Tennis Industry magazine

 

Racquet Tech: Use Care When Sharing

All stringers have to deal with shared-hole string patterns. Here are some tips to help.

By Bob Patterson

In the days of wood racquets, shared holes for main and cross strings were common. The fewer holes drilled into the wood frame, the stronger it remained. With the emergence of stronger frame materials, though, shared holes all but disappeared.

In recent years, however, there’s been a resurgence of shared holes in racquets as manufacturers are using various string patterns and string spacing to enhance features like spin, control, comfort and power. Even on strings without a shared-hole pattern, you will always have to "share" a hole when tying off. Two common problems you may encounter with a shared-hole pattern are crossovers on the outside of the frame and, quite simply, trying to fit two strings into one space.

Most shared holes may have a larger grommet to accommodate both strings, but others have double grommets in one hole or a grommet barrel divided either completely or partially. With all of these, though, it’s important to plan ahead to avoid crossovers. If the mains aren’t installed properly, you won’t be able to install the crosses without having a crossover.

If you have two shared holes on one side of the frame, make sure the main string is in the same section of both. In other words, the string should go from the bottom of one to the bottom of the next, or top-to-top, so the strings lie parallel on the outside of the frame. Otherwise, it will create a crossover when the cross strings are installed. In some cases the notes in the Stringer’s Digest will instruct you if the manufacturer designates a certain order for the strings, meaning the top or bottom of the grommet.

Fitting the second string through a shared hole can be frustrating. All stringers eventually encounter a shared-hole pattern that sends a seemingly simple string job into double overtime. Here are a few tricks to make the process easier.

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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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