Racket reseller: retail and marketing.
Racket designer: design and product industrialisation.
Racket manufacturer: industrial production process.
Artengo was considered a racket reseller because it was affiliated with Decathlon, which sold products from competing brands.
Since 2017, when Artengo became a tennis-only brand, it also started designing rackets (its main focus, because rackets are so iconic for the sport), balls and strings.
- Designing a product means understanding the principles of product design that a partner will be asked to adhere to and ensuring the supplier's compliance with those principles.
- A manufacturer owns the industrial process used to produce the rackets. It owns the machines and follows a logistical process.
Artengo is not a racket manufacturer.
But we'll tell you why we're also not just a reseller.
Being a racket designer means being able to determine how the weight and stiffness integrated into the racket.
Tennis is a sport that's all about timing, feel and compromise. Compromise is necessary because you can only play with one racket.
A designer needs to be able to draw up technical - not usage - specifications.
Being a designer means figuring out how to actually get 300 g into a tennis racket, not just saying "I want 300 g in my racket".
It's not just giving manufacturers a list of features you want to see in the racket - it's being able to tell the manufacturer what needs to happen to achieve the features you want in the finished product.
Being a designer means being able to draw up a set of technical specifications, and not just usage specs, for a racket. This means being able to not only indicate the features you want in the racket (weight, balance, length, stiffness, swingweight, string pattern, head size, frame shape) but also explain to the manufacturer how to get these features based on the racket layup. A racket has two very essential functions: to not break during use (even under demanding conditions) and to deliver a good feel for the player using it. In short, a tennis racket designer has to understand the design principles of the layups for its rackets.
A designer must understand that tennis is a sport that's all about timing, feel and compromise.
Timing matters because learning to play tennis involves coordinating your mind and body very precisely to know when you should start swinging to hit the ball, no matter how it comes towards you.
Feel is key because when a player hits the ball, the racket vibrates, and what the player feels combined with the resulting ball trajectory gives the player a sense of the benefits related to the racket (power, control, stability, forgiveness, etc.).
Compromises have to be made because a player only has one racket to hit all their strokes (unlike in golf). The compromise that is made will depend on the player's skill level, body and playing style.
Understanding these three points is essential for understanding how to distribute the weight and stiffness across the racket. We're specialised in layup for graphite racket frames.
*= the racket layup determines how the various carbon, fibreglass and other layers will be arranged and stacked in the racket.
In short, being a racket designer means understanding how the materials are distributed across the racket.