Category Archives: Business

Welcome to Orlando, USTA!

Racquet Quest, LLC is very happy, and excited, to have the USTA National Campus nearby!  If you have not visited the campus yet, you should make it a priority!  Not only is it beautiful it is full of technology that will benefit all tennis players.

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Of course, the people of Fromuth Sports have put together an outstanding “pro shop” filled with tempting items!  In fact, I have not only been tempted I have purchased some items!

Recently I watched players on “Court 105” while working at the World Headquarters of Racquet Quest in Casselberry!  This a benefit of Play Site Technology that streams from several courts on the campus.

Play Site Opportunity!

Play Site Opportunity!

On the days I have been there it is evident that this facility will be a “destination” for tennis fans from around the world.  This campus will also be the “home” of UCF Tennis, plus, give local players and teams the opportunity to play more matches simultaneously.

If you are in the area, we invite you to take advantage of the racquet technologies expertise of Racquet Quest in Casselberry, Fl, about 35 minutes from the USTA National Campus.

Welcome to Orlando, USTA!

 

 

Ashaway Monogut ZX/ZX Pro – Update

As most of you know I am a big fan of Ashaway Monogut ZX (16g) and ZX Pro (17G) string.  These models are PEEK mono filament strings that resemble polyester strings but these contain no polyester!

Here is the latest PR from Ashaway for your review.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and of course if you want to try this string.

Ashaway, RI – In a recent article on the growth and use of its popular MonoGut® ZX family of monofilament tennis strings, Ashaway Vice President Steve Crandall noted that, “it seems we’ve done something more than simply make a successful product.” While the company’s initial goal was to produce “a synthetic string to rival the performance of natural gut,” MonoGut ZX has emerged as a viable — and healthier — alternative to today’s arm shock inducing polyesters.
 
Says Crandall, “testing has shown that MonoGut ZX is indeed closer to natural gut in dynamic stiffness than any other synthetic string material. But it’s in the context of the current craze for polyester, and the need for more and more spin, that MonoGut ZX has made the greatest mark. These days everybody wants to improve their ‘up and down’ game, and play like the top pros with ‘heavy balls’ that drop like stones just inside the baseline. To generate that spin they think they need to use those so-called ‘high-tech,’ high-performance polyester strings, and many are paying a high price in impact related injuries.”
 
Not only do MonoGut ZX and ZX Pro strings generate spin as well as polyester, claims Crandall, but they do so without generating the same arm jarring, injury causing impact shock as the polyesters, and even help players recover from their impact related injuries. In the article, Crandall provides comments and testimony from a number of players and noted stringers on why they switched and continue to use the Zyex® based Ashaway string. These include two rising junior players, Clare McKee and Aditya Srinivasan; expert technician and recent Tennis Industry Racquet Stringer of the Year, John Gugel (www.racquetquest.com); well-known stringer and MRT Geoffrey Jones; and veteran player/stringer Eric Burke (www.hardcoretennis.net).
 
Crandall reports that while players initially switch to MonoGut ZX (or ZX Pro) for its ability to eliminate their arm pain — “its ‘healing power’ if you will” — they stay with it because it provides other playing benefits as well. “They love the power and control,” writes Crandall, “the ‘softness,’ comfort and overall feel of the string.” 
For example: Of his daughter Clare, stringer/coach Geoff McKee said, “since the switch [to MonoGut ZX], my daughter has had no elbow or wrist problems for four years.” And Clare herself: “I get good pop with these strings and good control. It helps me get more spin, especially on my serve and forehand.”
 
The parents of East Boys 12-year-old division player Aditya Srinivasan wanted a string that was durable but not a polyester that might injure him. Well-known stringer Geoffrey Jones said, “With Ashaway Monogut ZX Pro they found a soft durable string that almost has the same resilience, softness and safety as natural gut.”
 
John Gugel says, “The high elongation of the Monogut ZX series almost guarantees no arm issues… It is well known that natural gut is the string to use if there is an arm issue, but now Monogut ZX is an option.” That’s why MonoGut ZX strings have become his “primary strings.” MonoGut ZX, “works and looks like the “other” black string,” he said, “and is a perfect string for the player looking for comfort, spin, power, and durability.”
 
National level player/stringer/coach Eric Burke said: “Ashaway MonoGut ZX is the ONLY string that provides durability, feel, power, comfort, and tension maintenance. It is by far the best string to use as the crosses for hybrid stringing in those popular new ‘spin-enhancing’ racquets.”
 
Writes Crandall, “the MonoGut ZX bottom line for us is more than the business bottom line (which is OK, too!); it’s the satisfaction of knowing that we’ve been able to develop a string that is not only fundamentally healthier than the current injury causing polyester offerings, but one that disproves the conventional wisdom and beats those strings at their own game.”
 
He also notes that many people still want, “More… They want the same ‘healing’ properties as MonoGut ZX in a softer multifilament string bed. So,” he concluded, “stay tuned for some MonoGut ZX Multifilament news in early 2016.”
 
To read the complete article, ” Users Praise the Playability, Spin Generation, and ‘Healing Power’ of MonoGut® ZX Strings,” visit the Racket Stringing Tips section at www.Ashawayusa.com
 
Ashaway Racket Strings are made by Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co., the only U.S. manufacturer of string for squash, tennis, racquetball, and badminton. Operated by the Crandall family since 1824, Ashaway has been making racquet strings since 1949, and is responsible for several important technical innovations. Ashaway has been the Official String of USA Racquetball for more than ten years, and is also the Official String of Professional Tennis Registry. Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co. also makes braided products for medical and industrial applications. For more information visit www.ashawayusa.com. Zyex is a registered trademark of Zyex Ltd.
 
For additional product information, contact: 
Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co.
PO Box 549
Ashaway, RI 02804 USA
Tel: (800) 556-7260 (U.S. only) or +1 (401) 377-2221
Fax: +1 (401) 377-9091
Twitter: @Ashaway1824

ERECA & US!

About 18 months ago I met Eric and Carine of the company ERECA.  Eric and Carine live in Lyon, France and were here to attend the IART Symposium.

Eric had his sights set on becoming a MRT (Master Racquet Technician), which he did, and, design, build, and market tools and equipment for racquet technicians.

It quickly became clear that Eric has the technical expertise and Carine has the marketing expertise to organize a company and thus ERECA was formed in Lyon, France.

I am very excited to announce the relationship of ERECA and Racquet Quest, LLC for the purpose of designing, manufacturing, and selling tools and equipment for racquet technicians.

The products currently being designed and produced range from $10.00 Clamp Risers to $1000.00 Portable Stringing Machines!

Racquet Quest, LLC is proud to play a small part in the business that is ERECA!

Please visit the web site at www.e-re-ca.com to see an overview of the business, and, follow Eric and Carine as they travel around the world promoting ERECA.

A Note about Links!

You may notice on some posts there is a link to another page. In most cases these pages are part of Racquet Quest and by simply clicking on “Home” when you are leaving a link will take you back to the http://www.racquetquest.com home page.

A good example is the link to the “Head Speed MPA 16×1″6 review.  There are images of the racquet on the home page however the link takes you to another page where a more comprehensive review and the review data resides.

These links are necessary to maximize the benefit of one platform or application for a specific purpose. These links are not meant to confuse you, like they do me sometimes!

The linked pages may look different than the racquetquest.com page but don’t be alarmed. I will never knowingly offer you a link that is bogus or potentially damaging.

The first week of 2014!

Gee whiz! If the rest of 2014 is like this first week it is going to be a really great, and busy, year!

There is nothing like starting a new year with many long term items on the business agenda. Not only has the stringing and customization business been great I have been designing a new “division” of this web site.

I am adding a “Museum” section that will be a display and brief description of many tennis racquets that have, or should have, historically significant positions. Many of these racquets are players racquets and the specifications may surprise you.

I hope to have this section open soon!

Trip to Wilson!

Wilson

Recently I had the terrific opportunity to visit the Wilson Sporting Goods Innovation Center in Chicago!  This is a tennis racquet “lovers” dream!

In the very open design area there are several engineers working on new designs, modifications, ideas, and stringing.  There are three (3) Wilson Baiardo stringing machines at the far end looking over the engineering work stations.

Having designed and manufactured tennis racquets a few years ago I was particularly impressed with Wilson’s ability to take an idea to “prototype” in less than two (2) days! In fact Wilson can “print” a racquet so the participants can see and feel a real racquet and judge the shape and general appearance before going on to a full prototype!

The CAD software used by Wilson is incredibly fast and comprehensive so it is easy to “see” every angle and surface of the proposed design.  So, if you don’t like that “bulge” just remove it!  Dave does this!  Engineers Bill, Ron, Scott and Bobby feed ideas to Dave and he turns these ideas into wonderful images!  Ron is able to stand near Dave and virtually “design” a tennis racquet!  Taking his ideas throughout Dave to the final design is impressive.

If a playable prototype is necessary one can be produced right here!  The fibers are combined and cut on “electronic” tables, wrapped, put into a mold and sent through the molding process!

Also at this facility is the “Pro Room”, which, as the name would imply, is the room dedicated to the professional players that are playing with Wilson racquets.  In this room hangs hundreds of racquets in various states.  Some are complete, some are waiting for some “work”.  This is quite an impressive room!

As one walks through the 32,000 square foot facility you come across a full size tennis court which is not unusual but the electronics hanging out here may not be found anywhere else.  Commercials can be made here as well as racquet testing.

If you ever have a change to visit this facility take the opportunity.  I could go back many ties and still not get enough!

Thank you Wilson for the visit!

String Pairings?

Racquets & Wine!

Every once in a while I enjoy a sip, or two, of wine with the food I am eating.  I must admit, however, that I don’t adhere to “pairings” so much!

I have eaten shrimp with a Cabernet!  And I have had a good Pinot Noir with hearty pasta!  Good grief!  In some circles this would be unheard of!  Do you let the suggested “Pairings” influence you or do you go with your taste instead?

But what does this have to do with tennis racquets?  What if there were “pairings” for tennis racquets and string?  Would you take these “suggestions” into account when it is time to have your racquet strung?

Unlike a bottle of wine, that is good for a couple of hour’s maybe, you expect your string to last much longer.  So, would you consider upgrading from a $20.00 bottle of wine to a $35.00 based on the “pairings” recommendation?  Is that worth $7.50 per hour?

Likewise would you consider upgrading to a $45.00 string from your standard $25.00 string if it would be better for your game, and last much longer than a bottle of wine?

The point of this post is that there is a “pairing” concept for tennis racquets and players!  In some cases these “pairings” are completely ignored by many players due to any number of influences.  Influences such as advertising, player endorsements, partner pressure, stringer pressure, and to a lesser degree, cost.

Now, the next time you have your racquet strung ask your stringer for a “pairings” recommendation and see what happens.  And, if your stringer pro-actively recommends a “pairing” ask why and be sure it suits your “taste”.

Keep in mind that keeping your racquet freshly strung will be just as much fun as a good wine…

And cost less!

Happy Friday!

What is Important to You?

When you take your tennis racquet in for “service” what do you want to know from the “service provider”?

Do you simply want to say “string this thing at 60 pounds” and leave?  Or, do you want to know what tension may be better for your playing style?  Or, how about finding out that there is a brand new string that will make you a “better” player?

Maybe a little added swing weight can improve your game, too. How about listening too a brief presentation about “stringing frequency and value”?  Do you want to be “automatically” alerted that it has been a specified length of time since your last stringing?

You see, there are many topics that are important to you and me. Over time I will have the answers to all of my questions regarding your preferences and these will be available in my RacquetRecord software. But, what if we could establish those preferences like we do when we use a new version of software?  One of the first things we do in software is set our “preferences” then we rarely mess with them.

Just like with software, there are advances being made every day in the realm of tennis racquets and tennis racquet string.

This is the conundrum!   How much information is enough but not too much!  How much do you want to know?  This is a serious question and I appreciate answers, please.

I will continue to write about things I think are important so when you come to, or send your racquets to, Racquet Quest, LLC, or any other racquet service provider, you will be prepared with your “preferences”.  I want to take as much time as you feel is necessary to get the result you are expecting.  You simply must let me know how much time that is, because, I can talk about tennis racquets and string for a long time!

IMG for Sale

IMG, International Management Group, is for sale.  So, you ask?  IMG is, probably, the genesis of the sports management business.  Mark McCormack started IMG with a client named Arnold Palmer, and, as they say the rest is history.  IMG represents some of the best tennis players in the world.

The reason I even mention this is that in 1970, I think,  I had a meeting at the IMG Headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio with Mr. Bud Stanner, Ian Tiriac, and Robert Naillet to present my newly designed tennis racquet for their consideration.  I won’t go into detail but that is a meeting that will stay with me forever.

So, if you have an extra 2 billion dollars handy you may want to make an offer for IMG.

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