Whether you work with a string reel or string set, following this simple racquet stringing technique to measure your strings can benefit you in two ways.
- Get more value from your string reel
- Ensure that you have enough string when receiving a precut coil of strings
I first developed this technique when I was stringing at a pro tournament. A player handed me a coil of strings that he precut from a reel. I assumed it was 40′ in length, so I cut off 20′ for the mains.
As I was stringing the crosses, I realized that the string was going to be short. He hadn’t given me 40′. Luckily, I had these same strings in stock, so I cut out the crosses, measured 20′ of my string, and completed stringing his racquet.
More on this story later. Here’s my tip!
Main Strings – Use the frame
Hold the end of the string and stretch it across the frame from the top of the first center main string hole all the way to the tension head. Let go of the end of the string.
While holding that length in your left hand (see above), with your right hand, grasp the string from your left-hand position and measure out a length from the second main hole to its matching main hole across the frame. Continue in this fashion until you reach the last main string.
Fold the string over and, holding onto it, pull out enough string from the reel to meet up with the measured end and cut at that point. This effectively doubles your string length, so you’ve measured the exact amount of string you need for both halves of the racquet.
You’ll probably end up with 2-4″ of extra string length, just enough to tie off the mains.
If your machine has a stationary tension head, use a starting clamp to form a bridge to tension the last main.
Cross Strings – Keep a Record
- Although most frames require 19′ of string or less, cut off 20′ of string from the reel. After installing the crosses, make a note of the leftover string.
- Write it down in your customer file or racquet log for future reference.
- Record any adjustments once you establish a comfortable length, with the least amount of leftover string.
Additional String Reel Value
Using this technique, you could save about 5′ per stringing, resulting in 1-1½ extra string jobs!
After that first experience in which I was short on the crosses, I decided to string that player’s second racquet using this technique to measure the main strings. I was so relieved after I finished the racquet with about 2-3″ to spare on all four ends!
I suspect the player knew precisely the length of string needed to string his racquet, which is why he didn’t give me 40′ of string. He knew how to get additional value out of his reels!