RacquetTech: Weave Your Way to Consistency
For many stringers, utilizing the “one-ahead” technique can save stringing time and reduce friction on the string, but it also has other benefits.
Weaving “one-ahead” is just as it sounds. The procedure is accomplished by weaving one cross string ahead of the cross string you’re about to, but haven’t yet, tensioned.
Start by weaving the top two crosses using either a starting knot or starting clamp. Leave enough of a loop between the first two crosses outside of the frame to reach your tension head. Now tension and clamp the first string. Gently pull the loop through and weave the third cross, again leaving a loop to reach the tension head. Tension and clamp the second cross. Continue this method as you work down the racquet. You may have to abandon the technique as you get near the end because you won’t have enough string to form the loop, but you will be able to use it for most of the crosses.
So why use this method? First, it greatly reduces the friction and makes weaving the string much easier. Because every other cross has the same weave, your last tensioned cross string raises and lowers the appropriate main strings, enabling you to more easily glide the current cross through the string face. This not only saves wear and tear on the string, but also should speed up the process, as the strings will weave much easier with less friction. Adding a couple of other techniques to this method can reap some added benefits.
Utilizing the additional techniques shown in the photos, your strings should come out much straighter, and it provides an easy method to catch mis-weaves on the spot. Simply push the string about to be tensioned up against the last tensioned string. It is easy to see the alternating zigzag of a perfect weave. Mis-weaves will stand out because they will “flat line.” As tension is pulled on the string, it will straighten out. If the string wants to bow, it is easy to nudge it into a straight position before clamping.
You’ll still have some straightening to do when you’re done, but this will make the job much easier and your tensions will be truer, since your cross strings are pulled virtually straight.
See all articles by Bob Patterson
About the Author
Bob Patterson , the founder of the RacquetMAXX customization service, is a Master Racquet Technician with more than 20 years of experience. He was RSI's Stringer of the Year in 2005. He is Executive Director for the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association.
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