Category Archives: Tips

In a string does color matter?

Of course color matters!  Brands have made history on color!  Prince Green, Head Orange, Babolat Blue, for racquets but what about string?

Sure, again!  Luxilon Silver, Babolat Black,  Solinco Green, Victrex Putty…what?  Which of these monofilament strings do not have any color pigment?

If you guessed the Victrex you would be correct.  But why not?  The natural color of the polymer is probably the very strongest a string can be, however, without color they would not be at all interesting or recognizable!  The natural Victrex color is typically what we use when evaluating the string because it is visually different.

Victrex does make strings with black-pigment, but this post is about the difference pigmentation can make in a string.  In a previous post some years go we determined that color had very little affect on string properties and this evaluation shows pretty much the same result in a different format.

You can see by this graph there is very little difference between the two Volkl V-Star strings.  In fact it would be safe to say the strings are identical.

We will continue to evaluate strings with pigmentation to determine if any color does exhibit an affect on the properties.

Still Committed to Your Racquet!

For the past few years and certainly the past year Racquet Quest has been committed to tennis racquets and yours is included!

Hopefully the days of the “mask”are over and we can resume actually talking to each other and be understood! Of course if you prefer to wear a mask that is OK, too!

Here is what is not OK!

Not caring about your tennis racquet is not OK, and by that I mean keeping it in the best possible condition. That includes string, grip, grommet sets, overgrips and general reactions of beating it against the ground or net!

We have seen five year old racquets that look brand new and five day old racquets that are in really poor shape! One of the most damaging “strokes” in tennis is the ball pickup stroke! This is not a stroke at all but a way to keep from bending over to pick up balls!

Using the racquet head to scoop up the balls is easy and cool! It is also the quick way to ruin the bumper guard which is there to protect the Racquet from normal stroke, not pick-ups!

So, what do you do about it? The next time you consider scooping up balls with the racquet consider tapping the ball to start it bouncing or simplpy use the fingers on your hand to pick up the ball…that would be good!

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.