The wood vs technology in Tennis

The wood vs technology in Tennis

Postby lagpressure » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:29 am

Tennis seemed to follow a similar trajectory to golf, but interestingly this change over happened before golf went that direction.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... od/304281/

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1995/07/the-feel-of-wood/304281/
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Re: The wood vs technology in Tennis

Postby Turfrider » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:45 pm

Thanks for posting.

I had never thought of the connection to tennis. What strikes me is that the article was written in 1995 and since then there is no wood racquet revival as far as I can tell, at least not as much of a community of enthusiasts like those who play hickory shafts. I don't know if that bodes well for the revival of "classic golf."

The article was also a window into my past. Growing up in the 80's tennis was much more in focus, golf was not even on the radar. I played with my dad's oversized Prince and then later my Prince Pro. Wood was never considered. The thinking was familiar, tennis is a hard game, why not use all the help you can get. Before diving in with ABS I got back into tennis a bit. I thought maybe I would need a new racquet, but after research found that the Prince racquets of the 80's were still well thought of, so I bought another just in case. Part of the discussion was that the older 80's racquets were heavier than most models today, and that at least for the health of your joints, it made sense to hit with something a bit heavier, something that could better absorb incoming force.

And then I think of today's game. The top guys like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, are awesome, no question there, but the game is not as fun to watch as I remember. There used to be more contrast in styles between the baseliners and serve and volley players. Now serve and volley is mostly limited to Wimbledon.
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Re: The wood vs technology in Tennis

Postby lagpressure » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:36 pm

Turfrider wrote:Thanks for posting.

I had never thought of the connection to tennis. What strikes me is that the article was written in 1995 and since then there is no wood racquet revival as far as I can tell, at least not as much of a community of enthusiasts like those who play hickory shafts. I don't know if that bodes well for the revival of "classic golf."



One difference is in tennis they have not had to change the size of the courts. In pro golf, they have had to change the size (length) of the courses.
Both games have radically changed. For the better? Not in golf. I don't know about tennis, but I have heard many say that it was more enjoyable to play and watch the volley game compared to the serve and destroy game of today.
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Re: The wood vs technology in Tennis

Postby Turfrider » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:05 pm

So now you've got me looking at wooden racquets.

Have you heard of pickleball? It's relatively new but gaining in popularity. Many places are transitioning some of their tennis courts into pickleball courts, which are smaller. The game requires less running and is therefore more friendly to seniors. I think it's also a bit easier to learn. I wonder if modern equipment has contributed to the decline in the popularity of tennis. The challenge of tennis is keeping the ball in the play, which can be more difficult if you're wielding a rocket launcher with strings. Perhaps wooden racquets, though more challenging to hit, could/would keep the game more manageable.
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