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Pure Tennis

Amazing Price on Ebay for Tennis Racket……Be Weary!

Posted on February 08, 2011 by Paul Neal


    This is the first of a series of regular postings by racket stringer Paul Neal.

    Our goal is to provide useful information to our members and any tennis player who stumbles upon this blog. We hope to increase your interest in the game and hopefully improve your game.

    A few weeks ago a member dropped off a racket to be strung. The frame was a Babolat Aero Drive, a very popular racket. Upon mounting the frame on the stringing machine I noticed something unusual. The grommet system [the rubber bumper and tubing that the strings run through] was of poor quality. It was slightly different in color from other grommets I’ve   seen in other Babolat rackets. I began to examine the racket more closely, and noticed other differences in workmanship. I called my customer and  left a message that I had some questions about his racket. When he returned my call he acknowledged that he thought the racket might have been counterfeit. He had purchased it on-line from China,    [ Babolat is a French company ] at a price well below suggested retail. Yes my client had been taken.

    In the pictures provided you can see how hard it is to tell the genuine item from the counterfeit. Notice that all rackets will have a manufacturer’s barcode sticker in the throat of the racket. The counterfeit racket has a cheap looking gold sticker in the throat.

    I was curious to see how the counterfeit racket compared in play characteristics to the real Babolat. I called a fellow stringer to take some measurements using the RDC machine. He was happy to help.  We found the counterfeit to be much softer in flex, which means less powerful than the real Babolat. We also found it to be much more head heavy in balance, which means less maneuverable in quick exchanges. Finally, we noticed that it weighed much less in overall weight compared to the original. This makes me wonder about the durability of the counterfeit.

    According to Jolyn de Boer, executive director of Tennis Industry Association, estimates that worldwide, legitimate racket manufacturers are losing $30 million a year to counterfeits. Steve Vorhaus of Rocky Mountain Racquet Specialists in Boulder Colorado says, “The vast majority of counterfeit racquets are purchased through internet auction sites”. 

    My recommendation:  Only Purchase From Authorized Dealers and Avoid Online Auction Sites

    Tennis Industry Association has set up a website where anyone can report counterfeit frames and websites that appear to be selling fake products. [At click “Racquet Alert” at the top of the page.}

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    • Pro Shop Update

      Your tennis racquet should be re-strung every 40 hours of play. Stop by the Potomac Tennis Pro Shop to have your racquet strung with your choice of professional strings by expert Paul Neal.

      Call the shop at 301-983-1450.

    • Tennis Tips

      - Always remember to get your racquet back as soon as you see which side the ball is going to and turn.

      - Return to center as soon as you hit the ball and have your racquet up and ready for the next shot.

      - Keep your feet moving so you can get to the next ball position.

      - Drink lots of fluids on these hot summer days!

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