Oh, the agony. Have you ever wanted something so badly and been so close you could taste it? That’s me right now, sitting here, typing. Yeah, typing. Read: Not hitting. Not playing. Not swinging the new Dunop Biomimetic 300 Tour.
The racquet is sitting here on my desk. I feel like a kid who’s an inch too short to ride the roller coaster. I can see it, I can touch it. I’m oh so close! You’re probably thinking, “Stop your moaning and go hit!” Problem is that my pregnancy is now making tennis difficult for me. I’ve been playing throughout my pregnancy, but now eight months in, my efforts are fruitless and frustrating. I tire easily, I feel awkward swinging and as a hitting partner I feel woefully inadequate. We always want what we can’t have, I guess. (Plus Jason is working on that two-handed backhand … if I don’t watch out, he’ll no longer have a side to attack!)
In previous posts, I’ve talked a lot about the predecessor to this Biomimetic version, the Aerogel 4D 300 Tour. This had become my go-to stick in the recent past as the Yonex RDS 003 was discontinued. So back to this stick that’s sitting on my desk, glinting in the sunlight. Yes, it really is. That glint is coming off the sweet metallic finish of the Biomimetic 300 Tour. To round out the cosmetics, there’s the dimpled “skin” of the Aeroskin technology.
When Dunlop came to visit, we heard about Aeroskin and the rest of the new technologies in the Biomimetic line. All the Biomimetic technologies are inspired by something found in nature.
Aeroskin is inspired by sharkskin and is intended to improve the aerodynamics of the racquet. The frame has dimples around the hoop, and if you run your fingers over them, you can feel them. To me it feels a little bit like a basketball, but not too rough. This idea of dimples and aerodynamics is not new. Just take a look at a golf ball; it’s the same concept. So in theory this should make the racquet swing faster with up to 25% less drag, according to Dunlop. A faster racquet should equal more power and more spin potential. If there’s one thing about the 4D 300 Tour I wish I could amp up, it’s power, so this idea of a more powerful version of the 300 Tour with the same level of control is enticing.
Another new technology incorporated into the frame is HM6 Carbon. This time Dunlop looked at a hardworking bunch for inspiration: bees. Their honeycombs to be exact. The hexagonal shape of the honeycomb absorbs shock and disperses it very well. Dunlop created thin sheets of HM6 Carbon and added them to the layup of Aerogel in key areas of the frame, most predominantly in the shaft of the racquet. With fewer vibrations and less shock coming through the frame, feel should be enhanced. I’m all for that, too. Have you seen my drop volleys? They sometimes resemble Shaq’s free throw attempts. Yeah, they’re rocks.
Lastly, there is Gecko-Tac. Here they looked at gecko setae, and no that’s not the name of a certain insurance pitchman. Gecko setae are the hair-like structures on the feet of a gecko that allow it to cling to surfaces. Dunlop treated the surface of its Gecko-Tac grips to offer enhanced tack without being sticky. My favorite replacement grips are thin and balance moisture absorption and tackiness. This one feels good. My hands don’t stick to the grip, but it also doesn’t feel so dry that I might develop blisters. I also like that it doesn’t feel bulky in the hand so overgrips are not out of the question either.
When it comes to specs on the Biomimetic version, they’re very similar to the 4D 300 Tour. When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Dunlop kept it pretty much the same. Though we don’t have our stock here to spec, I put our hitters on our Babolat RDC machine and compared them to Dunlop’s provided specs.
Our hitters………………………………Dunlop’s specs
11.3 ounces strung………………….11.3 ounces strung
64 RA……………………………………..64 RA
5 points head light ………………….Head light balance (320 mm)
The racquet is also the standard 27″ length with an 18×20 string pattern in a 97 square inch head size. The head size on the 4D 300 Tour was 98 square inches. I put the 4D 300 Tour up against the Biomimetic version, and the headsizes are pretty close so I’m not worried about the slight change.
So there it is. That’s the Biomimetic 300 Tour in a nutshell. You’ll probably hit this racquet before I do. The 300 Tour is in the first batch of Biomimetics that will be released. Look for it as well as the 200 Plus, 300, 600 and 600 Lite on our site for demo and purchase in early November. Or if you happen to know Jurgen Melzer, ask him for a loaner Biomimetic 300 Tour. He’ll be swinging it on Tour.