Tennis Industry magazine

 

Racquet Tech: The Latest and Greatest

The annual MRT test benefits stringers, manufacturers and customers.

By Bob Patterson

One question we field often from current Master Racquet Technicians is, “Why do I have to take an update test every year?”

Some feel that because they’ve been an MRT for a long time, it’s almost condescending to have to take an annual “update” test. Others point out that it’s an “open book” test anyway, so why bother?

From the beginning, we wanted the designation of MRT (originally CRT) to be a clear step up from the already distinguished Certified Stringer, and we think it is. That said, to become either a CS or an MRT requires completing a test with similar practical elements. For each designation, the applicant must correctly remove a frame’s strings, install a new bumper/grommet strip, string the frame, build up the handle size and re-grip the racquet.

Much of the written tests for CS or MRT certification also share content, but the MRT test requires the applicant to answer additional questions on each of the varied topics, and also includes topics such as Frame Technology, Customizing Racquets, and Manufacturer’s Technology.

While we want MRTs to have a working knowledge of frame technology, as well as how to go about customizing frames to meet the needs of clients, we also want MRTs to be as current as possible on the ever-evolving technologies from manufacturers. Racquet makers are constantly using new materials and construction techniques to separate themselves from their competition — and this is why the annual MRT update test is important.

Our annual MRT update test is typically 10 to 20 questions — the number of new technologies varies from year to year; see “New Racquet Technologies” on the facing page for this year’s latest offerings. The exam can be taken at home, over email, or you can mail it in.

As simple as that may sound, passing the annual update test has some big impacts with racquet manufacturers. By maintaining your MRT designation each year, you assure racquet companies that you’ve been exposed to the latest innovations and technologies. That’s good for them, good for you, good for our association, and good for your customers. They’ll know that they are receiving quality work, and are more likely to come back for more.

If you don’t maintain your MRT status, you will automatically return to being a Certified Stringer. But we hope you value the MRT designation as much as your satisfied customers do, and take the time each year to prove your mastery. It proves that you are an expert when it comes to stringing, and that you are keeping up with anything newly introduced in the market. It is really that simple.

2016 New Racquet Technologies

BABOLAT

FSI Spin — An evolution of the Frame String Interaction technology adapted specifically for the Pure Aero line of racquets that creates an optimized comfort level and a more open string bed. FSI Spin is a result of grommets more oblong in design, allowing for increased string movement and amplified spin.

DUNLOP

Glide Polymer Grommets — Allows for 27% more string movement and is 40% more durable than traditional grommets and bumper guards.

SRX — A combination of materials and construction that helps to filter out heavy impact and jarring violent shock impact up to 35% faster, allowing players to feel the ball rather than the collision.

PACIFIC

BXT — The latest iteration of Pacifics Basalt (volcanic natural material) technology allows for even more fibers within the same layup matrix, but without added weight. This is due to the reduced amount of resin needed to bond the fibers. It results in more dampening, with enhanced feel upon impact, and delivers improved racquet durability.

Precise Grip System (PGS) — An injection mold handle system which ensures exact handle size, sharper (more de ned) bevels, exact weight and precise material stiffness.

WILSON

FST (Fast Speed Technology) — Octagon Frame geometry allows air to flow around the frame and cuts through the air at an angle of attack for fast racquet-head speed.

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About the Author

Bob Patterson , the founder of the RacquetMAXX customization service, is a Master Racquet Technician with more than 20 years of experience. He was RSI's Stringer of the Year in 2005. He is Executive Director for the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association.

 

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