Do new rackets really help your game?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by EddieBrock, May 12, 2016.

  1. Tour_G

    Tour_G Rookie

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    Ok, thank you so much!

    This gives me more confidence to buy a PA.

    Now I have to find a similar string.
     
  2. moon shot

    moon shot Hall of Fame

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    Many of the 'technology advancements' are simply changes in where the racquet is stiff or flexes, weight distribution to alter swingweight or twistweight. However saying this racquet is slightly more stable on offcenter hits or transmits less high frequency vibration doesn't sell so they put a name on it. Often the name then becomes something special for the customer.

    The lasting benefit of the name is curious. Head intellifiber in the i line of racquets was supposed to convert the mechanical energy of the ball strike to electrical energy and stiffen the throat of the racquet. Apparently this was well received because the liquidmetal line also contained intellifiber. So with liquidmetal they added in strategic places this material that is 29% stiffer than titanium for more power and it has intellifiber in the throat to keep it stiff.

    I suppose that was too much stiffness and the next line brought the flexpoint to make the frame less stiff in the middle of the head. Don't worry, the Flexpoint Instinct still contained liquidmetal.

    Microgel broke the mold of hanging on to old tech, but don't worry YOUTEK d3o didn't have to soldier it alone for long until Innegra came came along to add the IG. What is d3o? Glad you asked:

    "d3o belongs to the "smart materials" category, which is a futuristic material with abnormal behavior characteristics. More specifically, d3o belongs to a subcategory of "dilatant foams", which dramatically change their behavior under dynamic loading or impact. Integrated in the lay-up and positioned in the shaft of the racquet, d3o offers new possibilities for tennis players.
    The d3o technology is able to sense the needs of the players during different strokes (it's able to adapt to you)..."

    No wonder they needed to add the world's lightest high performance fiber to make an ultra tough hybrid composite mid product cycle. Kinda sounds like what intellifiber was supposed to do. And thats all before the nano-technology of Graphene got sprinkled on anything.

    I don't doubt that occasionally something new is brought into the mix, but for the most part they are just rearranging the same furniture while removing the expensive pieces and hoping nobody notices.
     
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  3. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yet, even with all of those "new technologies" over the past 30 years, the Prestige Classic without any of the above "technologies" still plays and feels better. :oops: :)
     
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  4. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    It would be a lot of fun if the PT57A Wimbledon, the French Open or the US Open this year. As it is, it's likely that another old-school racquet will win at least one of these.
     
  5. moon shot

    moon shot Hall of Fame

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    Even more quixotically to me is that the frame was 'updated' with liquidmetal which has 29% more energy than titanium, total sweetspot construction, and intellifiber for unmatched power - yet the liquidmetal prestige still plays largely like the one before it. It might be worse, but it isn't drastically more powerful or stiffer.
     
  6. zalive

    zalive Hall of Fame

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    Of course. 'New technology' is just a way to sell the story that it does something that will in fact be produced by simple (a bit different from a previous model) racquet's mass distribution and consequential behaviour according to laws of physics.

    The funny thing is, even if a manufacturer produces an almost perfect racquet, it still feels obligated to change something with it in the next line, just to support the story about continuous development of their products.
     
  7. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    Here comes the comparison. New versus Old. Introducing the contestants. I removed the grips on two of the rackets and will replace with new synthetic grips. Restrung all of them with the same string, same tension, on the same machine, by the same stringer (that would be me). Waiting for grips to arrive. All rackets in the same factory grip size. Can you guess the rackets to which I am referring? Other than power, spin, comfort, volley, serve, returns, ergonomics, value/price, design/looks, what would you be interested in learning?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
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  8. danbrenner

    danbrenner Hall of Fame

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    No. I for one couldn't give a damn
     
  9. JohnBPittsburgh

    JohnBPittsburgh Hall of Fame

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    What lens you used to get that bokeh ;)
    What is Zenrackets?
     
  10. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    It's a Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 on a Sigma SD14. Zenrackets.com is the blog where I will be posting the full review, with many pictures.
     
  11. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    They got me at
    IBM's Watson's got nothing on a few grams of d3o..
     
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  12. n8dawg6

    n8dawg6 Hall of Fame

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    new racquets havent done me any good yet. i keep trying new frames until i find one that will let me win all the time. i will stick with that frame until i lose, then the search is on again. it all makes perfect sense.
     
  13. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
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  14. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    here are the specs, courtesy of TW: Yonex Super RD Tour 95 vs Yonex V-Core G 330 with the RD-7 thrown in for good measure. Sorry, couldn't find a way to format the table.



    Name Yonex RD 7 Yonex Super RD Tour 95 Yonex VCORE Tour G (330)
    Head Size 95in² / 613cm² 95in² / 613cm² 97in² / 626cm²
    Length 27.00in / 68.58cm 27.00in / 68.58cm 27.00in / 68.58cm
    Weight 12.30oz / 349g 12.50oz / 354g 12.20oz / 346g
    Balance Point 5pts HL 10pts HL 7pts HL
    Swing Weight 342 327 333
    Frame Stiffness 54 62 63
    Beam Width 0.0mm 0.0mm 20.5mm
    Tip / Shaft 21.0mm / 22.0mm 20.0mm / 22.0mm 2 0.5mm / 20.5mm
    Composition 100% Graphite Interwoven High Modulus Graphite H.M. Graphite
    Power Level Low-Medium Medium Low
    String Pattern 16 Mains / 19 Crosses 16 Mains / 19 Crosses 16 Mains / 20 Crosses
    Mains Skip 8T, 8H 8T,8H 8T 8H
    Tension 50-65 50-65 50-65
     
  15. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    And here are the rackets' specs as tested, with:

    -Prince DuraPro grip for the Super RD and V-core
    -all with Wilson overgrips, Prince Original Synthetic Gut 16g at 58lbs.

    Yonex RD-7 354g 7pt HL
    Yonex Super RD 95 370g 10pt HL
    Yonex V-core G 330 359g 10pt HL
     
  16. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    Completed the first portion of the testing today and the results are in. I am going to discuss only the V-core G330 and the Super RD Tour 95 here, and only briefly. The full review with scores and detailed discussion can be found on my blog.

    The Super RD, is a significantly better racket than the G330 in most aspects relevant to serves.
    It is more comfortable, more stable, slightly more powerful (11g heavier too, it helps), more accurate, and in general makes you feel more connected to the ball. After serving with both, there is no doubt in my mind which I would use if the stakes were high (or low for that matter). The G330 seems to have an edge when it comes to spin production but I will have to defer until I test the rackets with a ball machine. Again, the winner of the first portion of the test, serves, was the Super RD Tour 95.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  17. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    I think it all depends on how far back you want to go in comparing old to new and also the original post was referring to 4.0 - 4.5 level players. Most players at this level (Good club players) don't have access to pro stock frames and things like Head PT 57A, well they are hard to find. If you look at racquets overall for club players the new stuff is generally a lot better. Imagine comparing the original Pro Kennex Black Ace or Silver Ace of the 1980's and its ultra thin beam to what you can buy now. You would be at a distinct disadvantage, its like comparing a modern sports car to horse and cart. Yes, with some brands such as Head for example there is an issue. I do think that their era of twin tube technology was very good. Racquets like Premier Tour, Satellite Tour and Radical Pro (Yellow one) were very solid and comfortable racquets of their time and when they went to their TI range and the "Power of Light", it all went bad until they corrected it with the liquid metal range. Incidentally when Head had the Ti Fire most retailors only had access to the stock model and the Tour model, whereas Pro's and sponsored players could access a limited quantity of Ti I Fire Pro Edition which still had the twin tube. Currently I see their frames as a bit cheap, not a fan of their Speed and Instinct series, not good. Their retail racquets are not the same as their Pro Stock frames. On the other hand brands like Yonex and Volkl have done a great job with their technology and quality and have continued to improve and offer specs that pros and advanced players would appreciate. The current Volkl Super G 10 Mid 330 is a frame that is extremely solid and appeals to the traditional players yet has comfort and power built into them, its a great racquet.
    Other comparisons that I can share is that I currently have an original Boris Becker Puma Power beam Pro (the blue and red one). I've got it strung in Biphase 1.25 at 50 pounds and it is a lovely feeling frame, I love it, its a frame that was ahead of its time, however compared to my Dunlop biomimetic 200 its under-powered, you have to work very hard to get results and nowhere near as smooth as the Dunlop. Also being a late 80's, early 90's racquet, it doesn't come with a bumper strip, so the frame wears down and the screw in pallet system is falling apart, it wouldn't survive the daily grind, but its fun to use. It's certainly not a racquet that was designed for polyester strings, your arm would not appreciate you doing that. Probably a Minuno 8.9 or 9.2, which were very well built may cope.
    All in all I would recommend new over old for the 4.0 player, they are more comfortable and powerful, match better with modern techniques,(women have benefitted greatly from them) they take better to polyester strings, and finished to a higher standard. If you can't bare to use the modern racquets you still have the option to buy new versions of the older sticks like Volkl C10 and Prince Tour 97, they are good alternatives
     
  18. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    One more thing I forgot to add is the grommets situation. I would imagine that a 15 year old racquet would have pretty brittle grommets and polyester string would destroy it and then you would have the situation of strings breaking all the time. Yes, if you can finding grommets or continue with new tubing then you can make your racquet go longer, but that's a pain. Its enough to replace bumper strips for all those hardcourt players.
     
  19. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    That's a valid point and not everybody will be able to drop their retail bought brand new racket and find a perfectly playable 20 yo racket. However, that's not the main point of the discussion.

    What I wanted to figure out with this test was whether current rackets, with all their 20 years of "new technology" are better than their counterparts 20 years ago. It may not hold for every racket manufacturer, or every racket model but in this case the old racket feels better built and plays better. At least in terms of serving, a 5.0+ player would definitely not be at a disadvantage with the Super RD Tour 95.

    I am not comfortable saying that a racket is "good enough" for 4.5 club players. It is one thing for the racket to be necessarily challenging to the beginner (heavy, balance) and another thing to be unnecessarily challenging (e.g. bad vibrations and drastic drop in power on off-center shots) because of poor/cheap design/construction.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  20. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    The original poster in this thread is playing with a 16 year old racquet who is a 4.0-4.5 level player.
    Most racquets overall that were made 16 years ago won't be as good as today's offerings especially for current up and coming players even though there may be exceptions at times. Even the 95 heads like the Yonex Tour 95 are becoming rare as many companies have dropped these frames and are marketing 97sq-100sq heads.
    Your Yonex might be an exception (I don't know I will need to test for myself) but I think the lay up of graphite now is such that the modern racquet is more powerful and precise.
     
  21. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    The original poster's question is in the title of the thread. So far, I have to say: NO. But that may change...

    The G 330 is marketed as a Tour racket. It's not marketed for up and coming players (I don't even know what that means, Thiem is an up and coming player on the ATP). It's priced and marketed as a tournament player racket.

    The G 330 feels as if the layup is thinner, made up of more rigid material. I don't know what's inside the Super RD 95 but it feels more substantial. The layup may be thicker, or it may have foam inside.. I don't know. What's certain is that so far, to me, it feels as the higher quality frame. It feels equally stiff but feels connected to the ball and sends no bad vibes through the frame.

    See here what I found under the grip of the G 330. And that is a factory job. Nothing like that on the Super RD. This and the feel of the rackets led me to the statement above. Scroll down to "surprise of the day" to see pics.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  22. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    Do you think the ancient racquets used in today's French Open would be good for 5.0 players?
     
  23. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You're right, they're not "as good". Because they're "better".

    The layup of graphite now is such that the modern racquet is more tinny and hollow.
     
  24. zalive

    zalive Hall of Fame

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    'Cut production cost' and 'Better quality' rarely (more likely never) go hand in hand.
     
  25. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Exactly! A graphite racquet in 1978 cost over $1,000 in today's dollars. How could they possibly make and sell a graphite racquet today for only $200 unless they cut corners?
     
  26. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    So you are saying there hasn't been any difference since 1976. That's like Head Arthur Ash competition 3 era or the aluminium racquets such as Slazenger Panther or Dunlop volley that Ken Rosewall and Tony Roach used or even Wilson T 2000 used by Connors. There was also the Snauweart vitas Gerulitis Autograph (it felt bad even when new) or the Yonex Mingow (Navratilova). Then you have the Wilson Jack Kramer Pro Staff.Are you sure you want compare this far back?
    Which era would you like to compare as superior to today. I'm interested because I am happy to buy these racquets to my collection then do a comparison just to give all views a fair go and it would be an interesting thing to do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  27. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    Well with 128 men and women attending this years open I think the most popular racquet would be the Pure Drive or Aero Pro and they aren't ancient designs, and those who are using ancient designs, well you can't be so sure what's under the paint jobs. Murrays Head used to be up in the 380g mark but has come down signifsntly. Do you think a 16 year old elite player today will play with such a stick with the style the younger generation have today or what about a 4.0 club player for that matter.
     
  28. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Old Head racquets? Lets see them wield Pyramid Tours
     
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  29. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    It's good to see you doing some testing, will be interesting to see how things go.
     
  30. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    How about they also come out and play with the Wilson Rollers 6.6 or Wilson Triad 5.0. How about the Prince Mono!
     
  31. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    I understand what you are describing but I think you have to look at today's technology in terms of its functionality.
     
  32. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    We know that it's a 16x19 PT57A. And that Djokovic's racquet is an old-school flexible frame. Djokovic's is heavier than anything that you can get retail. I'd guess that's true of Murray's frame but nobody has said anything definitively there for quite some time.

    I don't know what a 16-year-old player would use today but it's clear that top players can use whatever they want to.

    I'm using an IG Prestige leaded to 13.25 ounces and absolutely love the thing. It's XL as well and has a SW of 386. A lot of comfort and a lot of power. My older arm doesn't tolerate stiff frames anymore so I use weight for power. If you look at the top ten ATP players, are they playing stock, retail frames or frames that are a lot heavier than advertised?
     
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  33. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    What do the top players think of today's technology in terms of its functionality? Not much if you have to add lead and silicone.
     
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  34. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Used a Mono, part of Prince's Precision line. Pyramid Tour is sweet, as sweet as a Prestige.
     
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  35. encylopedia

    encylopedia Semi-Pro

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    Racquets most definitely "wear out" and change properties. Having said that...It happens so slowly, that most will never notice - unless they get an identical new frame. If happy with it, and assuming it doesn't have outright cracks seriously impeding playability, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
     
  36. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    Stay tuned, I've got myself two NOS Pyramid tours and I have identified a good contemporary racket to compare against, of which I also bought two units. One shall not say that I spare any expense when it comes to getting to the bottom of the issue.
     
  37. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    I think it goes beyond that; they don't add lead and silicone to retail frames. They add lead an silicone to totally different frames, with specs that haven't changed in fifteen years. I challenge you to find a retail Wilson that plays remotely close to the H22 that many ATP players use. Even the pro stock Blade 18x20 (different from the H22, or H19) is way lighter (to enable customization) and way more flexible (RA 58 unstrung vs RA 66 strung) than the retail version. You would have to go back to the nCode nBlade 98 to come close to the pro-stock frame. They are pretty rare on the used market though I would like to test one one day.
     
  38. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    That old Yonex SRD-Tour 90 & 95 saved my elbow but must work hard to get some pop from that one. Nice flex but the RD-7, too sweet.
     
  39. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    Good point
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  40. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    Well, pros compared to a 4.0 player is a different proposition.
     
  41. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    I would love to hear that. Weight, balance, beam width.. flex, if possible..
     
  42. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    FabFed bought one of his frames for about $5K several years ago when he won Wimbledon and gave us a rundown.

    Dr325i either has or has had one of the type of his frame.

    Seems to be some kind of old Radical with a soft layup.

    His frame has been discussed to death in the Pro Equipment forum.
     
  43. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    Why? The 4.0 is playing other 4.0s not pros.

    The only issue I can see with 4.0s would be fitness but I imagine that there are a lot of 4.0s with pretty good fitness. If I can play with a pro frame, then I imagine a 4.0 player could as well.
     
  44. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    FabFed hasn't been on the forum for about three years and his old threads have gone missing. All I could find is that Djoko uses a PT113B1, flex would be 60/61 but with very different feel than any retail racket. Now where can I get my hands on a PT113B1 to test it?
     
  45. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    I didn't know that - too bad the information is gone.

    Dr325i is the only person I know that has/had one.

    I think I recall the Flex of Djokovic's racquet to be in the mid-50s.
     
  46. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Semi-Pro

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    yeap, that's where I got the numbers, one of Dr325i posts. He says it measures 61 on RDC machine but the throat is very flexy so the overall feel is like a 54.
     
  47. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The last major technological change in tennis racquets was when they started to make tennis racquets out of graphite. That was around 1976. There hasn't been a major technological change in tennis racquets since. The tennis racquet you buy today is made of graphite, just like the graphite racquet you bought in 1976 was made of graphite. Everything else is mostly just marketing.
     
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  48. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    "today's technology" is mostly an oxymoron because it doesn't really exist. What adds to the "functionality" of a racquet is weight, because at the end of the day, tennis is about the physics of a collision between a racquet and a ball, where the ball is of a fixed weight. Thus, the only "technology" you need is lead tape and silicone, both of which have been around for many decades.
     
  49. zalive

    zalive Hall of Fame

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    Does anyone have some data regarding grommet holes size in modern racquets, in relation to classics and anything produced in era prior to co-poly strings?
    In times when most of the players (apart from pro world) played with nylon strings, there was no much use for wider grommet holes, because spin was generated by friction.
    With introduction of poly and co-poly strings increasing of grommet holes gives you more strings movement, hence more snap back and more spin.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
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  50. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    What you are saying is true for many 50 year olds and over who have very linear stroke mechanics, however for many of the newer generation, they have grown up using lighter, wider sticks and they have a more angular, faster style of game and you the game has changed.
    I here many posters here comment that a certain player is using a PT 57 A under there paint job but many younger players would have never experienced twin tube technology and have more current lay ups.
    Rather than look at what an individual player uses or the pro's, have a look at world sales and you will see that the traditional heavy racquet is declining. You may also noticed that many current racquet of the pros have come down in weight as well. Yes I'm a user of the traditional heavy 330g frame (which is much lighter than what I used in the 80,s) but I'm now in a minority compared to my younger counterparts and they are the market not me.
     

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