Category Archives: Tips

See What We are Talking About?

If you have been listening to the Racquet Quest Podcast you know we have talked about what to NOT accept when you pick up your newly strung racquet.

We know it is hard to visualize sometimes so these pictures are posted to give you a visual aid!  This is the very same string!  One could conclude from these images that the person responsible for these knots has not had any training at all.  It makes you wonder how good the rest of the string job is!

Bad Knot

In the interest of improving all stringing, please do not accept this kind of work.  

The image below shows the “dreaded” crossover!  This is not only a potential string damaging error it indicates a lack of skill, or understanding, of doing a good job!

Of course, mistakes do happen but it is the responsibility of the stringer, in this case, to correct the mistake before the client comes to collect their racquet!

The “Questron” has Arrived!

If you have been following Racquet Quest online and with the podcast, you know we are very fond of data!  In keeping with that “fondness,” we have received our newest testing device, which I have named “Questron.”

During the last week, we have spent time getting Questron set up to do the kinds of testing we think is important for the tennis player, the racquet technician, and anyone else that cares about numbers!

It will be about another week before posting any data because we are “tweaking” some connection points, cycle settings, and refining the data’s graphing.

We have over 400 strings to test; however, we will eliminate many of those strings not relevant to today’s tennis player.

Let us know if there is a string you are particularly interested in. If we have it, we will test it!

Even in the “testing” phase, we are discovering interesting facts about strings that will help us put together the best setup for you!

This is the “base” Questron.  Future versions of this device will incorporate the “Power Potential,” “In-Plane Stiffness,” and “Dynamic Stiffness” testing that is currently done on other equipment.

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.

Know Your String!

Several years ago, when we were beginning to increase the use of Ashaway MonoGut ZX and ZX Pro, it was not unusual to get a call from a client saying, “my coach says I should not be using polyester!” We could not agree more, and you are not using polyester!

You are using PEEK polymer! This string material was, and still is, referred to as Zyex with polymer production capabilities of Victrex in England.

Given the appearance of MonoGut ZX, Babolat Origin, and a few other non-polyester monofilament strings, it is not easy to distinguish these from stiffer polyester material strings. So know your string!

Single strand (monofilament) strings will have a gleaming surface unless they have been through a “roughing” process. So will monofilament strings of different materials. It is hard to tell just by looking, and that is what can create some confusion on behalf of the coach and subsequently, the player. So know your string!

If your racquet technician does not put a label on the racquet that identifies the material (or string), then be sure to ask what material you are using. The material choices may be natural gut, Zyex (PEEK), Nylon, and Polyester. The string construction may be referred to as a monofilament, multi-filament, single wrap, etc. however, the material will probably be one of these four.

Know your string! If you are unsure, contact your racquet technician or “Ask John” on this site, and we will try to help.

 

Racquet & Tournament Management

Management is not just for adults!  Juniors that play tournaments need to have some management skills!  During this coronavirus slow down it is a good time to learn some of these management skills.

We see many different management slip-ups such as no racquets for the tournament tomorrow!  All racquets have broken string and are at the bottom of a bag nobody wants to stick their hand into!

Juniors Management Tip #1:

Every Monday takes every racquet out of the bag.  If one or more are broken leave them out of the bag.

Juniors Management Tip #2

To get some idea of how much longer the string may last simply try to move the 5th or 6th cross string by pulling up toward the top of the racquet. If you can not pull the cross string up it is time for stringing.  If you are able to pull a cross string up pay attention to the “snap” it makes as you push it back into location.  A serious “snap” indicates a deep notch.

Monofilament strings typically fail by notching which makes it difficult to move the cross strings.  If your string is a multi-filament and looks like the picture on the left it is time to string!

Abrasion Fail Visual Test









Notching Visual Fail Test









What if neither of these conditions exists?

Every racquet in your bag should have a tag indicating when the racquet was last strung and if it has been more than one month it is time to string, period!

Just for fun you can go to our SFC function and get a good ideas as to how many times per year yu need to have your racquet strung.