Title:
Racket strung in double diagonal stringing pattern with frame markings and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sports racket and method for making same, in particular tennis rackets, with a double diagonal stringing pattern such that the original shape of the racket frame is not distorted. Stringing pattern provides for spin on the ball, added power, and minimizes the vibration on a player's elbow.



Inventors:
Luskin, David S. (Honolulu, HI, US)
Hauptman, Madeline Mishel (Scarsdale, NY, US)
Application Number:
09/749227
Publication Date:
10/18/2001
Filing Date:
12/27/2000
Assignee:
LUSKIN DAVID S.
HAUPTMAN MADELINE MISHEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B51/08; A63B51/14; (IPC1-7): A63B49/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIU, RALEIGH W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COUDERT BROTHERS (ATTN: LEWIS REFF 1114 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY, 10036, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A sports racket, comprising; a frame defining a rounded opening of predetermined shape with a vertical axis and a horizontal axis; a handle secured to the frame and lying at least substantially along the vertical axis; and strings supported by the frame and suspended within said opening, said strings being arranged in two parallel, interwoven groups wherein strings of the first group intersect a reference line parallel to the horizontal axis at an angle of about 49-60 degrees above said reference line and strings of the second group intersect the reference line at an angle of about 49-60 degrees below the reference line.

2. The sports racket according to claim 1, wherein the predetermined shape is an oval and said intersection angles are between about 51-58 degrees.

3. The sports racket according to claim 2, wherein said intersection angles are about 53 degrees.

4. The sports racket according to claim 1, wherein said predetermined shape is a circle and said intersection angles are about 60 degrees.

5. The sports racket according to claim 1, wherein the spacing between adjacent parallel strings is between about 0.25 to 0.75 inches.

6. The sports racket according to claim 5, wherein the spacing between adjacent parallel strings is about 0.375 inches.

7. The sports racket according to claim 1, wherein the intersection angle is selected to minimize distortion of said predetermined shape.

8. The racket according to claim 1, wherein every other string is tensioned.

9. A sports racket, comprising: a frame defining an oval opening of predetermined dimensions with a vertical axis oriented along the elongated dimension and a perpendicular horizontal axis; a handle secured to the frame and lying at least substantially along the vertical axis; and strings supported by the frame and suspended within said opening, said strings being arranged in two parallel intersecting groups with adjacent strings spaced apart by approximately 0.25 to 0.75 inches and wherein strings of the first group intersect a reference line parallel to the horizontal axis at an angle of about 51-58 degrees above said reference line and strings of the second group intersect the reference line at an angle of about 51-58 degrees below the reference line, said intersection angles being selected to minimize distortion of said predetermined dimensions.

10. A method for diagonal stringing of a sports racket, said strings being arranged in two parallel intersecting groups, said method comprising: creating a diagonal stringing pattern with a nominal intersection angle between the strings, including a representation of at least substantially all strings of the racket to be strung; applying said stringing pattern to a first racket frame of a construction type; determining an intersection point for each string representation with the frame; providing string holes in the frame at said intersection points; stringing the racket through said string holes; tensioning the strings and measuring distortion of the frame; re-stringing the racket to eliminate any measured distortion, said re-stringing comprising changing the intersection angle between the strings by passing each string through a hole offset from the hole corresponding to the nominal intersection angle in said stringing pattern, while maintaining said strings in each group in parallel relationship; re-tensioning the strings; and measuring distortion and re-stringing as required to eliminate distortion of the frame.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising: creating a new diagonal stringing pattern based on said re-stringing; applying said new stringing pattern to a second racket frame of said construction type; determining an intersection point for each string representation with the second frame; providing string holes in the second frame at said intersection points; stringing the second racket through said string holes; tensioning the strings and measuring distortion of the frame; and repeating said re-stringing step with said second frame as required to eliminate distortion.

12. The method according to claim 10, wherein the racket frame comprises a frame defining an opening with a vertical axis substantially aligned with a handle and a perpendicular horizontal axis and said nominal intersection angle is approximately 55 degrees above and below the horizontal axis for first and second groups of strings, respectively.

13. The method according to claim 10, where in the diagonal stringing pattern is created with a nominal parallel spacing between strings of approximately 0.375 inches.

14. The method according to claim 10, wherein said tensioning comprises tensioning every other string.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to sports rackets, in particular tennis rackets, and a method for stringing rackets. This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Application #60/173,239 filed on Dec. 28, 1999.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Rackets are generally strung in an orthogonal, two-directional weave, with one axis being substantially parallel to the handle, and the other substantially perpendicular to the handle. Examples of such stringing are shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,443,575 to Huang, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,478,072 to Kanno et al. Advances have been made in the stringing of sports rackets by including diagonal strings, as disclosed for example in U.S. Pat. No. 4,184,679 to Mishel, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,997 to Hauptman et al. However, in these diagonal stringing arrangements, the racket still includes an additional horizontal or vertical string, which significantly complicates the stringing process, increases the amount of string required and thereby adds difficulty and cost to the racket manufacture. Other diagonal stringing arrangements have been proposed, however such other arrangements have required complex structural adjustments to compensate for distorting stresses in the racket head. As a result, purely diagonally strung rackets have to date not achieved success in the market.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] According to the present invention, by orienting two sets of strings in opposite directions, diagonal to the handle, there is a possibility of extra spin on the ball resulting. The double diagonal stringing pattern described herein may tend to be more gentle on a player's elbow than conventional stringing. This is because the angular strings disperse the harmful vibrations away from the handle held by the player, while a conventional racket directs the vibration directly toward the handle, via the Mains, which are the strings that are parallel to the handle. Broadly, the present invention is a method, system and design for stringing a racket in a double diagonal pattern, at specific angles, such that the original shape of the frame will not be distorted. The preferred angle of the diagonals is chosen by starting at 55 degrees for an oval shape frame and generally spacing the stringing ⅜ inches apart, although other spacing is also possible. Next, the racket is drilled, then strung using that angle as the angle for the diagonals. The frame measurements are then checked against the original frame measurements. If there is distortion, a new diagonal angle is chosen, the pattern re-designed, and so on, each time increasing or decreasing the diagonal angle by a certain amount of degrees based on the amount of distortion obtained after the first stringing. For every ⅛ inch of shortening, the diagonal angle, with respect to a horizontal line drawn through the vertex of the angle, is reduced one degree. For a shortened frame, this angle change squeezes the frame more in the horizontal direction across the frame, thus counteracting the shortening. For every ⅛ inch of elongation, the angle is increased one degree, to make the angle more vertical, to compress the frame less in the horizontal direction, and thus to counteract the elongation. The purpose and intent of choosing this angle and spacing between strings is to have a stringing pattern that does not distort the frame.

[0004] Finding the correct angle is important to the success of this double diagonal pattern so as to create a structurally sound product.

[0005] Another feature of the invention is to enable the player to reap the benefits of added spin, added power (from the elasticity of longer diagonal string segments which are also more equal in length to one another compared to conventionally strung rackets). Also, the diagonal pattern may reduce vibration transmitted to the player's arm by dispersing the impact away from the handle.

[0006] The rackets would have markings around the hoop of the frame to show where the pattern starts and connect-the-dot numbers showing the path of where each string is inserted and where it should be tensioned. These notations, for instance, can be colored, such as red dots, red numbers, or red letters *R* for right diagonals (diagonals that are oriented downward towards the right) or other colored dots and colored numbers and letters *L,* used for left diagonals (diagonals that are oriented downward towards the left). The frame markings at the places where tension is applied can be underlined. The word Start could shows where to begin and the word KNOT shows where to end. This will make the pattern easy for stringers to follow during the stringing process.

[0007] The information given herein is for tennis rackets, but the diagonal method of creating a prototype and marking the frame can be applied to squash, racquetball and badminton rackets, with equal success.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 illustrates a tennis racket strung according to one embodiment of the present invention.

[0009] FIG. 2 illustrates an unstrung frame.

[0010] FIG. 3 shows the problems created when the angle (referring to Angle A of FIG. 1) is oriented too much in the vertical direction, indicating that such angles create too much pull in the vertical direction, thus causing the frame to shorten.

[0011] FIG. 4 shows the problems created when Angle A (FIG. 1) is too flat, creating too much pull in the horizontal direction, thus causing the frame to elongate.

[0012] FIGS. 5A-5E shows the actual stringing process of stringing the double diagonal weave according to an embodiment of the invention, with rectangular boxes on the drawing representing the clamping devices used to hold tension on the strings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0013] In FIG. 1, horizontal Line H intersects with a Left Diagonal string of the set of diagonals that are angled downward to the left, forming Angle A. The opposite diagonals, those that are angled downward to the right, would form an angle of equal measure with horizontal Line H. In this embodiment of the invention, when finally strung, Angle A=53 degrees, but the angle may be may varied slighty towards the outer diagonals so the strings will not coincide and thus interfere with where the racket is attached to the frame. Thus, the angle of the diagonals may be in a range of 51-58+/−2 degrees. The spacing between the diagonal strings, when a perpendicular is drawn from one diagonal to its adjacent diagonal strings may be ⅜ inch, or the spacing between the diagonals may vary. The spacing may be in a range of ¼ inch to 1 inch, depending on the frame shape. In this arrangement, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, it is possible to tension only every other string in order to facilitate the stringing process, without degrading the racket performance.

[0014] Based on typical string tension of about 55-65 pounds, testing must be done to determine the specific angle of the diagonal strings that does not lead to frame distortion. The unstrung shape of the racket in FIG. 2 is preferably maintained as closely as possible after stringing. Excessive vertical tension shortens the frame as shown in FIG. 3, whereas excessive horizontal tension lengthens the frame as shown in FIG. 4. When a string pattern causes a change in frame shape, the racket's structural stability is compromised. The fibers in the frame weaken when they are rearranged as the shape changes. The frame is under tension as the shape changes. Once the racket has been strung, if the frame has distorted, the racket can be re-strung by placing the strings into different string hole locations. If that fails to correct the problem, the racket must be re-drilled with string holes in different locations so as to accommodate a pattern with a different angle, with the goal of obtaining a distortion free racket.

[0015] Additionally, frame markings around the racket hoop would indicate the starting points and the placement of the left and right diagonal strings. The string hole locations have been exactly placed for optimum frame strength and ease of stringing for stringers, and so as not to interfere with where frames are secured to stringing machines. The focus of the design is to make it easy for stringers to do, and create excellent playability for the player.

[0016] Angle A in FIG. 1, upon completion of the stringing, is 53 degrees. As strung, the racket frame of FIG. 1 was not distorted. In FIG. 1, the strings are generally spaced ⅜ inches apart, but other variable spacing is also possible. With other rackets the angle of the diagonal strings may range from 51 to 58+/−2 degrees, or may be some other figure depending on the shape of the frame. For instance, a circular frame might use 60 degrees.

[0017] The method for achieving the stringing arrangement according to a preferred embodiment of the invention is as follows:

[0018] 1. The first step is to select a racket of a certain shape and make a tracing of the racket head, then create a grid of parallel lines, generally spaced ⅜ inches apart, or at varied widths apart, then orient lines such that they form a diagonal angle, (sloping downward towards the left) of 55 degrees with respect to a horizontal line H as shown in FIG. 1. The next step is to place an identically spaced corresponding grid of generally parallel lines sloping in the opposite direction, downward towards the right.

[0019] 2. Determine where the pattern intersects the hoop, and drill holes on the frame at those locations. Then put notation markings above each hole on the frame, noting the path of the string pattern, where it begins, and where the strings are tied off with a knot.

[0020] 3. For the racket in FIG. 1, one 40-foot length of string is inserted at the top of the frame, with the midpoint of the string length at the top of the frame. One half of the string will be used to string the left diagonals; the other half of the string length will be used to string the right diagonals. The stringing of this frame can also be accomplished by using two string lengths that have been knotted with a start knot. The string may be colored in two colors to string each set of diagonals in a different color.

[0021] 4. The stringing is continued, as shown in FIGS. 5A-5E, alternating tensioning one diagonal in each diagonal direction until the frame is completed. The clamps used to hold tension on the strings are shown as rectangular boxes attached to the strings.

[0022] 5. After the frame is strung, the dimensions are measured against the original dimensions before stringing.

[0023] 6. If the frame has changed dimensions, then the angle of the diagonals, Angle A (FIG. 1) must be changed. For every ⅛ inch of distortion, the measure of Angle A has to be adjusted one degree. If the frame has elongated, increase the angle of the diagonals, Angle A (FIG. 1) by one degree for every ⅛ inch of elongation. If the frame became shorter, decrease Angle A (FIG. 1) by one degree for every ⅛ inch of shortening.





 
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