The view is beautiful. From where I sit, I can see some of the Bosworth racquets that have been brought out of storage. They’re sitting in our office and right now they’re halfway through their journey before they get put online, ready to be sold off to lucky new owners.
For those of you who don’t know, let me explain. The Bosworth custom racquets come from the late Warren Bosworth, who specialized in customizing racquets to help professionals optimize their performance. He thought that racquets in stock form were limiting — racquets produced for the masses weren’t always what different pros needed, so he decided to provide unique setups to suit each player’s specific requirements. Every player is different, and Bosworth explored that idea by watching, coaching, listening, experimenting and working with different pros to create setups and specs that would help each play his or her best tennis.
Our vintage racquet collection is, to say the least, impressive. If you venture to dusty, extremely dusty, depths of the warehouse you’ll find, hidden away in boxes, our Bosworth collection. Wood and graphite racquets from the past — designed for pros such as Aaron Krickstein, Monica Seles, Brian Gottfried and Jimmy Connors, to name a few. Brands available include Head, Spalding, Slazenger, Snauwaert, Fox, Yonex, Estusa, Fin, ProKennex and Wilson.
BUT, it’s never quite as simple as getting the racquets and putting them online. It’s a process. You’d think it was a construction site. Chris and Brittany took on the job of retrieving the racquets from their dusty locale, and trust me, they looked the part. It’s like a dust monster lives up there (where the heck does dust come from anyway?!) and they had to pull out the heavy duty dust masks so their lungs didn’t fill up with particles. Next on the list is cleaning. Dust masks? Check. Cleaning supplies? Check. Sweat and heavy muscle work? Check. (Last time Britt and I cleaned, I nearly had an asthma attack; the things we go through to get these out to you guys!!!). Let’s just say, after 20-30 years of being hidden away some of these bad boys need a good polish to bring out their inner beauty. And trust me, they are beautiful. They then get researched, sometimes unstrung specs are added, they are imaged, strung if requested, then sent off to you guys!
These are one-of-a-kind racquets; exclusive is definitely an applicable term. Tennis Warehouse is the only place that sells these; you can’t get them anywhere else. Sometimes we have several of one racquet, other times we have one or two. What we have in our collection is it, and once a racquet is sold, it’s gone. But we don’t like to keep the racquets hidden from the world so every so often, they get to see the light of day, and these beauties are to be enjoyed once again.
I talked to Jonathan Wolfe, our resident string expert and current Bosworth researcher about why he thinks the Bosworth Collection is so cool. He explained that he believes there are certain things about the past that don’t age.
“It’s proof that that there are parts of the racquet manufacturing industry, and certain things about history that simply dont get old. In some ways, when you play with the older racquets you realize that while we went from wood to graphite [and] when you’re able to play with some of the older frames, there are some things about the feel of wood [and] about the 100 percent graphite frames, that are [..] to some extent, becoming rarer and rarer. I think that these are irreplaceable.”
“You [can see some] of stuff that the pros used, but also some of these have never been played. You wouldn’t be able to find an un-played Dunlop Volley II [..] unless it was in a collection somewhere. These are un-played versions of racquets that [may not] exist anywhere.”
“It’s a snapshot of the history of tennis and the technologies that existed 20-30 years ago. You can also find a way to put your own particular racquet you’re playing with now in perspective, comparing it to some of the earlier generations.”
Keep an eye out in the next little while — I’ll be writing about some of the specific racquets that are in the collection that will be for sale, and don’t forget to regularly check the Bosworth racquets online HERE. Trust me when I tell you that word of these spreads like wildfire and they don’t stay online for sale very long. Don’t miss out on that perfect exclusive racquet. Enjoy!
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