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Tom O’Rourke, TORQ Racquet System Creator


I’ve been involved in a pickleball for
about 40 years playing it when it first came out of those handmade wood paddles. I learned to play it and love it as just a kid jumping around the court. Then
about five years ago, I started playing it again in my early sixties and found that it was growing really quickly. I took my wooden paddle to play and everybody playing with these
great panels and I didn’t know anything about it and then I learned…. Yes, like you said, somebody in nineteen
eighty-four invented flooring material from a aircraft and made a very nice
paddle. Light. Quick. It worked really well. The only problem was it kind of had some
noise.432 so we’re talking to a friend of mine as i was playing we said what a
pity about the noise is there anything how can we can make a quiet people all
paddle my friend was Mark knockout we’ve been in the sports business for a long
time his family had a retail sports chain and he was involved in all sorts
of paddle introductions from Prince to tony trabert first composite tennis
racket and he said I know why it’s because there’s nothing there’s no solid
surface around the panel that you can dampen anything that I said oh really
you can’t do that with the edge guard that no it’s just rubber or plastic doesn’t
have any structural function so we started talking and we came up with an
idea this is our little court battle and idea
to put a solid edge guard all the way down into the handle carbon fiber edge guard that would allow
us to put this material the state materials out there now for the fiber I mean that graphite in fiberglass
different honeycomb material aluminum no max and they put it inside
of it with some gel tape to dampen vibration
that happens with his panel and it made all the difference in the world all of a
sudden we were talking about Josh and started it’s still an edge card do yet it
provides a structural function that can allow us to do all sorts of interesting
things including taking it apart and putting a different kind of surface so
we started just kind of talking about this is where planets and that’s kind of
neat and then I said you know we wanted to write all this down maybe put a patent that was about two
and a half years ago so we started out patent process then and shortly thereafter I went and worked
as product development person for the people who invented the game which was
pickle ball in and help them develop some panels that not this so i left
there just eight months later after I helped them build our league series and
so you know we want to pick this back up and so just about six months or so ago
we began looking at actually taking this and manufacturing and i’m building a
prototype that we had made that has all of the elements of the pattern stuff and
it’s interesting that like along the sports like tennis a a sport equals
based on ideas that have been generations and in generations of
players wouldn’t have wooden tennis rackets were around forever and then all
of a sudden somebody’s that you know we could do something interesting I see you
you have a picture there that Wilson t2 found that was one of the first ideas
that kind of thought outside the box for free tennis world and it wasn’t well
received by the and its association but it began to pick up scheme as Jimmy
Connors and other people play with it because it actually helped adjust the
variables of play the sweet spot where was the distance from the handle the
vibration and other things that would wasn’t able to do so we took the same
kind of concept and are just applying all the existing rules and all need
existing elements and college surface handle grip and we’re kind of throwing
it looking at it from a new perspective that in what would happen if we created
this solid structure around it and it also an open to all sorts of things for
us like he did for tennis where we can now envision having ideas like changing
the perimeter weighting as long as it doesn’t affect the balance it doesn’t
affect the trap in a trampoline effect we can actually change how this cattle
can be configured so we realize that we have a whole new approach to this
business and this sport

David Frank

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