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Dunlop ice custom

Published: 16 Jan 2007 - 19:38 by noffy48

Updated: 24 Sep 2008 - 01:20

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Hi, after hitting around with the ice elite, I decided that I would buy the ice custom amr shabana edition. I have two questions, when I went to different websites most of them had different weights for the racquets, I know that the weight is changeable so I am not that dumb, but some websites say 140grams-160grams, and other websites say the weight is between 160grams-180grams. I ordered the new version which is the amr shabana one, and i was wondering which weight it really is? I assumed that because it is the new version it is lighter. Am I correct? Also, has anyone ever played with this racquet or one of the other dunlop custom racquets? Are they decent racquets, or do they vibrate a lot  because of the handles?

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From Adz - 19 Jan 2007 - 05:29

I did say I was!

I haven't had much chance to learn much about the aerogel stuff yet, but I've wondered why more manufacturers haven't looked into fluid mechanics for racquets before. Liquids or gels can disapate shock into the racquet frame and also provide a flowing medium which could create a variable balance within a racquet that makes the head down swing heavier (by flowing to the head) and the head up swing lighter (by flowing to the handle). The result would be a racquet that feels head-light to manouver but head heavy for more powerful shots.

I guess the downside would be in finding the right types of materials to a) make the racquet light enough before adding the liquid and b) to create a flowing liquid that is thick enough to not feel runny in the racquet, yet thin enough to flow from head to handle in fractions of a second.

Food for thought? Any racquet manufacturers out there fancy giving it a go?

Adz

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From nickhitter - 18 Jan 2007 - 11:11

haha

You are a true geek adz, and for that I salute you!

maybe I will be proved wrong by the new range of aerogel dunlop rackets surely to arrive soon (www.dunlopsports.com) .  Just another gimmick? I'm certain of it!

peace to all squash fellows.

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From Adz - 18 Jan 2007 - 04:28

Sadly I guess I do fall under the category of "Squash Geek" but it is something that I'm proud of more than ashamed of.

 

I also fall under the category of "Mathematics Geek" and know a bit about physics and numbers.

 

Simple physics about pivots and angular momentum. Depending on where the weight is relative to your pivot point, your swing will be different. Now in a STRAIGHT arm swing, the racquet will be at the end of your arm (as the main pivot will be your shoulder). Therefore the balance point of the racquet will be irrelevant as the weight will have very little impact (almost un-noticable) versus the swing. HOWEVER, if you add a whip of the wrist into your swing (which I do to give directional control and a bit of extra power), the balance of the racquet becomes VERY important as another pivot point in now introduced (the wrist!). Because in the first instance, the pivot is further away from the weight, a small change in the balance wouldn't have had an impact, but in the second instance, the balance change is very close to the pivot and therefore makes much more of an impact on the stroke being played. This is why balance of racquets is so important when looked at in the context of a complex racquet swing.

 

Anyhow, that's the boring science bit over and done with. Racquet manufacturers are continually trying to improve the make up of racquets with the next big thing. Lighter, stronger materials. Stiff material / flex material. There are even materials which absorb less energy in the flex thus provide more "spring" in the shots. Some of them are useless gimicks, but others really do make a difference (even if almost un-noticable). Take the Prince O3 racquets. The holes provide a flow-through for the air providing less air resistance on the racquet frame. This allows the racquet to travel through the air with a greater speed from the same energy in. The result is a faster swing and a harder shot from the same level of energy input. Gimick? Maybe! But it does work for particularly wrist driven shots (when you rotate the racquet around the wrist and drive through for a kill/drive shot).

 

The idea of "custom" weighting has been around for a long time, but Dunlop were the first to use "interchangable" handles for their squash racquets. Would you ever change one between games? I highly doubt it. In fact I highly doubt you'd ever change one after you get used to the balance (if you use a more complex swing - mentioned above). What I would say is that the Dunlop custom range do give you the option, where many other manufacturers don't, of getting the correct balance for your type of game. In an ideal world, every manufacturer would give you the option of a head light, head heavy or even blance racquet of each model. I wonder which would be most popular?

 

Adz

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From gregzilla - 18 Jan 2007 - 02:33

i think i see your point, sparticus.  if you want to make your custom head-light, you put the heavier handle on, that is the only difference.  so you increase weight at the same time as changing the balance (which is why i like my ultra as it is light and head light).  "swingweight" i think is the term used to describe how the racquet feels when in motion.  a head light racquet that weighs 170g has around the same swingweight as a head heavy racquet that weighs 150g.  so they both feel similar.  as for your prince/dunlop comparison, i'd say that most racquet specs you find are inaccurate/incomplete/rubbish :).  it would be nice if everyone used the same standard (strung/unstrung, with a grip, etc).  as i said my "extra head light" racquet has an even balance.  with tennis racquets you can find out all the specs, swingweight, stiffness, etc (check out tenniswarehouse.com) but there is nothing similar for squash.  the closest thing i've found is squashunlimited.com, the guy there measures all the specs himself.  which gives rather different specs that what you find on the manufacture's websites.  obviously you should try out whatever racquet you're interested in buying, but that is not always easy, and having the specs to go by helps quite a bit in making a choice.
i do totally agree with you about the technology bs in racquets.     

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From noffy48 - 17 Jan 2007 - 19:52

Has anyone tried the 07 model, i have used the ice elite before, and i am currently using the harrow mojo which is 155grams strung and gripped, but the ice elite felt lighter even though it is heavier, proving that the balance does make a difference. Does anyone know if the ice custom plays like the ice elite. I bought one ice custom for $145 so it was the same price as the elite, so im not concerned about the price difference, but are they similar?

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From nickhitter - 17 Jan 2007 - 17:36

gregzilla, I understand you're point, and I have tried all those rackets you mentioned.

My feeling is that they feel different simply because they are different rackets!

Take for example my prince o3 tour which is 145 grams and weighted head heavy. Feels much quicker than the dunlop m-fil tour which is  145grams the same but is head light.

Both 'Pro' rackets. but on paper, for a quicker feeling racket you'd choose the head light one, which would be the wrong choice in this case. which is my point that often balance description (or indeed weight for that matter) tells you very little about how a racket is going to feel, which is the only thing that is important at the end of the day. who knows why the prince feels quicker maybe those stupid holes actually do something, maybe it's the shape of the head. it doesn't matter. the fact is that the weight and balance tell you nothing of how it is going to feel.

The only weight measurement that WOULD matter, would be to put some scales on the edge of a table, hold the racket just under a rackets length away by the handle and let the very top of the head flop on the scale, letting the very base of the handle balance in your palm at the same height as the scale. (so the racket is parralel to the floor) this is the rackets 'true' weight in the sense that it's the weight you'll be swinging. As I suspected, the m-fil pro and m-fil tour weigh exactly the same this way, and it doesn't matter which end I put on my dunlop custom it weighs the same, which is why it makes not one bit of difference which handle I put on the end when playing! Any effects players have noted to contradict me I believe to be purely psychological.

Now if the extra 10 grams were put on top of the racket, that would make a difference! because that's not the end you are holding!

It's just a money making scam by dunlop to put up the price of some of their rackets. unfortuately a long time ago I fell for it! This is also true of the new racket 'technologies' 'nano coding' , 'triple threat' , 'Carbon loc' , 'muscleweave' the list goes on. As I recently discovered - all rackets are basically graphite - with a 'technology' written on the side. 

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From gregzilla - 17 Jan 2007 - 15:31   -   Updated: 17 Jan 2007 - 15:34

sparticus, i have to disagree with you.  go play with a wilson 120g hammer racquet then try any kind of "pro" racquet (or my dunlop m-fil ultra).  the balance makes a huge difference.  now that is an extreme example (i'm sure i couldn't tell the difference between the m-fil pro/tour) but i find my ultra so much quicker than almost any other racquet i have played with.  it is "ultra head light" - even balance once strung.  i agree that it is quite easy to change the balance with overgrips, dampeners, etc, but that also increases the overall weight of the racquet.  i like my ultra because it is quite light and also has the headlight balance.  give one of them a try and see if you still feel the same way.

i also agree with whoever suggested that the point of the custom is not to change very often but to decide what kind of balance you prefer. 

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From nickhitter - 17 Jan 2007 - 12:14

I have to say that the dunlop custom idea is a right load of crap. I own one and just find that it's totally redundant. They put the price up for 'custom' models aswell!

Although I'm sure all the squash geeks will disagree with me on this, I'll say it anyway....

There is SO MUCH BULL talked when it comes to rackets and weight balances it's a joke. poeple forget that once you hold a racket by the handle ALL rackets are head heavy! because you are holding it at one end! if a racket is more head light it just means the balance point is slightly nearer your hand so will feel a little lighter. So in that respect a 140 gram even balance racket feels virtually identical to a 145 gram head light racket! (read m-fil pro vs m-fil tour) all they have done is put 5 grams in the handle. You get the same effect and more with a thin overgrip! Not to mention how 'head light' i can make a racket feel If happen to forget to take my watch off like last night! Did It make a blind bit of difference? nope

I've been experimenting with loads of different rackets recently from any make you can think of. I loved and hated light, heavy, head light , head heavy, small head shape, large head shape rackets with no obvious correlation. Some rackets will feel good, others won't. That's all you need to think about!

 

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From Adz - 17 Jan 2007 - 10:55

EF

I don't think the theory is to change the handle once you've found the one that suits you best. Different players prefer different balances of the racquets and I think the idea behind the Dunlop Custom range was to cater to all of these players wth one single racquet.

Changing the balance of a racquet would be like changing the racquet to a different model with the same head size and stringing tension. From my own game type, I'd be completely stuffed and my timing for shots would be slightly off to what it is now. I've had to change racquet models in the middle of matches and it completely changed the way that I was playing (sometimes for the better but usually for the worse!). Now I ALWAYS own 3 models of the same racquet just in case anything goes wrong during the match. When one of my current ones break they will be replaced with a new racquet of the same type (unless the model becomes discontinued and is unavailable).

Although saying all of that, I know of a player who keeps three different racquets in his bag and changes them depending of what game style he wants to play as each is better suited to a certain style. Now that must be really weird, especially if you break the racquet for one style which was really working against an opponent!

Adz

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From missing_record1 - 17 Jan 2007 - 10:01

My Prince O3 Tour has a claimed unstrung weight of 145g but with grips & string mine weight 169g ( /- 1g according to my electronic scale). Grips and string and bumper tape and vibration dampers can make a big difference.

As for the Dunlop Custom series... Why? Why would you ever want to switch handles? To me the entire concept seems flawed. Once I set up a racket to my specs, that is the racket I want to use, regardless of conditions. I get used to the feel and know what to expect from it. If you buy a racket that ends up being too light or head light you can always customize it with lead tape to get the feel you are looking for. Changing handles seems silly to me.

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From Adz - 17 Jan 2007 - 08:40   -   Updated: 17 Jan 2007 - 08:41

I've had a hit around with one of the other Dunlop custom racquets and couldn't feel any vibration due to the handle. As long as it's locked in place properly then you shouldn't have any problems. Not sure what happens to them over time though.

Greg is right about the unstrung weight of the racquet. Most companies base their measurements on unstrung weight. This can lead to a huge difference in weights once you add the strings, guard, extra grip etc. At a guess my three 135g Gray's racquets are probably weighing in at around 160g .

If I remember I'll try weighing one tonight and let you know what the difference is. Currently I have:

  1. The same strings in each.
  2. A thin Wilson overgrip on the base handle for spacing thickness
  3. 3 different types of Karakal PU grips as the over grips (Multi, plain and duo).

Each racket was stripped down to the basic frame and guard to start and then built up from there. It would be interesting to see how much they actually end up weighing!

Adz

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From gregzilla - 17 Jan 2007 - 02:13

Hi noffy.  The lower weight (140-160) is the unstrung weight.  The higher weight is for the racquet once it has been strung, bumper guard put on, etc.  Generally should add about 20g to any racquet specs you see, they're always measured unstrung, which is kind of annoying as you tend need strings ;).

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