Tennis Industry magazine

 

USRSA Members' Choice Awards 2007

Our exclusive rankings, based on responses by USRSA members, will help you pick the right strings for your shop.

What string is best for your customer? It’s a tricky question to answer, since there are so many different strings out there that all have unique combinations of benefits. But once again, we’ve gone right to the experts, the thousands of U.S. Racquet Stringers Association members, and asked them to rate strings in three categories: playability, durability, and comfort.

Our 30th annual string survey, which is on the poster inserted into this issue of RSI, is a compilation of survey questionnaires sent in September to 2,000 randomly selected U.S. members of the USRSA (no chain stores). Recipients were given a list of every string on the market and asked to rate the ones they are familiar with from 1 to 10 in each of the three categories. Then an average score was calculated for each string in each category.

For a string to qualify for a rating, the respondent must have strung at least 20 sets of that string in the past year. This 20-set minimum ensures that respondents are rating a string they know something about and that has some vitality in the marketplace. For some businesses, 20 sets may represent 20 percent of their total business, and for others, 1 percent. Some businesses may only sell 20 sets of the string; others may sell 500. Each ranking, however, carries the same weight, and all are included in the total sum and average for that string. We added the scores from each respondent to obtain a sum for that string, then divided the sum by the number of respondents who rated it.

To ensure that strings with a reasonable breadth of distribution are included, each string must be rated on at least 16 questionnaires. We feel that having at least 16 respondents allows us to include enough strings by enough manufacturers, including smaller market share companies. Too high a number will mean the survey results will only include the top two or three manufacturers.

Remember, the category scores for each string are averages of all the respondents’ rankings for a given string. Often, these averages are very close; the differences between rankings can be mere hundredths of a point. Though only one string can claim the top spot in a category, many of the strings close to each other in ranking are of equal stature. In practice, each of these strings is one of the best of its niche.

Hang our String Survey poster in your shop and let your customers determine which strings may best help their games.

Most Responses by Gauge

(percent)

Gauge 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002/3 2001 2000
16 58.4 64.6 62.0 62.4 61.9 58.9 54.8
17 25.5 24.5 28.2 23.1 26.2 27.0 31.8
16L 6.0 4.6 3.8 4.3 2.8 1.5 -
15L 5.5 3.8 4.3 5.7 5.9 7.8 11.1
18 3.7 1.9 1.3 1.4 1.8 2.9 0.9
15 0.5 0.6 - 0.5 - 0.8 0.8
17L 0.2 - 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.7 0.6
19 0.3 - - 1.7 0.4 0.4 -
18/17 - - - 0.5 0.4 - -

Most Responses by Brand

(percent)

Brand 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002/3 2001 2000
Wilson 21.6 23.2 22.0 21.9 23.8 21.6 30.5
Gamma 21.3 20.4 22.9 24.7 25.6 25.9 27.2
Prince 16.4 19.8 19.6 19.8 19.2 20.7 23.7
Babolat 11.9 9.3 7.2 7.1 6.1 6.9 6.3
Head 8.6 9.4 7.7 7.4 7.3 4.0 7.0
Luxilon 5.7 3.6 3.4 3.0 - - -
Tecnifibre 4.8 4.5 4.8 4.1 4.1 4.7 3.4
Ashaway 1.4 2.0 1.6 1.8 1.7 2.2 <1.0
Gosen 1.4 1.6 1.8 1.9 1.9 3.2 1.4
Forten 1.1 1.2 2.3 2.6 2.6 3.5 0.5
Alpha 0.8 0.9 1.0 - - - -
Kirschbaum 0.7 0.8 0.8 - - - -
TOA 0.6 0.8 0.4 - - - -
Dunlop 0.5 0.6 1.2 1.1 - - -
Klip 0.5 0.6 0.9 - - - -
Others 2.7 2.3 2.3 4.6 5.2 4.4 -

 

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