Learning Curve

by: Jon Levey March 23, 2014

We’ve been reviewing a fair amount of frames lately, and one of the more popular gripes from readers is that there’s nothing particularly new or innovative coming out. The argument goes that it’s basically the same technology and designs that have been offered for years, only dressed in different packaging. And while we may disagree with that sentiment—the wide open string patterns of spin-friendly frames don't seem like business as usual to us—we respect dissenting opinions. And for those who want to try something truly different, perhaps they should consider Curvstar.

Dedicated tennis fans may have seen Darren Cahill’s tweet last month about Curvstar:

And old-time racquet aficionados may notice a similarity between the Curvstar and the Snauwaert Ergonom from the 1980s. But while both have similar looking heads, the Curvstar’s banana-shaped handle separates it. The racquet was designed by former German pro player Thomas Emmrich and his daughter Manuela, a former college standout (see her Curvstar presentation in the video below). The ergonomic handle is intended to prevent overuse injuries by providing better wrist and elbow alignment. The offset head is designed to increase the sweet spot and increase spin generation.

The racquet is 27 in. in length, has a 107 sq. in. head, and weighs a trim 9.7 oz. As I have yet to hit with it, I can’t comment on its playability. But I am expecting a demo this week. Once I give it a test-run I’ll report back my findings.

Unusual as it looks, the frame has already been approved for league play by the International Tennis Federation. However, Curvstar is still seeking additional funding to go from prototype to mass production. Earlier this month the company launched a campaign on Kickstarter looking for backing. Anyone interested in contributing, or learning more about the frame, should visit the link. If you genuinely want to see something unique on the tennis market, now's your chance.

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