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WeissCANNON Explosiv! – Playtest Update

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Our ongoing playtest with the WeissCANNON Explosiv! continues. In this blog entry we will share with you the actual chronology of our initial test set. We have chosen to do this because the results have literally blown our socks off. Please note we also have additional playtesters who have begun to test for durability in a full setup and in a hybrid with a poly based main. The results provided in this entry are my personal results. Note that I use a Kneissl Black Star racquet and I generally hit with moderate spin, but am not a frequent string breaker.

Strung May 25, 2008 67/67; DT = 45 (All DT Readings from ERT 700)

DT = 43 after 24 hrs and 1 hr. play (4% – 5%)
DT = 42 after 72 hrs and 3.5 hours of play
(6%- 7%)
DT = 42 after 6 days and 4 hours of play
(6% – 7%)
DT = 41 after 8 days and 5.5 hours of play
(8% – 9%)
DT = 41 on 7/8/08 and 7.0 hours of play- 13 days
(8% – 9%)
DT = 40.5 on 7/14/08 and 8.0 hours of play
DT = 39 on 7/18/08 and 11.5 hours of play
(13% – 14%)
DT = 39 on 7/20/08 and 13.5 hours of play
(13% – 14%)
DT = 39 on 7/21/08 and 15 hours of play (13% – 14%)
DT = 39 on 7/25/08 and 16.5 hours of play (13% – 14%)
DT = 39 on 8/1/08 and 19 hours of play (13% – 14%)
DT = 39 on 8/2/08 and 21.5 hours of play (13% – 14%)
DT = 39 on 8/6/08 and 24 hours of play (13% – 14%)
DT = 39 on 8/8/08 and 25 hours of play (13% – 14%)
DT = 38.5 on 8/12/08 and 27 hours of play (14% – 15%)
DT = 38.5 on 8/14/08 and 29.5 hours of play
(14% – 15%)
DT = 38.5 on 8/20/08 and 31.5 hours of play (14% – 15%)
DT = 38.5 on 8/23/08 and 33.5 hours of play (14% – 15%)
DT = 38 on 8/28/08 and 36.5 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 9/1/08 and 39.5 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 9/4/08 and 41hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 9/7/08 and 43.5 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 9/11/08 and 46 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 9/18/08 and 48 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 9/25/08 and 52 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 10/1/08 and 55 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 10/20/08 and 61 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 12/18/08 and 65 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 1/2/09 and 68.5 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 2/2/09 and 75.5 hours of play (15% – 16%)
DT = 38 on 3/9/09 and 81 hours of play (15%- 16%)


Current totals ( as of 3/09/09 )
Total days of playtest: 256
Overall % of Tension lost in playtest period: 15.5%

Note: On day 23 after 11.5 hours of play the tension hit a loss of approx. 13% and stabilized for an AMAZING 23 days and 15.5 hours of play before any additional signs of loss occurred. DT readings remain consistent and performance remains stable, but the DT reading has now dropped off an additional point signifying some additional loss. No visible notching/fraying or even signs of average wear. Minimal string movement. (Recall the high initial tension and dense string pattern as they must be considered). Strings are still performing extremely well.

Our intent is to continue playing the string to see when the next significant tension drop occurs or the strings break, whichever comes first. Please continue to monitor our blog for the most recent updates and information regarding our playtests of the WeissCANNON Explosiv!

On October 21, 2008 I had surgery that kept me off the courts until tonight, 12/18/08. I thought I would give it one more hit and then restring because surely it had lost something during the 59 day layoff. WRONG! Still going strong. The playtest will continue. Please check back for updates and an eventual conclusion.

CONCLUSION: Even though the strings are still going strong, I am now at a point were the demo racquet is needed to test a series of new strings. At this point in time the Explosiv! has proven itself to be a tension loss king and there is no telling how long it will hold. It has not lost any additional tension in 5 months and nearly 40 hours of play. The liveliness has deteriorated somewhat, but string movement is still not evident and there is shockingly no visible signs of wear/fraying. In short it is an absolutely AMAZING string! Still, we are going to end the extended playtest by choice with a great deal of sadness.

As noted earlier, we have asked playtesters to try this string as a hybrid cross with a poly based main. Our initial playtester chewed the outer coating off the string within a week. Overall while the string held playing properties it demonstrated no advantages over other multis in terms of friction wear in hybrid with a poly based string. We have never been advocates of any multi in hybrid with poly based strings, and while Explosiv! proves to be an exception in regard to traditional weaknesses of multis, it does not offer superior durability in a hybrid capacity. At least not based on this initial result. More later…

In an open pattern strung at mid tension – Playtest results
Yesterday, 9/7/08, a racquet came into the shop for some grip work that was strung with the Explosiv! on 7/28/08. After 40 days the tension loss was measured at just 13% which is consistent with the tension loss shown by our own playtest set. The exact number of hours played is unknown, but is estimated to be 15 – 20 hours of play.

4 thoughts on “WeissCANNON Explosiv! – Playtest Update

  1. brant kelsey on said:

    Let me preface by saying that I possess over 500 frames, all modern, no woods, save for three prince woodies, and a couple of old Head Vilas. I am constantly, retrieving, experimenting with frames, lengthening, weighting, varying tensions and strings. I am now at a stage where strings, and tensions are the focus, “marrying” them to the frames, their weight etc. Stiff, soft, multi’s, poly’s, kevlars, hybrids and straight. Do all my own stringing and am Nationally ranked in Men’s 60’s. Do not play the pushy style, have full long strokes, and still bang my serve over a 100 mph into virtually any part of the box. I have subscribed in the past to the stability theory of fairly heavy frames, with a head light or even balance. Even my hammers, of which I have plenty are tailweighted in an attempt to bring the balance even. Some of my favorites are the hammer 5 110 stretch, the 4.0 110 stretch, all with the 18×21 string pattern. I have in my possession every type of string known to mankind, womankind, or for that matter, any other kind. The following is my most recent experiment. I hope you find it interesting.Reading through your various analysis there is much that I agree on. However, I might take exception with one of your contentions regarding swingweight, and over-all racket weight principally. Firstly, there is the contention regarding “pro” frames, “players rackets”……….in the context of tournaments. You amply point out the relevance of ball size, weight, fluffing up or nap. and the ability of these frames to perform quite capably in this forum. Therefore, the contention that “oversize” frames are more cumbersome and inaccurate simply the result of enlarged headsize lending so many “variables” that require taming. Ostensibly, again I agree. For me, a critical aspect lending to this finding is, that the Pro’s play with new balls after the first seven games, and then again after the next nine. As, well, there are at least six of these “new orbs” available throughout the duration of the match. I compete in National tournaments for my age, we get a fresh can, at the match’s onset, and should we go to a third, only then are “fresh balls available.” Typically, not always, but typically, these balls increase in size, fluff up, and thus give the appearance of becoming “heavier” it is then, that the “oversize” frame, in my opinion, enable me to not be so adversely affected by the added drag. Admittedly, I am always strung tightly as to maximize control. Though I agree with all your data, regarding racket weight, stability, etc…………I would add that there is another side of the ledger called racket head speed. I surely advocate even balanced frames, tension and weight, type of strings, size of grip are all components of a sensible piece of equipment, and of course, there is no substitute for honing one’s craft. I will just give an example you might ponder. Recently, I took one of Heads’ Ti. S6’s and extended it to 29 inches, it has a strung weight of 8.8 ounces, approximately 5 points head heavy. Keep in mind, that in another frame, five points head-heavy might lend you with significant issues, particularly if the frame were 10.6 ounces: With this frame, because the over-all weight is so low, 5 points head heavy is insignificant in terms of “maneuverability” however very pronounced in terms of providing the required inertia or mass to hit through the ball. This frame is like a very light hockey stick with a hoop on the end, and Racket Head Speed is off the charts, and can be controlled through every aspect of the swing right up to impact. I have this 115 sq. in. frame strung at 72 lbs with tecnifibre TR Pro 15L, backhand slices are like butter, the ability to hit over the ball with a relaxed grip for depth, and to sit down on shots for pace and angle is unmatched by any frame I’ve yet to play with… not know how well this frame might translate to doubles, where situations are more emergent, however, it volley’s quite adequately, and serves brilliantly. I simply suggest, that formula’s and statistical analysis are important in creating a modality of thought. Which, in principal most can agree upon. But every now and then, as I believe in this instance, “where Racket Head Speed” becomes so pronounced a factor and the inherent swing weight so dramatically altered from a measured static weight, there is something to be learned: and paradigms and systems become a little less absolute. I’ll leave it at that for the time being…………………..However, if you have the time, or the inclination, fabricate one of these little darlings, if you possess any skills, or know someone who does, place it in his or her hands, hit for a half hour, I’m confident you would find the results impressive. Aloha Brant
    Incidentally, the first tournaments I ever won, were done with the kneissl White Star Big, shaved down a half inch in length. I just purchase three Kneissl “power stars”, got a great price, couldn’t resist. I have been able to find very little if any literature on this frame, my Russian isn’t very good. However, what I have learned. Head size 110, box patern with the 18 mains, 5 points head light, weight strung 11.1 ounce, Flexibility at 58 tension “recommended” 56 to 76 lbs and length 27.5. beam 23 mm. Appears this might match up well with the “Black Star”. Perhaps just an older version. Don’t know if Kneissl will be building any more frames, or whether they will focus on lodgings and ski’s……….but alway’s loved the feel of the graphite and the Kevlar and the friendly flex…………Brant



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