Discussion in 'Racquets' started by amadextor, Mar 1, 2005.
Maybe it was discussed before, I couldn't find anything in Search.
Probably whatever was the best-selling wood frame at the big retail outlets in the late 70's, when the tennis boom had everyone in the US out filling the courts every day.
Made even more likely because not only were a lot more people playing tennis at that point, but because wooden frames didn't last all that long, and a broken string was thought of as cause to go to the store and buy a new racquet, rather than rushing to the stringer.
This is a guess. The Fort.
Probably a toss up between the Wilson Jack Kramer Autograph (I believe well over a million sold) and the Dunlop Maxply Fort (also used by many Aussies).
Now that sizeable middle classes are developping in China and India (a few BILLION people, is it?) with a ravenous appetite for leisure activities, I wonder if new all-time sales leaders are emerging.
in modern day, i see more pure drives and i radicals than anything else....the puredrive must be on its way to outselling everything else
Kramer Auto. & Dunlop Fort thats all I saw growing up .
Kramer Auto had at least 30 yrs to gain an advantage, 1947-77
Wilson sold about 10 million Jack Kramer autograph Woodies and didn't stop selling them until 1984 according to www.woodtennis.com .
"The original wood Jack Kramer was first introduced in 1948 and had sales of 10 million units --the #1 selling Wilson racket of all time. These wood racket stopped selling in 1984."
To the guys who played with the Dunlop Maxply and the Kramer autograph, what were they like? They were the big deal racquets when I started but had long since disappeared when I got back into tennis. Always regretted not trying them out although wouldnt mind doing it today (probably be beneficial when i hit with my girlfriend lol).
Maxplys were the preferred rackets in the 40s..60s and kramers were probably more popular in the 60s..80s, close call and surely the 2 most popular woodies ever. The maxplys had more feel and flex with the more tapered shafts and were often known to even snap. The kramers just played more solid and less maneuverable especially at the net. My favorite was the kramer prostaff and the kramer autograph midsize was really a great advantage from the standard size heads. The older kramer autograph with the 7pt crown was really like by many of the tour players and the newer model was much less reliable because of a shortage of old aged wood after the tennis boom of the early 60s.
My view is "a little" different from Joe's. (I am 48 and owned several Kramers, a few Forts, migrating to the Pro-Staff, of which I also owned several.)
This comes from a player who preferred a stiff, but light and maneuverable woodie:
The Kramer Autograph flexed fairly evenly and I would say it was a "medium stiff" stick. It lost its torsional rigidity and its flex "softened" in a mostly "even degradation,” but there would definitely come a day when the whole head of the racket seemed too “noodley” for decent control.
The Fort, when brand new, was the “ideal” racket to me. Stiff and light, with really good torsional rigidity. For me, the trouble with the Fort was ... after about only 10-12 hours of tennis the top of the hoop was already too whippy. This made any shots hit above the top half of the sweet spot ... a bit too “adventurous” for me. (By the time Mac had helped Dunlop redesign, and release, the Maxply McEnroe -- which did appear to have addressed the whippy hoop problem -- I had moved through the Head Master and was playing with the Head Comp II. I never tried the Maxply Mac.)
When I was playing woodies, the closest thing to resolving the hoop problem of the Fort was the Pro-Staff. (Members here have claimed the Pro-Staff was merely cosmetically altered from the Autograph. I say they are mistaken.) The PS was “nearly” as maneuverable ... and “nearly” as stiff ... as the Fort. The PS was “in-between” the Auto and the Fort in both categories.
For wood, I would guess the Kramer Autograph.
For non-wood, I would guess the POG or Prostaff 85 (mainly because they've been around so long, and racket models change so frequently nowadays.)
But, then, I have no clue about this.
you're right Kaptain Karl the staff was different I knew people who either swore by it or loathed it.
Worldwide the Maxply probably was the largest seller ever. Kramer was the largest seller in the US. Dunlop was used by most of the top players in the boom years ('50's-'80's).
It would be interesting to know the true numbers.
KK, the Head Vilas was the 1st racquet IMHO that solved the Fort's weakness in the upper hoop, a wonderful racquet.
what about the pog
I dont think you'll ever be able to know the real numbers of both, although you'd probably have a greater idea of the Wilson Kramer etc line. I know that we only ever saw Dunlop Maxply and Fort out here and also that whenever you saw pics of the European, even Russian, players they were using Dunlop. Without figures to go on I'd still hazard a guess that the Dunlop outsold the Wilson by at least 2 to 1 based on the range of countries that had access to it.
BP - I believe you are right. These would be my guesses as well.
Joe Sch - woodtennis.com - can certainly help you out. Just be on the lookout and you can still, to this day, find good ones, if not better. It's worth a few bucks for the experience. You'll also learn A LOT about your strokes.
(Are you an Aussie Battler?!?)
Yes I would say POG also. What racquet model has been around for about 28 years? I'm pretty sure a racquet that is in the market for that long has sold a consider amount. The POG is probably the longest racquet in production in history, post wooden racquets.
I remember it. I thought it played like a club. (And I thought Vilas was SOOOoo cool; I really wanted to like that stick.)
And I'd venture a guess that the POG needs another decade (at least) of vigorous sales to catch up to the Kramer or the Fort. (Remember, those woodies were popular during THE tennis boom....)
The Maxply McEnroe was definitely much stiffer in the hoop than the Maxply Fort. I tried the Maxply McEnroe but went back to the Fort because I liked the soft feel of the flexy hoop. It also had amazing touch. However, the flexy hoop made the Fort tough to volley with because the head would bend so much that you could never tell where your volley was going to end up. Real tough to put those volleys away at the net. The super headlight balance also didn't help with sticking volleys.
I'd think it'd need a lot more than another decade.
POG vs. Those Old Woodies...
- hasn't been around as long
- goes a longer time between replacement-necessity, due to sturdier materials
- has a much smaller market share, due to many more models within each competitor's line (and within Prince's own), and many more competitors
- has that much smaller market share in a much smaller overall market, since tennis isn't nearly as popular as it was during the woodies' heyday
I can't imagine the POG has done 1/10th the sales of the woodie Big Boys. Though, I imagine it WOULD be on the short list for best-selling graphite-era stick.
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