Head inducted into Inventors HoF
April 5, 2017
Howard Head, Philadelphia native and inventor of the Laminate Ski and Oversized Tennis Racket did just that! On May 4th, Head will be Inducted posthumously into The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) for his innovations.
He has been dubbed “the patron saint of the average athlete” by many sports buffs. And while he might not have been a gifted athlete, he didn’t let that discourage him! See below for more information about Head’s inventive approach to problem-solving.
In the 1970s, tennis rackets were too small. If you didn’t hit the ball with the racket just right, it would twist in your hand.
Head designed a wider tennis racket rendering shotmaking easier and more effective by applying the polar moment of inertia, a physics principle in which a small increase in the racket’s width would produce a large increase in the sweet spot’s size. Head also substituted aluminum — and later graphite — for the wood frame. Prince put it on the market in 1976. Within four years, over 700,000 players were using it.