Racquet Tech: Mastering the Weave
Whether you weave your crosses with a push, a pull or a combination of both, these tips should make the job easier and more efficient.
When I teach workshops for beginner racquet technicians it seems the No. 1 thing they are interested in improving is stringing faster, especially weaving crosses. My first response is to caution that faster is not necessarily better — while you should strive for an efficient pace, just because you do it faster is of no value if your job is faulty or sloppy in any way.
Smooth and efficient weaving will definitely make the job go faster but much like anything one learns to do, speed will come with practice and simple repetition. It all starts with a good foundation, and as you do it over and over and become more comfortable, you will find that you are going much faster. A good start is to employ One-Ahead weaving (see the Racquet Tech article in the April 2015 issue).
With this technique the string tip is held between two fingers (one hand above and one below) to push the string away from you and across the mains, bobbing up and down to achieve the correct weave. Some use the index fingers, others use the middle fingers — so experiment to find what is comfortable for you.
The first key is to pull enough string through the beginning grommet to reach across the string face before you start the weave. This means you are simply pushing the weave across and not trying to pull the string through the grommet while weaving. It sounds simple, but it makes a huge difference in how easy it is to manipulate the string as you weave.
The second key is to weave across the mains at an angle rather than straight across. This allows for more room as you work away from crosses that have already been tensioned. Of course, as you work your way down the mains, you have less room to operate, so things will slow down a bit to get the last few crosses in compared to the first few.
With this technique the string tip is pulled across the mains toward your body. Most employing this method pull about 10 to 12 inches of string through the initial grommet and then form a loose loop with the string and force the loop up and down as you work your way across the mains with one hand above forcing the string down and one hand underneath forcing it back up.
Again, the key is pull through an adequate amount of string to reach across the racquet so your aren’t pulling the string so much as just manipulating it up and down across the mains. I find it easier if the tip of the string is toward the open end of the racquet away from the already tensioned crosses. It seems to glide more smoothly.
Regardless of the technique you settle on, have patience and continue to work on the technique to find what is comfortable to you. With repetition, the speed and efficiency will come.
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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