AlpineCadet 11-02-2007 11:10 PM

We'll the same goes for almost all of the threads/replies here on TW, but that doesn't mean all this info isn't informative or relevant.

Venetian 11-02-2007 11:14 PM

Well yeah. Ok as for the article, I always have disagreed when people say that recreational players can not use pro's rackets effectively. The racquets are custom made but they don't way 22oz or anything. The pro may have a relatively light racquet that is just customized the way they like it. Or maybe the rec player uses a 13+oz racquet and likes them heavy.

Venetian 11-02-2007 11:16 PM

I'm not too sure about the writer's claims regarding Federers racquet as I don't read many of those posts on TW. I know it's customized so I'm not sure that anything else about it really matters. I guess it would be cool to know the exact head size. Other than that though, weight or paintjob seem irrelevant.

TheShaun 11-02-2007 11:22 PM

2002: roger federer uses a hockey stick painted to look like a tennis racquet
2007: roger federer uses a modified garbage can lid (92 sq inch) with a stick through the handle painted to look like a tennis racquet....wilson makes millions off of unsuspecting recreational players.

Drona 11-04-2007 02:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Racketdesign (Post 1851420)
In reality, the mold that creates Feds racquet will be unique. It may be the same profile / cross section and size as the K90(I dont believe it is) but his racquets certainly don't roll out of the same molds that the retail racquets come from. All racquet molds have a limited production life and for any decent player, the brand will open a dedicated mold to ensure its consistancy. Somwhere in China there is a Mold with the name Federer stamped accross it. So its a Custom mold for sure, and the racquets construction will also differ from the retail versions in weight, balance and stiffness. Doesnt that make it a Custom Racquet?

This makes me think of Indiana Jones, where at the end the ark is dropped off in a huge warehouse filled w/ other "unexplainable" items...

raiden031 11-04-2007 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fee (Post 1850880)
He's using a custom mold, and the K Factor may be based on that mold. I was told 'no one is playing with Federer's racquet' and I choose to believe that comment was authentic. Would a racquet built to Federer's specs and desires really be that desirable/usable by the mass market?

Yes it would be desirable. It is pointless and annoying to even create the K-factor k6.1 tour and market it as Federer's racquet when it is not. Lets look at the actual k-factor specs: 12.5oz, 90" head, meant for players 5.0 and better. So those specs alone would make the racquet useless for what, 95% of the tennis-playing population? Why not just sell the real mold as Federer's racquet when most players can't even play with the one they claim is Federer's anyways?

Are people trying to say that 5.0 players cannot handle Federer's racquet?? That is crap. Federer is not exactly the strongest looking guy on tour. I doubt his racquet is in the 20oz range.

And BTW, I wouldn't buy Federer's racquet regardless because I could care less, but I feel for the people who are deceived and waste so much money on crap that is not authentic like the K-factor.

BounceHitBounceHit 11-04-2007 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raiden031 (Post 1855137)
And BTW, I wouldn't buy Federer's racquet regardless because I could care less, but I feel for the people who are deceived and waste so much money on crap that is not authentic like the K-factor.

The K90 is a great frame. Whether or not Fed plays it doesn't really matter (as you correctly state above). I am CERTAIN my frames aren't 'just like Fed's' because I customize them to my liking. But, of the stock frames currently available, the K90 is definitely the one best suited for me. ;) CC

raiden031 11-04-2007 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Craig A. Clark (Post 1855370)
The K90 is a great frame. Whether or not Fed plays it doesn't really matter (as you correctly state above). I am CERTAIN my frames aren't 'just like Fed's' because I customize them to my liking. But, of the stock frames currently available, the K90 is definitely the one best suited for me. ;) CC

I won't doubt its a good frame, but lets be honest, so many people buy it because Fed supposedly uses it, not because its a good frame.

Fedace 11-04-2007 06:06 PM

I have heard that Federer K-factor is not that different from stock K-factor frame. cliff Drysdale or pat Mcenroe said this, i am not sure which one.

AlpineCadet 11-04-2007 06:07 PM

There are very good points being made here, and I'm glad this thread is heading into the right direction. Keep up the good work guys. ;)

BreakPoint 11-04-2007 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Racketdesign (Post 1855103)
I cant believe Breakpoint hasn't commented on my post, is he ok? ;0)

Well, since you're encouraging me to comment, I guess I will. ;)

Sure, there may very well be a mold somewhere in a Chinese racquet factory with Federer's name on it, but how do we know that this mold is not identical to the mold that's used for the retail K90 and that they made an exact copy of that mold for Federer's K90s so that, like you said, Federer can get more consistent frames from his mold since the retail mold will get used far, far more and so will wear out faster and consistency will deviate? So if the two molds are identical in design in every way, I wouldn't really call that a "custom mold" but a copy of the same mold that's only used for Federer's frames.

Also, do you have some inside information that can confirm your statement that Federer's frames have different construction, weight, balance, and stiffness than the retail K90? If so, please do share. ;)


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