Your next racquets, matched

My latest quest for 2 matching racquets has ended.  With purchasing 3 :)  After unsuccessful measurements in a couple of Golfsmith stores, I contacted both Tennis Express and Tennis Warehouse to see what they could do.

Tennis Express didn't do well on this one.  I generally like their selection and their affinity towards new media.  I have had smooth buying experiences in the past too.  They offer Google Checkout as a payment option, which is another plus for me.  Just enter your Google password, and payment and shipment details are taken care of.

When I called, the Tennis Express rep confused matching with customizing, and quoted me $35 per racquet.  I explained matching, and it appeared that the rep wasn't aware of the common manufacturing variances.  I was put on hold, and then they quoted with $25 per frame for matching.  That seemed a little expensive.  I still had the feeling the rep didn't know what I was talking about, so I decided to send an email and see what I get back.

In 2 short paragraphs, I outlined exactly what I was looking for: can you please match weight, balance, and if possible swingweight.  Here are the spec ranges I'm looking for.  The reply was a 2 liner without greeting and 2 typos, saying they "can weight racqeuts" and that the charge would be $10 per racquet.  Different charge than quoted before, at least a bit fairer.  But they answered a question I didn't ask, "can you weigh racquets?".  So that didn't instill too much confidence, and I kept looking for other options.

Tennis Warehouse did better in my case.  I emailed an identical request, and even though it took a follow-up from me 3 days later to get an initial reply, things ended up moving pretty quickly.  It turned out that they had forwarded the request to their racquet specialist.  He replied to my follow-up saying that he had measured hundreds of these frames and that it should be very possible to meet my spec request.  That was exciting to hear, and so I said "if you can find 3 matches I'll buy 3"!  Win-win situation.

Long story short, he found 3 frames, all almost identical in weight and balance, and they even measured and matched swingweight.  Within one day, they had found the racquets, strung them up with 3 different strings as I requested, pricematched a Golfsmith promotion, and shipped with Golden Gate Overnight.  The matching charge was $10, and they put a sticker with specs on each frame:

From Racquets

What does all this mean for you?  I'd say if you need 2 racquets or more, ask to get them matched.  Create demand in the market so that stores and manufacturers respond and don't keep selling racquets that look the same but play differenty.  When your string breaks at 5:5 in the third set of your team's decisive match of the season, you don't want to pick up a different racquet :)

I'm sure Tennis Express can step up their game by educating their staff and getting the right equipment and processes in place.  But from my experience, I for now recommend Tennis Warehouse if you're in the US and your local store can't match for you.  So identify the racquet you'd like to buy, maybe measure some frames to get an idea for the model's spec ranges, and then specify and communicate what you want. 

Me, I'll try the frames without customizing for a while and see how I like them.  Since I went for the headlight and lighter end of the variance spectrum, I thought I'd quickly need to put a few grams on the head, but so far so good.  Will keep you posted :)

2 comments:

  1. I like this article, Wilson Tennis Rackets give us a better life. Meanwhile, also welcome your return visit.

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  2. Thanks for the comment! I hope you're doing a good job matching racquets on request :)

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