To stretch or not to stretch is a question some technicians have pondered. What is stretching? I am talking about stretching a set of racquet string. A set is typically 40 feet long so you need that amount of room to stretch the entire set in one straight pull. What does this mean to you the consumer? Please read on.
Pre-stretching the typical tennis string will increase the stability. That is reduce the affects of creep exhibited by nearly all tennis strings. Stretching will enhance the elongation of the string by removing many of the bonding fractures that occur when the string is tensioned by the machine or ball contact. A stretched string will maintain tension longer and will produce a slightly higher string bed stiffness.
Stretching the string by hand is the preferred method and it takes about 25-30 seconds to render a string stretched. The string should exhibit little or no “recoil” after this stretching procedure. This can make the string easier to handle for the technician.
There is no danger of damaging the string by proper stretching technique. In fact the maximum load a human stretcher can reach and hold is about 40 pounds which is well below the yield strength of the string.
So, you the consumer should request that your string be pre-stretched. And, you the technician should certainly look into the advantage of pre-stretching. Why don’t you experiment with stretching and decide for yourself?