Tennis Technology Essay, Research Paper
The Titanium Chang Versus The Original Chang Racquet
It seems like only yesterday that Prince was introducing the Michael Chang Long-body tennis racquet to the world. It was the first extra-length racquet designed to be a “player’s racquet” with less power and more control. The previous extra-length racquets we have seen had huge heads and funky designs. They generated an enormous amount of power and tremendous spin, but they were ineffective with regard to control. The Michael Chang Long-body changed all that. This is the racquet that brought extra length to the masses. In reality, the Michael Chang Long-body racquet has been on the market for about three years. In the computer industry it would be a dinosaur. Although tennis racquets do not age quite as fast as computers, three years is still a long time for a racquet to remain unchanged. What Prince has done is to introduce a new Chang tennis racquet called the Michael Chang Titanium Long-body. The Michael Chang Titanium Long-body is a better tennis racquet than the original. Not only does the racquet combine the qualities of the original Michael Chang Long-body, but it also incorporates Prince’s latest technological advances.
There are two major technological differences between the old and new Chang racquets. The first difference is the titanium in the shaft of the Michael Chang Titanium racquet, which gives the new version its name. Titanium is braided with the graphite in the shaft of the Chang Titanium which increases the stiffness of the frame and makes the racquet more powerful and stable than the Original Chang racquet.1 The extra stability should appeal to all players, while the extra power will benefit those players who want or need more power. The second difference is the Sweet Spot Suspension System, which the Chang Titanium racquet has and the Original Chang does not. The Sweet Spot Suspension System decreases the vibration by sixty percent and absorbs a lot more shock, especially outside of the sweet spot.2 The Sweet Spot Suspension System is a major benefit for anyone with arm problems or anyone who wants to avoid them.
The head size, length, and the width of the Chang Titanium and Chang Original are the same, but the weight differs. Like the Original Chang, the Titanium Chang comes in two head sizes: 95 and 107 square inches. Both the Titanium head sizes are 20 mm wide and weigh 11.3 and 11.6 ounces unstrung. By comparison, the Original Chang Midsize weighs 11.2 ounces and the Oversize weighs only 10.3 ounces. Both the Original Chang and the Titanium Chang are 28 inches long and head-light.3
A disadvantage of the Chang Titanium is the difficulty of maneuverability. Both the Midsize and Oversize frame of the Chang Titanium are less maneuverable than the Original Chang is. Compared to the Original Chang Oversize, the extra ounce of weight and the larger hoop of the Chang Titanium make the Oversize frame very difficult to handle. A player will need to have good strength, great timing, or great preparation to play well with this racquet. A physically strong player will be able to maneuver the frame into position and should enjoy the solid feel of the racquet.4 Good timing and early preparation will be required for the rest of us, because a person has to start the swing very early and, once he starts it, there is no stopping and restarting. The smaller head on the Midsize helps to make it much more maneuverable than the Oversize; however, according to the weight specifications, the Midsize is still less maneuverable than the Original Chang Midsize. The difference, however, is much less significant than with the Oversize frames.
Prince’s Sweet Spot System decreases the vibration and absorbs a lot more shock, which is a definite improvement over the Original Chang racquets. With the titanium in the shaft, the Chang Titanium makes the racquet more stiff, powerful, and stable than the Original Chang. Chang Titanium is heavier than the Original Chang, but a person who can handle the racquet will exploit Prince’s latest technological advances which make it a better racquet than the Original Chang.