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first prototype First Prototype The Blackburne Technological Evolution
The Blackburne Double Strung Racquet has gone through many stages of evolution, with prototypes produced over the years in wood, aluminum, steel, fiberglass, Kevlar and ultimately graphite.

Graphite for Stiffness and Strength
It was not till the late 1970’s or early 1980’s that manufacturers began to understand the significance of racquet stiffness and its direct relationship to performance. We produced some of the earliest prototypes in graphite in association with Exxon and Babcock and Wilcox new materials divisions. 

second prototype Second Prototype

Graphite in those days was exceptionally expensive, but it did give the stiffness desired out.

Space-Age Materials and Technology
Our problem was that the huge string loading on the frame- some 5,000 lbs. created an inward  "crunch“ effect which saw many of our earlier prototypes simply “implode“ after stringing and before a single ball had been hit.

third prototype Third Prototype The Double Strung system requires twice the number of string-holes and, since they must be at the edge of the frame, all in the wrong places from an engineering and physics standpoint.  We were lucky to have had two former NASA physicists on our research team and they brought with them not only knowledge of sophisticated materials used in the Space program but also the technology to enable the Blackburne Racquet to be made.
fourth prototype Fourth Prototype

Stiffness, Strength, and Lightness
Over a three year period, we experimented with some thirty different lay-up techniques of high-modulus graphite set in aero-space resin before finally achieving the stiffness, strength and lightness we needed.  The actual design was achieved with an advanced and powerful Computer Aided Design (CAD) program.

One of the interesting features that has emerged is that the head-frame of the BB racquet becomes some 30% stiffer after stringing, creating a “box” construction prized by structural engineers. Thus the Blackburne Racquet is exceptionally solid and is virtually devoid of undesirable twist and torque on impact found in other racquets.

fifth prototype Fifth Prototype “Let the Racquet Do the Work”
Although very light, our racquet is intentionally engineered slightly head-heavy.  It has been discovered that very light-headed racquets can cause problems with jarring to elbow and shoulder and as those who have experienced it know, there is nothing more painful than playing with tennis elbow. 
sixth prototype

Sixth Prototype:
1995 DS 107 model

Our philosophy is that the ball, which weighs nearly two and a half ounces, needs something reasonably solid to hit it.  For decades, many of the world’s most successful coaches have told their aspiring tennis players, “let the racquet do the work.”  The Blackburne Racquet will do the work for you- even on off-centre hits and mis-hits.  Most importantly, you will find that the more you play with the Blackburne Racquet, the easier you will be swinging and the better you will be playing!

How is this thing made?

I'd like to see the racquet hit a ball.

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