What Took You so Long?
A lot of players don’t really know how long it takes to string a tennis racquet. Do you?
This is not a quiz but a way to begin the discussion of why it may take us longer to do your tennis racquet and why we may not be able to accommodate certain time requirements. Speed does not take the place of “doing it right”.
What Took You so Long? Doing it Right, that’s what! The entire process!
Putting string in your racquet is part science, part art, part craft, and part habit. What Racquet Quest tries do do is minimize the “habit” part because some habits are awful! I have been presenting at various seminars for over twenty (20) years and I have seen most of the bad habits but they change with the introduction of new tennis racquets and/or tennis string.
I have been testing potential stringers for the USRSA CRT and MRT certification for many years so I get to see every stage of stringer development. But this post is not about that…
What Took You so Long?
Let’s start with the string. Every string we install is first pre-stretched in it’s entire length, about 40 feet. This procedure increases the stability of the string so tension loss is mitigated somewhat. In some materials this will also increase elongation and elasticity. Every string gets this!
Total Time: 3 minutes
Our proprietary software, Racquet Record, keeps data of every racquet we do so we can pull up the last stringing and activate it for the new stringing that is about to take place. If the string is not broken we take current SBS readings to determine stiffness loss over time based on the previous SBS data.
If the racquet is used, and currently strung, a careful examination is performed before the string is removed. The string is removed in a specific pattern to minimize stress on the racquet. The racquet is then cleaned with an effective but harmless chemical and blown “dry” with also removes any grit that may be in a grommet barrel.
Total Time: 5 minutes
Now the racquet can be mounted on the stringing machine, which you will see in the video. By design our machines require additional setup time to assure the supports are properly adjusted. To the casual observer it looks like this will take “forever”… it does not, and it is critical to the stringing result.
Friction is the enemy of a good stringing result so the string holes are aligned with the tension head and with the guide post every string is pulled almost friction free. You will see this in action in the video.
When installing the cross strings a series of string spreaders are used to provide a friction free weaving of the cross string. Does this add a minute or two to the process? Sure, but it is worth it and every racquet we do gets it!
Total Time: 25 minutes Watch the video here
About 25 minutes after the beginning of this process the racquet is ready to come off the machine. Because the racquet did not distort the removal is easy and without stress on the racquet.
After the racquet is strung (the next video) the data acquisition phase begins. This is absolutely essential to player and racquet performance! Almost every property of the racquet is reduced to a “number” so if something needs attention we can associate a number to that property and make the necessary adjustment(s).
Total Time: 15 minutes Watch the video here
Thank you for taking the time to view this post. We hope you enjoyed it and now have a better understanding of what we do!