We had the pleasure to receive in test and in preview a good part of set of Snauwaert racquets, historical Belgian brand that recently became Italian thanks to the acquisition by a group of entrepreneurs led by the current CEO Roberto Gazzara.
As first frame we decided to test the one we think is the most “characteristic” and stimulating: the Grinta 98 Lite 16×16.
Head size: 98 square inches String pattern: 16x16 Unstrung weight: 290 grams Length: 68.5cm Profile: 22 mm constant Unstrung balance: 330mm Strung balance: 335 mm Static rigidity: 58 ra
All Grinta line frames feature an ellipsoid-shaped stringbed for easy control and sweetspot.
Extended on 3 and 9 o’clock, the Grinta line’s stringbeds have longer central horizontal strings than a traditional stringbed.
This particular shape increases the optimal impact zone (sweetspot) and allows better control even of off-center shots.
Grinta frames are built on the basis of Snauwaert’s patented Bionic X-Section technology.
Based on the composition of the bones, Snauwaert has designed its racquets to offer greater resistance to bending and twisting forces while optimizing the local frame loads.
There is also SSG technology (SNAUWAERTECH SQUARED GROMMETS).
The shape of the grommet eyelets is square.
This particular shape maximizes the movement of the strings, especially along the diagonal of the hole, increasing the energy released by each shot.
The Grinta 98 looks like a very elegant frame.
The predominant colour is metallic anthracite, which covers 90% of the frame.
The inside of the stringbed (half of the stringbed towards the racket’s throat) is red, and it recalls the colour of the inscriptions Snauwaert and Grinta 98.
Inside the stringbed there are well marked holes for closing the knots.
There is also an amusing detail in the cap of the handle.
In addition to the Snauwaert logo (strictly yellow on green) there are also the words “My serve” and “Your serve”, placed at the two opposite ends of the cap, which can be used to choose the service shifts.
The paints used seem to be of excellent quality and resistant to shocks and rubbing.
The Grinta 98 Lite 16×16 is the frame that has most intrigued us (due to its characteristics) of the entire Snauwaert racquets set.
Initially I was very skeptical about the control and stability of the frame due to the open stringbed (16×16) and low weight (290 grams).
Doubts that dissolved once they came out on the court.
The excellent load distribution, the particular shape and conformation of the stringbed and the back balance “towards the neck” make the Grinta a rather “controlled” and, in reference to its low weight, very stable frame.
The ellipsoid-shaped stringbed with enlargement at 3 and 9 o’clock increases the sweetspot and makes the Grinta tolerant even on off-center shots.
This particular shape, as well as the isometric frames, increases the useful impact area and makes the stringbed wider (the feeling is equal to a 99/100 classic shape).
The stability, as mentioned above, is very good and can be appreciated even in the game net.
The frame is very handy and the change of handle is simple and natural.
These features combined with a good responsiveness of the tennis player facilitate the execution of precise and deep volleys.
Excellent for baseline players.
Every shots are easily controlled and you can generate accelerations in a simple and effective way.
It’s very easy to find depth in both flat and spinned shots.
Access to the rotations is immediate (also considering the string pattern) and the ball coming out of the stringbed is always full of effect.
I found it quite easy to find the “narrow corners” both forehand and backhand shots.
We were also pleasantly surprised in the “flat” game.
The “flat” shots are played with precision and with discreet power (always in relation to the weight of the frame).
The back is not immediate and needs to be adapted.
Once you have become familiar with the tool, and found the right string setup, you will still be able to play back incisors especially as attack shots.
The Grinta 98 Lite is very comfortable and the low stiffness (58 ra) makes the frame arm friendly, therefore delicate with the arm joints.
The low stiffness, besides preserving the arm, makes the touch of the Grinta very pasty, a detail certainly appreciated by tennis players who love to get a lot of sensitivity from the frame.
Something is missing instead in response and containment where, raising the level of play, you feel the lack of mass to oppose the opponent’s shot.
The Grinta 98 Lite is an excellent base for the custom, so with some intervention and increasing the mass, you can get a frame valid for all levels of play.
The first flat of service lacks a bit of incisiveness (also in this case the custom could work miracles) while slice and kick are played simply and with excellent results in terms of trajectories and effects.
With such an open string pattern we recommend the use of strings with a gauge of not less than 1.25 mm to avoid losing too much control in the execution of shots.
It is a frame that adapts to all types of strings even if from our tests the maximum is reached with reactive monofilaments such as the Snauwaert white beam 125 or, for the most competitive, the StringLab alu tour LB 130 at low-medium tensions (22 kg maximum).
If you use multifilaments instead, go to “big” gauges (from 1.30 upwards).
In this case add one or two kilos to your reference tension and prepare for a constant realignment of the strings.
Snauwaert returns on market by offering a range of frames capable of satisfying all tastes and types of play.
The Grinta 98 Lite 16×16 is a semi-profiled frame of excellent workmanship, extremely versatile and that, with the right custom, can be used at all levels.
We thank Snauwaert (in the person of Roberto Gazzara) and the Italian distribution (StringLab by Luigi Bortone) for the concession of the frame and the strings used in our tests.
Very interesting the matching service of the frames offered by StringLab that allows to have two or more frames exactly the same in the specifications.