Co-Classics

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
This sub-forum doesn't have enough frivolous and borderline off-topic threads, hence I feel compelled to contribute a new one.

There was a period when manufacturers routinely co-marketed products for different racquet sports, made using the same technology, sharing similar features, and often clad in comparable paint jobs. As my infatuation with the history of racquet development had a relatively late onset, I only became aware of many of those non-tennis offerings until recent years, usually as a result of encountering them in a thrift shop or on fleabay. Here are a few that I was intrigued enough to pick up, but I know there are many more out there (Wilson and Head products are probably the most frequently encountered examples, but there are some weird and rare ones as well). If anyone here has other interesting examples in their collection, please share!

The Leach frames below are the oldest pairing I have. Unlike the other units in this post, Leach racquetball racquets are as common as dirt, and it is possibly the only instance in which a racquetball manufacturer tried to scale up their product to meet tennis requirements. As many earlier threads had already made abundantly clear, this effort was an unmitigated disaster, and a mercifully brief one.




As many of you know, Prince acquired Ektelon in 1987, the latter has been the de facto racquetball division of Prince ever since. What is less well known is that Prince had considered selling racquetball racquets under their own brand prior to that point, probably at around the time they bought Grafalloy. Here is one such product from that period. I don't think I've ever seen these racquets marketed in the US.




Fox only made tennis racquets when their production was US-based, so the Taiwan-sourced "RB-110" in the middle is more of a descendant of the two US racquets than an actual sibling. Indeed, if the WB-210 and WB-215 pictured below had a white baby together, this is basically how it would look. As an aside, some of you might recognize this particular WB-210 as one of Brad Gilbert's personal frames (yellow terrycloth grip, Bosworth-applied lead strips). It was buried among hundreds of filthy racquets discovered by a construction worker while clearing a large house once inhabited by a hoarder. The worker told me he trashed hundreds of racquets with the rest of the disgusting junk, until more were unearthed from beneath the refuse, at which point he decided to gather up what's left in giant trash bags and put them on OfferUp in 'as found' condition. Someone had already dug through those trash bags and picked out all the good stuff by the time I got to the scene, but that early bird either was not a fan of Gilbert's or was too repulsed by the terrycloth grip to touch the WB-210. The grip was more sallow than yellow before I cleaned it. Given how close this frame came to death, I couldn't help but wonder if there were other gems that now lie buried in a landfill somewhere!

 
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Saul Goode

Semi-Pro
Nice! I have one set in my collection that falls in this category: the Wilson Profile 2.7 OS (what a tank that is!) and a corresponding Profile squash racquet, which has a slightly less wide cross section. It’s practically new, with the grip still plastic-wrapped, and with the head size of its time, it looks somewhat like the infamous Prince God Racquet.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I had a Carbon Flight I picked up somewhere and let it go for some unknown reason 8-10 yrs ago. More recently I had a Fox 210 Target but nothing about that racket intrigued me other than than the hoop. I gave that away this Christmas along with 15 other rackets, including my "snowshoes."
 
I had a Carbon Flight I picked up somewhere and let it go for some unknown reason 8-10 yrs ago. More recently I had a Fox 210 Target but nothing about that racket intrigued me other than than the hoop. I gave that away this Christmas along with 15 other rackets, including my "snowshoes."
That Carbon Flite is a rare and fragile beast. After all the horror stories I've heard about them snapping in the middle of a stroke, I haven't had the courage to play with mine. Apparently, the racketball version didn't have the same issues. Probably why one is as common as dirt and the other as rare as hens teeth! ;)
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
Nice! I have one set in my collection that falls in this category: the Wilson Profile 2.7 OS (what a tank that is!) and a corresponding Profile squash racquet, which has a slightly less wide cross section. It’s practically new, with the grip still plastic-wrapped, and with the head size of its time, it looks somewhat like the infamous Prince God Racquet.
I think that racket is @Shroud 's holy grail.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I think that racket is @Shroud 's holy grail.
It is in terms of stiffness. Though its too heavy to add the weight I normally do. My shoulder read on the internet that 422g is too much and wont play now. My kick serve saw the comment on my kick serve vid practice that it weighs too much to have a good kick serve and now refuses to play.

Its not exactly the weight its that its too headlight. If they made it a hammer and a bit narrower beam it would be perfect.
 

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
Adding some new entrants to my frivolous parade. One pair from Bonny's "Snaky" series, another pair from WinSport. The latter are marked "Made in England", but I have reason to believe they began life in the US.

Both designs embody creative solutions that are in search of a problem. In the case of the WinSport, the solution itself created some major structural problems that didn't exist before; which actually made things worse. However, there is also no denying that these crazy creations make for visually interesting displays. :)



 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
This sub-forum doesn't have enough frivolous and borderline off-topic threads, hence I feel compelled to contribute a new one.

There was a period when manufacturers routinely co-marketed products for different racquet sports, made using the same technology, sharing similar features, and often clad in comparable paint jobs. As my infatuation with the history of racquet development had a relatively late onset, I only became aware of many of those non-tennis offerings until recent years, usually as a result of encountering them in a thrift shop or on fleabay. Here are a few that I was intrigued enough to pick up, but I know there are many more out there (Wilson and Head products are probably the most frequently encountered examples, but there are some weird and rare ones as well). If anyone here has other interesting examples in their collection, please share!

The Leach frames below are the oldest pairing I have. Unlike the other units in this post, Leach racquetball racquets are as common as dirt, and it is possibly the only instance in which a racquetball manufacturer tried to scale up their product to meet tennis requirements. As many earlier threads had already made abundantly clear, this effort was an unmitigated disaster, and a mercifully brief one.




As many of you know, Prince acquired Ektelon in 1987, the latter has been the de facto racquetball division of Prince ever since. What is less well known is that Prince had considered selling racquetball racquets under their own brand prior to that point, probably at around the time they bought Grafalloy. Here is one such product from that period. I don't think I've ever seen these racquets marketed in the US.




Fox only made tennis racquets when their production was US-based, so the Taiwan-sourced "RB-110" in the middle is more of a descendant of the two US racquets than an actual sibling. Indeed, if the WB-210 and WB-215 pictured below had a white baby together, this is basically how it would look. As an aside, some of you might recognize this particular WB-210 as one of Brad Gilbert's personal frames (yellow terrycloth grip, Bosworth-applied lead strips). It was buried among hundreds of filthy racquets discovered by a construction worker while clearing a large house once inhabited by a hoarder. The worker told me he trashed hundreds of racquets with the rest of the disgusting junk, until more were unearthed from beneath the refuse, at which point he decided to gather up what's left in giant trash bags and put them on OfferUp in 'as found' condition. Someone had already dug through those trash bags and picked out all the good stuff by the time I got to the scene, but that early bird either was not a fan of Gilbert's or was too repulsed by the terrycloth grip to touch the WB-210. The grip was more sallow than yellow before I cleaned it. Given how close this frame came to death, I couldn't help but wonder if there were other gems that now lie buried in a landfill somewhere!

Don’t forget the Dunlop IMF squash racquets that used the exact same paint job as the tennis racquets.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Adding some new entrants to my frivolous parade. One pair from Bonny's "Snaky" series, another pair from WinSport. The latter are marked "Made in England", but I have reason to believe they began life in the US.

Both designs embody creative solutions that are in search of a problem. In the case of the WinSport, the solution itself created some major structural problems that didn't exist before; which actually made things worse. However, there is also no denying that these crazy creations make for visually interesting displays. :)



So are the ones on the right are squash racquets? Badminton?
 

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
So are the ones on the right are squash racquets? Badminton?
Both of these are squash racquets. However, the WinSport unit came in a cover that said "Badminton", so they might have made a badminton version as well, though I can't imagine what they could have expected to gain by adding all that complexity and extra weight to a badminton racquet.
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Those Bonny frames are almost comical... sort of look like what Wavex was thinking, but taken beyond the waypoint of “reasonably odd” to the station of “too weird.”

I can’t help but see the original Wilson Javelin 95 , mashed up with the aluminum Wilson Sting—edited with a hacksaw—in the Winsport tennis racquet there!
 
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Sanglier

Semi-Pro
I can’t help but see the original Wilson Javelin 95 , madhed up with the aluminum Wilson Sting—edited with a hacksaw—in the Winsport tennis racquet there!
That's basically what it is! And what you would expect to see happen to the hacked Wilson is exactly what actually happened to many of these unusual frames - they collapsed inward.

With a chunk of the bridge missing, the load from the cross strings produces two highly stressed areas as circled below, with the red-circled area being especially vulnerable, as it abruptly transitions from a stiff triangle to a completely unsupported (and insufficiently reinforced) portion of the beam. The unit on the left is what an intact racquet should look like. The unit on the right is cracked in both stress areas. If you ever see the bridge triangles touching on a WinSport frame, you can be certain that it has suffered at least one catastrophic failure.

 

BlackAces

New User
Adding some new entrants to my frivolous parade. One pair from Bonny's "Snaky" series, another pair from WinSport. The latter are marked "Made in England", but I have reason to believe they began life in the US.

Both designs embody creative solutions that are in search of a problem. In the case of the WinSport, the solution itself created some major structural problems that didn't exist before; which actually made things worse. However, there is also no denying that these crazy creations make for visually interesting displays. :)



The patent of Bonny's "Snaky" series was applied by Kunnan Lo.
 
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