Originally Posted by Tog
Great line. Have you considered making a sign for your door? (What's the international symbol for packrat?)
As for the rest of your post.....a prize for comprehensiveness and layout. (Are you preparing a legal case against the poster? ) I am considering however, calling the producers of "Hoarders" though you don't quite fit in there, I'm concerned that an intervention is needed.
Do you have Ski mags and stuff? You'd be fabulous in the "More Retro Memories??" thread research department.
Okay, I confess that I'm not really a packrat, more of a reformed one. I have always had a very difficult time discarding reading material, but eventually the piles of magazines got to me, and I do pitch them now. (The books are still here.) But occasionally I come across a cache -- and a few years ago I found 7 or 8 tennis mags in my old bedroom at my parents' house, most from 1984-5, and a couple from 1998. I read them back when I found them, and it confirmed my hunch that I was still spending the same amount of money on tennis racquets as I had been for the past 25 years.
And I really don't know much about ski stuff from then. My dad and my brother bought my skis and tuned my skis when I was younger. I just know that I had orange Olins and red Heads. And some really awful boots that were supposed to pump up, but they broke and then leaked and I got frostbite. Then I had gray and neon orange (or maybe pink) Tecnicas that were probably 2 sizes too big. Typical girl. When I got married and then later started skiing again, my husband didn't buy my ski gear, and didn't care to, so that's why I had to learn, and that's how I found epicski.
Originally Posted by beyond
OK Seg my geek accepts your geek's data. Impressive. BTW, I went and checked Tennis Magazine for 1999, compared prices on a number of racquets to Tennis Warehouse same year. MSRP's on Tennis Mag were within 15-20% of Tennis Warehouse. That'd be the $40 you suggest for a $200 racquet. Good. OTOH, I keep finding racquets in the $89 to $129 range that were used by pros, and not discontinued models on sale, current stuff. So we may get our different numbers because we're talking about different racquets. I notice that there is a beginner racquets being sold in the 1998-2002 period for silly prices; found one Head for $399 at Tennis Mag. Far higher than anything today, and yeah the Boron stuff is impressively expensive too. Yet models for better players are a lot cheaper, a few brand new models up to $189 but generally far lower. I can't go back far enough on the web to verify your MSRP price on the St. Vincent, but I believe you, suspect that prices varied a lot from store to store and perhaps by year. Or maybe I just got a great deal; recall the store and the clerk, larger place, chain, maybe could sell closer to wholesale.
So here's what I think: 1) There used to be a lot more variance in price of current model racquets than there is today. This could reflect greater demand, more players, reflecting U.S.dominance. Some racquets used to cost a lot more, after correction for inflation (37% since 1998), than they do today. That has to follow from the similar prices on some top models (meaning for advanced players) then and now, always in the $169-$189 range for new models. Some were a lot less, "pro" models that ran $89 to $129 back then. 2) But the highest prices were for beginner's racquets. Maybe club players had deeper pockets than they do now and everyone wanted to be Andre or Pete. Beginner's racquets today are generally less or ballpark with models for advanced players. 3) Racquets had a far higher profit margin then, which also follows from the higher relative price, unless they cost a lot more to make. Possible; some are made now in China. But they were doing that in Taiwan and eastern Yrp in the 90's, so unclear.
Now what this all has to do with skis and carbon fiber, not sure. Except our data seem to agree insofar as there was no price spike reflected in graphite equipment in the 90's. Rather, things were pricey before the 90's (don't have the energy to figure out when they got that way), got relatively cheaper sometime in the 2000-2011 range. Also suggests that lighter beginner's equipment was the priciest, heavier stuff for better players was more stabile. This seems to be more about supply and demand than materials or excellence of design. Makes me wonder if ski prices are also mostly about whether anyone in the U.S. is winning, how many beginners are entering the sport because it's cool. Enough...
1) I agree with this, there was a much much greater range of racquet prices in the 80s.
2) And yes, it was the high-tech game improvement racquets that were the most expensive, the regular players frames next, and then the middle and lower end stuff. (Aren't golf clubs kind of the same? I'm not a golfer, not sure about that.) Remember, Howard Head did the same thing with racquets that he did with skis: he improved them for the hack first, not the pro.
Excerpts from an excellent article (that skiers should read, too!!):
The present  is all déjà vu to Head. He went through this before with his Head ski, and he is struck by the similarities. "With both my skis and my racket I was inventing not to just make money, but to help me," he says. "I invent when it's something I really want. The need has to grow in your gut. People who go around trying to invent something generally fall on their tails. The best inventions come from people who are deeply involved in trying to solve a problem..... In 1946 Head went off to Stowe, Vt. for his first attempt at skiing. "I was humiliated and disgusted by how badly I skied," he recalls, "and, characteristically, I was inclined to blame it on the equipment, those long, clumsy hickory skis. On my way home I heard myself boasting to an Army officer beside me that I could make a better ski out of aircraft materials than could be made from wood.
...His problem [with tennis] was one that is familiar to hackers everywhere; whenever he hit the ball off center, which was frequently, the racket would twist and often almost spin out of his hand, sending the ball awry. .... Head mulled over the problem for nearly two years. Then, as in a scene out of Young Tom Edison, he awoke late one night with a hot flash and snapped his fingers: "Make it bigger!"
Anyway, pros weren't as apt to hit the ball off center, so they were slower to adapt to the "cheater" frames. Therefore the technology was directed more at the rec players, resulting in those enormous expensive boron snowshoes. It was the same thing as those godawful titanium frames in the late 90s. I get tennis elbow just thinking about those.
3) Yes, they must have. Don't know why.
Funny thing, I don't really know that much about current racquet technology. My high school and college jobs were in tennis clubs and pro shops, 1983-1988-ish, so there's a reason I know more about the stuff then. Now, I just keep trying (and mostly failing) to recreate the feel of my old Yonex Super RD Tour, which is what I used after the St Vincents. The RDX 500 was close. Since about 1998, I basically just buy the new "comparable" Yonex every 2 years or so, except last year I broke both of mine right before Christmas (well, I realized they were both dead at that point, not literally broken) and didn't feel like demoing -- so I bought a Head Radical Microgel MP on closeout for $60 because I liked how it was weighted when I held it. Figured I could sell it for, well, about $60 if I hated it ... but I like it. Of course, it was discontinued a while ago too.... sigh.