Category Archives: Learning

Let’s Get Serious!

If you listen to the Racquet Quest podcasts you will recognize this statement!

So, why are we posting it on the website if it is already a podcast?  Because it is serious! A racquet came in today that reminded me of why we started GASP!  The stringing is so awful that I can’t keep myself from writing this!

The owner of the racquet does not remember at which tournament it was strung otherwise we could contact them and offer some suggestions!

Why is this racquet so bad?

  • Inconsistent tension across the string bed
    • The accuracy index is 65!
  • Virtually no tension in the top cross string…because
    • The racquet was strung from the bottom up plus the poor knot
  • Stringing of the crosses started at the bottom (starting X at the top is highly recommended)
  • Tie offs on the wrong holes
    • 8M is better
  • Cross over at the lower side
    • Probably due to the wrong tie off
  • One-piece format
    • Inconsistent string tension
  • Bad tie off knots
Take a look at these images and promise me that you will never pay for a stringing that has these errors!

Why is it so hard to do a better job when stringing a tennis racquet?  In this case, it appears the stringer has no training.  There are errors no competent stringer would make!  But, until players refuse to accept this shoddy work it will continue!

Why “demo” a Racquet?

We have had this discussion before, but it needs repeating periodically!

Why? Because players are not, in some cases, getting what they want but thought they were. And whose fault, or oversight, is that? The racquet dealer, the player, advertising, or just bad luck?

The first order of business is defining what you are looking for in a new racquet!

I say it is the “demo” process in general!  As we have discussed before the demo racquet your receive from online or even a local store is probably not set up for you!  So you are “demoing” something that may not be even close to what you want or need!  This can be costly!

Probably more costly than demoing a racquet that is set up for you!  It will cost at least one stringing of the string of your choice…your choice, not anyone else’s choice!  The tension will be what you want, not anyone else.  The weight and swing weight will be set up for you, not anyone else…so you see where this is going!  Spending $50.00 may save you $100’s if a “poor” selection is made!

Hit with your demo racquet at least three (3 sessions!

After you have had the demo racquet set up for you it is important that you try it as many times as possible, but at least three (3) sessions.

The objective of a demo program is to get the correct racquet for you so take advantage of the “set up” opportunity!

 

 

Why is My Butt Cap Loose?

Butt caps are the things at the end of your racquet that creates a flared area that fits your hand to add control to your shots.

The butt cap is usually a tight fit to the grip pallet, but manufacturers drive heavy duty staples through the butt cap into the foam grip pallet to make sure it is secure.

Over time, especially with players who hold the racquet at the very end, the butt cap may become loose.

Why is my butt cap loose?

But, why is my butt cap loose?  This picture shows why it is loose!

The pallet has broken due to the stress of the staples and player gripping way, way low on the pallet.

Loose butt caps are not uncommon and can be repaired with success if given the time! Time is required because the repair will involve the use of two-part epoxy. This mixture needs to cure for several hours to be sure it will last.

The alternative, and one we use when we can, is to replace the entire grip pallet.

When we do this, we use only epoxy to secure the butt cap—no staples in most cases.

So the next time your butt cap feels loose, don’t panic. A repair can be made in most cases.

BYOS?

Bring Your Own String!

This post is a brief explanation of why we do not, normally, string a tennis racquet with string supplied by the customer.

  1. The string may not be suitable for the player or racquet.
  2. The string is not in good condition.
  3. The string package is damaged so the condition of the string is unknown.
  4. The string reel is tangled which requires a great deal of time to untangle.
  5.  There is normally no cost savings.

We do, however, keep client supplied string at the World Headquarters for those clients that buy it.  The string is owned by the client and can be taken for off site tournament use.

The number of different strings and brands that make it impossible to keep an adequate supply of all of them without knowing they are going to be used!

Of course there are cases that are not categorized above.  The client can go to the “Easy Order” tab on this site and add information to the form which clarifies the string, racquet, and condition.

We can take a look and make a decision based on that information.

The BYOS stringing cost is $30.00.  This cost is subject to actual review of the string and racquet.

Racquet Quest keeps a very broad and deep selection of the best possible strings from many brands.

 

Tale of the Tapes!

Probably the most common “customization” on tennis racquets is the addition of weight! In most cases, that is a good thing. Weight is your friend!

Weight, in this case, is confined to swing weight and of course, overall weight and the placement of that weight and the format being used. We will see two (2) options and try to decide which is the best format.

Option number one below is the most common format for adding weighted tape. You can see that the tape is narrow strips that are placed on either side of the string bed. Even though the length of the tape is different on each racquet, the swing weight is the same on all of them.

Common Weighted Tape Format

Common Weighted Tape Format

The advantage of this format is that the weighted tape can easily be removed or more added if desired without affecting the formatting.

Option number two is rarely requested, but it represents the best-looking result.

Not Easily Modified Tape Placement

Not Easily Modified Tape Placement

However, this format requires much more time and is not easily removed or modified.

This format requires the grommet set to be removed, which, in most cases, is not a problem. In some cases, it will be a big problem! So be sure this is what you want!

The tape must be carefully trimmed between strings and removed without damaging the strings if modification is required to reduce weight. Doing this is not hard but does require a little more time. Adding weight requires removing the string and grommet set if the format is to remain the same, i.e., no narrow strips laid on top of the current tape.

Whichever option you choose will provide the performance boost you want!

Let us know which option you would choose in the comments below!