Dunlop 5.0 racquets enhance control and spin
January 31, 2013
Greenville, SC — Over the past five years, some of Dunlop’s most popular frames have come from its 500 series. Designed for intermediate players looking to amp up their game, the 500s served up great power, Dunlop’s distinctive feel, and suitable control. And while the technologies in the 500s changed over the years, the mold for the frame did not; the head shape was slightly oblong with a tapered beam and a box-shaped frame geometry. In 2013, that all changes; Dunlop has made significant design and technology changes to this series of racquets, all in an effort to significantly boost control and spin potential, without sacrificing the legendary Dunlop feel.
“If our new 3.0 racquets are best described as control frames with added power, the new 5.0s are powerful frames that add significant control,” said Hunter Hines, Director of Marketing and Product for Dunlop Racquet Sports. “Starting with the F5.0 Tour, which Nicolas Almagro will begin using this year, we went back to the drawing board with these three new frames and built something from the ground up, delivering a brand new experience to players.”
To signal the sea-change, the 500 name has been dropped; the new racquets are called 5.0s (as part of Dunlop’s new racquet naming convention — see below for further details). The design changes begin with the head, which loses its oblong profile and is now more rounded. The new shape, named TruOval, is 15% rounder, resulting in increased power and spin for players. The second most notable design change involves the frame’s geometry, specifically the beam and shaft, which are much more aerodynamic in shape. The new 22-25-25mm tapered beam melds the power generated from the aerodynamics of Pentagonal Geometry with the stability and comfort of a box design. Overall, the new shape helps the racquet cut through the air by reducing drag by 13%. Faster swing speeds equal more power on serves and groundstrokes.
NEW BIOMIMETIC TECHNOLOGIES
The racquet design changes to the 5.0s are only the first part of the overall re-engineering, however. Dunlop’s R&D team has developed all new Biomimetic technologies to complement the design changes. AeroskinCX , represents an advancement over the original Aeroskin with its reconfigured surface texture that more closely resembles the skin of a shark and reduces drag by up to 36%. Similar to the ‘Aero’ package (mentioned above), the AeroskinCX enhances a player’s swing speed resulting in more power and greater access to spin.
While tennis has evolved to greater levels of power and spin over the past decade, comfort and feel is still as important as ever, so the Dunlop R&D team developed an entirely new dampening system comprised of natural fibers, named BioFibre, that are woven bi-directionally throughout the throat and handle to more widely distribute shock at impact. Stronger than steel and lighter than carbon, BioFibre dampens the shock by 18% and results in a more clean, solid feel at impact.
The third new Biomimetic technology used in the 5.0 racquets makes use of an element often found in aerospace and industrial lubricants: Molybdenite (MoS2). The MoS2 is present in an all-new grommet system. Similar to ball bearings, the MoS2 particles enable easier movement, in this case between the strings and the grommets, decreasing friction by 27%. Reduced string friction with the grommet means more string movement and added power to shots.
NEW NAMING SYSTEM MAKES RACQUET SELECTION EASIER
For 2013, Dunlop has renamed all its new racquets to help make the selection process easier. The main change is the addition of a letter prior to the racquet number. Each racquet name starts with either a ‘F’, ‘M’ or ‘S’, signifying a player’s swing speed and style. ‘F’ stands for Fast/Full, ‘M’ stands for Medium/Moderate, and ‘S’ stands for Short/Slow. Finally, the numbers have been changed from hundreds to a decimal system to signify the new molds. The breakdown for the new 5.0 series is F5.0 Tour, M5.0 and S5.0 Lite. So a player who has a slower swing speed would select the S5.0 Lite.
“It’s imperative we get the message out among players and retailers that the 2013 line of Dunlop Biomimetic racquets have been completely re-engineered, so we’re supporting this launch with our largest marketing campaign in recent memory,” said Hines. “We’re airing a commercial featuring Fernando Verdasco and Nicolas Almagro from now through the Spring. We also have print and digital campaigns coinciding with the Australian Open. And of course we’ll support our retailers with custom in-store POP and strong promotions.”
“Our 2013 racquet line signals a new, modern direction for Dunlop,” said Kai Nitsche, V.P. and General Manager of Dunlop Sports Group Americas. “We are breaking out of our traditional mold with new frame shapes, new technologies, and we’re heavily investing in marketing the line in a number of ways: TV advertising, product videos, and a creative social media campaign, in addition to print. The tennis industry landscape is changing rapidly, and we’re in a great position to take advantage.”