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About 18 months ago I met Eric and Carine of the company ERECA.  Eric and Carine live in Lyon, France and were here to attend the IART Symposium.

Eric had his sights set on becoming a MRT (Master Racquet Technician), which he did, and, design, build, and market tools and equipment for racquet technicians.

It quickly became clear that Eric has the technical expertise and Carine has the marketing expertise to organize a company and thus ERECA was formed in Lyon, France.

I am very excited to announce the relationship of ERECA and Racquet Quest, LLC for the purpose of designing, manufacturing, and selling tools and equipment for racquet technicians.

The products currently being designed and produced range from $10.00 Clamp Risers to $1000.00 Portable Stringing Machines!

Racquet Quest, LLC is proud to play a small part in the business that is ERECA!

Please visit the web site at to see an overview of the business, and, follow Eric and Carine as they travel around the world promoting ERECA.

IART Symposium 2013!

I just returned from the 7th Annual IART Symposium held at Saddlebrook Resort near Tampa.  This was the best symposium yet with more attendees and more and better sessions presented by really qualified presenters.

I have presented a few sessions from Understanding String to a four (4) hour Customization session at every symposium since the beginning.  Each year the attendees are more engaged and are accomplishing more.  This is a good thing!

This year we had attendees from Brazil, Taiwan, Great Britain, France, Spain, Australia, and of course all over the United States.  These attendees are “racquet technicians” but I want to encourage all tennis/racquet enthusiasts to consider attending next year.  I want the consumer to become engaged in what we do and this symposium is a great opportunity to do that.

At the symposium I had the opportunity to see the new Prince racquets and I think you will be happy to know that some of the most popular models are coming back!  The Graphite, DB, and player styles are back!

I want to thank all the vendors that participated this year.  The vendor exposure this years was huge and really appreciated by the attendees, and especially me!

If you have any questions about the symposium please let me know.

Players, you rule!

One of the toughest challenges as racquet technicians today is getting the player/consumer involved in what we do! As technicians we can communicate via any number of vehicles, the web, blogs, twitter,etc. But what are we doing? Typically we are “preaching to the choir”. Instead we need to be “preaching to the player/consumer”.

You, the player/consumer, are the reason we do what we do and we need you to be involved in what we do. We need you to help us understand your needs and we need you to understand that we are trying to maximize your enjoyment of playing tennis.

I just posted an article about how often to have your racquet strung. It is wonderful that we sit around and tell ourselves all this wonderful stuff, but you the player/consumer must be hearing and participating and learning from our experience. Then you need to spread the word, get involved, and involve others.

I have this web site, I contribute to the GSS Alliance web site, I present at the GSS Alliance Symposium every year, I review and report on strings, racquets, stringing machines, and diagnostic equipment for manufacturers but the single most important element in what I do is you!

Please let me now what I can do to get you involved!

Want to have some fun?

We all do, right? Well as tennis players one of the best ways to have fun is to have your tennis racquet strung more often than you may be accustomed to.

We all have heard that old rule “string as many times a year as you play per week”. Well with todays string material that simply does not work! Every string begins to loose tension as soon as it is installed. So after a few hours your racquet will feel different, and, place the ball in a different location than you aimed for. That is the reason professional players change to a fresh racquet every 7 to 9 games. Do you think they know something you don’t?

String is complex. Many say it goes “dead” or “lost elasticity” or some other reason they are loosing the match or just not “feeling it”.  In reality string looses tension but very little elasticity and hardly ever goes “dead”.

So what is the answer? To maximize playability have your racquet strung after 20 to 25 hours of play! Remember playing a match will put less strain on your strings than a hour hitting session!  Also, do not subject your racquet to very high temperatures for extended periods, such as your car trunk or a court side table in direct sunlight.

So, for a weekly player that will be about ten (10) weeks, if it doesn’t break before that. That is a far cry from the old “rule”. So to have more fun, and win more, don’t play by the “rule”! Have your racquet strung after 20 to 25 hours and feel the difference. Of course choose a racquet technician that has diagnostic equipment to record original string bed stiffness v current string bed stiffness.

Arm Friendly Racquets…is it really the racquet?

A hurting arm makes it no fun to play tennis! So we need to keep your arm from hurting. Typically players associate hurting with stiff, lightweight racquets which may be true. We know that weight is your friend when it comes to comfort. I have written about this many times and most players accept the concept but simply don’t think they can play with a heavier racquet.

Well, don’t worry too much because we can make the stiff racquet feel “softer” by focusing on “effective stiffness”. Effective Stiffness is a calculated number based on the racquet stiffness, that can not be changed, and the string bed stiffness that can be changed.

That means the lower the string bed stiffness the lower the “effective stiffness” will be. By knowing the “effective stiffness” of a racquet/string combination we can customize the string bed stiffness to create almost any feel you want. Our diagnostic equipment makes it easy for us to collect “effective stiffness” number for any racquet at any time. For example if your racquet is feeling particularly good right now we can capture the current “effective stiffness” and duplicate this number the next time we string the racquet.

This is a very simplified version of what can be a complex discussion so please accept it as such.

Quick Trip to String Thing™

I just returned from SanDiego, CA  where Tim Strawn and I met with the StringThing™ team.  A really good group of guys!  Dave, Scott, Stephen, Mike, Steve, and Dr. Norman made us feel like part of the group!

We went to the manufacturing facility (yes, it is the United States!) and it is impressive in terms of taking an idea from concept to market in the short period of time they have done it.

These are tennis players, each and everyone!  They enjoy the sport and it shows in their commitment to this product.

You may have seen my short video on the String Thing™ and there may be other video coming soon.  If you have not seen the video please take a look.  I believe this product is a good one so I wanted to take the trip to SanDiego to meet the people.

If you have any questions about the String Thing™  please let me know.

The String Thing™ is designed to re-align strings that are out of position.


To Stretch or not to Stretch

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?

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