Racquets/Strings

Talk about your racquets, your strings, shoes and yes, your balls.
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Racquets/Strings

#16

Post by ponchi101 »

He did, initially. Then he had them made from the manufacturer, who was Snauwaert first, then Wilson.
At that time, there was another manufacturer that also did a super dense pattern, with 50% more string needed. But I forget who was that.
In the picture, you can clearly see Woodforde's pattern is not standard. Counting, you can see it is a 12x16 pattern. His idea was that it gave him more spin. On the other hand, he had to string it to the max, or it would be too much of a catapult.
woodforde.jpg
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We have said it: the golden age of racquet experimentation. Every season somebody came up with a new, wacko idea. Most of those did not survive.
Story about the Ergonom. I was helping with an exhibition in Caracas, the Marlboro Cup (yep, with pretty girls handing out samples, dressed in red and white miniskirts and all). Andress Gomez was one of the participants and somebody had an Ergonom. So Gomez, for fun, asked to hit a few with the racquet. As he had one of the most extreme forehand grips, which whipped way too fast through the contact point, he missed the first ball completely. He clanked the second out of the stadium. He laughed and picked up his Yonex. End of that promotion, right there.
My god, it's full of stars!
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Racquets/Strings

#17

Post by Deuce »

ponchi101 wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:42 pm He did, initially. Then he had them made from the manufacturer, who was Snauwaert first, then Wilson.
At that time, there was another manufacturer that also did a super dense pattern, with 50% more string needed. But I forget who was that.
In the picture, you can clearly see Woodforde's pattern is not standard. Counting, you can see it is a 12x16 pattern. His idea was that it gave him more spin. On the other hand, he had to string it to the max, or it would be too much of a catapult.
Yes - they were made for him with that drill pattern. I just meant that that drill pattern was never commercially available to non-pros.

The dense pattern you're thinking of was probably the Pro-Kennex Micro. They made a few versions of it. String pattern on the original was 22M, 30C. Rather insane. Had to be strung with very thin 19 to 21 gauge string that Kennex made especially for it (or fishing line :D ). A friend of mine had the original Micro, and I hit with it. It was unplayable - was like hitting with a wall of lubricated glass. The ball would just slide on the strings. No bite at all, not surprisingly. It might be barely playable if it were strung at 10 pounds, but the recommended tension (I think it was 35 to 50 pounds) was way too high for this thing. The racquet was just a really bad idea.

ponchi101 wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:42 pm Story about the Ergonom. I was helping with an exhibition in Caracas, the Marlboro Cup (yep, with pretty girls handing out samples, dressed in red and white miniskirts and all). Andress Gomez was one of the participants and somebody had an Ergonom. So Gomez, for fun, asked to hit a few with the racquet. As he had one of the most extreme forehand grips, which whipped way too fast through the contact point, he missed the first ball completely. He clanked the second out of the stadium. He laughed and picked up his Yonex. End of that promotion, right there.
Great story! Had me laughing. Gomez was probably about the worst player one could get to try the Ergonom, with his extreme grip.
But then I think most pros would have had a hard time with that frame. Something tells me that Connors would have been the one to figure it out, as he had a tendency to play frames that were notoriously difficult to tame.

I never hit with an Ergonom myself. Picked one up in a store once - a racquet store owner I knew was also a collector, and he had one in his store - but it wasn't strung (it must be interesting to string - you can't tell the Mains from the Crosses!).

Here are a few photos from that guy's collection (I guess we should move these posts to the Racquets section now :) )...
The Bergelin, you'll likely recall, was a racquet whose tension one could adjust 'on the fly' (on-court). Interesting idea, but...
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Resize of Bergelin Longstring.JPG
Resize of Bergelin Longstring.JPG (92.45 KiB) Viewed 207 times
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Re: Racquets/Strings

#18

Post by ponchi101 »

The Pro-Kennex Micro indeed. Again, never played with one. They never made it down home.
Connors could have used the Ergonom, with his flat strokes. He could have kept the head oriented in the right direction. And he seldom spun his racquet in his hands, so he had that down pat.
He put some lead tape in his racquet head (when he was playing with the Pro Staff 6.0) but only on one side, so if he spun it, it could end on the "wrong" end.
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Re: Racquets/Strings

#19

Post by Deuce »

The current problems with the volcanic eruption on the island of St. Vincent bring to mind the Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 85 sq. in...

There was a mystique about these frames - but only the ones made on the island of St. Vincent. This is largely - if not completely - the result of Pete Sampras apparently insisting that all of his P.S. 6.0 frames be ones made at St. Vincent, and not the more ubiquitous Chicago made ones.
Of course, Sampras is also the player who insisted that Wilson never paint his P.S. 6.0 frames to look like a more modern model because he said he could feel the difference in playability that the different paint created.

So... here's to the people of St. Vincent - home of the iconic Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 85. May they all find safe ground in the midst of this natural disaster.

(Search for 'Vincent' in the link below...)

https://handwiki.org/wiki/Engineering:W ... iginal_6.0

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Re: Racquets/Strings

#20

Post by ponchi101 »

I say that he had not been so stubborn sticking to the 6.0/85sqin and sticking to natural gut, he would have won two more slams. He should have gone the way of Agassi, always playing with the latest Head available (once he settled with them).
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Re: Racquets/Strings

#21

Post by Deuce »

I don't think Agassi changed frames very much, if at all, beyond a certain point.
I heard that his Head Radicals were all the same, despite the different paint jobs, and that they were made to play similarly to the Prince Original Graphite.
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