Did you know that the shiny new tennis racquet endorsed by your favorite participant just isn’t the identical racquet they use on tour?
Welcome to the earth of Pro Stock tennis racquets. In this article, I’ll give a quick rundown of what a Pro Stock racquet is, how it differs to a racquet which is on basic sale and we’ll also glance at a previous Leading ten players Pro Stock racquet many thanks to fellow tennis enthusiast Nico.
What is a Pro Stock Tennis Racquet?
The expression Pro Stock is particularly how it sounds. A tennis racquet manufactured precisely for a experienced participant.
Most of the mainstream tennis racquet brand names like Head, Wilson, Dunlop et al. generate tennis racquets solely for their sponsored players. Each three or 4 months, the major players will just take shipping and delivery of a new batch of racquets constructed just for them.
Although these racquets may perhaps glance visually equivalent to the racquets we see on the wall at our local tennis shop, much more often than not, the similarity finishes there.
Pro Stock racquets typically weigh much more than their retail counterparts, moreover the harmony, swing excess weight, stiffness and string pattern are matched to the requirements of the distinct pro in dilemma.
Get for case in point, Nick Kyrgios, he is at the moment the poster boy for the Yonex EZONE ninety eight. A major quality racquet that I advise but it is not the frame Kyrgios makes use of.
The Australian instead makes use of a Yonex AI ninety eight which is an before edition of this racquet from 2014. Equivalent in some methods to the EZONE ninety eight sold now, but it is stiffer and is built from a diverse mould.
How Are Pro Stock Racquets Designed?
What is intriguing about Pro Stock racquets and how they are built is that they right away make you perform like Federer, Djokovic or Nadal irrespective of your past stage.
This points out why they are so tough to find for sale and why those guys have received around 50 slams merged! If only the up coming-gen could get hold of just one.
Just kidding 😀
The reality is they’re built just like any other retail racquet. The variation is the mould which is made use of and what leaves the manufacturing facility.
Most Pro Stock frames are centered on the moulds of outdated retail racquets that have lengthy given that been discontinued.
An case in point listed here is Novak Djokovic who makes use of a racquet made from the mould for the Head iRadical/Ti.Radical MP which was sold in the early 2000s.
This is vastly diverse from the Head Velocity X Restricted Version MP which he endorses. Its excess weight and stiffness are diverse, but even the head measurement is a great deal smaller sized at ninety five square inches in contrast to the one hundred square inches on the Velocity X.
That’s just one of the much more severe illustrations, but it does emphasize how diverse the racquet a pro is wielding can be from the just one the basic general public can acquire.
Pro Stock racquets are also manufactured in a bare-bones fashion whereby they are inclined to be lighter and not the completed short article so no grip pallet, very little in the manage cavity and many others. This is often what is recognized as the ‘hairpin’ in the industry, and the best analogy is that of a blank canvas.
At the time the grommet holes are drilled and the racquet painted to the present-day style and design, they’re despatched to the player’s racquet customisation household of selection. This can both be done by the company in their have customisation section or by a 3rd social gathering.
This is where the guys like Priority one appear in as they are going to match the racquets, insert excess weight, mould the grips, set silicon in the handles and many others. to generate the ultimate products to the actual specification of the participant.
The simple fact the racquets go away the mould in an uncustomised state does shed some mild on why pro racquets are inclined to offer you much more sense than retail counterparts.
Mass-manufactured racquets are leaving the mould at their completed specification, so they’re receiving added levels of carbon additional in specific locations and excess weight in the manage to hit the quoted excess weight on the spec sheet.
Pro stock racquets, having said that, are leaving the mould often at under 300g and are beefed up with guide and silicon by the racquet technician.
The video clip beneath isn’t going to glance at Pro Stock frames precisely, but it does give a quick glance at the production method and how the racquet is moulded.
The Building of a Tennis Racquet
Why Do Manufacturers Make Pro Stock Racquets?
The cause Pro Stock racquets exist is for the reason that of the requirements of their sponsored players.
Several experienced players are really certain about their equipment and have appear by way of the junior ranks enjoying with a distinct specification of tennis racquet.
At the time they have landed on tour and tasted success, the racquet becomes a trustworthy extension of their arm that they turn into really hooked up to.
The trouble, having said that, is that racquet makers will need to launch new racquets each individual calendar year to keep in enterprise.
New paint employment and moulds are established annually to really encourage buyers to upgrade to the most current ‘technology’ and get the best tennis racquet at the moment obtainable.
On the other hand, no experienced participant is inclined to transform racquets at the identical rate makers launch them.
It can just take several years to adapt to a new racquet, and if the specs of the new frame aren’t any where shut to the current just one, it just won’t work.
That’s why makers have to continue to keep outdated (or customized) moulds in use to ensure their model ambassadors can continue to keep enjoying with the racquet they normally made use of.
If you viewed the video clip over, you may see Andy Murray chatting about how he has made use of a Head Radical given that his junior days and would in no way transform.
It is a little bit misleading as Murray has in no way made use of a Head Radical racquet. He makes use of an outdated school Head Pro Tour 630 which is painted up like the Radical retail frames. Nonetheless, you get the idea: experienced players seldom transform racquets, and when they’re comfortable, it is rare to see important equipment improvements.
Federer is another prime case in point he made use of the Pro Personnel 90 from the early 2000s appropriate up till 2013. It took some blended effects, an harm and Stefan Edberg for him to make the switch. Had he received two slams in 2013, I do not think he’d have built the transform, do you?
Are Pro Stock Racquets Far better than Retail Racquets?
A single of the widespread misconceptions you see on the tennis message boards from players who have just observed out about Pro Stock frames is that these racquets should be vastly much better than retail types.
On the other hand, they’re not. Pro Stock frames are built of the identical quality of materials that all higher-end tennis racquets are built from. There is certainly no top secret sauce or superior know-how they’re just racquets manufactured centered on more mature retail frames.
Of training course, it is not a stretch to think that much more labour hours and consideration to element will go into a Pro Stock frame than a retail just one. But once more that isn’t going to essentially signify they are much better.
Even even though the quality regulate may be a bit bigger when it leaves the mould, a pro stock racquet has been customised for a distinct participant. So except if you perform an equivalent or really related recreation to the participant in dilemma, it won’t be the appropriate tennis racquet for you.
It may carry the value tag to make you think it is heading to be a recreation-changer, but it will complete no much better than hundreds of other types readily obtainable somewhere else.
If a retail racquet that weighs 350g is as well large for you, a pro stock racquet that weighs the identical is also as well large for you.
A Closer Appear at a Pro Stock Racquet
Thanks to fellow tennis enthusiast Nico B, we can just take a glance at a Pro Stock racquet as he is the happy operator of a frame made use of by Grigor Dimitrov.
The Bulgarian is a Wilson sponsored participant and endorsed the Wilson Pro Personnel 97S for a few of seasons.
On the other hand, while his racquet was carrying the 97S paint, it was vastly diverse from the retail design it was impersonating.
This certain Pro Stock design is a 93″ frame and has in no way been obtainable for retail.
You can see the specs of Dimitrov’s match made use of racquet in contrast to the Pro Personnel 97S it was painted as:
Comparison of the Wilson Prostaff 97S Retail vs Dimitrov’s Pro Stock
Match made use of
ninety seven sq. in. / 625.eighty one sq. cm.
ninety three sq. in. / 600 sq. cm.
27in / sixty eight.6cm
27 in. / sixty eight.6 cm.
Strung excess weight:
11.5oz / 326.02g
twelve.two oz. / 346g
L4 (4 one/two)
Wilson Leather-based + Tourna Overgrip
eighteen Mains / 17 Crosses
eighteen Mains / 17 Crosses
Wilson Pro Personnel 97S
Wilson Pro Personnel 97S
No (foam stuffed)
No (at least not obvious)
Pro stock code:
Custom made ninety three-inch mould
Butt cap diverse to the retail edition
Longer throat in contrast to the retail edition
Dimitrov signature in the throat
Wilson emblem printed on strings opposite to the butt cap (private ask for of G. Dimitrov)
Wilson emblem on throat diverse in contrast to the retail edition
The frame is a great deal stiffer / much better in contrast to the retail edition
Given that utilizing this frame, soon after some really blended effects, Dimitrov has experimented with his equipment various occasions, relocating to a ninety seven sq” head racquet, switching back to the ninety three sq” and then back to ninety seven sq”.
He is at the moment utilizing a diverse Pro stock frame with a Wilson Prostaff ninety seven Countervail tuxedo paint position.
Are There Any Gamers Not Working with Pro Stock Racquets?
Not all experienced players are utilizing racquets produced 20 several years back. Several players breaking by way of on tour will be utilizing retail racquets. Several of them will be customised others will be untouched.
The other exception listed here is Roger Federer’s racquet. The Wilson Prostaff RF97 Autograph sold in the outlets, is the identical racquet Federer makes use of. So in some way his racquet is the initially mass-manufactured pro stock racquet.
Do you have any thoughts about pro stock racquets? Have you owned any match made use of frames from previous execs? Let me know in the responses.