August 23, 2005
Babolat is doing great in racquets, and we all know about their strings. Today, they launch a new line of shoes, partnering with Michelin, who will handle the sole. And having Andy Roddick wear them isn't too shabby on the promotion front...
Read the release
August 23, 2005
"Just a year after Prince Sports Europe launched its successful new regional operation in the Middle East, Prince unveiled a number of new initiatives and a revolutionary new tennis product range at a regional sales meeting, held at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai."
Read the article
August 22, 2005
Tennis Magazine features five new racquets that differ in certain aspects of technology and play, but are all great for a majority of players.
The 5 racquets are: the DUNLOP MAXPLY McENROE, the HEAD FLEXPOINT, the PRINCE 03 TOUR MP, the WILSON N4 and the YONEX NSRQ-7.
Read the article in Tennis Magazine
August 22, 2005
There is a poly-based string trend going on, and Luxilon is leading the charge. Luxilon is the official string of the ATP and WTA, and John McEnroe has been discussing it on TV. Pros like Agassi, Safin, and Federer use it. And amazingly, Luxilon claims 60% of the Top 200 men and 30% of the Top 200 women use it. Other polyester-based strings are also on the market from more tried and true brand names: Gamma Zo Power, Babolat Pro Hurricane, Wilson Enduro Pro, and Head Ultra Tour.
What's the word on Luxilon? It basically allows you to hit with more topspin. Tennis magazine's player testing says its great for good and advanced players with long, fast swings...not really for beginners.
Read the article in Tennis magazine
August 19, 2005
We've been on Johnny Mac's side on this topic all along, as our readers know. Technology has gotten out of hand with racquets - since when should a 70 year old be able to hit a 100 mph serve. This article takes this issue to a whole new level. Shocking is the fact that there are currently 7 of the top 11 women players injured. Yes, some of this has to do with the length of the tour. But it also has to do with the technology of the racquets.
Tennis' governing bodies have set very few limits on racquet manufacturers. In their words, its now "grip it and rip it." Great for hitting winners, but bad for their bodies. "The shock and stress on the arms and shoulders from returning these 21st century rockets, and the lower-body stress on the hips and leg muscle from chasing down these Babolat blasts, are sidelining more of the top players every day."
Not to mention, it is less and less entertaining to watch. Someday, hopefully, they will get it when no one is watching anymore.
Read the article from Tennis-X
I put this in the "technology that makes logical sense, but I have no way of judging whether it works or not" category. Fischer Racquets recently launched a new racquet line featuring Magnetic Speed Technology. Gamma is helping out, as Fischer's North Am. distributor. Hey...what a novel idea, a racquet company partnering with a string company for optimal play.
So, aparently how this new technology works is to make the frame bounce back faster from impact with the ball, causing a catapult effect. Which of course, they claim, causes more pace. The catapult effect is caused by 2 unipolar magnets which repel each other.
The racquets are available this month. Pros playing with the racquets will include; Albert Costa, Dominik Hrbaty, Karol Beck, Giorgio Galimberti, Vera Zvonareva and Jessica Kirkland.
We've been following Prince's O3 line for awhile. Prince has now introduced a new member of the line, the O3 Blue. It measures 110 square inches, coming in right between the 118 square inch O3 Silver and the 105 square inch O3 Red. From the press release, its construction is for "providing the ultimate combination of more power and enhanced maneuverability and comfort for players looking for a soft, velvety feel." And of course it is using Prince's proprietary O-Port technology.
Read the press release
Good news for the tennis biz! The Tennis Industry Association (TIA) has reported sales of tennis racquets to dealers in the 12 months through June 2005 are up 29% in units and 18% in dollar sales vs. the 12 month period to June 2003. Why? Besides the player programs tennis organizations have been cultivating, the growth in dollar sales, especially this year, shows consumers are buying more premium, high performance racquets. The biggest growth category this year is the super premium category (up over 35%) which indicates positive reaction to the recent introductions of new technology frames from many of the top manufacturers.
Read Release: Tennis Industry Headed For Another Strong Year in Sales
It's been a big week for the Blogpire. Shaving Stuff.com was Yahoo! Pick of the Day for August 18th, and 3 of our Blogs are ranked in the Feedster Top 500. Kitchen Contraptions.com comes in at 280. Single Serve Coffee.com comes in at 357. TV Snob.com comes in at 495.
We also added a new title to the Blogpire - The Cooking News. We think you'll enjoy the recipes, wine info, and other cooking related items each day. Michael & Jennifer are both total foodies and will bring you the best of what they find each week.
Single Serve Coffee: Brugo Self-Cooling Coffee Mug, Single Serve Coffee.com Makes Feedster Top 500 Blogs, and Review: Krups 1010 Home Cafe Pod Brewing Machine from Single Serve Coffee.com
Kitchen Contraptions: Flip Flap The Solar Powered Plant: Our Money Where Our Mouth Is, simplehuman Organize This! Contest, and Meat Tumbler
Shaving Stuff: Lavender Pre-Shave Oil, Get a $50 Gift Certificate When You Buy A Braun Electric Razor, and Shaving tips from a/MEN/ity
What's All The Racquet: Wimbledon game for your mobile phone
TV Snob: Great Olevia LCD TV Customer Service Experience, Touchscreen PC LCD, and Samsung HLR4667W 46" Widescreen HDTV Drops below $2500
Shirt Snob: Mr. Housing Bubble tee, Great T-shirt from Threadless and Busted Tees
GPS Lodge: US Marines going to Iraq with Garmin 76S and 76CS GPS Receivers and GPS Review: TomTom GO 700 GPS Unit
August 15, 2005
Pixiem and the All England Lawn Tennis Club have launched what looks to be a realistic and exciting tennis game for your cell phone.
In the US, the game works for Verizon customers, on Audiovox, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, and Samsung phones.
To help promote the launch, they are holding a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to Wimbledon 2006.
August 12, 2005
Another week and another best of the best from the Blogpire. We've had an amazing week finding the latest kitchen, coffee, poker, tennis, TV, fashion, and gps offerings.
We also want to remind you that publishers and supporters of Blogpire Productions have participated in the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) this past weekend and we are donating all profits from the Blogpire this weekend (August 12th & 13th) to the cause. The PMC donations go to the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber cancer institute.
Donations can be made at: http://www.pmc.org/egifts/giftinfo.asp?eGiftID=TA0037
Now, on with the Best of the Blogpire!
Continue reading: "This Week's Best of the Blogpire"
August 11, 2005
I've played team tennis in high school and college. In high school, we were on our own for stringing racquets. But in college, our coach did do our stringing. I never gave it much thought at the time, but I suppose it is a challenge choosing a universal string to fit all players' styles, skill levels and preferences. This article talks about a coach at UC Santa Cruz and the string they've found to work best.
That string, which has given him the most success with across the broadest range of players is MonoGut by Ashaway Racket Strings. MonoGut is a hybrid with synthetic gut or Kevlar.
Check out the whole piece
August 10, 2005
The BBC website has a section called "Sports Academy," which has a lot of great content. Relevant to WATR is a recent feature giving a guide to the history of the racquet. Pretty interesting stuff about the racquet, but also strings and balls.
Read Tennis' quest for the 'sweet spot'
We came across the TennisRacquets.com website, which is a very good site overall. But what really caught our eye, and what we thought our readers would really like is their racquet database. It has all the models out there, and you can search by all sorts of specifications: manufacturer, weight, head size, length, swing speed, beam width, and balance.
If you're in the market for a new racquet, you can go wrong checking this out the TennisRacquet.com Racquet Database during your research.
August 6, 2005
We scour each week to find the best of the best from all the Blogpire blogs. We've got some juicy morsels for you this week and some info on an event all of our blogs are sponsoring.
Publishers and supporters of Blogpire Productions are participating in the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) this weekend and donating all profits of the upcoming August 12th weekend to the cause. Nearly 4,000 cyclists will take part in the ride this August 6 and 7, 2005. They will travel six different routes, riding between 89 and 192 miles over one or two days, through 46 scenic Massachusetts towns.
More can be learned about the PMC program at www.pmc.org, and donations can be made at:
Now on with the best of the best:
GPS Lodge.com: GPS NEWS: Nintendo DS Hacked for the GPS good and GPS Review: Garmin eTrex Legend vs. Magellan eXplorist 300
What's All The Racquet.com: Wilson Pro Staff Review and
Killer Find for Bargain Tennis Equipment!
Shaving Stuff.com: Gillette Mystery Solved and Seiko Cleancut - The Pornstars' Choice
TV Snob.com: Analog and Digital TV for Notebook PCs and Al Gore's Cable Channel Off to Rocky Start
Shirt Snob.com: Giant Robots!!! and Butterscotch Stallion
Kitchen Contraptions.com: Make Burgers Like the Pros! and Personal Chocolate Fountain
Just The Chips.com: A Chip and a Chair and Tournament Poker Cleans Up Its Act
August 5, 2005
OK...its been too many months since last I played tennis, regretfully. Between the weather, injuries and a brutal job schedule, it wasn't possible. But...I played (and I use the term "played" lightly) yesterday. Highlights include sore legs, a tweaked back and a bruised ego. But the best highlight was the Wilson Pro Staff I used. I've always been a Head man (insert joke here), but I must say, this played really nicely. In the past, Wilsons I've played had a grip that was too round, I prefer an oval shape. The Pro Staff is different, more oval. I found it pretty stiff, and a good weight. Not too light, not too heavy.
I found a cool tennis shopping site which shows a diagram of various swing styles and the best Wilson racquet for that style. Darn if it isn't accurate to my style.
How to choose the right Wilson Tennis Racquet
So...the WATR recommendation? Check out one of Wilson's classic racquets, the Pro Staff, and for goodness sake play more often than I have been lately...
August 4, 2005
From Racquet Tech Publishing comes Technical Tennis: Racquets, Strings, Balls, Courts, Spin, and Bounce by Rod Cross and Crawford Lindsey.
With a subtitle like "Helping Tennis Players in Their Quest for the Perfect Racquet", how couldn't we mention it here on WATR?
From the Summary:
What is the single most important variable in racquet performance? What kind of racquet, strings, and swing produce the most power? How do you create maximum spin? Where on your racquet should you hit the ball? What racquet and string features combine for the most control, comfort, and feel? How do you affect the bounce, speed, spin, and trajectory of the ball to your advantage? This book answers these and other elusive equipment and performance-related questions that have perennially plagued hackers and experts alike. This informative primer will help turn hours of mindless practice into a focused application of principles affecting the impact, bounce, and flight of the ball.
"From choosing a racquet to understanding the role of strings on the flight and bounce of the ball, Technical Tennis provides valuable information for the coach and player alike. If you want to enhance your game, this book should be at the top of your list." — Stuart Miller, Technical Manager, International Tennis Federation (ITF)
"This book provides a wonderful overview of everything related to the technical aspects of tennis. It is very practical and written in a clear and concise manner to help players of all levels. Before, buying a racquet or running off to the courts, make sure to read this book!" — E. Paul Roetert, Ph.D., Managing Director, USTA Player Development
It's selling for $10.36 at Amazon, but we've found a pre-publication price of $9.07 at Racquettech.com!
August 3, 2005
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports and Mattel, Inc. announced the debut Tuesday of the "HEAD Barbie Junior Series," a new line of dolls combining "HEAD's racquet design expertise with the fashion and appeal of the Barbie brand," designed for girls ages 4 to 9.
"By aligning HEAD products with a brand as established and prestigious as Barbie, we will gain instant recognition and credibility among young girls at retail and on the courts. With fun, colorful tennis equipment in their hands, young girls will be inclined to play longer and more often, " said Greg Mason, director of sales and marketing for HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports.
Yeah...they'll play more often with Head racquets because Barbie uses them...
I found a Tennis Barbie joke from Coop's Jokes. Its not about this new item, but I figured I'd link to it.
Read the whole story from TennisX.com
August 1, 2005
OK...it is not the common practice of WATR to look at video games. We play, but are by no means enthusiasts. But...this is a fun one, and of course...it's tennis related...Outlaw Tennis.
This is a tennis game full of off-color jokes, fun graphics and interesting tennis settings. There are tutorials, drills, singles, doubles and Canadian doubles. And, here's the fun part. There is also a way to mix tennis with baseball, casino gambling and hot potato. Your choice of 16 characters with changable wardrobes and racquets that you can tweak to improve performance!
And for everyone's inner Johnny Mac, there's fighting game built in here. No need to scream, rant and glare at the ref anymore...just beat up your opponent. C'mon, we've all been there.
Sounds good for gamers and tennis fans alike, and reasonable at $20.
Read about it on IGN.
We read about this website in a magazine and checked it out. The site is called Property Room. It was formerly called StealItBack.com, which we think is better, but we're not the people naming it. Basically, it is a site which auctions off all the stuff in police property rooms that is no longer needed for evidence. Of course, its always buyer beware. But there are some GREAT bargains.
We found two racquets for sale together. The current bid? $25! One Babloat, one Prince, 2 racquet bags. They claim they are in "Good" condition. For $25...if you're looking for a starter racquet, or an extra, who cares?