TW’s current Bosworth racquets

A little while ago I did some blogs on the Bosworth collection, (check it out here) and covered some of the racquets we had available at the time. This stuff sells quick and they’re usually not racquets that you’ll see around for sale very often. As I mentioned in that first blog, as a general rule, once something is online and gets sold, that’s the last you’ll ever see of it.

To re-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 desires a different customization for their racquet, so 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.

As per usual, our inventory has changed and I wanted to let you all know some of the cool and very unique racquets that we currently have available in our vintage racquet collection.

 

Bosworth Head Director Racquet

Bosworth Head Director

Manufactured in the US in 1982, the Head Director is a unique racquet with an interesting elongated head shape. It features an extruded aluminum frame and provides a wonderful snapshot of the era just before graphite. It provides a comfortable and solid on court.

Specs: Contains original leather grip. Grip size 4. Specs include 100 square inch head size, an unstrung weight of approximately 12.3 ounces, an 18×19 string pattern, standard length, and has a bumper-less grommet system.

 

 

 

Bosworth-ProKennex Comp Destiny Rac

Bosworth-ProKennex Comp Destiny 

If you think this racquet shape looks familiar, then you are right. The Pro Kennex Composite Destiny is the predecessor to the Babolat Pure Drive model with its rounded shaft and aero head. Also features original blue Pro Kennex leather grip still in the plastic and original blue working grommets. Made in Taiwan.

Specs: It features Destiny Performance System (DPS) technology, a 95 square inch headsize, weighs in at 12.5 ounces strung, a 16 x 19 string pattern, and is standard length.

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Strings for the adventurous player!

Here’s another week’s worth of string! I like to do a range of strings; random picks, just to keep things spicy so you all may see some of the wonders we have here in the Warehouse! My favorite of these picks is Luxilon 4G, (we actually did a playtest on the 16L version of the string and also a written review), and I went on a mission to see if anyone else in the office liked it. Strangely enough, I didn’t have to look far.

Jason, who happens to sit right next to me (how lucky can I get, wit and sarcasm all within a one meter radius!?), loves Luxilon 4G right now. When I asked for reasons why he liked it, he said, “It has great ball pocketing, it feels good, it feels ‘right.’ ” He then followed with, “When you know, you know, right?!” Yes, well. Maybe, Jason. He also said, “It fits into the softer poly category, it doesnt hurt my arm so I can use it all day and night.” I had to agree with him. I also enjoy the poly qualities: how I can really rip the ball and have it still drop into the court, and how I am able to take full cuts with this string, and not have to lay off for fear of things flying long. Jason also continued to describe the string as a nice color (too far J, too far) and Chris chimed in saying, “It’s as good as gold!!” which I thought was clever until I realized he was quoting off the Luxilon packaging. ENOUGH! You should try it.

Babolat Hurricane Feel String

Luxilon 4G String

Gosen OG Sheep Micro String

Luxilon Big Banger XP String

Cheers!

Siobhan

Heather Watson: A great year for Great Britain!

With 2012 being a great year for Andy Murray and Britain, Heather Watson continues the success into the second half of the year this weekend. Celebrations all round for Watson, Britain and Dunlop after her stellar performance at the Japan Open, winning in a closely contested final against Taiwanese player Chang Kai-chen, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6.

Heather Watson kisses her champion's trophy. Photo courtesy of JIJI PRESS/AFP/GettyImages

Winning the tournament this weekend started a chain of events for Heather Watson, as not only did she become the number one British women’s tennis player, but she is Britain’s first winner of a WTA Tour singles title in 24 years. In a grinding final, Watson took three hours and 11 minutes to take the crown. Returning 4-5, 40-0 down, Watson managed to save four match points and then steal the tiebreak from her defeated opponent, 7-4.

Success for Heather Watson! Photo courtesy of JIJI PRESS/AFP/GettyImages

About her match, Watson said, “I’ve worked so hard for this moment. Britain has been breaking quite a few records recently, so I’m happy I could break another one today. I’m proud to do this for my country.”

Watson plays with the new Dunlop Biomimetic M 3.0 which we playtested recently here at Tennis Warehouse. This racquet is an update to Dunlop’s 300 series, with improved technologies for increased racquet head speed and better access to power. Comfort was really high, particularly on groundstrokes and serves. Touch and feel at net were also enjoyed by our entire playtesting team (check out the video here and the written review here). In the string department, Watson also reps Dunlop with her Black Widow string. One of our playtesters did a review on this string and found it to offer exceptional comfort, great power for a poly based string and excellent bite from it’s heptagonal shape (check out the video and the written review here).

With that great weekend, and a stunner of a year for Britain in 2012, let’s see what else they have for us in the upcoming months as the year comes to an end.

Cheers!

Siobhan

 

Men’s Shoes: new season new colors

Strings and shoes. The two things that always need replacing. As far as shoes are concerned, there are a lot of factors that add to this, such as how much you’re playing, what surface you’re playing on, your footwork.. Basically, the replacement rate comes from how harsh you are on your shoes. The best thing I love about shoes is that you’re not stuck with any certain type for too long. Yes, we all have our favorites, but tennis companies are understanding that while we not only want to try different types of shoes, we want different colors in our favorite shoes.

Our website is SO big, and ALWAYS changing, so I thought I would make things easy and highlight some of the cool new colorways we have in our shoe lines (yes, I’m nice, oh, stop flattering me, I make things easy for you? I know).

Nike Vapor 9

Nike Air Max Courtballistec 4.3

Nike Court Ballistec 4.1

Nike City Court VII

Nike Zoom Breathe 2k12

Nike Air Serve Return

Nike Air Max Challenge

adidas barricade 7.0

Prince Scream 3

Are these cool? Uh ya. I sit next to Jason in the office and after bullying him to look at my blog, we both agreed that the Vapor 9s and the Courtballistecs have the coolest colorways right now.

Take that!

Siobhan

Strings 4 U!

The range and selection of strings at TW are phenomenal. Yes, there are a lot that are the same, that play similarly and have the same qualities and characteristics.. But.. there so many that are different, and if you dig deep enough, you’ll be able to find the string that is perfect for you (or if you’re like me, multiple perfect strings). This week I have a sweet selection of string videos for you. Let me know what your favorite string is right now.

Signum Pro Poly-Plasma

Polyfibre Hightec Premium

Isospeed Professional Classic

Weiss Cannon Silverstring

Volkl Synthetic Gut

Auf Wiedersehen!

Siobhan

Product Review: Yonex Tournament Basic Bags

Welcome tennis lovers, in recent product videos I took a quick look at the Yonex Tournament Basic Series Bags. The thing I really like about these bags is the clean design, because they aren’t too too flashy, but completely functional and spacious. (Make sure to click on the pictures for links to the videos.)

The Tour Basic 6 Pack bag has two main compartments, an accessories pocket, shoe bag.. Everything you need in one simple design.

Click here to view the video

The Tour Basic Back Pack bag holds up to two racquets and has a really clean style. It’s quite spacious for a compact back pack.

Click here to view the video

A lot of bag lines don’t include a travel bag, and I really liked how simple and spacious this Tour Basic Tour Bag was. Easy to carry too, with big middle grab handles and a shoulder strap.

Click here to view the video

If you ever have any questions about bags or string, please contact us on Facebook, Talk Tennis, YouTube, Twitter.. We’re here to help!  Keep an eye out for more videos coming out in the next couple weeks, and if there is a bag you want featured, don’t hesitate to ask.

Until next time!

Siobhan

 

TW for days: All you need for a good training session

Let’s be real. It’s not always easy to look cute when I play tennis. I mean, I try… (And by always I mean, probably 90% sweaty and disheveled, 10% decent). General accomplishment of looking cute is severely reduced over the period through which I’m playing. This can be explained via an exponential curve that has direct correlation to the amount I’m running, the humidity levels at the courts and the amount of effort I put into applying any makeup that day. A hair brush is an optional addition that increases appearance in a positive manner by 11.352%.

Karly and I hitting outdoors together

Like I said, I would love to look like a babe while I play, but sometimes it’s just easier to accept life, get the right gear on so I’m athletic and comfortable, and let my tennis do the talking. Yesterday while filming a new “Gotta Want It: Season 4″ (check out previous seasons here), I realized I was actually head to toe decked out in products I found at TW (CLICK HERE for this new episode). Why? Well, this is my official announcement: I practice what I preach. Why? Because TW has everything I need to compete and train. Why? Because my gear is important in shaping the kind of athlete I want to be. No more questions.

The Nike Women’s Fall Tri Blend Tank is my favorite top right now. It is so light, it’s not too clingy and it has plenty of room to move. The color’s called Gridiron Heather, which is a complicated name for purpley-grey. Yes, people, I will simplify for you. What about it?! This tank was actually purchased to add to my babe factor after a combined questioning about my clothing choice of potato sack tees and my desire to survive sweating to death in the hot weather. Perfection! (Say that in a French accent and you’ll understand the mood I am trying to portray). I paired it with the Nike Women’s Basic Tie Break Knit Short. They have matching black spandex underneath and I just like how comfortable, sporty and functional they are. I would possibly call these my most favorite shorts of all time. OF ALL TIME, ma cheri!!

Accessories for days. First off the adidas ForMotion Tennis No-Show 2-Pack Socks. I’m not going to pretend I bought these for the technology, but as it turns out, the technology is why I love them. Comfy and cushioned (important for me), and they keep my feet cool. Love ‘em. I’m still a big fan of the Asics Gel Resolution 4 hence why you’ll see me wearing them. We have a review on them from a while ago, and as time passes I just like them more and more. On my noggin I had the Nike Women’s Fall Featherlight Visor in Volt. This is, as some may say, my statement piece. The pinnacle of my ensemble. The icing on the cake. Ok I’ll stop. But it’s volt: loud, and awesome. Plus, keep an eye out for me wearing the Nike Swoosh Wristband in Atomic Green. They are currently on pre-sale and, like the visor, I just really like how they are so functional yet add some attitude to everything.

Gears. I am absolutely loving the Yonex EZONE Xi racquet right now. Instead of me blabbing away about it, check out the comments that Britt and I had on it when we playtested it recently.  I think I will be playing, excuse me, beating opponents with it in the upcoming Santa Maria Volkswagen Open. I currently have NRG2 string in it at 55lbs. We are currently playtesting this string so stay tuned for that review, too, but it’s a really comfortable multifilament. And, last but not least is the Wilson Pro Overgrip Perforated in hot, hot, hot pink. It just adds some a bit of sass to my racquet, and it keeps its tack for a decent period of time.

That’s enough Siobhan for the week.

Cheers.

Top #5 favorite tennis locations

As a tennis player, I have had the privilege to play tennis all over the world. That’s what happens when your country is so small you can count the ITF Junior tournaments on one hand: you have to chase success, competition and points in other countries.

Growing up, I played on all surfaces, in most weathers, at every time of the day and night: 100+F heat in Australia, monsoons in Thailand, snow in Las Vegas, tornado-strength winds in New Zealand, night-time clay tennis in Germany, sleet storms in England, indoor tennis in Oregon, grass courts in my hometown, blue skies and sunshine in Spain…

Brittany and I playing some strategic doubles in SLO

It got me thinking: Where are the coolest (and my favorite) places that I have played tennis?

5. Stanford. Now, maybe it’s because I’m not American, or maybe Americans find this cool too, but Stanford University is a worldwide icon. Not only is it symbol of academic excellence, but also of sporting excellence — especially in collegiate tennis (and even more particularly for women’s tennis). It represents prestige in the tennis world: college and professional (let’s also not forget the the WTA Stanford tournament played there recently). It is a place of distinction and success, and for me, it was exciting to play tennis on those courts, at that venue, on such a historical campus. Around my injuries, I competed in a couple tournaments there in college, and despite their inconvenient court placement that has the morning sun directly in your eyes, it is on my top list of favorites.

4. Tennisclub Bad Salgau. Strange spelling? Why yes, yes it is, because it is in Bad Salgau, Germany. It is a tennis club that I trained at when I was a junior, and it was my first time on true, fresh, slide-worthy, red clay. Your inaugural experience on proper red European clay changes your tennis world (and I stress the word proper because apologies, but green clay is not proper clay). OK, I’m being dramatic, but trust me when I say, it’s truly amazing. The sliding, the physicality required, the depth of play, the grind; it forces you to take tennis to another level. It also adds a level of respect; the care and work it takes to maintain and have the courts playable really forces you to commit to the court as much as you commit to playing. There were 11 clay courts that I trained and competed on, and I like to think I either played, slid or fell on all of them.

Dragging the courts, sweeping the lines, watering the clay.. The surface requires effort and respect.

3. Melbourne Park. Yes, a big one: the official stomping grounds of the Australian Open. I was 11, and I played for New Zealand in a 12 & Under tie against Australia. We were all midgets, in awe of our surroundings and I’m pretty sure we got a whooping by the Aussies (I’ve conveniently dropped the result from my memory). I remember the tennis complex really well, though, and despite being a whipper-snapper, it really burned into my memory as an extremely epic place. For tennis fans, it’s beautiful and huge, too, with 22 outdoor courts and two main courts that have retractable roofs. Obviously it’s hard court, and since that has always been my favorite surface, my little 11-year-old self was in paradise.

Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park during the 2012 Australian Open

2. Juan Carlos Ferrero Academy. Also known as Equelite, located in South East Spain, this academy was founded by JC’s coach and has seen pros such as Safin, Safina, Ferrer, Almagro, Sharapova, García-López and more. I played a ITF tournament there when I was 15, as I was passing through, but it was an experience. As with many Spanish academies, there are a mix of hard courts and red clay, and I played a tough couple rounds before exiting the tournament. This particular place became a favorite of mine because everything  just added up to coolness: small town in Spain, top-tier academy, starting point and training location of top players, international ITF location, and I randomly ended up playing a tournament there? And to top it all off: At the tournament my friend sat down to lunch one day, got a tap on the shoulder and a request to join him, by, wait for it, Juan Carlos Ferrero himself. Not bad lunch company.

1. Tennis Warehouse. In the wild country of the USA, in the state of California, in a small, sunny town called San Luis Obispo, there is a warehouse. From the outside it just looks like a warehouse: unsuspecting, simple, calm, unassuming. Step inside its doors? It’s full of energy, excitement, bustle. People run around like worker bees getting every type of product out to their customers, some sit upstairs typing their lives away, others string racquets, others answer phones. The best part, is that deep in the belly of the beast is…. A tennis oasis. That’s right, my favorite place to play right now? The Tennis Warehouse tennis court. We have a hard court inside our warehouse that we can just pop down to hit, any time of the day. Not only is it where we play and test products, but we film our reviews down there too. Top notch, I say!

Our tennis court: it sees domination, sacrifice, bagels, blood, sweat, tears and so much more..

I talked to the team (as usual, I can’t get through the day without chatting to my mates), and got some of their favorites:

- Chris chose Arthur Ashe Stadium: He wins the cool contest because he’s been around the block a couple times, the ol’ trout.

- Jay chose Stadium Court 2 at BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA

- Brittany’s choice was a hard court, beach-front venue in Vigo, Spain: where she had her first ITF match win.

- Andy’s choice was Seattle Tennis Club in Washington State: a lake front, all-white clothing, exclusive membership club.

I constantly am reminded how small the tennis world is: you never know, maybe some of you have frequented the same locations that I have. Where is the most amazing or memorable places you have ever played tennis?

Siobhan

Top #10 reasons why I love tennis

Anyone who’s ever met me will know: I love tennis. It gets a little more complicated when I think about why I love it though, and what it really comes down to is not explainable in one simple sentence. With the freedom to write about anything tennis related, I thought, “What’s better than a list about why I love it?” So I made one. And as usual, I bullied my office mates into giving me their opinions, too:

10. Stress reliever. There is something about being out on court, running around, sweating it out and hitting tennis balls that just makes me feel better. My endorphin production increases (I get my runners high when I play), my anxiety levels lower, I sleep better, I relax, and I stop thinking about all my daily stressors. I don’t even realize I feel better until I get off the court. Even when I’m not enthused to play, I get out there and voila! I’m happier. It’s like magic. Tiffani hit the nail on the head, saying,

“To relax some people like to hit the beach or pool. I like to hit fuzzy yellow balls instead. Tennis is perfect to rid yourself of the day’s pent-up aggression. Smack a few forehands and backhands, and you’ll start to feel better. I know I do. Tennis is a chance to refocus my energies — and my brain — on something other than life’s stresses. It gets the blood pumping, and the adrenaline flowing. Here’s one way to look at it: Each bead of sweat you have to wipe from your brow is like wiping away the day’s stresses one worry at a time.”

Tiffani

9. It’s just me. Despite loving doubles (the teamwork, working with another person to win something together, the camaraderie), tennis was always attractive because it was an individual sport. If I lose, it’s because of me, because I wasn’t good enough on the day, because I made poor choices, or sometimes because I simply just got my butt whipped. I lose and I am defeated alone, and I know I have to work harder. But, BUT, I win? I did that. That was ALL me, and the achievement and success I feel is extremely, extremely satisfying. Brittany agreed, saying,

“I love the ability to create strategy against different playing styles and challenge myself to the fullest. I love that when I win in tennis I earned every bit of the win and even when I lose I was the one in control of the outcome.”

Brittany loves the individual aspects of the game

Brittany

8. The Tri-Factor: mental, physical and technical. You can’t have one without the other two, and if you want to compete at a high level, you need all three. It’s not simple. In fact, I’ve seen (and experienced) how tennis can completely break people down. To be truly successful at tennis, you have to try to master all of them (think Fed, Djoko and Rafa), and each is its own struggle. It’s a constant battle, and to be better players, we must face these head on. Andy had a similar opinion. He said,

“I love tennis because physically its one of the most challenging sports, mentally it’s like a chess match, and it’s just you out there to take all the glory or all the blame.”

Andy

7. The fire. For me, being a tennis player comes hand in hand with being competitive. I want to compete. I want to fight it out. I want to play my best tennis, and that fire of competitiveness I feel is what makes this sport so damn fun. It’s not this way for everybody, but I find that drive to be the kick in the pants I need sometimes to get me fired up on court. George S. Patton (an American WWII General), summed it up for me exactly:

“Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out the best; it removes all that is base.” Being on court is a battle, and I love to come out firing.

6. It’s a culture. It’s not just a sport, it’s my community, it’s a constant in my life. As weird as it sounds, it’s been one of the better educators that I’ve ever had. It brings people together, and I like that. It also extends past individual lives and into a broader spectrum. The culture of tennis is a worldwide phenomenon that is so varied and multifaceted, and can be enjoyed whether playing or watching. Tennis is French, American, British; it’s global, and the fashion, the glamor, the grind? It’s something to be revered. Tennis is a lifestyle, and one that I very happily live. For Karly, the tennis culture shows the depth of the sport. She said,

“I love, love, love the tennis culture. Everything about it is great. I love seeing the variety of outfits throughout the year, instead of basic uniforms. I love how the different surfaces shake up the competition a bit for players. Imagine if basketball players played on grass or clay. Do you think Kobe and LeBron could handle the change? Or how about the fact that tennis lasts almost year-round. Would you rather have one Super Bowl Championship or four Grand Slams? That’s like asking if you’d like one vacation day or four? All-in-all, do I like the culture of tennis? Psht. C’mon, ask me a harder question.”

Karly

5. Life lessons: Within a couple hours on court, I can move through the entire spectrum of human emotion: joy, anger, ecstasy, euphoria, hatred, loathing, frustration, nerves, anxiety, happiness, fire, passion, among others.  It teaches us humility, perseverance, hard work, anger management and graciousness in victory and in loss. It is perhaps one of the most rewarding and maddening activities we can partake in. Dramatic? Maybe. Heartbreaking? Always. Tough? No question. Character building? Definitely. It gives us the ability to rise from the ashes, from the moment we step on the court, to the moment we step off.

Me, yours truly: otherwise known as Siobhan

4. It’s confused exercise. Sometimes the thought of a run, the gym or another boring form of exercise just makes me want to chain myself to the couch with a dozen doughnuts in my hand, soda in the other and pizza on the way. I do, however, love playing tennis, and – I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s actually exercise! I know, crazy right!? I’m pretty sure tennis doesn’t realize that it’s exercise because it’s so fun and enjoyable. Jason spoke for all of us ladies on this one when he said,

“In order to keep my girlish figure, I need to workout and do cardio, but I hate running just to run. Which is why I love tennis. It’s an amazing workout where, after just one hour of intense hitting, I can be drenched and completely exhausted. Even though tennis is mostly legs, I think of it as a full body workout; I’m using my arms, back and core to hit the ball.”

Jason

3. Love. To put it simply, tennis is the love of my life. It is SO much fun. I have learned what it feels like to be truly passionate about something, and I count myself as blessed to have discovered, from such a young age, something that I enjoy being involved in so much. You see my true character: me at my finest, my worst, the good, the bad and the ugly. And hopefully, every now and then, you’ll see something great. As someone who started playing as an adult, Spencer could relate to this. He said,

“It’s being a kid again. It’s the same experience I’ve had growing up: playing with and against your friends, and putting your best effort against theirs. It’s the challenge of competition, improving and learning the intricacies, emulating the pros I admire…it’s having the competitive drive to want to beat players who are better than I, and most of all, it’s fun.”

Spencer

Spencer

2. Oh, the places I’ve been. From a small town in New Zealand on the bottom of the globe, to tournaments and training in different countries all over the world, to playing tennis and studying in Oregon for four years, to California in the “Happiest City in America” at a job that is ALL about tennis. Tennis has taken me so many places and given me so many opportunities. Sure, I still have plenty of places I need to go, but one thing I am sure about: Tennis is the vehicle driving my travels.

“Oh the places you’ll go. There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.” Yes, until now, it was never known and I am about to drop a bomb on the world with this one, but Dr. Seuss was most definitely talking about tennis when he wrote that.

1. THAT feeling. The No. 1 reason I play? A perfect cross court forehand. A bomb of a serve. Crushing the huge winner. The feel of the ball off the string. As Chris eloquently put,

“It is tough to describe the feeling of just hitting the ball. There’s nothing like that feel on a well timed shot. How smooth and fluid it feels, the effortless power, the ball going exactly where you want. For me, it is especially great feeling on a drop shot when I know as soon as I’ve hit it that is going to land ridiculously close to the net. It’s as if the ball just floats off the strings with this incredibly soft and sweet feeling.”

Chris

Chris

And to that? I say, Amen.

Siobhan