Category Archives: String

All string information

Comparing Racquets (for real)

The Racquet Quest podcast recently aired a session on comparing racquets, so, to be fair I wanted to post that same data here. If you listened to the podcast this will sound familiar.

These racquets are not random. These racquets are owned by a client that is seeking an upgrade without going overboard!

Here is the data.  Take a look then read what the client has to say about them.

3 racquetcompare

Here is what Jess has to say:

“Hey, John –
Jess definitely likes the VS more than the Rafa. She said that she gets more easy power and stability with the Rafa but she’s able to accelerate faster on the forehand side with the VS.

She also felt like the VS was more maneuverable at the net. She said that if she’s in control of the point that she can really whip her forehand for a winner. She definitely noticed the lighter swing weight and liked that.

However, she also said that sometimes it feels a little unstable – like the VS is getting pushed around a bit. For example, she noticed that the head of the racquet can twist sometimes if her opponent nails a hard ball at her.

She has more control for sure with the VS – felt like she blasted more balls out with the Rafa. Overall, she likes the racquet- just would like a little more stability.”

By the way, Jess had not seen the racquet data prior to her hitting.  So, there you have it.  I believe you can see how much numbers help us find the right performance characteristics for a racquet.

 

Our Questron in Action!

As you know, Racquet Quest is a data-driven business, and data requires numbers. To generate those numbers, we have designed and built several devices.

One device is the Questron!

The Questron is used to test every string we receive, and the data is compiled to understand where that particular string fits.

So, instead of talking about it we have included a short video!

Thank you for watching our Questron in Action!  If you have a question, or a particular string of interest, please let us know.  We may have already taken the data!  On GASP.network there are many graphs of previous tests.  GASP.network is a membership ($40.00 one time) site.

 

 

String Savers

String savers are on my mind today for several reasons so I thought I would post something about them that may be of interest.  Let’s see!

String Savers are tiny little pieces of material that are “grooved” to cradle the string and provide a tiny barrier between rubbing strings, therefore creating a longer, happier life!

String Savers are normally used when stringing your tennis racquet with natural gut string to help the $75.00 job last longer.

But what else do string savers do?

Well, in the case we see here it increases the swing weight from 332 to 341! So 286 of these tiny things have an impact on swing weight! 

Probably the typical reaction would be an increase in string bed stiffness but that is not the case, plus the string bed stiffness is ever-changing anyway.

The Elephant in the Room!

I suspect we all have heard that expression!

It means there is something that everyone tries to ignore, but it is too large to do so!

I recently read an article in Racquet Sports Industries authored by Georgetta L. Morque. The title is “Tackling Tennis Elbow.” Tennis elbow is an important topic and deserves much attention. Georgetta is writing about ways to mitigate tennis elbow after the fact.

So, here is the elephant in the room; STIFF string!

 

Let’s try to prevent tennis elbow, so it does not need to be treated!

When we say stiff, it means a string with less than 4% elongation at 60 pounds which is our testing parameter. Most strings, and for this discussion, strings exhibiting that property will be monofilament PET-based (polyester).

Fully understanding this required a lot of testing, both lab and play, for many playing styles and racquets. To make a long story short, as a racquet technologies business, we decided not to promote polyester strings for most players. That sounds silly, but why take a chance when you don’t have to!

Our success is based on helping you, the player, perform the best you can, so it does not make sense to promote something contrary to that philosophy. Probably 75% of our clients have come to us for something different, so we have a “head start.” 

So why do so many players use it or want to use it? 

We believe it is because they have not been exposed to alternative string materials. Some outstanding players at the pro level use it, so it must be good, and it is for about 10-11 games. Of coursemanufacturers and marketers of polyester string stand to make a nice profit! It is in their best interest to promote products by adding some terminology and material to make the string less stiff.

A polyester string is deficient in power and needs to be walloped, and the harder it is hit, the stiffer it becomes, which is the problem. Developing bodies can’t tolerate that level of impact for long.

Please let us know your experience with strings of any type!

 

SBS…what is it and why should we care?

We have made several posts regarding SBS, which is “String Bed Stiffness” and this is another one!

If you read this post we really need your comment(s), really!

String bed stiffness is the “feeling” when the ball hits the string on a tennis racquet.  Due to the various string materials there will be “soft” and “hard” feelings.  But wait, there’s more!

The string bed is made up of several strings, some longer called the Main string (M)and some shorter called the Cross string(X).  Using “reference” tension each of the sets of string will be pulled at the same machine setting!  It the machine is set at 50 pounds the tension head will stop pulling when it feels 50 pounds of resistance, regardless of what he tension inside the racquet head may be.

SBS is the most effective data for comparing tennis racquet stringing!

Let’s say you come into the world headquarters and we ask you what SBS you would like to have?  Would you know?  Probably not and not many would!  We have grown up using the term “reference tension”, not SBS.

Reference tension is “number” you would ask your racquet technician to set the stringing machine tension system on.  That number will probably be between 30 and 60 pounds (≈13 to 26 Kilo).

So, depending on many other variables, such as string material, string pattern, stringing machine, stringer technique, etc., you can end up with may different versions of the same “reference tension”.

A better way, and one we have been using for over thirty (30) years, is SBS but not everyone has bought into the concept, even though a qualified racquet technician will have a way to measure SBS!  Maybe because it is too much trouble to figure out what your desired SBS from machine X would be from machine A!  It is not!

There have been several really good SBS data collection devices but they have been difficult to use, and pricy!  Not to mention gigantic!

A call to action!
So here is where you come in,

Would you purchase a SBS data collection device?

How much would you pay for such a device?

Would you prefer a mechanical device or an electronic device?

The device must be portable, that is easily carried in a racquet bag or backpack

    Yes or It doesn’t matter

It must be easy to use.

If you use an SBS device would you use a racquet technician that did not know what SBS is or how to measure it?

Thank you for adding your comments to this discussion!  It is important stuff!