Tennis Industry magazine


Racquet Tech: Practice Makes Perfect

Efficiently weaving the cross strings takes time, but it all begins with solid technique.

By Bob Patterson

Stringers don’t usually draw crowds, but if they did, nothing would wow an audience more than a stringer who can perfectly weave a cross string in a motion that appears effortless. Such a technician is a rock star among other stringers, too, especially those just learning the craft.

Every stringer aspires to weave the crosses at blazing speeds. How can you learn to do that?

Just like any other motor skill, it starts with good, sound technique and practice. You must get the basic motions down pat, then repeat the process until it becomes natural.

Push or Pull?

There are two basic stringing methods: push and pull. Many experienced stringers utilize both methods, depending on the string type and pattern.

The Push is accomplished by positioning the frame with the starting point next to you. Insert the string in the grommet and pull through enough string to reach across the racquet face. You’ll work with one hand below the racquet face and one above. Holding the tip of the string between your fingers, push up from the bottom and down from the top as you glide the string across the mains.

The Pull is accomplished by inserting string through the grommet with the starting point away from you. Pull enough string to reach across the face of the racquet. You will form a loop with the string, and with one hand on top and the other beneath the frame, you will push down with the top fingers and back up with the bottom fingers as you pull the loop toward your body across the racquet.

Weave On A Diagonal

It is better to push or pull diagonally across the mains than straight across. Doing so will give you more room to work between the strings, and also applies less friction to help prevent notching or burning in the mains. Make sure to avoid starting with a lot of extra string, which will get in the way. Having the right length will keep you from trying to pull all the string with your fingertips as you weave.

You’ll need to experiment to find your comfort level, to determine what hand goes where and to see which fingers work best. As you repeat the technique, you will develop muscle memory and become faster.

Be patient and don’t try to go too quickly at first. Pretty soon your cross-weaving speed will come, and your stringing business will be attracting all kinds of attention.

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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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