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View Full Version : Newbie: Should I take the plunge?


Serve em Up
10-15-2007, 09:31 AM
I know absolutely nothing about stringing machines, stringing or raquet modification.

I use Wilson nxt tour on my raquet because my pro said it's a good string and is resonably priced.

I break about a string set /month. I have a daughter that also plays in High School. She doesn't break strings often but usually gets a string job about every two months due to fraying and tension loss. I have another daughter in Jr. High School who started playing last spring and is already talking about playing when she gets to high school in two years. It costs me $35.00 every time I get a racquet strung. So at about 20 string jobs per year I'm spending $700.00 / year.

I've been looking at the string only prices on TW. It seems to me I may be able to save some money if I learned how to string. How difficult is it to learn. Are there stringing schools you can attend? Who taught you guys how to do it. Can you get a good string job from a machine priced at less than $500.00. How long does it take to become proficient?

A little guidance would be great. Thanks!

DustinW
10-15-2007, 10:16 AM
For only a couple of string jobs per year, a cheap dropweight machine would be sufficient. My $130 Klippermate got me through high school in the early 90's, and I broke strings about every other day... and that same machine is still stringing my rackets today.

Its easy to learn but takes some practice to get proficient at it. Most manufacturers give you everything you need to teach yourself how to do it. And once you get through the first 5 rackets or so, you'll probably feel comfortable enough to do it without the manual.

pmata814
10-15-2007, 10:17 AM
It is not difficult to learn how to string. It may seem a little confusing at first but after 2-3 frames it makes sense. I learned just by asking here and watching videos and reading articles online.

Run a search on the stringing machine forum (or on this one) and you should find several threads on this very subject.

Roforot
10-15-2007, 10:24 AM
Love the fact that I bought a stringing machine last year!
Has it been cost effective? Not as much as you would think.
Initially have blasted through several sets of different strings, cutting them out after 1 or 2 times if I didn't like them... Now that I've narrowed down what I like and bought a reel, this should stabilize. Still, really enjoyed it and it's very gratifying to be able to play w/ fresh string jobs. There used to be times when I was struggling and not sure if I was off or what, now I'm more in tune to when it's strings/equipment.

To learn, you need to have a buddy walk you through 2 or 3 string jobs. After that, play w/ the machine and you'll get comfortable pretty quickly.

LPShanet
10-15-2007, 10:32 AM
I know absolutely nothing about stringing machines, stringing or raquet modification.

I use Wilson nxt tour on my raquet because my pro said it's a good string and is resonably priced.

I break about a string set /month. I have a daughter that also plays in High School. She doesn't break strings often but usually gets a string job about every two months due to fraying and tension loss. I have another daughter in Jr. High School who started playing last spring and is already talking about playing when she gets to high school in two years. It costs me $35.00 every time I get a racquet strung. So at about 20 string jobs per year I'm spending $700.00 / year.

I've been looking at the string only prices on TW. It seems to me I may be able to save some money if I learned how to string. How difficult is it to learn. Are there stringing schools you can attend? Who taught you guys how to do it. Can you get a good string job from a machine priced at less than $500.00. How long does it take to become proficient?

A little guidance would be great. Thanks!

Learning the basics is not as hard as you might think, although as with any skill, increasing experience is always a good idea. Although you may want to do your first few string jobs on crappy old racquets just to get the hang of it, you can learn to do string well enough to start doing your own racquets quite quickly. Assuming that both you and your daughter both use a racquet that isn't tough to string well, I'd say it's definitely worth learning, if you have the time to do the actual stringing. Assume that string jobs will take you about 1 hour to start (including mounting, prepping string, etc.), although with increasing skill, you can get it down to less than half that quite quickly if you use a good machine. Which brings me to:

Machines: While you can get an OK string job from a machine under $500 dollars, I would highly suggest you spend slightly more on the machine. When you jump into the $650 - $900 range, you get into a much higher quality level of machine that will pay for itself in less than a year of stringing and be much easier/faster to work on. If you're already spending $700 a year, isn't it worth it to invest the extra $200-300? Get yourself a good upright crank machine and you'll be much happier with the results and with your physical comfort while stringing.

Strings: If you order by the reel, you can save additional money on strings. Also, while I won't mention any by name, if you start buying in bulk, you may be eligible to get accounts with string distributors that give you a better price than even TW's string only price. NXT should run about 10-12 bucks that way.

The best way to learn is by watching someone or having them teach you. I don't know of any stringing schools per se, but they may be out there. You can also read excellent instructional materials on the subject, and even the manual that comes with many good machines will have a few basics.

The first step I'd suggest is to contact the USRSA (United States Racquet Stringers Association). They can give you information about any instructional programs out there, and a membership in the USRSA (which is about $100 a year, I think) can give you access to many resources, including their stringing manuals, website with tons of technical stringing info and instruction, discounts on strings, etc. Joining or at least talking to them would be the logical first step. You can get contact info through their website, which is exactly what you'd expect (USRSA.com).

shojun25
10-15-2007, 03:42 PM
Get Alpha Pioneer DC Plus. Its a drop weight stringing machine, it has 6 point mounting system (good support for the frame), it has fixed clamps (less hassle than floating clamps), and the unique thing about this stringer is its linear gripper. I think its around $400, and it is the best deal if you are just stringing for friends and families. It will pay for itself for no time, and I'm pretty sure that Alpha gives a few sets of strings with the stringer.

In the beginning, I strung racquets at approx. 50 minutes. Now, I can string at around 40 minutes average.

And to answer your question, take the plunge. Its better than paying $20+ per every racquet strung.

JohnP
10-16-2007, 01:53 AM
I would highly recommend going for it, personally. As far as stringer recommendations go, I would recommend getting at least something with a 6-point mounting system. When my Gamma Progression originally had a 2 point mounting system, I hated it. It was very hard to get the racquet set properly and I always felt like the racquet was about to snap in half from the tension. Not the best confidence builder for a new stringer. Outside of that, any quality machine will work, I don't know much about current models so I will let others help you out with the rest.

I hate seeing the amount of money people get charged for stringing jobs at clubs, and I think a stringer is a great investment for anybody who plays tennis regularly and plans to stick with it for the forseeable future.