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Category Archives: Tennis Racquets

Moving from the Wilson K Factor to the Wilson BLX is a fluid step forward

The choice to purchase a Wilson tennis racquet is a choice to invest in the power of the elements. The older Wilson K Factor technology and the newer Wilson BLX technological upgrade enhance racquet stiffness on the molecular level.

The Wilson K Factor

Wilson K Factor tennis racquets are getting increasingly hard to find, but if you happen to find one at a great price (as is likely to happen) you can be assured that you are getting a great playing racquet.

The four technologies that are included in all K Factor tennis racquets are: the [K]onnector, the [K]ontour Yoke, and the [K]ompact Center. These centers are specific enhancements that have been created to counteract (in a way) the total stiffness created by the [K]arophite Black frame.

[K]arophite Black is a patented material that comes from the injection of Silicon Dioxide molecules into the empty spaces between graphite fibers in the material used to make tennis racquets. Those silicon molecules are then bonded to the graphite fibers with a material found in car tires, carbon black.

The result is a stiffer frame and more power.

The Wilson BLX tennis racquets

The next step, the Wilson BLX technology includes the K Factor enhancements, but goes a step further. The material used in BLX racquets includes an added molecular substance that reduces vibration shock from the ultra stiff [K]arophite Black.

A substance that is formed from the cooling of lava rock, Basalt, has been included in the marriage of graphite, silicon dioxide, and carbon black for the ultimate combination of rock hard stiffness when striking the ball and vibration reduction for a longer game.

Wilson has continued to build upon their time proven tennis racquet enhancements, moving seamlessly from the Wilson K Factor to the Wilson BLX.

But the question is: What are the little Wilson racquet scientists working on right now, and when will it be released?

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Wilson Juice and Steam Tennis Racquet Reviews

Have you heard about the new line of Wilson tennis racquets coming out for 2012? Check out these two tennis racquet reviews and see if they are right for you.

Stronger Wilson K Factor Racquets Represent Advances in Nanotechnology

Fibre optic strands

Image via Wikipedia

Guest Post by Christopher Mohr

One of the most significant advances in racquet design was the introduction of Karophite. You cannot appreciate this technology by looking at it, since it works on a microscopic level. But when you play with Wilson KFactor racquets, you’ll definitely know it’s there.

Ordinary graphite racquets are made up of fibers of this strong, yet lightweight material. If you had the ability to zoom in to view this material at microscopic levels, you would see spaces between the fibers. Wilson scientists found that these racquets could be further strengthened by placing silicon dioxide crystals in the spaces between the fibers.

Silicon dioxide may sound like some high tech space age material, but it’s actually quite plentiful in nature, appearing most often as sand or quartz.

The use of silicon dioxide crystals to improve the strength of graphite racquets became known as Wilson’s NCode technology. While this was a significant improvement, scientists found that they could take the technology even further.

Wilson scientists found that binding the silicon dioxide to carbon black and to the graphite fibers created an even stronger material for constructing tennis racquets. Thus Karophite technology was born. Several Wilson K Factor racquets using this nanotechnology are available online at DoItTennis.com.

If you could use one word to describe the K Blade 98 racquet it would be control. The 98 square inch head with its 18 x 20 string pattern and head-light were designed with control in mind. The racquet is best suited for intermediate to advanced players who supply their own power when swinging. It is not a good racquet for players who benefit from head-heavy models like those found in the Sledge Hammer line.

A racquet that has many of the K Blade 98’s features but is better for more intermediate level players is the K Blade Team. With an 18 x 19 string pattern, you still get great control, but the 104 square inch head gives you a bigger sweet spot. This model will have slightly more power than the K Blade 98 and is better suited for players with moderate to fast swings. That Venus and Serena Williams use the racquet in competition is a testament to its superiority.

The K Factor Four is another viable option for intermediate players who have a moderately fast swing, but still need a head-heavy design. The 105 square inch head with its 16 x 19 string pattern will provide a large sweet spot at the expense of some control.

If you need even more power from a racquet, the K Factor Zero is a great choice. It has a larger head size of 118 square inches with a more head-heavy design than the K Factor Four. It is best suited for beginner level players.

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Head YouTek tennis racquet review

Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia takes a break aga...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Tennis racquet reviews have many parts: an overview of the technology, a detailed outline of the racquet’s playability and who would do well with that particular racquet.

A review of the tennis racquet’s technology is important, but that information can be found on product websites. From experience, I can say that some companies are better at sharing that information than others, but it can be found.

The meat of a tennis racquet review is the description of playability. The best reviews address particulars like ground strokes, serves/overheads, volleys and spin, in detail. Players need to know before they get out on the court if their racquet is going to hold up under their kind of game, or if it is going to miserably fail.

Tennis racquet rating systems are designed to help different levels of players select the right racquet, but confirmation from a pro, or teaching pro makes all the difference.

After scouring for quite a while, I found a Head YouTek tennis racquet review that meets all of these criteria. I plan on checking into this site regularly to see what else they review.

Totally Un-Related articles

Getting past the tennis racquet techno-hype

This illustration depicts eight of the allotro...

Image via Wikipedia

Carbon matrices, ionic energy chambers, carbon reflex reinforcement bars, tungsten filaments, crystalline carbon structures, woofers, and cortex joints. The evolution of the modern tennis racquet would befuddle tennis pros of even three decades past.

No one in their right mind would complain about these technological advancements and the advantages they lend to the game, but which one is right for whose game?

When the great tennis racquet scientists were sitting in their lab and changing the basic carbon structure to a deltoid carbon structure, were they thinking of an aggressive baseliner? Or was that beautiful little molecular magic for a serve-and-volley type?

Every tennis player can benefit from the vibration dampening advancements—that much is easy to surmise—whether the vibrations are absorbed by an EVA shaft in the handle, a cortex joint at the neck or a kinetically manipulative tennis racquet that prevents vibrations altogether.

Science and tennis are dancing together on the court of innovation, but like all art, where is the interpretation?

Sometimes going back to the basics is the only way to understand the big picture and here is a blog by a man who holds over 31 U.S. tennis patents and has a little something to say about the simple geometry of the tennis racquet.

Did You Know? Racquet Tech Trivia from Racquet Science, by Rich Janes
Photo Illustation: Eight of the allotropes (different molecular configurations) that pure carbon can take: a) Diamond b) Graphite c) Lonsdaleite d) C60 (Buckminsterfullerene) e) C540 (see Fullerene) f) C70 (see Fullerene) g) Amorphous carbon h) single-walled carbon nanotube

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I heart Head tennis racquet technology

Atomic

Image by David Gallagher via Flickr

Science and tennis: the perfect marriage of the two greatest things in the world.

Researching Head tennis racquets lead to the discovery of some highly impressive, atomically advanced materials with super valuable qualities for the game of tennis.

No one needs to be told that metal tennis racquets have come a long way since the first Lacoste frame in 1953. The combination of carbon composite fibers overcame the frame warp inherent in those first metal sticks. Titanium’s introduction into the fiber weave further stiffened the frame, allowing for faster, harder shots, with the added benefit of a lighter tennis racquet.

Could it get any better?

It did.

Head tennis racquets have such a wide array of atomically advanced materials, choosing one is near impossible.

Head titanium tennis racquets are a long time favorite and continue to stay on the best seller lists. But Liquidmetal, Metallix and MicroGel are all just as equally impressive when you look into the atomic qualities of each material.

Head Liquidmetal tennis racquets promise 29 percent more power than standard tennis racquets, with a liquid atomic structure that is 2.5 times stronger than titanium, and because of the liquid behavior of the atomic structure, the racquet does not suffer from deformation upon impact.

Head Metallix tennis racquets utilize a crystalline metal alloy that when weaved into the carbon matrix, create a tennis racquet that is more powerful and lighter weight than titanium frames. Following the scientific Hall-Petch (or grain-boundary strengthening) theory, Head has shrunk the size of the atomic matrix, creating a tighter atomic weave, which in turn creates more atomic bonds, which in turn, translates into a stronger material. Combine this with the lightweight characteristic of crystalline materials and you get a tennis racquet that has more power and responds faster.

Head MicroGel tennis racquets boast the lowest density of any racquet on the market due to a silicon-based material that weighs only 3 milligrams per cubic centimeter, but can withstand impact forces up to 4,000 times its weight. The impressive quality of the MicroGel material is how it responds on impact. Gaining stiffness from the blended carbon fibers, the silicon MicroGel compresses and deforms on ball impact, but because of the responsive quality of silicon causes it to quickly regain its original molecular shape. The result is a racquet that evenly distributes impact load throughout the entire frame and still provides a rock-solid feel through the return.

The new generation of Head YouTek tennis racquets feature a super combination of “smart materials.” The graphite-carbon composite blended with melt spun, ultra light Innegra fibers in the racquet frame combined with super absorbent d3o material in the layup and shaft combine to offer an unparalleled amount of situation responsive behaviors within the atomic structure of the racquet.

Not enough information has been released on the Head YouTek technology, as it is still in the hands of the world’s top player and highly patent protected. But I’m sure Head tennis racquet scientists are already hard at work on the next best thing.

I, for one, am eagerly awaiting its release.

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