Dunlop iDapt tennis racquets

IDAPT_Logo_HR

Buying a racquet in 2014 is exactly the same as it was back in 1914. Once you find the racquet that best fits your game, you choose a grip size and off you go. Boring!

That’s all about to change.

Introducing Dunlop’s revolutionary new racquet line, iDapt. With iDapt, you can create the perfect racquet for your game. Choose from 4 different head sizes with 3 different cosmetic options each, then decide between the 2 lengths (27 inch and 27.5 inch) and 3 different levels of feel (soft, medium, and firm). Add in the 6 grip sizes and the combinations are endless. To be exact, there are 432 different combinations for you math wizards out there.

1 new line of racquets. 432 choices. Wow.

Here’s the low down.
Head sizes:
98 , 100, 100S and 105. The 100S features a very open 14×18 string pattern.

Length:
27 inch (standard) and 27.5 inch (extended)

Feel:
Soft, medium and firm. Shock Sleeve Technology lets you select a soft, medium or firm level of feedback.

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Not enough customization for you? Want to increase the weight, change the balance point, add more power, and all that fun stuff? But not really sure how to go about it? Dunlop’s got your back! Simply add the optional Blast Zone weights to your racquet! Place these weights in the indicated Blast Zone areas around the frame (at 12 o’clock, 3 & 9 o’clock, 10 & 2 o’clock and even on the handle) to add power, stability and/or increase maneuverability. Finally, a racquet that’s truly unique and built to fit your game and playing style!

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Each racquet also features a new Aero Boost Grommet System. This system enables the strings to both absorb more impact shock and transfer greater power to the ball.

Once you figure out exactly what racquet you want, your job is done. We’ll put it together for you, string it up and ship it right to your door!

You don’t have to wait long, the iDapt launches on 8/15/14

Happy 40th Birthday Prince!


Today, one of the most recognizable brands in tennis turns the big 4-0. The brand in question is the one that claims to “rule the court.” Of course, we are writing about Prince.

Think that catchy slogan is too tough to live up to? Consider this: Prince has sponsored some of the greatest of all time, players such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Michael Chang, Martina Navratilova, and Jimmy Connors. The new class of Prince players are making their own mark on the game, from Gael Monfils to Maria Sharapova to the Bryan Brothers to John Isner. The Bryan’s even delivered an early birthday present for Prince by winning their record breaking 62nd doubles title a few days earlier at the Farmers Classic in UCLA.

A true innovator and trail blazer for the game of tennis, Prince was the first to develop a commercial ball machine, the first to introduce a multi-filament string and the first to make extended length or “longbody” racquets.

According to Prince, it all started in 1970. Working in his Princeton, New Jersey garage, inventor and entrepreneur Bob McClure reversed the motor on a household vacuum cleaner to produce the first commercially viable tennis ball machine. He called the machine the “Little Prince” and a tennis brand was born.

The original ball machine developed by Prince

Prince hit the world scene in the mid-1970’s when legendary engineer, Howard Head (who also invented the first metal alpine ski), using McClure’s ball machine to work on his tennis game, realized he could develop a racquet that would help him significantly raise his level of play and hit better shots, more often.  Head patented the first “Oversize” tennis racquet in 1976 with a 110 square inch head, called it “The Prince,” and in doing so, ushered in a major tennis ‘boom’ by making tennis easier to play and more fun for millions of people.

The first oversized racquet known as The Prince

In a statement released to the press, Nick Bollettieri said, “I remember when I first saw that new racquet in the mid to late seventies, I thought, what in the world is that?  It looked completely different to the small, heavy wooden frames of the day, but it was helping all of these people play better tennis.” The founder and President of Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy continued, saying, “I remember young kids traveling all around in cars and vans to let players at private clubs, public courts, tournaments – wherever there was a tennis player – test out these new frames.  And boy did it catch on!  Pretty soon, you could not throw a stone near a tennis court without hitting someone using a Prince racquet.  Our academy is proud to be affiliated with Prince products and we look forward to forty more years of their moving the game forward.”

Most recently, in 2005, the company debuted another revolutionary breakthrough in product design with the introduction of O-Technology in racquets.  Eliminating restrictive grommet holes in the frame, this engineering feat used large holes and suspended the string bed facilitating more string movement for an enhanced sweet spot.  Maria Sharapova won her U.S. Open (and subsequently her first Australian Open) using this new technology, and today there are nearly 100 players on tour who have switched to this racquet design innovation.

“At the end of the day, we strive to continue the mission set forth by Mr. McClure and Mr. Head – to help all player types, whether recreational or those competing at the game’s highest levels, hit more great shots, more often,” said Zach Perles, Vice President of Global Communications at Prince Sports, Inc. “We will continue to bring to market best-in-class products that help raise people’s level of play and support them with meaningful grassroots programs and industry partnerships designed to grow the game overall.  We are an integral part of the fabric of this sport, proud of our past products, programs and players, but even more energized about our plans for the future.”

Prince EXO3 Black - featuring Prince's latest technology

A list of milestones in Prince’s history:

1970 – Bob McClure invents the first commercially viable ball machine by reversing the motor on a vacuum cleaner.  The “Little Prince” is introduced and Prince Sports, Inc. is formed.

1976 –Howard Head engineers and patents the first “Prince” racquet – an “Oversize” frame at 110 square inches designed to deliver the largest sweet spot. It revolutionizes the game.

1977 – Prince introduces the original Graphite, which becomes the first “top players” racquet and the standard by which all others are compared.

1978 – Prince invents the first multi-filament tennis string, which becomes an industry top seller that same year.

1985 – Seeing the need to go beyond the all-purpose shoe, Prince introduces the TPU-4000, a lightweight and durable shoe made specifically for tennis players.

1995 – Prince is the first company to introduce ‘Longbody’ technology, which launches Michael Chang to #2 in the world.  His frame becomes the best-selling racquet in tennis.

2005 – Prince re-invents racquet design with introduction of O-Technology, which transforms traditional grommets into large holes.  The technology platform is soon exported to brands in other sports. Maria Sharapova wins the 2006 U.S. Open with the Prince O3 White (which features O-technology).  The racquet becomes the best selling model in the United States.

2009 – Building off the O-Tech platform, Prince introduces EXO3 racquet technology, which suspends the string bed for ultimate string movement resulting in a larger sweet spot.

Happy birthday Prince! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for tennis in the next 40 years.

Jason, TW

Racquet demo: Yonex RDiS 300

The Yonex RDS 003

The Yonex RDS 003

It’s time to check the mile marker on my tennis racquet journey. When I last paused to ponder, I was considering a switch from my Yonex RDS 003 to either the Dunlop Aerogel 4D 300 Tour or the ProKennex Black Ace 98. I’ve since put down the Black Ace. I still love it for baseline games, but for match play, it’s a bit much for me to wield for two or three sets.

The Dunlop Aerogel 4D 300 Tour is still getting a lot of play, though. I haven’t officially made a switch, but I love it and have been hitting with it most days. As a request from Talk Tennis, I took the Yonex RDiS 300 out for a spin. It’s remarkably similar to the RDS 003 in specs with the most noticeable change being length. The RDiS 300 is a standard length racquet, and the RDS 003 is 27.25 inches long.

I have to admit even though the racquets spec out so similarly, it took me a while to dial in the RDiS 300, and it didn’t have to do with the change in length. For me, the adjustment came down to feel. Otherwise, the characteristics were the same. I got great pop, outstanding maneuverability, and easy access to spin, etc., but when it came to feel, I was bewildered. Strung at two pounds above mid with a synthetic gut, the RDiS 300 felt much crisper than my RDS 003, which I string at 60 pounds for softer co-polys and 64 for multis or synthetic guts. I know the higher tension I use on the RDS 003 and the stiffness rating comparison tell another story (62 RA for the RDiS 300 vs 65 RA), but I enjoyed what I sensed as the slightly plusher feel of the RDS 003.

I decided to cut out the strings in the RDiS 300. This time I strung the synthetic gut at one pound below mid, which I felt was a total departure for me. I was stringing my RDS 003s at 64 pounds for some added control. With this new string setup, I enjoyed the feel of the RDiS 300 much more. There were some issues with control as expected, and I couldn’t just swing away with abandon. (What, am I expected to think on the court? Just kidding.) After finding the feel I was looking for, though, I was comfortable and the RDiS 300 felt like an old friend on the court. I don’t think I’ll be making the switch because I’m still very comfortable with the RDS 003, and, to be vain, I just like the cosmetic of the RDS 003 better. Perhaps when the 003s are out of stock, I’ll give the RDiS 300 another look. Until then, it’s still the RDS 003.

Happy Hitting!
Tiffani