Q: Why should iStringing service my racquet?
We at iStringing are
constantly looking for the newest, most consistent way to string a
racquet. We are all avid tennis players
in the San Gabriel Valley. Everyone at
iStringing are Master Racquet Technicians (MRT) certified by the USRSA. Anyone
can string a racquet, we have taken an
exhaustive test to show that we are qualified to service your racquet. At
iStringing, nobody but a certified MRT will touch your racquet.
Q: What is the difference between iStringing and a Big Box Store
a boutique tennis shop?
At a Big Box Store,
you don't know who is going to service your racquet. Same goes with a boutique
tennis shop. At iStringing, you can rest assured that a
qualified MRT will service your racquet from start to finish without
interruption. We have personally seen
racquet stringing at multiple places where they would leave the racquet mounted
and partially strung while the stringer goes and helps other customers. This
will put unneeded stress on the racquet and
cause micro-fractures in the frame and also produce an uneven string job.
Q: What is the USRSA?
USRSA stands for
United States Racquet Stringing Association.
Their mission is to educate all their constituencies to better
understand, service, perform with, and enjoy the technological wonders known as
racquets, strings, balls, courts, shoes, and stringing machines. The USRSA is
the foremost authority in
everything racquets, including tennis, racquetball, badminton, and squash.
USRSA publishes two industry magazines, has
videos, workshops, and certification education and testing. *source: USRSA.
Q: What is a Master Racquet Technician?
by the USRSA, whether as a Master Racquet Technician, or as a Certified
Stringer involves a comprehensive written test and a
detailed practical test. Both measure your understanding and skills with
respect to all facets of racquet service -- installing grommets and string,
regripping, handle sizing and customizing weight and balance. Additionally, to
attain MRT status, you'll be required to demonstrate understanding of current
frame and string technologies and how those technologies translate to player
USRSA. MRT is the highest certification given by the USRSA. There are only
several hundred MRTs in the world. We at iStringing have passed all
aspects of the MRT test and are currently the only MRTs in the San Gabriel
Valley*. Click here to search for Master
Racquet Technicians in your area.
Q: What is the difference between a constant pull machine and a
A constant pull
machine, whether it be an electronic constant pull or a drop-weight pulls the
strings at the set tension and keeps pulling it and adjusting until the string
is clamped. A lockout (or spring)
tensioner pulls to the desired tension and locks out when the tension is
reached. Because this string is locked
out, the string slowly stretches and loses tension while the clamp is being
placed. This tension loss translates to
about a 10% difference between a lockout and a constant pull machine. There are
also electronic lockout machines as well
as spring lockout machines. iStringing
uses the top of the line constant pull electronic machines that are used by the
Wilson String Team at the U.S. Open and Australian Open, the Wilson Baiardo.
Q: How often should I restring?
The need to restring
your racquet depends on the type of string you use, tension, playing style, and
frequency of play. A rule of thumb is
restring your racquet as many times per year as you play per week. If you play
4 times per week, you should
string your racquet MINIMUM 4 times per year.
Strings sometimes snap due to friction and notching, off-center hits,
and shear forces on mis-hits (near the grommets, typically at the top of the
racquet). The type of string is also a
factor in determining how often you restring your racquet. Natural gut strings
hold their tension
extremely well and can normally be used until they break. Synthetic strings
(nylon, polyester, etc. )
have different tension maintenance capabilities and should be restrung when
they lose around 20% tension.
Restringing your racquet often will also help elbow and shoulder
problems. As the strings lose their
elasticity, your arm will be required to do more work in order to produce the
shots as before. The “dead” strings
will also transmit more vibrations to your arm.
Q: What kind of strings should I use?
There are thousands of
strings available to tennis players nowadays.
All of these strings fall into two basic types. Natural Gut and Synthetic Gut.
Natural Gut is the holy grail of tennis
strings. (See our Natural Gut section for more information on Natural
Gut.) Synthetic Gut consists of
Polyester, Multifilament, Aramid (Kevlar), and normal “Synthetic Gut”.
Polyester strings are the rave at the
moment. They tend to be stiffer and
lower powered compared to Natural Gut, Multifilament, and Synthetic Gut.
Polyester strings resist movement and
provides players to swing hard while keeping the ball inside the court.
Polyester is recommended for players with long
full strokes without arm or shoulder pain.
Multifilament strings are the closest synthetic string to gut. They are soft
and powerful and easy on the
arm. Multifilament strings are great for
players who have or had arm or shoulder problems in the past and are looking
for a good performing soft string.
Multifilaments are not as durable as other strings. Aramid, known as Kevlar or
Technora, is one of
the stiffest material around for tennis strings. Aramid is extremely durable,
but the worst on
the arm and shoulder. We do not
recommend or carry Aramid strings due to the fact that they are so stiff and
harsh on the body. Synthetic Gut strings
are good all around strings. They offer
good playability, power, control, and comfort.
They are good all around strings at an economical price. Synthetic Gut strings
are recommended to
players who are not frequent string breakers and who want a good string at a
lower price range. Synthetic gut are
also great strings to use for hybrid string jobs with Polyester.
Q: What gauge (thickness) should I use?
A thinner string will provide more power, spin, and
comfort. The major tradeoff is
durability. The higher the gauge, the
thinner the string. A player should
choose a string that will last 3-6 weeks, playing around 3 times per week. After 6 weeks, most strings will “play dead.”
Generally, a 17 gauge string will be twice as elastic as a 15 gauge string, all
other factors being equal. *source:
Q: What tension should I string at?
Each racquet has a manufacturer recommended range for
tension. Polyester and stiffer strings
should be strung 10% less than other strings.
Lower tensions tend to generate more power while higher tensions tend to
generate more control (for experienced players). We recommend stringing racquets as low as
possible while still achieving the control you desire. Start off low and adjust the tension up if
you desire more control. In the past,
players used to string their racquets in the 60s and 70s, but keep in mind that
racquets nowadays are stiffer and they were not using polyester strings at that
high tension. Polyester strings play surprisingly
well at lower tensions (below 50).
Players are using Polyester strings at tensions as low as the 20s with
great results. Milos Raonic sometimes
strings his racquet at 40lbs in the mains and 42 in the crosses on a full
polyester stringjob. Roger Federer
typically strings at 46 mains and 42 crosses with natural gut in mains and
polyester in crosses.