Originally Posted by vsbabolat
I have still own to this day Maxply Fort, JK Pro Staff, Maxply Fort Graphite, and the Maxply McEnroe. There is NO Graphite inlay in his frame. He played with a standard Maxply Fort that was customized to his specs. They had customized the grip shape and the balance of his frames. You also seem to forget that before McEnroe played with the JK Pro Staff he played with the Maxply Fort. Also the Maxply Fort Graphite did not have the very thick shoulders of the Maxply Fort. I also own the 1981 article where McEnroe is interviewed about the Maxply Fort and the development of the Maxply McEnroe. They go into great detail about how the Maxply Fort was customized for McEnroe.
Yes, I know that McEnroe used a Maxply Fort as a junior. However, he had used the JK Pro Staff for at least 5 or 6 years prior to switching back to the Maxply Fort in 1981 so he had played all of his pro career up until that time with the JKPS, so I'm sure he had gotten very used to the feel and how it played, especially on volleys, which was the basis of his game.
So why can't part of the customization for McEnroe have included stiffening the hoop, like with a graphite inlay? It wouldn't be that hard to hide that thin band of graphite with some wood stain or paint. Heck, they hide much, much more than that with paintjobs these days, and even back then, Laver was able to paint a Maxply Fort to look like an aluminum Chemold racquet!
If you can do that, you can paintjob just about anything.
Oh, and I also own the Maxply McEnroe and it has a much stiffer hoop than the Maxply Fort, which is another reason why I think Dunlop stiffened up the hoop of the Maxply Fort for McEnroe.