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Old 10-15-2012, 06:59 AM   #429
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Austin, hook 'em, Texas
Posts: 2,157

Originally Posted by Sanglier View Post
I've only been exposed to two types of DuraFiber racquets prior to today: the orange "Lite", of which I picked up a pristine example a few months ago, and the black "XT".

With a name like "DuraFiber", one would have thought that the brand was created specifically to market racquets made out of a tenacious fibrous substrate, so I was quite surprised to come upon this well-worn stick in a pile of unremarkable Dunlops and Heads today (shown above its "Lite" cousin for dimensional reference):

While this frame is not made out of any kind of fiber, the material is in fact a 'dura' according to a decal affixed to the side of the shaft - 'Duraluminum' to be exact, an old-school aircraft alloy that's actually a good deal stronger than the 6000 series alloy used in most contemporary aluminum racquets.
Wow, it's too early in the week to process; but, I'm remembering this aluminum frame. Possibly a 7000 series alu like the Head Pro or PDP Open. Seems PENN marketed a similar model(I might be dreaming) and had a logo sticker covering the 'gunsight' throat brace. A butt-cap logo sticker would fit there just right, I believe. Frames like that were destined to fail, I reckon, because the throat piece had the stress of 6 or more mainstrings pulling straight up(while the Head rackets had the mains run through the frame for significant increased strength). The Wilson World Class suffered the same fate. In the hands of a hard hitter, the throat could be pulled out of place in short order.

Of course, the super-thin throat brace in the composite DuraFibers was a potential failing point. I have the Lite and the XR-Graphite, both with intact throats...but neither appears to have much 'court time'. I remember seeing my first DuraFiber in the South Carolina heat(in the '70s) and the throat bridge had simply 'melted' and failed.
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