Category Archives: String
All string information
Racquet Quest, LLC World Headquarters was a very busy place recently! It is always busy doing racquet work but this “busyness” was to share some time with visitors from around the world!
Albert Murata, from Hawaii, and his wife Heather were in town to play the 55’s at the USTA Campus, happily, they took the time to come by and chat about stinging stuff. You can reach Albert here.
Also here was Randy St Pierre from the UK. Randy stops by about twice a year and we always have vibrant discussions.
Since all of us are in the tennis business we have a lot to talk about.
It seems our discussions normally start with strings! Imagine that! Why do we talk about string, because it breaks and we replace it. Why does it break? There are several reasons but for right now we are focused on the grommet set in the racquet. Some grommets around the top of the racquet have very shallow grooves and the string can be exposed to court and fail. Not after one altercation with the court but over time for sure!
Racquet Characteristics are always popular to discuss with stiffness being one of the top subjects. You can see some racquet stiffnesses here.
Nothing is off limits so we always have a good time.
We are really happy to have Jason Harne join us to review and add his comments on tennis racquets and tennis strings!
I think you will agree that Jason will be a great addition to racquetquest.com based on the following tennis bio:
Jason Harne – Tennis
- Pro tennis – futures tournaments and satellites
- Stirling University, Scotland. One of the first players to be awarded the British Universities Tennis Bursary Colors Award (equivalent to All-American)
- International home nations tournament, representing Scotland, player of the tournament award.
- England county cup, division one, representing Yorkshire County.
- Spain and UK, national league tennis
- High Point University, Big South Conference, 22-2 record.
- U21 guardian direct British futures, national champion, and fastest UK serve.
- Teaching pro, UK and Spain, high-performance players
This is very impressive but the most important component for us, and you, is Jason’s incredible interest in new things! Jason is willing to try, and honestly comment on, any performance tennis equipment.
Jason will be commenting on the new Wilson Shift series later this week.
Please leave a comment or question for Jason.
In this series, we will look at the various characteristics of tennis string without the tennis racquet!
Racquet Quest evaluates every string we use plus strings submitted from other sources. These evaluations are “No Prep” and “Prep”, which simply means the Prep string has been pre-stretched in the entire length. It has not been through a tennis racquet…yet!
The following images represent a string that has not been “prepped.” After these plots are fully understood we will do the same string in the”prepped” format to see if there is a difference.
What we notice immediately is the string is very “soft” as seen in the deflection of 47.8 mm to reach 50 pounds. Also, the elasticity, the ability to recover to the original length, is fairly low.
The area under the 50-pound and 47.8 mark is the stress/strain curve that shows how the string behaves in three (3) cycles. The load and number of cycles can be changed.
The long run (linearity) from the 50-pound mark to failure is quite good and suggests consistency.
The UTS, the ultimate tensile strength, of 127.1 pounds is good for this thin string.
The following plot shows the knot strength of this string.
This plot is overlayed on the previous image so a quick comparison can be made. It is common for knot strength to be lower than un-knotted string. Knot strength is primarily important to the person tying the knot. Knots rarely fail after they are successfully tied. Pulling a knot too tight or jerking can break a knot.
This plot says to us that this string needs to be handled carefully when it comes to knots! We would expect a knot strength of at least 80 pounds for typical monofilament strings, however, if this string exhibits extraordinary play characteristics anyone can learn to tie the knots!
Based on this information we would suggest this string for a player looking for extraordinary comfort, power, and relatively short life!
This is a high-performance string that has gone unnoticed for a while and I don’t know why!
Pro Stock Limited Reserve is a string we purchased because it has interesting characteristics that appealed to us however the client base is small. Recently, however, with the number of players that are moving away from a polyester string, this has become a popular alternative!
In a word, this plot looks very much like that of natural gut, and whatever you think natural gut is still considered the best performance material for racquet string!
What are we seeing here:
- Linearity, the more linear the string the more consistent (predictable)
- Elongation, at 33.1 mm at 50 pounds
- Elasticity, 71.9 %
- This is the area where the advantages of pre-stretching will be seen.
- The curve will become essentially one line meaning the string returns to a nominal length after stretching.
- Ultimate Tensile Strength, 163.6 pounds to fail (high), @107.2 mm deflection
- Knot strength, @102.4 pounds, and surpasses natural gut in this property.
What we can’t see in the plot is the construction of this multifilament string. Each strand is a thin, flat ribbon of polyolefin material. The ribbons are much like the natural gut.
The plot below is a comparison of natural gut string and is included as a visual to compare to Pro Stock Limited Reserve and show how much natural gut fibers are the same for any string manufacturer. Of course, manufacturing techniques, bonding agents, and coatings make the difference between a good gut and a not-so-good gut!
If you compare the Pro Stock Limited Reserve to natural gut you can quickly see why it may be a good string to try!
How’s the shape of your string?
Is it round, square, hexagonal, octagonal, triangular, or something else?
The string pictured here is square. The dimension across the flat sides is roughly .048 inches/1.22mm, which means the largest dimension is about .063 inches/1.6mm but due to the rounded edges it is less than that. The wear is happening on the “flat” side (.048/1.22),
A flat-sided string shape can create some issues when trying to achieve consistent string tension.
This is expected because the string will want to align with the flat side, not the edges. This may cause the string to twist and create added friction when tensioning.
So, we can expect the “edges” to be exposed to the ball, and the “edges can create friction on the ball, which causes rotation!
Yea! How much and for how long is hard to know.
I believe it is safe to say “square” is a good “shape” for your string to be in for polyester monofilaments which we are looking at here.