If you could design your own racquet

by Jonas Eriksson

If you could design your own racquet, what would you do? I already posted this question to my dear Tennisnerd patrons and they had some very interesting replies. Now it’s your turn.

When I write “if you could design your own racquet” I mean the entire racquet. Design, specs, build quality, quality control, customization options. What are you missing from today’s racquet market? I have been thinking about this question a lot, but I am keen to hear from you too. I will then create a video where I go through and discuss your replies.

Let’s say you would design a racquet from start to finish? What would you focus on?

  • Fewer or more models?
  • Different design?
  • Better naming?
  • Quality control?
  • Customization options?
  • What materials?
  • What would be your dream spec?

I am curious to see what people think is missing from the market. And I am also keen to hear what you like and don’t like about the current selection in the tennis industry.

If you could design your own racquet

There are brands that offer a variety of options to be creative. Angell tennis was perhaps the first brand to do this with their Custom line. They make high-quality racquets with the possibility to choose stiffness, length, head size, grip shape, and so on. The design options are limited though.

Dahcor is another brand that offers loads of customization options. Here you have the option to choose between a couple of different head sizes and molds, but when you get to the design the options are vast. If you want a 24k gold racquet – go ahead! They created a Tennisnerd racquet for me and in all honesty, it far exceeded my expectations in playability and build quality. I tend to worry about new brands on the market but both Angell and Dahcor are great examples that you can make high-quality products without the huge budgets of bigger brands.

But if you could design your own racquet brand, what would you do?

What is missing from the market? What is good and bad? I am keen to hear your thoughts.

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Hans May 12, 2020 - 20:40

Integrated electronic sensors calibrated for the racquet. Good software to analyze the stroke mechanics in 3D. I know it exists as add-on but precision would better with an original design and more sensors.

Built in string tension sensors.

It would be fun to see what properties the racquet would have if the string bed was rotated 45 degrees.

Tennis Lion May 14, 2020 - 21:41

Going through your questions in order:

Fewer or more models? – I think most manufacturers have this ok. Wilson needs to do something with the Ultra Tour/Pro as it doesn’t fit in the Ultra range. They could bring it back via a new 6.1 range since it’s beam is fairly similar, and make it a 6.1 97.

Different design? – Most manufacturers are pretty good. There is a wealth of options out there.

Better naming? – Head needs to simplify their names, because they blur together after reading Graphene 360 before each model.

Quality control? – Definitely see a lot of weight variation up to +/- 10g which is too much. Should be +/- 5g max really. I have a couple of grip size 2 that are lighter than spec, so I wonder if they balance each pallet up to spec? Would be interesting to test.

Customization options? There is a large weight gap with most rackets in the 285-315 range, then the RF97 at 340g. Each manufacturer should think about a 320-325g model so you don’t need any added weight for a players model.

What materials? They could start telling us about which type of graphite they use, like golf club shaft manufacturers do. There are high quality graphites and bog standard stuff. I’d like to know why a good frame is £150 and one that looks very similar at Sports Direct is only £30. Some of those bargain rackets even hit quite well too.

What would be your dream spec? I want a 96-99 sqinch frame that feels like a 6.1 95S (310g). Currently the Ultra Tour 97 is close, but there’s a weakness at the top of the hoop, and the Blade 98 is also nice but is slightly too head-heavy, so something in between those would be ideal. I must try the TF40 305 & 315 and the V-Feel 320.


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