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: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...4164/index.htm
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?