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-   -   Is comfort technology catching up with stiffness (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=461372)

Crocodile 04-22-2013 02:11 AM

Is comfort technology catching up with stiffness
 
I've noticed in the last 6 months many of the manufacturers have increased the stiffnes of their racquets, of note Dunlop with there 200 series of racquets. Buying a Volkl with a stiffness of 74 (X7) would have been unheard of in the past by a brand which prides itself in producing soft feeling racquets. There are not too many frames under 63 RA. some of the racquets that fit into this category are:
Volkl C10
Prince EXO Tours and Rebel
Tecnifibre VO2 315
Pacific X Force Pro's
Donnay Platinum 99
Pro Kennex Black Ace

The question is, has comfort technology improved to the point that a racquet with an RA of 68 and above be used with a soft multi be OK for arms and shoulders assuming that weight and balance characteristics are equal

corners 04-22-2013 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crocodile (Post 7360593)
I've noticed in the last 6 months many of the manufacturers have increased the stiffnes of their racquets, of note Dunlop with there 200 series of racquets. Buying a Volkl with a stiffness of 74 (X7) would have been unheard of in the past by a brand which prides itself in producing soft feeling racquets. There are not too many frames under 63 RA. some of the racquets that fit into this category are:
Volkl C10
Prince EXO Tours and Rebel
Tecnifibre VO2 315
Pacific X Force Pro's
Donnay Platinum 99
Pro Kennex Black Ace

The question is, has comfort technology improved to the point that a racquet with an RA of 68 and above be used with a soft multi be OK for arms and shoulders assuming that weight and balance characteristics are equal

I'd be wary. I'm not sure how they are doing it, mainly with soft grommets and tricks like that. With a soft multi or gut, sure, you might get away with it. But what's the point? High stiffness will give you 1-2 extra mph on your shots. You can get the same pace benefit using gut/poly hybrid in one of those soft sticks. Stiff racquets are for suckers. (I jest, but personally don't think it's worth the risk.)

Bartelby 04-22-2013 05:12 AM

Stiff racquets are like a sugar hit and probably sell well quickly because of it.

fuzz nation 04-22-2013 05:29 AM

I know a couple of guys who would argue that softer co-poly strings are a "comfort technology", but they're still a less user-friendly option for many than other string options including multifibers. Gotta look upon any technology aimed at making stiffer fly swatters more comfortable with at least a little skepticism.

I'd say that those technologies can probably only go so far before actually rendering the racquet less stiff.

mikeespinmusic 04-22-2013 05:53 AM

I'll try to keep this simple without going into too much about anatomy and physiology.

Lets say I give you pain killers and push you over. Yes you're not feeling it right now. But it doesn't mean you're not getting the shock or the muscle tears from it.

If anyone's got a better analogy please share. Thats the best I got :(

IMO you can hit through hard hit balls better with a flexible racquet where as a stiff racquet causes your joints and arm to do the stretching and flexing to the load.

Man I love my Boris Becker DC London 93... :P

dje31 04-22-2013 06:10 AM

Head Instincts ( at least for IGs & Graphenes ) have fairly high RA ratings, but they hide it well. They feel almost pillow-y, very muted. Not sure how they're pulling that off, but they do.

anubis 04-22-2013 06:36 AM

I don't think so. Stiff racquets are still stiff regardless of the technology. I agree with Bartelby: manufacturers are making stiff racquets because they sell like gang busters. There's an illusion of tremendous power, as if the frame itself shakes with potential energy.

Boricua 04-22-2013 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeespinmusic (Post 7360791)
I'll try to keep this simple without going into too much about anatomy and physiology.

Lets say I give you pain killers and push you over. Yes you're not feeling it right now. But it doesn't mean you're not getting the shock or the muscle tears from it.

If anyone's got a better analogy please share. Thats the best I got :(

IMO you can hit through hard hit balls better with a flexible racquet where as a stiff racquet causes your joints and arm to do the stretching and flexing to the load.

Man I love my Boris Becker DC London 93... :P

Did you switch from the Exo3 Tour?

Anton 04-22-2013 07:17 AM

I can see how a stiff racket may be bad for elbow joint, but I just don't see what shoulder has to do with racket stiffness.

eidolonshinobi 04-22-2013 07:31 AM

There are too many threads to count complaining about Tennis Elbow from stiff racquets. It markets well, but isn't good in the long run for those with nonfundamental strokes.

ollinger 04-22-2013 07:38 AM

Don't confuse comfort with arm safety. One can engineer some of the harshness out but a stiff racquet still creates torques on the wrist and elbow that a more flexible racquet doesn't.

Boricua 04-22-2013 07:52 AM

I used APD Cortex, Gt and 2013 model. Ironically the Cortex version was the only one that did not give me elbow problems. Bear in mind that I used full copoly mostly. I am switching to the flexible Prince 3 Exo Tour 16 x 18 strung with Black 5 Edge at 45 string tension

spinovic 04-22-2013 08:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dje31 (Post 7360805)
Head Instincts ( at least for IGs & Graphenes ) have fairly high RA ratings, but they hide it well. They feel almost pillow-y, very muted. Not sure how they're pulling that off, but they do.

HEAD has definitely figured something out. To suit my preferences anyway.

I haven't played with the Instinct, but I currently use the Extreme Pro 2.0 and can echo your feedback. Stiffness is 69, but it has that same muted, "softer" than expected feel. How a racquet feels is always difficult to describe, and its a subjective thing that can vary with each person, but the Extreme Pro 2.0 feels solid, without feeling stiff to me.

The Prestige Pro (stiffness of 66 I believe) doesn't feel drastically different. In fact, I thought it felt a little boardier and stiffer than the Extreme Pro 2.0. The Radical has some similarities in the "muted" response, but you can definitely feel the flexier frame. I love the feel on all the HEAD racquets I've played with.

ced 04-22-2013 08:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crocodile (Post 7360593)
I've noticed in the last 6 months many of the manufacturers have increased the stiffnes of their racquets, of note Dunlop with there 200 series of racquets. Buying a Volkl with a stiffness of 74 (X7) would have been unheard of in the past by a brand which prides itself in producing soft feeling racquets. ... ... ... ... ...

The question is, has comfort technology improved to the point that a racquet with an RA of 68 and above be used with a soft multi be OK for arms and shoulders assuming that weight and balance characteristics are equal

If my experience for the last 7 weeks with the Volkl Organix X7 (295) is any indicator , then Volkl has succeeded in doing just that !! My preferred multi is PPA strung at 50/52.

SteveI 04-22-2013 08:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dje31 (Post 7360805)
Head Instincts ( at least for IGs & Graphenes ) have fairly high RA ratings, but they hide it well. They feel almost pillow-y, very muted. Not sure how they're pulling that off, but they do.

indeed sir.. I am playing the IG Instinct and they very much hide the 69 RA..and yes the "pillow-y" is right on. I am very impressed by that frame. One of the best all around frames I have ever played..and it has lots of room for mods if required.

SteveI 04-22-2013 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ollinger (Post 7360985)
Don't confuse comfort with arm safety. One can engineer some of the harshness out but a stiff racquet still creates torques on the wrist and elbow that a more flexible racquet doesn't.

I agree with this. I am not sure how Head has created such a solid line. The IG Instinct seems to have it all. Easy on my arm (mine) and I have not seem the frame twist on off center hits. The upper loop is firm and consistent. Head has created something special in my book with that frame.

SteveI 04-22-2013 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anton (Post 7360937)
I can see how a stiff racket may be bad for elbow joint, but I just don't see what shoulder has to do with racket stiffness.

I think shoulder issues come more from bad form and too heavy (static or SW) a frame.

Anton 04-22-2013 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveI (Post 7361065)
I think shoulder issues come more from bad form and too heavy (static or SW) a frame.

That's how I see this too

Relinquis 04-22-2013 08:58 AM

No, It hasn't.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crocodile (Post 7360593)
[..]

The question is, has comfort technology improved to the point that a racquet with an RA of 68 and above be used with a soft multi be OK for arms and shoulders assuming that weight and balance characteristics are equal


NE1for10is? 04-22-2013 11:45 AM

I have been wondering lately if there would ever be a class action suit against a racquet or string company that knowingly sells extremely stiff racquets that cause so many injuries.


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