Category Archives: Learning

Keep it Up!

I am talking about our String Frequency Calculator tool.  As of right now, as far as I know, WordPress does not support “interactive” spreadsheets, so our calculator is far, far, away running on One Drive!

Each time you enter user information it goes to the “cloud” and the calculation is made, then returned to racqeutquest.com, and you.  It seems like a long way around but for now, that is what we have.

Here is how you can help.  One Drive puts the application to “sleep” if the spreadsheet is not “active” for a short period.  Then it has to be “jump started” which causes the blank display you may see.  The fix is to keep it active!  So every five (5) minutes or so do a calculation!

We think the information is fun and meaningful so please continue to use the Stringing Frequency Calculator!

Meet Jennifer

Jennifer walked into the World Headquarters of Racquet Quest the other day and asked to have her racquets strung.  Nothing unusual about that, of course.

I looked a the racquets in her hand and thought to myself…” Well, where are they?”

In her hands were two (2) Head You Tek IG Prestige Mid racquets!  If you don’t remember these, they are the pinnacle of the Head Performace series racquets.  The head size is 93 square inches; the weight is 350 grams (12.35 ounces), with a swing weight of 309 kg/cm2 (10.9 ounces), and a racquet flex of 64 RDC units.

This is a great racquet for sure, but I don’t see many anymore in the good condition as these are.  One needed a grommet set, but that was all.

The reason I mention this is to reassure tennis players that they are capable of using racquets they normally scoff at including a comment “I am not good enough to use that!”   A lot depends on what you want to do with the racquet.  In Jennifer’s case, she wants to get to the net as quickly as possible, and the nice recoil weight of 146.1 makes this a good racquet at the net!  The low swing weight enhances the “mobility” of the racquet which also means this is not a particularly “powerful” racquet.

The new Head Graphene Touch Prestige Mid is still 93 square inches but now has a 16×19 string pattern.

If you are interested in hitting with a Head Graphene Touch Prestige Mid, our demo is strung with Babolat VS Touch natural gut which represents the purest combination I can think of!

Thank you, Jennifer, for giving me an example of what tennis players are capable of!

 

What is Pointy?

Briefly, Pointy is a program that allows shoppers to enter a barcode, or Google product search online, to see if that product is available locally.

As a long time user of Square as the POS in the shop, we engaged with Pointy as a service through Square so our clients can quickly see what we have in stock.   A link to our Pointy shop is below so you can take a look around and let me know what it needs to be a valuable resource for you.

Every product you see on the page was input by Racquet Quest so it is in stock at the time the shop was opened, however, the images are supplied by the software so some may not be exactly updated packaging.

Just click here and browse the store!

If you have any questions or would like to hear about any “special offers” please call or text!

This is Important!

I was just going through some older posts and came across this “E” Book post and believe it is more relevant now that when I originally posted it!

Take a look because this is important!

What is Soft…er?

Our Standard Stringing Process

After seeing “After the String is Strung” some of you wanted to see a “While the String is Being Strung” video.  I have several videos of the stringing process but I use them for my own review and to see if there is anything that can be done better.

So, the video(s) will not be “professional” videos and are intended for fun and maybe some understanding of what we do.

Grab a coffee, or something, and enjoy 24 minutes of stringing fun!

MonoGut ZX +ZX Pro…let’s talk about it.

If you have been around Racquet Quest for a while, you know we talk a lot about Ashaway MonoGut ZX and ZX Pro, with ZX Pro being the 17 gauge version. During this post when I use MonoGut ZX it will include the ZX Pro Version, to save pixels!

A few questions need to be answered before we begin:

1. Do you get paid to talk about Ashaway MonoGut ZX?………. No
2. Do you get Ashaway MonoGut ZX free?………. No
3. Do get to spend the summer at a lavish resort in Ashaway R.I. ………. No
4. Why do you do it, then?

The short answer is MonoGut ZX works in so many applications that it is impossible not to talk about it whenever talking about tennis racquet string, arm issues, durability, and performance!

The first thing we need to know about MonoGut ZX is that is not polyester. It is Polyetheretherketone, or PEEK, for short. MonoGut ZX can look exactly like many common polyester strings due to the monofilament format. Monofilament means it is one strand of material and is typically very smooth and shiny.

The appearance is where the similarities end. Without going into a lot of detail, the stiffness of the base material dictates the stiffness of the string, especially in monofilament formats. Every string we get is tested for “stiffness” and entered into our database. This stiffness is converted to Power Potential using proprietary software. Power Potential is easy to understand…the higher the number, the more powerful the string is.

To get to the meat of this topic, we need to know the relative values of these materials.

MonoGut ZX has a power potential of 14.62
Babolat RPM Blast has a power potential of 4.29
LaserFibre Silverline 2 has a power potential of 4.59
Luxilon ALU Power has a power potential of 4.42
Luxilon ALU Power Soft has a power potential of 5.72

There are hundreds of polyester based string, but this gives you some idea as to where they stack up vis-a-vis MonoGut ZX.

Why does this matter? Strings with very low elongation (power potential) get stiffer the harder the ball is hit! So what? So, if you have low power potential, you need to swing harder to get the ball to go as far as it needs to go especially if you are trying to hit with huge topspin.

MonoGut ZX is suited to many playing styles, racquets, and string patterns. That is why so many really good players are currently using it and winning with it.  That is why it is important that we continue to talk about MonoGut ZX!

Maybe it is time to try MonoGut ZX yourself.

Ashaway MonoGut ZX Black

Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro Natural

After the String is Strung!

I have often wondered what players know about the “stringing” process and in particular what goes on after the “string is strung”.  So, while Madelyn was here she decided to video me doing what we do after each racquet is strung and just coming off the machine.

Had I known we were going to do this I might have dressed up a little, emptied the trash and fixed the crack in the wall behind the RDC!  But I didn’t.

This video is offered as a “real-time” view of what we do with every racquet and is intended for information and fun only.  If you have any questions please let us know…now enjoy the movie!

Mr. Dailey Makes a Visit!

The Racquet Quest World Headquarters had the pleasure of having Curt Dailey, CEO of LaserFibre Strings, visit today!

Racquet Quest, LLC will be doing a little evaluation work on LaserFibre string made in the United States!  LaserFibre is the only string supplier committed to making all of their string products in the United States.  Right now this is not the case, but they are headed in that direction.

Curt has been in the tennis business for many years and is trying hard to bring updated string products to the market.

Welcome to Racquet Quest, Curt!

 

Recommended Stringing Frequency (RSF)

We have moved the very popular Recommended Stringing Frequency (RSF) spreadsheet to the main body of our web page to make it easy for you to determine when to re-string your tennis racquet.  This recommendation is based on the very best overall performance of your racquet.  

You can use this valuable tool to evaluate a tennis racquet purchase.  If you are considering a new racquet insert those values and compare it to what you are currently using to see if your stringing frequency will be similar.

This is an interactive spreadsheet so all you need to do is put your racquet values into the fields below “Your Input” heading. The rest is calculated for you.  Don’t worry if you do not have a UTR number.  By putting a “0” in that field a value will be added for you.

In “Player Style” you can enter, “tour, club, beg, rec” and a value will be inserted for you. If you are a junior tournament player please use “tour” in this field.

It is not necessary to put a value in both the “UTR” and “Player Style” fields, just one will do.

Use “return” to move on to the next field.

The “Value/Playability Ratio”  incorporates a factor to quantify the value, or enjoyment, of each type of string.

In the “Stringing Date” box near the bottom you can enter the date your racquet was strung and your “Next Stringing” date will be calculated for you.

We hope you enjoy this update!  Go ahead, start now!

Let’s Talk About This!

I decided to write about this again after reading some posts asking questions, good ones by the way, about string tensions when stringing a racquet.

What we are discussing is not a simple matter, in fact, it is challenging to quantify many things we believe are real.  It is difficult, if not impossible, to tell a stringer how to string a racquet for a new client.  These are the obvious player/stringer questions that need to be answered:
a. What racquet type?
b. What string type?
c. What main and cross string tensions should be pulled?
d. What stringbed (SBS) stiffness is wanted?
e. What racquet weight, swing weight, and CG is wanted?
f. What stringing machine should be used (yes this matters, but is rarely considered!)?

There are also many player-specific questions that are in the mix, including:
a. Do you want more or less power?
b. Do you want more or less control for that power?
c. Do you want to hit with more spin?
d. Do you have any physical problems influencing your play (sore shoulder/arm, elbow, strength, etc.)?

The task/responsibility for a good stringer, or, racquet technician preferably, to his player is quite daunting if the goal is to “string responsibly.”

With answers to these questions, and a stringers plan in place to achieve these goals, one of the most important attributes a stringer can deliver is repeatability. Once a player has settled on a path (racquet, strings, tensions, stringbed stiffness (SBS), etc. you want, as a client and stringer, that customized performance to repeat with every re-stringing. So the stringer must have a process, with metrics, that will guarantee that repeatability. This repeatability is also the foundation for changes from that norm (for example, what happens if I replace my strings with another type, or if I stay with the same strings but switch racquets, etc.)

My comments that follow is the plan I have developed for my stringing process for the players I try to support.

One of the most important influences on how a racquet plays is the stringing machine that is used to string a racquet.

About twenty years ago I developed a machine evaluation procedure for understanding what happens during, and after, the stringing process.

Every machine is treated in the same way. The same racquet, the same string, and the same tension settings, and the same testing devices. I am not going into detail here because it is quite a lengthy path.

Here is what we need to know:
1. When stringing a racquet with main and cross strings, every racquet has a “natural ratio” of the final cross tensions to the final main tensions. That is what the cross string tension is relative to the main string tension of a finished racquet.
2. Nearly every machine tested allowed considerable distortion of the racquet in the three and nine directions. As much as .380 (9.62mm)! You want to minimize that distortion for the final strung racquet.
3. Almost every machine reacted slightly differently when the racquet was removed, i.e., some easier than others.

Why does this matter:
1. Due to the distortion, with the racquet in the machine, every machine produced main string only tensions of about 55% of the machine tension setting. That is the machine is set on 60 for example, and the measured tension is approximately 33 in the middle and increasing slightly going toward the 5th and 6th string. It never reaches 60 with only the main strings installed.

2. When the cross strings are installed, they begin to pull the racquet head back into shape but not significantly until nearing the 11th or 12th cross string.

3. When the racquet is finished and depending a little on the number of strings, it will, hopefully, return to close to the original unstrung shape and dimensions.

4. This “reshaping” can have damaging effects (stress failures) on the racquet.

Here is the question that started this whole discussion again.”

So, do I want to increase or decrease cross string tensions? My opinion is that until you know how the racquet, any racquet, is going to react don’t change tension settings at all. The key here is a responsible stringer wants repeatable metrics first.

We have an “Accuracy Index” procedure for every string pattern, that is the number of main strings and number of cross strings, that calculates the accuracy of the entire string bed based on where the ball is impacting the string bed. The accuracy index is a measure of the ball rebounding normally to a deflected string bed. For example, if a ball were to hit in the geometric center of an elliptical head racquet that was strung with main and cross string tensions that minimized racquet stresses and frame distortion the accuracy index would be 1.0. For the same racquet, if some of the strings were at low tensions (perhaps a break) the accuracy index would be less than 1.0.

Based on “observed breakage locations” we can see the accuracy of that small area of the string bed where most breaks occur.

Most machines I have evaluated will return accuracy indices of 87 to 95 percent.

I have, however, included in this test an “Efficiency Index” which shows me how much the racquet had to “move around” to achieve the accuracy index number and reach some equilibrium. This value is typically in the 70 to 75 percent range! So the racquet is working hard to get back into shape.

If you are a stringer or racquet technician, please note that after the racquet is setup in the stringing machine properly do not make adjustments to the supports during the stringing process. In some cases, the supports will not be in contact with the racquet. Don’t adjust.

Unless the racquet is mounted on a solid annular plate, like the top image, do not restrict the expansion of the racquet by placing a restrictive member across the 3 and 9 o/clock positions which in this image are the top and bottom.  The red knobs are the 12 and 6 o’clock positions

True Tension Professional

True Tension Professional Machine

baiardo

Wilson Baiardo

Yonex Protech 8 Contact Points

Babolat Racquet Station

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