What Technologies are you selling? (Part 2 of 3)
Have you and your staff ever wished you had a list of all the major racquet technologies, all in one place? Well, with the help of material from the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association, here it is.
This is the second part of an alphabetical compilation of information taken directly from industry product and marketing catalogs and technical manuals. The claims made come directly from the manufacturers, not from RSI or the USRSA, and no endorsement of any product or claim is intended. We’ll run the rest of the manufacturers’ technologies in the next issue, and on our website, tennisindustrymag.com.
- Airflow — Combination of three important features that are essential for a woman’s racquet: light weight, perfectly balanced and ergonomic grip.
- AnTi.Torsion — Utilizes a crossbar in the throat to improve torsional stability on off-center hits.
- CrossBow — The world’s first dynamic-bridge racquet construction. The bridge is suspended from the frame and moves independently, which allows the racquet to store energy in both the string bed and the bridge. The CrossBow acts like a spring or bow that is loaded during ball impact. This newfound energy is unleashed, providing incredible power. CrossBow also enlarges the sweetspot because it has 10 main strings going through the dynamic bridge.
- d3o — A member of the smart materials category, can change its behavior during impact. Integrated in the lay-up and positioned in the shaft area of Head’s YouTek Tour racquets, d3o is able to sense the needs of the player during different strokes. On high-speed impacts (aggressive shots), the smart molecules lock together within nanoseconds and dramatically increase the stiffness of the racquet to provide maximum power. On low-speed impacts (slices or drop shots), the material stays in its relaxed state, absorbing the impact to provide a softer touch for better feel and control.
- EDS (Electronic Dampening System) — Active and electronically controlled system, consisting of piezoelectric fibers, a flex circuit and a microchip. These substantially reduce initial shock impact (by 50%) and vibrations twice as fast as a conventional racquet, resulting in significantly reduced stress on the arm.
- Ergonomic Grip System — New grip shape on AirFlow racquets that is tapered thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top. This is much easier to hold for a woman’s hand and provides less arm fatigue and better control.
- Extreme — Increased head width, which can allow the ball to slide further across the string bed for unmatched spin generation for players with a modern playing style.
- FlexPoint — Features two precisely-engineered control holes in the racquet’s head. This creates a new point of flex, which cups the ball and improves control without losing power.
- Head Grommets with Teflon — Friction-reducing polymer creates a self-lubricating effect in the base material, allowing the string to slide though the grommets with nearly no friction for much less energy loss and providing much more power.
- Head Stabilizer — Located in the shaft of the racquet, Head uses a metal mass between a rubber elastomer to counteract the frame’s oscillation on impact and eliminate racquet vibration and ensure comfort on every shot.
- Intelligence — Special Intellifibers at 4 and 8 o’clock take the mechanical energy created by contact and convert it into electrical energy, which is used to stiffen the frame, providing power, comfort and dampening.
- IntelligenceX — An evolved version of Intelligence. Intelligence × adds Intellifibers to the racquet head (not just the shaft) to increase the torsional stability up to 42% for extra precision and accuracy. These added Intellifibers are placed at 2 and 10 o’clock.
- ISD (Integrated String Dampener) — An integrated string dampener fixed onto the grommets at the throat to reduce string vibration.
- Liquidmetal — This material has a unique liquid atomic structure that does not deform on impact, resulting in little to no energy loss, giving ultimate energy return, which translates into energy and power (29% more power).
- LMS (Longer Main String) — By lowering the bridge section in a new throat design, it creates a larger hitting surface without making the racquet any bigger.
- Metallix — Made of a specially designed matrix of carbon fibers and a new crystalline metal alloy. This alloy’s grain size is 1000 times smaller than that of a typical metal. The decreased grain size results in a lighter, stronger, and more powerful racquet.
- MicroGel — A new silicone-based material with the lowest density of any material. Combined with stiff and strong composite fibers to create a racquet with incredible responsive qualities. On ball impact, MicroGel uniformly distributes the impact load around the frame to provide the most rock-solid feel and superior touch.
- NoShox — A newly-developed memory foam integrated into the racquet handle that reduces racquet vibrations by more than 27%.
- PowerFrame — Features an innovative cross-section design with dual rounded bubbles in the throat and shaft area of the racquet, reducing weight and increasing torsional rigidity.
- Protect System — Tennis elbow protection technology integrating the racquet, grip, and string.
- Total Sweetspot Construction (TSC) — Utilizes corrugated construction to increase torsional stability in the racquet head. This extends the sweetspot throughout the entire racquet head, providing excellent control.
- YouTek — Incorporates different technologies to give you the individual benefits you need to match your playing style. In Head’s Tour racquets, YouTek includes d3o, Head Grommets with Teflon, and Aramid bumpers.
- Carbon Reflex Fiber — Biaxial carbon fibers laid up at 0/60 degrees boost the breathing of the frame for increased power and tolerance.
- Carbon Stabyl Fibers — Triaxial carbon fibers laid up at 0/30/90 degrees modulate the breathing of the frame for control and stability.
- Texalium — Developed by Hexcel, it’s a composite fiber with a specific weave pattern that creates strength while being lightweight. Texalium is used to reinforce frames at key positions to provide torsional stability, enhance feel, and dampen vibration.
- AirBridge — Provides for greater support and stability in the yoke area of the frame.
- Carbon Wave Matrix — Aligns the graphite fibers in a wave pattern to complement the angular orientation of the other layers.
- Cross-Bar Stabilizer — Located in the mid-shaft area of the racquet, increases the stability of the frame.
- Cushion Grip System — This 3D molded Thermoplastic Rubber handle absorbs 56% of the shock of ball impact, allowing for maximum handle comfort.
- Double Bridge — Thermoplastic rubber elastomer located at the top of the throat and in direct contact with frame and string. Reduces frame shock and string vibration.
- Dynamic Braid — Carbon fibers are braided in the shaft area to provide a slightly stiffer feel at the zone where the braid is incorporated.
- EXO3 Energy Bridge — Patented 100% solid carbon fiber bridge, designed to suspend the string bed from the racquet, providing superior comfort with feel and a supersized sweetspot.
- EXO3 Energy Channel — Radical new frame design that redistributes mass to the outer most edges of the frame, providing the ultimate in racquet stability.
- EXO3 — Utilizing Prince’s patented Energy Bridge and Energy Channel technologies, EXO3 captures up to 26% of the wasted energy at impact and re-directs it back into the ball for 25% more spin, 26% more control, 50% less frame vibration and an 83% larger sweet spot.
- O3 — Giant O Ports replace traditional-size string holes. O Ports are designed to significantly increase the sweetspot and improve racquet-head speed.
- O3 Speedport — Wind tunnel testing proves O3 Speedport racquets move through the air up to 24% faster than traditional racquets. Speedports also strengthen and stabilize the frame for up to a 59% bigger sweetspot.
- PowerLine — A reinforced beam with grooves on the inside surface of the frame increases frame strength while providing more power in a lighter racquet.
- Speedport Tuning System — Patented system allowing players to customize their O3 Speedport Black or O3 Speedport Tour frame with either Port inserts or Hole inserts. The Port option offers a softer hitting feel, string damping and a larger sweetspot. The Hole option offers a firmer hitting feel, more string feedback and a traditional sweetspot.
- Strung Thru Stringing System — Featured in the O3 Speedport Platinum and Gold frames, it provides the option of stringing through the throat of the racquet. The Strung Thru option provides up to a 70% larger sweetspot.
- Sweet Spot Expansion — Slotted grommets allow maximum freedom of movement for strings, resulting in a larger sweetspot.
- Triple Threat — A unique balanced weighting system utilizing increased weight in 3 locations: 10 o’clock, 2 o’clock, and the handle. This creates a larger sweetspot in every direction, ultimate stability for increased power and control, and reduced arm shock.
- Tungsten — Added to Triple Threat technology in some frames to further improve stability.
- Variable Damping System — The dampener in the O3 Speedport Silver, Blue and Red frames can be positioned on the strings for maximum dampening or positioned in the throat of the racquet for medium dampening.
Prince gives each of its racquets power level ratings (determined by a formula incorporating head size, stiffness and length), which increase as the power level of the frame increases.
Next issue: Racquet technologies from Volkl, Wilson, Yonex