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Old 09-08-2013, 01:48 PM   #15
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 197

Among the racquets I just picked up from the fellow forum member are two brands that I have never heard of before.

First the "Tennis Rancher". It is evidently the house brand of John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch - once upon a time a premier tennis destination for the well-heeled leisure class:

This is obviously a white-label product, but can anyone recognize what it is under the (rather pretty) skin?

Then there is this interesting "Graphmax" frame, whose cosmetics literally mirror those of a Gauthier racquet I have. Even the stylized "G" in the logo can be viewed as a derivative of Gauthier's trademark "G".

Is this a Gauthier rip-off? Why would anyone bother ripping off an already obscure (outside of France) marque? Or was this a Gauthier-sanctioned effort to broaden their appeal beyond the francophone market? After all, for those who don't speak French, 'Graphmax' is a lot easier to pronounce correctly than 'Gauthier'.

Curiously. while the Graphmax is bumperless, hinting at an early-mid '80s release, it is made with variable beam geometry, which didn't become common until much later, when bumpers were already de rigueur, making this frame oddly anachronistic in some ways, or maybe just appropriately Gallic?

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