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Old 03-11-2013, 10:01 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 197
Default Obscure makers that Kuebler missed?

I am well aware that Kuebler is not mistake free, but he seems to have done a pretty thorough job of cataloguing (or at least mentioning) every racquet maker of significance that had been in business at one time or another through the early 1990s, many of which I would not expect to ever encounter during my casual perusal of thrift store treasure bins and fleabay listings. However, I have now run into two brands that are not in the '95 German edition of Kuebler, but which look like they ought to have been.

This first example is a local PIAS find from some years back:

It desperately wants you to think that it's Japanese (but most likely isn't), and looks vaguely like a cross between a Yonex and a ProKennex. The build quality is good, and it plays pretty much how it looks - bland and unremarkable. I have never been able to find any information on this Savlina brand name, nor have I ever encountered another racquet from this maker (perhaps it's some sort of OEM boutique brand made for a very limited market?).

The second find was freshly fished off of fleabay only a few days ago (there is a whole school of these floundering through the venue at the moment):

Again, very typical 1980s Taiwanese manufacture, nice satin finish, with a throat area design that appears to be partially inspired by some of the Kneissls of that era (or else it was meant to look like the outline of an actual shark tooth), and plays about the same as the Savlina.

After I finished stringing the example above (by guessing at the pattern), I noticed that the second and third crosses from the bottom are rather too close to one another to be correct, so I very likely flipped the mains and crosses at those four holes; which means that the two outer-most mains are supposed to be slanted, like the ones on the Völkls and Puma Boris Becker.

According to trademark records, the Agga brand was first created in 1978, and was registered in 1986 by White King Industrial, Inc. The registration expired in 1992 and was not renewed. Even though White King had a US business address, I get the feeling that the principals involved were Taiwanese nationals, who were trying to replicate Kunnan Lo's success by emphasizing the "American-ness" of their brand. Presumably those efforts were for naught, as neither Agga nor White King received a mention in the '95 Kuebler.

A recent thread by MAXXply focused on the Australian Techmann brand, which is also absent from my '95 Kuebler. So there must have been more than a few of these lesser known makes out there that flew under Kuebler's radar. Or did he rectify this oversight by including them in his 2000 revision and later updates?

Of course, we are only looking at brands that were made and/or marketed in the West here. Kuebler made an effort to survey all the known Eastern European makers in one of his later updates, but I am sure he could have written a whole other tome if he had included south Asia and the rest of the world in his survey.
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